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1 ) Memoirs of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, 

V. 1 

MNS# PSt SNPaAg022.1 

2) Memoirs of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture 

V. 2 
MNS# PSt SNPaAg022.2 

3) Memoirs of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture 

V. 3 
MNS# PSt SNPaAg022.3 

Title: Memoirs of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting 

Agriculture, v. 1 

Place of Publication: Philadelphia 

Copyright Date: 1808 

Master Negative Storage Number: MNS# PSt SNPaAg022.1 


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110 2 Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture 

245 1 Memoirs of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture 
$bcontaining communications on various subjects in husbandry and rural 


246 32 Sketch of the history of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting 

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362 Vol. 1 (1808)- 

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..Let us cultivate the gro»"<l, that the poor, as vrell a« the rich may be 
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THE PniLAifiLPHiA Society for pftbMOfiNO Acltt^ 
CULTURE, was iormed in the year one thousand seven hun^ 
dred and eighty fve^ by some citizens, only a few of whom 
were actually engaged in husbandry, but who were convinced 
of its necessity; and of the assistance which such an associ- 
ation, properly attended to, would afford to the interests of 
agriculture. The society continued to meet regularly, tor 
several years ;— and published numerous communications from 
practical men, in the news papers of the day, on various in- 
teresting subjects ; and thereby contributed to diifuse the 
knowledge of many improvements in agriculture ; the general 
adoption whereof, has visibly tended to increase the productj^ 
and to improve the qualities of the soil oi Pennsylvania* 

The continuance o* a long war widi Great Britain hside& 
fectually precluded all friendly intercourse, and prevented th© 
receipt of all information ^"rom that country, (in a lahgua^ ge- 
nerally understood here) not only of the improvements in agri* 
eultiure there existing, but of those in other European coun- 
tries, wherein the practice and principles of good husbandrjr 
are universally attended to. The system generaUy pursued 
here at that time, was bad in the extreme. It consisted n^ 
a series of exhausting grain crops, with scarcely any inter* 
ruption, for several years ; after which, tJle land was abandon* 
cd to weeds and natural grass, under the fallacious idea.of 
rest \ and, when completely worn out, new land was cleared. 



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ijllumgpiuM iw[i>»»<»»«»M« wi i i i i"iir fai»'i i i»»o !■ -^w 






and the same wretched system pursued. A natural meadow^ 
or one artificially watered, supplied more or less of hay ; but 
where these resources were wanting, the purchase of winter' 
fodder was made from the hard earnings and savings in other 
products ; or the poor animals fed on straw, and the scanty 
pickings in the fields. — Since the introduction of red clover^ 
and other artificial grasses j a great and obvious change has 
taken place ; and the most beneficial consequences have fol- 
lowed. The comforts of the farmer are greatly increased^ 
and abundant supplies of summer and winter food for all do- 
mestic animals, are furnished. Thus, by- the manure obtain- 
cd, ample means are afforded, of renewing the original strength 
of the soil. Among other measures tending to produce this 
happy alteration, the general use of gypsum may be men- 
tioned, as one of the most important : for although this sub- 
stance had been introduced many years before the date of 
our institution, yet its use was chiefly confined to the vicinity 
of Philadelphia. The society reflect with patriotic pleasure, 
upon their agency in diffusing more extensively the knowledge 
of its effects upon land ; and in assisting to dispel the preju- 
dices which unfortunately prevailed against it, by the publi- 
cation of the communications of practical men, containing the 
result of their experience with that valuable substance.* 

Premiums were also proposed and conferred, for the eluci- 
dation of subjects upon which information was required, for 
the adoption of approved systems and modes of European 
culture, and practices, and for the improvement of certain ar- 
ticles of domestic manufacture. Among the latter, cheese may 
be mentioned ; for the best sample of which, and greatest quan- 
tity, a gold medal was presented to Mr. Mathewson of Rhode 
hiand^ in the year 1790; the consequence of this distinction 

* The reader is referred to the concise and useful publication of our now 
President, in 1797, upon the subject of gypsum, for a full account of its use 
*-as a manure t and a refutation of the various prcjiidices formerly urged, 
a^airfst it. 


by the society, was a laudable competition among dairy men, 
and an increased demand, owing to the striking improvement, 
in the quality of the article, and a rise in price, so as amply 
to reward, and extend the manufacture, and in a great degree, 
preclude the necessity of importation. At the present day 
no occasion exists, for the importation of cheese from Europe^ 
for general consumption, or as an indispensable supply. Im- 
portations on a less scale, continue to be made, but these are 
in a small proportion to the quantity produced, and manufac- 
tured from our own dairies. 

After several years of active exertions, the society was un- 
fortunately permitted to fall into a long sleep ; but was again re- 
vived, in the winter of 1804, and now holds regular meetings. 
New subjects for premiums have been proposed, as will be 
seen by the present volume, and have been several months in 
circulation : numerous communications have been received ; 
from which those now published, are a selection ; and some 
papers before published are added ; as being thought worthy 
of preservation, in our collection. As it is the wish of the 
society to pursue its labours, with all the zeal due to the im- 
portance of the object, for which it was instituted, the com- 
munications of all practical agi*iculturists, upon whose support 
the usefulness of the Society will in a great measure depend, 
are earnestly solicited. The example being once set, will be 
followed by others ; and thus, a body of information will be 
collected ; which may essentially benefit the country. The 
pursuits of the industrious farmer, being more of a practical 
than a literary nature, he may be induced to think that he is 
not qualified to give a written account of his improvements, 
but let not such be backward. The Society are in want of 
facts, and they care not in what stile of language they are com- 
municated. Criticism is missapplied, andoutof place, on ^ucjli 
occasions. The communications of philosophical and litf rary 
cTiaracters, on any points contributory to the elucidation ^f sub-. 

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jects connected with agriculture,^^ will be highly beneficial and 
,grati lying. 

Two subjects, m particular, are deemed worthy of great at- 
tention. From all concerned in agriculture ; and on these the 
iiociety would gladly receive information : viz. on the diseases 
of our domestic animals^ and, on new manures ; on both these 
subjects, very interesting papers will be found in the pi^esent 
volume. A great object in American husbandry, is the 
improvement oi horned cattle: the society will therefore 
receive, with thanks, all information respecting any domes^ 
^c breeds of neat cattle, sheep, and swine, which have been 
^ound to possess peculiar good qualities : and they strong* 
Jy urge the necessity of preserving, forbreed, all those, even 
of accidental offspring, possessing the desirable and requisite 
qualities, to entitle them to value and preference. Thus a 
breed of neat qattie, producing oxen, remarkable for speed 
of gait and strength, symmetry of form, and gentleness of dis^ 
position i and a tendency to fatten quickly, and to increase of 
flesh and fat, upon those points which recommend them at 
market, are to be attended to. It is well known, that the di- 
versity in these respects is great, and constitutes the ground 
of important improvements, by various spirited farmers in 
Europe. And as in many parts of this countiy, occasional 
instances of very excellent breeds are to be found, the soci- 
ety think they will render service to the community, by 
calling the public attention to the subject. It must be acknow- 
}ed^d that the common American oxen fatten well, that they 


* Many citizens have a mistaken idea, that their not being agriculturists, 
#8qualifies them from becoming useful members of our Society. A con- 
tribution pf pecuniary means, and personal patronage, are the first requi- 
sites, in our plan, for promoting the prosperity of this great City, by diffus- 
ing and encouraging the knowledge and pursuits of agriculture. The in- 
terests of Qommercct Arts and Manufactures, form, with Agriculture, an in- 
dissoluble union j to which citizens of every class and calling, have it amply 
Jr ^Jv^ir power tp C9ntfil>ut«< 

grow to immense sizes ; and that as fine samples of beef^ 
are every day to be met with in the markets of Philadelphia^ 
as in any other part of the world. But as respects cows, we 
are much deficient,* a circumstance which is the more to be 
regretted, as probably in no country, does the article of butter, 
yield greater profit than in the United States. Some attempts 
have indeed been made, to improve our stock, by the impor* 
tation of bulls and cows, particiUarly in Maryland and New 
York ; but the public generally, are not yet informed of the 
success, which has attended the experiment -, and whatever 
may be the result of imported brood animals, the great price 
at which they must necessarily be held, to remunerate the 
concerned, for the heavy expences of importation ; will pre- 
vent the desired benefit from being speedily or generally de- 
rived from them. This circumstance ought to operate as an 
iidditional reason, for a careful selection of the most valua- 
ble animals from our domestic stock, and for the preserva- 
tion of such others as w^ may occasionally meet with. 

With respect to sheep^ the objects to be attended to are in 
part common, with those first noted as to oxeii. Within a 
few years, large sizes were chief objects of attention in En-- 
gland; but repeated experiments have shown, that they are' 
not so profitable, as those of a moderate size. 

The fortunate introduction of the Spanish^ English^ and 
Barbary sheep^ all of which are now spreading through the 
middle States, may be considered as important acquisitions 
to the agricultural interest. With rt^rAtQUti^ Spanish shetp^ 
it is found by years of experience, that the cross with Ame^ 

*In Holt's agricultural survey of the county of J^ancashire, a plate m 
given of a cow, which, as a pattern of excellence and model of perfectiOBL 
was said to have been sent some years since to America. The place n^ 
fortunately, is not mentioned. Three years since, information Jres|^fetin^ 
this cow, was sought for by advertisements in news papers ; and although 
the request was imirersally circulated, no intelligence waa obtaiiied 
pecting her. 

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ric«rt n:^^* produces a healthy, hardy, gentle race, which fat- 
ten more speedily than the pure American blood ; do not 
loose their wool, when shearing has been neglected beyond 
the usual time, and do not become diseased when fat. The 
fine quality of the wool is known to all the world ; and what 
is of great consequence, the weight oi fleece of the cross with 
American ewes, is evidently increased, when compared with 
the imported sheep. The same increase takes place in the 
cross with the English sheep. It may be well to add, that 
the wool of sheep from the Spanish cross, exhibits the most 
evident marks of improvement ; this adds another proof to the 
many which all parts of the world furnish,* that the prejudice 
respecting the peculiar nature of the climate of Sparn^ being 
exclusively calculated to produce fine wool, is erroneous* 

We owe the introduction of the Barbary mountain sheep, 
with broad tails, to our gallant countryman, William Eaton, 
who, when Consul at Tunis, sent them in an armed vessel in 
the service of the United States, commanded by Henry Ged- 
des, to Timothy Pickering then secretary of state, who pre- 
sented a fine ram and ewe to the President of our society, 
from whose disinterested zeal, this valuable breed is now 
spreading tlirough the State of Pennsylvania, and other States 
in its immediate vicinity. The wool of those sheep, owing 

♦ Mr. Lasteyrie in an extensive tour, made with the express purpose 
of ascertaining* the fact of the congeniality of various climates to fine wool, 
fbimd that the climate of Holland, though damp, does not prevent the breed 
of the Spanish sheep from thriving. He saw the fourth generation of these 
animals, bred in the country, which had as fine wool as the Spanish sheep, 
though both the soil and the climate, were in appearance very unfavourable 
to the constitution of those animals. In Denmark and Sweden, and even 
in the most northern parts of those two countries, that breed has existed 
without degenerating for many years. He adds that a few years since, 
the Danish Govcmmept, sent for 300 Spanish sheep, and that only one died 
ifi tlie course of two years, notwithstanding a very severe cold happened the 
year after they arrived'. 

to their health and vigour, does not fall off, like the fleeces 
of those meagre and degenerate runts, which are too frequent 
here ; it is moreover, in general, of a good staple, and next 
the skin, peculiarly soft and furrj% The weight of the sheep 
is above mediocrity, but their chief excellence arises from 
their hardihood, and disposition to fatten speedily ; a qualiqr 
they possess in a remarkable degree, which causes them to 
be highly valued, both by the grazier and butcher. HatteJs, 
who are acquainted with it, prefer it, for their manufacture, 
to any other wool. It spins free, and to any fineness. Flos- 
sy, fine and well dressed cloth, has been made of it. Those 
who have worn fleecy stockings, and gloves, of this wool, 
speak of it with great approbation. Perhaps a cross witli the 
Merino^ would benefit both* 

We possess several valuable breeds of swine ; but none, ex- 
cept the Chinese and African breeds, are distinctly marked. 
Both these breeds are remarkable for fattening speedily, but 
their deficiency of flesh, lessens their value, when preserved 
pure. They both therefore answer best when crossed with our 
native breeds ; as their progeny take on a disposition to diffiisc 
the fat through the flesh, which is also increased ; instead of 
being laid thick on the outside. The Chinese hogs ju-e veiy 
prolific, but have thick skins, and therefore not so profitable 
or delicate for roasters as the African breed, which have re- 
markably thin skins : these latter will M'eigh ten pounds at^ 
age of four weeks, and will then bring one dollar twenty five . 
cents at market. 

If we have not published all the communications with whicli , 
we have been favoured, it is not owing to a want of respect 
for them, or their authors. But our means are yet limited 5 
and our society is only emerging from a state of torpor, into 
which past circumstances had thrown it. We selected subjects 
rather than essays} and risk this recommencement of our 
well meant endeavours, to promote the happiness and pros- 
perity of our country, with no motive. either of personal fame, . 

„ ,1 




W 1 


• •• 



or interest. Should this attempt be favourably received, and 
our exertions adequately supported ; we have strong hopes, 
that the usefulness Oi our association will be extensively ex- 
perienced. We cannot be disappointed in the satisfaction we 
feel in having made an effort, to attain a desirable object, 
however feeble, it may be found, as it respects us in its means, 
or result. It will at least set an example ; and invite men of 
talents and practical experience, to add to our scanty stock of 
knowledge, on the important subject of our institution. Those 
who have enabled us, by their communications, to fulfil our 
wishes, in the objects we en'deavour to attain, merit and re- 
ceive our sincere acknowledgments ; and we are persuaded, 
have entitled themselves to the grateful attention of those, 
whose interests they are calculated to promote. It is equal- 
ly useful to us, to be supplied with information, either new or 
not generally known here ; whether it be obtained by those 
who impart it, from reading, travel, or original thoughts or 
practice. As other countries receive the benefits of our la- 
hours, in the products supplied to them, through the chan- 
nels of an extensive and prosperous commerce, it is fit that 
we should profit by their experience in the arts of cul- 
tivation ; by which those products will be brought forth 
more advantageously to us, and beneficially to them, both 
in quality and abundance. Those who introduce among 
us, the improvements of foreign countries in agriculture, 
and the arts and sciences with which it is intimately con' 
nected, effect a reciprocity of accommodation. It de- 
pends on the good sense and practical attention of our far- 
mers, to adapt them to our climates, soils, habits, and actual 
circumstances. All foreign practice or improvement, will not 
suit our situation. We cannot furnish labour, or afford ex- 
pence, beyond a certain point ; but the principles will apply 
in rfl countries, and when they are developed, in a plain and 
intelligible manner^ they may, in a greater or less degree, be 
practiced upon, and fitted to the actual state of things here, 

^ Ptefate. 


; so as to produce incalculable and permanent advanta- 
ges. Although much benefit has been, and will continue 
to be derived from European models*, and examples in hus- 
bandry ; it is with pleasure we observe, that from our own 
resources, we grow more and more independent of foreign 
aid. The knowledge of both principles and practice in agri' 
culture^ is daily increasing; and the general mass of agri- 
cultural improvements is evidently advancing thi*oughout our 
Country. Nothing will more conduce to the attainment of 
the great object of those, who desire to promote this most- 
essential of all arts, than associations to receive and commu- 
nicate information, on this important subject. Let these be 
devoted entirely to agricultural enquiries and pursuits ; and 
avoid all topics which are productive of dissension, and calcu- 
lated to withdraw their attention Irom the objects of common 
concern. A small collection of Books and Models^ are attain- 
able at little expence, with some judicious attention in the 
choice of them. These will be sources of information and 
useful amusement, as well as cements of union, and means 
of gaining and diffusing knowledge, auxiliary to practice* 
A community of interests, may be thus established ; mutual- 
ly supporting and supported, informing and informed ; and 
nothing contributory to the benefit of the whole, will be omit- 
ted or lost. Public aid has been so often sought in vain, that 
private exertions must be redoubled. To this endfa zeal for 
agricultural knowledge, and practical improvements, must 
be rendered fashionable, that it may become general and cha- 
racteristic. Those w ho seek for personal distinction in our 
government, and those who from disinterested and virtuous 
inclinations, perform duties the most honourable to theJ^- 
selves, and beneficial to society; will find the most solid 
popularity and durable fame^ in measures promotive of the 
interests (always inseparable from those of commerce and 
the arts) of agriculturists ; who compose the great body of 
the people. This will shew itself in public impjDvement ; 



in which the efforts of individuals will be aided and cherish- 
ed by legislative patronage, and pecuniary support. Our 
state will then hold its proper rank among our neighbours ; 
and our natural and local advantages, reniain no longer in- 
active. Roads and inland navigation, will be primary ob- 
jects of legislative attention. The arts of husbandry will be 
assisted, supported, and rewarded : public men will be po- 
pular and eminent, in proportion to the sei-vices they render 
to the leading interests of their country. These, most as- 
suredly, are those of agriculture, and the arts and sciences, 
all of which are intimately, and indissolubly connected. Our 
eyes will then be opened, to the sources of wealtji and pros- 
perity, which are properly our own ; easily attainable, ample, 
and inexhaustible : and it wUl no longer be left to the dis- 
cernment of the intelligent in rival states, to perceive, and 
take advantage of our culpable blindness, negligence, and 

>:>'> ■■ 





Laws of the Philadelphia Society for promoting 
agriculture^ - - - - - - ^^ 

A List of the members^ . - - - xvii 

Outlines of a plan for establishing a state society of 

agriculture J in Pennsylvaniay - - - xxi 
Premiums proposed by the Philadelphia Society for 

promoting agriculture \ in the year 1791, - xxxi 
Premiums^ in 1806, - - • xxxvi 

Library^ - - , . . xlvu 

An introductory lectui^f to a course upon the insti- 
tutes and practice of medicirie; delivered in the 
University of Pennsylvania^ on the 2d of Novem- 
ber 1807 /upon the duty and advantages ofstu- 
dying the diseases of domestic animals^ and the 
remedies proper to remove them^ by Benjamin 
Jlush, M. D. - ^- - - - xB3£ 


I. On Sheep^ by John D. Steele^ near Dauming 
Towuy Chester county^ Pennsylvania^ . . 1 

II. On Hoven Cattle^ by Richard Peters^ - - 5 

III. On Rotting Flax^ by Joseph Cooper^ of New 
Jersey^ - - - - - - S^ 

IV. On Peach Trees ^ by the samCy - - H 

V. On Peach Trees y by Richard Peters, ^ 15 





VI. On Cutting off the horns of bull calves, by 
Paul Cooper of Woodbury, New Jersey, - 

VII. On Departure of the southern pine timber: a 
. proof of the tendency in nature to a change of 
^ products on the same soil, by Richard Peters, 

a change and succession of crops recommended, as 
well as of deteriorated animals, - - 
VIII Supplement thereto ; by James Mease, M. D. 

IX. On Smut in wheat: by miliani.Joung, of 
Brandywine, Delaware, - - ,_^ - 

X. On ditto, by James Mease, M. D. 

X. Remarks on the smut and mildew of wheat; 
with hints on the most probable means of preven- 
tion, by A. Fothergill, M. D. F. R. S. bV. &fc. 
Fiat experimentum. — Bacon. - - - 

XI. Substitute for trench ploughing, and new mode 
of putting in winter grain, and on live fences, 
by Caleb Kirk, near York, Pennsyhama - 

XII. New mineral manure for clover, hy Josiah 
Reeve ofRancocas creek. New Jersey. Commu- 
nicated by Dr. Mease, - - - - 

XIII. Expences and profits of a dairy, by Algernon 
Roberts ofMerion, Montgomery county, PennsyL 
vania, - - - 

XIV. Account of the produce of wheat and rye, dur- 
ing 16 years; in Lower Merion township, Phila- 
delphia county, and times of harvesting i<?c^ by the 

same, - - - 

XV. On live fences, by John Taylor, of Port Royal, 
Caroline county, Virginia, - - - - 














XVI. Account of a new pummice press, with some 
remarks upon cyder making, by Timothy Matlack, 
of Lancaster, • - - -^ 

XVII. On the injurious effects of clover to orchards, 
by Richard Peters ; and letter from W. Coxe qf 
Burlington on that subject, - • * 119 

XVIII. New disease in wheat, - - - 124 

XIX. Improved hay ladders, by Moses Coates, near 
Downing toxvn, Chester county^ Pennsylvania, 131 

XX. On sheep, and their diseases, by Joseph Capner 

of Flemington, New Jersey, . - ^ 133 

XXI. On Jerusalem wheat, by Th. John Keemle, 135 

XXII. On the yellow xvater of horses, by Richard 
Peters, with a Supplement by Dr. Mease, 139 

XXIII. On gypsum, by the same, - - 156 

XXIV. Account of the dimensions of American 
trees, by John Pearson, of Darby, 176 

XXV. On peach trees, by Richard Peters; with a 
letter from Dr. James Tilton of Bellevue, near 

^ Wilmington, Delaware, - - • - 183 

XXVI. Improvement of land, by fVilliam Ashford 

of Chester county, Pennsylvania, - - 193 

XXVII. On the thickness^ cement, and materials qf 
walls of farm and other buildings, by Richard 
Peters, - .... - 197 

XXVIII. On orchards, by Richard Peters: Com- 
municating an account of operations and opinions 
on that subject, by William Coxe, Esq. of Bur^ 
ling ton. New Jersey, - - - - 211 

XXIX. On coarse four, brown bread, and the force 
of habit, as it relates to esculents, by Richard 
Peters, ..... 227 


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XXX. Herbage and shrubs spontaneously J^oduced, 
after forest timber burnt, by firing the woods, by 

the same, 

XXXI. On trench ploughing, by the same, - 240 

XXXII. Hemlock, for live fences, by the same, 249 

XXXIII. Utility of the Italian mulberry tree, and 
on making wine, by Joseph Cooper, 

XXXIV. On a three furrmv plough, by miliam 
Bakewell, of Montgomery County, 

XXXV. On spelt z, by James Mease, M. D. 

XXXVI. On draining, by Samuel Dickey. Com- 
municated to John Miller, and by him to the So- 
ciety, - - " ■ 

XXXVII. Observations on making and fining cyder, 
and on peach trees, by Timothy Matlack, Esq. 268 

XXXVIII. Postscript to Mr. Taylor's memoir on 

live fences, • - . - - 280 

XXXIX. Remarks on the plan of a stercorary, de- 
scribed in the note, page 153, by Richard Peters, 281 

XL. Account of native thorns, by Thomas Main, 286 

XLI. Growth of thorns, from cuttings of the roots, 
by James Mease, M. D. - - - - 288 

XLII. Description of a kitchen stave, by Samuel 
Dickey. Communicated to John Miller for the 
Society, ... - - •SOI 

XLIII. Changes of timber and plants. Races of 
animals extinct, by Richard Peters. Communi- 
cating letters on the subject : from Mr. Rembrandt 
Peale, Charles Caldwell, M. D. and Thomas F. 
Learning, Esq. - - - - 296 

XLIV. Gypsum; whether it is found in the United i/ 

States, by the same, 310 



XLV. Observatiamon the pea fiy or beetle and fruit 
curculio, by fTilliam Bar tram, - - 317 

XLVI. On clearing land, by John Taylor, Esq. of 
Caroline, Virginia, - - - - - 324 

A statistical account of the Schuylkill Per marient Bridge. 
Communicated to the Philadelphia Society ofAgricut- 

; ture, 1806. 



I. On smut ifi wheat, - - - - 

n. On blight, - - - 

III. On the fax husbandry of Ireland, 

IV. Change of seed not necessary to prevent degene- 
racy; naturalization of plants, and important cau- 
tion to secure permanent good quality of plants, 

V. Produce of grains in 1787 and 1788, 

VI. Produce of land, in 1787, - - . 

VII. On hedges, by Thomas Main, of Georgetown, 
Potomac, - - ... 

VIII. Mode of plashiJig hedges, - - - 

IX. Analysis of soils, and modes of discovering their 
component parts, - - - 

X. Utility of Pyrites as a manure, - 

XI. On the Fruit Curculio, - - - 














I. JVew Pummice PresSj - - - 
Instruments in the process as substitute for trench 


II. A Ripper, - - 

III. A Coulter and Shovel. Plough, 

IV. Improved Hay Ladders, - - • 

V. Plan and Elevation of a Stercorary, 
VL Plashed Hedge. Selections. 


I. A Kitchen Stove. - - - - 

II. Architectural plan and elevation of the Schuyl- 
kill Permanent Bridge. 














THE society shall be stiled, THE PHILADELPHIA 


The society's attention shall be confined to agriculture and 

rural affairs, 


The society shall have a president, a vice-president, a 
treasurer, and a secretary ; and an assistant-secretary, when 
the increase of business shall require it ; all of whom shall 
be annually elected, by the tickets of a majority of the 
members present, at the stated meeting of the society in 
January ; the persons, so elected, to continue in office one 
year, and until others shall be chosen in their stead. And 
in case of any vacancy, by death, resignation, or otherwise, 
the same may be supplied by a new election, to be made at 
any stated meeting ot the society ; the person thus newly 
elected, to serve the remainder of the year* 













A quorum for business shall consist of at least five mem- 
bers, including the president or vice-president. 


At all meetings of the society the president shall exercise 
the usual duties of that office ; all motions shall be address- 
ed to him ; and on all questions he shall collect and declare 
the votes. He shall also have power to call special meetings 
of the society, by notice published in at least two of the city 
newspapers. In his absence the same duties shall be per- 
formed by the vice-president. And if it happen, at any 
meeting of the society, that both the president and vice-pre- 
sident be absent, the members present (being a quorum to 
constitute a regular meeting for the business to be transacted) 
may choose a vice-president for that meeting* 


The treasurer shall keep the accounts, methodically stated, 
in the books of the society ; and, when called upon, pro- 
duce them for inspection. At the last meeting of every 
year, and also whenever his office ends, he shall produce a 
fair and regularly stated account of all receipts, payments 
and expenditures ; and deliver it, together with those books, 
and all other property of the society, in his hands, to his 
successor in office, or to the orders of the society. 


The secretary and his assistant shall have in charge all the 
books and papers of the society, and keep the same in ex- 
act order. They shall also register all letters which shall be 
written by the committee of correspondence, or by them- 
selves, by order of the committee. 

, VIII. 

At the annual meeting of the society in January, shall be 
chosen a committee of correspondence, to consist of five 
members, any three of whom to be a quorum, for the pur- 

pose of corresponding with any other society, or persons, 
touching the objects which this society ha^ in view. The 
same members shall also be a committee of accounts, to re- 
ceive and adjust all claims against the society, fbr its contin- 
gent expences ; and the president shall give orders on the 
treasurer for the payment of them. 


The stated meetings of the society shall be on the second 
Tuesday of every month. 


The members of the society shall be distinguished into 
resident and honorary members. The twenty-three persons 
named when the society was first proposed to be instituted, 
and whose names are entered in the minutes of the eleventh 
of February, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five, 
are resident members, according to the eighth article of thj 
first laws of the society, enacted on the fifteenth of March, 
one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five. All resident 
members, afterwards added to the society, were, and shall 
continue to be, of persons residing within a convenient dis- 
tance to attend the meetings of the society at Philadelphia ; 
and these are defined to be such only as, at the time of elec^ 
tion, reside within ten miles of the said citv, on either side 
of the Delaware. All members of agriculiural societies in 
other states and countries, with whom we shall correspond, 
and all persons of this state, and of other states and coun- 
tries, who shall be elected by us for the purpose, shall be ho^ 
norary members ; and are hereby invited to assist at our 
meetmgs, whenever they come to Philadelphia, Strangers 
who desire to be present, as auditors, maybe introduced by 
a resident member. 


New members, whether resident or honorary, shall be elect- 
ed by ballot. And the secretary shall issue notice to each 

•llW' . Ill pi,n,|ji3(Pfii^j|^^nn»- 





pe-son. of his being elected, to the foUowing purport-Gn 

th day "f ^"^ ^' ^'°-' 

Jos elected a member[orhonor^ry member] of the PhUadel. 

,Ma society for pro.otin, A,ri^e; ^ ^^^^ 
ing his assistance^ 

All elections and appointments shall be between eight and 
' nine o'clock in the evening, at one of the stated meetmgs of 
the society. And no person shall be elected a member 
whether resident or honorary, unless, at a precedmg stated 
meeting, he shall have been openly proposed, and such no- 
mination duly entered on the minutes of the society. The 
nomination and election to be in the absence of the candi- 



The society shall annually propose prizfes upon interest- 
ing subjects, relative to actual experiments and improve- 
ments, and for the best pieces written on proposed subjects. 
And in order more effectually to disseminate the knowledge 
of useful discoveries and improvements in husbandry, the so- 
ciety will, from time to time, publish collections of memoirs 
and observations, selected from such communications as 
shall be made to them. To promote these views, the friends 
of agriculture are invited to assist the society with mforma- 
tion of experiments and incidents in husbandry. 

All claims of prizes shall be sent in writing ; and when 
read, the society shall determine which of the claims, rela- 
tive to each prize, shall be selected for their definitive judg- 
ment, on a future comparison. This judgment is to be 
given at the stated meeting on the second Tuesday in Febru- 
ary. If it happen, in any case, that there be no competition 
for a prize, but only a single claim, the society will con- 
aider such claim ; and if the claim or claims be supported 


answerably to the views and just expectations of the society, 
the prize proposed shall be decreed. Premiums and prizes 
are equally due to persons residing in any of the United 
States, according to the merit of their respective exhibi- 


For the purpose of defraying the necessary expences of 
the society, for premiums and prizes, books on agriculture, 
improved instruments of husbandry, and other important 
objects and contingencies, every member sh,all annually pay 
to the treasurer a contribution of two dollars. This con- 
tribution, shall be considered as due and payable at or be- 
fore the last day of December in every year. And at the 
first meeting in January of every year, the treasurer shall 
lay before the society a list of the members, specifying who 
have, and who have not paid their contributions ; and any 
member, whose contribution shall be found to be more than 
one year in arrears, after the same shall have become due 
and payable, as aforesaid, provided payment thereof has 
been personally demanded of him by the treasurer, or col- 
lector, authorised by him for the purpose, such member 
shall be considered as withdrawing from the society, and be 
no longer deemed a member of it ; and the same shall be 
entered on the minutes. 


New rules, or alterations to be made in old rules, shall be 
proposed, and the proposal entered on the minutes, at a pre- 
ceding stated meeting ; and may then be made by not less 
than two thirds of the members present. 


When any part of the society's funds is to be disposed 
of, (excepting for ordinary contingent expences) the same 
shall be done at a stated or special meeting, after ha\nng 
been proposed at a previous stated meeting. 

. I 

I) : * 

I' * 




Still further to advance the objects of this institution, the 
society will promote the establishment of other similar so- 
cieties in the United States. 


On the first meeting of the society in Januaiy, in every 
year, there shall be a revision of the then subsisting rules ; 
and the same shall stand confirmed, so far as two thirds of 
the members present, mcluding the president or vice-presi- 
dent, do not revoke or alter them. 

A L I S T 






Kote— Those members whose places of residence arc not 
specified, are of Pennsylvania ; and those marked * ire 
Ihonorary members^ 



Vice-President— GEORGE CLYMER. 


Secretary— JAMES MEASE, M. D. 

George Cljrmcr. 

Peter Aston. 

Edward Burd. 

*Elia8 Boudinot, N. Jersey* 

Charles Biddle. 

Henry Drinker. 

John Dunlap. 

Levi Hollingsworth. 

Samuel Hodgdotu 
Adam Kuhn, m* d* 
Wm. Lewis* 
John F. Mifflin. 
John Nixon. 
Rev. Joseph Pilmore. 
William Rush, grazier. 
*Wm. Embleton, Marykaid. 





Still further to advance the objects of this institution, the 
society will promote the establishment of other similar so- 
cieties in the United States. 


On the first meeting of the society in Januaiy, in every 
year, there shall be a revision of the then subsisting rules ; 
and the same shall stand confirmed, so far as two thirds of 
the members present, including the president or vice-presi- 
dent, do not revoke or alter them. 

A L I S T 







^Jote-^Those members whose places of residence arc not 
specified, are of Pennsylvania ; and those marked ♦ are 
honorary members* 



Vice-President—GEORGE CLYMER* 


Secretary— JAMES MEASE, M. D. 

George Clymcr. 

Peter Aston. 

Edward Burd. 

*Elias Boudinot, N. Jersey* 

Charles Biddle. 

Henry Drinker. 

John Dunlap. 

Levi Hollingsworth. 

Samuel HodgdofU 
Adam Kuhn, m* d. 
Wm. Lewis. 
John F. Mifflin. 
John Nixon. 
Rev. Joseph Pilmore. 
William Rusli, grazier. 
*Wni. Embleton, Maiykmd* 




• • • 


List of MembefSi 

List 6f Members* 



John Vaughan. 
Hugh Brackenridge^ 
^Lambert Cadwalader* 
Joseph Cooper, N. Jersey^ 
Tench Coxe. 
*John Curwen. 
^Charles Thompson, 
^James Tilton, m .d. 

'••'Dr. Aaron Dexter, Mass. 
Miers Fisher. 
*Wm. Fitzhugh, Virginia. 
Wm. Hamilton, Woodlands. 
John Lardner. 
Jacob Barge, 
Richard Bache. 
=^Thomas Bee, S. Carolina. 
David H. Conyngham. 
^George Clinton, N. York. 
=^Daniel Carroll, Maryland. 
='^Edward Carrington, Virg. 
^Count Castiglioni, Milan, 

Rev. Dr. White. 

Caspar Wistar, m. d. 

♦Henry Wynkoop. 

* Jonathan Williams. 

Samuel Wheeler. 

*Noah Webster, Connecticut. 

♦Arthur Young, England. 

♦Philemon Dickenson, N. J* 

John Dickenson, Delaware. 

Mr. Howaj-d, Maryland.. 

Francis Johnston. 

♦John Jay, New- York., y 

George Logan, m. D. 

♦Geo. Morgan. 

Gen. W. MTherson. 

Timothy Pickering,. 

David Sellers. 

Nathan Sellers. 

George Fox.. 

Thomas Fitzimous.. 

Dr. Benjamin Say. 

3Iembers elected since Aprils 1805. 

J. M'Intirc, Delaware. 
♦George B. Lownes. 
♦ General Wilkinsr 
♦Gen. Geo. Wallace. 
♦Col. Cultbertson. 

Forks of Ohio. 
♦Philip Price. 
Thomas Butler. 
Thomas Cumpston. 
John Dorsey. 
Francis Gurney, 

♦Wm. West. 

♦Peter M'Call. 

♦Wm. Young. 

♦James Johnston. Ohio. 

♦Dr. J. M'DoweU. ditto. 

♦Derick Peterson. 

♦Henry Clymer. 

Thomas Lieper. 

John Leamy. 

John Miller, M. C. 

Israel W. Morris. 


George Honey. 

Thomas C. James, m. d. 

Arch. M'Call. 

James Mease, m. d. 

Robert Poalk. 

♦Dr. Robert Rose. 

David Sickle. 

Edward Tilghman. 

Charles Breck. 

Thomas W. Francb. 

Wm. Guier. 

Dr. George Gallespie. 

♦Caleb Lownes. 

^Luke W. Morris. 

Wm. Poyntell. 

Lawrence Sickle. '^^ 

William Tilghman. 

Robert Wain. 

Zaccheus Collins. 

Stephen Girard. 

Godfrey Haga. 

Anthony Fothergill, m. d. 

♦Moses Marshall. 

♦David Humphreys, Con. 

♦Thomas Porter. 

Jacob Shoemaker. 

Joshua Humphries, junr. 

Wm. Montgomery. 

John Thompson. 

W. Coxe, Burlington, N. J. 

Jeremiah Parker. 

♦Col. Lewis Morris, S. Caro. 

♦John Kaihn, N. Jersey. 

♦Wm. Fitzhugh, Maryland. 

♦Daniel Cowgill, Delaware. 

Wm. Rawle. 

♦John Shallcross, Delaware. 

George Sheaf. 

Richard Wistar. 

Frederick Heisz. 

♦Job Roberts* ^ 

John Clifford. 

Paul Beck. 

Joseph Cloud. 

Thomas Harper. 

Joseph Kirkbride. '> 

Zachariah Poulson. 

Richard Peters, junr. 

Edward Pennington. 

Jacob Sperry. 

James Caldwell. 

Anthony Morris. 

Martin Dubs. 

Gavin Hamilton. 

♦Ebenezer Zane, Virginia. 

♦Bazaliol Wells. " 

♦Wm. Bakewell. 

♦Geo. Izard. 

♦G. W. P. Custis, Virginia. 

Paul Busti. 

♦Samuel Dickey. 

♦John Gamett. 

N. Brunswick, N. Jersey. 
J. A. Eckfeldt. 
♦James Kelton. 
♦Albanus Logan. 
Samuel Gibson. 
♦Nathaniel Comegys, Md. 
♦Thomas Main. 

George-Town, PotowrAac. 


JList of Members* 

Samuel Meekcn 
♦John Taylor. 

Port-Royal, Virginia. 
♦Joseph Priestley. 
♦Winthrop Sargeant, Natches 
♦Wm. Dunbar. ditto. 

John Lang. * ^ 

♦Samuel Bayard. 

Princeton, New-Jersey. 

♦Joseph Capner. 

, FJemington, N. Jersey, 
♦Caleb Kirk, Delaware. 
♦Detmar Bassa MuUer. 
♦Paul Cooper,. N. Jersey. 
♦Thomas Newbold, ditto. 







At a Special meeting of the Philadelphia society for promot- 
ing agriculture^ on the 2Ut of January, 1794. 

AGREED, That Mr. Bordley, Mr. G. Clymer, Mr. 
Peters and Mr. Pickering, be a committee to prepare out- 
lines of a plan for establishing a state society for the promo- 
tion of agriculture ; connecting with it the education df 
youth in the knowledge of that most important art, while 
they are acquiring other useful knowledge suitable for the 
agricultural citizens of the state. 

And a petition to the legislature, with a view to obtain 
an act of incorporation. 

At a special meeting of the society, January 28, 1794. 

TTie committee appointed at the last meeting to prepare 
outlines of a plan for establishing a state society for the pro-' 
motion of agriculture, and a petition to the legislature for 
an act of incorporation, made report. The report was adopt- 
ed. The same comhiittee are now requested to sign the pe- 
tition, present it to the legislature, and ittend the commit- 
tee thereof which may be appointed to confer with them on 
the subject. 


— '■^ . ^"*^fc.- 



To the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

The Philadelphia society for promoting agriculture, beg, 
leave to represent ; . 

THAT finding the important object of their association, 
not to be sufficiently attained on the limited plan, and by the 
means hitherto pursued, they are desirous of promoting an 
establishment on a broad and permanent basis, which ma/ 
afford more certain prospects of advancing the interests of 
agriculture; THe)^ also'1:onceive that the acquiring a know- 
ledge of it may be combined with the education which is 
practicable and most useful for the great body of citizens. ^ 

To shew what in their opinion may, in process of time 
be accomplished, they take the liberty of presenting to the 
view of the legislature, the annexed outlines of a plan for 
establishing a State Society of Agriculture in Pennsylvania^, 
which shall embrace the aforementioned objects. 

They pray that a committee of the legislature may be ap- 
pointed to confer with a committee of the society on the 
subject ; and, as the necessary means of conducting the ex- 
ecution of the plan, that an act of incorporation may be grant- 
ed to the persons whose names shall be presented for that 


By order and in behalf of the society. 


George Clymer, 
Timothy Pickering,, 
Richard Peters. 

■IIL— > ■ 



1. THE legislature to be applied to for an act of incorr- 
poration of the society, which is to consist of citizens of the 
state, as generally dispersed throughout the same as possi- 
ble. In the first instance, the society to be composed of such 
persons as may be named, and these to be vested with au- 
thority to make rules for admission of other members, and 
by-laws for the government of the society, as usual in simi- 
lar cases. Honorary members to be admitted according to 
rules to be established, and these may be of any state or 

2. The organization of the society shall be so formed, that 
the business thereof may be done by a few, who will be re- 
sponsible to the body of the society, in such manner as their 
by-laws shall direct. 

3. The governor of the state, the speakers of the houses 
of the legislature, and the chief justice for the time being, t^ 
be the visitors of the corporation. The transactions of the 
active members, i. e. those entrusted with the monies and af- 
fairs of the society, by whatever name or description they 
may be designated, and all by-laws and regulations, to be 
submitted to the visitors ; to the end that the same inay be 
so conducted and established as not to prejudice the interests 
of the corporation, or inter! ere with or oppose the consti- 
tution or laws of the state. The visitors will also judge of 
the objects of the society, and perceive whether or not they 
are calculated to promote the ends of its institution. Re- 
forts may by them be made annually to the legislature.— 
These will be useful, as they will exhibit in a comprehen- 
sive view, the state of agriculture throughout the common- 
wealth, and give an opportunity to the legislature of being 
uiformcd on a subject so important to the prosperity of th^ 



Outlines of a Plan for establishing' 

country, both as it relates to political (economy and the indi-* 
vidual happiness of the people. The legislature will per- 
ceive, from their reports, when and in what manner they 
may lend their assistance to forward this primary object : 
Whether by endowing professorships, to be annexed to the 
university of Pennsylvania and the college of Carlisle, and 
other seminaries of learning, for the purpose of teaching the 
chemical, philosophical and elementary parts of the theory 
of agriculture : or by adding to the funds oi the society, in- 
crease their ability to propagate a knowledge of the subject^ 
and stimulate, by premiums and other incentives, the exer- 
tions of the agricultural citizens ; or whether by a combi-* 
nation of these means, the welfare oi the state may be more 
effectually promoted. 

4- Though it will be most convenient to make the reposi- 
tory of the information of the society, and the office or place 
of transacting its business at Philadelphia j yet it is intend- 
ed that the society shall be rendered active in eveiy part of 
the state. To effect this, there should be countv societies 
established, organized as each shall think proper. In union 
with, or as parts thereof, there may be agricultural meet- 
ings or establishments, at the will of those who compose 
them, in one or more townships of a county. These may 
correspond with the county societies, and the latter may an-^ 
nually inform the society of the state (of which the less so- 
cieties may be considered as branches) of all the material 
transactions of their respective societies. Societies already 
formed may remain as they are. They may, at their option, 
correspond directly with the state society, or through the so- 
ciety of the county in which they meet, as shall be found 
most convenient and agreeable to them. They will thus 
collect all the information and business relating to the sub- 
ject, and will give an opportunity to the society of the state, 
to see where their assistance is most necessary, and afford a 
facility of diffusing agricultural knowledge. The premiums, 

a State Society of Agriculture. 


books and other articles, at the disposal of the society, may 
pass through the hands of the county or other societies, for 
many pui-poses ; and they can judge on the spot, of the pre^ 
tensions of the claimants. The county schoolmasters may 
be secretaries of the county societies ; and the school houses 
the places of meeting and the repositories of their transac- 
tions, models, &c. The legislature may enjoin on these 
schoolmasters, the combination of the subject of agriculture 
with the other parts of education. This may be easily ef- 
fected, by intrcfducing, as school books, those on this sub- 
ject ; and thereby making it familiar to their pupils. These 
will be gaining a knowledge of the business they are desti- 
ned to follow, while they are taught the elementary parts of 
their education. Books thus profitable to them in the com- 
mon affairs of life, may be substituted for some of those now 
used ; and they can easily be obtained. Selections from the 
best writers on husbandry may be made by the society. The 
essays of our own experimentalists jr theorists, and the pro- 
ceedings of the society, will also afford information ; and as 
many of these will, no doubt, be good models of composi- 
tion, they may form a part of the selection for the use of the 
county schools. And thus the youth in our country will ef- 
fectually, and at a cheap rate, be grounded in the knowledge 
of this important subject. They will be easily inspired with 
a thirst for enquiry and experiment, and either never acquire, 
or soon banish attachments to bad systems, originating in the 
ignorance and bigotryof their forefathers, which in all coun- 
tries have been the bane of good husbandry. It will also be 
the business of the society to recommend the collection of 
useful books on agriculture and rural affairs in every county. 
The citizens of the country should be drawn into a spirit of 
enquiry by the establishment of small, but well chosen libra- 
ries, on various subjects. This would not only promote the 
interests of agriculture, but it would diffuse knowledge among 



Outlines of a Plan^ for establishing 

a State Society of Agriculture. 



IK ) 

uie people and assist good government, which is never in 
danger while a free people are well informed. 

5. The general meetings of this society, consisting of such 
members as may choose to attend, and particularly those charg- 
ed with communications or information from the county and 
other societies, should be held at Philadelphia, at a time, in 
the winter sessions of the legislature, when citizens who may 
be members thereof, or have other business, can with most 
convenience attend. At these meetings, the general busi- 
ness of the society can be arranged, its funds and transac- 
tions examined, and its laws and rules reported, discussed 
and rendered generally serviceable and agreeable to the 

6. It will be necessary that a contribution be made by each- 
member, annually, for a fund. But this should be small^ 
that it may not be too heavy a tax. The funds will, no 
doubt, be increased by donations from individuals ; and if 
the state should find the institution as useful as it is con- 
templated to be, the patriotism of the members of the go- 
vernment will be exercised, by affording assistance out of 
the monies of the statte. They will perceive that it is vain 
to give facility to transportation, unless the products of the 
country are increased by good husbandry : And though these 
facilities are important to the objects of this society, yet an 
increased knowledge of agriculture is the foundation of their 
extensive utility. The subjects of both are intimately con- 
nected, and mutually depend on each other. 

r. When the funds of the society increase sufficiently to 
embrace the object, it will perfect all its efforts by establish- 
ing Pattern Farms^ in different and convenient parts of the 
state. Let the beginning of this plan be with one establish- 
ment, under the direction of the society, and committed to 
the care of a complete farmer and gardener. In this, all fo- 
reign and domestic trees, shrubs, plants, seeds or grains may 
be cultivated, and if approved as useful, disseminated, with 
directions for their culture, through the state. The most ap< 

proved implements may be used on this farm, and either im- 
proved by additions, or simplefied to advantage. Inventions 
jnay be brought to trial, and the best selected. Models there- 
of may be made and transmitted to the county and other so- 
cieties. Those who are sent to, or occasionally visit the farm, 
will gain more knowledge, in all its operations, from a short 
inspection, than can be acquired, in a. long time, by reading 
on the use and construction of instruments, or the modes of 
cultivation. The cheapest, best and most comniodious style 
of rural architecture — ^the most proper and permanent live- 
fences — improvements in the breed of horses, cattle and 
sheep — ^remedies for occasional and unforeseen visitations of 
vermin — ^the times and seasons for sowing particular crops — 
the adapting foreign products to our climate — and prevent 
tives against all the evils attendant on our local situation, or 
arising from accidental causes — may here be practically in- 
troduced. The thoughts and suggestions of ingenious men 
may here be put in practice ; and being brought to the test 
of experiment, their utility may be proved, or their fallacy 
detected. This farm need not be large. On it the best 
systems now known may be carried through, and farther 
experiments made : promising youths may be sent from dif- 
ferent parts of the state, to learn practically the arts of hus- 
bandry. Manures and the best mode of collecting them, 
may be tried ; native manures should be sought after, and 
premiums given for their discovery. Their efficacy may be 
proved by small experiments on this .arm, which should, In 
epitome, embrace the whole circle of practice husbandry. 
Similar farms may be added, as the funds increase ; and 
thus practical agricultural schools be instituted throughout 
the state. 

8. When the pecuniary affairs of the society become ade- 
quate, it will highly contribute to the interest of agriculture, 
if, at the expence of the society, some ingenious person or 
persons were sent to Europe, for the purposes of agricultural 
enquiries. It would be well too, if a few young persons, 


Outlines of a Plan^ for establishing 



of promising abilities, were sent thither, to be instructed in 
the aits of husbandry, the breeding of cattle, &c. and to 
gain a practical ^knowledge on all subjects connected with 
this interesting, delightful and important business, on which 
the existence, wealth and permanent prosperity of our coun- 
try so materially depend. 

9. Although it would seem that a great portion of this 
plan has reference to th^ older settlements of the state, yet 
in fact, many of its most useful arrangetnents will apply to 
new settlements, in an eminent degree. These settlements 
are, for the most part, first established by people little ac- 
quainted with a good style of husbandry. The earth, in its 
prime, throws up abundant vegetation, and for a short period 
rewards the most careless husbandman. Fertility is ante- 
cedent to his efforts ; and he has if not to re-create by ar- 
tificial means. But he is ignorant of the most beneficial 
modes whereby he can tajce advantage of this youthful vi- 
gour, with which his soil is blessed. He wastes its strength, 
and suffers its riches to flee away. A bad style of cropping, 
increases the tendency of fresh lands to throw up weeds, and 
other noxious herbage ; and that luxuriance, which with care 
and system might be perpetuated, is indulged in its own de- 
struction. It is discovered, when it is too late, that what 
was the, foundation oi the support and wealth of the impro- 
vident possessor, has been, by his ignorance and neglect, like 
the patrimony of a spendthrift, permitted, and even stimu- 
lated, rapidly to pass from him in wild extravagance. 

The products of nature, in our new countries, seldom 
have been turned to account. The timber is deemed an in- 
cumbrance, and at present is perhaps too much so. The la- 
bour and expence Oi preparing lor tillage are enormous ; and, 
when the sole object is that oi cultivation, very discourag- 
ing,'**' European books give us no lessons in these operations. 

' I I ■ I I i^— — n il t 

•At the present time (1808) the expence of clearing land is much les- 
senedj owing to the great influx of population in otir new countries ; fbr 
6ve dpUars {^er acre, land xnay be completely cleared of timber. 

a State Society of Agriculture* 


But when the experience of our people is aided and brought 
to a point, by an union of facts and the ingenuity of intelli- 
gent men, now too much dispersed to be drawn into system, 
it is to be expected, with the surest prospects of success, 
that our difficulties on this head will be abated, if not over- 
come. The manufacture of potash, and the products of the 
sugar-maple, may be objects of the attention of the society. 
More profitable modes of applying labour will hereby be pro- 
moted, and returns for expence^ in the preparation for cul- 
ture, be obtained. Facilities for clearing lands may be dis- 
covered. Minerals, earths and fossils now either unknown or 
neglected, may be brought into use, or become objects of 
commerce. In fine, no adequate calculation can be formed 
of the effects which may be produced by a consolidation of 
the efforts, and even speculations, of our citizens, whose in- 
terests will stimulate them to exertion. Channels of com- 
munication will be established, and the whole will receive 
the benefits arising from a collection of the thoughts and la^ 
bours of individuals, whose minds will be turned to a sub- 
ject so engaging and profitable, as well to themselves as to 
their country^ 

It is much to be regretted, that the excellent plan pro- 
posed in the foregoing outline, was not acted upon and car 
ried into effect by the legislature to which it was presented- 
At some future period, it is to be hoped, that the impor- 
tance of the measure will be duly estimated, and properly 
encouraged by our state government. Those who consider 
the effect of witnessing good practices, must be convinced, 
that no measure within the reach of man, would tend so 
completely to improve the agriculture of the state as a pat" 
tem farm. A similar establishment, though upon the plan 
of subscription was proposed by Sir John Sinclair, in Lon^ 
don, in the year 1800, but was not carried into effect. A 
national farm was established by the French government ia 




Outlines of a Plan for establishing^ £sPc» 


1/83, at Charenton near Paris, and afterwards removed 
to Rambouillet, and placed under the care of the cele-. 
brated Daubenton, and is continued to this day ; a full proof 
that great benefit has been derived from it. At this place, 
the breeds of various kinds of good cattle are kept pure, 
particularly of fine woolled sheep, whence farmers from every 
part of the kingdom are supplied upon moderate terms, a 
regulation, from which it is evident the greatest advantages 
must be derived to the community at large^ 

"A Veterinary School is connected with tlie farm, and foiir 
other professorships established, two for rural ceconomy, ope 
for anatomy, and another for chymistpy. There is a spacious 
apartment for dissecting animals, a large cabinet, where the 
most interesting parts of all domestic animals are preserved, 
and also of such parts of their bodies, that mark the effect of 
visible distempers. This, with a similar one near Lyons, i& 
kept up, at the moderate expencc of 60,000 livres, (2600 
pounds sterling). 

There are at present, about one hundred pupils from dif- 
ferent parts of the kingdom, as well as from every country 
in Europe, except England ; a strange exception, considering 
bow grossly ignorant our farriers are."— 7>at;^/s by A. l^oung 
in France^ in frST-S-d, page 67. Lond. 1792. 

The following premiums were offered by the society in the 
year 1791, a short time previously to the suspension of their 
regular meetings. A part of them had been previously offered 
at different periods. They are now published with a view of 
calling the attention of farmers to the various important sub-, 
jects noticed in them, and though the society do not deem 
themselves bound by the prizes offered in the list, in conse- 
quence of the subjects which have been proposed in that 
immediately following, yet they will always be happy in an 
opportunity oi distinguishing, by some honorable mark, 
the enterprizing cultivator, who successiidly attempts to im- 
prove the agriculture of his country. 







I. THE ROTATION OF CROPS having been found m Eng* 
land constantly to improve the soil instead of exhausting it — 
and the society being persuaded, that to this management 
alon€ is to be attributed the gfeat comparative products of 
that country-— .they esteem it of the first importance to Ame- 
rica to gain a knowledge of the theory and practice of so 
admirable a system.— -Within the limits of this article, it i* 
impossible to state, with any useful degree of precision, prin- 
ciples, which, after all, must vary witji circumstances — ^but 
knowing that some farmers, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, 
have already made themselves acquainted with this mode of 
husbandry ; and that it is as much the interest, as it is with- 
in the power of all to obtain the necessary knowledge — the 
society without attempting to lay down any particular direc- 
tions, offer— For the best experiment of a five years course 
of crops— a piece of plate, of the value of two hundred dol- 
lars, inscribed with the name and the occasion ; and for, the 
experiment made of a like course of crops, next in merit— 
a piece of plate, likewise inscribed, of the value of one hun- 
dred dollars. 

II. The importance of complete farm or fold-yards, for 
sheltering and folding cattle— and of the best method of coh- 



b/^ Premtum^i 





ducting the same, so as to procure the greatest quantities of 
compost, or mixed dung and manure, frorrt within the fatm, 
induces the society to give for the best design of such ayard^ 
and method of managing it, practicable by common far- 
mers a gold medal : and for the second best — a silver me^ 


III. For the best method of raising hogs, from the pig, 
in pens or sties, from experience ; their sometimes running 
in a lot or (leld not totally excluded, if preferred— a gold 
medal ; and for the second best — a silver medal. 

IV. For the best method of recovering worn outfields to a 
more hearty state, within the power of common iarmers, 
without dear or far-fetched manures ; but by judicious cul- 
ture, and the application of materials common to the gene- 
rality' of farms ; founded in experience— a gold medal ; and 
for the second best — ^a silver medal. 

V. For the best information, the result of actual experience, 
for preventing damage to crops byinsects ; especially the Hes- 
sian-fly, the wheat-fly, or fly-weevil, the pea-bug, and the com 
chinch-bug or fly — a gold medal ; a silver medal for the se- 
cond best. 

VI. For the best comparative experiments on the culture 
of wheat, by sowing it in the common broad-cast way, by 
drilling it, and by setting the grain, with a machine, equi-dis- 
tant ; the quantities of seed and produce proportioned to the 
ground, being noticed — a gold medal ; for the second best— 

a silver medal. 

VII. For an account of a vegetable food that maybe easi- 
ly procured and preserved, and that best increases milk in 
cows and ewes, in March and April, founded on experir 
ment — a gold medal ; for the second best — a silver medal. 

VIII. For thq greatest quantity of ground, not less than 
one acre, well fenced, producing locust trees, growing in 
1791, from seed sown after April 5th, 1785 ; the trees to 
be of the sort used for posts and trunnels, and not fewer 
than 1500 per acre — a gold medal; for the second — a silver 


OU Premiums* 

xxxiii * 

IX. The society believing that very important advantages - 
would be derived from the general use of oxen, instead of 
horses, in husbandry and other services ; and being desirous 
of facilitating their introduction into .all these states ; per- 
suaded also, that the comparative value of oxen and cows 
must very much depend on the qualities of their sires and 
dams ; and that by a careful attention to the subject, an im- 
proved breed may be obtained ; they propose a gold medal 
for the best essay, the result of experience, on the breeding, 
feeding, and management of cattle, tor the purpose of ren- 
dering them most profitable for the dairy, and for beei; and 
most docile and useful for the draught j and for the next 
best— a silver medal. 

N. B. Among other things the essay should notice the dif- 
ferent breeds of catde, and their comparative qualities ; as 
their sizes, strength, iacility in fattening, quantity of milk, &c. 
X. It is a generally received opinion, that horses in a 
team travel much faster than oxen ; yet some European 
writers on husbandry mention many instances, in which it 
appeared, not only that oxen would plough as much ground 
as an equal number of horses, but also travel as fast with a 
loaded carriage : particularly when, instead of yokes and 
bows, they were geared in horse-harness, with such varia- 
tionB as were necessary to adapt it to their different shape. 
^To ascertain the powers pf oxen in these particulars, and the 
cxpence of maintaining them, the society deem matters of 
very great moment ; and are therefore induced to offer a 
gold medal for the best set of experiments, undertaken with 
that view ; and for the next best, a silver medal. In relating 
these experiments, it will be proper to describe the age and 
size of the oxen, their plight, the kinds and quantities of 
their food, the occasions, manner, and expence of shoeing 
them J in travelling, the kinds of carriages used, and weight 
of their loads, and seasons of the year, and the length and 
quaUty of the roads : and, in ploughing, the size and fash- 




Old Premiums* 

Old Premiums* 




ion of the plough, the quality of the soil, the depth of the 
furrows, and the quantities ploughed : and, in every opera- 
tion, the time expended, and number and sorts of hands em- 
ployed in performing it ; with any other circumstances which 
may more fully elucidate the subject- These experiments will 
enable the essayist to determine what will be the best form 
and construction of yokes and bows, and what of ox-harness, 
to enable oxen, with the best carriage of their bodies and 
heads, the most ease, and quickest step, to draw the heaviest 
loais^ a description of each of which sort of gears, explained 
on mechanical principles, must be subjoined to the account 

. of experiments.* 

XI. For the best method, within the power of common 
farmers, of recovering old gullied fields to an hearty state^ 
and such uniformity, or evenness of surface, as will agaia 
render them fit for tillage ; or where the gullies* are so deep 
and numerous as to render such recovery impracticable, for 
the best method of improving them, by planting trees, or 
otherwise, so as to yield the improver a reasonable profit 
for his expences therein, founded on experiment — a gold 
medal ; and for the next best — a silver medal. 

XII. For the best cheese, not les? than five hundred pounds 
weight, made on one farm within the United States, and 
which shall be produced to the society by the first day of 
January, 1792 — a gold medalf — and for the next greatest 
quantity, not less than two hundred and fifty pounds weight, 
of equal quality — a silver medal. 

XIII. The society believing that the culture of hemp on 
some of the low rich lands in the neighhourhood of this city,. 

•The facts lately brought forward by Lord Somerville of England, are 
decisive as to the great (economy of oxen for farm work : the experience 
too of the farmers in New-England shews, that the expensive animal the 
horse, is by no means so necessary as many suppose for agricultural la^- 
hour. 1808. 

jThis premium was obtained by Mr. Mathewsonof Rhode-Island. 

may be attempted with advantage, do hereby offer a gold 
medal for the greatest quantity of hemp raised within ten 
miles of the city of Philadelphia. The quantity not to be 
less than three ton ; for the second greatest quantity — a sil- 
ver medal. 

#^# It will be left to the choice of those successful candi- 
dates for prizes, who may be entitled to the plate or gold 
medals, to receive the same either in plate or medals, or the 
equivalent in money. 

The claim of every candidate for a premium is to be ac- 
companied with, and supported by, certificates of respecta- 
ble persons of competent knowledge of the subject. And 
it is required, that the matters, for which premiums are of- 
fered, be delivered in without names, or any intimation to 
whom they belong ;. that each particular thing be marked in 
what manner the claimant thinks fit ; such claimant sending 
with it a paper sealed up, having on the outside a correspond- 
ing mark, and on the inside the claimant's name and address. 

Respecting experiments on the products of land, the cir- 
cumstance of the previous and subsequent state of the ground, 
particular culture given, general state of the weather, &c. 
will be proper to be in the account exhibited. Indeed in all 
experiments and reports of facts, it will be well to particu- 
larize the circumstances attending them* It is recommend- 
ed that reasoning be not mixed with the facts ; after stating 
the latter, the former may be added, and will be acceptable* 

Although the society reserve to themselves the power of 
giving, in every case, either one or the other of the prizes, 
(or premiums) as the performance shall be adjudged to de- 
serve, or of withholding both, if there be no merit, yet the 
candidates may be assured, that the society will always judge 
liberally of their several claims. 

i : ' 

I'l'' , 









To he continued till any measure^ experiment^ or practice^ 
noxv proposed^ and commenced in this or the succeeding 
year^ be brought to sufficient perfection and proof* 


1. Ascertaining the component parts of arable land. 

To the person who shall produce the most satisfactory set ' 
of experiments, to ascertain the due proportion of the several 
component parts of arable land, in one or more of the old coun- 
ties of this state, by an accurate analysis thereof. A like analysis 
in detail must also be made of the poorest, medium, and 
richest soils, in the same county or counties. By a due ad- 
mixture of these soils, or substances within the reach of com- 
mon farmers, they are by these experiments, to be enabled 
to improve, by good tillage, and a course of applicable crops, 
the poorest or most worn land, with the materials found on 
their own farms, or those of their neighbours respectively. — 
Lime, or lime stone, is excluded, its qualities and effects be- 

Premiums proposed by the 


— 1- 

ing already well known. But clays, marles, gypsum and 
sand, or other natural substances, fall within the meaning of 
this proposal. The crops, so far as consistent with good 
husbandry, to be the same after improvement as before, and 
their relative product to be given. All auxiliary, and influ- 
encing circumstances to be mentioned ; as well as the mode 
and results of the analysis ; and the proportions of the com- 
binations. Artificial manures, after improvement, (lime at 
this stage may be one) may be used, if the like had been be- 
fore applied : and all the means and circumstances are to be 
fairly developed. A piece of plate of the value of one hun- 
dred dollars. / 

The object is, not only to promote experiments calculated 
to improve farms, out of the materials found upon them ; 
and thus save, or extend the efficacy of artificial manures; 
but to excite a spirit of exploration for fossils, earths, marie, 
and clays, applicable to agricultural as well as manufacturing 
purposes. For subterraneous researches, the society have 
provided a very complete set of boring instruments, with 
which those who will use them eflfectually, may be accom- 

2. Trench Ploughing. 

For the greatest quantity and best trench ploughed worn 
land, not less than five acres. The trenching not less than 
ten inches deep. 

The following mode of trenching is recommended, as be- 
mg known to be practicable, and easily performed. 

1. Provide a light plough, from 12 to 15 inches wide in 
the hmd part of the span or sole, calculated to pare off the 
sod from 2 to 3 inches deep, according to the depths of the 
roots of weeds. 

2. A strong heavy Trench Plough, capable of turning a 
depth of from 8 to 10 inches of mould, or earth. This must 
be one or two inches narrower than the Paring' Plough, or 
It will cut into the unpared sod. The first is to be drawn by 


Premiums proposed by the 



a pair of horses or oxen. The second by two pair of oxen, 
or strength equivalent. A Trench must be first made, with 
the Trench Plough as deep as practicable. The Paring 
Plough must then pare the sod off the next intended furrow, 
and turn it into the trench. The Trench Plough follows, 
constantly, after the Paring Plough. This throws over a 
body of earth so as to buiy all weeds, which are placed too 
deep for vegetation, and thus, by rotting, become manure. 
The mould board, of the Trench Plough, should have a thin 
plate of flexible iron (an old stone-saw the best) screwed on 
its upper edge, vertically^ so as to extend the surface and 
accommodate itself to the curvature of the mould board. — 
With this auxiliary, the loose earth will be completely thrown 
into the trench. It is otherwise liable to run over, and choak 
the Plough. Both Ploughs (the latter the most) require bri- 
dles, or clevasses with notches and curvated regulators, to 
direct and fix both their depth and lateral course. Such are 
not uncommon. The east Jersey, or low Dutch plan, is the 
best for the Trench Plough. A Coulter is not much re- 

This operation should be performed in the autumn, and 
the field lay through the winter, to attract from the air, 
whatever is the food of plants ; and to receive the benefits 
of frequent frosts and thaws. The subsequent ploughing 
need be no deeper than usual in good tillage. If limed the 
first spring for Indian Corn^ the better it will produce. A 
fallow crop only should succeed the trenching the first year ; 
and Corn admits and requires frequent stirring and exposure 
of the soil. For the best experiment, a goldj and for the 
second best, a silver medal. , 

3. A course on trench-ploughed ground. 

For the best and cleanest course of crops, on not less than 
five acres of land trench-ploughed. The course may be. 1. 
Indian com, 2. Legumes. If beans or pease, of a species 
least subject to the bug ; and sown on the fallow of the 2d 

Agricultural Society of Philadelphia. 


year, so as to be off in time for a winter crop of wheat or 
rye. Broad cast of the legumes as a cover, be preferable ; 
though drilling will be highly useful. Potatoes may occupy 
a part, to be taken off in time for wheat. 3. Glover sown in the 
winter grain. 4. Clover.^ This course will be preferred in 
a competition, unless the society shall be convinced, by the 
results of another course, that in practice, turns out better. 
Manure admitted ; but the best products, with the least ar- 
tificial manure, will be preferred. A gold medal for the best ; 
and one of silver, for the second best experiment. 

The object of both the above premiums is, to introduce a 
practice, found very beneficial where it has been fairly tried; 
and to place the experiments in the hands of spirited and in- 
telligent agriculturists, who will do complete justice to them- 
selves, and the subject recommended to their exertions. 

4. Cover of Leguminous Crops, 

For the best and greatest crops of beans, pease, or other 
h^mes, of the kind before mentioned, so^vn broad-cast, as 
covering on fallows, preparatory to winter grain. Not less 
than five acres, and left clean and fit for wheat. These crop, 
.ameliorate, and do not exhaust like all culmiferous plants 
and those whose seeds produce oil. Oa^,_the worst and 
most ruinous to succeeding winter crops. 

The object is, to introduce the practice of valuable and 
improving covering crops, in preference to naked fallows, or 
exhausting covers. A silver medal, or fifty dollars. ^ 

5. Destruction of perennial weeds. ' 

For the best set of experiments calculated for the destruc- 

ZtcldAf: ^ / ""'' *° be particularly aimed at and 
noticed. A ^otamcal account o( the weeds commonly infesting 
our fields, will highly recommend these experiments If 

will be gratefully received. This account should speciali; 



Premiums proposed by the 




mark the stages of their growth ; and periods when they are 
the most easily destroyed, by the means employed. Botani- 
zing for the destruction of weeds, is as necessary and lauda- 
ble, as it is for the propagation and culture of useful plants.— 
Nothing promotes the health, increase, and value of the lat- 
ter, more than expelling the former. Trench ploughing is 
excluded. This has been found to be the surest mode of. 
destroying weeds ; especially those with fibrous or bulbous 
roots. A gold medal. 

6. Dairy. 

To the person who shall exhibit to the society an account 
of the profits of the best dairy ^ applied to butter or cheese. 
Not less than twenty cows. The greatest proportion of cows 
kept the longest in profit, and the best. Winter feed (oeco- 
nomy considered) for carrying the cows productively through 
the season, enters into the account. The greatest product 
from an equal number kept without change (except by sub- 
stitution of well bred heifers raised on the farm) through the 
year, will have the preference. It is to be understood, that 
changing cows is not to be admitted, unless full proof, on the 
annual balance of account, that such practice is comparative- 
ly the most productive and profitable, when in competition 
with one predicated on keeping the same set of cows through 
the year. The same profits from the permanent dairy (un- 
avoidable casualties allowed) will be preferred.. It will be re- 
commendatory of the pretensions of the claimant, if the ac- 
count be accompanied with experiments, or practical know- 
ledge of the best sizes, descriptioti, breed, and ages of dairy 

The object is, to induce an attention to the breed and se- 
lection of dairy cows. Their points and qualities differ from 
those proper for breeding beef cattle, or for venders of milk. 
Much depends even with the best stock, on regularity and at- 
tention in the dairy women. Unless great care in stripping, 
and regular periods of milking, are practised, as well as clean- 

Agricultural Society of Philadelphia. 


liness in keeping, th^ best cow will soon cease to be in pro- 
fit. The quality, and not the quantity of milk is the most 
important. Nor are the largest the best for the dairy : espc- 
. cially where there are short bites and irregular seasons. A 
silver medal, or fifty dollars* 

7. Live Fences. 
■ . ' ' '■■ 

For the best experiment on, or practical application of, ^ 
any species of shrub or tree proper for live fences ; and the ^ '^ 
most (Economical and practical mode of securing them in "^ 

their early stages of growth, from injury by cattle or other 

The general idea of European agriculturists has been con- 
fined on this subject, to thorn or quick inclosures. But these 
may not be found exclusively the best here. On Long Isl- 
and^ before the revolution, a very able and spirited proprietor 
of a large estate there, went very extensively into inclosurea 
with quick set, procured not only in this country, but from 
Europe and elsewhere'. He found the thorn, of every de- 
scription, subject to many casualties and diseases j some of 
them unknown in Europe. Blights injured a great proportion, 
after they were in sufficient growth for inclosure without 
protection. It was not frequent that a sound crop of haw. 
was produced ; these being subject to the worm, and other 
impediments to their perfection. Although it is s'till dc sirable, 
that every attention should be paid to the hawthorn^ it is not 
improbable tliat some other of our native shrubs or trees, 
may thrive as well, if not better ; and equal the thorn in utili- 
ty. The object therefore is, to promote enquiries and expe- 
riments that shall determine this point. The walnut, the ap- 
ple, the honey locust fGleditsia triacanthosj the white fow^ 
ering locust (Robinia pseudo-acaciaj have been tried, on at 
small scale— Each has its peculiar disadvantages. The white 
mulberry has also been recommended. 





Premiums proposed by the 




Live fences are of such high importsSice, In our old settle- 
ments, where the timber is daily decreasing, and the expence 
of inclosure becoming so yery serious, that the society cannot 
sufficiently express their wishes, that some spirited and ex- 
tensive measures may, without loss of time, be commenced 
on this momentous subject. The present generation may re- 
ceive incalculable advantages from successful experiment and 
practice, in a desideratum so eminently interesting to them. 
But posterity will bless the memory of those, of whose genius 
and labours they enjoy the fruits. They will gratefully feel 
the benefits of durable inclosures, commenced, if even not 
entirely perfected, in our day : and while they inherit these 
^afe guards to their property, they will perceive the insur- 
mountable difficulties to which they would have been expose^, 
by a neglect on our part, to establish and provide them. 
. A gold or silver medal — according to the merit and extent 
of the experiment or practice. 

. 8. Clearing and cropping new Lands* 

For the best essay, practical and theoretical, founded on 
experience and facts, as well as calculation and investigation, 
of the most approved and beneficial mode of clearing and 
cultivating new settlements, in an unseated, and theretofore 
uninhabited part of this state, or one in its neighbourhood. A 
gold medal. 

The practice heretofore used of girdling trees, can only 
be justified by the necessity of doing it, through want of la- 
bourers, by those who first enter a wilderness. But if lands 
are inviting, population soon increases, and yet the practice of 
girdling the timber continues. One part is girdled after 
another, without foresight or precaution. Timber is wan- 
tonly, because lavishly and unnecessarily destroyed ; and be- 
comes in a few years scarce, where its abundance was at first 
accounted a burthen. Culmiferous crops [plants composed of 
straxv and chaffy husks for the grain] follow one another i» 


Agricultural Society of Philadelphia. 

*m • • • 


uninterrupted succession, the worst of all bad husbandly.— 
These are " stubbled in" (the phrase of new settlers) till the 
land is exhausted, and produces nothing but sorrel and other 
execrable vegetation. The timber rots and falls, sometimes , 
dangerously to men and cattle. It is burnt and destroyed, 
when the field, after a useless waste of time, is cropped 
again. Fencing, fuel, building, implements, &c. call for tim- 
ber—but it is distant or gone. The field is choaked with f , 
briars, worthless shrubs, and other pests, and its cuhivation ' 
is generally more expensive than if well cleared originally,* 
and occupied by wholesome and productive crops, either of 
grain or grass. 

Many of us are interested in new lands— and all of us, 
from public motives, wish to introduce a better stile of 
clearing and cropping into our new countries. Information 
from several new settlements (particularly some in the state 
of New- York) is favourable to a far better plan, of both 
clearing and cropping. It is, to till less ground cleared 
perfectly ; and crop, according to circumstances, as near as 
practicably to the rules of good husbandry. Labourers are 
not there in greater plenty, than elsewhere, in such setde- 
ments; and yet the setders succeed and thrive. 

Our object is therefore, to obtain and promulgate every 
species of information ; and thereby be enabled to recom- 
mend and encourage better modes of clearing, and a more 
advantageous, as well as reputable stile of husbandry, in our 
new countries. 

There are in these countries, many intelligent citizens, 
who may, and it is hoped wiU assist in both example and in- 
vestigation. But some of these have not correct ideas on 
this subject. They conceive that the art of husbandry, for 
the most part, consists in restoring, or creating fertility, 
which in new lands is the gift of nature. But the fact is, 
that fertility without good management, like a savage in pow-' 
er, and subject to no civilized regulation, as often exerts it- 
self mischievously as profitably. It frequentlv ruins by dfe- 







Premiums proposed by the 



sultory and misapplied operations. Weeds and other worth- 
less products, are its offspring. These, in many cases, 
might be prevented, destroyed or converted into benefits, 
with well directed systems. To instance only the sorrel 
apparently the most mischievous and forbidding. It has 
been found that with lime^ it may be made a powerful and 
efficient auxiliary to profitable crops, and when judiciously ap- 
plied is known in Europe to be so valuable, that the sorrel is 
propagated for its uses in husbandry. Limestone is found a- 
b^ndantly in most of our new lands, or at least, in very ex- 
wnsive districts. Careful experiments may point out the 
mode of liming lands overrun by this appai'ent pest, so as to 
destroy its bad qualities, and convert it to salutary and pro- 
fitable purposes. If this be not now deemed eligible in parts 
where land is less valuable than labour^ it will nevertheless 
be an object e'er long, when the products of land are un- 
attainable, without combinations of labour with ingenuit}^, 
good management and appropriate systems of husbandry. 

9. Veterinary Essay and Plan* 

For the best essay and plan for promoting veterinary 
knowledge and instruction, both scientifically and practically, 
under the circumstances of our eountry. Aid to schools and 
establishments lor this, among other agricultural purposes, 
ought to be given by the national and state legislatures. But 
agriculture^ and the subjects connected with it, have not 
heretofore been cherished by their patronage. Her young 
sister, commerce^ has fortunately fascinated with contribu- 
tions to revenue, and thereby secured protection and en- 
couragement. But private and individual exertions, for the 
accomplishment of agricultural objects, must, from necessi- 
ty, be resorted to, for public benefits derived from this pri- 
mary source of all the wealth and prosperity we enjoy. — 
Some of the most worthy and truly respectable governments, 
and many of the most eminent men, m Europe, have deemed 


Agricultural Society of Philadelphm. 


the object here recommended, honourable, politic, and pro- 
motive of the public interest and prosperity. While agri^ 
culturists are employed in the production of plants^ their 
stocks of useful animals are abandoned, when diseased, to 
all the calamities attendant on ignorance of their maladies, 
or cure. Pretenders and empirics, of the most contemptible 
characters, prey on the necessities and credulity of those who 
are compelled to apply to them on this subject. 

The essay proposed, should among other requisites, be 
calculated to rouse the attention oi medical professors, to this 
important branch of neglected knowledge. It should con- 
vince them, that they cannot employ themselves, in any part 
of their studies, in a manner more conducive to real re- 
spectability of character, than in gaining and promulgating 
information, so intimately connected with the wealth and po- 
litical oeconomy of their country. This society pledge them- 
selves to distinguish, with some testimony of their gratitude, 
any medical professor* who will assist them in calling the at- 
tention of students, to this very interesting subject. 

Investigations into anatomy ^ diseases and remedies^ for the 
preservation, and improvement of animals, on which our sub- 
sistence and comforts so materially depend, must assuredly 
be considered worthy the most patient enquiry, intelligent 
observation, and proiessional talents, of the most celebrated 
among those, who have devoted themselves to medical pur- 
suits. As patriots, it should stimulate their public spirit 

As professional men, nothing can more entitle them to the 
rewards due to their labours. Who is there among the most 
respectable of our own citizens, or in the highest grades of 
society in the old world, who has not deemed it meritorious 
to promote the interests of agriculture ? And is there any 
branch of that occupation so important, as that now recom- 
mended to the notice and enquiry of medical men ? If it has 
held an inferior rank in the classification of science and know- 
ledge, it is entirely owing to the unmerited neglect with 


xlvi Premiums proposed by the Agricultural Society. 

which it has been unaccountably treated. It is time it should 
be rescued from obscurity, and placed among the most com- 
mendable and necessary branches of medical education. A. 
gold medal. 


10. Domestic or Household Manufactures. 

For the best and greatest quantity and quality erf woolen, 
cotton or linen fabrics, made in any family, by the members 
thereof. Weaving, fulling, and dressing, may be done as 
usual, in the accustomed modes of performing these opera- 
tions. The object is, to encourage industry^ in the families 
of farmers and others, at times when leisure from other oc- 
cupations permits. Such intervals are too often filled up 
with dissipation, or suffered to pass away in indolent waste 
or inattention. The materials being raised or produced on 
the farm, will entitle to preference in a competition. The 
breed of sheep, and quality of wool, will be peculiarly re* 
commendatory. A silver medal. * 

Although the society have principally confined their pre- 
miums to honorary distinctions, they will always be ready to 
commute them for, or add pecu^iiary reward to assist in expen- 
sive or difficult experiments. Our funds are far below our zeal. 
But the former are not of so much moment, as energies ex- 
cited by emulation, among those who have strong propensi- 
ties to benefit their country, while they are labouring for 
themselves. Without the co-operation of our fellow citizens 
of this description, all our well meant endeavours are vain ! 

*:j^* For rules respecting claims — See the laws, art. 14. 


Richard Peters, President. 

James Mease, m. d. Secretary^ 
No. 192 Chesnut'Street — to whom communications 
may be sent. 


Martyn's edition of Miller's Gardener's Dictionary 2 vols, 

Dr. Mease's edition of Willlch's Domestic Encyclopaedia. 
Bordley's Notes on Husbandry. [5 vols. 

Trans. Agric. Soc. New York. 
Marshall's Rural Economy, 14 vols. viz. 

Southern Counties. 

Do. New Edition. 


West of . England. 


Midland Counties. 
M^Mahon's Gardener. 
Darwin's Phytologia. 
Peters on Gypsum. ' 

CuUey on Live Stock, 
/iawrence's Farmer's Calendar, 
on Cattle. 





Communications to the Board of Agriculture of London, 

4 vols. 
Nicholson's Joiner's and Carpenter's Assistant. 
Bryant on Esculent Plants. 
Preston's modem English Fruit Gardener. 
Cullyer's Farmer's Assistant. 
Farmer's Magazine — Edinburgh, 7 vols. 
Dundonald on the Intimate Connection of Agriculture 

with Chymistry. 
The Errors of my Age, with respect to Agriculture, by 

M. Cointeraux (French.) 
Complete Course of Agriculture, by Rosier lOv. (French.) 
Michaux on the Oaks of the United States (French.) 
Farmer's Daily Journal, or Accountant. 
Farm accounts — consisting of ruled tables. 
Forsyth's Principles of Agriculture, 2 vols. 
Lucock on Wool. 
Anstruther on Drill Husbandry. 
Farmer's Calendar, by A. Young. 
Transactions of the Horticultural Society of London. 
Young's Agricultural Survey of Essex. 
Dickson's Agricultural Magazine. 
Scott's Plates of Prize Cattle. 
Boydell's ditto. 

White's Veterinary Medicine, 2 vols. 
Forsyth on Fruit-trees. 

Epitome of Forsyth. Presented by J. Humphreys. 

Gleanings of Husbandry. do. do. 

. At.. .'. 


THE following very appropriate and interesting Lecture, 
was delivered by Dr. Rush, at the request of the President 
of the Philadelphia Agricultural Society, in compliance with 
motives impressed by the recommendations of that Societj^ in 
their premiums. He has permitted it to be printed among 
their Memoirs, at the request of the members of that Society, 
who attended its delivery. 

An Introductory Lecture to a Course of Lectures, upon the 
Institutes and Practice of Medicine, delivered in the Uni^ 
versity of Pennsylvania, on the 2nd of November, 1807 ; 
vpon the duty and advantages af studying the Diseases of 
Domestic Animals, and the Remedies proper toj^^r^ve them. 
By Bekjakin .Rui^h, m. d. 


THE science of medicine is related to eveiy thing A 
mere physician, that is, a physician who knows nothing but 
the sciences which are supposed to belong exclusively to his 
profession, is a non-entity. To deserve that title in its ex. 
tensive import, it is necessary for us to Jcnow something of the 
prmcples and practice of every art, and pursuit of man. There 
IS scarcely one of them that does not furnish some useful fact, 
or striking analogies, which may be applied to practical pur* 
poses, or to the support of some important principle in medi- 
cine, tven the science of morals is capable of affording aid 
o the healing art by its influence upon the understanding 
through the medium of the passion,. It p.x,duces thiseffea 


Sush, on studying- the diseases of Animals. 

Hush, an studying^ the diseases of Animals. 



in proportion to the extent of the objects to which we direct 
our benevolence. The physician who loves the whole huma» 
race, will always be actuated with more zeal to extend the 
usefulness of his profession, than the physician whose affec- 
tions are confined to the limited circle of his habitual patients. 
His zeal will be more active, and more impressive upon hb 
understanding, should he descend in the overflowings of 
his benevolence froi^ the human species, and embrace in his 
studies and labors the means of lessening the miseries of do- 
mestic animals. This part of the brute creation have large 
demands upon us. The design of this lecture is simply to 
point out the duty and advantages of studying their dis- 
eases, and the remedies that are proper to remove them. — 
The subject is an interesting one to private gentlemen JCs 
well as to physicians, and I entertain too high an opinion of the 
good sense and correct views of medical science of my pre- 
sent audience to believe, that a few remarks upon it will be 
deemed an improper introduction to a course of lectures 
upon the institutes and practice of medicine. 

We are bound in the first place to discharge the important 
* duty to domestic animals which I have mentioned, by the re- 
lation that has been established between them and us by the 
author of nature. They were created at the same time, and 
from a portion of the same dust of which our great ancestor 
was formed. They are the only part of the brute creation 
over which man has retained his dominion since his banish- 
ment from paradise. We are to them (says Dr. Hartley) 
the vicegerents of God ; and empowered to receive homage 
from them ; and we are obliged by the same tenure to be 
their guardians and benefactors.* Their subjection to death, 
and all the diseases and pains which they feel in common 
with us, are the eflPects of the same rebellion against the Go- 

*Observations on the frame, duties and expectations of man. VoL 1, p. 

vemor of the universe which subjected Adam and all his 
posterity to the same evils. 

The diseases of the animals which still roam the forests^ 
and refuse to be subject to man, are few in number, and ge. 
nerally of so mild a nature as to yield to the operations of na^ 
ture. But this is far from being the case with domestic ani- 
mals. Like the human race, they acquire new and violent 
diseases by civilization, or by the manner of life to which 
their connection with us, and their subserviency to our in- 
terests and pleasures expose them. Even parturition so per- 
fectly the work of nature in beasts of prey, is often attend- 
ed with the same difficulty and danger in domestic animals 
that take place in women. Of this Dr. Bland has mentioned 
-some remarkable instances in his observations upon human 
and comparative parturition. Similar instances have been 
communicated to me by Dr. Dewees, as having occurred 
under his notice while he practised midwifery in the neigh- 
bourhood of Philadelphia. 

Snd. We are bound to study the diseases of domestic aiji-" 
mals, an"a the remedies that are proper to cure them, by a 
principle of gratitude. They live only for our benefit. They * 
cost us nothing in wages or clothing. They require in ex- 
change for their labor, and all the other advantages we derive 
from them, nothing from us but food and shelter, and these 
of the cheapest and coarsest kind, so that there is constantly 
due to them, an immense balance of debt from us. This mo- 
tive to take care of their health and lives will appear more 
striking when we consider the specific benefits we receive 
from each of them. The horse is not only an important ap. 
pendage, but a necessary part of the cement of civilized so- 
ciety. He ploughs our fields,--he drags home our harvests 
and fruits to our bams and ceUars. He conveys them from 
distant countries, over rough and difficult roads, to our mar- 
ket towns and sea ports. He receives in exchange from them, 
the products of foreign nations, and conveys them to the in- 


Musky dn studying the Jisrases of Animalst 

i. T..1T: 






Iferior aftd remote |yafts of our country^ He keeps up the 
inland connection between different states by means of stage* 
•iid posts, and thus favours the quick communication of in- 
telligence, and the increase of national intercourse, commerce 
and happiness* He administers td our health and to our 
pleasures under the saddle, and in harness. He keeps up 
society and friendship in neighbourhoods too scattered in it« 
population td adiriit of visits upon foot. In vain would coun* 
try churches and courts be opened, without the strength of 
this ndble animal ; hoi- could the great system of representa- 
tive government be supported in an agricultural country un- 
less he conveyed the elector to the place of suffrage. In main- 
tslining the freedom and independence of nations, the horse 
bears a distinguished part. When caparisoned with the fur- 
liiture of irar, he ffeel§ with his rider, the courage and the 
pride of arms. In the race, he delights us with his swift- 
ness, in which he exceeds all other four footed animals.—* 
Nor let us forget his sagacity in discovering roads, and chu- 
fiing the saiest parts of them, when inattention or darkness, 
has reitdei-ed hi 6 rider, or driver unable to discover them.-*- 
In the physician's midnight excursion to visit the sick, how 
often has hii hor^e conducted him in safety, (and sometimes 
Overcome by sle^p) through imperceptible paths, and across 
deep and rapid currents of water to the door of his patient, 
ahd a^ih, back td his oWn home. Still further, how often 
has the convivial ist who has sat too long over his evening 
bowl, owed his life or his limbs to the good temper of this 
faithful anihial, Who in spite of a contrary direction of his 
bridle, has cart-ifed him with unbroken bones to the arms of 
his servant*^ to be conveyed by them to his bed in order to 

dose iway the retttdins of his intoxication. •- 

To the horned cattle we arc indebted for many of the bles- 
tsings and comfortis of life^ The strength and patience of the 
ek in the plough and the team, have added to the wealth of 
the farmer in every age and country. The cow has atill great- 

I^ush^ on studying' the diseases of Animals. 


er demands upon our gratitude. Her milk, in its simple state, 
furnishes subsistence to a great part of mankind. Its pro- 
ducts in cream, butter and cheese, form the most agreeable 
parts of the aliment, and even of the luxuries of our tables. 
A pustule upon her udder supplies a matter which when in- 
troduced into the body defends it for ever from the small- 
pox, and without substituting in its room, a painful or loath- 
some vicarious disease. Millions in every part of the globe 
unite with us in expressions of gratitude to heaven for this 
important contribution to the happiness of the human race. 
But our obligations to this beneiactor of mankind, and to 
her whole species, do not cease with their lives. Their flesh 
affords us the most agreeable aliment after death. Their 
tallow and the oil which is interposed between their joints, 
supply the absence of the sun in candles and lamps, whereby 
labor and study are profitably extended during a part of 
the night. Their hair affords a necessary ingredient in the 
plaister of our houses. Their skins protect our feet and legs 
in the form of shoes and boots from the injuries of the 
weather. They furnish likewise coverings for our books and 
pleasure carriages, and saddles for our horses. Their horns 
supply us with combs, and even their bones are converted 
when fresh into aliment, and when dry, into a salt of exten- 
sive use in medicine and in a variety of the arts. 

Sheep occupy the next rank in the list of domestic animals 
in their claims upon our science. They afford us by their 
wool a covering from the inclemency of winter during every 
year of their lives, and by their deaths they supply us with a 
delicious aliment in the forms of lamb, and mutton. 

The hog is said like the miser to do good only whenTlT 
dies. But this is so far from being true that he is dishonor- 
ed by the comparison. He fattens upon the offals of our 
kitchens, and performs the office . of a scavenger in cleaning 
the streets of our cities from putrefying masses of animal 
and vegetable matters. At his death, he bequeaths us his 




Rush, on studying the diseases of Anitnalsi 

Rush, on studying" the diseases of Animals, 







flesh for food, his hair for brushes, and his fat for medical 
and culinary purposes. 

The immense and profitable disproportion between the la-^ 
bor of the ass and the mule, and the expense of their food, 
render their health of great importance in those countries 
where wheel carriages cannot be employed to convey the pro- 
ducts of the e^nh to a public market. 

The goat by its contributions of the delicate flesh of its 
young, and of its medicinal milk to our use, is entitled to a 
share of medical attention. 

The courage and fidelity of the dog in defending our per- 
sons and property from the midnight assassin and robber, and 
the usefulness of the cat in destroying or chasing from our 
houses the mischievous animals that infest our cellars and 
closets, entitle each of them to an enquiry into the causes and 
cures of their diseases^ 

It remains only to mention the claims of poultry of all 
kinds, to a physician's care. They adorn our yards and fruit 
trees with their plumage. They inform us by their crowing, 
and other noises of the approach of day. A part of them 
funiish us with eggs for aliment, with quills for writing, and 
with feathers for our beds ; and all of them, in a greater or 
less number at a time, generally constitute after death a por- 
tion of our banquets, where a display is intended of hospitality 
or elegance. 

In addition to what has been said in favor of domestic ani- 
mals in their individual capacities, I shall only remark that 
collectively, they lessen the solitude and silence of a country 
life. They please us with their gambols when young, and 
delight us, by their looks and gestures in mature life, every 
time they receive food or shelter from our hands. They fur- 
nish the means of encreasing and perpetuating the fertility of 
our lands, and finally they gratify us with a sense of our sove- 
reignty over their labor and their lives ; and thus furnish us 
with a small portion of that pleasure which the father of the 

human race enjoyed, when he received from his Creator the 
commission of his extensive dominion over all the creatures 
that live and move upon our globe. 

A third reason why we are bound to study the causes and 
cure of the diseases of domestic animals, is because nature is 
VfhoWy passive in such of them as are violent, or does harm 
in her efforts to remove them. This is evident in a more es- 
.|>ecial manner in the epidemics which sometimes prevail a- 
mong them. The horses, cattle and sheep, of large neigh- 
bourhoods, and extensive districts are often swept away by 
those general diseases where no aid is afforded from me- 

4th. By studying the diseases of our domestic animals we 
may rescue them from the hands of quacks, who add to the 
mischievous and unsuccessful efforts of nature, the evils of 
absurd, painful, and destructive remedies. Under this head 
I shall introduce a passage from the words of Mr. Vial, 
which exhibits those evils in the most expressive and af- 
fecting language. Speaking of the veterinary science, he 
says, *' At this moment all appears obscured or Ijewildered 
by the ill placed confidence of the owners of cattle upon 
the blacksmith of the parish, upon illiterate and conceited 
grooms, stupid and listless shepherds, or upon a set of men 
infinitely more dangerous than all the rest. Who arrogating 
to themselves the style of doctors, ride about from town to 
town, distributing their nostrums, compounded of the refuse 
and vapid scraps of druggist's shops to the destruction of 
thousands, whose varied disorders they treat alike, neither 
consulting nature, or art, for the cause or effect. 

" Miserable animal! bereft of speech, thou can'st not com- 
plain, when to the disease, with which thou art afflicted, ex- 
cruciating torments are superadded by the ignorant efforts of 
such men, who at first sight, and without any investigation to 
lead them to the source of thy disorder, pronounce a hack- 
neyed common place opinion on thy case, and then proceed 



Rush^ on studying' the diseases of Animals. 

Rush^ on studying' the diseases of Animals. \vi\ 


with all expedition to open thy veins, lacerate thy flesh, cau- 
terize thy sinews, and drench thy stomach with drugs ad- 
verse in general to the cure they engage to perform."* 

5th, It is our duty and interest to attend in a more especial 
manner to the health of those domestic animals which consti- 
tute a part of our aliment, in order to prevent our contracting 
diseases by eating them. Certain vegetables upon which they 
feed by accident, or from necessity, impart to the milk and 
flesh of some of them an unwholesome quality. Great labor 
sometimes has the same effect. A farmer in New-Hampshire, 
who had overworked a %t ox a few years ago in the time of 
harvest, killed him and sent his flesh to market. Of four and 
twenty persons who ateol it, fourteen died, and chiefly with 
diseases of the stomach and bowels. Putrid exhalations pro- 
duce obstructions and ulcers in the livers of cattle, sheep and 
hogs which render them unfit for aliment. They are more- 
over always unhealthy during the season in which they propa- 
gate their species ; hence the wisdom of that church which 
substitutes fish for flesh during a part of the spring months. 
Even the heats in summer, in middle climates, lessen the 
wholsome quality of flesh, — hence the propriety of living 
chiefly upon vegetables with a small portion of salted meat 
during the summer and autumnal seasons. 

6th. We are further called upon to study the causes, seats, 
and remedies of the diseases of domestic animals, by the dutie.' 
which we owe to our country and to humanity. The products 
of agriculture and commerce are often lessened by a fatal epi- 
demic, brought on by diseases which blast the character of 
animal provisions ; and many poor families have been left to 
suffer all the evils of penury and famine, by the death of a 
singly horse, upon whose labor, of a cow, upon whose milk, 
or of a hog upon whose flesh, they had relied exclusively for 

9 •General Observations on the Art of Veterinary Medicine, p. 16, IT. 

subsistence, all of whom perhaps perished by diseases that 
might have been cured. 

7th. By extending our knowledge of the causes and cure 
of the diseases of domestic animals, we may add greatly to 
the certainty and usefulness of the profession of medicine aa 
far as it relates to the human species. The org^ization of 
their bodies, the principle of animal life, and the manner in 
which the remote and proximate causes of diseases produce 
their morbid effects, are the same as in the human body, and 
most of medicines produce in them, and us, nearly a similar 
operation. Their acute diseases are the same as ours. They 
are subject to epidemics from an impure atmosphere as well 
as from contagions. Fevers, catarrhs — ^haemorrhages— <ly- 

sentery — dropsy — scrophula — ^vertigo— madness — ^worms, 

stone, hydrophobia and apoplexy, affect horses, homed 
cattle, sheep, hogs and dogs. The rheumatism, angina and 
tetanus affect horses. Cows are subject to diabetes. Can- 
cers have been observed in dogs. Cats suffer and die from, a 
disease which appears to be a form of bilious fever. Cutane- 
ous eruptions and sores are common to them all. In short, 
when we except the diseases which are the effects of certain 
trades and professions, of intemperance, of the operations of 
the mind, and of a peculiar/unction in the female body, there 
is scarcely a form of disease mentioned in our systems of no- 
sology, but what is to be met with in domestic animals. 

To encourage us to extend to them the benefits of medi- 
cine, let us attend to the light and knowledge which several 
branches of our science have already derived from them. Du- 
ring thpse ages in which it was deemed criminal to dissect a 
human body, the bodies of domestic animals afforded the only 
sources of instruction in anatomy and physiology, and even 
^ since those ages of ignorance and prejudice have passed away, 
many important discoveries have been derived from the same 
sources by accident or design. 

The discovery of the salivary glands in an ox by Dr. Whar- 
ton ; of the fallopian Uibes in an ewe by Rufus ; of the thora- 





Rush^ on studying the diseases of Animals* 

JRushj on studying' the diseases of Animals* 


with all expedition to open thy veins, lacerate thy flesh, cau- 
terize thy sinews, and drench thy stomach with drugs ad- 
verse in general to the cure they engage to perlorm."*" 

5th. It is our duty and interest to attend in a more especial 
manner to the health of those domestic animals which consti- 
tute a part of our aliment, in order to prevent our contracting 
diseases by eating them. Certain vegetables upon which they 
feed by accident, or irom necessity, impart to the milk and 
flesh of some of them an unwholesome quality. Great labor 
sometimes has the same eflfect. A farmer in New-Hampshire, 
who had overworked a 'at ox a few years ago in the time of 
harvest, killed him and sent his flesh to market. Of four and 
twenty persons who ate o I it, fourteen died, and chiefly with 
diseases of the stomach and bowels. Putrid exhalations pro- 
duce obstructions and ulcers in the livers of cattle, sheep and 
hogs which render them unfit for aliment. They are more- 
over always unhealthy during the season in which they propa- 
gate their species ; hence the wisdom of that church which 
substitutes fish for flesh during a part of the spring months. 
Even the heats in summer, in middle climates, lessen the 
wholsome quality of flesh, — hence the propriety of living 
chiefly upon vegetables with a small portion of salted meat 
during the summer and autumnal seasons. 

6th. We are further called upon to study the causes, seats, 
and remedies of the diseases of domestic animals, by the duties 
which we owe to our country and to humanity. The products 
of agriculture and commerce are often lessened by a fatal epi- 
demic, brought on by diseases which blast the character of 
animal provisions ; and many poor families have been left to 
suff*er all the evils of penury and famine, by the death of a 
single horse, upon whose labor, of a cow, upon whose milk, 
or of a hog upon whose flesh, they had relied exclusively for 

•General Observations on the Art of Veterinary Medicine, p. 16, \7, 

subsistence, all of whom perhaps perished by diseases that 
might have been cured. 

7th. By extending our knowledge of the causes and cure 
of the diseases of domestic animals, we may add greatly to 
the certainty and usefulness of the profession of medicine aa 
far as it relates to the human species. The organization of 
their bodies, the principle of animal life, and the manner in 
which the remote and proximate causes of diseases produce 
their morbid efl'ects, are the same as in the human body, and 
most of medicines produce in them, and us, nearly a similar 
operation. Their acute diseases are the same as ours. They 
are subject to epidemics from an impure atmosphere as well 
as from contagions. Fevers, catarrhs — ^haemorrhages-— dy- 
sentery — dropsy — scrophula — ^vertigo — madness — ^worms, 

stone, hydrophobia and apoplexy, affect horses, homed 
cattle, sheep, hogs and dogs. The rheumatism, angina and 
tetanus affect horses. Cows are subject to diabetes. Can- 
cers have been observed in dogs. Cats suffer and die from, a 
disease which appears to be a form of bilious fever. Cutane- 
ous eruptions and sores are common to them all. In short 
when we except the diseases which are the effects of certain 
trades and professions, of intemperance, of the operations of 
the mind, and of a peculiar/unction in the female body, there 
is scarcely a form of disease mentioned in our systems of no- 
sology, but what is to be met with in domestic animals. 

To encourage us to extend to them the benefits of medi- 
cine, let us attend to the light and knowledge which several 
branches of our science have already derived from them. Du- 
ring those ages in which it was deemed criminal to dissect a 
human body, the bodies of domestic animals afforded the only 
sources of instruction in anatomy and physiology, and even 
^smce those ages of ignorance and prejudice have passed away, 
many important discoveries have been derived from the same 
sources by accident or design. 

