Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-viii

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Foreword

Wendell Berry

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pp. ix-x

Not so long ago, this book would have been seen by almost everybody as work of minor academic interest: peripherally historical and fringily literary. Now I believe it will find many readers who will recognize it for what it is: a collection of observations, judgments, and instructions permanently useful to anybody interested—and to anybody not yet interested—in the right ways of inhabiting, using, and conserving the natural, the given, world. The authors—the two brothers, Adam and William Summer—were South Carolinians of the Nineteenth Century, but they are not, for that reason, eligible...

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Preface

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pp. xi-xviii

This work had its beginnings in 1972 when I visited Marie Summer Huggins at Pomaria Plantation. Mrs. Huggins, granddaughter of Adam and William Summer’s brother Henry, was still teaching Latin in Newberry County. She was in her eighties and a faithful caretaker of the plantation. Pomaria was the home of Adam and William Summer in their youth, although I did not know it then. After her customary glass of old Madeira at the front door, Mrs. Huggins recollected my grandfather from the 1920s and 1930s as quite an impressive speaker of the “old school.” He had died before I was born, and this remembrance was...

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A Note on the Text

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pp. xix-xx

In his epigraph to “Fences” (Farmer and Planter 11, n.s. 2 [April 1860]: 102), Adam Summer defined “fence,” citing “Walker.” By “Walker” he meant John Walker’s A Critical Pronouncing Dictionary, and Expositor of the English Language, first published in London in 1791. Adam Summer’s fellow editor William Gilmore Simms (1806–1870) refused to use Noah Webster’s dictionary, which enforced a new American spelling that was actually a regional one centered in the North. He felt this to be a form of northern cultural imperialism symptomatic of the times. (See “Notes on the Text, or, the Devil and Noah Webster,” in Simms...

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Introduction

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pp. xxi-lxxvi

William Summer was born in 1815 in Newberry District in central South Carolina. His brother Adam Geiselhardt Summer was born three years later in 1818. They were descended from the German and Swiss-German Sommer, Hausihl (Houseal), Meyer (Mayer), Süss (Sease), and Geiselhardt families who settled the Dutch (Deutsch) Fork area between the Broad and Saluda Rivers in the 1750s.

The Summer brothers were well aware of their families’ Revolutionary War past in upcountry South Carolina. Their grandfather Nicholas Summer, a major in the Continental Army, born in 1754, was killed in 1781 in a sortie at Fort...

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[A Winter Reverie]

Wm S [William Summer]

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p. 1

These untitled lines were jotted in pencil on the front and back of the front flyleaf of William Summer’s signed copy of the Knickerbocker Monthly Magazine for February 1840 ( JEKL). They were dated 12 February 1840 and signed “Wm S.” William was twenty-five years old at the time and had officially established his Pomaria Nursery in this year, although he had been grafting and selling fruit trees and grape cultivars since before 1835. This piece is included here because it is the first known writing of either brother. It shows William’s poetic bent, contemplative nature, and Christian belief. These were to remain traits of his nature...

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A Wish

Vesper Bracket [Adam Summer]

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p. 2

This poem, the first known publication by Adam Summer, appeared under what was to become his favorite pseudonym (spelled variously “Bracket,” “Brackett,” or Vesper Brackett, Esq.”) in several periodicals. It was signed from Newberry, South Carolina, where he was practicing law in the office of his brother Henry. As early as this work, Summer refers to roses, always one of his favorites at Pomaria Nursery. He had just turned twenty-four years old when he published...

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The Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus Tuberosus, Linn.)

A. G. [Adam] Summer

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pp. 2-4

My attention was directed to the history and culture of this plant, in consequence of flattering experiments made with it by Mr. Gunnell and others in Greenville in this State, and as it is rapidly attaining in some parts of the State, a few remarks in connection with its superior advantage as a root crop, may not be objectionable to the readers of the Cultivator. Although it is called so, it is botanically, in no way allied to the Artichoke, but is of the same genus as the sun flower, which it most resembles. The term Jerusalem, is, according to Webster, a corruption of girasole, the Italian name for sun flower; and it derives the appellation of Artichoke...

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The Culture of the Sweet Potatoe

Wm. [William] Summer

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pp. 4-9

The text is printed from the South Carolinian. The “renowned Evylin” is Englishman John Evelyn (1620–1706), a Stuart-era courtier and gardener. He was a great lover of trees and called attention to the loss of English woodlands in Sylva, or a Discourse of Forest Trees (1658). Evelyn spoke and wrote in favor of reforestation. This last fact may be significant in light of William’s “Essay on Reforesting the Country” (pp. 180–87). Evelyn’s work on gardening cited by Summer is as yet unidentified.

The brick oven Summer mentions for drying potatoes is the common domeshaped outdoor bake oven present as a standard feature in all early Dutch Fork...

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The Season: Some Thoughts Grouped after Spending a Day in the Country

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 9-12

This essay contains Adam’s first reference to the southern coastal native Magnolia grandiflora. Described here as “God’s glorious Magnolia,” instilling feelings of home in the heart, the tree thus becomes the emblem of both deity and home. Elsewhere in his essays collected here, he singles out the tree for his highest praise as God’s great gift and the greatest gift of the continent to horticulture. Later essays reveal that he found this great-hearted tree to be hardy throughout the state to the foot of the mountains, and he recommended planting it at every home. His advice must have been heeded. Pomaria Nursery sold more magnolias than any other...

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Natural Angling, or Riding a Sturgeon

Vesper Bracket [Adam Summer]

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pp. 12-17

The piece appeared under Adam’s favorite pseudonym. The text is from its original appearance. Izaak is Izaak Walton (1593–1683) author of The Compleat Angler (1678). The fishing “reed” is the native river cane that reached upwards of twelve or more feet and was plentiful in Adam’s time, although now somewhat scarce. Hampton’s Island was in the Broad River downstream from Cohee’s Hill and Cohee’s Shoals east of Pomaria. The “green-haired maiden” and “Isles that lie” quotations are both from William Gilmore Simms’s Atalantis, act 2, scene 1. “Called up sweet fancies” comes from the end of act 1; “And a thought...

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The Season

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 17-18

Four months after beginning his editorship of the South Carolinian, Adam Summer described his life in the newspaper office in Columbia in this brief unsigned article published on 12 June 1845. It appears that Columbia’s citizens already recognized the city as “famously hot.” Willis is Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806–1867), a Boston author whom Summer met in New York in the early 1840s and whose poetry he reviewed and admired. Perhaps mirroring Willis’s flamboyant style, Summer had to admit that he was “absolutely mad” about Willis’s “glorious” poetry but found the prose “facile.” Summer referred to Willis as “our friend” in the South Carolinian...

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A Day on the Mohawk

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 19-24

The “eloquent Maxcy” was Jonathan Maxcy (1768–1820), first president of South Carolina College in 1804. From 1802 to 1804 Maxcy had first served as president of Union College in Schenectady, New York. Maxcy wrote in his Principles of Rhetorick and Criticism (1817) on the role rhetoric played in education. At South Carolina College he founded the Clariosophic Debating Society and was known for his eloquence and power as a teacher. He advocated religious toleration. By the time Adam came to the college, the Maxcy Monument at the center of the campus had been dedicated in 1827. If Adam’s “goodlie companie” is a reference to...

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Farm Management; or Practical Hints to a Young Beginner

[William or Adam Summer]

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pp. 24-31

This essay was written by either William or Adam. Adam edited the South Carolinian, but William was his agricultural columnist. The style is more typical of William. It has fewer dashes, no use of Adam’s favorite words such as whilst and amongst, no humor, no playing with words, and no poetic flourishes. The title’s “Practical” may have accounted for the style, however. There is an extant letter from William that begins “I take a rainy day to answer your letter,” as done here. Most of the advice is characteristic of both brothers. For this diversified farm, the writer advises stabling, subsoiling, composting, and planting no cotton. The...

