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ber tabulated by Professor W. O. Atwater, by capacities for making use of the stores of food whom, as Director of the Connecticut Agri- that soil and air contain. Of the ingredients cultural Experiment Station, the experiments of plant-food commonly lacking in our soils, were suggested, are of no inconsiderable in- the most important, because the most rare and terest.
costly, is nitrogen. Leguminous crops, like Experiments for testing the Needs of Soils.- clover, do somehow or other gather a good Of these experiments the larger number were supply of nitrogen where cereals, such as performed by farmers as a means of learning wheat, barley, etc., would half starve for lack what ingredients of plant-food were most of it, and this in the face of the fact that leneeded by their soils and crops. The princi- guminous plants contain a great deal of niple upon which they are based is briefly this: trogen and cereals relatively little. Hence a The chief office of fertilizers is to supply the heavy nitrogenous manuring may be profitable plant-food that our crops need and soils fail to for wheat and be in large part lost on clover. furnish. It is not good economy to pay high To get some more definite information as to prices for materials which the soil may be made the relation of our more cominon cultivated to yield in abundance or which may be sup- plants to the nitrogen supply, a “special nitroplied by the carefully husbanded manures of gen experiment" was devised, in which were the farm, but it is good economy to supply the compared the effects of mineral fertilizers (sulacking ones in the cheapest way. The most perphosphate and potash salt) alone and the important ingredients of our common commer- same with nitrogen in different amounts and cial fertilizers are phosphoric acid, nitrogen, forms. The nitrogen was supplied as nitric and potash, because of both their scarcity in acid in nitrate of soda, as ammonia in sulphute the soil and their high cost. It is in furnish- of ammonia, as organic nitrogen in dried blood, ing these that guano, phospbates, bone-ina- and the three forms combined. nures, potash salts, fertilizers for special crops, Experiments with Corn.-The relation of corn etc., are chiefly useful. The experiments pro- to the nitrogen supply has been widely disvided the three ingredients named, each by cussed. The main question is whether it is, itself, two by two, and all three together. Ni. like wheat, an “exhausting," or like clover, a trogen was supplied in nitrate of soda, phos- renovating, crop. Botanically it is closely alphoric acid in dissolved bone-black, and pot- lied to wheat, and the most eminent authoriash in the German muriate. Muriate of potash, ties have attributed to it a similar relation as at the rate of 150 pounds per acre, increased regards its demand for nitrogenous manures. the yield of corn in some cases from scarcely Indeed, “corn manures” with large and very enough to be worth husking to over sixty bush- costly quantities of nitrogen have been widely els of shelled corn with a rich growth of stalks, recommended and largely used. So eminent while in other places it was without marked an authority as Dr. Lawes, the famous English effect, and alone it was not usually profitable. experimenter, recommends as “the best possiWith superphosphate numerous experimenters ble manure for cereals,” including maize, “a compute their gain at $20 to $40 per acre, mixture of nitrate of soda and superphosphate, while others find large loss. With each of the while Professors Ville, of France, and Stockother materials and mixtures the same is true bridge, of the Massachusetts Agricultural Colto a greater or less degree. On the average lege, whose formulas are widely known and the complete chemical fertilizer has brought used, have advised the following formulas for larger, better, and surer crops than farm mapures. The experiments show conclusively that: 1. Soils vary widely in their capacities for
In cheap sapplying crops with food, and consequently in their demand for fertilizers.
Nitrate of potash, 180 2. The right materials, in proper forms and
Nitrogen, 24 lbs. $9 20 $4 80
Phos, acid, 81 lbs. in combinations suited to soil, crop, and sur
Acid pbosphate of lime,
Potash, 79 lbs... roundings, bring large profits.
Sulphate of lime, 360 3. The way, and the only way, to find what
1 44 a soil wants is to study it by careful observa
$27 09 tion and experiments.
An outcome of these experiments has been the developing of a series of more complicated “special experiments," whose object is the
In cheapstudy of certain important problems of fertili
Ingredients. zation and plant-growth. The Feeding Capacities of Plants: the Ni. Sulpbate of ammonia,
Nitrogen, 64 lbs.. $15 20 $12 80 trogen Supply.--A vast deal of experience in superphosphate
, 248 the laboratory and in the field bears concurrent
Phos. acid, 31 lbs.