The discovery of the salivary glands in an ox by Dr. Whar- 
ton ; of the fallopian t\ibes in an ewe by Rufus \ of the thora- 


> 1 





Iviii '^ttih^ on stuJ^Wig the diseases of Aiiimals, 



cic duct in ahorse by Eustachius ; af the lacteals in a kid by 
Erasistratus, and of the pancreas in a turkey, by Dr. Mau- 
rice Hoffman, led to the discovery of the same parts in the 
hiimati body ; aiid it iis well known that the circulation of 
the blood, and the peristaltic motion of the bowels in man^ 
were first suggested by experiments and observations upon 
those functions in scime of the above named animals. 

Many useful hints have been taken from the instincts of do- 
mestic animals. They generally retire to places of silence 
juid darkness, and discover ah unwillingness to move, and 
to eat, when indisposed, and thereby teach us the advanta- 
ges of retirement, rest and abstinence in the beginning of 
acute diseases. 

The approach of epidemics is often known by the sickness 
of certain domestic animals, or by their deserting our habi- 

Many useful remedies for the cure of the diseases of the 
human body, have been discovered by observing their salu- 
tary effects upon domestic animals. The hellebore was in- 
troduced into practice as a purge, in consequence of its purg- 
ing qualities having been observed in the goat. The use of 
the seton in certain diseases of the human body, was first 
suggested by its efficacy in the diseases of cattle. The be- 
nefits of frictions in glandular diseases, are pointed out by 
the improvement in the quality of the milk, and the increase 
of its quantity, which are obtained by currying the cow. 

The benefits of fasting in fevers, are strongly urged by the 
slow putrefaction of the flesh of domestic animals, whkh are- 
deprived of food several days before they are killed.. " 

^ The benefits of wakefulness, and a standing posture in cur- 
ing madness, are suggested by the practice of some of the 
farmers in, England, who tame the most intractable and vi« 
cious horses, by confining them m a pound, and keeping 
them awake and upon their feet, by pricking them with a 
sharp nail, for three or four days, whenever they show a dis- 
position to sleep or to lie dowiu 



J^ushy on studying' the diseases of Ammals. 


The cure of w^jj^ess in a dog, by means of a profuse hae- 
morrhage which followed the cutting off his tail, suggests the 
propriety of copioi^s blood-letting in the hydrophot^ia. Per- 
haps a remedy uniformly certain in that awful disease, i^ay 
be reserved to reward the successful application of industry 
and humanity, to its cure, Jn the affectionate centinels of our 
houses and our lives. 

The safety of blopd-lctting in old people, is dedficible frofn 
the appearances of inflammation which are discovered in the 
bodies of old animals that die of acute diseases. The famous 
race horse Eclipse, so long known apd celebrated at New- 
Market in England, died in the 26th year of his age of a coljjc, 
after two days sickness. Upon dissecting his body, not onlv 
the whole aliementary canal, omentum ^nd mesentery, e^* 
hibited maiks of violent inflammation, but the stomach, li- 
ver, spleen, lungs, blood Vessels and glands, all discovere4 
ribie same, and other effects of the highest degree of morbid 
excitement.* Many other instances of the light which the 
anatomy, physiology, and remedies fo;r the diseases of do- 
mestic animals have shed upon medicine, shall be mentioned 
from this chair in our lectures upon the institutes ^d prac- 
tice of physic. 

8th. We are bound to study the means of preserving the 
health of domestic animals, by ajl those precepts in the Old 
and New Testament, which recommend kindness to them, 
and protection from outrage and oppression. A portion of 
the humane spirit of those precepts has pervaded slU coun- 
tries, and descended in a particular manner to the nations of 
the east. One of the tales of a philosopher of India, has re- 
corded this fact in a striking manner. A traveller who w^s 
permitted to visit the place of tojrment for wicked men, saw 
there every part of the body of a man of high rank in flames, 
except one of his feet. Upon asking the reason why that part 
of his body alone was exempted from the rage of the fire, he 





Vial's elelnentsof the Veterinaiyart, p. 9, 10, 11. 


Rush J on studying the diseases of Animals i 


I »«, 

was told, that the only kind action that man had perlbrmed 
during his whole life, was to liberate a lamb which had been 
entangled by one of its feet, by means of a briar, in crossing 
a field, and that as a reward for that act, his foot was ex- 
empted from punishment. 

I proceed in the ninth and last place, to mention a reason 
for making the health of domestic animals the subject of our 
studies and care, which I should hesitate in delivering, had 
It not been sanctioned by the name of a man whose discove- 
ries in physiological, metaphysical, and theological science, 
mark an gera in the achievements of the human mind : I mean 
the great and good, — I had almost said the inspired Dr. 
Hartly And that is, their probable relation to us in a re- 
surrection after death, and an existence in a future s-tate. I 
shall read a short passage from the Doctor's works upon this 
subject. After expressing a doubt concerning the redemp- 
tion of the brute creation, he adds, " However, their fall 
with Adam, the covenant made with them after the deluge, 
their serving for sacrifices for the sins of men, and as types 
and emblems in the prophecies, and their being command- 
ed to praise God, seem to intimate that there is mercy in 
store for them, more than we may expect, to be revealed in 
due time."* 

In favor of these remarks of Dr. Hartly, it may be said, 
that as moral evil and death accompanied each other in the 
human race, they are probably connected in the brute crea- 
tion — ^That they possess nearly all our vices and virtues ; that 
the perfection of the divine government required that their 
vices should be punished and their virtues rewarded ; that 
reparation should be made to them for their accumulated suf- 
ferings in this world ; and that the divine bounty discovered 
in the gift of their pleasures would be rendered abortive, un- 
less they were placed in a situation to make returns for them, 
in praise and gratitude in a future state of existence. 

•History of Man. Vol. ii. p. 486. 

• ':'< 

Rush, on studying the diseases of Animals. 


It is alike foreign to my inclinations, and to the design of 
this lecture, to enter further into this question. To such of 
you as wish to see all the arguments that are urged in its favor, 
from reason and revelation, I beg leave to recommend the pe- 
rusal of an essay in the works of Dr. Hildrop, a learned and 
. pious clergyman of the church of England, intitled " Free 
thoughts upon the brute creation," In whatever way the con- 
troversy may be decided, I shall only add, that a belief in the 
opinion suggested by the physician, and defended by the di- 
vine, whose names have been mentioned, is calculated in no 
one instance to do any harm, but on the contrarj-, much good, 
by increasing our obligations to treat our domestic subjects 
with tenderness and care. It the opinion be erroneous, let 
the justice and mercy of the Supreme Being, in his con- 
duct to his brute creation, remain unimpeached. The divine 
government in this world, may be compared to the dreary 
prospect of an extensive and highly cultivated country, on a 
winter's day. The last revolution of our globe, will clothe 
this prospect with all the beauties of the vernal, and all the 
products of the autumnal months. It will then appear that 
the apparent discord in the being and end of all intelligent 
and animated creatures, was 

-" Harmony not imderstood i" 

And that all their sufferings were a necessary part of " uni- 
versal good." 

But if the claims of domestic animals be so numerous, and 
the advantages of attending to their health be so great and 
above aU, if their high destiny hereafter be in the leas't de- 
gree probable, it may be asked, why do we doom them with 
so much cruelty to premature death, and afterwards feed 
upon their flesh ? I answer, that by destroying them we pre- 
vent their perishing by hunger, for in the present state of 
cultivation of our earth, there would not be subsistence for 
them and their offspring for more than a kv^ yero-s, by which 
ipeans their species would soon be extinct. By thus multi- 




Ixii Rushy on studying the diseases of Animah, 



< h 


plying their numbers, we multiply life, sensation, and enjoy- 
ment. We moreover prevent the pains of a gradual death 
from sickness, and the miseries of a helpless old age. To 
destroy them by the knife, therefore, and to use them as a 
part of our food, is so far from being cruel, that it is an act 
of kindness and benevolence to them. 

To the proposal for studying the diseases of domestic ani- 
mals, it may be objected that their want of speech will for- 
ever prevent their imparting to us an account of the seats 
and s}Tnptoms of their diseases. This objection, I ama^vare, 
will be urged by those physicians who believe that every dis- 
ease has a specific proximate cause, and requires an appro- 
priate remedy ; but students of medicine, who believe that 
all diseases have one proximate cause, will find no difficidty 
in discovering their existence and force in dumb animals. — 
The full or frequent pulse, the loss of appetite, the deject- 
ed head, and the languid and watery eye, are certain n;arks 
in all brute animals of one of the most frequent diseases with 
which they are affected, that is fever. The watery eye, an 
inability to bark, or barking with a stertorous hoarsness, in- 
dicate the approach of madness in the dog. The elevation 
of the hair on the back of a cat, and its not falling.upon its 
feet when thrown from a moderate hight, are the premoni- 
tory signs of that disease which has lately been so fatal to 
that species of animals in Europe and America. The tail 
of a horse losing its regularity of motion from side to side^ 
indicates that he is indisposed, and the part in which his 
disease is seated is pointed out, by one of his ears inclining 
backwards to the side affected. In acute pains, particularly 
from the colic, he bites his manger. The seat of diseases in 
the abdomen where the signs are absent, may be known by 
pressing the hand upon the whole belly of the animal. It will 
discover marks of pain, when the diseased part is pressed. 
Diseases of the head, lungs, kidneys, limbs and skin, are as 
easily known as the same diseases are in the same parts of 
the human body. 


Rushy on studying the diseases of Animals. 



There are indeed circumstances, which favour our ac<- 
quiring a more accurate knowledge of the diseases of dumb 
animals than of those of our own species. From the causes 
formerly mentioned, the number of their diseases is more li- 
mited, and their symptoms are more obvious, for they are 
not multiplied, nor complicated by intemperance in eating or 
drinking, nor are they under the influence of passions which 
suspend or alter them, and in some instances, to prevent their 

The seats of their diseases, moreover, are more perfectly 
known from the greater facility of dissecting and examining 
their bodies after death. Again there are circumstances which 
favour the operation of medicine upon them, of which we 
are deprived in our fellow creatures. These are, no prejudi- 
dices against the names or taste of medicine, — a rare rejec- 
tion of them after they have been received into the stomach, 
and the absence of all fear and solicitude, about the issue of 
their diseases. 

I have then, gentlemen, laid before you, a brief detail of 
the obligations we owe to our domestic animals, and the re- 
ciprocal advantages to be derived from extending to them the 
benefits of the ijcience of medicine. In performing this task^ 
I have endeavoured to become the organ of speech for the 
dumb, and a suppliant for creatures that are unable to plead 
for themselves. 

Permit me to recommend the subject to your attention m 
your future studies. From the knowledge you will acquire of 
the anatomy of the human body in this university, of the 
' laws which govern its (economy, you will easily comprehend 
the small deviations from both, which take place in the bodies 
and functions of inferior animals. By acquiring this kind of 
knowledge, you will add to the resources of medicine as far a« 
It relates to the human body, and by disseminating it gratui- 
tously in your neighbourhood, you will become the benefac 
tors of your countnr. « ^ 

.( \\ 


Ixiv jRushj on studying the disedses of Animals^ 

-At; 1 

h'i 1 




I '■'(1 



For a while your knowledge in this branch of science, must 
be acquired by reading, observation and experiments ; for as 
vet no societies or schools have been established for culti- 
vating, or teaching it in the United States. 

In all other^ countries, it has accompanied the advanced 
stages of civilization. In Greece and Rome, the necessity 
of offering such animals only in sacrifice, as were perfectly 
sound, added to the motives for taking care of their health. 
The Arabians cultivated veterinary medicine with nearly the 
same zeal that they did the medicine of the human body. In 
France and Germany the health of domestic animals, has for 
many years been a part of the studies of regular bred physi* 
cians. In St. Domingo, a society called the " Philadel- 
phians," was established many years ago, consisting chiefly 
of physicians, whose principal business was to investigate and 
cure, what they called epizootic diseases, that is the diseases 
of domestic animals. They favoured the world with one 
valuable publication upon them, before the civil war in that 
island put an end both to their labours and their name. 

A veterinary school has been lately established in London, 
under the patronage of some of the most respectable noble- 
men, private gentlemen, and physicians in the British na- 
tion. Already it has diffused a great deal of knowledge 
through Great Britain, particularly of the diseases of the 
horse. Of this knowledge, a considerable portion has fallen 
to the share of the farmers and farriers, much to the advan--- 
tage of that noble animal !* 

While I lament the want of a veterinary institution in our 
country, I am happy in an opportunity of mentioning that the 
diseases of domestic animals have not escaped the notice of 
the agricultural society of Philadelphia. They have recom- 

*The Dublin society of arts have lately established a professorship of the 
veterinary art, and endowred it writh a salary of fifty pounds a year, with 
a dwelling house for the professor, (Dr. Peel,) valued at sixty-six pounds 
sterling a year. Carr's Stranger in Ireland, p. 29. 



Rush^ on studying the diseases of Animals, 


mended the study of them in strong terms, in their late ad- 
dress to the physicians and citizens of the United States } 
and it would be an act of injustice not to acknowledge, that 
it was in consequence of the excellent remarks contained in 
the part of the address to which I have aljuded, being imr 
pressed upon me with peculiar force by the enlightened and 
patriotic presidenf^ oi that society, that I was led to select 
the interesting subject oi our lepture ior the present occasion. 
But in vain will be the efforts of public bodies, and pri- 
yate individuals to disseminate veterinary knowledge in our 
country without a provision for regular and oral instr-uctioi^ 
upon it. ^ 

From the public spirit of the trustees of our University, and 
particularly from their disposition to promote every branch of 
science connected with medicine, there is reason to believe 
that it is only necessary to lay berore them the advantages of 
a veterinary chair, in order to insure its establishment. 

Should the subject of the diseases of domestic animals, 
be connected with instruction upon the principles of agricul- 
ture, and implements of husbandry, so as to constitute what 
is called in some European universitjes, " ceconomxs," or a 
system of rural oeconomy, it would orm a still more usefuj 
branch of education, not only lor physicians, but .or private' 
gentlemen. I have lived to see the medical school oi Phila^ 
delphia emerge from small beginnings, and gradually advance 
to its present flourishing condition, but I am not yet satisfied 
with its prosperity and fame, nor shall I be so, until I see the 
veterinary science taught in our University. 

One of the patriots and heroes ol the American revolution, 
who died suddenly a few years ago, in his bam yard, said 
with his last breath tp his servant who stood by hjm, " take 
jcare of the creatures." Nearly in the same wqrds which dic- 
tated this kind direction, I shall conclude this lecture. Tak^ 




'Richard Peters, Esq. 






Ixiv JRush^ on studying the disedses of Animalsk 

'.n ■ '.J 

For awhile your knowledge in this branch of science, must 
be acquired by reading, observation and experiments ; for as 
vet no societies or schools have been established for cultir 
vating, or teaching it in the United States. 

In all other ^countries, it has accompanied the advanced 
stages of civilization. In Greece and Rome, the necessity 
of offering such animals only in sacrifice, as were perfectly 
S9und, added to the motives for taking care of their health. 
The Arabians cultivated veterinary medicine with nearly the 
same zeal that they did the medicine of the human body. In 
France and Germany the health of domestic animals, has for 
many years been a part of the studies of regular bred physi* 
cians. In St. Domingo, a society called the " Philadel- 
phians," was established many years ago, consisting chiefly 
of physicians, whose principal business was to investigate and 
cure, what they called epizootic diseases, that is the diseases 
of domestic animals. They favoured the world with one 
valuable publication upon them, before the civil war in that 
island put an end both to their labours and their name. 

A veterinary school has been lately established in London, 
under the patronage of some of the most respectable noble- 
men, private gentlemen, and physicians in the British na- 
tion. Already it has diffused a great deal of knowledge 
through Great Britain, particularly of the diseases of the 
horse. Of this knowledge, a considerable portion has fallen 
to the share of the farmers and farriers, much to the advan-^ 
tage of that noble animal !♦ 

While I lament the want of a veterinary institution in our 
country, I am happy in an opportunity of mentioning that the 
diseases of domestic animals have not escaped the notice of 
the agricultural society of Philadelphia. They have recom- 

•The Dublin society of arts have lately established a professorship of the 
veterinary art, and endov^red it with a salary of fifty pounds a year, with 
a dwelling house for the professor, (Dr. Peel,) valued at sixty-six pounds 
sterling a year. Carr's Stranger in Ireland, p. 29. 


Rush^ on studying the diseases of Animals. 


mended the study of them in strong terms, in their late ad- 
dress to the physicians and citizens oi' the United States f 
and it would be an act of injustice not to acknowledge, that 
it was in consequence of the excellent remarks contained in 
the part of the address tp which I have aljuded, being imr 
pressed upon me \yith peculiar force by the enlightened and 
patriotic president^ of that society, that I wa^ led to select 
the interesting subject ol our lecture for the present occasion. 
But in vain will be the efforts of public bodies, and pri- 
vate individuals to disseminate veterinary knowledge in our 
country without a provision for regular and oral instr-uctioi^ 
upon it. , 

From the public spirit of the trustees of our University, and 
particularly from their disposition to promote every branch of 
science connected with medicine, there is reason to believe 
that it is only necessary to lay berore them the advantages of 
a veterinary chair, in order to insure its establishment. 

Should the subject of the diseases of domestic animals, 
be connected with instruction upon the principles of agricul- 
ture, and implements of husbandry, so as to constitute what 
is called in some European universities, " (economics," or a 
system of rural ceconomy, it would orm a still more useful 
branch of education, not only lor physicjans, but .or private ' 
gentlemen. I have lived to see the medical school oi Phila^ 
delphia emerge from small beginnings, and gradually advance 
to its present flourishing condition, but I am not yet satisfied 
with its prosperity and fame, nor shall I be so, until I see the 
veterinary science taught in our University. 

One of the patriots and heroes oF the American reyolution, 
who died suddenly a few years ago, in his bam yard, said 
with his last breath tp his servant who stood by hjm, " take 
«are of the creatures." Nearly in the same wprds which die. 
tated this kind direction, I shall conclude this lecture. Tak^ 


•Richju4 Peters, Esq. 



:; 'id 













On Sheep. By John D. Steele, iiear Downing Town, 
Chester County, Pennsylvania, 

Read June 1 1th, 1805. 

THE iUustrious Buffon has very justly observed, 
that " the sheep is an anhnalto man the most valuable. 
Its utility the most immediate and extensive; it alone 
satisfies wants of the greatest necessity, it furnishes 
both food and apparel, besides the advantages arising 
from the skm, suet, milk, entrails, bones, and dung of 
this creature, to which nature seems to have given no- 
thing as its property; all is to be delivered up to man » 
To this splendid catalogue of the valuable properties of 
sheep, an additional item may be placed, which enhances 
theu- value m a high degree to the farmers of Pennsyl- 
yania; viz. many of the weeds that disfigure their fields 
m autumn, furnish sheep with agreeable and nutritive 
food ; few are refused by them, and rag-weed, r^mbro. 
sta elatior,J they eat with avidity. This last advantage 
seems not sufficiently appreciated by the generaUty of 


■MltLilfi'l I 

' v; u^.a 

-;-;/?; ,£-3SS 

On Sheep 

farmei*s, though the benefits that would resuU to them 
from keeping sheep where these weeds prevail, is too 
obvious to admit of illustration ; whence it may be 
safely inferred, that the small quantity of sheep kept 
in Pennsylvania, is a misfortune and mistake in the ru- 
ral ceconomy of the State, that cannot be too much re- 
gretted, nor too speedily removed. 

But there are many objections almost uniformly ad- 
vanced against keeping sheep, by those who are un- 
.friendly to the practice; one of which is the injury they 
do to pasture, and particularly, to young clover, by 
biting it too close to the ground, and by leaving it ex- 
posed to the too powerful influence of the sun and frost. 
Another is, the quantity of grass they consume, which 
it is contended is comparatively much greater than is 
eaten by other animals; and a third, is the danger they 
are exposed to, from the nocturnal depredations of 

I admit there is much plausibility in the first objec- 
tion, but experience has taught me to doubt its soli- 
dity. I have not thought it prudent to suffer any kind 
of cattle to go into clover early in the spring, when the 
roots are loosened by the recently departed frost ; but/ 
at every other season my experience forbids ' me to 
think sheep injurious to pasture. 

For the last six years, I have been in the practice of 
feeding large flocks of sheep, and have generally eaten 
the young clover in my stubbles very bare with them ; 
but never found the succeeding crops perceptibly injur- 
ed thereby, though they were frequently kept in the 
fields till the verge of winter. 

On Sheep* 

The second objection appears equally as questionable to 
me as the first. I have never ascertained the exact com- 
parative quantity of herbage that sheep will destroy, but 
if I might be allowed to use the quantity of fodder that 
will support them in winter as a criterion to judge by, 
I should conclude it to be in the proportion of nine to 
one with black cattle , for I found nine sheep, which I 
confined in an enclosure last winter, to eat no more than 
one cow would consume. 

The last objection is beyond a doubt a formidable 
one, and requires the farmers utmost vigilance to guard 
against :— for a whole flock to be destroyed in one night, 
by a single dog, is not very uncommon. Guided by an 
instinct which cannot fail to excite admiration, he pros- 
trates the terrified animal, and opens the jugular blood 
vessels, whence he sucks the vital fluid, till the sprino- of 
life is nearly exhausted, then leaves it, frequently with 
some slight remains of animality, and proceeds to feed 
his sanguinary appetite with the blood of tHe rest of the 
flock, which fall in succession, victims to his ferocity. 
When the animals thus' worried are found still living, 
people are apt to imagine that those parts of the carcase 
which have escaped the teeth of the dog remain unin- 
jured, but this idea is erroneous. The meat has an ex. 
tremely disagreeable taste, or smell, or both, which it 
would be not easy to describe, and perhaps equally as 
difficult to account for. 

It is said if sheep are confined in a field in the night 
with black cattle, the cattle will protect them, but I 
have always thought it hazardous to make the experi. 
ment— The plan which I have hitherto followed with 
success has been, to confine them in a yard contiguous 


^ I 


On Sheep. 

I s 3 


■ f. ' 





to the house; but a fold encircled with pales six or seven 
feet high would doubtless be preferable, and where tim- 
ber is in plenty, this might be done at a light expence. 
If a fence of this description, were made moveable, it 
might be applied to folding in the field for tlie purpose 
of improving land, 

In one respect sheep in their value to the farmer, have 
a decided superiority over black cattle. This never oc^ 
curred to me till lately ; when I was looking over a field 
that had been closely pastured by a large flock, I was 
forcibly struck with the manure they had left on the 
ground ; not with the quantity, for this was perhaps nqt 
comparatively greater than would have been left by 
other animals, but with the equability of its disposure 
over the surface. 

The dung of larger animals is generally dropped in 
a heap, and the benefit arising from it is confined to the 
particular spot on which it has fallen, which would have 
been sufiiciently improved with half the quantity ; and 
besides, in the summer it is more liable to the depreda- 
tions of insects, and more subject to have its moisture 
exhaled by the sun beams than sheep's dung, for the lat- 
ter incorporates sooner with the soil, the heaps being 
much smaller, and the granulations less. 

Another advantage which sheep have over black cat- 
tle, is the shortness of the season they require dry fod- 
der in.— They will do well in pastures so short, that 
black cattle* cannot live in them. Hence less expence 
is incurred in supplymg them Avith hay. 

^The term **black cattle'^ is adopted from Professor Munro. 

On Haven Cattle. By Richard Peters. 

Read July 9th, 1805. 

The clover husbandry being now, happily for tKe 
parts of our country heretofore worn out and sterile, ve- 
ry prevalent, it behoves us to extinguish all prejudices, 
against this great and extensive improvement. One 
evil, attending luxuriant clover, whether plaistered or 
not, is immaterial ; (though some have, without reason, 
supposed a difference,) is the subjecting cattle to become 
hoven, by too greedily feeding on this grass, when it is 
growing, or when cut, and given to them green, while 
it is wet with dew or rain. — Homed cattle parti culailv, 
when turned in hungry, though ever so much accus- 
tomed to clover, are liable to this misfortune.— Young 
and soft clover, loaded with dew or rain, is the most 
productive of this disease. They therefore should not 
be turned in, till after the dew or rain is exhaled. Beasts 
kept constantly in the field, are not in danger, in so great 
a degree ; horses do not always escape. Swine and 
sheep, are also subject to this malady. Any succulent 
and juicy food, if moist with rain or dew, has a capacity 
to generate the air, which, by its expansion in the ani- 
mal, produces hoving.— Lucerne, pea- vine, green indi- 
an com plants, and buckwheat, have, under my own 
observation, occasioned this destructive complaint. 

Symptoms, The paunch is so enormously swelled, 
that unless relief be promptly afforded, death ensues: 
in the last stages of this disease, the tongue hangs out 
of the mouth, the eyes are full and protuberant, and the 

On Haven Cattle. 



rectum (or last gut) is distended externally, sometimes 
four or five inches. The beast falls, and exhibits signs 
of the most severe pain and torture. Its groans are 
piteous and distressing. 

Cures. 1st, Immediately stab the animal, on the left 
side, between the hind rib and the hip bone, not too 
near the latter, with a pen knife, or other small knife; 
stand near the left shoulder, with your left hand on the 
back of the animal, and perform the operation, two 
or three inches deep, with your right, to avoid being 
kicked, which sometimes, though rarely happens. If 
he lie doMTi, the hind legs may be secured, for the 
moment with a cord; be not afraid of wounding the 
intestine. The knife must pierce the abdomen, to let 
the wind escape. If one incision fail or close, i^i- 
mediately make another; the operation h^s been re- 
peated seven times, on the same bullock, in different 
distended parts of the belly, and succeeded at last. — It 
does not always wound the gut ; as the wind is between 
that and the exterior parts. Vast explosions of wind, 
often very foetid, with water of a reddish colour, will 
issue from the orifice. A knife sharp at the point, and 
not edged far, a short blade, or one ^vrapped round with 
cord or rags to prevent its going too deep, is the best. 
But be not nice as to this. The disease will be certainly 
mortal, unless instantly relieved; therefore think not any 
remedy too daring. A large butcher's knife has been 
used, when a penknife was not at hand. After the 
evacuation of wind through the incision, give a warm 
clyster. It may be composed of oil, fish pickle, mo- 
lasses, and if no pickle, some salt. In the ''Museum 
Rusticum'' in 1764, and Mr. Wynn Baker's report to 

On Hoven Cattle. 


tlie Dublin Society in 1769, a full account of this disease 
may be seen. It will effectually remove all prejudices 
against this remedy, which, if applied in time, is so cer- 
tain, that not. one in a hundred cattie thus treated, has 
been lost. I can vouch on my own experience, for the 
efficacy and little danger of the operation. Let nature 
cure the wound. Do not sew it up, or apply any thing 
except what will keep away the flies. 2d, A beast has 
been relieved by violent eructations, on the tongue's 
being suddenly and forcibly drawn out. 3d, Another 
instant, and very efficacious remedy, is raking the beast, 
and drawing out the superabundant faeces: this is well 
known to, and often practised by farriers. 4th, Ano- 
ther remedy, in the first stage, and frequently successful^ 
and always useful as an auxiliary, after the more prompt 
anethods before recommended have been used, is 
drenching. For this purpose take a pint of sweet oil, 
or if this cannot be had, raw linseed, or even train oil, 
or melted hog's lard. Sometimes sah and water have 
been serviceable, but these are too feeble in extreme 
cases. All these remedies may be applied, without in- 
compatibility, to the same diseased subject. Half an 
hour, and frequently a less time, terminates the disease 
by death or recovery, therefore be expeditious ; do not 
listen to those who tell you about danger from the 
knife. It may, and sometimes does fail. — But without 
it, your loss is generally certain. Some will suppose 
your beast poisoned; and not a few will dream, that it 
is a poison generated by plaistered clover ; some, asto- 
nished at the suddenness, hideous symptoms and rapid 
progress of the malady, will pronounce, very gravely, 
that it is the effect of madness, or secret mischief and 

■ m ■"*M!*T ""Tnr'^~it'tf III 


On Haven Cattle* 

C 9 3 

However absurd they may appear to persons of intel- 
ligence, I have been present when such causes have 
been seriously assigned. All my endeavours to pro- 
cure the application of prompt remedies, have been 
defeated by one or other of these vagaries. The knife 
is the surest remedy for, and antidote against, this ima- 
ginary poison. It instantaneously dissolves the fancied 
spells of the ideal practitioners in witchcraft. It ba- 
nishes from the brains of those who prove themselves 
no conjurers, all apprehensions on this score; more 
decidedly and promptly than even the old horse shoe/ 
nailed on the door sill. These latter observations are 
made with the sole view of warning the owners of stock, 
against the ignorance and prejudices of their subor. 
dinates or weak advisers, and to induce them personally 
to attend to the preservation of their cattle, on such 
sudden and dangerous emergencies, 

On Rotting Fkx. By Joseph Cooper of Nev, Jersey. 

Read November 12th, 1805. 

About 18 years past I purchased a German servant 
man, and soon afterward set him and others to spread 
my flax ; the lot not containmg the whole, he requested 
me to let him rot the remainder in his o^vn way ; this he 
did, and the flax so rotted, proved the best, softest and 
whitest, I had ever seen, and the method pleased me so 
well, that I have practised it ever since, with some alte. 
rations as to time.-The process I find to answer best 
IS, after the seed is beaten off, to bind it in bundles about 
Uie size of common rje sheaves, and about the last of 
Septemberorfirstof October, to immerse them in water 
(stagnant water is preferable to running,) about tno 
weeks, but the time should be regulated by the weather 
as to heat or cold; it is then taken out and spread thin 
and even, and turned as often as occasion may require • 
after being spread, every rain, fog, dew, or frost, assists 
m separating the harl, whitening and softening the flax 
^ and extracting the gum, the detention of which is the 
only cause of flax being coarse and harsh. It is an esta- 
bhshed fact with those who have tried both ways, that 
either thread or cloth made from flax prepared in the 
above manner, is softer, and will whiten in one third of 
the time that is requisite for either article, made from flax 
rotted in the common manner. 

I believe the principal reason why water rotting flax 
IS so httle practised in North America is, that those who 
have tried it, find the flax harsh and brittle, the cause of 

N ' 




On Rotting Flax. 

which, (I imagine,) is putting it in water in hot weather, 
when two or three days will rot it sufficiently for dress- 
ing, but will not extract the gum. 

A person from Ireland, (who is well acquainted with 
the process of flax preparation,) informs me, that it was 
the common practice in Ireland about 20 or 30 years 
ago, to permit flax to remain in water until sufficiently 
rotted, but the people in general finding it did not answer 
their expectation, have since adopted the above method 
with success. — Linen made of flax prepared as before 
directed, with one boil, will be about the colour of 
Russia sheeting, which induces me to believe that all 
the hemp and flax in Russia is rotted in the same way. 

See an account of the Irish mode of preparing Jlax^ among 
the selected paperSy fit the close of this volume. 

\ t 

C 11 3 


On Peach Trees. By Joseph Cooper of New Jersey. 

Read January 14th, 1806. 

In looking over an Almanack* for the present year, I 
observed a piece giving information, that peach trees 
had been preserved in the neighbourhood of Philadel- 
phia, by removing the earth from the roots, after tHe 
first hard frost, in the fall, and returning it again in the 
spring, and oiling the body three or four feet from the 
ground, with common lamp oil. ^ 

The author likewise observes, that peach trees that 
stand in hedge rows and thickets, thrive better than 
others in cleared ground, which had suggested the idea, 
of defending the body of the tree, by wisps of straw, 
to prevent the attack of insects. 

I take the liberty to make some observations on the 
piece alluded to. 

In the first place, I think the taking the earth from 
the roots of peach trees, in the fall, dangerous, as I tried 
that method in the fall of 1779; the succeeding winter 
proved very severe, as to frost, and but little snow; the 
consequence was, the loss of every tree so treated, and 
their worms not injured. On examining the trees in 
the spring, I found worms abundant as usual, and the 
effect the removing the earth had on them, was, caus. 
ing them to injure the tree more, by descending the 
roots, as the cold came on; they returned to the surface 
as the weather warmed, and in picking them out, I found 

^Published by Kimber Conrad and Co. 


On Peach Trees. 

the bark dead, up to the place above whence the earth 
had been removed, as ifa fire had been made round the 
tree, and the top as fresh as usual ; it however died, with 
the approach of warm weather. The observation, that 
peach trees flourish in hedge rows, &c. I know is 
accurate ; they also flourish in most places where the 
body is shaded ; this I attribute to their being preserved 
from the effects of the sudden transitions, from heat to 
cold, and from cold to heat, which I apprehend arc 
more destructive to peach and cherry trees, than in- 
sects, as I have had hundreds of fine trees to perish in 
one summer, after an irregular winter, without being 
in the least injured by worms. 

Among many reasons for the opinion, that irregular 
winters are destructive to peach trees, one is, that from 
good authority, said trees live in Cape May county in 
this State, to the age of 30 or 40 years; an age, which 
I attribute to situation, the county being half surround- 
ed by the waters of the Atlantic ocean, and Delaware 
bay ; and in the direction of the winds, that cause the 
warm spells here m winter, and which have not the 
same effect there, coming as they do, so immediately off* 
those large waters; a proof of this is, that vegetation is 
generally two weeks later there than here, though so 
far to the southward. 

From many observations and experiments, I have 
found that the worm most destructive to peach trees, 
begins to change to sl chrysalis about the first of July, and 
remains in that state about two weeks, when they come 
out a ^vasp, and proceed to couple and lay their eggs 
near the roots of the trees, or in wounds in any other 
part; but do little injury, except in or near the roots^ as, 


On Peach Trees, 


if attended to, the issuing of the gum will shew their 
seat, and they are easily picked out; but their principal 
object is the root, the bark being softer there than on the 
body, and the rapid growth of the trunk near the root, 
at the time of the wasps depositing their eggs, causes a 
number of small rents in the bark, which give the 
vvorms an easy entrance. I have observed that trees 
in a declining state, are more favourable, to the increase 
of peach worms than those of luxuriant growth, as the 
latter discharge so much gum from the wounds, asto 
cause the death of the insect, and the former will bring 
them into the wasp state a month sooner; for which rea- 
son I examine the peach trees carefully every spring, 
and those that are in such a declining state as to render 
them unprofitable, I hitch a team to, and draw up by 
the roots, as the most certain mode to destroy all the 
worms they may contain. 

The best method I have yet discovered, to prevent 
injury from the worms, is to examine the trees carefully 
in the spring and take out the worms; repeat the ope- 
ration about 1st July, and hill up the earth round the 
trees eight or ten inches: in October, remove the earth, 
examine as before, then renew the hill, which leave, till 
the spring examination. By continuing this process 
annually, I am confident tiiat not more than one of my 
peach trees has been killed by the worms, for twenty 
that have died in consequence of irregular winters: 
and as I have observed the fluctuating state of the wea- 
ther m winter, constantly to increase for more than fifty 
years, I conceive it must proceed from some certain 
cause, which I apprehend to be the improvement of the 
country, every cleared field operating.Nvhen free of snow. 


On Peach Trees. 

as a reflector of the rays of the sun. That the clearing 
of the country is at least in part the cause of our variable 
winters, is rendered in some measure probable by a fact 
communicated to me, viz. that in the thinly settled parts 
of the country, peach trees flourish as well as they did 
formerly in the neighbourhood of Philadelphia: therefore 
it seems advisable to endeavour to find out some method 
to defend tender fruit trees from the eflFects of fluctu- 
ating winters ; I can think of no better method to sue- 
ceed, than binding straw round the body or trunk of 
the trees, that part appearing to be the seat of the dis- 



C 15 ] 

On Peach Trees. By Richard Peters. 

Read February llth, 1806., 

The last meeting of the Society was favoured with 
a communication on the subject of peach trees, from 
Joseph Cooper Esq. of New Jersey, whose experience 
has enabled him to add much to our stock of practical 
knowledge, I was desu-ed to give some account of 
what had fallen under my own observation, relating to 
this valuable and delicious fruit. I know not any in the 
catalogue of our trees, more desirable, nor more sub- 
ject to mortifying decay, disease and destruction. 
Having cultivated it from my earliest youth, it should 
seem that I could ^ve some certain and profitable 
mode of remedying its tendency to premature decay, 
and repelling the diseases to which it is invariably a 
victim. But I have found myself so frequently bafiled 
in my endeavours; and have seen the fallacy of so ma- 
ny tfieories, on this subject, that I diffidently affirm any 
thing respecting its culture or cure. It is therefore 
only in obedience to the wishes of the Society, that I 
express my opinions or experience. 

About fifty years ago, on the farm on which I now 
reside, my father had a large peach orchard, which 
yielded abundantly. Until a general catastrophe befel 
it, plentiful crops had been for many years produced, 
with little attention. The trees began nearly at once 
to sicken, and finally perished. Whether by the wasp 
then undiscovered, or by some change in our climate, 
I know not. For 40 years past, I have observed the 





On Peach Trees. 


On Peach Trees. 


peach trees in my neighbourhood, to be short lived. 
Farther south, in the western country, and, it seems in 
some parts of New Jersey, they are durable and pro- 
ductive, as they had been formerly here.** 

In my youth, excellent plumbs grew here ; now we 
can obtain none, but those of inferior species. In grapes 
we were never successful ; though much more so than 
at present. Our wheat in modern times, is attacked by 
enemies unknown to our predecessors. Our apple or* 
chords do not produce, as diey did in early times. There 
must therefore be some change in our climate ; and neW 
races of vermin, not known to our ancestors. In cities 
and towns, grapes and plumbs and I believe peaches^ 
are in high perfection. The atmosphere in which they 
vegetate, possesses a character favourable to their 
growth ; and their position admits fewer enemies to assail 
them. I am aware that it is a frequent mistake, to draw 
general conclusions, from partial facts. My opinions 
^e formed on experience, I have gained on my o\vn 
property, and may not generally apply. I have near 
1000 apple trees, 150 grape vines, 200 peach trees, and 
a number of plumbs. They are of all ages, kinds and 
exposures; and set out in every variety of soil. I have 
endeavoured to practise on every information to be ac- 
quired from books, or oral directions. I must there- 
fore conclude from my frequent disappointments, that 

♦ I have seen them also in great perfection, in and about 
Lancaster, and other parts, where limestone and other calca- 
reous substances abound. The cause I do not pretend to as- 
sign; nor do I know the general duration of the tree, in that 
count rA\ 


fruits in this part of the country, are uncertain in pro- 
duct; and have declined, in quantity and quality, in a 
degree not formerly experienced. I have often observ-*, 
ed, that in bad fruit years, the seasons were unhealthy 
for animals. Insects and their larva, or catterpillars, 
and other enemies to fruit, abound in such seasons! 
The products of the earth seem to be more favoured at 
one period, and in different stages of the settlement of 
our country, than at others. Advantages or misfor- 
tunes, merely local, have their influence. Some are 
perfected in old settlements; others thrive only when 
the earth is recently reclaimed from the wilderness of 

Of the peach, I have 32 varieties. Mr. Coxe, of 
Burlington, has double that number. But those I have 
are sufiicient to enable me to form a general idea. I find 
some less exposed than others, to misfortune and decay. 
It would therefore be desirable, to mark, and cultivate 
those most commonly, in Avhich the most success could 
be counted on. Mr. Cooper has been successful, on 
this plan, in other products. Let him, and other curi- 
ous cultivators, practise on this su^estion. 

I have failed in many things, in which others are said 
to have succeeded. Straw and bass, or paper, suiround- 
mg the tree, from the root, at all distances, from 6 in- 
ches, to 3 or 4 feet— white washing, painting, urinous 
applications, brine, soot, lime, frames filled with sand, v^" 
oil, tar, turpentine, sulphuric acid or oil of vitriol, ni. 
trous mixtures, and almost every kind of coating. I 
rumed several trees, by cutting them down, and per. 
mittmg the stump to throw up new shoots, and branch 
at pleasure. AU teguments kept the exsudation from 




On Peach Trees. 


V 'I 

evaporating with freedom. The pores being closed, or 
too open, were alike injurious. Teguments of straw or 
bass made the bark tender ; and it threw out under the 
covering, sickly shoots. The more dense coating stop- 
ped the perspiration. The oil invited mice and other 
vermin, who ate the bark thus prepared for their repast 
and killed the tree. I planted in hedge rows and near 
woods, I paved, raised hillocks of stone — I have suffer- 
ed them to grow from the stone only, grafted on vari- 
ous stocks and budded, hilled up the earth in the spring 
and exposed the butt in the fall, sometimes I have used 
the knife freely — frequently have left the tree to shoot 
in every direction — I have scrubbed the stocks or 
trunks, with hard brushes, soap suds and sand, scraped 
them with proper instruments : I have, for a season or 
two imder various experiments, amused myself with 
the persuasion, that I liad discovered an infallible pana- 
cea. I had temporary success, but final disappoint- 

, The aphis or vine fretter, and many other insects are 
hostile to this tree. They injure it, by piercing, cur- 
ling, and destroying its leaves. As to frosts, they are 
common enemies to all fruit. 

Having thus candidly given an account of my fai- 
lures, which never discourage, but animate me to new 
projects, I mention what with me has been attended 
with the most success. 

The worm or grub, produced by the Avasp, deposit- 
ing its progeny in the soft bark, near the surface of the 
ground, is the most common destroyer. I remove the 
earth, a few inches round the tree in August or Sep- 
tember. After July the wasp ceases to pierce the bark, 

On Peach Trees. 


and to make its deposits. I pour around the butt of the 
tree, beginning about one foot above the ground, a 
quart or more (not being nice about the quantity) of 
boiling hot soap suds or water. This kills the egg or 
worm lodged in the tender bark ; and of course prevents 
its ravages the next season. I carefully search the trees, 
though I seldom find worms. I do not perceive any 
injury from this operation. I have discovered worms 
in or near the roots of the smallest stocks taken from 
the nursery.' These I frequently plunge into boiling 
water, before planting. I lose very few; and do not 
attribute the losses to the hot water. I have the trees 
bared at the roots, exposed to the winter. I have lost 
some in the way described by Mr. Cooper; but I still 
continue the practice. I have been in the habit of do- 
ing this for ten or twelve years, and prefer it to any 
other treatment. To supply deficiencies, I plant young 
trees every year. By these means, I have generally 
fruit enough for my family, and frequently very abun- 
dant crops. How long I shall continue to prosper by 
this practice, is yet problematical. I have now some of 
the most healthy trees I ever possessed. When trees 
become sickly, I grub them up ; I find that sickly trees 
often infect, those in vigour near them, by some mor- 
bid eflluvia. The young trees supply their loss, and I 
have no trouble in nursing those in a state of decay; 
which IS commonly a hopeless task. 

I have been thus particular, to justify the inference 
from this statement-that, in this part of the country 
peach trees cannot be profitably cultivated on an ex- 
tensive scale._But we may have great abundance of 
their delicious fruit, in every variety, if every fanner 

'' ,> 


On Peach Trees. 


On Peach Trees. 

. 21 



and horticulturist, would plant the number, to which he 
could attend, without interference with his other con- 
cerns. He might keep up a constant succession, by- 
setting out a few every year. Our grain, and garden 
plants in general, require renewal annually ; and peach 
trees require no more trouble. A tree with very little 
attention, will produce three or four crops. Its growth 
is quick ; and it may be propagated easily, and come 
to perfection, in any soil of tolerable staple. As the 
older trees decay, or grow sickly, young and vigorous 
trees will begin to bear. The method which I have lately 
pursued is simple ; guards against the worm, and affords 
me a plenty of fruit. I do not mean to discourage perse- 
verance in experiments, which may yet succeed. We 
must never part with hope ; though she seduces and 
" cheats us o'er and o'er again." The ants of Grenada 
were exterminated by a single tempest. 

Although I have had trees 20 years old, and I know 
some of double that age, (owing probably to the indura- 
tion of the bark rendering it impervious to the wasp, and 
the strength acquired when they had survived early 
misfortunes) yet, in general they do not live in tolerable 
health after bearing 4 or 5 crops. And being among 
the most gummy, viscous, succulent and tender of our 
fruit trees, they require from the earliest stages of their 
growth more labour and attention, than could be pro- 
fitably applied to an extensive plantation. I have too 
'" " many to be sufficiently attended to; but a number of 
them, by their present appearance, warn me not to be 
uneasy on that score. The shoots of the last season 
were remarkably injured by the excesive drought; and 
the extremities of many limbs are entirely dead. I 

shall have, however, more than I require for myself, my 
friends, and my foes. I have a superfluity, to afford de- 
ductions made by plunderers; for whom (from neces- 
sity) I plant an extra number. The trees now verging to 
their last stage, are chiefly those set out in the locust 
year. They have never recovered the wounds, inflict- 
ed by this most pernicious of all insects. 

Fifteen or sixteen years ago, I lost one hundred and 
fifty peach trees in full bearing in the course of two 
summers ; by a disease engendered in the first season. 
I attribute its origin, to some morbid affection in the air, 
which has the most to do with all vegetation, as well in 
its food and sustenance, as in its decay and dissolution. 
The disorder being generally prevalent, would, among 
animals have been called an epidemic. From perfect 
verdure, the leaves turned yellow in a few days, and 
the bodies blackened in spots. Those distant from the 
point of original infection, gradually caught the disease. 
I procured young trees from a distance, in high health, 
and planted them among those the least diseased. Iii 
a few weeks they became sickly, and never recovered.' 
I took the determination of grubbing up every peach 
tree, and converted them into fuel. In my own nursery, 
perceived I should have an hospital of incurables. The 
young peach trees being generally infected, I cleared 
the whole of them away. Various kinds of fruit trees, 
in the same nursery, were not in the least disordered! 
Trees, like animals, have inherent diseases, or a sus. i 
ceptibility to receive those, peculiar to their species. 
The peach seems most subject to this tendency; pears 
are liable to blights from the electric fluid. Iron hoops 
old horse shoes &c. hung on these trees, attract and con ' 

\ u. 


On Peach Trees. 



duct for a time, this floating fluid. But when the aif 
is surcharged, destruction partial or total is certain. 
Cherries are fatally operated upon, by what is called the 
four o'clock sun. Plumbs too are exposed to peculiar 
disasters, which would lead me too far to detail; though 
I have paid much ^nd unprofitable attention to them ; 
and have, now and then, hit on temporary palliatives. 
Particular insects and vermin have their respectively 
favorite tree, or plant to prey on. They pursue the 
dictates of nature, for their own propagation and sup- 
port; while, by destroying our sustenance and comforts, 
they become hostile to us. They compel us to wage 
against them a perpetual warfare. 

After my general defeat and most complete over- 
throw, in which the wortn had no agency, I recruited 
my peaches from distant nurseries ; not venturing to 
take any out of those in my vicinity. I have since ex- 
perienced a few instances of this malady; and have 
promptly, on the first symptoms appearing, removed 
the subjects of it, deeming their cases desperate in them- 
selves, and tending to the otherwise inevitable destruc- 
tion of others. » 



I have only recently seen, or I would have mentioned 
with my communication, an extensive plantation of 
peach trees (now in vigour and very productive) by 
Edward Heston Esq. in my neighbourhood. It is well 
worthy of inspection, and its design exemplary; the 

On Peach Trees. 


scale being larger and more spirited than of late years, 
we have been accustomed to see, in this part of the 
country. I conjecture there are 7 or 800 trees, plant- 
ed in rows or lines; so that the branches interlock, and 
are suffered to shoot without controul. The intervals 
between the rows are wide, and cleaned with the plough 
and harrow. As is to be expected, the fruit though 
plentiful is small; and wants flavour equal to that of 
more distant trees. They grow from the stone, and 
Mr. H. occupied in his plan, did not attend to the se- 
lection. He is now improving by inoculation, and pro- 
vidmg better kinds. In an imitation of this commend- 
able effort, I Avould advise a little more distance, and 
more use of the knife; but not so much as to thwart 
nature. I would not entirely depend on inoculation. 
Plantmg the stone is more certain, as to quick growth 
and earlier profit as well as (Economy ; though it does 
not msure identity of species. Mr. H. begins to suf- 
fer by the disease, I call the "yellows;" though he has 
fewer worms, than common in other modes. The wasp 
from which the worm proceeds, does not of choice fre- 
quent shady places. I do not know any product more 
valuable than peaches, to which the same extent and 
quantity of ground could be applied. To ensure constant 
supply, another plantation should be progressing, while 
that m profit is bearing and decUning. It should be 
distent from the first, to be out of reach of infection. 
Why should we not cultivate, in this way, this fruit 
vvhen other products are equally long before profit is 
obtained? Madder, liquorice, &c. require as much 
time, and better ground. Their certainty or superior 
profit IS questionable. By the mode here mentioned 

t - 3 


On Peach Trees. 



constant successions may be counted upon, without the 
toil and disappointments of attempts, to prolong the 
duration of this short lived tree. I perceive Mr. H. 
is travelling the same road of experiment, to save de- 
clining, or insure healthy trees, I have passed over be- 
him. He will be fortunate, if he does not meet with 
similar disappointments. 

September^ 1807. 

As I predicted, the ^^yellows"^ are seen making de- 
structive ravages in Mr. Heston's peach plantation. I 
have lost a great proportion of my trees, by the same 
malady, this year. Some of them were young and vi- 
gorous. We have had two successive rainy seasons. 
I do not recollect ever to have seen more general de- 
struction among peach trees, throughout the whole of 
the country. It seems that excessive moisture is one, 
if not the primar)^ cause of this irresistable disease. 





C 25 3 


On cutting of the horn's ofBuU Calves. By Paul Cooper 
of Woodbury, New Jersey. ' 

Read August 12th, 1806. 
The method is, when a calf is about a month old. 
and the horns have risen above the skin, to cut off the 
knobs close Xvith a chisel, and with a shaip gouge, pare 
them clean from the bone: then sear the wound, and 
fill It with sturgeon's oil, or hog's lard. 

Cattle often acquire such dexterity in thro^ving down 
fences with their horns, that if they are chained, head 
and foot to prevent their jumping; they will neverthe- 
less, with their horns, throw the fences down to the 
ground ; and by that means, let a gi^at part of the stock, 
perhaps m the night, into your field of com or wheat. 
Cattle often learn to lay down bars, open stable and bam 
doors, gates &c. with their horns. I have known them 
a number of times to get into my barn by this means, 
m the night, when I have had a large quantity of grain 
on my bam floor. Bulls and cows not only LreS 
other, but very frequently woundhorses; I have had se- 
jal dangerously injured in this way, and a neighbour 
of ours lately had a horse, that I think he gave g 900 
fen. killed by a bull. Bulls even gore childrenL^o^ 

account.""^ '""' '"" "' ^^^^^''^"^ '^ "^^^ °» this " 

should he'"T' T'"""*' *^* *^ ^bove operation 

ra'ei^ If thf .1 " '" '"" '''^'^ *^* -^ -t cas- 
trated. Ifthismethodwere practised a few vears IthJnt 
we should be so fully convinced of its u 1^**1" 
g.slatures would apprehend it conducive to tCbHc 





I, , 


26 On cutting off the Horns of Bull Calves* 

• -~ - w^^^mmm^^-^tm^ im ■ -■ -' »— .^^i^— .1 „ ■■■ i m ^, .■ »^ —,■._■,_■■ 1 , , ■^l ■ , , ■ - ■■■ 1 i<— — — — ^^^ 

■ ■ 1 

welfare, to impose a fine on all such who neglected to 
cut the horns of their bulls when young. 

[The inconveniencies mentioned by Mr. Cooper, 
might be obviated by encouraging the polled or horn- 
less breed of cattle. Another advantage would attend 
this breed, viz. that they would be free from the hollow 
horn, a disease which frequently proves fatal, when not 
duly attended to. In England, this breed, which is al- 
most universal in the great farming county of Norfolk, 
affords tht greatest milkers. J 

C 27 3 - 

Departure of the Southern Pine Timber, A Proof of the 
Tendency in Nature to a Change of Products on the 
same Soil. By Richard Peters. 

Read September 9th, 1 806. 

' Pelmont, Jugust 50th, 1806. 


I have formed the outline of a plan, which, as leisure 
may permit and inclination prompt, I propose more ma- 
turely to digest; and, in which, I request and invite the 
members of the Society to assist. The object of it is, 
ft) illustrate and enforce the leading principles of good 
husbandry, proved on experience to be just, by facts, 
and reasoning deduced from them, taken from the great 
movements, or less operations of mture. She is the 
best and wisest instructress; because she is moved and 
governed by the all wise creator and governor of the 
universe. Our task must be to follow her dictates ; and 
apply her precepts and example, with due discretion 
and judgment. This mode of disseminating agricul- 
tural knowledge, appears to me best calculated to con- 
vince the understanding, and rouse the attention of 
those, for whose benefit such associations, as that we 
have established, are intended. To give a specimen of 
the mode I have in view, (in which I have been more 
diffuse, than on subsequent occasions may be deemed 
requisite,) and excite more able exertions in others, I 
send the inclosed communication; which, with this ex- 
planation of my motives, I request you will please to 
lay befere the Society. There are few, if any of t.s 

I 'M.^ 


28 v4 Change and Succession of Crops recommendedy 

who cannot furnish some materials, for such a design. 
Facts may be collected, when the mind is turned to an 
object, which would otherwise pass without observation 
or useful instruction. If, in the prosecution of enqui- 
ries of this kind, some ideas may appear speculative, 
and visionary, they may nevertheless lead to practical 
and useful results. 

I am. Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, 
Richard Peters. 
Dr. James Mea3e> 

Secretary y Agric. Society ^ Philad. 

There is an account in the public prints, of the ge- 
neral decay of the phie woods in South Carolina; effected 
by a disease, which commenced in 1802. It would be 
highly useful to ascertain and record the facts, relative 
to this catastrophe. It has fallen under my observation 
to know, that this phenomenon is not rare, or singular. 
Intelligent surveyors, who have been occupied in run- 
ning out new lands, in Pennsylvania, and other States, 
remark, in a variety of instances, a total change of tim- 
ber, in many extensive districts of the wilderness. 
They discover by the fallen timber, coated with a di- 
versity of tlie mosses (by which the air, and other means 
of decay, being excliided, they were the better preserv- 
ed*) that the present forest trees are entirely different 

* Coating, or covering large timber, before the acid sap 
is evaporated, is destructive. After it is seasoned, protec- 
tion from eirterior injuries, is beneficial. The moss^ must^ 



M well as of deteriorated Animals. 


from those of the former growth. Those prostrate are 
in many instances, of the resinous tribe, where those 
of a totally different kind are now growing, of enormous 
dimensions ; in sites where white pine, pitch pine, and 
hemlock, had formerly possession ; so that the living 
timber must be very antient.* The largest trees ma- 

on those the best preserved, have estabhshed itself after de- 
siccation. Where the covering has been premature, these 
trunks have been converted into vegetable mould, by the fer- 
menting and feculating of the sap, confined and prevented 
from evaporation. Some of them, in the shapes or forms of 
fallen trunks of trees, have the consistency and texture of 
green hillocks, of rich earth. Some trees may have been 
blown down by tempests, in critical stages of the sap, when 
timber is most liable to rapid decay. 

To prevent the heart rot in timber, boring through the 
center, longitudinally, is effectual, gartering and scnvingy 
through the hearty are also preservatives, if afterwards, the 
parts be artificially joined ; and grooves, or passages, left, or 
made, for the admission of air. 

* The growth of timber is, in our climate, so rapid, that 
in 25 years, it-is of size sufficient, for every purpose com- 
monly required ; and possibly, on this account the less dura- 
ble. Some years ago, when attending the subdivision of a 
body of lands in Tork County^ I measured an oak growing 
out of a cellar of a ruined house or cabin, which had been 
inhabited 35 years before. Tlie tree was near two feet in 
diameter. Around this ruin, there was a beautiful wood, of 
healthy and thriving timber ; standing where grain had been 
raised, by the occupant of the building. The traces of in- 
closures were evident, through the woods ; and some of the 
rails were not decayed. At iron works, they cut, for char- 
coal, the second growth of timber, after a- lapse of from eigh- 




so A Change and Succession of Crops recommended^ 


jestically flourish among the fallen trunks of their pre- 
decessors. Those of us who have traversed our distant 
forests, especially beyond the mountains, w^here the tim- 
ber is truly gigantic, must have noticed this striking 
circumstance. The variegated verdure of these im- 
mense recumbent trunks, numerous and extensive, af- 
fords to the traveller, a curious, pleasing, picturesque, 
and stupendous contrast, with the dusky glooms of the 
shades surrounding him. 

In my memory, on a smaller scale, a total change of 
timber has occurred, in a ti'act of mine, containing 
about 800 acres in Northampton county. Previously 
to our revolution, perhaps 35 years ago, I knew it to ht 
covered with pitch pine. It was called the pine tract. 
This first growth of timber having been blown down 
by a tornado, was consumed by fires of the woods, a 
practice mischievously common in that quarter. It is 
now entirely reclothed with oakj hickory^ and other va» 
luable well grown and thriving timber ; and scarcely a 
pine tree is to be seen. I can give (within my own know- 
ledge) several instances similar, but of less extents 
One, of a fine grove of white pine^ thrown up spontane- 
ously, on old fields, where no timber of that species had 

teen to twenty five years. Our forest timber is produced 
spontaneously, as we all know. No pains are taken to plant,, 
protect, lop or prune it, as is the custom in Europe. We 
take the opposite course : we not only neglect, but assist dis- 
solution in its natural march, by wanton waste. Posterity 
will look back, with keen regret and reproach, when they feel 
the effects of our careless indifference, and culpable inatten- 
tion, to their interests and necessities. 

As well as of deteriorated Animals^ 


origmally grown ; and far from any such timber. Ano- 
ther, of a large body of valuable chesnut; where a person^ 
now living, has reaped wheat, and other grain; and where 
hickory and oak had been the precedent growth ; and no 
timber but of the latter kinds, is now to be seen in the 
adjacent lands. May it not therefore be probable, that 
a change in the timber of the southern country is about 
to take place? Dissolution and renovation, are constant 
operations, in nature. Some whole races of animals, 
have become extinct. The mammoth, the former mo- 
narch of the woods, is a proof, in the knowledge of eve- 
ry body. Beasts of a very difierent race, now occupy 
his haunts. Yet this had excited more curiosity, than 
important research, or useful enquiry. 

I do not find that the particular species of timber 
growing on land, invariably designates its qualities, or 
strength : aUhough it is certain, that some kinds are 
the most frequently found, on lands of similar quality. 
I have \inoyfn hemlock, vAi\t(^ pine and pitch /?2W, grow 
on very rich, deep stapled, and strong land ; as well as 
on the most sandy, thin and sterile soil. 

I mention these facts, and the opinions resulting from 
them, to invite attention to this subject: so as to extract 
from this trait in natural history, something auxiliarj, 
land useful to the objects of our association. It behoves 
us to gain improvement, from the shifting of the grand 
scenery around us. Important movements in the sys- 
tem of nature, should not be suffered to pass, without 
profitable instruction. 

Although some respectable agriculturists will not 
concede the point most generally agreed, to wit: — that 
changes of both animals and plants, are necessarv to 






32 A Change and Succession of Crops recommended^ 

their amelioration, or as prr-entives of degeneracy, I 
have always been of that opinion..* Selecting the best 
seed from vigorous plants on the same farm, is a sub- 
stitute for change. Indeed it may be called a change, 
as is that of selections from the same breed of animals. 
But I have never considered this as a decisive proof of 
the doctrine, it is intended to support. It is an instance 
of commendable and exemplary attention, but it^ result 
would be more easily attained, by conforming to gene- 
ral experience. The same kind of seed, sown t)n the 
same farm, in soils of different textures and qualities, 
will ameliorate. Thus sand ameliorates and recovers, 
what in clay had degenerated ; and so vice versa. A 
change of soil operates like a change of seed. I have 
ameliorated wheat, and other grain and plants, taken 
from crops in low land, on my own farm, without selec- 
tion of the best grains, by sowing them on distant and 

^ In agriculture, a collection of practical facts only, is to 
be depended on. Solitary instances are often deceptive, more 
so are speculative opinions. Yet these have their use, as 
they lead to experiment and enquiry. Sir Joseph Banks as- 
serts, contrary to general experience, that light, or shrivelled, 
grain, will produce as healthy a crop, as the best seed ! In 
this it should seem that Sir jf. Banks, was a mere theorist. 
It shews, however, what opposite opinions are entertained on 
the same subject. Mr. Joseph Cooper whose practical opi- 
nion has great weight (though I do not entirely agree with 
him in his conclusion, not doubting the fact he alleges) holds 
the direct contraiy doctrine. He thinks that the selection of 
the best seed from his own crops, which is highly commend- 
able, answers all purposes.— ^^z/^f^m may be carried toojfr, 
on both sid'/s of this question. 

•T»--J» It^T' ayji^^ 


As well as of deteriorated Jnimals. 


higher grounds. The same breed of animals, shifted 
to distant and different* parts of a country will recover 
a degenerate race. Both these facts, as they apply to 
plants and animals, have been experienced by me, and 
mukitudes of other farmers.t, 

JVature, the creature and agent of the divine author 
and director of all things, without intermission, when 
special interferences do not occur, (which they who do 

* " Different" is here to be understood, from high to low 
lands, and vice versa. Also as to herbage, and texture of 

soil,— such as, from sah marsh, to fresh grass &c Sheep 

with the rot, and other diseases, have been cured, by change 
from fresh pastures to salt marshes. 

t The careful attention of some Europeans, to the breeding 
system^ may, like a selection of grain for seed com, be, by 
such judicious selection, a substitute lor changes. They are 
not however, there agreed, what is the best course for con- 
tinuing, preserving from deterioration, or improving their 
valuable animals. Great success has attended a few cele- 
brated breeders, in different modes. Some are attached to 
crosses, others hold it unnecessary and injurious ; and select 
the best and finest stock for breeders, from the same family. 
In this country, where little knowledge of, or attention to this 
system exists, the shortest and best mode is to change, either 
locality, or stock. But in no case, should either the original 
stock, or attention to it in its progress, be neglected. Our 
time and labour are engaged so unremittingly, in our com- 
mon affairs, that the necessary application to nice selections, 
cannot often be afforded, by the mass of farmers. If the re- 
sult can be produced, with the same application, as profitably. 
It will be immaterial and a mere speculation, whether selec- 
tion be considered a substitute for change, or change for 
selection, of either stock, or grain. 








34 ji Change and Succession of Crops recommended^ 

As well as of deteriorated Animals. 


( * 


'' I'i' 

not often perceive, must be indeed blind) progresses iii 
a system prescribed to her ; and employs various in- 
struments to effect her purposes. The most flagitious 
of the human race (who also perish in their turns,) arc 
frequently impelled to exercise, a subordinate agency 
to chastise, destroy, and finally to produce a change^ 
renovation^ or substitution^ in nations^ or races of men. 
What immense numbers of our species, have, out of 
the common course of mortality, and prematurely, to 
our short sighted apprehension, been utterly destroyed ! 
How many of the aborigines of South America^ and the 
islands near it, among other instances ancient and mo- 
dern which might be imported from Europe and other 
quarters of the old world, have been extirpated ! Near, 
er home — in our part of this Continent, in the spot we 
now inhabit, the more modem theatre of a tragedy in 
which Europeans and their decendants, have been the 
chief actors — whole tribes, and nations, have been ex- 
terminated ! Their names are not known to us, who now 
possess their soil. Their places are now tenanted, by 
those destined to extinguish and succeed them. Ver^ 
min and diseases^ of infinitely diversified descriptions, 
are employed, for the purposes of change, and thereby 
to effectuate the inscrutable designs of heaven, to pros- 
trate the most exalted, as well as the most humble, of 
the animal and vegetable creation. The pride of the 
forest, the riches of the field, and the ornaments and 
delights of the garden, are alike their victims. Tempests 
Sind inundations y ravage, with resistless ruin. The mes- 
sengers of destruction spare neither the palace, nor the 
cottage. They deal out desolation, in a system of perfect 
equality ! 

This picture may not be valuable for its colouring: 
but the likeness is drawn by historj^ and experience, 
with the pencil of truth. Nor is it gloomy, to those 
who succeed this winter of dissolution. They enjoy 
fruitful and renovated seasons; when new products, 
more vigorous and estimable, are benignantly sent 
forth, to retribute for those lost, by either sudden or 
progressive, but inevitable, decadency. Nature will 
have her course ; and to her, an age, is but as to us a day. 
For the distribution, supply and succession of animal 
and vegetable productions^ means are established, in end- 
less diversities ; as well as to operate the changes de- 
signed, in the ordinary, or special course of progres- 
sion. The human race, though endued, by the bene- 
ficent author of our existence, with the like organization 
of our system, both corporeal and mental, with that of 
our first parents, is nevertheless disposed to great vari- 
eties, in the branches from the original stock. These 
are numerous and operated upon, if not produced by 
climate, means and quality of subsistence and other 
local circumstances, as they are dispersed through differ- 
ent quarters of the earth; like the trees of the forest or 
the plants of the field. Although none of the human 
species may be said to be, in their nature, strictly indi- 
genous, as it respects any particular hemisphere, or 
district of the globe; yet they become, in due time, ac 
commodated (as are other animals) to the situation, in 
which they are doomed to live ; and successions, and 
changes, of individuals continually occur. A diversity 
in their successions is seen, as one race, or variety, is 
located, or displaces another. The power of locomotion 
IS given to us; and a disposition to change, is implant- 


36 ^ Change and Succession of Crops recommendedy 

ed in our nature. A propensity to wandering, is not 
confined to savage tribes, it shews itself in those deemed 
civilised ; who follow the worst and most savage pro- 
pulsions, when they establish themselves, when nations 
are devoted to chastisement or overthrow, on the ruin, 
total or partial, of those they subjugate or destroy. 
And, whether the purpose be achieved progressively 
and peacefully, or violently and promptly, by those en- 
circled with diadems, leading hosts, in the pomp, and 
fearful equipment of war ; or by bands, or hordes, of 
savages, not less destructive and fierce, though less 
gaudily attired, or formidably arrayed, the same ends 
are accomplished, though the means are apparently 
dissimilar. Thus also, violence, decay and dissolution, 
and operations both a\yful and disgusting, are the pre- 
cursors of the changes in timber and plants. These 
flourish on the destruction of others, to which they suc- 
ceed ; as do men and other animals, whose numbers and 
vigour encrease, by changes of race, or locality. 

It is peculiar to animals to be endowed with the ca- 
pacity of self movement, when choice or necessity in- 
vites, or compels, changes of locality and habits : and, 
by the exercise of their own powers, and propensities, 
man^ and other animals^ are distributed through every 
clime. The strong disposition, in minds rude or culti- 
vated, for travel, and visiting distant countries, disguis- 
ed under an infinity of motives, either of curiositv, im- 
provement, cupidity, or ambitipn, is but an evidence of 
this natural impulse in men. A similar instinct for roam- 
ing and wandering, appears in other animals ; when they 
are invited to change their haunts, in pursuit of prey, 
in search of more sunny regions, and temperate seasons 


As well as of deteriorated Animals. 


or greater plenty of subsistence. Such propulsions are 
stimulants to the execution of the great designs of hea- 
ven to replenish and populate the earth; and to spread 
through every region, the tenants of the forests, 2in^the 
beasts of the fields. The migrations of birds, and wing- 
ed insects, are easily effected: and the animals appointed 
to inhabit ^ the ''vasty deep;' 2s^ in constant progress, 
through its immensurable expanse. 

For the dissemination of the vegetable tribes, their 
all wise creator has instituted countless means. Animals 
wmged and footed, winds and waters, are subservient 
to their propagation. In the wonderful machinery of 
nature, one part is always assistant to the other. Hence 
we can account for a few and rare appearances of trees 
and plants, in unexpected spots.— But how, or from 
what germes, or organized particles, new and extensive 
products spring forth spontaneously; in situations very 
distant from any of the same kinds, where none such 
were before seen ; and where a distinct vegetation had 
long occupied the site ;-is hidden among the arcana of 
the creation, into which I do not presume to enter-- 
much less to explain. The facts are numerous andhi- 
dubitable:^and, if I can fairly deduce any practical, 
and profitable conclusion, it is all I aim to accomplish 


Smce this communication I have met, accidentally, with 

a crmque m the i:^i„^„,.^ j?^,^. Vol. I. 1802-3. on 3L«.- 
^te * Voyages. It calls to my recollection a confirmatoiy fact • 
menuoned by him. He alleges it to be « a very cunoL and 
extraordmary circumstance, that land covered with spruce pine 
and W„.. birch^ when laid waste by fire, should subsequen^v 
produce notlnns but poplars, where none of that spL s of 





38 A Change and Succession of Crops recofhmended. 




The corollary to be drawn from these observations^ 
7^ practical. Speculation is vain and visionary, when 
it does not assist in the practical business of life* Lei 
agriculturists be warned^ by the decline of plants or ani- 
mals, to change their course. When crops are repeat- 

tree was previously to be found." The reviewers speak in- 
credulously of this fact, which is nevertheless undoubtedly 
true ; and corroborative of similar relations. Many of the 
phenomena of nature pass so often without notice, that they 
appear incredible, when our attention to them is a^vakened. 
We are yet novices in these secrets, which, with all our 
pride of science and experience, are hidden from our ken. 
We can but seldom agree about effects, muph less do we ac- 
cord in developing causes. It is almost as extraordinaiy, 
that any timber should grow, where, at the depth of four 
inches from the surface, he (Mackenzie) uniformly met with 
a solid body of ice, in midsummer : but this is not a solitary 

The savage and ruinous custom off ring the woods, against 
which our laws have feebly provided, is borrowed by our 
borderers, from their predecessors the Indians. It not only 
prevails where Mackenzie found it, in the northern regions 
of oiur Continent ; but through the southern and middle dis- 
tricts of the wilderness, possessed by the natives, and their 
half civilized successors. The partial and temporary benefits 
of pasture, or facilities to hunting, serve as excuses for an 
enormity, which renders extensive tracts of country, origi- 
nally valuable, finally desert, sterile and worthless* No de- 
predations on personal property, are so destructive, as this 
most atrocious and irreparable offence. Timber will not grow, 
or thrive, where fires of the woods are frequently repeated. 
The change of timber, from a species destroyed, to one en- 
tirely different ; is by no means confined to those places, where 
fires have caused the destruction of precedent growths. 

As 'Well as of deteriorated Animals^ 


edly destroyed or stinted by vermin, by too long cultiva- 
tion of the same species on the same field, or other caus- 
es; or animals are deteriorated, by disease, or impercep- 
tible causes, let an entire new course, and species ofcrgps^ 
be adopted ; and a different breed of the same kind, or 
of another description of animals, be substituted. In a 
lapse of time, the same career may be ran over again. 
This is but extending, through the whole scene, the 
lessons of experience, taught by nature. A continual 
sameness of crop, in the same field, soon produces de- 
generacy and poverty* Successions and changes, are the 
steps to prosperity. Instead of uselessly repining un- 
der the visitations, with which we are occasionally, and, 
for our listlessness, deservedly punished ; when the most 
apparently contemptible insects, desolate our fields, and 
blasts and diseases disappoint our hopes by frequent re- 
currenees, we should profit, by mementos, thus strongly 
marked for our instruction. Growmg wiser by misfor- 
tune, we should be convinced— that nature calls loudly, 
for her expected and salutary change, of the objects of our 
industry and care.^ 

Belmont, August SOthj 1806. 

* It seems almost unnecessary to mention, that, in this 
chang-c, the quality of the soil must be consuked, and the course 
adapted accordingly. Nature delights in change i yet she 
will not be violently forced. In a new clearing, neglected, or 
not judiciously managed, it is curious to observe the infinite 
variety of plants, spontaneously thrown up. Herbaceous 
plants, are products of the first efforts, to clothe the surface; 
after the timber has been removed. These ^re generally^ 



40 A Change and Succession of Crops recoinmendecl. 


In some degree connected with the foregoing sub^ 
ject, I think it useful to recall the attention of the Soci- 
ety, to the communication, I made, at their request, on 
peach trees. The contagious disease, I therein men- 
tioned) as having given me some monitory indications, 
has verified these warnings. I have lost a great num- 
ber, in the manner described, without the agency of 
the worm. I shall take my old course of eradicating the 
disease, by removing its subjects. I shall lise none out 
of my own nursery, but procure young trees from a 
distance, beyond the scene of infection. I observe, 
throughout my neighbourhood, the same disease, pro- 
ducing the like destruction. v 


R. p. 

1 1 

(though there are wandering exceptions) suitable to the soil. 
Aquatic plants will not be found in arid situations ; nor vice 
versa. The next step is to recover timber* This occurs in 
new, as well as old lands, when timber had been thereon ori- 
ginally. In glades^ prairies^ or places not naturally woody, 
it is otherwise. The timber, though often changed in species, 
is adapted to the qualities of the soil. So is the herbage of 
the lands, to which nature has denied timber. This should 
be attended to, in artificial plantations. 

See St. Fierre^s studies of nature ; f Beauties of the Stu- 
dies. 108. J for an handsome description of the operations of 
nature^ when resuming her violated domain. 

I •••••• 

••-'*••: \ > 

Cause of Decay ofTimben m^SoUth CaroHna, 41 

* * ' I I ■ i . ' 

Supplement to the jhre^oiAg.l 

• • • 

• •• 

0»o ) 

...i.. :..•.;.•::.' 


The cause of the rapid and alarming decay of the pine 
timber in South Carolina, is an insect or bug which was 
first observed in the northern and eastern parts of the 
State about six years since. It is a small black winged 
bug resembling the weavU, but somewhat larger. A 
great number of these bugs have been observed in the 
spring of the year, and early in the summer, flying near 
the roots of the trees: they pierce the bark a little dis- 
tance above the ground, and lay their eggs between the 
bark and wood ; in a few weeks after, these eggs hatch, 
and a worm appears, which at its full growth, is about 
an inch long: they immediately begin to feed on the 
sappy part of the tree, and do not cease eating until the 
whole of it is destroyed. 

Very considerable injury has been done by these in- 
sects to the pines of South Carolina. In one place, viz. 
on the Sampit creek, near Georgetown, in a tract of two 
thousand acres of pine land, it has been calculated that 
nmety trees in every hundred have been destroyed bv 
this pernicious insect; the adjoining lands, and many 
tracts on the Santee and Black rivers have equally suf- 
fered. The fact of an oak springing up in the place of 
a fallen pme tree, and of the latter appearing when the 
former is cut, in the southern States, is known to every 
one there. ^ 

The indelicacy of the Edinburgh reviewers in ex- 
pressing their disbelief of the fact related by M' Kenzie 
IS the more inexcusable, inasmuch as their own country 
exhibits a glaring fact analogous to that of the intrepid 
voyager. I allude to the production of white clover 



• t 

• t 


• • •.: 

• .*: 

• • ••' 
• » • « • 

• • • 

«• • • I 
t « t 

e « t e 

* • • 


• •. 

■ t 

• • I 

BfCfdfs offhei Natural Rotation 

< « 

'*' •• 

< ' J 

wifliotit seed; Urng^ sown, upon the wretched poverty 
sti'uct'KeatK and moss ground of Scotland, merely from 
the mfluence of lime spread on the surface. Mr. Heame 
says, tliat " strawberries of a considerable size, and ex- 
cellent flavour, are found as far north as Churchill river, 
and that it is remarkable, they axe frequently known to 
be more plentiful in such places as have formerly been 
set on fire. This is not peculiar to the strawberry, for 
it is well known, in the interior parts of the country, as 
well as at Albany, and Moose forts, that after the un- 
derwood and moss have been set on fire, raspberry 
bushes and hips have shot up in great numbers on spots 
where nothing of the kind had ever been seen before.'* 
— Journey to Northern Ocean^ page 452. Lond. 1795, 
Mr: Cartwright also observes, "that if through care- 
lessness of those who make fires in the woods, or by 
lightning, the old spruce woods are burnt, Indian tea 
is generally the first thing which comes up : currants 
follow next, and after them, birch." — Journal of Tram- 
actions at Labrador. Vol. 3. p. 225. 

The following extract of a letter to the writer, from 
John Adlum, Esq. of Havre de Grace, Maryland, 
dated September 16th, 1807, is a further confirmation 
of the point here in discussion. Every one who knows 
the high authority of Mr. Adlum, as an accurate ob- 
server, will duly estimate the facts he details. 

" As to your query respecting a rotation or succession 
of forest trees, I am as well satisfied of it, in my own 
mind, as if I had lived to see the whole change for cen- 
turies back ; and although it may be difficult to g>ve 
the kind of information, that may be satisfactory, I 
have no doubt that I could convince any person as to 
the fact, were he to travel over the country with me." 

Of Shrubs and Forest Trees. 


'' I first took the idea in the summer of 1788, when I 
was surveying lands south of the great bend of Susque- 
hannah, between that river and the Delaware, in what 
is called the beech and sugar maple country. In the 
course of my surveying, I traversed some places, con- 
sisting of a few acres each, growing red and white oak 
trees of an enormous size, none being less than sixteen 
feet in circumference, five feet above the ground, and 
generally from 40 to 50 feet to the first branches; some 
few red oaks, were 22 feet in circumference, and the 
white oaks 20 feet round. I was struck with astonishl 
ment to meet a few trees of the oak kind, considering 
that I had not seen any for some weeks. After disco- 
vering the first few, I kept a look out for more such 
places, and as well as I can remember, I found two more 
of the same kind, containing trees of the same enormous 
size, but no small oaks nearer than the large waters 
emptying mto the Susquehannah and Delaware. The 
places mentioned, were near the heads of those rivers, 
and where the streams were small, I invariably found 
small bodies of very large hemlock* trees (the prevail. 
ing timber, ) near those places ; the remainder of the trees 
consisted of beech, sugar maple, with a few white waK 
nut,t white ash, birch &c» but no oaks.*' 
^ " In those parts of the country, where the prevailing 
timber consisted of sugar maple, beech, and birch; I 
observed large trees growing as it were on stilts, their 
roots being three feet above the ground, which trees un- 
doubtedly grew on old logs that had either fallen with 



* Phius Abies Americana. 

t Jnglans Alba. 


Proofs of the Natural Rotation 




age, or had been thrown down by hurricanes, and had 
rotted away from the roots of the trees." 

"The clumps of oak and hemlock are generally in the 
midst of, or surrounded by large bodies of beech and 
sugar maple lands, mixed with some ash, and a few 
wild cherry and hemlock trees. In some parts of the 
country, the prevailing timber is still hemlock, on the 
sides of hills, and along streams." 

"From the circumstance of the great size of all the oak 
trees growing in the spots noted above, it appears to 
me, that most of the high country, including the head 
waters of the Delaware, Allegheny and Chenesee rivers, 
was originally an oak country. The hemlock appears 
to have succeeded the oak, for there is still a consider- 
able quantity of that timber over the face of the country, 
but from the number of logs of it lying on the ground, 
and its visible decline, I think the beech, sugar maple 
&c. succeeded the hemlock, as they are the prevailing 
timber at present. The timber that appears to me will 
take place of all others in the country before mentioned, 
is the white ash and wild cherry, for I observed that 
all places where the woods have been blown down by 
hurricanes for a number of years back, the young 
growth consists principally of those two kinds of trees, 
and the largest saplins of them which I saw, were six 
to nine inches diameter, I suppose that the appearance 
of the latter trees commenced between twenty and thirty 
years back, counting from 1794 or 1795. There are 
several of those wind falls, in the remote parts of Penn- 
sylvania, and New York near the line dividing the two 
States; they are generally 1-8, rarely 3-4 of a mile wide, 
and several miles long, and in every one that I saw, and 

Of Shrubs and Forest Trees. 


that did not appear to have happened more than from 
20 to 30 years ago, the ash and wild cherry were the 
prevailing timber; there were indeed other trees grow- 
ing among those but from their appearance, very few 
of them would attain to a large sizfe, except some birch, 
and I have no doubt, that if cultivating the country 
does not make some alteration in it, in another century, 
the beech, sugar maple, hemlock Sec. will be as scarce 
in those parts of the country, where they now' abound, 
as the oak is at present." ' 

^ The benefit derived from a change of crops is so ob- 
yious, that to doubt it would argue scepticism, border- 
ing upon the ridiculous. The same kind of seed, long 
continued upon the same ground, almost ceases to yield, 
losing as it were all excitability, or disposition to be 
stimulated by the qualities of the soil to which it had 
been so long accustomed; and yet we find that other 
seeds will grow in the same soil, with great luxuriance, 
and yield abundantly. The southern States afford a 
remarkable proof of this truth. In South Carolina, in- 
digo was so long continued upon the same land, that 
the expence of cultivation was scarcely cleared,* and 
yet cotton afterwards yielded abundant and very pro- 
fitable crops, upon the same ground,t and in all proba- 

*Mn Bryan Edwards says *'from observing its long top, 

root, and spontaneous growth, in almost every dry and barren 

savannah, he is convinced, it will thrive on soils that are fit 

for nothing else:^ The difference of the experience of plant- 

ers m South Carolina and Georgia, is remarkable. 

+ It is to be understood, that the land alluded to was not 



.< 1 

46 Proofs of die Natural Rotation of Shrubs i^c. 

^ L 47 ] 

bility will be continued until the same thing happens 
with regard to it as to the indigo, unless the want of 
demand for the wool should cause it to be laid aside, 
before the expected event shall have taken place. It is 
also found, that land will yield excellent crops of cot- 
ton, which will not produce indian com, and I have on 
the contrary, seen luxuriant crops of the latter growing 
in St. Simons, Georgia, on land which I was told had 
ceased to produce cotton. On tide lands too, it is found 
greatiy to benefit ground, which exhibits signs of dimi- 
nished vigour, from long cultivation in cotton, to plant 
rice, but in this case, the deposition from the water, 
when the ground is overflowed, may be supposed to 
produce the effect of a renewal of the soil. 

J. Mease. 

On Smut in Wheat. By William Young, of Brandy^ 
winCy Delaware. 

Read October 14th, 1806. 

I herewith send a sample of wheat, which produced 
a considerable quantity of ears filled with smut balls, 
in place of grain. The seed from which it was raised 
was procured in this neighbourhood last October, and 
had been sown for four years, on the same farm, and 
deemed of the best quality. In the harvest of 1805 for 
the first time, a mixture of smut was observed. It was 
not however to that extent, as to be considered deep- 
ly injurious to the grain, which was of course sown upon 
several farms, and upon different fields in the same 
ferm, from September to December, under various as- 
pects, and in every situation, it produced a considerable 
proportion of smut balls in the harvest of the present 
year. I had part of two fields sown with it; the one a 
south, the other a north aspect. Carolina white, Virgi- 
nia early, and red chaff bearded wheat were contiguous 
in the respective fields. There was not a ball of smut 
found, except that from which the sample is sent. Nor 
was it found on any of the other farms, except when the 
seed was sown from the same stock. And even the 
same species of wheat, procured from another farm, 
and sown on one of my fields, produced no smut balls! 
The farinaceous part of the grain, unto which the 
smut adhered, was perfectly pure, after the smut was 
removed at the barley mill. 

It is evident, that the seed produced in 1805 was in- 
fected, by a kind of hereditary disease, occasioned bv 



lh^i««i'ii V II 

W'lliMJMl 11 


On Smut in Wheat. 


the smut, which burst from the balls, during the act of 
thrashing, and lodged in the small beard on the plume 
end of the grain, preventing or impeding the process of 
vegetation in the plant, in its embryo state, withholding 
the power required to mature the grain, at a certain pe- 
riod. It becomes a matter of no small import to inves- 
tigate the causes of this disease, for although smut has 
not prevailed, in the States Pennsylvania, Delaware, and 
Maryland, it has been highly injurious in the remote 
counties of the State of New York, and in the valley 
of Shenandoah : and it some years ago made its ap- 
pearance in a field of wheat in this neighbourhood, the 
seed of which was brought from New York. 

If any favourite species of wheat shall be introduced 
amongst us infected with smut, the disease might have 
a rapid increase. When perhaps the e>dl might be as- 
cribed to that sort of wheat, or an unfavourable state of 
the atmosphere, rather than to a disease inherent or at- 
tached to the seed. 

The foregoing facts inform us, that smut is sometimes 
produced from seed, which had no mixture of it, 
as in the harvest of 1805. At other times it is the na- 
tive offspring of the purest grain, infected with, or hav- 
ing smut thereon, as in the harvest of 1806. The first 
may arise from an unfavourable state of the atmosphere 
or more frequently, from some radical defect in the seed 
sown. When the early advances of the plants are vi- 
gorous and the infection of all sorts of wheat, at an af- 
ter period, general, there is reason to presume, that the 
disease arises from some external circumstance, such 
as a hot sun, after heavy rains, continued moisture to 
excess in the atmosphere, while at an high temperature 


On Smut in Wheat. 


high wmd prevailing in a continued draught, while the 
bloom or farina is presem, and the milk in the corn. 

But when the complaint is local, unless the aspect is 
of an uncommon kind, there is reason to conclude the 
seed has been in some respect imperfect. And being 
unable to produce the farina, and mature the grain, an 
abortion takes place, and the result is the same, but 
not attended with all the symptoms of that sown with 
the smut adhering thereto. This was the case in 1805, 
the smut had no offensive smell, while the produce from 
that gram m 1806 was highly offensive, bearing a re- 
semblance to that arising from putrid fish, and continued 
so, notwithstanding the low temperature of the atmos- 

Tu n u "^""^ "^""^'^^ ^^ perceived by rubbing a 
smut ball between the finger and thumb. 

The reason why the smut had no offensive smell 4„ 
1805, was, the disease seems to have progressed more 
slowly, and the foetid effluvia carried off by the partial 
perspiration, remaining in the plant. 

The introduction of smut, may be prevented by carc- 
lul selection and preparation of the seed. The wash 

Irf to'hTT'''^''^ '''' '^'' agricultural authorities', 
are to be performed, and all imperfect grain rejected 
for It frequently happens, that although'^he pSt 

having made its appearance in the harvest of 1805 
^ems to have originated in this way. No other Cj 
mtbs neighbourhood were infected or contained an^ 
mixture of smut except that alluded to in this paper 

of 1806, was evidently a species of hereditary disease ' 







On Smut in Wheat. 

arising from the smut adhering to the beard of the graih 
sown^ which had fixed itself on the pure grain (after 
being put into motion by the operation of threshing,) 
where it appears deposited in the form of a fine, oily, 
vegetable mould. 

It is as yet unknown, by what means smut becomes so 
pernicious to the offspring of the plant, arising from the 
grain to which it adheres. It does not produce any 
fungous matter, which might prove injurious to the 
root, or stalks of the plants : for their vigour and appear- 
ance were not surpassed by any in the same field. There 
is no apparent disease, until after the appearance of the 
^bloom or farina, but then its progress becomes rapid 
and destructive. For while the plants from the unin- 
fected grains, display vigour and health in the richness 
and activity of their farina, the ear at the same time as- 
suming the texture and properties of grain, the farina of 
the infected is dead and pallid, adhering to the external 
coating of the ear, as if it were some foreign matter 
pasted thereon. Sterility and deadness then universally 
prevail, and the perspiration of the plant is at an end. The 
moisture which had been drawn up from the roots, be- 
comes stagnated, and finally returns to the roots, visibly 
discoloured, as if it had been steeped in impoverished 
lye: — ^the stock for some time continues green, which 
finally terminates in yellow rust over the whole ; the 
milk, which abounded in the ear, in place of assuming 
the texture, and properties of grain, becomes a putrid 
mass, and so far as it remains insulated, by the coatings 
intended for farinaceous matter and secluded from the 
air, it produces that offensive smell, already stated. ^ 



On Smut in Wheat: 




These are facts, which introduced themselves in the 
liarvests 1805 and 1806; they are now produced, that 
every reader, may consider the plant before him, and 
draw such conclusions as arise out of the premises 

Another fact may be added, that some grains which 
tUlered, you wiU find produced stalks with perfect 
ears of grain, others from the indentical grain, pro- 
duced smut balls, but in no instance were grain and 
smut balls found in the same ear, as stated by some 

I shall conclude this communication, with such re- 
flections as arise from the circumstances laid before 

1st. That imperfect ordamaged seed yields a diseased 
crop, and that under the circumstances last stated, the 
disease becomeshereditary. It isreasonable to conclude 
that part of the seed sown in 1804 was damaged, for it 
produced a mixture of smut, while all the farms in the 
neighbourhood were exempted from that disease in the 
harvest of the next season. 

.u ^-/^^/^^^ '" Ae harvest of 1806, from seed of 
the infected crop of 1805, assumed an hereditary aspect 
Wherever the seed from the crop of 1805 was sown,* 

and m those places only, smut appeared in 1806 

I am aware of the danger of submitting hypokesis 
;n place of facts, for consideration. It may ^everS"' 
ess be proper in the present case: for as everv act of 
he judgment is right or wrong, true or false, the hypo, 
thesis If wrong, may invite that solid information, whkh 

otherwise would have been excluded from the public 



On Smut in fFheaL 

On Smut in TFheat. 


It is therefore presumed, that the smut of the harvest 
field of 1806, arose from a privation of the action of the 
beard (which is on the pkime end of the grain of wheat) 
in the oeconomy of vegetation. The office of that beard, 
in the embryo state of the plant, is either to generate, 
act upon, or in the vessels producing the bloom, or 
farina; for if these vessels are imperfect, or the action 
required be wanting, all the mutual advantages which re- 
sult from the perfection of the farina, and its operations 
will cease ; instead of grain, there will be a putrid mass, 
as in the sample before you. Every one will allow, 
that the beard is formed for some important function, 
in the service of the plant. It is here where the cause 
of the disease exists; when the smut is removed from 
the beard, perfect grain is produced ; when it is sufiered 
to remain on the beard, smut is produced. It is then 
in some measure conclusive, that the diseased ears nei- 
ther receive nor communicate the farina. For until 
this period, all the usual functions were performed, so 
far as inspection could determine; afterwards all the ope- 
rations of the plant toward maturing the grain are at an 

It may be objected, if the disease arose from the 
impaired functions of the beard, and the consequent 
imperfection and inactivity of the farina, that the iden- 
tical grain would not, at the same time produce heal- 
thy and diseased ears, as stated. It may be answered, 
that upon examination of the grain with a glass, many 
of the beards on the identical grain, were free from the 
smut when sown. The office of such would therefore 
be performed, in the same manner, as if no disease had 
existed on the grain, wherein they acted. It is reason- 

^ • 

able to conclude, that although their intercourse with 
the farinaceous part of the grain, is minute, yet their 
ramifications are independent, as well as the leaders of 
the respective parts of the plant, to their proper offsets, 
the independence of which, has been proved, by fre- 
quently parting the offsets, and planting apart, in which 
cases, they matured the grain, with an increase of some 
hundred fold. Each member of those offsets, radically 
pure and perfect, although subdivided to a great extent, 
performed its respective function in vegetation. 

The washing recommended, is merely to remove 
the smut and imperfect grain; whatever is found most 
effectual for that purpose, is deemed the most expedi- 
ent. No dependance is placed on various steeps, as it is 
presumed, that plump seed, well kept, and laid in a soil 
well prepared, is the best security against smut and 
every disease. 

Since writing the above, I have met with a case of 
a palm tree, somewhat analogous to the hypothesis, the 
palma major, foliis flabelliformibus. A tree of this kind 
had for 30 years, flowered and borne fruit in a garden 
of the Royal Academy at Berlin, but the fruit never ri- 
pened, and when planted did not vegetate. There was 
a male plant of the same kind, irfagarden at Leipsic, 
^20 German miles from Berlin, from thence a branch of 
the flowers was procured, and suspended over the tree 
at Berhn, the experiment produced ripe fruit, next year 
It was repeated, and the palm trfee produced above 2000 
ripe fruit. The fruit vegetated, and produced young 

palm tTtcs.SeeMmter^s Georgical Essays, York Edl 
tion, page 432. 

■V i. 


J, ." 

'*■ • *1 

.11— II I ■ — -nkij^MM^ia— i»«U<i^ 


l 54. 2 

'-''"■ '■~*1!|^*M**' 


Ranarks on the foregoing^ with additional Observations on 
Smut^ and the means of preventing it. By James 
Measey M. D. 

Read November 11th, 1806. 

From the first fact mentioned by Mr. Young, viz, 
that the • smutty wheat he raised, was part of a.kind 
which had been sown for several years upon the same 
ground, an apparent confirmation may seem to be given 
to the commonly received opinion, of the necessity of 
a change of seed in order to prevent disease and dege-. 
neracy, but the experience of the accurate Mr. Cooper 
of New Jersey, and other facts on this subject, will not 
permit its adoption. That industrious improver has 
found, that the seeds of his vegetable productions im- 
prove instead of degenerating, although sown upon the 
same ground for various periods, viz. 20, 30, 45 years* 
His account being before the public,* need not be dwelt 
on at this time. Mr. Bakewell, the celebrated improver 
of the breed of cattle in England, disproved the position 
of the necessity of crossing breeds merely for the sake 
of a cross, and hence constantly bred in and in, from hisi, 
own excellent stock, until he found one with peculiar 
qualities which he wished to add to those of his owa 

The cause of smut in Mr. Young's wheat must still 
be sought for, but what that cause is may not be easily 
ascertained. The disease has prevailed to a great de- 

* It is also inserted in this Volume. 

jMrtMiiiin ll^i 

On Smut in Wheat. 


gree within a few years in Britain, and has been fre^ 
quently investigated by the philosophical and practical 
agriculturists of that countrj^ and to their remarits I 
shall be indebted for what I now have to offer on the 

Mr. Wimpey,* is of opinion that smut is almost in- 
tirely occasioned by some vitiating principle in the air, 
a constant concomitant of wet, stormy weather. His 
experiments agree with those of Mr. Young in shew- 
ing, that grain which is vitiated by smut, infallibly 
causes the produce from it to be smutty : he also proves 
that the cleanest grains frequently produce smutty 
crops, notwithstanding change of seed, steeping, and 
liming, and adds a fact not noticed by Mr. Young, viz. 
that sound seed taken from smutty ears, produce as clean 
crops as seed from grams that were perfectly free from 

Mr. Somervillef thinks that smut is occasioned by a 
very small insect not visible by the naked eye, in the 
downy part of the grain. He ascertained the truth of 
this opinion, by observing some smutty balls perforated 
in many places with small round holes, and by holding 
them near a candle, he discovered the insects, resem- 
bling wood lice in shape. The heat from the concen- 
trated rays of the sun thrown upon the balls with a burn- 
ing glass, also put them in motion, and shewed them in 
every different point of view. He supposes that when 
the balls are broken in the operation of threshing, or 
come in contact with clean healthy grains, the insects 

* Transactions of Bath Society of Agriculture. 

t Communications to Boaid of Agriculture. Vol. 2. 








On Smut in Wheat. 

leave the smutted grains, and adhering to such as are 
heahhy, are sown with them, and wound the tender 
stem in such a manner as to render the plant incapable 
of producing any thing but smut. Another practical 
writer* also ascribes the disease to an insect, which lays 
its eggs in the downy parts or beard of the grain, and 
by wounding the ear in several places, checks its growth. 

The late Sir John Call^f entertained the same opinion 
as to the cause of smut, but he adduces no experiments 
to support it. He adds however a fact, which is con- 
trary to the experience of Mr. Wimpey, Mr. Young, 
Mr. Somerville, and all others whose observations have 
been published : it is, that the black dust of the smutty 
grains has no effect upon the growth of sound grains, 
though rubbed and mixed therewith. The Rector of 
the parish, and two farmers, have certified to the cor- 
rectness of his statement. Giving full credit to the fact, 
we can only say, that being so contrary to general ob- 
servation, prudence requires that we do not follow a 
practice attended by mischief in all cases except one. 

Baron Munkhausen of Hanover,;}: also says, that after 
a strict examination of the black powder of smut, with 
a microscope, he found it to consist of small transparent 
globules, with black specks in the middle of each: that 
these globules are the eggs of extremely minute insects > 
from these eggs, when they are placed in water of a 
certain degree of warmth, there proceeds, an animal- 
cule of an egg shaped form. When the wheat is 

* Communications to Board of Agriculture. Vol. 2. 

t Same work and Volume. 

J Gentlemen's Magazine. 1 7G8. p. 698. 

On Smut in Wheat. 


tl^eshed these eggs stick to the tdps of the sound 
grains, which bemg sown, continue the evU 

Mr. Caleb Kirk, who lives near Mr. Young sent 
me a specimen with the smut attached to the Lins 
in con^quence of the diseased sheafs having been 
Areshed among the sound, in which order it came to 
his m,U to be ground. He first passed it through the 
barley mill,* and thereby removed the smut, (which 
chiefly adheres to the downy substance at the upper end 
of the gntm,) and then found that it produced excellent 
flour; whereas when ground without this operation a 
flour was produced of a dark colour, which,\hough it 

. ' Tu'P'"''^ ""'^^^" ^"^'^^ '"to the form of 
a cake, and became compact; and when cold was dnr 
and cmmbly, ar.d so hard, that a knife entered wiA 
difficulty; It was moreover without the agreeable taste 

From a paper in a French periodical work on domes 
^c and rural ceconomy.t it appears, that b^wX; 
-d drying smutty grain may be rendered I f^mnf 
and for making wholesome bread, but to do this "o-' 
perly. the wheat must be stiired with a broom Td 
rubbed with the hands, in small quantities aTriim;' 
the foul water must be let outof the cistern, and S 
water put upon the wheat, until it runs off leL IfU 
is washed at a river or a w^^ii *i,^ u i 

ed m several times quickly, tha t the giain may be 

* ^'' ^'•■'^ '"^e* pearl barley equal to 
and cheaper. x -' ^ 

t Bibliotheque Phisico—Economi. 


any imported. 

^' WA 


4 it 




^^v f7 -^1 H.'*n^* ^"f*^j ■ 



•^ <S>nK* tn PTheal, 

'S 'T, 



hashed without bcmg softened, to prevent the difficulty 
in drying Jt, and to avoid wrinkling the skin. ^ 

From an accurate analysis of the smut of wheat, bjr 
those eminent chemists, Vauquelin and Foucroy,* it 
appears, that it is only a "residuum of putrefied faring 
which instead of the constituent elements of this last^ 
viz. starch, glutien, and saccharine matter, contains only 
a kind of charred oily substance, very similar to that 
Species of bitumen which derives its origin from ani- 
mal or vegeto-animal bodies. -^i 

For seed grain, Mr. Young places no dependence 
lipon steeps in preventing smut in the succeeding crop, 
but there are several facts on record, which would lead 
us to incline strongly to the belief, that some have a 
|)owerful influence ; a few of these shall now be men- 

1. Tull, the father of the drill husbandry relates, that 
a ship load of wheat was sunk near Bristol, in autumQ, 
and afterwards, at ebbs, all taken up ; but being unfit 
for the miller, it was used for seed. At the following 
harvest, all the wheat in England was smutty, except 
the produce of this brined seed. 

2. Mr. Richard P. Barton of Frederick county Vir- 
ginia, relates that in 1805, some fine wheat was brought^ 
from Redstone Pennsylvania, to his neighbourhood to 
exchange for salt; and having purchased two bushels, 
he steeped it in strong salt brine, and then sifted on it 
as much quicklime as would adhere to it. Two of his 
neighbours sowed some of the same wheat without steep- 
ing. The soil was the same, and the seeding done in 

^ Annades du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, No. 35. 

a aiBiflinii 

On Smut in fFTteatf 


good order, and in good time. Mr. Barton's crop ws© 
free from sniut, at the Mowing harvest, but the crops 
of the other two persons were much infected.* 
"= Mr. Somerville in the paper before quoted upon 
blight, smut and mildew in wheat, says that from his 
own observation, aided by the testimony of the most res- 
pectable farmers, the salt pickle has always prevented 
die crop from suffering by smut, where it has been ju- 
diciously applied, yet that under certain circumstances, 
it may be injurious. 

