« AnteriorContinuar »
looked, or valuable document omitted. The efforts of the Confederacy to secure the coöperation of foreign powers, and of the United States to prevent it, are summarily presented in the letters and instructions of the respective diplomatic agents.
In thus preparing in a narrative form this portion of the events of the year, although the effort has been made to observe strict accuracy and impartiality, some mistakes may have occurred, which ask for the forbearing consideration of the intelligent reader.
The developments of science during the year present some interesting particulars. The assent of geologists to the Taconic system advocated by the late Prof. Emmons, after so many years of disbelief, is another instance of the triumph of investigation over preconceived errors. The introduction of the method of Solar analysis, which has as yet progressed hardly so far as to receive a name, although Spectrography meets with much approval, may justly be classed among the important events. The conclusions of science, as applied to agriculture, which were reached during the year 1861, will become to the farmer of great practical value. At the same time, they set aside many opinions and processes of labor which have not yielded fruitful results. They will be found fully explained in a very practical essay from the pen of Prof. J. J. Mapes.
Geographical explorations were pursued with vigor in various quarters of the globe, and many travellers returned from their perilous journeys of a previous year. In all instances the information is highly interesting, and often valuable.
Connected with mechanical industry there were many ingenious inventions during the year, especially relating to implements of war, some of which have been described, while others are reserved, to be accompanied with such illustrations as more ample time will allow. To mechanical industry, so important in this country, an extensive portion of the annual volume of this work will be devoted.
The commerce of the whole world was interrupted during the year, and although sufficient time has not elapsed to gather the statistics of all its changes, yet the details of disaster to many branches have been made up in these pages. The stupendous resources of the United States, hitherto unconsciously possessed, not only in military and naval affairs, but especially in financial, have been brought to light by the present difficulties. The financial measures of the Government and of the States are explained with the most ample details.
The number of distinguished men who closed their career in 1861 was not 80 large as in many other years. A tribute has been paid to their virtues and their services.
Subsequent volumes of this work will be issued about the first of March in
ABDUL MEDJID, Kaan, late Sultan of Tur- most important of these measures were: the rekey, born May 6, 1822, succeeded to the throne organization of the army in 1843 and 1844, the July 1, 1839, died June 25, 1861. · Educated in creation of now ministerial departments of comthe seclusion of the harem, and coming to the merce and public works, the reorganization of throne at the early age of 17, and possessing the provinces, the promulgation of a penal code naturally a kindly but indolent and almost and of a code of commerce, the establishment effeminate nature, it was hardly possible that of mixed tribunals allowing Christians a share he should have become an efficient ruler over with Mussulmen in the administration of jusan empire so extensive, and peopled by races tice, the introduction of a new monetary system, so diverse, even in the most favorable period the abolition of the Kharadj, or capitation tax, of its history. But his accession to the throne previously levied on all who were not Mussultook place at a time of unusual commotion, men; the reform of the system of public educaand when the strong arm of a wise and vigor. tion, and the introduction of postal service, ous ruler could hardly have saved the empire railroads, telegraphs, the regulation of quaranfrom disintegration and ruin. His father had tines, the establishment of banks, &c. been a man of great energy and iron will, and These reforms were at first put in force in had initiated reforms which, in the opinion of the capital, and thence extended gradaally to the more fanatical Moslems, struck at the very the remoter provinces. Not being in the nafoundations of their faith. The ill-concealed ture of absolute decrees, but rather suggestions hostility of the mass of the Mohammedan peo- for reform, whose stringency was to be inple to these reforms would have awed a less creased as the people would bear them, they resolute ruler than Mahmoud II., and his death were at first of little effect, except immediately leaving his reforms but half accomplished, en- in the vicinity of the capital. In Sept. 1854, couraged the hopes of the reactionary party. desirous of giving them a wider scope and a Nor were there wanting other causes of anxie- more decided efficacy, the sultan called a county to harass the mind of the boy sultan. Me- cil of tanzimat, or congress of representatives hemet Ali, Pasha of Egypt, his most powerful from all parts of his empire, and laid before vassal, had placed himself in an attitude of open them his measures. On the 18th February, rebellion during the lifetime of Mahmoud II., 1856, he issued a new Hatti-Humayoum or imand his son, Ibrahim-Pasha, on the 24th of perial decree, conforming and enlarging the June, 8 days previous to Abdul Medjid's acces- propositions of the Hatti-Scherif. These meassion to the throne, had defeated the sultan's ures indicated the progressive disposition of troops in the decisive battle of Nezib. The in- the sultan, and his desire to become an efficient terference of the allied powers alone prevented ruler. They were undertaken under circumthe Turkish empire from dismemberment at this stances of great difficulty ; from the commencejuncture.
