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not. For our own part we do not see why good wines should not be made in this State, and become in time a profitable pursuit. Certainly we wish our esteemed friend, Dr. Togno, a full realization of his hopes, and a lucrative return for his labors at Diccoteaux, which presents, in its improved cultivation now, a striking contrast to its original wildness and unfruitfulness.
DICCOTEAUX, November 1, 1851.
DEAR SIR: In answer to the letter of your friend, Mr. J. M. Rose, ой Fayetteville, North Carolina, communicated to me this day by you, I may briefly state, for his edification and his Ohio friend, that his queries are as many historical problems, not easily settled, owing to the blunders and confusion worse confounded of the writers in the various northern periodicals that have taken upon themselves to solve this mootpoint
"Who, if they once grow fond of an opinion,]
And sooner part with life than let it go."-Rnoe.
There is no doubt that the Skoupernong (Indian Sweet Water) is a native of the eastern portion of the State of North Carolina, and it is found wild in this region, as well as a purple variety commonly called with us Bullus. The Catawba, as its name designates, is also a native of this State, and it is to this day to be found wild on the Catawba river, in Lincoln county, and all over that neighborhood. I believe that it is from this locality that Mr. Adlum first obtained it in 1820, or there. abouts, and successfully cultivated it near Georgetown, D. C.
Mr. N. Longworth, of Cincinnati, in a letter to me, states of his having obtained the Catawba, that he now so successfully and profitably cultivates in that locality, from Mr. Adlum. I obtained last winter from Senator Hanks, of Lincoln county, cuttings of the "Lincoln grape," which, from the appearance of the wood, is neither more nor less than a synonym for the Catawba.
The history of the so-called "Isabella grape" is not so easily compassed, owing to diversity of opinion. I have taken great trouble to investigate its history, and, as yet, I have only obtained some links of this broken chain. And, first, is the "Isabella" a native or a foreign grape? Dr. James F. McRee, of this place, whose high scientific attainments and observations in the natural sciences impart to his opinion and statement of facts great certainty, and his testimony is entitled to great weight in settling this first question. He states that he distinctly remembers, as far back as 1810, when the Laspeyre grape (the Isabella of William Prince) was sold in the market of Wilming. ton by Mr. Laspeyre, who cultivated it in Bladen county, and that he perfectly remembers that Mr. Laspeyre had stated it to be a European variety, and not only sold it as such, but it was never doubted by Dr. McRee and others that the vine had all the characters of a European variety; and, what makes it still more certain, is, that even in this congenial climate it frequently rots, and did rot with the first cultivator of it. Mr. N. Longworth has entered the same complaint against it to Dr. McRee states also that he heard, as early as he can remember, that the said grape had been imported by Mr. Laspeyre, and that a Catalonian, having seen the grape here, claimed it as being a grape
common in Spain, his native country. Of course Dr. McRee has never considered the grape an indigenous one, but a European, possessing, as it does, all the characters of a European grape and none of our native grapes. This is also my own conviction. In the whole of this neighborhood the said grape is to be found in gardens, and everywhere its origin is referred to the liberal distribution of cuttings by Mr. aspeyre; so that Mr. Laspeyre must have planted his grape-vines at east five years before he brought to this market his grapes from Bladen county. This would carry us back to 1805, a period far anterior to all the dates of the supposed cultivation of the "Isabella" mentioned by Mr. Allen in Mr. Downing's "Horticulturist.”
These northern writers, doubting not, on a superficial examination of the case at many hundred miles distance from the scene, have undertaken to settle for the good people of the State of North Carolina that which, even here on the spot, has required the most assiduous diligence to ferret out the facts in the case; and even then, prudence and caution have caused me to be very circumspect how I come to a conclusion. So much for this point. Now for the history of the so-called "Isabella" grape:
On the authority and positive statement of Mr. R. W. Gibbs, son of Mr. R. Gibbs of this place, and nephew of Col. Geo. Gibbs, after whose wife (Mrs. Isabella Gibbs) the "Isabella" grape was named by Wm. Prince, he states that his father, Mr. R. Gibbs, at the time he purchased Woodford plantation on Cape Fear river, in Brunswick county, N. C., found a vine planted in the garden by the previous owner, which vine was taken up, root and branch, some time between 1810 and 1813, (he cannot positively say, but he knows that it must be at this time, as we shall soon see,) and sent to Col. Geo. Gibbs, who was then a merchant in New York, and who resided at Brooklyn, in whose garden he planted it. Soon after, (1815,) the narrator, Mr. R. W. Gibbs, then a boy, was sent to school at Brooklyn, and resided with his uncle. two and a half years, and found the vine there in a flourishing condition, and he helped to take care of it every winter by laying it down and covering it with earth, &c. When General Swift inhabited the same house he still found the vine in the garden, and it is there that Mr. Wm. Prince first saw the vine, and named and propagated it, as he himself has published. So far so good; but still the identity of the stock sent to Brooklyn and the Laspeyre grape is not completely made out, except in their general resemblance and habits; and the still greater reason of their identity is, that the "Isabella" had its origin in a county where the Laspeyre grape was in very great repute, and was very generally cultivated at that time.