3. In the Farmer's Magazine,t we find the following 
remarks, under the Banffshire quarterly agricuhural re- 
port: "what wheat we have, where free of smut, is of 
excellent quality. The advantage of pickling was ap- 
parent in a patch, where part had been pickled, and part 
of it not. The former was very litde touched, while the 
latter was at least a fifth or sixth smutted. Several in- 
stances of this kind shew the utility of that preparation, 
and though it may not at all times be an entire prevea^ 
live, it should not be omitted. " 

A writer in the same volume 4 who signs J. W. and 
dates from Norfolk, offers for a trifling premium per 
acre, to insure the whole seed of England from injury 
by pickling, and the crop from being damaged by smut, 
provided the foUowing recipe be judiciously applied. ' 
" Steep your wheat five or six hours in water brought 
from the sea, or in common water salted, till it is strong 


* Barton s Medical and Physical Journal. 2 Supplement, 
^t Vol. 5. page 483, printed at Edinburg. An excellent work 
which ought to be in the possession of every former. 
$ Page 443. 

^ 1 



.^ail\ ':' I .^'.ii 

.l(t.I 1 A. A _. . • A .Jl . 


On Smut in Wheat, 

enough to swim an egg, stirring it frequently. Procure 
first unslacked lime, and when you begin to let the 
water off, slack your lime with a small quantity of it ; 
when the water is completely drained off, turn the wheat 
out of your tub, and to every bushel of it allow a peck 
of lime ; sprinkle this over it, and stir the whole with a 
shovel till they are completely mixed, so as every grain 
may receive a share. When dry it is ready for sow- 
ing, but should the lime prove troublesome or dange- 
rous to the seedsman's eyes, some more water may be 
thrown upon it, for when the lime is dry, the cure is 
effected. If the wheat is meant to be drilled, sift the 
lime upon it, in the first instance^ and from it, after* 

** The lime, I am persuaded, is the grand panacea^ 
and I only recommend salt water in preference to fresh, 
because the lime adheres more closely to the grain, 
when the former is used. The principal difficulty in 
tjhe process lies in the mixing of the wheat and lime 
completely, so as every kernel of the wheat may receive 
its due proportion of lime ; for unless this is carefully 
attended to, danger will not be prevented ; every kernel 
that escapes the lime, being liable to receive and pro- 
pagate the disease. I once witnessed a case, which has 
fixed me most firmly in the opinion, that fr/esh lime is 
absolutely necessary to accomplish a cure. A very ex- 
perienced and intelligent farmer having used all the 
wheat he had prepared for seed, wanted a few bushels 
to coniplete his sowing; and being at a considerable 
distance from the kiln, determined to make use of some 
old lime, which had been long in his possession. I exa. 
mined the crop along with the owner, in the succeedmg 

On Smut in Wheat. 

year, when it was ready for the sickle, and found, that 
where hot lime had been used, no smut prevailed, but 
that the crop was much hurt where cold lime had been 

" Some caution is certainly necessary with regard to 
hme ; for should it be used when not properly slacked, 
the great degree of heat thereby occasioned, would de- 
sfroy the vegetative principle of the seed; but if appli. 
ed with the precautions recommended, I am persuaded 
that the hmmg and pickling may, in some slight degree 
act as a manure. I have practised the method of pickling 
now described, for more than twenty years, and never 
suffered mjury from smut. Once, and once only in that 
time, during my absence from home, and when my re- 
gular seedsman was indisposed, the process was left to 
an inexperienced hand, and I was a material sufl'erer, by 
his applymg the hme without slacking it sufficientlv." 
The authority upon which the above observations 
and facts are given, is certainly lessened from the cir 
cumstanceof its being anonymous; and yet they ai^ 
in part corroborated by so many living persons, th^ we 
suffer no nsque m admitting them in favour of the pi^c 

ed, that the opmion entertained respecting the lime 

IS certainly not supported by as many, as that which 
attributes an equal share to the salt water.. I m^sdf'l^t 

Hmels u!el T ' "T '^'^ ^"" '^^^^^' '""^^^ *« the 
ZL he 1 ^"^ ^"^ "P *^ superfluous moisture and 

xnake the grams separate and sow more readily; chalk or 


•■■rryf-i ^•rN»TV*'~^''^:"'T7'l 


Oa Smut in fFheaf. 


0. • 



shewn two years since, by Job Roberts of Montgomer]f 
county, Pennsylvania : a fine field of wheat, which fully 
proved the utility of steeping the seed ia simple salt 
and water. For the sake of experiment he sowed a 
strip in the middle of the field, with dry unsteeped seed 
and the backwardness and want of vigour in that por- 
tion, when compared with the rest of the field was s<v 
apparent, as to call forth a remark from me. He in- 
formed me, that several of his neighbours had tried the. 
same steep, and were so convinced of its utility, ^ ta 
induce them to continue the practice, f 

These facts are sufficient in my opinion, to prove the- 
benefit derived from steeping seed grain in various* 
liquids : some caution however is to be observed in the* 
process; according to Mr. Somerville, "while the grain? 
steeped in the pickle continues in a moist state, it may 
be kept for any length of time without much injury, but 
wheat which has undergone this preparation, and has 
had lime in a very active state mixed with it, if sown 
early in autumn upon warm dry land, and no rain falls 
for a considerable time, a great proportion of the grain 
will be either entirely destroyed, or materially injured.** 

Mr. Wagstaffe found that soaking and rinsing the* 
grain in simple water, was effectual in the prevention of 

whiting will therefore he thinks answer equally well, without 
the risk attendant upon the use of lime. 

t Stale Urine is sometimes employed as a pickle for seed 
grain, but it requires so many circumstances to concur in or- 
der to its being used with safetj^, that it should be avoided upon 
all occasiofls; 


■ .■;;'":'y-^'v<cs.-i;:crt 

-^w r»» '-i '■ 

On Smut in Wheal. 


«nut from the succeeding crop ; this plan may thereforq 
be tried, where the salt pickle cannot be used with 
safety. — Bath Society Transactions. 

v < ■ 


Cause of Increase of Insects in Grain. 


■^ Mr. Somerville acknowledges that experience hjls 
decided, that particular seasons are more favourable to 
insects than others: yet supposes that they are propa- 
gated chiefly by the chaff, in which they commonly lay 
then- e^^, being mixed with the bam yard manure; in 
proof of this he says, that in all cases where any material 
injury has been done to them, it is to crops that have 
been well manured. Aiid further, that if the sweep- 
ings of a barn, in which smutty wheat has been thrashed 
or mixed with dung, be laid upon land where wheat is 
to be sown, the crop will infallibly be tainted with the 
disease. Trials of this have been made, and in some 
instances four fifths of the plants sown, where the dung 
so mixed was laid, produced nodiing but smut balls. 

The radical means of preventing the propagation of 
the insect, according to Mr. Somerville, are 1st. to 
collect and bum all the chaff and dust; 2d. By applying 
the manure in the spring instead of the autumn, on the 
surface : and also 3d. By mixing lime with the manure, 
after it has completely fermented, by which the insects 
will not only be destroyed, but putrefaction in the dung 
promoted, and its effects upon the dung, rendered more 
valuable — Qdier substoices possessing similar pro- 
perties as lime may belled for the same purpose, but 

' ■« 

.M. IK ' X'.- 


On Smut in IFheat* 

under the above restriction, as soapers (leached) ashes, 
bleachers ashes, or refuse, potash, kelp &c. all of which 
destroy insects, and render the dung more valuable. 





t 65 3 

Bemarks on the Smut and Mildew of Wheat; with hints 

on the most probable means of prevention. 

By A. FothergiU, M. D. F. R. S. £j?c. £s?c. 

Fiat ExperimentuTn^'^B, 

''Read November 11th, 1806. 

The Society at our last meeting, having requested 
my opinion on the nature of the disease, I must ob- 
serve that the subject appears hitherto to be too little 
understood to admit of a clear and satisfactory elucida- 
tion. Such useful hints however, as occur to my recol- 
lection, I will now lay before the Society without re- 

This and almwDst every disease, however different ia 
its nature, which renders fruit or grain unproductive Jias 
been called a blight— a generic term of indefinite $ig. 
nification which writers on husbandry have adopted, 
without proper discrimination : thus the smut, .the mil- 
dew or rust, the effects of lightning, of sudden changes 
of weather, and the depredations of insects have all pas- 
sed indiscriminately under the general, though vague 
appellation of blights. Writers have, however, liberal- 
ly furnished us with sundry infallible remedies so called 
against blights in general, and particularly against smut, 
but these infallibles, when put to the test, have generally 
had the misfortune to fail. 

The smut of grain is easily distinguished by the black 
dust which covers the ear, seemingly as if sprinkled 
with soot; whereas the mildew or rust infests the stem 
and leaves with yellowand dark brown stains, and forms 
an orange coloured dust, which viewed with a good 





it . «x-t %^ I 


On Smut in Tt^heat. 






microscope, is found to consist of clusters of a fungus 
or parasitical plant, the invisible seeds of which insinu- 
ate themselves Into the pores of the absorbent vessels 
of the stem, and deprive the grain of the sap destined 
for its nourishment.* Of this minute fungus, highly 
magnified. Sir Joseph Banks has given beautiful plates^ 
finely executed by Bauer, engraver to his Majesty. ( 

In some parts of England, where I have had oppor- 
tunities of observing the disease called smut, it has ne- 
ver been so general as described by some writers, but 
partial, consisting of some solitary black ears, dispersed 
here and there, among an infinite number of others, 
sound and healthy. On viewing more narrowly the 
smutty ears, some grains have been sound, while others 
have been reduced to chaff", others, small and shrivelled! 

By washing the infected grain with water in a cylin- 
drical vessel adapted to the purpose, (to which is given, 
a rapid circular motion) they may be wholly divested 
of the smut,t and much useful grain preserved, which 
being afterwards gently dried in a kiln, and a part of 
it used as seed, an experienced farmer assured me pro- 
duced a moderate crop, and perfectly free from smut. 
Having seldom seen the disease among long bearded 
grain, as rye, or barley, I am inclined to think it is most 
predominant in wheat, especially the smooth eared sort^ 
and in late harvests, particulaily in Great Britain ; nor 

* Communications to the Board of Agriculture, Vol. 4. 
page 399. 

f When the smut is so glutinous as not to be thus washed 
off, I should recommend the addition of an equal quantity 
of fine sand, in order to cleanse the grain more effecttialT^^- 

On Smut in Wheats 


€o I reebllect, in those samples I have seen, that the 
black powder emitted any offensive odour; though m 
warm, moist seasons^, when a higher temperature dis. 
poses more powerfully to putrescency, the disease may 
become more general, and assume a more putrid or vi- 
nilent nature. 

Like the mildew, it is most prevalent in low grounds 
and in a damp or foggy season, but never produces 
such extensive damage as the mildew which infests 
whole fields of grain and grasses. For the destructive 
effects of the mildew have frequently been experienced 
not only in the United States, and the British isles, but 
also in Germany, France, Italy, Sicily, and even in New 
South Wales, though its cause has never yet been 
clearly developed. It has long been a received notion, 
that wheat cannot thrive near the barberry bush, and 
as that plant has a yellow flower, and has been found li- 
able to the mildew, it has been accused of first propa- 
gating the disease to the wheat. But the disease infests 
tlie grain where the barberry shrub is unknown, and 
wheat has been sown under tlie shade of the barberry 
Without being injured. This experiment is said to have 
been carefully performed a few years ago by a farmer 
near Edinburgh, and considered as decisive.* How- 
ever, before we undertake to exculpate the barberry tree 
from the general odium under which it has longsufl^er, 
ed, it will be very proper to repeat the experiment in 
different climates, and under different aspects. The 
noxious quality imputed to the barberry tree has alrea- 
dy indeed caused the plant, in many places, to be to- 




* Edinburgh Farmers Maga:^ine, No. 10. 




On Smut in Wheat. 

tally extirpated. Should this popular Qpinion, like many- 
ancient prejudices, be found to belong to the catalogue 
of vulgar errors, the sooner it is detected the better. 

But to proceed, — Mr. William Young, in his paper, 
read at our last meeting, well describes the progress of 
the disease called smut, at Rockland and the neigh- 
bourhood, in Delaware State, where the damage occa- 
sioned by it, appears to have been very considerable. 

The seed had been used four years successively, and 
where it had afterwards been sown, there the disease 
appeared, and no where else. He attributes it, with ma- 
ny other writers, to imperfect or infected seed, and con- 
cludes that it seems to be a hereditary disease : this at 
the first view, seems at least somewhat plausible, as a 
disease may be hereditary (as we often see in the ani- 
mal kingdom) without affecting all the offspring of the 
diseased parent ; but can we believe that any washing 
can remove an hereditary taint? The smut indeed has 
been considered by many writers as very infectious, 
yet how can we reconcile this with the experience of 
others who have raised sound ears from smutty seed, 
as has been hinted, or with the fact of a smutty ear be- 
ing surrounded by various sound ones, without com- 
municating the disease? It were to be wished, howe- 
ver, that the principal cultivators of wheat would pursue 
Mr. Young's laudable example, in making accurate ob- 
servations on the rise and progress of the disease, and 
the different methods of treatment. 

Analysis of the Smut. 

A foreigner, M. Chantran, on analysing the smut, 
found it yielded an acid to boiling water, which reden- 

On Smut in Wheat. 


ed turnsole. It emitted the odour of burnt gnun by 
calcination, and left 6 times the usual residuum.~On 
die whole, he concludes it to be of an animal nature. 
Had It yielded phosphoric acid, and azotic gas (of which 
we have no mention) it would have afforded a stronger 
presumption, though still not a proof of his conclusion. 
Besides, that singular principle peculiar to wheat, the 
gluten partakes of the animal nature and yields similar 
products. Therefore, whether the smytbe of an animal 
or vegetable nature still remains doubtful, and requires 
several experiments to unfold its real origin, which not- 
withstanding the experience of many centuries, in 
which the disease has been in existence, its cause seems 
still to be entirely unknown. 

I shall suggest to the Society a few experiments, the 
result of which possibly might afford some new light on 
this subject. 

Experiment 1. Let a considerable quantity of the 
smut be collected in a separate state, and a part of it 
subjected to calcination and distillation in close vessels • 
and let all Ae volatile as well as the fixed parts, be mi ' 
nutely examined by chemical tests. 

Exp. 2. Let a portion of the smut be viewed, when 
placed m the focus of a powerful magnifying glass. 

J^xp. 3. Let another portion be kept in a phial half 
full of water covered with gause to admit air, and ex- 
clude msects; and another be sown in a pot of fine 
mould^to try if it will either hatch latem ova, or vege- 
^te. But upon reconsideration,-parasitical plants are 
never observed to take root in the eardi, as for instance 
the misseltoe, yet the viscid juice of its benies when 
ripe, If rubbed on the smooth bark of almost any tree, 


m ■ 

f i 


Ok Smut in Wheat. 


I I 


will produce misseltoe the following season. Therefore 
instead of placing the smut in mould, it may be more 
adviseable to introduce it into various parts of a plant 
of wheat, as the stem, and the ear in various stages of 
Vegetation, from the milky state of the grain to its com^ 
plete maturity. 

The first experiment may serve to shew whether the. 
products yield azotic phosphoric or carbonic gas ; or a 
fixed or a volatile alkali, and consequently whether they 
partake most of the animal or vegetable nature : finally 
the products should be compared with those of sound 

The second may shew whether it contains any visi- 
ble marks of organization, as the seeds of vegetables or 
the ova of insects. 

The third whether any of the particles can be made 
to bring forth insects in the embryo state, or clusters of 
minute fungi, as in the mildew, which are visible in a 
very good microscope. 

The black powder of the puff ball, which bears no 
small resemblance to the smut of wheat, contains the 
invisible seeds of the plant, which are buoyant in air, 
and float in the atmosphere till they descend to the earth 
with rain or dew, to be deposited in the soil. The seeds 
of the parasitical fungus, which insinuate themselves* 
into the pores of the stem or leaves constituting the mil- 
dew, are alike invisible to the naked eye, and are pro- 
bably disseminated in the same way, as are also the other 
minute seeds of the fungi, which belong to the crypto- 
gamia of Linnaeus. The mildew commonly exhibts a 
yellow powder, but Sir Joseph Banks observes another 
species which consists of a dark brown or chocolate co- 


On Smut in IF heat. 




loured powder; who knows but a third species of fun- 
gus may produce the black powder, which constitutes 
the smut? And the mushroom tribe be found more in- 
jurious to grain than has yet been imagined ? 

The time of blooming is the critical period at which 
the smut first begins to shew itself, and then proceeds 
rapidly, as Mr. Young observes, converting part of the 
cax into chaff, or preventing the grain coming to matu- 
nty. For whatever may be the hidden source of the 
smut, the proximate cause of scanty crops of gram, fre- 
quently consists in an imperfect impregnation at the 
time of flowering. For according to the impregnation, 
the grain will be either plump, shrivelled, or entirely 
abortive. Heavy rains with high winds, at this season, 
by washing off a part or the whole'of the pollen, des- 
tined for fecundation, generally cause a scarcity in the 
ensuing crops. If the pollen be consumed or vitiated 
by msects or fungi, a proportionable failure will take 
place. On the other hand, a calm, dry flowermg sea- 
son IS favourable towards a full and perfect impregna- 
tion. Hence, when the spring proves dry, and wells and 
rivulets sink to a low ebb, the British wheat harvest is 
generally abundant. Here permit me to propose ano- 
ther experiment. 

Exp. 4. Let a portion of smut be sprinkled on the 
centre of the flower, and let the same be performed on 
rye, barley, oats and other grain in the blooming season, 
to determine whether the disease can be propagated by 
inoculation. If the wheat should acquire the smut, it 
proves the contagious nature of the disease, if all the 
other kinds of grain should resist it, it will confirm the 
epmion of its being more incidental to wheat; accord. 



■A . \ 
W-, j 



i:. ,i 





On Smut in Wheat. 

On Smut in Wheat. 


ingly we are informed by Mr. Bordley,* that an intel- 
Kgent farmer in Georgia, protects his wheat from smut 
by mixing rye with the seed, or encircUng it with a list 
of rye, of 25 feet breadth, which he considers as per- 
fect security, and adds, that it has also been tried with 
success in England. This however, merits further in- 
vestigation in other places, and in different seasons. 
For if rye itself, be liable to the disease, how can it 
protect other grain ? 


Various means of prevention have been proposed by 
steeping the seed in different antidotes, and sanguine 
expectations formed of their success from the extrava- 
gant encomiums of their authors, such as acids, alkalies, 
neutral salts, lime, brine, sulphur, &c. But the fresh 
soil, with its exhaling moisture, soon destroys the most 
offensive tastes and odours ; assimilates foreign substan- 
ces, and speedily overpowers the virtues of these pre- 
tended antidotes. Accordingly most of them, after ma- 
ny fruitless trials, have at length been given up, some 
as useless, others as highly pernicious. Therefore the 
best precautions I can venture to offer at present, are 
the following. • For until the nature of the disease be 
more fully ascertained, it is not easy to direct the pro- 
per remedy. 

1. Make choice of the best seed wheat that can be 
procured, and particularly such as comes soonest to ma- 
turity, as the early Virginia, or the red bearded wheat. 

* Notes on Farming, page 481. 

Prime seed thus selected, need not ever to be changed, 
nor will it degenerate under proper culture, notwith- 
standing what some writers h^ve asserted to the contra- 
ry. This curious fact has been confirmed by more than 
thirty years practice, by Mr. Joseph Cooper, an eminent 
farmer in New Jersey. As the most perfect seeds of 
vegetables sink in water— this may be a criterion of 
good wheat, proper to be selected for seed, and such 
grains as float on the surface should be rejected. Ne- 
vertheless some eminent authors allege from expen- 
ments, that the small shrivelled grain, or refuse of fine 
wheat after winnowing, if not deprived of the power of 
vegetation, yields an equal, or even superior produce at 
the harvest, because a bushel of the shrivelled seed con 
tains 3 grains to 2 of the plump grain. Hence by using 
an inferior sort for seed, and converting the best kind 
of wheat mto flour, a great annual saving may be made * 
But this IS a species of oeconomy so directly contrary 
to the practice of Mr. Cooper, and other eminent far- 
mers, who improve their grain by a careful selection 
of choide seed, that a contrary method, it is presum- 
ed, will not be readily adopted, unless in a season of 
extreme scarcity. 

The immersion of seed wheat in water, and then 
gently drying it just before sowing, will accelerate ger. 
mmation, in a more kindly and natural way, than the ar- 
tificial stimulating steeps commonly employed 

2 Where wheat cannot be readily had, without a mix. 
of shrivelled or imperfect seeds, the above method wiU 

Vol^rpTsr""' '' '^' ^""^ °^ Agriculture. London. 




Oft Smut in Pf^heat. 


bring it to the test — and as it may be used with safety 
and advantage at all times, it ought never to be neglect- 
ed in mixed grain, or imperfect samples. 

3. If the seed wheat be suspected of having received 
a taint from smut, rust, or the ova of insects, particularly 
the wheat moth, (not the Hessian fly, improperly so 
termed) which first committed its ravages in Virginia, 
and afterwards extended its depredations to the neigh- 
bouring States, we know no means of prevention, more 
likely to produce the desired effect, than the exposure 
of the seed to such a degree of heat, or cold, as will de- 
stroy the life of insects, without being incompatible 
with the germinating power of the grain,^ 

Exp. 5. The proper degree of heat requisite to ac- 
complish both purposes, will probably be found between 
150 and 180 of Fahrenheit's thermometer, and might 
easily be determined by subjecting the suspected grain 
to the heat of a maltster's kiln, carefully regulated to the 
necessary temperature, previously ascertained by accu- 
rate experiments: The malting heat probaWy some- 
times exceeds 180^ 

Exp. 6. As wheat can sustain without injury, a much 
greater degree of cold than is necessary to kill insects, 
and perhaps also their ova, in an unsheltered state, let the 
suspected grain be spread out on a sail cloth, to the open 
air, during two or three sharp frosty nights, and let the 
grain, after undergoing these processes be sown, noting 
the germination and produce, compared with those of 

* See the valuable Notes on Virginia by his Excellency tlic 
President of the United States, whose opinion here coincides 
with that, which we wish to establish. 

On Smut in Wheat. 


other healthy grain in a similar soil. Happily for man- 
kind, wheat is accommodated to almost every climate, 
and by habit, is enabled to sustain the scorching heat of 
the torrid zone, or the extreme cold of high northern la- 
titudes sufficient to freeze mercury, though it certainly 
thrives best in the more temperate regions. Should 
these experiments, after repeated trials, prove success, 
ful, the result, being communicated to the Society, 
might prove highly important towards that great 4€sidL 
ratum, the preservation of grain from the deplorable de- 
predations of the moth, the weevil, and other destruc- 
tive insects. Notwithstanding the means hitherto em, 
ployed, have generally disappointed expectation, yet th<? 
ease ought, by no means, to be given up in despair, as 
totally irremediable: This would only render it such 
^ by checking all further enquiry. Since there are few 
evils, for which nature has not provided some remedv 
It becomes the duty of the philosophical agricuhurist,' 
m the present case, to trace her footsteps through her 
hidden recesses, by prosecuting his researches with re. 
doubled ardor. 

" Mille mall mores ^ mille salutis erunt.^^ 
Since writing the above, having met with the follow, 
ing mteresting passage, from the Transactions of the 
Lmnaean Society in London, we flatter ourselves gen- 
tiemen will readily indulge us a few minutes longer, in 
recitmg it; as it tends to corroborate what has been al- 
ready advanced. 

The Rev. Mr. Kirby, F. L. S. has noticed certain 
species of this minute parasitical mushroom, which are 
supposed to occasion several species of blight found on 
various kinds of grain, and grass. 



t^^A ■-*-**-^-** — ' 


On Smut in fF/ieat* 

On Smut in fFheat. 


' The first is our recticularia segetum^ or smut, and 
which in England, is called dust brand, smut, or burnt 
corn, a species common to wheat, oats, barley, and rye ; 
is scentless, and consumes not only the farinaceous part 
of the grain, but even the chaff. 

The second is called pepper brandy or bladders; this 
species consumes only the farinaceous part of the grain, 
which assumes a deep and dingy hue, and, being crumb- 
led, emits a very fxtid scent, like putrid fish, which 
distinguishes it from the former ; it is considered as 
very prejudicial to the farmer. 

The third is that known to agriculturists by the name 
o{ red gum (acidumj which throws forth a powder of 
a bright orange colour — this minute mushroom does 
not appear to be so materially injurious to the grain. 

-The fourth is very common on wheat, the uredofru- * 
wentiy (Sowerby 140) grows on the ears, straw, and 
chaff, bursting in longitudinal streaks from under the 
epidermis, or skin ; this is represented as the blight of 
the wheat, and which in certain soils and seasons, is so 
very injurious to that grain.* 

The fifth is the one, by which the wheat, in certain 
parts of England, in the year 1797, suffered very consi- 
derably , which the farmers call blight or mildew^ and by 
far the worst enemy to wheat; the ears injured by it, were 
distinguished at a considerable distance, by their black- 
ness, and on closer examination, they appeared as if soot 
or some smutty powder had been' thrown upon them; 
the chaff appeared covered with small black dots, very 
different in appearance from the uredo frumenti, on the 

=3^ Sowerby on British fungi. Vol. 2. Table 139 and 140. 

V 'J. .:i 


same plant ; he observes that wheat seized with mildew, 
is only fit food for swine or poultry; and that on ex- 
amining a mildewed ear with a lens, the appearances did 
not so fully convince him of its being a fungus, as the 
other species did; however he seems inclined to believe 
it is one, because Abbe Tessier, who had expressly 
written on the subject, asserts, that the mildew is a very 
minute lycoperdon, or puff ball, and Sir J. Banks who 
has lately seen clusters of a mushroom plant on mil- 
dewed grain, seems to confirm the opinion. 

Upon the whole then, it would appear that the blight, 
or mildew is the most destructive species of recticula- 
ria frumenti; and Mr. Kirby very justly laments, that 
some method has not yet been found out, to prevent this 
blight, as effectually as that, which has long been in use 
amongst farmers, to secure their crops from the smut, 
— meaning slacked lime. 

There is yet another species of blight, entirely dis- 
tinct from any of the preceding maladies, mentioned by 
Mr. Kirby, namely that which proceeds from the nu. 
merous race of Aphides, which cause great ravages 
among fruit trees, and are now known to produce the 
honey dew, often visible on the leaves of trees, in a wdrm 
season ; but this is too remote from our present subject, 
and would merit a separate discussion. 

Mr. Kirby proceeds to enumerate sundry steeps for 
seed grain, as alkaline lixivia, common sah, vegetable 
and mineral acids &c. and concludes that slacked lime 
IS the most efficacious, but acknowledges that lime is 
dangerous, especially when slacked in the air, and that 
a farmer by using it, sustained a loss of 300 pounds ster- 
Img.—Here it may be doubted whether the remedy was 


'' Vf 

y 1 

(I • 


On Smut in Whedtl 



liot worse than the disease. — From the result of many 
experiments, he also owns, that wheat washed with sim- 
pie water, produced the greatest number of plants ; and 
that with acid steeps, the smallest number. He con- 
cludes with recommending the washing it with water, 
and drj^ing it with slacked lime. He makes no men- 
ticHi of nitre (salt petre) yet as this, by a singulai* 
accident, has been discovered to be an effectual pre- 
ventive of the depredations committed by weevils, and 
may be used with safety, we should incline to try it, 
in preference to all the other artificial steeps. Likewise 
gentle kiln drying, carefully regulated, as already hin- 
ted; or exposure to a keen frost, as safer, and better than 
the method proposed by Mr. Kirby, with slacked lime. 
It may be proper, however, to try the difference be- 
tween lime, slacked in water, and in air. In case of mil- 
dew, or wheat moth where the very straw is infected, 
and probably swarms with minute parasitical seeds, or 
ova of the moth, or other destructive insects, the grain 
should be speedily thrashed out, and may probably be 
secured by the above method, which we have earnestly 
recommended : still, however, as the straw may afford a 
nidus for a future progeny; it should therefore, be dis- 
patched from the bam, as quickly as possible, to form 
compost, and during the putrefactive process, well in- 
corporated with quick lime ; the chaff and sweepings of 
the bam, and the stubbles ought to be burnt upon the 
ground, which may enrich not only the soil, but tend 
to extirpate the evil ; towards which important purpose, 
all farmers ought cordially to unite, otherwise a single 
neglect of the means proposed, may renew the calanu-r 
ty, and propagate it to the adjacent farms. 

On Smut in Wheal. 

. FinaUy, should future researches confirm this opinion 
(however novel or fanciful it may at present appear) that 
the 5 species of blight above mentioned, result from one 
genus of parasitical fungus, it would seem to foUow, as 
plants of the same genus partake of similar qualities, 
according to the law of nature, which produces similar 
effects from similar causes, that an effectual remedy 
against one of these species would be applicable to all 
the rest, agreeably to the simple means we have propo- 
sed, and which seem to merit a fair trial. 

But while thousands of parasitical seeds are probably 
floating, unseen around us, we can only act on the defen- 
sive, in preventing, as far as we are able, their fastening 
on our seed wheat, by destroying the vegetating power 
of their invisible germs, without injuring the grain. As 
a furdier security against moths and weevils, the sacks, 
in which the wheat is kept, should be previously im-* 
pregnated wth a solution of nitre, fumes of sulphur, or 
of charcoal. This would afford a very proper subject 
for an experiment, in addition to those, which have been 

Exp. 7. Let the preservative effects of these methods 
on grain, exposed to a long voyage, be compared with 
an equal quantity sent out, in the same vessel, in the or- 
dinaiy way, which would bring the matter to the test 

Exp. 8. Lastly, to determine whether, as some emi- 
nent authors allege, the shrivelled seeds of smutty and 
mildewed grain can yield as good a crop as plump 
sound seed : let some of each sort be sown at a distance 
from one another, and from 6ther crops, and the result 
carefully noted. If the products resemble the parent 
seeds m quality, or in other words, good grain from good 


I. !■ 

' y-' 





0« iSjrwtt^ in Wheat. 

On Smut m Wheat. 



seed, and vice versa^ it will confirm the general opinion, 
of the importance of selecting choice wheat for seed, 
agreeably to the judgment of the most eminent farmers. 
If so; it will next be worthy of their inquiry, whether the 
frequency of smut, and mildew, may not be generally 
traced, in the first instance, to vitiated or imperfect 
seed, or that which ripens late in the season ; the vege- 
tative principle of which, being feeble, predisposes the 
wheat to these diseases ; while early, sound and healthy 
seeds vegetate vigorously, and resist intruding insects, 
and parasitical germs, till the critical period be past ; 
after which they are secure. 

Whence is it, that the white efflorescence called 
mouldiness, overspreads the surface of dead plants, 
while all the living ones, contiguous to them, wholly es- 
cape ? Is it not the vegetative, or vital principle which 
protects the latter? and the loss of it, which exposes the 
the former to decay, and to fall a prey to the enemy?* 
But the disease, called mouldiness, if narrowly examin- 
ed, will, it is presumed be found nearly akin to mildew, 
and perhaps turn out to be, only another species of 
mushroom, belonging to the parasitical family of plants. 

* Crops of grain in a moist state, or containing (as often 
happens) a mixture of weeds, when smothered close in a bam, 
and deprived of proper ventilation, soon exceed the point of 
healthy fermentation, and contract not only, the disease of 
mouldiness, but are peculiarly incident to depredations from 
mildew, moth, and vermin. Might not ricks of grain, well 
secured, in the open air, in this, as in other countries, super- 
cede the use of large expensive barns, and at the same time, 
preserve the grain more completely, from these destructive 
incidents ? 


But this, being at present, a matter of conjecture only, 
IS submitted to the future observation of the inquisitive 
naturalist, possessed of a penetrating eye, and powerful 
microscope. ' 

If the preceding new doctrine be true, it will tend to 
correct some received opinions, and prove that many of 
the diseases termed blights, hitherto attributed to other 
causes, wiU, on a more dose inspection, be found to ori. 
ginate from a parasitical vegetation, or die depredation 
of msects ; either of which causes may probably operate, 
by depriving the grain of its nutritious sap. 


In a late elaborate essay, which we have just had 
the pleasure of perusing, the author Mr. Robert So- 
Bwrville endeavours to prove, that the smut originates 
from a very minute insect, which he detected in the 
smut ball by the microscope, but not till it was put m 
motion by the heat of a candle.* That it appeared red 
and resembled a boiled lobster, and afterwards turned 
black and was covered with a crustaceous coat, in which 
state it remained till it died—That the dark coloured 
stains, on the stems of wheat are produced bv its excre- 
mem. That it wounds the tender stem, at the place of 
the msertion of the grain ; preys on the milkv juice, and 
deprives the ear of nourishment. That the smut balls 
consistof fine vegetable earth, which the'diseased plant 


* Communications to the Board of Agriculture. Vol. 2. p. 

p. 214. 


On Smut in Wheats 


iA % 

absorbs from the soil, and transmits to the ear. That 
the insect is generated in stable dung, and abounds 
most, where fields are most plentifully manured. That 
its ravages are confined to the tender blade, in the flower- 
ing state of the plant, and never take place afterwards. 
That potatoe plants and clover are infested by similar 
insects, bred in the manure. That the insect is well 
known to farmers, and has been long observed, even ia 
their best fields of wheat. When a diseased plant is 
pulled up, one or more worms are found at the root. 
Whether the insect is at length transformed into a fly^ 
is not mentioned. He thinks wheat, in the growing 
state, may be protected from these insects by a weak 
decoction of aloes, tobacco, and hellebore : a long dou- 
ble flannel being steeped in it, is drawn over the. whole 
ridge, and back again, so as to touch all the plants, on 

both sides. 

* . - 

Having thus briefly stated the result of his researches, 
we shall conclude with a few remarks. — Should his 
observations be confirmed by future enquiries, it would 
seem, that the smut is rather to be considered as a 
vermicular, th^n a parasitical disease ; but as worms 
in the vegetable, as well as in the animal system, are 
often the efiect, rather than the cause of the disease at- 
tributed to them, it will become agriculturists to exa- 
mine, whether worms are essential to the production of 
smut, or only an adventitious circumstance, in certain 
seasons, as in late crops, and a feeble state of vegetation. 
Hence the necessity of such further observations, as 
may sufiiciently clear up these difiiculties. For instajice^ 


On Smut in Wheat. 



1. Whether worms are not often found, atthe roots 
of healthy grain ? ' 

2. Whether the smut ball consists of vegetable earth 
as Mr. SomerviUe supposes, or whether it is not rather 
Ae milky substance of the infant grain, carbonized by 
the heat of the sun, and converted into a kind of char- 
coal ? 

3. Whether sound wheat, on which no stable manure 
had been applied, be wholly exempt from the smut? 

; 4. As stable manure tends to infest green crops wiUi 
insects and weeds, whether it may not be divested of 
that property, by undergoing a previous putrefactive 
fermentation, and afterwards, by being incorporated into 
a compost, with an equal portion of quick lime, as hsfe 
been mentioned? 

Should smut be found, where no vestige of worms or 
insects can be discovered by a powerful microscope; or 
imldew, without any trace of parasitical fungus, it will 
afford reason to suspect, that these supposed causes of 
the respective diseases, were rather the effects, or only 
adventitious circumstances, and that a more close scru- 
tmy will still be necessary, to afford complete satisfaction 
to philosophers. For instances of mildew have been 
noticed, where no stable manure had been used.* 

As the proposed methods of prevention are applica- 
ble to both maladies, it now will rest with agricukurists 
to determine the points in question, by attentive obser, 
vation and accurate experiments, agreeably to what has 
been suggested. For whatever may be the result 
truth ought to be the principal object of our researches' 

* Board of Agriculture. Vol. 4. 

in ' 
i . 


p. 399. 


On Smut in Wheat. 

Having conducted this essay, solely with that view, 
and directed the scattered rays of light on the principal 
objects of inquiry, the prosecution of the subject, it is 
presumed, will now, be rendered more easy to experi- 
mental agricuhurists. But since microscopical msects 
and parasitical germs, in their infant state, are invisible 
to the naked eye, and the diseases, apparently produced 
by them, seldom discovered till the mischief be done, 
farmers ought to be extremely vigilant, in the timely 
application of the most rational means of prevention : 
Whether they adopt the present plan, or any other 
course of experiments, they are requested to favour the 
Society annually, with the resuh of their observations. 

If the preceding pages should put them on their guard 
against drawing hasty conclusions, from fallacious ap- 
pearances, and facilitate the experimental inquiry pro- 
posed, on a subject so interesting to the country, the 
author will think his labour has been well bestowed. 




L 85 3 



Substitute Jor Trench Ploughing, and new Mode of put. 
ting tn Winter Grain, and on live Fences. By Caleb 
Atrk, near York, Pennsylvania. 

Read Nov'r. 11th and Dec'r. 9th, 1806. 
I observe in the United States Gazette, sundry pre- 

wirft. r^""'"'"*^'" agriculture; long 
which the 2nd and 7th subjects, viz. Trench plough 
ing, and live fences, have engaged my attention for 

fullv of tie ''"\ ""' *° ""^"^^ P'^"^*^-^' I «- 
M\y of the opmxon that 12 inches is a depth, too great 

to bu,y a scanty soil, except the farmer, has a great Le 
of manure to dress his field after ploughing. Moreover 
as few farmers have six able work horses or oxen the 
parmg and trench ploughs, which are directed b/the 
society to be in action at the same time, cannot be em- 
ployed; besides, I know from my own experience, du- 
nng seven years, that equal benefit may be derived from 
Ae adoption of another mode of working land, as from 

IZ^^^t:^;-''^''''''''^'^'''--^ *- '^^f the 

nl.'" Ta ^"^^ f '""'' '°"''''' '^ ^°""d With a coulter 
plough drawn by two horses, about eight or ten inches 
deep the cuts being about one foot ap'art : then plough 
^e land in an opposite direction, with a common bar 
share plough with two horses to about the same depth 
and let a man follow in the furrow with a narrow spade' 
plough three inches broad and drawn by one horse to 
break the under stratum four or six inche's deep. Thul 
the surface zs turned eight or ten inches deep, and the 


Substitute for Trench Ploughing. 


ground effectually loosened from 12 to 16 inches deep. 
This practice I esteem more advantageous, than that of 
burying the old soil to the same depth by trench plough* 
ing, does not require more than three horses, and may 
be adopted in any soil however dry, provided it is not too 
stony or stumpy. It has been particularly practised by 
me for the last seven years, when the ground is hard and 
dry in summer, or the sward very tough. 

For wheat, I prepare my ground as if it were to be 
seeded in the common way (with a bar share plough;) 
the ground being harrowed smooth, it is then ploughed 
with the shovel plough, the shovel of which is 15 inches 
long, and about 13 inches broad at top, rounding off to 
an obtuse point. With this I make about ten cuts in 
the breadth of a rod, not ploughing it in lands, but going 
along one side of the field, with one horse in the furrow, 
and returning on the same side of the land or field, with 
the off horse in the furrow, thus forming one ridge : 
then going with the near horse in the last made furrow, 
another ridge is formed, and so on till the field is 
ploughed. Thus every ridge or row will go from end 
to end of the field, which will seldom be the case, if the 
field be marked out in lands, and then ploughed by 
going on one edge of the land, and returning on the 
other, as there is often some small difference in the 
width of the land, near the finishing, which might make 
two furrows run into one, and not be so plain a guide 
to the reapers: and as the shovel plough throws the 
mould on both sides alike, the ridges will be as fair one 
way, as the other. 

The cuts or furrows will appear about six or eight 
inches deep, with a sharp ridge between tjiera. I then 

Substitute for Trench Ploughing. 


rol*""'^ cast, and haxrow in the direction of the fur- 
Grain sown in this manner has many advanta^s 

cient guide for the reapers, and for sowing clover seed 
or gypsum; and ^he whole field bemg in one entire 1 J' 
there ,s less ground lost, than when made in • the 
ground, moreover, is less liable to wash, and the surface 
.s han^dsomer for mowing than ;„ ^ common wly A 
ittle fine mould, generally rolls into the furrow behind 
the shovel, which makes an excellent bed for the ^^^^^ 
of wheat to push out their roots in, and the harrow ^ 
-g on the ridges, levels them, and throws a pr^; 
portion of mould on the grain, nearly as as^f it 
wereriddM. Thus fte ground is Jelled, t re o 
being lighter in the rows where the seed lies it wU 
se«.e a linl^ and Ae planu l^ing somewha '^.tlt 
general surface, ftey a,, no. so subject to injur^.t; 

*The annexed cuts will exnlam fVi« ^xr 

Common Ploughing. 

JVew Mode. 




Siibstiticte for Trench Ploughing. 

Substitute for Trench Ploughing. 


alternate freezing, and thawing in winter, on the con- 
trary, in the common way, the plants often stand on the 
very heights, where by a little freezing and thawing, the 
roots are left naked. The grain should be harrowed 
and rolled in the spring, as these operations are of great 
benefit to the clover, if intended to be sown, for when 
the seeds are a little buried, the young plants take deep. 
€r roots, and consequently stand the drought better; 
the operation of harrowing is likewise beneficial to the 
wheat, for by harrowing lengthwise, a crust which 
sometimes forms on the surface is broken, and thus 
adds a light mould to the roots : the liarrow too, resting 
chiefly on the ridges, hills the wheat, without tearing 
up more than five plants in an acre. I have seen also, 
in a time of extreme drought, that when shooting and 
heading, wheat sown in my way, suffered less than com- 
mon. Lastly, by the free transmission of air along the 
rows, the straw will be stiff and not liable to lodge. 

Explanation of the annexed Cut.. 

A B C, 5 feet 1 inch in length. 

E to D, iron stud, 3 feet 4 inches long. 

F to G, the ripper, 1 foot long, the iron 3 inches broad, 

screwed on to the stud. 
H, the shovel plough. 

The implement as represented in the annexed cut, is 
called a ripper^ and is highly useful in attending a crop 
of Indian corn, if ploughed both ways therewith, about 
one foot deep, when quite young, and very near the 

The ripper iron F G, may be taken off, and the sho- 
vel H, screwed on by means of the two screws between 
D and G. 






*■ • ■■ ■*- -*•■ 



Substitute f&r Trench Ploughini;* 


_-.» . ^...' ' 


Substitute for Trench Ploughing. 



Explanation of the Coulter Plough. 

A to B, 1 foot 3 inches. 

B to end, 4 feet 9 inches. 

C to D, the coulter, 2 feet 8 1-2 inches. 

E to C, 8 1-2 inches. 

F stud, 10 inches long. 

G G, 2 feet 2 inches. 

Handles, 6 feet long. ,!■ 

By means of the holes in the coulter D E, it may be 
set to different depths, as it will run in until the hind 
end of the beam and the stud in the fore end, run on the 
ground. If the hind end of the beam should wear away, 
a plate of iron may be put on it.* 

An implement called a miner, is frequently used in 
Europe, with the same view as the coulter plough, de- 
scribed above by Mr. Kirk, viz. opening ground to a 
great depth : "it is made very strong, but with one share 
only, not having any mould board; it therefore rather 
loosens dian turns up the earth. In deep, stiff soils 
where the surface mould is good, it may be conveni ' 
ently employed in the same furrow, after a common 
plough, m order to stir the ground to a greater depth 
It IS an extremely useful tool where working deep is 
necessary, without bringing up the inert under stratum 
or sub-soil, as m loosening the ground for carrots, or 
other tap-rooted plants, and in eradicating the roots of 
thistles, or other weeds wliich strike deep in the earth." 
—Btckson's Agriculture, Loud. 1805. Vol 2. page 12. 

* Working models of these implements, are deposited in 
the Society's room for public inspection. ^ 



.'■. . iJiii^^tiii. 


On Live Fences'. 

C 93 ] 


As to the article Fencing, I have tried many kinds of 
trees and shrubs for the purpose : as 1st, the Palmetto 
Royal* of South Carolina, which, does not stand the 
winter here. 2d, French Furze from Europe, which 
is handsome, but not qiilte hardy enough. I have at 
length fixed on the common locust.t I tried for seven 
years to propagate this tree, and at length adopted a 
method, by which I can make myself as sure of a plant 
from every seed, as from Indian com: they will grow 
from four to six feet high the first year. My method 
is,— take the trees at one or two years growth, make a 
ditch (with the plough) where they are to be planted, 
and set the trees from nine to twelve inches apart, lean 
one half one way, and the other half the other way, platt- 
ing them together, and tye them at top, and m four or 
five years, they will make a good fenc^- The locust 
does not injure grain, and if the proprietor should choose 
to cut them when grown high, we have no timber that 
will bear the expence better, on account of its durabi- 
litv and if cut at four, five, or six feet in height, the 
stumps will not decay, until there is a sufficiency of 
sprouts to supply their places. 

r* Tucca Aloefolia. In South Carolina, Georgia, and Flo- 
rida, this plant abounds, and makes the best fence in the 
world, owing to the sharp thorns at the end of the thick 
fleshy leaves, which project at acute angles from the body ot 
the tree ; it is called, and with propriety the " bayonet bush. 

+ Robinia Pseudo-acacia — Lin. 
Attempts to raise locust trees from the seed, for fences, 
have been made near Philadelphia, but have failed, owing to 
the destruction of the young plants by ground mice.] 

jV«t> Mineral Manure Jor Clover. 

Read December 9th, 1806. 

Having been shewn by Dr Woodhouse a small quan- 
tity of a mineral substance, which had been brought for 
his examination from New Jersey, by Josiah Reeve, of 
Evesham, I wrote to the latter and requested all the in- 
formation in his power to give, on the subject of the qua- 
lities of the substance, and received the following an- 
swer, , J. Mease. 

Rancocas Creek y llth mo. 20th, 1806. 

Respected Friend., 

I received thy letter dated the 18th of June last, and 

should have answered it sooner, but wished to take 

some time to make further observations, as well as to 

gain information from my neighbours and from some 

others at a distance. The black sulphuric substance 

by us called marie, is found in great abundance through 

' most parts of the country, in a north east and south west 

direction, from the head waters of Crosswick's Creek, 

in Burlington County, along on the upper part of nearly 

all the creeks from thence to the southern part of Glou- 

cester county ; we find it in the banks of the streams, 

and in most places at the bottom of many of our wells, 

and it often spoils the water. On my farm, and through 

our neighbourhood, it abounds near the surface in the 

meadows, and generally in the banks or hill sides, about 

from 4 to 6 feet below the surface ; the depth I cannot 

from experience say much about, but from the obser- 





■^i^m^i^k»^ .^ 


New Mineral iZanurefor Clover. 

■ / 


vations of others, find it v?iries from 6 to 15 feet and 
more. I have at thy request, brought wiA me to the 
city, for thy use, a box of it, of which I wish thee or 
thy friends to make a chemical analysis. The result of 
my own, and my neighbour's experience is, that for grass 
lands, about ten two horse loads to the acre, laid on the 
surface in the autumn, is better, if the next season prove 
moist, than double the quantity of any other manure, 
and will last longer; changing in two years rough bound' 
meadoM^into almost clear white and red clover: but the 
last dry summer it did very little good. I am in the 
practice of mixing in my barn yard, or in the compost 
heap, the marie with tiie dung, two loads of the former 
with one of the latter, and always find when put on my 
fallow, that it is as good, or better than the same quan- 
tity of dung alone, and much better for the clover that 
follows, but in its crude or raw state, does not do on 
gram, the first year, except for Indian com, which some 
say It helps, by laying it on the tops of the hills in the 
sprmg. I put some, in my manure for my garden, and 
found It made the clover grow among vegetables, so 
spontaneously, that we have had much trouble to de- 
stroy it ever since. 

From thy friend 

JosiAH Reeve. 

''tu\7'^T'' ^'- ^'^'^^"^ ^"^'y^^d *^ substance 
se^^t by Mr. Reeve, and found it to be a ferruginous 

)' J. M. 

[ 95 3 

Expences and Profits of a Dairy. By Algernon Roberts. 

Read April 14th, 1807. 

• IMr. Roberts having been requested by the Agricultural 
Society of Merion and Blockly taivnships Philadelpfda 
County, to favour them with a statement of the expences 
and profits of his dairy, presented the following account. 
It was ajlerwards presented by Mr. Roberts, to the Agri- 
cultural Society of Philadelphia. As the quantity of land 
which sustained his caws, was not mentioned, the Society 
requested information on that head, and received in come, 
quence, the letter subjoined to the following paper.'] 

Agreeably to the request of the Society, I lay before 
them, an account of the butter, I sold from a dairy of 
twenty cows, during eight years viz : from 1st Janu- 
ary 1796 to 31st December 1803. The weight amount- 
ed to 27835 pounds, being an annual average of 3479 
pounds, or 173 pounds to each cow per year. 

Cash received for butter sold from 20 

cows in 8 years, . . . g ^^'Js lo 

Consumed in family the milk of 3 ditto, 1506 

buckmg pigs estimated at - . 320 
17 cwt. of pork at S 6 per cwt. sustained 

by dairy, . . . _ g.. 

20 calves at » 4 each, . . ". 540 

11558 19 


8)3810 19 




mt^ Ml fMii n -'-■- -- «■•-■'■*■ ■ 



Expences and Profits of a Dairy. 

20 cows at 30 dollars each is S 600 at 
6 per cent, - - - - 

Grain for winter food, 

Hay, straw &c. . - - 

A man and woman^s wages, 

78 times expences going to market at 
25 cents per time, - - - 

Summer keeping of a bull, 


19 50 

968 50 
Annual expence multiplied by 8 


In the above estimate, I suppose all the sustenaiide of 
the pigs to proceed from the dairy, as any other food 
their dams had, is supposed not to exceed the amount 
of pigs used by the family, and of those sold alive : it is 
lilcewise supposed that one half the food of the other 
swine, consisted of the offal of the dairy. The calves 
were sold on the spot. The item of the family milk is 
founded on a supposition, that it would take three cows 
to give milk to a family of ten persons, a considerable 
proportion of which are children. It is also to be re- 
marked, that in the autumn months of part of the years 
included in the calculation, there were some persons 
lidded to the family, in consequence of the epidemic 
fever, prevalent in the city of Philadelphia, and who 
caused a diminution in the quantity of butter sold. It 
is difficult to estimate the expences. The interest is 
founded upon a supposition that each cow costs thirty 
dollars ; and the winter keep is set down as equal to her 
full value. The dairy is supposed to be managed by 
a man and woman, who are thought fully equal to the 


"Wiiiii i i" 

Expences and Profits of a Dairy. 


task, and their wages as stated, a full reward. The 
marketing is supposed to be done by the man, who is al- 
lowed eight cents, each time for expences, exclusive o^' 
horse standing at the city stable, ferriage and turnpike 
tolh Nothing is allowed for the bull, except his sum- 
mer pasture, as it must be bad management, if he does 
not sell in the autumn, for more than he cost in the 
spring; his manure also is to be taken into considera- 
tion. The allowance for replacing dairy cattle is thought 
to be trifling, as they are most frequently sold, with pro- 
per management, when turned oflf for grazing, for more 
than their prime cost ; their manure is supposed equi- 
valent to their summer pasture* 

The neat profit then is S 3810 19 for eight years; 
this sum divided by eight gives « 476 27 cents; which 
being again divided by 20, (the number of cows,) will 
give the average per head, viz. twenty three dollars, 
and eighty one cents* 


JBlockley,- April 20th, 1807. 

My farm consists of about two hundred and eighty 
acres, thirty of which are wood land, and ten of natu- 
ral meadow and homestead inclosures; consequently 
there remain about two hundred and forty acres of ara- 
ble land ; which are divided into thirteen inclosures of 
unequal sizes: my general mode of cultivation, is two 
succeeding summer crops, first indiancorn, and second- 
ly oats, the stubble of which is ploughed and sown with 
winter grain; the succeeding spring, the land is sown 
with clover, orchard grass, and timothy seed. Several 
of the inclosures are so pestered with garlick, as to se^ 

A a 


Expeftces and Profits of a Dairy. 

elude my dairy cattle from them, of course they are ap- 
plied to my horses, sheep and feeding cattle : the con- 
sumption of pasture by these I believe generally equals 
that of rtiy dairy stock, therefore I suppose it a just 
inference, that one hundred and twenty acres (clear of 
garlick) would support my dairy stock, under my pre- 
sent mode of management, but as my arrangements of 
business are much blended, I find it difficult to ascertain 
with precision the quantity of land appropriated to my 
dairy cattle, for the part devoted to die dairy stock, is 
also allotted to cultivation, and divided between pas- 
ture, mowable, and ploughed land. I would have the 
above considered rather as an opinion, than an exact 
statement. If from it, you can collect such hiformation 
as may in any-wise answer your purpose, I shall feel 
fully gratified; ever remaining, 

. Yours &c. 

Algernon Roberts. 

James Mease, m. d. 


C 99 3 . 

-^irtii9em»SC»:x::. :. :?■;.-> 

Account qfthe produce qf wheat andry^y during 16 years 
in JjQwer Merion townshipy Philadelphia county^ and 
times oj* harvestings &fr. By Algernon Roberts. 


Read April 14th, 180r. 

. RYE. 



















ber of 











? «< r- 

u lii C 










Sep. 14 


Jun. 29 

July 7 






4o. 16 


July 3 

do. 12 





do. 22 


do. 1 

do. 9 





do. 25 


Jun. 30 

da g 





do. 18 


July 6 

do. 12 





do. 11 


do. 4 

do. 10 





do. 16 


do. 4 

do. 13 





do. 21 


do. 5 

do. 10 





do. 20 


do. 6 

do. 16 







do. 27 


do. 9 

do. 14 







do. 22 


do. 1 

do. 6 







do. 28 


do. 5 

do. 16 







do. 30 


do. 4 

do. 13 







do. 27 


do. 5 

do. 11 







Oct. 1 


do. 4 

do. 12 





1 1805 


Sep. 24 


do. 2 

do. 11 





Wheat, 24 sheaves to a bushel. 
Rye, 19 sheaves to a bushel. 
Average of Rye, 13 bushels per acre. 

The foregoing table exhibits an account of the quan- 
tity of wheat sown for sixteen years, the times of sow- 
ing and harvesting, together with the quantity raised. 
The quantity sown per acre, was one bushel. Preced- 
ing the year 1794, the wheat was sown on Indian com , 
ground : but in that year, on a clear fallow, and the sue- 




Produce of Wheat and Rye. 



Produce of Wheat and Rye. 


ceeding years, it was sown after oats : a manifest advan- 
tage is shewn \n favour of an open or clear fallow, If 
it should be asked, why pursue a mode so injurious, as 
preceding wheat by oats, my answer is, that my ground 
being infested with garlic, and a dairy my chief object, 
oats is made a fallow crop, as the greatest enemy to 
garlic, that I have yet discovered. 

[In forming an average result per acre, the calculation 
should commence with the year 1794, because previously to 
that year, it appears that the bad system of sowing wheat 
among the maize was pursued. Neither ought the result, 
whatever it may be, to furnish a rule to judge of the crops 
in Pennsylvania, because Mr, Roberts acknowledges the 
necessity he unfortunately labours under, of continuing a 
practice, which his own experience, and that of every other 
farmer, who has made a comparative experiment, proves to be 
bad farming, viz. sowing wheat after an exhausting crop of 
oats. Could other statements, equally accurate as those of 
Mr. Roberts, be obtained, of crops raised upon land in our 
fertile counties, which are under a regular improving course 
of wheat on a clover lay, a great difference would appear. 

Instances might be produced, in the same neighbourhood, 
of crops repeatedly producing 60 to 80 shocks, and this year, 
(1 807) 100 shocks or dozen sheaves per acre. The practice is, 
ploughing often, timing the stirrings, so as to destroy weeds, 
and deeper ploughing, avoiding an intermixture of com and 
small grain crops, and never sowing, except when the earth 
is in a state to receive the seed advantageously, both to its 
cover, and vegetation. A small quantity of land thus ma- 
naged, will produce more grain, with less manure, than large 
fields ill farmed. 

The average result of the rye, will give still l^ss than the 
wheat, because it was sown upon unmanured ground, as is 
common, while the wheat received all the manure he could 

The dates of harvesting will be found useful, in assisting 
to form an opinion of the variation in our weather, and may 
be compared with the table, taken from M'Mahon^s Ameri- 
can Gardener, which the reader will find among the selec- 
tions in this work. 

Statements similar to that furnished by Mr. Roberts, from 
other districts of this State, or of the United States, will be 
highly acceptable to the Society, as they may serve to furnish 
a basis for a calculation, highly desirable, with respect to the 
average produce per acre, of our lands. They are therefore 
earnestly solicited from our agricultural proprietors.] 

• ■»« .-w <,4k 


litil^dli0jb:Mtli[.ASSir . 

-TL- - ■ 

ii'iii iffciffc^i f 



[ 102 3 

On Live Fences. 



'<.«^>~«^.^fi»i»wntt>inMni 1^' 

0« Z/t;^ Fences. By Johi Taylor^ of Part JRoyaij 
Caroline County^ Virginia. 

[The Jbllowing communication from a distinguished 
citizen, and very intelligent and extensive cultivator, on 
a subject highly interesting, is not only meritorious, as it 
respects the execution of a plan on a scale so extensive: 
but affords a practical proof of the ease and profitable ef- 
fect, with which other native productions may be used, as 
substitutes for the thorn* This valuable paper will pass 
under the respectful notice of the Society, when Premi- 
ums are the subject of consideration. In the mean time 
it is entitled to their approbation and thanks; and cannot 
fail to recommend itself to imitation J\ 

Read August 11th, 180r. 

About 12 years past, conceiving that cedar was well 
adapted for live fences, I planted 10,000 on the inte- 
rior declivity of the banks of ditches, cut in the outside 
of fields (so that the cedars were within) two feet apart; 
but a removal of my residence compelled me to relin- 
quish the experiment. The appearance of those cedars 
at this time evinces, that by proper culture they might 
have been formed into a good live fence. 

In 1799 I recommenced the experiment at the place 
whereon I now live, by planting cedars round a stable 
yard, containing about an acre, and in each succeeding 
year along the ditches inclosing my farm ; so that now 
they inclose an area of above six hundred acres, except 
a part, the fence of which is a river. The distance 

planted is about six miles, and the number of cedars 
about sixteen thousand. This is only conjecture, but 
it is supposed to be considerably below the fact* 

The culture applied to this hedge, is to top, weave, 
prune and weed it once a year, and to manure it once 
in a mode which will be explained. Until the last year, 
it was topt at thirty inches, then I began to top the ce- 
dars recently planted, at the height of twelve. 

The cedars are planted on the interior declivity of the 
bank of a ditch, about nine inches from the fence there- 
on, made of stakes and cedar boughs; except at the sta- 
ble yard, where the ditch being on the inside, they are 
planted on the similar outside declivity; the boughs 
which grow perpendicularly to the line of the fence, and 
towards it, are by its help trained into a conformity with 
this line ; those which thus grow on the opposite side, 
are cut off six inches from the stem; and those which 
grow in the direction of the fence, or with a small incli- 
nation that way, are woven in that direction by the help 
of the stems, as soon as they grow above two feet long* 
In this wattling, the boughs should be bent as near to the 
ground as possible, to the fence below. The dead fence 
stands on the summit of the bank, between tlie live one 
and the ditch. 

All the weeding I have given the cedars, has been 
yearly to draw the earth with a hoe, from the dead fence 
to the bottom of the bank, about one inch deep and two 
feet wide, leaving it in a ridge, with the live fence be- 
tween it and the old fence ; and the next year to return 
this ridge to the bank of the ditch, whence it came, first 
slightly cutting up the weeds and grass. 

. ^ II 1^ ti u - ■■ 

. jiu^:^ 


Ok Live Fences. 


Except as to the hedge round the stable yard, it 
must be recollected, that on one side of this hedge, there 
is a dead fence, on the other, I have annually manured 
a space of nine feet wide, and cultivated it in peas, 
working close to the live hedge; and perceiving the 
vast benefit of it, I last year commenced the following 
mode of manuring the hedges at a distance from the 
farm yards, and have applied it to two thirds of the 
whole. The intire materials of the old deiid fences which 
require renewal, are nicely patched on both sides of the 
live one, and this decaying wood and brush is covered 
with good mould collected from the bottom of the ditch. 
At the same time a new dead fence is made, expected 
to last until the live fence becomes sufficient. The dead 
fences are made of stakes and Cedar boughs, closely 

The live fence around the stable yard, having been 
annually topt higher, as its use is to confine horses, is 
now about five feet high, and two wide ; and is a good 
hedge, well filled up from bottom to top, two or three 
gaps excepted, made by the stable boys. 

The rest are in a state of progress, graduated by their 
ages, some being nearly sufficient to confine horses, 
and others but lately planted. The excessive drought 
of the last year, checked their growth very much, but 
did not^kill a single plant that I observed. Indeed I do 
not recollect to have seen one dead, after it had lived 
a year. 

The mode of planting is extremely simple, rapid and 
certain. The cedar is taken up with a spade, in a sod, 
nearly in the form of a cube; two of its sides receiving 
dimension from the breadth of the spade, and the other 

■Mb - ■«■ ■ - •■ ''---"■ 

On Live Fences* 


four from its breadth also and the depth of the sod ; 
which depth cannot be too great. By a similar spade, 
a similar sod is taken from the spot, where the cedar is 
to be planted ; the sod with the cedar growing in it, is 
deposited in its place ; and the earth of the removed sod 
is used to fill up chinks, or is crumbled about the young 
plant as a dressing. The success depends upon not 
breaking the sod, and the smallness of the cedar. Very 
few will die, if any care be taken. The gaps made by 
the few which do die, by violence or by accident, are 
speedily repaired by replanting annually. 

The winter months and March, are the best seasons 
for planting. Moisture, sufficient to prevent the ground 
from crumbling, is necessary. A congelation so slight 
as to be penetrated by the spade, places the earth in the 
best state for the operation ; but this is seldom attain- 

The advantages of the cedar over shrubs, are 1st, its 
longevity. 2dly, the rapidity with which it is planted, 
and the certainty with which it takes root. 3dly, the 
absence of thorns and its pliancy, so that it caQ be bent 
wattled and worked into any form, and trained to fill up 
apertures, with ease and dispatch, 4thly, its being ab- 
solutely refused by most animals as food, and never in- 
jured by browsing. 5thly, the smallness of its annual 
shoots, rendering it far more subservient to the shears, 
than the thorn. 6thly, the size and rigidity bestowed 
by age on its branches, united with a disposition to grow 
extremely thick, under the pruning regimen. And 
7thly, its being an evergreen, presenting an uniform 
state of perviousness ; which is not the case with any 

deciduous plant. 



On Live Fences. 


On Live Fences. 


The errors I have^ hitherto detected in the experi-. 
ment, are, topping too high, forbearing too long to ma* 
nure, and being too spare of cultivation. By beginning 
to top at one foot, and proceeding as the hedge fills up 
below, with manuring and good cultivation, I am per- 
suaded that the cedar may, in seven years, be trained 
into a hedge as close from bottom to top, as box, of a 
breadth not exceeding four feet ; and that it is more 
likely to become an effectual fence against hogs, than 
any of the family of shrubs, because it unites great den- 
sity, with the inflexibility and exuberance of the tree. 
The hedge of that age inclosing the stable yard, is well 
filled up, is the best live fence I ever saw, and though 
originally topt too high, promises rapidly to acquire 
this state of resistance. 

The young cedars are generally to be found near the 
ditches on my farm. If they are above 100 yards from 
the spot at which they are to be planted, the sods con- 
taining them are removed in a waggon or cart, in one 
layer on its bottom. In this way they are rapidly re- 
moved to the distance of one mile. If the distance be 
greater, the bottom of the carriage may either be en- 
larged, or a second and third story of flooring added, 
as the size of the plants may allow. 

Having a farm whereon the cedar is scarce, and hav- 
ing unsuccessfully attempted to raise young plants by 
sowing the berry, and obsei-ving the surface of snow 
covered with the cedar seed voided by birds, complete- 
ly freed from its viscous tegument, I had a parcel col- 
lected in February last, and planted them in March. 
The place has not since been visited by me. The idea 
is only mentioned, because should this preparation of 

the seed cause them to vegetate, a copious supply of 
young cedars may be obtained, without resorting to the 
troublesome and precarious fermenting experiments. 
However provided, they must be sown sufficiently thin, 
to supply each with the indispensable sod. 

The following, is the last idea, connected with the 
subject, which may not deserve to be forgotten. It is, 
to plant apple trees at eighteen feet distance along the 
hedge, three feet from the stem of the cedars. The 
apple trees, whose bodies are somewhat shielded against 
the sun, seemed to me to thrive best. The manure and 
cultivation required by the hedge, would I thought, prcr 
sent us without any additional expence or labour, with 
spacious and luxuriant orchards. The land under the 
hedges, could not be devoted to so useful a purpose. 
If public roads only, were by law to be thus bordered, 
a splendid agricultural ornament, the comfort to travel- 
lers of protection against the sun in summer and against 
the wind in winter, and an annual pecuniary saving to 
the nation by the use of cyder in place of ardent liquors, 
to a great amount, would be returns intirely superero- 
gatory to the benefits of living fences, made by the ma- 
nure and cultivation which these fences, whilst young, 
require. Under these impressions, I planted apple 
trees (crabs, excellent for cyder, but hardly eatable) 
around the hedge inclosing the stable yard, which has 
now spread to within a foot of the trees. These have 
borne, sparingly, this year, for tha first time. I have 
never seen trees more flourishiitg. It is only seven 
years, since they were grafted. The lot is nearly a 
square, facing the cardinal points of the compass, and 
as the trees equally flourish, it is probable that live fen- 




Oh Live Fences. 

ces will be serviceable to them in any geometrical 
figure. The branches of my trees growing perpendi- 
cularly to the opposite hedge, have been annually prun- 
ed ofF, that the others might interlock the sooner, so 
that the trees are in the form of an espalier, embracing 
the hedge, rising above it, and dropping their fruit on 
the outside of the yard ; and with the hedge bestow up- 
on horses, the luxuries of a shelter from a cold wind 
and hot sun. 

August Isty 1807. 

L 109 3 

Account of a new Pummice PresSy with some remarks 
upon Cyder makiyig. By Timothy Matlacky ofLan" 

Read March 10th, 180r. 

Lancaster y February Ithy 1807. 

Colonel Johnston of your city paid me a visit, and I 
shewed him, as I had done some others, a pummice 
press that I had made for my own use ; intended princi- 
pally for making of wines from currants, black berries?, 
grapes and other small fruits ; but as I wished to make 
wine from quinces which is beyond question, little if any 
inferior to that of the best grape, and also, expecting 
to make some perry, it seemed best to extend its size, 
to those objects, especially as the encreased expence 
would be very small. I therefore fitted it to those ob- 
jects, and as it now appears, to that of cyder making, 
in a way far indeed beyond my first intention. On 
viewing it, Colonel Johnston suggested the idea of send- 
ing a sketch of it to you, assuring me that it would not 
fail of a favourable reception; and I now enclose a side 
view of it, that will shew the principle on which it is 
constructed ; and I trust, demonstrate that it is capable 
of an almost incredible force, within a small space^ by 
very simple meansy and at a very small expence ; and also 
that it can be used with the greatest facility, and when 
done with for the season, can be laid securely by, with- 
•out occupying much house room. 

Several persons who have seen the press have expres- 
sed their idea, from the smaljness of the crib, that it was 


Account of a n&w Pumtnice Pressj 

intended only for a model ; not adverting to the space 
left for a much larger crib *, nor instantly perceiving that 
both levers, acting wholly within the machine^ press with 
equal force, both upwards and downwards; but no one 
who has examined it, has failed to express his opinion 
of its promising fair to become really useful ; and if it 
-shall prove to be so, it will afford me ample satisfaction 
for my trouble. 

Be this as it may, I am convinced that the best chance 
for becoming so, will be derived from your care and 
attention, to which it is committed with the greater 
pleasure, as I confide that you will allow me the credit 
of a respectful attention. 

I am your most obedient, 

humble servant, 

T. Matlac!k. 

Hon. Richard Peters Esq. 

President^ Agric. Society^ Philad. 

[Mr. Matlack having been requested, by order of the 
society, to procure a model to be made, and to trans- 
mit it with further explanations, was so obliging as to 
comply with that request; and the model was accom- 
panied by the following letter.] , 

Lancaster^ February 27fA, 1807. 

Dear Sir^ 

The model now sent you under care of Col. John- 
ston, is on a scale of an inch to a foot. — The levers to 
press 40 for 1, and the cribb to contain 40 bushels, 




And some Remarks on Cyder making. Ill 

which I think maybe wrought at least three times, while 
one of 80 bushels can be wrought vnce in the common 

I have no wish to engage in the question of cyder 
making, further than to suggest this inode of simplefy- 
ing the lever ; the sole inconveniency of which appears 
to be the frequency of removing the weight; which from 
the unalterable law of the lever, must be proportioned 
to the increase of pressure. Hence each weight should 
be no greater than is within the strength of the attend- 
ant ; or, which is the same thing, the weight of each 
lever should be divided for that purpose. It is planned 
for three pair of levers, of which two only are inserted, 
and the space for the third blocked ; either of which a 
3tout lad of twelve years old may handle. It is intend- 
ed, that two of the three should continue to press while 
the other is raised; in doing of which an inch board of 
a foot width, and of a proper length, will be quite suffi- 
cient to support the first lever : or with a little more 
strength it may be turned orver^ out of the way. As to 
the second lever, it can be withdrawn, and replaced in 
less than a minute. But enough of the model, which 
it was more trouble to make than the working press, 
rough as it is. I chose to make it myself, rather than 
employ a mechanic here, because I well know, that it 
would require more time to get any thing done by them, 
than to make it, if I was able. 

To reason against fixed prejudices is folly that ought 
not to be expected beyond tht age of 70 : it always gives 
offence, and is generally fruitless. Yet, lest it may look 
like sneaking from the question you suggest (with your 
usual address) I will venture to say the best cyders that 


Recount of a new Pummice Pressy 

And some Menmr^s on Cyder making. l IS' 

I have ever seen, if not all the truly excellenty has been 
pressed immediately from the mill.* 

The truth is, that cyder making depends onfermenta- 
tion; a subject less understood than any other to which 
philosophy or chymistry , have attended ; and my know^ 
kdge of it, is just sufficient to warrant the sentiment, and 
to have learned, that the little that is known on the sub- 
ject, it isextremely difficult to communicate, or to reduce 
to practice, in a country whose clitnate is so extremely 
variable as that of Pennsylvania, sometimes even in 
the' cyder making season, so warm as to put the fermen- 
tation above controul ; and at times soon after, so cold 
as totally to suspend it ; so that it unavoidably comment 
ces again and goes beyond its proper point in the spring. 
A wort of malt and hops, fermented at 65° and separat- 
ed from its yeast in due time, becomes spontaneously 
fine, and even perfectly bright; is a fine colour accord- 
ing to the colour of its materials ; is soft and free from 
bitterness. A part of the same wort fermented at 76° has 
a cloud fixed in it, which art has not yet been able to 
remove ; is so far decomposed as to cause the resin of 
the hop to offi^nd the palate with its bitter, which grows 
more and more offensive by time and finally acquires the 
offensive bitter of the aloes. The pulp of the apple 

* This opinion is so different from that generally entertain- 
ed by cyder makers, that experiments are well worth making 
to determine the point, or to ascertain the difference which 
pressing the pummice immediately from the mill, and per- 
mitting it to remain some hours before pressing, would occa- 
sion in the quality of the liquor. The subject is earnestly 
recommended to the attention of farmers.— jvTofc fy a Member. 


forms at least a part of the yeast of cyder, and if not se- 
parated by fermentation, but suffered to remain, will 
decompose the cyder, and exhibit to the palate the pre- 
cise bitter of the apple leaf, presviously to the com- 
ttiencement of the acetous fermentation. Warmth is 
the first sensible efiect of fermentation. This expands 
the air contained in the vesicles of the pulp, and occasi- 
ons them to rise; they should then be removed; their 
return increases the fermentation. 

Our farmers have not yet attended to the important 
fact of difference in the strength <xnd weight of the must 
from the different kinds oi apple, on which the suc- 
cessful praptice of fermentation will forever depend—- 
And which they will hardly credit until the use of Di- 
cas's hydrometer,* or some such instrument, finds its 
way amongst them. To you, I may venture to say, 
that by even a more accurate mode of determining this 
difference, beyond the weight of rain water, I have 
found it to be so incredibly great as 11 to 24, which, 
I think [iot my notes on this subject are in the city) 
was between the juice of the Vandever and of Cooper's 
sweet russett, which produces the richest must of aH 
the apples I have examined, and I have tried very many 
for more than 48 years back; the next heaviest is the 
house apple. 

Having said thus much, it would be wrong not to 
add, that the Virginia crabb affords a juice extremely 
different from that of any other apple I know of, and ap. 
pears to be less liable to an excess of fermentation, the 


* The appropriate name of this valuable hydrostatic instru- 
ment I do not recollect. [It is called ''Saccharometen''} 

c c 





Account of a new Pummice Press, 

I have ever seen, if not all the truly excellenty has been 
pressed immediately from the mill.* 

The truth is, that cyder making depends on fermenta- 
tion ; a subject less understood than any other to which 
philosophy or chymistry, have attended ; and my know- 
ledge of it, is just sufficient to warrant the sentiment, and 
to have learned, that the little that is known on the sub- 
ject, it is extremely difficult to communicate, or to reduce 
to practice, in a country whose clitnate is so extremely 
variable as that of Pennsvlvania, sometimes even in 
the cyder making season, so warm as to put the fermen- 
tation above controul ; and at times soon after, so cold 
as totally to suspend it; so that it unavoidably commen- 
ces again and goes beyond its proper point in the spring. 
A wort of malt and hops, fermented at 65° and separat- 
ed from its yeast in due time, becomes spontaneously 
fine, and even perfectly bright; is a fine colour accord- 
ing to the colour of its materials ; is soft and free from 
bitterness. A part of the same wort fermented at 76° has 
a cloud fixed in it, which art has not yet been able to 
remove ; is so far decomposed as to cause the resin of 
the hop to offend the palate with its bitter, which grows 
more and more offensive by time and finally acquires the 
offensive bitter of the aloes. The pulp of the apple 

* This opinion is so different from that generally entertain- 
ed by cyder makers, that experiments are well worth making 
to determine the point, or to ascertain the difference which 
pressing the pummice immediately from the mill, and per- 
mitting it to remain some hours before pressing, would occa- 
sion in the quality of the liquor. The subject is earnestly 
recommended to the attention of farmers.— j>ir„fff by a Member. 

And some Remarks on Cyder making. 1 IS 

forms at least a part of the yeast of cyder, and if not se- 
parated by fermentation, but suffered to remain, will 
decompose the cyder, and exhibit to the palate the pre- 
cise bitter of the apple leaf, previously to the com- 
tnencement of the acetous fermentation. Warmth is 
the first sensible effect of fermentation. This expands 
the air contained in the vesicles of the pulp, and occasi- 
ens them to rise ; they should then be removed; their 
return increases the fermentation. 

Our farmers have not yet attended to the important 
fact of difference in the strength and weight of the must 
from the different kinds of apple, on which the sue- 

cessful praptice of fermentation will forever depend 

And which they will hardly credit until the use of Di- ^ 
cas's hydrometer,* or some such instrument, finds its 
way amongst them. To you, I may venture to say, 
that by even a more accurate mode of determining this 
difference, beyond the weight of rain water, I have 
found it to be so incredibly great as 11 to 24, which, 
I think (for my notes on this subject are in the city) 
was between the juice of the Vandever and of Cooper's 
sweet russett, which produces the richest must of all 
the apples I have examined, and I have tried very many 
for more than 48 years back; the next heaviest is the 
house apple* 

Having said thus much, it would be wrong not to 
add, that the Virginia crabb affords a juice extremely 
different from that of any other apple I know of, and ap- 
pears to be less liable to an excess of fermentation, the 

* The appropriate name of this valuable hydrostatic instru- 
ment I do not recollect. [It is called ''Saccharometer.''} 

c c 

4J ' 


1 1 , 


, t»1 





Account of a new Pummice Press ^ . 

bane of our common cyder, than that of any other apple. 
The cause of this difference, I am quite willing to leave 
others to guess at^ or to enquire concerning by more 
rational means, at their choice. For the truth of this 
important fact you may venture to take my assurance : 
to wit — That tiie sooner the pummice is pressed after 
grinding, the paler the cyder will be — the more per- 
fectly bright^ it may be made in the cask — ^and the less 
lees it will deposit in the botde. A moment's reflection 
will satisfy you, of the incorrectness of the practice of 
measuring the length of time which pummice should re- 
main after grinding, and before it is put to press, by 
hours, without regard to the heat of the air at the time. 
You will perceive, that one season the same length of 
time will produce no sensible efiect, which at a much. 
Warmer season would induce die commencement of aa 
acid fermentation. 

Having gone so much further on this subject, than I 
had intended, I cannot help asking myself the question, 
ought I to ask your pardon for it, or my own ? Per- 
haps the answer should be, that I deserve it from neither. 
However I am certain of this — that I am with much 
esteem and respect, 

Your most obedient and 

very humble servant, 

T. Matlack: 
Hon. Richard Peters, 

President Agric. Soc. Philad. 

* The word bright is a term used by brewers to express the 
difference between what is commonly called^ne, and that per- 
fect transparency in which liquors are, alone, tasted in their 

Account of a new Pummice Press. 



1 i. .i 

Upright which stands on the inside of the side plarik, 
•six feet long. ^ 




Aoeount of a new Pummice Prts8<. 

Aeeount of a n&U) Pummice Press, 



• A, An iron pin 1 1-2 inches thick, passing through 
both uprights, against which the toe of the lever presses 
upwards, and an eye bolt passing through the lever, 
which keeps the lever from falling, when the blocks are 

B, B, B,' Holes in the upright, to which the lever 
may be removed at pleasure, to any required height. 

C, C, A similar tenon and dove tail at the other end 
of the side planks, bearing upwards. 

C, A tenon with a dove tail, bearing downward, to 
strengthen and bind together the side planks and up- 

D, This dotted line shews the foot of the upright, as 
it extends forward within the side plank. The upright 
is secured by a pin represented by a . near D. 

E, The cribb, 21 by 20 inches, and 20 inches high, 

F, Plank side of the cribb. G, Wedges. 

H, Side plank lying on the out side of the upright, 
7 feet 4 inches long from out to out. 
' 1, 6 feet 8 inches, equal to five times the length below 
the fulcrum. 

K, 6 feet 8 inches. 

L, A wedge over the plank side of the cribb not 
really necessary. 

Though the cribb contains only four bushels, yet the 
press is equal to a cribb of 48 by 48 inches, and 36 in- 
ches high, which will contain 37 bushels. The facility 
with which that quantity can be pressed, discharged, and 
replaced, leaves no doubt but that a much greater quan- 
tity in a day can be pressed, than is practicable with the 
longest beam hitherto ever used; or with the best double 
screwpress, now in use. The plank being prepared, it is 

not more than two days work, for a carpenter, to compleat 
the press ; and this estimation of time is not guess worfc^ 
but the result of experiment. A carpenter's apprentice 
assisted me in the sawing of the plank for one day, and 

1 completed it on the second day. The plank which is 

2 1-2 inches thick, delivered at my door, cost me two 
dollars and one half, and^the (jhain, pin, and a hundred 
of 4d cut nails few the cribb, is the whole expence of 
iron work. So that this may be considered as much 
the cheapest, as well as the most powerful press yet 
known, and any farmer who can handle a saw, an axe, 
and an augur, can readily make the whole ; especially 
considering, that a strong withe may supply the place 
of the chain, and a tough piece of hickory the place of 
an iron pin. 

The pressure of the weight (100 pounds) on the pum- 
mice, is as 5 times 5 is to 1. That is, its pressure down- 
wards is equal to 2500 pounds. But, the uprights being 
fastened to the side planks, the toe of each lever bears 
the cribb upwards with the same power as the heel (or 
fulcrum) presses downwards ; so that the actual pressure 
on the pummice is equal to 5,000 pounds. 

The press from which this is sketched, is provided 
with two of these oompound levers acting side by side, 
and consequently press equal to 10,000 weight; al- 
though the uprights are only five inches apart, and h^ 
lengthening the pin, which supports the levers only five 
inches, two more of those levers may be added, on the 
outsides of the uprights, which will press equal to ano- 
ther 10,000 pounds, and so infinitely. 

The floor of the press is perforated with two augur 
holes, of an inch and quarter diameter; and on the floor 



1 . ' "r 

' • II Tni ( U ^Ag^ 


Account of a new Pummice Press. 


■ < 


is laid a lattice bottom, which is supported by three ribs 
of one inch and quarter wide, and half an inch thick. 
Upon this lattice, an hair cloth or coarse bagging should 
be spread, and it will be best to spread the same cloth 
on three sides of the cribb, by which means the must 
will run off quite fine. One side of the cribb is of 
plank, and pressed against tlje uprights by the floor, 
which is wedged on, by double wedges ; and the other 
three sides are tenoned into the plank side, with headed 
pins, long enough to be readily knocked out when the 
pummice is sufficiently pressed. That side of the cribb 
is then to be turned outward, the pummice thrown out, 
and the cribb returned to its place and refilled. The 
side planks are tenoned together, and dove tailed up- 
wards, at the outer end, and downwards at the foot of 
the uprights. 

The whole space occupied by the press is 13 feet 7 
inches. The frame of the cribb is pinned together, so 
as to be very readily taken apart, into the three sides. 
The whole press can be taken apart in about 20 minutes, 
^nd put together again in less than an hour : and the 
whole so taken apart, can be laid in a box 20 inchesi 
square, and 8 feet in length. 

In my press the side planks are 10 inches apart, and 
bottomed to receive the juice, whicji is to be drawn off 
near the second lever. 

The side plank lying on the out side of the uprights, 
is seven feet four inches long, from out to out. 

When only one pair of levers are used, as shewn intlie 
cut, the space for the other pair, between the uprights, 
is occupied by a square block through which the pin at 
A, passes, which keeps this lever steadily in its plac^. 

-- ■■'•■ ■ • 

[ 119 3 


On the injurious Effects of Clover to Orchards* By 
Richard Peters. 

Read May 12th, 1807- 

Belmont, April 2Qth, 1807. 

It having been mentioned at a late meeting of the 
society, that it was an opinion gaining credit in many 
parts of New England, that sowing clover in orchards 
was injurious to the fruit, I have made some inquiries 
on that subject. I have received a letter from W. Coxe 
Esq. at Burlington, who has the most extensive plan in 
execution, for apple orchards, and fruit trees of every 
species, I have heard of in America. If I gain farther 
information I will communicate it. I wish that other 
members of the society would assist in this inquiry. 
My own observations are, that for many years my fruit 
(apples) have never rewarded my endeavours to profit 
by a large number of trees I possess. I am in the habit 
gf cultivating my orchards, in their turn, with the usual 
course of crops, pursued on other parts of my farms. 
Clover occupies them, for two and three years. The 
fruit is always rath, or early ripe; and drops before the 
reason for making cyder, though the produce is fre- 
quently abundant. Whether this is owing to the loose 
state of the soil, and its better tilth by cultivation and 
manure, forwarding the fruit, and producing super- 
abundant juices, and too rapid circulation of the sap, 
or any qualities in clover, I know not. I should sup- 
pose the circumstances first enumerated, accounted 
for the premature decadency of the fruit, most ration*. 

I? »f». 

¥' ' 

•t ib 

120 On the injurious Effects of Clover to Orchards. 

ally. I recollect that many years ago, when my farms 
were in a worse state of culture, the crops of apples re- 
mained till the proper times for gathering them. Please 
to communicate Mr* Coxe's letter to the society* 

lam, Sir, 

your obedient servant, 

Richard Peters* 
Dr* James Mease, 

Secretary Agric. Soc. Philad. 

I am pursuing my old plan of reinstating my peach 
trees, lost last season by my unconquerable foe, the dis* 
ease I call the yellows. I obtain them from different nur- 
series, free from this pestiferous infection. The worm 
or wasp I have in complete subjection* I should be per- 
fectly disinterested in proposing that the society offer 
^premium for preventing the disease so fatal; fori 
shall never gain the reward* 

Burlington 5th April 1807. 
Dear Sir^ 

1 am perfectly ignorant of the disease to which you 
give the name of the yelhws. Nothing of this descrip- 
tion has ever appeared among my peach trees. For 
four or five years past, my trees have borne well, and 
have resisted the worms. I have used no precaution 
but searching twice in the season ; once in the end of 
July or beginning of August, and once late in Septem- 
ber. On the first of October, my men begin to open 
the roots so as to leave a bason of the size of a large 


On the injurious Effects Of Clover to Orchards 121 

w ash hand bason around each tree ; in this state they are 
left until the season of cultivation, the following spring, 
the ice and water which frequently fill the hole during the 
winter, effectually kill the worm, should it have eluded 
my search and descended into the roots for winter co- 
vering. I also endeavour to prevent excessive bearing, 
by close pruning, which 1 have long found more effica- 
cious in peach, than in any other fruit trees. 

With respect to orchards being injured by clover, I 
am yet undetermined in my opinion. I cannot think that 
clover in itself can be more mjurious than other grasses* 
I have for some time believed, that annual cultivation 
is necessary for young orchards. I have found nothing 
better than indian corn. The most injurious effects 
from clover, I have supposed to be, the difficulty of 
keeping the ground in a loose state, around the trees, 
and the quantity of vermin enticed by the roots of the 
clover. I have about seventy to eighty acres compris- 
ing upwards of 2000 apple trees, from 12 years, to one 
years planting out, and I have every year to renew forty, 
fifty or sixty young trees destroyed by ground mice, 
during the winter. This evil is entirely confined to 
the clover grounds. I am continuing one farm under 
corn exclusively, for the purpose of promoting the 
growth of the orchards, and shall be very particular in 
mv observations. 

I had forgot to mention that I have directed the peach 
trees to be sent of young and thrifty growths. I am 
persuaded that large peach trees however vigorous catt- 

le d 

122 On the injurious Effects of Clover to Orchards. 

On the injurious Effects of Clover to Orchara^. 123 


not be removed with safety in our climate ; at least there 
can be no certainty of their success. 

With very sincere respect and esteem, 

I am dear Sir your obedient servant, 

' William Coxe. 

Richard Peters Esc^. 

P. S. Last year I had the ground around every apple 
tree in my grass grounds, dug with spades from two to 
three feet from the stems. I mean to continue the 
practice hereafter, from a conviction of its utility. 

[The opinion that the cultivation of clover, is injuri- 
ous to orchards, is maintained by Mr. Blakesley of 
Plymouth, and by Mr. Ives of Cheshire, Connecticut, 
as appears by the publication of the Agricultural Soci- 
ety of New Haven. 

Mr. Blakesley says, "A neighbour of mine, an ob- 
serving farmer, informed me some years since, that in 
the younger part of his life, he had nearly ruined his 
orchard, by raising crops of red clover on the land; but 
that when his orchard was decaying, he conjectured the 
cause, and left off raising the clover in his orchard, 
when it soon recovered. I never ventured it myself. . 
Many orchards in the country appear to me to be inju- 
red by this cause." 

Mr. Ives says, "I have found the large red clover 
very prejudicial to my orchard* I used formerly to 

f aise crops of clover and mow them. But I found my 
orchard decaying, and immediately began to feed it, 
and it recovered. I have since had clover in my or- 
chard, but have been careful by feeding it, to keep it 
from having any bloom; and it does not injure it, as it 
manifestly did when suffered to come to maturity, so as 
to be fit for mowing. 

Mr. Chauncy in the year 1800, upon remarking to a 
farmer in Pennsylvania, who shewed him a large apple 
orchard, of about fourteen years growth, in which red 
clover grew, that many of the farmers in N. England 
considered that plan as detrimental to their fruit trees, if 
suffered to grow for hay, received the following reply. 

"I trust, you seldom if ever, saw an orchard more 
thriving than this ; I keep it in clover almost constantly, 
and generally for hay, but plaister of Paris, does every 
thing for clover, and is highly beneiicial as a manure, for 
fruit trees. I grow great crops of clover with it, and it 
prevents any ill effects wl^ich itiight otherwise arise fron^ 
the clover."] 



[124 3 

New Disease in fV/ieat. 

The following communications have been received 
upon an alarming disease in wheat which has appeared 
in Maryland, and threatens to be attended with the most 
serious consequences unless speedily checked. 

Read June 9th, ISOr. 

JElkton, August .lOt/i, 1807, 

I acknowledge the receipt of your favour of the 4th 
instant. It is vrith pleasure I anticipate the great use 
your-society may be of to the farming interest. 

I have nothing to communicate worthy of notice but 
a disease that has been for three years past in partial 
spots of my wheat. 1 call it a decay in the root. Land 
recently manured, or where old buildings have been, 
or where stacks of hay, or fodder houses have been 
fed from in fields, or land manured with scraping about 
doors, with a mixture of ashes, are the parts most af- 
fected with this pernicious distemper. 

From the first to the tenth of March, the wheat affect- 
ed declines in colour, its blade dwindles and draws toge- 
ther, resembling a bunch of sage. The principal tap 
root decays, small fibrous roots grow out, and small 
sprouts also grow up, seldom more than 6 inches high ; 
which do not incline to stalk. In this state, the injured 
wheat continues till harvest. 

Many of our farmers complain of this same distemper 
in their wheat and generally in their best lands. Where 

I I 1 ■Mull 

Aew Disease in Wheat. 


this distemper was three years ago, it continues with a 
much greater spread. Its ravages are to be dreaded. 
To prevent this disease is the great desire of your 

Respectful friend, 


Dr. J. Mease. 

Delaware Mills, 1th, 6th mo. 1807. 

Esteemed Friend, 

I have delayed writing to thee, for the purpose of 
ascertaining the cause of the disorder that prevails in 
some parts of the country in the present crop of wheat, 
especially at Elkton, Cecil county, Maryland. Zebulon 
HoUingsworth informs me, that he lost 25 acres last year 
with this disease, and his present crop is considerably 
affected in spots especially in rich places, w here old 
buildings or fodder houses have stood, and such places 
as have been manured with scrapings, (as he terms it.) 
He has sent me several bunches with the soil about 
the roots, for examination. I find the principal root that 
was first formed from the seed grain, to be injured as if 
done by an insect, and I have likewise found a single 
egg on said root, but in a tender state. The root ap- 
pears ta'mted and the shoots spring therefrom ; such as, 
are turning yellow break off upon a slight touch, and 
other buds putting out to form more stalks, though 
none of them have strength to come to perfection ; the 
principal root being gone, the support depends on the 
fibrous ones issuing out above, and consequently never 
can come to a head, or if a small head should form, can- 



New Disease in Wheat. 

New Disease in Wheat. 


not fill with grain. The appearance of this complaint 
is discovered by the roots or bunches, being a thick tuft 
or bunch of blades rising in a cluster without forming a 
stalk. I shall continue to examine further, hoping to 
find some of the eggs further advanced towards matu- 
rity, though could not find any in the last sent to me. 
I hope others will be attentive to this subject, as it is ^ 
serious malady in our most valuable grain. 

With much esteem from thy friend, 

Caleb Kirk. 

Dr. J. Mease. 

The facts stated by Mr. HoUingsworth, while they 
justly ought to cause serious alarm, tend at the same 
time fully to prove, the truth of the theory of Mr. So- 
merville, respecting the origin of grain insects. He 
supposes that they are generated in the manure made 
use of, being put into the earth, and covered up from 
the sun and air : insects he remarks in such circum- 
stances, breed much faster, than when the same manure 
is left upon, or near the surface. To prevent their in- 
crease, he recommends the mixing lime with stable 
dung, (but not until it is completely fermented) and the 
application of manure so prepared, in the spring as a top 
dressing, when the crop is in a growing state, instead 
of ploughing it under in the autumn. In the trials he 
has made of the practice he recommends, the success 
has been very great. Another mode in which the in- 
sects mentioned by Mr. HoUingsworth might be de- 
stroyed, is by paring and burning the surface; the 
mode of pcrfoniiing this operation may be seen in books 

of agriculture.* No other method appears to be so 
certain, and it ought certainly to be adopted, as it is im- 
possible to say to what extent the evil may proceed, if 
not soon checked. 

The following piece appeared In the news papers in 
the year 1804, and may allude to a disease similar to that 
described by Mr. HoUingsworth. The importance of 
such communications from farmers cannot be too ear- 
nestly inforced. If the insect, caUed the ^^hessianfiy^*^ 
be really imported, it is not too much to say, that by an 
early alarm, and by burning the straw of the crop in 
which it first appeai'ed, the whole race might have been 
destroyed, and many miUions saved to the United States. 
Legislative interference in such cases is highly justi- 
fiable, and the government of Maryland is urged to at- 
tend to the insects that afiect the wheat in that State, 
in a manner so alarming. 

UTICA, fNew York J July 2nd. 
To the Editor of the Patriot. 


Having heard much complaint among the farmers, 
and others, of the destruction of their growing wheat 
by the hessian fly ; and some from the rust, or blight, as 
they suppose, by the easterly wind ; I was led to exa- 
mine my own fields, and endeavour to discover the 
cause of the yellow and rusty appearance of my own 
wheat ; particularly a small field of spring wheat, which 

c 1 

* Dickson's Agriculture. Lawrence's Farmer's Calender. 




JSfetu Distal in fFheat. 


tit an early period, made a good shew of being a fine 
crpp ; but which, all at once — or at least in a very few 
days, seemed wholly to droop and put on the same sick- 
ly hue which I had previously observed to the eastward 
of Albany, and also in the county of Montgomery. I 
had never seen the hessian fly, but had generally un- 
derstood that its first appearance was that of a small white 
maggot in the stalk of the grain, about the first andsecona 
joint,, and that the stalks, infested with the fly, or rather 
maggot, could easily be pulled asunder. Examining 
some stalks of my spring wheat, and finding them per- 
fectly sound, and not to be separated, except by cutting 
them with a knife, and at the same time observing a 
yellow dust or rust on the decayed leaves, I hastily 
concluded that the defect in the grain was not owing to 
the hessian fiy, but to a mildew, which had caused the 
stalks and leaves to grow rusty and perish. But acci- 
dentally observing that the roots of all the stalks which 
I had pulled up, appeared dead, and quite decayed like 
over rotten flax, I was led to examine them with more 
attention, when I found a number of very small white 
worm^, extremely fine, and very lively, which I under- 
stand is never the case with the hessian fly. But of this 
circumstance (respecting the always torpid state of the 
hessian fly) I have no personal knowledge. These 
worms were of different lengths, from an eighth to a 
fourth of an inch (as well as I could judge from the eye) 
and nioved either end foremost ; although evidently dif- 
ferent as to the force of the head from the other extre- 
mity — what I supposed the head, being longer, and of 
a red colour. The body of some was nearly as white 
as a maggot in ncw^ cheese, others of the pale green 

New Disease in fFhedt. 


eolour of the stalk of wheat. In the roots of those 
stalks, most decayed, there were insects in a quiet err 
dead state, or more properly speaking in a state of ab- 
solute rest, and of the colour of a ripe flax seed, though 
not of that shape — they were rounder and longer; but 
in no instance as long as the live worm. I take this to 
be the second state of this destructive insect — and that 
the third state is probably a fly. The chrysalis or first 
remove from a worm, is not lodged in the stalk of the 
grain, but amongst the roots, or in the first insertion of 
the leaves adjoining the root. The 'destruction of the 
grain appears owing to the ravages of the worm on the 
fine and tender roots, under the surface of the earth, and 
the reason that so few are found in pulling up the wheat 
and examining the stalks, I imagine, is owing to the 
worm's being concealed by the dirt adhering to the 
roots, and their being shaken ofi* with the dirt before 
the roots are examined. I am led to believe that this is 
a new species of worm, a^ it has made a more complete 
destruction of the spring wheat than the wiriter wheat. 
I have always understood that the hessian fly was pro- 
duced from eggs laid in the young shoots of wheat iti 
the fall — and that wheat late sowed, and on highly ma- 
nured lands, always escapes their ravages. By the way 
I would observe that some of these worms were disco- 
vered in my winter wheat, which was very late sown — 
but they did it but little damage. My spring wheat 
was sown partly on land, last season in com and pota- 
toes, and was but an indifferent soil — the rest in a small 
adjoining field which had been one year in grass, and 
was this spring broken up in order to prepare the ground 

for planting an orchard. P. Colt. 

E e ^ 


New Disease in Wheat. 

Mr. Frederick Heisz mentioned at the Society, at 
the meeting of January 12th 1808, that his wheat suf- 
fered extremely last autumn, during a drought, from 
insects having a great resemblance to those of the hu- 
man head ; several of which were found in the main 
stalk of the plant, just as it left the earth. The growth 
of the wheat was checked, and the leaves turned yellow. 
A similar disease prevailed in several places in his 
neighbourhood, viz. in the county of Philadelphia, 11^ 
iniles up the Wissahickon road. 

C 131 3 

Improved Hay Ladders. By Moses CoateSj near Down* 
ing Town, Chester County, Pennsylvania. v 

Read August 11th, 180X. 


Waggon ladders for hauling hay or grain, may be 
made from 15 to 20 feet long, and spread as wide at 
top, as the wheels will admit. 


.^: ■■■■■■- - — 1 4'- 


Ifay Ladders. 

A, a piece of scantling 4 1-2 inches thick, and 5 1-2 

deep, for the bottom rail. 
B B, the two top rails. 
C, the sloats, set in mortices in the bottom rail, and 

passing through the top rails. 
D D, pieces across, one at each end, to keep them from 

E,^ the hind bolster, notched down on the spurrs or 

guides of the hind wheels, just before the bolster on 

the axle tree. 
F F, two strong studs, standing nearly erect, to support 

the top rails. 
G, the bolster at the fore end, through which the tho- 
rough bolt passes. 

This bed is much stiffer, stronger, and better sup- 
ported, than one made after the usual method, and is 
not so subject to get out of place. But its chief merit 
is turning easily; for having but one bottom rail, and 
that in the middle, there is nothing to prevent the wag- 
gon from turning as short, as if there was no bed on it, 
a circumstance which is frequently of very great advan- 
tage, as in turning from one cock or shock to another; 
the old kind requires such a large circle to turn in, that 
the waggon often times cannot be brought to the spot 

I 133 3 


On Sheep and their Diseases. By Joseph Qapner^ of 
Flemington^ J^ew Jersey. 

Read September 8th, 1807. 

FlemingtoHy June 6thy 1807. 

Agreeably to your request, I will give you any in- 
formation, according to my abilities and observations, 
on those useful animals, — sheep. 

As I am in the habit of killing what sheep I have to 
spare, and of selling to my neighbours, I have had a 
good opportunity of viewing their internal complaints^ 
they are, 

1st, The worm in their head. The smallest size which 
I have observed, is less than a cheese skipper, about one 
inch up the nose, creeping about in the mucilage ; as 
they grow, they creep higher up, and when fully grown, 
they lie as high up as the cavities will admit. I have 
seen as many as twelve or fifteen, great and small, in 
one head, but commonly only two. I suppose they are 
produced from a bee, that frequents the walks in sheep 
pasture, much resembling those bees, but of a less size 
which pester horses in summer, and deposit nits on 
their hair. I call them the sheep bee; but where they 
deposit their eggs, whether externally or internally, I 
know not. They first begin to be troublesome about 
the time the honey bees swarm. 

I know of no cure. The method I follow to prevent 
the complaint, is to smear the noses, and up to the eyes 
of the sheep, with tar. This practice seems to have a 
good effeet upon a sheep, for about one month, and on- 


> ^^'%i 


H*- . ijA:^:? 

~a^«i«igA- . 


