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gree most beneficial; 300 parts of water will dissolve only one of plaster. Its action is therefore constant and uniform, without being hurtful. The organs of plants are cscited by it without being irri. tated and corroded, as they are by those salts which, being more soluble in water, are carried more abundantly into plants producing upon them the most injurious eífecis.
The greater part of those salts which are found in plants serve no purpose of nourishment; they are generally useful only as stima. lating the organs and aiding digestion. Animals, as they enjoy the power of locomotion, can easily procure for themselves these stimulants, and whaterer is needful for the exercise of their offices, and they take only such quantities and in such proportions as are suitable for them. But plants have no other medium than air and water, through which to receive their supplies; and this last iransmits to then indiscriminately all which it can dissolve from ihe soil; whence it follows, that the best saline manures are those that can be only gradually dissolved.
This principle is applicable to all manures of whatever nature. There is, however, this difference in the effacts of manures purely nutritive, and of the stimulating or saline manures; is the first be too abundant, the plant absorbs more nourishment than it can readily digest; and becomes aflecied by a kind of obesity; the texture of its organs is rendered soft, loose and spongy, and unable to give to their producis the due degree of consistency; whilst on the contrary, if the stimulating manures be supplied too profusely, and especially if they be of kinds very soluble in water, the organs of the plants are dried and parched by the excess which they receive.
Those animal substances that are the most slowly decomposed, and which by their decomposition always give rise to soluble products, are the best of all manures: of this, bones, horns, and wool, afford a sufficient proof. These substances possess the advantage of affording to plants their suitable aliments, almost always combined with a stimulant, such as ainnonia, of which the too irritating action is moderated by its union with carbonic acid or with animal matter.
The ashes of turf and of pit coal produce wonderful effects upon grass lands. The first of these often contains gypsum, but frequently only silica, alumina, and oxide of iron. From ashes of pit coal I have obtained by analysis sulphate of lime.
The ashes produced, by the combustion of wood in our domestic fires, give rise to some very remarkable results. Without being leached, these ashes are much too costive; but after having been deprived, by the action of water, of ncarly all their salts, and employed in this state under the name of buck-ashes, they still produce great effect.
The action of the buck-ashes is most powerful upon moist lands and meadows, in which they not only facilitate the growth of useful plants, but if emploped constantly for several years, they will free the soil from weeds. By the use of them, land constantly
drenched with water may be freed from rushes, and prepared for yielding clover and other plants of good kinds. Wood ashes possess the double property of amending a wet and clayey soil, by dividing and drying it, and of promoting vegetation by the salts they contain.
From the Franklin Ky. Farmer. SILK CULTURE.-NO. I.
HISTORY OF ITS ORIGIN. Dear Sir.--Your letter of August 1st, soliciting me to furnish for publication in the Franklin Farmer, “a regular and full series of essays on the culture of silk," has been received; in reply to which I will remark, there has been several valuable works published in the eastern States on the subject, to which your readers might be referred; among which is the “Treatise on the Culture of Silk," by Gideon B. Smith, Esq. of Baltimore, a “Silk Manual,” by Edward P. Roberts, Editor of the Farmer and Gardener, and a “Practical Treatise,” by F. G. Comstock, Esq. of Hartford, Ct.; but perhaps many whom I yet hope to see reaping the “golden harvest,” might not take the trouble to procure them, I therefore know of no medium through which the subject would command a more general notice than the columns of your valuable paper, whose weekly visits are grected with a hearty welcome, and its contents read as a matter relating more immediately to subjects of our own interests. Nor do I know of any treatise on the subject, of a more recent date than 1835 or 6, and as the inventive mind of the Yankee is ever on the stretch to discover some grand labor-saving desideratum, many valuable improvements have since been made. I had, therefore, hoped that some more able pen than mine would have been enaployed in aid of this most important branch of domestic industry. Under these considerations, from the deep interest I have selt on the subject, both in an individual and national point of view, I will endeavor to comply, in some degree, with your request. Although my promise in the Franklin Farmer of the 11th instant, to make some further remarks on the subject, I only designed to make known some useful improvements that I trust I have made in the management of the silk worm, &c., from the most careful observations through its various stages, and such other suggestions as might naturally arise. I must therefore beg the indulgence of your readers, and hope that a view of the only motives that would induce me to make this attempt, they will overlook such imperfections of style as they may detect. · Perhaps some of your readers have, like many others, regarded the article of silk as the necessary product of other and distant countries, and paid but little attention to its history or its introduc
tion into this country, but as it must soon become one of the im. portant articles among the crops of the farmer, before entering upon the directions for its culture, &c., it may not be entirely uninteresting to some to know something of its early history, and of its introduction into the United States. I have therefore compiled a few brief sketches from various writings on the subject, among which are the Encyclopædia Americana, the Silk Manual, published by order of congress in 1826, and others.
