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UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS
LIBRARY

SPECIAL
COLLECTIONS

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THE

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TRANSACTIONS



OF THE



Mmtrit^n ^arfrultnral M&f^oti^tion



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NEW YORK!

1846.



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OFFICERS FOR 1846.



PRESIDENT.

HON. LUTHER BRADISH.

VICE PRESIDENTS.

Hon. THEO. FRELINGHUYSEN, STEPHEN WHITNEY, Esq.,

JAMES LENOX, Esq., SHEPHERD KNAPP, Esq.,

JAMES BOORMAN, Esq., VICE CHANCELLOR McCOUN,

A. H. STEVENS, M. D., CYRUS MASON, D. D.,

THOMAS A. EMMET, Esq., W. A. SEELEY, Esq.,

HUGH MAXWELL, Esq., J. S. LIVINGSTON, Esq.,

HONORARY CONSULTING OFFICERS.

Major LE CONTE, U. S. A., F. L. S., . Entomology and Zoology. —

Professor RENWICK, LL. D., ... Mechanical Philosophy.

W. C. REDFIELD, Esq., Geology. —

Professor TORREY, M. D., Botany. -

Professor DRAPER, M. D., Physiology.

Professor LOOMIS, Meteorology.

D. P. GARDNER, M. D., Chemistry.

D. J. BROWN, Esq., Arboriculture.

JOHN JOHNSON, Esq., Rnral Architecture. —

C. C. GRICE, L. V. C Veterinary Surgery.

treasurer.
A. P. HALSEY, Esq., Bank of New York.

corresponding secretary.
ANDREW H. GREEN, Esq.

recording secretary.
R. OGDEN DOREMUS, Esq.

executive committee.
Hon. LUTHER BRADISH, . ARCHIBALD RUSSELL, Esq.,

Hon. THEO. FRELINGHUYSEN, ( ex officio. Col. EDWARD CLARK.
JAMES LENOX, Esq., S SHEPHERD KNAPP, Esq.

R. L. PELL, Esq. Chairman. R- K. DELAFIELD, Esq.

Prof. J. W. DRAPER, D. P. GARDNER, M. D., Secretary.

\



REPORT OF AN ADDRESS ON RAIN STORMS.



ERRATA, Etc.

P.»,. 91 line 24— For Arm.trfon? read Armsiron?.

" 24' " 1— For calcarious read calcareous.

.< .. ' in the taWe-For Lupms read 1-".P;"S^

„ .< place a -n.ma after t^p.ns or alovvmg,-. ^^^ ^^^^_^_,

:: fe: rer'-J"":..;-;:^^^^^ - -'-""^

:: ^^' ^I^:,:;:!rr;^::tf 'A^fiS^^-ona a., of page six,v. between ,he ,hird and fourth
lines from .he bottom ot page fi"";? -^'^- , ; ■„ .^.-h tnantter as to prevent the action

.. 59, the two last lines Bhoald read e ^j^^^^ J^'^^^^, „„, „k,^. „,ey fix ..r change the solu-
of the decomposmg agents ; but the acw m_^ fv
ble into permanently insoluble substances.



ocean. Un the afteniooH of the fourth, a most destructive tornado was experienced in the northern
part of Ohio, being almost exactly in the centre of the general storm. On the second and third of
February, the centre of the storm was nearly stationary. On the fourth and fifth it traveled North,
sixty-two degrees East, at the rate of sixty-two miles per hour. The storm of Febraary 16, traveled
in a direction North, fifty-three degrees East, at the rate of twenty-three miles per hour. In both of
those storms, the wind, after it became violent and there was a considerable fall of the barometer,
manifested a tendency to revolve about a centre, with a motion spirally inward.

Professor Loomis remarked upon the importance of numerous and well concerted observations
spread all over the United States ; and upon the imperfection of the observations made at the
Academies in the State of New- York. The Academies are not furnished with barometers, and the
observations of the wind are very loose and unsatisfactory. He showed the inadequacy of such
observations for the purpose of investigating the phenomena of storms, and hoped that the Associa-
tion would use its influence to induce the Board of Regents to re-organise the system upon a scale

more in accordance with the claims of science.

2



REPORT OF AN ADDRESS ON RAIN STORMS.

