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The appropriation of one thousand dollars, made at the last session of your honorable body, “for paying freight on articles sent by citizens of the State of New York to the International Exhibition at Hamburg, and the return of the same to New York-to be expended under the supervision of the New York State Agricultural Society," was drawn by us for that purpose, and with regard to its application we have to report :
That the Society has already expended, or is responsible for the sum of seven hundred and five dollars and thirty-eight cents (705.38) for the purposes designated in the foregoing appropriation, and that the balance of the fund of one thousand dollars, remaining unexpended in the treasury of the Society is ($294.62) two hundred and ninety-four dollars and sixtytwo cents. This unexpended balance is therefore now subject to such disposition as your honorable body may direct.
EDWARD G. FAILE, President.
B. P.JOHNSON, Secretary. Stats AGRICULTURAL Rooms, Albany, N. Y., February 9, 1864.
ANNUAL STATE FAIR. Oneida county, which had always possessed among its citizens some of the original and warmest friends of the Society, received the annual State Fair, being the twenty-third, at the city of Utica.
All the previous fairs that bad been held there, had been so in time of peace; of the quiet flow of all the occupations of the people, who, rejoicing in the union of their country, found all its blessings surrounding them. It was amidst the severe labors, the trials and sacrifices of 1863, in the very height of the terrible struggle for the preservation of the government, that the society presented at Utica its annual fair to the people.
The response was so powerful, so full of enthusiasm, so earnest and so pervading, that it would be difficult out of the now lengthened annals of the society to select an occasion more propitious. Nor is this a mere phrasing of stereotype gratulation. The fair of 1863 proved that the resources of the people of the State of New York, were, even in the midst of war, powerful for all the purposes of peace, and that by the side of the bravery of the people kept even pace industry. Excepting that many who would otherwise have been with us were absent in the field of arms, the presence of the war was not known, unless, indeed, where some ingenuity of humanity presented attraction to its sufferings.
While the pecuniary result was gratifying, larger sums have been received, but that is not the first consideration when the society records its success.
The cause of agriculture showed progress. We were beyond our place in 1862; in improvement much had been done to give the land better tillage, to make the labor power of the farmer greater-something had been done of that great work for which the society exists—and the problem was solved, perhaps to the surprise of our brother agriculturists in Europe, that the hand of man in America could hold at once the sword and the plow.
The fair had its great teaching in its season, in the very fact that it was held when war bad so often in the past, as history tells us, closed all occupations but its own.
The grounds which had been prepared by the citizens of Utica for the fair, were advantageously situated, and the buildings of a permanent character; a style of structure which seemed an advance towards the style of edifice in which agriculture shall yet display its annual triumphs; and especially we would notice the untiring energy of John Butterfield, Esq., which was most commendable. The area was a spacious one, and it was a sublime sight on the great Thursday of the fair, to witness the thousands on thousands of the people in attendance, thronging the various halls, surrounding the exhibition of the cattle and horses, and examining with strict judgment the marvellous collection of machinery.
And it was in machinery that the fair of 1863 was specially significant, and which may be adjudged its great feature of success. To work by hands of iron, to work well and thoroughly, to labor so that the hand could not do as well, so that it should be cheaper, well or better to employ these fingers of metal That was the end which the exhibition at this fair proved was attained. This result is seen by the Society with gratitude. It is announced with congratulation, The Society may be pardoned for thus recording in its annals that to this its thoughts and energies had been given for so many long years. For this it had borne with the imperfections of the projectors; it had kept patience till the dream of the inventor had become a solid and fixed fact, till the incomplete invention had become the useful machinery, saving time, saving muscle, and what is probably the test by which all inventions live, saving money—and all this the fair of 1863 demonstrated.
