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Roots of Democracy in Early American Farming

CAMPTON HILLS, IL: On Saturday April 16th at 1 pm, the program "Early American Farming"  will be presented by Judith Broggi, MA Harvard University.

Broggis wrote her thesis on this subject and the link between agriculture and patriotism. An Illinois native who recently moved back after 30 years on the east coast, Broggi has lately begun concentrating on the history of Illinois, and how this great state was influenced by early American farmers.     Even if one did not grow up in farm country, the image of the red barn, green pasture, farmhouse, animals, fields, and gardens is indelibly etched in the dearest (perhaps romanticized) image of America.  This program will discuss how this image was created, and explore why it has outlived the reality in this country.

    In 1774, Samuel Adams proclaimed, "[It is] the Yeomanry whose Virtue must finally save this country!"  The "Yeomanry" to which he refers were respectable members of the community; farmers who demonstrated the resolve of citizens willing to seek and defend the ideals of liberty and self-determination, which was instrumental in the formation of the American identity.

     Democracy was the result of the desire to own one's own land that first lured the colonists to America. Just as the king could give land grants, the royalty could always take that land away and so 3rd and 4th generation colonists sought self determination to protect their private property. They revolted against England and established a democratic republic that was populated by farming families.

    There is a $6 donation for the class and reservations are required. Call the museum at (630) 584-8485, or email at Garfield Farm Museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, IL off ILL Rt. 38 on Garfield Road. The 374-acre site is a historically intact former 1840s farm and teamster inn being restored as an 1840s working farm museum by volunteers and donors from around the country.