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up theories of Government, to expect nothing We do not realize, till we look carefully at the wise, nothing virtuous, nothing progressive from figures, the terriile visitation to which our statesmen, but merely to look for this result, English friends have been subjected, and from that they shall more when they are pushed, and which we have been, as yet, so happily exempted stop when the popular pressure relaxes. in the fatal Rinderpest.
"The most wonderful thing just now is to see The return published by the Veterinary De stock owners losing their cattle, and still in a partment of the British Privy Council, for the resigned attitude of mind-rosy only with good week ending December 30th, gives an account of natured sadness, not with boiling temper. But the loss of stock by the disease, from its com- it is enough to enrage any class, except that of mencement in June to the end of the year 1865, tenant farmers, to take one glance at other counits reported by the local inspectors. In England tries saved by administrative vigor, and then to 48,964 animals were attacked during the whole look at our own condition. period, and of them 11,142 were killed as a pre- Here are a few of the figures relative to Great ventive measure, 27,177 absolutely died of the Britain : disease, 3,655 recovered from the attack, and
No. of attacks. 6,990 diseased animals were remaining on Dec. I
October 14.......... ............1,054 3:0th, whose fate will be recorded in subsequent
October 21 ..................... .......... 1,729 returns.
October 28....................... ..........1,873 In Wules the disease was confined to the two
November 4............................1,765 counties of Denbigh and Flint, and the total
November 11.............................2,580 uumber attacked was 2,287 ; of these 93 were
November 18.............................. 2,669 killed, 1,565 died, 218 recovered, and 411 re
November 25............................3,610 mained under observation.
December 2................... In Scotland 22,298 animals were attacked-1
December 9................ ..........5,356 2,998 of these were killed, 12,749 died, 3,172 re
December 16.............................6,054 corered, and 6,381 cases were undetermined.
December 23.............................6, 256 lu Great Britain, therefore, the aggregate num December 30............................. 7,693 Icrs stands thus : Attacked, 73,549; killed, 13, January 6........... .......... 9,120 931; died, 41,491; recovered, 7,045; and 11,082 January 13...... ..........................9,243 (or 15 per cent. of the attacks) are brought for
"The weekly increase latterly has been at the ward into the account for 1866.
rate of about one-fifth. Supposing that this rate The Mark Lane Express contrasts, with indig
th indigo | of progress continues, wbat will be the number marion, the trifling of the English, and the energy of attacks in half a year's time? It is the old of the French Government, in protecting their calculation over again of a farthing for the first people against the plague, and makes an exhibit
nail of a horse's sho, two furthings for the second of the rate of increase in England to the first of nail, four farthings for the third, eight farthings February :
for the fourth, and so on till you are surprised "The French veterinarians came orer long ago at the amount for the last nail of the fourth shoe od so reported upon the nature and course of Adding one-fifth every week, we get some 40,000 the disease in our country that the French Gor- attacks for the first week in March, 97,000 for the croment acted at once, and successfully held the first week in April, 202,000 for the first week in plague out of its empire Our Government May, 500,000 for the first week in June, orer a
didn't know,' and yet the French Government million for the first week in July, by which time had already examined into the whole affair us it the total of cases would amount to no less than existed in England, and thereupon did all that six millions. Half the head of cattle in the was required for the safety of French cattle as kingdom would, at this rate, be attacked by the long since as September. Does our Government first week in June. We do not say that this suppose that, though it must have known what disease will spread regularly with this rapidity to do, it will be excused because the public gen- we only say that it is actually extending with erally would not have approved the only efficient this speed now, and has been during the last few measures? If it is not one duty of rulers to take weeks. If anybody chooses to take it for granted the initiative to ascertain what steps are requisite that the totals will presently be found to fall off, in great and sudden emergencies, and then to in- and the disease gradually grow weaker in its torin its people and thus create an enlightened murderous course, we are equally at liberty to spinion on the matter, it is about time to give 'espect that the mortality will increase."
