Page images

anywhere in this country. It is true, that in the valleys of the
first rivers named, you cannot find so large an amount of such land
together as may be found in some other places, but you find farms
and neighborhoods, scattered all around over this territory, of the
very best land, where you have the most successful kind of farm-
ing; and upon the uplands in many portions of the State, we find
farms, and very many of them, too, that are producing large pro-
fits to their owners.
In Aroostook county, a county that has not been very

much developed, and of which we know comparatively little, we have a large amount of land still uncultivated, still untouched by the axe, that that is equal to any that can be found in this part of the country, producing crops in many instances almost marvellous. I noticed just now a bunch of clover that was sent all the way from Aroostook county down here, showing what can be raised on that land.* I am informed by persons who have been farming there for some time, and who have been engaged in clearing the land, that the better way, after the land is cleared, is to raise three crops of wheat in succession, before seeding down. You cannot do that in other portions of the State. They say they get good crops of wheat for three years, and better grass if laid down the third year than if laid down after raising only one crop.

You can see from this fact that the land is very rich. In a little colony which has been established there, called New Sweden, where some foreigners have collected together, crops were raised last year which to me were really marvellous. They went in there only a year ago last autumn, and began to fell their first trees, and the latter part of last September or first of October, when I visited them, I found they had raised crops of wheat that perfectly astonished me. The snow lay on the ground very late last spring, and some of you may recollect that a freeze came on very early in the fall. You are aware that in small openings, such as those men made there, of ten to fifteen acres in a place, it takes longer for crops to mature than in larger fields. The freeze came upon that wheat before it was fully grained, but the kernels were sufficiently formed

[ocr errors]

* The clover referred to was a bunch forwarded to the Secretary of the Board by Daniel Stickney, Esq., of Presque Isle, grown by Mr. Henry Bragdon of Perham, consisting of 80 stalks, apparently grown from one seed, about four feet in length and weighing three pouods and six ounces. A single stalk had twenty heads, and one head taken at random counted out forty seeds. It was grown on land which had been cleared and cultivated four years.

[s. L. G.]

for a yield of at least thirty bushels to the acre, and that is double the average crop of the wheat lands of the West. I supposed, when I was there, that the crop must be very small, in consequence of this freeze; but I am informed that the average yield was upwards of twenty bushels to the acre, notwithstanding all these unfavorable circumstances. I am certain that, in an ordinary year, there would have been at least thirty bushels. Each man cleared ten to fifteen acres, from which he reserved enough for his buildings, his garden, a yard for his cows, &c., and on the balance they raised 125 bushels of very excellent wheat, or nearly 25 bushels to the acre; and the other crops grown were in proportion to this. I have to say here, that whatever may be said of the West,--and I am not here to deny its advantages at all, -I am very certain, that the man who is comfortably settled here, or the man, even, who desires to change his position, will find, all things considered, advantages in that section of country that are suflicient, if he rightly considers the subject, and takes every thing into consideration, to prevent him from going West. I have an idea, that if more of our people who have made up their minds to leave the places where they now live, would go into that section of the State, they would in a few years find themselves better situated than they have any good reason to suppose they would be in the West.

You will pardon me for dwelling upon this subject; for I feel that unless we in the State of Maine say something for our State, nobody else will be likely to do so, and I feel that the few facts I have stated, and I have mentioned but a very few, and what I have stated, I know to be within the bounds of truth, might be properly mentioned here for our encouragement.

It may be expected that I should say something of the county in which you assemble. As a farming county, Oxford boasts of nothing very remarkable, still we have some excellent farms and excellent farmers; men who have made money in farming. We have some of the very best land in the valley of the Saco, and we have upon the Androscoggin river some superior farming land. The proof of this is to be found in the success which our farmers have had in cultivating those lands. We can furnish in Oxford county as good soil for fruit-growing,—for apples, at least, as any other portion of the State. My impression is, that it may be superior to any other; I am quite certain it is equal to any. A visit to the orchards of this county, in seasons when we have a tolerable crop,

I think would convince any one of this fact. For manufacturing, which is to be one of the great aids in advancing the agriculture of the State in the future, we have unlimited resources. The Androscoggin river and its tributaries, the Saco and its tributaries, and various other large streams running through this county, furnish water-power which, under the most favorable circumstances, cannot be fully employed for a large number of years.

