Imágenes de página

sitive proof that these strata were not disrupted by the propulsion from below, of the central granite. We have not the means at present of making any reference to facts in relation to this subject; but considering that the principal waste takes place in the strata which cover the primitive rocks, and that, consequently, these strata must now be found at a level considerably lower than they originally stood, the Huttonian can have no reason to challenge this test.

At all events, it is high time to have a truce with hypothesis. The speculations of the theorist have already far outstripped the progress of actual knowledge: the geologist has already advanced too far without the aid of the mineralogist. Kirwan himself was not deeply versed in the details of simple minerals; Hutton was still less so; and Mr. Playfair puts forth no pretensions to that kind of science. It is to the works of Werner and his later disciples that the world has been indebted for the recent improvements in this field of inquiry; and guided by the same views, the members of the Wernerian and geological societies, in different parts of Britain, are at this moment occupied, not in imagining hypothetical conditions to explain the past and present state of the earth's crust, but in endeavouring to ascertain the natural arrangement of rocks, and the various relations which subsist among them. The memoirs accordingly, which make up the transactions of these societies, are almost entirely descriptive: they are collections of facts gathered immediately from nature, pure from the drossof hypothesis, and unaffected by the spirit of controversy. Since the publication of Mr. Jameson's Elements of Geognosy, which afforded at once the first connected view of Werner's principles, and the first regular system of geology in the English language, we have several works of considerable merit, drawn up in the same practical and descriptive manner. Among these, we cannot fail to give a place to the elegant little work of professor Kid, of Oxford, and to the Geological Treatise by Mr. Phillips. Cuvier's Essay towards a Theory of the Earth, is indeed a performance in rather a different line of study: but, superficial as it unquestionably is, it will be found of no small use to the beginner in mineralogy. The works of Parkinson and Martin, on petrefactions too, merit high commendation, and ought to be in the hands of every student.

A parting word to the royal institution, and we have done. Let the professors prosecute their experiments, and employ their erful apparatus, without ceasing; for they have thereby done great service to chemical science, and may yet do more; but let them write sparingly. Their manipulations ought not to extend to pens

and paper. Popular lecturers, like popular preachers, should seldom publish; for the kind of style which suits addresses to the heart and the imagination of half learned youths, or susceptible damsels, will not be endured in a book having any pretensions to scientific accuracy. We allude chiefly to the retrospect prefixed to the last journal of the institution, than which we certainly never read any thing of greater pomp, and worse taste.



ART. IV. A Morning's Walk in the State of Delaware.

Dover, 1st October, 1817. THE 'HE patriotic sir John Sinclair when he designed a statistical

account of Scotland, for the benefit of his native country, with a view to apply those improvements of which it might be susceptible, had recourse to the correspondence of the established clergy in the several parishes, whom he knew to be generally a most enlightened body. A concern for the welfare of their respective cures, he was aware, had led them to form an intimate acquaintance with the interests, and wants, temporal as well as spiritual, of their several districts, and from such a class of men, the most accurate and intelligent reports were to be expected. To each minister he transmitted a series of queries, which were answered in a manner altogether so clear and explanatory-in language so correct and philosophical—embracing every relative point unconfined, and abounding in useful practical suggestions, as to form a most valuable and admired contribution to the stock of knowledge in rural and political economy. The encomiums of Europe have awarded the due praise to the venerable author of the project, as well as to the clergy of Scotland, whose papers bear internal evidence of their learning and talents.

May we profit by so happy an example; and, though the want of a national establishment of religion, may appear, at the first glance, to oppose some obstacle to the success of the plan, yet surely, some expedient might be devised to set the necessary researches in motion, by promoting local attention and examination. I propose to supply this defect in my district, by way of instance of the feasibility of the scheme; scarcely hoping, however, to do more than reflect the objects which come within the range of a country clergyman, leaving more experienced economists to deduce the higher conclusions.

