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kept lean, so that it is difficult to fatten the mature sheep, while the mutton stocks have been fed as well as bred to their superior capacity for taking on fat. In this way the Leicester breed was improved, and a concerted and determined effort has now begun to make the Merinos of the future mutton sheep. In a few years the experiment will be fully tested, and, if successful, will greatly increase their value to the farmer, as he can in times of wool depression find a market for his mutton.

The long combing wool sheep will, however, retain their value unless the production increases to so great an extent as to exceed the demand for that variety of wools.

It has already been definitely ascertained that crossing the Merino with the Cotswolds and Leicesters will, for the first generation, produce mutton equal to the Southdown, and wool superior in quality to the Cotswold, but further breeding in the same direction has always proved a failure.

It has, however, not yet been so definitely settled as to the result of crossing the Merinos with the downs, and the Messrs. Baechtel Brothers (large sheep raisers of California) have recently experimented successfully, as they think, in that direction, and claim that they have secured a permanent cross stock, having larger carcass and more wool than the Merinos.

Texas, New Mexico, and the southern portion of California are well adapted to sheep-raising, and there the sheep are sheared twice a year.*

Prior to 1852 California had only a few sheep, and they were of the coarse-wool Mexican breeds. In 1852 New Mexico shipped, or rather drove, to California 40,000 sheep; in 1853, 135,000; in 1854, 27,000; in 1855, 19,000; in 1856, 200,000; in 1857, 130,000; but in 1858-59 the Indians became so troublesome that the trade ceased; the war then came on, and the demand for the low grade of sheep seems to have ceased. From 1852 to 1858 California imported from Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio Spanish Merino rams and crossed them on the Mexican sheep, with the same results experienced in Texas. The severe storms of 1861-'62 and

With respect to the raising in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona of the valuable wool-producing alpaca of South America, Mr. E. L. Baker, U. S. Consul at Buenos Ayres, in his report of June, 1887, says:

"I merely make the suggestion that in these respects, if we had ransacked our inventiveness to describe an animal, which should be pre-eminently adapted to some portions of our own country, we could hardly have imagined a breed more suited than these South American sheep. I refer particularly to the desert portions of Texas and of New Mexico and Arizona, whose arid soil and general scarcity of water are a great drawback to their proper development. Introduced under favorable circumstances, any or all these classes of animals might be able to fill an industrial gap in those regions which otherwise we can scarcely expect to find a filling for; and thus even the most unpromising portions of those Territories might in time attain to a development, through the valuable wools which these animals afford, that there else can be but little hope for, while in other parts of the country, wherever ordinary sheep may be produced, the introduction and acclimatization of these valuable woolproducing animals would give us a new source of national wealth,"

the droughts of 1863-64 proved disastrous to sheep-raising and almost stripped the State of her sheep, and it took several years to recover from these disasters. In 1876, 1877, 1878 California drove Merino sheep to New Mexico to the number of nearly 50,000 in the three years.

In New Mexico, as in Texas and California, the best results have followed from the crossing of breeds, and the agricultural reports since 1880 show a wonderful increase in the weight of the fleece there. In 1880 the average fleece in New Mexico only weighed about 2 pounds, while the most inferior in Texas and California was 2.17 pounds, the half-breeds 3.17 pounds, and those over half-breeds 4.75 pounds.

According to the official statistics of 1880, Ohio raised about oneseventh of the sheep and one-seventh of the wool of the United States; California about one-ninth of the sheep and one-ninth of the wool. Texas came next in number of sheep; Michigan next, but she produced nearly twice as much wool as Texas; New Mexico next in number of sheep, but behind Pennsylvania and New York in amount of wool; next in number of sheep came Pennsylvania, and next New York. The only other States that had as many as 1,000,000 sheep or produced as much as 5,000,000 pounds of wool in 1880 were Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon, and Wisconsin, in the order named. Colorado, however, shows wonderful improvement during the decade from 1870 to 1880, having in 1880, 746,443 sheep and raising 3,197,391 pounds of wool.

It will be observed that of the above-named thirteen States and one Territory, eight lie west of the Mississippi River, and prior to the year 1850 Missouri was the only one of the eight where sheep-raising had been considered of any importance.


