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January 12th, 1869, and continuing during four days of that and the subsequent week, with three sessions in each day.
This is intended to be an annual gathering of the farmers of the State, and of their sons and daughters, for the purpose of discussing the best methods of agriculture; and it is earnestly hoped that all who desire to improve our tillage, our crops and our live stock, will be present and lend a helping hand.
No charge is made for admission. The University provides a hall properly warmed and lighted, and pays the expenses of the gentlemen who have kindly consented to open the discussions.
Each lecture, essay or “ talk,” will be followed by a discussion on the same subject, in which all are invited to participate.
Dr. John A. Warder, author of "American Pomology,” will lecture daily from 4 to 5 P. M., on the subject of Fruit Culture.
Good boarding places can be had convenient, and at reasonable rates.
Railroads will be solicited to return persons in attendance at reduced rates.
J. M. GREGORY, Regent. W. C. FLAGG, Corresponding Secretary
TUESDAY, January 12th.
WEDNESDAY, January 13th.
THURSDAY, January 14th,
FRIDAY, January 15th.
TUESDAY, January 19th.
WEDNESDAY, January 20th,
THURSDAY, January 21st. Morning, 9 o'clock. Sheep.-A. M. Garland, President Ilinois Sheep Growers' Association. Afternoon, 2 o'clock. Agricultural Botany.-Assistant Professor Thos. J. Burrill. Evening, 7 o'clock. Vegetable Physiology and Economy.-John H. 'Tice, Secretary Missouri
Board of Agriculture.
FRIDAY, January 22d.
ADDRESS OF WELCOME: By Dr. J. M. GREGORY. GENTLEMEN AND LADIES: It is my high privilege to-day to welcome you to the Industrial University to its first annual course of lectures. We inaugurate to-day a part of the plan of operations, contemplated from the outset, to extend the benefit of this university beyond the ordinary students who shall gather here, out into the fields of adult life and of actual labor. The univer. sity, in this movement, leaving for the moment its place near the gateways of practical life, where it sits to train those about to enter, and to fit them for life's great duties, seeks to go out into the very midst of the busy throng of labor, and mingle its counsels and lend its light to the struggling, toil and thought of the practical world. Not content to teach its science to the young, it also seeks to enlighten, with its learning, the labors and the lives of the grown men and women who are doing the world's great work and bear ing the burden of its endless battles. Teaching to beginners the elements of science, it also desires to take part in the solution of the fresh problems which are always arising in the progress of practical affairs. If science has gather ed any clear light from the study of the past, when can it be better displayed than in aiding to solve the questions which perplex the present, and in thus opening the clogged highways which lead to the future? Through these annual courses of lectures addressed to the actual cultivators of the soil, the university will mingle its voices with yours in the very midst of the farmers and fruit-growers of the State.
But thus while welcoming you to these lectures as learners, we do not for. get that you come also as teachers, and we extend to you a double welcome as bringing to us, fresh from the great fields of practical life, the latest ques tions which have arisen there, and the latest and best experience which have been gained. Your assembling here will help us to give a still more practical character to our institutions, and your discussions will lend a new and real air and value to tae sciences our pupils are studying. We have to thank you, therefore, as well as welcome you, for the aid thus lent by your presence here in giving to the university the “pre-eminently practical character” the Trustees desire it shall bear. It will be our study and pleasure to make your stay here as pleasant and profitable as possible, and we solicit your co-operation to give to this initial lecture session such interest and value that the Trustees may feel encouraged to repeat it in the successive years.
It has already been seriously proposed to hold other lecture sessions in different parts of the State; and, if sufficient encouragement is given that
the farmers and other citizens will attend, two such sessions, of three or four days each, will probably be held during this year—one in the northern and one in the southern part of the State. It is by this free and frequent interchange of views with the practical agriculturists of the State that the university hopes to work out one part of its great mission—the diffusion of ag ricultural science among mankind. Establishing some community of ideas between itself and the great classes in whose interest it works, it will be better able to organize its wide-reaching places of scientific observation and experiment, and will bring under its eyes the immense fields of research which it has undertaken to explore.
And, finally, we welcome you here that you may see for yourselves the work we are doing and are preparing to do for the cause of agriculture and the industrial education. We are confident you will say our plans are not one whit too broad to teach thoroughly those great and splendid branches of learning which relate to "agriculture and the mechanic arts;" and you will agree with us that no learning is too high to fit men to solve the great mysteries of seed and soil, and to master the mighty agencies of growth through which the brown earth is changed to golden grain, and pulpy fruit and fragrant flowers.
Again and heartily welcoming you, in the name of the university and of its faculty, I proceed to discuss the topic which has seemed to me a fitting one to open this course of lectures.
AGRICULTURAL FACTS AND THEORIES. I regret that, for want of time, I shall be compelled to make this discussion in an extemporary form.
