The Negro Farmer.

A Thesis submitted to the University of Pennsylvania in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Ph.D.

First edition of a Ph.D. dissertation studying black farmers in the American South, including eastern Texas. Includes much on race, geographic distribution of black farmers (24 maps), and economics.

The North is slowly learning that the Negro is not a dark-skinned Yankee, and that thousands of generations in Africa have produced a being very different from him whose ancestors lived an equal time in Europe. In a word, we now see that slavery does not account for all the differences between the blacks and whites, and that their origins lie farther back. Our acquaintance with the ancestors of the Negro is meager. We do not even know how many of the numerous African tribes are represented in our midst. A good deal of Semitic blood had already been infused into the more northern tribes. What influence did this have and how many descendants of these tribes are there in America? Tribal distinctions have been hopelessly lost in this country, and the blending has gone on so continuously that perhaps there would be little practical benefit if the stocks could be determined to-day. It is, however, a curious commentary on the turn discussions of the question have taken, that not until 1902 did any one find it advisable to publish a comprehensive study of the African environment and to trace its influence on subsequent development. Yet this is one of the fundamental preliminaries to any real knowledge of the subject. (pp6–7)

Includes a chapter on “Agricultural Training” downplaying the role of schools such as Hampton Institute in Virginia and Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and promoting local or regional farmers’ conferences and fairs such as the Farmers’ Improvement Society in Texas and the efforts of the Southern Land Company in Alabama.

Though admired by his contemporary, the scientific racist Alfred Holt Stone (1870–1955), Kelsey was already turning from race to environment as a more significant factor in studying the situation of African-Americans.¹

Description: The Negro Farmer.

Chicago: Printed and on sale by Jennings & Pye, 1903. 103pp. First Edition. 8vo. Stiff gray wrappers; stapled. Half-tone illustrations; maps. Light toning to wrappers; near fine condition; a lovely copy.


Note. 1. Hollandsworth, Jr., Portrait of a Scientific Racist, Alfred Holt Stone of Mississippi (Louisiana State University Press, 2008), p258ff. See Work p617.


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