How To
Become Prosperous

Dateline: 5 January 2016, AD

I was recently looking through an old gardening magazine and found an ad for a new book with the title, Working With The Hands, by Booker T. Washington. I was familiar with Booker T. Washington's autobiography, Up From Slavery, but not Working With The Hands. The title intrigued me. I found a copy on Ebay and bought it.

Working With The Hands is a 246-page book that was published in 1904. It is the story of B.T. Washington's life work at the Tuskeegee Institute in Alabama. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and it's message. Booker T. Washington was, without a doubt, a deliberate agrarian. His objective was to help his race achieve self reliance and economic freedom by learning better farming practices, valuable trade skills and useful domestic skills. He encouraged freed slaves and the children of freed slaves to pursue land ownership, and he discouraged debt slavery. 

Working With The Hands is over a hundred years old, so much of the information is therefore dated, but there are timeless principles and concepts that can be applied to today, and to all races living in the throes of our crumbling post-industrial culture.

The following advice from Working With The Hands is found in the chapter titled, Helping The Mothers...

How To Become Prosperous

Keep no more than one dog. Stay away from court. Buy no snuff, whiskey and tobacco. Raise your own pork. Raise your own vegetables. Put away thirty cents for every dollar you spend.

Get a good supply of poultry. Set your hens.Keep your chickens until they bring a good price.

Go to town on Thursday instead of Saturday. Buy no more than you need. Stay in town no longer than necessary.


deborah harvey said...

thanks. had never known of it. on my wish list.

Ray in Kentucky said...

I like his advice on visiting town. Still sounds like a good plan.

Herrick Kimball said...


Joel Salatin gives pretty much the same advice about not going to town any more than you absolutely need to in his book, "You Can Farm."

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing this book to my attention. I found it on and downloaded it. Excellent read so far!

Farmer Liz said...

That is good advice. Although I think more than one dog is required... one smart dog to move the cattle and one big dog for security duty :)

Pam Baker said...

Sound advice at anytime.