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where the veins of water are by the sensation produced upon the throat as he passes over the earth. The sensation is similar to that felt from a galvanic battery.
The reader may inquire how we are to know whether the attraction is from water or from ore of some kind ? The answer, as to most countries, is, that the geological character of the ground will generally determine the point. That, however, will not answer in the lead mines of this region. Here the surface presents so different a soil from that of other mineral countries that no law of the books can apply to us. One thing is certain : if it should prove to be mineral, it would probably be valuable; so that nothing would be lost by the experiment. But in some scores of trials for water in this mineral region, by means of the rod, not one, to my knowledge, has failed, or led to mineral instead of water.
There are numbers of miners among us who depend on the rod to find crevices in the rock under the clay surface. They seek for crevices because lead ore is usually found in them, though there may be, and are, many crevices in which there are no minerals. My observation in this matter leads to the conclusion that a vein of water has stronger attraction for the rod than any of the ores, excepting silver and iron, and that they must exist in considerable quantities to attract equally with water; so that, if the operator should happen to hit on ore, instead of water, there would be no loss. To what depth the electric fluid will attract I am not advised. I have known water to be found in this way from ten to forty feet under the surface, and my impression is that it will reach to a greater depth-possibly to seventy feet.
it is hardly necessary to point out the advantages of this science to the farmer, or its value to every springless farm. The farmer wishing to build, and to have water convenient, will first discover the vein of water, and dig his well. The operator can be tested or proved before the positive pole, or any electric machine, or by having previously found water. It will save time and money lost in haphazard digging, and will add greatly to the comfort of a family to have water at hand; and to make this certain let the water be first discovered, the well dus; and the house then built to suit the situation.
ALFRED BURNSON. Hon. THOMAS EWBANK,
Commissioner U. S. Patent Office.
SUTTON, WORCESTER Co., Mass.,
February 12, 1852. Sir: By invitation from your most excellent department, I propose making some suggestions beyond those of last year, published in your Report for 1850. Those were intended to be strictly confined to the usual Circular inviting statistics, as it does from all parts of our widelyextended country; and the information thus collected and placed in so. condensed a form gives a thinking community an opportunity of observing some of the apparently good reasons why our sons are, and have
been for the last ten years, leaving the old homestead for the crowded city or the far West. It would seem to be because our soils have been under the skimming process for a long term of years, and that our young men had never found out that there was any science in agriculture until it was too late for them to retrace their steps; and the consequence is, that their places are filled with laborers from all parts of the wide foreign world. Sure it is they have health and a strong arm, and may be called servants, and more properly than “helps," so that the foreman or master must necessarily be constantly in the field with them, or some unaccountable mistake will be committed. They have no minds and no care for the general welfare of the crops.
This was not the condition of the farmer in former times, when his sons were at home and in the field. Then he could feel quite at ease in his old age, as they understood his method quite as well as himself. In too many instances where the sons have left, the father has sold the old homestead rather than undertake to carry on with such servants as he could obtain, and retired, perhaps, to the town or village, there to spend his last days with some friend; whilst his mind is back to the old homestead, regretting, when too late, that he so abruptly left the only home he will find in this world. And we may very naturally ask the question, What has become of the old homestead? Why, in quite too many instances, it has fallen into the hands of one of his neighbor farmers, or rather into speculators' hands, whose plan of operation is to purchase a farm in a high state of cultivation, with good buildings and fences thereon, and then put it under the skimming process and get all he can from it, without any expense or labor for improvements; buildings, fences, and fields are all used for present advantage, that he may pockei the proceeds. The soil is soon exhausted, and the farm is sold for what it will fetch, and another purchase made. By this means he obtains wealth just as any miser does. This destructive system is by no means confined to Massachusetts, but shows itself at every turn in the road in the United States. How desolating to a neighborhood-how destructive to society!
