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Presidents Taylor and Fillmore have followed the example of Washing. ton, in calling the attention of Congress to the subject. All that has been done towards carrying these views into effect is the employment of a temporary clerk in the Patent Office, whose salary, and the cost of purchasing and distributing seeds, &c., have been borne by the Patent Fund.

While some object to a bureau for the promotion of agriculture on constitutional grounds, and contend that every great industrial interest of the country has equal claims upon Congress, others are averse to its es. tablishment from a belief, or fear, that it would become more or less subservient to political and party purposes. There is, however, an institution already organized by Congress to which no such objections can apply: it is national in its character, purposes, and location; it possesses. the requisite means and appliances--funds, buildings, a scientific corps, library and apparatus; and would seem, therefore, peculiarly adapted to prosecute one of the most important purposes of a bureau-a purpose in strict accordance with the will of its founder. The design of Smithson, as evinced by his employing the comprehensive and familiar term knowledge"—not science-in his will, and by his selecting the most. practical of all people as his trustees, was to add to and spread abroad the elements of material civilization—not solely to cultivate the higher or abstract sciences, for which philosophical associations abounded, and abound. With Franklin, he estimated science according to its practical value; and the sentiment is becoming more and more that of the enlightened world.

The propriety of establishing in the Smithsonian Institution a department of Agricultural, and one also of Mechanical science, with suitable appropriations, to aid in working out the great practical problems of the day, is respectfully suggested for the consideration of Congress. In this institution every citizen has an interest, and upon it a claim to all the information it can impart. To it might be referred the analysis of ores, soils, fertilizers, and vegetable products, together with propositions for the increase of speed in vehicles for traversing land and water, the application of electricity and the gases as motive agents, the extension of known materials to new manufactures, the evolution of new principles and processes, and, in a word, for everything calculated to meet the progressive demands of agriculture and the arts. To it the Patent Office might be authorized to refer, for experimental proof, claims for patents involving doubtful points in chemistry and natural philosophy, &c.

By thus identifying itself with the active agents of modern progress, by taking up new and important problems in agricultural and mechanical science, and giving right directions for their solution, its benefits would be felt throughout the length and breadth of the land. It would increase and diffuse, not merely interesting information among savants, but substantial and fruitful knowledge " among men,” and men of all climes; for it is idle to suppose that the discovery of any valuable fact in practical science can now be held for the exclusive benefit of one people: it would be rapidly proclaimed in every civilized section of the planet, and credit would be returned to the source whence it emanated.

The epoch of vegetable chemistry is but opening; yet it already offers a prospect than which one more varied and attractive never invited the attention of philosophers, or promised higher honors to discoverers. We



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have as yet done but little in this prime department of research, although it is fraught with novel elements of national wealth and of national glory. Probably the greatest of human achievements for a century to come are to be made in it-greatest, as regards sublimity of discovery, and magnitude and beneficence of results.

The successful efforts of MM. Naudin and Lecoq in taming the hitherto intractable thisıle family, and rendering them fit for human food, are examples of what is already being accomplished in this branch of research one that will afford employment for the highest intellects, and reward the labors of enterprising agriculturists through all coming time.

" While M. Naudin hopes to produce a thornless thistle for the better nourishment of four-footed beasts, M. Lecoq places a thistle upon his own table and eats it himself, thorns and all. He entitles his letter read to the Academy, 'Two hundred, five hundred, or even a thousand new vegetables, ad libitum.' He had noticed the instinct of the ass invariably directing him to the thistle-bed; and, confident that that serrated plant possessed some precious qualities that are not generally acknowledged, he took a few specimens of the tribe under his care, cul. tivated them carefully, and finally turned out'a savory vegetable with thorns of the most inoffensive and flexible sort.' Continuing his experiments, he finally tamed every individual member of the fierce family of thistles—the Hercules thistles, Cirsium eriophorum, the Heracleum spondylum, and other redoubtable individuals. Encouraged by his success, he undertook the mollification of several tyrants of the vegetable kingdom more ferocious still, if possible, and encountered no serious resistance. In all this M. Lecoq claims no discovery, and conceals no secret. His only mode of transformation is to expose to the sun plants that grow in obscurity, and conceal from the solar influence plants that flourish in the open air, and thus entirely alter their nature. He simply employs upon vegetable productions hitherto misunderstood and neglected the most common processes of the gardener's art. The acrid, aromatic properties of cress, parsley, chevoil, &c., are retained by allows ing them to grow in the sun; the acridity of celery, on the contrary, is made to disappear by burying it in the sand; the crudity of certain sorts of lettuce is removed by binding the leaves tightly together, and excluding the light and the air. The entire nature of the plant is thus transformed; and it is by means as simple as these that M. Lecoq has made the thistle eatable, and holds out to us the hope of soon eating dock and pigweed with as much relish as asparagus and green peas. He asserts that by means of overturned flower-pots he can render alimentary all the cruciferous, all the umbelliferous, and all the syrantherous species, and that certain of the most despised and degraded among them will yet claim the place of honor at the festive board."