On Sheep and their Diseases. 



ly three weeks on lambs, as they are apt to rub off the 
tar in sucking. 

2d, Intestinal worms. I frequently find the tape 
worm, to the number of four or five, in one sheep, and 
four or five yards long. I lately killed a lamb with ele- 
ven: the animal was fat: these seem to be least injuri- 
ous to sheep, as those in which I have found them hav^ 
the fewest knobs on their bowels- 

The second kind of worms resemble narrow strips 
of boiled parchment, cut about one fourth of an inch in 
length; they are discovered in the dung of the animal, 
and are much more injurious than the former kind, oc- 
casioning so many lumps on the bowels, as to cause 
great diificulty in taking off the rough fat. 

3d, The third kind are more fatal, than either of the 
former twOj but fortunately they do not appear so often. 
In two or three instances, the animals which were trou- 
bled with them, continued ill until they died ; and upon 
examining their bodies, I discovered several small round 
worms, about one inch long, coming out of the anus. 

I observe that sheep are much more healthy here, 

than in England. I also notice a great neglect in the 

American farmers, in not docking the tails of sheep, 

hence they often dislocate their spines, and render their 

limbs paralytic, by the violence with which they frisk 

their tails when affrighted. 

I remain with esteem 

Joseph Capner^ 
Dr. James Mease. 

[Mr. Capner presented to the society, four vials, contain- 
ing the intestinal worms mentioned in his letter, and the bee 
which he supposed produced the kind he first notices.] 

'^^^^^'^H^S^^IIS^^irrfT^iSr^' v-P*-.- 

t 135 ] 

On Jerusalem fFheat. By Dr. John Keemle. 

Read September 8th, 1807. 


. Phikd. Septr. 2cf, 1807. 

This letter with a head of the Jerusalem wheat, will 
be handed you by Doctor Mease, secretary to your so- 
ciety. — In December 1805, 1 wrote to Mr. Humphreys, 
of Dublin, requesting him to favour me with some of 
that wheat : this request he complied with, by sending 
me a small bag, containing about a quart and an half 
pint, which I had sown in different kinds of soil, to as- 
certain in which kind it would thrive best, and ripen 
soonest. One diird part I had sown on high ground on 
the 15 September, 1806; this ground was not in a high 
state of cultivation. The other two parcels were sown 
in low ground, highly cultivated, one and two weeks 
later than the first. That which was sown on the 15th 
September, was fuljy ripe on the 12th July, 1807. The 
other two parcels did not ripen so soon, nor so perfectly, 
as the first ; whence it appears that it should be sown as 
early as possible^ In my opinion 1st Septr. would be 
the most proper time for sowing it. 
. From reading some observations on that part of the 
eastern country, from which this wheat was brought 
to Ireland, I am confirmed in my opinion of the neces- 
sity of its being early sown. From the time this wheat 
starts to grow, to the time of its ripening, there is very 
little rain, if any, in the climate of Jerusalem. This 
wheat requires a high degree of heat to ripen it, and as 

yuMbiSfli nil I wTiiHBnBiKr 

1 fiilttrtf^'" 


On Jerusalem fVheai. 

On Jerusalem Wheat. 



the degree of heat in our clinvate, is not so high as that 
of Jerusalem, the deficiency must be made up by early 
sowing. I am informed that it does not ripen equally, 
and perfectly in Ireland or England. This is easily 
accounted for. Our indian corn will not ripen in either 
of those countries, which being farther north than our 
climate by several degrees, have not the same degree 
of heat: consequently our climate is more favorable to 
it than England, or Ireland. 

In the States of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, 
Virginia, N. and S. Carolina, and Georgia, this grain 
may be raised to advantage. North and South Caro* 
Una, lie in the same latitude as Jerusalem. In these 
States, therefore, I would presume, it will best succeed. 
The southern States, will find it their interest to attend 
to the cultivation of it, as soon as a supply can be ob- 

As to the quantity reaped from what I sowed, I can 
only state, that from a pint sown about two miles from 
town, I do not expect to get more than a peck. Not- 
withstanding all the care taken of it by the farmer, half 
was destroyed by fowls. A farmer in the neck who 
had half a pint, assures me, he will get a peck at least, 
Of the produce of the third parcel I have as yet received 
no information. 

Considering the three severe seasons it had to en* 
counter, I am fully satisfied with the produce. W^ 
never had a more severe and trying winter for grain than 
the last, much rain, little snow, and extreme cold. Du- 
ring the spring and summer almost every other day we 
had rain, which not only checks the growth of grain, but 
also the ripening of it ' 

This wheat, is hardier and more productive than any 
we have among us : neither heat nor cold seem to have 
much effect on it. It does not mildew and rust as easy 
as our wheat* Some of the common wheat, that was 
so^vn by the side of it, in the neck, was entirely spoiled 
by rust and mildew, when this was not in the least af- 
fected. Its productiveness may be estimated by the 
number of heads on a single straw, on some there are 
^> — 5,-7 heads as you will observe, by those I send 
you. The straw is six feet high, and very stout, suffi- 
ciently so to bear its own weight uncommonly well. 
The grain is full and plump, differently shaped from 
our wheat, and somewhat larger. The Jerusalem wheat 
will be a valuable acquisition to our country, if it does 
not degenerate, of which we shall be enabled to judge 
by one or two further experiments. 

With much respect I am &c. 

T3 .„ John Keemle. 

KicHARD Peters Esq. 

President Agric. Soc. Philad. 

The public papers have frequently mentioned the 
origin of the above mentioned wheat. It appears, that 
a servant of an eccentric character, the late Mr. Wha. 
ley, (who for a wager undertook to walk to the holy 
land) brought back a small sheaf of wheat, and fixed 
it up as a sign to an ale house which he kept for some 
years after in Dublin. In time it was blown down, and 
a fanner who accidentally passed, perceiving a few 
heads, among the straw, picked and planted them. He 
conttoued to propagate it, until he had several acres 


■.''■rWi ' 




On Jerusalem Wheat. 

I 139 J 

of it sowii, when he sold the seed at the immense price, 
often guineas the stone. The produce was said to be 
greater than that of any other known kind of wheat ; the 
stalk strong and reedy, and to be filled with a pithy sub- 
stance which proved highly nourishing when the straw 
was cut and given to horses. The straw bears a clump 
of many ears, and the grain is said to yield an unusual 
quantity of the finest flour. I was presented by Captain 
Geddes, with half a pint of the Jerusalem wheat from 
Dublin, in June 1806, it weighed six ounces: when 
exhibited at the Agricultural Society, the members 
were struck with the shrivelled appearance of the grain^, 
and their unequal whiteness- This led to the opinion 
that^more than one variety of wheat, was contained in 
the sample. I sowed it in drills, on a spot highly pre- 
pared, but the carelessness of my overseer permitted the 
poultry to destroy it enuring the winter. Joseph Cooper 
of New Jersey, sowed some of the same kind of wheat 
in October 1805, and observed that it ripened very 
unequally, owing as he thought to the weight of the 
heads causing many of the stalks to fall to the ground. 
The crop of 1807, stood well, but still ripened une- 
qually. I procured half a peck from him last autumn, 
which I sowed in a piece of well prepared ground, and 
shall carefully note its progress, and produce. 

It is believed that the same variety of ^ wheat was in- 
troduced into this country in 1792, as some of a kind 
answering to the description of the Jerusalem wheat, 
was presented to the society, and distributed among 
the members, but as it has been lost, it is more thari 
probable it possessed no particular good qualities. 

J. MeaseI 

On the Yellow Water of Horses. By Richard Peters, 

w J.. 

Read October 13th, 1807. 

„. -Belmont, in Blockley, Aug. SQth, 1807. 

The following communication on the yellmv water 
of horses, was made, at the time of its date, to " The 
Blockley and Merion Society for promoting agriculture 
and rural oeconomy." I was principally instrumental in 
fonning this Society, 20 years ago. It chiefly consists 
of intelligent, worthy and industrious practical fanners, 
with whom, I feel a pleasure ih mentioning, I have uni- 
formly lived, in uninterrupted habits of friendly inter- 
course and confidence. As a means of combining them 
by some attractive object, a small, but well selected 
library has been established, out of their easy annual 
contributions, and occasional fines. I have had great 
satisfaction in perceiving the progressive information 
and improvement, this has afforded. It would be high- 
ly beneficial, if such societies were more generally form- 
ed through our country, for the promotion of agricul- 
tural knowledge ; without which, industry and labour 
lose the fairest portion of their merited reward. 

I have a belief, and have heard that the adventurous 
mode I accidentally pursued on the subject communi- 
eated, has been singularly serviceable in the fatal disease 
treated of. It is truly unfortunate, that veterinarv 
knowledge is so rare, and so little valued by medical 
characters, that necessity compels, and accident alone 
favours experiments, in the hands of those, who have 
no assistance from professional attainments. 

■l! :,J 





On the Yellow Water of Horses. 

By permission, and at the request of the Philadelphia 
Society^ I send to you a copy, to be inserted in their 
memoirs. Herbsy and feeble remedies, have been in 
vain administered. Some bold, and well directed 
course, must be taken with a malady uncommonly and 
rapidly dangerous, and generally fatal. My observa- 
tion and even slender and unfortunate acquaintance with 
the disease, may furnish some useful hints to those, who 
will add to them scientific and medical skill. 

I risk all observations on a subject, on which it will 
be perceived, I am not scientifically informed; that I 
may break the way, and invite those, who have it in their 
power to benefit and instruct agriculturists, in a branch 
of knowledge intirely neglected,* 

RicHARX) Peters. 
Dr. James Mease, 

Secretary Agric. Sac. Philad. 

* Those who are zealous in any important subject, cannot 
always avoid committing themselves, on points they deem 
useful. If injustice is done to me, by the supposition, that 
any personal motive actuates me, to treat on topics I do not 
profess to know extensively, it is a tax, which all who have 
similar propensities to do service to others more than to them- 
selves, must, with me, agree to pay. For a great portion of 
my life, I have occasionally endeavoured to prevail on profes- 
sional men, to assist the business of agriculture, by devoting 
some part of their time and talents to veterinary subjects. 
But until Dr. Rush, very lately, laid me under personal obli- 
gations, and my brother farmers generally, by introducing 
these subjects in an handsome manner, to the notice of his pu-. 
pils, I have never succeeded. This entitles him to my most 

On the Yellow Water of Horses. 


" To the Blockley and Merion Society, for promoting 
Agriculture, and Rural (Economy. 

^ *' Having, within a few weeks past, lost thre^ horses, 
My a disorder, which I believe to be the yellow water ^ 
I endeavour to render my misfortune as useful as I can,' 
by communicating all I have observed, or heard on that ^ 
subject. I do this, in hopes that other members of the 
society will assist in collecting facts, preventives, and 
remedies, necessary to enable us to know, resist, or 
conquer, this alarming and fatal invader. I am con. 
vinced that those who depend on several recipes I have 
seen published, will be deceived, unless the disease be 
very mild indeed. One only, out oifour of my horses 

grateful thanks. Whatever may be thought by others, of this 
first compliance, with my long continued endeavours, IdeeiQ 
it the comer stone of some future most valuable building. 

Chymical professors, and those whose employments lead 
them to know this important assistant to husbandry-, have it 
in their power, to render inestimable services. Wh^n I have 
been forced into chymicd subjects, with which I have but 
too slight an acquaintance, some of these gentlemen have been 
very kind ; both in their instructions, and detections of error. 
Others have locked me up tnsoluhly ; or decomposed my fee. 
ble attempts, without putting any thing instructive or useful 
m their place. Agriculture axid chymistry are so intimately 
connected, that one who has knowledge and talents in the 
latter science, could not do a more patriotic service to hia 
fellow citizens, who are husbandmen, than he would accom- 
plish by instructing them, when requisite, on this all essen- 
tial auxiliary tq their prosperity. 



i C-. ,,-J 

■■ ♦.! 



* \ Ml 


On the Yellow Water of Horses. 


taken with the disdrder, has survived.* So that I have 
no reason to boast of success in the application of reme- 
dies ; though this is the only subject, which gave time 
for them to operate. He had so many medicines ad- 
ministered, and so many external applications were 
used, that I do not pretend to say what, specifically, 
performed the cure. But I am satisfied, that what 
would, in a common case, be called a violent remedy, 
must be pursued. Depleting, both by blood letting^ 
and, at first, strong purges, I should depend on the most. 
Few know the great quantity of blood, a tolerably sized 
horse can lose, without injury. A gallon at the first 
bleeding, and half a gallon every day, for three or four 
days, will not be too much. If the pulse continues to 
be fluttering, tense, or indicatory of fever afterwards, 
thcfeam should be used: and the quantity taken away 
may be small or large, according to circumstances, 
which must govern in all cases. Small and repeated 
bleedings, at this stage of the disease, shock the system 
less, than few and very copious blood lettings. Mtre 
should be given in all the draughts, or drinks and 
drenches, in large quantities;— three or four ounces 

* He is now living in perfect health ; and is 25 years old. 
^e passed a great part of his long life, as a carriage horse. 
He is now on the farm ; as active, laborious, fat and sportive, 
as any horse of his size possessed either by myself, or my 
neighbours. If it be said, his constitution helped out the cure, 
and even vanquished both his disease, and the remedies, I va- 
lue him so much, that I freely yield him all the credit, he is 
entitled to, on this account. j>^ p^ 




On the Yellow Water ofHorseSk 


per day. Gruel, when the horse could take nothing 
else for his sustenance, was given in drenches frequent- 
ly. Injections, to produce speedy evacuations, com- 
posed of any thing cooling and laxative, are very useful. 
I used a decoction of the black snake root and peach 
leaves, with oily shad pickle, salt, soap and molasses, at 
different times, and in various combinations. Brew^fs 
yeast, was also plentifully given, in drenches and clys- 
ters. All my sick horses, one excepted, took some ra- 
hmel. To the one recovered, the mercury was admi- 
nistered, in various ways. It was given in balls, licked 
in with salt, and ?nercurial ointment rubbed in, near tlie 
region of the liver. This horse, by the advice of an ex- 
perienced friend, was ronvelled and blistered. As soon 
as the blisters (produced by t\\c potatoe Jly ; (Lytta vit- 
tataj a most powerful vesicatory) rose, he began to sa- 
livate freely, shewed evident signs of recovery; and 
continued mending from that moment. ' 

The first purges should consist of aloes and calomel; 
two ounces at least, of the former, and two drachms, of 
the latter, with half an ounce of creme of tartar. * If the 
clysters are rejected, the rectum should be raked by a 
small hand and arm ; and the indurated foeces removed. 
I am confident that rowels and blisters are very efficaci- 
ous, as auxiliaries. The rowels were fixed between 
the fore legs: the blisters on the soft parts, under the 
belly and throat. The short hairs were shaved off; to 

* The bile being acrid and calculated to stimulate and pro^ 
mote the peristaltic motion of the intestines, acids should not 
be used too plentifully. Some distinguish between mineral 
and vegetable acids, in bilious cases, 

i ^- ;^ 



I V ': 



On the Ye/low fFater of Horses. 

kdmit their application. On conversing with medical 
gentlemen, I found varieties of opinion. Some con- 
demned the calomel — some the bleeding; — both as to 
the remedy and quantity — and some recommended 
both. I should have been perplexed, had I not consi* 
dered it a case wliich nothing could deteriorate* The 
first victim died in a few hours, without furnishing any 
materials for disputes about remedies. A fruitless at- 
tempt was made to bleed him and he took no medicine. 
The second died in two or three, and the third in eight 
days. Bleeding was freely, but ineffectually, used in 
the case of the second horse. The third was bled com- 
paratively little. The survivor was bled plenteously^ 
and took mercury in great quantities; though one of the 
faculty told me Ae had not taken enough. I found them 
out of their usual track of practical intelligence, when 
the diseases, or cure, of quadrupeds were in question. 
A friend (Col. S. Miles) some years ago, at his iron 
works in Center county, had a number of horses seized 
\^ith this disorder, and lost none : though the horses, 
very generally, through the neighbouring country, died 
of this disease. He cured by immediate and plentiful 
bleeding and nitre. He took, at various times, from 6 
to 8 gallons of blood from an horse. The most was 
drawn at the first bleeding. Another, who has been 
verj" successful, cured, by one or two copious bleedings^ 
a violent purge — and afterwards, gentle opening medi" 
cinCy and nitre. But, above all^ he recommends clean- 
liness, good nursing, and repeated rubbing, not slightly, 
but laboriously. The horse should be clad, and kept 
from sun, night air, and dews. 

On the Yellow Water of Horses. 


A medical gentleman recommended the mode of ad-r 
ministering calomel to be, — suffering the horse to lick^ 
in thirty grains of calomel, with salt, three or four time^ 
a day. This method had been previously pursued. A 
servant was slightly salivated, by improvidently letting 
the horse lick the calomel and salt, frequently, off his 
hand. The same physician informed me, that the calo^ 
iwe/ entered the system the soonest in this way ; and that^ 
in a foreign country, from whence he came, he had 
known horses cured of this disease by calomel thus giv- 
en, with the addition of bleeding and purging. 

The whole of the cure, I am convinced, depends on 
mttacking the complaint in its first stage, with depleting 
and cooling remedies. After a certain point, which oc- 
curs probably in the first 24, or at farthest 48 hours, it 
seems to me, nothing will cure; yet every thing should 
be pertinaciously attempted. 

I shall not enter the lists, for or against plentiful blood 
letting. The Uincet is held by some, in human sub- 
jects, to be the magick wand of Hygaia; and by others, 
the minister of death. So may they deem the fleam^ 
applied to horses. Yet notwithstanding the prejudices 
against it, I do not see what other chance there is, in a 
disease so acute, that the subject of it may fall a victim, 
before any other depletory temedy can operate. Twelve 
or fourteen, at least, and often twenty-four hours, elapse, 
before any medicine taken into the stomach of a horse, 
has its effect. Purges and clysters only can be admi- 
nistered with effect and success. No emetic, if it were 
proper, operates on an horse. The intestines of ^ horse, 
if extended, measure from 30 to 36 yards in length; 
and the peristaltic motion is slow, as it is in most animals 



i; '.w 

^- ' 


0/1 the Yellow Water of Horses. 

On the Yellow Water of Horses. 


where the intestines are in an horizontal position. Those 
of a human subject are, generally, in length, six times 
the height of the person ; and this proportion holds in 
many animals. So that purgatives must have time; and 
this in desperate cases, is peculiarly precious. The 
pressure on the morbid part, should be lessened, for its 
relief, as soon as practicable. When or how to hit the 
true point of depletion, either by bleeding or purgatives, 
I do not profess to know. The Jirst is certainly more 
within controul, than the latter. The puke must direct : 
if the pulsations were quick, or unequal and fluttering, 
and the skin hot and dry, blood was taken from my 
horses; but in small quantities at a time, after the first 
copious depletions. 

/ have no theory to establish^ but candidly mention 
facts and opinions, that some stand may be made against 
this dreadful foe, which attacks so useful and valuable 
a part of our property. ^ 

It is to be earnestly wished, that intelligent medical 
characters here, would turn their attention to the dis- 
ease of that noble animal, the horse. — The companion, 
the faithful servant, and friend to man, — ^he deserves 
our grateful attention, and care. He shares and lessens 
our toils, promotes our health, administers to our com- 
forts and amusements, fights with us our battles, and 
contributes largely to our wealth and prosperity. 

In England, 2C[\A other European countries. Societies 
and Professorships are established, and patronized by 
their governments, for the promotion of veterinary 
knowledge. Enquiries on this subject would be honour- 
able to the most eminent among our medical men. 
Their differences of opinion, for such there will be, 

would agitate questions, and bring to light useful facts, 
and remedies would follow. 

The disagreements in opinion, whether the yellow 
water, be endemial (if this phrase can be properly thus 
applied) or contagious, are as great, and as unsatisfac^ 
tory, as are those in the case oi yellow fever; to which 
it seems to bear some resemblance. The wisest course, 
is not to risque a well horse, among the sick. 

The remedies are by no means well ascertained. Nitre 
and sulphur, creme of tartar, antimony, and such drugs, 
may sometimes answer as preventives, or gentle aperi- 
ents and sudorijics; but are, of themselves, too feeble, 
when the disease is fixed. Balls composed of mustard 
and camphor, are said to be preventives. I have expe^ 
rienced the efficacy of camphor, given to sheep tainted 
with the rot. Pills of camphor given to poultry I have 
found very serviceable this season ; having saved many 
by them, from a fatal disease, of which great numbers 
died. I lost few or none of those, to whom the cam- 
phor was given. I should think mustard and camphor 
too heating, if anj^fever appeared in a sick horse, un- 
less applied in cataplasms. The pulse of an horse beats 
from 40, to 45 times, in a minute. If it exceeds 45, 
he is feverish. The pulsation may be felt in any of the 
arteries ; particularly those of the neck and breast. 

The symptoms, I cannot accurately, or technically 
describe. The disease first appears in a dulness of the 
eyes ; the whites whereof are jaundiced or yellow. But 
they frequently, at intervals, become bright; and flatter 
with hopes of recovery. The ears hang, and are sel- 
dom erect, or pqinted. The tail is often projected ho- 
rizontally, with a quick motion, and dropped in a man- 


P'^ ''^ 

y ijHj 


-> . 


On the Yellow Water of Horses. 

ner different from that of a sound horse. A frequent 
inclination, without the capacity to stool, is perceived. 
The flanks are tucked and hollow ; and partial shiverings 
are frequent. The hind legs are stift', and straddling 
wide ; but finally all the limbs fail. The horse falls, 
and in his agonies, works round on his side ; describ- 
ing a circle, with his hind feet, on the ground, as he is 
seized with paroxysms at irregular periods. Hence 
some coimtry people call the disorder " the circles. ^^ 
Sometimes he perspires freely, perhaps from pain, but 
commonly the skin is dry, and the fever ardent. He 
will eat at any time ; but cannot swallow much. Some 
of my horses died with the food in their mouths ; taken 
in when drawing almost the last breath. The blood is 
thin, and the serum yellow. It is for the most part 
dissolved into water, highly tinged with bile. It de- 
posits the crassamentumy in a livery mass, of a deep 
flesh colour, sometimes in unconnected lumps. Some- 
times the blood is covered with a tough or buffy skin, 
full of bubbles, or watery blisters. The smell, arising 
from the sick horses, was remarkably foetid, and differ- 
ent from that of an healthy horse. 

My dead horses were opened. Npthing was disco- 
vered the least injured, but their livers; and these were 
alike affected, but not all in an equal degree. It is an 
hepatic affection ; and as a farrier who attended my ana- 
tomical theatre, and had opened many horses with this 
disease, called it the ''liver disorder,'' for want of a more 
appropriate term. The morbid parts of the liver were 
hard and scirrhous, and of a darker colour than the sound 
parts. The contents of the parts affected were dry and 
friable ; and might be rubbed to pieces with the fingers. 


1* ^-, , 

./. ^.. -■. 

On the Yellow TFater of Horses. 


They resembled the stuffing of a boiled blood pudding. 
The whole liver of the horse who died last, was reduced 
to one fourth of its usual size, and on the parts near it, 
there was some redness, or inffammation. The disease 
appears to be an highly malignant bilious fever. The 
secretion of the 6i/^ is obstructed by the morbid state of 
of the liver and the gall is retained in the blood : and thus 
tinging that and the urine, possibly gave the name to the 
disease, of the yellow water. The horse is among the 
few animals, having no gall bladder. 

The horses in one stable (in or near which I find no 
putrid taint, there being nothing but what is common 
about stables) were alone affected. The horses on my 
farm (those diseased being family horses, used in a car- 
riage, and for riding) are yet in health.* Their feed 
has been chopped com, rye and cut straw; which some 
object to, at this season (July and August) unless the 
horses are hard worked. Indian com is peculiarly heat- 
ing. A change offood is best. For family horses, used 
irregularly, and stabled constantly, the general food 
should be oats and hay. Flax seed, and chopped grain 
or shorts, should occasionally be given, with some sul^ 
phur and nitre. Air, exercise and cleanliness, should 
never be neglected. My horses were generally kept in 
the stable, in which I never before had a sick horse. I 
have since heard of horses dying of the yelbw water, 
that had not been stabled since wmXtr. The facts as to the 
health of horses stabled, or pastured entirely, are so va- 
rious, that no accurate decision can be made. From 

* None of the farm horses became diseased. But several 
in the neighbourhood were affected. 



On the Yellow Water of Horses* 

On the Yellow JFater of Horses. 


what I have collected, it appears to me, that those at 
grass, exposed to hot days and damp, dewy and chilly 
nights, are the most subject to this disorder. Stabling 
OT sheds ^ to cover them at nights, would be salutary. 
A member of this society (our vice president, J. Curwen 
Esq.) lost an horse with this disorder, kept in a large 
pasture field, without communicating with any other 
horse, for a great length of time. Two or three, among 
30 or 40 others, have died in livery stables, with the 
yellow water; and none of the rest have caught the dis- 

I omitted mentioning, that, as soon as I perceived my 
first horse to be ill, I turned the other three out of the 
stable, on an extensive lawn, or open field. They were 
playful, and coursed violently, for an hour or more, 
through my grounds ; and induced an opinion that they 
were safe. But this exercise excited \ht lurking disease. 
For in a few hours, one fell apparently lifeless, and 
shortly afterwards died. He was raised on his legs, for 
some time previously to his catastrophe, by a copious 
bleeding. The other two, though less affected, shewed 
for the first time, symptoms of languor, and stiffness in 
their hind legs and quarters. 

The tonsils, or almonds, of the ears, of horses dead 
with this disorder, have been found (as I have heard) 
much swelled. I have been told of cures performed by 
the cautery [hot iron] applied behind the ears, and an 
incision being made, it was stuffed with salt; so as to 
produce suppuration. I much doubt whether the dis- 
order was the yellow water, thus cured. This is not a 
disease so local, as are the glanders, strangles, or vives. 
It is not attended with dejluxionsy like a common horse 

* In the British Museum Rusticum, there is an account 
of the yellows, or jaundice. Some of its diagnosticks are 
similar to those of the present disease. It is owing to 
an obstruction of the liver^ and the blood overcharged 
with bile. Bleeding in this case is forbid ; but I doubt 
the propriety of this prohibition. The vitality of the 
blood, which no doubt to a certain point is true, is a fa- 
vorite doctrine in England, among some of their phy- 
sicians; prejudices against plentiful bleeding are there 
strong, (viiiether these are proper or not, I do not un- 
dertake to decide) and their climate does not produce 
malignancy in febrile complaints, so much as do the 
ardent heats, and variable t^peratures, of our atmos- 

If this, perhaps too prolix, account of what I have 
experienced and collected, furnishes the means of sav- 
ing any valuable horses, or 2iSoTdi^ facts for more intel- 
ligent enquirers, it will be some recompense for my dis- 
asters. At any rate, this almost resistless destroyer, 
should add to our i^otives for using more oxen, and 
. fewer horses, on our farms. Good will then arise out 
of evU. Providence afflicts us with partial evil, to rouzc 
our attention to measures promotive of general good. 

Since writing the foregoing account, I have heard of 
many horses having, during this season, perished with 
the same disease. Partial losses have occurred among 
an assemblage of many horses, and the rest remained 
in health. They wtrtfed in various ways — some sta^ 
bled, others ^t pasture.^From this it should seem, that 
there was nothing peculiarly noxious in my mode of 
feeding; or in the local situation of my stable. I have 
heard of i^everal remedies; one composed of herbs. 




■J i 





On the Yellow Water of Horses. 

On the Yellow Water of Horses. 

153 1 

much used in Kentucky^ where this disorder has been 
prevalent and fatal. When more accurately informed, 
I will communicate the result of my farther enquiries."* 

Richard Peters. 
Belmont in Blockley, September, 1799. 

1 1. 

* August 180r. Every thing I have since been informed 
of, convinces me of the inefficacy of palliatives, and feeble 
applications, or remedies. There is no chance of saving an 
horse when the disease is fixed, but by some such powerful 
course, as is before mentioned. 

A respectable friend, SarrMl Chew Esq. of or near Chester 
town Maryland, informs me that the yellow water has been 
rife, and has lately carried off many horses in his neighbour- 
hood. He lost four, after following the mode I pursued. 
Too copious bleedings are there condemned. But he saved 
a horse, with litde or no bleeding, and the free use of mercu- 
ry ; with the other auxiliaries I mention, viz. cover, rubbing 
and good nursing. Whether the blisters were applied or 
not, I do not recollect. He agrees with me (and I have 
heard of various instances) that if the horse lives, till the ca- 
lomel touches the mouth, his recovery is ensured. The 
chances are against any horse taken with the yellow water. 
Without powerful remedies, his fate is fixed; and with them, 
uncertain. It is better that, by bold remedies, some should 
be saved, than that all should perish. 

I have not yet been able to discover any local cause, for 
the infection of my horses. Unless a pit, into which the muck 
was thrown immediately out of the stable (deep and walled 
round to hold a great quantity of manure, and covered) may 
have assisted to promote, or caused the disease. The vapour y 
or fumes, oi fermenting muck, must be noxious. I have long 
Vanished all pits and dung holes^ as being injui'ious to ani- 


[The utility of bleeding and other depleting reme- 
dies, in the yellow water of horses, is further shewn by 

mals in their vicinity, and preventives to the equal fermen- 
tation, and putrefaction of the manure. The receptacles for 
dung under stables in cities, and under barns, in the country, 
ought to be abandoned. Those whom necessity, or conve- 
nience, obliges to use them, find arguments in favour of their 
innocence, and even salubrity ; in which, I must be excused 
for my incredulity. 

A stercorary should be at some distance from the stables. 
It is best for its bed to rise about two feet in the centre like 
the back of a tortoise, with channels rouild it, to conduct the 
sap into a small well, or reservoir, which may be pumped, or 
laded out ; and the drainings returned on the heap. Those 
who choose it, may have the bottom paved, and surrounded 
by a stone wall, 3 feet high ; on which the sills of the frame 
for the roof may lie. It should be covered by a roof of woody 
or thatch, on posts; open at the sides for air, and railed, or 
stripped round, high enough to prevent access by cattle ; 
whose treading- or poaching the heap, impedes its regular 
fermentation. Spouts, or troughs, at the eves of the roof, 
may be furnished with Wiall cross troughs, to lead in rain 
water occasionally: though, it is seldom required; as its own 
juices are generally sufficient, for the supply of the necessaiy 
moisture to the dung. Under the pitch of the roof, over the 
heap, there may be a pigeon house; and roosts '[or poultry, 
whose dung would encrease, and ameliorate the whole mass. 
The square of the frame, should be about 8 feet from the bed ; 
rfiat carts, &c. may be admitted to enter, with convenience. 
Those who experience its utility and value, will never regret 
the expence. A parallelogram is the best ground plat. In a 
Bntish publication (I believe in a communication to the Board 
of Agriculture) I have seen a draft and description of an ex- 
cellent stercorary, on the plan I mention. 

H h 






On the Yellow fFater of Horses. 


the successful practice of two medical gentlemen, who 
have given an account of the disease, and of their modes 
of treatment. 

The late Dr, Sayre has recorded the prevalence of 
the disease, in one of the most highly cultivated coun- 
tries in New Jersey ; abounding with rich natural mea- 
dows. The symptoms were, loss of appetite, incapa- 
city for labour, costiveness, heaviness of the eyes, great 
heat, high coloured urine, cough more or less severe^ 
and frequently an enlargement of the belly and limbs. 
The blood when drawn, was extremely buffy, exhibit- 
ing a covering of coagulable lymph, more than an inch 
thick. Large glandular swellings occurred about the 
throat, which suppurated, and such were more apt to re- 
cover. Horses uniformly stabled, fared worst. One 
dissection shewed adhesions among the contents of the 
belly, enlargement and blackness of the liver, and effu- 
sion of water into the cavity of the belly. 

Dr. Sayre had a horse attacked by the staggers ^ dur- 
ing the prevalence of the disease, and as he believed it 
to be only a variety of the yellow water, the force of the 
disease being d'u-ected to the brain, he took away more 
than thirteen pints of buffy blood, which caused a tem- 
porary alleviation of the disease. In a few hours after, 
on a return of the disease, seven more pints were taken 
away : a purge of a drachm of calomel, and 3 drachms 
of jalap was given. — Bleeding to the same amount as 
the last, was performed again, the next day, in conse- 
quence of a return of the disease. In the evening, the 
horse began to nibble a little grass for the first time, 
since his illness, and the next day, appeared free from 
complaint. — New York Med. Repos. Vol. 3. page 342. 

^- ■ -^*- 

On the Yellow TFater of Horses^ 


2. Dr. John Stevenson, of Ne\vto^vn, Worcester 
county, Maryland, says that his riding mare shewed 
symptoms of indisposition, after a severe ride, in a cold 
N. E. rain, about nine miles, and standing out of doors 
all the succeeding night in September y 1805 ! The symp- 
toms were, a dull, heavy, sleepy look, reluctant gait, 
strong pulsation of the arteries, hurried respiration, fre- 
quent micturition, but the urine not altered, great thirst, 
white tongue, hot mouth, wasting, appetite good. 

From the 1st of October to the latter part of Novem- 
ber, she was bled twelve times ; and upwards of eleven 
gallons of blood taken away. The operation was indi- 
cated by the continuance of strong pulsations. Nitre 
in doses of one ounce, and twice tartar emetic, in doses 
of twenty grains each were given. An obstinate cos- 
tiveness attended, which required large doses of aloes 
and calomdl, to produce even a slight effect. 

Her appetite failed in the progress of the complaint^ 
and she wasted in flesh. After the alleviation of the 
symptoms, and the partial return of appetite, two drams 
of sulphat of iron, (copperas) dissolved in her drink 
twice a day, appeared to have a good effect. Half a 
pint of brandy also, mixed with the same quantity of 
water had a considerable effect upon her appetite. Dr. 
Smith feels confident, that "had he discovered the na- 
ture of the disease sooner, and adopted rigorous mea- 
sures with it at first, and succeeded well in the use of 
cathartic medicines, he might have effected a cure in 
half the time." — See Med. Museum^ Vol. 4. page 55. 

J. Mease.] 


[ 156 ] 



On Gijpsum. By Richard Peters. 

J Read October 13tli, \%0Y- 

I often receive a variety of enquiries in letters from 
distant places; and in conversations, with those who 
strew the plaister of parts. I find some are still doubt- 
ful as to its use, or permanently beneficial efficacy. I 
had supposed, that this substance was now so well 
known; and all its properties and uses, so well establish- 
ed ; that intelligent farmers, in all quarters, were per- 
fectly acquainted with every thing relating to it. I am 
not therefore over confidently impressed, with the im- 
portance of any opinions I may entertain at this time; 
when all the information I possess, and most probably 
much more, must be generally dispersed. If length of 
experience were necessary, as an additional proof, it 
would form almost the only consideration, added to the 
requests made to me by several respectable friends, 
which would justify to myself, any idea that my testi- 
mony, in favour of thi| great auxiliary to our agricul- 
tural prosperity, is of any consequence, at this period. 
I can add nothing of essential use, to the statements of 
facts and opinions contained in the publication I made 
on this subject in 1797. I have had no reason to alter, 
or retract, any opinion I had then formed. On the con- 
trary, my experience, since that time, has uniformly 
confirmed them. Thirty seven years have now elapsed, 
since my first acquaintance with the gypsum ; and its 
agricultural uses and properties. During the whole 
of that period (saving an interval occasioned by the war) 


On Gyp 



I have unremittingly continued the free and extensive 
use of that substance ; and have not, in a single instance, 
had occasion to repent, that I had used, or recommend- 
ed it. It is on the contrary, among my most pleasing 
recollections ^id reflections, that, more than any other 
individual, I was instrumental in its general introduc- 
tion here ; and in spreading throughout the country, a 
knowledge of its existence, qualities, and benefits. The 
success attending such efforts, (amply repaid by the 
gratification they afford) will be seen in all quarters, and 
the general ameliorltion in husbandry, is a most esti- 
mable reward. 

So far is the gypsum from injuring, by frequent repe- 
tition, the soil to which it is applied ; that I am persuad- 
ed it will perpetuate its fertility, if the husbandry be 

' good ; and common prudence, and attention to changes, 
and cleanliness of crops by destruction of weeds, be 
practised. On many parts of my farms the applications 
of plaister h^ve been at least, ten times repeated, in ro- 
tations; and other parts annually, in small quantities. 

If there be any difference in perceptible effect, I 
think it favourable: the crops 6f clover are not so 
over abundant; but more regular and certain, than 
they were in my first essays. In the principles, o^^ 
which its operation can be most probably accounted 
for, I am confirmed ; by invariable experience. The 
decayed, or putrefied substances on which the sul- 
phuric acid operates, or by which it is operated upon, 

' must be replaced ; when the use o{ gypsum has exhaust- 
ed, or neutralised them. This renovation may be pro- 
duced, by turning in green manures, or animal*'sub- 
stances : or strewing the plaister on a top dressing of 




On Gypsum. 


rotted dung, compost, or ashes, to which it gives re- 
markable activity, I do not profess so accurately to 
know causes ; but only, with confidence, relate effects 
on vegetable products. The first must remain con. 
jectural; the latter are too visible and striking to con- 
tinue disputable. It still evinces the like effects ; with 
similar materials to work on. What in my compen- 
dious compilation, I threw out as a conjecture ; is found 
on experience, with the strongest appearance of proba- 
bility, to be the chymical principle or agent of its ope- 
ration. When I first mentioneA this to the late Dr. 
Priestln/; he received it with hesitation. But some 
years thereafter, he told me he was convinced of its cor- 
rectness. He had received information from Europe 
(I think from France) confirmative of the opinion, that 
whatever substance contained sulphuric acid foil of vi- 
triol) would produce similar effects in agriculture. He 
told me, that our then minister, Mr. Livingston, had 
observed the Flemish farmers applying bu/nt pyritesy^ 
in the same manner, and for the same purposes, we use 
the gypsum. 

The first time I saw the agricidtural effects of the 
gypsum, was several years before the commencement of 
our revolutionary war; on a city lot belonging to, or 
occupied by^ Mr. Jacob Barge, on the commons of 
Philadelphia. He was the first person who applied the 
gypsmt in America to agricultural purposes ; but on a 
small scale. This worthy citizen still lives, at a very 

* Mr. Livingstones account of the mode of preparing this 
substance and the particulars respecting its use, arc annexed 
to the present volume. 

On Gypsum* 


advanced age. He informed me, that he had commu- 
nicated his knowledge of it to one or two persons in the 
country; I think to the late Mr. Thomas Clifford sxA 
another. He shewed me a letter, in German, from one 
who had gone over from Pennsylvania to Germany^ for 
redemptioners ; as was customary at that day. The 
writer sent over a specimen of the gypsum; and desired 
Mr. Barge to seek for land in this then Province, in 
which it could be found. It was, probably, to assist in 
this object, among other considerations, that I was taken 
into a secret, then utterly unknown to others in this 
country. But from that time to this, I have not been 
able to discover any quarries of gypsum, proper for hus- 
bandry, in this, or any other of the United States. There 
are, in a variety of places, gypseous substances. On the 
waters, far south, to wit, on the Alatamaha; and the otJier 
parts of that region, gypsum, of the purest and best qua- 
lity, and in immense quantities, is to be found, easily 
accessible. The mountains skirting the Alatamaha, are 
formed oi marble and gypsum, in many parts ; appearing 
like artificial walls on the sides of the river. Tlie quar- 
ries in Norva Scotia, were to us unknown at the time of 
the introduction of the gypsum here. Burr millstone 
, makers, and stucco plaisterers, w^ere the only persoi^ 
acquainted with any of its uses. From one of the form- 
er (the late John Brown J I procured a bushel; which 
enabled me to begin my agricultural experiments; and 
I faithfully pursued and extended them, as I obtained 
more means. A quantity imported as ballast (I believe 
20 tons) by the late captain Nathaniel Faulkner of Phi* 
ladelphia, then in the London trade ; and thrown out on 
a wharf, without knowledge of its value, was tlie first 



On Gypsui\i. 

On Qypmtit* 



important foundation, on which this extensive improve- 
ment to our husbandry was established. With this, 
-:-|. Mr. Barge began the business of pulverizing the gyp 
sum, first in an hand, and subsequent to this, in an horse 
mill; and soon afterwards, it was carried on in a water 
mill, in my neighbourhood. Such mills are now to be 
found every where; brought to the highest state of per- 
fection. When I had convinced myself of its efficacy, 
I disseminated the knowledge I had acquired, through 
many parts oi Pennsylvania; and sent samples to Jersey y 
New York, and I think, to Delaware (then called the 
Loriver counties J and Maryland. But my success in ob- 
taining credit to my assertions, or in procuring assist- 
ance in prosecuting experiments; was, for a length of 
time, very limited, and discouraging. I had no con- 
cern in the manufacture, or any other object in the com- 
munications ; but one founded in a desire to propagate 
a knowledge of this valuable acquisition. The person 
who wrote from Germany to Mr. Barge, informed him 
(with what correctness I know not) that the discovery 
was then of no long standing in Germany : and that it 
had been accidentally made by a labourer, employed in 
mixing stucco mortar, at a large building. He saw that 
the path used, or made, by him, in going from his work 
to his cottage, threw up a luxuriant crop of clover, in 
the succeeding season, when all other parts of the field 
exhibited sterility. He attributed this extraordinary 
vegetation, to the dust flying oflThis clothes ; and in Con- 
sequence of this idea, he strewed offkls of the gypsu7n, 
near his cottage. The eflPects astonished every specta- 
tor; and he received from the Edlema?i, or landlord, a 
reward for divulging the secret. Whether this Jmeri^ 


tan voyager had better information, than most of thef 
travellers and rapid tourists through the United States, 
who have amused the world with fenciful, hasty,, and, 
too often illiberal and malignant tales about us and our 
aflfairs, I will not undertake to determine. But I have 
no doubt of his sincerity, and belief in the information 
he imparted. 

An English gentleman, Mr. Strickland^ I with plea- 
sure, except from the mass of temporary residents, 
tourists and travellers in and through our country. — 
He has published an account of his observations here, 
which are chiefly agricultural, with more attention to 
truth and accuracy, and I am persuaded with candid 
intention. But he is not without some prejudices, and 
is misinformed, in some instances. In one particularly, 
as to the gypsum, which is only important, because it 
is an item in the catalogue of his mistakes* He attri- 
( butes the introduction of the plaister into this country, 
to the Germans of Lancaster county in this state; to 
whonX merited compliments ar^ paid, for their industry, 
and other good qualities. But this assertion is, so far 
as it respects the gypsum, entirely unfounded. When 
I first sent samples of tht gypsum into that county, very 
soon after I was accquainted with it, I perceived the 
Germans there, to be totally ignorant of its existence, 
and of course, of its agricultural uses. More than ten or 
twelve years elapsed, before they could be prevailed on 
to use it freely. In combination with all their valuable 
qualities, they have some reprehensible alloys: their 

I 1 




On Gypswii, 

Oh Gypstiffi* 


important foundation, on which this extensive improve- 
ment to our husbandry was established. With this, 

-:^ Mr. Barge began the business of pulverizing the gijprs 
sum, first in an /ia?2d, and subsequent to this, in an horse 
mill; and soon afterwards, it was carried on in a water 
mill, in my neighbourhood. Such mills are now to be 
found every where; brought to the highest state of per- 
fection. When I had convinced myself of its efficacy, 
I disseminated the knowledge I had acquired, through 
many parts of Pe?insi/lvama ; and sent samples to Jerset/^ 
New York, and I think, to Delaware (then called the 
Lonver counties J and Maryland. But my success in ob- 
taining credit to my assertions, or in procuring assist- 
ance in prosecuting experiments; was, for a length of 
time, very limited, and discouraging. I had no con- 
cern in the manufacture, or any other object in the com- 
munications ; but one founded in a desire to propagate 
a knowledge of this valuable acquisition. The person 
who wrote from Gerfnamj to Mr. Barge, informed him 
(with what correctness I know not) that the discovery 
was then of no long standing in Germany: and that it 

J had been accidentally made by a labourer, employed in 
mixing stucco mortar, at a large building. He saw that 
the path used, or made, by him, in going from his work 
to his cottage, threw up a luxuriant crop of clover, in 
the succeeding season, when all other parts of the field 
exhibited sterility. He attributed this extraordinary 
vegetation, to the dust flying off^his clothes ; and in Con- 
sequence of this idea, he strewed offUls of the gypsu7n, 
near his cottage. The effbcts astonished every specta- 
tor; and he received from t\\t Edleman, or landlord, a 
reward for divulging the secret. Whether this Ameri^ 


^an voyager had better information, than most of the 
travellers and rapid tourists through the United States, 
who have amused the World with fanciful, hasty,, and, 
too often illiberal and malignant tales about us and our 
affairs, I will not undertake to determine. But I have 
no doubt of his sincerity, and belief in the informatioa 
he imparted. 

An English gentleman, Mr. Strickland^ I with plea- 
sure, except from the mass of temporary residents, 
tourists and travellers in and through our country. — 
He has published an account of his observations here, 
which are chiefly agricultural, with more attention to 
truth and accuracy, and I am persuaded with candid 
intention. But he is not without some prejudices, and 
is misinformed, in some instances. In one particularly, 
as to the gypsum, which is only important, because it 
is an item in the catalogue of his mistakes* He attri- 
( butes the introduction of the plaister into this country, 
to the Germans oj* Lancaster county in this state; to 
whont merited compliments are paid, for their industry, 
and other good qualities. But this assertion is, so far 
as it respects the gypsum, entirely unfounded. When 
I first sent samples oi the gypsum into that county, very- 
soon after I was accquainted with it, I perceived the 
Germans there, to be totally ignorant of its existence, 
and of course, of its agricultural uses. More than ten or 
twelve years elapsed, before they could be prevailed on 
to use it freely. In combination with all their valuable 
qualities, they have some reprehensible alloys: their 

I 1 


ilf; S> 






On Gypsutnl 

On Gypsum* 


prejudioes are inflexible. Some of our Germans* at this 
day, believe the gypsum invites thunder and lightning ; 
and, on the approach of a thunder storm, turn out of 
their barns and houses the vessels containing this sub- 
stance. But generally their prejudices are gone, and 
they use it abundantly, and profitably, f Their county 

*Thus we stile those descended from the original settlers 
from Germany^ though they are bom here. In the cities and 
large towns, of this and other states, their habits and man« 
ners change from those of their forefathers, in the greater 
degree, and assimilate with those of other citizens. Inso- 
much that the service in their churches, is occasionally (and 
by many desired to be alternately and regularly) performed in 
the English tongue. But in the cojuntry, their originality, 
both of language and manners, is most generally preserved. 
In many parts of this state, in German settlements^ 1 have met 
with adults of the third generation, who could not speak Eu*- 
glish. I could not succeed in enquiries of the most trivial nature^ 
in any language but German. 

1 1 have given too many, to me gratifying, proofs of my 
regard for the people of Lancaster county whose industry and 
agricultural merits I have long admired, to admit a suppo- 
sition that I mention these circumstances in derogation of 

Knowing the efficacy of plaister applied to leguminous crops, 
I many years ago suggested to some fai-mers in that county, 
the covering their fallows previous to wheat, with the f eld 
pea ; and procured seed for them. I was infonned that it 
had succeeded so as to be extensively profitable : insomuch 
that one of them told me he had gained as much, in some 
years, by his pease, as by his wheat. I have not lately enqui- 
red about this culture ; or whether they continue to sow, or 
plaister their pease* 

is for the most part, a lime stone country. The plaister 


I presented, several ye^rs ago, to my late most worthy 
and lamented friend General Hand; as a trustee for its 
introduction into the county, a valuable imported ram of 
the broad-tailed breed of sheep obtained off the mountains of 
Tunis, by the present General Eaton when consul in that regen- 
cy. This ram has improved the breed of sheep in Lancaster 
county, and the country adjacent, to a great extent. I know 
not any breed of sheep superior, and few equal to It. Its 
fleece is of the first quality ; and the valuable points singu- 
larly good. I regret that by accident, the old ram has been 
lately killed ; but I have the full blood in his descendants. No 
other African sheep is to be compj»red to this species ; either 
for fle ece, fattening, or hardihood. It bears our severest winters 
without shelter. Some oi the best lamb and mutton sold in our 
market, are of this breed ; which is now spread through many 
parts of this state and Jersey. It has been done gratui- 
tously, when I supplied the stock. I mention this, because I 
failed in an attempt to introduce a young ram, into a weal- 
thy neighbourhood of another county. He was refused, un- 
der a pretext or false notion, ^at their pastures were too 
luxuriant for store sheep: but I afterwards learned, that 
added to this mistake (easily remedied by increasing their 
stock and profitably consuming their abundant herbage) an 
apprehension was entertained that an heavy charge would 
be presented, with the ram. All the satisfaction I desire for 
my disappointment, is, that those who have disappointed 
themselves, will have the grace to be ashamed of it. In every 
other instance, the benefit was received with the same spirit, 
which prompted my bestowing it. The over luxuriance of 
their pastures, was produced by plaister, generally on Imed 






-«■" -' i^'^'^-'^i-'' 


On Gypsum^ 

On Oyp^wrii 


perfectly agrees with their limed lairds; contrary to an 
opinion entertained in Ejigland. 

With all this prejudice, among some of this indus- 
trious people, who are practically employed in the la-, 
hours of the field, the literary characters among the 
Germans, here and in Europe, are of a very different 
cast. Some of the best treatises on husbandry and 
rural oeconomy, and topics connected therewith, are to 
be found in the German language. Several of my Ger" 
man friends have, from time to time, obligingly gratified 
me, by sending for my perusal, agricultural books in 
this language. 1 have read in them, some of the best 
discussions, both practical, philosophical, chymical,, 
and ceconomical, I have met with on the subject of agri- 

In my letter in which I offered the present of the young 
ram, I mentioned, as an inducement to attention to the breed 
that any sum not exceeding 200 dollars ; could have been had 
for the ram I sent to Lancaster county ; and that for young 
ram lambs, half and three quarters blooded from 12 to 20 
dollars, could be obtained. I hoped expectation of profit 
would induce care ; and excite emulation. But it had the 
effect of repulsion and refusal ; under the idea that some such 
charges would be made. This shews that it requires address 
to prevail on some of our people, to receive benefits. I am 
happy to declare, that this is the only instance of such un- 
worthy misapprehension, I met with. It is here noticed, 
not because I deem it important, as it relates to myself; but 
to impress the necessity of taking some measures, if any are 
practicable, to promote a general disposition among our agri- 
cultural citizens, to improve the breeds of every species of 
animals, comprising the stock on their farms. 

Cultur.e, There was, some years ago, and, unless the 
troubles in Germany have distracted this valuable insti- 
tution, there may yet be, a society at Leipsick whoso 
labours would enrich our country with much valuable 
information ; were translations made of their essays and 
communications, on a great variety of agricultural sub- 
'^ jects. Among them will be seen, some excellent ac 
counts of the gypsum; by which it will appear, that its 
uses in agriculture had been long known in that coun- 
try, and that it was there held in high estimation. The 
varieties of opinion, and the prejudices entertained 
here, are similar to those existing, and ably refuted in 


Two respectable farmers who live on and near the 

tide waters of the Delaware, in this state, have recently 

informed me, that the gypsum has ceased to benefit their 

lands; though it had at first been highly jserviceable.-- • 

On enquiry I find this misfortune to be singular, even 

in the quarter in which they reside. Their situations 

are peculiarly exposed to bleak easterly winds, which 

blow over their fields damp vapours : and overload the 

operative part of the plaister. Possibly water is to be 

found at small depths, from the surface of then- lands. It 

is a property of the sulphuric acid to attract water. Chy- 

mists discover this inthdr laboratories, farmers perceive 

it in their plaistered fields; which retain moisture, long 

after it has evaporated from other grounds. In combustion, 

the sulphuric acid parts with its oxygen, and retains Ay- 

drogene; and there may be some process in nature, which 

operates, in some situations,* similar effects. We know 

that air impregnated with marine salt, neutralizes or 





..MX. ..-.■ ■ 


On Gypsum. 


•'!,' " 

decomposes the plaister ; and any undue admixture of 
other acids or the gassesy though no salt air may exist, 
may destroy its agricultural uses. It is so with the soil; 
which, to be productive, must have a due proportion of 
the parts administering to its fertility. Lands become 
lime-sicky as it is called, after much of that manure has 
been applied, for a great length of time. They recover, 
so as to admit of new applications of it, after intermis- 
sion and proper culture, with vegetable or animal ma* 
nures, ploughed in. 

It is not strange, that, on the first appearance of the 
plaister^ with bad properties ascribed to it, people 
should have been incredulous. The prejudices and 
want of faith should have ceased, when experiment had 
verified facts, in proof of its qualities. But both incre- 
dulity and prejudice continued, for a great length of 
time. — Circumstances not uncommon, being too often 
the attendants on the first introduction of all improve- 
ments ; however important and salutary. It was called 
conjuring powder ^ magical dust, &c. Sec. by those who 
amused themselves, with the supposed folly of the ad- 
vocates for its efficacy and usefulness. 

Among its uses, I have lately been informed of one, 
I had not before discovered. It has been given to horses 
for the cure of the heaves ; which is a cough and asthma^ 
the precursors of broken wind. Having an horse 
afilicted with this complaint, I followed, without preju- 
dice for, or against them, the directions of my inform- 
ant. A small handful of ground plaister is to be given 
in the feed, four or five successive mornings ; when it 
will operate as a strong purgative. The dose is to be re% 


On Gypsum- 



peated, after a few days. The horse will refuse the se^ 
cond course, if he be not starved into compliance. I 
find it to be a violent cathartick, if taken in sufiicient 
quantity. In the ^'Agricultural Enquiries on Plaister y'* 
page 85, in a note, — the formation of calculi^ in the vis- 
cera of horses, is mentioned ; as having been by some 
farmers attributed to their taking in plaister ^ mixed ac- 
cidentally with their food. I did not then know the 
purgative quality of the plaister. It refutes every idea 
that it would remain in the viscera^ long enough to form 


. The doses of pulverized plaister y gave tny horse 
some temporary relief. But I have no faith in any re- 
jnedy proposed for this incurable malady. I have seen 
a fact published of an horse at pasture cured by drink- 
ing, during a whole season, pond watery impregnated 
with lime. But we do not hear of this horse, after be- 
ing, for any length of time, on dry food. I have known 
hillsy in this disease, procured by various palliatives; 
but it returned, after exercise and hard work, or dry 
food. Diet is the best palliative, but hay is bad; the 
food should be wet and laxative ; and some gentle ape- 
rient should be often used. Garlic^ Jiaxseedy sulphury 
tary and lime water &c. I have, in vain, administered 
with exemplary patience. All are useful, but none ef- 
fectual. Horses fed entirely (through the winters) on 
potatoesy have been relieved, for several years, though 
afilicted with heavesy or broken wind. 

The salivary dejiuxions from horses, and homed cat- 
tle, and hovingy are unjustly attributed to plaistered 
grass. These I remember from my earliest youth, bc- 



On Gypsum^ 

fore the gypsum was used or known, as to its qualities^ 
applicable- to husbandry; They occur now, in marsh- 
es, and other places, where no plaister is strewed. Fogg 
or after-math^ and second crop hay, always produce 
these salivations, in a greater or less degree ; particularly 
in wet seasons. Unmixed clover hay^ especially where, 
the crop was luxuriant, and not salted, always disagree 
with horses if exclusively fed. Hoving is common in 
Europe, in countries wherein the plaister is unknown, 
or not used in agriculture. 

The defluxions produced on horses by the above 
mentioned causes, afford temporary relief in complaints 
of heaves or broken -wind. This indication of nature 
might be improved upon, for the discovery of some 
palliative, or if practicable, a remedy, for this obstinate 
disease. Bleeding is useful, but has no permanent ef- 
ficacy. It is probable that a course of calomel, in an 
early stage of these complaints, would either cure or 

If any apology for this communication to the society, 
be necessary ; it must be found in my persuasion, that 
it is incumbent on persons who have been in long ha- 
bits of strewing the gypsum, to give information of their 
experience. Whatever may be its disadvantages, may 
now be pointed out, by those who liave felt them. My 
obligations to it, invite and justify the opinion, that it 
will continue to afford important advantages to the 
community, as it has, for a long course of time, been 
personally beneficial to me. I presumed too, that 
it would gratify curiosity, to be informed of the hum- 
ble and confined beginnings, from whence this ex- 
tensive amelioration in husbandry originated, in this 


On Gypsum. 


country. From its cradle, it has had my assistance, to 
foster and rear it. — Now, it is of full age : and has gain- 
ed strength and solidity of character, sufficient to sup- 
port itself. Knowing exactly its origin, and the preju- 
dices attending its infancy, I see with some surprize, 
but more satisfaction, the state of perfection and matu- 
rity, to which it has grown up. So that it is nmv, not 
only an important branch of commerce and manufac- 
ture ; but a general, and essential requisite in agricul- 


Additional Observations on Plaister of Paris. 



In exhausting this subject so far as my imperfect 
stock of information or conjecture enables me, I fear I 
shall exhaust also the patience of the society unprofit- 

I have been frequently asked ^"^ what quantity of phis- 
ter an acre of ground requires?'*'* No precise answer can 
be given to this question. It depends on the quantum 
of substances in the earth, on which the component 
parts of the gypsum operate, or are by them operated 
upon. As these are in plenty or scarce, the effects are 
produced in a greater or less degree. And when they 
are exhausted, or where they do not exist, no quantity 
of gypsum, will produce agricultural benefits. If there 
be a greater quantity than is required to exhaust the 
subjects of its operation, the excess will remain an inert 
mass; inactive till new subjects call forth its powers. 

The theory I long since mentioned, (with no small 
diffidence as to its chymical accuracy) has been uni- 
formly useful, and practically efficient. Dr. Priestley^ 

K k 



11 I 


11 t 

vrwM^\ I Id I 


|M«l<I M»1 l »l *I W >' ' II. I 'l l I' "" ' 'I 


On Gypsum. 

On Gypsum > 


k remember, objected at first to the sulphuric acid being 
the agent ; because gypsum was insoluble, and the acid 
remained in combination. And of this opinion are 
some chvmists, with whom I have lately conversed. 
But the Doctor finally told me, that by some process 
in nature (which I do not correctly recollect) it was set 
free ; and was at liberty to perform its office. Nature 
provides means to effect her designs, superior to our 
artificial substitutes. It is incredible, that while the 
gypsum is performing astonishing operations, it should 
remain an inert, insoluble compound. 

Mivch weight has been given by some, to the opinion 
that the calcareous matter of the plaister, is the princi- 
pal cause of its utility. But this is a subject operated 
upon arvd not an actor: — a place of deposit fi^r the 
acids. If it were otherwise, the small portion of it in 
the plaister, applied to a large surface, would not prac- 
tically justify the conclusion. I know by experience, 
that it requires, of calcareous substances alone, a very 
great quantity indeed, to produce important eflects on 
vegetation. But the oil of vitriol, without calcareous 
nmtter, will operate powerfully. The pyrites have no 
calcareous matter, being compounded of metals and 
sulphur. And yet they operate on plants, by the vi- 
triolic acid contained in them. For the burning the 
pyrites by the Brahanters^ I cannot account. I have 
been informed, that " it is converted to a sulphat by 
moistiu'e, and exposure to the atmosphere; and then 
becomes soluble by lime." But the combustion of 
plaister is not beneficial. I have often failed in the ap- 
plication of calcined plaister ; and yet the chymists say, 
that it is not the sulphuric acid^ but the water of chrys- 



tallization, which escapes in combustion. Vitriolated 
tartar, glauber and epsotn salts, and all combinations of 
sulphuric acid promote vegetation. I believe, (though 
I do not exactly know the fact) that gt/psum contains 
the greatest proportion of this acid, of any substance in 
which it is combined, and its cheapness gives it a pre- 
ference in husbandry. In it there are 48 parts of the 
acid, and 34 of calcareous matter. It is not the only 
salt beneficial to vegetation. Those not having this 
acid in combination, produce useful eiFects. Salt pe- 
tre (nitrat of potashj I have found highly beneficial, 
when indian corn, before planting, was steeped in a so- 
lution of this salt. All these salts are chy mical com- 
pounds; and require greater or less powerful solvents, 
as well as gypsum; about which I start no dif&cuUies. 
These solvents are furnished to them, in the laboratory 
of nature as well as to the plaister. It is not well ascer- 
tained that common salt (muriat qf soda) is a manure. * 

* It yet remains doubtful whether common salt is, or is not, 
a manure, in its crude state. I have sometimes thought well 
of it ; and used it in every way. When mixed with putres- 
cent or putrefiable substances, judiciously, it is best. In 
large quantities it prevents, though in small portions it pro- 
motes putrefaction ; being antiseptic in one case, and septic 
in the other. An incautious mixture of either salt (common) 
or lime, with the mud, or compost bed, often defeats the ob- 
ject of their application. If lime be applied it consumes pu- 
trescent substances, and forms insoluble compounds which 
are inactive ; and they compose the greatest proportion of the 
dung. Lord Dundonald decides against the use of salt, es- 
pecially on poor land": he says that if it be at all useful, it is 
on rich land. He highly recommends sea ivater for its great 



On Gypsum. 

If it is, it acts by its septic quality, when applied in small 
quantities. It prevents the operation of plaister, by fur- 
nishing soda to the acid of the gypsum; and with it 
forming sulphat of soda, (glauher salts.) This is the 
cause of the plaister not operating on sea coasts. I have 
ruined a bushel of plaister by an handful of sah ; which 
renders it unfit either for manure or cement. 

It is of no farther consequence to the farmer to know 
the operative principle of the plaister, than as it directs 
his practical use of it. And whether it acts per se di- 
rectly, or by the disengagement of other acids, by its 
means; when it expels them and takes their places, is 
immaterial; if the results are attended to. The modus 
operandi of manures, is a complicated and yet unsettled 
subject. It is highly probable at least, in theory, and 
practical results confirm it, that there is in the earth, 
assisted by the atmosphere and waters, some process, 
or resolvents, to set free this potent actor ; either for its 
own operation, or to disengage other acids beneficial to 
vegetation. The laboratories of the chymists are inca- 
pable of establishing indisputably, or confuting satis- 
factorily, this position. The fields of the farmer exhi. 
bit agricultural facts, by which it has been sufiiciently 
tested for his purposes. By these he is enabled to 

benefits in husbandry. It contains, in a ton, a bushel or a 
bushel and an half of salt. Sea salt is recommended for the 
destruction and putrefaction of snails, slugs, grubs, worms 
and insects infesting grounds. They abound the most in 
lands to which animal manures have been long applied. The 
vitriolic acid is equally efficacious ; and I have therefore be- 
lieved, they do not so much infest plaistered fields. 

On Gypsum. 



know, that when the earth is deprived of these solvents, 
subjects of affinity, or by whatever name they may be 
called, he must supply them artificially. He will find, 
as I believe, this conclusion agriculturally right, what- 
ever may be its chymical theor}^ The opinions of chy- 
mists I highly respect, on any chymical topic. Unum- 
quisque in sua arteperitus. They have in many impor- 
tant instances, highly served the interests of agriculture; 
between which and chymistry, there is an intimate and 
all important connection. It is to be wished, that more 
chymists were also farmers, and the soil their laborato- 
ries. The whole earth, in connection with its atmos- 
phere, is the grand laboratory of nature. All that it 
contains, produces and supports, acting and acted upon, 
distinctly or in combination, bring forth effects by chy- 
mical processes, essential to their mutual existence. 
But the matter and the manner, are to us more subjects 
for conjecture, than of accurate knowledge. We must 
therefore depend the most, on practical facts. 

Lord Dundonald in his " Treatise on the connection of 

agriculture -with chymistry'' (Lond. Ed. 55-6-7-8) has 

given an account of th^ vitriolic acid, and its operation 

and effects, as they relate to agriculture. Some per. 

sons of chymical information, are not satisfied with all 

his theory. But I believe his book is generally allow- 

ed to have great merit. One part of his account of this 

acid, he applies to the use of plaister in America. In it 

he observes what we know by experience in its result. 

" Still the gypsum remaining in the soil would, on a re- 

newed application of dung, animal or vegetable matter, 

be brought from the state of gypsum, which is insolu- 

ble, to a state approaching to that of hepar of lime. 

;, ( 






On Gypsum, 

which is soluble." The effects of this re-application of 
dungy &c. we have often eitperienced; and let chy mists 
judge of the modus operandi. This book should be read 
by all farmers desirous of gaining valuable information. 
That new applications of plaister, with animal and vege- 
table substances, will again operate, has been frequent- 
ly and universally proved. But I met with an instance 
to shew that gypsum lying in the earth for years, will 
again operate, with such re-applications of subjects. 
It also confirms my assertion, in the outset, that if too 
much is applied, only the necessary quantity is opera- 
tive. Many years ago, I gave an account of my having 
used plaister, after it had remained five or six years, on 
old indian com hills, whereon too great a quantity had 
been injudiciously and unnecessarily lavished by a te- 
nant. It operated again where dung was applied, 
though I thought not so vigorously as that recently ob- 
tained. The excess of that applied tbo profusely, be^ 
yond what was required by the substances in the earth, 
remained in its original state of composition. 

The author of nature (as Lord D. observes) has thus 
wisely directed, that acids, salts, and such volatile, fu- 
gacious and soluble parts of the system, should have an 
affinity for, or tendency to form a chymical union with 
stationary and more solid substances ; that they may be 
detained in the earth for the purposes designed by their 
creator, and be ready again to act, when their agencies 
are again demanded. If this were not the case, they 
would escape, or be washed away in the waters of the 
earth or the ocean ; and thus pollute and poison one 
part of the creation, while they left the other barren, and 

On Gypsum* 

incapable of producing or supporting vegetable sup- 
plies, or animal existence. 

It is not surprising, that chymical pursuits should 
fascinate enquiring minds. They open the great, and 
often hidden springs of operation, by which the pur- 
poses of the creator are effected. So far are they from 
encouraging the wild and flagitious speculations of 
sceptics, that they teach us, with humble adoration, and 
ardent gratitude, to 

''Look through Nature up to Nature's God^ 






■ ••i 


■•■*••«•» .fr^^wS*^ 


E 176 ] 

Dimensions ofAinefican Trees. 



Account of the Dimensions of American Trees. 

By John Pearson. 

Read October 13th, I80r. 

Darby, August 28thj 1807. 
Respected Friendj • , 

Agreeably to thy request, I do myself the pleasure 
of informing thee of the large forest trees Sec. of which 
I have read, or had information respecting, from per- 
sons of apparent veracity. I have generally noted the 
books, or the name of the authorities in my notes. 

In Georgia, many black oak trees are 8, 9, 10, or 11 
feet diameter, 5 feet above the surface, we measured 
several above 30 feet girt, perfectly straight 40 or 50 
feet to the limbs. The trunks of the live oaks are ge- 
nerally (says the same writer) from 12 to 18 feet in girt, 
and sometimes 18 or 20, some branches extend 50 paces 
from the trunk on a straight line. Cypress are found 
from 10 to 12 feet diameter, 40 to 50 feet to the limbs. 

In 1791 a yellow poplar grew on the lands of Charles 
Hilly ard Kent County Delaware, 36 feet in circumfer- 
ence, appeared sound, and very tall. 

M' Kenzie says that in latitude 52"" 23' 43'' north, are 
cedars 24 feet in girt, and that canoes made of them 
carry from 8 to 50 persons, and that an alder was 7 1-2 
feet in circumference and 40 feet without a branch. 

In 1785 about 2 miles from Morgan town Virginia, 
a walnut tree was 19 feet round, retaining its thickness 
well to the forks or about 60 feet. In Harrison county 
same State, and year, a poplar tree was 21 and 1-2 feet 

^JE.'!' ...,^,ll,"' ■ I <"l 

!■. w».i ''mmmi...i it-n- 

•"'■" " -t '> ' ■""«'•' 

round, 5 feet from the ground, and supposed 60 feet to 
the branches. A vine was seen by my informant, at 
the same time, which he supposed was more than 2 feet 
in diameter ; his idea then was, that he could not have 
shouldered a piece of it 4 feet long, though he was able 
to shoulder 4 1-2 bushels of wheat, when standing in a 

- Iti Lycoming coimty, Penn. the sugar maple tree is 
found 4 feet in diameter: a cherry 5 feet from the 
ground, 14 feet 4 inches round, and carries its thickness 
well near 60 feet to the branches. A white oak 3 feet 
from the ground, 15 feet round, and one which was 
felled, was 4 feet diameter, and 70 feet without a limb ; 
the limbs were 2 feet 6 inches in diameter. 

In Evesham, Burlington county New Jersey, grew 3 
white oak trees, the stump of one of them was 11 feet 
3 inches in diameter, and 59 feet to the forks; from it 
were made, and sold in Philadelphia 40,000 n>erchanta- * 
ble barrel staves; it was 300 years old: one of the 
others 4 feet 6 inches from the ground, was upwards of 
27 feet in circumference, and 60 feet to the first fork ; 
the other at the same height from the ground, was up- 
wards of 24 feet round ; the first mentioned tree was 
said to be perfectly sound in the heart. 

In November 1791, a hollow button wood or syca- 
more, on the south east side of the Ohio, and about 15 
miles from Pittsburgh, at 4 feet high from the ground, 
was 39 feet round. 

Either a chesnut or poplar, near Peach Bottom ferry 
on the Susquehanna, was hollow, and was 11 feet in di- 
ameter within, a school was said to have been kept in it, 


1 1 


If.-. ^.. . 




Dimensiom of American Trees. 

A white oak tree 4 feet in diameter, was felled In 
Cumberland county Pennsylvania, which was about 700 

years old. 

On Sandy Lick creek in Pennsylvania, a pine tree 
was 12 feet in diameter, and at 12 feet from the ground, 
divided into branches: on the south branch of Potow- 
mack a sycamore tree was 9 feet in diameter. . 

On the dividing ridge which separates the waters of 
the Pymatung, or Shenango, from those which fall into 
the Lake Erie, in Pennsylvania, grew a white oak, which 
at 4 feet from the ground, was 24 feet round, about 40 
feet to the first branches: a Spanish oak of about an 
equal size : a chesnut at 3 feet from the ground, was 
upwards of 24 feet round. A poplar 28 feet 4 inches; 
and a white pine about the same size ; my informant 
could not recollect the particular spot on which the two 
last mentioned grew. 

A wild cherry was said to grow either on the west- 
ern waters, or those of Susquehanna, (my informant 
could not ascertain which) by a person viewing, and 
competent to judge, was supposed large enough to 
make 10,000 feet inch boards, exclusive of several large 
limbs which would cut good saw logs. 

A »whitc pine grew on the Hudson or North River, 
24 feet 6 inches to the limbs, and 5 feet in diameter. 

A white pine was said to stand near Le Boeuf (Water- 
ford) Pennsylvania, 30 feet in circumference. 

In Wayne county Pennsylvania, are white oaks, white 
ash, and cherry trees, 5 feet in diameter, from 50 to 80 
feet in length; white pine nearly 7 feet in diameter; all 
almost clear of knots or limbs. 

Dimensions of American Trees. 


A black walnut neaiilhe Muskingum, State of Ohio, 
at 5 feet from the ground was 22 feet in circumference, 
and a sycamore near the same place, at the same dis- 
tance from the ground measured 44 feet round. ^ 

In Crawford county Pennsylvania, ^ew a hemlock^ 
26 feet round; and a poplar 25 feet, thrifty and hk^^y 
to grow many years; a chesnut in Erie county 30 feet 

round. , _- .•. 

' -^ poplart in Adams county Pennsylvania, Hamilton- 
ban township, 36 feet round, 30 or 40 feet to the forks, 
has a great top, and appears perfectly sound. / 

In Brush valley near the line of Northumberland and 
Centre counties, grew a walnut tree ^ feet round; the 
body straight for about 25 feet to the forks, they were 
about 18 feet in length to the commencement of the 
branches; appeared perfectly sound ; within about 4 
perches of it, was another 4 feet in diameter, 45 feet to 
the branches, and perfectiy straight. 

A sycamore on Harris's Island in the river Juniata, 
Pennsylvania, at 3 feet from the ground, was 27 feet 9 
inches round, about Sfeet from the ground it divided 
into 4 forks, one of which was 15 feet 9 inches, one 10 
feet 6 inches, one 8 feet 6 inches, and one 8 feet m cir- 
cumference. A tree of the same kind near the former 
is 17 feet round, both very high, apparentiy sound, and 

very thrifty. . . 

In Springfield, Delaware county, Pennsylvania, is a 
sycamore which in 1803 was 19 feet 6 round, very 
thriving, the body short, branches extensive, stands on 



Pinus Abies Americana, f Liriodendron Tulipifcra. Lin. 

'M. . a'.ji 

.*. <* OtflW^' 


Dimensions of American Trees. 

■ ii w I f »i L it -u 

high stony land, is apparently sjj^nd, and will probably 
become a great tree. 

On an island in the Ohio, 13 miles above Marietta, 
grew a tree, the stump of which was standing in 1798, 
12 or 15 feet high and hollow; the circumference was 
about 60 feet, the shell 2 or 3 inches thick, diameter 
inside upwards of 18 feet. 

An apple tree is now (1807) growing in Upper Dar- 
by Delaware county, Pennsylvania, which I measured 
in 1803, and found it 10 feet 4 inches in circumference, 
sound, branches thrifty and top large. 

In 'Ridley in the same county, a red oak was cut in 
1795, 6 feet in diameter was then very thriving. 

A friend of mine caused a white pine to be felled in 
Luzerne county Pennsylvania, which was only 14 inch- 
es diameter, but 120 feet to the first branch ; the remain- 
der was 12 feet long. 

A chesnut sapling in Chester county Pennsylvania, 
made nine rail cutji of 11 feet each, the butt cut, made 
10 rails, the last cut made one. 

In relieving the garrison of Oswego, (I believe in the 
war of 1755) came in one birch canoe 45 feet in length, 
and 7 in breadth. 

A poplar grew near the Virginia head of Roanoke 
river, 39 feet round, 4 feet from ti\e ground, apparently 
sound and about 40 feet to the forks : my informant 
crossed a river in Maryland in a canoe or scow made 
of a linn tree,* in it were 7 men and 4 horses, and he 
supposed it would have carried double tl>e number. 

» <M 

* Ttlia Americana Un. 



Dimensions ofAmeriean Trees. 


In lower Chichester, Delaware county Pennsylvania, 
a black oak tree was felled in 1790, which was 8 feet in 


A Sycamore tree stands in the town of Jefferson, Ca- 
yuga county, state of New York whichns 47 1-2 feet 
in circumference, hollow, but improved by art, havmg 
one side open as a door, and is green and thrifty.* ■ 
In the spring of 1807, a hickory tree on the banks of 
the Ohio, 2 miles below the mouth of Kentucky river, 
measured 16 feet 8 inches in circumference, very lofly, 
kept its thickness well: at same time an ash on the east 
bank of the Mississippi 17 feet round, very tall ; several 
near to it 12 feet and upwards round. 

In Vermont a white pine 6 feet in diameter 247 feet 
in height, it was there considered as a large tree; they are 
there said to live the longest of the forest trees, being 
from 350 to 400 years old. 

A-white pine was cut at Dunstable, New Hampshire 
in 1736, 7 feet 8 inches in diameter. 

In 1803, a person told me he saw a white walnut tree 
near lake Erie, only 7 and 1-2 inches in diameter, and 
63 and 1-2 feet to the first branch. 

In the same year I measured a white oak tree in Al- 
legheny county Pennsylvania, 15 feet 6 inches round. 
A sycamore on the bank of the Ohio 33 feet round, and 
sound; a sugar maple near to it 15 feet round; a wal- 
nut tree near Big Beaver west of Ohio, 18 feet 6 inches 
round, 45 feet to the branches: a sycamore 19 feet 6 
inches round; a thorn tree in Mercer county Pennsyl- 
vania, 5 feet round; a white oak tree near the falls of 

* lifed. Repository Hexade 2, vol. 4. 

d I 






■*i i ' «■ 

Dimensions of American Trees. 

Big Beaver, Beaver county 18 feet 6 inches round, 60 
feet without a Hmb, and there, 4 feet in diameter, A 
Spanish oak on the east side of the Ohio, a few miles 
from the river, 29 feet 6 inches round; at John Hunter's 
in Newton to\vnship, Delaware county Pennsylvania, is 
a chesnut tree 27.feet in circumference. 
' I am informed that a walnut tree in Genessee, State 
of New York, was 21 feet round, and that a sugar ma- 
ple on the banks of the Mahonning, Mercer county 
Pennsylvania, was 16 feet 8 inches round : that a poplar 
between the Shenango and Neshannoch, was 21 feet 

The foregoing contains an account of the principal 
part of the large trees I have been able to collect on the 
continent of America. 

I am with respect, thy friend, 

T% T »,r John P£ar«on. • 

Ur. James Mease. 

P. S. To the above interesting account, the following facts 
may be added. 

On the farm of Israel Morris, lying on the division line 
between Montgomery county and Blockley township, Phila- 
delphia county, I measured a chesnut tree, 17 feet 6 inches 
in circumference. 

On the farm of J. B. Smith Esq. in New Jersey, a poplar 
tree is growing, thirty three feet in circumference. 

A cypress tree, near the village of Coosawhatchie, Beaufort 
district. South Carolina, giew a few years since, which was 

42 feet round : 1 7 men dined inside of it, round a table Dr. 

Drayton of South Carolina. ' ^ 

J. M. 

£ 183 3 


On Peach Trees. 

Head December 8th, 180r. 

Belmont, November Ylth, 1807. 


I wished to have all the intelligence on the subject 

of the peach tree fully communicated to the society; 
and, for that purpose, I wrote to some friends, who had 
it in their power to assist my views. I send a letter 
from Dr. rilto7i, who adds to professional talents, much 
information upon horticulture, and rural affairs. I am 
obliged by the Doctor's ready and useful compliance 
with my request. I had suggested to him a conjee 
ture, that this tree has a predilection for some favourite 
climate and temperature, in which it thrives as an indi- 
genous plant. I thought that like cotton, indigo, rice, and 
trees, and shrubs of various kinds, the peach was natural 
in some regions of our country, and forced in others.— 
Although the Doctor does not seem thoroughly of that 
opinion, he giy^es an instance of the early peach, which 
came to maturity in Northampton in the eastern shore 
of Virginia, in June; and did not ripen at TVilmington 
in Delaware, till September. This would seem to con- 
firm my idea, that this tree delights and thrives best, in 
a climate more southerly and temperate than ours: 
and I endeavoured to find out a line of demarcation. It 
is one thing to cultivate, under forbidding circumstan- 
ces, for pleasure and curiosity ; and another, to apply 
our labours and resources to extensive, appropriate, and 
profitable products. Whatever be the causes of failure, 
this tree requires, in this quarter, more care and atten- 


< •'-1 


\ Mii^A^ 






On Feach Tr€cs\ 

■»•• ^ 


lion than suit the common farmer; and it appears not 
likely to become an object here on any great scale. I 
still think, that the disease, so generally fatal (more so 
this year, than any other in my memory) called the yeU 
/owsy is atmospIiericaL Insects, certainly, are the catises 
of many injuries and diseases; but they are most fre- 
quently seen in morbid parts, feculent or putrefying 
from previous malady; and are effects, rather than 
causes- I have always considered mildews and blights^ 
as originating in atmospherical taint : yet Sir Jos(^ph 
Banks asserts, that parasitical /w/z^f, and others affirm 
that insects, are their causes. I believe, with much de- 
ference to authorities so^ respectable, that the fungi ori- 
ginate, and the insects breed, in the morbid juices and 
cxtravasated sap, after the plant has become sickly ; ,and 
I think this to be an opinion most generallv received 
both as to plants and trees. It is well to guard against 
both, without taking either opinion for granted. 

I received verbally from a wealthy farmer (Mr. Bel-^ 
My who is the proprietor of a considerable landed estate 
In Delaware, the following account; which he says is 
generally applicable to the cuUure of peach trees, in the 
southern countr)^ , 

"In Xe?it county Delaware, they cultivate iht peac/t 
free ^dthout any difficulty or risk. Although the com- 
mon mode is to plant the young trees grown from the 
stone, \^4thout budding, or engrafting, yet some crack 
the stones and so plant them ; others take out the ker- 
nels, and plant them with their corn ; dropping two (to 
ensure one J in a hill, at about twenty.five feet apart, in 
squares. They tend the corn field in the usual way ; 
and the young trees grow with the crop, to the height 



■'--^— —•^'-■■^ - Id, ii«.«i < [I 

On Peach Trees. 



of three or four feet, in one season. Large orchards 
kre thus obtained, at a small expence. The knife is 
never applied to the standard trees (except that some 
head them down once when young) it being found in- 
jurious, and to occasion the limbs of pruned trees heavi- 
ly loaded, to break off. When suffered to grow at plea- 
sure, they are multiplied, flexible, and tough ; and lay- 
on the ground unhurt. The crops are certain, abund^ 
ant, and well flavoured. In size, they are little inferior 
to those on pruned trees ; although the sizes on the same 
tree, vary much. Trespasses by cattle are sometimes 
committed ; but the trees browzed or torn, recover the 
next season, the orchards being generally enclosed ; to 
exclude horses or homed cattle. They obtain fruit in 
three years in plenty ; and the trees have been knovm 
to endure fifty years. No worms or diseases assail 
them. They are so easily propagated, and renewed, 
that cutting down a peach orchard for a course of til- 
lage, on ground ameliorated by standing many years, 
occupied as an orchard, is not uncommon. The limbs 
are often so loaded, that the weight prostrates them ; 
and th:*y lay on <die ground securely. None break that 
are not pruned, and they recover their usual position, 
when the fruit is detached. There are orchards of fifty 
and seventy acres ; and some larger in Accomac and 
other parts of the isthmus between the bays of Chesa* 
peake and Delaware^ further south. The more sandy 
the soil, the better the fruit ; nor should it be over-rich. 
Peach orchards are planted, to ameliorate worn lands j 
and hogs are at certain periods of the season turned in, 
to feed and root at pleasure. Perhaps insects and ver* 

mjn are destroyed by them ; and they benefit the soU| 

M m 


\ ;l 


'^'^ '-■ ^ 

\ r: 








On Peach Ttee^. 

and by turning and loosening the surface, forward the 
growth and health of the tree3. Apple-trees dp not 
thrive, in the soil fi^vourable to the culture of the peach," 
Compare thi3 account, with the actual state of the 
peach tree, in our country, and judge whether we live 
in a region favourable to its growth. Mr. HestorCs at- 
tempt at cultivating this tree, in the southern manner, 
begins already to fail. His trees are evidentiy infected ; 
and many are cm the decline. The yellmvs are univer- 
sally prevalent, this season, throughout the whole coun- 
try. I do not wish to discourage perseverance, in th^ 
culture of xthis tree. But, when particular products of- 
ten fail, they warn us to apply our main strength and re- 
sources, to other objects, more certain and equally pro. 
fitable. Let ha?:ardous cultivation, be collateral and 

The mercury, as mentioned by Dr. Tilton, for the 
cure of the disease in peach trees, I have frequently ap* 
plied to plumbs. I bored a gimblet hole through the 
bark, and about half an inch mto the alburn^m, or sap 
WQod, and inserted a drop or two of crude mercury, so 
as to be carried through the circulation, with intent to 
destroy vermin or insects in the bark or fruit. I have 
sometimes had plenteous crops, apparently from this re. 
medy ; but I have more frequently been disappointed. 

lam, Sir, 

Dr. James Mease, 

Your obedient servant, 
Richard Peters. 

Secretary Agric. Soc. Phihd. 



On Peach Trees. 


Bellevue (near Wilmington, Del) Nov. 0th, 1807. 

toear Sir, 

Your letter of the 3d lilt, came to hand at the mo- 
ment I was setting off on a joiimey to Talbot county 
in Maryland ; and your second letter of the 6th wa^ 
received on my return. I shall pursue the order re* 
commended in your second letter, €y giving you the 
best history in my power of the peach tree ; with such 
observations as I may deem of any importance m its 
culture, diseases. Sec. And if it shall contribute any 
thing to your more perfect history, I shall be Very glad. 
Miller says the peach tree was brought into Europe 
from Persia, whence it derives its name. There is 
good reason to believe it is a native of those parts of 
South America, where it grows wild, like other forest 
trees. I do not think the success of this tree dependis 
upon any line of demarkation between north and south. 
I never saw peaches grow irt greater perfection, than 
on governor Livingston's farm near Eliatabeth-town. — 
Noah Webster gives direction for the cultivation of 
the peach tree, in Connecticut, and particularly recom- 
mends the propagation of early peaches. 1 have been 
informed this fruit is matured in great perfection in 
Massachusetts ; but how much farther Eastward it is 
capable of ipaturity, in open ground, I am not inform- 
ed. * M'Mahon, in his gardening, takes notice that the 
peach tree, in Europe, grows as far north as the grape- 
vine, but alledges, that in northern climates, the peach 
requires more assistance from art, to bring it to matu- 
rity, than the grape* But although the peach is capa- 
ble of great perfection in high latitudes, it must be con- 
Jessed, that southern and warm districts are most fa- 

.-. ^-— a^siy'^f 








On Peath Trees. 

vourable i<} its production. A fine early peach which 
ripeneci, in Northampton, Virginia, sb early as June, 
did not ripen on my ferm, before the last of August and 
first of September. The sandy soil of our southern 
states, appears to be more favourable to this fine fruit, 
than the stiff clay of our mountains. But nothing ap- 
pears to me to have more influence, in the successful 
production of peaches, than a near approach to water. 
All the information I have received convinces me, that 
not only the coast of the Atlantic, but the borders of 
our western waters are more favourable to the produc- 
tioh of peaches, than districts more inland. It is said 
that peaches grow in the greatest perfection, and even 
wild, on the river la Plata ; how much farther south, I 
am uninformed ; but probably the same rules govern in 
ascending the southern latitudes, as on the north of the 

I shall say but little on the cultivation of this useful 
tree ; but will barely remark, that it should always be 
planted shallow, with the soil raised about it in the form 
of a hill ; that Forsyth's method of heading down trees, 
a year or two after planting, insures tlie most vigorous 
growth ; and that tilling the ground, for some years, 
after setting them out in orchards, is essential to the 
rapid and successful growth of the trees. 

The diseases and early death of our peach trees- is a 
fertile source of observation, far from being exhausted. 
In reasoning on this subject, as in the case of animals, 
we must ascertain the cause, before we can apply the 
most successful remedies. In all diseases of the peach 
tree, that I have examined, it appears to me that insects 
do the mischief. The curling of the leaf, the boring 


On Peach. Trees. 



of the bark, the destruction of tlie root and puncture of 
the fruit, aU proceed from insects: and even that sickly 
appearance of the tree, called the yellows, attended by, 
numerous weakly shoots on the limbs generally, is at- 
tributed to insects, by a late writer in our news papers. 

A little beetle, called curculio, about the size of a 
pea bug, is the insect which punctures the fruit, and 
occasions it to fall off or rot, before it cpmes to matu- 
rity. I have been so tormented by this insect, as to be 
at great pains to investigate it. You may see the re- 
sult of my enquiries, in Dr. Mease's edition of the Do- 
mestic Encyclopedia, under the head "Fruits." 

The wasp-like insect which bores the bark of the 
tree, and delights especially in that region just below 
the surface of the earth, I am not so well acquamted 
with, but do not believe it so important in its mis 
chief as the curculio. 

But besides diis large wasp-like worm, which you 
always find solitary under the bark; there are miUions of 
httle grubs or maggots, that appear in great clusters, 
round the roots of the trees. Some naturalists have 
supposed these are of the same kind as the large worm, 
only m the infant state; but I am strongly inclined to 
be of a different opinion: for their number is above aU 
proportion to that of the large worm; and they are as 
uniform in size as the large worm, so as to manifest 
nothmg like growth or progress towards greater matu- 
rity. It deserves consideration, whether or not these 
small worms are the cureuliones, in the maggot or grub 
state. Their numbers, as well as the natural history 
of the beetle order, would seem to indicate this. I have 
observed too, that in the districts of our countrv viz 




; >1, 

i i 



On Peach Trees^ 

Oft Peach Trees. 





between Trenton ferry and Christiana creek, where the 
fruit is most injured by the curculio, there also the mor* 
tal distempers of our peach trees are most prevalent. 
My acquaintance with natural history, however, is sa 
Kmited, that I can only suggest the hint, and express 
my wish, at the same time, that you, who have it so 
much in your power, may pursue the enquiry, by the 
assistance of persons at your elbow, altogether qualified 
for the task. Professor Barton would probably render 
you his assistance cheerfully. Or if he should be too 
much occupied, there are in your cit}% other men, and 
an the books requisite for the enterprize. If the natu- 
ral history of these insects were once well ascertained, 
we might then combat them to great advantage. 

The best means of combating the curculio, are sug- 
gested m the Encyclopgedia before mentioned.— For 
destroying the worms at the root of the tree, the best 
method I have ever employed, is to draw the dirt from 
the root of the tree, in the fall, and pour boiling water 
on the roots. In the spring, my practice is, to return 
the soil to the tree, in the form of a hill. By means of 
this sort, a tree may be preserved many years. 

I have seen two measures proj^osed, in our news pa* 
pers, for curing the yellows in particular, and for dc 
stroying inserts generally. One is that of boring a hole 
in the tree, filling it with mercurial ointment funguen- 
twn cceruleumj and corking it up. The other is by 
boring a hole on the north side of the tree, filling it with 
spirits of turpentine and corking it up. Both authors 
assert, that their respective specific kills and disperses 
every kind of insect from the tree thus treated. I have 
not yet employed either; but I am so well persuaded of 




their noxious influence, on insects generally, that I am 
deteniiined to make trial of them. I will not tak^ up 
your time with any account of the littie insects which 
curl the leaves pf peach trees. They have always ap- 
peared to me so unimportant, in comparison with those 
before described, that I have paid very litde attention 
to themu 

In my jaunt through Maryland, I was attentive to the 
subject of your letters. I found the peach trees gene- 
rally were long lived, healthy and bore well. In Ed- 
ward Loyd's garden, I observed some of these trees 
fifteen or eighteen inches diameter, and perfectly heal- 
thy. Col. Nicols, near. Easton, abounds in the best 
kind of peaches. He is an old residenter, and particu» 
larly attentive to fruits. I shewed him your letter and 
enquired for information. He told me he had read my 
dissertation on the curculio, and could vouch for the 
salutary eflects of hogs running at liberty among fruit 
trees, particularly the peach, apricot, &c. He also gave 
me a receipt^ which he said, he had practised on peach 
trees with advantage to their health, and which I now 
transcribe in his own words. " Take away the dirt fronv 
around the roots, and where you discover gum issuing 
out, you will also find a white maggot, which is care- 
fully to be. taken away, then wash the body and roots 
with strong brine, which you will repeat now and then 
in the spring and summer." In the course of conver- 
sation, he remarked on the noxious influence of salt, 
(sal. marin.J upon insects generally : and observed, that 
by tying a small bag of salt round the body of a tree, 
no insect would crawl up it. He said he had practised 






6hi Peach Trees. 

this method on willows particularly, and never failed 
to free them from those crawling tribes, to which they 
are so liable. 

Nothing else occurs to me on the subject of your 
letters. I wish you great success in your investigation ; 
and shall be glad to know when your volume is pub* 

With great respect, I am. 

Pear Sir, your friend 

and humble Servant. 

James TxltoNi 

Richard Peters esq. 





C 193 3 

improvement of Land. ^ 

Read December 8th, 1807^ 

Chester county ^ November 20th^ 1807, 
J/riend VaugJian^ 

Agreeably to your request, I now inform you how I 
have improved my farm. The first three years I could 
only keep two horses and two cows, and seldom had more 
than four tons of hay : though the last six years, I have 
grown from 20 to 25 tons a year. Had I taken your ad, 
vice when I first took the farm, it would have throVii 
much in my way ; that was, to use lime on my land.— ^ 
When I determined to try it, I first got 200 bushels, and 
laid it on nine acres, planted with indian corn, and had as 
great a crop as had been ever seen growing: my neighs 
bours came far and near to see it: the year after I made a 
fallow of the land, put in wheat on three acres, and the 
rest in rye, and had a good crop : in the spring, I sowed it 
with clover and timothy, and put two bushels of plaister 
of Paris on an acre, and had as great a crop of clover ai^ 
could grow; it laid three weeks before the time of mow- 
ing; the lime and plaister did all this, for no land could 
be poorer before : tliere are ten acres in the field, and 
not being used to spread lime, I laid it on nine acres; 
where I laid no lime I got no clover, although I put on 
the plaistei^. I have limed all my land, and plaistered it 
every year and never fail of clover. I think two bushels 
of plaister are enough on one acre. In one field I have 
put on four bushels on half, and two on the other half 

and I find it no difference in the produce. There is ano. 

N n 


^lAl'l 'J.', ^T -~ , Xf iik 


Improvement of Land. 

Improvement of Land. 


ther thing in which I was wTong ip not taking your ad- 
vice, viz. not keeping oxen instead of horses: this 
spring all my horses became sick, and I was forced to 
buy a pair of oxen. I supposed I should be tired of 
them, but on the contrary 1 am tired of horses, as I find 
that with my two oxen, I can do more work, than I 
could with four horses, and with half the expence. I 
have worked horses for forty years, and if I had used 
oxen in their place, they would have put 500 pounds 
in my pocket. My oxen go to the lime kiln once 
a week, twenty one miles in the morning, and return 
the next day in the forenoon; after resting two hours, 
they go to work, horses cannot do this. There is ano- 
ther thing I find advantage in, I cut all my corn stalks 
iind carry them to the barn yard for litter, when well 
trodden, I cover them with lime, and then add another 
layer, then more lime, and so on until all the stalks are 
used. In the spring, the stalks are all rotted, and I have 
no trouble in turning them up; last spring I had 176 
loads of dung : the first three years if I had 20 or 25 
loads, it was a great thing. My neighbours thought 
me crazy to buy lime, and to be at such expence, but 
now they are all falling into the same way. 

I plough all my land in the autumn for com, and in 
the spring lay on the lime, plough it all over, harrow it 
down and never am troubled with cut worms or weeds, 
I find the fall ploughing is a great advantage. 

your affectionate friend, 

William Ashford. 
John Vaughan, 

Member Agric. Soe. Pliilad. 

A I 

The foregoing letter is published, for the encouragement of those who 
live on worn and exhausted lands. Some persons thus situated have late- 
ly written to the society -, some in the part of the country wherein Mr. A. 
lives, and most probably on the same kind of land. They alledffed that 
they could not procurfe dung, that plaister would not operate, and Uiat was too dear Let them follow the ctUmple of their feldv, country, 
yian. But the mix „g of time while the vegetalile substanc^ a^pTeZl 

llfA" ^T^t"^"- '' '"'? "'^"f ■ ^i P"* "" "le land , ot if it must L min- 
gled with the manuie, let it be after the fermentatiSn is over. The de- 
spondingcorrespondents of the society, were advised to adopt the follow- 
log epitome of good husbandry. Some of Mr. A's com stalks might have 
been cut bjf a machine now much used, and given to the stock. 

car^f^lhuXnC*" *'"'' "'""^" "' "°™ '''"''' '" ^'"""-•- '° ^^''^ ' 

1. If no water be in your bam yard— dig a well ; and confine voiir stock 
from November to May: never permitting them to wander after water or 
the provender of the stalk field, or miserable fogg of the fie Ms in which 

hey empty themselves and scatter their dungf^nstead of fiuing W 

your'yard ^ °" "'°"'""^- ^"' ""' ^ ''""f ""-ecessarify lea"e 

2. Haul into the yard, every putresciblc substance you can (ret • and 
when proper, clean up the yard, and have afien for your manure Eotli from 

he yard and stables, inaccessible to cattle or horses; whosn.oachinr o™ 

Buy .--,f you cannot reach two acres, be content with one Move 
your fences, and plough up their sites. Mix leaves, weeds and^l nutrl^ 
liable substances in long and low beds , so as to be turned by the plCh 
and become excellent compost. For this purpose also, go into your 3* 
and, with leaves and wool soil, make beds of compost of these matlril 
as we 1 as of the mould in low places, into which it has wt^hed or h^ 
been deposited by ponds of water, or rains and floods. 

4. Lime your fall ploughed fallow with forty bushels to tlie acre Plant 
Indian com ; put comfio.t on the hills, ^Mplalter the corn ^''"* 

i D> "■ *u ''°^" !.^ gathered ; cut your stalks, and haul them to vn,., 
yard Plough again for a wimer fallow. Vour ploighin^ (Txceot for se? n 
should never be less than five to^even inches deep.^ *^ ^ ' ^"^'^^ 

■ e n 1 , *P""8'. ''^"•ow in bud-wheat, to be rolled and ploughed in wh^- 
ISr i&e^r "- ^^^ '"-'^ P'-"^*^ -"-^-^ ■^ couVeSrly"oTht! 

7. Put on what dung- you have made, and plough it in with vour aePil 

iTcrZ^r^'lf^^^^ ""'/'''' topdressin/youf Jea^ whicTu obe 
8 Orf th K ^! ' *"f ^"^ "^ "'"^•^ ^*^^" >«^ can manure. 

thr-cS^e^ A^tiiis^n tTcroiiX^dt z^^^^^-^:: 

mostl'xid^s"; "puistlfth:™ zi^:''''''''' "■'"^' ^^ i" '''<= ^'^ -'"» 

stock by thUad^diSsubsUtence"' "P P""*"''-. '""^ "'"-ease your 

one to'lave'ttr '" * *"°"i •"■ ^^""^I ^''^^°^'' *» '^^'^ » ploughing ; or on a wet 
oHetone clXhutke^ ««'*ani exhausting crops'l-a.Td nfv^r ..„" A/,7« 

ii cf f ,t "c S;rn7dlrS^^^ 




t 196 ] 

Belmont^ January 20M, 1808i 

Observing, among our communications, none on 
the subjects discussed in the one enclosed, I request 
you to lay it before the society^ Our association con- 
sists of many, who are competent, by their talents and 
information, to add to the means of effectuating our ob- 
jects. I risk much, in my endeavours to elicit from 
others, the assistance we want. It is due to myself, 
however otherwise unimportant, to declare, that it is 
the leading motive with me, to set an example, which 
others, whether in or out of the society, may follow, 
with more beneficial results. It was part of the terms, 
on which I accepted the honour of the society's chair, 
that I should receive the assistance of the members, 
who have it in their power to rendejr it. Should I 
find myself disappointed, those we mean to serve, will 
suffer privations, which will add to my regret. The 
only consolation I shall experience, by bringing into 
the view of the society, a variety of subjects for others 
to improve upon, vnll be that of having attempted, how- 
ever unsuccessfully, to keep my part of the engage- 
ment; to make every practicable effort, for the re-ani- 
mation of an eminently useful and disinterested insti- 
tution, which had become torpid by neglect. 

I am. Sir, 

Your very obedient Servant. 

Richard Peters. 
Dr. James Mease, 

Secretary Agric. Soc. Philad, 


i 197 1 

On the Thickness, Cement^ and Materials of PTalls of 
JFarm^ and other Building^. By Richard Peters. 

Read March 8th, 1808. 

Sometime ago, I took down ^ thick wall ; and observ- 
ed the interior rotten and friable, (crumbly) although 
it had been built 60 years. Had the mortar been pro- 
|)erly composed ; time would have rendered it perfectly 
solid. But I found that it had been overcharged with 
lime ; and that sandy loam had been used, instead of 
pure sand. The masons of this day know better ; but 
they waste lime, by mixing an undue proportion with 
their mortar, because it works more fi^eely under the 
trowel ; and thus, for their own ease, add to the expence 
of their employer. J consider walls to be thick; when 
they exceed 18 inches. 

