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80, 82, and 83 degs, respectively. The 7th, 80 deg.; the 11th, 81 deg.; the 25th, 80 deg.; the 26th, 81 deg; the 29th, 82 deg., and the 31st, 80 deg., at 12 M.
The hottest days of the year were in August. The 11th of August, at 12 M., was 87 deg.; the 5th, 85 deg.; and the balance of the days previous to the 11th ranged at 80, 81, and 82 degs.
The crops have generally been satisfactory, and the farmers of our county
........ $656 86
.................... 291 50
$443 15 Leaving a balance of .......
$336 21 to apply to the payment of the grounds and building of the society.
EZRA CORNELL, President.
ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE TOMPKINS COUNTY AGRICULTURAL AND HORTICUL
TURAL SOCIETY, OCTOBER 1st, 1863, BY HON. A. WELLS. The great problem which a good and an ambitious farmer most desires to solve is: How to raise upon each acre of land the largest quantity of the most valuable produce, at the smallest cost, in the shortest time, with the least permanent injury to the soil. A great crop may be produced, but it may be of little value, or its cost of production may be very great compared to its value, or it may be produced to the great and permanent injury of the soil.
It is evident that the experience of a single life can advance us but a little way towards the solution of this problem. Those unacquainted with the art and mystery of farming may some of them think the farmer's occupation is not an art and not a mystery. Occasionally a resident of our cities, pleased with the beautiful scenes which delight his eye as he glides along the iron rail in his summer tour, or by the refreshing landscapes that slope down to the river's edge as he skims its surface in his steam palace, forgeting that the poet says:
66? Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,”. is tempted to leave the counter and the yard-stick to spend the remainder of his life amid the rural scenes which inspired the poets of all ages, and have called forth the praises of the philosopher and sage. His city house is sold, a farm is purchased and stocked, and he begins the farmer's life; and from the beginning difficulties and labors cluster around him, most always imagining discouragement, and at last the abandonment of that farmer's life which he once deemed to be a heaven on earth. Now and then, once in a great while, the city chap has pluck and courage, not daunted with difficulties, and not despairing at disaster. He has sense enough to see that the nodding harvests which crown the labors of his neighbor would adorn his fields if he had the same powers and the same knowledge, the
same skill, and he calls to his aid the wisdom and the skill of others, buckles himself to the work and resolutely, but slowly, overcoming the difficulties that beset him. He finds his reward, that reward which always crowns persistent and wise efforts, and he finds little by little opening before him the farmer's eden-finds it in the mellow soil as it turns before his shining plow share; finds it in the budding crops, passing through all their beautiful progressions into their ripened fruits; finds it in the fuller breadth of chest, the deeper, clearer respiration; in the more jubilant flow of spirits; in the rapid development of the whole man, once weak and piny, into the brawny, hardy yeoman. Between the ignorant denizen of the city and the most ignorant practical farmer there is a mighty chasm. But there is a greater chasm between the most ignorant practical farmer and the educated and liberal and perfected farmer of the present age.
The stupid farmer, amongst the lowest of the scale of farmers, is sure to think he is the best of all farmers, and that all his multitudinous mishaps are not owing to his want of skill, but to the circumstances in which he is placed. As his father sowed he sows, and as his father gathered he reaps. Books and book-farming he holds in utter contempt. He would not give a cent to establish an agricultural society, or to rear a building in which to display the products of the soil. His household grows up around him as self-willed and self-conceited as he, and despite of dilapidated buildings and fences, and worn out and neglected acres, he never once suspects the fault is in himself, not in the generous soil he abuses, not uses. I feel glad to believe there are no such farmers in Tompkins--or if there are any, they are not here to-day.
All, the men who are here to-day are here after knowledge--knowledge in books, knowledge in the cultivated and experienced minds of their associates-knowledge to be found in the improved reaper, on which the farmer now sits, as, it levels the crops like the winds, and does the work of the stalwart boys, who, bayonet in hand, are scaling the rebel forts, and parrowing to a smaller compass, this accursed rebellion; knowledge to be found in the herds and flocks, specimens of which have been shown at this fair. Such men search after the true and the good; after that which ameliorates their own condition, and elevates the condition of the race. Such men are the columns that support the nation. Humble they may be, but without such as them the goddess of Liberty can never crown the social edifice. How, on such occasions as this, will such men look back upon the past and trace up through all the departments of a farmer's art, the gradual steps which have led to the development of the day, and such men, never resting on the present, are busy with projects to advance their occupation to a higher stage of progress.
