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ANNUAL MEETING OF THE NEW YORK STATE
The Society convened in pursuance of notice, at noon on Wednesday, February 10th, 1864, at the Assembly Chamber in this city. The attendance was larger than has been the case for a year or two past, and a spirited contest was anticipated as regards the location of the next State Fair.
The meeting was called to order by Edward G. Faile, Esq., of Westchester, president of the Society.
The following is an abstract of the report submitted by the treasurer:
44 00 Life memberships.
228 00 Donation
15 00 Donation from Sandford & Mallory
100 00 Transactions, &c., sold .
1,000 00 do freights to Hamburg exhibition.. 1,000 00 Receipts Utica fair-life members
$236 00 All other sources .......
11,347 78 On account of Arabian horses
50 00 Interest account...
Under the report submitted to the Legislature at its last session, from the committee of the Society appointed to investigate the subject of flax machinery, no award of the State appropriation of $2,000 to encourage its improvement, could be made. At the first meeting of the new board the treasurer was therefore directed to deposit this sum at interest with the United States Trust Company of the city of New York, that it might be held sacred for the purpose for which it was intended. This was immediately done, and both principal and interest as yet remain intact--the latter being probably more than sufficient to cover whatever expenses of committees may attend the past or future action of the Society, and leave the whole fund for award as soon as any invention worthy of the honor shall appear to claim it.
As to the fund of $1,000 appropriated by the last Legislature for the pay. ment of freights upon articles sent by citizens of the State to the Hamburg exhibition, the sum already expended or for which the Society is responsible, will amount to $705.38-leaving an unexpended balance as shown in a report submitted herewith to the Legislature, of $294.62, subject to such disposition as that body may direct. The Society's cash balance on hand as shown in the foregoing report, is $854.90, from which deduct $294.62 unexpended balance of the Hamburg appropriation, and we have $560.28 as the Society's present net cash balance, aside from the sum of three thou sand dollars ($3,016.35) invested in United States securities. All of which is respectfully submitted.
LUTHER H. TUCKER, Treasurer. A motion for the acceptance of this report was proposed by Hon. Wm. Kelly, of Dutchess, and passed. The report of the Executive Committee followed, embracing a full account of the operations of the past year, with suggestions with regard to future action, especially with reference to the holding of a trial of agricultural implements and machinery during the year to come.
This was accepted on motion of Mr. Corey, of Saratoga, who then proceeded to offer a resolution as to the future location of the State fairs, cov. ering prospectively a period of twelve years. After a few remarks from Hon. Gen. Geddes, this proposition was laid on the table, as being in conflict with the Society's constitution.
Mr. Comstock, of New York, then moved the usual nominating committee of three from each judicial district, who were appointed as below:
1. Messrs. Comstock, Reed, Pinckney. 5. Messrs. Weaver, Hungerford, Morso. 2. Messrs. Jones, Crooke, Kelly:
6. Messrs. Cornell, Avery, Gilbert. 3. Messrs. Knickerbocker, Gould, Wendell. 7. Messrs. Foster, Ogden, Hayward. 4. Messrs. Granger, Harison, Van Horn. 8. Messrs. Peters, Dow, Williams. Pending the deliberations of this committee, a recess was taken until 5 P. M.
On re-assembling at that hour, the following nominations were submitted, and the gentlemen named unanimously elected for the ensuing year:
President-James 0. Sheldon, Ontario.
Vice-Presidents—1. Simon R. Bowne, New York; 2. Samuel, Thorne, Dutchess; 3. Herman Wendell, Albany; 4. T. L. Harison, St. Lawrence; 5. S. D. Hungerford, Jefferson; 6. Ralph Newell, Delaware; 7. H. T. E. Foster, Seneca; 8. Wm. A. Bird, Erie.
Corresponding Secretary-Benjamin P. Johnson.
Executive Committee S. Campbell, Oneida; T. C. Peters, Genesee; Elon Comstock, New York; R. H. Avery, Madison, S. R. Pinckney, New York.
The committee further reported that two places had been named for the location of the next fair, Utica and Rochester; and that upon two votes in committee, there had been an equal number for each locality.
Mr. Wilson, of Oneida, moved that the meeting proceed to a ballot, to, designate which of the two places should be selected. Mr. Robinson submitted a motion for the indefinite postponement of the question. Mr. Geddes raised the point of order that the ultimate decision of the question was, by the constitution, vested in the Executive Committee, and a prolonged debate ensued, in which Messrs. Harris, Reed, Peters, Moore, and Conger took part, when Mr. Harris, on behalf of the citizens of Rochester, and Mr. Butterfield, on behalf of the citizens of Utica, expressing their entire willingness to submit their relative claims to the judgment of the board, the question was so referred by unanimous consent.
Hon. T. C. Peters, of Genesee, then offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That it is expedient for the Society to hold a meeting for the purpose of carrying out a thorough trial of implements of agriculture in the following classes:
1. For preparing the land for the crop.
3. For preparing it for market. After discussion, in which several gentlemen took part, the matter was submitted to the Executive Committee.
In the absence of further business, Mr. Judd, of New York, laid before the Society a letter setting forth the value of the services rendered to the agricultural community by Rev. C. E. Goodrich, of Utica, in importing, propagating and experimenting upon the varieties and culture of the potato. Mr. J. suggested that such services should not go unrewarded, and as age and feeble health had now placed Mr. Goodrich in a position in which a testimonial of the benefit he has conferred on the farmers of the State would be peculiarly welcome and appropriate, he hoped that action might be taken in that direction, and was willing to head the list with a donation for the purpose.
