THE FREE MAN’S PRESS
Saturday, August 1, 1868
Vol. 1, No. 3
Get A Home.
The very first thing every colored man should do is to get a home. What we mean by a home is a piece of land, large or small. A place you can call your own.
These colored people who live in towns should buy themselves building lots, it makes no difference if the lots are only large enough to build a house upon. A good way is to club together and buy a piece of land and divide it up into lots. After the lot is bought put up a house, no matter how humble it is, it will save rent. It will be a home, and everything you do about it, every dollar you spend upon it will be for your own benefit.
It will be a home—a home for you and your children.
It will be a place where you can rest in peace without fear of being molested or being made afraid by a hungry landlord.
In the eye of the law it will be your castle, as sacred to you as the palace to a king. No man has a right to tear you from it, or to molest it. You have a right to defend it against every intruder.
These people who live in the country and who farm for a living out to buy themselves a piece of land.
Ten acres, well taken care of will support a large family, but here in Texas where land is so cheap, it easy enough for any working man to secure himself at least fifty acres of good land, which will make a splendid farm.
It is unnecessary for us to tell you how to buy a farm, do it as you would buy a horse. You want a deed to it, but you can find out all about these things by asking a friend or neighbor who knows.
If a man and his wife and his children will give their little farm all their work and attention, it will make them in a few years prosperous and above want.
Thousands of colored men in Texas are now renting lands and houses, and paying enough in one year in the way of rent to buy themselves a home of their own, which would make them forever independent in the world.
The time is come when every colored man in the State must get a home.
A man who rents either a hose to live in or a field to plant, is not really a free man, he is depending on a landlord.
The last of “old master’s” plantations will soon pass away, and every man will be thrown upon his own resources, that is, “every tub will have to stand on its own bottom.” When the Bureau is superceded by a protecting civil government, then must every man who farms look out for a patch for himself. When that day comes, it will be a happy one for all concerned.
A home will make the colored man a free man. He will feel that he has an interest in the country; he will feel that he owns a part of it.
A home will be a glad place for the children to grow up in. It will promote virtue and build up strong family ties. A family who grow up on rented land never feel at home. But let a man have a home, no matter how poor it is, freedom will dwell about the lowliest hut; the sun of heaven will dance about the humblest door; the rains of heaven will fall solidly on the poor man’s roof. And as the owner stands in his own door he looks out upon the world with a feeling of manly pride; he looks upon his children at play within the limits of his own home, he will rejoice in his heart, and no cross or surly land owner can stop the play of the children, or make the father feel uneasy lest the owner should be offended.
At evening he can watch the shadows creep over the world but no shadow steals over his heart as he slips beneath his own roof, for fear that the morning sun will bring a cruel landowner, demanding his rent.
If sickness comes, and for a while the father and mother, or child causes the work to stop, or doctor’s bills are made, still they have a home, a home which the law protects for them; it can not be sold for debt, and the mother and the children can never be turned out. The new constitution now being made by the Convention protects a homestead from sale provide it is not worth more than two thousand dollars. If it is worth over two thousand dollars, it can be sold but the two thousand dollars are still kept for the family.
The money put into a home is money in the safest place in the world.
God owns the world,—He intended the land should be tilled, and he intended that every man should have as much as he can cultivate. The greediness of men that make them want more than they really need. This is a free country and every man is at liberty to buy himself a piece of land and make him a home.
When the colored people begin to make home they will begin to be really free. Treasure this in your heart and get a home.