The American Farmer.
their constituents, they saddle the expenses on a tax-burdened people; and the scandalons mean
ness must be covered by some such device as this Bultimore, July 1, 1866.
distribution of seeds. For tbis, and the official
publications which subserve, iu a ineasure, the TERMS OF THE AMERICAN FARMER. sare end, we are not disposed to hold the Com
missioner to too close an account. They are SUBSCRIPTION TWO DOLLARS PER AXXUM.
means to an end, justified in the rainds of Gor
ernment officers, by the high, State necessity, of RATES OF ADVERTISING:
holding on to their official positions. Eight lines of small type constitute a square.
But with the character and contents of these | 1 Mo. | 3 Mo. 6 Mo. | 1 Year. publications, we shall deal with candor and freeOne Square.... $2.00 $5.00 $10.00 | $15.00 dom. If the Federal Government sets up to teach, Hall Page ..... 15.00 35.00 60.00 110.00 One Page...... 25.00 60.00 110.00
it is our duty to know, and our business to in200.00
form the readers of "The Farmer' of, the worth PUBLISHED BY
of what is put forth, by the irend Professor of WORTHINGTON & LEWIS.
Modern Agricultural Science.
Our attention is drawn in this direction just
now, by, what seems to us, the propriety of resDALTIMORE.
cuing the fame of certain friends of ours, from
the somewhat damaging eminence to which the How the Government Teaches To
the Commissioner has exalted it. Turning, by bacco Growing.
accident, to the report of 1862, we find that the There has been, in the agricultural journals, a Government Professor gets up an essay on how great deal of criticism of the Government De- to grow tobacco. Col. W. W. Bowie, of Prince partment of Agriculture, with which, so far as George's, and Mr. Oliver N. Bryan, of Charles it is personally unkind or uvfriendly to the Come county, bighly respectable citizens of Maryland, missioner, we do not sympathise. We have rea- had published in "The American Farmer,'' valson to think that officer a worthy gentleman, uable essays on the subject, as was well known who is doing the best he can, at least, in wliat to the Commissioner; for he was always wise the Government has set bim to do. He has done enough to read "The Farmer," and it was liis inuch useful service, he has put his department duty to have got one of them, to furnish him the far in advance of what it has been heretofore, and necessary matter for the report on this subject, is generally accorded, we believe, the merit, unless he could command the services of a writer which is no small one, of having secured for him- having at least some knowledge of the subject.self many able assistants. The miserable busi- But it was necessary, no doubt, to give the job ness of broad-cast seed-sowing, which makes a to some one who had a friend in Congress, anit department of Government the distributing shop knowledge of the subject seemed unnecessary, of seeds gathered from everywbere, or any wliere, where the back volumes of "The American Farthe Commissioner is hardly responsible for. It mer" were at hand. But eren these, the writer has been carried on too long, and is too well es- of the made up essay, which goes out under the tablished, to be broken up by less than a stronger auspices of the Government, so mistakes and perhand than his. The thousands of little packages verts, that the only wise thing said is, that those made up in the Commissioner's office, with the who are commencing the culture of tobacco, thousands of potted plants in the gardens, are so should avail themselves of the services of an esmany petty "sops for Cerberus," without the help perienced man, who can supply the knowledge of which, with members of Congress, the depart- which cannot be learned from books." dteaning, ment bad suffered for necessary funds, or the of course, such books as this Government report. Commissioner's official bead had fallen. When Col. Bowie is made to say, that the tobacco that fine old Maryland gentleman, John G. Chap- crop should be "liberally top-dressed, every ten man, was in Congress, he bought, at a very high days, with a compost of unleached ashes, virgin price, fifty to a hundred bushels of what, be had woods' earth, pulverized sulphur, plaster and reason to think, a valuable variety of wheat ; salt." Think of Mr. Bowie top-dressing his topaid for it with his own money, and distributed bacco field of fifty acres, or Mr. Ilill his field of it in small packages, at his own cost. But this a hundred acres, with a nicely prepared compost is not the way of modern Congressmen. While of impossible things, put on- liberally?'. they are liberal of affectionate remembrances to l'every ten days!"