The awards of the various committees will detail, as they are found in this volume, the superior excellence of each—to dig, to hoe, to drill, to plant, to sow, to reap, to gather—for all these, and for all of which there are departments, had their representatives, and the machinery exhibited was never in better order. It was made stronger, so that less repairs were necessary. It was kept neat and bright, and the exhibitor seemed to recollect that it was the part of excellence to do all in the very best manner, and throughout that great collection there was the evidence that our ingenious men had learned that it is wise to be so slow as to be sure and strong, and that it may sometimes be better to be solid than to be swift. It could have been wished that the steam plow could have been there, but a result so great as that of causing steam to be the servant of the farmer, to come when he calls, to work all day and all night if the hours call for it, will be of the very greatest triumphs of machinery when it does come, and come it
Nor was in-door work forgotten. The Society had arranged an exhibition of the old ways of the spinning wheel, and the exhibitors displayed the sewing machines, and between these signs of different ages there was the evidence of a success in which housewives of our country are to find comfort.
It was pleasant to see there was time and skill for the cultivation of flowers, and that Floral and Vegetable Halls were in profusion, the one filled with the choicest flowers and fruits, and the other with the choicest productions of the vegetable world.
The great dairy interest of the State assumed in the fair its power, and whatever of system and improvement had been attained was there exhibited, and a great proof of the value of the legitimate power of industry.
Nor must it be forgotten that the Domestic Hall was filled to its utmost capacity to display the handiwork of the wives and daughters of the farmers, which showed that the household department is not neglected, but industry and taste had shown that there had been no retrograde, but increased attention to the duties of the household.
The Governor of the State, and the representatives of the people, honored the fair with their presence ; and long cherished friends from the Canadian Provinces met with the Society to assist in the peaceful victories of the earth.
The telegraph and the press sent rapidly abroad the history of each day's proceedings, and the progress of the State Fair was known all over the Union. The Society cannot but make grateful remembrance in these Transactions of the interest which the press has maintained in its progress during all the years of its existence.
A severe storm broke abruptly the course of the fair rendering the grounds inaccessible on the last day, but the success of the fair had previously been fully developed, and it closed with the best auspices for the future. It was more than ever proved by these glorious days as by the rainy days of 1862, by the old days of peace as by the present ones of war, that the people of the State of New York watch with the deepest interest the progress of agriculture, and consider it one of their duties to be in attendance at the annual fair.
It was a matter of regret to the Society that the Rev. Dr. Fisher was prevented from delivering the admirable address prepared by him, and which he was present to deliver, had not the storm prevented. He has kindly placed the address in our hands for publication, and it has been published and circulated in great numbers, and is among the most valuable addresses delivered before the Society.
To day there is a better, an easier, a more productive tillage than ever before, and the condition of the New York farmer is one more desirable for an occupation for life; and this is that for which the New York State Agricultural Society exists, and to its greater developments the duties of 1864 unite and call the Society, and we are prepared to meet its responsibilities.
From the report of the treasurer it will be seen that the receipts of the Society during the year, have been $18,595.51; expenditures, $14,724.26; investments, $3,016.35; cash on hand, $854.90.
B. P. JOHNSON, Corresponding Secretary.
ADDRESS BEFORE THE NEW YORK STATE AGRI. CULTURAL SOCIETY, AT UTICA, FRIDAY, SEPT. 18, 1863.
BY REV. S. W. FISHER, D. D., PRESIDENT HAMILTON COLLEGE.