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The Vegetable Shirt-Tail; or, An Excuse for Backing Out

“Col. Vesper Brackett, of South Carolina” [Adam Summer]

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pp. 32-35

The second narrator in this frame story begins by speaking of the unfair advantage man’s mechanical inventions give him over the creatures of the woods. The not-so-civil, little civil engineer is Colonel John Charles Frémont (1813–1891), who had graduated from shooting squirrels with his “spy-glass” to hunting Indians on the prairies with longer instruments provided by the president. Frémont was small of stature, as the narrator indicates and not very impressive to the narrator in any way. As the story indicates, Frémont had come from Charleston. He had graduated from the college there and had been sent on missions out west by the government....

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Autumn

Vesper Brackett, Esq. [Adam Summer]

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pp. 35-38

Summer published this essay under his pseudonym Vesper Brackett, Esq. His “flowers of Summer, where are they? The leaves, . . . where are they?” closely echoes Keats’s “To Autumn” (“Where are the songs of Spring? Aye, where are they?”). The essay appears to have been inspired at least in part by the lush poetic imagery and tone of Keats’s famous ode. Summer was a great admirer of Shakespeare throughout his life. Titania is the Queen of the Fairies in A Midsummer-Night’s Dream. It is appropriate for Summer that the play is set in a magical forest. Although the comic elements dominate the play, there are always the possibilities for tragedy lurking...

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Winter Green: A Tale of My School Master

Vesper Brackett [Adam Summer]

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pp. 38-43

Wintergreen, or pipsissewa, is the widespread North American evergreen wildflower Chimaphila umbellata. Summer accurately relates its history. Here it becomes a symbol of remembrance and of constancy in a world of flux and change. Summer, born in August 1818, was twenty-nine years old when he wrote the piece and was conscious of “thinning hair” and no longer being a youth. As a symbol, the omnipresent wintergreen provides consolation for the person who will grow old and lose many of the things he loves because it also represents memory, an effective way to triumph over transience and time. The story becomes a sophisticated treatment...

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A Chapter on Live Fences

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 43-46

The text is from the South Carolinian. Adam’s authorship is proved by internal evidence, the reference to Adam’s trip to the far west, and mention of “our friend, the Hon. Joel R. Poinsett,” botanist, planter, horticulturist, and friend and mentor to both Adam and William. Adam traveled to the area of the West described here in the essay in the second half of the decade of the 1830s. He had earlier alluded to the “red man” and these travels in “the wild savage land” in his story “Winter Green” (pp. 38–43). “Our friend” John C. Singleton had a large cotton plantation in lower Richland District. Adam apparently visited him there. The Singletons were...

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Report on Wheat

Wm. [William] Summer

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pp. 47-52

William signed this report to the South Carolina State Agricultural Society as chairman of the society’s committee on wheat. Two years earlier, Pomaria wheat received the first premium prize for the highest yield per acre. (For details, see letter, William Summer to George Fike, 11 September 1846, SCL.)

The essay’s philosophy of soil improvement is in line with the climate of agricultural reform promoted by the State Agricultural Society and practiced at Pomaria Plantation. Summer’s close knowledge of German experiments may have originated with his brother Thomas Jefferson Summer, who was studying agricultural...

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The Misletoe

Wm. [William] Summer

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pp. 52-53

This article is signed “Wm. Summer. Pomaria, South Carolina, Jan. 16, 1849.” Summer had sent the Horticulturist’s editor, A. J. Downing, a package of mistletoe seeds. The plant is usually associated with the oak; but Summer was correct in his observation that it grows on the persimmon. A sixty foot tree at the editor’s home has large bunches of the plant. Summer’s idiosyncratic spelling of the plant name has been retained.

I have sent you, by express, a package of the seeds of the misletoe. Which I trust will reach you in a good state of...

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Address Delivered before the Southern Central Agricultural Society at Macon, Georgia, October 4 [20], 1852

Adam Summer

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pp. 53-70

The address was published in early 1853 as a twenty-six-page pamphlet “By Order of the Society” in Augusta, Georgia, by the Steam Power Press of the Augusta Chronicle & Sentinel. The cover title gets the date of the presentation incorrect, for the letters printed on page 3 give the date of the deliverance as 20 October 1852. That afternoon the society requested permission to publish the speech. On 21 October, writing from the Lanier House Hotel in Macon, Summer agreed to provide a copy “at an early date.” Summer apologized for not turning over a copy that day, because “the circumstances under which it was delivered must constitute my excuse for not...

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The Character of the Pomologist

[William Summer]

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pp. 70-72

Identified as by William Summer from stylistic traits and several autobiographical references, including his childhood’s “bodily infirmity,” which prevented walking. Summer as a child likely had what is today called poliomyelitis. Both appearances of the essay were unsigned in the horticultural sections edited by William. In the absence of substantive revisions, the 1853 text has been used for copy text. In his will of November 1876, Summer wrote that “by a dispensation of Providence I was in early life unfitted for actual manual labor” so turned to the “cultivation and improvement of fruits, flowers,...

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The Flower Garden [I]

[William Summer]

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pp. 72-74

This essay appeared in the “Horticultural and Pomological” section edited by William. The “Fragrant Olive” is Osmanthus fragrans, a favorite of William and Adam’s sister, Catherine Parr Summer, who used the dried blossoms for infusing fragrance in her much-loved hot teas. The Laurus nobilis, which William claims to be “quite hardy,” was indeed so, even in the upcountry. One of the old Pomaria cultivars has grown into a tree in Santuc in Union County, South Carolina, and has withstood single-digit temperatures without protection. Two cuttings from this tree have done the same in Maybinton in William’s native Newberry County. The...

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Plants Adapted to Soiling in the South

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 74-78

This was the lead article in Adam’s section of the issue, as was customary for his pieces. This and internal evidence prove his authorship. “Soiling” is the term for the practice of feeding green forage to stabled livestock. It was one of Adam’s chief recommendations for agricultural reform for the implementation of self-sustaining agriculture and a chief tenet of his philosophy of “farming with nature.”

A lack of green food is one of the evils of Southern husbandry. It causes miserable looking stock to abound from one end of the country to another. It is true, the seasons here are not adapted to the continuous production of an abundant supply of such desirable food, but where can we find the country in which the...

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Plant a Tree

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 78-82

The essay is attributed to Adam from similarities to other proved pieces, his reference to the tawny men of the West, and other internal evidence. The poetic language, heavy alliteration, and syntax are characteristic of Adam’s more consciously literary essays. The piece follows directly after Adam’s lead essay in his section of Southern Agriculturist and quotes two of Adam’s literary friends, both of whom he met—Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806–1867) and William Gilmore Simms (1806– 1870). Adam was in the habit of quoting them both in his essays. In Adam’s proved essay “Winter Green” (pp. 38–43), he described the bark of the dogwood as “so like...

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A Plea for the Birds

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 82-83

Adam Summer’s authorship is proven by his penciled initials (“A.G.S.”) at the end of the essay in his personal bound copy of the periodical ( JEKL). Redmond was Daniel Redmond, editor of the Southern Cultivator. By calling him “brother,” Summer meant “brother editor.” The “epauletted black bird” is a good poetic image for the red-winged blackbird.

We have had our attention drawn to the great utility of the feathered tribe, in protecting our fruits and crops from the attacks of insects, by an article in the March number of the Southern Cultivator, in which a Mr. P. N. Maddux, of Zebulon,...