Dover is the seat of government for this state, being wisely chosen for that purpose, on account of its situation in the centre of it. Inferior to Wilmington, which deserves to be ranked as the capital of Delaware, in size and population, it can boast none of those manufactures or works of public utility which distinguish that borough, but surrounded by a country wholly agricultural, assumes no other feature than that of a mart for the productions of the soil, and the resort of law officers, barristers, attornies, with occasionally a “purba clientumfrom every quarter of the state. Here the public elections are held, and hence emanate the dispensation of justice, the provisions of the constitution, and the representative character of the people.

It would seem, from the names of some places in this state, that a Kentish interest from England had formerly been seated in these parts. We have Kent county, and Dover and Canterbury, both places in it. So, in England, they have Dover, a well known sea port, and Canterbury, an archbishop's see, the Metropolitan of Great Britain; both in Kent. About three miles to the south of

this place, is Camden, a village also in Kent county, possibly deriving its name from the celebrated antiquary whose - Britannia” is well known over Europe. Camden, it is remarkable, was a native of the county of Kent (England) in which he resided during his life,

This state, indeed, was settled principally from England. Its name and that of the noble river that laves the eastern shore of our Peninsula are to be traced to West, earl of Delaware, whose descendant the present earl, is to be found in the catalogue of British peers. The Wests abound, to this day, in the lower part of this state.

The convenience we enjoy in the proximity of the river Dela. ware, which though ten miles distant communicates with a creek navigable by sloops to within a mile of the town, affords a cheap and easy outlet for the produce of the country, and the exchange of commodities. Hence firewood, bark, staves, shingles and boards, wheat, flour, Indian corn and meal, are exported to Philadelphia, Wilmington, &c. in return for which, dry goods, domestic manufactures, hardware, iron, groceries and other articles are received in barter. Philadelphia absorbs the greater part of the commerce of the Delaware, on account of its superior demand and capital. The balance of trade has, latterly, been against this portion of the country, owing to the deficiency of cropsma circumstance attributed by the natives to the unfriendly seasons, and more particularly acknowledged to be the case within the last three years. Old men, speaking of twenty-five years ago, exclaim, “Ah, sir! our country does not yield the half now of what it used to do.” I have endeavoured to solve this problem, and, as some admit, to their satisfaction, while others, with steadfast perseverance in exploded principles, for which farmers in every age have been proverbial, seemed resigned to expect no change for the better, and therefore relinquish all experiment.

The real cause of the unproductiveness of the land, I consider to arise from its exhaustion. The farmer, in many instances, holds 800 to 1000 acres, scarcely any part of which is in grass, sequence is, his manures are insufficient; for it is the pasture which maintains cattle, and it is on cattle the farmer depends chiefly for the due quantity of manure. When all, or nearly all the land of a farm is arable, the soil must be impoverished in a term of years, unless the purchased manures are very considerable. Arable and pasture mutually assist each other in forming a great quantity of those most essential aids; the arable, in furnishing roots for the winter subsistence of the cattle, and straw for them to make into manure: the grass, in maintaining cattle in the summer, and raising hay for winter use. Without a proper observance of this distinction, the farm must suffer: Clover, it should be remembered, will not answer for fattening cattle, nor can cows be advantageously fed upon it. Our farms are too large, and our farmers too systematic in error. They seem totally to overlook

the con

the consideration, that without proper fallows, and the due rotation of crops, it is vain to expect the full rewards of husbandry. Tull mentions an instance of a poor man, whom necessity compelled to allow his field to remain two seasons under fallow, because he could not get seed for his ground after he had tilled it the first year.

The consequence was, that his crop was worth more than the value of the land it grew on. Maxwell too, another writer on husbandry, states the case of a tenant who, from a like necessity, followed the same example, and ultimately obtained such a crop as enabled him to pay many debts, and, by continuing the same practice, in a few years to be in a condition to purchase the farm. If it is found that one summer's fallow docs not entirely answer the purpose of dividing and loosening the earth, it is most beneficial to continue it for another. Weeds impair the strength of a soil, and it ought to be a special object in fallowing to extirpate their growth; added to which, the application of manures, prepared and covered from the weather, until wanted, so as to exclude the absorbent influence of the sun and winds, will then be in good season. So industrious are the Flemish farmers, and so careful to insure the exuberant crops they enjoy, that, with immense labour, they cover the sandy surface of their soil by a new stratum of compost: they know and feel, that much must be given to the land before much can be required of it.