DELIVERED BEFORE THE ASSOCIATION, MAT, 1845, BT

ELIAS LOOMIS, A. M.

PROFESSOR OF MATHEMATICS AND PHYSICAL SCIENCE IN THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW-TOEE.
HONORARY CONSULTING METEOROLOGIST OF THE ASSOCIATION.

Professor Loom is called the attention of the Association to the recent progress of Meteor-
ology, and particularly to some remarkable phenomena of two storms which occurred in Februaiy,
1842. Both of these stonns were of great extent. The first, which occurred about the fourth of
the month, was remarkable for the amount of rain and an elevated temperature ; the other, which
occurred about the sixteenth, was remarkable for the strength of the wind and the fall of the
barometer. On the morning of Februaiy 3, rain was falling over an area extending uninterupt-
edly from the Gulf of Mexico, on the South, to a great distance beyond the St. Lawrence, on the
North ; and from beyond the Mississippi, on the West, to an unknown distance in the Atlantic
ocean. On the afternoon of the fourth, a most destructive tornado was experienced in the northern
part of Ohio, being almost exactly in the centre of the general storm. On the second and third of
February, the centre of the storm was nearly stationaiy. On the fourth and fifth it traveled North,
sixty-two degrees East, at the rate of sixty-two miles per hour. The storm of Febraary 16, traveled
in a direction North, fifty-three degrees East, at the rate of twenty-three miles per hour. In both of
those storms, the wind, after it became violent and there was a considerable fall of the barometer,
manifested a tendency to revolve about a centre, with a motion spirally inward.

Professor Loom is remarked upon the importance of numerous and well concerted observations
spread all over the United States ; and upon the imperfection of the observations made at the
Academies in the State of New- York. The Academies are not furnished with barometers, and the
observations of the wind are very loose and unsatisfactory. He showed the inadequacy of such
observations for the purpose of investigating the phenomena of storms, and hoped that the Associa-
tion would use its influence to induce the Board of Regents to re-organise the system upon a scale

more in accordance with the claims of science.

2



At the Meeting of the Association in June, 1845,

On motion of Mr. Green, a Committee was appointed to call the attention of the Regents of
the University of New- York to the plan proposed by Professor Loomis.

The Committee, consisting of Mr. Green, Professor Loomis and Mr. W. C. Redfield, subse-
quently presented the following Memorial for the consideration of the Board of Regents.



\



MEMORIAL

OF THE COMMITTEE ON METEOROLOGY,
TO THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW-YORK, FOR THE PUKPOSE OF SUGGESTING AN IMPROVEMENT IN THE

OBSERVATIONS MADE AT THE ACADEMIES OF THE STATE.

The undersigned have been appointed, by the American Agricuhural Association, a Committee
to call your attention to some improvements in the present system of Meteorological Observations at
the Academies of this State.

In order to exhibit this subject in its proper hght, it is necessary to present an historical sketch
of the progress of Meteorological Observations in the United States. Previous to the year 1819, no
systematic effort had been made in this country for the promotion of Meteorology. Registers had
been kept by various private individuals, but they were not numerous, nor was there any concerted
action. In 1819, under the direction of the then Secretary of War, John C. Calhoun, a system of
Meteorological Observations was commenced at the different Military Posts, Avhich has contmued to
the present time. This was a very important movement, and was prompted by a most liberal spirit.
It has fiunished us with an approximate knowledge of the mean temperature of a considerable
number of stations, many of them remote from the more populous parts of the United States. It
should, however, be remembered that the instruments provided never exceeded a thermometer and a
rain-guage.

In 1825, this system of observations was mtroduced into the State of New- York, almost without
modification. Each of the Academies incorporated by the Board of Regents was furnished with a
thermometer and a rain-guage ; and was required to keep a register after a prescribed form, in order
to be entitled to a dividend of the public fund. This system has now contiimed for twenty years,
and the number of Academies reporting has increased from ten to forty. The plan was highly
creditable to the public spirit and scientific taste of New- York. It was a movement in advance of
public sentiment in the other States, and the observations were, perhaps, as extensive as it was
expedient to undertake at that time. These obsei-vations have determined, with considerable



8

accuracy, the mean temperature of the State. The Annual Reports of the Regents contain a vast
amoimt of important Meteorological statistics, and they are often quoted with high commendation in
Europe. The Empire State has thus reared to herself a monument, to which all her citizens may
point with honest pride.

