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acre of ground producing the best tobacco, members of the Board ridiculed it, hitching on in derision “rot-gut-whisky," and yet tobacco in spite of all opposition is growing up in a mighty interest. Shall this course be pursued ? Shall tobacco, the finest crop in Southern Ohio, be cast down and trampled under foot? I hope that gentlemen coming up here to protect the agricultural interests of the State, will have an eye to the interests of this portion of the State. Your flat lands of the Central and Northern portions of the State are devoted to general agriculture, but with us we must depend upon specialities. These lands, the hill sides of Brown county, were advertised for sale a few years ago, and nobody would bid over 62 cents per acre; and now this same land is worth $500 per acre. The Germans have taught us a good deal in this matter. By their skill and industry they have taken these shale hills and made them the best producing lands in Ohio.
Congress is about to tax tobacco in the leaf 20 cents per pound. If Congress does that, it will put an end to the culture in Ohio. If that is done, in order for the producer to get 15 cents per pound, the amount it is worth to-day, he will have to add 20 cents per pound, which will make it cost 35 cents. Then the merchant must have a commission for handling the tobacco, and that promises to bring tobacco in the leaf up to 40 cents, more than it would pay a foreign dealer after exporting it. I have already shown the importance of this interest, and if it is encouraged it will pay the Government a greater tax than corn. Now I ask, gentlemen, that if this is a leading interest of a portion of the State, why not let it take a share in the premiums of the State? The ground is good for nothing else. I believe that every interest should be fostered by this Society; and I will state here, that I believe something should be done for the wine interestthat a premium ought to be offered for the best manufactured grape wine. In conclusion, as touching the remark I have made, I offer the following resolutious:
[Objections being made, the resolutions were read as part of the remarks of Gen. Loudon.]
Resolved, That the Agricultural Board be requested to offer the following premiums on To. bacco raised in the State of Ohio: $10 for five hands each, Mason County Seed Leaf and of the best manufacturing kind; $5 for second class ; $50 for the best hogshead of each of the first class; $25 for the best hogshead of the second. Each hogshead to be inspected at one of the warehouses in Cincinnati; the tobacco to be of the crop of previous year on which premium is paid.
Resolved, That a premium of $20 shall be offered for the best three samples of pure Ohio wine, made from the Catawba, Virginia Seedling or Delaware grape, and $10 for the second best. The wine to be of the vintage of the year previous to the fair, and taken from casks of at least 20 gallong.
Mr. Loudon continued his remarks, which covered the same grounds as in
the first part of his speech. He said that when the Congressional Committee first proposed a tax on leaf tobacco, the Baltimore dealers protested, and they abandoned the attempt at once. Now the resolution offered by Mr. Anderson is simply to bring the matter before Congress through the Secretary of your meeting. It had been asserted that Ohio could never compete with Kentucky in raising tobacco, but it is found that we can and do beat them all the time. And you will find that the best tobacco sold in the Cincinnati market at 40 cents per pound, as Mason county, Ky., tobacco, was really raised in Brown county, Ohio. It is discreditable to this Society under all these circumstances, to put down their foot upon an interest so prolific of wealth.
Mr. WADDLE. It seems to me that my friend from Brown has proven too much, that if it is more profitable to raise tobacco than other productions, then it can bear taxation.
Mr. Smith of Clermont. I do not think that Gen. Loudon has proved quite as much as he might have proved on this subject. If he had gone further he would have found that there is a tax now of 15 or 20 cents per pound on manufactured tobacco. We do not want to put a tax upon leaf tobacco-because we want to ship it to pay some of our outside debts. If you
do put a tax of 20 cents upon it, then the price is increased so that we cannot export it.
Hon. COLUMBUS DELANO of Knox. I do not propose to discuss the questions raised by the gentleman, but it seems to me that this Board ought to consider a little this question: How far they ought to interest themselves in these various methods belonging to the agriculture of the State so far as to influence Congress in perfecting legislation. This Board has a specific duty to perform, that is the protection and encouragement of the agricultural interests of the State. Now, if we undertake to make ourselves the particular advocates of any particular interest of the State, conflicts will ensuę and interrupt the harmony and destroy the usefulness of the Board. My opinion is that we had better not interfere with such subjects as contemplated in the resolution. Without considering whether there ought or ought not to be a tax on leaf tobacco, I shall vote against the resolution.
Mr. GATES. I concur with Mr. Delano. The government must raise revenue to carry on this war, and therefore it is not for us to interfere with Congress in this matter. The question is outside of the business of this Convention, and I shall move that the resolution be indefinitely postponed.
Mr. GREENE. I had supposed that the object in creating this State Board of Agriculture was for the purpose of protecting and fostering agriculture, but it may have been for the purpose of protecting special interests, such as Shorthorns, for instance. I am not in favor of using tobacco -never have used it myself and despise it—but I am astonished at coming up here year after year to find gentlemen opposing the encouragement of this interest—to find that they ignore it. I hope this question will be put squarely, and that the motion to indefinitely postpone will not prevail.