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Southern Architecture—Location of Homes—Rural Adornment, &c

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 83-86

The article was Summer’s usual lead “editorial” essay for the issue. Here Summer expanded his ideas about domestic architecture suited to nature begun in his October 1852 “Address” (pp. 53–70). As is usual with Summer’s essays, its philosophy is living with nature and within nature. A dwelling should use local materials that are not disguised. His recommendation that form should follow function is an elaboration of a section of the “Address,” as was consideration of nature and climate in the design and location of a dwelling. The natural forest should be retained and...

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Plant Peas

[Adam Summer]

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p. 87

The authorship of this piece in Adam’s section of the journal is proved by internal evidence. It is vintage Adam Summer in the short vein. The use of peas for soiling and soil rejuvenation was one of his pet topics. Peas fed to milk cows for producing “golden butter” relates to Adam’s proved essays “A Short Chapter on Milk Cows” (pp. 110–12) and “Cows and Butter—A Delightful Theme” (140–43). By peas Summer likely had in mind any number of field pea cultivars. He had singled out cowpeas and what he called the black, yellow, and red Tory peas in other articles (for example, the Macon address, pp. 53–70). This crop was another of his essentials for...

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The Forest Trees of the South.—No. 1

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 87-91

This essay is proved to be by Adam Summer by internal evidence, by the reference to childhood at St John’s Lutheran Church, Pomaria, and by its position as Adam’s usual lead editorial essay in the issue. Adam’s reference to the “creed-riven Church” described the situation at St. John’s when the Swiss Reformed and German Lutheran members argued over doctrinal issues to such a degree that each sect used the church on alternate Sundays. Adam also treated the St. John’s forest and his nature walks there in “Winter Green” (pp. 38–43). Adam’s celtis is the hackberry, the cercis is the flowering Judas tree, the liquidambar is the sweet gum, and the...

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Forest Trees of the South. No. 2.—the Live Oak—(Quercus sempervirens)

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 91-93

Accabee was the site of an early plantation along the Ashley River north of Charleston and near Magnolia Plantation. Magnolia was the home of Pomaria Nursery patron John Grimké Drayton. Adam’s friend William Gilmore Simms made Accabee the setting of his dramatic poem of colonial life, The Cassique of Accabee: A Tale of Ashley River (1849). The “old mansion at Goose Creek” may be “Crowfield” (ca. 1730), which had the earliest and most extensive formal garden in America in colonial times. The ruins of the village of Dorchester (established in 1697), with its St. George’s Anglican Church, is protected today as Colonial Dorchester State...

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Forest Trees of the South. [No. 3.] the Willow Oak. Quercus Phellos

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 93-95

Summer shared his love for the willow oak with Thomas Jefferson, whose favorite tree it was. “Broomsedge,” Adam’s “fellow-laborer,” is identified as Colonel Robert James Gage of Union, South Carolina, in a four-page letter from Gage to Thomas Affleck, a Scots nurseryman in Columbus, Mississippi, and dated from “Mossgiel” on 19 June 1854 (MS, Texas A&M University). “Broomsedge” frequently contributed essays to the Farmer and Planter in 1859 and 1860, but never identified himself. This new attribution adds another talented agricultural essayist to the list of the Summer brothers’ friends and “fellow-laborers.” Gage also wrote valuable...

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One Hour at the New York Farmer’s Club

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 95-98

The essay is proved to be by Adam from autobiographical details of his trip to New York City in March 1853, as well as by the essay’s style, Adam’s brand of mild satire, habitual usage, and the essay’s appearance in Adam’s agricultural section of the journal.

Gamaliel is the Hebrew teacher in Acts 5:34. Solon is Solon Robinson (1803– 1880), agriculturist, and frequently mentioned by Summer. The reference to Jenner is to Edward Jenner, an English physician famous for smallpox vaccinations. Robinson’s face was pocked by the disease. Mapes is James Jay Mapes (1806–1866). Adam owned volumes 1–4 of Mapes’s The Working Farmer, an agricultural periodical...

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Flowers

[William Summer]

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p. 98

Flowers, of all created things, are the most innocent and simple, and most superbly complex—playthings for childhood, ornaments of the grave, and the companion of the cold corpse in the coffin! Flowers! beloved by the wandering idiot, and studied by the deep-thinking men of science; flowers! that of perishing things the most perishing, yet, of all earthly things are the most heavenly; flowers! that unceasingly expand to heaven their grateful, and to man their cheerful looks; partners of human joy; soothers of human sorrow; fit emblems of the victor’s triumphs—of the young bride’s blushes; welcome to crowded halls, and graceful...

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Satisfactory Results from Systematic Farming—True Farmer-Planter

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 99-101

We have recently paid a visit to our friend, Dr. Jn. N. Herndon, of Newberry District, S.C., and have been gratified in the extreme, by our observations upon the ample success which has crowned his endeavors to systematise his planting operations. Several years since, he determined to reduce the number of acres which he cultivated in corn, and by a rigid adherence to prescribed rules of manuring and culture, he now only plants one-third the amount of land devoted to this crop, and produces, with favorable seasons, a much larger yield. He is a rigid rotation planter, and with a triennial occupation of the land by cotton,...

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The Crysanthemum

[William Summer]

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pp. 101-102

This old esteemed favorite of the flower garden has long been cultivated, and cheered the heart of many a lover of flowers by its beauty—prized for its appearance at a season when most flowers decay, it lights pale October on his way—and with its departure we glide into winter. It was first introduced into England about 1754, but it was not until 1789 that the choice varieties were brought from China to Marseilles, and the next year imported into England from France. At different periods there has been introduced many new varieties, until they now include various colors of rose, buff, golden quilled, sulphur yellow, Spanish...

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Saving Seed

[William Summer]

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pp. 102-103

Blindness to our own interest is in no way manifested so fully, as in the foolish practice of gathering “what’s left” for seed. The first vegetable, peas, or snap beans that appear, save for seed; the first stock that shows a pod, let it go to seed; the first cucumber, squash or melon, save for seed. In this way we may succeed in getting much earlier vegetables than by following the usual method of taking the refuse of all our garden crops for seed.

Save the earliest and best of everything for seed. Our egg plant might be brought into bearing much sooner, if we would save the first for seed. Who can...

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Roger Sherman’s Plow

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 103-105

Adam Summer made three emendations to this essay in his signed copy of the Southern Agriculturist ( JEKL). The later Farmer and Planter version does not honor these and introduces a few instances of new house styling. The text printed here is from the Southern Agriculturist and incorporates Adam’s emendations. In his copy Summer also footnoted in ink an identification of the Quaker pair’s “wicked women of marble” as “Power’s [sic] Eve & Greek Slave.” Hiram Powers (1805–1873), a patron of Colonel John C. Preston and the Hamptons of Columbia, scandalized some in the North for sculpting nude female figures. Powers worked for a time...

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“The Earth Is Wearing Out”

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 105-106

How often are agricultural improvers told that mother earth is in her decline? “The earth is wearing out,” says Farmer Standstill, “there is no use of improving the soil—it will soon all be gone.” Gone where? We ask you again, reflecting, reader, if you are a believer in this cant? Some hills are bare, and naked, and desolate in their sterility. Other vallies are impoverished, and refuse to put on nature’s green livery, with which richer spots so exuberantly array themselves. Trees and herbage have disappeared, but still the earth is young—young in the measure of years—young in her capacity for increased production on every acre of her wide...