See, says the discoverer, this needle poised upon this point; vibrate it as you will it still settles in one direction. “Of what use is that ?" says the misnamed conservative. “How foolish to sit under a shed trying to fly a steel-pointed kite into the thunder clouds! Of what use to discover that lightning and electricity are one? How silly to peer at the lid of a teakettle as it bobs up and down with the hot water under it. Of what, use the white jet that shoots out of the spout to vanish in air?" So says miscalled conservatism always. Is it a truth, then, it has its associate use
capable of indefinable if not infinite expansion; and the mariner's needle, the electric wire, the steam engine, the printing press, are but the outgrowths of germ truth, as the mighty oak which laughs at the storm, was once folded in the small compass of an acorn cup; as the river that bears upon its breast the navies of nations, bubbled once from the springs of the mountain.
The progress of agriculture has been immense in every branch, but that progress has been slow, and we can only appreciate its extent by passing through long periods of time; like the movements of the planetary bodies, whose motion can be seen best by noting the differences of their position from time to time. Time was, perhaps, when, like our savages, men were neither tillers of the ground or keepers of sheep. We read that Abraham was "very rich in cattle.” Lot had “ flocks, and herds, and tents;" and “Noah became a husbandman, and planted a vineyard.” Moses was a shepherd; Gideon was found thrashing; and King Saul, when the danger of one of his towns reached him, was driving a herd of cattle from the field. David was fond of feeding his ewes; Uzziah loyed husbandry, and Elisha was found plowing with twelve yoke of oxen.
The valley of the Nile is famous in history for its fertility. Four or five miles wide, and four or five hundred miles long, its annual top dressing of mud and slime deposited from the first of August to November, by the overflowing of the stream, made its fertility perpetual. It is probable that Egypt, Chaldea and China were among the first nations to apply animal power to the culture of the soil. Sparta was probably acquainted with draining. The use and value of manures was probably well known to the Greeks, as we are told that they plowed three times with mules and oxen, and sometimes sub-soiled and mixed different soils, as sand and clay.
Amongst the Romans, the great agriculturists of antiquity, Cato says: “Our ancestors regarded it as a grand point of husbandry not to have tvo much land in one farm, for they considered more profit came by holding a little and tilling it well.” And Virgil says: “ The farmer may praise large estates, but let himn cultivate a small one." Columella thus describes the points of a good milch cow: “A tall make, long, with very large belly, very broad head, eyes black and open; horns graceful, smooth and beach; ears hairy; jaws straight; dewlap and tail very large; hoofs and legs moderate.” He prescribes the following curious treatment of working oxen: “After oxen get through plowing, and come home heated and tired, they must have a little wine poured down their throats, and after being fed a little, led out to drink; and if they will not drink, the boy must whistle to make them.” One may judge of the condition of agriculture, even in the latter periods of the Roman Empire, from the description of the agriculturist by Hallam, who says: “The laboring husbandman, a menial slave of some wealthy senator, had not even that qualified interest in the soil which the tenor of villenage afforded to the peasant of feudal ages."
Pliny, the Roman author, says: "Four hundred stalks of wheat, all grown from one seed, were sent to the Emperor Augustus, and at another time 340 from one seed were sent to the Emperor Nero from Byzantium in Africa, accompanied by this statement: “The soil when dry, was so stiff that the strongest oxen could not plow it, but after a rain I have seen it opened by a share drawn by a wretched ass on the one side and an old woman on the other.?" The Roman plow may be judged of from the fac that the first plowing required two days for three-fourths of an acre. At that period, too, all the grinding of the grains was by hand. The water wheel was not known till more than 100 years after Christ, and the windmill not till the eleventh century. No such thing then as the six run of stone turned by the waters of Fall Creek, or those propelled by water and steam on the Cascadilla and Six Mile Creek, turning out, with the aid of a few hands, bundreds of barrels per day, a work that would have required the people of a county in those days to perform.
In the times of our Saxon forefathers, the principal means of subsistence was found in the chase and in droves of cattle, sheep and swine, fattened on the mast of the oak and the beech; their only grains were wheat, bar ley and oats, and but small quantities of these. Famines were frequent among the people, and it is estimated that one-fifth of the stock perished every winter for the want of suitable food and shelter. No hoed crops or edible vegetables were cultivated, and even in the reign of Henry XIII, Queen Catharine was obliged to send to Flanders and Holland for salad for her table.