Muriate of potash, 154 testimony to the fact (though we are still de
Potash, 77 Ibs... 8 46 846 plorably in the dark as to how or why it is so)
$23 00 $20 60 that different kinds of plants have different
VILLE FORMULA FOR ONE ACRE.
Cost in formula.
9 45 8 56
STOCKBRIDGE FORMULA FOR ONE ACRE.
Cost in formula.
With nitrogen amounts.
loss in the
75 53 22
6 66 11 62
ELEVEN SPECIAL EXPERIMENTS.
SEVENTY-FIVE GENERAL EXPERIMENTS.
Fortunately, we have a considerable number
The nitrogen The nitrogen The average of experiments bearing upon this point. The results of the trials of 1881 have not yet been
pay for itself several trials published in detail; the general outcome, however, is similar to that of those of previous
$1 48 years, which are summarized by Professor Atwater as follows. The “general” experiments are those of the former class (soil-tests), “The experiments are numerous and deciand the "special" of the latter class named sive enough to warrant the inference that, as above :
corn is commonly grown, nitrogenous ferti“Estimating a bushel of corn, with its cobs lizers in any considerable quantity would be and stalks, to contain 13 pound of nitrogen, rarely profitable. They imply that corn has and to be worth 80 cents, the effects of the ni- somehow or other the power to gather a great trogenous fertilizers in the special and in the deal of nitrogen from soil or air, or both; they general experiments may be summarized as fol- imply that in this respect it comes closer to the lows, remembering that the superphosphate legumes than the cereals—that, in short, corn and potash salt, “mixed minerals," supplied may be classed with the renovating crops." the amounts of phosphoric acid and potash in Practical Applications.-Among the general a crop of not far from 55 or 60 bushels, which conclusions derived from these experiments are would also contain about the 72 pounds of ni- the following: trogen:
1. The Complete Chemical Fertilizer," the mixtBUSHELS OF CORN AND POUNDS OF NITROGEN IN CROP, potash salt, and 150 pounds nitrate of soda, costing
ure of 300 pounds superphosphate, 150 to 200 pounds $15.38 per acre (including $5 per acre for freight), brought the largest crops, excellíng even the farm ma
pures with all the crops on which the number of expounds.
periments is large enough for a fair comparison, and bringing surer returns even in cold, wet, and drought.
Doubtless a mixture with less potash and more phos“Mixed minerals " alone.. Same + 24 lbs. nitrogen.
phoric acid would have proved still more efficient.
54.5 Same + 49 lbs. nitrogen
2. The mixture of 300 pounds of superphosphate Same + 72 lbs. nitrogen..
56.7 75.8 and 150 pounds of salt, costing $8.25 per acre, brought
a trifle less corn and decidedly more potatoes than
farm manures. * Mixed minerals” alone.....
3. The mixture of nitrate of soda and superphosSame + 24 lbs. nitrogen..
phate, which corresponds closest of all to the ordi
nary ammoniated superphosphates, fish-manures, and “In the general experiments the mixture of guano, though costing more than the mixture of super300 pounds superphosphate and 200 pounds phosphate and potash salt, brought less increase of muriate of potash brought, on the average of
corn, potatoes, turnips, sweet-potatoes, and indeed of
every crop, but oats. The number of experiments fifty-three experiments, about 431 bushels of with oats, however, is too small for any general conshelled corn per acre. The special experi. clusions. It is very probable that oats and the cereals ments, however, seem to m a fairer test of generally would be more helped by ren, and less what the fertilizers may do, because, while by potash, than the other crops. But it is a question made in all sorts of weather and on worn-out would not do better to substitute potash salts for the soils, they were nearly all on soils and in lati- nitrogenous materials in compounding their fertitudes fit for corn, as many of the general ex- lizers, at least for some crops. periments were not. In these the mixture of
4. The mixture of nitrate of soda and potash salt
was the least useful in all the cases where it was tried. 300 pounds superphosphate and 150 pounds of
5. As to the efficiency of the materials separately, potash salt, which can be bought for $8.25, the nitrate of soda was rarely profitable, the sulphate brought on the average 45 bushels of shelled of lime frequently, the muriate of potash very often, corn per acre.
and the superphosphate generally so. Doubtless, con“ The experiments of these seasons bear siderable of the effect of the superphosphate was due, unanimous testimony to two things: The corn
in many cases, to the sulphuric acid and lime.