The silk worm, (bombyx mori) though a seemingly insignificant insect, has now become one of the most important to man of all domestic animals. It was originally a native of China, and the most neighboring arts of Asia, and was bred and domesticated for a long time before it was known in Europe. Now the manufacture of silk is one of the most important sources of wealth to any parts of the continent.
In the reign of emperor Houng-ti, 700 years before Abraham, and 2700 years before the christian era, silk worms were for the first time sheltered and carefully attended to. The emperor persuaded his first and legitimate consort, Si-Long-Chi, to attend to the worms, and to try several experiments, in order to increase their utility; wishing, as he said, as a good monarch naturally would, that his wife, the empress, might also contribute to the welfare of his subjects.
Two monks who had been employed as missionaries in some of the christian churches which were established in different parts of India, having penetrated into the country of the Seres, had observed the labors of the silk worms, and became acquainted with the art of working their productions into a variety of fabrics. Aware of the anxiety of the emperor on this subject, ihey repaired to Con· stantinople, and imparted to the emperor Justinian the secret which had hitherto been so well preserved by the Seres, that silk was produced by a species of worms, the eggs of which might be transported with safety, and propagated in his dominions. By the promise of a great reward, they were induced to return, and brought away a quantity of silk worm's eggs in the hollow of a cane, and conveyed them safely to Constantinople, about the year 555. The eggs were hatched in the proper season by the warmth of a manure heap, the worms were fed with the leaves of the mulberry tree, and their race propagated under the direction of the monks. The insects thus happily produced from this cane full of eggs, were it is said, the progenitors of all the silk worms of Europe and the western parts of Asia.
Louis the XI of France, and his son Charles VIII, made attempts to introduce the manufacture into that kingdom, but the honor of success belongs to Henry IV.
In 1608, James the First, of England, who had several times recommended the manufacture from the throne, addressed a long letter upon the subject, written with his own hand, to ihe lord lieutenants of every county in the kingdom to whom mulberry seed and plants were sent for distribution, together with a book of instructions; but notwithstanding his earnest wishes on the subject, it was not until the latter part of his reign that he had the pleasure of seeing the business permanently established. Since then to the present time, the manufacture of silk has been carried on extensively in England, the raw material for which, is, and must of necessity be, supplied by France and other silk growing countries, owing to the extreme humidity of her climate, ihe silk worm can never be made to flourish. After James the First discovered the silk worm would not flourish in England, in the 20th year of his reign, he was induced to attempt its culture in Virginia, and "having understood that the soil naturally yieldeth store of excellent mulberries," gave instructions to the earl of Southampton, to urge the cultivation of silk in the colony, in preference to tobacco, "which brings with it many disorders and inconveniences." In obedience to this command, ihe earl wrote an express letter on the subject, to the governor and council, in which he desired them to compel the colonists to plant mulberry trees. Accordingly, as early as the year 1623, the colonial assembly directed the planting of mulberry trees; and in 1656 one other act was passed, in which the culture of silk is described as the most profitable commodity of the country. In the same year a premium of 4,000 pounds of tobacco (it then being the circulating medium) was given to any person as an inducement to remain in the country, and prosecute the trade in silk. Afterward the premiums in tobacco were considerably increased.,
It was also introduced into Georgia, and considerable quantities from time to time were exported to England, and pronounced superior in quality to the silk of any other country.