Is there no remedy for this evil? I think there is: by letting our sons become acquainted more generally with the science of agriculture. But how is this to be done? It is said that we have no American science. Now, if this be the case, should we not go inımediately to our national government and acquaint them with the fact, and request of them the im. mediate appointment of a few young men to the different professorships that may be necessary for teaching American agriculture --such as analysis of soils, agriculiural chemistry, &c.—and place them where they can obtain such information, with suitable pay for their maintenance. Take them if you please from the plough, as such young men are far to be preferred to mere literary professors, that have already gained a reputation. And I suppose it is not to be doubted that our government is willing to make an appropriation sufficient to buy a section of land near the capital, to be used as an experimental farm, where all foreign seeds can be naturalized, soils can be analyzed, and where every American can obtain such information in relation to crops, and all other information in relation to experiments on the best breeds of cattle, swine, and best method of making butter and cheese, and preserving them, whilst his son may be permitted to enter the institution of learning that shall be erected on this beautiful spot, and where his chance for an education shall be as great or
greater than at any other institution in this country, and at as cheap a rate. The student here gets theory and practice, and when he comes home to the old homestead he sows his good seed broadcast, and the result is beyond all calculation. If men had been intended for farmers without using any reasoning powers, God in his mercy would have given them the perfect instinct to accomplish in a right way whatever fell to their lot to do. The other day an ancient agricultural gentleman, and a member of our board of agriculture, while attending a meeting of this board at the State house, said he believed that the great reformations in the construction of our ploughs were entirely a matter of accident. The State Agricultural Society offered large premiums for ploughing at their show at Brighton, near Boston, more than 30 years ago, and the object was to bring out the strength and action of our oxen; and in those days it required great labor to draw the old wooden plough; but the plough. maker was in the field, and what did he do but go home to his workshop and put his thinking powers to work, and soon gave us the very thing we wanted; and so it would be if we could establish agricultural schools and experimental farms in each State of the Union, where all of the useful experiments could be made, and where the farmer could have free access at all times, and especially where his sons could obtain the foundation of a useful, practical education; where he could go out with his class each day and learn the best method of handling tools
of all kinds—to the stable, and there learn, by a lecture from a practical herdsman, the good and bad qualities of cattle and horses, sheep and swine; thence to the garden and orchard, and so back to the school room, where he may be taught at least chemistry, geology, botany, and the physiology of animals, and a thorough knowledge of agricultural book-keeping. And thus, whilst he is laboring (rich or poor) one half of each day with his class with a a practical farmer, he is all the better prepared for the school-room the other half; where he should remain until he shall have obtained an education suited to his wants, or such a one as shall fit him for a national school or college as we hope to have soon, The legislatures of Massachusetts and New York have been talking for years upon this subject, and I have no doubt that something acceptable to the farmers will be accomplished; though in this object we have strong prejudices to contend with. The old class of farmers have taxed the land to the utmost, and think they have done well because they got what they term a good living and put some money in their pockets. This class do not wish to exchange their old harness for a new one. They were slow to adopt the cast-iron plough, for fear they should break a point occasionally; and the horse rake they did not believe would rake clean; and the threshing machine was out of the question with them, as they had flails, and nothing else, for winter work. But a little experience with these new fangled notions has worked wonders. They now find it convenient and easy to use this kind of machinery; so that ihe more enterprising among them have time, after the hay and grain crops are out of the way, to reclaim some of their swamp land by ditching and carting on sand; while others are draining their clayed hill soils, and, much to their surprise, have found their account in, and all this time saved on account of using labor. saving machines. It might readily be supposed that, if an institution of this character would be the means of greatly increasing our products, and at the same time greatly regenerating our worn-out soils, each indi
dividual State would embrace the opportunity at once, and thus our representatives and senators in Congress would be instructed to see that an institution that should do credit to the whole country and world be established immmediately. At a late meeting of our Board of Agriculture, intimations were given out that the funds required for such an institution must necessarily be large. (This was for a State or home institution, preparatory to a national.)