Mr. GARDNER. A neighbor of mine has taken an active part in this movement. He is interested in raising tobacco, and has called my attention to the subject. It is a growing interest in the State. We have also manufacturers who are making large fortunes by the consumption of tobacco. Now, then, the government is in straightened circumstances, and in order to keep up the war it is necessary to tax luxuries. I do not know that this act will pass through Congress, but whether it does or not, it seems to me that this body should exercise a proper degree of delicacy in speaking on this subject. I am not opposed to the culture of tobacco and the encouragement of its production, but to interference in legislation. It seems to me that a body occupying the position of this body to dictate to Congress is a step it ought not to take. We have always acted with a determination to make as few recommendations as possible. It is certainly proper that production should bear its share of the burdens laid upon us all. Individual members of the Board may, with propriety, express their opinions to, and use their influence with, their Representatives in Congress, but we should be transcending our sphere in recommending the modification of any tax necessary to the support of governments in time of war. And another thing may be taken into consideration in discussing this question: Luxuries do not need encouragement, as the appetites of men furnish them sufficient encouragement.
Mr. SMITH. It seems to me that gentlemen do not understand this question. They talk as though we do not want a tax put upon tobacco. Now this is the point we urge. European manufacturers send agents to this country to buy tobacco where they can buy cheapest. Now, if you put a tax of twenty cents per pound upon your tobacco, the market price will be so increased that they will not come here, and our export trade will be cut off. We are in favor of a high tax upon tobacco, so adjusted that it will not be upon the leaf; and we are in favor of sustaining the Government in every respect, even to the extent of putting a tax upon land.
Judge JONES. To which Government did the gentleman have reference in his remarks?
Mr. SMITH. To the French Government, which has had employed a large number of agents to purchase tobacco in this country.
Judge JONES. The English Government, on the other hand, has im-posed an import duty of 3s. 6d. (873 cents,) per pound, so as to discourage its being brought there.
The resolution was then put to vote, and lost.
On motion of Mr. Earle, his resolution in reference to the organization of District Societies, was taken from the table.
Mr. EARLE. It may have been a little unseemly in one who has just made his first appearance in this Society, to bring forward a subject of so much magnitude. I do not know what the experience in all parts of the State may be, but I do know that there is a want of interest amongst the farming population of our county in agricultural matters. They do not take hold of our county organization as we desire they should, and the question is whether by the adoption of such a resolution, authorizing the organization of a society in each Congressional District, which shall have a tendency to excite competition, such as a mere exhibition in a county cannot, they will not be induced to interest themselves as they ought? Again, the consideration is, whether, when we have articles worthy of being exhibited, especially in the way of live stock, it is not well to take some means by which that stock shall be represented in a larger field? One of the conditions of the awards should be that the successful competitor in a county society shall take that animal to the district society, and the successful party there take the successful animal to the State Fair. Now, if this rule be adopted as to the county and the district societies, and they all send up their representatives from the lower to the higher organi. zation, instead of the difficulties represented by my friend in reference to the vacancy of stalls at Cleveland, existing, we shall have the various counties represented by the finest animals claimed to be raised there. The time may come when it will require all the influence of the Board to keep up the Fairs, and when such a system may be adopted. If gentlemen fail to give this their endorsement to-day, I ask them to carry it home with them, discuss it with their neighbors, and see what their judgments will be in the future.
The resolution was lost.
TOBACCO QUESTION. Mr. GREENE. I offer for adoption the following resolution, which I submit without debate:
Resolved, That the State Board be instructed to offer suitable premiams on Tobacco in the hands of the producer.
The resolution was adopted.
LOCATION OF STATE FAIR. Mr. STEVENS. For the purpose of testing the question, I offer the following resolution: Resolved, That all subsequent State Fairs be held at the city of Columbus.
Mr. ANDERSON. Would an amendment be in order? If so, I submit the following:
Adding the following proviso : Provided, Columbus will pay a larger bonus than any other city of the State.
Mr. GATES. If Columbus will give more than any other city for the next two years, the Fair may, with propriety, be held there. But I would not locate the State Fair permanently in any Copperhead county. [Applause.] In other words, in any county of a district while they have such a representative in Congress as Sunset Cox. [Renewed applause.] That's all I have to say on the subject at present.
Mr. GREENE. I think it is useless for this body to attempt to locate the State Fair permanently; if you do attempt it, you must first have a permanent State Board. We are here to-day, but somebody else may be here to-morrow, and undo the work done by the preceding Board. A vote was then taken on the amendment. Carried. The resolution as amended
Mr. Jones asked if the Committee in the case of Ashland county was ready to report ?
Mr. McClung (one of the committee,) stated that Mr. Welch, of the committee, had gone home, and that it would be necessary to fill the vacancy.
Mr. Greene said the evidence was documentative, and so voluminous tbat it would be almost impossible to go through with it by the time the Convention would adjourn. He therefore moved to refer the whole matter to the State Board.
Mr. McClung hoped it would take that direction.
Mr. Gardner ohjected. It was for this Society to determine who are its members, and not the State Board.
Mr. Greene withdrew his motion, and the Chair appointed Mr. Harr, of Champaigu county, to fill the vacancy in the committee.
ELECTIONS BY COUNTY SOCIETIES.
Mr. Shadrack Dial of Clermont, offered the following resolution : Resolved, That County Societies be permitted to elect their officers on the last day of the Pair, instead of January. Officers elected to enter upon their official duties after the annual meeting of the State Board in January.