The silk culture was commenced in Connecticut about the year 1760, by the introduction of the white mulberry tree and the eggs of the silk worm into the county of Windham and town of Mansfield, from Long Island, N. Y. by Mr. N. Aspinwall, who had there planted a large nursery, some of which are now standing in the native town of the writer, and from which he has made silk; and may they long remain, as living monuments to the memory and patriotic example of him who planted them. The war of the revolution put a stop to the silk culture in the various parts of the country where it had been established.
After the close of the war, the business was again resumed, and gradually extended in some parts of Connecticut; and it is recorded that in the year 1789, two hundred pounds weight of raw silk was made in the single town of Mansfield. In the year 1810, the value of silk made in the three counties of New-London. Windham and Tolland, was estimated by the U.S. marshal, at $28,503, but the value of the domestic fabrics from the refuse silk, and worn in those counties, was not taken into consideration. This may fairly be estimated at half the above sum. In the year 1825, the value of silk manufactured in those counties was double that of 1810.It is also stated, that in 1834, the raw silk produced in the town of Mansfield, amounted to over $60,000 and that the county of Windham produces 5 tons of silk annually, valued at $500,000.
During the late var with England, Mr. Samuel Chidsey, of Caruga county, New York, sold sewing silk to the amount of $600 a year; and doubtless, from the increased attention paid to the culture, from late accounts, many individuals in several of the States will receive some thousands of dollars for the crop of the present season.
SILK CULTURE.—YO. 2.
DIRECTIOXS FOR PLANTING TREES. The leaves of the mulberry trees are the only food that has yet been discovered, sulied to the nature of the silk worm, consequently the first step towards the production of silk, is to prepare a mulberry orchard.
There are a great number of varieties of this tree, many of which are the product of ari, cultivation, change of soil and climate, the leaves of all of which the worm will feci upon, and produce silk, except the Japan or paper mulberry, which has now been separated from the genus Morus, and placed under an alied one-broussonelia.
To these varieties I shall confine mv remarks as to the ones that will eventually constitute the principal food for the silk worm in the United States, viz: the Chinese or Viorus Multicaulis, the Brusia, and the White Italian. The Morus Multicaulis has the decided preference to all other varieties, in latiiudes south of 40 or 42 degrees, and even north of that, several silk growers, in their answers to the silk and beet sugar circular issued by the committee on agriculture, of the last session of congress, give it the preference, eren should it be found necessary to take them up in the fall, and protect them during the winter, and re-set them in the spring. This valuable variety of the mulberry is said to have been produced by a Chinese horticulturist at Manilla, the capital of the Phillippine Islands. There are many mulberry trees sold in this country for the genuine Multicaulis that are spurious, therefore persons about to engage in the silk culture would do well to be a little on their guard, in the purchase of their stock. Sereral of these "impostors” are spoken of in the June number of the Silk Culturist, as "practising gross frauds upon a number of respectable, but unsuspecting gentlemen." From the description given of the plant by Gideon B. Smith, Esq. of Baltimore, the great champion of the silk cause, no one need be deceived in it. He says, "the Morus Multicaulis differs from all other varieties in several respects. Its specific name points out one of its peculiar characters, viz: Multicaulis-many stalked; the leaves are not only larger than any other kind, but the leaf is different from all others. The leaf is invariably bo'rled, so inuch so that it is im · possible to spread it out flat without tearing its sides. The leaves are so large that they always hang pendulous when full grown, and somewhat folded lengthwise..