6. As to the effect of ashes, the results are variable, was helped but little by nitrogen in the fertili- though generally they were efficacious. zers; and it gathered a good deal from natural 7. Not only did the “Complete Chemical Fertisources. The increase of crop and of nitrogen lizer" bring a larger average increase than farm main the crop will appear more clearly if we look phosphate and potash salt nearly as large average at it another way.”
increase, but the quality of the crop was generally better with the chemicals than with the farm manures.
Potatoes, especially, were finer in quality and less of nitrogen in disposed to rot with the artificial fertilizers than with
the farm manures.
8. The most profitable material in a given case is that which is best titted to its needs. The chief factors of the problem are: 1. Soil; 2. Season; 3. Feeding-capacity of the crop, its power to gather its
food from soil and air ; 4. Form of combination of the Or, estimating the result in dollars and ingredients of the fertilizers; 5. The indirect action of
the fertilizer. cents
Soils vary in respect to the plant-food they supply
in available forms. Phosphoric acid is most often having become a partner in the bouse soon afinsufficient; next come potash and nitrogen; then, ter reaching his majority: Meantime he had But the intertility of soils is due to physical causes acquired an enviable social position, and
at the perhaps nearly as often as to chemical. Soils often do age of eighteen had been invited to deliver the not have the proper texture, they are too compact or anniversary poem before the Mercantile Libratoo loose, or they lack absorptive power, they can not ry Association of Boston-Edward Everett beto be leached away by drainage-water; 'or the moist- ing the orator. “Commerce ” was the subure-supply is bad--they
are too wet or too dry. These ject of the poem. In 1847 be visited Europe, defects are as bad as lack of plant-food. Many soils passed several months in England, Scotland, noed first amendment and then manure. Drainage, and Germany, and formed intimacies with some irrigation, tillage, use of lime or muck, are often the of the most distinguished literary people of the cheapest if not the only means for bringing up, poor day; among whom were Talfourd, Dickens, soils. Season counts for much, often for everything, in the action of manure.
Moore, Landor, and Wordsworth, at whose 9. As to the feeding capacities of the crops, the ex- home he became a guest. With Dickens he periments imply that the corn was somehow able to formed a very close friendship, and it was gather nitrogen from natural sources, provided it had through his influence that the famous novelist They do not tell how much of the nitrogen came from made bis second visit to this country in 1867, the roots of the preceding crops, how much from at which time Dickens was the guest of Mr. other nitrogen compounds in the soil, and how much Fields. While returning to America after his from the air. They
imply that potatoes possess in far first tour, Mr. Fields narrowly escaped shipsupply of either nitrogen or the other ingredients of wreck on the coast of Newfoundland, the ship its food from soil and air. They imply
that turnips having struck the coast in a fog, sprung a leak, are generally unable to provide themselves with phos- and was with difficulty kept afloat and taken phoric acid from the soil
, and are greatly helped by it into port. In 1848 Mr. Fields was again the in fertilizers, and that without its application, they poet at the anniversary celebration of the Merwith it alone they can generally gather but a partial cantile Library Association, and on this occasupply of the other materials of their food, and that sion Daniel Webster was the orator. The subfor a full yield considerable quantities of all the soil ject chosen by Mr. Fields was “The Post of ingredients of plant-food are needed close at hand Honor." Before the same association he deand in available forms.
10. Leaving differences of soils out of account, and livered a lecture upon “Preparations for Travconsidering the average results of the experiments, el,” which was full of sensible advice, well seathe best fertilizer to produce large crops of corn among soned with humor. Often called upon to dethe materials used would probably be a mixture of some liver poems and lectures, Mr. Fields appeared nitrogenous material with superphosphate or bone, or as a poet or lecturer before the societies of ure would probably consist of muriate of potash with Harvard University, and Dartmouth and other either superphosphate or fine ground bone, or both. colleges. A volume of his poetical composi
11. For potatoes, which responded well to all the tions was published in Boston in 1843, and in materials, probably a mixture containing nitrogen, 1858 he privately printed a beautiful volume, phosphoric acid, and potash. For either corn or pota- entitled " A Few Verses for a Few Friends, or better, a mixture of these, could be advantageously of which the “North American Review” made used to supply the nitrogen, and superphosphate or the following comment: bone-dust, or a mixture of the two, for phosphoric acid. 12. The common impression among farmers that em. In paper, type, edging, and ornament-in all
This book itself, apart from its contents, is a pothe best use of artificial fertilizers is to supplement the variable details of 'mechanical execution—it vindifarm manure is doubtless, in ordinary circumstances, correct. The right way is to make the most and best cates its title to be termed a work of high art. The manure that is practicable upon the farm, and piece poems, it contains are gems well worthy the settingout with such commercial fertilizers as experiments fambent fancy in natural measures and easy rhythm
pure thought, genial feeling, tender remembrance, and and experience prove profitable.