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A Rare Present.—Carolina Oranges

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 106-109

We were recently paying a visit to our friend, Gen. Waddy Thompson, and just as we were warming up the old plantation house, preparatory for the afternoon’s chat, the clatter of wheels, and the vision of a driver, in semblance like “The Ancient Mariner,” flashing across the window, announced a visitor. Soon the clear ringing voice of our esteemed correspondent, “Abbeville,” made known that it was our friend, Dr. John P. Barratt, of New Market, who was hunting us down, with a Christmas present, which he knew was in consonance with our taste. Upon his arm hung a basket, which contained his pipe—the companion of many...

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Agricultural Humbugs and Fowl Fancies

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 109-110

Agricultural Humbugs and Fowl Fancies—How many such have sprung up, mushroom-like, during the past year, to be fretted and fumed over by infatuated friends, and then suddenly to drop into the furrow, which conceals their fallacies from the world forever? We simply ask the question; not that it is any of our business, but because we wish to direct the attention of our readers to a few points in this relation. A writer should never publish anything, without a saving qualification, which had not been thoroughly tested. He should never give an opinion based on the credulity of another, who was not as good a judge of...

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A Short Chapter on Milk Cows

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 110-112

Dr. Benjamin Waldo, an esteemed friend, residing at Edgefield Court House, writes to us, making enquiry as to the “best breed of cows for furnishing a village resident with an abundance of milk and butter.” Now, old friend, there are so many requisites to be attended to in order to ensure these household comforts, that your question is to us a poser. There are fine milkers of all breeds, and good treatment with the true sort of attention given to a milk cow, will often ensure what you wish. We have had fine milkers of Durham and Ayrshire stock, and now have a Devon hard to beat for quantity and quality. Our friend,...

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A Plea for Broomsedge

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 112-113

As we were riding a few days since, over fields which once smiled with groaning harvests of golden grain, but which, upon our first acquaintance with them, were completely exhausted, we were gratified in seeing the gradual improvement which rest and the shielding the ground by the thick coating of sedge grass had effected in the course of a few years. Here was practical proof of the value of this despised grass. It is the “true rescue grass” of the South. When man has skinned the earth by his unjust and remorseless practices of tillage—taking away until disheartened, [so that] it refuses to yield even the commonest field...

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A Visit from April

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 113-115

Gusty, blustering March, with his rude blasts scattering the early blossoms from the trees, has been pushed gently aside by lovely, smiling April, who trips into our bachelor’s parlor like a beautiful joy-wreathed maiden, with a half coyish diffidence that adds adornment, chaste and enticing to her charms. “John, you ebony imp, take that Turkish towel off the lounge, and scatter jessamines and verbenas over it, as a fit couch for the lovely stranger to rest upon, after her journey of a year.” How our heart flutters to see such loveliness under our roof ! It is a strange, delightful feeling which steals over our heart, fraught with the exquisitude...

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We Cultivate Too Much Land

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 116-117

When man was first commanded to go and dress the earth, it was a mandate which did not imply waste, and desecration, and heedless greediness in monopolizing thousands of broad acres, but he was ordered to cultivate, beautify and preserve that which, after it was finished, was pronounced by the Creator—good. The natural elements were fresh from that plastic hand which so miraculously fashions and directs all things, and in the growth of plants and productive trees, the same spontaneous exuberance characterized the whole world, which now forms so distinguishing a feature in the rich luxuriance of the valley of the...

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The Proper Implements for Composting Manures: A Picture in Relief

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 118-119

Let the farmer who intends to make compost heaps, first provide himself with the proper implements for doing the work easily, conveniently, and effectively. There is no greater economy in farm operations, than in the selection of the best tools. The one-horse iron axled tumbling cart is, as a first requisite, indispensable. There is not a doubt in our mind, that the substitution of good carts for the cumbrous and inconvenient road wagons, so universally in use, would speedily work a great change in the improvement of the soil. It is a heavy job to hitch up a team of four mules, requiring the services of an able wagoner, to go to hauling...

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An Editorial Drive: What We Saw during One Morning

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 119-123

It was pleasant after one of those passionate rainstorms of March, to trot our mud-fagged ponies over the grassy turf of a good friend’s lawn, and receive the warm welcome which so characterizes “H—n Place” as a seat of true Southern hospitality. We can always read the index to a man’s heart from his dogs—and no gentleman who is wagged into the gate by the venerable “Bunk,” his ebon spouse, “Rose,” and their young hopeful, “Van,” could be misled for a moment as to the true character of the owner of such magnificent “setters.” We admire setters, terriers and stag hounds—they are the only dogs a man of taste will tolerate. We never...

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What Should Be the Chief Crops of the South?

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 123-125

Corn and cotton in the cotton planting States, have by common custom become the universal crops of extensive cultivation. How far this shift is correct, is not entirely proved by its universality, nor by the prejudices which sustain it in the minds of planters. Indian corn, indigenous to the soil, was perhaps the most convenient and profitable when the country was first settled, and when an abundant and easily prepared crop, to supply the wants of both man and beast, was a requirement of the times. In this relative value, it is still the most valuable crop grown on the virgin soils of the Middle and Southern of the Western States,...

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Northern Horses in Southern Cities

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 125-126

We do not write this caption to urge the superiority of the Northern breed of roadsters—so universally used by those who wish to concentrate speed and endurance in their harness animals—but we do it to give vent to a few reflections incident to the customs which made us, as a people, miserable dependents on other sections of the country. Here we stand upon “the Battery,” in our favorite Queen City of the South, and admire the beautiful equipages and splendid fancy teams, which minister to fashion’s requirements. Of all those sleek, well-groomed steeds, not a single one is a Southern horse—and why? If he was bred...

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Scuppernong Wine

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 126-127

We have regaled our palate this frosty May day with a bottle of exquisite domestic wine, sent to us by our friend, Dr. William D. Kersh, of Fairfield, and made without the least admixture of spirits. It is of a brilliant claret color, which Dr. Kersh assures us is natural, and, to our taste—preserving fully, as it does, the peculiar aroma of the Scuppernong—it far excells all wines of domestic manufacture we have ever drank. As for the foreign stuff sold and guzzled down in America, there is but little of it that is not concocted of “most villainous compounds,” and men who will indulge in its immoderate use, deserve their certain...

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A Good Native Hedge Plant for the South

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 128-129

A good hedge plant, native to the South, would be regarded as a great acquisition to rural improvers. We have observed the growth and habit of the Bumelia, (B. tenax,) and think it better adapted for hedging than the much praised Osage Orange, (Maclura aurantiaca.) The Bumelia is found scattered over the middle and upper portions of South Carolina, and may be readily known, although, strange to say, it has no vulgar name by which it is designated. It belongs to the order Sapotaceae, and its long, slender, straight, flexible, tough branches are well-armed with thorns. The leaves are wedge-shaped, lanceolate and frequently...

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Soap Suds

[William Summer (possibly Adam Summer)]

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pp. 129-130

The value of this liquid as a stimulant of vegetation does not appear to be generally appreciated by our Agriculturists, many of whom make no use of it, although, from their well known habits of enterprise and economy in other matters, we should have been led to expect better things. In a state of incipient putridity, soap suds is replete with the element of vegetables, in a state of actual and complete solution; the only condition, indeed, in which it is susceptible of absorption and assimilation by the roots of plants. Besides its value as a powerful stimulant, it possesses, also, very potent anthelmintic properties, and when used...