Inquiries into the forms and structure of coleoptera, algæ, &c., of antiquities, astronomy, language, ethnology, &c., are undoubtedly interesting, and ought to be pursued; but they are not incompatible with equally interesting and important researches into the organisms and means of improving esculent grains and grasses, fruits and roots, and the means of developing new plants for both food and materials of manufactures; nor need they exclude inquiries into the capabilities of domestic animals and their untamed relatives, since the progress of

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society imperatively demands corresponding advances in all that relate to these essential agents and elements of civilization. Under the influ. ence of ideas now nearly obsolete, savants once shrank from contact with popular processes and pursuits; but barren speculations are no longer preferred to fruitful realities, and the time has gone by when philosophy could not, without a sacrifice of her dignity, take up common things. A good example, in this respect, has already been furnished by the French republic of 1848, one of the first of whose acts was to found the “ Institut Agronomique Nationalat Versailles. A part of the build. ings of the palace, and about fifty acres of its grounds, were devoted to this object. A corps of the ablest professors in the country was formed; and “superior instruction” in practical agriculture and chemistry is given. At the laboratory analyses of soils and manures are gratuitously made, and information is constantly imparted to those who may desire it.

Among the professors, one is charged with the department of zootechnie, or everything relating to rearing and improving the breed of animals; another professor has the department of agriculture and mechanics; another that of ruled economy, or the exposition of such laws and prin. ciples of political economy as bear upon the functions of the farmer.

Then, as regards mechanical science, France has the “ Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers,” with its museum of models, and laboratory for analysis, where lectures on science applied to the arts, general information upon dye stuffs, metals, &c., &c., are gratuitously given.

So with us let the two grand industrial interests of our republic and of the world be in like manner directly represented in an institution founded for the benefit of mankind at large. Let our agriculturists have their Liebig, and our mechanics have their professors—men selected for their devotion to and extensive knowledge of the arts of industryto whom they can resort for instruction and for advice in cases of diffi. culty and doubt.

of the facts and results obtained by the proposed departments in the Smithsonian Institution, those of iminediate or permanent interest might be announced monthly or quarterly in cheap or gratuitous tracts, or they might be embodied in annual reports to Congress, and circulated like other public documents. The benefits emanating from the Institution would thus be greatly augmented, and would be brought more directly within the reach of the entire body of our people; nor could a more consistent employınent of a purt of the testator's bequcst, or one more certain of public approval, be named. It would increase and diffuse

" knowledge" among those who are best able and anxious to turn it to profitable account. Pre-eminently catholic in its character and design, there is nothing to prevent the Smithsonian from becoming one of the most cherished institutions of the age. Respectfully submitted:


Commissioner of Patents.

[* See kindred sentiments well expressed by Professor Turner, of Illinois, in his “ Plan for Ene State University,” copied in this Report, p. 57.)


The present Report having already exceeded the usual number of pages, only the following communications of those deferred from the Report of 1850 are inserted :

Dover, New HAMPSHIRE, January 7, 1851. Sır: Your Circular sent to me, requesting information on the various branches of agriculture in our part of the State, was duly received. I herewith transmit to you replies to some of the inquiries which have come under my observation and experience:

Wheat.-We do not cultivate wheat much in our part of the State; we consider it an uncertain crop. Some of our farmers, recently, have been sowing the winter wheat, and speak of it as doing very well. I am not able to give much information on that subject.