Mr. J. R. Dodge, statistician of the Department of Agriculture, in respect to the kinds of wool grown in the United States, has stated as follows:

The first of the three classes is clothing wool. This is the fleece of full-blood and grade Merino, of fine, short fiber, remarkable for its felting quality. These wools are prepared for manufacture by carding rather than combing. The highest type of this race, the registered thoroughbred, is found in Vermont, where breeding flocks are more numerous than elsewhere, and in considerable numbers in Western New York, Ohio, and Michigan, and scattered through the Western States.

The Merino type of wools prevails almost exclusively in the three States named, in Texas, and throughout the Rocky Mountain and Pacific coast areas. Few sheep of other blood are found west of the Missouri River.

Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia furnish wool of the Merino type mainly. The seaboard States of New England also furnish some grade wools of this type. The second class, the combing wool of the tariff classification, includes the medium and long wools of the English breeds, the Cotswold, Leicester, Lincoln, several families of Downs, and other breeds of long and coarse wool, also popularly known as the mutton breeds. These are few in number compared with the Merino type. Nearly all the sheep of the South, exclusive of Texas, are of this class, mostly descendants of the less improved English sheep of a hundred years ago, with occasional infusions of better

blood from England, Canada, or the Northern States. In Kentucky probably 99 per cent. are of the combing-wool class. A considerable portion, too, are highly improved, giving to this State the reputation of having a larger proportion of highquality mutton than any other State.

In the vicinity of the Atlantic cities, from Maine to Virginia, sheep husbandry is principally lamb production, the males being Downs or other English breeds, and the ewes grades of both the Merino and the English types. This combination produces a mixed wool of a useful character. Then there are considerable numbers of the English breeds, though fewer than Merino, scattered through the Western States, from Ohio to Kansas, and a still smaller proportion on the Pacific coast and in the Territories.

As to the third class, the carpet wools, they are represented in the United States only by the Mexican sheep, which are the foundation of a large proportion of the ranch flocks, but so improved by repeated crosses as to furnish wool of the Merino type, much of it of high grade.

It is also stated that the carpet-wool product of the United States is almost exclusively the fleece of sheep of Mexican origin, which are raised chiefly in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and certain other Territories of the mountain region of the country situated between the Mississippi Valley and the Pacific slope.

The imports of combing wool into the United States are chiefly English long wool, which enters into competition with the delaine or combing merino wool produced in this country.

As to relative quantity of clothing, combing, and carpet wools, respectively, produced in the United States, Mr. James Lynch, of New York, a recognized authority upon wool statistics, states, under date of September 26, 1887, as follows:

You want estimates of the respective amounts of clothing, combing, and carpet wool in the United States clip of 1886. If you will refer to my last annual circular you will find my estimate of the total wool clip of the United States to be as follows in pounds, viz:

Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, and States east of the Mississippi, except

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With the improved combing machinery now in use nearly all of the first mentioned 160,000,000 pounds could be passed through the combs; and so also could a small portion of the 40,305,000 pounds of California, and perhaps five-eighths of the 56,000,000 pounds of Oregon and other States and Territories. A good deal of the 24,000,000 pounds of the wool from Colorado and New Mexico can be combed, but very little use is made of it for that purpose. There is a small portion of the 26,000,000 pounds of Texas and the 16,000,000 pounds of Southern that could be combed, but hardly any of it is used.

All the wool can be used for clothing purposes, barring a trifling quantity of hairy and kempy, which comes chiefly from Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.

It may be said that the coarse wool from any section may be used for carpets. No one has ever embarked in the business of growing carpet wool by itself, nor is there any likelihood of its ever being done,

The classification of wools made by the tariff of March 2, 1867, is of very little account in reference to domestic wool now, twenty years later. The combing wool of to-day is, in my opinion, mostly taken from wool of the Merino blood, "immediate or remote." In old times the combs required a 4-inch staple of strong wool, while now 14-inch staple is length enough, and the finest Merino can be spun into worsted yarn.

A considerable portion of the wool product of the country which, according to the terms of the tariff now in force, is classed as clothing wool has, by comparatively recent improvements in machinery, been rendered susceptible to the combing process, and thus has been utilized in the manufacture of worsted goods, embracing certain higher grades of wearing apparel, women's and children's dress goods, as well as fabrics for men's clothing. Such wools, though in the trade regarded as combing wools, under the terms of the revenue-law tariff would be classed as clothing wools.


