CARL R. WOODWARD, Ph.D., Secretary,
Although Benjamin Franklin was essentially a big-town man, city-born and city-bred, and although his tastes were urban rather than rural, the manifold activities of his amazingly varied career frequently led him into the field of agriculture. This was but natural in a land which was still predominantly rural; it was inevitable for one of such universal interests and boundless talents.
In dealing with Benjamin Franklin's adventures in agriculture we must think of him in two separate roles: first "Franklin the Farmer"; and second, "Franklin the Agricultural Leader." The latter term, I admit, is commonplace, but I have not succeeded in finding a better one. I started out with "Franklin the agricultural scientist," but he was more than this. "Franklin the agricultural philosopher" seemed better, but not altogether satisfactory, suggesting, as it does, the scientist and the thinker. He was more than this; he was above all a man of action, who translated philosophy into works. Presently we shall see how substantially his leadership contributed to agricultural progress. There is much to be said about this phase of his career--more than we can treat exhaustively in the time at our disposal.
The record of Franklin the Farmer has long been shrouded in mystery. Biographers and students of Franklin have been puzzled by the absence of specific evidence and by seemingly conflicting data dealing with his practical farm operations. The mystery was projected just one-hundred years ago, when Dr. Jared Sparks issued his 10-volume edition of "The Works of Benjamin Franklin."1 Here for the first time was pub-____________________