Thick walls, are not, in^ general, the strongest. A 
mistake of this kind was made, when the Philadelphia 
prison was erected. The interior cement was not indu- 
rated, for many years after the erection ; owing to the 
thickness of the walls, in part; and also to a defect in 
the quality of the materials, and the composition of the 
cement. Whether the sand was obtained where the 
water of the Delaware, at certain seasons of long ' 
drought, is brackish, I know not. Marine salt is depo- 
sited, in such seasons, higher up the tide waters of large 
rivers, than is generally imagined. This may be ascer. 
tained by filtration and decomposition ; and by the ap- 
pearance of sea fish, at such periods, in places higher 
than those of their usual resort. I h^ve known sea fish 

198 Thickness, Cement and Materials of Walk. 



(both scale and shell) caught in the cove at Wiccacoa, 
in dry seasons, and on the opposite shores : and some- 
times much higher up the river. Whether or not, ma- 
rine salt was mixed in the mortar of this building; it is 
always prejudicial to cement. The murmtk add (one 
third of the composition of marine salt) forms, with cal- 
carcous matter, muriat of lime, which, being deliques- 
cent, will not indurate. Its strong affinity for water, 
attracts and retains the humid vapour of the atmos- 
phere : as I have mentioned, on some former occasion. 
In thick walls, the masons, if not watched, fill in rubble; 
and the offals of the stone, in the interior. Some of the 
latter are necessary in all walls; but an over quantity is 
highly injurious. 

In 1779 or 80, there were, in the Philadelphia prison, 
1000 British prisoners of war, at one time ; and, in other 
years, great numbers. Escapes were perpetual ; though 
the commissary of prisoners and the keeper were, with- 
out rigour, always on the alert. By the permission of 
the War Department, in which I then was, the keeper 
('Elijah PTeed, a firm but humane character) walked out 
daily, with squads of the prisoners, to afford them air 
and exercise. Few or no escapes occurred in these 
excursions; they having been restrained by a point of 
honour; and additionally, because it had been announc- 
ed that if escapes took place, the indulgence would be 
discontinued. When locked up, they were under no 
such honourable, or cautionary obligation. Having 
been frequently called to an attention to this subject, by 
the reports of the commissary; I had an examination 
made of the souterrain of die whole fabrick; and was 
suri^nzed by the resuh. I found that the cells in the 

Thickness, Cement and Materials of Walls. 1 99 

ground story, were arched over with brick. The arches 
were either 9 or 14 inches thick; and a slight pine floor, 
was laid over the crowns of these arches. Through 
this, access was easy to the cavities, between the 
crowns and springs of the arches. The bricks could 
be worked loose, out of these Aim zy arches, with a knife, 
or any pointed instrument; and access to the cellars 

The trap doors, or apertures in the floors of their 
apartments, made by the prisoners, were covered from 
view by blankets : and most commonly, by those off 
fatigue, lying over them. With common cord wood 
sticks, hardened by partial burning, the detachments 
of sappers and miners, under the floors, and in the eel- 
lars, worked loose the inner crust, or face, of the wall; 
pulled out with their hands, without the aid of tools,' 
the interior materials, and displaced the external ma-' 
sonry. Thus passages for escapes were afforded, 
through a long period, before discovery: and the affair 
was conducted with generalship. So that only a few 
eloped at a time, lest a detection should blow up the 
scheme too suddenly. "The last fugitive always closed 

* The mortar of these arches was so overcharged with lime 
that .t could be crumbled to pieces by the fingers of several 
people who examined it. It is to be hoped, that time has 
cured this defect. The absorbent quality of brick, permits 
richer, and requires more fluent mortar ; but this is often 
^overdone. Contract builders think they stint the mortar, to 
save lime, when they involuntarily hit the right point. But 
they do not fill the joints; and injuriously save in quantity. 
They should be obliged by the contract, to grout the worL 



300 7%ickness, Cement ami MaietidU of JValls. 

Thickness, Cement and Materials of JFalls. 201 

the breach in the wall, on the outside. We put an end 
to these nocturnal sorties, 'by directing the barrack maS* 
ter, to cause a large trench to be dug along the walls, 
outside ; and wharff logs to be laid therein, from thci 
foundations, to the surface of the ground. This waS 
effectual ; though the masonry opposed a feeble barriei^ 
against the efforts of these involuntary tenants of thii 
dreary mansion. This instance strongly proves the 
mistake \ have mentioned, tilade by even intelligent 
builders. This goal was built by Robert Smith, and 
John Palmer. The one the most celebrated architect, 
and the other among the best masons and bricklayers, 
of that day. I do not recollect the thickness of the 
walls, but believe they exceed three feet, in the ground 
storj'. The stones in general were not sufficiently large, 
though many were so ; the mortar was too rich, and th^ 
wall unnecessarily thick. Nor were there a sufficient 
number of ashlars of size, on the faces ; or headers, run* 
ning through the walls, transversely. To guard against 
such defects, the materials must be sound, and the 
stones reasonably large, for every part of thick walls. 
So much time has elapsed since the facts relating to th^ 
Philadelphia prison occurred, that the mortar has un- 
questionably indurated; and the building become com- 
petent to all its purposes. 

The hardest stone is not the most eligible : softer 
stones, easier worked under the hammer, or chissel, ana 
of clean grit, are by far the best. They indurate suffi- 
ciently in the air or sun, are tenacious of the cement, 
and absorb and conduct the damp vapour, instead of 
repelling it, as do hard stone, by which constant mois- 
ture is retained on the walls. When this moisture 

cannot enter the stone, it is called, vulgarly and impro. 
perly, sweating; though it is occasioned by the texture 
being impervious, and not permitting the damp to en- 
ter. Faults and eeUars, to be dry, should be built with 
soft, and clean gritted stone. Hard stone are thought 
best, to withstand attempts at breaches in jails; and for 
forts, and other works requmng strength; or subject to 
forcible assaults. However true this may be to a cer- 
tam point, the idea is generally extended too far. A 
soft, tough, curly stone, will not break nearly as easy 
under the sledge; or separate by means of the wedge, 
or gad. It will stand battering by cannon balls, far* 
better than hard or flinty stone. It is the same with 
timber. Hard wood wUl soon be shattered, broken 
riven and destroyed, by a battery of camion: whereas 
the palmetto, and other such woods, bemg spongy and 
soft, defy the attacks of the heaviest balls. Fort MouU 
trie, m South Carolina, was during our revolutionary 
war, an mcontrovertible proof. Hard stone resists, and 
is shocked and broken throughout. But the balls 
make holes in their passage through soft stone, or wood 
verj^ little larger than their diameters; if they do not 
bury themselves therem, which sometimes happens. 
This fact can be ascertained; and I have seen sundry 
proofs of It. Some spongy wood will nearly again 
close the perforation. ^ ^ 

li Anderson's ideas be correct, the solidifyuig of mor. 
tar depends on the coating and crystallization of the 
hme, on the surface, and in the cavities, of every grain 
of .anrf.. which he says, is the better, the more it is sUi- 
cious and rough ; and furnished with comers and protu- 
berances, encreasing the surface. He prefers river 

O O 

j\...- ^ -- -■**- '■■ ^Jl^.i 


202 Thickness J Cement and Materials of Walls. 

i%icknessy Cement and Materials of Walls. 203 



sand: and next to this pit sand; on these accounts. But 
pit sand is generally smoother, smaller and less angu- 
lar; and more mixed with loam, or earth. Sea sand is 
more subject to these objections as to its form ; if it were 
otherwise proper ; and those who build near sea coasts, 
should use pit sand in preference ; as it is rougher, and 
has no saline mixture. More lime, th^n will plentifully 
coat the surface, is worse than unnecessary ; as it cannot 
crystallize beyond a certain point; and the extra quan- 
tity having no sand^ or substance, around which it can 
crystallize, repels, or prevents, the approaches of tlie 
grains of coated sand ; so as to obstruct their adhesion^ 
and forming, by general crystallization, a solid mass. 
With a view to this theory, as it wa^ warranted by ex- 
perience, the common mortar of the masonry of the 
Schuylkill bridge^ was composed of three parts sharp, 
clean, coarse sand, and one part lime. The sand was 
thrown into a bed of thin wash, of slacked lime, and 
agitated till every grain was coated; and then, additions 
of sand were made, till the proper consistency was ac- 
quired. The proportion was less than a bushel to the 
perch; though no very exact attention was paid to this 
circumstance. Even the interior mortar and grout, of 
the thickest walls and piers, so far as they could be ex- 
amined, were found perfectly indurated; after being 
covered by water, for a few months only. Rich mortar^ 
is therefore one cause of the loose texture of thick walls. 
The sand, for the bridge masonry, was obtained, by 
water transportation, from Peters^s island^ high up the 
river, and far above all marshy and foul bottoms, or 
shores. Near 12000 cart loads of this sand were used. 
It had every qu?ility recommended by Anderson^ and 

others who say, that the bodies around which the lime 
crystallizes, should be sound, and incapable of being 
crushed. On a comparison with some Delaware tide 
water sand, and some pit sand, its superiority was so 
striking, that the mason would use no other ; after a fair 
and long trial^f the qualities of this. It assisted the 
crystallisation of the cement in a greater degree, and in 
less time, than any other sand, within reach of the work* 
It was pure, and free from any foreign mixture of 
' loam or myA. All alloys of the latter kind, are injuri- 
ous ; because they are crushed, and cannot resist, but 
yield to, the pressure of crystallization. The place from 
which it was brought, ensured its being free from any 
saline particles. For pointings it required no washing ; 
being of itself sufficiently pure. 

This specification is not given, as a character pecu- 
liar to this sand ; compared with that material in similar 
Situations. But it is mentioned, with a view to recom- 
mend to all who build where the best cement is essen- 
tial, and river sand attainable, to procure it from the 
highest accessible p^rts of streams. The deposits of 
floods, in these places, are of pure silicious (flinty) matr 
ter, brought from pebbly and clean bottoms ; with no 
mixtures, collected from foid and marshy shores, or 
muddy beds of rivers. 

In walls washed by the sea, or streams; or made to 
contain water: in thick masonry oi fortifications, milk, 
and other water works, basons, or other stone work,, 
either constantly or occasionally wet, rich mortar should 
be invariably shunned. It is believed by many, that 
mortar, in thick walls or piers,, only affords a bedioTih& 
stone ; and never indurates* But this is known to be 



Thickness J Cement and Materials of fFalls. 

otherwise ; as has been observed in the instance (though 
it is not singular) of the stone work of the Schuylkill 
bridge; which will long afford, under our own view, 
facts, proofs and examples, for most of the operations, 
and component parts of strong and massive masonry. 
It has been the over richness of the wgrtar, that has 
suggested this mistaken opinion.* The cement will 
solidify, if properly composed, wherever there is mr: 
and it is well known, that this subtile fluid pervades all 
matter. If it were not otherwise proved, as it often has 
been, both philosophically and experimentally ; the in- 
stances of toads and frogSj found in perfect animation, 
in the midst of solid blocks of marble, and granite, 
would be sufficient. Air must be inhaled for respira- 
tion, and mustexist (as it is essential to life) in the stone; 
and communicate with, and circulate through, the com- 
mon atmosphere, so as to bring fresh supplies, and car- 
ry off the mephitic ; or these animals, thus isolated, 
would soon perish; if they could begin their existence; 
though they are said to require a less portion of air, 
than others. t There is no recess so retired, as to es- 

♦ A decided proof of this, is mentioned in one of the re- 
ports of the committee, who superintended the building of 
this bridge ; in the account of the masonry intended for a 
pier; but abandoned, as to its use, in that capacit}% See 
Statistical Account. Page 41. 

i Like all reptiles and amphibious animals, they can live 
with less air, than is usually required by others ; yet it does 
not follow that they can exist without it. Some have doubt- 
ed their being furnished with the organs of respiration. But 
I have, while attending experiments withtht air pumf, seen 
tkem die in an exhausted receiver. 


Thickness, Cement and Materials of fFalls. 205 

, cape its penetration. It brings along with it, the ingre- 
dients of which it is usually composed; and cr> stalli- 
zation is perfected in the interior lime, though more 
time be occupied in the process. But before all, the 
stone, in size and texture, being proportionately large 
and sound, constitutes the principal strength of any ma- 
sonry, well and faithfully put together, ^fherefore a 
thinner wall of sound and large stone, is far preferable 
to one composed of small stone ; however in thickness 
it may exceed. Loriofs theory of walls, has already 
become obsolete. Time indeed gives opportunity, in 
any walls, for the lime to recover its Jixable air; and 
again to petrify. But in those whereon pressure is im- 
mediate, and strength at once required, time cannot 

be afforded. 


Pise walk, composed entirely of common earth 
plumb, and well packed, rammed and consolidated ar^ 
stronger and better, for ordinary purposes, than those 
of stone, mdifferently built, and composed of inefficient 
matenals. For some uses, they are as good as stone 
walls. It would b^well to select, and publish for in- 
formation, a concise account of this cheap and excel- 
lent mode of erecting walls. For most farm buildings 
they would be perfectly competent.— ^ee Johmm's Ru- 
ral (Economy, for an account of Pise walls. 

The great mistake made by rough casters, is that of 
usmg mortar over rich. I have experienced the folly 
of this practice ; and know the advantages of its oppo- 
site. Where gravel, from which all other matter has 
been screened; and where that and small pebbles are 
dashed m ; the mortar will bear more lime. Because 
the gravel and pebbles afford surfaces, around which 
the extra quantity of lime crystaUizes. In the common 



206 Thickness, Cement and Matetials of Walls. 




way, I have rough casting, free from any defects, com- 
posed difive parts sand (river sand from my island) and 
K one of lime. The first coat should never have less than 
four parts sand, and one of lime. And the second, 
should not be much richer than three to one. On a 
north w^ll of my house, rough casting, thus composed, 
is now perfect, after a lapse of fifty years.* 

* Bullock* s blood 2iXid smith's, or furnace, cinders pulverized, 
mixed with the mortar for rough casting or pointing, in a 
small proportion, are known to be highly beneficial. The • 
reason may, probably, be ; that they contain oxygen, and car* 
bon ; these are also found, plenteously, in our common air j 
which, though it consists chiefly of the former and nitrogen^ 
in a gaseous state ; yet in it are found all the substances ca- 
pable of existing in an aeriform state, at the common tempe- 
rature of our globe. Oxygen and carbon, form the carbonic 
acid, or fixahle air ; which immediately operates, to crj^stal- 
lize, or hjfi'den the cement, by its affinity for lime. This acid 
probably exists, ready combined by combustion, in the cin- 
V ders; and produces, at once, its effects on the lime ; which 
must otherwise harden, or crystallize, by the more tedious 
process of collecting the acid, or its component parts, from 
tlie atmosphere. Whether this theory be or not chymically 
correct, the effects of these additions to the cement, are prac- 
tically known ; and it requires practice, to ascertain the pro- 
portions. Pointing, or rough cast, forced, to harden too quick, 
cracks, and will not adhere. They should never be laid on 
in very hot weather; which dries away the moisture neces- 
saiy to crystallization. Frost injures mortar of any compo- 
sition ; if it occurs before induration. Ignorant or conceited 
workmen, think liming high is a safeguard. Those who (too 
commonly) have more work than they can faithfully perform 
in the season, put off the pointing till it is too far advanced ; 
and vainly endeavour to repair the inconveniencies of dclay^ 
by over liming, or forcing. 

Thickness, Cement and Materials of Walls. 207 

The Romans were attached to the system qf thick walls, 
formed in various modes. Some of them were faced with 
large stone, tied by headers, or binders, in proper pla. 
ces; filled, in the middle, with pebbles or small stones; 

and embodied by pourmg in grout, or thin mortar - 

Much discussion has been had on the subject of their 
. masonry; as well as on the nature and qualities of the 
Boman cement. Loriot thought he had discovered the 
mode of buildmg; and the cement of the ancients. But 
none succeed by pursuing his plans, or recipe, in large 
works. He proposed erecting walls, between two 
frames placed at the distances required, boarded up ; 
tight, and capable of holding grout or cement of a cer- 
tain composition. Pebbles and stones, of any shape, 
or size, were to be thrown in these cases, at random. 
The grout was to be poured in, from time to time 
to fill the interstices : and the frames were to stand, till 
the wall was dry and consolidated. In small baths, cis^ 
term, and vats, something like his mode has succeeded 
here. Not having ^en his book for many years, I have 
pot a perfect recollection of his plan, or composition. 

It appears to be most probable, and it is now gene, 
rally conceded, that the cement of the ancients, has ac, 
quired its celebrity by the help of time; which has af- 
forded the opportunity, through ages, to the lime, to at, 
tract and recover the fxable air; and thereby the mortar 
has been again turned into stone. Time, in this case, 
out of its usual course, strengthens; and supplies the 
deficiencies of human art. 

The mortar of the old Irish castles, built before the 
^ra of Irish history, and dispersed through that king, 
dom ; is as perfectly consolidated, as can be ^ny Homan, 



208 Thickness, Cemeitt and Materials qf Walk. 



i I 

ll ' 

or other ancient cement. I have seen, at the old city of 
Cashel, in Irelandihe fragments of a stupendous ruin, 
covering several acres. I saw many large and small 
pieces of masonry, broken up for transportation, with 
sledges, and other tools. It was more easy to split and 
break the stones than the mortar, which appeared to me 
to be composed of common lime and sand. I have seen 
such ruins, more or less preserved, in several other parts 
of Ireland; and they are all of similar composition. The 
walls are very thick ; but the stones are most commonly 
large, and so fcr as I could judge by the appearance of 
the mortar, it had not been originally composed of a great 
proportion of lime. Its appearance was often dusky ; 
but Irish lime is not so clear and, I believe, has not near 
the strength our lime possesses. Our land, of equal 
quality, and measure, would be ruined, with half the 
lime they allow to an acre. 

The astonishing frequency of these casties, in most 
quarters of their island, furnishes numerous records, 
preserved from the remotest ages, of the early capacity 
of the Irish, in the mechanic arts. But they remain mo* 
numents, and should be warnings, to evince, that the 
arts of peace have never been durably established there. 
No" country is more capable, by nature, of the highest 
improvement in agriculture, and all the prosperity of 
which it is the source. The uncultivated state of a great 
portion of it, is therefore the more deplorable. It is 
devoutly to be wished, tliat we may " learn to be wise 
by others harms."— Ireland, for aught we know, once 
possessed as much freedom as we enjoy. The foun- 
dations of these strong holds may have been laid on the 
ruins of liberty — Their wild theorists, who build airy 

Thickness, Cement and Materials of Walls. 209 

castles, may have engendered, and produced by disu-S 
nion, the distractions and contests, which immoveably 
fixed these real fortresses, for usurpation and power. 
The desolation of the country, and the vassalage of 
the people, followed of course — The lordly chieftains, 
who held these once formidable citadels, have long 
before them, mouldered into dust; and left these evi- 
dences of their greatness, more durable than them- " 
selves, or their dominion. But it is questionable whe- 
ther the condition of the great mass of the descen- 
dants of their vassals, when compared with that of their 
ancestors, is yet ameliorated, in any important degree. 
At Cashel (22 years ago) I ascended a perfectly well 
preserved circular stair way, of cut stone ; in a round 
tower wonderfully strong and lofty, and of neat mason, 
ry. It was, I think, 100 feet high; and in good preser- 
vation; though neither tradition, or history, relates the 
time of its erection, with any certainty. It was cover, 
ed with a dome roof, of immense cut stone ; and there 
were at various heights, apertures for light, probably 
also for annoyance of assailants, and loop holes for ar. 
chery. There were platforms at such openings, con- 
nected with the stair way. The prospects, from these 
look outs, were singularly extensive, diversified, and 
mteresting. But the bald and bleak mountains, small 
streams, desert wastes, and sombre bogs, oUreland- 
though parts of that country afford scenes of noveltyi 
curious, and often grand and picturesque ; cannot be 
otherwise than dreary and unpleasant to an American- 
accustomed to boundless and stately forests, large ri 
vers, woody vales, wavy heights richly clad, and the 
variegated products, of nature in her prime, 




210 Thickness^ Cement and Materials of ffalk. 

t 211 ] 

This ancient and respectable kingdom, in the route 
of my hasty passage through several parts of it, was not 
then so much desolated and distracted, as it has since 
been. Fine improvements in the country, and magni- 
ficent structures, now much encreased, in their cities, 
were not then rare. Hospitality to strangers, it behoves 
me to say, was not confined to particular grades in so- 
ciety. The lowliest cottager or peasant, shared, if it 
were accepted, his very humble fare. In the kindness 
of the host, was forgot, the mud and straxv built cabbin; 
which admitted of no dissertation upon masonry and 
materials. It would be well for those of our country- 
men, who are even the worst lodged, and the most dis- 
contented, to compare their lot, with that of an Irish 
peasant: who would, nevertheless, be contented, cheer- 
ful, and happy, under all his burthens, ^nd regardless 
of all his privations ; if he were not too willingly rouzed 
and stimulated by others, to ruinous measures of ferocity 
and rage. Happiness, quietude and plenty, are, here^ 
within the reach of every industrious member of soci- 
ety. And all might enjoy these blessings — ^^sua si bona 

Richard Peters. 

Belmont^ January 20^/z, 1808. 

On Orchards. 
kead March, 8th, 1808. 

Belmont^ February Vlth. 1808. 
Sir, tf ^ 

I send to you, that it may be communicated to the 
society, an excellent letter from IF. Coxe Esq. of Bur- 
lington, of whom I requested the favour of his informa- 
tion on the subject of it. He is judiciously, and with 
spirit, prosecuting an extensive plan of nurseries and 
orchards, unrivalled in this countrj\ One sheet of such 
communication of actual practice, is more instructive 
than a quire of theory. His orchards have not yet ar- 
rived at sufficient maturity, to determine, whether the 
practice he is pursuing will be beneficial, when they 
are in full bearing. For young trees, there is no doubt 
of its great advantages. But I still have my doubts, 
whether enriching and constantly culti^^ating old or- 
chards, will be found advantageous. Occasionally 
ploughing an old orchard is serviceable, to promote the 
health of the trees. Bbt manuring and loosening the 
soil too much, I fear cause them to overbear, and by 
forwarding the fruit too soon, to drop before the sea- 
son for gathering to keep, or for cyder. In the south- 
em part of our state (New Garden, Nexv London, ^c.J 
they have large orchards, on lands absolutely worn out ; 
and fit for little else. Their fruit remains till the pro' 
per season ; and they gather abundant crops. There is 
something, no doubt, in the change of the product; for 
I know that trees will grow wonderfully, on fieias where 

grain has ceased to thrive. But their soil is naturallv 
poor. ' 

. L.'-i~ V 


On Orclnrds. 


I have tried several of Mr. Coxe's modes. I was 
persuaded to adopt the mode No. 5, of deep holes, to 
, supercede the necessity of stakes ; and under the idea 
which I am told is adopted in east Jersey, viz. that the 
growth would be accelerated. But I did not mix lime 
with the dung ; for I know this to be a sure way of ren- 
dering parts of the dung inoperative. Many of my 
trees died, eaten by vermin ; or perished by other mis- 
fortunes. The shallow planting (and if any thing is 
put in the holes, it should be the surface mould, well 
rotted compost, or rich native earth) always succeeds 
the best. Top dressing far exceeds any other applica- 
tion of manure ; in this I include plaister. My old ^ir- 
temberg gardener, who lived many years hi the Duke's 
service at Stutgard^ is the most lucky in planting trees, 
of any one I have known. This branch of his trade 
seems to be his forU He always plants shallow, and 
gives a top dressing. Some of my deep planted trees 
are, however, very flourishing; after dwindling at first. 

Whether or not they shoot out roots near the surface, 
I do not know. JVheat will do this, if planted too 
deep; and what is below the roots thus sent forth, will 
perish. But trees are differently organized. 

Mr, Coxe's No. 9 reminds me of a fact forty years 
old. I had a fine nursery then of my own ; as the bu- 
siness of nursery men, was not then followed as it is 
now- I determined to plant a tolerably large orchard, 
which is now in good condition. I selected the most 
thriving, clean barked, and healthy apple trees, from my 
own nursftry ; and they were really handsome and heal- 
thy trees. I procured some equally good, from a Ger- 
wa« neighbour; who thought that every thing should 


.>i,^.^«i--.*L— . 

On Orchards. 


be invariably planted in the same kind of soil, in which 
the plant, or seed, originally grew. I very early in life 
disbelieved this, as I do now. That a fair trial might 
be made, I sent to a Henry Maag, in the neck below 
the city, who had a nursery on a stiff clay soil ; mine 
being light and loamy. He sent me, I think, fifty trees, 
and at least half of them apparently worthless. The 
roots were hacked and lacerated, and the stocks rigid 
and mossy. Only the necessity of filling up my orchard, 
and the desire to try the experiment, induced me to 
plant them. For the first year they retained their ap. 
pearance ; and mine out grew them. But the second 
season of growth surprised me. They took the start 
of all the other trees, held their advantage, and I think 
they are now the best trees in my orchard. Their kinds 
are similar to those of the other trees. So that I con- 
ceive Mr. Coxe need not fear bringing trees from a 
clayey, stiff soil, to his well attended light ground. The 
clay farmer, will be benefitted by getting his trees from 
Mr. Coxe, as will also farmers and horticulturists on 
every kind of soil; if he continues to prosecute his bold 
and highly meritorious undertaking. The change of 
locality will be as serviceable on similar soils, as the 
changes from one to another, on soils differently com- 
posed. I do not mean to say that changes are always 
necessary. Or that certain species of trees and plants 
.do not generally thrive best, in soils wherein they are 
mdigenous. That position would be against expe- 
rience; and as much too broad, as its direct reverse 
would be too narrow. But trees or plants brought 
from a worse to a better soil, always improve; as they 
do taken from a cold or inhospitable climate, and plant- 



On Orchards. 

On Orchards. 


ed in one more genial and temperate. Gener^ Lincohi 
gave me a very mean ear of Indian corn, brought from 
some place far north; I think, beyond Michilimachu 
nac. I had, from this seed, atneliorated young corn 
on my table, before it appeared in the market of Phi- 
ladelphia; where it is brought very early. Plants or 
trees raised in a goodsoily will thrive better on one worse 
or bad, if transplanted, than those of its own produce ; 
if the soils are not too widely different in quality. But 
the reverse of this practice is the most certain. The 
corn I mention (and in other similar instances) conti- 
nued to come early, for two or three years. It mended 
progressively in size, and finally became naturalized ; 
and mixed with my field crops. I have experienced 
this, with several other grains and seeds. My friend 
Colonel Johnston, who was a commissioner of this state 
to negotiate with the northern Indians in 1784, reminds 
me of his having furnished to me, in that year, a curious 
car of indian corn, brought from the north west of De- 
trait. It was conical, and the rows all spiral, running 
thus from the bottom to the tip of the cob. It was an 
early com for several years ; encreased from a small to 
a full and large grain ; but gradually ceased to come ear- 
ly, though always planted distant from other corn. It 
became a field corn, and continued spiral, in some de- 
gree, for several years; till it gradually mixed with the 
common com ; and the distinct species was lost. 

Last season I obtained five grains of corn; brought 
by Captain Lewis, from the borders of the Pacific ocean. 
I forgot to plant it in time ; so that it was not put in the 
ground till the last of June. I had seven complete ears^ 
the grain was much more plump and larger than that 

planted, and it was fit for boiling or roasting in six 
weeks. I am satisfied we can have two crops of this 
dwarf corn, in one season. I have sent one of the ears 
to Maryland. This com will, in a course of time, 
change its nature, and assimilate with our own. I never 
had any seed that did not change, with all the care I 
could take. The fact is so with me, whatever be the 
cause : be it soil, climate, or mixture of the farina fe^ 
cundans of other corn. One must be isolated, to try 
this experiment, far from any grain of the same species, 
T^t farina is wafted by winds, to great distances, 

22d February, 1808, 
I have examined my deep planted apple trees, in difr 
ferent paits of the young orchard, by digging down as 
low as the original roots; 2 feet and 2 1-2 feet deep.—. 
I find they have sent forth numerous roots, in all direc 
tions ; from those planted with the trees, about 6 or 7 
years ago, to those ixi. the surface mould; which are the 
most vigorous. Nature takes her own course; and 
thus directs where we should place the roots of trees 
transplanted. Fibrous roots are frequent on the stocks ; 
and are larger or smaller, according to the kinds oUub^ 
strata, they have to penetrate. On part of this orchard, 
I raised my heavy crop of wheat, the last season, / In 
it there are 200 trees of various kinds, all grafted; a few 
excepted, but not all planted deep. The surface is very 
well dressed and tilled, and in high order. I found the 
old surface in a brown or black stratum (turned down 
by the trench plough many years ago) affording a fine 
nourishment to the roots. But the lower roots are ge- 
nerally mean, in comparison with those shot out in 


.■a:. ^X>:A.ilni>«Mki&U&ii '1.. 


On Orchards. 

On Orchards. 


M l • » ■ I 


the surface mould. This accounts for many of my 
trees, especially the largest, dwindling at first, and be- 
ing now in remarkable vigour- They wanted healthy 
and genial supplies, till the upper roots shot forth in 
the surface mould, and near the sun and air. My old 
gardener, who never liked my scheme, thinks these 
lower roots ''gifft ziehers;'^ that is, ''poison suckers^ 
On perusing ''BucknaVs orchardisV* I find he is an enc- 
my to deep planting; and recommends top dressing, 
and loosening the soil for young trees ; and says that 
planting potatoes, in young orchards, iovhogs to root 
out, is highly beneficial. He asserts, that " whenever the 
" roots penetrate into the under strata, and are still tend- 
" ing downwards, they are apt to draw a crude indi- 
" gestible fluid, which the organs of the more delicate 
" fruit bearing trees are incapable of converting into 
" such balsamic juices as to produce fine fruit." It seems 
therefore, that placing the roots purposely, where he 
points out the injury of tlieir arriving accidentally, is 
palpably improper. He goes so far as to advise those, 
who will plant trees in unkindly soils, to raise mounds 
of good earth above the surface, for them to grow in. 
His mode of root pruning, and his practice of pruning 
orchards, ought to be generally known. We always 
cut off the tap root; but I believe few, if any, of us 
prune the roots afterwards. He directs the superfluous 
branches to be cut close, and the part brushed over iv^ith 
tar, and a small mixture of sublimate, or even verdi- 
grease, to destroy or keep off insects, with a little whit- 
ing or chalk, to give it consistency. The bark soon 
grows over the wound ; but where projections, or snags, 
are left, it never does. His directions are so much es* 

teemed m England, that he received several premiums. 
It is to be wished that this work were reprinted here ; 
that every one having even the smallest orchard might 
possess it. It might probably be reprinted, and sold 
^ at a price one third, or perhaps one half les^ than that 
obtained by importers of the cop^ from England, 

I am, Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, 

Richard Petjrs, 
r^R. James Mease, 

Secretary Agric. Soc. Philad. 

Dear Sir, -^^rlington, February Sth, 1808, 

The opinion that clover possesses some property 
injurious to the growthoT apple trees,had been suggest- 
ed to me by several men of observation and practical 
mformation previous to the receipt of your letter of last 
spnng Some of my pwp experiments m the planting 
of orchards had not succeeded to the extent of my ex- 
pectations, and their failure was ascribed to the culti- 
vation of clover. I was well convinced of the benefi. 
cial eflFects which had been derived to the agriculture 
of our country from the introduction of clover, and be- 
»ng desirous of availing myself of its ameliorating pro- 
perties m the improvement of my farm, I was alarmed 
by an apprehension of its interference with a favourite 
scheme I had in contemplation; that of enriching my 
neighbourhood and improving my o^vn property, by 

9 q 





On Orchards. 

the introduction of the finest table and liquor fruits of 
Europe and America, into an extensive orchard estab- 
lishment on my lands in the vicinity of this town. I 
therefore determined to ascertain the truth of the opinion 
by a series of experiments. These I have executed 
with care ; and the result has perfectly convinced me, 
that young orchards thrive in proportion to the good- 
ness of the soil, and the degree of cultivation bestowed 
on them ; that the injury they sustain from grass or 
grain, depends on the extent to which the particular 
gjrowth or nature of that grass or grain, may prevent 
tW communication of moisture and nourishment to the 
roots of the trees from the earth or atmosphere : that 
so far as clover produces this effect, it is injurious ; but 
that it has nothing in its nature peculiarly deleterious. 
On the Qontrary, its long tap roots penetrating and di- 
viding the soil encreases very much its capacity to 
nourish the roots of the trees ; and did it not afford an 
yiviting food to field mice and moles, it would be found 
less pernicious to orchards than any permanent grass, 
or any species of grain which shall be permitted to ar- 
rive at full maturity on the ground, buckwheat alone 
excepted. The point of most importance in the plant- 
ing of young trees, is to preserve the roots so near the 
surface of the earth, that by keeping the soil around 
them in a loose and mellow state, free from weeds, 
grain or grass, they may feel the salutary influence of 
the sun, air and rain ; the last of which in our dry cli- 
mate is particularly essential to their success, for seve- 
ral years after planting ; for this reason all kinds of fal- 
}ow crops, such as potatoes, vines and Indian com, par- 
t^ularly the last, are peculiarly adapted to the first and 

On Orchilrds. 



»•. ■■ij-^. 


second yearns cultivation of orchards. An opinion pre^ 
Vails among our farmers that r}^e is a more pernicious 
crop for orchards than any other grain ; for this I Can 
see no sound reason. I am induced from my own ob*. 
servation to believe, that all grains are injurious, in pro* 
portion to their proximity to the tree, their power of 
exhausting the moisture, and from their colour or even 
surface producing a great proportion of intense reflect- 
ed heat. I am so fully convinced of this truth that I 
have the last summer caused a circle of three to six feet 
diameter, to be dug at two several times round every 
tree in my orchards, not under the plough, whether 
among wheat, rye, oats or grass ; and although this ope- 
ration when extended to several thousand trees, which at 
present compose my orchards, necessarily is produc- 
tive of much expense and trouble, I am repaid fourfold 
in the increased vigor of ifty trees, and still mofe in their 
preservation from our summer droughts. Although I 
pretend to the merit of^no new discovery in the culti- 
vation of orchards, I may claim that of sparing no pains 
or expense in planting, pruning and cultivatiiig thfem. 
That you may be enabled to judge of my mode of 
treating them, and the foundation fot the opinions I 
have ventured to offer, I have taken the liberty of ex- 
tracting from my books the notes of several of my ex- 
periments, which I can venture to assert were made 
with care and recorded with accuracy. I have for ma- 
ny years derived a great degree of pleasure from the 
pursuit of this subject ; it is in its nature calculated to 
^ord much rational enjoyment to an active mind, and 
if I am not much deceived, will prove a source of sub- 
stantial comfort and profit to the prudent practical for- 

■ ■M'jp.jiii .rT 


On Orchardi. 

mers of our country. If my exertions can in any de^ 
gree add to the numerous inducements which already 
exist, to urge our landed gentlemeh to improve their 
estates by plantations of the finer kinds of table and li- 
quor fruits, I shall be amply rewarded for the time and 
money I have expended in the pursuit. 

Experiment JVo. I. % 

In the fall of 1794-^^5, I commenced the plantation 
of an orchard on a good loamy soil and in a favourable 
situation. Being a novice in the business, and having 
no correct information, for at that time a young or- 
chard was a perfect novelty in my neighbourhood ; the 
holes were dug very deep and narrow, with the mistak- 
en expectation of its being necessary to support the 
treesi The ground was for several years kept in clo- 
ver, and part of it being rather stiff, the natural green 
grass prevailed over the clover, so as to injure the trees 
extremely. The trees grew slowly ; many of them 
have since been taken up and replaced by others plant- 
ed in shallower and wider holes ; the latter plantations 
have gained fast upon the first ; and since I have had 
the ground around the trees dug or ploughed, the whole 
orchard containing about three hundred and forty trees, ' 
grows vigorously, and has an uniform appearance., 

>^o. II. 

In the fall of 1802, I began another orchard, which 
in the two following seasons was enlarged to about three -^ 
hundred and forty trees. These trees were large and 
vigorous. The holes were dug wide, and the ground 
around them manured highly with stable dung the fol- 

On Orcliards. 


lovidng winter. The ground being in clover remained 
uncultivated for two years. The drought of the two 
following summers killed many of the trees, and the 
field mice which found a comfortable winter shelter de- 
stroyed many more. The orchard did not flourish in 
a manner which the goodness of the soil and my great 
care led me to expect. I determined therefore to plough 
it thoroughly, and to break in upon my established 
course of crops for the purpose of recovering the trees 
by cultivation. The event has fully answered my wish- 
es ; the trees now flourish with uncommon vigour and 
at present exhibit a promising appearance, being now 
so large as to be completely established and out of dan- 

No. III. 
In the fall of 1803, I planted forty.five trees in a lot 
adjoining to No. 2. The trees were not large, but the 
ground being under constant cultivation they grew ra- 
pidly. None of them (one excepted) died by the 
drought of the following summer, which proved so de- 
structive to their neighbours in the clover ground. It 
was my observation of these trees which first led me to 
change my mode of treating my young orchards. 

No. V. 

In the fall of 1804, 1 planted four hundred and eighty, 
four trees in a clover field. The holes were dug four 
feet wide, two spits deep ; the lower one thrown away, 
and its place supplied by a compost manure, composed 
of stable dung, a small portion of river mud and a large 
proportion of lime, about a waggon load of the mixture 
was applied to six trees ; in some instances it was mix- 





On Orchards. 

On Orchards, 


ed in the holes with the earth in planting, in others it 
was thrown around the tree on the surface after plant- 
ing. The ground remained in clover unploughed and 
imdug the whole of the following summer. The trees 
put out well the first spring, but the drought of the suc- 
ceeding summer prevented their growth, those which 
did not perish were nearly stationar)^ I replaced one 
hundred and thirty of them the following fall^ since 
which I have replanted nearly one third more, and have 
kept the ground in corn for two successive years, by 
which means the surviving trees have perfectly recover- 
ed, and together with the replanted trees at present ex- 
hibit an uniform and vigorous appearance, promising 
in every respect to be a fine orchards 

M. Vt. 

In November 1805, I planted three hundred and 
eleven trees adjoining to No. 5. The holes prepared 
in the same manner, many of the trees large, transplant- 
ed a second time ; I mixed no stable dung with the 
compost, which was composed of river xnud and ashes 
^ith a small portion of lime. This I put round the 
trees on the surface, a waggon load to ten of them. — 
The ground had been previously planted with corn. — 
Although generally deemed an exhausting crop, I have 
continued it in com for three successive years ; ex- 
cept part which has been constantly occupied (to adopt 
the language of this part of New- Jersey) in a truck 
patch. These trees have grown with a vigor I never 
saw equalled. In two years but one hasdied, and that 
M^as lately destroyed by the field mice ; and the or- 

chard is allowed to be the handsomest in this part of 
the country. 


In November 1805, at the same time with the pre-^, 
ceding experiment, I planted two hundred and fifty, 
two trees on a com fallow ; the holes prepared as ia 
No. 6t I applied stable manure, hauled out the pre- 
ceding spring, in about the same proportion around 
the trees. In the following spring the ground whicl\ 
was in high order, having been manured with about 
three hundred bushels of leached ashes per acre, was 
sown with oats : the oats grew finely, and the trees 
put out very beautifully. They grew well for some 
time, but as the oats by their growth exhausted the 
moisture from the earth (which had not been dug) the 
trees withered, and by the time the oats ripened about 
forty of the trees had perished. As soon as the oats 
were cut I had the ground ploughed. This checked 
the destruction of the trees : those which had not pre- 
viously perished soon recovered in some degree 4 
healthful appearance, and took a second growth in the 
autumn. The trees replanted and the survivors of the 
original plantation have been dug round twice in the 
last season, and although the ground has been sown 
with wheat and is now in clover, they generally look 
well and promising, but in no degree to be compare 
ed with those manured with the compost of mud, ash-, 
cs and lime, and kept under cultivation. 

In October 1806, I planted part of an orchard of two 
hundred and ten trees, which I completed in the follow- 




On Orchard!!, 

On Orchards. 



ing December ; the ground prepared and manured witli 
ashes for a corn crop ; the trees planted and manured 
with stable dung hauled out the preceding spring. In 
^he spring of ISOTythe ground was sown with oats. All 
the trees planted in December, and dug after the oats 
had attained to some size hav^ grown well. Of those 
planted on the 24th of October, one third part perished 
in the following summer, which I attr\bute to their be- 
ing transplanted before the sap had ceased to flow.-r- 
This remark applies particularly to the Hewe's Crab, 
which continues to grow later in the fall than any other 
apple tree. Some kinds did not suffer at all, while the 
greater part of others perished. The comparative ef- 
fects of the dung and mud are observable in tliis plan- 

A^. IX. 

In the month of October 1806, at tlie same time 
^\'ith the preceding experiment, I planted about one 
hundred and eighty apple trees on a piece of ground 
ploughed for, but not sowed with, oats the preceding 
spring. The holes were dug, and the trees manured 
with stable dung, precisely in the same manner with 
No. 8. The soil was much sandier than either of the 
fields mentioned in numbers 7 and 8. The ground was 
full of weeds and very rough. In the following spring 
it was manured with ashes, and planted in corn. For- 
ty of the trees had been procured from a distant nurse- 
ry, the soil of which was so stiff as to cause much inju- 
ry to the roots in digging or rather grubbing them ; 
they were extremely short so as to leave me little ex- 
pectation of their growing in my light soil. Notwith- 
standing all these obstacles the trees, though planted on 


the 24th of October, from being under cultivation have 
generally grown finely, and at present exhibit a favoura- 
ble appearance, few of them having perished, and 
those few principally from the field mice ; but the dif. 
ference between the' mud and dung is here also very per. 

From the result of the foregoing experiments I infer, 
that trees planted without manure in the holes, and the 
roots covered with the surface earth with an external 
covering of mellow mud or rich mould, is the best 
mode for the first year. That if the ground is poor, 
stable manure is the least proper kind to be used, being 
from its nature least able to resist the destructive effects 
of our summer droughts, and affording a shelter to ver. 
min equally pernicious in the winter, particularly in 
light soils ; that rich earth or river and meadow mud 
ameliorated by frost or putrefaction, either in its simple 
state, or mixed with ashes, lime or perfectly rotten 
dung, is of all others, after the first year, the best dres- 
sing, to be spread on the surface and ploughed in. 

That cultivation is essential to the growth of orchards 
which thrive in proportion to the degree of it which 
they receive, 

I have, under a full conviction of the correctness of 
these opinions, this fall planted another orchard of four 
hundred and eighty trees, one half of European and the 
other half of American kinds, in a light, sandy soil, with 
two cart loads of meadow mud, spread in a circle of about 
10 feet diameter round each tree on the surface of the earth. 
This ground I mean to cultivate in corn and other fal^ 
low crops for two years, when I hope the trees will be 
sufficiently established to admit of winter ^rain and cJq* 

R X 


On Orchards. 

ver. This is the mode I prefer from my past expc* 
rience, and I have little doubt of its complete success, 
especially if the further precaution of digging once or 
twice round each tree in each season is attended td 
(whether the ground be sown with grain or clover) for 
two or three years. It may not be amiss here to men^ 
tion, that I do not include buckwheat in the pernicious 
list of grains, because it keeps the ground in a loose 
state, and ripens at a season of the year when no inju- 
ry is produced by it to the trees ; and from its peculiar 
growth and color, I doubt whether buckwheat ripen- 
ing even in July, would produce a sufficient degree of 
reflected heat to be injurious to an orchard. 

I am, dear sir, 

With sentiments of esteem and respect, 
Your obedient servant, 

Richard Peters, Estj. 

Wm. CoXEi 


L 227 ] 


On coarse Fhur, brawn Bread, and the Force of Habit, 
as it relates to Esculents. By Richard Peters. 

Read March 8th, 1808. 

In CKecution of our plan to throw out thoughts and 
fects on a variety of subjects, as themes to elicit from 
«thers more valuable information, I send the foUowingi 
as the subject does not appear to have been mentioned 
m any communication. I have seen it scientifically and 
ably treated, in some foreign books, to which I have 
not now access. I have long practispd on the opinion 
I state ; but if the opinions of others are different, I shall 
not eat my house-hold bread, or brawn biscuit, with the 
less zest, or contentment. I am so litde refined in my 
palate, that I prefer good and well raised rye bread, to 
any other. So diat I have no great chance of success, 
in either my precepts or example. If those who cail 
getno other bread aretobefound in this country, Ishould 
be happy to comfort them, in a situation which is to . 
me a matter of choice. I hkve always accounted a good 
common ship biscuit a treat; and prefer it to those sup- 
plied for the cabbin. However home spun this propen- 
sity may be deemed, it has been one to me gratifying 
and promotive of health. 

It has always appeared to me that the preference 
given to bread made oUuperJine flour, was a mistake in 
our dietetic system. 

Grain consists of mucilage or starch, and animalized 
matter: called by the French chymists vegeto-animal. 
Of the former there are three, and of the latter two 





On coarse Flour ^ Wcs 


fifths, in good wheat; and this latter (with resin and 
sometimes oil) is contained in the outer coat, or skinj 
which is called offaly by those who, by every means 
in their power, detach it in the manufacture of fine 
flour. Yet good and well made bread depends on the 
admixture of both these substances, in due propor- 
lions* In such proportions they piust exist, to consti- 
tute wholesome and good meal or flour. They exist 
in the grain ^ in a state of mechanical mixture; and not 
of chymical union* This union is accomplished in 
grain, by the process of germination, or malting. The 
result is saccharine matter, or sugar; which, until this 
union, was not possessed perfectly by either of the parts* 
The operations of fermenting, and baking the flour so 
as to form it into good and wholesome bread, produce 
the like union, and effect. This account and analysis 
are taken from celebrated writers* 

' By this statement it seems to me, that the more the 
Vegcto*animal part is detached, in refining the flour, the 
tnore the necessary proportions are destroyed, and the 
less nutritive and healtliful, this esculent becomes* 
There is the less of the materials necessary to form su- 
gar, which of itself is highly nutritious. Crews of ships 
in distress, have been sustained on sugar alone, for a 
great length of time. Nature has provided all the parts 
of the grain to correct the qualities of each other; and all 
to assist in the uses designed* The finer the flour, the 
more of the aliment is deficient; and the more mjist be 
required of the residuum for sustenance.^ After the 


* An Infusion of bran or ofFal of grain, is highly nutritive ; 
and the longer it is macerated, so as to avoid acidulating, the 

On coarse Flour ^ We. 


grade of perhaps the best middlings, all the other and 
extra manufacture is to gratify prejudice of education, 
and habit. It is questionable whether those who value 
themselves on being ''sworn at High gate'' gain, in this 
over refined gratification, any solid advantages. I am 
well aware that nothing I can say, will induce them to 
violate their oath. 

The old king of Prussia's soldiers ate, on a campaign, 
little of any thing farinaceous, except ammunition bread. 
This was made of the grain triturated or ground, but not 
bolted ; being passed through liand sieves, which de- 
tached no great proportion of the coat of the grain. 
The Dutch sailors were supplied with such bread; and 
chiefly made of rye*. Since our flour mills have gain- 

better. But sour food is the most grateful and alimentary to 
swine. One gallon of sour wash goes farther than two of 
sweet. Dry rotten wood should be constantly in the pen ; 
that the hogs, when confined for fatting, may eat it at plea- 
sure. Nature points out this absorbeijt (or whatever it may 
be) as a remedy or preventive. They will leave their food 
to devour the rotten wood, when they require it. I have not 
lost a fatting hog for more than 30 years, when I used it • 
but have suffered by neglecting it. Some of my neighbour 
met with frequent losses of fatting hogs, till I informed them 
of my practice ; of which I was told by a woman from East 
yerset/, before our revolutionary war. She said it was theh 
known and practised there. 

* Although t!ie Dutch ship bread is, in appeanince dis- 
gustmg, yet I risque the disapprobation of those of better 
taste, by saying that it is by no means so to the palate, if ate 
without prejudice ; as it is by those for whose use it is made.. 
A ludicrous accident (which I relate meo ferkuloj ipadc* 



On coarse Floury yc. 

On coarse Flour , i<?c. 


cd such high perfection in their capacity to manufac- 
ture superfine flour, the ship bread (in my estimation) 
is, by no means so sweet and nutritive, as that made of 
the ship stuff of former times. The oil and animalized 
matter of the coat or skin, correct the costiye qualities 
of the starch, or mucilage, and add to the alimentary 


this discovery to me, some years ago. I was investigating 
into a c6ntroversy brought before me, on the admiralty side 
of the district court, by some American seamen, who com- 
plained against their captain, under the act of Congress giv- 
ing one day's pay to every mariner unnecessarily put on short 
allowance during a voyage ; which in this case was from Am^ 
sterdam. The principal allegation was that of having no 
bread, wholesome, or fit for the sustenance of the crew^ 
Specimens were produced, by the seamen, of Dutch ship 
bread; which, being such as we are not accustomed to see, 
looked very forbidding. Curiosity induced me to taste one 
of those which seemed the best. My attention was engaged 
in, and my mind occupied by, an argument on the construc- 
tion of a clause in the law. Unconscious to my self of the 
circumstance, I continued eating the bread, till the small 
pieces exhibited were consumed. The counsel intermitted 
his argument, on perceiving that the testimony had, unluckily 
for his client's allegation, disappeared. A sailor stepped 
forward, under the apprehension of a discomfiture, with what 
he called another witness ;— another piece of bread, probably 
selected for the purpose. The mouldy and carbonaceous 
appearance of this specimen, would have gone far to prove 
the allegation. But having been before satisfied by other 
circumstances, that the whole complaint was vexatious ; and 
that the bread was generally such as was usually supplied to 
the Dutch seamen ; I put an end to the ridicule of the trans- 
action, as weU as the controversy, by dismissing the suit. 

properties. Whether more of these are now in tlie fine 
flour, and, of course, less in the ship stuff; or whether 
they are banished from both, I cannot, from any know- 
ledge of the fact, assert. 

My much lamented, most intelligent, and worthy 
friend, the late Baron Steuben, was educated, in his mi- 
htary profession, under the eye of the great Frederkk; 
having been one of his aids, and spent, mth^- Prussian 
service, much of his valuable life. He was (as we all 
know, who knew him) singularly well informed on such 
subjects He has often told me, that the peculiar 
heahhfubess of the Prussian soldiers was, in a tn-eat 
measure, to be attributed to their ammunition bread; 
which was accounted the most wholesome and nutri- 
tious part of their ration. The Baron added with his 
usual nawetS that this bread was only good for the 
health of soldiers; but gentlemen would prefer beine 
sick on better bread. . ^ 

When, during the revolutionary war, I l,ad an anx- 
lous lab^ious^ and often perplexing share, in conduct- 
ing the War Department, I was advised to direct the 
mixing more of what is called the offal, with the flour 
for the troops, in a time of great scarcity. But I knew 
Ae danger and difliculties in precarious times (and in- 
deed any other) of encountering common prejudices. 
A wholesome and ven^ considerable supply oi smoked 
hernngs, and dried clams for soup, had been provided as 
substitutes, m part, for flesh. Many drums and fifes 
of the Pjnnsyhania line (on the first or second issue of 
these articles) were employed by the soldiers, in escort- 
mg out of camp under the rogues march, these parts 
of the lotion suspended on poles; in grotesque pro'ct 



On coarse Flour ^ £s)V. 





' r'jc -T 

fiion. — If the speckled Jlourh^A been furnished, it would 
have accompanied them ; and possibly the discontents 
would have reached other lines. Yet many of the Penn^ 
sylvania soldiers were Irishmen, to whom, in their own 
country, a herring would have been a treat, and a clam 
a curiosity. Though convinced that the measure sug. 
gested as to the flour, would have been a beneficial and 
healthy supply, this janizary hint was sufficient to forbid 
the step. Any other kind of grain, prepared in the cus- 
tomary way, would have less violated the habits of our 
people. — From the commander in chief (who never 
feasted while others suffered ; though indian bread was 
always provided for him at his table, as he preferred it 
to any other, through his life,) to the lowest follower of 
the army, indian corn, at one distressing period, was the 
sole esculent they possessed. The bad roads had in- 
terposed diflicuhies to the transportation, and prevents 
ed other supplies arriving at camp ; yet no serious evils 
ensued. A committee of field officers of one of the 
state lines, waited on the general, to represent the dis- 
tress and discontents of their troops. Dinner at head 
quarters was nearly ready to serve up; and he, with 
his usual complacency and politeness, asked them to 
dine, before they received a final opinion as to their 
mission ; whereof he had been apprized. Indian corn 
in various preparations, much of it parched, and no- 
thing else, composed the banquet for a large company ; 
and the liquor was as humble as the esculent. The 
committee partook, with cheerfulness and admiration ; 
and never renewed the subject of their mission. The 
dinner was a sufficient answer; and their report of the 
occurrence, on their return, silenced everj^ murmur. 

On coarse Flour , &fc. 




The Prussian discipline and tactics would have created 
less discontent, than issuing coarse wheat meal or flour, 
even under privations of other supplies ;— to say nothing 
^^uiseT\'m^ ont ammunition bread. 

Habit is, according to the trite adage, a second na- 
ture. A singular instance of this, occurred in 1776. 
When our militaiy systems were unfortunately calcu- ' 
lated for temporary expedients; the objections to a 
permanent army of our own, had nearly brought us 
and our afiairs, within the power of that of our enemy. 
A body of troops, intended to consist of 10000 men 
was formed of a kind of militia, engaged for a few 
months, composed chiefly of country people, unaccus- 
tomed to a military life ; and collected in what was call- 
ed ''the flying camp'' in which they assembled m JVotf 
Jersey. The police of a camp, including regulations 
of diet, cooking, and cleanliness, were unknown, or lit- 
tle attended to. Indeed before the department of in- 
spector general was created, and placed under the di- 
rection of the Baron Steuben, more of our troops feU 
by the filth, originating the diseases of the camp, than 
by the swords of the enemy. On this part of our army, 
the monality was truly destructive. On the return of 
the remnants of this corps, on their way to.their homes 
(where one half of them never arrived) the roads exhi- 
bited frequent, and melancholy spectacles of the dying 
and dead. They had indulged themselves on green 
com ; and had been fed on fresh meat, with little or no 
salt, and wheat flour. Many of them were from the 
southern states, and not accustomed to this diet : these 
took the route through Philadelphia; where the hospi- 
tals were crowded with the sick. Diarrhoeas, dyssen. 

s s 




On coarif Flour, &?<•. 

On coarse Flour, is'c» 


teries, and fevers, carried them off in great numbers. 
Many died in the streets, and in the markets ; yet every 
medical aid, and every possible comfort were afforded 
to them. They loathed, and many refused, the soups 
and provisions offered by the kindness of the citizens, 
or provided in the hospitals. General Stevens, who 
Had been bred a physician, and resided in Virginia, 
called at the war office, on his way to join the army ; and 
the distressing calamity was detailed to him. He said 
we did not know how to treat the maladies of Virgini. 
ans and Marylanders. The director of the military 
hospital, and the commissary of provisions, were sent 
for, and came. The general desired, and orders were 
accordingly given, that all the baeon and indian com, 
that could be immediately procurefl, should be purchas- 
ed; and the com ground into meal rather coarse. The 
troops were at once put on this diet; it operated like 
magick ; and accomplished what the medical art could 
not effect. Those who loathed every thing else, would 
if caution had not been used, have greedily, and dan- 
gerously, devoured these articles ; which had been, at 
home, their habitual fare. In a very short time, there 
was scarcely a dangerous case to be found; those thus 
fed, having generaUy recovered. Many of them told 
me, that as soon as they smek the rashers antX hoe cake, 
they felt, as they expressed themselves, "-quite lively,*^ 
and were confident of getting home well; to which, no 
doubt, this fortunate persuasion, in no small degree, 

Ktln dried grain is the least nutritious, probably be- 

cause the oil and animalized matter are detached, by a 

degree of combustion, in the operation. This process 

IS said to be indisi>ensable, to fit indian com meal for 

exportation; but this does not prove its salubrity. Let 

swme be fed with indian com meal thus prepared, and 

Aose who make the experiment will not attempt itagain. 

Any kiln drying dissipates the oil and vegeto-animal 

matter, m a greater or less degree ; but if carried no far. 

ther than merely to destroy its vegetating principles, it 

IS said not to injure its alimentary qualities. 

Lord Dundonald recommends malting the grain on 
ivhich horses are fed; to form and fix the saccharine 

Colonel Kowatch, who, in our service, commanded 
the infantry oi PulaskVs legion, had been an bid parti- 
san officer, in the north of Europe; and had command- 
ed, a large corps of irregular horee,-either Cossacks, 
Croats or Pandours. He fled hither, after the troubles 
a Poland. He told me, that they often bakedthc chop, 
ped or ground grain, for their horses; having previously 
formed It into portable cakes. It was fermented, or 
raised, in an expeditious and simple way, by a kind of 
ieven With this, they sometimes used w7 ca>t«. He 
said baked ^rovcnd^r went twice as faras4:aw meal, or 
grain. The saccharine quality was, no doubt, produc 
ed by this process; and its alimentary properties en- 

* Dr. Rush informs me, that (in 1717) while he had the 
direction of a mUitaiy hospital at Morris Town, he cured 

the same diseases by a like change of diet. The rations of 
fresh^meat, were exchanged with the farmers, f.r salt pork 


' % 

. r^t 



On coarse Flour ^ ^c. 

'■" T ■" 

creased.* General Pulaski had a favorite charger^ to 
whom he often gave bread: which the animal seemed 
to enjoy far beyond any other food. In Holland it is a 
common practice to give horses rye breads or baked 
provender. — The late sheriff Penrose^ who had a fine 
team of working horses, was in the habit of buying 
condemned ship breads as the most nutritious, and 
cheapest horse feed. He said that others knew, and 
profited by its advantages. 

* Kowatch spoke a barbarous Latin, which he said was 
the common language of parts of the north of Europe ; and 
particularly of Hungary or Bohemia, in one of which districts 
of that region, he was bom. He wrote the Latin tolerably 
pure ; but spoke with an accentuation very different from 
that to which we are accustomed : so that I with difficulty 
understood his conversation. He spoke German and some 
French; both tinctured with his Hungarian accent. He 
thought our pronunciation vitiated, and asked me whe- 
ther w^ ought not to yield to them, who had, from the time 
of the Romans, spoke Latin as a vernacular tongue ? We, he 
said, derived our pronunciation from those, among whom 
it was a dead language. 


C 237 3 

Herbage and Shrubs spontaneously produced, after Forest 
Timber burnt, by firing the PToods. By Richard Peters. 
Read March 8th, 1808. 


Belmont, February 10th, 1808. 

Tn the paper you communicated, as a supplement 
to that with which I troubled the society, on the "c/uin. 
ges of timber and plants," I perceive that you quote 
"Beame's journey to the northern ocean" for corrobora- 
tory facts; which are similar to some I should have 
mentioned, had they not then escaped my recollection. 
On the tract in which I was interested, and noticed, in 
Northampton county, as I was informed by ancient peo- 
ple in its vicinity, strawberries were thrown up, in most 
extraordinary profusion, after the combustion of the 
pine timber; so as to cover a very ^cat proportion of 
this tract (which contained near 800 acres) where the 
land was not moist; for parts of this tract consist of mea- 
dow ground. The people of the towns, and others, 
from distances of more than 20 miles, were accustomed 
to gather and carry off these strawberries, in quantities 
almost incredible. They continued in the greatest 
abundance, for several years, while the new growth of 
timber was progressing, and until it finally banished 
these plants; wherof I saw few, when I attended the sur- 
vey and division, in 1797. The visitants of this -then 
curious spot, were additionally attracted by some small 
but deep lakes of spring water, which then afforded, . 
and now contain trout, in uncommon plenty. The tract ' 


238 Herbage and Shrubs spontaneously produced. 




appeared to me to have been, at some very distant pe- 
riod, the bottom of a lake, rimmed by ridgy and varie- 
gated hills, and formed by a large stream which skirts 
one of its sides; the channel whereof seems evidently 
to have been changed. White and grey pebbles, and 
shells of aquatic animals, are found in various parts of 
its area, distant from the stream. There are now im- 
penetrable thickets of flourishing white thorn; through 
which passages were cut, before the lines could be run. 
These were not known to have been on the land, when 
the pines were standing ; nor are they common in the 
neighbourhood. Nothing will grow lender pines thick- 
set. In places to which the sun had access, was found 
a plentiful growth of the herb called here catnip.— 
Whether it be the same also called catmint (nepetaj I 
am not certain. It grew with singular vigour, where the 
strawberries had been precedently. The thorn and cat- 
nip designate (as this for die most part is) good land; 
and delight in soils, loose and inclining to sand and loam. 
But strawberries, though they flourish in soils of similar 
texture, yet, if productive, do not generally indicate fer- 
tility. In rich soils, either natural or artificial, they run 
to Tine, and set false fruit; though they blossom pro- 
fusely, and those bloom the most which produce no fruit. 
But the barren and prolific blossoms, ai'e easily distin- 

The old neighbours dwelt much on the exuberant 
plenty, and general cover of the strawberries; which, 
they said, could be scented, when perfectly ripe, from 
a great distance. Some of them described the vast 
surface and waste of flowers, when the plants bios- 
somed, in a stile, that,, if the fact had not been well 


Herbage and Shrubs spontaneously produced. 


attested, would have appeared fiction. This inimitable 
gala dress of nature, and the immense numbers of 
bees, with their ^^busy hum," frequenting the bios- 
soms and fruit; with the rugged and diversified moun- 
tains on its borders, would have furnished a scene of 
pastoral imageiy, for poetic description. 

The county of Northampton is remarkable for pro- 
ducmg abundance oi honey. I have counted 120 straw 
bee W near one farm house; and have been told that 
others of those rude apiaries, exhibit much greater 
munbers. The farmers there sow buclavheat, as a sub. 
^Uute for better grain, more extensively than in any 
other district of country. The blossoms afford a pa- 
bulum for theu- bees. They are forced into this cul- 
ture, by the injuries done, in many parts, to their crops 
Qf winter gram by frosts. ^ 

There is such a coincidence in some of these, and 
the facts related by Heame, that I think they not only 
support each other, but unite in proving the tendency 
n the system of nature, to.changes and successions of 
the products of the earth. 

Dr. James Mea 

Richard Peters. 


Secretary Agric. Soc. Philad. 


C ^40 3 

On Trench Ploughing. By Richard Peters* 

Read March 8th, 1808. 

I did not take sufficient notice of a part of a valuable 
communication, by Mr. Kirk ; entitled " a substitute 
for trench ploughing ^"^^ in which he condemns the sub- 
ject, for which it is given as a substitute, until I saw it 
printed off. It is my habit to overlook what does not 
please me, and enjoy the satisfaction arising from a- 
greeable, and instructive, or practically useful informa- 
tion. But as the society has offered premiums for trench 
ploughing^ and culture on grounds thus prepared ; I 
think it a duty, to give my practical knowledge on the 
subject, as concisely as possible. And this, without 
the least intention to disapprove of Mr. Kirk^s apparent- 
ly next best method. That trerich ploughing has some 
disadvantages, and will not apply in all soils, is certain- 
ly true. But where is the operation in husbandry to be 
found, of which the same observations may not as tru- 
ly be made ? Let it be recollected that deep and trench 
ploughing, are very different operations, both as to mode 
and effect. 

The burying the old soil, exhausted of every fertiliz- 
ing quality, filled with the seeds of pestiferous weeds, 
and indestructible stocks and roots ; with the bulbs 
and seeds of garlic, St. John's wort and the daisy ; and 
other such otherwise unconquerable hosts of foes to my 
culture of profitable crops ; was my motive for trench- 
ing progressively, at least fifty acres of my farm. Tur- 
ning down fertile vegetable mould, and bringing up 


On Trench Ploughing. 


earth, to receive from the air and artificial applications 
and processes, what the surface precedently possessed, 
would be a most unnecessary and reprehensible opera- 
tion. It is therefore only to worn and infested fields, 
that I ever recommended the application of this prac 

Many years ago I gave an account of my process, 
and its results. It was not theory, but the actual pro- 
duct of repeated and successful practice. I brought 
my fields into a fertility, and cleanness of crop, which 
amply rewarded me ; and surprised those who had 
known those parts of my farm in their apparently hope- 
less state of exhaustion. M/ success was attributed to 
expenditures of money, which could not be afforded by- 
common farmers ; — to abundant quantities of manure, 

which could not be obtained in a common course to 

my ground exactly suiting the operation; — in short, 
to any thing, but the true cause. My example was 
therefore, not followed by my neighbours ; and I have 
known of but few others, who have adventured on thiS' 
method ; from some of whom I have heard unfavoura- 
ble accounts. On examination, I perceived they were 
in too great haste for their profit ; and had not given 
fair play to the experiment. I have, for many years, leas- 
ed my farms on shares ; reserving a small part for my 
own culture, and amusement. On this I always far ex- 
ceed my tenants, in products ; because I do well, what 
I perform ; and confine myself to small fields. I find 
the exiguum colito, far surpasses the ingentia rura. I 
never could prevail on a tenant to trench plough ; though 
he enjoyed the advantages of my labour and expence. 
I am, therefore, neither surprized or mortified, by Mr. 

T t 

■'•-I ''i.i ' 


On Trench Ptoughingi 

Oft Trench PlQughingt 

Kirk'^s disapprobation. There is such a general preju-^ 
dice against this mode, that I have ceased to combat' 
it. Many of my fields, which had been trenched; 
have, in the hands of my tenants (comparatively good) 
I'egained their cover of weeds and nuisances, from 
neglect, and the seeds brought from some of my own, 
and the fields of my neighbours. So that this, like all 
human arts, has its limit : and weeds infest all my 
rented fields ; owing to the culpable neglect of the te- 

■ It c^ easily be perceived, that Mr. Kirk's method 
does not bury the bulbs and roots of weeds ; so as to 
f)Ut them beyond the power of vegetation. Let any 
person attend to the mode detailed in our list of pre- 
miums. It will be perceived that the sod of the old 
surface is entirely covered, by the accession of the ^6- 
stratum thrown over it. Whereas the edges of the sods, 
in ploughing ever so defep, are always exposed to ve- 
getate anew. So that my preference for this practice, is 
founded in the reason Mr. Kirk assigns for condemn- 
ing it. And it does not appear that he has had any ex- 
perience in it; to warrant a practical opinion, to which 
I should certainly pay every reasonable degree of re- 
spect. I have not a trenched field, which is not 
now the better for the operation. I never kept a bur- 
thensome stock of working cattle, or horses. A pair 
oTt)ken, and four horses, were generally all I had, for 
a large farm. With these I could trench and fall plough, 
a>s much as I required.* I am positively certain that 

* *A pair of horses in the paring plough, and a pair of 
strong, active oxeti, in the trench plough, are generally suf•^ 

Irenched ground requires, after it has, by lying over a 
winter in fallow, received its supplies from the air, fes^ 
manure, than that ploughed in any other way. I say 
not this dogmatically; but from practical conviction, 
I am as ready, on all occasions, to acknoi^^edge an er- 
ror, as I am to support a truth. 

Plaister does not operate till animal, or vegetable 
putrefied substances are restored, to trenched soils. 

My course was, in four years — 

1. In the autumn to trench. 

2. A crop of Indian corn — sometimes/^^o^e ; or on part 
J>ax — also carrots, scarcity roots, potatoes, pumpkins^ 

and such crops ; in which I had great success. I ap* 
plied lime ; liever exceeding eighty bushels per acre ; 
but commonly fifty. The com, plaistered, yielded 
abundantly ; but it required shovelings, or some dung, 
in the hills, to give activity to the plaister. 

3. Ploughed in the usual way dunged, with 

about twelve to fifteen cart feads, (two oxen and m 
horse in the team) to the acre, ffheat— whereof I have 
had from twenty. five, to forty bushels to the ^re, per* 
fectly clean— the former not uncommon, on fields which 
before yielded seven to ten ; and that mixed with gar^ 
lie, most disgustingly. 

ficient. In stiff soils the more strength of draft, the less the 
animals are fatigued ; and the business is the sooner per- 
formed. Those who have not houses or oxen competent tp 
the operation, are the least likely to adopt or approve it.-^ 
And few of those who could accomplish it if they were so 
inclined, wiU permit themselves to believe in its usefulness. 



On Trench Ploughing. 

4. Clover, sown on the grain, early in the spring, 
or in winter. * Parts of some fields, in eight or ten years, 
were trenched again ; and the old sod was perceived 
to be entirely decayed ; and become a manure, with 
no pests. Lime, put on after the first trenching, was 
found in the greatest depth the plough turned up. 

In the fall of 1 787, 1 trenched (among others) a small 
field of three and one quarter acres. Cinque-foil, gar- 
lic, daisies, twitch, and such vile vegetation, were its 
cover. A sandy loam, mixed with mica, or isinglass, 
composed its soil. Its surface, after trenching, look- 
ed like the earth of iron, or half-burnt brick clay ; 
though its texture was loose. 

In 1789, in the spring, being then in the legislature, 
I selected from the members, a company of the best 
farmers of Lancaster and York counties, to dine ; with 
a view to shew them this forbidding soil, as well as to 
enjoy their society. They asked me what I intended 

to sow in it. I told them hemp. Some were silent 

conceiving I was amusing myself with their credulity. 
Others supposed me an enthusiastic theorist, and did 
not spare me, in their observations. I always join in 
pleasantry ; though it be excited at my own expence. 

The year preceding, I had laid on about sixty 
bushels of lime, and sixteen cart loads of dung, to the 

*I have seen a publication condemning this practice, 
which is common among us. I can safely aver, from long 
experience, that there cannot be a better mode of ensuring 
a clover crop. I have repeatedly mowed my fields, and 
had abundant crops. Failures more frequently occur, where 
clover is sown with spring grain. Timothy, orchard, herd, 
and such grasses, succeed best, when sown in the autumn. 

On Trench Ploughing. 


acre; and plmttd potatoes ; of which I had an abund. 
ant crop. I sowed hemp, and plaistered it. In Jugust, 
of the same year (1789) I asked the same compL ; 
and they viewed, with surprize, my hemp. It was even, 
thick, well grown, and seven feet high. The labour, 
ers were then pulling it ; and these gentlemen, some 
of whom were hemp farmers, declared they had never 
seen a better grown, or finer crop, on their best lands. 
I lost some of the hemp, by injudicious management ; 
but Imd, I think, 2,500 weight. After the hemp, I sow- 
ed wlieat ; whereof I sold 110 bushels, heavy and ex- 
cellent. Clover was sown on the winter grain ; and I 
cut luxuriant crops for several seasons. The field lay for 
twelve years, without any other manure, save plaister • 
and threw up plentiful crops of grass. I ploughed il 
four or five years ago, in the usual way. It produced, 
witha slight dressing of well rotted compost and dung * 
a crop of wheat exceeding tlie former. It is now in 
good heart ; but I intend ploughing it, the approach- 
ing season. I have selected this little field, because tlic 
facts relating to it, are m^st within my recoUection. 

Ribbing, or bucking up furrows, in the fall of the 
year of ^fallow crops, is highly useful. Every mode 
should be practiced, which exposes surface to the m 
fluences of the atmosphere. No person should advenr 
ture, extensively, on any newplan, witiiout first making 

Such manure throws up short straw and long, well filled 
and heavy heads. There is no greater mistake, than that of 
ploughmg m fresh dung for wheat. This always produces 
smutty crops, and long straw. It is not the less objectioa- 
awe lor havmg many advocates. 



On Trench Ploughing. 


a trial on a small scale. It is certain that all soils are 
not proper for this operation ; though more are so>^ 
than is generally supposed. Some have told me it did 
harm on such soils as mine ; which is generally a light 
loam : yet, I conceive, such soils are the best, for this 
process. Roots, stumps, stones, &c. are equally ob- 
structions to trenching, and the process adopted by Mr- 

Mr. David Landreth^ who was then my garden- 
er, above twenty years ago, trenched (and none un« 
derstood it better) a piece in my garden ; two spits 
deep, with the spade. It entirely altered the nature of 
the soil ; so that a German gardener, who is yet with 
me, was much prejudiced against it. He did not suc- 
ceed in his crops on this ground : and it really ap- 
peared to me to be harsh, subject to bind, and crack i 
and the worse for the operation. I changed the crops, 
from leguminous, and tap rooted plants, to those of the 
brassica^ or cabbage, tribe ; and they succeeded won- 
derfully. So that this must be attended to, before a 
judgment is finally formed* This ground is now oc- 
cupied by about one hundred grape-vines ; and they 
thrive so remarkably, that an intelligent foreign Figne^ 
roTij who has been so kind as to assist me in their cuK 
ture, assures me, I could not have chosen a more pro* 
pitious soiL 

Although I may indulge opinions deemed too fa- 
vourable to the practice ; I have stated what has fallen 
under my notice, both as to facts and opinions. I 
cheerfully, therefore, leave the subject to those who 

*For Mr. Kirk's paper, see page 85. 

On Trench Ploughing. 



«iust encounter the same degree of risk in the exDc 
riment, to which I was exposed. ^' 

The last harvest, I had an hundred shocks to each 
acre of wheat off an old trenched, small field, wWch 
was well attended ; and manured, moderate^, wkh 
dungand compost. It is now threshing ; but Lom- 
monly mjured by rats. I shall have more than thirty, 
five bushels to the acre, under all its misfortun^^I 
have lost, as ,t now appears, one third of my crop 
by these vermin.* ^ P» 

Belmont, February 1th, 1808. 

ng orchard. Th.s spnng, I directed it to be trimmed • 

^orm (as I conceive ,t to be) is committing the most de 
tractive ravages. Many of the tree, will be victims atd 
those planted either deep or shallow ai. alike affectT ' ^. 
person who pruned it, informs me tliat this wo™ 
generally through the neighboui^ood,\tui:rnrbr 

tz. tro;eh:ds r"h"^^ f "^ ^^"' -"^' -™- 

1 oome orchards (he say.) are not worth the orire 

o .r,„„,„g u,e„. , ,^^^ ^^^^ he p^e 

-ve. ::l ei,^::Lr rjLZTerrto- 

die.. It w u d be :.,U,:i""""' "• '"" ""- ■" ""'- 
an^ «K. • • r "^ society, to promote ertquiries • 

^^r ..rh.: :::• thTr:;^o: ;- cr ^ 

other succulent forest trees J win / ^^^esnut, and 

trees, l will endeavour to find out from 



■ i^i'i 


ra.1 .ly m VL*i. 



On Trench Ploughing. 

C 249 3 

March 1808, I had thirty-nine bushels to the acre ; 
weighing sixty-four pounds the bushel t this is men- 
tioned only to prove, that those who conceive that 
trenching ruins land, are much mistaken. I am con- 
vinced that if it had been threshed soon after harvest, 
the produce would have exceeded fifty bushels to the 


whence the worms originate ; by confining some in boxes or 
vials, to pass through their changes. I discovered in this 
way, the wasp from which the peach worm originates. Some 
other and better mode may be used, by those intelligent in 
such investigations. It might lead to a discovery of reme- 
dies, or preventives. They are found in the roots, body, 
and even in the heart of the trees. Fear trees are not yet 
injured ; though many are intermixed, in the orchard, with 
the apple trees in which worms are found. I do not per- 
ceive them in plumb trees. In my old orchards I have dis- 
covered only one tree infested by the worms : this I shall 
grub up and bum. 

Hemlock for Live Fences. By Richard Peters. 

Read March 8th, 1808. 

While my attention was turned to the subject of live 
fences, on a great scale, for onr fields, it never occurred 
to me, that I had some of the best specimens of hedges, 
in my garden. These have been planted, at least sixty 
four years. I have some, planted about six years. 
They are composed of what is here caUed hemlock 
spruce, but it is the hemlock of our forests. It is to be 
found in plenty on the fFissahiccon; and also on the 
rough borders of our other creeks, whose courses run 
through a hilly country. The old hedges are now as 
vigorous, as they could have been in the first years of 
their being set out. They are close, strong and im. 
pervious; and never, like the cedar, die at the bottom. 
They have outgrown the dimensions within which I 
formerly wished to confine^hem; being about six feet 
m thickness, and five feet in height. They are clipped 
once a year, (in June, after they have blossomed) with 
the garden shears; and can be formed into any figure 
or shape, as was the fashion in my father's time. BaUs, 
pyramids, arches, are here displayed, in the antiquated 
taste of former days. They were the acquaintances of 
my childhood; I keep them as I found them, and as 
contrasts to the wildness of nature within view of them. 
These hedges bear plashing, cutting and clipping with- 
out injury: and nothing of the kind can be neater, than 
their appearance when newly clipped. They retain 
their verdure, through the winter, far beyond most of 

tr n 



On Trench Ploughing. 

C 249 3 


March 1808, I had thirty-nine bushels to the acre ; 
weighing sixty-four pounds the bushel r this is men- 
tioned only to prove, that those who conceive that 
trenching ruins land, are much mistaken. I am con- 
vinced that if it had been threshed soon after harvest, 
the produce would have exceeded fifty bushels to the 


whence the worms originate ; by confining some in boxes or 
vials, to pass through their changes. I discovered in this 
way, the wasp from which the peach worm originates. Some 
other and better mode may be used, by those intelligent in 
such investigations. It might lead to a discovery of reme- 
dies, or preventives. They are found in the roots, body, 
and even in the heart of the trees. Pear trees are not yet 
injured ; though many are intermixed, in the orchard, with 
the apple trees in which worms are found. I do not per- 
ceive them in plumb trees. In my old orchards I have dis- 
covered only one tree infested by the worms : this I shall 
grub up and bum. 


Hemlock for Live Fences. By Richard Peters. 

Read March 8th, 1808. 

While my attention was turned to the subject of live 
fences, on a great scale, for our fields, it never occurred 
to me, that I had some of the best specimens of hedges, 
in my garden. These have been planted, at least sixty 
four years. I have some, planted about six years. 
They are composed of what is here called hemlock 
spruce, but it is the hemlock of our forests. It is to be 
found in plenty on the PTissahiccon; and also on the 
rough borders of our other creeks, whose courses run 
through a hilly country. The old hedges are now as 
vigorous, as they could have been in the first years of 
their being set out. They are close, strong and im- 
pervious; and never, like the cedar, die at the bottom. 
They have outgrown the dimensions within which I 
formerly wished to confine^hem; being about six feet 
m thickness, and five feet in height. They are clipped 
once a year, (in June, after they have blos'somed) with 
the garden shears; and can be formed into any figure 
or shape, as was the fashion in my father's time. Balls, 
pyramids, arches, are here displayed, in the antiquated 
taste of former days. They were the acquaintances of 
my childhood; I keep them as I found them, and as 
contrasts to the wildness of nature within view of them. 
These hedges bear plashing, cutting and clipping with^ 
out injury; and nothing of the kind can be neater, than 
their appearance when newly clipped. They retain 
their verdure, through the winter, far beyond most of 

tr n 




Hemlock for Live Fences, 

Hemlock for Live Fences. 


the resinous tribe; none whereof are subject to be eat- 
en by mice, or other vermin, or browsed by cattle, as 
are deciduous trees and shrubs. Mine are clipped per- 
pendicularly at the sides, and horizontally on the tops. 
A small part of one hedge is of cedars; but the appear- 
ance is gloomy, as if they were scorched; and the 
branches neither thick or regular, though equal pains 
are taken with it. The hemlock hedges were planted 
in a single row. The stocks are at distances of about 
one foot from each other; and were set out in the same 
year with very large trees, in a grove or walk near them, 
of the same species. The clipping has stinted them, but 
has not lessened their verdure, or vigour. They permit 
weaving or training, in any way ; being hai'dy , pliant and 
tough. They grow quicker than the cedar, as I have 
frequently experienced ; and can be raised, with little 
trouble, from the cones. I have enough to plant a large 
extent of hedge or fence, growing spontaneously under 
the old trees. They thrive in the shade far beyond cedar. 
I never saw any other evergreen hedge equal to one of 
hemlock. When in blossom, it is the handsomest of 
all its tribe. The limbs are horizontal ; and grow much 
longer than those of cedar. Layers will strike root and 
fill the bottom. 

My young fence looks well; but if I had sooner be- 
gan to plash, cut and train it, I should have had it much 
closer, and better in every respect. One part has been 
sadly ruined by horned cattle ; against whom it ought 
to have been protected. This young fence, I have cut 
down to five feet high, but it should have been kept 
much lower; by beginning to cut, plash and form it, 
after the first year. This was partially done, but atten- 

tion was not sufficiently paid to it. Nevertheless it has 
a promising, and very healthy appearance ; and it has 
- . shewn that it will bear neglect. I shall dress and shape 
it wide at bottom, and tapering, so as to be narrow at 
the top ; according to the mode recommended by Mr. 
Main, of George town, Potomac. The juniper, very 
common through our country, is excellent for filling 
the bottoms of live fences. It is hardy, prickly, grows 
as last as cedar or hemlock; spreads and keeps low; and 
stands cutting without the least injury. 

Beer quite as healthy, and much more agreeable than 
that brewed with the Canada or Hal fax spruce, is made 
by the infusion of hemlock branches, with the materials 
of which our common spruce beer is composed. It 
has been substituted for spruce, for many years in my 
family; and we think it preferable in flavour to the Ca- 
nada or Halifax spruce. 

Although as a substitute for thorn, I prefer the hem- 
lock for fences or hedges, to any other of its kind, I do 
not mean to depreciate the cedar, where hemlock cannot 
be had ; the former being more generally attainable. 
I have planted great numbers of both ; and have had the 
best luck with the hemlock. The spring is the best , 
season for planting resinous trees ; and Mr. Taylor's 
mode is superior to any other, for removing young 
evergreens, of any kind or description.* 

* On the grounds of a college at Oxford C England J I be^ 
lieve Trinity College, there is a whimsical idea executed. 
A row of large trees are connected, by limbs engrafted. The 
extreme of a limb of one tree, is engrafted into the stock of 
the other ; and have thus joined the trees on a Ipng walk. 


[ 252 ] 

On making TVine. 




Utility of the Italian Mulberry Tree^ and on making 
Wine. By Joseph Cooper. 

Read March 8th, 1808. 

Cooper's Point, Feb. 22rf, 1808. 
Sespected Friend, 

I received your note of 16th, two days past. ^\ 
searched but cannot find a copy of the piece concern- 
ing the Italian mulberry tree, but still remain of opini- 
on, that the bark would answer well to make paper of 
a superior quality, as the trees if properly trimmed will 
produce a great number of shoots from 3 to 10 feet long, 
the first summer, which may have the bark stripped off, 
rotted like hemp or flax, and reduced into a matter re- 

This may be tried on the stocks of hedges, at no great trou- 
ble or expence. If it succeeds, it will effectually guard 
against the entrance of horses, or cattle. On the Schuylkill, 
near Reading, I have seen large Button-wood trees thus con- 
nected. Whether fortuitously, or not, I cannot say. I have 
a large hemlock, consisting of two distinct trees, which I 
planted when a youth, in the same hole ; and twisted around 
each other. They have completely embodied ; and appear 
like one stock ; save that the spiral junction can be perceiv- 
ed, on close examination. I have no doubt of its being 
practicable to connect the plants of an whole hemlock hedge, 
by approach-grafting of some of the limbs, in imitation of 
the Oxford experiment. In deciduous trees, there is more 
probability of success. One horizontal string of limbs thus 
engrafted, would be sufficient. 

sembling silk, and full as soft and fine, as I formerly 
shewed you.* 

As to the time the grape vine in my garden, was taken 
from the original, I cannot recollect ; but think it was 
previously to the British army possessing Philadel- 
phia; [1777] that vine taking so long a time to come 
to its present size, need not discourage persons from 
propagating the native grape vine, as 10 or 12 plants 
would cover as large a space, and produce as much fruit, 
in a tenth part of the time if properly cultivated. You 
are possessed of an account of the produce ; and I will 
endeavour to send a sample of the wine to the Agricul- 
tural Society, and if they should coincide with me in opi- 
nion, of the practicability and expediency of encourag- 
ing the cultivation of the native grape in our countr\% 
they will address the public on the subject. I would 
not discourage the propagation of the best and hardiest 
kind of foreign grapes, yet must give the native the pre- 
ference, as they are proof against the hardest winters, 
grow spontaneously in almost every part of our coun- 
try, and are so various in ki^d and quality, that every 
person may be furnished with plants by taking them 
from vmes that produce the most and best fruit, in their 
neighbourhood, by which means they will be certain of 
such as are adapted to the soil and climate. 

A circumstance ought to be considered respecting 
grapes : they will produce fruit from the seed in a fourth 
part of the time that an apple or pear will ; and from a 

* Mr. William Young of Delaware, made some years 
since, a very good brown paper from the roots of the red 
mulberry tree. 




,0n making fVine. 


cutting, as soon as a peach from the stone ; as to graft- 
ing I never tried it till the last year; having a vine in my 
garden producing grapes not to my liking, I grafted it 
with the " Powell"* grape, and instead of claying, plais- 
tered it with a composition of bee's wax, tallow and ro- 
sin; two scions grew and produced six bunches of 
grapes the same summer, some of the branches grew 
more than 20 feet in length, and the two scions have ia 
one summer formed a top sufficient, if but reasonably 
full to produce a bushel of fruit. 

The method I have found best for making ^vine from 
grapes, is to let them hang on the vines till fully ripe, 
then to gather them, when dry, throw away rotten ones 
if any, open the cider, mill so as not to mash the stems 
or seeds, put the pummice (or mashed grapes) on some 
clean long straw, laid on the cider press floor, lap it in 
the straw, press it well, then take off* the pummice, add 
some water, and after it has soaked a while press as be- 
fore : the latter will make as good wine by adding sugar 
as is commonly done in the countr}^, but I prefer mak- 
ing it of the juice without water. 

The last autumn I tried several ways of making 
wine : one cask of 34 gallons that first run from the 
press, I set to ferment in its then state, expecting to 
make that without sugar; another of the same size 
had 17 pounds white Havanna sugar added, the re- 
mainder was mixed with the second pressing, and had 
tlie same proportion of sugar ; the first ceased ferment- 

[* This is also called the " Bland" grape, from the gentk- 
Jnan who brought it from Virginia, and gave it to Mr. Pow- 
ell of Philadelphia.] 

On making IFine. 




mg m half the time of the others: when the fermenta- 
uoti subsided, I drew them off, (one cask at a time) in- 
to a tub and rinsed the cask with water and fine gravel, 
then put in about l-8th of the quantity, of French bran- 
dy (good apple brandy, will make the wine as good, 
but not so like foreign wine,) and having burnt a sul- 
phur match, (about half as much as would kill a hive 
of bees) after the match was burnt out, I stopt the Jjung 
agam, shook it to incorporate the liquor witli the smoke, 
and finally filled the cask. 

The first cask when racked I found too tart, I believe 
owing to the wet summer, on which account I added 
sugar as above, and the like proportion of brandy ; in 
about a month I racked all again, and found this last 
mentioned cask far better and clearer than the others 
from which I conclude it is best to let grape wine first 
ferment, and when racked, to add sugar to the palate, 
by which means wine may be made palatable from sweet 
or sour grapes. v 

Taking into consideration with what ease and expe- 
dition grape vines may be propagated ; the great ex- 
pence and uncertainty of being supplied from foreign 
countries, and the base and dangerous practice of adul- 
teration by many of the venders of wine, I am induced 
to urge the propagation of grape vines in preference to 
other fruit, especially in such places as shades are want- 
ed, as they may be trained in such manner as fancy or 
convenience may direct, and more speedily than any 
durable fruit bearing tree, and if properly trimmed and 
trained, will exceed the same kind of vines which gro«' 




On making PFine* 

iJL n"l,ii 


[ 257 ] 

on trees, in production of fhiit in quantity, size and 
flavour, beyond most people's imagination. 

Your friend, 

Joseph Cooper. 

Dr. James Mease, 

Secretary Agric. Soc. Philad. 

P. S. I make no doubt but that numbers in the 
U. States have more knowledge on these subjects ; mine 
is only experimental, and undoubtedly very imperfect ; 
therefore if the publishing any part of the foregoing, 
should bring such knowledge to public view it will have 
a good effect. J. C 

On a three Furrow Plough, By miliam Bakexvell 
Read March 8th, 1 808. 

Fatland Ford, Montgomery Co. Feb. 7, 1808, 
Dear Sir, 

You expressed a wish to be informed of the pur. 
poses to which I apply my three furrow plough, and I 
with pleasure communicate the account to the agricul- 
tural society, having found it useful on many occasions 
especially on my lightest soils, and such as are free 
from large stones or other impediments. 

I say nothing of the construction of this plough, as it 
IS described by Mr. Cartwright in the communications 
to the British board of agricuUure ; but to those who 
have not that work at hand, it may be necessary to ob- 
serve, that it consists of three shares and three mold 
plates of iron, fixed in a frame, so as to follow each other 
at nine inches distance, by which means twenty seven 
inches of land are ploughed at one time. It is drawn 
by three horses abreast, and has two wheels to regulate 
»he depth. 

After a clover ley has been once ploughed deep, by 
a common plough, the three furrow plough will answer 
extremely well for skimming the surface, preparatory 
to sowing with wheat. I have sometimes used it for 
ploughing in the seed. I also use it on fallows to de- 
stroy weeds, and between rows of indian com, in which 
case, a single plough should first pass close to the com 
and as the rows are with me eight feet apart, the thre«J 
furrow plough, following the other, completes the space 
between two rows at one 'bout. 

X X 




On the three Furrow Plough. 

On the three Furrow Plough. 


Potatoes may be planted in the furrow after this im- 
plement, the land having been previously ploughed and 
manured. The distance between the rows (27 inches) 
is however too small for the deep horse hoeings, which 
potatoes require : but for turnips, this plough succeeds 
admirably, and in lieu of the turnip drilling machine. I 
had the last season, an excellent crop of turnips, on six 
acres of wheat stubble, by the following method. 

Immediately after the grain was cut, the soil was 
turned up by the single plough, to the depth of six 
inches : the manure was then laid in heaps on the land, 
and a glass phial prepared for the turnip seed, by hav- 
ing a small quill inserted into its perforated cork. 

The first cloudy day, the manure was spread equally 
over the ground ; the triple plough, set to the depth of 
three inches, covered the manure, and in the furrow, (or 
rather half way between the bottom of the furrow and 
the surface) the seed was dropped from the phial. A 
light roller was then drawn over the whole, in the direc- 
tion of the plough. 

The rows of turnips are thus 27 inches asunder, in 
which space a small plough, drawn by one horse, can 
readily pass to destroy the weeds, and to earth up the 
plants; the hand hoe is used to cut up the weeds, and 
superfluous turnips in the rows. 

I have no doubt, but that on a light sandy soil, this 
kind of plough might be used for every purpose, even 
for turning over a sod. It is calculated, that in plough- 
ing an acre, with a furrow of nine inches, the plough- 
man travels 11 miles; with this implement he ploughs 
three acres in travelling the same distance, and with 
more ease, for the wheels will keep this plough in the 

proper position, if the ground is of a tolerably even 

I could have wished to state to the agricultural soci- 
ety, an account of the application of my turnips in fat- 
tening cattle and sheep, but not having conveniencies 
for weighing the cattle at certain periods, I am unable 
to speak on this point with any degree of accuracy ; I 
can however venture to assert their general utility for 
that purpose, (of which, in this climate, some doubts 
had been suggested) and I hope to furnish the society 
with more specific and decisive information on this sub- 
ject at a future time. 

I remain with regard, dear sir, 

Your friend and servant, 

William Bakewell 
Dr. Mease. 



.M^ i^iLJll. 

C 260 ] 

On Speltz. 



On Speltz. By James Mease, 

M. D. 

Read March 8th, l808i 

This variety of xvheat is much cultivated in the mid- 
dle counties of Pennsylvania, and is highly prised. 
In answer to some queries which 1 sent to Caleb Kirk, 
of York county, I received the following statement. 

" The speltz I have concluded to send bv the mail 
stage. Thou wishest to know the qualities of it which 
induce the farmers to cultivate it, I therefore inform 
thee, that it does much better than wheat, in flats of cold 
ground, not being so subject to freezing out in the win- 
ter, and I have often known it sown in a part of the 
field which was esteemed too poor for wheat, but whe- 
ther ,t succeeds better than wheat in very poor land I 
am not quite able to determine. One thing I am fully 
convinced of, namely, that it will do well in land that is 
too rich for wheat.* When shelled, it produced from 
40 to 50 per cent : It then yields flour well, as the bran 
is thm. The flour is somewhat more yellow than that 
of wheat, and of course would not suit for merchant 

* Europeans who have formed their opinions of American 
agriculture from the misrepresentations ot British tourists 
among us, will be surprised at the remark made respecting 
land being too rich (or wheat in the United States ; and vet 
nothing IS more lamihar than the iact, to the farmers of Penn- 

unoT". T T "n?" """*'" ""' '^^' ^'^'^^ -''-» sown 
upon such land will lodge before maturity; and hence it is 

necessary to take more than one exhausting crop of hemp, 

or mdian corn to prepare the land for wheat. 

flour, although it is in all respects as good for house 
use, and is by many persons preferred tb wheaten flour 
for bread and pastry, more especially for puddings. 
The common product when shelled, I think is about 
equal to wheat. Our mills have generally a pair of 
stones for the purpose of shelling, with a fan under the 
bedstone to blow away the chaff. The quantity sown 
is at the rate of 2 or 2 ll^ bushels per acre." 

This grain is not cultivated in the immediate vicinity 
of Philadelphia, but its valuable properties certainly en. 
title It to attention. " In Thuringia, according to Dr. 
WiUich, It IS generally sown about michaelmas {21st 
Septr.)in stony, mountainous lands, which are other, 
wise only fit for oats. In France, Swabia, Franconia, 
and on the banks of the Rhine, it is more extensively 
cultivated, even in better soils. It is well knoivn in 
commerce, that the incomparable Nuremberg and 
Franckfort starch and flour, are solely obtained from 
speltz wheat. We must however remark, that this ex. 
celleht grain cannot be divested of its husks by thresh- 
mg, and that it requires the operation of a mill for that 
purpose, but it ought to be sown with the husks."* 

* Domestic Encyclopedia, article " wheat." 

[ 262 } 

On Draining. 



On Draining. By Samuel Dickey. Communicated to 
John Miller. 

Read March 8th, 1808. 

East Nottingham, Chest. Co. Feb. 18, 1808. 
Dear Sir, 

As you have expressed an opinion that the experi- 
ment I have made in draining, might be worth commu- 
nicating to the agricultural society, the following state- 
ment is at your service, to be presented, if you think 

In 1803, from some observations in the proceedings 
of the agricultural society of New York, on swamp mud 
as a manure, together with some accounts of the great 
fertility of drained swamps, in the New England farm- 
er's dictionary, I was induced to undertake the drain- 
ing of two small ones in my possession. With both 
I have succeeded equal to my expectations. But while 
eng-aged with these, I became so fully persuaded of the 
value of such kind of land, that a purchase was made of 
a large flat of swamp containing ten acres, adjoining 
my own land. It was covered with bushes, principal- 
ly the different kinds of alder, swamp sumack, maple, 
&c. very wet in every part, and in some places danger-' 
ous for cattle to go upon. The black mud upon its 
surface, was from one to four feet in depth, in different 
places, and evidently formed through a long course of 
time, of decaying vegetables, mingled with fine parti- 
cles of earth, washed from the ground above. The stra- 
tum next below, was mostly clay, but in some places 

gravel, and glay and gravel mixed. Scarcely one place 
could be distinguished where the water appeared to 
spring up more than another: almost the whole swamp 
seemed to be a seep. The water flowed off in a current 
down the middle of the swamp. But no water passed 
through It, except what sprung up in it. 

The first step with this ground, was, with a strong 
scythe to cut off the bushes. This measure, by afford- 
ing a view of the whole flat of ground at once, gave a 
better idea of the places where the drains ought to be 
made. A drain quite round it was cut at the distance 
of a rod, and in some places a litde more from the fast 
ground. This drain was three feet and one half wide 
at top, and two feet and one half at bottom, and mostly 
three feet deep. As the upper stratum so near to the 
bank, was not so deep as flvrther in, this drain went 
some depth, generally, into the clay or gravel below. 
1 he sods and earth taken out, were throAvn on the out- 
side of the drain, to be spread on the rough, uneven 
ground, between the bank and the drain, for the pur- 
pose of levelling it. For cutting this drain, two spades 
were used, of the common form, and made of the best 
steel ; the one for cutting the extremely tough upper 
spitt, was kept sharp as an ax. This was easily done, as 
there was not the appearance of a stone in the whole 
upper stratum. Thus far was accomplished in the latter 
part of the season 1803. 

In 1804 it was evident more drains were necessary. 
Accordingly one down the middle and two others pa- 
rallel with It, (one on each side, and equally distant from 
the middle and outside drains) were made. These 
drams were nearly of the same size as the first, but the 


On Draining. 

upper stratum bejng deeper than at the outer drain, they 
seldom extended farther than through it. The swamp 
was now divided into long beds of about sixty feet 
across; some hands were set to work with long scalping 
hoes, broad at the edge and very sharp, to tear off the 
tiissocks, but from a great press of other business, little 
progress was made that season. 

In 1805, 1 found myself disappointed, by the ground 
still continuing too wet. The draining was commenced 
with the idea that water sprung up principally at the 
bank, and that it was only necessary to carry of this 
water by a drain, in the proper place. But the incor- 
rectness of this opinion was now evident, as the ground 
along the edges of the drains only, was dry. The ex- 
periment was tried, of digging 'near the head of the 
swamp, that if possible it might be the means of giving 
vent to the under water, which from some cause appear, 
ed to spread itself over the whole swamp, and spring up 
in almost every spot. But its effects if any, were very 
small, as the ground still remained wet within a few 
yards of it. A narrower drain than the others, but of 
the same depth, was now made between each of the 
otlier drains which left the beds only ten yards across 
from drain to drain. The business of tearing the tus- 
socks was again renewed, and the sods turned upside 
down to promote their drying. About midsummer 
they became dry enough to bum on being heaped with- 
out the assistance of any other fuel. The sods thrown 
out of the drains, the two preceding summers were so 
much decayed, as to allow their being spread) with 
some labour in breaking them) over the intervals be- 
tween the drains. Where the ashes made from bum- 

On Draining, 


ing the tussocks could not be carted off, they were 
spread over the surface, and the ground thus prepared, 
was sown with herd grass, except a small piece which 
was sown with timothy and clover mixed. 

In 1806, the crop was generally good, though in a 
number of places a little water springing up and tena- 
ciously retained by the very spungy soil on the surface, 
was evidently injurious to vegetation. In other places 
the water had formed little subterraneous currents, be- 
tween the upper stratum and the clay below, and so 
passed off by the drains ; where this was the case, the 
grass was best. ■ 

In 1807, the crop was considerably better. In some 
places equal to any thing I have seen. Time appears 
to have a good effect in forming these little subterrane- 
ous currents, that convey the water into the drains, as it 
seeps through the clay, below the upper stratum, and 
as this takes place, putrefaction progresses on the vege- 
table matter, in the soil above, and its productiveness 
is in proportion promoted. 

With regard to the expence, nothing accurate can 
be stated, as no account was kept at the time. From 
cai-eful estimation, it may be safely set at about S 25 per 
acre, including every thing. This is certainly conside- 
rable, but it is only in few cases, where expence to such 
an amount will be necessary, as this piece of ground 
was in every respect among the worst to reclaim I have 
ever seen. But in fact, a few dollars of expence are 
of no moment, in recovering a piece of ground, that is 
expected to be permanently productive, and that in a 
high degree, without the addition of any yearly expen- 



On Draining. 