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The Best Mode of Stopping Ditches and Washes

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 130-131

The article appears in Adam’s editorial pages and contains his usual “whilst” and other stylistic traits. “Our friend, Chancellor Johnston” is Chancellor Job A. Johnston (1793–1862), a prominent Newberry lawyer and planter. Summer uses the original spelling of the name before Johnston added the e to make it Johnstone. In 1850 Job Johnstone was a neighbor of Adam’s brother Henry and Adam’s friend O. B. Mayer in Newberry village. His son Silas Johnstone (b. 1822) was Adam’s friend and fellow humorist, who contributed pseudonymous sketches to Adam’s South Carolinian and Porter’s Spirit of the Times. In the 1850s the Johnstons-Johnstones...

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Cherries

Adam Summer

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pp. 131-133

We write this with a tempting basket of beautiful, dark, juicy, fine-flavored Cumberland cherries before us as an appetizer for the pen. The leaves of the grove are fluttering and rustling in the pleasant May wind, giving life and spirit to the landscape; the azure green of the heading wheat—a glorious carpet, resting at the foot of the hills, and the walls of forest around the fields—all remind us that to a contented heart, and a lover of nature, there is beauty to be found everywhere. The clear sky above, with a fairy border of clouds in the distance, leaves us nothing to wish for—so light and transparent is the air, that we feel ready to...

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Amelanchier: New Southern Fruit

Adam Summer

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pp. 133-134

A striking and most attractive tree, frequently attaining the height of twenty feet, is the Shad-flower or May Cherry. The first flower-bearing tree which expands its white blossoms along the shores of our Southern rivers, its long racemose flowers shine out like snow-drifts, amongst the leafless trees. In May, its rich red fruit, contrasts in sweetness with the fragrant strawberry, and is acceptable to the palate of most persons. The botanical name of this tree is Amelanchier botryapium (Torrey and Gray) but it was classed by Elliott as Aronia botryapium. Transplanted from the woods, it is generally fruitful and bears abundantly. It is a graceful...

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China Berries

A. G. [Adam] Summer

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pp. 134-135

D. Gates, N.Y., wishes to know what “china berries” are. They are the fruit of the Melia azedarach, or Great Indian Lilac—a tree of uncommon beauty, introduced into the Southern States from China, and hence the common name. It is now naturalized and grows everywhere in the South. It is a popular shade tree for streets, and the wood makes most beautiful furniture—not inferior to satin-wood—and is of quick growth. The seeds are very hard and are covered with a pulpy pericarpum. Every part of the tree—the leaves and seed—are highly odorous and possess powerful anthelmintic properties. A decoction of the root is...

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Barefooted Notes on Southern Agriculture. No I

“By an Old Grumbler.” [Adam Summer]

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pp. 135-138

Industrious tillers of the soil—brave exterminators of the whole family of Gramineæ—lordly clean cultivators of the cotton-fields—sharpen your scooters—your shovel-plows—your “one-toothed harrows”—your glittering steel cottonhoes, and your miserable scarifiers of mother earth—bring into battle array all the fixtures and inventions, which half a century has piled up around you, to aid in the grand work of destroying rural improvement—let loose all your prejudices in favor of the snowy fleece of the wealth-bearing staple—for “An Old Grumbler” now ventures suggestions in favor of some changes in the planting...

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Chinese Sugar Cane

“Glucose” [Adam Summer]

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pp. 138-139

No foreign plant has ever been introduced into the country which has swept over it with such a “furor” as the Sorghum saccharatum.

Incredible have been its attributes. It was to make good sugar, good syrup, good brandy, good beer, good flour, good dye-wood, and good paper. It is one of our American peculiarities, to always expect too much of a good thing. One virtue is never sufficient—it must claim every one under the sun. We are optimists, and the moment we find out that our sanguine expectations are not going to be realized, we get into a pucker, and denounce it all...

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Cows and Butter: A Delightful Theme

Signed * [Adam Summer]

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pp. 140-143

“Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious by”—Golden Butter! Good lady reader, we address this article to you. Your lord of the plantation knows but little of the elements brought into play, to produce good, palatable golden butter in winter-time. He thinks the gleanings of the corn-field—“rich,” he says, “in husks and pea-vines”—(but frost-bitten and devoid of nutrition) with a few basketfulls of shucks at night, thrown broadcast in the muddy, sloppy, cow-pen, with a few cotton-seed, is fare good enough for milk cows. Yes, and cows thus fed produce butter good enough for such husbands. With such poor fare—no shelter...

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Neglect of Family Cemeteries

Signed * [Adam Summer]

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pp. 143-146

Our last resting-place on earth—the narrow spot where care and anxiety, and toil and trouble, and sin and hope, are all put to rest forever—shall we not contemplate it in other lights than as the mere house of clay which heedless and restless humanity so often makes it?It was a beautiful custom, where but few were proprietors of the soil, to consecrate “God’s Acre” around the venerable churches.—There, safe from the footstep of intrusion—from the upheaving swells of progress—from the greedy grasp of gain—loved relics rested in peace.

So it is in England, with her parish system of State worship. So it is in Continental Europe—even in Nordland...

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The Destruction of Forests and Its Influence upon Climate & Agriculture

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 146-147

The organ of destructiveness seems to be predominant on the American head, and, be the country old or new, the American seems to feel as if his destiny was to fell the forest, and lay waste everything in his path.—When timid legislators begin to talk about fence laws, and old fogies about the scarcity of timber, and the expense of cross-fences, it is manifest that the importance of preserving the little we have left, and re-foresting the old fields, is beginning to be felt.

We are pleased to see that the Executive Committee have, in the premium list for the next Fair, offered a premium for “the best essay on re-foresting the country.”...

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New and Rare Trees of Mexico

Signed * [Adam Summer]

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pp. 147-150

We have been looking in vain for the introduction of the fine trees and shrubs which abound in the various latitudes of Mexico, many of which would find a location and climate suited to their habitat on our Southern mountains, along our sea-coasts, on the peninsula of Florida, and on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, and far up the Mississippi.

A botanical explorer, M. Roezl, who is now in Mexico, has made us acquainted with many strange varieties, worthy the attention of the tree-fancier.—His discovery of the Abies glaucescens, with foliage whiter than the Deodar Cedar, will no doubt introduce to us a rigid rival to the famous Himalayan...

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The United States Patent Office Reports, and Government Impositions

Signed * [Adam Summer]

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pp. 150-153

We have been amused, for a series of years, by the straining for notoriety which an adjunct of the Patent Office has exhibited. Mr. D. Jay Browne, a Yankee chicken-author, and the compiler of various other treatises of like inutility, who, by some means, has become rooted into the Agricultural Department, and, by the aid of all sorts of humbugging, seems now to have constituted himself a fixture immoveable. He has pretty pictures of plants and animals engraved, to tickle the fancies of the uninitiated, and, giving large sums for this work to a few, and larger numbers of his cumbersome, nonsensical documents, to Senators and...

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Barefooted Notes on Southern Agriculture. No III

“By an Old Grumbler.” [Adam Summer]

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pp. 153-155

We have shown that the great deficiency in the planting system results from the small number of domestic animals kept upon the plantations.—While the mules to draw the ploughs are raised in Kentucky, the pork to fill the meat-house in Ohio, the wool to clothe the slaves grown and manufactured in Yankee-land, there certainly can be no elements of improvement ready to the hand of the planter. It is easy to exhaust the fertility of the soil, but restoration is another task, and one more difficult to achieve. Fertility, which is purchased at a dear rate, by the application of commercial manures, if persisted in for a series...

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The Guardians of the Patent Office

Signed * [Adam Summer]

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pp. 155-156

An illuminated farce was played at Washington, in January last, at the special instance and request of the Secretary of the Interior, and under the direction of D. Jay Browne, of the Patent Office, as scene-shifter. Theoretical (or, as a distinguished financier of Charleston once termed them, “theatrical”) men, with great proclivities for spouting, were invited to meet the agricultural stipendiary in grave council, as to arriving at a clearer conception of the agricultural wants of the people of these United States. They were notified that they would receive mileage, and twenty-five dollars each for personal expenses, during their sojourn...

