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noble calling, to make an Eden of earth, to load the air with perfume, to burden it with fruits, to fill the pastures and hill sides with all the beautiful and useful varieties of flocks and herds. We need but the men and the women, and the return of white-winged peace, to begin a new era in our Nation's progress. Deep and firm laid our forefathers the foundations of our Nation. Be it for the present and for coming generations to bring from the quarries of thought, polished by the hands of earnest labor each a richer marble for the glorious superstructure.
Dear Sir-The fair of the Ulster County Agricultural Society was held on the grounds of the society, near the village of Kingston, N. Y., on the 220, 230 and 24th days of September, 1863.
The society's grounds embrace about nine acres, on the outside of which is a track for the display of horses, leaving the remainder for the rest of the exhibition and visitors; two large covered tents for manufactures, home productions and produce; judges stand, pens for sheep and swine; stables and railings for horses and cattle. It is the intention of the society to erect permanent buildings for the use of the society during the present year.
The entries were more numerous than at the fair of 1862. The exhibition of horses was good and the trotting was spirited, The show of agricultural implements was respectable;, the display of cattle fair. The fruit on exhibition fine, particularly in grapes, pears and apples, to the growth of which much attention is being paid in this county. The annual address was delivered by H. H. Reynolds, Esq. The address was practical and patriotic.
The receipts daring the year were................................ $813,25
Balance on hand
WILLIAM COCKBURN, President.
WARREN. The seventh annual fair of the Warren County, Agricultural Society was held September 230 to 25th, and was a complete success. The number of entries was 863, being 159 more than at any previous exhibition. The receipts including balance on hand at the close of the past year, were $800.02, and the expenditures, $595.41, leaving a balance in the treasury of $204.61 The various departments were well sustained, and the society is much encouraged at the progress which has been made since its organization.
The address delivered before the society by the Hon. A. C. Hand, was adapted to the occasion and accompanies this report.
E. W. HUNT, Secretary.
ADDRESS DELIVERED BY HON. A. C. AAND, AT THE SEVENTH ANNUAL FAIR OF THE
WARREN COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY. Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Warren County Agricultural Society:
I come to-day, to address you upon subjects having strict relation to the object of your organization, and the business and purpose of your society. And yet you will hardly expect a lecture of instruction to the farmers of Warren county, from one of my vocation in life.
Although much of my youth was spent upon a farm, I have not the vanity to believe that I can teach those who have been engaged in agricultural pursuits all their lives, anything, either in the art or the science of that noble call. ing. All I shall aim to do, will be to take such general views of the past and the present, as shall lead us to reflect upon the importance of a subject so interesting to us all; and stimulate us to such reasonable efforts as that importance demands.
Agriculture is the most useful of all the arts, is absolutely necessary to the very existence of society and civilization. As it is the noblest, so it is the earliest pursuit of man. To mankind was given “dominion over all the earth;” and Adam was directed to “subdue it;" and he was put into Eden “ to dress it and keep it." His oldest son was a “tiller of the ground;" his second a “keeper of sheep; and Noah "began to be a husbandman." And many of the wisest and best of our race have paid just tribute to the advantages, the blessings and the happiness derived from the cultivation of the soil. One of the most distinguished Greek authors, the greatest Latin poet, and Cato and Pliny, and many other men of note among the ancients, wrote well upon this subject; and the wisest rulers have always encouraged agriculture. Heathen mythology gave it patrons among the deities, whose rites were observed with great pomp and devotion. In more modern times, treatise upon treatise has appeared upon agriculture; and, even as early as the time of Henry VIII, a distinguished and very learned judge wrote a “Book of Husbandry," which, though he regarded and admitted the influence of the moon, has been considered an excellent manual. And at the present day, some of the most powerful minds and pens have engaged in the good cause.
From history, we learn that the most ancient nations, though they had not the light of science of our time, regarded the culture of the soil with high favor. Among these, the Egyptians and Phænicians were distinguished. The astute author of Anacharsis says, that the Athenians were taught husbandry by the Egyptians; and the Athenians claimed to have taught the rest of Greece; and certainly, for thousands of years, Egypt might be deemed the granary of almost all of the then known world. And Gibbon gives her credit for first cultivating many species of vegeta tion now of great use. And they, be it remembered, made great use of irrigation of their lands; a practice to which we are as yet, unfortunately, comparatively strangers. And India, according to Dr. Robertson, from the earliest records, drained Europe and the western part of Asia, by the sale to them of her manufactures, and mineral and vegetable productions. The density of her population quickened their energies in this respect.