On Draining. 


diture. I entertain no doubt of receiving on this ex- 
pence, with the original cost of the ground, which was 
S 5 per acre, (a great deal more than it was worth in 
its natural state) not less than 40 per cent yearly. In 
places where the ashes made from burning the tussocks 
can be carted off, a part of the expence will be repaid 
by the value of these ashes, as a manure. I have found 
them little inferior to wood ashes. The most profitable 
application of them appears to be, as a top dressing on 
grass. They are of little value, returned upon the 
ground, whence the tussocks were taken > for if this 
kind of soil is only made dry, and properly prepared 
to receive the seed, nothing farther seems wanted to 
render it productive. It does not seem proper that 
cattle should by any means be allowed to pasture on 
this kind of ground, not only because they would injure 
the drains, but their trampling also, would too much 
consolidate the loose spongy soil, and render cultiva- 
tion necessary to renew the grass. A kind of grass that 
would continue long without requiring to be renewed,, 
would be a great acquisition. The herd grass possesses 
the first quality, but wants the latter. Clover, from the 
experiment I have made, does admirably, but we know 
it will wear out in a few years. From the experience 
I have had, I think it probable, the after growth of herd 
grass may be profitably fed off by sheep put up to fat- 
ten in the fall of the year. The drains are all yet open 
except a small one, which was covered nearly two years 
ago by brush being laid in the bottom, and the sods 
and earth taken out of the drain, spread over them. 
This appears as yet to answer well, and is very cheap, 

and easy of performance. Whether as the brush rots, 
the earth may fall in and choak the drain, time only will 
determine. ^^ 

Respectfully^ I remain, 

Sir, your's, &c. 

Samuel Dxckev. 
Mr. John Miller. 


. .««. '. :L~«iAi^ik1 

[ 268 ] 

On making and fining Cyder. 


Observations on making and fining Cyder ^ and on PeaclL 
^ Trees. By Timothy Matlack^ Esq. 

Read March 8th, 1808. 

Lancaster^ 1th Marchy 1808. 
Dear Sir^ 

A visit a few days ago from the reverend doctor 
Muhlenbergh of this borough, and a communication 
of a paragraph of your letter to him, for which I thank 
you, brings in review your letter of last fall, which 
came to hand when there was little probability of my 
ever being able to acknowledge the receiving of it. — 
.The error in the size of Mr. Cooper's vine* has hap- 
pened on the most favo\irable side, and it is fortunate 
that it is so : for the measure, as given, is quite large 
enough to obtain credit. He has little reason to thank 
me for the publication, since it has occasioned him so 
many troublesome visits, from persons who sought 
only to gratify an idle curiosity, and he has no other 
compensation to hope for, than the pleasure it must 
afford him to see, that it has also drawn the attention 
of some gentlemen whose object is public improve- 
ment, and that it has tended to encourage them in their 
laudable pursuits. 

The making and fining of cyder, so as to produce 
that excellent liquor in the perfection it is capable of, 
would no doubt be a great public benefit, and I con- 

[* This alludes to a publication of Mr. Matlack's, respect- 
ing a native vine of Mr. Cooper's, which covers an area of 
2877 square feet.] 

fess that I once thought seriously, of publishing the 
observations I had made on that subject ; but on con- 
^ sidering the fixed prejudices which a performance of 
that kmd would have to contend against ; that the suc- 
cess depends mainly on fermentation, the theory of 
which, you know, is less understood than any other 
. branch of chymical science, and consequently the great 
difiiculty of communicating intelligibly, what little I 
knew on the subject in practice, I was deterred from 
an attempt which promised so little advantage to any 
body, and threatened so much vexation to myself, from 
the blame which want of success in those who might 
pretend to have followed the practice I should recom- 
mend, would perhaps, but unjustly, bring upon me. It 
looks very like vanity to say, that I knew too much of 
the matter to hope for success in the undertaking — 
But, m support of this opinion and to justify it, permit 
me to say, that I knew there was a much greater dif- 
ference in the must of cyder than would be credited by 
our cyder makers ; and that the degree of fermenta- 
tion each would bear depended on its degree of strength, 
and that, therefore, there was very little probability 
that they would succeed under any possible directions 
I could give : for example, I knew that a pint of Van- 
dever juice weighed but eleven penny weights in a pint 
more than rain water, when in the same season a pinj 
of juice from Cooper's sweet russett, weighed twenty, 
four penny weight heavier than the same water ; and I 
knew also that the juice of the same kind of apples dif- 
fered greatly in its specific gravity in different seasons 
dry seasons producing a heavier and wet seasons a light- 
er must. These facts led me to suppose, that its 


On making andjining Cyder. 

strength depended on the quantity of saccharine mat- 
ter contained in it, and that consequently its specific 
gravity would shew its real strength, and my practice 
was founded on this supposition and very generally 
was attended with considerable success ; but, meeting 
with the must of the Virginia crab, so famous for its 
cyder, I learned that this was, at least, an exception to 
that principle ; for its specific gravity was, as near as I 
remember (for my notes are in the city) rather below 
the mean weight of our common cyder apples ; and its 
cyder is not below our best cyders. This taught me 
that there was some other principle, less open to detec- 
tion, on which the excellency of cyder must depend. 
I however proceeded in my usual mode of fermenta- 
tion, and soon found that this must had much less a 
tendency to extreme fermentation, than that of our com- 
mon apples of equal weight ; and consequently, re- 
quired less judgment to restrain it than others. The 
importance of this fact needs no comment : It gives 
a decided superiority to that apple for cyder, above 
all others. 

The cyder you mention as so much approved by the 
French minister, was from the Virginia crab. I think 
in the year 1777 or '78. Cyder being then very scarce 
in Philadelphia, I had obtained but a single hogshead, 
directly from the press, and the fermentation was con- 
ducted with more than common care, and consequent- 
ly became spontaneously not merely fine, but perfectly 
bright, and exhibited that appearance of bounding up 
of small drops to the height of six or eight inches, so 
highly pleasing in the finest Champaign wine, without 
any appearance of froth on the top of the glass, and re* 

On making andjining Cyder. 


tamed a^l the dehcacy of flavour which distinguishes 

hat apple, free from the slightest degree of aciSy - 

In conductmg this fermentation attention was pdd to 

every chan^ in the weather ; especially where th^ 

rectiot ; ^ '"'* " '""^^ "^ *° g-^ P^<^i^ di- 

sTex" 'e ""'ir ^ ^° "^^^ ^ P™--' - a climate 
so extremely variable as ours, and where our best eel 

duc'tr^h "^T- " *: ^^'" -"^^'"^ «^--' ^° in- 
duct ,t with certainty of success in the best of them- 

and may conceive how reluctantly it will be undertaken 
by an o„e who has feeling enough to be carefif o 

trn rh:vrrr:::ner^^^^^ The too rapid fermen. 
iied snirft! f u ' ^^^^"^^^ «."antity ofrecti- 

wlh h H K T' *' '^W^-^^ or burnt taste of 
which had been destroyed by powdered orris root (an 

and that should ^^t^^^^^^^Z ^ 
the cask is full to the bung hole. 

..T'Z^r.^^^' '""^^ '" *^ fermentation has been 

it IZr TT^^ "''''^''^' '^' '' '^ t™e of fin. 

ng, there should not be the least degree of fermenta- 

non of course, it must be done before the spring fer- 

Sato?MTr"^ ^"'"' ^^"^"^"^ ^^PP-« 'bout 

a deJelZ J ' "'°'' frequently has acquired 

Thl'^oml '; *'* ""'^••^ " -^ ^'^ fining- 

1 he common staple isinglass, is, perhaps, the safest 

cussolved m the hquor intended to be finetl, after being 

,.. ii 


: A..S^ -^^iiLaJ 

t^t*,::'. La. „ '.^'< 




On making andfiyiing Cydef. 

On making and fining Cyder. 



pounded and broken into threads. To dissolve it com- 
pletely, it is necessary to beat the cyder containing it 
well, several times a day, for two or three days, and then 
to strain it through a flannel bag. The best general prac- 
tice is, to pour your fining into the empty cask, and 
then draw off your cyder and pour it on the fining. 
This leaves behind, a great part of the sediment, checks 
insensible fermentation, and mixes intimately the cyder 
with the fining.— Then the cask being- quite full, pour 
on the spirits of wine, on the surface. It will generally 
become quite fine and bright in six or eight days, and 
should then immediately be drawn off, and bunged up 
close, or bottled. But if it has not been sufiiciently fer- 
mented^ it will break your bottles. If drawn into casks 
they should be bunged close, and waxed over the bung 
to keep the air entirely out. To do this effectually, 
after the bung is carefully driven in, you must bore a 
gimblet hole near the bung hole, and leave it open until 
you have covered your bung with the cement; other- 
wise you Avill cover the bung, and leave open the small 
holes on the side of the bung ; the warmth of the ce- 
ment encreasing the quantity of the air below, will 
throw up a blister through the air hole, and forever dis- 
appoint the attempt to close it. The gimblet hole ad- 
mitting the warm air to pass, the cement keeps its place 
and closes the aperture, and when the cement is cooled 
and hardened, the gimblet hole is completely stopped 
by driving a white oak square plug into it. 

Another strong reason for declining the task, was, 
that too much is expected from cyder. The best Ma- 
deira wine will not keep with less than eight gallons of * 
brandy in the hundred, and twehc is more commonly 

used : how then, can it be expected that the juice of the 
apple without aid, should stand through our summer's 
heat? Brandy mixes its taste with the wine, in a course 
of years, so as not to be^ perceived on the palate; but 
cyder exposes even the smallest mixture of the best 
bmndy, or any known sph-its, more readily than any 
other liquor. The concentration of cyder by frost, in 
our coldest weather, if it has been previously du'yfe 

for years, and improve by time ; but the concentration 

y to lennent it to a degree, suitable for drink 

stomach id not eon,plai„ of, after even a mode "te 
draught of ,,: whether owing ,„ its behg boW ta 
-P^ vessds, or «>„e other cause. I cann'ot ven J 

I On Peach Treei. 

Doctor Muhlenberg requests me to give vou th, 
mam,er in which my peach trees are treateTand es~ 
odly as,, rdajes to the worm so destruc^ve t„X 
0«- Th,s I the more readily comply with as he is . 

2^1°' "r""^'? '^'^' »■ -^ J'-^K-en.; be' 

labour and require, some attention; but let it be ~ 
membered, dia, the price of good fruit was fixed by S; 
deity himself when he ceated man and placed himt 

Uie condition was that he "*„. ,He g.r^ Z 4 • 
ti, and one may venture to say, that since then t K» • 
has never been abated. *^' ^""^ 

2 Z 




On Peach Trees. 

On Peach Trees. 


A simple pkin history of a single tree, will ^ve you 
the bestUdea of my practice, and a comment or two will 
be sufficient to express my reasons for that practice 
where it differs from common usage. 

The peach stone with otliers, during the winter, lay 
covered with earth about four inches deep, and about 
the 20th of March was laid upon the ground, on its side, 
and covered about two inches deep with good garden 
mould, in the place where the tree was intended to stand. 
When it rose high enough to shoot out side branches, 
they were cut off near to the main stem, taking great 
care not to injure the leaf that stood at the base of each 
side shoot. On the preservation of those leaves I relied 
for a vigorous growth in the young tree ; having ob- 
served, that where those leaves were destroyed, the 
growth of the tree was stopped for about two Aveeksj 
whereas when the branches were cut off and the leaves 
were preserved, the growth was not only uninterrupted 
but was evidently accelerated. In August of the same 
season, a bud was taken from the Madeira free stone 
peach tree, and set in the young tree at about eight 
inches above ground.* The bud was set thus early m 
the young tree from a settled opinion, that a fruit bear- 
ing tree could, by this means, be procured sooner, than 
by deferring the inoculation until tiie next year; and it 
was secured by a bandage of woolen yam capable of 
yielding to the growth, witiiout bearing too hard upon 
the bark of so young a shoot. In four weeks, or less, 
the bandage was removed, to prevent its injuring die 

* Later experience has shewn, that setting the bud within 
one inch of the ground, would have been more advantageous. 

tree, which by a longer continuance it would certainly 
have done. To guard against the worm there was now 
laid round the tree about a pint of coarse sand, so as to 
cover die roots and the tenderest part of the bark.* 
The same care to preserve die leaves was continued 
through the fall, and in the spring about the last of 
March, the tree was cut off about five inches above the 
moculation ; and about a quart of the same coarse sand 
was put round the root of the tree, in the same manner. 
The shoot from the bud was treated through the next 
season, precisely as the original stock was treated the 
first season, widi the same care to preserve the leaf at 
the base of each side shoot, taking off die side shoots, 
from time to time as they shot out, until the tree rose 
to about four feet high; and then the next four side 
shoots were left to grow to tiieir full length; the centre 
shoot bemg cut off in September, and adding in the 
month of August, a small quantity of sand round die 
root. In the following spring a furtiier guard against 
the fly became necessary, and for Ais purpose an earth, 
en cylmder open at both ends, and about five inches 
wide and five inches high, was procured. In March 
this cylinder was passed over die top of the tree, and 
rested on the ground, and dien filled widi coarse sand 
so as to cover the tender part of die bark near die 
ground; and the stock cut off close to die inoculation 

* The fly that produces the worm, lays xtsfrst eggs early 
"» Apnl, and appears from those eggs early in August. 
The worm produced from this second set of eggs, conti^es 
m the tree until the April following, and then renews the 

-^ni ' I'-rJifc.^ 


On Peach Trees. 


care being t^en not to wound the shoot nor tear the 
bark of the stock. When the heavy rains of the spring 
had closed the surface of the ground, it was loosened 
with a dung fork (made strong for the purpose and 
liaving the lines square) so as to let in the air without 
disturbing the roots, and this process was repeated 
about the middle or last of August, after the first fall 
rains. The spring following the sand in the cylinder 
was loosened with the point of a trowel, to keep it 
from binding too hard upon the tree; to do which 
with much nicety required a full half minute. From 
this time forward, until the tree grew too large for the 
cylinder, no other care was required than the usual 
trimming, and the breaking of the ground as above 
mentioned; except that the body of the tree was wash- 
ed quite clean every March; sometimes with simple 
water, and at other times with soap suds, urine fee as 
they occasionally were conveniently had; but the differ- 
ence in the effect of these is not easily seen, otherwise 
than that the soap suds cleans the tree with the least la- 
bour; and of the importance of this difference you may 
judge when I tell you, that with water only a woman of 
more than fifty years of age washed for me, last spring, 
upwards of sixty trees in one day. When the air was 
damp, and consequently, the dirt on the trees was moist, 
a coarse cloth dipped in the water was put half round 
the tree and drawn backward and forward a few times, 
and continued upwaids as high as she could reach. 
This washing has been continued at least once a year 
to tliis time, and the consequence is that the bark of the 
tree continues smooth as that of a young cherry tree ; 
and the effect is the same in all the peach trees in 

On Peach Trees. 


my garden. The cylinder was broken, when the tree 
grew too large for it, and from that time, every sprin^,- 
about two quarts of sand was thrown round the roots, 
to fill up the interstice between the tree and the earth* 
occasioned by frost during the winter, so as to cover 
the tender bark of the root. And by this means it has 
been so effectuaUy preserved, that there has never been 
a worm m it, in any part of the tree, during its exist- 
ence; and this has been, generally, the case with all my 
trees. There are, however, a few exceptions that de- 
serve to be mentioned as proof of the real efficacy of 
this method. I had hired a man two years ago, to re- 
new the sand round my trees, and having shewn him 
what to do left him. The sand was to be brought " 
a barrow about 150 yards, and to save himself Ais 
trouble, he threw round the trees a shovel full of loam 
and coined it with sand, so as to deceive me, and 

R.'t rf T°'' ""^ "^^^"^ '""^'^ ^«™P«^d with.- 
Birt the fim heavy rain that fell, washed away the loam 
and formed a gutter on the lower side of every leaning 
^e so as to lay bare some of the tender pi of th! 
oot; and m every tree thus exposed there was a worm 
ma few weeks after; and there was not a worm in any 
other tree m my garden. To this fact there are very 
many witnesses; and one or two of the trees so killed 

f^^t Zl '""t^' '^^ '""^ *^ P"'^^- «^ shewing ^e 

aware that the fly ,s sometimes found in the body of 

tkSo ""^^^^^^ '^""' ^"'^ where the bark W 

-w^n^s r;urCle?:n1 "^r 'T' '-'' ^" 
IV. 1 r , ^ sealed and not covered, and in tho 

forks of ,hc «.e, whe« ti„, bark ^ become c^^a 



On Peach Trees. 

to them ; none of which circumstances happen to my 

All my trees are treated on the same principles, and 
have the same appearance of that above mentioned ; 
and notwithstanding their vigour of growth, have borne 
an abundance of fruit, in the highest perfection, until 
last summer when peaches generally failed ; and even 
then, I had an abundant supply for myself and for my 
friends, until after the 5th November. The tree above 
spoken of was not removed ; but had it been so, it 
would have been transplanted in the blossom time after 
one years growth from the bud, and have been set about 
four inches higher in the ground, than where it grew, 
well watered ^ the time of planting and the earth then 
raised two or three inches above the height at which 
the earth had before covered it ; but after that time it 
would not have again been watered, as I conceive the 
watering of trees in hot weatlier rots the young fibres, 
and does irreparable injury. 

The tree of which I have given the history, is now 
seven years growth from the bud, it measures at nine 
inches from the ground, twenty three inches round, 
and three feet higher up, it measures twenty two and 
a half inches. Two of the four branches fork within a 
foot of the body of the tree, and the mean height of those 
six branches, is full twenty one feet, and they cover a 
space of twenty two feet in diameter; and every part 
of it appears to be in the most perfect health and vi- 
gour. The earth in which it stands is a red loam about 
a foot thick, and under it is a bed of common yellow 
clay. There has been a cellar dug at the distance of 
about two hundred feet from the tree, and there, next 


On Peach Trees. 


below the clay, was thrown out a brown flaky earth, 

haying the appearance of slate, in a state of partial de! 

composition. The situation of my garden is on the 

^ summit of the hill on which the borough of Lancaster 

' stands, and is fuUy exposed to the north west winds 

and the extremely cold winter before the last, injured 

some of the branches on the north west side of two or 

three trees that were most exposed; all the rest of the 

trees have rather an uncommon degree of health and 

vigour. . • 

The grafting of peach trees has not been very com- 
monly practised, owing to the ragging of the bark in 
splitting open the stock. This inconvenience is reme- 
died, most efibctually, by cutting the bark with the 
pomt of your knife, through the outside circular bark 
at least, in the direction of the cleft you mean to open 
m the stock. This leaves the bark smooth, so aTto 
meet the bark of the cion as perfectly as is done in seed 
truits. This may sometimes save a year in the growth 
of yom- trees, and it has this important advantage, that 
the cions may be brought in the winter season, from 

almost any distance, and be used with success in the 

Sensible of the great advantage to the public, to be 
derived from the exertions of the agricultural society. 
1 wish the zeal of its members, may long continue to 

and am yours and their, 

most obedient servant, 

^ , Timothy Matlack. 

IJR. James Mease. 




♦' V 

C 280 ] 

On Hedges* 

[ The following postscript to the paper on hedges by 
Mr Taylor^ was not received in time for insertion in the ** 
! proper place. -^ See page 102,]j 

I have chiefly confined this memoir to the actual 
process of the experiment, but I will add two altera- 
tions, I purpose to make, with the reasons for them. 
One is, to forbear to cut off" any boughs, six inches 
from the stem, to weave them into the hedge, as they 
become long enough, for which their pliancy, whilst 
young, is peculiarly adapted, and to confine the prun- 
ing to the object of keeping the hedge low enough, un- 
t|l it is sufficiently close. The other is, to manure 
with live boughs of cedar or pine, in place of dead stuff*, 
having found them by far the richest manure, and that 
by packing live boughs in a line three feet wide, or 
eighteen inches on each side of the row of young cedars, 
so as to cover the earth completely ; it is probable that 
grass and weeds will be smothered, the ground mellow- 
ed, some culture saved, and die growth of the plants 

Virginia, Caroline Co. Aug, 7M, 1807. 

C 281 ] 

Remarks on the Plan of a Stercorary, described in the 
Note, Page 153. By Richard Peters. 

Read April 12th, 1808. 

Fig. 1. The sizes of the timber must be regulated by 
the strength required by the weight of the coof.— The 
posts are mortised mto the sills. 

Fig. 2. There should be a gang way deated or strip- 
ped for the poultry to walk on. The pump may be 
made as here represented, or as in Fig. 3. where -it is 
elevated, to throwthe drainings the higher; with shifting 
troughs to lead it over the heap. These ends, as far as 
occupied (or pigeons or poultry, may be Hoored with oak 
laths and openings left, for the ordure to drop through. 
Fig. J, A for pigeons, Fig. 2, B for poultrv. The space 
not thus occupied, maybe otherwise usefully employed. 
* ig 3. Is a side view, as are Fig. 1 and 2, of the ends. 
Carts may be loaded without entering the stercoranr; 
and for this puipose the bars above the wall, may be 
made to unship at proper places. The side of the gut 
ter, next the entrance, must be elevated with large 
stone on edge, to preveiit leakages there. The r^{ 
may be shingled, or thatched. The dimensions or 
h^ght may be fixed at pleasure, as this plan is only of. 
fered for consideration, I think if t^e square of the 

houjd be excluded, as much as is consistent with the 
adnnssion of air. This must be governed by the quan. 

Fhc TTTh 'f r '^ ^^"^"^'^ '" the' terconuy. 
_r g. 4. A, The bed paved something like a Phila- 

delphia street; the walls serving ^ curb stores. ^ 

A 3 




282 ^ Remarks on the Plan of a Stercorary. 

it may be formed of good sound loam or clay. To rise 
two feet at the centre, or crown; dripping each way 
to the glitters. This avoids the evil attendant on muck 
lying in hollows, in which the over-abundant moisture 
obstructs putrefaction. It is more simple than the 
plan of an English stercorary, with a concave bed and 
muhiplied drains, always liable to choak.* B. B. B. 
gutters; two feet wide, paved with flat stone, or pitched 
with small pebbles; to decline or drip six inches, i. e. 
two inches in ten feet, gradually from the back part, to 
the cistern. These gutters must not be paved so as to 
make the angles at the walls too acute. Faggots should 
be placed next the walls in the gutters, to keep open 
a passage, or hollow drain. The cistern or well need 
not be deep; but must be clayed at the bottom and 
sides, to prevent leakages. The pump may be cheap 
and simple ; made like a ship pump, with a wooden 
brake. A wooden spear might answer the purpose ; 
and not be liable, like iron, to corrode, and be injured 
by the salts, or tartar, in the drainings. 

None but those who have had the means of ascer- 
taining it by a reservou*, can tell the loss accruing by the 
escape of the drainings. Above 70 hogsheads of drain- 
ings have been returned on the dung heap of a moderate- 
ly sized farm, in one season. Each hogshead of rich 
drainings is at least equal, in efiiciency, to a load of dung, 
as a top dressing. Here is a gain of manure, for four or 
five acres of ground. The loss by evaporation, caused 
by the sun, for want of a roof or cover, is incalculable. 

•All the drafts of EngUsh stercoraries I have seen, are circular ; n figure, 
whichl think inconvenient and expensive, precluding additions. 


'■■"■' v-S" 

Remarks on the Plan of a Stercorary. 283 

Let those who will not iAcur the expence of a pro- 
per stercorary, fence or pen their dung heaps ; having 
(as I have done profitably for many years) formed the 
bed m the manner directed. Let drains, leading into 
a clayed vat, or even a hogshead sunk in the earth, be " 
made. The heap may be covered with a straw roof 
supported by posts set in the ground. The rudest 
step towards the object, is better than our present mis- 
management. Dung or muck, lying light, and not 

trodden by cattle, ferments and putrefies quickly and 

Cattle should be confined at nights, in summer — 
When they wiU not feed in the day, owing to flies and 
extreme heat, they should be fed at night with cut 
grass; and their dung composted, or thrown into the " 
stercorary. Summer dung is generally lost in the 
fields; being either rendered worthless by exposure, or 
carried away by beetles. 

Plaister of Paris, strewed on the layers of dung, pro- 
motes fermentation and putrefaction; whereas lime 
especially before it is slacked, impedes them, and con/ 
sumes putrescible substances, forming with the .resi- 
duum, which is carbone, an insoluble compound.— 
Tht gypsum mixed in composts is found highly bene 
ficial, and far preferable to lime, which should not be 
admitted while the fermentation and putrefaction are 
in progress; or afterwards, until it is slacked. The 
muck should be considered only as a means of impreg- 
natmg other matter, and not a dependence in chief.— 
Good surface mould, or common earth, thrown from 
time to time on the muck heap, becomes a manure ; 
and adds to the fertilizing qualities of the dung. It 


284 Hemarlis on the Plan of a Stercorary. 


imbibes the juices, and impedes their escape; as well 
as prevents loss by evaporation. Those who will not 
erect a proper stercorary, should always cover the heap 
with mould, or earth. To those who adopt the kind of 
stercorary here recommended, the intermixture of earth, 
or soil, will be highly beneficial. 

It is questionable, whether very old dung, reduced 
to its elementary basis, carhone, is of any use in vege- 
tation. By far the greater part of all dung, consists of 
this insoluble and indestructible substance. Like coin 
locked up, till antiquated, it depreciates. Its value de- 
pends on its currency, and quick Circulation.* 

To our farmers in general, a building for a muck 
heap, appears whimsical and strange. They will find 
it, however, the sure and all essential means of increas- 
ing the numbers and sizes of their bams, and all other 
buildings. They should value it, as the miser does his 
strong box. They should grasp after and. hoard ma- 
nure, as greedily and anxiously, as he seeks for and 
accumulates treasure. -But far different must be the 
results of their endeavours. This hoard of the farmer 
is njit to be locked tip uselessly. It must be expended 
liberally, without extravagance, for the benefit of him- 
self and his country. 

• I think dung beg-ins to deteriorate, after it is one year old. I have put 
It on after lying geveral years, without any perceptible benefit. But the 
practice of ploughing in hot and fresh dung, has often been to me a sub- 
ject of regret. It not only produces smutty crops, in parts over stimulat- 
cd, but cannot be equally spread, or covered. So that much straw and 
little grain, appear in spots, which often lie down ; and in others, scarcely 
any advantage is derived. Muck composted, will keep the longest, with- 
out injury to its fertilizing qualities. Dun^ and muck in confined places, 
from which free air and moisture are excluded, undergo a degree of 
combusuon; and become dry-rotten, mouldy and worthless. 

*'°- ^' * Fig. 2. 




Fig. 4. 

30 Feet. 


[ 286 ] 

i ! 



Account of native Thorns. By Thomas Main. 
Read April 12th, 1808. 

Near George Town^ Potomacy Oct. 15, 1807. 

Yours of the 8th inst. came to hand last night. 
I am sorry that your request concerning my transmit- 
ting you specimens of the several sorts of the Ameri-- 
can haw thorn, which are to be found in this neigh- 
bourhood, has been deferred so late in the season. — 
This forenoon I went out to gather them, and find that 
the most of them have shed their leaves, and what tliey 
still retain, are partly in a state of decay, or so easily 
detached from the sprigs, that it was with much diffi- 
culty I could get any, in any tolerable state of fresh- 

In this district, there are only four species. The first 
is the cockspur, which I suppose is equally common 
in Pennsylvania; of this species, there are several vari- 
eties, some with broad, large, thick leaves, and some 
with narrower leaves, one of them however, seems to 
be dwarfish, and bears yellow berries, but otherwise, 
the same as the rest. The second is not very plenti- 
ful, it has pretty large, round leaves, and varies also a 
little, almost in every plant; the third is a species of 
the maple leaved, and is common in various parts of the 
continent. There is in this sort a great diversity in 
the taste and shade of ftie fruit, some of them being 
very pleasant to eat, and of alight red; others indiffer- 
ent, and some extremely sour, ill tasted and harsh. The 

Account of native. Thorn. 


fourth sort is the species which I have named the Jme- 
rtcan hedge thorn; it has no varieties that ever I have 
met with, either in the foliage or fruit. The first and 
the last are the only two haw thorns which I would 
chuse to plant for live fences, the last however, is pre ^ 
ferred by every one that has ever seen my hedges - 
Its regular growth, lively foliag,, and upright ^p^ct, 
determmes the choice of a spectator at once. It Z of 
free growth, extremely healthy, never infested with the 
P^ant louse^ and retains its leaves longer than all the 
others. The plants in my nursery, are now as green 
as m July, I shall therefore send you some complete 
^ecmens of them, root and all, in a preserved dry 

Dr. James Me 


I remain, Sir, 

Your obedient servant 

Thomas Maiu. 

I The difference m the colour of the American hedec 
M.r„,.when compared with the other specimens JL vel 
apparent, in those sent by Mn Main to the lo dj ^ 
species named bv Mr M i, th. r * ^ «o<:»««y' The 

u Dy lYir. JM. ,3 the Cratagus Cordata Lin.J 


\ • 





C 388 3 



Growth qf Thorns from Cuttings of the Roots. 
My James Mease, m. d. 

Read April l?th, 1808. 

In the twenty third volume of the Transactions of. 
the London Society of Arts, Mr. Taylor of Moston, 
near Manchester, has given an account of his success in 
the propagation of thorns by cutting the roots into 
lengdis and planting them. In two years they became 
as good thorns as the average of those he had purchased, 
and planted at the time. The thorns were three 
years old when he got them. In April 1802, he had 
occasion to move a fence, [hedge] from which he pro- 
cured as many roots of thorns as made upwards of two 
thousand cuttings, of which he did not loose five in the 

The method of raising the thorns from roots is as 

" Purchase the desired number of thorns, and when 
three years old, take them up and trim the roots, from 
each of which ten or twelve cuttings will be ob- 
tsuned : plant these cuttings in rows half a yard asun. 
der, and about four inches from each other m the 
row. They ought to be about four inches long, and 
planted with the top one fourth of an inch out of tiie 
ground, and well fastened, otherwise they will not 
succeed so well, April is the best time to plant the 
cuttings. The thick end must be planted upper- 
most. The advantages of this mode a«^ first, in case 
any one has raised from haws, a thorn with remarkably 

Growth of Thorns, 6fr. 


large prickles, of vigorous growth, or possessing any 
other qualification requisite to make a good fence, he 
may propagate it far better and sooner, from roots, than 
any other way. Secondly, in three years he may raise 
from roqjs a better plant, than can in six years be raised 
from haws, and with double the quantity of roots. It 
would not be a bad way, in order to get roots, to plant 
a hedge in any convenient place, and on each side to 
trench the ground two yards wide, and two grafts deep; 
from which, every two or three years, a large quantity 
of roots might be obtained, by trenching the ground 
over again and cutting away what roots were found, 
which would all be young and of a proper tiiickness."' 

As I knew that Mr. Kirk of Brandy wine, had comi ^ 
menced a thorn fence on his farm, I sent him Mr. Tay- ' 
lor's publication, with the expectation, that the infor- 
mation contained in it, would shorten his labour. The 
next time I saw him, he told me, that tiie fact of the 
vegetation of the thorn root cuttings was not new to him, 
having been informed of it by his neighbour Mr. Ar- 
mor, who had discovered it, when trimming the roots 
of some old tiioms which he was about to transplant. 
Those cuttings being thrown carelessly under some 
earth, began to grow vigorously, and many of the plant$ 
were set out. He observed that those which were 
placed on the south side of a rail fence, did not succeed 
so well as those set on the north side, owing to the great 
heat reflected from the rails. Neither Mr. Armor nor 
Mr. Kirk however, follow the practice of propagating ' 
thorns in this way, as aparticular species of thorn Ccrata- 

t 3 

^ J: 


Growth of Thomsy i^c. 

gus cordataj cultivated by Mr. Main of George Town^ 
Potomac, grows without difficulty.* 

The editor of the "Retrospect of discoveries,'^ Lon- 
don 1806, says "we haw long ago practised the plant- 
ing of shoots which came up plentifully from the fibres 
of the roots left in the ground, after stocking up white 
thorn hedges. We can also add that the best way of 
renovating a worn-out white thorn hedge, is to bare the 
earth, and chop off the large old stools with a sharp axe, 
near to, or below the lower fork of the stems: each 
one of whose roots will afterwards be found to throw 
up vigorous shoots, and much thicken the future 
hedge, if the same is thoroughly protected from cattle, 
and kept clean from weeds. ^' These facts are highly 
encouraging to the commencement of hedge rows, and 
should induce the American farmer without delay to 
begin this important work. Land thus inclosed, will 
prove a much better fortune to the child who may 
possess it, than if the amount of the money which 
the work may cost, had been put out at interest for his 


\ -: ' 

* To those who have it not in their power to procure plants 
of those thorns, which Mr. Main cuhivates for sale, it will be 
important to know, that by sowing the haws of the pear 
leaved thorn, in ploughed ground in the spring, and spreading 
gypsum and ashes on it, their vegetation will be promoted in 
a most remarkable manner. The plants from haws thus 
treated, in one case, grew two feet high the first year. 



«. . .sJliiiJ" 

£ 291 J 

Description of a Kitchen Stove. By Samuel Dickey. 
, Communicated to John Miller. 

Read April 1 2th, 1808. 

Oxford, Chester County, February 29M, 1808. 
Dear Sir, 

There are few subjects on which the ingenuity of 
man can be employed to better purposes than devising 
the means of promoting oeconomy in the consumption 
of fuel. Already our cities and their neighbourhoods, 
feel the severe effects of a scarcity in this article. But 
the time is not far distant, when this scarcity will be 
felt in a much higher degree ; and many parts of the 
interior country that are yet hardly affected, will suffer 

most of all as wood is the only fuel there attainable. 

Though much has been done by the inventions of in- 
geniousmen, much still remains to be done, and par- 
ticulariy in kitchens, where^ it is the universal com- 
plaint, that much the greatest consumption takes place. 
My thoughts have been occasionally turned from the 
direct pursuits of agriculture, to this subject, and some 
experiments have been made which have terminated in 
the invention of a kitchen stove or closed fire place, 

which I flatter myself may be of service to society. 

To cover the cxpence incident to such inventions, and 
which cannot ordinarily be reimbursed in any other 
way, it has been thought necessary to secure the ad- 
vantages (if any there may be) by a patent. As the en- 
couragement of such inventions comes within the view 
of the association, I trouble you to present to the socie - 


Description of a Kitchen Stave. 

ty, the following account of this stove or closed fire 
place, with the drawing that accompanies it, which I 
hope will make it sufficiently intelligible. 

The general principles of this kitchen stove are — ' 

1. Enclosing it with the pots connected with it, in 
some covering that is a nonconductor of heat, by which 
the speedy evaporation of the heat is prevented, and its 
power concentrated more intensely upon the pots and 
ovens used in cooking. 

2. Drawing off the fire from the furnace of the stove, 
through openings in the stove plates, that may be closed 
at pleasure with sliding dampers, and by means of the 
covering that surrounds the stove, conveying it round 
pots set close to these openings, and returning it back 
upon the ovens for the purpose of cncreasing tlie heat 
in them. 

3. Allowing the fire to pass into the oven of the stove, 
through an opening in the bottom plate of the oven im- 
mediately above the fire, so as to bear with all its force 
on a tea kettle or any small vessel set into the oven for 
the purpose of boiling. 

4. Receiving the heat into a large receptacle of sheet 
iron placed above the stove, through which it may pass 
into the kitchen for the purpose of warming it. 

The application of these principles will be easily un- 
derstood from a more detailed account of the stove 
with references to the drawing, which presents a front 
view, with the pots connected, inclosed in brick work, 
the only covering that has yet been used as a noncon-' 

A, B, C, D, is the front plate, which on all sides pro- 
jects a litUe over the brick work that is built nearlv 



Description of a Kitchen Stove. 


close to the stove. The expanding of the iron on be. 
ing heated, Avould move the brick work out of its place 
If It were built against the edges of the plate. This 
plate rises about a third higher than the stove itself 
ivhich reaches only from A, B, to F, E, in order toar. 
low a second oven of sheet iron to be placed about the 
oven of the stove. The mouth of this oven appears 
open at H. The stove has but two apartments. The 
lower, the door of which appears shut, is the furnace in 
which the wood is consumed, and is similar to the fur 
nace of a ten plate stove. The second apartment, 
the door of which appears open, is used as an oven for 
baking or roasting, or for boiling a small vessel as 
occasion may require. At I, appears the opening in the 
bottom plate through which the fire is admitted into 
this apartment Over this opening a sliding damper 
passes when it is desired to shut it, the handle of which 
IS seen projecting in front of the stove at K. There is 
a corresponding opening in the plate over this apart- 
ment, through which the fire passes out of it into the 
flue above This opening is also closed by a sliding 
damper, the handle of which projects at L. The brick 
work M, N, at the side of the furnace as appears in the 
drawing, extends such a distance as to inclose a vacant 
space sufficient to contain a pot set close to the side of 
the furnace. Over the top of this inclosure of brick 
work, xs laid flat the cast plate O, P, in which is an 
opening Q. through which a pot of a cylindrical form 
may be dropped close to the side of the stove. This 
pot IS supported by a perpendicular edge projecting 
round the lip, and resting on the plate through Jhichf 
- dropped. Directly opposite the pot is a fargl ope^" 


Twyi^-'- '^ \mm' ' 


Description of a Kitchen Stove. 

ing in the stove plate, through which the fire passes 
round the pot, and proceeds in a flue formed between 
the brick and the stove plate up the back of the stove, 
and thence into the flue between the two ovens, and so 
proceeds up the sides and over the top of the second 
oven. The opening in the stove plate through which 
the fire passes to the pot is closed at pleasure, by a dam- 
per sliding close to the outside of the stove plate, tlic 
handle of which projects through the edge of the front 
plate at R. On tlie other side of the stove is an ac- 
commodation of brick work for another pot exactly 
similar to what has just been described, only as ap- 
pears in the drawing two pots of smaller size may be 
used instead of one. At S, is a small door through 
which a raker may be inserted for the purpose of clean- 
ing the flue between the first and second oven. T is 
the receptacle or drum of sheet iron, into \vhich the 
smoke and heat is received on leaving the stove, for 
warming the house. When this heat is not required in 
the kitchen, the passage into the drum is closed by a 
damper turning on centers, the handle of which ap- 
pears at U, and the smoke is directed in a flue in the 
upper part of the brick work into the chimney. V, X, 
is a cast plate tliat lies flat on the top of the brick work, 
for the purpose of strengthening it. 

Every person who thinks upon the subject, is sensi- 
ble of the vast waste of fuel that takes place in cooking 
at an open fire. The introduction of a ten plate stove 
is certainly oeconomical, and adds much to the comfort 
of the kitchen. But still there is both a manifest ex- 
pense, and trouble in keeping up two fires. One ought 
to serve all purposes. The stove or closed fire place 

Description of a Kitchen Stave. 


above described, does all the business of the kitchen 
with one fire and a great saving of fuel as the same 
heat that bakes and boils, is afterwards emitted to warm 
the kitchen with nearly as good effect, as if it had per- 
Jormed no previous service. Besides the saving of 
wood, there is perhaps as great a saving of labour by 
the facility with which the cooking business can be ex- 
ecuted. The ovens are always warm when there is 
fire m the stove. The fire can be turned off and on the 
pots m an mstant, without the trouble of moving them • 
and the cook is never exposed to the scorching heat 
of an open fire. This stove is set with the most ad- 
vantage in the fire place of the kitchen. The front of 
It extendmg about twelve inches out from the breast of 
the chimney so as to admit the apparatus for heating 
the kitchen to stand out in front of the mantle The 
throat of the chimney should bS stopped in winter, but 
furnished with a sliding shutter to be opened occasion- 
ally so as to allow the steam from the boiling pots to 
escape without incommoding the kitchen. 

With much respect, 

I remain yours, &c. 
Mb Iait« tvt Samuel Dickey. 



C 296 ] 

Changes of Timber and Plants. Races of Animals ex- 
tinct. By Richard Peters. 

Read April 12th, 1808. 

In a conversation with Mr. Rembrandt Pealcy who 
adds to talents promising to render him greatly eminent 
as a portrait painter, a knowledge of natural history, in 
some of its most curious branches, the subject of changes 
of timber was mentioned. He informed me of the cir- 
cumstances attending their search for the bones of the 
mammoth^ in Orange and Ulster counties, in the state of 
New Yorky in 1801. He was so kind as to gratify me, 
by presenting to me two pamphlets; accompanied by a 
letter, which I send for the perusal of the society. I 
transcribe the passage he alludes to, relating^ to the 
timber. I have been highly entertained and instructed 
by the perusal of these pamphlets ; v;hich I have now 
for the first time read. They are wordiy the attention 
of every person, who has a desire to know and admire 
the wonders and stupendous works of nature. I find 
that great bodies of marie (the deposits of waters) exist 
in the country wherein the mammoth bones were discov- 
ered. The exploration and difficulties attending it, as 
well as the ingenuity and perseverance of his father and 
himself in procuring the bones, are very amusively dis- 
played ; and do both of them gieat honour. I perceive 
that some of the mammoth bones gave the first stimulus 
to Mr. Pealc the elder, to prosecute his succesful en- 
deavours at establishing a museum of natural curiosities ; 
•which has few rivals in any part of the world. It is in 


Changes of Timber and Plants, t^c. 



Itself highly interesting; but when it is considered that 
the collection was made by an individual without for- 
tune, or any important assistance from Qthers in the first 
stages of its progress, the result is really astonishing. 

I shall, at some future period of leisure, draw toge- 
ther some facts relative to the position I have taken, that 
changes of race or locality, are necessary to prevent or 
remedy the deterioration of animals. And this with no 
desire to enter into controversy, or merely to support 
an opinion ; but for the consideration of those interested 
in such subjects. ^ 

I shall when treating on the subject, make use (inter 
alia) of the following facts, furnished to me by Mr. Peak's 
pamphlet, They will shew a tendency in nature to 
changes, in the animal kingdom; by exterminating 
whole races, or species of animals, to be succeeded by 
others entirely different. I shall not deem it necessary 
to enter into delicate questions, on this subject. It will 
be enough for my purpose that the haunts of these ex- 
tinct animals are occupied by different species. 

I find in Mr. Peale's account, that "four animals of 
enormous magnitude have formerly existed in America, 
perhaps at the same time, and of natures very opposite.* 
1st. The mammoth, carnivorous. 2nd. An animal 
whose graminivorous teetii, larger than, and different 
from, those of the elep/iant, are sometimes found. 3d. 
The great Indian bull: and 4th. An animal probably of 
the sloth kind, as appears, on a comparison with the 
bones found in Firginia, and a skeleton found in SoueA 
America, and preserved in the museum at Madrid.'* 
Mr. Peak cites an interesting memoir of M. Cuvier 
"whose researches into this subject have been indcfa. 

c 3 





Changes of Timber and Plants^ isPc. 


tigable and profound;" and in it, "there are mentioned 
no less than twentt/ three different species of animals which 
are now extinct^ but whose existence in former ages is 
attested by their fossil remains ; no recent production 
of the sort having ever been authenticated;" 

I copy the passage relative to timber; page 36 of his 
small pamphlet. " Many of the cavities between these 
knolls are dry, others are in a state of ponds, but an in- 
finite number containing morasses, which must origi- 
nally have been ponds, supplied by springs which still 
flow at their bottoms, and filled in the course of ages 
with a succession of shell fish and the decay of ve- 
getables; so that at present they are covered with timber, 
and have been so within the memory of man. An old 
man, upwards of sixty, informed us that all the differ- 
ence he could remark between these morasses now, 
and what they were//(fy years ago,- was, that then they 
were generally covered with firs, and jww with beach. 
This was verified by the branches and logs of fir which 
we found in digging; many pieces of which had been cut 
by beavers, the former inhabitants of these places, when 
in the state of ponds. Scarcely a fir is now to be found 
in the country.^'* 

My son Richard, who with Mr. Adlum, accompanied 
me, in 1797 or 1798, on a tour into the wilderness in 
Lycommg county, to view some of my new lands, re- 
minds me that on these lands, invariably, the old de- 
cayed timber long blown down, or fallen with age, was 
of an entirely different species from that standing. We 
found flourishmg ash, 6 feet diameter, sugar maple, 6 
teet through ; and we measured one btctton wood, on 
3ome fine rich bottoms on the waters of the Loyalsock, 

■ i^A. 


Changes of Timber and Plants, is-c. 


thrivmg and healthy, 1 1 feet 8 inches diameter. These 
bottoms were covered with flourishing shell bark hick, 
ory, wild cherry, white walnut, and an immense variety 
o{ plumbs; though the whole country, in other parts, 
had no other timber than beach, sugar maple and hem- 
lock; and some stately chesnuts on the ridges. My son 
also brings to my recollection, that when we surveyed 
the tract, called in old times, the pine tract, in North- 
ampton county, a great number oi ash trees, were, inter- 
mixed with the present groAvth of oak and hickory. 

With no overweening zeal; but to obtain incontesti- 
ble proofs of a fact I consider, as I believe now that it 
is, very generally known here, though overlooked by 
many very intelligent men, both here and in Europe, 
I wrote to Dr. Caldwell; who is observant, and, I un' 
derstood, well informed of facts on this subject. He 
has politely favoured me with an answer; for which he 
is entitled to my tlmnks. I send his letter, that such 
parts of it as apply to the general subject may be ex- 
tracted. I have not ventured to give any opinion about 
the immediate cause. I leave my practical conclusion 
to the consideration of those for whom it is intended. 
I am satisfied that experience in practical agriculture* 
will incontestibly prove the position; even if the means 
I have taken to strengthen it, should not to others, be 
so apparent in their application, as to me they seem. 

April Ath, \ms. *. 





Changes of Timber and Plants, &fr. 


Chaises of Timbef attd Plants, &V. 


I, -I 


Philadelphia March 25th, 1808. 
Dear Sir, 

_ , • • 

In my first publication on the mammoth, page 36, 
you will find an observation on a species of rotation of 
timber, which is known to have taken place in Orange 

and Ulster counties, in the state of New York. Your 

ingenious, philosophic and valuable application of this 
fact, in the operations of nature on a great scale, to the 
improvement of agriculture, in the rotation of crops, 
deserves to be supported by concurring testimony; 
especially as the facts which are here advanced so easily 
admit of confirmation. 

In addition to this paragraph I need only remark, 
that these morasses contain abundance oi pine burrs * 
together with the trunks and branches of wood evidently 
pine (specimens of both are now in the Museum, case 
No. 4,) of which / do not remember to have seen a tree 
growmg in the neighbourhood, and that it is only from 
the circumstance being so universally knovVn by the 
inhabitants that it is not often spoken of. 

I remain, respectfully yours, 

Rembrandt Peale. 

This not only proves the pre-existence of a growth of 
fnne tzmber on the lands now occupied by a species entirely 
different ; but it goes much farther, in support of the analo- 
gy between natural and artificial products. The " abundance 
oi prne 6«.r,,» which we know contain the seed, found on 
these lands, ,s an indisputable evidence of there having been 
«eed in plenty to reproduce pine timber, if the land had not 
been /,m..«ci — to use a country phrase, applied to lands 
^hich wiU no longer admit of a repetition of the same kind 

ot crop, 

R. Peters. 

Philadelphia April 1st, 1808. 
Dear Sir, 

that nature delights in, and actually effects, 
entire changes and successions in the vegetable pro. 
ductionsofthe earth, (I mean circumscribed spots of 
earth) ,s a fact which appears to have been familiar 
to the observing part of mankind, as long ago as the 
age of Pliny the elder. J believe, but of this I am 
not certain, that the same thing is noticed in the wri. 
tings of Aristotle, and is even brought forward by 
that wonderful man, as an argument in favour of the 
doctrine of equivocal generation. Be this, however 
as It may, the fact does not need the authority of any 
of the Illustrious writers of either ancient or modern 
times for its permanent establishment. It is already 
established by nature herself, whose .authority is para- 
mount to every thing else, and must, in the present 
instance, be regarded as final and conclusive. The 
only thing extraordinary in the case is, that at this en- 
lightened period, any one, who has an opportunity of 
observmg for himself, should entertain doubts of so 
obvious a truth. I presume it is purely for want of 
such an opportunity, that the Edinburgh Reviewers 
have taken exception at the narrative of Mackenzie 
For these writers appear by no means ignorant of facts 
and subjects that lie within the sphere, of their o^vn 

Our own country is unquestionably one of the most 
favourable spots on the globe, for making correct ob 

subject. The country being new, the progress of clear- 


Changes of Timber and Plants^ &V. 

Changes of Timber and PJants, ^c. 


ing and cultivation cannot fail to make material changes 
m the climate, the general state of the atmosphere, and 
tlie soil. These changes naturally and necessarily lead 
to corresponding mutations in the productions of the 
earth. For, in my mind the productions of the earth 
are the native children of surrounding circumstances. — 
By some, I well know that this sentiment is reprobated 
as profiine and atheistical. With me, it is not so. I 
deem it perfectly compatible with the existence and 
the attributes of a God, who framed and governs the 
universe, as the cause of causes, and not as the imtne- 
diate cause of every petty event. Viewing the Deity 
in this most honourable and exalted of all possible 
lights, I cannot but believe, that he has imparted to the 
earth and other elements a power of peopling themselves, 
(at least under certain circumstances) without his direct 
and proximate agency. 

In the countries of Europe, where a more advanced 
stage of agricultural improvements has given a greater 
stability to the state of the soil, the atmosphere, and 
the climate, we can readily admit, that nature does not 
now make such frequent and striking changes in the 
vegetable productions of the earth, as she probably did 
some centuries ago, or as she does in the United States 
at the present time. This circumstance may perhaps, 
explain to us, why many Europeans, even of the most 
extensive observation and expanded intellect, are en- 
tirely ignorant that such changes ever occur. Men 
cannot incur blame for not being acquainted with facts 

which they have never had an opportunity to learn. 

But there exists no apology whatever for the ignorance 
of Americans on tliis subject. The mutations here re- 

ferredtoare daily occurring before our eves, and the 
act ought to be familiar to every one of n.. Indeed 
I thought till lately that this was the case, and that it is 
not so, must be attributed either to an entire want or 
to a very culpable inaccuracy, of observation. ' ' 

Though never practically devoted to agriculture 
myself, I passed my time, till my twentieth year, in an 
. agricultural and a new country. As the ^.getable pro- 
ductions of the earth were Always objects of more than 
common admiration and amusement to me, my ac 
quam^nce with them bega., a. a ve-y early pe/od of 
my hfe As to the point which constitutes the imme. 
diate subject of this letter, the progress of my observa- 
tion was as follows. / 'V 

When my father and other neighbouring farmers 
contemplated the clearmg of a tract of hnd L futu e 

th r If ' ;' "" '"''■ ^"^^°'"' ^"""^ '^ -M wea- 
ther of wmter, to grub up the underbrush and throw 

;t together m what they called brush heaps. The , a "I 

timber was afterwards felled, cut into sections of tm 

or twe ve feet long, and rolled together in l^^f^ 

c^ed .^ heaps Towards spring, when the timUhad 

become somewhat dry, these bn^h heaps and lo. heaps 

were set on fire and consumed. During the course of 

the succeeding summer, I frequently, Leed almost 

.^^y observed, that from among^he ashes oftls 

Tuntrv r '*' '" '"-^ P^"^ «f *^ surrounding 

also m4 tr " ^'""" ^^^"^^^^"^' ^^'-- *^^ l^af 

roZr\ , "'^^ "^"'"^ «f these plants I do not 
-collect, perhaps I never knew them. \ well remc" 



Changes of Timber and Plants, i^c. 

Changes of Timber and Plants, ^c. 



ber, however, that they were generally of a rapid and 
luxuriant growth. I further recollect, that at least, 
some of them were lactescent plants. They always ap- 
peared to me in the light of ?iew productions. 

It sometimes happened that the land, after having 
been cleared of its underbrush and forest timber, was 
not put under actual cultivation for two, three, or four 
years. In this case it never failed to produce, during 
the second or third summer, a crop of white clover^ al- 
though not a sprig of that vegetable grew within many 
miles of the place. This fact occurs not only in Vir- 
ginia and North Carolina, where I have myself witnes- 
sed it, but also as I am well informed, in many other 
parts of the United States. Indeed its existence can 
be as well authenticated as the existence of the Allega- 
ny mountain or the Chesapeak bay, 

In other parts of North Carolina, \vhere the growth 
(if timber consists almost entirely of oak and hickory, if 
this be removed, it Avill be succeeded in a few year^ 
by a general and plentiful crop of young pines. Nor 
is it necessary to the success of this experiment, that 
the place cleared should be in a piney neighbourhood. — 
The event will take place with equal certainty, though 
there be not a pine within many miles. 

During the time of my residence in North Carolina, 
as the farmers generally possessed large bodies of land, 
they seldom made use of much manure. When the 
soil of one field became exhausted, instead of manur- 
ing and renovating it, their common practice was, to 
turn it out to lie fallow for many yeai's, and to proceed 
to the clearing of another field. In this case the ex- 
hausted fallow ground never failed to produce sooner 

or later, a plentiful crop of a lofty gramineous plant, caU- 
ed in the common language of that countiy, broom grass. 
Nor was it necessary that this plant should be previbusly 
growmg in the neighbourhood. It appeared to be the 
native growth, of an exhausted and an exposed soil • 
and from such a soil it seemed to spring without the 
mtervention of specific parentage. 

To the truth of the foregoing facts, I can testify i„ 
person. They have been familiarly known to me from 
my early years. Of many other similar facts I have 
received such well authenticated accounts, that I can- 
not for a moment doubt of their truth. The following- 
one I believe, to be well known to many of die most 
respectable inhabitants of New Jersey. 

Certain tracts of that state are covered entirely with 
forests of pine. If these be cut down, and the land not 
put immediately under cuUivation, they are succeeded 
in a few years by a plentiful growth of young oaks.— 
I am told that in some parts of New Jersey, nurseries 
of young oaks produced in this way are to be found in 
the centre of extensive forests of pine. I will not vouch 
for the truth of this fact. All I can say respecting it 
is, that I received it from a very respectable source, 
and that it perfectly comports in principle with what I 
have myself seen. 

In the course of the last century, the >vhite pine sprang 
up spontaneously in a place called Duxborough, in the 
state of Massachusetts, without having been previously 
a native of the neighbourhood. Between twenty and 
thirty years ago, there was a man still living who had a 
perfect recollection of the first pine that ever made its 
appearance in the township; whereas, at present, that 

D 3 > 


Changes of Timber and Plants^ ^c. 


plant constitutes one eighth part of the timber of the 
place. Though I can give no personal testimony in 
support of this fact, I notwithstanding believe it to be 
true. • 

In new settlements in the southern states, and I pre- 
sume the same thing occurs elsewhere, the weeds and 
gramineous plants which gradually and imperceptibly 
introduce themselves into cultivated farms, are entirely 
different from the native productions of the surrounding 
country. This is a fact which is familiar to every one. 
Now the question very naturally presents itself, whence 
are these various plants derived? Are they introduced 
by man or his domestic animals from foreign places? 
If so, from what places, in what manner, and for what 
purpose? These are points worthy of consideration, 
and, in my opinion, difficult of solution. For my own 
part, I cannot hesitate to believe, that these plants are 
a new and spontaneous production of the farms where 
they appear; and that they are brought into existence 
by the new order or state of things, introduced into 
these farms by the instrumentality of clearing and cul- 

Were it necessar)^ to the purposes of this letter, I 
could produce numerous instances of similar innova- 
tions in the animal kingdom. But as these innovations, 
though remotely, are not proximately connected with 
agriculture, I shall forbear to swell, by dwelling on 
them, a communication in which I have already too far 
' trespassed on your time, and I fear on your patience. 
Before concluding, however, suffer me to remark, 
that though we have both been in search of similar facts, 
I suspect we have been collecting them for dissimilar 

pill mViiiifiaii 'iiir 

Changes of Timber and Plants, t^c. 


purposes. You have in view the establishment of a 
great practical principle in agriculture ; I, the establish- 
ment of a mere theoretical principle in philosophy. In 
this respect you tower above me. For good works are 
greatly superior to abstract thinking, how coirect so. 
ever such thinking may be. 

If the preceding facts and observations, sir, can be of 
any avail in the promotion of your very laudable and 
and important views, I shall feel happy in having aided 
you m so good a cause. Agriculture forms the true 
basis of our national prosperity. Its enlightened and 
industrious patrons and promoters, therefore, are justly 
ranked among our soundest patriots. 

Suffer me again to apologise for the length of this 
letter, and to assure you of the sincerity, with which I 
have the honour, to be 

Your obedient and 

very humble servant, 

Charles Caldweil. 
The Hon. Ricfiard Peters, Esq. 

I add the following letter as a close to the subject. 
Facts similar to those stated are known, wheresoever 
my enquiries have been communicated. Many instan- 
ces of pine succeeding oak and hickorif, and other tim- 
ber, are well attested Several such facts are within my 
own knowledge. 

Richard Peters. 



Changes of Timber and Plants, is'c. 

Changes of Timber and Plants, ^c. 


Dear Sir, 

In compliance with your request I will now state a 
fact, the occurrence of which I thought had been of such 
notoriety that no one could possibly dispute it, until 
you mentioned to me a few days ago, that some gen- 
tlemen had thought you even chimerical in supporting 
it. For some years past I have been in the habit of 
visiting some estates which belong to our family, in the 
county of Cape May, JVew Jersey, and have remarked 
myself, and heard it as a common fact, that wherever 
ih^pine timber is cut off, oaks invariably and hickories 
very frequently will spring up, and this is also the case 
where the timber has been taken off by fire; the hunt 
ing grounds, which lay in the upper part of Cape May 
and lower part of Cumberland counties, are set on fire 
very frequently, in the spring, to bum the under brush,* 
to facilitate hunting in the autumn; and although the 
timber is altogether pine, yet no pine springs up after 
the burning; while oaks and hickories invariably do. 
On the Penn tract, lying a few miles below Bridgetown 
in Cumberland county, there have been for several years 
straggling settlers, who have taken possession, and 
cleared some parts they have tilled; and other parts 
have suffered to grow up. Nearly the whole of this 
tract was pine timber; and wherever it has been cut 
oaks and hickories have grown up; and for several miles 
along the post road which runs through it, I have seen 
black oaks stripped of the bark (for the purpose of tan- 
mng &c.) where I have been credibly informed there 
was nothmg but pine timber a few vears since. If my 
statement of this well known fact will be of any service 

to you, you have my free assent to use it as suits your 
purpose, and in conclusion will observe that I am con- 
vmced, there is not a man of any observation in the 
counties oi Cumberland, Gloucester ^^^i Cape May but 
will confirm what I have mentioned. 

with great respect 

I am dear Sir, 

your obedient servant. 

Thomas F. Leaming. 
Richard Peters Esq. 



/ . 



I 310 ] 

On Gypsum. 



' , 

Gypsum ; whether it is found in the United States^ 

By Richard Peters. 


Read April 12th, 1808. 

In my communication upon the subject of gypsum^ 
I mention, that *'I have not been able to discover any 
quarries oi gypsum^ proper for husbandry, in this or any 
other of the United States. There are, in a variety of 
places, gypseous substances," and I may add, fibrous 
gypsum. I beg this to be understood as confined to my 
own knowledge ; without impeaching that of others. In 
your publication, entitled ''A Geological Account of the 
United States,^^ page 408, several instances are men- 
tioned of gypsum discovered in sundry places ; and the 
authorities for the facts are cited. Specimens have 
been, at different periods, shewn to me, as being gyp^ 
sumy and great expectations were formed concerning 
them. They for the most part turned out to be either 
a species oi alabaster; or lime stone: or, if rtdWy gypsum^ 
not likely to be profitably used in agriculture. The 
former is a gypseous substance, being composed of the 
vitriolic acid and calcareous earth. But it is not the 
gypsum which we find so pre-eminently useful. The 
alabaster is found in this and other states, in many 
places ; and has no doubt some properties promotive of 
vegetation. But I have not made any experiments with 
it. Some of it was discovered in digging the proposed 
canal from Norriston to Philadelphia. Some lime stone 
of uncommon appearance, at or near DilVs or EickeU 
herger's tavern, on the great road from York to Carlisle^ 

was believed to be gypsum; but experiment soon dis- 
covered the mistake. There is there a fine body of 
mare; which I have tried by the common tests. It lies 
neglected m a country much in need of it, because some 
injudicious attempts have been made with it. One 
failure is enough to terrify most farmers ; many of whom 
have yet to learn the peerless virtue of perseverance in 
laudable pursuits. 

Wishing to ascertain whether the kind of gypsum m 
common use, existed within the United States, I Lened 
to all information I could obtain on the subject. I mis- 
took the name of the river where I say 4 is found on 
ti^cMamaha.'^ I should have said-the river .^Ma«,o 
I wrote to Daniel Clark, Esq. of A^«. Orleans llZ 
formation; knowing that no person could give it to me 
with more certainty. . He has been so obliging as to 
^vritc to me m answer to my inquiries, as follows:- 

th.. Z r '"^^'"'''^ ^y P"''^'^"^ ^^^"hy of credit, 
that a cliff of ^^,^,,;;, skirted the .^^W river for 

nearly the extent of two miles. The Jlaba.. and Tom- 
kgbee form the Mobile river ; but I cannot precisely say 
m what place the cliff is. I have myself seen various 
^ecimens of gypsum taken from some lands I own on 
the Ouac/uta river, a few miles west of the 3Iississippi ; 
nd U IS the general beli.-f that there is an immense 
quantity of it there, extending, as it is believed, for 
some miles. This fact is well known at .Vc>u, OrW 
where the^^;,^;„ has been frequently made use of. J 

mlormed me m conversation, that a person who had 
seen the rocks of ^^^.,,„ on the ^labaL, on both sides' 
of the river, told him they were of vast height; ^S 




On Oypsum. 

that the river appeared, by sundry circumstances, to 
have once ran over them, in a cataract of great eleva- 
tion. The stream, or some convulsion, must have 
forced a passage, which is now navigable. The ex- 
pence and difficulty of transportation, forbid much ex- 
pectation of benefit to us^ from this discovery. 

I have always been desirous to be assured, that we 
could obtain among ourselves, a substance become so 
essential to our husbandry; and not remain liable to the 
caprice of other nations for a supply. I am not, how- 
ever, over anxious on such subjects. It is a wise ar- 
rangement of providence, that nations should depend on 
each other for supplies for natural wants, comforts, and 
even luxuries. This promotes intercourse and inter- 
changes ; which bind them by the most durable ties — 
interest and necessity. An agricultural and commer- 
cial country, should be the last to complain under this 
dispensation. Enquiries and explorations, for disco- 
very of this valuable commodity, are nevertheless well 
worthy the constant attention of our society ; and of all 
others engaged in similar associations to promote the 
prosperity of our country. 

I have procured from an authentic source, an account 
of the quantity of plaister imported into this port in 
1807. This was originally obtained from Nova Scotia^ 
though much of it was brought coastwise from Passa- 
maquoddy^ Portland and Boston ; and amounts to four-^ 
teen thousand tons. From this State, all the improve- 
ment produced by gypsum originally emanated. It 
affords to me peculiar satisfaction, and should be an 
encouragement to all who begin agricultural experi- 
ments, however discredited or novel, to look back on 


On Gyp. 



the small begmnings of which I have given a detail; 
and contrast the present amelioration of our husbandry 
with the situation of our agriculture, when the use of 
this substance commenced. What quantities of Euro, 
pean plaister have been imported here ; or how much of 
the gypsum has been brought into other states, I have • 
not beenable, with anydegreeof accuracy, to ascertain-* 

* It will appear in a former communication, that the first 
important application ol the plaister was made, several years 
belore the revolutionary wa.*, on ^ city lot, by Mr. Bar.e. 
In the^ country, I began with one bushel : and'a few bushel, 
Jiad then been strewed to the northward of the city. When 
the 20 tons, mentioned to have been brought as ballast by 
Captam Palconer, were procured and ground, I strewed part 
of .t over about five acres. This appeared a bold effort ; and 
by many ,t was deemed fanciful and nugatory. The effects 
were the more su^-rising, as they so decidedly contradicted 
all forebodmgs of failure. The increase of this operation 
m husbandry has now arrived at such extent, that at two 
bushels to the acre, 175000 acres may be fertilized by one 
year s importation into this state. On an average, a ton 
pulverised produces 25 bushels. Some grind it closer, so as 
to produce 30 bushels to the ton ; but this is in favour of 
Ae seller, and prejudicial to the farmer. Some strew three 
bushels, more two, (and others one bushel annually) to the 
acre. But as two bushels are most generally deemed suffi- 
cient, the calculation was made on this quantity. 

The European plaister imported, is not included, as the 
quantity could not be ascertained. What is used in the arts ' 
and manufactures will not amount to the quantity of Europe- 
an plaister brought here. 

It is believed, by those who have attended to the subject 
that the quantity used in agriculture in other states, added 

E 3 




Oft Gypsum. 

It appears in professor Barton*s Medical and Physi- 

to that imported here, will annually amount to 20000 tons. 
With this quantity 250000 acres may at this time be manur- 
,ed. The immense advantages derived in a long course of 
years, by the progressive use of the plaister, may be conceiv- 
ed, to be of great magnitude, but cannot be accurately cal- 
culated. To say that by a process begun on two acres, two 
millions of acres have been ameliorated from the beginning 
of its application, would not perhaps be extravagant. 

These circumstances are mentioned to encourage experi- 
ments, and persistance in applications of substances likely to 
become useful in husbandry ; without regard to prejudices or 
partial disappointments. Who can now tell, whether we may 
not have among ourselves, some substances, perhaps passed 
over every day without notice, which may turn out as won- 
derfully productive and useful, as the plaister is now indis- 
putably proved to be ? And these may be as little believed in, 
or supposed as little likely to succeed, as the gypsum origi- 
nally appeared. R. P. 

Since this communication was put to press, I am inform- 
ed by a friend who lately conversed with professor Barton ; — 

That the Doctor " had lately received a letter from his bro- 
ther in Virginia^ stating that genuine gypsum has recently 
been found in three different parts of that state. In two of 
these places, however, the Doctor has already hinted that he 
believed it probably existed." 

In his oration (page 56) delivered before the Linnean So- 
ciety on the 10th of June, l8Qr, he says, " That important 
substance, gypsum^ or plaister of Paris, is now known to exist 
in various parts of the United States. I have found it in 
great abundance at the Falls of Niagara. It is likewise found 
upon the same slope, at the Falls of the Jenisseia river ; and 

9n Gyp 



eal Journal, Vol. I. that gypsum is found upon one of 
the head waters of the Staunton about 25 miles from 
Fincastle, m Firginia: on the 9 mile creek, or outlet of 
the Owasco lake. Also at the falls of the Genesee river ; 
and at the falls of Magara on the Canada side. 

According to Dr. Mitchell, it is found at St. Mary^s 
between the Patuxent and Potomac in Maryland and 
m the town oi Marcellus, in JVew York. Fibrous ^yp. 
sum IS found in great quantities near Lexington in Ken. 
tucky. Whether this substance has, in any successful 
experiments, been applied in agriculture, or to what 
extent, I am not informed. 

I am, Sir, 

your obedient servant, 

Richard Peters. 
April I2th, 1808. 

Dr. James Mease, 

Secretary Agric. Soc. Philad. 

I have received fine specimens of it from the outlet of the 
Owasco lake, in the state of New York. No doubt large 
quantities of this substance, will be found among the linie 
stone of our country^, particularly, perhaps, in the counties of 
Lancaster and Dauphin in Pennsylvania. And in the «-eat 
valley of Berkley in Hrginia, where, along with the common 
carbonates of lime, we discover immense quantities of cubic 
Pyrites, and Pyrites in odier shapes." 
If these actual discoveries, or the conjectures realised, should 
be productive of th^ gypsum proper for agriculture ; the coun- 
tries distant from the sea board will receive a most valuable 
accommodation. For ug, we must stiU depend on the present 
sources of supply. * 




On Gypsum, 


As this may probably be the last time I shall trouble 
the society on the subject of the gypsum^ I take the oc- 
casion to mention, that Judge Washington informs me 
of his having strewed the plaister with success on his 
grass grounds, in other parts of the Mount Vernon farm, 
than those on which General TVashington had failed. 
These parts are high and mixed with gravel. Mr. 
Lawrence Lewis^ who holds part of the Mount Vernon 
estate, has lately perceived a luxuriant produce of white 
clover on com hills on the low lands, which, had in the 
general's time, shewn no signs of being benefitted by 
the plaister put on by him, and which now operates, 
though applied many years ago. It will be seen in a 
note, in my collection of facts in 1797, that the general 
informed nie of his failures, in every mode taken by 
him to use the gypsum on his fields, especially on the 
low lands. 

No plaister was sown in England or i'rance, though it was 

strewed in Germany^ before its use was extensive, and its 

efficacy proved, in America. We have thus made some re- 

I^tum, for the agricultural information received from Europe. 

R. P. 

C 317 J 

Observations on the Pea Fly or Beetle, and Fruit Cur. 
cuho. By WiUiam Bartram, 

Read July 14th, 1789. 
The pea fly, Bruchuspisi, is a small beetle of that kind 
which w^ call wevel, but is more than twice their size, 
of an ovate form and brownish colour, particularly thei^ 
upper side or elytron, which is uniformly besprinkled 
with specks, and strokes of a light colour, as likewise 

joint. The bill IS short, depressed, and armed with a 
hair of serrated forceps, the under side and legs are 
black or of a very dark, dusky colour, the femora are 
armed with a sharp tooth, or acute projection at the 
knee jomt, and the whole insect is covered with fine 

They feed when in the caterpillar or grub state, on 
the green garden or field pea, as soon as the pods fle- 

shew the peas which are within them: in the evening 
or on a cloudy day, the female deposits her eggs on the 
outside of the pods, these eggs or nits soon hSch, and 

ersCtf T" ^' ''°"" ^^« d--«ly through, and en- 
ters the tender young pea, where it lodges, and remains 
feeding on its contents, until it changes to a chrysalis, 
and thence to a fly or beetle, before the succeeding 
sprmg, but do not eat their way out until the colds and 
frosts are past, which is about the beginning of April 
when we generally begin to plant peas; and if l^ 
should open a door they do not choose to leave their 


- A .. . 


Observatiotts on the Pea Fly, (s'e. 

old habitations until the peas are planted, unless the 
peas are purposely exposed to the hot sun beams, when 
most of them break through, creep out and fly off, aind 
conceal themselves under proper shelter, from the arid 
heats of the noontide sun, and chills of the night, until 
the new crops of peas are ripe enough to invite them 
forth to the active scenes of life, as well as to fulfil the 
duties enjoined them by the author of creation, to in- 
crease, and multiply. After they have disseminated 
their eggs, they perish ; scarcely a pea amongst a thou- 
sand escapes them. 

But that which is surprising and difficult to account 
for, is, that the worm leaves the rostellum or sprout un. 
touched or at least uninjured, for almost every pea ve- 
getates and thrives vigorously, notwithstanding the cor- 
culum* and plumula seem to be consumed. Whe- 
ther the sprout is of a disagreeable taste to them, or of 
ji noxious quality, or whether they are apprised of the 
evil consequence of destroying the sprout, which in the 
end, would exterminate the race, and thus by a won- 
derful continence and perseverance in rectitude, set us 
an example of virtue, worthy of imitation, I know not. 
The pea fly is a troublesome, mischievous insect, for al- 
though they do not destroy the green pea, or diminish its 
quantity or nutritive qualities, yet it certainly contami- 
nates and renders them disgustful to a delicate palate; for 
when a fine dish of them is served up, we know there is a 

* Corculum is the rudiment of the young plant. Plumula 
is the first apparent expansion, of the infant plant upwards, 
■which appears above ground, after the seed or pea has 

Observations on the Pea Ply, W. 


maggot in every one, the morbid speck sufficiently betrays 
It, though yet so small, as scarcely discemable with the 
assistance of a microscope, and perhaps whilst the peas 
are very young, do not lessen their native peculiar de- 
licious taste; but when they are full growTi, the latent 
evil becomes too apparent, and when quite ripe, there 
IS httle more than the fair superficial appearance of a 
pea, a mere shell enveloping a fat chrysalis. 
. I can suggest no method of destroying this voracious 
insect, unless the planters who suflfer by their ravages, 
would consent to consume in the autumn, of one and 
the same year, all their peas when dry ripe, by feed- 
ing them ofl^ to their cattle, and import a new stock 
of seed from Europe. The method would, if not 
exterminate them, at least diminish their numbers, 
for m the autumn there is not one alive but the young 
rising generation, in the bowels of the peas which 
would individually be cut off by this process. 

I believe these insects, since the importation and culti- 
vation of the green pea from Europe, have avoided 
every other kind of vegetable and confined themselves 

entirely to this, on account of its superior delicacy 

They do not meddle with any of our native pulses, that 
I have observed; such as the caravances, dolichos, pha- 
seoli, lupini, vicia, &c. yet there is in Carolina, a smal- 
ler yellowish species of this insect, which is, if possible, 
more numerous and voracious; they are destructive 
to all kinds of esculent legumes, particularly so to all 
species of caravances, and these, in the manner of the 
common little black wevel, lay their knits on thedrypeas 
which hatch and propagate continually, the year round' 
and devour perpetually while there is a pea remaining 


Observations on tlie Pea Flij^ ^c. 


i A- 


for them. The common black wevel (curculio piceus) 
in Carolina and Florida, are particularly destructive to 
the mayz, (indian com) and ory^a (rice) after it is di- 
vested of its husk, and prepared for exportation ; tlien 
there is no way of saving it, not even in casks, for any 
length of time, but is entirely safe in the husk, or in the 
tough, as the planters term it. 

Curculio oblongus rufo-testacius, Coleopterls angulato tu* 
berculatis notatis, proboscide longa^ deorsum arciiata. 

This insect is of the genus we call wevel, but is much 
larger than the common black one which infests grain 
in our granaries. They are of an oblong form, and of 
a brown testaceous colour, yet varied with spots or 
clouds of yellow or white, and the elytron or shell which 
covers the wings, is studded with pointed tubercles, as 
are the thighs, legs and thorax. The proboscis is trun- 
cated, and terminates with a serrated or toothed forceps, 
with which they gnaw the green fruit: nea^ the extre- 
mity of the proboscis, are two articulated antennse, the 
eyes are placed near the base or origin of the proboscis ; 
the legs are six in number, two of which are placed on 
the thorax, near the joint, and the other four are on the 
sides of the body near the abdomen ; the whole insect 
is covered with hair. 

This is the mischievous Insect which destroys all 
our stone fruit, plumbs, pears, nectarins, cherries &c. 
and I believe apples, the European WTilnut, and other 
fruits. But it is not in the flv or beetle state that thcv 

Observations on the Pea Fly, £s?^ 



do this mischief, but in that of the caterpillar or worm. 
In the spring when the young fruit is about half grown 
or younger, the female is furnished with a sharp spatula 
or gauge at the extremity of her abdomen, somewhat 
hke the point of a lancet, with which she pierces the 
rind of the tender green fruit, at the same instant depo- 
siting an egg or knit just under the raised cuticle of the 
wound, which is like to that made by the nib of a pen. 
1 his ^^^ soon hatches, and the little larva immediately 
eatsmward, descending to the stone or kernel of the fruit 
round about which it feeds, between it and the pulpy 
rind, or enters the kernel, which is yet very tender and 
delicate ; but in this last circumstance, the destroyer ge- 
nerally falls a victim to his own intemperance and glut- 
tony, for such fruit generally drop before they are half 
ripe, and consequently before the metamorphosis of the 
grub, but such as feed only on the interior pulp round 
about the stone, continue on the tree until the ripening 
of the fruit, and thus live out their time. When the fruit 
drops off, the worm creeps out, enters the earth, and the 
toUowing spring becomes a beetle or curculio. About 
the time of the setting of the young fruit, they creep 
out of the earth, ascend or fly into the trees, copulate 
and are then attentive only to the work of generation. • 
Such is the prolific nature of this insect, that each 
female lays many hundred eggs, and a few flies are abun- 
dantly sufficient to destroy the fruit of a large tree. 

Many methods have been thought of and practised 
to remedy the evil, but none have as yet been attended 
with success, perhaps through want of perseverance 

During niy travels southward, (from Pennsylvania to 
Florida,) I had sufficient opportunities to observe that 

F .1 




Ob se^-vations on the Pea Fly^ i^c. 

the fruit trees on the sea coast and brackish water, were 
free from the ravages of this destructive insect ; this 
suggested to me an idea, that the sahne vapours were 
pernicious to them, and hence I imagined, that if we 
were to go to the trifling expence of showering our 
choicest fruit trees with a weak sohition of common sea 
salt, once or twice a week, it might answer the same 
end of preserving the fruit, and by persevering farther 
in a little more expence, in extending the same care to 
our orchards, we might in a few years expel them. 
But this is only a conjecture, having never made tlue 

[January 1808. The foregoing paper being found 
among the papers of the society, was sent to Mr. Bar- 
tram for the purpose of revision, and to enable him to 
add such additional facts, as might have occurred to 
him. He returned it with the following note.] 

" I have nothing more to add, but that the spring 
following, I put the experiment of showering a plum 
tree on tryal, with a weak solution of sea salt dissolved 
in water, but being too strong of salt, most of the leaves 
and fruit fell off" in consequence of it, otherwise the ex- 
periment might have produced the desired effect, as 
what fruit remained were not touched by the insect, 
though small and disfigured by the strength of the brine; 
yet a few arrived to their natural size and ripened, so 
that I am induced to believe, that with care in temper- 
ing the solution, it will be found to be the best and 
cheapest remedy against the ravages and encrease of 
those pernicious insects yet discovered. It should be 
so weak as just to taste of salt. 

Observations on the Pea Fly, ^c. 


I have lately reason to recommend fresh oyster shells, 
pulverized m the manner that plaister of Paris is pre- 
pared for manure, put about the roots of peach and plum 
trees &CC, as effectual in keeping off the peach Zyg^na, 
and also Cerambix which destroys apple trees. 

Quere whether oyster shells powdered, would not 
be found to be as good a manure, as plaister or lime^ 
perhaps more lasting, and less expensive as they could 
be prepared with less labour and expence.'' 

W. B. 



[ 324 ] 

[(j3* Although we are under the necessity of closing our 
present Volume, we cannot withhold the following memoir 
from our valuable correspondent John Taylor Esq. of Ca^ 
roline^ Virginia. A boldness of design, and spirit of execu- 
tion, mark the undertakings of this intelligent agriculturist ; 
whose means are fortunately equal to their accomplishment. 
Our views are to invite and promulgate information from 
others ; under a conciousness that we shall thereby serve the 
interests we wish to promote, far better than by any efforts 
we of ourselves are capable of making. The subject is of the 
first importance ; and has been seldom discussed. Jt is hop- 
ed that this publication of Mr. Taylor'* s ideas and practice, 
will invite others to communicate their thoughts and expe- 
rience. We have received some theoretical observations, in 
some points, similar to those in this memoir. But we have 
postponed them for the present, as we prefer actual practice, 
in all cases. They will be noticed hereafter, if this our first 
essay to revive and extend the usefulness of our Institution, 
meets with the assistance and encouragement, essential to 
warrant a continuance of our well intended endeavours.] 

Memoir upon Clearing Land, By John Taylor, Esqr. 
of Caroline, Virginia. 

The objects to be kept in view are profit and im- 
provement. These will comprise the speediness and 
amount of income, the effectiveness of labour, the 
preservation and improvement of land, and the saving 
of wood and timber. 

Whatever will bring most land, in the shortest space, 
under cultivation, will contribute to all these ends. 
It expedites and increases income. It extends the 

On clearing Land. 


powers of labour to their utmost degree. It opens 
a sufficiency of land for the introduction of improve- 
ment, by rest, successive crops aqd meadows, before 
fl part IS exhausted; and it saves the wood and timber 
devoted to destruction, by a necessity for cutting down 
new ; to supply the place of exhausted land, during a 
slow course of clearing. 

If a tract of 400 acres, would, in its most perfect 
state, consist of 300 in fine heart and cultivation, and 
of 100 m- wood and timber ; the more rapidly it can be 
brought to that state, the better. If 30 years are em- 
ployed m clearing the 300 acres, it will never arrive at 
that state. Much of the land will be impoverished by 
severe cropping for want of room, and at the end of 
thirty years, the hundred acres reserved for timber 
and wood, must be invaded, to compensate for the land 
destroyed. Nor can the profit of labour be consider- 
able during the whole period, because it will be partly 
bstfor want of room, partly by the cultivation of weak 
land, and partly by the annual expence of dealing ten 
acres. Whereas an instant reduction of the 300 acres 
to a state fit for cuhivation, would place within the 
reach of the proprietor the most perfect system of 
culture, m respect to the speediness and amount of 
mcome. the effectiveness of labour, the improvement 
ot land, and the preservation of wood and timber. 

Therefore the most powerful, is probably the best 
agent to employ in clearing land. No agentopemtes so 
powerfully on wood, as fire. Julius C^sar has, I think 
commemorated its usefulness towards the object under 
consideration, in his account of the ancient inhabitants 
ot Untain. 


On clearing Land. 

On clearing Land. 



The residue of this Essay is a Detail of Experiments. 

t . 

Woods arc cut down in June, July, August or Sep- 
tember, and not in the winter, unless they consist of 
pine or cedar. Because wood is then softest, the leaves 
drying on the boughs are fuel for the subsequent fire, 
and the wood will become dry enough for burning by 
the following fall or spring. 

The labourers cut in pairs, each pair taking a breadth 
of twenty yards, and working either to right or left, 
that distance asunder. This, with invariably falling the 
trees backwards, whenever they will so fall, prevents 
danger, and mutual interruption. They cut down all 
trees and bushes, working together on the opposite 
sides of trees large enough to admit it, for the sake 
of the emulative or musical invigoration arising from 
an alternation of strokes. Not a bough is cut from the 
trunk, or a grub taken up. A man will cut down ten 
times as much land in this mode, as he can clear in the 
common way ; topping, cutting up trunks, grubbing, 
and collecting and burning brush. 

The woods thus cut down, first lying until they are 
considerably seasoned, are burnt during the same fall, or 
the following spring, after the buds appear, during dry 
weather and a brisk wind ; and produce a fire which 
kills nearly all the small stumps, and most of the large ; 
and consumes in a few minutes, should the ground be 
well covered, every thing except large logs ; many of 
these will bum up, and the few which are left, being sea- 
soned and roasted, are easily burnt by collectmg three or 
fourtogether. If rails, wood, or timber, are wanted from 
the ground, the burning is deferred to the spring, and 


"f- i., if done in ,he sprin,. vlV m^ ^:Z' 

bed wdl produce a better cmp, ,ha„ ^y' „ . 
tenng and ploughing „ni„d. wiUrou, bun,ir/' Tht 

W :' etr^ °^ ^ ""^^"^ «• "■= >^"''. i-viden. 

be ino,»ed'durtn:i\.,r 1':^^ nir: 
space of twelve fee.-wide should be d^d „r 
busdble, adjoining 1,. The labouTrsrll °""- 
merous on U,e day of burning, ^d b^ „!' *" "T 
Peen pine or cedar bough,, if o bTha^ Z7n. J' 

If land be sufficiently c Jvered with inferior erowth 

sometimes the cLt wet landr'l '''''' ^^ '^ 
if necessarv h^ . ^^"^'^ "^^ ^'"^Jned, 

ditch KtJui^.^P'""! *'^ ^-^^^ ^°--, or by a smal 
stacle to 1 K "^ '" '^"^ '''''^''' '^ remove any ob- 
Zof^:^^^^^^ '-''" '"^^^^"-- Then a subI 

fire is cut Ho '? P''°^"^^ ^ ^^^ '^^''^ -"d severe 

fire, ,s cut down, and the very large trees belted. The 




On clearing Land. 


land being opened to the view by the burning, the per- 
manent ditches are more judiciously made. If it be full 
of ro6ts, as will be the case where bushes abound, it is 
kept inclosed the following year and certainly throws 
up a great growth of Weeds and small bushes. These 
when dr}% furnish food for a second fire. And after a 
second burning, however matted with roots the land 
may be, it will if properly drained, produce a fine crop 
of com. The roots, being dead, break easily to pieces ; 
and the stumps and grubs are all killed, if the fires have 
been severe, and nearly so, if they have barely burnt 
over the ground. This mode of clearing is applied to 
boggy small streams, with great advantage, as it saves 
the expence of digging up masses of interwoven roots. 
1 have made between 40 and 50 bushels of corn to the 
acre on such land, when the whole surface seemed to 
be a bed of dead roots, by a culture with the hoe, barely 
sufficing to keep under the weeds, and the few bushes 
which appear after burning. 

Hitherto these observations relate to clearing new 
land. In the southern states it is often necessary to clear 
old, once exhausted, and grown up in pine and cedar. 
As it has not recovered its virgin fertility, but univer- 
sally remains steril, there could be no advantage, in 
bringing it back to cultivation in this state, either rapidly 
or slowly. Without combining enrichment with clear- 
ing, a mean crop or two is all it can yield, and will not 
repay the expence of the latter, however reduced. 

About twelve years ago, having a field which required 
enlargement, bordered by old, barren, broken, and gul- 
lied laiid, well covered with a growth of pine and cedar, 
except in the parts galled, \\ hich abounded ; I cut doAvn 

On clearing Land; 


about twelve acres, and covered one half with the bushes 
a..d rubbish of the whole, in stripes across the fieH of 
wenty yards wide, leaving intervals twenty y^dt!^; 
also. 1 hese mtervals I leisurely manured well by cow- 
penmg. They were left to diminish the labour of rl 
movmg the brush, and to diversify the experiment b; 
extending ,t to every quality of the ground. The land 
remamed covered and inclosed for four years, the stripes 
were burnt, and with the manured intervals being t 'en 
put m culture, have since produced two ve.y good crops 
of com and two of wheat, lying in clover LgrZd 
when not ,n cultivation. Last year, the clover'Lould 
have made a saving crop of hay; this, the land goes 
agam mto com. It has been difficult from the begin- 
ning to discover, whether the ground manured, or that 

kLd""T. ;"■ '"'" "^* ^'^ '^^"^^' -- --t en. 
ached. 1 he latter seemed at first to have the pre- 
ference but the stripes and intervals cannot now be dis- 
tinguished. The whole is probably richer than in iis 
vrgm state, and its fertility is increasing, owing, pro- 
bably, to inclosing, clover, and plaistering. 

I have done something towards this experiment every 
year from its commencement. If there are no ^lled 
places or gullies, the stripes are burnt at the end of 
four years, if there are, the rubbish, too large to piougli 
m, being collected by forks and rakes, is accumulated 
upon such places, which it enriches, by lying quiet four 
years more. ^ ^ o -i 

After the first four years, the annual repetition of the 
experiment, began annually to furnish some acres of 
land highly improved by brush. It has been suffered 
to remain five years, with increased benefit. A com- 



^ h m ; | U ii nwWOf »» 


On clearing Land. 

plete exclusion of the hoof and the tooth, has attend- 
ed the experiment from the beginning. This year, 
about five acres, the residue of the land necessary to 
enlarge my field, are cut down. Considerable portions 
'vre yet lying covered with the brush. Those in which 
the process" is terminated, furnish of corn field, to be 
followed bv wheat and clover, about fifty acres, twelve 
years ago worth nothing, and now though the most hilly, 

among the best I have. 

From these clearings, stakes and brush for fencmg m 
considerable portions, and all logs large enough for fuel, 
have been drawn during the process; and this necessity 
both protracted the experiment, and diminished its be- 
nefit, by diminishing the materials for covering the land. 
Experience has convinced me that green bushes, with 
their leaves, enrich considerably beyond dry. 

The success attending this mode of clearing exhaust- 
ed land a second time, has induced me to apply all spare 
brush to the galled or weak spots of adjacent fields. A 
thin cover fertilizes them in four years to an equality 
with, or beyond the rest of the field. By an annual re- 
petition of this practice, these humiliating evidences of 
bad culture, arc rapidly obliterated. 

By the mode of clearing new land, the labour of gvub- 

ing, loping, heaping and burning brush, and of a hard 

and difficult cultivation the first year, is saved ; the crop 

IS better ; and the several benefits of a rapid extension 

of tillable space, arc obtained. By that of clearing worn 

out land, grown up in pine and cedar, one half is made 

to enrich the other, and the primary object in the coun- 

tries where such lands are found, namely, an extension 

of fertile space, is thus promoted. The slow and gra- 


On clearing Land. 


dua mode of clearing is the cause, which reduces the 
fernhty of new countries below that of the old; the first 
mode of clearing is leveled at it; the second is one 
among the numberless means by which new countries 
may repair the evil, if it should have taken place * 
Jpril lOt/i, 1808. 

did" Zn S'^U't "T' ;": '°'"°''" "'"■"" 

1 m lutn, 1808, he writes 1 have kept a flock of 

from too to 4m sheep, on the form whereon I live, of our 
common breeds, with some care. The result is douLt, whe- 

and, to make 150 pounds of cotton to an acre. My calcu: 

cltateV , , ' '^^'-h-P'^ wool. In a different 
hma the calculation would be different. However, from 
several considerations, I persevere in the experiment ; having 
now, on the same place, 220 sheep ; and should be glad to 
get a ram, and 3 or 4 ewes, of pure Merinos. 
He IS pursuing his extensive plan plan of live fences ■ and 
^.. plante, several thousand youn, L«, „« ^X'" 
He writes to Dr. Mease, requesting to be informed of a • 
good mode of preparing the s-ypsu,n for the mill ; as "he 

nually Last year he sowed 200 acres with gypsum on. 
-hel to an acre, and planted corn, also rolled ngv^Ur 

was old and had never produced 15 bushels to an acre 
w hm h. .memory. Thus treated, it produced above 25 
ln.t the year was uncommonly favourable. * 

tu-i7exnL'; "''' ^'' '""""'■ '" *='*^^""S land " contains ac- 
luai experiments and results •" nr..i ^ r i 

of a practical, than a sp^utL LI:?^^^^ '' '' ^^^^^ 

toa„yoftheaerkult7 ! -T''^'' '" ^''J^'^tof *=mulation 

y ot the agi icultunsts, m either tlic old or the new world. 








On Smut in JTheat. ' 

of rr " • ""r ^"^"'"''^ ^^ ^'' SomerviUe and othe,^ 
o the animalcular nature of the disease called smutTn' 
wheat, .supported by Robert Harrup in ^2 " 
Philosophical Journal, Vol. 13, p. 113 "Th. t, ,! 
cU^st, he ..arks, consists of glo^s, .hicltet: 
vier than water, with which thev reaHll . u 

subside, suffering no change bvL? ' *^"' '"^'^ 
Tn fi,» u • • ^nange by being kept in that fluid 

In the beginning of September, I i^sej some of the' 
powder in water in a watch-glass. A few hoursle^ 

dmn „r ™ ,. • '^PO" «ami„ation, next day, evenr 

generally very „,„„te, bm some a size larger After 
*" exposed some days, Ae water evaXed^ 
» hour or two after d,e addition of fresh C e'v^r^ 
part swanned with animaleute, moving nitnbl^ri 




On Smut in Wheat. 

On Smut in Wheats 

r f** 

directions. While viewing them in the microscope, 
tliey suddenly became motionless, owing to the evapo- 
ration of the drop of liquid; on adding a drop of fresh 
water, they instantly revived, and began the same lively 
motion. A quantity of salt sufficient to saturate the 
water was then added to the mixture. Upon exami- 
nation about twenty hours afterwards, I was much sur- 
prised to find the animalculae as numerous and lively, 
as before the addition of the salt." 

" The watch-glass with its contents, after standing 
neglected, on a shelf exposed to the effluvia of a variety 
of drugs, till the latter end of November, was again fill- 
ed with water, and placed near a fire, placing at the same 
time by it a similar glass, containing smut-powder and 
fresh water. They were both frequently examined for 
some days, but without discovering any animalculae. 
My atten^tion being called off, they remained unnoticed 
about eight days. The glass which contained the infu- 
sion with simple water, was quite dry, and only a small 
quantity of fluid remained ih the other. A drop being 
examined with the microscope by a single lens of high 
magnifying power, was found to swarm with animal- 
cule. Both glasses were now filled with fresh water, 
and placed under inverted jars. Being examined two 
days after, each of them swarmed with lively animal- 
cule. While viewing them, a small particle of lime 
•water was added to the drop, which proved instantly fa- 
tal; at least, all motion ceased instantaneously, and was 

not renewed." 

Mr. Harrup by a comparative experiment, shews the 
efficacy of steeping seed wheat in brine, and afterwards 

liming it, in preventing smut, as recommended In a 
paper formerly read to the society.* 

On Blight. 
The following judicious remarks on blight in wheat 
by Mr. Marshall, deserve particular attention, on ac 
count of the mode recommended of checking the pro- 
gress of the disease. An experiment of the practice he 
recommends, is certainly worthy of trial. 

"That the operation of the disease is carried on by 
the fungus tribe, evidently appears from the labours of 
botanists.! But fungi it is equally evident, are an ef . 
feet, not the cause of the disease. They are the vermin 
of the more perfect vegetables; and fasten on them 
whether m a dead or in a diseased state, but seldom I 
believe, while they are in full health and vigour. Their 

* Mr. Wimpey in a paper published subsequent to that re- 
ferred to page 55, adduces some facts to shew that this disease 
in gram, arises solely from the influence of the weadier. To 
the olyection to his theory arising from the remark, that in the 
case of tAvo adjoining fields, one shall be free and the other 
infected, he replies, "that malignant currents of air, are fre- 
quently confined to a small space, and affect those objects 
only that stand in their way : that it is not uncommon to see 
trees and plants blighted on one side only: and that he has 
often seen the east and south sides of a field of wheat very 
smutty when the north and west, and the other parts of the 
field, have been little affected by it, and sound and smutty 
ears growmg from the same root, and even sound and smutty 
grams at the same time, in the same ear. He says also, 
that clean gram will produce a smutty crop, and smutty grains 
yield a clean produce. This last fact, agi^es with the expe- 
riment of Sir John Call mentioned page 56. 
t See Sir Joseph Banks' paper on blight and rust. 


V -rjr-n^t' 


0;2 i?%A^ m Wheat. 


minute and volatile seeds may be said to be every 
where present, ready to produce their kind, wherever 
they may find a genial naatrix. Such at least appears 
to be the nature of the fungus, or fungi, of wheat; for 
it may be liable to the attack of more than one species. 
In a warm dry summer, which is well known to be fa- 
vourable to the health, vigour, and productiveness of 
the wheat crop, the seeds of fungi are harmless, so long 
as the fine weather continue. On the contrary, in a 
cold wet season which gives languor and weakness to 
the wheat plants, few crops escape entirely their de- 
structive effects. A standing crop not unfrequently 
escapes, while plots that are lodged in the same field, 
especially in pits and hollow places, become liable to 
their attack. Even strong healthy crops may in a few 
days or perhaps in a few hours, be rendered liable to 
be assailed, not progressively, as by infectious disease, 
but at once, as by a blast or blight. In the state of the 
atmosphere we are to look for the cause of the disease 
in a standing crop 5 and nothing is so likely to bring on 
the fatal predisposition of the plants, as a succession of 
cold rains while the grain is forming. The coldness 
necessarily gives a check to the rich saccharine ji^ces 
which are then rising towards the ear, and the moisture 
may, at the same time, assist the seeds of the fungi to 
germinate and take root." In support of his opinion, 
Mr, Marshall adduces the following facts. "In 1804 
(a very dry season) the disease was almost universal in 
England, except in two counties. The cause of the 
disease, in the county in which he had the best oppor- 
tunity of observing it (Caermenthshire) appeared very 


On Blight in Wheat. 


evidently, to proceed from cold rains which fell about 
the middle of August. Before that time wheat crops 
in general looked healthy, and were beginning to change 
to a bright colour. But presently, after a few cold wet 
days, the malady became obvious to the naked eye.* 
The straw lost its smooth varnished surface, being oc- 
cupied by innumerable specks, which changed in a few 
days, in less than a week, to a dark or blackish colour, 
giving the straw a dusky appearance. Another instance 
of the blight of wheat succeeding rain, was observed in 
the same county in 1794. Another equally obvious, 
m 1785, in the midland counties, as may be seen in the 
"Rural CEconomy" of that department, minute 74." 

As eiu-ly ripe crops, are least subject to the disease, 
Mr. Marshall recommends early sowing as a preven- 
tive. "Corn, (grain) he remarks, which ripens under 
the hot su^imer sun in July, is not so liable to cold 
chilling rains, as that which remains unmatured until 
the sun begins to loose its power, and the nights to in- 
crease in length and coobess. " The truth of this theo- 
ry is confirmed by what has occurred in our own coun- 
try. The farmers in the fertile, but moist peninsula 
between the rivers Delaware and Schuylkill, had suf- 
fered for many years so severely by mildew, from con- 
tinning to sow the old wheats which ripened late in July, 
or in August, that many of them ceased to cultivate 
wheat. At length the introduction of the "Isbell" or 

[* In Pennsylvania, we observe that the disease almost 
constantly attacks grain, when frequent heavy fogs, or slight 
•showers, are succeeded by dead calms and a hot sun, about 
the time of the grain filling.] 




On Blight in Wheat. 

On Blight in Wheat 

early wheat from Caroline county Virginia, which ripen- 
ed the latter end of June or beginning of July, enabled 
them to resume the cuUivation of that species of grain. 

To prevent the extension of the evil in the crop, 
when once it has made its appearance, Mr. Marshall 
strongly urges the propriety of "cutting the grain so soon 
as we perceive it struck therewith ; it may lie he says, 
on the stubble until the straw be firm and crisp enough 
to set up in sheaves, without adhering to the binding 
places ; allowing it to remain in the field, until the grain 
shall have received the nutriment which the straw may 
be able to impart. Where wheat, he says, has been 
grown on lammas land, and the ground to be cleared by 
the first of August, he has known crops cut green 
as grass, and to be carried and spread upon grass land 
to drj^ Yet the grain has been found to mature, and 
always to afibrd a fine skinned beautiful sample. Ray 
grass that is cut even while in blossom, is well known 
to mature its seeds with the sap that is lodged in the 
stems. Hence there is nothing to fear from cutting 
wheat or other com, before the straw be ripe.*" 

" It may be asked, in what manner the remedy is thus 
effected. But to the practical farmer the fact is all that 
is required. If it shall appear, that the fungus of wheat 
requires a free supply of air to keep it alive, or in a 
state of health and vigour, the effects of cutting down 

{* In confirmation of Mr. Marshall's theory it may be men- 
tioned, that the ears of indian corn, will harden and dry, 
although the stalks be cut off three weeks before they are ripe, 
provided they be set up in shocks in the field, or along the- 

the crop will be explained. It will perhaps be found by 
experience, that the closer it is allowed to lie upon the 
ground, and the sooner it is bound up in sheaves, (pro- 
vided the natural ascent of the sap to the ear be not 
thereby interrupted,) the more effectual and complete 
will be the remedy. Further, it may be suggested, 
on the evidence of attentive observation, that if wheat 
which has been attacked by this disease be suffered to 
remain in the field with the ears exposed, until it may 
have received the ameliorating influence of dews or 
moderate rain, (to soften, relax, and assist the natural 
rise of the sapj the more productive it will become." 
See minutes of agriculture, in Surrey. No. 4. 