ment of his administration to its close, there This danger passed, the young sultan applied was constantly some disturbing element to dehimself to the development of his father's plans lay or thwart his purposes: the Turko-Egyptof reform. The first step in this direction was ian question at the commencement of his reign, the promulgation of the Hatti-Scherif of Gul- and subsequently the Servian question; the inKhané, in Nov. 1839. This Hatti-Scherif was a surrection in Albania; the war in Koordistan; general decree in the nature of a bill of rights, the troubles in Syria, in Bosnia, and Montenedeclaring the equality of all his subjects, wheth- gro; the Turko-Greek and Wallachian revolu. er Mussulmen or not, before the law. Its in- tion of 1848–9; his noble refusal to surrender tention was more fully developed in the subse- the Hungarian and Polish refugees, who had quent measures, now included under the name sought protection on his soil, to Austria and of the tanzimat, or system of reforms. The Russia in 1850 ; the question of the holy places which led to the Crimean war; the attempt to and not recognizable by analyses or microscopic assassinate him in 1859; and the Syrian mas- investigations. Thus we find that the feldspar sacres of 1860, were all so many obstacles to rock, containing seventeen per cent. of potash, bis progress. To these might also be added his when ground to the finest powder, will not natural indolence and love of sensual indul- supply potash directly to the higher class gence, his infirm health and his yielding disposi- of plants-still a rock containing feldspar will tion, which made him often the helpless prey of furnish potash to those of a lower class, such the dissolute ministers and the rapacious harem as the lichens and mosses, etc.; and on their which controlled him. He has been succeeded decay it returns to the soil in a progressed or adby liis brother, Abdul Aziz Khan.
vanced condition, capable of being assiunilated AGRICULTURE is the art of cultivating the by a higher class of plant. earth in order to increase the quantity and im- It is for this reason that, while ground feld. prove the quality of its productions.
spar fails to prove a valuable amendment to The practical farmer should be able to raise soils, requiring additions of potash, unleached from a given number of acres, the largest quan- wood ashes so readily furnish plants with this tity of the most valuable produce, at the least necessary alkali. cost, in the shortest period, and without perma
The same truth is observable with phosphate Dent injury to the soil; and therefore the great of lime, so readily assimilated by plants when problem which the present age has to solve, furnished in the form of animal bones, even is the discovery of the means of producing on after they have been heated to redness, so that a given area, a larger amount of bread and the phosphate of lime which they contain is meat to supply the wants of a continually in- freed from all surrounding matters. creasing population.
This same substance, without any differences The object of these remarks will not be to which may be recognized by the chemist, is give any history of agriculture, but rather to found in large quantities in what is known as show the advantages which have arisen from the phosphatic rocks, and some of them contain the application of the sciences to its practice, ninety-five per cent. of pure phosphate of liine; until it may now be truly said, in its present still when this is ground to a powder it will not status, to compose a science in itself, embracing be assimilated by the roots of plants in contact the operation of the natural laws in their most with it; and many soils formed in part of the extended sense, and covering, as part of its chlor-apatite rock require additions of more accessories, much of geology, chemistry, etc. progressed phosphate before their cultivation
We shall aim rather to demonstrate that can be rendered profitable. which experimental theories have culminated The same may be said of lime, for although during the last few years into exact knowledge, primitive limestone when burnt so as to render than to give descriptions of the leading and it caustic, is valuable to the farmer as a means more prominent improvements in agriculture as of disintegrating other materials in the soil an art. It is now well understood that all known from its chemical effects, yet lime so furnished primaries are to be found in the soil, itself be- will not form direct food for plants, while lime ing chiefly composed of the debris of rocks, arising from organic decomposition is readily whence have arisen all of the primaries, except assimilated by them. those which have existed in more dilate forin, Two thousand bushels of lime, made by burnas in the atmosphere.
