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results. Among these were the improvement of the breeds of domestic animals, the invention of many useful implements of husbandry, and the introduction of new methods of culture. In 1841, a new effort was put forth by the legislature. An appropriation was made of eight thousand dollars annually, for five years, to the State Agricultural Society, the American Institute of New York, and societies in the other counties in the state; on condition, however, that they should respectively devote to the improvement of agriculture, funds, otherwise acquired, equal to the sums contributed from the treasury. The effects of this beneficent law are already seen in the interesting volume containing the transactions of the state agricultural societies for 1841, in the general attention to agricultural science, and in the annual exhibitions and fairs of the state agricultural society, and the several county associations.
Agricultural journals also, recently established, have contributed much to the promotion of that important object. Among those in this state which have exerted the most efficient influence, the Ploughboy, by Solomon Southwick, the Cultivator, to which the late Jesse Buel assiduously devoted the energies of his philosophic mind, and the Genesee Farmer, edited for many years by Luther Tucker and Willis Gaylord, and now conducted with equal ability by IIenry Coleman, have been eminently successful. These journals have not merely diffused information concerning the processes of agriculture, but they have assigned to the farmer his proper position and just influence in society, and shown him the importance of intellectual acquirement. They have elevated the occupation in popular respect to the dignity of a profession, and it is no longer regarded as one of toilsome service, but as one of true honor, enjoyment, and usefulness. Here too, as in Europe, agriculture has advantages from a more intimate connection with science. To Sir Humphrey Davy belongs the honor of making chemistry subservient to the art. It now seems strange indeed, that while every process in the growth of plants, from their germination to their maturity, is purely the result of chemical action, scarcely an inquiry was bestowed upon the development of that action, until it engaged the attention of that philosopher. Davy was followed by that more profound investigator, Chaptal, and he by Liebig and Johnston. The works of those authors, together with Dana's volume on manures, which is of even greater practical usefulness, have now attained very general circulation; and though they contain many theories which have yet to undergo the test of more accurate investigation, they have already opened to our citizens a new and most interesting department of science. The district-school library has afforded facilities for introducing our farmers, in every school-district in the state, to an intimate acquaintance with all that is valuable in these works.
An opinion generally prevails that production is altogether greater in Great Britain than here, in proportion to the quantity of improved land, and to population. The number of improved acres of land in the state of New York is ten millions ;* in Great Britain, ninety-eight millions. This state annually produces thirty-nine millions of bushels of wheat, barley, oats, and rye. Great Britain produces two hundred and sixty-two millions. New York produces two millions of cattle, and five millions three hundred and eighty-one thousand sheep. Great Britain produces ten millions of cattle, and forty-four millions of sheep. It thus appears that New York is more productive, in proportion to the quantity of improved land, than Great Britain. The comparison, however, would not hold good if instituted with the strictly agricultural districts of England. The United States produces an average of eighteen and a half bushels of grain for each person, while Great Britain produces in the proportion of twelve bushels for each person. But it must be remembered, that in addition to the grains which have been already mentioned, and which are common to both countries, the United States has a bread crop consisting of four hundred millions of bushels of Indian corn, of which the state of New York produces eleven and a half millions, while Great Britain has no corresponding crop adapted to human sustenance. The United States produces twenty-one millions of swine, a larger number than is to be found in all Europe. Of these, two millions are produced in this state; and this, compared with similar productions in Great Britain, increases the proportion of this state in productions adapted to human sustenance. It may be useful to place on record for future reference, as well as to excite attention to the importance of agricultural statistics, an account of the annual productions of the state as derived from the recent census, which, although not altogether reliable for accuracy, is still the nearest approximation to the truth that can be made:
* In 1850, the number of improved acres was 12,285,077.--Ed.
If, in a survey of the progress and present condition of agriculture, we find in it many errors of theory to condemn, and many absurd prejudices and practices to be removed, we also find grounds to hope for its continual advancement. It is a science which appeals to us not merely by our desire to increase the public wealth, enlarge the public intelligence, and elevate the standard of public virtue, but also as the surest guaranty for the perpetuity of that policy of peace and domestic contentment which is indispensable to the existence of democratic institutions.
Horticulture was practised as a merely useful art from an early period. A great variety of fine fruits and plants was introduced soon after the war of the Revolution, by William Prince and James Bloodgood, the proprietors of two of the oldest and most extensive nurseries in the state. Many of our citizens, whom pleasure or business called abroad, sent home rare and valuable varieties of trees and plants. Chancellor Livingston, and other members of the same family, took especial pains to introduce seeds of plants likely to prove desirable here, and the trees thus planted, among which are many fine varieties of cherries and other fruits, may still be seen at the manor garden in Clermont.
