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clover to orchards," ""On diseases of Cattle," "On gypsum," "On the thickness, cement, and materials of walls of farm and other buildings," "On orchards," "On coarse flour," &c. "On herbage and shrubs spontaneously produced," &c. "On trench ploughing," "On hemlock for live fences," ," "On changes of timber and plants ;" and his "Observations on a stercorary," merit the attention of every rural economist.

The practice of farming has long been, and we fear will long remain, a standing mark of the slow progress of the useful arts in the United States. Foreigners, who in other respects, notwithstanding their superficial observations, may receive favourable notions of our comforts, taste, and improvements, cannot fail to observe the state of our fields, the agricultural productions, mode of farming, and the rural economy of the states; and if on these subjects they could make the just allowance on comparing them with European advancement, American farming would not be degraded by the comparison.

Whatever importance may be attached to the study of agriculture as a science, an ordinary, intelligent farmer will principally attend to the nature of the soil he cultivates, and observe carefully how he may best improve it by the application of manure. In few cases will he be deceived in ploughing, if he turns up the soil only so deep as to admit the seed to a suitable depth, and leave sufficient room for the roots to spread. As vegetation receives its impulse from the black mould, which every where covers the earth with varying thickness, and which was formed and is continually increased by the successive decay of vegetables, and as this vegetating power is weakened and exhausted by successive crops, it must be again replenished by art. Manures, whether consisting of calcareous earth, or of vegetable compost manure, are of the greatest consequence, and with the preparation of the soil by ploughing, harrowing, rolling, &c. constitute the chief cbjects of employment for the agriculturalist.

On the subject of manures, there are two letters, one communicated by J. Mease, on the utility of a species of marle, found in Burlington county. This substance answers very well alone; but two loads of it mixed with one of barn manure, is the best mode of using it. Mr. Peters has also given a valuable paper on the employment and nature of gypsum, as a manure. His observations are the result of many years' practice, and merit confidence. The qualities of this article have been hitherto but little understood, and it will require much study to discover the manner in which it operates. Chymistry is of great importance to this branch of husbandry, and although few farmers are acquainted with the subject, yet they have a right to expect something like a scientifick investigation, from such a society as the authors of the present publication. The combination of gypsum or sulphate of lime with the dung from stables, and the vege table manure in farm yards, forms a good compost, that can be procured at little expense, and is applicable to the greatest varieties of soil. Gypsum aids the putrefaction of the vegetable substances in manures, and in the decomposition produces hydrogen, carbonick acid, oxygen, and other gasses, of which plants are formed; and the warmth produced while the process is going on is one of the specifick properties of manure, and which when mixed with the soil, facilitates the absorption of nutriment by the roots of plants. Hence, that compound, which contains the most of the qualities and powers necessary in the vegetating process, should be procured. The improvements which have been so lately made in agriculture, among English farmers, are in a great degree to be attributed to the study of chymistry, as connected with agriculture.

Hydrogen is seen to escape from compost heaps during the decomposition, in form of a vapour; the carbon discovers itself in the manure, after an extensive putrefaction, and in the black hue assumed by the mould, wherever found, more distinctly, however, in those soils where composts, containing large quantities of this substance, have been employed. The liquor which drains from dunghills, unless mixed with some accidental, extraneous matter, is nothing but water strongly impregnated with car'bon, and after standing a considerable time, the carbon will subside to the bottom of the water. Carbonick acid gas is often seen to escape in great quantities from soils where manure has been used, in which there was a large proportion of carbon. These being the principal agents in accelerating vegetation, the attention of agriculturalists should be directed to provide them from calcareous earths or compost manure, so as to apply them in the cheapest manner to the improvement of the soil.

The best means of preserving manure, is supposed to be a stercorary or compost pit, which is better calculated to permit the fermentation to go on, than any mode hitherto proposed. Mr. Peters has given a very good description of one, which we shall insert.


A stercorary should be at some distance from the stables. It is best for its bed to rise about two feet in the centre, like the back of a tortoise, with channels round it, to conduct the sap into a small well, or reservoir, which may be pumped, or laded out; and the drainings returned on the heap. Those who choose it may have the bottom paved, and surrounded by a stone wall, three feet high; on which the sills of the frame for the roof may lie. It should be covered by a roof of wood, or thatch, on posts; open at the sides for air, and railed, or stripped round, high enough to prevent access by cattle; whose treading or poaching the heap, impedes its regular fermentation. Spouts, or troughs, at the eves of the roof, may be furnished with small cross troughs, to lead in rain water occasionally; though it is seldom required; as its own juices are generally sufficient, for the supply of the necessary moisture to the dung. Under the pitch of the roof, over the heap, there may be a pigeon house; and roosts for poultry, whose dung would increase, and meliorate the whole mass. The square of the frame should be about eight feet from the bed, that carts, &c. may be admitted to enter, with convenience. Those who experience its utility and value will never regret the expense. A parallelogram is the best ground plat.