And in the first place, looking at the crude and disjointed facts which agricultural writers give us, we come to the conclusion that we have no science of agriculture. Botany is a science, because the facts which underlie it are established by fixed laws. Chemistry is a science for the same reason. But agriculture is not a science in any sense. It is simply a mass of Empiricism. If any one doubts this, let him attend the agricultural clubs and horticultu. ral conventions, and he will be convinced. The ever recurring questions are still unsettled. One man has this experience, and another that, which is just the opposite.
One finds it most beneficial to plow his manure under. Another top-dresses. One plows in the fall, another in the spring. One shortens back, another leaves his trees to grow at pleasure.
But let it not be supposed that, in this statement of the present condition of agriculture, I, by any means, slander or underrate the value of the work already done. When I notice the change that has been wrought during this nineteenth century, and how far it is in advance of previous centuries in agricultural knowledge and practice in Northern Europe and England, and other parts of the world, we cannot too highly estimate the advancement made.
But after all, this advancement has been made in the way of experience. And we have nothing but experience. Hence we say, agricultural science is empiricism, and not an established science. It may be best to define what we mean by science.
Knowledge is not necessarily science. A great mass of knowledge is not necessarily scientific.
A great many facts, gathered and classified so that they may be made available for use, do not make science.
Just as in medicine, a large amount of facts are known in regard to specific medicinal substances, yet this does not constitute science.
Science can only be founded when the actual scientific fact belonging to that department which this scientific truth proposes to investigate, shall hare been referred to fundamental laws, by which this fact may be explained and out of whose operations they grow.
For ages there were no certain facts known about plants-respecting their forms, shapes, or their qualities. What were supposed to be facts had not been traced to elementary truths which conform to laws. There is no science about it.
For ages there was much known about chemistry, but there was no science of chemistry.
Beautiful theories were based upon the facts gathered, but no science. I repeat, therefore, a mere knowledge of facts, however extended, does not constitute science.
True science is built upon asserted facts which have been reduced to scientific shape. Everything accidental thrown off-facts referring to the established laws of nature-growing from them and explaining them.
Agriculture has not yet reached these facts.
Ten million busy hands are occupied in looking up these facts, which must be referred to invariable laws, that we may be able to direct the result.
Goldwin Smith gives this definition of science: “It enables us, from a knowledge of invariable laws, to predict from certain facts what other facts will follow.” Now agriculture has not yet reached that state of advancement.
The question whether agriculture can rise to the claim of being a science is an important one. We think it can; but let us look at the means by which this must be done, if at all. Now there are two stages of growth in this direction.
The first stage is that of simple facts—the stage of close observation and close deductions from these obseryations.
Every science has passed through this stage. If we go back in history, we will find that all sciences once occupied just that position which is held by agriculture to-day.
Take Chemistry. There was a time when it was held that this world was made up of four elements earth, air, fire and water; and upon these supposed facts theories were built up.
So Chemistry, as well as other sciences, has had its stage of close observation and close speculation upon these facts.
I am very
The second stage comes when all theories fail—when the foundations upon which we have built are swept away by larger experience—when we throw away all theories and come back to a careful and calm statement of facts— fearful to take any conclusions beyond the demonstrated fact, still patiently following up these facts with persevering inductive processes.
To explain further the nature of these operations, I ask your attention to the classification of the methods in which the mind operates in building up a science. All science is the growth of human intellect. Science does not lie written upon nature, but is the result of the operation of the human mind working upon these facts.
Now, how does the mind work? There are two processes.
One is called Induction—that process by which we are led into truth step by step, and no further.
The other process is called Deduction—that process by which we begin with assumed facts, or facts proven, and spread out from that and form growth.
Now these two processes lie the one over against the other. solicitous to be understood upon this point, for it seems to me important that we come to understand these two processes.
The first method is by careful induction, like a man walking upon stones and feeling his way one step at a time, and going only so far as he can see where to place his foot and no farther, and thus ultimately reaching the law.
But there is another process which takes the law when established, or that takes some fact believed to be true, and makes to grow a whole upper growth of theories, or system of theories. Now neither of these is to be eulogized at the expense of the other; yet the period of induction is the period of progress -the period that throws away all theories and comes to measure fact with fact—lays one brick upon the other let the result be what it may; let the plan of the architects appear when the work is done. Now, taking these two stages of science, we determine the question: "Can there be any science of agriculture?"
Agriculture is both an art and a science. So far as it simply applies to practice in special rules directing to particular results, it is an art. I imagine that most men class it as an art.
But authority or usage permits us to class as sciences some branches of knowledge which are combinations of the facts of several sciences. Take, for instance, Geography. It takes from Botany the distribution of plants; it uses Geology, Meteorology, Zoology and other sciences to explain facts which belong appropriately to each, and not to Geography alone; yet we call Geography a science, because these several sciences combine together in the explanation of one single object--the world. While Geography has not single fact of its own, it gathers all these facts around one central object, and usage permits us to speak of Geography as a science.
In this sense, agriculture, the great mother of arts—the all-sustaining, fundamental art—the art of