It is but recently that Meteorology has begun to claim the character of a science. The
observations which have been made in this country and in Em'ope, have been analysed, and have
led to important general conclusions. We can now distinctly see the foundations of a beautiful
science ; and it is one more intimately connected with the comfort and convenience of society at
large, than almost any other. The discoveries already made indicate to us the kind of observation
which is called for, to iusiure further progress. The system adopted at the Militaiy Posts, and at the
Academies of New- York is behind the present demands of science. Observations of the barometer
are equally important with those of the thermometer, and a greater degree of minuteness and
precision is called for in the observations generally.

More recently, the State of Pennsylvania has set a noble example to her sister States. In 1837,
the Legislature of that State appropriated fom- thousand dollars for the advancement of Meteorology ;
and out of this sum, which Avas placed at the disposal of a Joint Committee of the American
Philosophical Society and Franklin Institute, a barometer, two common thermometers, a self-
registering thermometer and a raiu-guage were purchased for each comity in the Slate, to be placed
in the hands of some skillful observer, who should volunteer to keep a journal of the weather,
according to a common form prescribed by the Committee. The obsei-vations were commenced with
little delay, and have been regularly continued. Here are made observations of the barometer and
thermometer three times a day ; of the self-registering thermometer, the winds estimated for sixteen
points of the compass ; depth of rain ; and at some stations, obsei"vations of the dew point.

Within tlie past two years the observations at the Military Posts have been re-organised upon a
system more in accordance with the claims of science. They now comprise observations of the
barometer, attached thermometer, external thermometer, and wet bulb thermometer ; direction and
force of the wind ; direction, velocity and amount of clouds, each at four hours of the day, viz —
sunrise, 9 a. m., 3 p. m. and 9 p. m. ; together with the amount of rain, and the times of its beginning
and ending.

A similar system in the State of New- York would give a fresh impulse to the science of
Meteorology. That branch of the science which is at present exciting the deepest interest, is the
subject of storms. We have learned enough of their phenomena to see clearly tlie proper path
to be pursued if we would discover their laws. Violent storms extend over a large area. Hence
we need a very extensive and concerted system of observation. It is to be hoped that the exam-



pies of New- York and Pennsylvania may be imitated by other States ; but even if they should
not, the labor expended here would not be lost. We have, first, the observations of the Gteneral
Government at about sixty posts, stretching along the entire Atlantic coast, the Gulf of Mexico,
the Indian Territory beyond the Mississippi, and the chain of the Northern Lakes. Next come
the observations of the large States, New- York and Pennsylvania ; and then we have amateur
observers, pretty numerous in New-England, scattered more sparingly over the South and West.
We wish to see the whole United States covered with observers at distances from each other not
exceeding fifty miles. Nor do we despair of such a result. The science is rapidly advancing, and
every new discovery adds fresh stimulus to old observers, and encourages others to enter the field.
If the Board of Regents would re-organize the system of obsei-vations in this State upon a scale
corresponding to the present demands of science, we believe they would be sustained by an enlight-
ened public sentiment. If the expense of the instruments should be deemed a serious objection,
we would suggest that complete observations at half the present stations would be far more valuable
than those we are now receiving. It is desirable that the stations be distributed over the State at
equal distances geographically, rather than with reference to population. If the Board of Regents
should think favorably of the object of this Memorial, we should be glad to make some fiu'ther
suggestions with regard to the details of the system.



A Second Memorial of the Committee on Meteorology.

The Board of Regents having invited a more detailed statement of the contemplated system
of observations, the following paper was subsequently presented to the Board.

If it shall be decided to revise the present system of Meteorological Obsei-vations in this State,
the following are some of the points which Avill call for consideration.

I. The number and position of the stations of observation.

II. The instruments employed.

III. The kind of observations.

IV. The hours of observations.

V. Specific instructions to observers.

/. The number and position of the Stations.

