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to be powerful coadjutors in the legitimate work of this department. Already has the discussion attendant upon their organization elicited inquiry, corrected prejudices, diffused information, and aroused enthu. siasm for a practical education, which cannot fail to accomplish good results. They are calling forth from the ranks of the professions, and of educated, practical farmers, earnest men of enlarged views, and training them for the position of teachers in these institutions, thus opening spheres of usefulness to which schoolmen have hitherto been strangers, and eventually making a new era in the education of the world. The material for these professorships is yet in the rough, and must be fitted and polished in the institutions themselves; and as this is a progressive work, the country must be patient, not expecting the culmination of a century of progress in a moment of time.
SYSTEMATIC AGRICULTURE. Hitherto this country has been characterized by random farming, for immediate results, with no reference to future advantages, and no per. sistent following of any prescribed course. It has been a speculative business, with a constant endeavor to overreach the soil, even at the risk of its bankruptcy. Cotton, wheat, wool, hops, and other products have been, either periodically or locally, the innocent causes of unnatural excitements, and it may be long ere cool reasou shall hold undisturbed sway among our husbandmen; but there are evidences that more stable views and more systematic practices are beginning to prevail. In the central settlements of the west, farm animals, the basis of systematic farming, are held in higher esteem than formerly, and a preparation at least is made for some simple rotation of crops. More stability exists, under adversity, as in the case of wool-growers, many of whom, farseeing and wise, are confident of future profit in the midst of present discouragement. There is a disposition in the south to produce their own bread and meat, and hold their cotton as a surplus, bearing a better price when the quantity does not suffice to glut tho market. These and many other signs of thoughtfulness and growing wisdom are apparent.
It is gratifying to observe the evidences of vitality in southern agriculture, which is progressively and successfully marshalling the forces of recuperation, and gradually dispelling the despondency resulting from the losses of civil war, the change in the labor system, the disruption of families and the impoverishment of estates. This despondency, together with political disappointments, led to chimerical plans for settlements in Brazil, in Central America, in Mexico, and even in the northern and northwestern States. I have regretted and combatted, in personal intercourse and correspondence, this morbid tendency to expatriation, or to distant removal, as an aggravation of the evils of poverty
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and discontent, rather than their cure. It is a self-evident proposition that forced sales of remnants of property, mostly real estate, at a place and time in which few purchasers have disposition or ability to make investments, are not favorable to a conservation of reduced estates; and the expenses of removal would leave emigrants in a condition of more abject poverty, among strangers, and surrounded by unfamiliar circumstances and occupations. There is abundant evidence of gradual tranquillization of discordant social and business elements, and an increasing hopefulness and energy in industrial effort. An impetus has been given to business by the introduction of northern capital; and in the future more rapid progress may be expected from the same cause. Money, population, and skill in special industries, are the requisites for success in developing the resources and extending and perfecting the agriculture of the South.
In view of all the circumstances affecting cotton culture, it may be deemed a remarkable fact that the yield has attained an equality with that of 1850, and is half as great as the excessive product of 1859 and 1860, which glutted the markets of the world, and would have caused a discouraging depression in prices but for the cessation of cotton produc. tion in the years that followed. The cash receipts for the crop of 1867 were larger than those of 1859, though of less actual value as reckoned in a depreciated currency.
The sugar interest is rapidly attaining prominence, the product having doubled in the last two years. The total product of rice is also increasing.
The farmers of the country, while enduring the necessary burden of internal revenue taxation, and submitting cheerfully to imposts upon all 'foreign products consumed by them, will enter a vigorous protest against any proposition for the renewal of the abrogated reciprocity treaty, or any arrangement admitting untaxed and low-priced Canadian productions customs free, or at a lower rate of duty than is provided in existing laws regulating the tariff upon similar imports from other nationalities. They justly demand equality in taxation and in exemption from its burdens; they ask no favors for a class pre-eminent in numbers that they would not accord to one of the smallest in the nation, and properly regard with jealousy any assumption of claims for special privileges for the few at the expense of the many. They cannot see the justice of subjecting farmers to a direct and ruinous competition in wheat, beef, wool, and all products of the farm, along a line of thousands of miles in extent, for the benefit of foreigners who bear none of our burdens, and for the enrichment of a few of our citizens who stand in a necessary yet unproductive position between the producer and consumer. Such treaty of reciprocity would bear with peculiar hardship upon the wool growing interest, and especially upon the production of combing-wool, the long wool of Canada, a fiber in growing demand, which our farmers can readily supply, and at the same time furnish the markets with mutton of superior quality, if no unjust discrimination is permitted in the practical working of the wool tariff. Whatever settlement of questions of navigation or fisheries may be desirable, it is hoped that no advantages may be secured by concessions prejudicial to the farming interest.
A system of international agricultural exchanges has been established with many of the governments of Europe, Asia, and South America, already including Austria, Prussia, China, Japan, India, Guatemala and British Honduras. Arrangements have also been made for valuable exchanges of rare seeds, plants, trees, and various products of agriculture, with the botanical gardens of Kew, in England, and Melbourne, in Australia; the India museum, in London; the Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society; the botanical department of the British museum; the commissioner of patents of the Argentine Republic, and the Central Agronomical Society of the Grand Duchy of Posen. Correspondence, in initiating this measure, has elicited expressions of the utmost cordiality and a cheerful readiness for zealous co-operation. The arrange ment with Doctor Forbes, of the India museum in London, contem plates a general exchange of the agricultural products of the United States for those of India. He proposes that similar specimens shall bear the same numbers, in the India museum, in London, in that of this department, and in the local museums of India, for the purpose of facilitating reference at London, India, or in the United States, or any other country to which similar collections may be sent. Among the samples are nearly one thousand specimens of the textile fibers of India. It is my design to extend and complete this system of exchange, which promises valuable results to agriculture, and incidentally to manufactures and commerce.