Mr. Bryan, he says, advises, manuring the crop | What the Government Teaches of the with Peruvian guano, "at the rate of a thousand
" Destruction of Soils.” pounds to the acre !''-or "hog manure,"-18 In the Report, before alluded to, of the Comquiring a very big hog-pen to supply it, or missioner of Agriculture, is an item headed “Dcwell rotted oak ashes,' -demanding a large construction of Soil," embraced in the article on sumption of oak timber, - or well rotted stable Agricultural Statistics, from which we quote as manure, with plaster."
follows: “But few greater calamities could befall As doctors always follow their own prescrip
a nation than the impoverishment of its lands.
Virginia stands as a lesson to other States. Her tions, let us assume that Col. Bowie has taken his
unskillful tobacco cultivation ruined the finest own advice, and make an estimate of what he has done in the way of manuring. We will say he
portion of her territory.”
In a grave State paper on statistics, ornament 'has been a "Patuxent Planter for twenty-five
is not looked for, for rhetoric can add nothing to years, -hoping no offence, if we do him any
the force of figures. The Commissioner, therewrong on this point, -and suppose he has culti
fore, might have dispensed with the flourish about vated, each year, in tobacco, a field of fifty acres:
Virginia. If it were original, and fresh, and A "liberal” dressing of compost would be, sny
beautiful, as it is stale, fat, and unprofitable, it twenty-fire horse-cart loads per acre. Put this
would still only gratify the base sentiment which on "every ten days," up to the first week of Au
delights in the detraction of that brave old State. gust, when the suns of summer might be sup
We pass over, however, a matter of taste, and posed to repress his energies, and the state of the
prepare to notice again the teachings of the Govgrowing crop might present somé obstacles, the
ernment officer, who assumes the duty of Instrucmatter would'stand about thus :-Six applications
tor General in Agriculture. We mean to show, 1 season, one bundred and fifty loads per acre;
that if his taste is bad, his teaching is worse, and for fifty acres, seven thousand five hundred loads;
that in making a mean fling at Virginia he has fifty acres for twenty-five years, ONE HUNDRED
betrayed not a want of acquaintance with facts AND XIGHTY-SEVEN THOUSAND AND FIVE HUNDRED LOADS OF COMPOST, which he has manipulated in
merely, but ignorance of scientific truth. And
we do so, not for the sake of discussion, or to the short period named.
make up an article, but because the truth ignored, Of course, neither Col. Bowie nor Mr. Bryan not by the Commissioner only, but frequently and have advised any such nonsense, as is ascribed to
ed any such nonsense, as is ascribed to commonly, is of very material importance. them. The explanation of the matter is, that He tells us that a portion of the territory of their manuring prescriptions was intended for the Virginia is "ruined." We deny that any porlittle plots, in which the plants are raised, which tion of her territory is ruined, in the sense he require special nursing and forcing, and the writer
means to convey, that is by the destruction of for the Government Department of Agriculture,
the soil.” He says, the finest portion” is ruined. was first too careless to quote them correctly, and We say, if any be ruined, it is not the finest. He then, too ignorant of his subject to see the folly says, it is ruined by sunskillful tobacco cultivxof the mistake he has made.
tion." We deny that what he calls "ruin" is Let it not be supposed we have misrepresented the effect of bunskillful tobacco cultivation." this essayist. He, very probably, took the gen- We will consider these points in tbeir reverse tlemen named to be enterprising Northern men order, and begin with the last. It is a mistake who had settled in the lower counties, and were to suppose that tobacco is an especially exhaustteaching the natives wisdom. He, plainly, ad ing crop. It does, indeed, make large drafis from mired their liberal way of manuring, for he had the soil, of its mineral constituents, but of these just been comparing the tobacco growing of Con- it leaves behind, in the stalk and waste, a large Decticut and Maryland, to the disadvantage of portion, in condition so available that no fertilithe latter, and quotes these writers to show, that zer is more prized than the waste from the toa new light was dawning in this region. The bacco house. Its cultivation demands the most "curse of slavery" being now "wiped out," it thorough preparation for planting, and the inost will be expected of such men of progress, that careful exclusion of weeds, and requires very little they advance these rates of manuring up to the exposure of the soil to the summer's sun, before present ''situation." Perhaps they will be good it becomes closely shaded by the spreading leaves. enough to let The Old Farmer know, what they When the crop comes off, the ground is in the are thinking, after further reflection, of agricul- best condition for grain, and especially for the lural matters in general, and of manuring to clover and grass following, which flourish as after bacco fields in particular.