There is another thing to be said of this county. I have remarked that some people regard the State of Maine as good for little else except to raise men and women. It is, I believe, a fact, that Oxford county has been as successful in this respect as any other county in the State. I am inclined to the opinion that you may go into any of the States where the people of Maine have gone, and you will find the “Oxford bears," as they are sometimes called, pushing themselves there as they are pretty apt to do at home. There is something more than this. If you go into the two largest cities of our State, you will find that a very large number of the leading business men are men who went from Oxford county. Go to Bangor, and you will find that the Herseys, the Stricklands, the Hamlins, the Rawsons, the Flaggs,—and I might name a large number of other leading business men in that city,--are men who had their education, who imbibed the first principles of that energy which has so well carried them forward in life, here in Oxford county. Go to Portland, and if you have never thought on the subject, you would be surprised at the number of leading business men there who came from this county. The Smiths, the Twitchells, the Shurtleffs, the Browns, and among the mechanics, the Kimballs, the Kings, the Chases, and a very large number of others, leading business men, eminent in the various professions there, are men who went out from this county. Now, if we could have kept all these men, if we could have had those energies exercised in the development of the resources of our own county, I think we might have had something to boast of in the county of Oxford. As it is, although we have not been able to accomplish in these directions all we might wish, we point you to what some of our sons have done in other parts of the country.

Thanking you, gentlemen, for the pleasure which your visit affords our people, and for the profit which we expect to derive from the discussions to which we shall have the pleasure of listening to here, I desire to bid you a bearty welcome to the county of

Oxford. I welcome you not only to this county, but to this town, to this village “set on a hill,” and to this temple of justice, and 'express the hope, in conclusion, that your deliberations here may be such as will result in much profit, not only to the agricultural interest of this county and of this State, but to all the interests of the State.

THE PRESIDENT. In behalf of the Board, and of the farmers here gathered, I feel it my duty to express their cordial thanks to the Governor for his words of welcome, so fitly spoken. And here I may as well say, as at any other time, that you will see by the call of the Secretary, that this meeting is not exclusively a meeting of the Board of Agriculture. It is a Farmers' Convention, to which the farmers of the State at large, and of this county in particular, are invited ; and it is not only desired, but expected, that. you will take part in the deliberations and discussions.

These Conventions were conceived in the idea that the interests of agriculture need to be promoted as well as all other interests. You are aware, every keen observer is aware, that great changes have taken place within the memory of those now assembled. Formerly, large and paying crops were harvested almost for the asking. The seed was sown, and we had then only to reap the harvest. That time has long since passed away; but notwithstanding these great changes, how is it with the agriculture of to-day? FIas that changed correspondingly? I think you will say it has not; that the practice of agriculture to-day follows altogether too much in the routine of years gone by forever. Since, then, the conditions under which we live have changed so materially, ought not our practice to undergo corresponding changes ? and if so, what shall these changes be? These are momentous questions to us all; and whether producers or consumers we are alike interested in their satisfactory solution, and all alike are invited to participate in our deliberations. Again, let me thank the speaker for his kind words of welcome. Next upon


programme is an address from President ALLEN , of the State Industrial College, whom I have now the pleasure o, introducing to you.

President Allen then delivered the following Address upon THE AIMS AND METHODS OF THE MAINE STATE COLLEGE OF AGRICUL

TURE AND THE MECHANIC ARTS. To extend the principles of a liberal education to that large class of our people, who are to engage in industrial pursuits, and who wish to prepare themselves most fully for the business and labor of life, is the design of the Maine State College.

Perplexing questions concerning the relations of capital and labor are forced upon the attention of statesmen. The peaceful solution of these problems depends upon the intelligence of the laborers. All thoughtful minds are convinced that the better education of the working class will preserve us from the evils that threaten the prosperity of our country. The antagonism of interests, real or imaginary, when the capitalist alone has an education, and the laborer is to be guided by the superior intelligence of a ruling class, will always tend to foster prejudices and prepare the way for riots and lawlessness. Enough has been said of the value and dignity of the industrial pursuits. Professional men are not unwilling to speak of the manly independence and sterling integrity of artizans and tillers of the soil. Politicians talk about the bone and sinew of the country, and think they flatter working men with such appellations; as though it were praise enough for a man to have strong sinews for others to control, and to be bone and muscle, while others are the brain. As in manufactures, the division of labor is the most skillful mode of employing human agency to multiply the production, so it is rashly concluded that there must be a divorce between the planning mind and the toiling hand, in order to give the highest efficiency to each of these departments. But our Creator never intended that a man should become a mere machine, however productive. Nor is it for the highest good of any class to be relieved from physical toil.

The highest civilization can only be attained when labor is honored and respected, and when laborers have the opportunity of mental discipline and the acquisition of knowledge. Just as sure as the maxim holds true, that “knowledge is power,” so true it is that those who make the most and best use of their heads will be the most influential; they will stand the highest in the community. No flattery or compliment can evade this great law of nature. Those who bestow the most pains in the cultivation of their minds, will, other things being equal, have the best minds, and those

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »