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attention upon improvements in domestic industry. It enlarges the boundaries of practical knowledge, by the establishment of facts founded upon the experience of different minds, and excites emulation in the arts, by the prizes which it holds out to competition. Besides this society, others of like character have been instituted' in the different states of the union, some, we believe, under government patronage. The establishment of agricultural societies and journals in the different states, we trust, is the harbinger of greater advancement in science and the arts throughout the country. It is clearly right that inventions in the arts, or great skill and care in raising stock, should meet with reward, and accordingly the premiums which are awarded at our agricultural fairs, to the owners of first-rate cattle and approved specimens of domestic manufacture, are attended with the benefit of exciting the ambition of these two classes of producers.
Societies, similar to those which we have mentioned as existing in this country, have for a long time been established in Great Britain, which hold annual fairs, where the most approved breeds of sheep, cattle, and horses, as well as agricultural productions, are exhibited. Similar societies have been organized in France, and the report of the Central Royal Society of that country, read at its last public sitting in April, 1836, by M. Bodin, may be found in the Journal of the American Institute. Several enterprising gentlemen of the northern as well as southern states, independently of these societies, have made extraordinary individual exertions in the cause, by importing exotic plants, and the most approved stock.
Horticulture, which may be considered the fine arts of agriculture, has also received considerable attention in this country, through the agency of private and public enterprise; and the annual horticultural exhibitions in our large cities give promise of brilliant success. Besides the various public gardens devoted to this object, there are private establishments deserving of all commendation.
In Boston, Philadelphia, and New York, public spirit has made still farther advances. The departed, who were before consigned to the barren heath, or the crowded grave-yards of tumultuous cities, may now be congregated in beauty and peace, among silent groves, where nature, learning, architecture, poetry, and sculpture weave their brightest trophies over the monuments of the dead.
Why has not husbandry advanced more rapidly in this country, with its wide field of operation, aided as it is by the
We need scarcely allude to the Franklin Institute of Pennsylvania, a noble monument of the skill and enterprise of this powerful and growing
most valuable agricultural journals, and such apparently energetic societies? To this question we answer, that there are two prominent causes which tend to impede the progress of agricultural industry throughout the United States. The first which we shall mention, may perhaps appear somewhat paradoxical. It is the excess of good land. In a country of limited extent and dense population, there is necessarily a resort to artificial means to augment the produce of the soil, and this tends to the advancement of husbandry. This is doubtless the foundation of the progress of that science in England. Where, however, the territory is so wide and fertile as our own, farmers are unwilling to expend their labour and money in cultivating a naturally barren or worn out soil by artificial means, when the vast regions of the west are spread out before them. Doubtless the high cultivation of a small surface of naturally barren soil would be more advantageous to the owner, than a great extent poorly cultivated, but it seems to be the ambition of our American farmers to extend their operations over large tracts. It is equally clear, that the same labour would, if expended upon the western soil, produce, upon an average, double the amount of that at the east. There has been, heretofore, a counterbalancing advantage in favour of the eastern farmer in the greater price of his products. But this we believe does not now hold good. The increasing emigration to the west, and the too general neglect there of agriculture, causes an excess of population over the products of the earth, while the market at the east is making greater demands on account of the emigration from abroad; and this tends vastly to increase the value of these products. It is a fact within our immediate knowledge, that the farmers of Michigan, even in the interior, have a ready market for all they can produce, at their own doors, as the emigrants to that country must be maintained by the produce raised by others, until they can clear and bring under cultivation their own land. The establishment of internal improvements, by facilitating the means of communication, has enhanced the price of western productions. It is known to every farmer of the west, that within a few years corn was sold in the interior of Ohio at about six cents per bushel, and that it is now more than doubled in price. It is hardly to be imagined, therefore, that very rapid advances will be made in the science of husbandry while so much good land can be procured at so small a price, and where its products can be obtained with comparatively little toil. Men here require nature to do what in many other countries is effected only by laborious art. When, however, the country becomes so densely populated as to require economy of space, art will come in to supply the deficiencies of nature, and husbandry will be greatly advanced.
Another cause of bad husbandry in this country, is that spirit of speculation, the auri sacra fames, which is abroad. All classes, and among them the farmers, are induced to neglect straight forward industry, and to embark in extraordinary and hazardous enterprizes, and this produces an unnatural state of things. There is, doubtless, in the rapid advancement of the Union, a wide field for the mere accumulation of wealth by speculation, but it impedes the solid prosperity of the country. Although the price of agricultural produce is high at the west, the farmers of that country are unwilling to engage in the arduous labour of tilling the soil, when there may be secured such immense advances in the value of property by judicious investments, and accordingly we find them a race of consumers, and not of producers. The exorbitant prices which are now affixed to a great proportion of the western lands by individuals, outrun the sober calculations of common sense, and must retrograde. The growth of a country generally follows and not precedes the cultivation of the soil. Imaginary valuations may feed the midnight visions of the greedy speculator; but they will not feed the body. It is to the facts which we have mentioned, conjoined with the scanty harvests of the last year, and perhaps, in some measure, to the accumulation of marketable products by speculators, that we may attribute the high price of produce at the present time. Let the farmers return to their ploughs, and they will not subject themselves to the bitter disappointments which must always follow in the path of visionary speculation. Let them reclaim the wilderness and the exhausted fields, and scatter over their broad surface the waving harvests and bleating flocks, and their gains, if less rapid, will be more solid. To this important class of our citizens, both at the east and the west, we would quote the sentiment of the Roman poet:
"O fortunatos nimium sua si bona norint
Let them recollect that Washington was a husbandman, and returned to his farm after he had worked out the salvation of his country; that it is an honourable and virtuous employment; that it was the farmers of the revolution, who, grasping their muskets from the hooks of their cottages, were the most important instruments in accomplishing our independence, and that they, as a class, have ever been regarded as the bone and muscle of the republic.