no other crop. Then the degree of care, and good cultivation, which tobacco demands, edu- sioner means to convey. The words ho uses, and cates the most careless farmer into good habits. the kindred expression “worn *ont," convey a Whatever the condition of the farm otherwise, lesson that is inconsistent with the teachings of there is always before him, in the tobacco field, science. These terms grew, naturally enough, an example of good cultivation, which has its out of the common opinion of times past, that influence on the general management. It cannot "soil” meant only a few inches of surface earth, be said of such a crop that, well cultivated, it is mixed with the vegetable remains of the forest, destructive of the soil. On the contrary, the ne- and of the plants that had perished on it, and cessary manuring, the careful husbandry, the that these constituted its chief, if not its only, excellent preparation it makes for the cheap im- value. This vegetable mould was the measure provement by clover and the grasses, has made of fertility; if it abounded, the soil was rich--if it a conservative element in our system of crop- deficient, it was poor. It was proper that those ping.
who held that opinion, should say, wben these But'unskillful tobacco cultivation" is the lan- original surface recumulations of vegetable maguage of the Report; and, paradoxical as it may terial were consumed, that ibe soil was "exhausSeem, the remark is as little true of unskillful as ted," or "destroyed,' or 'worn out." That was of skillful cultivation. In the early history of our indeed worn out, which, in their opinion, made tob:
pacco growing, when the present well known the soil. The expressions were the outgrowth of means of maintaining fertility were little known, an erroneous notion, and being so, they repreand less practised, it was the very want of skill sent, and uphold, and teach that error still; and which characterized it, that preserved the soil. that, we maintain, the Commissioner of AgriculSkill enables the cultivator to take the largest ture, least of all, has a right to do. possible crops, and to continue their production Modern science teaches that the earthy elements tae longest time. The greater the skill, the greater are as necessary, at least, as the atmospheric, and the draft upon the essential elements of the soil. | as the latter abound and super-ahound outside of Wanting this, there was a necessity for resorting the soil, and when consumed are readily replaced, continually to new surfaces, where the overlying we are taught to estimate a soil, by the variety, mould would substitute thorough and skilful the proportion, and the condition of its inorganic working; and so while the old lands were not elements. Well constituted as regards these, it ruined, new lands were constantly opened to cul- is a good soil, otherwise a poor one, without retivation. The harm done was the skimining of ference to the quantity of vegetable mould which the surface soil, the good, the subjection of the may happen to be present. The point we make forest lands to the plough.
is, that there is no evidence that any such soil As to the point, that “the finest portion of her has ever, since the world began, been worn out. territory" has been destroyed, as the Report has its original proportions may have been somewhat it, it does not need discussion. So far as the de- altered, by the draft of certain crops on certain struction went, such lands gave way fastest, as elements, and the original balance somewhat diswere least capable of withstanding the treatment turbed of the presently available portions of these they received, and these were certainly, not the elements, but that this is not destruction, thoufinest. Or if it be maintained, that the best were sands of familiar instances of restored fertility. first opened, and longest subjected to hard usage, are the proof. It is a present disability, which the answer is, that it is contrary to all experience the intelligence and skill of the cultivator is called that the most fertile lands of a new country are on to eorrect. In some cases, and with the infeopened first. The settler brings first into culti-rior class of soils, he will find occasion to feed vation such lands as offer least resistance to his his crops, as he would his animals, with food fit nxe, and these are not the richest. But the facts for them—special applications to meet special de speak for thcinselves. Some of the finest landsmands; but in well constituted soils, he must which the world knows almost, are tbose which bring to bear chiefly, the art and appliances of for four years past have been devastated by con- skillful cultivation, not because the soil has been tending armies, within the limits of Virginia.- destroyed, but because of its indestructibility.She owns them still, and if she has had any bet- He needs to break up combinations, and to set ter, destroyed by tobacco cultivation, we do not free, and make available, to bis crops, the eleknow of it.