The Romans, too, gave great encouragement to husbandry. Some of her greatest generals and statesmen were farmers. Their implements of husbandry and labor-saving machines were few and imperfect, but they were after all, very successful in almost every branch of agriculture.
But when the hordes of Northern Asia destroyed that great empire, agriculture and the arts fell into decay. The Huns, a kind of “martial shepherds,” led a mixed life, pastoral and predatory, and disdained to touch the plow; and we are told that the Germans, at that day, lived chicfly on “milk, cheese and flesh.” The result of this mighty irruption of semibarbarians was, that during the dark ages that followed, population decreased in Europe, the productions of the hand were scanty, and the state of civilization deplorable. Even some of the finest parts of Italy were overrun with wolves and other wild beasts. And England, too, suffered greatly; and its inhabitants, for several centuries, were poor and miserable. Oppressive forest laws, by which houses, farms, villages and large tracts of land were laid desolate, and reduced to a wilderness, solely that royalty might indulge in the sports of the chase; the blighting effect of the feudal system, which reduced a large portion of the inhabitants to serfdom; and the love of war and rapine which national ignorance invariably engenders; together with the contempt for agriculture and all peaceful arts, universally felt and shown by the leading classes, were a great check to the cultivation of the land and the improvement of the country, not only in England, but all over Europe. We are astonished at the ignorance of the people; at the wretched places of abode, unworthy the name of dwellings, without chimneys, windows or furniture, or any of the most ordinary conveniences of life, known and enjoyed by the poorest in modern communities; at the misery and destitution in food, clothing and the merest necessaries, to say nothing of the comforts of life; and at the paucity, clumsiness, unfitness and inefficiency of all their implements for husbandry, manufactures and architecture, and, indeed, in the arts generally. No wonder the land was impoverished and unfruitful; the country poor; population sparse; the people degraded and miserable. We trust no such dark picture will ever be presented to view in this country.
Gradually the cloud of ignorance disappeared in Europe, and our race slowly emerged from this thick darkness, which so long enveloped the hu. man mind. And what a change? In England it has been amazing. Less than two centuries ago, they were dependent upon others for many necessaries, even for their woolens. Now, their commerce extends to every sea. In a territory, including Wales, about the size of the State of Michigan, over twenty millions of inhabitants support themselves; a great number in afluence, all comfortably; their wastes are being redeemed, the mines worked, and the productions and aggregate wealth increased in a wonderful degree; while their power and influence are felt in every clime.
But in this country, too, the progress of agriculture and manufactures has been most remarkable. The inventive genius of our people, and their great energy, industry and enterprise, have, and within the inemory of many now living, not only removed the forest, and brought the wilderness under the rule of husbandry, over a vast extent of territory, and to a degree of perfection which already vies with the finest portions of the old world, but have also furnished the latter with the choicest and most useful, and some of them indispensable, productions of the earth, while our fabrics find a ready market in every country. With a territory nearly as large as all Europe, extending from ocean to ocean, having almost every variety of climate, and producing almost every species of vegetation; with boundless coal-fields; more gold than all the rest of the globe; inexhaustible mines of iron and other useful metals; the amount of manufactures exceeding two thousand millions per year; the value of individual property already exceeding sixteen thousand millions of dollars, and more than doubling in ten years; with a system of government calculated to develope our resources—the great future of this nation, if we sueceed in restoring this blessed Union, which may God grant, no man can well overestimate.