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New and Rare Trees and Plants of Mexico. No 2

Signed * [Adam Summer]

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pp. 156-158

A species of Arbutus is found in the high mountains of the table-land of Mexico, which might be valuable, if introduced, as it feeds a caterpillar of the Bombyx family, living in societies, and building cocoons of very fine silk, ten or twelve inches long by three and four inches in width. A species of oak is also found, on the Isthmus of Tehauntepec, which, like this Arbutus, feeds a caterpillar of the Bombyx family, living in colonies, and building nests two feet long and eight inches wide. One of these weighed 1 lb. 12 oz., and the silk obtained from it was very fine and strong....

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A Transplanted Pleasure

[William Summer]

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pp. 158-159

Our great aim in life has been to afford pleasure to all who fall within our limited circle. Our friends know that, corporally, we have had our scale of operations abridged; but we have always found our hands full, even if with nothing more than our “better half ”—our crutches. Since our release from thralldom, we have hopped about amongst our friends—the trees—and, like the birds, in our own way, have had infinite pleasure. We have many friends amongst the young and old, and none more valued than a venerable gentleman, who set his affections on having his own Seckel Pear-tree bearing in his garden, and fruiting...

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China Roses and Other Hedge-Plants in the South

Signed * [Adam Summer]

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pp. 159-161

We have become quite tired of hearing of the “Cherokee” and “Chickasaw” roses, from men of such reliable authority as Thomas Affleck, and others, in the South—not because they are not good hedge-plants, but because these terms are misnomers to very common, naturalized plants, originally imported into England from the East, and from thence disseminated in America.

“The Cherokee Rose, as it is commonly called, is described by [Stephen] Elliott as the Rosa lævigata of Michaux, and was first sent to this country from England by the Messrs. Loddiges, to the late Dr. T. J. Wray, of Augusta, Georgia,...

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Barefooted Notes on Southern Agriculture. No IV

“By an Old Grumbler.” [Adam Summer]

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pp. 161-166

We find that, upon the publication of our grumblings, they will usually be one month behind the time for practical application. This results from the fact, that we write down our every-day reflections, and, as they are seasonable with us, they consequently lose their proper period by waiting for publication. In this light, our articles will be as serviceable as backwoods newspapers are to readers who first enjoy an essay in the regular dailies of civilized life—just when they need refreshing on the subject, out pops the article again in the weekly. So, if we are not in time with timely hints, we claim the privilege to grumble, when,...

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Farm Economies

Signed * [Adam Summer]

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pp. 166-168

Our agriculturists are now on the qui vive for concentrated fertilizers, and nothing can be brought before the public, in the way of a new manure, bolstered up by the statements of self-styled analytical chemists, but it straightway receives a full and extensive trial. To judge from the analytical tables, published by way of advertisement, we would imagine that the world was now flooded with fledgeling Liebigs, and that fixed facts in manures would soon make their well-known volatile elements available to all who may wish to use commercial fertilizers. This is all very well; but planters should reflect that there are many elements wasting...

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Hill-Side Ditching

Signed * [Adam Summer]

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pp. 168-170

When we indited our two-sided article on Side-Hill Ditching, in the March number, we hoped to hear a voice from the “ditches,” but expected some of the advocates of the system to go into details as to its merits. We confess that we did not expect to be “pitched into” by “a voice,” which, to us, is about as incomprehensible as Deacon D—’s elucidation of an “unknown sound,” which he never satisfactorily explained to his congregation or himself. We are sorry that the owner of the “Voice” is in about as bad a predicament as was a waggish medical friend, whose mother carried him to a frolic when he was a baby, and he always...

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Landscape Gardening

Signed * [Adam Summer]

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pp. 170-172

America has been too busy in opening the forests during the two centuries which have been marked by her rapid progress, to pay much attention to beautifying the landscape, by the application of rules of art, or studies tending to improve natural advantages around the homesteads, even of the most wealthy of our citizens. God’s glorious garden of the New World, planted in strange and luxuriant trees, needed no palace or cultivated park—no fountain spouting its crystal waters from ornamental Tritons—no winding ways of smooth graveled roads— no exotic tree or flower, to make it the happy home of the cabin-dweller—the man of enterprise and nerve, who contended with the forest, its savage beasts,...

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New and Cheap Food for Bees

[William Summer]

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pp. 173-175

It is stated in the London Gardener’s Chronicle, that a correspondent of that paper has long been in the habit of supplying the London shops with fresh honey in the comb, all the year round. In the hardest Winter his supply was equal to the finest Summer. How he succeeded in this was a mystery. It finally came to light that he fed his bees, in the absence of flowers, on a solution of the oil cake, made from the seeds of the Bene Plant (Sesamum orientale.) Indeed, he would boast that he wanted no flowers for his bees.

The Sesamum orientale, or Bene, is cultivated in various parts of the world, but as food and for oil. The oil...

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The Profession of Agriculture

Signed * [Adam Summer]

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pp. 175-177

Yes, good reader, dignify our great pursuit by styling it “a profession.” Let it no longer linger in the minds of our youth as a pursuit secondary in point of importance, to the law, physic, or mercantile occupations. Remember, boys of the land, that the tiller of the soil, and the teacher of the mind, are the two greatest adjuncts of the Creator, in the great system of life. The one furnishes the pabulum of life, the other opens the great intellectual avenues which feed the soul, nerve the will, and gives reason that direction which enables thought to achieve the sublime mastery over matter. Three-fourths of the people of our nation are...

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“Bell Ringing”

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 177-178

And he [ Victor Bell] might have gone on to say, and create a new batch of offices of various capacities and varieties, to be filled by greedy loafers who are out of employment, but may be made very useful in getting in and out of this and that party, as the interests of parties require; and furthermore, of depleting the treasury and maintaining the necessity of high tariffs and party organizations, to build up the North at the expense of the South, &c.

We have very little faith in memorials—everybody knows how easy it is to get signers to any kind of paper not bankable. We could get any number of signers...

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“Spare the Birds”

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 178-180

The frequency with which this caution has appeared of late, as the caption of newspaper paragraphs, we would be glad to think an evidence of a reign of toleration, towards an interesting part of the animal creation, which are surely “more sinned against than sinning.” Every now and then an epidemic sweeps over the country, which is particularly infectious among village loafers, schoolboys, (i.e. if there are any boys now-a-days,) and country run-abouts—[with] a pointer dog and a double barreled gun. Every fellow, from the richest nabob’s son in the neighborhood down to him who is “good for nothing,” must have a...

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Essay on Reforesting the Country

William Summer

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pp. 180-187

The importance of wood, in its various uses for fuel and the mechanic arts, attracts the attention of all observers, and the preservation and improvement of the forests in their greatest degree, has been a subject which, at an early period, has received the countenance of some of the wisest governments of Europe. As early as three centuries since, Germany wisely set a good example, in the preservation of her forests, and established forest academies, in which all the branches of knowledge relating to them is taught. The principal branches in which instruction is given is forest botany, mineralogy, geology and chemistry, by which the...

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Spanish Chesnuts, Madeira Nuts, etc

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 187-188

We fruited the Spanish Maron Chesnut this season, and a tree not ten years old gave us a reasonable amount of fruit. It is a most symmetrical tree, and, for lawns, pleasure-grounds, avenues and road-sides, would, if cultivated, soon take the place of other ornamental shade-trees. The Madeira-nut (Juglans regia) is a native of Persia, (though frequently termed English Walnut,) and bears at an early age. An acre of this tree, in a dozen years, would produce a large revenue. It flourishes well in Florida, where its blooming would never be killed by frost. It is at home in South Carolina, and there are many large trees in Columbia, and other places...