ments which the earth locks up too closely. Be Now, as to the other and most important point, must dig as for hid treasure; there must be hard that of "the destruction of the soil:" We dens knocks before the door will be opened. All this that there is any destruction, or any material is inconsistent witby the rapid wearing out which approach to it, in the sense which the Commis- the other opinion teaches, and only shows that
the wearing is not fast enough, to meet the wants animal in large numbers, in a district, might de
operations, if there were reason to think that and then of bees, the frequency of certain flowers there was any material difference between those in that district." portions of the soil fit for plant food, and those This gives us a somewhat striking impression not fit, except as to their present availability of the singular complication in the relations of
That surface, skimming of the soil, of all the natural objects, which we look upon geperally as old States, -of Virginia, no more than any other, having a very remote connection, and makes us has been more the consequence of sparseness of think there was a little philosophy, may be, in population, and scarcity of labor, than any other the old nursery story, showing how the cat helped cause. It was more convenient, and thought to the old woman to get an obstinate pig over the be more profitable, to open new lands, than to bridge-"be cat began to kill the rat, the rat renew the old"; and, finally, more profitable still began to gnaw the rope, the rope began to hang to transport the laboring population to the weal the butcher," and so on to the interesting conthy cotton and sugar lands of the Southwestern summation, when, we are told, “piggy began States.
But Mr. Darwin makes an extreme statement Cats and Clover.
in favor of the bees and the cats, for be overlooks By what manner of con-cat-enation cats and
the fact that both the clovers referred to are freclover are bronght into conjunction, many of
quented by butterflies, wbich have a much longer our readers will wonder. If we make a farmer
proboscis than bees, and also by certain day-flybelieve that his crop of clover depends some
ing moths; and, as fertilization in these clovers what on the life of his cat, will he not begin to
seems to depend on the corolla being moved, and felicitate himself that the cat has nine lives, and
the pollen thus pushed on to the stigmatic surface, take more care that they be not needlessly de
their comparatively tranquil visits way suffice stroyed ?
for this purpose, as well as the bustling activity Mr. Darwin, in his work on "Species in our
of the restless bees. Domesticated Animals and Cultivated Plants,'. records some interesting observations and facts,
Humble-bees seem also indispensable to the feron the fertilizing of plants, by the agency of in
tilization of the violet, and Mr. Darwin drends it sects. The tubes of the corollas of the common
similar fate for it, if these insects should be dered and incarnate clovers, (trifolium pratense and
stroyed. The existence of natural objects, bowincarnatum,) do not appear, at a hasty glance,
ever, has seldom been left to so uncertain continto differ much in length; yet the hive-bee can
gencies. When one mode of propagation fails, easily suck the nectar out of the incarnate clover,
another frequently comes into operation, and the but not out of the common red clover. The bive
violet would increase from off-shoots, even if it bee, accordingly, visits the former; and these
scarcely ever ripeneil a seed; just as mice, esperisiis, it appears, from experiments recently made,
cially field mice, would be kept in check by raare necessary for the fertilization of the plant
pacious birds and weasels, even if cats were tu The common red clover is visited by humble-bees
fail throughout the land. alone, and Mr. Darwin thinks that if the whole genus of humbles became extinct, or very rare,
Fruit Cultivation. the red clover would also become very rare, or Being quite satisfied that the cultivation of wholly disappear. The number of humble-bees fruit is a growing, and, destined soon to be, it in any district depends, in a great degree, on the great interest, in Maryland especially, we shall number of field-mice, which destroy their combs give greater attention, in future, to this departaud nests; and Mr. H. Newman, who has long at- ment of “The Farmer,'' and hope to have it well tended to the habits af humble-bees, believes that furnished with original matter from reliable and more than two-thirds of them are thus destroyed
etent sources, all over England. Now the number of mice is Mr. Daniel Barker, of the Maryland Agricullargely dependent, as every one knows, on the tural College, a horticulturist of long experience number of cats; and Mr. Newman says: "Near in England, and this country, we are indebted villages, and small towns, I have found the nests to, for our monthly notes for the Fruit, Flower, of humüle-bees more numerous than elsewhere, and Vegetable Garden. Hereafter, with such which I attribute to the number of cats, which oiber, thoroughly competent assistants as may destroy the mice." "Hence," says Mr. Darwin, be needed, we shall enlarge this whole depart"it is quite credible that the presence of a feline I ment, and give it increased value and interest.