The above description is taken from a note, in page 153, in preference to another, more particular, which cannot be clearly understood without the plate.

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Within the last half century, husbandry has assumed an important character in England. Among the most striking effects agriculture has produced, is the method of preserving, by the rotation of crops, the powers and richness of tillage lands, and the consequent disuse of the deteriorating system of fallows. This is the "most prominent feature in good farming," and it is to be regretted that the present volume contains nothing upon this subject.

Wheat, however, has received more attention. The smut, blight, mildew, and a new disease, have all been discussed, and notwithstanding the judicious remarks and valuable experiments here related, together with the various examinations made by English and French agriculturalists, the origin of these diseases, particularly smut, remains concealed. Cautious and prudent farmers, wishing to avoid the loss of a crop, generally wash the seed in a brine containing saline matter. There is a letter from William Young, in which he says that well chosen seed, sown in a suitable and well prepared soil, are the only sure modes of avoiding smut; while, in the succeeding letter, by Dr. Mease, a contrary opinion is maintained, and saline washes and steeps are the only preventives.


contradictory results are little calculated to excite confidence, or to lead common farmers, always unwilling to quit established habits, to adopt either expedient.

The remarks upon live fences are extremely interesting.* A substitute for the hawthorn of England, is found in our native locust, cedar, and hemlock; and a taste for rendering more beautiful the appearance of our farms, would be produced by the adoption of this mode of fencing. Flashing of hedges would supply a great proportion of the fuel used in farm houses, and leave the fences almost impervious to cattle. Cold and bleak parts of a farm may be easily protected from winds, by suffering hedge rows to grow high, and by plashing and switching, the fence will be prevented from overshadowing much land. In some soils, hemlock will be preferred to any other tree, for it is the most susceptible of being cut, wove, and interlocked, and gives a rich and lively appearance to the fence. Cedar often becomes brown, and in many situations is pernicious to the fields enclosed by it.

The agricultural papers in this volume, except an appendix containing valuable extracts from foreign publications, are concluded by a memoir on clearing land, by John Taylor, Esq. who appears to be an intelligent and enterprising agriculturalist. As there seems to be a mania in the New England states for retiring to new and uncultivated districts, the good policy of which may be questionable, Mr. Taylor's observations deserve attention. The fertility of new lands, arises from the great quantities of vegetable matter which have been collecting and rotting for centuries, so that little labour in manuring for several years, is requisite. Hence the reason why farmers seek new settlements. Clearing and recovering lands which once were cultivated, but which are again covered with a growth of wood and brush, require greater exertions, and demand the process of manuring, as they cannot, by any natural decay of vegetable matter, have recovered from their exhausted state.

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We have thus taken a cursory view of the work before us. The individual character of a volume must be drawn from the design and circumstances of the publisher. A single author, having the exclusive management of his subject, may expose himself to censure and criticism, which are not commonly bestowed on a compilation like the present. We have ●mitted many articles which are worthy of notice, but which the limits of this review will not include, and passed unnoticed many faults, inseparable from the nature of the work.

The agricultural society of Philadelphia have given to the publick such a specimen of their talents and pursuits, that the community will look for ward with pleasure to the publication of a second volume. We hope they will not forget that important problem in rural economy, hitherto unsatisfactorily solved, What is the best plan and arrangement of a farm house and farm yard? Every thing that can contribute to the comfort of the farmer and his stock, and most usefully promote the mechanical department of husbandry, will, on many considerations, highly interest the publick, and come within the object of their institution. Economy, cleanliness, and good morals, are essential to the good order and happiness of the husbandman, and his prosperity depends on the cultivation of these domestick virtues. Neat husbandry and a productive system of culture are inseparable; and if the same work which a careless farmer expends upon a large number of acres, were bestowed upon half the quantity of land, the crop

* Several species of them are common in New England.

would generally be the same, and much labour would be saved. But as prejudices and idle habits remain, long after the advantages of a change are demonstrated, we must wait patiently, and hope that the exertions of this society, and the enterprise of many private gentlemen, will soon raise our husbandry to the rank it ought to hold among the improvements of the country.

The statistical account of the Schuylkill Permanent Bridge, is very acceptable, because it furnishes an interesting account of American ingenuity and enterprise. This branch of hydraulick architecture has been usefully practised by Mr. Palmer, whose models of wooden bridges, in many parts of the union, bear unequivocal testimony of his genius. Whoever desires to be acquainted with such works, will read the paper with attention. He will be led to admire not only the architect who planned, but the indefatigable and persevering spirit of the proprietors who undertook, unremittingly prosecuted, and completed this beautiful structure. We do not recollect any work of this kind, which has required such a depth of solid masonry below the surface of the water, as was indispensable in constructing the western pier. The masonry is laid forty-one feet below the surface of the tide, a depth unequalled in any bridge in Europe. There are many useful observations in the account, and the history of the work as it advanced, under the most embarrassing circumstances, is extremely interesting. The bridge is covered, and plastered with a very durable composition, which should be applied, in every instance, to similar works. We shall close our review with the inscription on the eastern tablet, because we readily assent to the justness of the sentiments therein expressed.

is, in itself,
the most grateful

expected from its

A Recompense

the most honourable to those,
who, by liberal advances,
and long privations of profit,
unassisted by publick pecuniary aid,
Encouraged and Supported;
And a Memorial,

the most acceptable to those,
who, by enterprising, arduous,
and presevering exertions,

This extensively beneficial

The editors of the Select Reviews have, at the request of a member of the Agricultural society, subjoined the following outlines of a plan for the establishment of the Society.*

1. THE legislature to be applied to for an act of incorporation of the society, which is to consist of citizens of the state, as generally dispersed throughout the same as possible. In the first instance, the society to be

These outlines were written several years since, at the request of a committee of the society, and furnished to them by Richard Peters, Esq. the now president, who laboured in the legislature of that day to effectuate the plan. But the most unaccountable and deplorable prejudices then existing, defeated every endeavour. During the present session of the legislature a charter has been granted to the society. 1809.

composed of such persons as may be named, and these to be vested with authority to make rules for admission of other members, and by-laws for the government of the society, as usual in similar cases. Honorary members to be admitted according to rules to be established, and these may be of any state or country.

2. The organization of the society shall be so formed, that the business thereof may be done by a few, who will be responsible to the body of the society, in such manner as their by-laws shall direct.

3. The governour of the state, the speakers of the houses of the legisla ture, and the chief justice, for the time being, to be the visiters of the corporation. The transactions of the active members, i e. those intrusted with the monies and affairs of the society, by whatever name or description they may be designated, and all by-laws and regulations, to be submitted to the visiters; to the end that the same may be so conducted and established as not to prejudice the interests of the corporation, or interfere with or oppose the constitution or laws of the state. The visiters will also judge of the objects of the society, and perceive whether or not they are calculated to promote the ends of its institution. Reports may by them be made annually to the legislature. These will be useful, as they will exhibit, in a comprehensive view, the state of agriculture throughout the commonwealth, and give an opportunity to the legislature of being informed on a subject so important to the prosperity of the country, both as it relates to political econoiny, and the individual happiness of the people. The legislature will perceive from their reports, when, and in what manner, they may lend their assistance to forward this primary object: Whether by endowing professorships, to be annexed to the university of Pennsylvania and the college of Carlisle, and other seminaries of learning, for the purpose of teaching the chymical, philosophical, and elementary parts of the theory of agriculture: or by adding to the funds of the society, increase their ability to propagate a knowledge of the subject, and stimulate, by premiums and other incentives, the exertions of the agricultural citizens: or whether, by a combination of these means, the welfare of the state may be more effectually promoted.

4. Though it will be most convenient to make the repository of the information of the society, and the office or place of transacting its business at Philadelphia, yet it is intended that the society shall be rendered active in every part of the state. To effect this, there should be county societies established, organized as each shall think proper. In union with, or as parts thereof, there may be agricultural meetings or establishments, at the will of those who compose them, in one or more townships of a county. These may correspond with the county societies, and the latter may annually inform the society of the state (of which the less societies may be considered as branches) of all the material transactions of their respective societies. Societies already formed may remain as they are. They may, at their op tion, correspond directly with the state society, or through the society of the county in which they meet, as shall be found most convenient and agreeable to them. They will thus collect all the information and business relating to the subject, and will give an opportunity to the society of the state to see where their assistance is most necessary, and afford a facility of diffusing agricultural knowledge. The premiums, books, and other articles at the disposal of the society, may pass through the hands of the county or other societies, for many purposes; and they can judge on the spot of the pretensions of the claimants. The country schoolmasters may be secretaries of the county societies, and the schoolhouses the places of meeting, and the

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