To the neglect of agricultural industry in this country, and also the amount of foreign emigration which is daily pouring in upon us, may be attributed the fact, that wheat and other staples are imported into the United States at the present time
from abroad. There may be partial exceptions to this neglect of agriculture in some of the states, among which we might designate Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York. The former, as is well known, possesses a comparatively barren soil, but by considerable effort it is brought, probably, into a better state of cultivation than any other section of New England. Good husbandry prevails also in some portions of the state of New York, particularly about the Genessee country, one of the most beautiful agricultural regions in the United States. Pennsylvania, also, with her immense resources of coal and iron, is in the main under the influence of as productive tillage as any other state in the Union, and possesses probably a better market. This is owing, in a great measure, to the existence of a hardworking German population, and the general establishment of internal improvements throughout the state, which furnish a ready market for agricultural products. Although considerable attention has been paid to the subject of agriculture at the south, by the institution of societies, and exhibitions of domestic products, it is believed that the planters make too large drafts upon the soil, and as they do not expend much labour in manuring, it becomes soon exhausted by improvident culture. We trust that the farmers of the country will return to the soil, and that agriculture, which is now so grossly neglected in comparison with other pursuits, will receive that attention which it richly deserves.
An agricultural convention has been recently held at Albany, in which certain resolutions were passed in favour of memorializing the legislature of the state for the establishment of a school for the teaching of scientific and practical agriculture; for the appropriation of money by government as rewards for useful inventions in husbandry; and also for the introduction of agricultural and horticultural books into the common schools, all of which we hope will prevail.
In order to show that the American mind has not been inactive upon the theoretic part of husbandry, we shall embody a list which was made in 1835, of the most prominent agricultural reports, volumes and journals, which have been published in the United States. The first work of that class published in this country, was Essays on Field Husbandry, by Jared Elliot, Connecticut; issued in Boston in 1760. The Massachusetts Agricultural Society was incorporated in 1792, and their first work, entitled Laws and Regulations of the Massachusetts Agricultural Society, with some interesting extracts from foreign and domestic publications, was issued in 1793. They subsequently published a collection of papers on agriculture, and finally, a voluminous work under the title of the Massachusetts Agricultural Repository. The Philadelphia Society
for promoting Agriculture, was instituted in 1785, and they have published five volumes of memoirs, the last in 1826. The Pennsylvania Agricultural Society, under the auspices of John Hare Powel, Esq.' have published two octavo volumes, the first in 1824, and entitled Memoirs, and the second, Hints to American Husbandmen, which appeared in 1827. The Society in the state of New York, for the promotion of agriculture, arts and manufactures, issued-under the auspices of certain gentlemen, among whom was Chancellor Livingston— four quarto volumes of Transactions, the first in 1792, and the second in 1799. The Board of Agriculture in the state of New York published three octavo volumes of Memoirs, which were printed and distributed at the expense of the state. The first of these volumes appeared in 1821, and the third in 1824. The Albany County Society of New York have likewise published several agricultural tracts; and the Essex Agricultural Society have published thirteen octavo pamphlets, the first in 1818, and the last in 1834. This list comprises the most prominent agricultural reports, not including addresses, which have been given to the public previous to 1835. We subjoin the titles of the most important agricultural works which have been published in the United States, in chronological order.
Elliot's Essays; Boston, 1760. The New England Farmer or Georgical Dictionary, by Samuel Deane, D. D.; 1797. The Experienced Farmer, by Richard Parkinson, Doncaster, Eng.; Philadelphia, 1799. The Rural Socrates, or the History of Kliyogg, a celebrated philosophical Swiss farmer; republished, Hallowell, Maine, 1800. Essays and Notes on Husbandry and Rural Affairs, by J. B. Bordley; 1801. The Pennsylvania Farmer, by Job Roberts; Philadelphia, 1804. The American Gardener's Calender, by Bernard McMahon; Philadelphia, 1806. Forsyth on Fruit Trees; republished at the same time. A complete Treatise on Merinos, by Mr. Tessier; 1811. Every Man his own Cattle Doctor, by Francis Clater; Philadelphia, 1815. Elements of Agricultural Chemistry, by Sir Humphrey Davy; republished, Boston, 1815. The Code of Agriculture, by Sir John Sinclair; republished, Hartford, 1818. Arator, a Series of Agricultural Essays; Petersburg, Va., 1800. The Farmer's Assistant, by John Nicholson; Lancaster, Penn., 1820. Treatise on Agriculture, by a Practical Farmer; Albany, 1820. Husbandman and Housewife, by Thomas G. Fessenden; Bellows Falls, Vt., 1820. The Farmer's Manual, by Frederick Butler; Wethersfield, Conn., 1820. Willich's Domestic En
To the enterprise of this gentleman, more than to any other individual in the United States, are we indebted for improvements in stock husbandry, by the importation of the best cattle from abroad.