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conquest, and afterward it was this same Indian corn, at first despised by the Europeans, that made the Northwestern States the food center of America and the Mississippi Valley the granary of the world. Wheat was not sufficient to sustain the inhabitants of the world; and the other cereals—before maize was added to the list of foods—did not give sufficient relief in time of famine that was sure to follow a short wheat crop. It was Indian corn that gave relief to the underfed population. And if this grain that Columbus found on the island of Haiti were taken from the world, famine and pestilence would again stalk abroad in the land, and the prosperity of the world would suddenly be checked.
--Selected from Brooks' “ Story of Corn."
WHEN CORN WAS KING.
The farmer who has plenty of corn has both bread and meat for himself and family. Suppose our fathers had had to depend on wheat for their bread. It would have taken them a hundred years longer to reach the Rockies. Only think of a pioneer in the woods depending on wheat for bread. Corn will produce four times as much as wheat per acre, and requires only one-tenth of the seed to seed it down and only one-third of the time from planting till it can be used for food. Wheat must have well-prepared soil, and be sown in the fall, and watched and guarded for nine months before it is even ready to harvest; whereas a woman can take a sang hoe in April and with a quart of seed plant a patch around a cabin, and in six weeks she and the children can begin to eat “roastin' ears"; and when it gets too hard for that, she can parch it. She needs to gather only what she uses for the day; for it will stand all winter, well protected by its waterproof husk. Not so with wheat. It must be all gathered at once when ripe, and thrashed, cleaned, and garnered. And even then it is hard to get bread out of it without a mill. But a small sack of parched corn, with a bit of salt, was an ample supply for a 10-days' hunt or a dash with Jack Sevier after thieving Indians. Corn was King when I was a boy.
And so it was. Corn was king when those hardy pioneers followed Boone into Kentucky and Clark into the prairie lands. Corn was king when Gen. Putnam sent the first body of old Revolutionary soldiers into the Ohio Valley, and it is the power of this king of foods that has sustained the thousands and hundreds of thousands.
THE FARMER'S GOLD.
Drop a grain of California gold into the ground and there it will lie unchanged to the end of time; the clods in which it falls are not more cold and lifeless. Drop a grain of our blessed gold into the
ground, and lo, a mystery. In a few days it softens, it swells, it shoots upward; it is a living thing.
It is yellow, but it sends up a delicate spire, which comes peeping, emerald green, through the soil. It expands to a vigorous stalk; revels in the air and sunshine; arrays itself more glorious than Solomon in its broad, fluttering, leafy robes. At last it ripens into two or three magnificent batons, each of which is studded with hundreds of grains of gold. It sucks from the warm breast of earth the watery nourishment for its growth; it quivers and thrills with the forceful mystery of sense; it ministers to the higher mystery of thought. Heaped up in your granaries this week, the next it will strike in the stalwart arm, and glow in the blushing cheek, and flash in the beaming eye. The slender stalk which we saw shaken by the summer breeze, bending under the yellow burden of harvest, is indeed the “ staff of life.”
THE REPUBLIC'S EMBLEM.
The rose may bloom for England,
The lily for France unfold;
Scotland her thistle bold;
The glory of the West,
-EDNA DEAN PROCTOR.
Praise God for wheat, so white and sweet,
Of which to make our bread!
His waiting world is fed !
He gave to men for food!
He made and called it good.
Praise God for winter's store of ice,
Praise God for summer's heat !
“ To you it is for meat."
By which the world is fed !
He gives your daily bread!
THE BILL OF FARE.
Pies of pumpkin, apple, mince,
Turkey! Oh, a great, big fellow!
Lots and lots of jolly fun,
We must thank the One who gave
HISTORY OF COTTON.
Cotton is a plant which grows wild in nearly every tropical country. The ancient inhabitants of India were perhaps the first people to use it in making clothes. The Europeans saw the cotton plant for the first time in its natural state about the year 1200, and they spoke of it as “wool growing on trees.” When Columbus discovered America he saw the cotton plant growing in the West Indies, and it was afterwards learned that the Mexicans knew of the great value of this fiber, since they have “ exquisite cotton fabrics dyed in various colors."
Many years before Sir Walter Raleigh organized his first colony for the purpose of making settlements in America, England knew the value of the cotton goods made in India, Arabia, Egypt, China, and Mexico. In these countries it grew with very little cultivation. In many countries the seed had to be planted only once in every seven years, and the cotton could be gathered twice a year. The fiber was very fine, and the seed barely adhered to it. It was, therefore, easy to shake the seed out, or in many places to whip them out with switches. In those tropical countries, therefore, it required
little labor to raise cotton or to prepare it for manufacture. The inhabitants of Spain and France, Italy and Greece learned to grow cotton in the warmer climates, but they could raise barely enough for their own use. England could raise none. In the early days of the first settlement of Jamestown an attempt was made to cultivate cotton, and it was advertised abroad that cotton would grow in the American colony as well as in Italy.
But transplanting a tropical plant to a temperate climate has a tendency to change all its habits. The seed that had to be planted only once in seven years in the Tropics had to be planted every year at Jamestown. In fact, the seed were planted and replanted, crossed and recrossed with seed from Italy, the West Indies, Spain, and India before a variety could be developed that would thrive well in the temperate climate; and the variety that finally survived is unlike the cotton of the Tropics. The lint is not so fine as that of India; the plant is smaller and requires replanting every year, and a great deal of labor is necessary to make it profitable. The most difficult thing about this hybrid plant is separating the seed from the lint. Unlike the tropical cotton, the fibers adhere so closely to the seed that they can not be shaken off, whipped off, or rolled off, and it is with much difficulty that they can be picked off.
The entire civilized world to-day wears clothing made of cotton; and nearly, if not quite, every civilized nation has its cotton factory; but there is only one small section of the globe that furnishes this fiber in abundance, and this is the Southern States of America, which produce over two-thirds of the cotton of the world. The world, therefore, is dependent upon the South, since cotton is the king of clothing, and the South is the home of the king who levies tribute on the world. The nations of the earth make obeisance to him.
Cotton is the friend of the poor and the luxury of the rich. It is made into cloth so coarse that it may be bought for a few cents a yard. It is made into fabrics so fine and so beautiful that it can hardly be told from silk, and it is made so heavy and so thick that it looks like wool. It is made into rope and cord so strong that it will hold a ship, and it is made into thread so fine that 1 pound will reach more than 100 miles. Every year farmers are improving the variety, and manufacturers discover rew ways of preparing and using the fiber. Every year the demand for it increases; and the world, it seems, can not have enough of it. In recent years its byproducts have become a food for man, beast, and plants, and its possibilities are not yet fully developed.
-From Brooks' “ Story of Cotton.”
What a royal plant it is! The world waits in attendance on its growth; the shower that falls whispering on its leaves is heard around the world; the sun that shines on it is tempered by the prayers of all the people; the frost that chills it and the dew that descends from the stars are noted; and the trespass of a little worm upon its green leaf is more to England than the advance of the Russian Army on her Asian outposts. It is gold from the instant it puts forth its tiny shoot. Its fiber is current in every bank, and when, loosing its fleece 1o the sun, it floats a sunny banner that glorifies the fields of the humblest farmer, that man is marshaled under a flag that will compel the allegiance of the world and bring a subsidy from every nation on earth.
-HENRY W. GRADY.