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The Grape: Culture and Pruning

[William Summer]

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pp. 188-190

No fruit is so delicious, so agreeable to all tastes, and applicable to so many purposes. Its rapid growth, great fertility, abundant fruit, which, in a few years after planting, always produces, makes the cultivation of the vine a matter of great interest, and all should enjoy its blessings, when it can be obtained at so little expense and trouble, and with such a quick return. The many steep hill-sides and uplands, not well adapted to the culture of cotton or grain crops, and, at present, in a state of neglect, or in forest, may, with such a little labor, be made as productive as the richest cotton lands, if planted in vineyards. Plant along your...

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Advantages of Trees

[Adam Summer]

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p. 190

How beautiful, most beautiful of earth’s ornaments, are trees! Waving out on the hills, and down in the valleys, in wildwood or orchard, or singly by the wayside, God’s spirit and benison seem to us ever present in trees. For their shade and shelter to man and brute; for the music the winds make upon their leaves, and the birds in their branches; for the fruits and flowers they bear to delight the palate and the eye, and the fragrance that goes out and upward from them forever, we are worshipful of trees. “Under his own vine and fig tree”—what more expressive of rest, independence, and lordship in the earth! Well may the...

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“How to Get Up Hill”

Signed “Old Homespun” [Adam Summer]

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pp. 191-192

The “problem to be solved,” I take it Mr. Editor, is not how to cultivate a larger area, not to roll out more bags of cotton—for really we have neither the land nor the labor to do it—but it is, to make more upon the same area, with the same labor, and wear out less. That is the question, and how is it to be done? The man who buys Guano by the ton, and cultivates double the number of acres, by means of improved implements, is doing very little towards permanent improvement. He is only taking, to my notion, another method of “killing the golden goose to get the golden egg.” We must use the improved implements to cultivate...

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Barefooted Notes on Southern Agriculture. No VI

“By an Old Grumbler” [Adam Summer]

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pp. 192-195

The cotton planter will cry out: The grasses again! what does the “old grumbler” mean?—Yes, what does he mean by thus reiterating his twaddle about grass-growing and pasturing for stock in the Southern States, when cotton is ranging above 10 cents a pound at every cross-road store, and prime field hands bring from fifteen hundred to two thousand dollars a piece. Good dweller on the out-worn lands of the old States, we simply mean to aid you in bringing about a better system of agriculture, to enable you to keep your high priced negroes profitably at home—to feed them economically and without outlay of cash—to...

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Sheep Husbandry

Signed “An Overseer” [Adam Summer]

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pp. 195-197

It is now generally admitted that a great portion of the up-lands in this State, as well as many others, is decreased in fertility to the very lowest point of deterioration, which must naturally bring to the consideration of the occupier the questions of removing or improving. If the former should be his choice, he has nothing to do but set out for his new home, and more than probable, pursue his former course of devastation, by being as expeditious as possible in converting his new land to the same state of poverty as his late deserted home. But few I presume would take this course, if they could be convinced of the possibility...

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Dogs vs. Sheep

Signed “Nous Verrons” [Adam Summer]

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pp. 197-199

By the returns of the Assessors in Ohio to the State Auditor, in August 1859, we ascertain that the number of sheep killed and injured by the growler and barker family, amounts to something like 97,000 head, to the value of $147,000, in round numbers. Now this is paying pretty dearly for the luxury of keeping “Tray,” “Blanche,” and “Sweetheart.”

How many hungry people would these 97,000 sheep have fed bountifully? How many suffering bodies would their fleece comfortably clad?—How many springs of industry would have been set in motion, by converting their fleece into...

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Fences

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 199-201

Mr. Editor:—In traveling about over the country, I have become satisfied in my own mind, that there is no department of plantation economy in which the people are more deplorably deficient than fencing. There could not be found, I take it, any two juries in the State who could agree upon what is a lawful fence, as the law now stands. A fence, is a fence, is about as good a definition as you can get; but are not nearly all our fences offences against good economy, and breaches of the peace too often? Does anything about a man’s plantation give you a better idea of his system and his economy...

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Sweets for the People

[William Summer]

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pp. 201-203

All our readers will recollect what an excitement was created by the belief that in the Sorghum was found a plant that would enable the farmers of the North to supply their own families with all the syrup, and perhaps sugar, they would need. Others were elated that at the idea of becoming growers and manufacturers of syrup, and it was confidently prophesied that enough could cheaply be grown by Northern farmers to furnish the market. We will not undertake to say how far these hopes have been or may be realized, but we do say that almost every section of our country can supply itself with the most delicious sweet ever provided...

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Barefooted Notes on Southern Agriculture. No VIII

“By an Old Grumbler” [Adam Summer]

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pp. 203-205

The sedge family consists of Cyperus (galingale), Scirpus (bulrush) and Carex (sedge), rush-like or grass-like herbs, with fibrous roots, solid culms, and closed sheaths, embracing over fifty genera—all remarkable for their worthlessness, and for their prevalence on swampy, neglected and valueless lands. The herbage of this order, (Cyperaceæ,) unlike a larger number of the Gramineæ or true grasses, contains but little saccharine matter, and are of but little value, and less relished by stock. We will describe a few of each of the three genera above mentioned, selecting such as attract the notice of the...

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Peeps over the Fence [1]

“Snub” [Adam Summer]

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pp. 206-207

Mr. Editor:—Every man has his hobby, and you have seen enough of hobbyriding to have learned with what a gusto every one enjoys his own riding. Well, sir, I have a hobby of my own, which I fancy and enjoy exceedingly at times—it is overlooking my neighbors’ hobbies. I have many a hearty laugh to myself at the absurd follies I see my neighbors guilty of in hobby-riding.

There is Col. A., (all the neighbors I have are Colonels or Majors,) his especial hobby is gates; he is always building gates after some new fashion; some of these are hung up on a gallows as high as Haman’s; others are low enough for a yearling...

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Beneficial Effects of Flower Culture

[William Summer]

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pp. 207-209

The interest which flowers have excited in the breast of man, from the earliest ages to the present day, has never been confined to any particular class of society or quarter of the globe. Nature seems to have distributed them over the whole world, to serve as a medicine to the mind, to give cheerfulness to the earth, and to furnish agreeable sensations to its inhabitants.

The savage of the forest, in the joy of his heart, binds his brow with the native flowers of the woods; whilst a taste for their cultivation increases in every country, in proportion as the blessings of civilization extends. From the humblest...

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Peeps over the Fence [2]

“Snub” [Adam Summer]

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pp. 209-210

So it seems, Mr. Editor, that as far back as good old Ben Jonson’s time, people had a love for hobby-riding, and is it any wonder that this time-honored custom should still be indulged in—especially by gentlemen of elegant leisure? Now, there is my friend the Squire, who has rode all manner of fancy hobbies— fashionable hobbies, in the great world’s thoroughfares, and has become, at last, utterly disgusted, blasé, (as I heard a fashionable “dem me” compound of moustache and man-millinery call him,) that he has now resolved to turn his attention exclusively to horses and homespun, niggers and nubbins, hog and hominy, carts...

