This technically should be in the “Since 1877” forum, but oh well. I just had a question about the meaning of a term. In his speech at the Atlanta Exposition, Booker T. Washington offers the following observation:
“Ignorant and inexperienced, it is not strange that in the first years of our new life we began at the top instead of at the bottom; that a seat in Congress or the state legislature was more sought than real estate or industrial skill; that the political convention or stump speaking had more attractions than starting a dairy farm or truck garden.”
I was wondering what he means by “real estate” there. Does it have the same meaning as now, or did it refer to farming or something else? And is there a particular place to go or tool to use to find old word meanings like that? I suppose an old dictionary or encyclopedia.