Mr. President and Ladies and Gentlemen :
The scene before us is not only full of animation, but of interest to every one who has the happiness and progress of his race at heart. This great State-an empire in itself—is largely represented in its mechanical, and especially its agricultural interests. It is not merely an annual festival ; it is a great school, where the results accomplished by the ablest and most practical minds in these departments are exhibited for instruction. You have assembled here from the farm, the shop, the counting-room and the office; from the valleys of the Susquehanna, the St. Lawrence and the Hudson and the shores of our beautiful lakes, to learn the progress which, as a State, we are making in those arts which are most essential to our support, our comfort and our civilization. The ancients had their Goddess of Agriculture. They reared altars and offered sacrifices and fruits to her in worship. They celebrated her festivals with music, feasting and often wild orgies. But they knew nothing of such a scene as this. Neither the Agora, at Athens, nor the Campus Martius, at Rome, in spite of all their boasted civilization, was ever illustrated by an exhibition such as on this spot now meets your eyes, and quickens the pulse of every true patriot. Most devoutly do we recognize the divine sovereignty that establishes natural laws, and orders propitious seasons. The farmer, above most men, is impressed with a sense of his dependence upon divine power, and in the pure light of Christianity is ready to acknowledge it. A thousand circumstances teach him this truth; his daily life is full of those uncertainties which human power cannot determine. But, to-day, we recognize also another element of vast importance in our elevation—we recognize the manhood, the intelligence, the capacity for progress of the people. You see in this varied exbibition, mind entering into natural laws, and skill combining them to effect these rich products. For all that man can do, all that the highest intelligence can do, is to avail itself of the power God puts in our bands and use it most skillfully. The lightning is God's power; but man, by his intelligence, guides it harmlessly to the ground, or makes it his post-horse to flash his thoughts round the world. This you see illustrated in a hundred forms to-day. I have listened to orators whose words have thrilled and moved multitudes; I have stood in vast libraries and studied the thoughts which the greatest minds have given to the world, but nowhere have I been more deeply impressed with the power of the human mind for intelligent effort than when moving amidst this exhibition of the products of our farmers and mechanics.
I have said that this exhibition was a school-a school for mutual instruction, where the most successful of the farmers and mechanics come to teach us by their solid, visible works, how much intelligence and skill, guiding the hand of labor, can effect in advancing these great interests. To see is to believe; to know what has been done leads to the inquiry how it can be done again, and this is father to the purpose, to do it yourself. No man, with his eyes open, enters this exhibition without getting either some new impulse towards producing what is excellent, or new ideas as to the way in which it may be done. Especially is this true of those whose interests and success lie in this direction. The farmer asks himself why he may not have as rich fruit and as fine vegetables; why his lands may not produce as large a crop of grain; why he cannot rear as good stock as any other man. These agricultural implements, which are working so great a revolution in farming, he examines to see what improvements have been made, and how he can best avail himself of them. The mechanic gets new ideas of excellence in workmanship, or has his ambition kindled to equal or surpass what he here sees. Among the old Romans there was a certain freedman whose crops so far surpassed those of his neighbors that they accused him of witchcraft and brought him to trial for it. When he appeared in the forum, he produced a stout daughter and some excellent implements, -as iron spades and shears,—and presented these together with his oxen to the Senate, said, “These Romans, are my charms." Thanks to the light of a Christian civilization, we have advanced beyond the superstition which would hang a man for raising better crops than his neighbors. We go at once to the reason of things. How did he do it? What instruments did he use ? What means did he employ? and may I not use the same means and secure as good results ? And it is in this respect-in quickening men to ask this question and then in giving them a satisfactory answer, that this State and these county societies, with our papers devoted to agriculture, are effecting a most admirable work for the people all through the State.
Now, gentlemen, the thought which rises uppermost as we survey this exhibition, the thought which forces itself upon my mind as I witness the success which has attended the efforts of these producers, is this, that precisely the same principle prevails here as in all other departments of human labor, the principle that intelligence, other things being equal, makes the superior farmer and mechanic. I do not mean that a mere classical scholar, or a profound lawyer, or a poet, or a fine writer, will necessarily be a good farmer. The field of knowledge is infinite, the objects to which it may be applied are various as the pursuits of man, and it is utterly impossible that any man should compass the whole or be eminent in all. Hence we must have a division of labor and of thought. One man takes this department and another that. Your department is that which embraces the production of fruits, grains and animals necessary for the support and comfort of society. And what I mean to say is that intelligence here makes the superior producer; that, with the same diligence and labor, a thorough