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Fortune’s Double Cape Jessamine: (Gardenia Fortunii)

Signed * Watula, Fla. [Adam Summer]

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p. 211

Those who have seen this new variety of the Gardenia, grown in hot-houses, can form no idea of its regal beauty and magnificence in the climate of Florida. Here it is a truly glorious flower—vieing with the Magnolia grandiflora, in the conspicuousness of its snow-white blooms—rich and luxuriant in growth, it is truly the souvenir of the Garden.—Its fragrance is exquisite—not so overpowering as the common Gardenia, and hence more agreeable to most persons.

The leaf of this fine variety is 6 inches long, by 2½ inches broad; the flower 3½ inches long, by 4½ inches broad, independent of the corolla; the petals are 1 ⅜ inches...

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Wood Economy

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 212-213

There certainly never was a people under the sun who could boast of a greater development of the organ of destructiveness than the Americans. We rather boast of it, as our peculiar mission, to fell the forests and wear out the soil. But we ought to begin to feel satisfied that we have carried the matter far enough, and now strive to amend our errors by practicing a sounder economy.

As to giving up the old worm fence, there is no hope of that, as long as there are ten trees to an acre; but certainly we can economize by having fewer divisions, fewer fences and straighter worms. But we can economize in other ways—we can...

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Peeps over the Fence [3]

“Snub” [Adam Summer]

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pp. 213-215

How many of us, Mr. Editor, sitting upon a slab bench in a country school house, by the dim light of a log cut-out window, have written over this copy a thousand times, with a very poor appreciation of its wisdom. There never was penned a more important lesson, morally or physically, mentally or agriculturally. Did you ever know a boy who intended to begin studying hard next Monday morning that made a good scholar? Did you ever know a good farmer who never had time to do anything, and was waiting for next week, when he intended to fix up? Now, there is my neighbor, Capt. Bustle; he is undoubtedly the busiest man I ever saw—never has time to do anything—always has a dozen irons in...

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Home as a “Summer Resort”

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 215-216

It has become so fashionable for those in easy circumstances to inquire, “Where shall we go for a summer vacation?” that it seems to be assumed that we must go abroad somewhere. Whence this migratory propensity? Are the birds of passage our proper exemplars? and must we be forever on the wing, in search of comfort and pleasure? Or, have we not endowments to enable us to obviate the inconveniences to which limited and helpless instinct is liable? Were we fledged like the birds, and incapable of changing our covering except by a long molting process; and could we not fashion our habitation and change our surroundings to suit the seasons, we might plead the example of the migratory fowl for our annual...

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Frankincense a Humbug and Cure for Saddle Galls

Adam Summer

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pp. 216-217

The gentleman who furnished you with the frankincense cure for chills and fever is singular in his success. He gave it to me. I purchased a few pounds of frankincense and several yards of new, black silk—had the bags made and suspended around the necks of mine Ethiopians—but it was no cure. It was all—

“Shake, shake, tremble so,
At our home in Florida.”

The negroes wore these medicine bags for six months, and at last gave up the charm in despair.—Good, effective tonics, taken internally, have proved the...

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Who Are Our Benefactors?

Signed “Mantio” [Adam Summer]

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pp. 217-218

“Do you know,” said a farmer neighbor to us the other day, “what makes the lice on cabbage?”

Some fly, we suppose, lays the egg, was our reply.

“Yes, and I can tell you the fly—it is the ‘Lady Bird.’ If you will examine your cabbage, you will find them on it.”

This honest fellow had slaughtered thousands of those little insects who were working faithfully to destroy the very insects he was complaining of.

There are several varieties of Lady Bird—bright red, and yellow with black spots on the wings.—They always...

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Peeps over the Fence [4]

“Snub” [Adam Summer]

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pp. 219-220

Mr. Editor:—You don’t know Maj. Fitzfoodle, may be? Well, you ought to. Fitz (as we call him for short,) is a capital fellow, and what’s more, he takes the papers, and what’s more, he lends them to his neighbors, and what’s more, he’s one of the best neighbors in the world—Fitz is. He’s one of the best in more ways than one—everybody gets the good out of him in some way or another. Fitz has been on the hunt after something new ever since I knew him, and although he has paid for being humbugged over and over again, he hugs to his bosom as fondly as ever the belief that he will yet enjoy the realization...

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Mrs. Rion’s Southern Florist

[William Summer]

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pp. 220-221

Here we have a work that should be in the hands of every lady of the South. It is plainly written, in such style as to be entirely comprehensible, and contains most valuable instructions, relative to the cultivation and preservation of the beautiful and charming occupants of our gardens and pleasure grounds. We had no manual for our latitude, no book which the Southern lady could refer to, and be certain the information was to be relied on. This neat little volume fills up the gap in our floral literature, and the want will be no longer felt. Ample direction for the preparation of the garden, garden hedges, transplanting, seed-sowing...

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Dew and Frost

[William Summer]

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pp. 221-222

All bodies are constantly radiating some heat, and if an equal amount is not returned by others, they grow colder, like the thermometer before the lump of ice. Hence the reason that on clear, frosty nights, objects at the surface of the earth become colder than the air that surrounds them. The heat is radiated into the clear space above without being returned; plants, stones, and the soil, thus become cooled down below freezing, and coming in contact with the moisture of the air, it condenses on them, and forms dew, or freezes into white frost. Clouds return or prevent the passage of the heat that is radiated, which is the reason...

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The Flower Garden [II]

[William Summer]

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pp. 222-226

With this month the flower garden assumes new interest. The Snow-Drops, Tulips, Hyacinths, Daffodils, Narcissus and Crocus, with their varied tints and early offerings, make gay the plots lately bare and desolate. Other bulbs follow, charming us with their regular return. The Violet, with a few warm days in winter, along the garden wall, open their cheering blue eyes to the sun, and by their fragrance, remind us that they are present; while here and there the Pansy peeps forth and opens its bright eye to the warm sunshine. The blooming time of all plants varies a little with the season, but less than is usually supposed and...

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Farmer Gripe and the Flowers

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 227-228

Farmer Gripe doesn’t like flowers, at least none but the blossoms in his orchards, the bloom on his cereals, and those of his cotton and tobacco.—These are not flowers in his estimation, for all flowers are trash, worth nothing, intolerable nuisances, hateful excrescences springing from the soil. Roses, violets, pinks, verbenas, geraniums, dahlias, lilacs, tulips, bachelor’s buttons, honeysuckles, jessamines, hyacinths, and the whole of Flora’s treasures, Gripe would exterminate if he could, and leave nothing on the face of the earth but grasses, grains, fruit trees and weeds, which would suit for grazing, or serve to enrich the land. It...

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Pea Vine Hay

Wm [William] Summer

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pp. 228-229

It is well, at all times, to make an abundant supply of provender; but especially at this time should every precaution be used to increase this supply. The Cow Pea is practically the clover of the South, and we esteem it the very best hay-plant known. For the purpose of making hay, the Pea may be sown broadcast, or in the drill. If sown in the drill, less seed will be required, and one plowing or working with the cultivator will make the crop. If a dressing of Gypsum (plaster), at the rate of one and a half bushels to the acre, be sown, it will increase the quantity greatly. The best time to cut the vines for making hay is, when the plants have...

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Our Resources

[Adam Summer]

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pp. 229-232

Stern necessity has ever been considered the mother of invention. No man knows what he can accomplish until necessity drives him to make the effort. It is with nations as with individuals. All the political economy of the schools—all the political harangues of demagogues—all the profound newspaper lucabrations, and all the tables of the statistician, may fail for years to make an impression, while one month of stern necessity will revolutionize a nation.

This monstrous and fratricidal war of the Republican party, short as has been its duration, has taught us many salutary lessons, and we doubt if it will long...

Works Cited and Consulted

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pp. 233-242

Index

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pp. 243-250

About the Editor

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p. 251