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American Society for the Promotion of Useful Knowledge

American Society for the Promotion of Useful Knowledge -...

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March 17, 1768 The Pennsylvania Gazette<br> ITEM #42109 March 17, 1768 The Pennsylvania Gazette PROPOSALS For enlarging the PLAN of the AMERICAN SOCIETY, held at Philadelphia, for PROMOTING USEFUL KNOWLEDGE, that it may the better answer the Ends for which it was instituted; extracted from the Minutes of the SOCIETY, January 1, 1768, and published, in order to explain the Design of the Institution, and increase the Number of Correspondents. KNOWLEDGE is of little Use, when confined to mere Speculation: But when speculative Truths are reduced to Practice, when Theories, grounded upon Experiments, are applied to the common Purposes of Life; and when, by these, Agriculture is improved, Trade enlarged, the Arts of Living made more easy and comfortable, and, of course, the Increase and Happiness of Mankind promoted; Knowledge then becomes really useful. That this Society, therefore, may, in some Degree, answer the End of its Institution, the Members propose to confine their Disquisitions, principally, to such Subjects as tend to the Improvement of their Country, and Advancement of its Interest and Prosperity. The Tract of Country now possessed by the English in North America is large, and very extensive; the Soil and Climate various; and, lying between the 25th and 55th Degrees of North Latitude, is not only subject to the Gradations from extreme Heat to extreme Cold, but seems capable of supplying almost all the Productions of the Earth. It is watered with plentiful Streams, accommodated with Creeks, Bays and Havens, and intersected by Rivers, which run far into the Country, and not only open an easy Communication with the Ocean, but, by interlocking with each other, afford an inland Navigation of some Thousand Miles, that with no great Expence might be rendered still more extensive. By the Industry of its Inhabitants, the Land in many Places is cleared of its Wood, reduced to arable and Pasture Ground, and rendered fit to receive those Fruits, Trees, Plants and Grain, which are properly to every Soil.--- The Indians who were Natives of this Country, and whose Employments were hunting and fishing, paid little Regard to Husbandry, or the Cultivation of the Land. To Trade and Commerce they were Strangers. Elegance of Living they despised. They depended on the Bow, and were content if, with the Fortune of the Chace, the spontaneous Indian Corn, which their Women and Children raised, they could support Life. Hence it was that, upon the first Discovery of America by the Europeans, Indian Corn was the only Grain found here. The Fruits, Trees, Plants and Grain, introduced by the new Inhabitants, are mostly such as were cultivated in European Countries, from whence those Inhabitants came. But the Soil and Climate of this Country bring different from that of Europe, no Wonder if many of file:///C|/Documents%20and%20Settings/Philip%20J.%20Pauly/My%20Documents/00042109.htm (1 of 8)10/2/2007 5:37:02 PM
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March 17, 1768 The Pennsylvania Gazette<br> them do not succeed here as well as in Europe.
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