The banquet of a gentleman of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries is thus described in a treatise published in 1613: “The meate served into the table was always in great chargers filled with pease and bacon; gammons of bacon; huge neats tongues salted; great pieces of beef; boyled poltry with pottage about them; boyled mutton, veal, and other grosse food almost in every ordinary family; and they gorged in these vituals so long as they could cram any more into their bellies. Afterwards they brought in other meats answerable to the former, but wasted and larded, oftentimes with unsavory lard, but it would go for pigs and hares. After this second serice had stood a while on the table, well neere to no effect, then came in more dainty meate of Fouls, as mallards, wild ducks, ring-doves, young pigeons, par tridges, woodcocks, quails, plovers, turtle, and other of like kind, which are carried away like the second series, almost never toucht, for they (good men) had filled their stomachs with the first course of meates, feeding hungerly on them, and drinking sour wines, such as summer marreth, so they left the best and daintiest meats, indeede, for their varlets and base servants to feed on."
As late as 1745, a marshal of France said to the King, “The misery of the mass of the people is indescribable," and this is said to apply to the tillers of the soil throughout Europe at that time.
The first work on agriculture was published in 1534, by Sir Anthony Fitzherbert, who styled himself a farmer of forty years standing. He says:
“A houseband cannot thryve by his corne without cattell nor by his cattell without corne," and adds, “sheepe in mye opinion is the most profitablest cattell that any man can have.” In the early part of the eighteenth century appeared the work of Jethro Tull. He invented the horse hoe and introduced drill husbandry and the thrashing machine, and deep and thorough pulverization of the soil. The draining, trenching and sub-soiling of the present day is but the advance of Tull's system of husbandry. In 1741 Arthur Young was born; he died 1820, and to him the world is great!y indebted for the spreading of agricultural knowledge. He first thoroughly examined the soils to ascertain the causes of fertility and commenced that system of analysis since so successfully pursued. Since him some of the greatest minds in the world have devoted their best energies to the improvement of agriculture.
The first agricultural society was established in South Carolina in 1784. A similar one was started in this State in 1791, and in Massachusetts in 1792. But in those days the habit of reading was uncommon among the tillers of the soil. No county and town societies existed to bring the results of accumulating experience to the masses of the people. There was no journal devoted to the spread of agricultural intelligence. The virgin soil produced its crops without reference to its ultimate exhaustion, and the use of manures was almost unknown. Rotation of crops was unthought of, and labor-saving machines were held in contempt. Even so late as 1830 the laborers of England went about destroying every horse power thrashing machine they could find.
Within the last fifty years the greatest progress has been made in agriculture, and its advance within the twenty years last past is unparalleled.
The old Dutch plow was patented in England in 1730. It was all made of wood except the coulter, draft rods and share, the mould board being plated with iron. It was made by the village blacksmith, without a fixed pattern, so that no two plows were ever alike. Then came the old Cary plow, with its wooden mould board, plated over with tin, sheet iron or saw plate, wooden land side and standard, and clumsy wrought iron share. These were succeeded by others, and at last by the cast iron plow, which has undergone great improvements to the present day.
The reaper and mower, after encountering all kinds of difficulties, have at last gained an established footing. More than 200 different patents have been entered within the last ten years.
It is safe to say that the improvements in the implements of husbandry enable the farmer of the present day to accomplish double the work of twenty years ago with the same number of teams and hands. The plow, the hoe, the spade, the reaper, the rake, have more than halved the labor of production. Vast improvements are yet to be made in this element of production.
The application of chemistry to agriculture has produced great results, and gives promise of greater, and these results are all within the last twenty or twenty-five years; for though chemistry, under the name of alchemy, has existed from an early period, and although chemical facts must have been well known at a still earlier date, for the Egyptians, Phænicians and Israelites all had a practical knowledge of chemistry in their works of gold, silver, lead, tin and iron, and in their dyed fabrics, still it is only within twenty or twenty-five years that the processes of chemistry were applied to agriculture; and to Professor Liebig, more than to any other, we are indebted for this association of chemistry and agriculture.
The analysis of soil and plants, the application of special manures suited to the crop intended to be grown; the structure, elements, function and