Слике страница
PDF
ePub
[graphic]

sixth, eighth, ninth, and tenth sections of the article “ Etats Unis," with which, however, he intermixed some of his own. The ninth is that which relates to the Cincinnati. On this subject, the section, as prepared by him, was an unjust and incorrect Philippic against General Washington and the American officers in general. I wrote a substitute for it, which he adopted, but still retaining considerable of his own matter, and interspersing it in various parts.

Page 33. In a government constituted,&c. Here begins the artful complexion he has given to the two parties, Federal and Republican. In describing the first by their views and motives, he implies an opposition to those motives in their opponents which is totally untrue. The real difference consisted in their different degrees of inclination to Monarchy or Republicanism. The Federalists wished for everything which would approach our new government to a Monarchy. The Republicans to preserve it essentially Republican. This was the true origin of the division, and remains still the essential principle of difference between the two parties.

XLIV.

Scheme for a system of Agricultural Societies. March, 1811.

Several persons, farmers and planters of the county of Albemarle, having, during their visits and occasional meetings together, in conversations on the subjects of their agricultural pursuits, received considerable benefits from an intercommunication of their plans and processes in husbandry, they have imagined that these benefits might be usefully extended by enlarging the field of communication so as to embrace the whole dimensions of the State. Were practical and observing husbandmen in each county to form themselves into a society, commit to writing themselves, or state in conversations at their meetings to be written down by others, their practices and observations, their experiences and ideas, selections from these might be made from time to time by every one for his own use, or by the society or a committee of it, for more general purposes. By an interchange of these selections among the societies of the different counties, each might thus become possessed of the useful ideas and processes of the whole ; and every one adopt such of them as he should deem suitable to his own situation. Or to abridge the labor of such multiplied correspondences, a central society might be agreed on to which, as a common deposit, all the others should send their communications. The society thus honored by the general confidence, would doubtless feel and fulfil the duty of selecting such papers as should be worthy of entire communication, of extracting and digesting from others whatever might be useful, and of condensing their matter within such compass as might reconcile it to the reading, as well as to the purchase of the great mass of practical men. Many circumstances would recommend, for the central society, that which should be established in the county of the seat of government. The necessary relations of every county with that would afford facilities for all the transmissions which should take place between them. The annual meeting of the legislature at that place, the individuals of which would most frequently be members of their county societies, would give opportunities of informal conferences which might promote a general and useful understanding among all the societies; and presses established there offer conveniences entirely peculiar to that situation.

In a country, of whose interests agriculture forms the basis, wherein the sum of productions is limited by the quantity of the labor it possesses, and not of its lands, a more judicious employment of that labor would be a clear addition of gain to individuals as well as to the nation, now lost to both by a want of skill and information in its direction. Every one must have seen farms otherwise equal, the one producing the double of the other by the superior culture and management of its possessor ; and every one must have under his eye numerous examples of persons setting out in life with no other possession than skill in agriculture, and speedily, by its sole exercise, acquire wealth and

31

VOL. IX.

independence. To promote, therefore, the diffusion of this skill, and thereby to procure, with the same labor now employed, greater means of subsistence and of happiness to our fellow citizens, is the ultimate object of this Association; and towards effecting it, we consider the following particulars among those most worthy of the attention of the societies proposed.

1st. And principally the cultivation of our primary staples of wheat, tobacco, and hemp, for market.

2d. All subsidiary articles for the support of the farm, the food, the clothing and the comfort of the household, as Indian corn, rye, oats, barley, buckwheat, millet, the family of peas and beans, the whole family of grasses, turnips, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, and other useful roots, cotton and flax, the garden and orchard.

3d. The care and services of useful animals for the saddle or draught, for food or clothing, and the destruction of noxious quadrupeds, fowls, insects, and reptiles.

4th. Rotations of crops, and the circumstances which should govern or vary them, according to the varieties of soil, climate, and markets, of our different counties.

5th. Implements of husbandry and operations with them, among which the plough and all its kindred instruments for dividing the soil, holds the first place, and the threshing machine an important one, the simplification of which is a great desidera

Successful examples, too, of improvement in the operations of these instruments would be an excitement to correct the slovenly and unproductive practices too generally prevalent.

6th. Farm buildings and conveniences, inclosures, roads, fuel, timber.

7th. Manures, plaster, green-dressings, fallows, and other means of ameliorating the soil.

8th. Calendars of works, showing how a given number of laborers and of draught animals are to be employed every day in the year so as to perform within themselves, and in their due time, according to the usual course of seasons, all the operations of a farm of given size. This being essential to the proportioning the labor to the size of the farm.

9th. A succinct report of the different practices of husbandry

in the county, including the bad as well as the good, that those who follow the former may read and see their own condemnation in the same page which offers better examples for their adoption. It is believed that a judicious execution of this article alone, might nearly supersede every other duty of the society, inasmuch as it would present every good practice which has occurred to the mind of any cultivator of the State for imitation, and every bad one for avoidance. And the choicest processes culled from every farm, would compose a course probably near perfection.

10th. The county communications being first digested in their respective societies, a methodical and compact digest and publication of these would be the duty of the central society; and on the judicious performance of this, would in a great degree depend the utility of the institutions, and extent of improvement flowing from them.

11th. That we may not deter from becoming members, those practical and observing husbandmen whose knowledge is the most valuable, and who are mostly to be found in that portion of citizens with whom the observance of economy is necessary, all duties of every kind should be performed gratis ; and to defray the expenses of the central publication alone, each member should pay at the first stated meeting of his society in every year,

dollars, for which he should be entitled to receive a copy of the publication bound in boards.

12th. The first association of persons in any county notifying themselves as constituted to the central society, should be received as the society of the county making a part of the general establishment here proposed ; but every county society should be free to adopt associate members, although residents of other counties, and to receive and avail the institution of communications from persons not members, whether in or out of their county.

We are far from presuming to offer this organization and these principles of constitution as complete, and worthy the implicit adoption of other societies. They are suggested only as propositions for consideration and amendment, and we shall readily accede to any others more likely to effect the purposes we have in view. We know that agricultural societies are already estab

« ПретходнаНастави »