ing limestone rock of Westchester Co., N. Y., For a long time it was supposed by chemists applied to a single acre, will render the land that the analyses of plants and soils would fur- sterile for many years, itself forming less than nish a sure guide to the farmer in his selection two per cent. of the weight of this soil to a of the amendments requisite to the production depth of fifteen inches. of crops. Recent investigations, however, prove There are many chalk farms, however, in that these primaries, as found in the ashes of England, containing forty per cent. of carbona plant, differ materially in their functions, from ate of lime, (which is the form which the the same primaries existing in the rock or in Westchester lime assumes before the farmer the soil, unless they have been redeposited in uses it;) but this latter (chalk) has its origin in the soil by the decay of organisms; that each organic decay, and therefore is readily assimiprimary, when taken up and appropriated by a lated by plants to the extent they require lime plant, and then restored again to the soil by to form part of their ash when burned; and the decay of the plant, possesses functions which the quantity in excess is not unfriendly to surare entirely distinct from those belonging to a rounding vegetable growth. primary before its entrance into organic life: Indeed this principle is true of each and all and thus arable soils are composed in part of the primaries in nature; thus, old soils wbich inorganic matter which belonged originally to have been fairly and properly treated, are more the rocks, then to the soil, then formed a part fertile than new ones. As a general principle, of organic life, and on being restored to the therefore, it should be understood that, in the soil, became ready to act as pabulum to a higher selection of fertilizers, those taken from the organism; and that each time a primary so en- refuse of factories, etc., or at least from the ters into organic life, it takes new functions and highest organic sources, should be preferred. qualities not belonging to its original condition, Many of the ingredients in the soil have the
power of absorbing and retaining ammonia and droughts even at midsummer, will be speedily other gases consequent upon organic decay, covered on its outer surface with drops of wawhich are brought down with rains and dews ter, which of course are condensed from the from the atmosphere, and these give to water atmosphere; for if the soil be dry the atmosthe power of dissolving much larger quantities phere must contain moisture, however dilate, of inorganic matter than can be taken up by as there are but two places in which it can positively pure water. Of the ingredients have exist, viz., the earth and the atmosphere-its ing such power, the chief are carbon and alu- quantity at all times must be constant. In the mina : were it not for the presence of which in same way, then, the surfaces of particles of soil the surface soils, the decay of organic life would colder than the atmosphere, are capable of renot be retained for the use of forthcoming crops, ceiving a proper degree of humidity, which in but would filter downward and render every turn is capable of absorbing all the gases from well and spring a cesspool.