The first principle which it is desirable to carry out, as far as can be done consistently with
other considerations, is to locate the stations at equal distances from each other. Two registers from



10

the same place are not more valuable than one, if judiciously kept. Moreover, the importance of a
Meteorological post is scarcely at all enhanced by its proximity to a great centre of population ; yet
large towns may have the advantage of furnishing a greater number of competent observers. "What-
ever system is adopted, it ought to be arranged with a view to permanence. The value of
Meteorological observations is exceedingly impaired by frequent changes of instruments, of stations,
or horns of observation. It ought to be calculated that the system which is now introduced should
continue unchanged for at least twenty years. Hence it is important to select stations where no
interruption of the observations need be anticipated for want of a competent observer. A large
town, or a flourishing Uterary institution will furnish the best security against such a contingency ;
and Colleges can generally be depended upon more safely than Academies. We think it desirable
that the distance of the stations from each other should not exceed fifty miles ; and were we not
deterred by the consideration of expense, we might reconunend a less distance. The final selec-
tion of the stations will of course be influenced by many considerations iniknown to this com-
mittee. We would venture, however, to propose the following list as mdicating our opinion with
regard to the number of stations and their geographical position.




To complete the system, a few other stations are desirable where no Academies are located ;
for example, the middle of Long Island ; the southern part of Hamilton County ; the southern
part of St. Lawrence Comity ; and the western part of Tioga County. Perhaps at some of these
places volmiteer observers might be foimd, according to the system in Pennsylvania.



//. The Instruments to be employed.

1. A barometer at each station we consider indispensable to carry out the proposed system.

2. A standard thermometer.



11 •

3. A second thermometer to be used as a wet-bulb thermometer. A knowledge of the moist-
ure of the air is well nigh as important as a knowledge of its temperature or weight. Various
instnunents have been used for this purpose, but the wet-bulb thermometer is recommended by
considerations of economy and convenience.

4. A pair of self-registering thermometers.

It is very desirable to know the greatest heat and cold of every day, and we can never be
sure of attaming this object without self-registering instruments. Such instrmnents would there-
fore furnish most important observations, although the remaining observations woidd still be
valuable without them.

5. A Rain-gauge.

6. A Vane.

The vane is a most important Meteorological instrument ; but it is generally so badly made that
it may, perhaps, be best for the State to provide them all of uniform construction. The most useful
form of an instrument not self-registering is probably the following. Let the vane be firmly attached
to an upright revolving shaft, to whose lower extremity is seemed a graduated circle. A fixed index
will then point out exactly the direction of the wind at the time of observation. Such an instrument
might be provided at very moderate expense. But whatever form be adopted, the cardinal points of
the compass should be carefully determined by Astronomical observations ; or by the magnetic
needle, in which case allowance should be made for the variation.

The following is an estimate of the expense of a set of instriunents for a single station.

A standard barometer made by Newman, of London, costs $ 100. A cheap barometer may
be obtained for $ 10. A barometer which will furnish satisfactory results may be obtained for
about $20.

Two thermometers of a good construction wiU cost $2 25 each. A pair of self-registering
thermometers will cost $ 5 00. A rain-gauge, $ 2 50 ; makuig the price of one set of instru-
ments, #32 00.

At this rate, the instrmnents for twenty-one stations would cost $ 672 ; but if the instruments
now in use at the different Academies are considered sufficiently trustworthy, something might be
saved from this estimate. The construction of the instruments should be superintended throughout
by some competent gentleman of science, as without good instruments, the labor expended in
observing them will be well nigh lost.

/// The kind of Observations.
The observations will of course extend to all the instrmnents furnished ; besides which, certain



# 12

valuable observations may be made without instruments. Among these may be mentioned the
character of the clouds — the quarter from which they come — proportion of the entire heavens
covered — also the force of the wind, etc.

IV. Hours of Observation.

A great variety of objects are to be accomplished by Meteorological observations, all of which
can only be secured by observations made at every hour of the twenty-foiu. We should be glad to
see such a labor undertaken at some of the Academies in this State ; but of course could not think
of recommending it for general adoption. For most purposes, observations in the night are quite
as valuable as during the day ; and particularly in tracing the effects of a storm, it is important that
there should be no very long interval between two successive observations. For this reason, it is
desirable that one observation should be made as early in the morning and another as late in tlie
evening as is consistent with general convenience. Sunrise and 9 p. m. fulfill these conditions, and
are besides recommended by other considerations. 9 a. m. is an important hour, because it furnishes
very nearly the mean temperature of the day, and 3 p. m. is very near the hour of greatest heat. We
accordingly recommend four hours of observation, viz. sunrise, 9 a. m., 3 and 9 p. m.

