Country Facts and Folklore
By Andy Reddick



text: “Owe No Man Anything”

Keep out of debt. Avoid it as you would war, pestilence, and famine. Shun it as you would the devil. Hate it with a perfect hatred. Abhor it with an entire and absolute abhorrence. Dig potatoes, lay stone wall, peddle tin ware, do anything that is honest and useful rather than run into debt.

As you value comfort, quiet, independence, keep out of debt. As you value digestion, a healthy appetite, a placid temper, a smooth pillow, sweet sleep, pleasant dreams and happy awakenings, keep out of debt.

Debt is the hardest of all task-masters, the cruelest of all oppressors. It is a millstone about the neck. It is an incubus on the heart. It eclipses the sun, it blots out the stars, it dims and defaces the beautiful sky. It breaks up the harmony of nature and turns to dissonance all the voices of its melody. It furrows the forehead with premature wrinkles, it plucks the eye of its light, it drags all nobleness and kingliness out of man. It takes the soul out of his laugh and all stateliness and freedom from his walk. Come not under its accursed dominion. Pass it by as you would pass by a leper or one smitten by the plague. Touch it not. Taste not of its fruit, for it shall turn to bitterness and ashes on your lips.

Finally, we say to each and to all, but we speak especially to you young men, KEEP OUT OF DEBT! --Exchange Paper, Bloomington (now Muscatine) Herald, May 21, 1841, page 3, col. 1. (Annals of Iowa July, 1935-April, 1937, Vol. 20 pp. 70, 71.)

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Contributed to the Van Buren Co. IAGenWeb Project by Andy Reddick