the atmosphere requisite to render the moisture So perfect is the action of these materials a more perfect solvent of the inorganic food rethat one per cent. of either or both, disseminated quired to sustain plants : in this state, and in through a soil to a depth of 12 inches, is quite this only, can plants receive it—they cannot capable of abstracting from fluids, during their take up inorganic matter unless in solution, and downward course, most of those substances re- no plant can grow without its reception. All quired to sustain plant life; and recent discov- these necessary conditions may be secured by eries are quite sufficient to assure the agricul- Underdraining and Subsoil-ploughing. turist that he need not fear the loss of ma- Underdraining. This consists in burying benures by downward filtration. A pure gravel neath the soil, in a proper manner, a series of or positively pure sand are the only exceptions tubes or pipes, so made as to be capable of rewhich are practically to be met with, and these, ceiving from the soil any excess or surplus of overtopped by a loam to an ordinary depth, will water it may contain, and leading it to lower nerer receive from the upper soil any solutions points whence it may be discharged and find which would be valuable to plant life, unless its way to outlets. For the method of consuch solutions be added in quantities far be- structing underdrains, we would refer the Food what would ever be applied in practice. reader to the recent works of Judge French, Were it not for this law, all the progressed and Klippart, and others. The best specimen of more solable portions of organic life would have practical underdraining with which we are acpassed towards the earth's centre, leaving the quainted, may be found at the Central Park, surface sterile and incapable of sustaining man. New York. The fall understanding and appreciation of this Millions of acres of apparently valueless soils fact may be fairly registered as belonging to have been rendered capable of profitable culthe year 1861; for, although before suggested, tivation by underdraining. Drains have been it has not been generally admitted and under- made of stones, porous pipe, tile, wooden tubes stood until this time.
of various kinds, etc. ; but practice has proved In the mechanical operations upon the soil, that the ordinary draining tile, made of unwhile agriculture was pursued simply as an art, glazed burnt clay, forms the safest and most the farmer merely knew that a disturbance of efficient and durable underdrain. It is also the surface produced increased results—but he ascertained that the tiles laid at a depth of five Dow understands the laws on which such in- feet, in soils where underdrains may be so cresse depends.
deeply constructed, produce results better than Rains and dews may be viewed as the natu- those attainable by drains of less depth. These ral means of cleansing the atmosphere, taking drains should be at such distance apart as to therefrom all the volatile exudations of organic thoroughly remove all excess of water from life aod restoring these to the soil for reassimi- the soil, and in so doing, they insure full aëralation. We find the atmosphere at all times tion. Both ends of each drain should be open containing certain proportions of these gases, to and at the surface, producing a continuous and during droughts the quantity held in at- draft of air always passing through them, and Dospheric suspension is materially increased. as the atmosphere is warmer than the soil
, the The first half-pint of rain, falling on the roof heat rising during its horizontal travel passes of a house, during a shower, will be found so into and through the soil, materially elevating highly charged with ammonia, sulphuretted its temperature—it also secures motion to the hydrogen, etc., as to emit a peculiar odor; con- air in the soil, which, in passing between the sequently the water from dews and the early particles, supplies the necessary amount of huparts of showers is more valuable to farmers midity, and with it those gases which guaranthan that furnished by continuous rains. To tee all the chemical changes required to furnish fally avail of this effect, the soil should be the inorganic food to plants. deeply disintegrated so as to permit the atmos- The chief advantages of underdraining may phere permeating the soil to deposit its mois- be summed up as follows: tare apon the surface of the colder particles be- “ Underdrained soils necer suffer from Death the surface of the soil. We all know drougkt,” provided that the subsoil be disin. that a glass vessel containing ice or cold water, tegrated as in the process known as subsoil. f placed in the sun's rays at midday, during ploughing. Less manure will suffice for crops. The after disintegration of the soil is more that, in after ploughings, the depth of the surface readily and cheaply performed. Its tempera- furrow may be increased. Grass lands previously ture is increased, and therefore a longer season underdrained and subsoil-ploughed, never run of growth is secured. The best proof of the out, and the full ratio of crops may be mainusefulness of underdraining, however, is to be tained for any length of time, by slight topfound in the fact that the English Government, dressings, of such amendments as have not yet and many chartered companies and individual been progressed from the soil itself. capitalists, have freely loaned money on inort- Where subsoiling and underdraining are not gage to English farmers for the purpose of un- practised, mowing-lands and pastures are conderdraining their soils, and that these mort- tinually lessening in their products, so that the gages are only active after a valuation-in farmer is compelled every few years to take his other words, the mortgages only bear upon the land out of grass, and carry it through a series increased value of the soil consequent upon of rotation of crops, before he can reëstablish anderdraining. After the expenditure of mil- a grass crop. The foregoing may be considered lions of pounds sterling in this way, scarcely as an epitome of the greater improvements conan instance can be found where the income of nected with the proper mechanical preparation the farmer has not been increased sufficiently to of the soil, together with the necessary rationale enable him to pay his underdrainage mortgage, for comprehending the causes of the benefits leaving him an increase of profit ever after, to be derived therefrom; and all other and after while the nation at large is permanently ren- manipulations are but the presentation of the dered wealthier by the system. Indeed it is same desirable conditions to the surface soil, doubtful if England could at this time sustain in a more minute and extended manner, so as her population, were it not for the increase of to avail of the same laws more rapidly and crops consequent upon the underdraining of the effectively. No farmer can reasonably expect land.