It is desirable that special observations should be made whenever any extraordinary phenomena
occur. For example, if the barometer is unusually high or low, the time and amomit of the maxi-
mum or minimum should be entered mider " Remarks." So also in a great storm, the precise instant
of the wind's changing should be recorded, etc.

V. Instructions to be issued to Observers.

In case this system should be introduced, it will of course become necessary to issue specific
instructions with respect to the proper position of the instruments, and the mode of using them. We
will not enter upon this subject at present, but we will suggest that before the instruments are distri-
buted to the Academies, they should all be carefully compared with some acknowledged standard at
Albany or New- York, and a record of the comparison be preserved in an official form for subsequent
reference. Columbia College is in possession of one of Newman's Standards, and we are not aware
of any other in the State.

It will probably be best to have printed forms distributed to all the observers. We forward a
form as a sample, which, however, we do not recommend without some modification.
All which is respectfully submitted.

Signed, Andrew H. Green,

Elias Loomis, ). Committee.

W. C. Redfield,



THE CHEMICAL PRINCIPLES OF THE ROTATION OF CROPS.

PEONODWOED BEFORE THE AMERICAN AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATION, MARCH 4th, 1846, BY

D. P. GARDNER, M. D.,

HONORARY CONSTJLTING CHEMIST OP THE ASSOCIATION, iVTEMBER OF THE LYCEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, ETC.
FORMERLY PROF. OP CHEMISTRY AND NATURAL PHILOSOPHY IN HAMPDEN SIDNEY COLLEGE, VA.

Mr. President and Gentlemen :

It is necessary to premise this memoir by explaining that the Executive Committee had
expected a communication from another gentleman and did not until a late hour throw the burden
upon me, but my desire to gratify them has induced me to hazard the criticisms of the Association —
tempered, as I know they will be — by the circumstances of the case. I have selected the subject of
the rotation of crops partly because opportmiities have fallen in my way to witness some facts which
are commonly overlooked by writers on this topic, and because I regard it as a question of pure
chemistry. I propose to search after general principles only, for if these can be determined, particular
cases or the rotation suited to any district of country will be determined by a little consideration.
This is moreover the only way whereby the subject can be discussed so as to be of utility to the
whole country, the agriculture of which it is the object of your association to advance. A local
rotation is hampered with considerations of expediency, with the price of land and of labor, the
merchantable crops, the profit or loss of grazing, which oifer obstructions to reaching any generaliza-
tion ; but whereas every crop and agricultural process is profitable in some part of our widely
extended coimtry, it is proper that such considerations should be dismissed, and introduced only in
reaching particular cases. I know that in this day practical disquisitions are considered superior to
all others, but if we make no effort to group facts scattered abmrdantly aroimd us, the ait can never
advance. Your Association has the noble object in view of reaching principles in agriculture, and
therefore I have no hesitation in presenting a theoretical memoir, the design of which is to attempt
the deduction of the principles of rotation.

4



14



/. The Object and Necessity of Rotation.

That no doubt may arise of the object to be gained by systems of rotation I will advance a
definition which may guide us in the following discussion. The object of a rotation is the produc-
tion of the greatest profit in crops with the least exhaustion of the soil. The views entertained by
practical men on the subject are however by no means fixed ; in many parts of the country it is
imagined that the only condition of a rotation is that the same plant be not cultivated annually, and
that a succession of corn, wheat and oats is as much a system of rotation as any olher plan — it is
indeed a rotation, but not a system.

How far there is any practical necessity for rotations is also a point in much doubt. We are
often assured by good farmers that given crops as corn, wheat, hemp, have been grown in certain
districts from time immemorial. These are exceptions to a general rule and of no force whatever ;
they prove that there are spots on the earth's surface of extraordinary fertility, or, what is more
frequently the case, that in such districts there is some cause of reparation, by freshets, irrigation, or
the washings of adjacent hillsides. Wherever the fertility of new lands, which results from the
growth of forests or accumulation of uncut grasses for centuries, is exhausted and the soil reduced to
a state similar to the subsoil, it is necessary to adopt some means to increase its yield, either by
manures or a system of rotation. That this condition is ultimately reached in uplands will be readily
granted ; the only point worthy of further consideration is how far a rotation will economize manure


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