" And It may be added, that grain which is cut while 
under ripe, is less liable to be injured in the field by 
moist weather, than that which has stood until it be fuUy 
over ripe.* ^ 

^ Marshall's Rural CEconomy of west of England, 




L 8 ] 

On the Flax Husbandry of Ireland 


On the Flax Husbandry of Ireland, from the Farmer's 

Magazine, printed at Edinburgh. Vol. 7. — 1806. 
Sir, f 

Having for several years been engaged in tlie cul- 
ture of flax, I devoted a part of last summer, to a tour 
through the manufacturing districts of Ireland. Here 
that branch of husbandry, has long been established 
over a large extent of the country, and conducted with 
considerable success. 

During my progress through Ireland, the several 
processes of steeping, drying, and skutching were in 
hand, and I think I found a peculiarity of management 
in these, suflicient to affect the success of the whole 
business, and to confer a decided superiority on the 
produce of an acre of flax in Ireland over that in Scot- 
land, both in quantity and value. It is no uncommon 
tiling for a farmer, to sell a part of his lint on the foot, 
as it is termed, and for this he will commonly receive 
from thirty to forty guineas per acre. 

1. Tlie method of steeping. As soon as the crop has 
attained the proper degree of rii)cness, the flax is pul- 
led, and carried to a stagnant pool, dug for the purpose 
moderately deep. It is allowed to remain there only 
from five to seven days, according to the temperature 
of the weather. After the fermentation in the steeping 
process has been carried to a degree sufficient to pro- 
duce the requisite laxity of fibre, the flax is taken out 
of the pool, and spread very thinly, on the stubble of the 
hay meadow. There, instead of remaining till it is 
merely dried, it is continued for three or four weeks, 

till the grower conceives it ready for skutching. This 
bleachmg process, has many advantages ; the most ob- 
vious one is, that it enables the farmer, every time he 
exammes it, to ascertain exactly, by rubbing on his 
hand, the precise point at which the fermentation has 
arrived, and thus to perceive the tenacity and strength 
of his flax ; while the adhesion of the fibre has been 
sufficiently Weakened, to admit of the skutcher clean- 
smg It completely of the woody parts. It is, I am ap. 
prehensive, only the practical flax farmer who is able 
to judge of the importance, and delicacy of this part of 
the husbandrJ^ It is so remarkable, that of tw^o acres 
of flax, under precisely the same seed and culture 
and of equal fertility, it frequently happens that the' 
one shall yield a produce thrice the value of the other, 
merely from superior accuracy in ascertaining the pro- 
per line of continuing the steepfng and bleaching pro- 

2. Smoking and drying. The Irish seem to possess 
another advantage in their mode of drying their flax, 
before they submit it to the skutcher or beater. After 
the lint has remained a sufficient length of time on the 
bleaching green, it is gathered up into sheafs, and seems 
tolerably dry. In this state it is deemed by the Scots 
growers fully prepared for the flax mill ; but far other-' 
wise by the Irish farmer, who never submits it to the 
hands of the beaters, until it has undergone a thorough 
smoking over a peat fire. For this purpose, he raises 
at the back of a ditch, a small hurdle, thinly wrought 
with osiers, and places it on four posts of wood, at the 
height of four feet above the level of die ground. A ' 
pretty strong fire of peats being kindled below, the heat ' 




1 -* » 1 

V N 


On the Flax Husbandry of Ir elands. 

and smoke pervades every part of the flax, which is 
placed perpendicularly above the hurdle. This pro< 
cess is continued, and fresh quantities of flax regularly 
added, till the whole crop is brought to a state of dry- 
ness, which in that moist climate, can never be effected 
by the sun and the weather : by this operation, a degree 
of brittleness and friability is produced on the straw, 
which greatly facilitates the ensuing work, and admits 
of an easy separation of the fibre from the wood. It is 
evident, that the less friction required in skutching, the 
less Waste and diminution must be occasioned in clean- 
ing the flax, and consequently, the greater must be the 
grower's produce from the mill. This part of the pro- 
cess is equally delicate with that described above, and 
requires, if possible, still greater attention on the part 
of the workmen, since it is clear, that by a careless ma- 
nagement of the fire, the whole crop may be destroyed. 
3. Cleansing and dressing. The flax husbandry of 
Ireland derives no small benefit from the application 
of hand labour in the beating and skutching of lint, 
thus superseding the use of the mill. The most care- 
ful and expert workmen are not always able to temper 
the velocity of machinery so exactly, as to preserve 
flax that has been oyer steeped or bleached to excess; 
while the steady and regulated impetus of the hand 
skutching, can be easily modified, as the circumstances 
of each case may require : a matter of obvious advan- 
tage, because the best flax mills seldom produce an 
equal quantity of lint, nor equally clean, with that which 
is obtained by the hand. 

[11 ] 

Change of seed not necessary to prevent degeneracy ; 
naturalization of plants ; important caution to secure per- 
manent good quality of plants. By Joseph Cooper of 
Gloucester county, JVew Jersey. 

[The following paper on several important agricultu- 
ral subjects, has already been published in the t/nited 
States, and in Europe; and has deservedly excited very 
general attention. The writer is entitled to every de- 
gree of respect, both for his practical knowledge, and 
integrity of relation. His experience and opinions dif- 
fer widely from those generally received. The results 
produced, require the care and attention which few wiU 
give. The merit of Mr. Cooper is therefore the great- 
er. That both sides of a question, in which agricultu- 
rists are highly interested, might fairly appear ; the so- 
ciety have thought it right to add to their memoirs, this 
important developement of the practice and success of 
the writer. And this, not with a view to promote con- 
troversy, but to encourage and invite candid enquiry.] 


■*' ^";'- L,. 



C 12 ] 

Cooper's Point, April 17 th, 1799. 
Respected Friend, 

Kind providence having placed me in a situation of 
life, which obliged me to procure a living by industry, 
and that principally in the agricultural line, it has caus- 
ed me to be a strict observer of the works of nature, 
with respect to such parts of the vegetable creation as 
have come under my particular notice, and have been 
greatly embarrassed at the opinion very generally en- 
tertained by farmers and gardeners, that changing seeds, 
roots and plants, to distant places, or different soils 
or climates, is beneficial to agriculture, such opinion 
not agreeing with my observations or practice. This 
induced me to make many experiments on that 
head, all of which, in more than forty years practice, 
have operated to prove to my satisfaction, that the above 
opinion is not well founded, and if so, must be extreme- 
ly prejudicial to agriculture, as it turns the attention 
of the husbandman from what appears to me one great 
object, viz. that of selecting seeds and roots for plant- 
ing or sowing, from such vegetables as come to the 
greatest perfection, in the soil which he cultivates. 

What induced me to make experiments on the sub- 
ject, was, my observing that all kinds of vegetables 
were continually varying in their groAvth, quality, pro- 
duction, and time of maturity. This led me to believe 
that the great author of nature, has so constructed that 
wonderful machine, if I may be allowed the expression, 
as to incline every kind of soil and climate to naturalize 
all kinds of vegetables, that it will produce at any rate, 

Change of Seed unnecessary. 


the better to suit them, if the agriculturists will do their 
part m selectmg the most proper seed. In support of 

P ove tLT """'"' "'''^^ ^^^^ ^» --"^-d to 
prove the above, to my satisfaction. 

_Inor about theyearl746,myfatherprocuredthe seeds 
or the long warty squash, which have been kept on the 

lerable to what they were at fir^t n i 

J o -^ ^^- ^"^ ^^Jy peas were 

d eTar r ^r^"' ^'^^ «P"ng before 'BLdoir; 
seasol ^ '"^ ^T" ^''" P^""^^^ successively every 

changed, and are now preferable to what they were 
when first obtained. The seed of nnr . 
procured from New Yort 1 ^^"^^^^ was 

hat time r h , ' *^^ ^^^ ^^^2, and since 

mat tunc I have not planted a seed, except what grew 

on my beds; and by selecting the seed, froL theL^esT 
•stalks, I have miproved it greatly ^ 

A complaint is very general, that potatoes of every 
kind degenerate, at which I am not surprised, wlen 
the most proper means to produce that effect is Ion 
s^n ly practised; to wit, using or selling the be and 
p^Ung t^.e refuse; by which means, almost the thTk 

generated. This consideration induced me to trv an 
opposite method. Having often observed that^^ 

partrr^on et:; r ^^^ "'^"' "''^^" ^"^ ^P" 
me to save a auamV r ''^'''''''" "^"''''"'■^' " '"^uced 

ensuing I ason'^Tr" '"''^ °"'^' '°^ P'^"^'"& *- 

their nrodur' ""'' ^^^'^ ^"""^^"^ '" ^"^^"^ 

production exceed that of others, of the sam! 






Change of Seed unnecessary. 


kind, planted at the same time, and with every equal 
advantage, beyond my expectation, in size, shape, and 
quantity i by continuing the practice, I am satisfied that 
I have been fully compensated, for all the additional 

A circumstance happened respecting potatoes, which 
may be worth relating : a woman whom I met in mar- 
ket, requested me to bring half a bushel of sweet pota- 
toes for seed, the next market day, which I promised 
to do, but going through the market on that day, pre- 
vious to her son's coming for the potatoes, I observed 
the woman selling such as I had brought for her ; when 
the boy came, I asked him the reason they wanted po- 
tatoes for seed, while they were selling their own ; his 
answer was, that his father said, if they did not get 
seed from me, once in three or four years, their potatoes 
would be good for nothing. Query, if he had used the 
same means in selecting his potatoes for planting, as I 
did, whether he would have profited by changing with 
one who used the other method? 

Jn discoursing with a friend who lived at a great dis- 
tance from me, on the above subject, he mentioned a 
fact in favour of changing seed. Some radish seed 
which he had from me, produced radishes preferable 
to any thing of the kind ever seen in that neighbour- 
hood which was near 100 miles distant : but in two or 
three years, the radishes degenerated so as to be no 
better than what he had before ; I asked his method of 
saving his seed ; he said he had no other radishes in his 
garden, and when they had pulled what was fit for use, 
let the others go to seed. I then told him my method, 
viz. — As soon as the radishes are fit for use, I dig up 

VA tuxam^JM^mifMxmii 

Change of Seed unnecessary. 



ten or twelve of those which please me best, as to co- 
lour, shape, &c. and plant them at least 100 yards from 
wTiere any others bloom at the time they do ; this I in- 
formed him, was the best method I knew of to im'prove 
any kind of vegetables, varying the process agreeably 
to tiieir nature ; I asked him if he thought I should be 
benefited by exchanging with him ? his answer was, he 
believed I was the best gardener. 

In or about the year 1772, a friend sent me a few 
grams of a small kind of indian com, the grains of which 
were not larger than goose shot, he informed me by a 
note that they were originally from Guinea, and pro- 
duced from eight to ten ears on a stock. Those grains 
I planted, and found the production to answer the de- 
scription, but the ears were^small, and few of them ri- 
pened before frost. I saved some of the largest and 
earliest, and planted them between rows of the larger 
and earlier kinds of com, which produced a mixture to 
advantage ; then I saved seed from stalks that produced 
the greatest number of the largest ears, and first ripe 
which I planted the ensuing season, and was not a litUe 
gratified to find its production preferable, both in quan- 
tity and quality, to that of any com I had ever planted. 
This kind of com I have continued to plant ever since 
selecting that designed for seed, in the manner I would 
wish others to try, viz—When the first ears are ripe 
enough for seed, gather a sufficient quantity for early 
corn, or for replanting, and. at the time you wish your 
com to ripen generally, gather a sufficient quantity for 
planting the next year, having particular care to take it 
irom stalks that are large at bottom, of a regular taper, 
not over tall, the ears set low, and containing the great - 



Naturalization of Plants^ ^c. 



est number of good sizeable ears, of the best quality ; 
let it dry speedily, and from this com, plant your main 
crop, and if any hills should miss, replant from that first 
gathered, which will cause the crop to ripen more re- 
gularly than is common : this is a great benefit. 

The above method I have practised many years, and 
am satisfied it has increased the quantity, and improv- 
ed the quality of my crops, beyond the expectation of 
any person who had not tried the experiment. The 
distance of planting com, and the numiber of grains in 
a hill, are matters many differ in ; perhaps different soils 
may require a difference in both these respects ; but in 
every kind of soil I have tried, I find planting the rows 
six feet asunder each way, as nearly at right angles as 
may be, and leaving not more than four stalks on a hill, 
produces the best crop. The common method of sav- 
ing seed com, by taking the ears from the crib or heap, 
is attended with two disadvantages, one is, the taking 
the largest ears, which have generally grown but one 
on a stalk. This lessens the production ; the other is, 
taking ears that have ripened at different times, which 
causes the production to do the same. 

A striking instance of plants being naturalized, hap- 
pened by Colonel Matlack sending some water melon 
seed from Georgia, which, he informed me by letter, 
were of superior quality : knowing that seed from ve- 
getables, which had grown in more Southern climates, 
required a longer summerthan what grew here, I gave 
them the most favourable situation, and used glasses 
to bring them forward, yet very few ripened to perfec- 
tion ; but finding them to be as excellent in quality as 
xlescribed, I saved seed from those first ripe ; and b}' 

Naturalization of Plants, (s'c. 


continuing that practice four or five years, they became 
as early water melons as I ever had. 

Many admit the importance of a change of seed, from 
the fact of foreign flax seed producing the best flax in 
Ireland; but when it is considered that it is the bark of 
the stalk only that is used in Ireland, and that this is in 
the best perfection before the seed ripens, the argu- 
ment fails when applied to other vegetables. 

For many years past, I have renewed the whole seed 
of my wmter grain, from a single pfant which I have 
observed to be more productive, and of better quality 
than the rest; a practice, which I am satisfied, has been of 
great use ; and I am fully of opinion, that all kinds of 
garden vegetables may be improved by the foregoing^ 
methods, particular care being taken, that different 
kinds of the same species of vegetables are not in bloom 
at the same time, near together, as by this bad practice, 
they mix and degenerate.* 

* The above remark of an observant, practical agriculturist, 
has so often been confirmed by the observations of others] 
that no doubt can be entertained of its accuracy. The fact 
is one of the most powerful proofs of the sexual doctrine of 
plants, and is strongly confirmed by the familiar example of 
the certain degeneracy of squashes and pumpkins if grown 
near gourds ; the latter even communicate an emetic quality 
to their neighbours. In like manner, melons will degenerate 
if planted near squashes or pumpkins. A case is recorded 
in the law reports, of an action which was brought against 
a gardener near London, in the reign of Charles 2, for selling 
cabbage seed instead of cauliflower seed. On trial it appear- 
ed, that both had been planted near each other, by the pur- 

c * 

'.'. . -4* I- »»--*.• t 


Natutalizution of Plants^ ^c. 

I am sensible the foregoing will meet with great op- 
position and contradiction, but as an experiment is safe 
and easy, I hope it will induce persons of more leisure, 
ability, and observation than myself, to make trial, as 
a mean of improving the agriculture of our country. 

Such is the sincere wish of thy friend, 

Joseph Cooper. 


chaser and to this error, the gardener contended the degene- 
racy of the true seed which he had sold, was owing.^ But he 
lost his cause in consequence of the prevailing ignorance of 
the sexual doctrine of plants : posterity however has rescued 
his memory from the imputation of a cheat. The fact quoted 
by Mr. William Young in page 53, may be adduced as ano- 
ther argument in favour of the propriety of attending to the 
caution of Mr. Cooper. 

This fact, and the consequences of it, shew that lawyers 
should attend to agricultural and horticultural knowledge, as 

well as tu nicic profcaalonal acquirements. In an agricultu- 
ral country, it is peculiarly incumbent on them : both for the 
purposes of justice, and personal advantage to themselves* 



. ... f^t 

C 19 ] 

Jc-count of the produce of various grains, planted Seb, 
tember 18, 1787 and lU^.^By the late Jacob HUt- 
zetmer, of Philadelphia. 

Cape wheat, 20 grains, produced 5050 grains 
White wheat, 13 grains, produced 6100 gmins. 
Winter barley, 19 grains, produced 17680 grains. " 
Summer barley, 48 grains, were planted on the 4th 

ot April, 36 came up, and two of them produced 

smut; 34 yielded 20200 grains. 

Rye, 13 grains produced 29200 grains. 

. All die grains were planted iu rows 12 inches apart 

and the grains 4 inches. 

Produce of 1788. 

Cape wheat, one grain produced 64 heads, which 
contained 2816 grains. 

White wheat, 40 heads, containing 2240 grains 

Winter barley, 65 heads, 3900 grains. 

Yellow bearded wheat, 58 heads, 3016 grains. 

Speltz, two grains together, produced 104 heads, 
which contained 4368 grains. 

ITie above grains were planted in the beginning of 
September, 1788, and the first four about six inches 
apart : the produce was presented to the society, July 



C 20 ] 


Produce of Mr. Stoneburner'^s land in 1787- 

Twenty-one acres, produced 50 tons of hay. 

Twenty -four acres, produced seven hundred and 
fifty dozen sheaves of winter grain.* 

• Twelve acres, produced at a moderate computation, 
four hundred bushels of oats. 

Eight acres, produced one hundred and sixty-five 
bushels of buckwheat. 

Four acres, produced one hundred bushels of In- 
dian com. 

One acre and a quarter, produced four hundred and 
fifty bushels of potatoes. 

Twenty head of cattle were fattened, and five milch 
cows pastured. 

Germantown, March Ath^ 1788. 



[Those who are acquainted with Mr. Stonebumer, 
know the high character which he justly acquired and 
maintained as a farmer. It is to be regretted that 
measures were not taken to obtain from him, the par- 
ticulars respecting the preparation of his lands for the 
above crops. Mr. S. himself, (a German by birth,) 

♦ This would now be a crop entided to no singular notice. 
The Indian com ai:id potatoes are the best. The hay crop is 
good, but has been very olten exceeded. Heavy, and over 
abundant grass, does not produce the best hay. 

Produte of Land. 



was more of a practical than literary cast. He could 
have dictated, though he could not write a detailed 
account ; and he was moreover, not well acquainted 
with the English language. We are satisfied that the 
notes of our farmers could furnish many statements 
which would do equal credit to them, as the above does 
to the memory of an excellent citizen. They are there- 
fore requested to favour the society with them. A pow- 
erful argument ought to stimulate them on the occasion, 
viz. the character of our country :— it is only by the 
publication of such accounts, that we shall undeceive 
the Europeans with respect to the state of our agricul- 
ture, which though giving much room for amendment, 
yet furnishes as great instances of produce as any coun- 
try can boast of. The foregoing crops of 1787, are now 
frequently exceeded. A scale of progressive im- 
provement could be formed, if additional facts, through 
the last twenty years, wfre furnished.] 

On Hedges. By Thomas Main, of George Town, Potomac. 

Miscellaneous Remarks. 
" Mankind are all disposed to take the shortest road 
that leads to the object of their desires, though it is 
frequently not the best ; and it may be expected that 
many of those who have planted or intend to plant live 
hedges in this country, will be impatient to have them 
m perfection as soon as possible, or perhaps sooner 
than nature, assisted by all the efforts of art, has de- 
creed that they should be so gratified. For the purpose 
of rendering half grown hedges fencible, many inge- 

. • •*-'lj^^ ■■•■- V... k 


On Hedges. 

On Hedges. 


nious contrivances will, no doubt be invented hereaf- 
ter. Such ideas as have come across my imagination 
to favour this end, shall now be freely communicated, 
leaving others to add thereto at their leisure.'* 

Method of rendering a young Hedge impervious to black 

** Our catde being accustomed to go at large, and 
used to pushing their way through brakes and thickets, 
we can only expect to debar them by live fences, 
through sheer strength of the plants which compose the 
hedge, and if they possibly can divide it with the 
help of their honis, some of them will undoubtedly, at 
times try to force themselves through, without much 
regarding the spines of the common haw-thom, which 
would do little more to a strong steer than to tickle his 
tough hide, but in order to check his progress, and 
keep him on the outside, or keep him in if his owner 
^ should choose to have hini there confined, it will not be^ 
difficult nor expensive to assist the young hedge in the 
Ibllowing manner," 

^'When a hedge is four years old, let the top of it be 
trimmed at the proper season, to about three feet, or 
three feet and a half from the ground, a number of 
neat rails, or seasoned poles, sufficient to run the whole 
length of the hedge being provided, these are to be 
laid one after the other, singly along the top, exactly 
in the middle thereof, their ends being lapped past 
each other, -and tied together with a piece of hickory 
bark, or some such cheap and ready ligature, the stubbs 
of the shoots will easily support them there until the 
TCw growth secure them in dieir place. The hedge 

being annually trimmed as usual, in two years the 
rails will be found enclosed in the very center of it, so 
that any animal of a large size that may attempt to push 
Its way through, will find it impracticable to divide the 

Method for excluding Hogs. 

'' When the old protective fence seems to be on the 
declme, while the hedge has not yet attained sufficient 
strength or closeness to keep out pigs or hogs, that 
are permitted to go at large without yokes, the hedge 
may be strengthened to resist them by driving a short 
stake about two feet long in the vacancy betwixt each 
two of the plants ; if these stakes are sufficiently dura- 
ble to contmue firm for two or three years, the hedge 
will probably at that period, be strong enough itself to 
keep hogs out." 

. "Another method to effect thispurpose, maybe com. 
menced when the hedge has completed its second 
year, or when the stems of the plants nearest the 
ground, have attained the size of a person's thumb 
then just before the bud begins to open in the spring' 
let the whole hedge be cut off by a saw, to within an 
inch and a half of the surface ; the cultivation beine 
contmued as usual; the shoots that will arise from these 
stubbs will run up to four, five, or six feet the first 
season, and will be so numerous and full of thorns 
that the hedge will in a few years be completely closed 
at the bottom ; the trimming being annually attended 
to as before directed under that article. But it is to be 
observed that these strong shoots are at first easily dis- 
jointed from the stocks, and therefore cattle of every 




On Hedges, 

On Hedges. 


description must be carefully kept from them until 
they are out of danger." 

"A better way than either of these can be executed, 
when the field enclosed, is incommoded with stones." 

" Having the hedge-course ploughed and harrowed 
level in the spring of the fourth or fifth year, the stones 
are to be gathered from the land, and the largest ones 
first laid along side 6i the hedge ; having marked a 
space in width, proportioned to the quantity that can be 
had, or is capable of containing as many of them as are 
deemed sufficient ; they are to be laid somewhat regu- 
lar, so as to form a sort of loose pavement or diagonal 
wall with its upright face about fourteen inches high, 
bearing against the stems of the plants. The interstices 
among the large stones may be filled up with the small- 
er, so as to close every opening against the growth of 
weeds or other perennial plants." 

"This will not only be an excellent barricade against 
swine, but will also tend to enrich the soil and promote 
the growth of the hedge ; but it must not be attempted 
before the stems of the plants at the surface of the 
ground, have acquired the size of a stout walking cane, 
as the stones will harbour field mice, and other animals 
that would gnaw the roots of small plants, but will not 
trouble such as are of the size mentioned." 

" Where stones cannot be obtained, another method 
may be taken to close the bottom of a hedge. After a 
course of flat rails, similar to those that are used in post 
and railing, are fixed along the inside, with their faces 
bearing against the hedge and raised a few inches from 
the surface — ^held in their places by small stakes or 
other simple contrivances — a mound of earth is to be 

.» — — — - 

piled up in a sloping bank to support them-having 
first ploughed a narrow stripe at a little distance from 
the hedge-course, the more easily to procure mould for 
the puq^ose." 

" This mound would rather be of benefit than detri- 
ment to the hedge, although if both Hs sides were to 
be banked up to any considerable height, it might kill 
It entirely ; for there are few plants that can bear to be 
set much deeper in the ground than they grow natuml- 
ly. but vv^hen the eaith is elevated on one side only, the 
hedge will suffer no injury therefrom, and will thus ap.' 
pear planted on the side of a bank without any ditch." 

Mode of Plashing Hedges. From Anderson^ Rural Es- 
says. See also American Edition of the Domestic En. 
cyclopadia. Vol. III. page 277. 

« When a hedge has been neglected, and gaps are 
formed, they must be filled hy plashing. To do this " 
-^are selected, to be left at proper distances, the 

5W winch are all cut over at the height of four feet 
from the root. Straggling side branches of the other 
parts of tlie hedge are also lopped away. Several of 
the remammg plants are then cut over close by the 
ground, at convenient distances ; and the remainino- 
plants are cut perhaps half through, so as to permit 
them to be bent to one side. They are then bent down 
almost to a horizontal position, and interwoven with 
the upright stakes, so as to retain them in that position 
The operator begins at one end of the field, and pro' 
ceeds regularly forward, bending all the stems in one 
direction, so as that the points rise above the roots of 

d * 


Ofi Hedgea. 

the others, till the whole Avattling is completed to the 
same height as the uprights, after which it assumes the 
appearance somewhat resembling that which is repre- 
sented in the following cut. 

All the diagonal wattlings continue to live, and send 
out shoots from many parts of their stems ; and as the 
upright shoots that rise from the stumps of those plants 
that have been cut over, quickly rush up through the 
whole hedge, these serve to unite the whole into one 
entire mass that forms a strong, and durable fence." 

\The following extracts from Lord DundonaW s " Trea-^ 
tise on the Connection of Agriculture with Chemistry'' are 
published to shew the easy modes, by which every atten- 
five farmer may gain important knowledge. They also 
impress the necessity there exists for those who have lei- 
sure and iftclination, to study a?id promulgate at least so 
much chemical science, as can be usefully applied to the 
practice of agriculture.'^ 

L 27 ] 

Extracts from Lord Durrdomld's " Treatise on the con- 
nection of Agriculture with Chemistry. Page 150." 

The simple earths, air, water, saline bodies, vegetable 
substances, &c. &c. having thus been considered, as 
far as the properties of each relate to the present design 
It IS now become necessary, previously to any further 
discussion respecting the practical part, to give such 
directions to the cultivators of the soil, as may enable 
them to ascertain the nature and proportions which the 
component parts of it bear to each other; and conse 
quently the value of the surface mould contained in the 
different parts of their farms or estates; and how by 
this information, they may be enabled to apply Uth 
most advantage the several ameliorating substances 
herein recommended. 

It has not been, nor would it be possible to avoid 
making use of chemical terms, consistently with the 
plan of a work, which has for its object the making 
every farmer, to a certain extent, a chemist, so that he 
may be enabled to understand the nature ^d proper, 
ties of the several substances, in the management of 
which he is daily engaged ; and that in all his future 
attempts to improve the soil, the success of his opera- 
tions may no longer depend on guess-work, or on 
chance, but be regulated by a proper knowledge of the 
materials he may have to work with— how each may 
best be applied or acted upon, and what effects will 
ensue from their different combinations. 


On the Analysis of Soils. 

Cultivators of the soil should be able to distinguish, 
by chemical tests, the proportion of the following sub- 
stances in different soils, viz. 

Clay, chalk, sand, magnesia, earth of iron, and vege- 
table matter. 

They should understand the properties and effects^ 
and superior affinities of alkalis and acids ; as well as 
the names, properties, and compounded electrive at- 
tractions attendant on the mixture of the different neu- 
tral salts, 5ind their effects on vegetation. They should 
be well acquainted with the powers of lime, and should 
clearly and distinctly comprehend the putrefactive and 
oxygenating processes; as well as the consequences 
resulting from the action of fire on the vegetable matter 
contained in the soil. 

The first step that a cultivator of the ground should 
take, when possessed of the above information, is to 
ascertain by experiments, in what proportions chalk,, 
clay, sand, magnesia, and vegetable matter exist in the 
soil, in the different parts of the farm he purposes to 
cultivate; in order that he may, from such information, 
be enabled to administer to each part those particular 
substances that it may require, to constitute it rich and 
fertile mould. A soil of thi^ description ought to con- 
tain a due proportion of the simple earths, and of the 
remains of vegetable and animal bodies. — To enable 
him to make the requisite experiments, he should pro- 
cure the followi^ig articles and vessels : 

Two sets of small scales and weights, one to weigh 
a few pounds at a time, and another smaller and more 
accurate, for ounces and grains : some porcelaine glass, 
or stone-ware vessels unglazed, such as are called 

On the Analysis of Soils. 


Vauxhall ware : some muriatic acid, and mineral alka- 
line salt. These being provided, the method of pro- 
ceeding to ascertain the different proportions of the dif- 
ferent substances in soils, is as follows : 

The presence of calcareous matter is ascertained, by 
applying to the mould suspected to contain it, some 
marine acid diluted with water. If it contain calcare- 
ous matter, an effervescence will take place, and a neu- 
tral sah, called muriat of lime, will be formed. This 
is to be separated from the earthy insoluble matter, by 
a due proportion of water, and is to be evaporated to a 
certani degree. Lastly, the calcareous matter is to be 
precipitated by mild mineral alkaline salt. When the 
calcareous matter thus precipitated shall be collected, 
washed, dryed, and weighed, the quantity contained in 
the soil will be ascertained by the proportion it may 
bear to the weight of the dry mould on which the ex- 
periment had been made. 

The same process and the same acid will serve to 
shew if magnesia be contained, and the proportion it 
may bear to the soil. Magnesia-is not in general found 
in any verj^ great proportion in surface mould, although 
there is more of it contained in ground than is generally 
imagmed. It will for the most part, be found accom- 
panied by calcareous matter; and as both these sub. 
stances, when dissolved by the marine acid, are very 
soluble, and blended together, a separation is to be ef- 
fected by the following, process. 

1 he earths of magnesia and calcareous matter are to 
be precipitated by mild mineral alkaline salt. The pre- 
cipitate, or earthy residuum, when washed, is to be dis- 
solved by a due proportion of the vitriolic acid diluted 


On the Analysis of Soils. 

On the Analysis of Soils. 


With water. With the calcareous matter it will form 
gypsum, (a very insoluble salt) whilst with the mag- 
nesia it will form Epsom salt, a salt of great solubility. 
These salts are to be separated by priority of chrystal- 
lization, and their respective weights being ascertained, 
when deprived of the water of chrystallization, and 
brought to an equal degree of dryness, the quantity of 
calcareous matter and magnesia in each may be ascer- 
tained by Bergman's or Kirwan's tables of the pro- 
portion of acid, alkali, "earth, and water contained in dif- 
ferent neutral salts. To those who are not provided 
with such tables, it may suffice to say, that 

Acid Cal. Matter Water 
100 parts of gypsum contain 48 34 18 

Acid Magnesia Water 
100 parts of Epsom salt contain 33 19 48 

As both clay and sand, in different proportions con- 
stituting either a clayey or sandy soil, are distinguish- 
able by the sight and touch, there is no occasion for 
giving any chemical test, to prove their presence. The 
proportion of the coarser parts of siliceous matter or 
sand, in soils or mould, may be ascertained by washing. 

The presence of vegetable or carbonaceous matter in 
surface mould, when in any considerable proportion, is 
apparent, either from its black colour, or from the ve- 
getable matter, appearing in the soil in an undecayed 
state. Chemical tests, in either of these cases, are un- 
necessary. When it may be- requisite, however, to 
ascertain the presence or proportion of it in clayey or 
other soils, in which, from colour or extreme division 
of parts, it is less apparent, it is to be done in one or 
other of the following methods : 

By properly drying and weighing a certain weight of 
mould, and then submitting it to such a degree of heat 
as will consume the vegetable or carbonaceous matter 
to ashes: at the same time, the heat must not be such 
aswdl disengage the fixable air from any calcareous 
matter or magnesia that may be contained in the mould 
or soil submitted to trial. The difference in weight 
between the dry mould, and that which is thus sub- 
mitted to the action of fire, will be the proportion of 
vegetable or carbonaceous matter. 

It is likewise to be done by melting some salt-petre in 
an iron ladle, bringing the salt-petre to a red fusion, 
and then dropping into it, by little and little at a time 
the earthy matter, taking care previously! to dry it tho' 
roughly. The dropping in of the dried mould should 
be continued until the complete deflagration of the salt- 
petre is effected. 

The practical observation to be deduced from the 
above experiment, is, that the soil or mould which con- 
toms the most vegetable or carbonaceous matter will 
deflagrate the greatest quantity of salt-petre; or, in other 
words, that it will require less mould to deflagrate a 
given weight of salt-petre, in proportion as that mould 
contams a greater proportion of imflammable matter 

The presence and proportion of vegetable and inflam- 
mable matters in clay may, in some degree, be proved 
and ascertained by the degree of blackness in the colour 
which the interior parts of the day assume, when sub' 
jected m the fire to a certain degree of heat. 

1 he existence and proportion of most saline matters 
in soils are to be discovered by lixiviation, with warm 
water, and by subsequent clirystallization. 


On the Analysis of Soils. 

Gypsum is to be detected by boiling the earth with 
alkaline salts ; in which case, the gj'psum will be decom- 
posed, and the vitriolic acid of the gypsum will join 
with the mineral alkali, forming Glauber salt, which \? 
very soluble. The quantity of gypsum previously ex- 
istiiig in the soil is to be ascertained by weighing, when 
properly dried, the calcareous matter which had been 
precipitated by the alkali ; and by adding thereto, in 
calculation, the proportion of vitriolic acid necessary to 
constitute it gypsum ; having previously deducted there- 
from the proportion of fixable air which the precipitated 
chalk contains. The proportion of fixable air and vi- 
triolic acid contained in chalk and in gypsum are in the 
proportions a^ here stated : 

In chalk, 

In gypsum. 

Fixable Air Calcareous Matter 

43 53 

Fitriolic Acid Calcareous Matter 

48 34 , 

The following is given as an example of the method 
of making this calculation : 

Residuum of precipitated chalk, - - 480 

Proportion contained therein of fixable air, 212 

Calcareous matter, - - " . 

Proportion of vitriolic acid necessary to consti- 
tute gypsum with the calcareous matter, 

Total quantity of gjTJSum, 



C 33 ] 

l/tilitt/ of Pyrites as a Manure. 

The following account of the utility of pyrites as a % 
manure, by Mr. Livingston, is alluded'o in^^ 153 

'In an excursion, I have lately made into FlLders* 
I obsenjed at some distance from the road, seve3 

Te n!st h T ™'" "'" *^"^^"&- I stopped 

Ae post chaise and went to examine it, I found tl^t it 

was p3..tes sufficiently impregnated with sulphur to 
bum when do.. This was laid in beds and set onl^! 
They endeavoured to extinguish the fire, when the 
ashes became of a red colour. If it burned Ion«.r it 
became black, and the quality of it not so good, riis 
earth so burnt, was easily reduced to powder by wood! 
en mallets, and in this state was carried upon the backs 
of asses forty or fifty miles as a manure, and was used 
particularly for grass, at the rate of about six bushels 
to the acre. The seed grain was also covered with it 
as with gypsum in our country." 

[Pyrites consist of sulphur and iron, ciystallized 
in various shapes, frequently in cubes: and abound in 
the United States, and especially in Pennsylvania.] 

■ e * 




i 34 1 

On the Fruit Curculio. 

On the Fruit Curculio. 

The following extracts are from the paper on the fruit 
curculio, by Dr. Tilton, referred to by that gentleman, 

page 189. 

" The manner in which this insect injures and de- 
stroys our fruits, is, by its mode of propagation.— Early . 
in the spring, about the time when the fruit trees are in 
blossom, the curculiones ascend in swarms from the 
earth, crawl up the trees, and as the several fruits ad- 
vance, they puncture the rind or skin, with then* pointed 
rostra, and deposit their embryos in the wounds thus 
inflicted. The maggot thus bedded in the fruit, preys 
upon its pulp arid juices, until in most instances, the 
fruit perishes, falls to the ground and the insect escaping 
from so unsafe a residence, makes a sure retreat into the 
earth: where, like other beetles, it remains in the form 
of a grub or worm, during the winter, ready to be me- 
tamorphosed into a bug or beetle, as the spring advances. 
Thus every tree furnishes its own enemy ; for although 
these bugs have manifestly the capacity of flying, they 
appear very reluctant in the use of their wings ; and per- 
haps never employ them but when necessity compels 
them to migrate. It is a fact, that (two trees of the same 
kind may stand in the nearest possible neighbourhood, 
not to touch each other, the one bive its fruit destroyed 
by the curculio, and the other be uiiinjured, merely from 
c;pntingent circumstances, which prevent the insects 
from crawling up the one, while tl ley are uninterrupted 
from climbing the other." 


* I 

" The curculio delights most in the smooth skinned 
stone fruits, such as nectarines, plumbs, apricots, &c. 
when they abound on a farm : they nevertheless attack 
the rough skinned peach, the apple, pear, and quince. 
The instinctive sagacity of these creatures directs them 
especially to the fruits most adapted to their purpose. 
The stone fruits more certainly perish by the wounds 
made by these insects, so as to fall in due time to the 
ground, and afford an opportunity to the young mag- 
got to hide itself in the earth. Although multitudes of 
seed fruits fall, yet many recover from their wounds, 
which heal up with deeply indented scars. — This pro- 
bably disconcerts the curculio, in its intended course 
to the earth. Be this as it may, certain it is, that pears 
are less liable to fall, and are less injured by this insect 
than apples. Nectarines, plumbs, &cc, in most districts 
of our country, where the curculio has gained an esta- 
blishment, are utterly destroyed, unless special means are 
employed for their preservation. Cherries escape bet- 
ter, on account of their rapid progress to maturity and 
their abundant crops : the curculio can only puncture 
a small part of them, during the short time they hang 
upon the tree. These destructive insects continue their 
depredations from the first of May until autumn. Our 
fruits collectively estimated must thereby be depreciated 
more than half their value." 

" We are unacquainted with any tribe of insects able 
to destroy the curculio. All the domestic animals, how- 
ever, if well directed, contribute to this pui^pose. Hogs 
in a special manner are qualified for the work of exter- 
mination. This voracious animal, if suffered to go at 
large in orchards, and among fruit trees, devours all the 



On the Fruit Curculio* 

On the Fruit Curculio. 


fruit that falls, and among others the curculiones, in the 
maggot state, which itiay be contained in them. Being 
thus generally destroyed in the embryo state, there will 
be few or no bugs to ascend from the earth in the 
spring, to injure the fruit. Many experienced farmers 
have noted the advantage of hogs running in their 

" Even homed cattle and all sorts of stock may be 
made to contribute to the preservation of our valuable 
fruits. By running among the trees, they not only 
trample to death multitudes of these insects; but by 
hardening the ground, as in lanes, it becomes very unfit 
to receive or admit such tender maggots as crawl from 
the fallen fruits. Besides, the curculio is very timid, 
and when frightened by the cattle rubbing against the 
tree or otherwise, their manner is to fold themselves 
up in a little ball and fall to the ground ; where they may 
be trampled and devoured by the stock, poultry, &c. 
Col. T. Forest, of Germantown, having a fine plumb 
tree near his pump, tied a rope from the tree to his 
pump handle, so that the tree was gently agitated every 
time there was occasion to pump water. The conse- 
quence was, that the fruit on this tree was preserved in 
the greatest perfection.'* 

"All the terebinthinate substances, with camphor 
and some others, are said to be very offensive to insects 
generally. Upon this principle, General T. Robinson, 
of Naaman's creek, suspends annually little bits of 
board, about the size of a case knife, dipped in tar, on 
each of his plumb trees. From three to five of these 
strips are deemed enough, according to the size of the 
tree. The General commences his operations about 

the time or soon after the trees are in full bloom, and 
renews the application of the tar frequently, while the 
fruit hangs on the tree. To this expedient, he attri, 
butes his never failing success. Other gentlemen al- 
lege, that common turpentine would be still better; be- 
ing equally pungent and more permanent in its effects. 
Some have sown offensive articles, such as buckwheat, 
celery, &c. at the root of the tree, and have thought that 
great advantages followed." 

^' Ablaqueation, or digging round the trees, and mak- 
ing bare their roots in winter, is an old expedient of 
gardeners for killing insects, and may answer well 
enough for a solitary tree, a year or two ; but the cur- 
culio will soon recover from a disturbance of this sort, 
and stock the tree again." 

" There is no surer protection against the curculio 
than a pavement. This, however, is only applicable to 
a few trees. It may serve in town ; but will not answer 
in the country. [Flat stones may however be placed 
round the tree, and where lime is at hand, they may be 

" Many other expedients, such as smoking, brush- 
ing, watering, &c. may be successfully employed, for 
the protection of a favourite tree or two ; but it is ma- 
nifest, from the preceding history, that a right disposi- 
tion of stock, especially hogs, among the fruit trees; can 
only be relied upon by a farmer, with orchards of con- 
siderable extent. And that the stock, poultry &c. may 
perform the task assigned them, it is evident, that a pro- 
per disposition of fruit trees is essentially necessary. 

" As the smooth stone fruits are the grand nurseries 
pf the curculio, special care should be taken, to have 










On the Fruit Curculio. 

these effectually protected. Unless this can be done, a 
former should not suffer them to grow on his plantation. 
He will derive no benefit from them ; and they will fur- 
nish a destructive vermin that will ruin his other fruits. 
Cherry trees, nectarines, plumbs, apricots, &c. should 
therefore be planted in lanes and hard beaten yards^ [or 
paved yards,] the common highways of all the stock of 
the farm, and not beyond the range of the ordinary do- 
mestic fowls. Orchards of apple trees, pear trees, peach 
trees, &c. should all be in one enclosure. The pear 
trees and peach trees may occupy comers of the whole 
design, so as occasionally to be fenced off. In large 
orchards, care should be taken that the stock of hogs 
is sufficient to eat up all the early fruit which fall, from 
May until August. This precaution will be more es*. 
pecially necessary in large peach orchards : for, other- 
wise, when the hogs become cloyed with the pulp of the 
peach, they will let it fall out of their mouths, and con- 
tent themselves with the kernel, which they like better; 
and thus the curculio escaping from their jaws, may 
hide under ground, until next spring. Solitary trees 
of one fruit or another, remote from the orchard, should 
be regarded as nurseries of the curculio, and ought to 
be cut down or removed to the common enclosure. A 
young orchard should not be planted in the place of, or 
adjacent to an old one; that it may not be immediately" 
infested with the curculio." 


/ 1^ 

:ft LEG. 


countries dr^^^^^ observations. 
ndy. It I ^ froni the city of 

its vegetati 


•^ S$ S' 



53 6 
51 8 







J. ihWIilMtlii 
-' li-.'-uiii^. .1—- 





Of the progress of Vegetation in Pennsylvania, compared with that of some of the famous -wine countries of Europe. And also exhibiting th^ results of various Meteorological observations. 

#^# The variety of Grape-vine particularly noticed herein, is the Munier, commonly called Miller's Burgundy. It was cultivated at Spring-Mill, 1 1 3-4 miles in a J^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^ ^ ^^"^ ^^^ ^^^^ "^ 

Philadelphia, in an open country exposure ; and, of course, later in every stage of Us vegetative progress, than if growing m a sheltered and warmer sima. o 

O M 

« O 

• w 






Deg. M.\ Deg. M. 









40 4 

48 50 

50 \7 
50 51 
59 20 

16 6 


77 33 E 


















Medium result at 1 
Spring-Mill. J 
At Champaigne, 
Lorrain, ' 
Paris, and part 


r Planted the 
\ Vines* 

15 March. 
18 do. 
15 do. 

13 do, 
7 do. 

14 do. 
18 do. 
20 do. 
28 do. 
23 do. 
20 do. 
30 do. 

9 do. 

20 March. 

20 March. 

14 May. 
29 April. 
22 do. 
21 do. 
25 May. 
28 April. 

6 May. 

7 do. 





19 June. 
14 do. 

25 May. 
17 June. 
29 May. 

26 do. 
12 June. 
24 do. 

29 April. 
2 May* 

16 May. 






3 June. 

16 June. 

6 July. 

1 do. 

18 do. 

2 do. 

19 June, 
19 do. 



S "» =■ 

M vci "* 

r^ S ? 




30 June. 
4 July. 

10 July. 

3 Sept. 

25 Aug. 

15 do. 

2 Sept. 

16 Aug. 
20 do. 
10 Sept. 
14 do. 

6 do. 
1 do* 

3 do. 

26 Aug. 

1 Sept. 

1 Oct* 

































53 1 

51 8 

36 49 
11 42 

13 27 E 


Medium Temperature of the whole year, 48 4-lOths. 

Do. do. 42 8-lOths. 

Extreme heat, 99 5-lOths. Extreme of cold, 65 7-lOths. 1 
Medium temperature of the whole year, 84 9-1 ^s. J 

12 June. 

18 do. 

15 do. 

14 do. 

12 do. 
6 do. 
6 do. 

8 do. 
10 do. 

15 do. 

13 do. 
12 do. 
10 do. 

9 do. 

12 June, 






27 June. 






















13 July. 

14 do. 

4 July. 

27 July. 









22 July. 
24 do. 

























9 July. 

1 Aug. 

18 July, 

Pretty dry and very vegetative- 
Moist, variable and cold. 
Variable and tolerably warm. 
Sweet, agreeable and moist. 
Warm and variable. 
Warm and moist. 
Very hot, dry and abundant. 
Variable, moist and warm. 
Moist and warm. 
Variable and cold. 
Variable, cold and moist. 
Moderate, variable and moist. 
Moderate, dry and abundant. 
Agreeably warm, moist, abundant. 

r Variable, moist, tolerably pleasant and 
\ vegetative. Prevalent wind, WNW. 







6 Aug. Cold & moist. Prevalent winds, NE &c SW. 

TTHE mostTntenU^ cold which we have had in Pennsylvania, between the first day of January 
1 787, and the first day of Februarys 1 806, according to a regular series of observations made at Springs 
S eTery day atsun-rise and at two o'clock in the\ftemoon, the thermometer m t^e open air, suffi- 
ctnUy shl^ded^ about five feet (rom the surface of the ^ound, and out o the way -[-^^^^'l^^^^ 
tion of the sun's rays, occasioned by walls, pavements, &c. Wpened on the 2dof Februaiy 1789 
mercury having falleA that day, to 17 5-lOths degrees below zero or Fahrenheit ; and the greatest 
heat during thft period was in July 1793, when the mercury rose to 104 5-lOths degrees. July is ge- 
nerlllv Tur hottest month, and our greatest degree of heat, on an average of several years m^ be 
Sated at about 99 5-lOths. Janfary is, usually, our coldest month, in the course of which we 
may always expect a degree of cold, equal to 1 8.10ths below 0. Attentive observations, at the 
may oiwa^ra Y . o^„_ ^ i:. ^a ^f ^\.^^ryA^r' y /.f t^mnpctnons weather. 16 ot snow, 249 ot 

Medium temperature of the whole year, 65 7-lOths 

11 42 155 6 E Pondicheny. Do^ ^o- I?Jd?»lll_^-^ ^J^fJ^/^^P^^^^^ 16 of snow, 249 of 

abH^^rpi^ from the beginning of the year 1787, to the end of the year 1800 have given as ^^ "^^mm for one yea^ 4^^^ flTe^s of a line, English melisure. Our atmosphere is generally clear, and 
fair settled weather, and 73 of rain ; and the average quantity of water which had fallen annually, to be 39 inches, 9 imes, iuia louib o , j, 

^seldom so overcast, as to obstruct the rays of the sun, for four days successively. greatest heat, on the 4th of May and 9th of July, being on each of these days 95 

The most intense cold which we experienced in the year 1804 was on the 25th of January, bemg 14 6-lOths betow O , *«« £<=a^ 
degrees ; and the medium temperature of the rvhole year, resulting from observations made o" «^"Tday "^^""^^ ^^^ ft rose to 100 6-lOths : and the medium temperature of the whole year, was 57 

In the year 1805, on the 12th and 25th of January, the mercury fell to 2 9-lOths below O ; on the 2d and 22d of August '* '«'|^ ^^ ^^ " 
9- lOths. It is observable that the medium heat of each of these two years, was much greater than of ^"7 Jf '»; f^om 1 787 j^^S^^^''^^^^^* ^ jj„^ ^eat of the whole year, as established on the result of 70 

In Paris, the greatest summer heat is, generally, between 92 7-lOths and 95 degrees , the most intense cold, between 9 J-lO^hs and j, ana tn ^^^^^^ ^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^^ ^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^ j^^. 

vears obsecrations, 51 8-lOths. But in the year 1716 the mercury had fallen there, to 3 4-10th8 below O ; m the year 1720, it rose to 104, ana 

^At'Ho?.;t"HolfaXt the year 1763, tHe mercury had fallen to 8 degrees, which is marlced on so- of the Dutch the^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^ ^ ^ 

Ice or snow mixed ^vith kitchen salt, produces a degree of cold equal to zero or of Fahrenheit. The pomtat ^^i^^/**;™^^^^^^^ on Botanical theLome ers, as best adapted for the Pme- 

or running waters, freeze at 20 7-lOths ; cider and vinegar at 1 1 7-lOths, and unadulterated wme at 5 degrees. The medium temperature martea 

Apple, is 73 6-lOths ; for Melon-beds 69 1-lOth, and for an Orangery 57 9-10t!hs, ....,., ^ . ..-^r.-i — »„*u »i,„ .„,fo/.«. 

The constant temperature of the cellar of the Observatory at Paris, is 54 5-lOtli 

The most salutary temperature of the sick or patient's room, is thought to be 72 2- . „ „„ tr * i u<>„'<, ir..~iiKa»inn kik v. iiirni rever ucav iii. x%a... i^. «.« 

mometers, it is marked 98 ; and on sc/eral thermometers made in Holland and other places m the north ot Europe, 96. Heat ot Hen f "^"^'^^ ^^^^ • ^j.^ ^in harvests, owing to early or late 

at 212 degrees, when the mercury in tbe barometer istands at 30 inches. IIo every ^ear, even in the same neighbourhood, a week s difference may be observed m tne grain narvcsw, « g / 

mowing, qualities o{ the soil, exposure^ and nature of the £raia.J 











" S 

*• t 

^ !> 

'^ § 

o n 









i.- > . . t- 

.i * 






■Q ■ 




/T'^.T'T'DA JAO: 

"HT ■?') 


>ai;i?. /-T-r-'-T^fi 


vlvjk JL i W<w 


f-r' - 

rZT^ following account of Schuylkill Permanent 
Bridge, and the circumstances connected with it ^ was drawn 
upy at the request of one of the proprietors of an extensively 
useful publication^ now in progress. It was found^ that the 
plan of the work did not admit of its being inserted under 
any one article; and it was therefore withdrawn. In con- 
formity with the design of our institutiofi, it has been pre- 
sented to the Society. A statistical view of an erection so 
important to agriculture and the arts^ is deemed worthy of 
being communicated among the objects of our attention. The 
interests of this great commercial city ^ and the accommodation 
of all the inhabitants of this and other States^ whose affairs 
require an intercourse with it, through this approach, are 
promoted by an enterprize completed with private funds, and 
by the exertions of a few persevering individuals. Though the 
facts of its history are local, many of them furnish instruct 
five lessons of general importance. 

Philadelphia, 1806, 



» « A^u 










Sundry Bridges erected in Pennsylvania and on its borders* 
Character of the river Schuylkill. Law for establishing 
High street ferry ^ - - - - - - 

Floating Bridges^ an account of them. Projects informer 

times for Bridges^ and remarks thereon^ 
Commencement of plan of the present Bridge^ 
Act of Incorporation^ and Organization of the Company^ 
Plans for the present Bridge^ and its execution on the plan 
adopted^ ----- - - 

Description of the Bridge^ - - 

General Observations^ ------ 

Recipe for Composition to imitate Stone^ - . - 
Dimensions of the Bridge^ - - - - - 

Amount of Toll. Names o^tke Officers of the Company^ 
Extracts from Reports of the Building Committee^ 
Description of the Western Pier^ - - - . 
Communication respecting the Cover^ - - - 

Address of the President and Directors at the close of the 


Statement of the situation of the Stock, in 1 806 aw^ 1 807, 
Coffer Dams and Piers, - - - . - 

Remarks on single, or multiplied Arches, - - - 
Chronometrical Obelisk, and its Inscriptions, 
Rates of Toll, established by Lazv ; and Rules respecting 
Transportation, - - - - - - 

Plate of the Bridge prefxed. 







■'0 'T^\ ..^ 









THE State of Pennsylvaftia has long been deser- 
vedly famed, for the multitude and excellence of its 
bridges, over the various smaller streams, by which it 
is intersected. But no permanent means of transport- 
ation across the large and widely extensive rivers, flow- 
ing in and through, or bounding, this fertile and flou- 
rishing region, had, until a late period, been attempted* 
That thrown lately over the Schuylkill, at the west end 
of the Mgh or Market Street of the city of PhikdeU 
phia; one over the same river at Reading; those over 
the Lehigh at Bethlehem^ PFeiss's ferry, and one near its 
discharge into the Delaware; have begun the career of 
hydraulic architecture, which will increase the celebrity 
of this State in that important branch of public improve- 
ment. A bridge over the Delaware at Easton, con- 
necting Pennsylvania with the State of JVew Jersey, is 
in great forwardness;* under the direction of Mr. Jl 
Palmer. Qne on a peculiar construction, and highly 
necessary for the passage of the mails, and other con- 
stant transportation, upon the great Post road of com- 

f Since the account was drawn up, it is completed in its ^ 
Frame, which, after the example of the Schuylkill bridge, js 


..^ «i-i«iMfim.»ii'*a>M,.. i -u.. 






«* 1-rf' .-^ -'i- ^ V ■ 

JL M-^ 

xniinication, between the cities of Philadelphia and 
JVew York, is recently finished. It is situated at Mor- 
risville^ and near Trenton on the Delaware; and also con- 
nects the State of Pennsylvajiia and JVetu Jersey. This 
latter has been erected at the expence of a Company, 
under the superintendance of Mr. Theodore Burr^ who, 
as well as Mr. Palmer is a self taught and ingenious 
American Bridge Builder, and has evidenced much ta- 
lent as well as industry in this structure. -• 

The success of the Schuylkill bridge, as far as it had 
proceeded, was exemplary; and instigated the com- 
mencement of this work, as well as encouragement in 
its prosecution. All these erections are highly honor- 
able to those who promoted, supported, and completed 
them. But that over the Schuylkill^ is the only suc- 
cessful undertaking of the kind, attempted and carried 
to perfection in and over a deep tide water. It has been 
attended with the most difficulty and expence ; and has, 
in consequence, more particularly called forth the ta- 
lents, exertions, and perseverance of those engaged in it. 

The Schuylkill^ which washes the western front of 
the city of Philadelphia, although it affords great advan- 
tages, had long been attended with many serious incon- 
veniencies. The frequent interruption of passage by 
ice and floods ; and the inefficient and uncertain mode 
of crossing heretofore practised, had, for a long course 
of years, employed the thoughts and attention, of many 
ingenious, and public spirited members of the commu- 
nity. The character of this river is wild, and, in times 
of floods, rapid and formidable ; and, to any structurq 
of slight materials, ruinous and irresistable. 

Its borders, to an extent of one hundred miles, are 
skirted by precipitous mountains and hills. Its tribu- 
tary streams, suddenly filled, in seasons of rains, or 
melting snows, with the torrents rushing down their 
sides, without notice or time for precaution, fill the ri- 
ver with frequent floods, which no common works of 
art within their reach, have heretofore been capable of 
withstanding. Although these attributes, are not to 
a certain degree uncommon, yet, in this river they are 
peculiarly dang:erous. They occur at irregular peri- 
ods, and often ^t seasons of the year, when floods are 
generally unexpected. These circumstances, ^t all 
times created doubts of the practicability of any perma- 
nent erection. The depth of the water opposite to the 
city, added to the difficulties and apprehensions* The 
expence in the early periods of its establishment, pre- 
cluded any plan, requh-ing large expenditures by those 
who then inhabited Philadelphia and its vicinity. In the 
year 1723, March 30th, a law was enacted " by the Go- 
vemor ''Sir William Keith, " by and with the consent 
/'of the Freemen of the province, in General Assembly 
"met," (which shews the then style of the laws,) entit- 
led, " An act for establishing a ferry over the river 
" Schuylkill, at the end of the High Street of PhiladeU 
''phia,'' granting to the then Mayor and commonalty, 
the right to make and maintain causeways, on both 
sides of the river, and to erect a ferry at the west end 
of High Street. Certain tolls w^ere then fixed ; which 
the present rates do not, in any case far exceed, and in 
many instances, i. e. for country produce and manure, 
are much, and liberally reduced. No person or per- 
sons (without violating that law) could then, or can now. 


M^ili'j . II r 








^^keep or use any boat or canoe, for transporting any 
"person or persons, creatures or carriages, for hire or 
"pay, over the said river, in any other place between 
"these ferries, now called Roach's (late Ashton's now 
Sherridine's) '*diid Blufiston's'' (late Gray's) "Ferries 
"on the said river, besides the Ferry thereby establish- 
"ed." By virtue of this law, the corporation of the 
city, have held and exercised this exclusive Franchise, 
from the time of its being so granted^ until their trans- 
fer thereof to the present Permanent Bridge Company. 
The Ferry was maintained, and generally used, until 
the floating bridges were thrown over. In times of in- 
terruption of the passage of those bridges, by ice and 
floods, (which too frequently occurred) the boat was 
resorted to, for temporary transportation, and always 
kept in readiness for use. 

In December 1776, when the British troops had 
overran, and nearly subjugated the State of New Jer^ 
sey. General Washington, apprehensive of being forced 
to retreat, with the shattered remnants of his patriotic, 
but enfeebled army, wrote to General Putnam, then 
commanding in Philadelphia, directing him to take 
measures for the speedy passage of the Schuylkill, in 
case of urgent necessity. Orders were at the same 
time given to collect all the boats attainable at PFright's, 
and other ferries on the Susquehanna. No pontoons 
existed, with which to comply with the orders of the 
commander in chief. It fell to the lot of the individu- 
al, who originated the project of the present Perma- 
nent Bridge, and who then held a confidential office 
under the United States, to be consulted on the subject. 
Having advised with some Ship- Wrights, a bridge of 


boats wasatfirstthoughtof; but finally one of ship car- 
penter's floating stages, used for graving ships, was con- 
cluded upon, l^his plan, oil being suggested by him 
to General Putnam, was instantly adopted and promptly 
executed. The critical and masterly stroke, made on 
the Brittsh auxiliaries at Trenton, superseded its mili- 
taiy use at that period. It gave, however, the first idea 
of the floating bridges, over the Schut/IM, composed of 
buoyant logs, for the support of a platform of planks- 
^vo whereof now remain, at Grafs and Sherridine^s 
femes. There does not appear to be any express au- 
thority by law for the establishment of these bridges 
The act of 1723 recognizes the two ferries of Hoacl 
and Blunston. An act passecl since the revolution re 
gulates and directs the lowering the ro/,«of ferries,'and 
openmgthe bridges (which had each Slip pieces For this 
purpose) withinacertaintime,onnotice, undera penalty. 
This implied permission, appears to be the only warrant 
for their continuance. The first of the log bridges was 
erected by the Executive of the state. This was either 
much injured or destroyed; 

A bridge was constructed by the British army in 
1777, when in possession of the City, on pontoons or 
large boats. But this not sufficiently answering their 
purposes, another was thrown over, composed of planks 
supported by floating logs after the pattern, and perhaps 
with part of the materials of the one which had suc- 
ceeded the bridge of Stages, and is probably the one 
now at Grar/s ferry. One of the pontoons, used by 
the British, prolonged the hostility which occasioned its 
fabrication. Two of the piles of the coffer dam, sunk 
for the erection of the western pier of the present per- 




t • 

manent bridge, were obstructed by apart of one of those 
boats which had been accidentally sunk in 1777, 28 feet 
below common low water. It occupied part of the area 
of the dam, with one end projecting under two of the 
piles of the inner row ; and had nearly rendered the erec- 
tion abortive. It was first discovered on pumping out 
the dam ,in 1802 ; and was perfectly sound, after a lapse 
of 25 years. The iron work had not the least appear- 
ance of rust, or the wood (which was common oak) 
of decay. The taking this boat to pieces, the straining 
the dam, and the leaks in consequence, were the chief 
causes of an extra expenditure, by the company of more 
than S 4000, hardly and perilously disbursed in pump- 
ing (which alone cost from 8 5 to 700 per week) and 
other labour, during forty one days and nights, in the 
midst of a most inclement winter ! 

The privations of supplies from the country on the 
western side of the Schuylkill j had always been causes 
of regret, and too often of increased expence, to the in- 
habitants of the City. These were most severely felt, 
as the population increased. It would be perhaps irk- 
some, to attend to a recital minutely, of all the schemes 
suggested, for a permanent passage, through a period of 
near seventy years. It will be sufficient, shortly to men- 
tion some of them. To those who have been actively 
concerned in the present structure, most of these pro- 
jects appear to have been impracticable, or unadvisable. 
If they could have been executed; the funds were unat- 


Some would have the river filled with a dam and 
causeway ; after a bridge had been built on the fiats of 
the fast land, and a channel cut through these flats. 


..-.- ..^..^. J 




' ■ '. '' 

Some proposed a low stone bridge; to he used only when 
the river was in its ordinary state ; and when raised by 
floods, the torrent should run over the bridge. Thus 
intermitting its use, when it was most required. Some 
would have, with any bridge, arches, turned from hill 
to hill, and thus occupy with impediments, the low 
grounds, which now afford additional passage to the 
overflow of the stream. The expence too, would re- 
quire the funds of a state; and never could have been 
accomplished by private advances, with any prospect of 
profit. Any buildings, or other obstructions, placed on 
these flats, will confine, and, of course, redouble, the 
force of the current. They would cause the accumula- 
tion of the ice, and damming of the stream; the most for- 
midable foes the bridge has to contend with. Some had 
proposed a bridge on chains, stretched across the river, 
and elevated by columns, of vast height, on its banks! 
Adding to this visionary plan, some of its advocates 
would have pillars, in the middle of the river, on a kind 
of wharf, containing stone promiscuously thrown in. On 
such an uncertain, shifting, and unstable foundation, 
more modem projectors have contemplated erecting 
wooden superstructures; and are not yet persuaded of 
their being dangerous and insecure. If such should 
succeed in a river of tranquil current, and level bottom, 
they are not calculated for one frequently impetuous in 
the extreme ; in some parts of its bed, covered with 
mud, in others uncommonly unequal and rocky. Still 
more ineligible, in one, irregular in its depths ; which 
suddenly vary, at small distances, so as to afford no en- 
couragement to depend on any foundations, or sxipports 
for a bridge, but those of solid masonry; and this foun, 
4ed on the rock, which stretches across its bottom. 




4t> f» 




Without entermg into controversy on the merits or. 
defects of these plans, which were proposed for the po- 
sition of the present bridge, they are barely enumerated, 
with some of the objections to their establishment. 

Before the Revolution, at various periods, citizens of 
intelligence and talents, had abandoned the idea of erect- 
ing a bridge, in the deep tide water, opposite the city. 
They sought for situations, less difficult; and higher up 
the river. Applications were presented to the General 
Assembly of the Province ; and surveys and accurate 
examinations were made, under the directions of a com- 
mittee of the Legislature. The places viewed, were 
Feters's Island, and the Fording place, nearer the falls; 
which was, in early times, the most common passage 
over the river. The road leading over it, is called, in 
antient deeds and other writings, " The old Lancaster 
roqd.'' A third site offered for the consideration of this 
committee, was the great falls of Schuylkill; where such 
an erection was said to be practicable, directly across 
the reef of elevated rocks, forming the obstructions in 
that part of the stream. Maps and measurements of. 
these places, and their distances from the city, and par- 
ticularly of Peters' s Island, (which was the place gene- 
rally fixed on, as possessing the greatest facilities and 
advantages, positive and relative,) were made, and are 
yet extant. The route to Lancaster by this place, 
through part of the Ridge or fFissahiccon road, is short- 
er than that passing over the bridge opposite the city. 
The distance by either place is not much greater. Al- 
though a bridge may be erected, at either place, for a 
sum not exceeding a fourth, and probably a fifth, of the 
cost of the permjuaent bridge at Ili^h street, yet these 


'I kml^^ ■ • -^" 




sites cannot rival the latter. They do not unite all in- 
terests, by being sp generally accommodatory to tra-, 
vellers and transportation, from all quarters, southerly, 
and westerly of the city. Their use will therefore be. 
partial, and the object of a distant day. Conflicting in. 
terests, and the disinclination of the Legislature, to af. 
ford sufficient means out of the public funds, occasion- 
ed the abandonment of the measure at that time. The. 
competitions ended in a lesson, which zealous schemers 
never read; to wit;— Opposing advocates, for local and 
clashmg advantages, not unfrequently gain nothbg; 
and are sure to defeat the object of all. 

Another project of a bridge over one of these places 
was proposed, at the time when the canal from Norris- 
town was first contemplated. The canal was thought, 
by many persons of intelligence, to be more easily and 
ceconomically practicable, on the west side of the river. 
It was proposed to erect, at one or the other of the pla- 
ces last mentioned, an aqueduct bridge, over which, the 
canal should cross the river ; with a tow-path or passage 
way, on each side of the channel for the water, for tra- 
velling and land transportation. This is yet believed to 
have been not only practicable, but also, that it could 
liave been nearly completed, with the sum expended on 
that unfortunate, though highly desirable enterprize. 
This is not mentioned with any view of censure ; be- 
cause the obstacles occurring on tlie east side, very ma- 
ny whereof would have been avoided on the west, com- 
pelled expenditures, not calculated upon or foreseen : 
And pre-conceived opinions are often found fallacious, 
when brought to the test of practice. 

I -^ 





' A little out of its order, is mentioned the last unex. 
ccuted plan, for erecting a wooden bridge, over the 
middle ferry, in the year 1767. A subscription for the 
purpose was circulated, and many respectable citizens 
agreed to contribute. But this, from various causes, 
fell through; and all efforts to accomplish the object 
were suspended for many years. This bridge was 
contemplated to be of one arch, with stone abutments j 
a plan still believed by some of its former advocates, 
to be practicable and most oeconomical. The intended 
span was to have been 400 feet: height from the 
water 47 1-2 feet. 

In theor}', it seems reconcilable with principles, that 
an arch of wood or iron, may be extended to any length 
of span, with sufficient elevation. The point of either 
practicability or discretion, has never been precisely fix- ' 
ed. In a modem proposal for a single arch of iron, 
over the T/mmes, in place of old London Bridge, a project 
is exhibited for an arch of 600 feet span. All agree 
in the theory, but practical men shrink at the danger ; 
though there are respectable opinions of intelligent the- 
orists, in favour of its principles. According to the best 
opinions of practical men here, (among them Mr. fFest- 
on and Mr. Palmer,) one of 200 feet begins to be criti- 
cal and hazardous. The timber arch oi Piscataway 
bridge, erected by Mr. Palmer, spans 244 feet ; but he 
declared he would not again attempt one of similar extent. 
The most intelligent among those who have gained ex- 
perience in the late structure, believe, that the span in- 
tended for the Schuylkill, in the last project, the draft 
whereof has been often seen by them, was too extended 
for this spot; and tltat it would piost probably have faiU 



ed. The weight of transportation here is uncommon 
and constant, and the friction of course incessant. 
Strength, symmetry and firmness, are required here; of 
which one very extended arch is incapable. Although 
wood or iron may be, so framed, as to have the least 
possible driJi,or lateral thrust, on the abutments or piers, 
yet there is a point, beyond which it is dangerous to 
pass. Of stone or brick it would be adventurous, be- 
yond all common discretion, to risque an arch of such 
a span. Nor is the undulatory motion of an extensive 
arch, (however composed) an unimportant objection. 

A bridge of so extended a span must have been (to 
be safe) so much more elevated, that the filling would 
have pressed the walls too dangerously. Some relief 
might have been given by culverts, or reversed arches, 
to save fiUmg; but these are not without their disadvan- 
^ges. The pressure on the walls of the present u'est- 
ern abutment and wings, is quite as much as masonry 
on piles will bear; and no other foundation could have 
been had, but at an unwarrantable expence, the rock at 
the site of the abutment, being covered with mud and 
gravef 38 to 40 feet deep. It was deemed, and found 
prudent, to sink the whole frame of the present struc- 
ture, three feet into the piers, and imposts of the abut- 
ments, as well to avoid over weight of filling, as to de- 
press the platform, or travelling floor, to a point easy of 
access. An approach of the abutments, for an arch of 400 
feet span, would have created a necessity (not known 
when such a plan was proposed) for cofferdams, andaU 
their dangers and expence. Tlie present bridge enlarge* 
the passage for the water, at least, a fifth. One for an arch 
of 300 to 350 feet, would have diminished it in a greater 







proportion ; because the abutments must have approach- 
ed each other, so as to occupy the position now open, 
through the land or side arches. 

No persons engaged in such difficult works, should 
risque any project to save expence of foundations, for 
piers or abutments. But on the other hand, coffer dams 
should be avoided, if any other means can, with common 
prudence, be adopted. Their expence is enormous, 
and their success not always to be ensured. The great 
proportion of the expenditures in the Schuylkill bridge, 
has been incurred by the inevitable necessity for coffer 
dams. The labour applied, and the difficulties encoun- 
tered and overcome, will appear to the best informed 
engineers, uncommon and singularly arduous, as will 
appear by the short account of them subjoined to the 
present statement. Every effi^rt was made to avoid 
the necessit}'' of these dams, but on duly weighing all 
the projects suggested, none could be adopted with any 
prospect of safety. The irregularity of the bottom, 
and depth of water, at once were found to forbid the 
use of Batterdeaus. Floats were thought of, com- 
posed of a platform of logs, on which masonry should 
be formed. These were to be built on, with logs 
at the sides, and others crossing the whole, bolted 
like wharves; filled in with masonry, and raised on as 
they sunk, till having lodged on the bottom, they should 
compose the foundation for masonry, from low water 
mark. But no horizontal, or solid position could be 
obtained for them. All the objections to batterdeaus 
lay against them. A flood too, might have carried them 
off in an unfinished state. This was proved, when a 
few of the belts of the cvffer dam (light and buoyant, 



compai'ed to these floats, and more easily secured) were 
swept away by a summer fresh; though they had been 
supported by some piles, and moored with anchors and 
cables, capable of holding a stout frigate. The levell. 
mg the bottom, or making one artificially (as was done 
by Semple at the £ssex bridge in DuOim) was found 
impracticable, on account of the thick cover (13 feet) 
of mud in some parts, and the total bareness and un- 
eyenness of the rock in others. It became a choice of 
difficulties; and the cqfer dam, or no bridge, was the 
dternative. Projects easily and cheaply to be accom- 
plished m shallow streams, with level bottoms, or those 
capable of being artificially made so, were aU found im- 
practicable, and to the last degree imprudent here. The 
modes pursued in JVew England, either of piles, 
wharves, log frames, or stones loosely thrown into the 
stieam, were considered and condemned- The destruc 
tion of many of the bridges of that country was predict- 
ed ; but with a hope that this apprehension might prove 
unfounded, as the enterprizes of the people there were 
admired and applauded. Sounds, or arms of the sea, 
sheltered from violent storms, broad rivers, capable of 
holdmg piles, and affording extensive flats, for overflows 
and waste of floods; will admit of slighter foundations, 
though always exposed to danger, under uncommon 
circumstances. Many of the sites of eastern bridges 
are of tliis description. 

The pressing necessity for somepermanent structure 
called the attention of many citizens to the subject 
But none, for a long course of time, attempted any de- 
cided measure, till the one whose endeavours where final- 
ly cromied with success, in the accomplishment of the 


.9f 1 



present erection, moved in this important desideratum. 
It was contemplated, originally, to erect the bridge, at a 
small distance above the upper, or Roach's ferry. One 
object in fixing on this site, was its supposed advanta- 
ges in pomt of practicability. But no inconsiderable 
motive, was that of leaving the whole western front of 
the City unobstructed by so great an impediment to the 
navigation of the Schuylkill, which has akeady shewn 
itself to be of inestimable consequence. The improve- 
nvent of this western front, depending so much on the 
navigation of the river, is already in great progress. It 
will add to the evidence of foresight and sound calcula- 
tion, possessed by its great founder JFillmm Penn, when 
he decided on the plan of our justly celebrated City. 
At length however it was seen that a project of a bridge, 
to be effectuated by private advances, could only be ac- 
complished in a spot, in which a majority of interests and 
opinions where united. Endeavours, which, through 
many difficulties succeeded, were therefore commenced, 
tor obtaining from the City corporation, the site of the 
present bridge ; and forty thousand dollars (one half in 
bridge Stock) were paid, as the consideration. The 
General Assembly had, by a law, granted to the Bridge 
Company, the right of the Commonwealth to a valuable 
lot adjoining this site, on the eastern, and a purchase 
had been made of property on the western side of the 
river, which is now highly accommodatorj'. It is un- 
pleasant to mix the alloy of regret, with the purity of ap^ 
probation which must attach both to the site, and the 
structure there established ; yet it is to be lamented that 
one half of the western front of the City, is deprived of 
navigation on a great scale. E'er long this river will 




pour into the lap of commerce, abundant supplies for fo. 
reign markets; and the land transportation passing over 
it, is very considerable. Twelve feet water can be car. 
ried over the bar at the river's mouth; and it is well 
known, that a channel may be made, to escape the bar, 
for large vessels, at no formidable expence. Four fa- 
thoms, on an average, may be carried, after passing the 
bar, up to and along the whole City front. It is to be 
most seriously hoped, that no obstacles to this important 
navigation, will in future be added. One error proba. 
bly unavoidable, which cannot now be rectified, com- 
mitted in the zeal for a new and essential improvement 
and accommodation is enough. Passages for vessels, 
through draws, should be insisted on, if at any time other 
bridges should be required, where they interfere with 
the navigation. Posterity should never be disinherited, 
to serve present and partial objects. 

The impediment to the navigation of the Thames, by 
old Londxin bridge, has long been highly injurious. In. 
somuch that it is said, in an estimate presented to the 
British Parliament a few years ago, (1801) th^t the dif. 
ference in the price oi coals above, from that helcnv bridge 
would in a short time, pay for taking down the old, and 
building a new bridge, to admit large vessels, either un^ 
der, or through the bridge, by means of a draw. And 
tliere is a great plan in progress for that purpose. 

It is mentioned with no view to personal adulation, 
but as a successful instance, for the encouragement of 
persistance in commendable pursuits, too often thwarted 
by opposite interests or opinions, that the " Act for in- 
corporating a Company for erecting a Permanent Bridge 
^er the River Schuylkill, at or near the City ofPhiladeU 





phia " was obtained, after persevering efforts, during se- 
veral years by the exertions oi Richard Peters^ who was 
elected President of the Company, formed in virtue of 
that Act, He originated the project of the present 
structure, and assiduously assisted in its execution, from 
its commencement to its completion. In a pursuit, ge- 
nerally deemed hopeless, though so obviously of public 
utility, he was left solely, to encounter, in its early stages, 
strong prejudices and incredulity as to its practicability, 
and many local interests and objections, both as to the 
place and principles of its establishment. Much oppo- 
sition from several respectable quarters, was to be over- 
come, befofe this law could be obtained. This was the 
more difficult to combat, because it was grounded on laud- 
able principles ; though it was foreseen, as the event pro- 
ved, that their objects were unattainable ; and therefore 
that no bridge would be erected, but one according to 
the project eftfectuated by the present company. Twenty 
one towTiships, on the western side of the river, repre- 
sented by respectable citizens, combined to prevent the 
scheme for a toll bridge ; under the idea that they could 
obtain one free of toll, and built by subscription, aided 
by public support. But as this mode of raising furids^ 
could not be accomplished, the attempt, (the success 
whereof was very much to be wished) was abandoned. 
The Corporation of the City, were very commendably 
anxious to erect a bridge on their property, under the 
direction of the City Councils. This would have been 
an appropriate and desirable object. But funds could 
not be procured; and their opposition was withdrawn. 
The expensive and most extensively useful Water 
Works ^ had involved the Citj^ corporation in pecuniarj^ 


difficulties; and operated, in no small degree, to induce 
a sale, of their ferry franchise, to the company incorpo- 
rated for erecting the bridge. 

The Act before mentioned was passed the 16th of 
March 1798. Its principle features are similar to all 
such incorporating acts. A stock of »150,000 divided 
into 15,000 shares, at 810 each, is established. To this 
have been added 7,500newshares,to5i^crease the funds; 
the expenditures beingnecessarilyfargreater, than could 
have been foreseen. A great proportion of the new 
shares, yet remain in the hands of the company undis- 
posed of. 

The usual arrangements for procuring subscriptions 
prefatory to incorporation, are inserted. Three thou- 
sand of the original shares, are reserved, for the pur- 
chase of a ^ite, and to establish a fund for freeing the 
bridge. Sundry clauses relate to the incorporation, or. 
ganization of the Company and its officers, and mode 
of management of the funds. Power is given to the 
Stockholders to fix on the site ; and, if necessarj^ to add 
shares, to encrease the funds. There is also a descrip- 
tion of the kind of bridge to be built. The property 
of the bridge (and of such other property as they shall 
acquire for its purposes or convenience,) is vested in 
the Company for twenty five years, after the same shall 
be compleated; and the tolls to be taken are ascertain- 
ed with great encouragement to the transportation of 
country produce and manure, and to the use of oxen for 
draft. Penalties are laid on taking illegal tolls, as well 
as on those who injure the bridge property or w^orks, or 
impede the passage. The bridge is not to be erected 
«*i|i such manner^ as to injure, stop, or interrupt the na* 



I X. 

I ^1 

.4- • ■ - - 














" vigation of the said river, by boats j craft or vessels with^ 
'^out masts;'*'* "and when the tolls shall exceed fifteen 
"per cent, nett annual profit; the excess shall compose 
a fund, for the redemption of the bridge, so as to ren- 
der it free^ save that there shall always be a smsdl tdl, 
or other revenue, for keeping it in repair ; this excess 
shall be laid out in bridge Stock, or other productive 
funds, and the dividends, or annual product, shall be 
also added to this fund ; and all private donations for 
freeing the bridge shall also be received and invested 
^' in like manner ; but if by the operation of the fund 
herein proposed, there shall be a sufficient sum to free 
the bridge, at a period less than the said twenty five 
"years, then it shall be redeemed and become free, on 
"the Stockholders being paid the appraised value there- 
'' of, and'of die profits thereof for the residue of the said 
•'term of twenty five years which may be unexpired; 
"and if the said fund sliall not be adequate to the pur- 
"pose last mentioned, the legislature may, at the expi- 
*' ration of the said twenty five years, declare it a free 
^'bridge, (providing at the same time the means of keep* 
"ing it in repair) and the Company shall be obliged 
*Ho take such sum of money therefor, as shall be allow- 
••ed on a fair appraisement by indifierent persons; the 
-like appraisement shall take place, when the sinking 
"fund is adequate to the redemption of the bridge and 
"the establishment of a revenue, if a toll be not thought 
"more eli^ble, for keeping the bridge in repair; but if 
"the said bridge shall not be redeemed, and paid for as 
"a free bridge, before or at the expiration of the said 
"term of twenty five years, the said corporation may 
"and shall continue to hold the ssme, on the terms of 




"this act, beyond the said term, and until the same shall 
"be redeemed and paid for in manner herein directed." 
As a general ^observation and interpretation of this 
clause, we insert an extract from a report of the building 
committee, 31st January 1803. "Our stock wiB bear 
"at comparison with any other, either m point of securi. 
" ty or duration. It is secured to us for twenty five years 
" after the bridge is fini^ed. A period long enou^ to 
" gain a valuable profit. If it is made free, compensa- 
"tion must be previously made, by appraisement, foi^ 
" both the bridge and its revenues. A circumstance, 
"however desirable, not likely to happen. The Com- 
" pany are to hold the bridge, after the twenty five years, 
^' until they are amply reimbursed. The duration of 
^' their tenure is therefore sufiicient, and no loss of ca- 
*^pital can occur. The bridge will be elevated above 
"all floods; and the piers and abutments of such strength 
"and solidity, as to place it out of all danger." And 
this latter promise of that committee has, it is confi- 
dently believed, been faithfully complied with. 
• In pursuance of this law, the then Governor, (Mifflin) 
on the 27th day of April 1798, incorporated the Com- 
pany ; the number of subscriptions, previously requir. 
ed, having been filled. 

The Company was immediately organized ; and the 
following named persons chosen according to law. 
President^ Richard Peters. 

Directors, John Perot, William SheaflT, Joseph An- 
thony, John Dunlap, John Dorsey, John 
Miller, M. C. Matthew MXonnell, Robert 
Ralston, David E van;?, junr. William Ring- 
ham, %muel Btodget, Nathan Sellers. 


■4i... ■W..J 








Treasurer y Richard Hill Morris. 

The first Building Committee were 

Richard Peters, George Fox, William Sheaff, John 
Dunlap, and John Kean. 

The general wish of the Stockholders, at the com- 
mencement of the project, was strongly in favour of a 
stone bridge. A draft of a stone strujjture, elegant^ 
plain, practicable and adapted to the site, with very 
minute and important instructions for its execution, was 
furnished to the President gratuitously, by William 
Weston Esc^. of Gainsborough m England: a very 
able and scientific hydraulic engineer, who was then 
here, and from friendly and disinterested motives, most 
liberally contributed his professional knowledge and 
information, to promote the success of the Company. 
The foundations of the present piers, and abutments 
were laid nearly according to his plan, though circum-* 
stances compelled a considerable departure from it, as 
the work advanced. His communications were attend- 
ed to with great advantage, wheresoever they could be 
applied. Having viewed the inefficiency of the eastern 
coffer dam — in tlie same spirit of liberality, he furnish- 
ed to the President, a draft for the western coffer dam, 
before his departure for England. This plan was origi- 
nal, and calculated for the spot on which it was to be pla- 
ced. It was faithfully and exactly executed under the care 
of Mr. Samuel Robinson^ who was then Superintendant 
of the Company's work in wood. Mr. IFeston foresaw 
great risques and difficulties, arising from the peculiar 
character of the river, and the nature of its bottom, in 
so great a depth of water. He declared, that he should 
hesitate to risque liis professional chs\f acter on the event, 


though he was convincedi that the whole success of the 
enterprise depended upon, and required, the attempt. 
Some idea of its magnitude may be formed, when it i$ 
known that 800,000 feet (board measure) of timber 
were employed in its execution, and the accommoda! 
tions attached to it. Sufficient in quantity for a ship 
of the line. 

But it was soon discovered that the expence of erect- 
mg a stone bridge, would far exceed any sum, the re. 
venue likely to be produced would justify. For this 
reason alone, no farther progress was made in the stone 
bridge plan. And though some other drafts, among 
them a very elegant one by Mr. Latrobe, were present, 
cd, the board of Directors were under the necessity of 
returning them, as being objects, however desirable, 
too expensive to be executed with private funds. It 
was therefore concluded to procure plans of a bridge, 
to be composed of stone piers and abutments, and a su- 
perstructure of either wood or iron. Mr. JTeston at 
the request of the President and Directors, sent from 
England (after viewing most of the celebrated bridges 
there, and adding great improvements of his own,) a 
draft of an iron superstructure, in a very superior stile; 
yet with his usual attemion to utility, strength, and 
oeconomy, accompanied by models and instructions. 
Although highly approved, it was not deemed prudent 
to attempt its execution. All our workmen here, are 
unacquainted with such operations; and it was thought 
too hazardous to risque the first experiment. 

The castings can be done cheaper here, than in En, 
gland, and with metal of a better qualitv, though the 
amount of the erection would in the whole, far exceed 






one of wood. Mr. TVeston's draft is preserved, and may 
yet be executed in some part of the United States; and 
it would do honour to those who could accomplish it. 
Finally, the plan so successfully perfected was agreed 
to ; having been furnished by Mr. Timothy Palmer of 
Nexvburyport in Massachusetts^ a self taught architect, 
who was employed to execute the work of the frame. 
He brought with him Mr. Carr^ as his second, and four 
other workmen from New England. They at once evin- 
ced superior intelligence and adroitness, in a business, 
which was found to be a peculiar art, acquired by habits 
not promptly gained, by even good workmen in other 
branches of framing in wood. Both the materials and 
workmanship of this frame, are allowed to be remarka- 
bly faultless and excellent. It is also an evidence of 
prudence, in the President and Directors, in selecting a 
plan idready practised upon, and workmen accustomed 
to its execution. 

Previous to the decision upon the superstructure, the 
piers^ without a certainty of the stability whereof, no 
superstructure could be attempted, were begun ; with 
the intent, that when their completion was ensured, the 
Stockholders might be justified, with confidence to pro- 
ceed in the work. There being no general engineer, 
the President and Directors were under the necessity 
of paying more attention, than is usually required in 
such cases. The President, with the assistance of a 
building committee, undertook the charge of the exe- 
cution of this arduous work, requiring much attention 
as well in the outline as in its most minute details. 

The President suggested, with the approbation of 
the committee, important parts of the plans of the ma- 





sonry, and modes of securing the dams ; and several 
improvements in the plan of the frame, which were 
adopted by Mr. Palmer; and occasioned a material dif- 
ference from those in New England, and elsewhere, 
erected on similar principles. 

The President's proposition and general design of 
the cover, were approved, and reported, by the com- 
mittee. The opinions of a very great proportion of 
the Stockholders were at first opposed to this measure ; 
though when perfectly understood, it was unanimously 
agreed to. Its novelty excited doubts and apprehensi- 
ons, which time, and many violent assaults from storms, 
have proved to have been groundless. It will long re- 
main an example for future similar undertakings ; and 
is the only covered wooden bridge in the world, a much 
inferior one over the Limmaty in the north of Europe, 

Mr. Adam Traquair has merit in the draft of the co- 
ver, which he assisted to delineate. It was executed 
with singular fidelity and credit, by Mr. Owen Piddle, 
an ingenious carpenter and architect of Philadelphia; 
who made additions to the design. He has published 
an architectural work, entitled " The Young Carpen- 
ter's Assistant;" useful as an elementary guide, and 
which should be encouraged as an American production. 
In it will be seen a plate of this bridge, and a concise 
account of it ; some parts whereof are herein repeated. 

The whole of the masonry was performed by Mr. 
Thomas Vickers, who possesses not only integrity and 
practical skill, but is firm, constant, and prudently bold, 
in hazardous undertakings. His exertions were con- 
spicuous on every emergency and casualty attending 

: .k 

' 7,-y 


• "'•• "T" 


A StAtlStlCAL AteOUKt Of tUt 



the dams, and other dangerous and difficult p2Ctts of 
the work. 

Those who with the Presideht, composed the build-^ 
ing committee particularly, as well as the other member^ 
of the board, and the Treasurer, meritoriously alforded 
every requisite assistance ; as well when their aid was 
necessary in the executive business, as in a laudable at- 
tention to its pecuniary affairs. It always happens in such 
associations, that some pay more attention, and therebjf* 
gain and apply more useful intelligence than others. 

It would be unpardonable, not to mention the Stocks 
holders^ with high approbation. Their advances have 
been great, and their patience under privations of profit^ 
truly commendable. The amount of expenditures is 
nearly S 300,000, though the dividends will be made on 
a much less sum, (about S 218,000) owing to the ap- 
plication of the floating bridge tolls, to the expence of 
the building. The company have evidenced a praise- 
worthy mixture of public spirit, with a justifiable desire 
of pecuniary advantages ; in which it is to be ardently 
wished, they will not be disappointed. Although these 
advantages may be delayed, they are ultimately secured^ 
Not the least gratifying, must be the satisfaction aris- 
ing from the accomplishment of a public improvement 
eminently beneficial, as well in its use as > its example, 
not only to those, who now enjoy its accommodation^ 
but to posterity. 

Common justice to the subject has compelled so de- 
tailed an account of this undertaking. Actuated by no 
motives of mere personal compliment, it is deemed of 
public utility to record for imitation, individual exer- 
tions, in cases wherein great objects have been accom- 

plished by them, without any assistance from the pub- 
lic funds ; and where the want of scientific and practical 
knowledge, was supplied by the constancy and singular 
attention of those, who possessed no tnore talents of 
acquirements, than are called for in the common affkirs 
of life. Such successful examples are worthy of imita- 
tion; and will incite to perseverance, in laudable and 
necessary enterprizes; however apparently difficult and 
Untoward; as many parts of this work have most un- 
doubtedly been. Nor is it desired to recommend pro- 
ceeding (where it can be avoided) in such hazardous 
Undertakings, without professional engineers, both sci- 
entific and practical. 

Few would have persevered under all the difficulties 
attending this work; which in its execution (unavoida-^ 
bly protracted by the embarrassments attendant on 
building under water) occupied six years after the law 
Was obtained. However humble the merit of those 
who engage in such undertakings may be considered, 
they are far greater contributors to the happiness and 
convenience of mankind, than those who, with victories 
and triumphs, dazzle while they desolate, and ruin and 
oppress the human race. 


The m^onry is executed on a plan suggested to the 
mason, uncommon, if not new. The walls of the abut- 
ments and wings, are perpendicular, without buttresses, 
^nd supported by interior offsets. These are found com- 
pletely competent to support the pressure of the filling 
(which gravitates in perpendicular lines) without bat^ 
tering or contreforts. The abutments are 18 feet thick. 






The wing walls nine feet at the foundations, retiring 
by offsets, till at the parapets, they are only 18 inches. 
The eastern abutment and wing walls are founded on a 
rock. Those on the western side are built on piles. 
The inclined plane of approach to the bridge, is elevat- 
ed at an angle of 3 1-2 degrees. 

Although the western pier has attracted most atten- 
tion, that on the eastern side of the river, was first erect- 
ed ; and was attended with difficulties appearing often 
insurmountable. It is from 21 to 24 feet deep, below 
the tide, to the rock, on which the lower course is laid 
and bolted. The coffer dam was on a bad plan, though 
constructed as well as that plan admitted. Its materials 
were too slight and incompetent. Constant exertion, 
and repeated remedies for defects, w^ere incessantly call- 
ed for by frequent accidents. Everj^ thing was new to 
all employed; but it was a school to teach experience. 
The footing of the piles was secured, and the dam sav- 
ed from impending destruction, by an embankment of 
stone and sand, thrown around the bottom on its out- 
side ; and the latter washed in, and consolidated by the 
current. The same means were used at the xvestern 
dam, and their utility decidedly proved. Both piers are 
of course, similar in their general configuration and 
composition. The first stone of the eastern pier, was 
laid September 5th, 1801. That of the western pie7\ 
December 25th, 1802. The time preceding was occu- 
pied in procuring plans, gaining information, and pro- 
viding materials. These precautions, (always essential 
in great undertakings) forwarded the work, and ensured 
against delay and disappointment. 



Tht frame is a masterly piece of workmanship; com- 
bining in its principles, that of king posts and braces, 
or trusses, with those of a stone arch. Half of each post 
with the brace between them, will form the vousseur of 
an arch; and lines through the middle of each post, 
would describe the radii or joints. There are three 
sections of the frame, all similar. That in the middle, 
divides the space into two equal parts, so that passen- 
gers in opposite directions, are prevented from inter, 
fering with each other. 

The platform for travelling rises only eight feet from 
an horizontal line, and the top, or cap pieces, are paral- 
lei to this. Of the sections, the middle one has the 
most pressure, owing to the weight of transportation, 
being thrown nearer to that section than towards the 
sides; to which the foot ways prevent its approach. 
These foot ways are five feet in width, elevated above the 
carriage ways, and neatly protected with turned posts 
and chains. It has been conceived that the foot ways 
would have been more advantageously placed on each 
side the middle section, to throw the weight of trans- 
portation to the sides of the bridge. 

Mr. Palmer (who is believed to be the original in- 
ventor of this kind of wooden bridges) permitted with 
much candour, considerable alterations in the plan, ac- 
commodatory to the intended cover, the design where- 
of is original. These were so much approved by him, 
that he considers the Schuylkill bridge superstructure 
the most perfect of any he has built. It was finished 
in one season ; and declared open for passengers and 
transportation, on the 1st day of January, 1805. 

■if>mF''^ ^ 




The Schauffhatisen bridge (which is now destroyed) 
much eulogised in JS'Urope^ was by no means equ£tl tQ 
that on the Schuylkill. Any candid and intelligent ar* 
chitect, on inspecting the drafts of the one, examining 
the other and the principles of both, would give a de-* 
cided preference to the latter. The design of this is 
more simple, its strength is greater, its parts are better 
combined, and more assistant to each other : and there 
is no useless timber, in any part. 

The timber of which both the frame and the cover are 
composed, (the roof, of cedar excepted) is of the best 
white pine. 

The flooring of the platform is doubled, and in the 
whole 5 1-2 inches thick. The under course of v)hite 
pine^ 3 inches thick, is permanent, and well spiked and 
secured. The upper course is of sap pitch pine, slightly 
attached (2 1-2 inches thick) to be renewed as often as 
worn, either partially or generally, and with this the joints 
ere broken. This mode of planking has been found, on 
the floating bridges, highly advantageous and economi- 
cal. The under course admits of two or three removals 
of the upper, which wears before it decays. The floor- 
ings of wooden bridges are generally of single planks. 

The exterior of the cover is handsomely ornamented 
and painted. The under work imitative of stone, is well 
executed, by dashing the paint while fresh, with sand 
and stone dust. This is performed with so much ease 
and cheapness, tliat it is hoped it will introduce a like 
mode of ornamenting and protecting the surface of other 
wooden elevations. All apprehensions of scaling by 
frost, are proved to be imaginar^^ 



A number of Conductors, properly disposed, secure 
the superstructure from danger by lightning. 

All that could be spared for ornament, was expended 
on the exterior; as the interior neither admitted nqr re- 
quired it. The Pediments of the entrances were intend- 
cd to be finished with Emblems of Commerce, on the 
cast; and of ./^^icw/^wr^, on the west. They are design- 
cd, and were to be executed, by that eminent American 
naval sculptor, miliam Rush of Philadelphia-, whose 
works as an artist, are admired, in whatever part of the 
world they are seen. It is desirable that this flnish, the 
expence whereof will be small, should yet be added. 
The Pediments require it; to complete the design. 


The Schuylkill Bridge Plan may be varied according 
to circumstances ; and its principles preserved. In what- 
ever varieties, projectors of other designs may indulge 
themselves, it is confidently believed that Mr. Palmer's 
plan will be found on long experience, to be the best. 
It is an unit in symmetry and movement; and all its 
parts support each other, like ?i phalanx in tacticks. In 
some instances Mr. Palmer has placed the platform for 
travelling, over the cap pieces and cross ties; or rather 
these latter become part of the frame of the platform. 
The great body of the frame is of course below. But 
this was not found eligible, where ice and floods were 
likely to assault the haunches, when the frame was thus 
depressed. The elevation of the abutments would re- 
quire, for this plan, immense weight and expence of fill- 
ing, and expose the walls to dangerous pressure. Nor 







would it be SO well calculated for heavy transportation. — 
More important than all — it would be unfit for covering 
to such advantage. Notwithstanding this great im- 
provement, was highly approved by Mr. Palmer it was 
not in his contemplation, as to morfe, until the outline of 
the present cover was shewn to him ; although he said he 
had repeatedly, but fruitlessly, urged the measure of co- 
vering their bridges, in New England. It is hoped this 
example will be followed, in all pontifical wooden struc- 
tures of magnitude, hereafter. Bridges may, for most 
situations, be less expensive in the frame ; the middle 
section may be omitted above the flooring ; nor need 
they be more than 30 feet wide. This width was deem- 
ed sufficient by Mr. JVestony for bridges in general; 
though he considered that over the Schuylkill to require 
more than common space, for its constant and burthen- 
some transportation. The Easton bridge, built under 
Mr. Pa/m^'^ directions, is 28 feet wide; and the frame 
of the middle section does not rise above the platform. 
Its situation does not demand a plan, or call for dimen- 
sions, on a greater scale ; and it is erected according to 
the improved work of the frame of the Schuylkillhndge. 
Although the cover of the Schuylkill hridgt compelled 
ornament, and some elegance of design, lest it should 
disgrace the environs of a great City; these would not 
be necessary in such a degree, in other situations. 
Neatness of elevation and taste in design, may be shewn 
at a small expence ; and the workmanship and materials 
need be no more costly, than those for roofing and wea- 
ther boarding common frame buildings. The Schuyl- 
kill bridge roof required one hundred and ten thousand 
shingles, of 3 feet long and 6 inches wide ; and other 



materials in proportion. Much of these may be saved, 
m narrower frames. The painting or coating, with the 
durable composition, in imitation of stone, whichappears 
on the exterior of the work, below the platform, (for 
which a recipe is subjoined) may be done at a small 
expence. Mineral paints are the worst, for coating ex. 
posed to weather. The oil does not combine with the 
mineral, as it does with absorbent earths: and being ex- 
tracted by the sun, leaves the mineral particles without 
adhesion, and they drop, or are washed away by rains, 
dews, and moisture. All oils or fats, are known, chemi. 
cally, to be alike composed ; and are better or worse, as 
they are or are not mixed with foreign matter. Linseed 
oil may be had every where, and fish oil is common. 
Ochres for colouring, (far preferable to minerals) abound 
throughout the country; and only require judicious ex- 
ploration for their discovery. Clarified turpentine is a 
good substitute for oils; but a mixture of both is best. 
The less forcing, to accelerate drying, the better. Though 
inconvenient in some respects, the composition will be 
more durable, the longer it is in drying; but care should 
be taken, that it be not so thin as to run; or not retain the 
sand and paint. Sea sand, or earth mixed with marine 
salt, should be avoided, as being hostile to compositions * 
or cements; and particularly when calcareous substances 
are combined. Some of the Delaware stone-cutters sand, 
used with the Schuylkill bridge coating, was found to be 
liable to this objection. We have daily before us proofs 
of this fact in our plaistering; where the hair oisalt hides 
IS used. Every moisture of the room, or atmosphere, 
brings out stains and damp spots on our walls; to which 
papering will not adhere, as it does on other plaistering, 

' :i\ 





into the composition whereof, salt hair does not enter. 
Chemists may account for this : but to them it is not yet 
clearly ascertained, from whence the muriatic acid is de- 
rived; nor are its nature, and properties, accurately 
known, Ix)ng ^d frequent experience has evinced^ 
that the least mixture of this acid, or common salt,* 
with gypsuniy produces a tertium^ which renders it unfit 
for a cement; and also destroys its agricultural uses and 



The work should not be primed; though part of that 
at the bridge was so done, before it was determined to 
coat it with composition. 

The paint used was common white lead and oil ; as 
the psdnters preferred their own way, and the scaffolding 
could not remain at risque, while experiments on other 
^paints were tried. It was conceded afterwards, that if 
there had been time to prepare and use other paint, and 
the urgency of dispatch had not precluded delay for dry- 
ing, Jish oil and clarified turpentine with ochres^ would 
have been more eligible. 


^ Common salt is compounded of the muriatic acid, and 
soda. The latter substance abounds in the ocean, and other 
places, where common salt is found. The vitriolic acid of gyp- 
sum meeting with the muriatic^ in the salt^ expels it from the 
sodaoi the salt; and having a predominant affinity, forms sul- 
phat of soda^ or glauber salts. Good common salt should 
contain two thirds of soda^ and one third of muriatic acid ; 
and is seldom pure in its combination, as to proportion ; or 
absence of foreign matter. 

As fast as the painter proceeded in his work, an adroit 
hand dashed on the sand and stone dust. This was 
mixed in proper proportions, as to colour and con- 
sistency, which is only to be known by preparatory ex- 
periments; easUy accomplished. It was thrown on 
with a common tin dust pan. The sand and stone dust 
must be free from moisture, or any tincture from ma- 
rme salt. It was dried in die sun, or a large iron kettle 
over a slow fire. A small proportion ofplaister of Paris, 
was mixed with the sand and stone dust. A long trough 
containingthe sand and dust, was placed under the work; 
and caught what did not adhere, so as to be thrown up 
again and prevent waste. The dispatch with which this 
operation can be performed, exceeded expectation, both 
as to facility and oeconomy. With marble dust, it may 
be made to imitate that stone. As soon as one coat is 
dry, the other must be laid on. Two coats, well attend- 
ed to, are sufficient. But this is left to the choice of 
those, who think another coat is required. 