Comte Odart, in his celebrated work on the description and classification of the known grape vines in the world, alluding to the "Isabella," says: "Although the presidents of several vineyardist congresses have called it excellent, and have recommended its cultivation, and though the Marquis Ridolfi, a distinguished agriculturist and director of an agricultural institute in Tuscany, has praised its supposed advantages, I still unite with many French vineyardists who think, like myself, that this grape, with a flat and medicinal taste, is good for nothing, neither for making wine nor for the table. However, we cannot deny to it the advantage of being pretty productive.
"But here is one more recommendable-we mean the Katawba, which is easily known by its berries, very slightly red; and its taste has a peculiar and agreeable flavor, slightly vinous. In this respect it is much preferable to the Isabella,' which has been brought from the same country.
"The Katawba has appeared to me rather unproductive, and its grapes do not reach so easily their maturity as those of the stocks of this chapter, though it blooms first. Its bunches, slightly elongated, are rather fine, and keep a long time; the berries are covered with bloom, which deadens its red color; they are big, round, and well spaced. Its wood is of a uniform reddish-brown color; its leaves large, round, curling under, and their under surface is cottony, which imparts to it a white color."
Be it as it may, one of two things of this dilemma must be true; and this is an important conclusion in either case, namely: that, if we suppose it a European variety, it goes to prove that some kinds of European vines can be acclimated and naturalized in this country. If, on the other hand, we consider the Isabella to have originated from one of our native vines, its present improved condition gives great hope of being able to improve our native stocks by long-continued and careful cultivation. I do not come to this conclusion from one or two isolated facts, but from the positive knowledge of eye witnesses and undeniable documents. A solitary fact, here and there, without connexion, would only lead us into error, as was the case with Mr. Allen in the "Horticulturist," noticed by you. It is only by a continuous series and combination of facts that we can positively arrive at the truth of anything. I have tried my best to obtain the candid truth of this case. I am convinced that the related facts are entirely satisfactory.
JOSEPH TOGNO, Wilmington Vine-Dresser Model School.
CAMELINA SATIVA—A NEW OIL PLANT.
This is a curious plant, usually enumerated among our indigenous plants, though-as it does not long propagate itself with us spontaneously, and is found only in cultivated fields, chiefly among flax, with whose seeds it is often introduced from abroad-there is good ground for presuming that it is not in reality a native.
In some parts of the world it is cultivated for its stems, which yield a fibre applicable for spinning and for its oleiferous seeds. Merat and DeLans say that it is cultivated for these purposes in Flanders.
These seeds are sometimes called sesamum seeds, (semina Sesams vulgaris,) but they must not be confounded with the genuine sesamum or teel seeds, the produce of Sesamum orientale.
Mr. William Taylor, F. L. S., has recently drawn the attention of agriculturists and others to the Camelina sativa as an oil plant, adapted for feeding cattle, and for other purposes. He says that the soils best. adapted for its cultivation are those of a light nature; but a crop will never fail on land of the most inferior description. It has been found
to flourish this year on barren sandy soils, where no other vegetable would grow; and, independent of the drought, the plants have grown most luxuriantly, yielding a large and certain crop. When grown upon land that has been long in tillage and well farmed, the crop will be most abundant. The best time for putting in the seed is as early as possible in the spring months-say from the middle of March or the middle of April to June, and for autumn sowing in August; and the quantity per acre required fourteen pounds, and may be either drilled or broadcast, but the drilled method should be preferred. If drilled, the rows must be twelve inches apart.
As soon as the plants have grown five or six inches high, a hand or horse-hoe may be used to cut up the weeds between the rows, and no further culture or expense will be required.