Indian corn is a species of crop, infinitely too exhausting for a country so long worked as this has been. It ought not to be cultivated in the proportion of one-fifth of its present growth. As a food for cattle, it is too heating in the warm months, and for man, rye is better, as a substitute. Carrots, parsnips, cabbages, and potatoes, will feed cattle, without that detriment to the land occasioned by rearing Indian corn. The English carrot, with proper culture,* will grow in a sandy loam to the size of a quart bottle. It is not to be surpassed for nutritive properties, and is, for milch cows, an incomparable food, enriching the quality and augmenting the quantity of their yield. Might not the beet be generally applied to the same purpose, in the absence of the requisite description of carrot seed?

With respect to wheat, I was prepared, when I first came into this state, on learning that no measures were generally taken to exchange the native seed for foreign, to expect, as I found to be the case, a degenerate and stinted produce. In time of peace, I would recommend the Polish seed, or that of the Netherlands. When these are not to be procured, the exchange with Pennsylvania, Ohio, and the new countries. Whatever be the real source and causes of the fly, so destructive to our crops of late

years, this much appears certain, that its attacks are more destructive on the native seed. When a change of country shall be found, as as

* Sow the latter end of March, and take up in October. Plough a deep furrow and harrow in your seed.

suredly it will, to improve the character of the plant, its health and vigor, we shall then be better prepared to speculate upon the true causes of its imperfection.

If an apprehension, commonly entertained, of liability to ague in this state, at certain seasons, did not obtain such extensive circulation, we might hope for much benefit from the resort of industrious emigrants, who, importing an experience of the practices of other countries, would go far, by the persuasive effects of successful example, to correct the oversights in this. Of the unhealthiness we may expect to be reminded, until the enactments of the legislature for the draining of marshes throughout the state shall be more generally known to be, what they now are, completely efficacious. Ague, and remittent and intermittent fever, I have observed to be more particularly accessible to those who in. dulge in spirits, raw or diluted, the bane of mankind. In such persons 'an artificial stimulus is produced repeatedly, exposing in the intervals, the pores of the system to the chilling influence of the winds in August and September, when no doubt our atmosphere is charged with miasmata, more prejudicial than at any other period. When this reproach of our peninsula shall have subsided, we may hope to see our forest lands, yet in a state of nature, teeming with the bountiful returns of a well directed industry, attracting the transmarine settler by the advantages of price (3 to 5 dollars per acre, on credit) and securing his reward by the proximity of markets. New courses of husbandry might then be reduced to practice, to the infinite benefit of our country, new means of abridging labour and extending produce be introduced. Mr. Jefferson, in his Notes on Virginia, speaking of the wants of the country, with regard to population, and the acquisition of settlers from abroad, appears not to have taken a compre. hensive view of that question: he says, the present desire of America is, to produce rapid population by as great importations of foreigners as possible. But is this founded in good policy?' and then deduces the negative, from an apprehension that foreigners may retain their adherence to the principles of the governments they leave, imbibed in early youth. “These principles, with their language, they may transmit to their children. In proportion to their numbers, they will share with us the legislation. They may infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its direction, and render it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass. These conjectures, plausible in prospect, yet futile by experience, were penned at a time when the infancy of the country had not as yet disclosed its capabilities, when its internal energies were neither matured nor fully ascertained, and its real wants, throughout so extensive a territory, but imperfectly known. Only look at the objects who have reached our shores since the peace in Europe. Escaped from famine, penury, and despotism, the more odious by contrast, they have chosen this, the last refuge of suffering humanity, no doubt



« AnteriorContinuar »