such poems as always win a higher fame than they FIELDS, JAMES THOMAS, born December 31, seek, and are best appreciated by those whose verdict 1817, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire ; die is of the most significant import. April 26, 1881, in Boston. At the age of four A second visit was made to Europe in 1851, years he lost his father, who was a ship-master. and Mr. Fields was in Paris in December of His education was acquired in his native town, 1851, when the coup d'état of Louis Napoleon and when only thirteen years of age be gradu- took place. He witnessed the encounter beated at the high-school, having taken several tween the troops and the populace upon the prizes for Greek and Latin compositions. Be- boulevards, and at the same time a house pear fore graduating he had attracted the attention him was shattered by a cannon-ball. During of the late Chief-Justice Woodbury, who ad- this trip he spent a winter in Italy-chiefly in vised him to continue his studies and enter Rome--and while in England passed three Harvard University; but this advice, for good months in London, where he was the honored reasons, was not followed, and in 1834 the lad guest in cultivated circles, and invited to memwent to Boston, where he obtained employ. bership in the leading clubs. Literary people ment in the bookstore of Messrs. Carter & Hen- paid him great attention, and rendered his visit dee, this firm being succeeded by that of Allen profitable as well as pleasant. A visit to Ed& Ticknor, which in turn was succeeded by inburgh gave him the opportunity for enjoying that of Ticknor & Fields in 1846, Mr. Fields an intimate acquaintance with Professor Wil
son and Thomas De Quincey. The latter wel. held the books which he most frequently concomed him to his house, and accompanied bim sulted; the walls were adorned with portraits on several excursions in Scotland. One day and the choicest of his literary memorials and they walked fourteen miles together on a visit autographs-autograph copies of Tennyson's to Roslin Castle, De Quincey beguiling the “Bugle-Song," and Mrs. Hemans's “The Breaktime, and cheating the miles of their weariness, ing Waves dashed high,” among them. Adwith anecdotes of earlier days, when Coleridge, mittance to this room, and the sight of its Southey, and Charles Lamb were his compan- treasures, were things to be remembered. In ions among the Westmoreland hills. In 1858 the fourth story of this house is a room known Mr. Fields collected, edited, and published the as “the Author's Chamber," which has been ocfirst complete edition of De Quincey's works, cupied by Hawthorne and Whittier, by Dickens, in twenty volumes. While contributing the MacDonald, Thackeray, Kingsley, and many productions of his busy brain to the literature of other distinguished men of letters. Adjoining it his time, and enjoying the pleasures of travel, is a study well filled with books, and with furni. Mr. Fields was energetically assisting in the ture that is old and quaint. Mr. Fields's summerbusiness to which he had devoted himself in house was on Thunderbolt Hill, at Manchesterboyhood, and the firm of which he was a mem- by-the-sea, with charming outlooks, land and ber held a leading position in the book-trade seaward. Mrs. Fields, the author of "Under of America. From the time Mr. Fields entered the Olives," had christened it Gambrel Cottage, it until his retireaient froin business on Janu- and Mr. William Black, in his novel, “ Green ary 1, 1871, the firm, under its several changes Pastures and Piccadilly," describes the view of name, advanced steadily with the times, and from its verandas. Mr. Fields contributed to for years the books bearing its imprint have the leading periodicals of the day, and his been noted for their sterling character and for writings are distinguished for a clear and finthe beauty of their mechanical execution. To- ished style and for their accuracy. His “Yesterday two of the most prominent publishing firms days with Authors" is a volume made up of a in the world represent the firm of Fields, Os- series of sketches first published in the “ Atgood & Co., which was dissolved on the retire- lantic Monthly,” under the title of “The Whisment of Mr. Fields---Houghton, Mifflin & Co. pering Gallery," and afterward considerably being the direct successors, while the firm of enlarged. It contains papers of anecdote, remi. James R. Osgood & Co. is an offshoot. Dur- niscences, and criticisms relating to Thackeray, ing the later portion of his career, Mr. Fields Hawthorne, Dickens, Wordsworth, Miss Miledited the “Ailantic Monthly,” which was es- ford, and “ Barry Cornwall and some of his tablished in November, 1857, by Messrs. Phil- Friends.” Several of these were afterward publips & Sampson, with Professor James Russell lished as separate volumes in the “ Vest-Pocket Lowell as editor. In January, 1860, this mag- Series." "Underbrush " is a small volume in azine passed into the hands of Ticknor & Fields, the "Little Classic" form, containing a pumher and largely owes its success in the world of pe- of essays on literary and social topics, ainong riodical literature to the labors of the distin- them one entitled " My Friend's Library," in guished poet and publisher.