Well, the question is, how large? I, for one, would be satisfied with an appropriation of one hundred thousand dollars, which would put the farm, and school rooms, and all necessary buildings, well stocked, in running order, for at least seventy-five scholars; and, if more funds were required before the end of the first experimental year, we could surely depend on rich men in Boston and elsewhere, whose whole heart is engaged in this matter, to assist by liberal donations. What if you fail in accomplishing your desired object in educating your young men for practical farmers? Why, if we do, the first outlay will go back to the State, and we be disgraced for our folly for asking for such an institution a whole half century 100 soon. But there is no such word in the farmer's dictionary as failure, with the young farmers of old Massachusetts. They were born upon Plymouth rock, and cradled in her storms, and how can they fail if knowledge is power, and they get knowledge? Want is said to be the parent of invention; and as it happened, last fall, I had a few head more of cattle on hand than I had convenience for wintering, and so it occurred to me that, as the hay crop was large, I could get some of them wintered on reasonable terms, and I soon found enough good practical feeding farmers that would be glad to take them; and, when the price per week was named for keeping on good hay, the different farmers varied so much in price per head, by the week, that it put me to thinking, and so I inquired what good English hay was worth per ton at the barns; and all agreed at once that it was worth about ten dol. lars, and that they should be glad to take my steers to winter, as they wished to spend all their products on the farm; that they wanted to fill their barn cellars with manure, and were willing to spare their surplus hay in this way, and should be willing to give their labor of tending for the manure. What will you charge per week for keeping? Don't know; what would be right? My steers are two years old, past, and weighed this morning, before drinking, two thousand pounds; were put into the stable, and ihey drank seventy pounds of water; and now if what per cent. of good hay such cattle eat per day, on their live weight, we can agree on the price I shall pay per week for keeping. Mr. A. said he thought they would eat about one per cent., or twenty pounds to the pair, per day, or one hundred and forty pounds per week. Mr. C. thought about two per cent., or forty pounds, per day, or two hundred and eighty pounds per week; but Mr. B. said he could tell all about it; they would eat three per cent., or sixty pounds, per day, or four hundred and twenty pounds per week. Finding so great a discrepancy in these men's minds, and fearing he might have fixed his sum too low, which would be seventy cents for the two steers per week, and not feeling willing to pay Mr. B. $2 10 per week, or thinking it would prove a ruinous business to pay $2 10 per week for twenty weeks, which time cattle in this climate are required to be at the stable, making a sum total of forty-two dollars in such a case what was to be done? Why, I went on with my
inquiries, and asked as many as a dozen what their opinions were; and their answers were all within the above markings, namely, from one to three per cent. on live weight; so that one man's guessing opinion was that it would cost fourteen dollars to winter them; another, twenty.one dollars; and the last one, forty-two dollars; and none of these men were ignorant; no such thing.
Our farmers, I will be bound to say, are as well posted up as any in the United States. Thus you see I was left in a bad fix. These being a beautiful pair of North Devon steers, I came to the conclusion that I would go home and make room for them in a convenient stable by themselves, and that I would try a thorough experiment on their feed for a length of time, that should satisfy all doubts upon this question. After getting the steers each in his place, the thought occurred to me that I would regulate my experiment in accordance with the directions of a private individual, a thinking, enterprising gentleman, who spends annually from 80 to 100 tons of hay, and much time, thought, and money, for the advancement of agriculture. And this proposition I find at the bottom of a long list of premiums by the Worcester County Agricultural Society. The abovedescribed gentleman offers this premium of $50, and has put the money into the treasurer's hand, without giving his name, but I know who he is,) under the following regulations, namely: The trial to be made with at least two animals, their condition to be as much alike as practicable; the time of trial to continue at least 8 weeks, divided into periods of two weeks. each; one animal to be fed with cut when the other is fed with uncut hay; and the feed of each to be changed at the expiration of each two weeks; and so on, alternating each two weeks during the trial. If any other food than hay be given, (such as roots or meal,) the same quantity to be given to each, that the result in relation to the cutting of the hay may not be affected by other food. The animals should be kept in the same stable, that they may be in the same temperature, the : average degree of which is to be stated; if the trial is made with cows, the time of having the last calf must be given, and also the weight of the milk given by each cow during each period of the trial; each of the animals to be weighed at the commencement of each two weeks, and at the end of the trial; and the statement must give an account of their condition, age, and every other circumstance that can have any influence upon the decision of the question. And that the experiment may produce the most satisfactory results, the same kind of hay (what is usually called English hay) should be used during the whole time. The time of giving the food and drink should be regular, and also the milking. The time of weighing should be in the morning, and before the animals have been allowed to drink. The statement must also give the quantity of hay, whether wet or dry, and other food given to each animal, and of each kind, during each period of the trial, and to be forwarded and received by the recording secretary of the Worcester County Agricultural Society on or before the 15th day of March, 1852, to be laid before the committee appointed for their adjudication. The steers I have been: speaking of have been strictly on this trial for the last three weeks; have not been permitted to go out of the stable only to be weighed; the water and food have all been weighed, and their nature and health, and aptitude to fatten, are so similar-being only five pounds difference in weight—that I consider them the best two animals to experiment on that have ever