There has been great difficulty in ascertaining the true amount of the wool product of the United States, especially prior to 1860, and even now some of these difficulties still exist, and all estimates are necessarily imperfect. There are several reasons for this state of uncertainty about the wool crop, the principal being (1) the imperfect census laws and the imperfect execution of those laws prior to 1860; (2) the raising of sheep in many localities in the South for meat alone, and the failure to shear the flocks or account for the wool on the hides; (3) the failure to report the wool sold to butchers on the sheep to be slaughtered; (4) the existence of small herds of from 1 to 25 sheep, which in the aggregate number many hundreds of thousands, and yet the wool clip from each herd being so small that the owners use it for domestic purposes, or, if they sell, fail to report the amount of the clip.

It is not surprising that with these difficulties in the way of ascertaining the true amount of wool raised annually there should be discrepancies between the agricultural and census reports on the one hand, and the commercial estimates on the other. In the following pages the official figures as shown by agricultural and census reports are given except where otherwise mentioned. The commercial estimates are higher and in some cases obviously too high, but it is believed that the official figures here given are on an average 15 per cent. below the actual wool product. As to the estimate of the number of sheep the same difficulties do not exist, and the official figures are believed to be accurate; the true average weight per fleece is therefore a little greater than the official estimates.

The estimate of the number of sheep and the wool product for 1810— admitted to be of doubtful accuracy-is about 10,000,000 sheep and 13,000,000 pounds of wool; in 1812 the number of sheep had increased about 15 per cent., but the wool clip was about 21,000,000 pounds, or over 50 per cent. increase, and of much finer quality than in 1810; in 1836 there were about 17,000,000 sheep, and in 1840, 19,311,374, producing 35,000,000 pounds of wool; in 1850 the number of sheep was

21,723,220, and the wool clip 52,516,959 pounds; in 1860 the number of sheep was 22,471,275, and the wool clip 60,511,343 pounds.

The increase in number of sheep from 1810 to 1860 was only a little over 100 per cent., and the increase in wool clip was about 350 per cent. during the same period of fifty years, while for the next twenty-five years, from 1860 to 1885, the increase was greater than for the former period of fifty years, viz, over 140 per cent. in number of sheep and over 375 per cent. in wool clip.

In 1870 the number of sheep was 28,477,951 and the wool clip 100,102,387 pounds. The most rapid increase ever attained in this country began in 1869 and continued until 1884, both in number of sheep and weight of clip. Since 1884, there has been an annual decrease in the number of sheep and an annual decrease in the wool clip. Mr. Lynch, who is high authority as a statistician, put the wool clip of 1866 at 120,000,000 pounds in the old States and 17,000,000 pounds in the Territories and Pacific States, and for 1877 he puts the clip in the old States at 117,000,000 pounds (a loss of 3,000,000 pounds in ten years) and at 91,250,000 pounds in the Territories and Pacific States (a gain of 74,250,000 pounds in ten years), making the total clip for 1877 208,250,000 pounds, a net gain in the ten years in the United States of 71,250,000 pounds.

In 1880 the total wool product was 240,000,000 pounds and the number of sheep 40,765,900; in 1884 the number of sheep was 50,626,626; in 1885, 50,360,243; in 1886, 48,322,331; and in 1887, 44,759,314; showing losses in number of sheep since 1884. The weight of the wool clip has also, during the same period, decreased. In 1884 it was 308,000,000 pounds; in 1885 it was 302,000,000 pounds; in 1886 it was 285,000,000 pounds; and in 1887 it was 265,000,000 pounds, as estimated by J. R. Dodge, statistician.

Prior to the year 1885 some of the old States had for several years lost in the number of sheep and gained in the quantity of wool, but since 1885 the loss in numbers and weight has been general throughout the country, New Mexico and California decreasing in numbers and decreasing in weight, like the old States. The heavy decrease in Texas was phenomenal and due to local sheep diseases.

The present average weight of the fleece is only about 6 pounds, while the fleece of the best sheep is much greater; it can therefore be safely predicted that owing to the still imperfect quality of our average sheep, and the present overproduction of sheep caused by the high wool tariff, there may be little or no gain in numbers, if not an actual loss, in the near future; still the loss in numbers will be accompanied by a comparative gain in weight of the clip. The experience of the past, the increasing value of lands, the division of large farms and ranches, accompanied by greater personal care of farm stock, all point conclusively to a rapid improvement in the weight of fleeces, especially until the period arrives when mutton or long combing wools on account of their scarcity no longer sell higher than merinos.

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