which is given a pleasant account of some of After withdrawing from active business, his own literary treasures. Mr. Fields occupied his leisure with such liter- “The Family Library of British Poetry” is ary pursuits as were most congenial to him. a stout volume of a thousand pages, containing In 1858 he received the honorary degree of selections from the best British poets from A. M. from Harvard University, and in 1867 Chaucer to Tennyson, and edited by Mr. Fields that of LL. D. from Dartmouth College, and and Mr. Whipple conjointly. Under such edi. to the last his private iife comported well with torship the book could not fail to be a most his public honors. Those saw him best who valnable one. A companion volume, devoted met him in his own home, environed by the to British prose, was projected by Mr. Fields. books, the pictures, and the personal memen- “ Ballads and other Verses " is made up in part tos dear to his heart. His large, strengthful of poems that had been previously privately frame, genial face, and massive head, covered published, and in part of fresh material; these with dark liair tinged with gray, appeared to poems vary from grave to gay, and were actheir highest advantage in the spacious library corded a very warm welcome. Some of Mr. where most of his time was spent, and from Fields's most valuable literary labor was ex. whose windows a fine view of the Charles River pended on lectures delivered before large and was presented. Here the grave discourse of appreciative audiences in various parts of the the scholar was brightened by the sparkling country. Of these, the lectures upon “Charles wit and varied narrative of the traveled man Lamb and bis Friends”; “Sydney Smith and of the world ; nor did the silent presence of his Work in Life"; " Christopher North, with the ten thousand or more volumes that com- Personal Recollections"; " Alfred Tennyson, posed his library check the generous outflow the Man and the Poet”; “Fiction and its of sympathy which is inseparable from opulent Eminent Authors”; “Literary and Artistic natures. In a small study adjoining his library Society in London" “ Wordsworth, De QuinMr. Fields did most of his writing. Two tiers cey, Keats, and Shelley ”; “ Longfellow, Campof book-shelves, forming an alcove by his desk, bell
, and Hood”; “Cowper”; “ Hawthorne";
“Rufus Choate”; “A plea for Cheerfulness," Compared with the previous fiscal year, the etc., were enriched with reminiscence, and en- receipts have increased as follows: In customs livened by humor that rendered them every; revenue, $11,637,611.42; in internal revenue, where popular. Mr. Fields never abandoned $11,255,011.59; in tax on circulation and dehis pen-work, and the latest issue of “The posits of national banks, $1,101,144.28; in Congregationalist,” dated April 26, 1881, has miscellaneous, $5,359,133.81; making a total an article, “ Letters from an Old Treasure- increase of revenue over previous year of Box," in which he writes of Bayard Taylor, $29,352,901.10. The expenditures show a net and gives some interesting letters which he re- decrease over previous year of $6,930,070.19, ceived from him in 1846-'54.
