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Chairman of Board of County Commissioners,

My dear Mr. Chairman:-

Your attention has been called to the report of the Government showing that we are facing a serious food famine in the United States. You have seen the proclamation issued from this office on the 16th day of March, calling attention to the imperative necessity for increasing our food supplies, and within the last week the President of the United States has made an appeal to the people urging them to increase our food supplies as a patriotic duty.

In every county in the State will be found vacant farms. The owners are not able to cultivate them and for some reason have not been able to get tenants to do so. Every one of these farms ought to be located and planted to grains, grasses, peas and potatoes this year. I therefore urge you,

1. To ascertain all such vacant farms in your county.

2. To make arrangements to secure these farms for a nominal rent, which I am sure can easily be done, and cultivate them by using the county chain gang when the convicts can be spared from the public roads and by additional labor employed by the county, if necessary.

I have consulted the Attorney General of the State, and he advises me that there is absolutely nothing in our statutes that makes it unlawful for the county commissioners to do this. In this way the commissioners can wonderfully increase our food supplies, and without the assumption of any real risk make a considerable sum of money for the county.

With much respect, I beg to remain,

Very truly yours,

T. W. Bickett