The joints are imitated by convex strips, sprigged on 
the weather boarding; and after the coating is put on, 
they are penciled off", with white paint. 

The following is a recipe much followed, and with in- 
variable success, for bams and other buildings, in the 
country-: and being particularly applied to roofs, it is 
called "Jire proof." 

Take 20 gallons of fish oil ; boil it 4 hours over a slow • 
-fire; and skim it as the feculence rises. Put in it 12 
pounds of rosin, or an equivalent proportion of clarified 
turpentine. Before taking it off the fire, mix ten gallons 
flax seed oil, boiled in the common way. Grind and 
mix with the oil, a sufficient quantity of ochre (of what 





colour you please) to make the paint thick as can be well 
brushed on. As you brush on the paint, have your com- 
position ready to sift, or dash on. It is thus made. — 

Take one bushel of ground plaister, calcined over a 
fire in a dry pot, or kettle. When cold, mix with it 3 
bushels of stone dust or fine sand, rfry, and the more^nY- 
ty or siliceous, the better. Sift or dash on, as fast as the 
paint is laid on. When dry, the second coat is applied 
in the same manner. Live coals, in quantities, have been 
thrown on roofs thus coated, without injury. It does 
not scale with frost, or melt with the hottest sun. The 
above is sufficient for a large roof. 

The whole expence of the preceding composition in- 
cluding labour and laying on will not exceed 2! 50. 

Feet. In. 

Length of the bridge, - 550 

Abutments and wing walls, - 750 

Total length, - - - 1300 

Span of small arches - 150 
(three in the whole number, 
including middle arch. ) 

^Ditto of middle arch, - 194 10 

* The middle arch was originally intended to be only 
160 feet, but the dam could not be placed on the spot contem- 
plated, owing to the bareness and inequalities of the rock at 
the bottom. 

It is highly creditable to those concerned in the direc- 
tion and executive branches of this work, that no delay ever 
occm-red through want of supplies, or prompt payment. Yet 
one million and an half of feet (board measure) of timber, and 
above 22000 perches of stone, with all the subordinate and 




12 ) The curvatures 
10 5 are catenarian. 

- 13 

. 31 


21 to 24 

Width of the bridge, 

Curvature of the middle arch, 

ditto of small arches 
Rise of the carriage way- 
Height in the clear over carriage 


ditto from surface of the river 
to the carriage way, 
Depth of water to the rock at the 

western pier 
ditto at the eastern pier 
Amount of toll when the work began for 1799, S 5000 

Present rate, (1805.) jgooo 

The company have established commodious wharves, 
which were necessary for the safety of the abutments ; 

and add greatly to the improvements of that front of the 

President and Directors at the dose of the Work. 

President. Richard Peters. 

Directors. John Dunlap, John Perot, Ebenezer Hazard, 
Thomas Savery, William Poyntel, Charles Bid- 
die, Richard H. Morris, George Fox, Peter 
Browne, John G. Wachsmuth, George Reinhold, 
Anthony Cuthbert. 

Treasurer. John Dorsey. 

Building Committee. Richard Peters, William Poyntel, An- 
'*.;-. V thony Cuthbert, John Dunlap, Peter 
^_______ Browne, George Fox. 

auxiliary materials required, were employed in this structure. 
The labour, the cost whereof was a great proportion of the 
expenditure, was obtained below the common rate, in most 
instances; owing to the regularity and certainty of payment. 






TTiis account ought not to be closed without presenting for 
information y as well as to gratify curiosity ^ part of the 
report of the building committee^ dated July lA^th 1803. 
Signed. Richard Peters^ John Dunlapy Peter Browne^ 
George FoXy Anthony Cuthbert. 

" That it was thought proper to begin the work of this season 
on the eastern side, by laying the foundation of the abutment, 
and raising the eastern pier to the height required for the 
first timbers of the wooden superstructure ; so that the whole 
of the wood work will be elevated above all floods and sub- 
stances which might injure it when floating on and carried 
with violence by high freshes. The highest fresh ever known 
having risen 12 feet 8 inches above high water mark, we have 
elevated the masonry 16 feet 8 inches above high tide ; to 
guard against all danger. From five feet above the proposed 
spring of the arches of a stone bridge, where our cut stone 
ceases, we directed it to be carried up in range work, with 
hammered stone, as a facing; and the interior bonded with 
large, long and heavy stone, except at the end of the pier, 
up stream, where the cut stone is continued as high as any 
floating ice will probably assail it. The whole of the work is 
well filled, laid in common mortar and grouted, so as to com- 
pose a solid mass, capable of resisting the most severe as- 
sault from ice, floods or floating timber. The terras mortar 
and clamping, cease with the cut stone, about five feet above 
high water mark." 

" When this pier arrived at its present height, the masonry 
of the eastern abutment was proceeded in ; and so far com- 
pleted, as to be out of all difficulty. We then directed the 
workmen to commence the raising the western pier. This 
had been carried up, last winter, within eighteen inches of 
low water mark. The dam having stood the winter without 
much injury, though roughly treated by the ice, was pump- 
ed out on the 27th day of May last. On examining the ma- 

sonry with much attention we found to our great satisfecti6ii, 
that there had not been the least aheration in the work by any 
accident. It had not settled an hair's breadth ; but stood firm 
on Its foundation, which we can now pronounce perfectly good, 
sound, and immoveable. We were agreeably struck with th J 
perfect state of the whole masonry ; which does great credit 
to Mr. Vickers the master mason. The tarras mortar used on 
the exterior is as hard as the stone ; and the common mortar of 
the interior, as dry and indurated, though covered with water 
four months, as any cement, exposed in masonry to the open 
air for twelve months." 

" We mention for the instruction of those who may have oc 
casion to build where water covers or flows round the work 
that rich mortar should never be used. Our common cement 
IS composed of three parts shai^), clean, coarse sand, and one 
part hme. Sand is thrown into abed of thin wash of slacked 
lime, and agitated till every grain is coated with lime, it then 
receives additions of sand till brought to its proper consist- 
cncy for use. The grout is fluid, but composed of the like 
proportion of materials. The mortar used in the foundation 
once intended for a pier, near the eastern toll house, but aban- 
doned as a pier, and now usefully employed, as the end of our 
wing walls, was covered more than a year with water. We 
had occasion to take part of it up. The mortar, having been 
improperly made rich, was friable, and had not the least tena- 
city or binding quality. The tarras mortar is composed of one 
part tarras, two parts lime and three parts sand." 

*' The western pier is now completed to the same height, and, 
except in depth, of the same dimensions with the eastern pier. 
The span between these piers is 187 feet 6 inches, from the 
piers to each abutment the span will be 150 feet each. No 
formidable difficulties have occurred in the work of the present 
season ; and every thing has been conducted to our satisfac- 



,i h 

rJiilWlliii • il ■ " 





*' We think it proper to give a short description of this pier 
(the greater proportion whereof is invisible) that its structure 
may be kno^vn ; and its embarrassing, expensive and tedious 
progress may be accounted for. We confine ourselves to the 
masonry — a description of the dam will be hereafter presented 
that it may be of service to others who may have occasion tp 
use such auxiliaries, in aquatic structures. The plan of the 
dam, and instructions for its establishment, do much honor to 
Mr. Weston who furnished them. Mr. Robinson our super- 
intendant, has great merit in faithfully executing this plan. 
But many dangerous casualties and unforeseen embarrass- 
ments baffled all previous arrangements ; and required the im- 
mediate and unceasing efforts of the committee and the work- 
men to combat them. The members of the Board, and others 
of our fellow citizens, who voluntarily assisted us in endea- 
vours to evacuate the dam of the obstructions which prevented 
our totally baring the rock, have our thanks for their exer- 
tions. These have afforded conviction that the plan we adopted 
for the foundation, was indispensable. The result has unde- 
niably proved its efficacy, competency and permanence ; and 
leaves nx> doubt of its being in contact with the rock ; which 
though somewhat irregular, rises at the interior circumference 
of our dam and forms in the middle a tolerably regular cavity, 
well calculated to prevent (if the weight on it were not suffi- 
cient) any injury to, or movement of the foundation." 

» ■ 


" Not being able to arrive nearer to the rock than three feet 
six inches, without the most imminent danger of ruin, and 
failure in our object, it was deemed (after every effort to eva- 
cuate the dam had been tried) most adviseable, and dictated 
by evident neccesity to lay a rough foundation, before the 
masonry of cut stone commenced, about eight feet below the 
common bed of the river. This foundation was accordingly 

directed by the building committee ; and on the 25th of De- 
cember 1802 began to be formed. It consists of large foun- 
dation and smaller stone intermixed. Roach lime and sharp 
sand cover and fill the interstices of each layer of these stone ; 
which are all well rammed ; and, reaching the rock, compose 
a solid mass, four feet thick, filling the whole interior of the 
dam ; the area whereof is 42 feet six inches in breadth, by 92 
feet in length. On this foundation, the cut stone was laid, 
and the pier shaped to its proper dimensions ; which are here 
30 feet in breadth, by 71 feet 6 inches in its extreme length ; 
the ends being semicircular. It continues of these dimensions 
to the first offset, about four feet from the foundation. — There 
are six oflfsets to low water mark ; each diminishing the pier 
about four inches ; so that at that point it is twenty six feet 
eight inches in breadth and sixty seven feet two inches in lengdi. 
There are from this point, to 18 inches above high water mark, 
three oflPsets, each diminishing the pier 10 inches. So that 
the dimensions, at this point, are twenty one feet eight inch- 
es in breadth, and sixty three feet two inches in length ; the 
whole continuing semicircular at the ends. From this point 
the pier begins to batter and the cut stone ceases. The ham- 
mered stone, in range work, begins, and rising sixteen feet, 
lessens regularly to nineteen feet four inches in width, and in 
length sixty feet ten inches. When finished it will be in 
height fifty five feet nine inches from the rock, and will be 
neatly surmounted with cut stone, at each end, formed in 
the shape of a half dome. The cut stone are all clamped at 
every joint, with iron clamps, well secured. The outer ash- 
lers are all laid intarras mortar. There are a proper number 
of headers, dove-tailed in each course ; running into the pier 
many feet. On these are laid vast rough stone, some where- 
of are twelve tons in weight. — These large stones of various 
sizes, are common in the interior of the pier, which is laid 
in a workmanlike manner, in common mortar, and properly 
filled with smaller stone ; the whole being grouted and form^ 



■■'«(^rT ■••""'•" 





ing a solid mass. Six large and heavy chains, are worked into 
the masonry, crosswise of the pier, at the foundation ; and a 
large curb of timber, hooped with iron, surrounds the cut stone 
at this point. Fifteen other massive chains, fastened at pro* 
per places, with perpendicular bolts, well wedged, are dis- 
persed in various parts of the pier, crosswise thereof, as high 
as low water mark. The whole masonry of the pier, was 
performed (including the winter work with all its disadvan* 
tages) in seventy four working days, after we had been seven 
hionths preparing and fixing the dam. Two months of this 
period were employed in incessant pumping, clearing and 
combatting casualties and impediments the most embarrassing 
- and expensive. The courses of cut stone vary in depth, the 
least course being ten inches, and the largest two feet eight 
inches in d^pth." 

♦* The foundation is further secured by the embankment of 
stone, intermixed and embodied with sand, thrown around 
the dam, on the bed of the river, to the height of fourteen feet. 
The interior piling will be cut off below low water mark, and 
connected with the pier by chains. Building stone are thrown 
in, between this piling and the masonry, about ten feet high, 
the whole forming a strong barrier against any attacks on the 

*^ Had we foreseen that so many casualties, difficulties, and 
dangers would have attended our enterprise, we should pro- 
bably not have hazarded the undertaking." 

" We were convinced that the whole of our success det 
pended on conapleating this pier ; and persevered against ca- 
sualties and impediments, which frequently appeared insur- 
mountable. It is at length accomplished, and the completion 
of our whole work thereby ensured. We mention, not as it 
respects ourselves, but for th€ emulation and encouragement 
of others, who may be obliged to encounter similar circum-* 
stances, that by perseverance, we have prevailed over the most 
discouraging obstacles. A pier of solid masonry, having 

7250 tons on its foundation, which is twenty nine feet below 
low water mark, and at high tide, 38 to 40 feet deep, was 
began on Christmas day, in a severe winter, in a depth of wa- 
ter uncommonly forbidding, and in forty days carried up from 
necessity, during the inclemency of the season, to near low 
water mark ; the point aimed at in our original design, for 
the work of an earlier and more temperate period." 

" We knew our work was difficuh enough ; and the only 
structure of the kind in this country. But we did not know 
that it was so singular a proof of the effects of persevering 
industry in any country. In a letter from miiiam Weston Esq. 
to Richard Peters^ he writes : — 

" Gainsborough fin England J 

4th May^ 1803. 
" I most sincerely rejoice at the final success that ha^ 
crowned your persevering efforts, in the erection of the west- 
em pier ; it will afford you matter of well founded triumph, 
when I tell you, that you have accomplished an undertaking 
unrivalled by any thing of the kind that Europe can boast of. 
I have never in the course of my experience, or reading, 
heard of a pier founded in such a depth of water, on an ir- 
regular rock, affording litde or no support to the piles. That 
the work should be expensive — expensive beyond your ideas 
— I had no doubt ; the amount thereof, with all the advanta- 
ges derived from experience, I could not pretend to deter- 
mine ; and if known, would only have tended to produce he- 
sitation and irresolution in a business, where nothing but the 
most determined, unceasing perseverance, could enable you 
to succeed. However, now " all your toils and dangers o'er" 
I heartily congratulate you on the resuU : not doubting but 
the completion will prove as honourable to you as beneficial 
to the stockholders." 

*' We give this extract for the satisfaction of tlie stock- 
holders ; who must be convinced, that their money has been 
applied to an object of great difficulty and magnitude ; in 
which expence was neither to be calculated or spared." 

^. ', 




I d r ■■•■ 



JVbr should the following communication from the Presi- 
dent be omitted: it contains facts and information^ which 
we hope will satisfy all who are hereafter engaged in 
such structuresy oftlie necessity of covering them. 

" After many fruitless attempts by others, to raise funds, 
5aid institute plans for erecting a Permanent Bridge over the 
Schuylkill, I was fortunate enough, througli many difficulties 
and much opposition, to obtain (owing to its own merit, urg- 
ing on and assisting my perseverance) the law under which 
the erection of the present structure has been effectuated. I 
hold it therefore a dut)- peculiarly incumbent on me, who ori- 
ginated, and have faithfully laboured in the execution of an 
entei-prize, in which so many have embarked their property, 
to make an effort for the completion and safety of a work, on 
■which the value of their advances so materially depends. — 
Under these impressions, I bring before you the subject of 
covering the Bridge ; and herewith present several drafts of 
covers, adapted to the frame. From the time of the first 
idea of a wooden superstructure, I have never wavered in 
my opinion of the indispensable necessity of the cover. I 
was surprised (a long time after I had conceived it to be a 
g^eneral sentiment) to find myself tn a minority on this sub- 
ject, though I was not entirely alone. I have reason now to 
hope that the sentiments of several of the Directors and great 
numbers of the Stockholders have materially changed ; or re- 
turned to original impressions. I have been accustomed to 
this situation in many of the most important parts of the 
work, and subjects connected with it, I have now, as here- 
tofore, waited for the candour of the Board and Stockhold* 
ers to produce convictions ; and have generally been gratified 
by the event. In some former communications it will ap- 
pear, that I have never approved oi painting or coating with 
composition or resinous substances, the surface of unseasoned 
or massive timber. I gave my reasons for this opinion, which 

-- - — »■■.- 



comport with long experience and observation, however sin- 
gular it may appear. I endeavoured to prevail on the Board^ 
or the building committee, to cause the straight timber to be 
bored through the heart j that the air might pass, and the sap^ 
there evaporate ; which, when confined, feculates, and soon- 
er or later, rots all large timber — Since this has not been 
done, I am not displeased that the timber is splitting; and, 
through crevices, giving opportunities of escape to this intes- 
tine and deadly foe. Casing of such timber with lead, tin, 
copper or wood, in immediate contact, and thereby closing 
the pores and preventing the emission of the feculating sap, 
I have endeavoured to shew to have been found, in most in- 
stances, worse than fruitless ; because mischievous. Nothing 
has been proved so effectual, as covering the whole of a 
frame, constructed of large timber, with a roof; and, at the 
sides, excluding rain, without preventing an uninterrupted 
circulation of air. The cover I propose is calculated to be 
sufficiently strong for its own support ; but if tempests, un- 
commonly violent assail it, the covering may blow away be- 
fore the frame can be injmed. The light sails may, by sud- 
den squalls, be detached and yet the ship remain staunch. 
These causes of apprehension, have, however, never struck 
me with any force. Bare and improbable possibilities ought 
not to be subjects of reasonable and sober calculation. What 

is certain far over-balances conjectural prognostics The 

bridge if left uncovered, will 7nost assuredly decay in ten or 

txvelve years. Experience is the best teacher in all cases 

The modes of protection proposed in these drafts, have proof 
to support them, drawn from long and respectable experi- 
ment. Among others the Schaaffhausen bridge was a strong 
instance. It had been by its cover, effectually preserved 
from decay for thirty eight years, and was perfectly sound, 
at the time the French destroyed it. We have never heard 
of its being injured by tempests, though in a situation much 
exposed to them. In the eleventh report to the British Par- 




liament, by the Commissioners of Land Revenue, dated Fe- 
bruary 6th, 1792, it will be found stated, from setded facts, 
that timber, secured in the manner here proposed, is of very 
long duration :" 

*' Ships built under cover are the most durable. In Ve- 
nice, ships have, for a long course of time been built and pre- 
served U7ider cover. That practice has also been introduc- 
ed into Sweden ; and is mentioned by Mr. Necker, in his 
treatise on the finances of France. The Venetian ships of war 
are built and preserved from the weather while building, un- 
der sheds covered with tiles, resembling the roofs of houses ; 
supported mostly by brick walls on each side, to defend the 
workmen in winter, from the inclemency of the weather ; 
which walls are as high as the upper parts of the ships reach, 
and secured by cross-beams, high enough to admit of ships 
being launched under them. The sheds cover the ships com- 
pletely on both sides ; but are open at the stem and stem : on- 
ly projecting a few feet farther out ; and there they have tem- 
porary covers of boards to keep out the rain. Eighteen large 
ships, some pierced for 80 guns, had been thus preserved^ per- 
fectly sound (in 1792) for fifty nine years^ under the sheds." 
" I contrast with the foregoing facts, those I have collected 
on the subject o{ tirvi^Qv generally ; and those relative to the 
uncovered wooden bridges in America, particularly. It is 
to be regretted that all these structures are thus destitute of 
the means of preservation. I now confine myself to the ac- 
count of them I recently received from Mr. Timothy Pal- 
mer ; in a letter dated the 10th of December last, in these 
words:" — " To some Questions you put to me some time since, 
relative to the durability of timber bridges^ without being cO' 
vered^ sides and top, I answer, from the experience that I 
have had in New England and Maryland — that they will not 
last for more than 10 or 12 years^ to be safe for heavy car- 
riages to pass over. The bridge near Newburyport, over the 
Merrimack, was built in the year 17;92. It was repaired in 






the year 1802. The bridge at Andover, across the s^riie ri- 
ver, was built in 1793. It was rebuilt in 1803. Piscataqua 
bridge, near Portsmouth, (N. H.) was built in 1794. I be- 
lieve there have been no repairs since, except the Draw. But 
I have lately been informed it was much decayed, and is to 
be repaired next season. The bridge that I built over the 
Potomac at Georgetown, in 1796, \^ not safe for heavy teams 
to pass over. Some have tried paint in the joints, others tur^ 
pentine and oil, but all to no great effect. I am an advocate 
for weather boarding and roofing, although there are some 
that say I argue much against my own interest. Notwith- 
standing, I am determined to give my opinion as appears to 
me to be right. And it is sincerely my opinion, that the 
Schuylkill bridge will last 30 and perhaps 40 years, if well co- 
vered.— Yon will excuse me in saying that I think it would be 
sporting with property, to suffer that beautiful piece of archi- 
tecture (as you are pleased sometimes to call it) which ha^ 
been built at so great expence and danger, to fall into ruins in 
10 or i2 years r Need much be added on the subject gene- 
rally, after these statements, and remarks of a practically intel- 
ligent, and worthy man." - 

" Never then conceiving, that any objections would be made 
to covering the bridge, I furnished several sketches for covers 
(as no person better qualified would do it,) contemporaneously 
with Mr. Palmer's drafting his plan ; and always considered 
the cover as much a part of the plan, as the frame. Know- 
ing the liability of timber uncovered to decay, I should not 
have thought it justifiable to invite subscriptions to our stock, 
unless I had taken it for granted, that the bridge would be 
protected by sojne cover. I prevailed on Mr. Palmer to suf- 
fer me to alter his plan, in several important particulars ; with 
a view to my design for a cover. To this he liberally con- 
sented ; and now considers these alterations to be valuable 
improvements ; and has declared his intention to adopt them 
in all his future plans for bridges. The masonry too was 





calculated by Mr. Vickers^ agreeably to drafts furnished by 
me, for a cover similar to that marked No. 1. delineated by 
Mr. Adam Traquair from my sketches. I mention these 
facts, not with any view to indivijiual merit, but to shew con- 
temporaneous opinions ; for I communicated every thing to 
those with whom I acted, as I occasionally met them. I pre- 
sented an estimate (as correct no doubt as those generally are) 
calculated for this design : made at my request by Mr. Wil- 
Ham Garrigues and Mr. Samuel Robinson^ then superintendant. 
It may be applied to any other with no great variation. It 
amounts to eight thousand dollars, a sum bearing no impor- 
tant proportion to the loss of capital, by the decay of the 
structure on which it has been expended. No. 2 and 3, are 
other designs for covers, which I have procured to be made. 
No. 2 is an improvement on the first sketch, made with the 
assistance of Mr. Dorsey and Mr. Traquair. Mr. Oxven 
Btddle furnished the sketch No. 3." 

" It is a mistake, in my opinion, into which some respect- 
able gendemen have fallen, that the timber will be benefitted 
by remaining, for a season, uncovered. The leakages during 
rains, or the meltings of snows, percolating through almost 
all the joints of the frame and the platform, sufficiendy refute 
this idea. Every week and month this finish to our work is 
imnecessarily delayed, is an advance to ruin. No time should 
therefore be lost in preparations for the cover, which I have 
always considered as a part of the original plan ; and not a 
new, or additional measure, though the exact design, or ele- 
vation, was not specially fixed." 

*^ No person can regret more than I do, the unforeseen but 
inevitable expenditures of the stockholders. None can give 
them more credit than I do for their patience, under long and 
unpleasant privations. These will, however, now, with the 
success of our work, be remunerated. But it is their interest, 
and our duty, to secure what, with uncommon difficulties, and 
such heavy e^^pCiices, has been accomplished. Their stock 



will be appl-eciated, when the object of it is rendered in its 
duration^ as well as other attributes, really permanent. It 
would be a reflection upon their understandings, and, with 
the knowledge we have on the subject, a breach of our trust, 
to practice a dangerous and false oeconomy, and thereby in- 
cur the penalty of certain destruction. I beg the excus% of 
the board for giving my sentiments at length on the subject. 
It is one on which I thought it my duty, whatever may be 
the result, to be explicit."* 


* The following notes, omitted to be inserted in page 40, 
are here added. 

" Grouted.^' Grout is mortar of the same proportions, in its 
component parts, with that used in the common way. But 
this IS in a/wi^ state; and, from time to time, poured on the 
courses of masonry, as the work is in progress. It searches 
out, and fills, every vacancy ; and completely embodies the 
mass. All masonry, faithfully built, should be thus treated. 
Contract work is too often slighted, to save the materials of 
common cement ; brick walls as well as those of stone should 
be grouted. In large works it is peculiarly necessary. 

''Tarras'' is a species of lime, procured from Holland 
(called Dutch tarras) and several parts of the European Con- 
tinent. It has the quality of becoming insoluble (or harden- 
ing) under water; like common lime, in atmospheric air. It 
is a substitute for Puzzolan earth, found in Italy, in the vici- 
nity of Volcanoes; it being volcanic matter. 

Welch Lime, in a considerable proportion was used ; a suffi- 
cient quantity of tarras not having been procured, and no 
difference, in their qualities or effects, was perceived. This 
lime is found on part of the coast oi Wales; and is said to be 
thrown up by the sea, on its shores. It is believed to have 
calcareous matter (which abounds in the ocean, as well as in 
the earth) for its basis, combined with fxed air or carbo?iic 


■I iiw V VI Vlt- <■<!« IP ■ 





Address of the President and Directors at the close of 

the work, 

*' At the close of a work so important to you, and so ad- 
vantageous to the community, as that of the Permanent Bridge 
which we now deliver over to our successors, in a state to 
every useful pui-pose complete, it might be expected, that 
some specific enumeration of its various difficulties, and the 
impediments which rendered it dilatory and expensive, should 
be given. But in the course of the undertaking, every cir- 
cumstance, worthy of notice, from time to time occurring, has 
been detailed and published in the reports of our Building 
Committee ; with an attention and constant regard to correct- 
ness of representation, which has marked their conduct, from 
the commencement to the end of this arduous enterprize. 
The whole has been under the view of the Stockholders, who 
have evinced their approbation, by continuing in the exercise 
of the trust confided to them, the President and the ma'or 
part of the Directors, as they were originally chosen. This 
mutual confidence has animated us in the discharge of a duty, 
often laborious, frequently perplexing, and always exposing 
us to responsibility for measures, taken under emergencies, 
sudden, difficult, imperative, and requiring large and unlook- 
ed for expenditures. The whole was new to us ; and some 
parts of the work unexampled in any countr}\ We could 
obtain, in exigencies the most pressing, no immediate assist- 

acid; as is our common lime stone. But no analysis was 
made ; its effects only being the objects. In the Spanish 
West India Islands^ they use marine productions in cement, 
for coating or rough castings impervious to water, or mois- 
ture. They may, possibly, be of the nature of Welch lime: 
and, with careful search, such useful substances may be 
found on our shores ; or, in our country, tarras^ or some 
earth of similar qualities may be discovered. In Jamaica 
they have an earth, which answers every purpose, of cither 
puzzolan^ or tarras. 


»nce, from persons either scientifically or practically skilled, 
in some of the most difficult and dangerous portions of the 
erection We were therelore under the necessity of proceed- 
ing, with such auxiliaries as we could obtain (in which we 
have generally been peculiarly fortunate) and risquing both 
public opmion, and the funds of our constituents, on the re- 
suit." . 

" In situations the most hazardous and untried, we had not 
the encouragement or consolsxion oi general opinion. We 
laboured with persevering industry against it ; knowing, as we 
did, that our fellow citizens had even less experience to di- 
rect their judgment, than ourselves. We were satisfied that 
our object was worth the boldest attempt; and that without 
the accomphshment of what really was, as it appeared in its 
earliest stages, the most arduous part of our project, the work 
must be abandoned. Success crowned our perseverance, 
i-rom this we claim no other merit, than that of having set an 
example to others, who may be engaged in works so unpro- 
n..smgj attended with similar risques, and affording onlv a 
choice o difficuhies. In our situation, what in the common 
course of thmgs might be stiled <econom.j, would have been 
ruinous parsimony. Yet whenever real economy could be 
practised, we have regarded it with the most scrupulous atten- 
tion. A very great proportion of the expenditures, was for- 
ced upon us by inexorable necessity. The fruits of them are 
for tJie most part invisible; large disbursements having been 
inevitably applied to the coffer dams, in all their variety of ca- 
sualty and dangerous vicissitude_to the subaqueous, expen- 
sive, and difficult parts ofthe piers, and the foundations of the 
abutments. Participating, ourselves, in either the success or 
failure of the design, we relied on the candor of our fellow 
Stockholders. Impressed with a conviction of having acted 
from motives the most upright, we trusted, in every event 
m their sense, and our consciousness, of our integrity of in- 
tention, and unremitting regard to our dutv. These" are aU 

.'I I 









the observations we deem necessary, as they respect iinavoid-* 
able expenditure. We have made them, as we shall make 
others, not because we deem ourselves under any necessity 
of justifying our conduct ; but to recall to your recollection, 
for your own satisfaction, past circumstances, which have at- 
tended the great work you have so meritoriously supported; 
♦ and to fix your attention to future prospects." 

. *' As to what regards the other solid, durable, and visible 
parts of the work, and the mode of performing it, as well as 
those which may be deemed ornamental^ these must be left, 
for inspection, to the structure itself, which will furnish its 
own eulog)^ We are happy to believe it meets with general 
approbation. We have, throughout, studied simplicity, 
strength, and durability ; and have expended on ornament no 
more than our sense of propriety justified. We could not 
suppose, that those who had so laudably suffered privations 
of immediate profit, were so absorbed in calculations merely 
pecuniar)'^, that they would have been contented with a fabrick 
disgraced by savings unseemly and sordid. We considered 
ourselves bound to exhibit at the entrance of our city, a struc- 
ture worthy of the place of its establishment. We were sup- 
ported in every thing relating to the novel, but, in our opinion, 
elegant exterior of the cover, as well as in the measure itself, 
by the express approbation of a most respectable meeting of 
Stockholders; The draft by which it was executed (some 
necessary additions, and indispensable, but not extensive alte- 
rations excepted) was at that meeting, produced and examin- 
ed. It fully answers our expectations : and appears to have 
satisfied those who originally entertained objections against it. 
This finish not only adds beauty, but affords protection, to a 
structure which will very long remain a monument of public 
spirit, as well as a testimony of persevering, successful, and 
well directed private enterprize. It will also, at no distant 
period, amply retribute all pecuniary advances. Our tollfe 
have already nearly trebled in nett amount. They continue to 

1 1 1 1 liijaiji^ii^^ 




advance, from causes now in operation. From circumstances 
only beginning to have influence, we are justified in calculating, 
not only on a steady and customary increase, but on a pro- 
gress accelerated in a flattering degree." 

" Apparently supplementary, yet essentially connected with 
our object, are the capacious and highly commodious wharves, 
we have deemed ourselves warranted in establishing, on both 
sides of the rfver. On mature consideration, we found them 
absolutely requisite to the security of our abutments ; espe- 
daily that on the western side. On that side considerable 
improvements and business are commencing. On the east- 
ern margin of the river, and in its vicinity, a new, healthy 
and incalculably valuable front to this great and opulent city, 
is rapidly rising into importance and extensive utilit>\ Eve- 
ry part of our undertaking, so successfully accomplished for 
our own benefit, gives also a forcible impetus to the efforts of 
others. Their improvements add value to the bridge pro- 
perty ; and greatly encrease the revenues of the Company. 
Thus will the advantages resuhing to others, from our spirited 
labours and expences, most profitably reverberate on our- 

" We lay before the Stockholders our accounts from the 
commencement of the work ; classified in detail, as accurately 
as the mass of matter, and the extensive range of the business, 
will permit. Our books and minutes are ready for inspec- 
tion. Our time and anxieties have been occupied in the erec- 
tion. A future Board wiW have leisure and opportunity, and, 
from the encreasing revenue, we trust, means, of placing the 
pecuniaiy aflfairs of the Company, on a footing profitable and 

" We beg leave to present our sincere gratulations on the 
success of an undertaking, commenced under circumstances 
very discouraging; and completed with every prospect of well 
earned emolument. Of its stability, we have not the most 
distant doubt. We know its materials are so well selected ; 




and its workmanship so faithfully executed, that, both the 
quality of the one, and the excellence of the other, will bear 
the test of the most critical and rigid examination. 

Signed by order, and in behalf of the Board, ' 

RICHARD PETERS, President.. 

December 26^/i, 1805. 

The following is a short statement, of t fie situation of the 
Stock. 1806. 

Original Stock. 15000 Shares 

Additional --- 7500 

Shai-es authorized to be issued ; but 

not used 2000 


WTiereof, are completed, and certifi- 
cates issued. ------ 19567 

Remain on hand, not sold or subscribed 4933 


Stock issued, 19567 Shares at g 10 each, is 8195,670 

So that a clear revenue of 55 12000, will pay more than 6 
per cent discount: and this will happen, when all the debts 
are paid. These are now funded ; and interest paid regular- 
ly. They must be gradually discharged. 

A small proportion of shares forfeited, are unsold ; but 
these go to the credit of the Company ; and lessen the aggre- 
gate on which dividends are to be struck. 

When, by the rise of the Stock in the hands of the Com- 
pany, it can be disposed of, so as to commute the debt for 
Stock ; or to pay it with proceeds of Stock subscribed for, 
and delivered out of that remaining on hand ; then the Capi* 


■^ — ■ -•i-'i- >- -I - 

■▼7^ 1*5 ■WT"" 



tal on which dividends will be made, will encrease by the 
addition so made. The sum mentioned in page 28 (218000) 

r. 7k ; r'^'"' '""""'' ^^^ ^-jeaural, and is not ex- 
act. The following is as correct a statement as can now be 
made ; though it may not be entirely accurate. It is founded 
on the probable result of the year 1807, 
Number of Shares completed on which dividends 

will be made is 19567 at S 10 S 195,670 

The sum funded, or borrowed on loan, is S 42000 
Interest at 6 per cent, is - - jg 2520 
The probable contingent expen- 

ces of every description. - 2356 67 
The Revenue for 1807, will be 
S 14000, at least 

Although the Revenue is fluctuating, according to circum- 
stances annually occurring, yet it has, on an average, constant- 
ly progressed in an encreasing amount. This will be seen by 
recurring to the sum produced by the floating bridge, as here- 
tofore mentioned, and that now arising from the tolls of 1 807. 
1 here IS yet a small proportion of unliquidated debt. 


It is almost impracticable to give an intelligible de- 
scription of a cofferdam, without technical language, 
and a draft or model. It is calculated for excluding 
the water of a river, in which a pier is to be erected on 
a stable foundation ; and for this purpose, to give ac 
cess to the bottom, or bed, with safety; and, M'ithout 
danger or impediment, to ensure the accomplishment 
of the work. It is ii fixture, and entirely different from 
a batterdeau, which is a tight vessel or box, in which 
the masonry is carried on as it floats; and, being at first 






calculated for the depth, or raised upon as it sinks with 
the weight, it finally arrives on a level bottom, or bed, 
(which is indispensable) or on 2l grating, (supported by 
piles, driven into a pervious and deeply covered bed,) 
accurately prepared for its reception, and permanent 
station. When it is thus fixed, the sides of the box arc 
detached, and the masonry is exposed : the bottom of 
the batterdeau remains under the masonry, either on the 
bed of the river, or the gratings prepared for it. 

The coffer dam for the western pier, was composed 
of two ranges of piles; some, much larger than others, 
csHiX^di main piles ; and between these, less, or si wet piles, 
were driven. The ranges were nine feet from each 
other; embracing, within the interior range, an area, 
several feet larger than that of the lower course of the 
masonrj' of the pier. They were connected by cross 
ties placed horizontally ; and the space between them 
was filled with loam, or earth, and called puddle; con- 
solidated from the bottom, or bed, of the river, to a 
height above the tide ; and forming an embankment of 
this Jilling, so as to exclude and resist all access of wa- 
ter. The piles wxre about 42 feet long; and, being 
sharpened, and shod with iron, at the lower ends, were 
driven (where the cover on the rock would admit) by 
the heavy ram of a powerfvil pile engine. They w^ere 
neatly worked and jointed , and united with each other 
by tongues and grooves. The ranges were secured by 
horizontal frames of large timber, well strapped; called 
belts, of the shape and figure of the dam ; which had six 
sides. These belts, which were double, to receive the 
piles between them, were alike in both ranges; and con- 
nected with each other, as well as with the gratings and 



cross beams, which were horizontally placed inside the 
, dam, to resist the pressure from without, as the belts 
were calculated to sustain that of the puddle; the whole 
united together, like a floor of joists. The lower 
belts ^nd gratings were first sunk, as near the bed of 
the river, as its inequalities would permit. The others, 
to the number of five, or six, were sunk successively,' 
with the correspondent gratings, at proper heights or 
distances from each other; secured, at first, by anchors 
and cables, and finally fixed by main piles drivtn by the 
ram, so as to form a skeleton of the whole dam; which 
was thereafter embodied, by driving the sheet piles, and 
filling in the puddle. After the dam was completed, the 
water contained in it was pumped out; and the pumps 
continually kept at work, while leakages required. The 
foundation was laid for the pier, as soon as the dam was 
evacuated of most of its contents. But a long course of 
labour, danger, and apprehension, occurred, before this 
was accomplished. As soon as the masonry arrived at 
the gratings, successively, the exact shape'and size of 
the pier were cut away. The parts of the beams, and 
other timber of the gratings remaining, bearing against 
the stone work had their full effbct in supporting, and 
keeping the dam in its place. 

The great desideratum, in such works, is to have some 
pervious substance, as ^footing for the piles, and sufiici- 
cntly sound and tenacious, to prevent bottom leakages, 
or blowing, which are often fatal. The advantages of 
moh footing were denied, in many parts, by the bareness 
of the rock, on which the pier is founded. Owing to 
this untoward circumstance, under leakages constantly 
annoyed and threatened. A well intended, but mis- 

., *^ 






taken endeavour, to evacuate all the silt and mud out 
of the dam, was arrested in time to save the whole from 
ruin. The balance to the pressure of the exterior head 
of water, was perceived to be on the point of being de- 
stroyed : and the attempt at a total removal of the whole 
contents of the dam, was fortunately discontinued.* 

^ The success attending the first, or eastern foundation, be- 
ing laid and bolted o?i the rock^ inspired an ardent wish in all 
interested in the work, to arrive at it, for the establishment of 
the western pier. Difficulty and danger were overlooked ; 
and only the object regarded. When the dam became inces- 
santly leaky, and the more so as the mud was evacuated, a Com- 
mittee of experiment was joined to the Building Committee, 
at their request. Nothing could exceed their joint exertions, 
but the laudable zeal with which they were animated; and 
several of the Stockholders voluntarily rendered their assist- 
ance. But this zeal had nearly ruined the object of it ; a 
considerable time before the close of these well intended 
efforts, the President (who, by constant attention, was minute- 
ly acquainted with the principles and construction, and, of 
course, tht^Jort and foible^ of the dam,) became uneasy ; and 
intimated to the mason, that the prosecution of the attempt, 
at the total evacuation, was dangerous in the extreme. The 
mason was convinced that the opinion was correct; and the 
super intendant declared he had long been apprehensive of the 
consequences. Under the hope that this would be soon per- 
ceived by others, a plan of the present artificial foundation, 
was communicated by the President to the mason ; and by 
him digested. It was mentioned with candour and caution ; 
but received with decided disapprobation, by the greatest 
number. The industry and redoubled diligence of the Com- 
mittee, were viewed with painful solicitude. At length, the 
critical ptriod arrived, when it appeared highly probable that 

The under leakages were highly alarming and ceaseless. 

another day's work would have defeated the whole enterprize. 
It was known that nothing but actual perception of the con- 
sequences, would bring conviction ; which all reasoning (re- 
sisted by the strong desire to reach the rock) had failed to 
produce. Several of the stoutest labourers were set to work, 
with a view to dig a pit, to the rock ; which was not more* 
than 3 or 4 feet from the then surface. They had not pierc- 
ed the mud above half its thickness, before a column of wa- 
ter, copious and alarming, suddenly gushed up. I'his pro- 
duced an immediate conviction, of the unjustifiable hazard 
of any farther attempt to bare the rock : and the factitious 
foundation, being, without farther hesitation, agreed to, was 
forthwith commenced. The principles on which this occur- 
rence was predicted, appeared to be proved ; not only by this 
specimen of the effect of admitting even partial avenues for 
the water, but in the progress of the masonry.— After the 
foundation was completed, the leakages lessened very percep- 
tibly. As the work proceeded daily, the leaks decreased • 
so that, in a few days, either Clymer\ or the chain pumps, 
could free the dam ; and at length pumping was intermitted, 
for long intervals, entirely. Thereafter to the close of the 
work, the c//rti« /,?/«/, was sufficient; and only occasionally 
employed. The water flowed round the work, during the 
time of laying a few of the first courses of the masonry; but 
afterwards it remained below, and was harmless and manage- 
able — Some advantage, no doubt, ace -ued, by the compactness 
of the foundation filling the dam. But there always had been 
dangerous and constant leaks above this; which, until the 
pressure of the external head of water was fairly conquered, 
and entirely overbalanced, by the additional and daily en- 
creasing weight of the masonrj-, never ceased to flow, copi- 
ously and perilously. The exertions of the Committee %vere 
not only meritorious in their motive, and facilitated the lav- 










The clam could always be pumped out, as low as 30 
or 33 feet, wdth ease. Probably^ the column of air, 
equal to the area of the dam in its base, assisted the sub- 
stances remaining in the dam, to balance and resist the 
exterior pressure ; which could not be overcome to a 
greater depth by any eftbrts, until the puddle^ and the 
outward barrier of stone and sand (hereafter mentioned) 

ing the artificial foundation, but proved, incontestibly, the 
unavoidable necessity of the step. And this v/as a point of 
no small importance, in a work which depended so much on 
public opinion, to induce farther advances for its prosecution. 

The dam was so pressed, and became so critically debili- 
tated, towards the last stages of the evacuation of the mud 
and silt, that the breaking of a single cross beam^ had nearly 
wrecked it. This beam broomed and splintered ; and in its 
dlruption, with a loud and violent explosion, shook the dam 
throughout. Another beam which resisted the pressure on the 
failure of this, had been fortunately saved from being cut, to 
admit a pump. The weakening, or cutting this, would have 
gone far to compleat the destruction. Thus perilously uncer- 
tain are coffer dams^ on the best construction, in deep water, 
and with little, or partial footing for piles. ' 

These circumstances are detailed, to shew the true state of 
things, with which many Stockholders were unacquaint- 
ed ; and were, in consequence, dissatisfied, because the first 
course of masoniy of the western pier, was not laid on the 
rock. They supposed, though experience has proved the con- 
trary, that the artificial foundation would be found incom- 
petent: and some yet conceive, the rock could have been 
bared without danger. 

The statement will also serve as a caution, to all who in 
future engage in such difficult tasks, to avoid, however desi- 
rable the object, the ruinous consequences of doing too mnch^ 



had acquired the last degree of consolidation and settle- 
ment: and even then it was uncertain and hazardous; 
as appeared by the result of the attempt before stated. 

During the erection of the pier, a great number of 
workmen and labourers, were employed. Those en- 
gaged within the dam, at the masonry, working without 
apprehension of danger, sometimes by the light of many 
lamps and lanterns, on the bed of a deep and often ra- 
pid river, in an enclosure of complex and stupendous 
construction, incessantly pressed by a formidable head 
of water, exhibited, in connection with the busy scene 
above— an interesting spectacle— curious— novel— and 
entertaining: yet, at times, when dangers threatened, 
or casuahics occurred, not unattended with perplexing 
and serious anxieties. 

Extracts from a report sighed by the superintendant 
Samuel Rohmson, (who with the master mason Thomas 
Vickers formed these reports) are subjoined ; dated No- 
vember 17th 1801. There are several of these, con- 
taining a curious history of difficuUies and details ; some 
whereof exhibit useful instruction. They will shew 
some of the embarrassments, but by no means the whole, 
attending the cojfer dams. They will serve as guides', 
in future undertakings of this kind, or deacons to' avoid 
their use, if it can be dispensed with, however here they 
were unavoidable. European engineers would have 
startled at placing dams on rocks, which, though pai-- 
tially covered, were in many parts bare, or so scantily 
overspread with mud, or any tenacious substance, as to 
afford no footing for the piles. Yet they succeeded, in 
untaTight but persevering hands; whose z<'a/ knew not 
professional caution, overlooked diuigcr, and supplied 





{ ■ 

^**r .'J------ ■-•-,T- .. J,- 





the place of practical talents. The expedient of form- 
ing an artificial embankment of stone and sand, promis- 
cuously thrown around the footing of the piles, was 
attended with compleat success. It saved the eastern, 
and was essential to the security of the western dam. 
Many hundred perches of stone were used ; and great 
quantities of sand ; which, having been washed in by the 
stream, consolidated the mass which now forms a perpe- 
tual protection to the foundations. Both these dams 
were exposed to ruin; by the cross ties connecting the 
inner and outer walls, or ranges of piles. The space 
between them was filled, or puddled, chiefly with loam, 
found to be the best filling. The ties were horizontal, 
and of large timber; permitting, under each of them, a 
sinking or settlement of the puddle; which aflforded 
channels, or courses, for constant streams of heavy leak- 
ages ; which were, with great difficulty, kept under by 
many pumps. These pumps were worked by horses, 
and labour of men. They were ingeniously contrived ; 
one of them (far superior to the best chain pump) was 
made by George Clymer of Philadelphia, a self taught 
mechanic; capable of throwing out 400 gallons per mi- 
nute, and not subject to choak \w\\h sand, or even small 
pebbles, chips or filth. This pump voided nearly half 
the water evacuated from the dam. Twelve hundred 
gallons per minute have been (when hard pressed) 
ejected by all the pumps ; commonly 600 to 800 gallons, 
when the head, encreased by the tide, augmented the 
leakages. The mischiefs attendant on the ties, were 
the only faults experienced in Mr. fFeston^s, otherwise 
perfect, and really admirable, plan of the western dam. 
The eastern dam was quadrangular; the western, hex- 

agonal; the salient angles acute; and pointing up atid 
down the stream.^ 

The report also shews, how little service Was afford- 
ed by our most ingenious mechanics^ out of the line of 
their several trades^ With the best dispositions, many, 
as well mechanics as other citizens, suggested remedies 
for misfortunes, or, supposed guards against them* 
Some assisted in executing their ideas in both dams, 
but not a solitary attempt succeeded. The Company 
are not the less obliged ; nor is it any reflection upon 
them, as they had as little experience in such undertak- 
ings, as those whose duty compelled bold and hazard- 
ous measures, on which, even professional men, versed 
in hydraulic mechanism, would not have risqued their 

^ Hemlock timber, f Finns Abies Americana, Lin.) had near- 
ly defeated the eastern dam : much of it was used, on account 
of its cheapness. But it always gave way, when hard pressed ; 
and its failure, at several critical times, was nearly fatal. The 
belts (which serve to a dam, the same purposes as hoops to a 
cask) frequently broke ; owing to their being of this wood, and 
flinty, or curly, in spots. Straight grained hemlock, entirely free 
from curl or Ji fit, is seldom to be found ; though some varieties 
are better than others. But this timber never should be de- 
pended upon ; either for strength, or durability. It was ex- 
cluded from the western dam. Some hemlock is veiy durable ; 
but the appearance of this wood, is so generally alike, that it 
is imprudent to risque the chances of hitting on the kind re- 
quired for lasting, or strength. Perhaps there may be some 
stages of growth, or time of felling, as it is with other woods, 
more or less favourable to durabilitv. 







- These extracts are calculated to give a general idea 
of the difficulties, unavoidable expence, and magnitude 
of these all essential parts of the undertaking. A de- 
tailed and accurate description would extend to a great- 
er length, than is contemplated in this communication; 
though drafts and notes, for the purpose, are preserved. 


Schuylkill Permanent Bridge, Nov. 17, 1801. 
*' Gentlemen of the Building Committee, 
." In compliance with your directions of the 13th October, I 
now lay before you a statement of the expence incurred in 
erecting the (eastern) coffer dam. At the same time I beg 
your indulgence while I point out some of the difficulties 

with which we had to combat. When Mr. L ," [the first 

mason and superintendant, who misled the committee into an 
inefficient plan of the dam] " was consulted with respect to this 
dam, he could give us no useful information, or assistance. 
But in this case, as upon all other occasions of difficulties, we 
found great assistance from the acting members of the Build- 
ing Committee. We explained to them our objections to 
raising the dam, on the proposed plan, of the three rows of 
piling, which were contemplated. We wished to throw off 
one, as there was not sufficient hold at the bottom, to resist the 
great pressure of such a puddle ; we were afraid of its burst- 
ing outward. A member of the committee, [th£ president] 
proposed forming, at the bottom of the river, around the 
sides of the dam, a barrier of common building stone and 
sand, which when raised nearly to low water mark, he 
thought would be of great service. The plan was approved 
of and executed, and we found it to answer the purpose com- 
pletely ; not only of keeping the dam in its place, while we 
proceeded in finishing it ; but was of great use, throughout 

the whole progress of the work. When the dam was sunk, 
notwithstanding all the precautions we took, it burst open at 
the South West comer, we then had recourse to clamping it.'* 

[Mr. R then proceeds to give a detailed account of the 

means taken, with the advice of the committee, for, securing 
the dam. It, however, burst again, and other remedies were 
applied, so that they began to puddle. Preparations were 
made for pumping, and caulkers were employed to caulk the 
joints of the sheet piling, which was not only weak and with^ 
out substance of timber, but was not ploughed, tongued, or 
grooved. The leakages increased, and some of the puddle 
was dug out, and the residue rammed ; yet the leaks conti- 
nued along the pile ties, which upon every trial were found 
to be the cause in a great measure, of the misfortunes, froip 
the bad construction of the dam. Remedies were applied, but 
still the evil prevailed. Caulking began to be efficacious,.and 
enabled them to pump out the water, and see the long looked 
for bottom of the river.] " When the water was nearly out 
of the lower side, the dam suddenly gave way at the bottom, 
caused by the pile-casing being cut square, and not accom- 
modated to the rugged and uneven bottom." [The blowing 
of the dam and bottom leakages were alarming. Plans to 
counteract this evil were projected, and applied with great 
labour and exertions. The chain pumps were worked by 
horses. Expectation was raised, and suddenly disappointed. 
The dam gave way, behind the chain pumps, which however, 
*' were kept at work by the labourers with great resolution" 
until the carpenters had secured this part of the work ; and 
the chain pumps continued at work, and the difficulty was 
overcome. He then states the reasons why the disasters oc- 
curred ; which are attributed to the radically bad plan of the 
dam, which was now amended " by throwing off the outside 
row, and substituting " the stone barrier in its room outside; 
and the puddle inside, which answered the purpose effectually.^] 
The report proceeds to state that, 







f ' On the ifth Sfiptember the first stone of the pier was laid. 
This day we fortunately kept the water out all day ; the ma* 
sons worked 13 hours without refreshment ; except a little 
drink. We were now unanimously of opinion, that our diffi- 
culties could be overcome ; nevertheless, we were obliged 
to work night as well as day, when ihe tide answered," [the 
leakages always iticreased,' owing to the greater head of wa- 
ter at high tide] *^ until we got above low water mark. We 
were then at ease ; but little pumping afterwards. The w«- 
ter shoots ^^ laid in the dam, served to regulate the tide after- 
wards on all occasions, until the masonry was finished." 

* Water shoots were tubes, in the first, and trunks in the second dam, fur- 
nished with valves, • or shutters, so as to permit the exit of water, but to 
repel its entrance, and to be opened, or entirely closed at pleasure. — 
They were placed just above low water mark ; and while the dam was 
filling" with puddle, suffered to remain open for the flux and reflux of the 
tide ; or shut when circumstances required. The dam could of course 
be always emptied to low water mark, without pumping ; and by clos- 
ing the shoots, the tide was entirely excluded. But a great length of 
time elapsed, while the puddle was filling, and consolidating, before it was 
safe entirely to exclude the tide. The water, inside the dam, was a, 
great counter balance ; not only to the pressure without, but to that of 
the setUing puddle. None but those who have experienced it, can con- 
ceive the almost resistless force of earth, while consolidating : and the 
puddle of these dams consisted of several thousand cart loads. The ad- 
mitting and excluding the water, required great care and judgment ; and 
frequent trials were made, before the risque was encountered of the entire 
exclusion of the tide. Before the earth of the puddle was sufliciently em* 
bodied, to sustain itself, the work had to support not only its weight, but 
the immense force and irregular protrusions and pressures, of parts differ- 
ently composed, and settling faster or slower than others. 

Every kind of earth, or substance, any wise proper, was tried iovjilling 
or puddle. 

Crude brick or patterns clay, settled unequally, and cracked when other- 
wise consolidated. Tempered clay was little better. 

jRiver mud was bad ; it had some of the properties of clay. 

Gravel, was good for the filling of the abutments ; but not proper for 
the dam. So was it with sand. 

" We would be ungrateful if we did not here express our 
obligations to those members of the committee ; who by their 
personal attention and counsel, wherever it was necessary, 
contributed, in a principal degree, to the final success of our 
undertaking ; which had all along been attended with great 
risque ; and inconceivable difficulties. But from them, and 
from our own discoveries, which were accidental, we derived 
much assistance. The variety of schemes suggested by those 
who occasionally gave their advice and opinion, though 
gratefully attended to by us, were of no manner of service* 
We mention this merely to shew, how litde capable of judgr 
ing are those, who only partially attend to such subjects ; 
and are not practically engaged therein. In case of failure, 
our havmg attended to every thing of this kind which have 
seemed to be of any use, would have been a great consolation 
to us." 

The expence of erecting the eastern dam is detailed ; and 
amounts to S 9491 38 cents. 

Smith's or furnace cinders were very useful in stopping ^rou/i(/ /e^/j,. 
but a sufficient quantity could not be procured. 

After all these were carefully used, in every way, the common loam or 
earth, free from roots, stones, or foreign matter, was preferred ; and found 
perfectly competent. That under the vegetable mould, was the best. 

t The eastern dam narrowly escaped being rendered abortive, and the 
project stifled in its infancy. A most important beam, running longitudi- 
nally (like a main girder, in a large building) and on which depended many 
smaller ties, ramifying from it, was designedly, and wickedly, sawed near- 
ly Uirough, with a fine saw, on a Saturday night, at a Ume of swift water, to 
expose the dam to the dangers of the next day of intermission from work 
It was luckily discovered early the next morning, in time to guard against 
the rumouB consequences. No discovery was ever made of the perpetra- 
tor. It was known but to a few, and kept secret (among other reasons) to 
preclude alarms in Uie stockholders ; whose apprehensions were sufficient- 
ly ahve from causes arising from common circumstances. Where advances 
of money are required, by voluntary payments, no unnecessary terrors 
need be raised. Some thought the fir.i loss would be the best, and suffer- 




~ **'i^iP''T^,T^ 






The plan and execution of the western dam, were in 
perfect contrast with those of the eastern. But the dif- 
ficulties were also incalculably great, owing to the depth 
of water, and magnitude of the work ; and the expence 
was in proportion. It would occupy too much room 
and time to do justice to the subject; which would be 
instructive, as well as monitory. The only hydraulic 
carpenter of any experience, gave up the work, at an 
early stage of it, as hopeless; and disgracefully aban- 
doned it, in despair. An ingenious machinist^ who 
had been the principal dependance for machinery and 
work in wood, was killed, by unaccountably getting 
under the ram* of the pile engine of the western dam ; 

cd their first instalments to be forfeited, preipaturely foreboding the worst. 
Some invidious and illiberal persons wished ill to the undertaking ; as 
had uppeared on various occasions. In this age of speculation, many bets 
were laid, for and against the final success of the enterprize. 

The stroke was aimed at a vital part, if the expression be allowable, 
|ind it was adroitly executed. Conjectures were suggested, but none 
could be verified. But whether it was done from mere mischief, or mo- 
tives, illiberal or sordid, will never be known. It had however, the good 
effect of producing caution. A guard was thereafter kept, and a watch- 
man is yet employed, constantly to watch the work. This should not be 
neglected in all such undertakings. Such malicious injuries are generally 
committed, by the vilest members of society ; and none others could be 
suspected. Slaves, depraved children, and cowardly offscourings, gene* 
rally perpetrate secret mischiefs : and it is often indiscreet to take too 
much notice of them ; as the hidden perpetrator may not be discovered, 
and others may take the hint. This is now mentioned, because some have 
thought, that more publicity should have been, at the time, given to the 
circumstance. Its monitory uses, give now its only importance to this fact. 

*This ram weighed about 750 pounds. One of almost double the weight 
was, at first used. It was soon found, that a too ponderous ram defeated 
the object of it. It broomed the heads of the piles, shook and weakened 
the engine, took too much time in its movements, and shattered and split 
with its own weight ,- though composed of the best Ihc oak. The rams 

which he had himself constructed. The building com- 
mittee where thus left to struggle through every diffi- 
culty, unaided by any person practically acquainted with 
such work ; and with no scientific assistants. They de- 
pended solely on the workmen, who had gained some 
experience at the eastern dam, for the farther execution 
and fortunate completion of the work ; which they faith- 
fully performed. It is not surprising that tiie committee 
should, after all other schemes were considered, and 
lound fallacious and impracticable, be fully sensible of 
the risque and difficulty of attempting a new and untried 
undertaking. In their report of the 31st December 
1802 they thus express themselves. 

work and r.n! V-, ^ "' ^^"^ """''^^ 1"«"y. ^id "«"•« 

work and required less power to move them ; but the piles were smaller. 

seen L , r '' '"^'"'^ "' *'>^ ''''"''^-'' ™--d - the usual waV 

conTrived The r ""? ""'"'"' ^'"^'' '"^"•°'"»y. ^ uncommonly, 

contnved. The ram was elevated by a 6 or 7 inch rope, which was ^hJ 

because tared yam was found more inflammable, and otherw ,'1^ The 

te was so great, as to excite a heat, which consumed the hemp inter 
nally, when the surface appeared and felt cool: so thltthe bt^ 

TrTc it7''"'^~ "• "^^^'^^--'^' would nStsw 

w thtlfTKe "" '''^'''' ''y ^ »""■''<= °P"ation. produced by the 

we,ght of the ram ceasmg to act on it, when detached from the traveUer 
then bemg operated upon by the weight of the traveller) perforLed a 

r jtrrr;: :ir -rr ^^-^ -' -^^ '-^^- 

;;.e ram. the cyllinl; ::^;.XZ::XZ^:^ 









"Our particular duty, as a committee, was to superintend 
the execution of the plan. But as members of the board, we 
cannot avoid lamenting that the dangerous character, of the 
river, its extraordinary depth and rocky bottom, forbad any 
other mode, to ensure the stability of the piers, than that which 
necessity compelled us to take. Etery substitute we could 
devise, or were informed of, even though some were only 
plausible, or palpably visionary, were stated to Mr. Weston^ 
than whom there are few, if any, among hydraulic engineers 
more competent to judge. He decidedly advised us to the 
mode we have adopted ; warning us of the difficulties we had 
to encounter. He disinterestedly gave instructions, and fur- 
nished the plan of the coffer dam^ which is a pattern worthy 
the imitation of all who engage in such enterprizes. After 
experiencing the expence and difficulties in erecting our eas- 
tern pier, we had no small apprehensions in undertaking the 
present work. We were faltered by our success ; and our 
experience was in no small degree, essentially useful. But 
we foresaw additional danger and expence in our present ob- 
ject. We even wished, if an iron or wooden superstructure 
were intended, to propose avoiding the sinking the present 
dam and erecting this pier, by adopting an extended arch, 
comprehending the breadth of the river, which in theory, 
seemed practicable. We know that no iron superstructure of 
such a span had been executed. We sent for Mr. Timothy 
Palmer^ of Newbury Port^ a celebrated practical wooden 
bridge architect. He viewed our site and gave us an ex- 
cellent plan of a xvooden superstructure. But he pointedly re- 
probated the idea, of even a wooden arch extending farther 
than between the position of our intended piers, to wit, 187 
feet. He had at the Piscataway bridge, erected an arch of 
244 feet ; but he repeatedly declared that, whatever might be 
suggested by theorists, he would not advise, nor would he 
ever again attempt extending an arch, even to our distance, 
where such heavy transportation^ was constantly proceeding. 




We therefore found oui-selves compelled to progress, on die 
plan we have been executing ; let the expence or difficulty be 
never so discouraging. Happily we have thus far succeeded • 
but It IS with some emotion, we look back at the dangers we 
have escaped.'* 

By a report of December 26th 1803, it appears that (although 
the work was not then finished,) " The whole of the stone 
work from Its commencement consisted of 105,780 feet of cut 
aBd hammered stone, included in 15,131 perches of masonry. 
When It IS considered that cne half, at least, of this was erec 
ted under water, it is not extraordinary that, the work should 
have been tedious, difficult and expensive." 

The cut stone was very expensive j though an expedient of 
cuttmg the faces of those under water only at the joints, about 
two inches broad, was suggested to, and adopted by the mason. 
The eastern pier is 40 feet high from the foundation, and 
contains 3635 perches of masonr}% 

Tlie western pier is 55 feet 9 inches high from the foun. 
dation, and contains 6178 perches of masonrv. 


Seeing, then, that such difficulties and unavoidable 
expenditiu-es attend bridges cvtcXtd on piers, especially • 
where batterdeaus, or coffer dams are used, it is to be re 
gretted that the genius of hydraulic engineers and ai-chi- 
tects, or others, whose minds have been occupied in such 
subjects, has not, in a long course of time both enlight- 
ened and active, produced some practical specimens of 
smgle arches, of such span as to supersede the use of 
piers; in deep and navigable streams, at least. This 
not having been done, sufficiently proves, that (however 
plausible the theory) the practice has not, though indu- 
bitably desirable, been thought safe or justifiable. There 
have been sundrj- plans proposed; but none accom- 








plished on an extensive scale. Every projector of such 
arches or inventions, has an exclusive confidence in his 
own project; and some of them pronounce philippics and 
denunciations, against bridges on piers. The expence 
and difficulties attending these, are too v^ell known, to 
be disputed ; or to require display and enumeration. But 
actual experience, from the most remote times to this 
day, has warranted tlieir being employed ; preferably 
to untried, however ingenious schemes. The advanta- 
ges of single arches, for navigable streams particularly, 
are obvious ; and experiments, on any feasible plan, are 
devoutly to be wished. It is easier, in many cases to 
vault over, than to encounter, difficulties and dangers. 
But the question is, who can affi^rd it, or will take the 
risque of the first leap, in an expensive operation. 
Hitherto no very extensive single arch has been hazarded 
in practice ; unless the one at Weremouth^ be considered 
as a decided example. Yet, at the time of erecting the 
Schut/lkillbndge, there were great doubts of the stability 
of the fferemouth arch, suggested by a respectable En- 
glish Engineer, who went expressly to view it. Inso- 
much that the inventor, and executor of that work, who 
was conversed with, pointed out defects; and it appeared 
had changed and improved his plans, in after erections. 
It would have been unjustifiable, in those who had the 
trust t)f other persons money, to put it at the risque on 
a theory, liowever plausible. When engaged in a plan, 
dictated by experience and former practice, they were 
compelled to hazard, by necessity , in the progress ; and 
justified by success, in the event. 

Those who wish to indulge their curiosity, and exer- 
cise their patience on such subjects, may have the op- 
portunity afforded, by the perusal of the voluminous 

reports of the Select Committee- of the British Parlia- 
ment "«/,o« the improvement of the Port of London^ 
pnnted m 1801._The advantages and disadvantages, 
andthe Aeo^ and practice of arches, single and multi- 
phed_the strength, application and quality of materials 
-the uses and inconveniencies of piers-and all points 
relating to a project for erecting the single arch before 
mentioned over the Thames, will the,^ be found, learn, 
edly and ably discussed, by men of the first talents, both 
professional and theoretical, in Great Britain 

In one of the reports there are two elevations of 
bridges-one with a single arch of iron, 600 feet stan 
calculated for vessels ".. pas. under .V'-the 0!^ 
a stone bridge, of 9 arches, on pi^s, with an ingenious 
plan of a dra^, designed to exemplify a "mode of ad- 
mitting shps to pass through it, at all times; without 

ovLT" Tr T"'^'^r°*^ '"^^ communication 
over ,t. The relative and positive merits of these and 

other projects,areelaboratelyandscientifically discussed 
and examined, in this, and sevend precedent t^^ 







To complete the usefulness of this work, a pyramU 
dlctil Pedes taly surmounted with four Dials ^ for the be- 
nefit of passengers, is erected at the eastern entrance of 
the bridge ; and on three of the Tablets, the most pro- 
minent facts and events, occurring in the construction, 
arc recorded. This small Obelisk (fifteen feet eight 
inches in height from the foundation, and five feet square 
at its Plinth) is of white marble, on a basement oi free- 
stone, and is of neat and simple construction, in cha- 
racter with the masonry of the bridge. The inscrip- 
tions appear to be composed in conformity with a cor- 
rect criticism on such subjects, as expressed by the 
elegant pen of the late Dr. /. Beattie. They are cal- 
culated " to convey to the traveller, not the wit of the com- 
poser, but some authentic information in regard to the 
object that draws his attention, and is supposed to raise 
his curiosity.^^ — " They are simple and true; and as coji^ 
rise as the subject will admit. ^'^ In imitation of the Greek 
and Roman inscriptions ^'mixtures of verse and prose'*'* 
of ^^ foreign languages,'*'* and of narrations too much 
encumbered with abstract remarks,— have been avoided. 

There will be also an Equation Table, to shew the 
difference between the time marked by the apparent, 
and that measured by the real, motion of the sun. 
With the aid of these accurate and curious Dials, and 
the Table; which were delineated, with scientific pre- 
cision, by Professor Patterson, a complete Chronometer 
is obtained. The same gentleman also obligingly fur- 
nished, from careful observations, inscriptions of the 
latitude and longitude, and the variation of the compass. 

These objects have been long desired, by astrono- 
mical and philosophical characters. Their advantages 
are obviously great, and highly creditable to the Com- 
pany ; who have thus extended the public utility of this 
establishment. : 

With copies of these inscriptions, taken from the 
1 ablets, and the list of toUs established by law this ac 
count will close. The sta^ments and remarks have 
been made with no other views, than to excite others to 
constancy in necessary undertakings, under circum- 
stances appearing never so difficuU and forbidding 
If scientific or practical knowledge be wanting; it is 
proved, that persistance, with even common talents, can 
ettect the most valuable purposes. Nor is it intended 
to hold up this work, as one singularly pre-eminent over 
all others; or vainly to display peculiar personal merit; 
though m some of its parts it was attended with unex- 
ampled difficulties; which were overcome by unre- 
mitted exertions. If this communication should con- 
vey any useful instructions, or excite to similar perse 
verance, its end will be attained. If it should invite' 
others, to give publicity to their ideas on such subjects- 
and to impart similar information, of the imprJmenL 
made in various parts of this prosperous countr,;- 
nch m the spirit, industiy and enterprize of its citi- 





■-f .-,-r-^-tir, 










was erected 
at an expence of ' 

near 300.000 Dollars, 
by a Company 
Incorporated the 27'th of April, 
in Virtue of a Law, 
passed the 16th of March 
The Coffer Dams^ 
uud other subaqueous works, 
consumed a great proportion 
of the Expenditures. 
It was commenced, , 
by laying the first stone of the 
after many difficulties had 
attended the Dam, 
on September the 5th, 
And completed for passage, January 1st, 


The Cover was begun and finished, 

Ih the same vear. 



Of the 


Length 550 feet. 


and wings 750 

Total — 1300. 

Span of smaller arches each 150. 

of middle arch, 194 feet 10 inches 

Width of the Bridge — 42. 

Curvature of the middle arch, 12. 

of the smaller arches 10. 

The Curves are Catenarian. 



of the Carriage way — 8 feet. 


over the platform, to the 

Cross ties — 13. 
From the surface of the 
River to the platform, 
^ in the greatest elevation, 31. 
above all Floods 
ever known 
In this River. 
Inclined Plane to Entrances; 3 1-2 Degrees. 








was first erected; in a 

depth of water of 21 to 

24 feet, in a Coffer Dam. 

The lower course of 
Masonry is bolted on the 

attended with greater dif- 
ficulties, constant hazard and 
unavoidable expense, was 
commenced in the midst of 
an inclement Winter, within 
a Coffer Dain, of original and 
appropriate construction ; 
in which 800.000 Feet of 
Timber were employed. , 
The depth of Water from the 

Rock is 41 Feet. 

No Pier of regular Masonry, 

in so great a depth of Water, is 

known to exist in any other part 

. , of the World. 
The Masonry of this Pier, was 
begun on Christmas Day 1802: 
And erected from the Rock to 
low Water Mark, in 41 Days and 
Nights ; after 7 Months had been 
occupied in preparing the Dam, 
and retrieving its Misiortunes. 
These Piers are in Length 71 Feet 6 Inches, 
and in Thickness 30 feet at the 
bottom ; battering to the top ; where 
they are in Length 60 Feet 10 Inches; and in 
Thickness 19 Feet 4 Inches. 
The Height of the Eastern Pier from 
the Rock is 40 Feet ; aad that of the 
Western Pier is 55 Feet 9 Inches. The first contains 
3635 Perches, and the latter 6178 
Perches of 3Iasonry. 
The Eastern abutment , 18 Feet thick, and 
its wings, are founded on the Rock. The West- 
ern abutment, of equal Thickness, and its wings, 
are built on a platform supported by Piles. 
Splay of the wings, 60 Feet. 


; ■ ■ f » i» 




is in itself, 
the most grateful 

expected from its 

Institution : - " 

A Recompense^ 
the most honourable to those 

who by liberal advances, 
and long Privations of Profit^ 
unassisted by public pecuniary aid, 
Encouraged and Supported:^ 

And a Memorial^ 

the most acceptable to those, 

who by enterprising, arduous, 

and persevering exertions, 


This extensively beneficial 




■ I 

.-.■I I 





^t' - I mSP. 

Mates 0^ Tolly according' to LaWy at the Schuylkill 

Permanent Bridge^ 







for every 

1. Foot Passenger, - - » - • , 

2. Horse or Mule, without Rider or Harness, C Halter 

excepted^) - - - t - . - 

3. Thesamcy with Rider, - - 

4. Head of honied Cattle, not more than 20 to pass at 

one time, - - . ^ . i^ - 

5. Living Sheep, Swine, or Calf, • , • . 

Carriages of Pleasure. 

6. Four wheels, drawn by four horses, - - - 

Additional Horse^ each, - - - 

7. The samey drawn by two horses, . - ^ 

8. The same y drawn by one horse, • 

9. Two wheels or Sleigh, with two horses. 

Additional horsey r - « - - 

10. The samey with one horse, - ' - - 

Carriages of Burden. 

1 1 . Four wheels drawn by four horses, loaded, - 17 

Additional horsey each - - _ . -4 
Addy to the additional horses. 

If 3 tons, or above 2 tons, - . . 5 

4 tons, or above 3 - - - . 15 

5 tons, or above 4 - - - - 45 

6 tons, or above 5, being the heaviest 
weight allowed to pass, - - 135 

12. The samey with produce of the country, wood 

and stone excepted, r - - - 12t 









Additional horsCy esLch • . . 
J 3. The samey with manure or empty 

Additional horsCy • • . . 
14. Four wheels, drawn by three horses, loaded, " - ' 
5. The same, with produce, except wood and stone, 
lb. ^>»^ «««<•, with manure or empty, 

1 7. Four wheels, drawn by two horses, loaded, . 

18. 7%<^ «amc, with produce, except, &c. 

19. The same, with manure or empty, 

20. Tvvo wheels or sled, drawn by two horses, loaded, " 

Additional horse, each ♦ * 

^ • * 

The same, with produce, except, &c, . . 

Additional horse. 

The samCy with manure or empty, 

Additional horsey - . . . 
23. Two wheels, or sled, drawn by one horse, loaded, " 
-*• ■'^^*«w, with produce, except, &c. 
25. The same, with manure or empty 

^'' S^T '"If-'^^^^'-' 2 estimated as equal to 1 horse.' 
Sleds of heavy burden, to be,e«timated as four wh^el 
damages of like burden. 



















Persons, carriages, or cattle, of whatsoever descriotion *.. 
««^ over the Bridge will keep to the ri^ht off' '^''^' 

this Rule, by obstructinp- t>,/p • ^"^ ''Samst 

-ers of (^arJia^T^'T^ f""T' "^'" ''"^J^" '^' ^-•- 
turn indlT^ t '^ '"^' ^"'^ ^'•''^^^^ ^/ Cattle to re- 

" dXs, " °" ^'^ ?^°P^^ ^'^^«'-' -<^- Pen%^ of thir- 

Carriages of heavy burden shall pay as loaded whi.h 
t- any thingmore than feed ioZl A.yT^!^^''' ^°'^- 





Carriages of light burden shall pay as loaded, if not whoi 
ly empty. 

Loading, if not wholly produce, is not entitled to diminu- 
tion of toll. Loads of any description whatsoever, exceeding 
two ton, their weight shall be truly declared by the driver, 
previous to passing. 

Injury done to any part whatsoever, of the property of the 
Bridge Company, will subject the offender to forfeiture and 
payment of thirty dollars, and of being liable to damages for 
further torts. Evasion of tolls is injury of property. 

Published by order of the Board of Directors. 

J. DORSE Y, Treasurer. 

Philadelphia, December 31, 1804. 


Minor errors, both of Orthography^ Grammar, and Punctu- 
ation y are left to the reader to correct. 

In page 7, after " Mayor and Commonalty" insert ''and 
their successors.^^ 

In page 50^, " 6 per cent discount'* should be, « 6 per cent 



Adlum, John, on change of forest timber, 
Ambrosia elatior, eaten by sheep, . V . 
Anderson, his theory on mortar discussed and elu- 


" • * 201 2 

Rural Economy. Mode of plashing hedges. ' 

Appendix, - 

Animals, diseases of domestic, on the study of, " .* ^\ 
Races extinct, and changes and substitutions of 296 
l^hanges of race, species and locality, bene- 

final. 'u/Ka'*.^ n.^! i_ 1 . . 

ZZ^ 39 



ficial, where animals deteriorated 
Apples, differ in strength of must; and are mo're or 
less valuable on this account, 
kinds which produce the richest must. The 
Virgmia crab an exception to the rule as to 
rich must, 

Apple trees, attacked by worms, and enquiries con "'' "'^ 

ciemmg them recommended. 
It is the Cerambix, which is so injurious 
to them, salt and water recommended, 
to destroy them. Fresh oyster shells,' 
pulverised, put about the roots beneficial, 32i 
Que^y. Would apt spirits of turpentine, or mercurill 
preparations, poured into the holes made in the trees 
destroy the worms, when carried up by the circu-' 
lation of the sap ? r / cu 

Ashes and gypsum, forward the growth of haws, . OQO 
Ashford, William, on improvingland, - '. . ^, 

a t 



m i> 

Carriages of light burden shall pay as loaded, if not whol- 
ly empty. 

Loading, if not wholly produce, is not entitled to diminu- 
tion of toll. Loads of any description whatsoever, exceeding 
two ton, their weight shall be truly declared by the driver, 
previous to passing* 

Injury done to any part whatsoever, of the property of the 
Bridge Company, will subject the offender to forfeiture and 
payment of thirty dollars, and of being liable to damages for 
further torts. Evasion of tolls is injury of property. 

Published by order of the Board of Directors. 

J. DORSET, Treasurer. 

Philadelphia, December 31, 1804. 


Mmor errors, both of Orthography^ Grammar, and Punctu- 
ation, are left to the reader to correct. 

In page 7y after " Mayor and Commonalty" insert ^^and 
their successors.^^ 

In page 56, " 6 per cent discount" should be, " 6 per cent 





Adlum, John, on change of forest timber, - 
Ambrosia elatior, eaten by sheep, . ' . 
Anderson, his theory on mortar discussed and el J- 

•"'^**'''' ■ - - • 201 2 

Rural Economy. Mode of plashing hedges ' 
Appendix, - - . . ' 2S 

Animals, diseases of domestic, on the study of, / i 

Races extinct, and changes and substitutions of 296 
Changes of race, species and locality, bene- 

- 23, 39 



ficial, where animals deteriorated 
Apples, differ in strength of must; and are more or 
less valuable on this account, 
kinds which produce the richest must. The 
Virgmia crab an exception to the rule as to 
rich must, - . 

Apple trees, attacked by worms, and enquiries" con "^' "^ 

cfernmg them recommended. 
It is the Cerambix, which is so injurious 
to them, salt and water recommended, 
to destroy them. Fresh oyster shells* 
pulverised, put about the roots beneficii 323 
Queiy. Would j^t spirits of turpentine, or mercurill 
preparations, poured into the holes made in the trees 
destroy the worms, when carried up by the circu-* 
lation of the sap ? 

Ashes and gypsum, forward the growth of haws, . 290 
Ashford, WUliam, on improving land, . '. . ^^ 

a t 





Bacon, useful to convalescents ; especially when it has 
been their accustomed food, - - - 
Bake well, William, on a three furrow plough. 
Banks, Sir Joseph, his opinion that light grain is good 
for seed com, - - - - . 

parasitical fungi on mildewed or smutty grain, 
Barberry bushes, not the causes of mildew in grain, 

according to late experiments. 
Barge, Jacob, first used gypsum as a manure in Penn. 
Barley, pearl, equal to imported, and cheaper, made in 

Pennsylvania, - - . . 

Bartram, William, on pea bug, - . *". 

on fruit curculio, - * . 

on destroying apple trees. 
Beer, made with hemlock instead of Canada spruce, 
Bleeding, utility of in yellow water, - i 

Blights and mildews, . - - . . 

and see appendix. 
Blood, bullocks &c. and smith's cinders, beneficial in 

mortar for rough casting or pointing, 
Botanico-meteorological table. See selections. 
Bread as food for horses, - \ - - 

Bread, ammunition, part of the ration of Prussian 
soldiers ; and its healthful and nutritious 
qualities, . . . . 229-30.31 









3,4, 5 

- 235 

coarse, used for sailors of the Dutch fleet, 
habits of Americans respecting it, 
ship bread, chea^) and nutritious for horses, 
when condemned as unfit for seamen, 
Bridge, Schuylkill, statistical account of,^ 
Brine, an excellent steep for seed com, 
Bucknall, his mode of pruning, and his book entided 
" The Orchvdist," recommended, 

- 230 




Cabbage succeed in trench ploughed ground, • 

Caldwell, Dr. Charles. His letter on changes and sue- 
cession of timber, . 

Innovations in the animal kingdom, '. 
Camphor, pills of, efficacious for sheep tainted with the 
rot, and for poultry diseased, 

Capner, Joseph, on Sheep and their diseases, ." 

Castles, Insh, remarks on. They prove the effects of 

time on the induration of cement and lime 
Catmp, spontaneous growth succeeding strawberries,' 

designates good land. 
Cattle, on hoven, 

should be confined at night in summer," 

and their dung composted, 
Cedar, for live fences, ... 

Cement, on, for walls ; and its proper compo'sition' 
and materials, . 

Cerambix, destructive to apple trees, sllt water kiUs 


pulverised oyster shells proposed to destroy 
them, - . ^ ^ -^ 

Change of timber and plants in , Pennsylvaliia, 

New York, . 298,300 
North Carolina Vir- 
ginia & Mass. 303.4.5 

P New Jersey, . 303.9 

v-rops, importance of . . -. . _ „^^ 

Change of seed, plants and trees, and shifting or ch^ ' ' 
•ng deteriorated animals recommended and 
elucidated, - «« 

ture, . . 

and see extracts from Lord Dmidonald" 
m selections, 














- ^^^H 




■ m 

^^.■fwrw^ ' 














Clover, not injurious to orchards, - - 

new manure for, - - . , 

sowing on winter grain, a sure and profitable 
practice, - 

Coates, Moses, on hay ladders, - w 

Colt, P. on wheat insect, - - - : 

Compost, preferable to dung for a wheat crop, 
Cooper, Joseph, on rotting flax, 

on peach trees, - - . . 
on making wine, - - 

on careful selection of giain and gar- 
den seeds. Selections, 
Paul, on cutting off the horns of bull calves, 
Coxe, William, on peach trees, • • 

on orchards, - 

Crops, Changes of, and also of deteriorated animals, 
recommended, and the necessity proved by 
the tendency to change evidenced by nature, 
Curculio, injurious to peach trees, - • . 
the pea fly or beetle described, 
the weevel so destructive to our fruit, 
salt and water destroys it ; but the fruit is 

injured if the brine be too strong, 
Tilton, Dr. on, see selections, ^ 

QJ^ Tarred rags, or pieces of shingles tarred, suspended 
on the limbs of fruit trees, have been found effec- 
tual to expel the curculiones ; as they dislike the 
scent of tar. Probably tarring' the stocks of apple 
trees, near the ground, would keep off the ceram^ 
bix, or other insect or worm so destructive to them. 
Cyder niaking, on, and refining, . . m 268 

Dairy, on profits and expences of, ... 95 

Decay of pine timber, cause of, in southern States, - 41 
Dickey, Samuel, Description of a kitchen stove, - 291 









Diseases of whe^t, . . . ' ^ 

of sheep, . . _ ^ 

of peach trees, - . ^ 

Dogs, their destructive qualities, and ipode of kiUing 

^heep described, . . ^ . «i 

Draining, on, by Samuel Dickey, -. \ - 262 

Dundonald, Lord, his book on the connection between 

chemistry and agriculture, quoted, &c. 1/3^ 

See selections, . . . . gy 

Dung and Muck, stercorary for, . . 153^ 281 

should not be trodden or poached by 
cattle, - - - . 

should be considered as a means of 
inapregnating other matter, and not 
a chief dependance, ... 
great benefit of returning the drain- 
• ings on the heap, ... 
plaister of Paris preferable to lime 
for dung and compost heaps, 
too old, its efficacy doubted, 
hot and fresh, produces smutty crops, 
much straw, and small ears, 
kept in confined places dries, moulds, 
and becomes a caput 7nortuum, - ib 
Esculents, force of habit respecting them instanced, 2.^3-4 

Farming, concise directions for beginners in this art, 193-4 
Fences, on hve, and mode of planting and treating 

those of cedar, . . _ j 

ofhemlock, . . . - 249 

pruning and manure, . . . <,an 
Fermentation, remarks on, . . 

Fires of the woods, reprobated, - ' . " . *J! 









Flax, on rotting, - . . - . 9 

husbandry of Ireland, see appendix. - - 8 

Flies and insects injurious to fruit, destroyed by salt 

and water, - - - - . . 322 

Flour, injured by too great refining, - . - 228 
Food, sour, grateful to swine, .... 229 

Forest trees, rotation and succession of them, instances 

proofs of, 41 & seq. 296-7 300-1 & seq. 

Fothergill, A. on smut, mildew and blight in wheat, 65 

Frogs and Toads, found alive in blocks of marble and 
^ granite, are additional proofs of the 

circulation of atmospheric air thro* 
'^ all matter, - - - . 204 

Fruit, msects destructive to it described. Salt water 

recommended to banish or kill them, - 319, 322 
Mercurial ointment and spirits of turpentine to de- 
stroy worms or eggs of insects deposited in fruit, 1 87 
Crude mercurj' for the same purpose, - 186 

Trees, best mode to plant, - - - 225 


Grain, selections from plants the most productive, and 
of the best quality, use and advantages of them 
Appendix, - - . .. _ jy 

Sir Joseph Banks^s opinion that light and shri- 
velled grain is proper for seed corn, doubted, 32 
GruLs destroyed by salt and water, - . 172 
Gypsum, on, - . . - - - 156 
itsorigm as applied to agriculture, 158-59-60-61 
Chemical account of its operation ; and quan- 
tity required for an acre, . • - 159 
does not injure land by repetition, - ts7 
useful for leguminous crops, - . - 162 
Agrees perfectly with limed lands, ashes, rot- 
ted dung and compost, giving to them great 
activity, . .... 153^ 154 



» ;^ 




Gypsum, said to cure heaves in horses, 
* * does not cause hoving, 

•remains long inert in land until dunged 
preferable to lime, in dung or compost heaps, 
J^hether it be found in the United States and 
tacts relating thereto, 

quantity imported into the United States 

in 1807, 

- 31*? 

humble and unpromising commencement of ^ 
. the use of this substance, contrasted with its 

present flourishing and extensive situation, 313-14 
several accounts and conjectures respecting - 
Its existence within the boundaries of the 

United States, 

- - . 314-15 

us success should encourage experiments with 
other substances, and persistance in essays 
to discover and apply them, - - 314 

operates after lying many years inert in the 

how to discover its existence in the earth • 
and Its analysis. See selections, 
does not operate on trenched ground till ani- , 
mal or vegetable putrefied substances are ap- 
plied, .... ^ 

- 243 


Habit, influence of, as respects diet, 

nll^rirt """" ""'" '" '""^ springrecommend'ed, ^ 
Harrup Mr steepmg and liming seed com. Appendix 
. Harvesting, times of, in a course of years, if noted and 

H.. 1 AA *=°"'"""'«^^*^<l' would be highly useful. 
Hay ladders, improved, . «>/"', 

Haws, their growth forwarded by ashes and g,-ps"um 
Heaves in hors., generally incurable, but m^'be p'al- 

bated. Diet proper for horses with this disease, l6r 








Hedges, on, - - - - . 102, 249, 2280 

see appendix, - - * 21 to 29 

Hemlock, for live fences, - - - - 249 

Hemp, grows luxuriantly on trenched land, - - 245 
plaister beneficial to a hemp crop, - - ib. 

Herbage, spontaneously produced after firing of woods, 237 



- 229 


- 125 



Heston, Mr. his peach orchard, - - 

Hogs, beneficial to orchards, 

rotten wood in pens to preVent diseases of, 
sour wash most beneficial for, . - - 
HoUings worth, Z» on new disease of wheat, »^ 
Horns of bull calves, on cutting off, - - - 

Horses, the yellow water in, 

baked forage and coarse bread, highly nutri- 
tive to them, - - - ^ 
Hoven cattle, on, - • » * 
symptoms and causes of hoving, 
remedies, ^ - - •• 


Jerusalem wheat, - - - 

Improvement of land, on, and concise directions for 
beginners in husbandry, - - - 

by cover ; and burning worthless timber on old 
and worn land, - - - - 328-29-80 

Insects, cause of their increase in grain, 

[and it is believed fungi] found on blighted, 
or mildewed straw or grain, are effects, not 
causes, of the diseases therein, 
Irregular winters, injurious to peach trees, 
Italian mulberry recommended, - - - 

Juniper, excellent for filling bottoms of live fences. 









Keemle, John, on Jerusalem wheat. 
Kiln dried grain, little nutritious, 


Kirk, Caleb, on trench ploughing, - * fiS 

irew mode of putting in wheat, - - S6 
on live fences, «• * * . . • 92 
On new wheat insect^ - - • 125 

Land, on improvement of, and an instance of it, - 193 
clearing, see aii excellent memoir on, - 324 

Leaming, Thomas, facts relating to changes of timber, 308 
Legaux, Peter, botanico-meteorological table by. Selections. 
Lime, rolling wheat in prevents smut, * - 59 

should be cautiously used, -» - - 61 

injurious to fresh dung, - - • lyj 

slacked and mixed after dung has completely 
fer^iehted, is beheficial. It destroys insects 
in the dung, . - . • . . 62, 6^ 

improves land, - - - . 193 

thtows lip white clover, on steril, fiibssy ancf 
impoverished land, - - - 42 

profitably applied on trenched ground^ - 245 

should be cautiously applied to steeped grain, 61 

American, stronger than Irish^ - - . 208 
Livmgston, R. R. oil pyrites as a grass mahure, appendix^ 33 





296 - 

iil^ ^8 
* • 2r3 


Locust, white flowering employed for live fences, 

^ ' M 
Main, Thomas ; account of native thorns, 

and see selections. 
Bfaniire, newly discovered mineral, for cUver, 
Marie, found in York county, Pennsylvania, 

in Ulster county, New York, 
Matlack, T. on new pummice press, 
on cyder making, 

on peach trees, - ^ • 

M'Kenzle, Mr. defended, 
Mease, Dr. On decay of southern pine timber, 

b t 










Mease, Dr. on rotation of shrubs and forest trees, - 42 

smut in wheat, - - - . 54 

Jerusalem wheat^ - - . 137 

large American trees, - . - 182 

. • yellow water in horses, - . 153 

^ speltz, - - - - 260 

#. grdwth of thorns, - - . . 288 

Mildew in wheat, on, • - . , g^ 

Mildews and blights, from what causes they proceed, * 184 

and see appendix, - - 3, 4 5 
Sir J. Banks in an ingenious essay attributes 
them to parasitical fungi, and has given some 
beautiful plates of them, ^^ -^. . 66, 6/, 68 

Mortar, remarks on, - - ,. . . . . 20I 
over rich will not indurate, - - '199 202 

theory of, according to Anderson, 
"and instances to prove it, - - ^ 20I 

with over proportion of lime highly injurious, ib. 
Mud, river, beneficial to fruit trees, - - - 225 
Mulberry tree, Italian, useful to make paper, - 252 

red, paper made from the roots, - 253 
Museum, Peale's, commencement and accomplishment 

of it sing^arly meritorious, - 296-/ 
Must ot «^pples, differs in strength, - . 1^3 

Naturalization <,£ plants, instances of it. Selections, 16 

Memoirs, 214-15 
Northampton, Pennsylvania, remarkable for pro- 

ducing honey, - - - 239 

Oats, kills wild garlic, 

an exhausting crop ,- should not be sowed to 
precede wheat, . ,, ^ . ■ \ j^^ 

Orchards, not injured by clover, .,^^ -^ . .. .. . ^ly 


i t^~M. 






.'. . f-i . 


Orchards, injured by grain, 

apple trees injured by worms, 
practical instanced as to planting; and 
, remarks thereon, . . . . 211&seq. 

top dressing of compost or other proper 
manure, better than dung ^c. put in the 
holes, for young trees, 
injurious effects on trees deep planted, 
deep planting condemned, . . ' 

Oxen, superiority of, over horses for farm work. 
Oyster shells, pulverised, about the roots of pelch, 

plum, and apple trees, proposed as ef- 
fectual in keeping off the peach Zt/^a- 
na^ and the apple Cerambix^ - . 
Query. Would not brine, or gypsum be serviceable, 
or as effectual ? 

- 212 


- 193 


Palmetto, and other spongy woods, utility qf to resist 

baUs, - . - - • . 201 

Pea bug, on, - - 3iy 

Peach trees, on, . ... 11,15,120,2/3 

various diseases and remedies ineffectual, ir, 21 
have a favorite climate, account of ' 
them in the southern country, and 
question whether they are not here 
forced ; and not indigenous, . 1338^ seq 
Pe^e, Rembrandt, his letter on changes of timber and 

account of extinct animals, . . 
Pearson, John, on dimensions of American trees 
Peters, Richard, on hoven cattle, . 

on peach trees, ^ 

on the tendency in nature to change 
its products, . . . 

on yellow water in horses. 



2r, 296 
- 139 









Pet:prs, Richard, on gypsum, - • ^. .156,310 

on thickness, cement and materials 
of walls, 5 . . |9y 

on orchards, - - ^ . 211 

on coarse flqur, brovm brea4, and the 
W. forceof habit,as it relates to esculents, 22Y 

^^ nSp^herbs and shrubs appearing, 
after toing woods, - . 
on trench ploughing, 
on hemlock, for live fences, 
remarks on, and plan of, a stercorary, 
on changes of timber and plants. Races 
of ^iiiials extinct, - . . 
on gypsum, whether it is found in the 
United States ? - , 
Pise walls, remarks on, . 

Pits and dung holes prevent fermentation. Receptacles 

for muck under stables and bams censured 
Planting, shallow, best for fruit trees . ,' 

PJants, tendency in nature to change them in succes- ' 

siqns on the same soil, . . «^ . 

PJashmg hedges, mode of, with a cut, appendix 
Plough, coulter, described, . , * " 

shovel, described, 

three fiOTow, described. 
Ploughing, new mode of, described, 

often,;deep and at proper times recommended, 100 
m fresh dung improper for wheat, . 284 

trench. Facts relating to it, and descrip. 
tion of, . , , 240-1 2 ^^ < A 

Prison of Philadelphia, remarks on, . Tm 

Pruning, BucknaPs mode as to branches and roots, 216 

Pummice press, a new one described, . ^^g 

Pyrites, fertilizing effects of, when burnt, on grass " 

Appendix, . . . . ^ ^^ 














Rag weed, eaten by sheep, . ^ .^ 

Heeve, Josiah, on new manure for clover, ' / ." / 

Ribbmg, or backing up furrows, for winter exposure of 

surface, highly useful for trenched (or any 

other) soil, - ^ . 

Ripper, described, „ 

on praiduce of ;»^eat ^d lye for 
p ,. . sixteen years, , . .' 

Kobmia, pseudo-acacia, used for hedges, . 

, and harrowing winter grain in the spring re- ' 

commended, . 

Bot, heart, in timber, to prevent, 
Rotation of forest trees 
Rotting flax, on, .' . . " ' **' 296, 301 

Rough casting, remarks on, . * ' . ' ® 

Rush, pr, lecture on the diseases of animais, [.^ ^' 

Sacchaiometer, recommended^ trying strength of ^ 

must for cyder, 
3alt, common, its being a manure doubtfu'l, ". ' "J 

S«U A '■"'"""^"'^^dfo'- destroying worms 8cc iro 

Salt and water, recommended to destroy infects- it 

mg fruit, 
. 1 r , " - 322 

also for the destruction of worms 

snails, grubs, &c. . . ' _„ 

marme, injures cement, . "172 

Sajts, sundry others than the vitriolic useful tr. ' '■ * ^^ 
Sand, river, best for cement, vegetation, irt 

sea,to be avoided on' account of " " / ^^^ 
saline mixture, 

Sayre. Dr. cures yellow water i'nhors'es, " . " . " '°! ' 
beed, change of, recommended * 

aVays liable to degenerate, . . / " ^J 




















Seed, improves by change, from a worse to a better 

soil, or climate, - - . - 213-14 

brine an excellent steep for, - - 58^62 

washing with simple water highly beneficial. 
Selection, of grain from the best plants, highly useful. 

Appendi3fl|. - - ^- 

Sexual system, its princrples unknown to lawyers in the 

^ time of Charles 2fd, instance of injus- 

*tice. selections, - - - 17, 18 
Sheep, on, "*.--- « - 1, 33 

broad tailed (Barbary) introduced and propagated, 163 a^ 
whether they injure pasture and the relative 
consumption of it, - - - r^jy*-n\ ^^ 3 

in company with black cattle, are said to be pro- 
tected by the latter from the depredations of dogs, S 
advantages of their manure over that of black 
c«ftle, - » - * .14 

require less dry fodder than black cattle, - ib. 
Smut in wheat, on, - - - - - 47^ 54^ 65 
grain washed when smutty, with clean water, 
purified and fit for use, ^-.^ "^ . ^^' . - 55 
in wheat, see appendix, -i-j-noi;^'. . I 

Snails, destroyed by salt and water, - - - 172 

Sommerville, on smut in wheat, 55 ^ Si '' and see selections. 
Sowing, only when the ground is in a fit state, and 
avoiding intermixture of crops of similar 
species, recommended, - - 10^ 

Speltz, on, - - - . . 269 

Squashes and pumpkins, planted near gourds, degene- 
rate, selections, - - , . 17 
ruinous to melons planted near them, ♦ ib. 
Stabbing on left side, cures hoven cattle, - - f 
Steeping wheat in brine prevents smut, - - 58, 62 

see appendix, - • -f - 2, 3 

Stercorary, improved one, described, - - 153 



Stercorary, remarks on ; and plan and elevation 281 2 3-4 
English have all concave bed. 9 ^ ^1-2-3-t 
of this, . ^^^cave beds. Superiority 

St^enson, Dr. on Vellow water o^ horses," ." ''' 

ii?>tone, hardest not best for buildincr 

Stove kitchen, des^bed; with a pUte, '. ♦. 
J>trawbernes, spontanenn« .^^,.,.u ^r r: -. 

- 291 


i Z i t . 


Strawbernes spontaneous growth of, after burning 

iorest timber, . '^. 

i aylor, John, on live fences, . 

postscript to his memoir thereon, !°''' J^^ 
on clearing land, . ^° 

Thorns, on the growth of, from cuttings and'roots, " ITs 
spontaneous growth of, after forest timbe 
destroyed by fire, 
native, account of, 
designate good land, 

the cockspur, and American hed^e f),.' J 
, only eligible native thorns for f^''^" 
latter is the best, ^"^^''- ^^ 

Tilton, Dr. James, on peach trees, " . " ' 

Timber, pine, in southern States, caus; If decav * """ 

heart rot in, how to prevent, ' '" 

growth ot, rapid in our country '" " 

trees, ^^^^^'^-'^-^^-^^.^^r... ^.l 

Trench ploughing, on, and facts relating thereto "^o ''^ 
Turnips, mode oi raising, . ^ ''°^^<,.„P' ^^O 

' * - " 258 


' '* ) ■ 

'"^' rli'k* 





» - f) 


..-. ot 



^•^7 -'l^'^ 


Vegetables, different kiiids of the same species mix 
and degenerate if planted near each other 
squashes and pumpkins near each other 
or near melons, mix and deteriorate, Ap. 1/, 18 
seed selected from the best plants, great 
benefits of, - - # * - ib# 

Veterinary, enquiries and institution of some means of 
j^ promulgating information on this subject 
recommended,. - - - 146 

see list of premiums and Dr. Rush's lec- 
ture prefixed to the memoirs. 
' Vine, grape, a fine one, * - - - * - 253 

cultivation of native, recommended, - 255 

Walls, thick, not generally the strongest. Instances to 
prove this position. Depend for strength more 
on materials than thickness, - - 197 & seq# 
Washing, seed wheat to prevent smut, - - '53 
Water, yellow, in horses, - - - -» 139,154 
Weeds, many are eaten by sheep, and prove the utility 

of these animals on this account, - - 2 

Weerel, a species of the curculio ; the insect so de- 
structive to fruit, - - - 317 
Wheat and rye, produce of in sixteen years, - 99 

should never be sowed among Indian 


- 100 
47, 54, 65 

- 135 

■ m 

on smut m, - - - 

on Jerusalem, - - - . - 

new disease in, - - • 

its analysis, so far as relates to its nutritive 

qualities, - - ... 227-8 

Wimpey, Mr. facts produced and opinion as to blights. 

Appendix, - - ... 3 

Wine, of grapes to make, * - - 254 



Winter Grain, new mode of putting ft in, 

harrowing and rolling in the spring 
recommended, - - . 

Wood, dry rotten, useful for hogs penned for fatting, 
soft and spongy, resists batteries of cannon bet- 
ter than hard and flinty timber, - . 
Woods, firing of, reprobated, - - *. . 
Worms, in sheep, - . . ^ _ 
in peach trees, to destroy, 

to prevent attacks of, 
in apple trees, - - - - . 

destroyed by salt and wafer. 





Yeast, brewers, given to a horse in an hepatic disease, 143 
Yellow water, in horses, on, • . . 139^ ^^^ 

Yellows, a disease in peach trees, - - . 23 

Young, William, on smut in Wheat, - - - 47 

Yucca aioefolia, used for fences in southern States, 92 


Zygaena, the insect destructive to peach-trees ; salt and * 

water recommended to destroy them, 323 











■ .c^W**** 









Premiums, Page xxxix, 


















Errors neglected to be 
intelligent readers. 


line 2, afier cover read will 

12,/or wilderness read wildness. 

13, /or had read has, 

31, for System read Systeme. 

11, for less destructive rea^^ more destrucfirc. 

^O,for patched reoc^ packed. 

31,/or perviousness read imperviauaness- 

20, /or disease read diseases. 

^4i,/or opinion read opinions. 

18, for Alatamaha read Alabama, 
31,/or comprising read comprised in. 

6, for country- read connty-m 
W 10, for goal read gsLoi, 

32, for build read built. » 

2, a/>er weeks read after the first dressing, 

2, a/er is contained read in due proportkaw. 
22, /or bucking read backing. 
24, a/i«r have read been. 

4i/or gauge read gouge. / 
23, a/fer indian com read is not uncommon,. 

noticed, are left for correction, to tie candour of 






/ / 

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viCm* ■