Corn I consider one of the best crops we cultivate. The middling size eight-rowed early yellow-seed, and the eight-rowed white-flint corn, I believe to be the two best and most profitable kinds of seed. I have planted different kinds of seed—the large eight and twelve-rowed; but this large seed corn takes longer to ripen, and it does not fill out so well—there is too large a space between the rows on the cob; it will not shell out so much, and will not weigh so much a bushel. My method for ploughing and planting is as follows: Plough the sward ground in the fall of the year-say in September; the more grass and second crop you turn under the better; plough deep-say from seven to nine inches: this is of great importance; harrow the ground well in the spring, as soon as the frost is out and it is dry enough to make it mellow and fine; furrow both ways with a small plough, about three feet each way; put about half a shovelful of fine compost manure in the corner of the furrows for the hill. I consider a small quantity of manure in the hill to be of great importance to the crop. The corn comes up quickly, is strong, and gets an early start. After it gets up about a foot high, the roots get hold of the old sward, and

a then it will go ahead, if you keep the weeds and grass down. Drop five or six kernels in the hill on top of the manure. If it comes up too thick, pull out at second hoeing. Four spears in a hill are better than more.

I plant my ground in corn but one year in succession, sowing down to grain the second year with hay seed. Good corn land is worth from $50 to $100 per acre.

Cost of raising one acre of corn: Seed

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$0 25 Interest on land

4 00 Ploughing and harrowing

4 00 Planting

3 00

5 00 Harvesting

4 00 Shelling

2 00 Manure

5 00



27 25

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Crop, fifty bushels, at 75 cents per bushel
Corn-fodder on one acre when hay is worth $10 per ton

$37 50

6 00

43 50 27 25



16 25

Oats, Barley, Rye, Peas, und Beans.-Oats I consider to be the best and most profitable crop of grain at this time; yield, from 20 to 50 bushels per acre; price, from 35 to 60 cents per bushel; seed per acre, from two to three bushels. Barley, 20 or 30 years ago, yielded well, and made good feed for hogs and cattle; but for the last few years the crop has fallen off and been very light. Cause unknown to me. Rye, peas, and Leans, not much cultivated for market. Hay is the best and most profitable crop we can cultivate for market; yield, from one to three tons per acre. Clover and herdsgrass are the best for market; seed per acre, a half bushel of herdsgrass and six pounds of clover. This, I think, is about the right quantity.

We press our hay in bales from 250 to 400 pounds each, and send to Boston and other markets on the railroad. Price varies from $10 to $20 per ton; common price about $14 at market; average price with us $10.

Hogs.- The middling size white breed, I think, is the best ; black hogs are no favorites of mine. Pork-raising for market

, in our part of the country, since we have lost the potato crop by rotting, I think is an unprofitable business. We cannot raise pork as cheap as the farmers in the western States. I do not think corn worth more than 35 or 40 cents per bushel to make pork at the price it has been selling for in our markets for the last few years—say from $5 to $6 50 per hundred weight. Grain ground and cooked, I think, is decidedly the best, and should be given to hogs warm in cold weather.

Root Crops.--Turnips, carrots, and beets are all good roots to cultivate as a field crop. I should hardly know how to get through the winter with my cattle and hogs without some kind of roots. I succeed best with the ruta-baga turnip. Sow on old ground, in good condition, that has been cultivated one year; plough deep; harrow and pulverize it well a few days before sowing.

I like the plan best of sowing seeds in hills made by the common hoe-say two feet apart, about the same distance we plant white beans. At second hoeing, thin out all but two or three plants in a hill. Let them stand as far apart as possible. The great secret in cultivating roots is to have them thin enough to grow large; they will not do well it too thick on the ground; yield, from 400 to 800 bushels per acre.

Potatoes.- I cannot speak quite so well of potatoes at this time. Until within a few years they were considered to be one of the best root crops we cultivated, both as to home consumption and market value. We depended , very much on them for fatting our beef and pork; but within the last few years the disease has taken hold of them and almost entirely destroyed the crop. I have not seen anything written on the subject to satisfy me as to the cause of it. Some have thought the rot was owing to the old seed, that the potatoes had been planted too long and had run out; but I am satisfied that is not the case. One year ago last spring, I sent to Buffalo, New York, and obtained a paper of potato seed about a teaspoonful, with directions how to cultivate them. I sowed them in a hot-bed early in the spring. When the plants got to be three or four inches, I transplanted them in my garden, one plant in a hill, about two feet apart; hoed and cultivated them the same as other potatoes, and, to my surprise, the crops grew quite large, and at harvest time I found almost all kinds, colors, shapes, and sizes, from a pea to a turkey's egg; yield, about one and a half bushel. When I took them out of the



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