to avail of the largest amount of profit, who has Subsoil-ploughing. It is only within a few not prepared his surface and subsoil in the years that the process of subsoil-ploughing has manner we have indicated; for, be his surface been rendered practicable, for although known cultivation what it may, and the use of fertilfor many years as a needed improvement in the izers ever so liberal, his profit will not be as culture of soils, the tools presented for such use great as that of his neighbor whose farm is un. were inadequate until the invention of the lift- derdrained and subsoil-ploughed. ing subsoil-plough, by the writer of this article. Fertilizers.-In old times, farmers sometimes This implement is known as Mapes' lifting sub- suffered their land to remain without crops for soil-plough, and is formed of a lozenge-shaped the purpose of enabling it to gain in fertility. wedge of steel, point forward, like a spear-head This was accomplished by the slow reception laid horizontally, and forming a series of in- from the atmosphere of gases capable of enaclined planes, gradually rising from the point to bling the moisture in the soil to dissolve new its bridge or highest part, being an elevation of quantities of the inorganic constituents, storing only five-eighths of an inch. This horizontal them up until, by their accumulation, the soil was wedge is sustained to a beam by two curved again capable of bearing crops. This was called knives placed vertically, and by these means, fallowing. The modern improvements, howas with other plough-beams, the instrument is ever, of underdraining and subsoil-ploughing, propelled in the usual manner. In practice, the will secure all the advantages of the fallowing surface-plough precedes the subsoil-plough, mov- system, and in a much shorter time; for it is ed by a separate team. The subsoil-plough fol- now adınitted that “the true rest of the soil is lows with its beam in the bottom of the furrow, a judicious succession of crops.” This result thus disintegrating to a depth of 12 inches or is farther accelerated by presenting to the soil more, beneath the bottom of the surface fur- the necessary food for plants in a progressed row, raising the soil five-eighths of an inch, and shape, of organic origin, so that the growing in so doing, causing the separation of particle crop is fed independently of the soil in place; from particle, as in the soil over an ordinary mole- therefore permitting it, as in the following protrack, but to a width, at the surface, of twenty cess, to augment the quantity of plant food rapinches, and this disintegration is more perfect idly; for it must be understood that moisture than between the particles of a soil turned over is enabled to dissolve increased quantities of in a furrow-slice, as with the surface-plough. each of the inorganic constituents, when the
The subsoil-plough insures to the subsoil full roots of a growing crop are present. In the depth for the travel of roots, also permitting use of fertilizers, the farmer should not inquire, the entrance of atmosphere; the surface loann“ with horo small a quantity can I create a crop ? is consequently gradually deepened to any re- but rather, “how large a quantity may I use quired depth; for while the loam as a new soil, with increased profit?" for, with an increased may have a depth of but 6 inches, and the quantity, not only does he increase the amount farmer is constrained to that depth of surface- and quality of a current crop, but he leaves the ploughing; still, by the use of a subsoil-plough, he soil increased in productiveness for the future. may disintegrate without elevating the sub- Manures of the farm.-These are of the first soil, which will gradually change by atmos- importance, and require the greatest amount of pheric and other influences into a loamy soil, so care for their proper manipulation, admixture,