One of the good signs of continuing prosperity, is the maintenance of agricultural societies. They are of modern origin. Learned men have written dissertations upon the subject, but it is comparatively a new thing, that the masses have formed themselves into associations for the purpose of encouraging agriculture and manufactures, and making inquiry into the best means for their successful prosecution. Now, we have a State society; between fifty and sixty county societies; and a great number of town and union societies; all tending to improvement, in the cultivation of our lands, in the breeds of our horses, cattle and sheep; and the diffusion of knowledge in all these branches; and our sister States can hardly be said to be behind us in the good work. He must have had an ardent and enthusiastic imagination, nay, prophetic, who-a century since, when this whole region was a howling wilderness filled with wild savages, scalping and butchering their victims with all the barbarity and fury for which they are distinguished, making this very spot, where we now are, memorable as a place of massacre—could have believed, that in 1863, a prosperous agricultural society would hold a fair, presenting such proofs of wealth, improvement and advancement, as are exhibited here this day.
It is a great object to increase the production of those things necessary and useful to man; and he who does this with the least labor and expense, or teaches his fellow men how to do it, is a public benefactor. Political economists all agree, that agriculture and manufactures are the great channels of production. Commerce, we know, adds to the comfort, happi. ness and intelligence of man, and money, says Adam Smith, is the instrument of commerce and the measure of value; and that is self-evident. Architecture, also, not only ornaments the face of the earth, but is necessary to our well-being. But agriculture is absolutely necessary, not only to the sustenance of man, but to all the arts, and to civilization itself. How important, then, that the farmer should be well informed of this art; indeed, at this day, we may well call it a science too.
The great Cuvier informs us, that the essence of life consists in the faculty possessed by certain corporeal combinations, of continuing for a time and under a determinate form, by constantly attracting into their composition a part of the surrounding substances, and rendering to the elements portions of their own. If this be so, and especially in the vegetable kingdom, and who can doubt it, whatever increases and strengtheus that faculty, increases the amount of organic existence; and whoever teaches us how this can be done with the greatest facility and least expense, gives us a most useful lesson, and this is the true office of agricultural chemistry. Practical husbandry, founded upon experience and observation, must always have the advantage over mere theory. But science, experience and art, combined, insure success. How beneficial, then, these opportunities for inspecting the various productions of the year; mutually imparting information; interchanging opinions, and devising means for future improvement. Here, can be discussed, the different kinds of agricultural implements, of which, it is said, eighteen millions of dollars in value, are' annually manufactured in this country; the best and cheapest mode of manuring and cultivating the soil; rotation of crops; the best stock of animals, and the best means and mode of improving and rearing them; the necessity and manner of irrigation, the importance of which begins to be appreciated in this country; and, indeed, every subject, pertinent to this great business. Great, we may well say, when we remember, that about seven-eighths of the inhabitants of every civilized country are engaged in it.
But, fellow citizens, although we have done well; although our animals and our agricultural implements and many other useful articles take premiums in Europe; although we furnish them with breadstuffs; with cotton, in time of peace, and are continually supplying them with many of the necessaries of life; although our educational and religious institutions flourish; the comforts of life are multiplied; the longevity of our race here increased; although our progress in wealth and general improvement has been wonderful-we should not abate our efforts. We should remember, that more than one-half of our vast domain is wholly unimproved; and that it is capable of sustaining an average of more than one hundred, instead oi ten, inhabitants to the square mile. And, again, that we hold our land by allodial right, not by feudal tenure; that here the owners have full dominion, and owe no fealty or service for them, and pay no tithes; and that we have every inducement to improve and embellish them. Every tree we plant, whether for fruit or timber, or ornament, every building we erect, every wall we lay, every drain we dig, every field we clear of stones and stumps, and of everything detrimental to its culture, not only increases the value of our farms, and adds to the individual wealth of the owners and enlarges the aggregate wealth of the nation, but increases the attachment of the citizen to the place and the community in which he resides, and makes him more devoted to his country. And we thereby perform a grateful duty to posterity, and make the next generation, too, better citizens, by providing them with desirable homes in a land worthy to be cherished and loved.
Go on, then, Farmers, Manufacturers and Mechanics of Warren county. You are in the midst of a good work, and you have done well. Continue in your noble occupation of producing and improving, the noblest occupation of man.
Industry, here, as it ever deserves, obtains full compensation; and industry is the life of a nation. In no country is it so well rewarded. At the present time, we are in trouble; but we hope the cloud will pass away, and we look with confidence for peace and the restoration of the Union, sooner or later, and then, with the blessing of Heaven, we shall again be a united, great, prosperous and happy people.