Several other gentlemen took the opportunity of expressing their hearty concurrence in the proposition, among them Mr. Harison, of St. Lawrence, Mr. Conger, of Rockland, Mr. Cornell; of Tompkins, Judge Cheever, of Saratoga, and the president and secretary of the Society, who referred briefly to the awards made in past years for the investigations so long and earnestly conducted by Mr. Goodrich. Messrs. Conger and Harison were appointed a committee, with the treasurer of the Society, to secure subscriptions for the testimonial, and a very gratifying response was made; and it is hoped additions will be made to the list which is given.
WEDNESDAY EVENING. The evening session was an interesting and instructive one. Mr. John Stanton Gould, who was appointed by the Executive Committee last season to visit the western States and thoroughly investigate the cultivation and manufacture of the sorghum crop, and the progress of the beet as a sugarproducing plant, read a paper embracing the many interesting and valuable details collected by him. This article will form one of the most valuable contributions to the next volume of the Society's Transactions, as it treats the subject in a more comprehensive and directly practical way than it has heretofore been treated. The conclusions of Mr. Gould, as to the general success of the sorghum as a farm staple in the western States, are to the effect that the profits arising from its culture are dependent in very great degree upon warmth and length of season. He showed by statistics carefully collected, that the amount of syrup that can be made per acre increases as we go from Ohio westward, with the length of season and average temperature of the summer months. The amount of sugar made from it be found unexpectedly limited, and it is evident from his remarks (as was surmised from our previous sources of information), that as a sugar-making crop it has as yet never reached the point of magnitude which has been sometimes asserted by agricultural writers. In the production of syrup, the liability of the plant to injury from frosts, and of the expressed juice (especially in certain conditions of the atmosphere) to fermentation before it can be boiled, are tending very much to reduce the scale on which it is grown by individual cultivators, who find, moreover, in the present scarcity of labor, that it is both dificult and expensive to secure enough at just the proper time to work up the product of a large surface to advantage. Deep culture and good drainage are shown to be of cardinal importance, for the plant is very impatient of moisture, while it stands a drouth unbarmed which curls the leaves of Indian corn.
Dr. Asa Fitch, entomologist of the Society, read a paper comprising the scientific history of the Cut-worm, together with the close and laborious observations he has carried on, during the past season, as to its habits and sub-varieties. This paper was also of unusual interest, and votes of thanks were passed to both the gentlemen with great unanimity.
THURSDAY'S PROCEEDINGS. On Thursday the rooms were opened for the usual exhibition, which con sisted of a fine collection of fruits, a fair show of butter and cheese, and samples of grain.
A session for discussion was held during the afternoon, Hon. A. B. Conger in the chair.
The report of A. Baldwin, Esq., delegate to Hamburg exhibition, was read; and a fine collection of seeds from the Swedish government, for the museum, was acknowledged, presented through Hon. J. A. Wright, U. S Commissioner.
Hon. E. Cornell read an essay on manures as practiced in the experiments at Rothamstead, England, by Messrs. Lawes & Gilbert, and on motion of Hon. Geo. Geddes, Mr. Cornell was requested to have the essay completed and furnished for publication.
The summing up of the discussions on manures, to be prepared by Hon. Mr. Conger, and published in the Journal of the Society, and the Society's meeting for discussions. Adjourned,
THURSDAY EVENING. The Society met, President Faile in the chair. The Secretary read the awards.
DEATH OF FRANCIS M. ROTCH, LATE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY. Remarks of Hon. William Kelly:
Mr. President-I rise to perform a sad and melancholy duty: it is to present to this Society resolutions commemorative of our late associate and friend, Francis M. Rotch, long a member of the Society, and for a time one of its Vice-Presidents.
It is not my intention to make extended remarks in doing this, as I hope to be followed by one who knew him more intimately than I did, and who can better describe those qualities of character which distinguished and endeared him to all who knew him.
My acquaintance with Col. Rotch began about seven years ago, since which time it has often been my good fortune to meet him — occasionally to be associated with him in connection with agricultural and other interests. I have seen him during that period in three characters, winning success in all—a farmer, a statesman and a soldier.
He was a graduate of one of our oldest colleges; a man of liberal culture, qualified by natural abilities and education for any profession in life to which he might aspire. An amateur artist of no mean ability, he had the taste to admire, and the knowledge to appreciate, all that was beautiful in art. Among other traits which go to show the refinement and purity of his taste, was his passionate love of flowers; they were to him not only an enjoyment, but a study, as they served to illustrate his botanical researches.
Thus gifted he chose, with the full approbation of his venerated father, to follow his example-to become a country gentleman and devote his attention to the pursuit of agriculture. An earnest man, he soon brcught · his knowledge and his energy into active service, and found in it a source of ample and continued enjoyment, exercising by his example a valuable influence upon all who came within his reach. Whilst every branch of farm husbandry interested him, and received his careful attention, he possessed a special taste for the breeding of cattle, and a strong desire for the improvement of the herds of this country. The distinguished cattle breeders present will sustain me in saying that no man among us was a more exact and correct judge of thorough-bred stock. His perceptions were quick, and his knowledge so thorough, that his opinions had great and deserved weight with those engaged in the breeding of improved cattle. On the occasions of visits to England, he selected some of the very
best animals ever bred there. Among them were some that have rendered famous the herds at Thornedale and The Grove. No better evidence of the merit of these animals need be given than the fact that their descendants bred in this country have been re-shipped to England, winning numerous prizes there, and selling for very high prices.
In all this Col. Rotch rendered a valuable service to the agricultural interests of our country, and his name will long be associated with the history of improved breeds of cattle.