The New York Horticultural Society was founded by a combination of amateurs and practical gardeners, in 1818. The first president was Thomas Storm, and among its most efficient members were Dr. Hosack, De Witt Clinton, Dr. Mitchill, and Martin Hoffman; and also Messrs. Wilson, Bridgeman, and Hogg, who were practical gardeners. Under the fostering care of this society, horticulture aequired a rapid growth. The New York Farmer and Horticultural Repository, edited by S. Fleet, one of the first gardening newspapers, was an organ of this society,
The Domestic Horticultural Society was established in western New York in the year 1828. John Greig, of Canandaigua, was its first president; and among its earliest and most valuable members was David Thomas, of Cayuga, before mentioned as an engineer on the Erie canal. Mr Thomas is a scientific and practical cultivator. A society was established at Newburgh during the same year, and another at Albany in 1829. The late Jesse Buel was the first president of the latter, and although mainly distinguished as an agriculturist, contributed much, both by his writings and by means of a nursery which he established, to promote the increase of horticultural knowledge in the northern and western portions of the state.
At the present time the taste for horticulture is very generally diffused, and particular departments are assigned to the subject in the annual exhibitions of the American Institute in New York, and the State Agricultural Society. There are five societies devoted to its interests, and no less than twenty commercial gardens or nurseries; the most extensive general nurseries at present in the Union being those of Messrs. Wilcomb & King (formerly Bloodgood's), at Flushing, L. I., and Messrs. Downing, at Newburgh.
The “ Economy of the Kitchen Garden," by William Wilson, the first original work on the subject published in the state, appeared in 1828; and “A Short Treatise on Horticulture," by William Prince, in the same year. Since that time, the “Gardeners' Assistant,” by Thomas Bridgeman, has gone through eight editions. “A Treatise on the Vine,” published in 1830, and the “Pomological Manual,” in 1831, by William R. Prince, have been among the most useful and interesting works published in the country. Mr. Loudon's valuable gardening works have had considerable influence in diffusing horticultural knowledge, in the absence of native treatises better adapted to our climate ; and the gardening works of English authors still have a large circulation in the state. Nevertheless, horticulture, as an art of design, has received very sparing attention. Fine foreign trees and plants have been cultivated in many places with success, but examples of elegant arrangement have rarely occurred. Tho late M. A. Parmentier, of Brooklyn, L. I., who emigrated from Holland and established a botanical nursery (since destroyed), first attempted to introduce the natural style of laying out grounds. One of the best specimens of his taste is the seat of the late Dr. Hosack, at Hyde Park, on the Hudson.*
During the past year a desideratum in horticulture has been supplied by “ A Treatise on Landscape-Gardening," with a view to the improvement of country residences, by A. J. Downing; and more recently we have been favored with a volume entitled, “Designs for Cottage Residences,” by the same author.
Civil engineering has been admitted to rank as a liberal profession within our own times, both here and in England. Canals and railroads have been constructed so rapidly, that it would be almost impossible to distinguish among the engineers, and award to each the merit justly due. We have mentioned a discovery of valuable hydraulic cement. We may add, that
We may add, that very accurate knowledge has been obtained of the comparative strength, durability, and economy of materials, and that a distinguishing characteristic of our public works, is the nice adaptation of means to the ends to be accomplished.
The aqueduct by which the city of New York is supplied with water, will be an enduring monument, and a description of that work will, perhaps, convey the best information which can be given of the present condition of mechanical science. The conduit commences at the Croton river, in Westchester county, where a dam has been constructed, raising the water of that stream 40 feet above its natural level, and 166 feet above mean tide. The aqueduct is prolonged down the valley of the Croton to the shore of the Hudson, thence through the villages of SingSing, Tarrytown, Dobb's Ferry, and Yonkers, where, leaving the Hudson and crossing the valley of Sawmill river and Tibbitts brook, it gains the summit between the Hudson and East rivers, and continues on that summit to the Harlem river, a distance of 32.88 miles of continuous masonry. Iron pipes are then laid 1,450 feet, on an arched bridge, across the valley of the Harlem river, at an elevation of 114 feet above the high tide. After crossing the valley, the aqueduct of masonry is resumed and
* Notes on Agriculture were received from Willis Gaylord, Esq., and notes on Horticulture from A. J. Downing, Esq.