the principal item of decrease being that of So active and useful a man must be a serious interest on the public debt, $13,248,833.93. and much-lamented loss to any community. Of the amount of surplus revenues for the During a period covering half a century, Mr. year, $14,637,023.93 remained in the Treasury Fields was identified with the interests of Bos. at the close of the year. The remainder, $85,ton, and filled a large sphere in its local life; 432,381.05, was applied to the purchase or rehis share in the developinent of its literary in- demption of obligations of the United States, terests will fix his name high in the chronicles all of which were interest-bearing, except thú of its literary history. Nor will he be soon comparatively small amount of $109,001.08 of forgotten among the champions of philanthro- fractional notes. py and religion, with whom he wrought as This excess of revenue promises to continue. zealously as was possible, considering the vari- For the quarter ending September 30, 1881, ous demands in other directions upon his time the receipts have amounted to $108,181,043.09, and energies.
against $97,889,239.92 for the same period in FINANCES OF THE UNITED STATES. 1880; and the expenditures to $75,051,739.39, Notwithstanding the moderate harvests in some against $77,018,531.78 for Bilme period in 1880. portions of the country, there has been no ap- The accounts have not been closed to a later parent check during the year 1881 to the abun- date, but the indications strongly point to an dant prosperity which for several years the na- annual surplus largely in excess of that of last tion has enjoyed. In that portion of the great year, unprecedented as that was in amount. Northwest which geographers, a few years The condition of the Treasury, however, is since, were pleased to distinguish as the Great shown by statements published at the close of American Desert, and which still later has been each month. As compared with January 1, officially pronounced as an arid waste, immense 1881, the condition of the public Treasury, at sections of land, of surprising fertility, have the beginning of the present calendar year, may been opened to settlers, and already the surplus be stated as follows: grain of the country is mostly produced west Statement showing assets and liabilities of Unite:l of the Missouri River, thus adding to the grow
States Treasury on the 1st day of January, 1881 ing wealth of the country the resources, as it and 1882: were, of a new continent. To these newly developed regions hav gone the surplus capital
January 1, 1881. January 1, 1889, and labor of the East, for both of which remunerative employment has been found. The
$61,481,214 71 $54,639,864 73 Gold bullion..
95,260,851 06 87,077,602 65 individual prosperity which has so generally Standard silver dollars. 49, 190,518 00 69,589,937 00 prevailed, has been reflected in the financial Silver bullion...
24,769,057 82 25,963,641 43
6,158,224 05 8,607,829 86 experience of the Government. Without ad- Gold certificates..
130,500 00 ditional imposition of taxes the revenues of the silver certificates
9,454,419 00 6,859,910 00
15,741,818 06 country have been largely increased over those National bank notes
4,212,828 20 5,667,691 02 of last year, while by judicious and economical Deposits in national banks.. 12,901,607 22 13,269,097 76
Nickel and minor coins... management the expenses have been somewhat
850,856 87 895,374 90 Fractional currency
18,696 26 reduced in the same period.
Redeemed bonds, etc
9,728,179 85 10,993,526 38 The receipts of the Government for the fiscal
$298,983,768 98 $333,894,971 98 year ending June 30, 1881, have been as follows: From customs....
$198,159,676 02 From internal revenue.. 185,264,385 51
January 1, 1889, From taxes on circulation and deposits of national banks....
$2,854,195 79 $4,9:8,252 04 From miscellaneous sources.. 19,242,115 82 Disbursing officers..
19,834,984 81 22,521,325 87
Fund for redeeming notes of Total......
$360,782,292 57 national banks failed, in During the same period the expenditures were:
liquidation or reducing cir-
20,852,614 85 29,202,678 10 For interest on the pablic debt..
$82,508,741 18 Five percent fund forredeemFor pensions...
50,059,279 62 ing national-bank notes.. 15,819,997 87 16,551,073 83 For inilitary establishment.
40,466.460 15 Other funds in nature of trusts 7,602,389 45 6,127,744 61 For naval establishment.. 15,686,671 66
6,659,880 00 5,189 120 00 Por civil expenses... 17,941,177 19 Silver certificates...
45,582,180 00 68.675, 280 00 Por foreign intercourse.
1,098,954 93 Clearing-house certificates. 7,005,009 00 9.590,000 (o For Indians.
6,514,161 09 Matured bonds at interest... 29,959.220 89 25,508,281 71 Por miscellaneous 46,442,441 88 Balance...
183,786,356 82 145,112,815 82 Total....
$261.712,887 59 Total Lagring a surplus of
$288,983,768 98 $388,394.971 99 100,069,404 98
January 1, 1881.