DISEASES OF FARM STOCK.
The prevalence of fatal maladies among all varieties of farm animals, resulting in the annual loss of not less than fifty million dollars, demands the prompt attention of this department, the vigilance of the agricultural associations, and national and State legislation. The past year has not been one of peculiar misfortune in this respect, except in the dissemi. nation of the splenic fever, communicated by Texas cattle; yet, horses, mules, sheep, and swine have all suffered from the local prevalence of malignant forms of disease, against which little veterinary skill is opposed, and little more than empiricism and superstitious folly is practiced. A disease may suddenly decimate the cattle or horses of a neighborhood, the only popular knowledge of which is the statement that it is a murrain or distemper. A disease exists locally in several of the south
ern States, by which the total loss of a plantation's stock of horses and mules not unfrequently occurs, with scarcely an effort or hope for a cure. The annual losses in swine cannot be less than ten or fifteen million dollars by the disease commonly known as “hog cholera," for which no remedy has been found; and prevention has proved difficult and uncertain.
On the breaking out of the splenic fever at the halting places of Texas cattle during the past summer, I commissioned Professor John Gamgee, of the Albert Veterinary College of London, to investigate its character and causes and the means for its prevention. The labor was undertaken at once and continued with zeal and activity in several western States, including the Texas cattle stations of Western Kansas. Post mortem examinations, not only of diseased native stock but of the cattle from Texas, were repeatedly made, and their results carefully recorded, all tending to connect the migrating herds of the Gulf coast unmistakably with the existence and spread of the disease. The report of this investigation, enriched with valuable material collected by the statistical divi. sion of this department for a history of the outbreak, will be presented to Congress at an early day, together with a statement of the previous history of this disease in this country, and chromo-lithrographs of internal organs of animals dying from the disease. The department has been cramped for means to conduct this investigation, having no fund from which to defray its expenses, except that for statistical purposes, which is quite too meagre for the absolutely indispensable demands upon it, and congressional aid will therefore be requisite for the completion of the work undertaken and for the proper publication of the report upon it.
While it is deemed important to investigate the cattle diseases prevalent, and to obtain the best professional aid in seeking to diminish the extent of their ravages, it is evident that effort directed toward the cure of any disease which is well developed in any section of the country must be very unsatisfactory and ineffectual. Many of the diseases of cattle, as of men, have their origin and distribution in the unnatural and unhealthy conditions of their growth and management, naturally resulting from what is termed our civilization. These diseases belong to the class of ailments which are preventable. Their causes are known, and means of prevention are at our disposal; and if an enlightened state of public opinion leads to the formation of societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, a higher appreciation of the dependence of domestic animals upon us, not only for food but for care and protection from discase, should lead to the formation of establishments for the study of cattle in health and disease, and the training of a class of practitioners who would bring the highest medical skill to the treatment of our domestic animals. If motives of humanity should fail to influence, self-interest, in view of the annual losses of millions of dollars in valuable property, should be a potential inducement to prompt action in this direction. The formation of veterinary colleges-not for the treatment of animals, but for the education of a class of practitioners of skill and science, who might become beacons, warning the proprietors of stock of the approach of disease, and pointing out the means of prevention has been adopted in many European States, from which much benefit to the community has been derived. I consider it eminently the duty of this department not only to point out the want of such an institution but to initiate its establishment; and I earnestly hope that Congress may authorize at an early day the creation of a division of veterinary surgery for the investigation and prevention of diseases of domestic animals, and for the advancement and diffusion of veterinary science and for its most efficient and beneficent practical operation.
GRAPES AND WINE. The production of grapes for table use and for wine making has become an interest of great importance. The introduction of new and improved varieties is rapidly cultivating a discriminating taste in the general public, which must be gratifying to those who have labored long and faithfully in its dissemination. The difficulties to be encountered, and the conditions most favorable to success, are now pretty well understood, and such as still remain in doubt cannot long escape the investigations of the many intelligent cultivators now engaged in solving these practical problems.
For many years this interest was greatly depressed from a general belief that our native grapes were incapable of improvement, or that the foreign wine grapes were of so superior a quality as to supersede the fruits produced from American species. Vast sums of money, and much valuable time and labor, have been expended in the endeavor to make the foreign grape a success, but without exception it has proved a failure in open air culture. These failures, however, have had a salutary effect in directing attention to the improvement of our indigenous species, and the progress of amelioration is both marked and rapid, and must certainly at an early day succeed (if it has not already succeeded) in producing varieties of equal merit to those famed for their excellence in Europe. Notwithstanding these well ascertained facts, communications are frequently received from gentlemen of large European experience in making wine, who have come to this country for the purpose of entering upon grape culture, urging very strenuously the importation of the foreign varieties, and expending their own means in this futile effort. It is to be regretted that the hard-earned experience of others is not taken as a guide, but the fact will be learned, sooner or later, that east of the range of the Rocky Mountains no climate has yet been found suitable for the continued healthy growth of the foreign grape. On the Pacific coast the plant seems to find a perfectly congenial climate.
SUB-TROPICAL FRUITS. Considerable attention is now being directed to the introduction and culture of tropical and sub-tropical fruits in the southern States. The