If sown early, two crops may frequently be obtained in one year, as it is fit for harvesting in three months after the plant makes its first appearance. Or another important advantage may be obtained: if seed is sown early in March, the crop will be ready to harvest in the beginning of July, and the land fallowed for wheat or spring corn; also, when barley or small seeds cannot be sown sufficiently early, this may be put in with great success. It is a plant that may be cultivated after any corn crop, without doing the least injury to the land, and may be sown with all sorts of clover; the leaves of the gold of pleasure, being particularly small, afford an uninterrupted growth to any plant beneath it; and, the crop being removed early, the clover has time to establish itself.
The grower of this invaluable production is in all seasons secure of his crop, inasmuch as it is not subject to damage by spring frosts, heavy rains, and drought, and, above all, the ravages of insects, more particularly the cabbage-plant louse, (aphis brassica,) which so frequently destroys rape, turnips, and others belonging to the cruciferæ order, when coming into blossom. The seed is ripe as soon as the pods change from a green to a gold color. Care must then be taken to cut it before it becomes too ripe, or much seed may be lost. When cut with a sickle, it is bound up in sheaves and shocked in the same manner as wheat. The process of ripening completed, it is stacked, or put in a barn and threshed out like other coru. The expense of these crops cannot be very great either in the preparation and culture of the land or in the management in securing the produce afterwards; but, when grown with care and in good season, the produce will mostly be very abundant, as high as thirty-two bushels and upwards to the acre.
The cultivation of this plant for the seed would repay the farmer. An abundance of chaff would be produced, which would be of infinite service for horses or for manure; but in a grazing country like England, where vast sums are annually expended for foreign oil-cake, the gold of pleasure will soon be found an excellent substitute under manufacture, and consequently a grower would find a good remuneration on cultivating the seed.
The plant may be considered a valuable production of the earth. A fine oil is produced for burning in lamps, in the manufacture of woollen goods, in the manufacture of soaps, for lubricating machinery, and for painters. The oil cake has been found highly nutritious in the fattening of oxen and sheep, as it contains a great portion of mucilage and
nitrogenous matter, which, combined together, are found very beneficial in developing fat and lean.
From the experiments above related, it is abundantly proved that it does not suffer from the severest frosts, its foliage not being injured. It is not infested by insects, nor does it exhaust the foil. The gold of pleasure has been cultivated by several practical agriculturists, who highly approve of the new plant. For all these reasons, it is to be hoped that every farmer will avail himself of this valuable discovery as a remunerating rotation crop.
Mr. Taylor adds that one acre, cultivated with these plants, yields thirty-two bushels of seed, from which 540 pounds of oil are obtained; so that the camelina seems to exceed the flax in its produce of seed, oil, and cake per acre. The seed is extremely rich in nutriment. I know of no seed superior to it for feeding cattle. The oil obtained by expression is sweet and excellent, especially for purposes of illumination. From the very small quantity of inorganic matter in the seed, it will be evident that the seed cake must be of a very nutritious character, being merely the seed deprived of a portion of its water and oily
We have examined some of the oil obtained from the seeds of the camelina sativa, and which has been recently sent to several medical men by Mr. Taylor, under the belief that it possesses valuable medicinal properties. It is of a yellow color, and smells something like linseed oil. Finding it beneficial in relieving the incessant cough and retching of a cat, Mr. Taylor has extended its use to the human subject, and states that it has done a "world of good," and cured several persons afflicted with diseased lungs and asthma.-Phar. Journal.
At a recent sitting of the French Academy of Sciences, M. Chevandier developed a portion of the results of five years' study and experiments upon the manuring of forests, and the augmentation of their annual yield. This question has an interest in France which can hardly be understood in America, where the difficulty is rather to clear the ground of its woody growth than to stimulate it to greater fruitfulness. M. Chevandier commenced his experiments in 1847, believing it as possible to assist trees in their growth as flowers, grass, and annual plants. Why could not art interfere to restore to the soil the mineral substances withdrawn from it by the roots of the trees, and by them conveyed to their trunks and branches? Because woods spring up of themselves, and appear to flourish without the aid of man, was it not, nevertheless, probable that a system of amelioration of the soil might urge them to a more luxuriant vegetation? The great difficulty in the way of such attempts was the length of time necessary to devote to them. When Franklin wished to convince his fellow-citizens of the good effects of plaster of Paris upon soil deficient in lime, he simply sprinkled in the midst of a meadow a quantity of powdered plaster, tracing several words in huge letters. A few weeks afterwards the lime had sunk into the soil, but the words traced upon the meadow stood out from the rest by the richer