Josiah T Marshall.

The farmers and emigrants complete guide : or, A hand book, with copious hints, recipes, and tables designed for the farmer and emigrant online

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Online LibraryJosiah T MarshallThe farmers and emigrants complete guide : or, A hand book, with copious hints, recipes, and tables designed for the farmer and emigrant → online text (page 1 of 33)
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Accession No. 83566 Class No.







Author of the Emigrants True Guide.




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IN times past, the European emigrants, and even the
settlers from the Atlantic States who removed to the
West, were exposed to numberless trials and disadvan-
tages, chiefly arising from the dearth of essential informa-
tion concerning the various novel circumstances in which
the change of their abode and habits of life unavoidably
placed them. A luminous and ample Directory and
Guide, comprehensive and minute, the result of experi-
ence and observation, has long been desired by both of
the classes of persons referred to ; and also by those who
have been born and nurtured in the newly opened dis-

The Publishers are gratified that they are enabled
to satisfy the universal demand, by a volume which
comprises a mass of superior materials, partly derived
from the most authentic sources, and partly obtained by ex-
tensive and protracted research. Some of the most valua-
ble articles have been taken from the transactions of the
New York State Agricultural Society ; others have been
selected from the periodical miscellanies devoted to the
concerns of a farm and to the manner of life in the new
settlements. To a monthly work published at Chicago
entitled the " Prairie Farmer," the author has frequently
adverted, as a most useful and necessary instructor for
all those who would derive advantage from long-tried
skill and practical attention to the multiplied efforts of
those who have passed through all the gradations of a
settler's life ; from the primary chopping of trees and a

log-cabin, to the enjoyment of all the beauty and com-
forts of a luxuriant and fertile garden-spot, replete with
opulence and ornament.

The contents of the " Farmer's and Emigrant's Hand-
Book" can be accurately known and duly estimated, only
by a recurrence to the Index of subjects ; which occupies
twenty-four columns, comprising about fifteen hundred dif-
ferent points of information respecting the management
of a Farm, from the first purchase and clearing of the
land to all its extensive details and departments. The
necessary conveniences, the household economy, the care
of the animals, the preservation of domestic health ; the
cultivation of fruits, with the science and taste of the ar-
borist, and the production of the most advantageous arti-
cles for sale, are all displayed in a plain, instructive, and
most satisfactory manner ; adapted peculiarly to the classes
of citizens for whose use and benefit the work is specially
designed. Besides a general outline of the Constitution,
with the Naturalization and Pre-emption Laws of the Uni-
ted States, there is appended a Miscellany of 120 pages, in.
eluding a rich variety of advice, hints, and rules, the study
and knowledge of which will unspeakably promote both the
comfort and welfare of all who adopt and practise them.

The Publishers are assured that the commendations
which the " Farmer's and Emigrant's Hand-Book" has
received are fully merited ; and they respectfully submit
the work to Agriculturists, in the full conviction that the
Farmer or the Emigrant, in any part of the country, will
derive numberless blessings and improvements from his
acquaintance with Mr. Marshall's manual.



Purchasing and Clearing Timber Land, . gg . 13


Prairie Farming, ^ ^.. r ^


On the general management of a Farm, . ... 33

Farm Buildings, Fences, etc. . ' 57

The Dairy, 105


Household Department, comprising all kind of Cookery, etc. - 121

Diseases of Cattle, Sheep, Horses, Swine, etc., and the Remedies, 173


Medical Department : with hints for the preservation of Health j

and the treatment of Wounds, Bites, Accidents, etc. - 233


The Fruit Garden, and Forest and Fruit-trees, . . 285

Cultivation of Dyer's Madder, ...... 315


Curing Provisions for the English Market, etc. etc. 323

Lard Oils, etc. etc, 330

Hops, etc. etc. - - 335

Glance at the Constitution of the United States, etc. * . 341

Naturalization and Preemption Laws, .... 350


MISCELLANY : Containing a vast variety of Recipes, Hints, Ta-
bles, Facts, etc. etc., to aid the Emigrant, whether male
or female, in daily life, 359

ITOEX. .481





THOSE emigrants who decide upon purchasing wild
land, whether forest or prairie, should be exceedingly
cautious in every stage of the business. Everything
depends on making a good selection. We have known
persons to toil on for years, with little advantage to them-
selves, and then give back the land they had purchased
and partly paid for, simply because of having made a
bad choice at the outset. A mistake of the kind alluded
to, is a most serious one to the new settler. Besides the
waste of time and money it occasions, it tends to discourage
him, and seldom does he fully recover from the disaster.

The emigrant should not be in too great a hurry to get
settled. Although it is desirable that he get a home as
early as practicable, and begin his arduous labors, it is
poor policy to purchase without much consideration. It
is of the very highest importance that he SEE THE LAND
BEFORE PURCHASING IT. On this point we cannot be too


urgent. As a general rule, it is utterly unsafe to buy
land on the strength of a glowing advertisement, or the
representations of ordinary land-agents. There are most
honorable exceptions to this rule, of course, but they are
few. We repeat, buy no land until you have seen and
carefully examined it.

Before giving a few hints, which the purchaser will find
useful in deciding upon the quality of land, it may be
well to notice a few points which should claim his atten-
tion. In " The Emigrant's True Guide," we took occa-
sion to discuss this at some length ; but as that book may
not have fallen into the hands of the reader, we will again
briefly refer to it.

The very first inquiry should be concerning the health,
fulness of the proposed purchase. If it be in a notoriously
unhealthy region, utterly refuse to have anything to do
with it. Of what avail will be rich land, abundant har-
vests, numerous flocks and herds, if, with them all, there
is a constant liability to bilious and other diseases, which
prevail in certain localities ? A bare subsistence, with
ruddy health, is far preferable ; and this the emigrant
will learn by sad experience, if he sit himself down beside
some sluggish stream, or on some fever-breeding marsh.
See to it, that the general character of the country for
health is reasonably good, and that the streams in the
neighborhood are clear and lively. It cannot be expected
that the new and rich regions of the West will be as
healthful as the poorer and better settled ones of the East ;
but with tolerable caution, a pretty healthy location may
be made. At all events, there is a choice, and the settler
should he careful to make it.

It is also extremely desirable that the settler make his
location as near a good market as possible. There will
be less difficulty on this point than a stranger in the
country might suppose. The numerous rivers, lakes,


and canals which are to be found in the various places to
which the purchaser's attention will be likely to be di-
rected, render access to markets tolerably convenient.
In those portions of the country which furnish good sleigh-
ing (sledding, as it is called in England,) in the winter,
as in the most northern States and Canada, he will be
pretty sure of finding a tolerably convenient market,
wherever he may settle. The winter sleighing is a valu-
able accommodation, counterbalancing the inconvenience
of bad summer roads. During the three or four months
in which the snow lies on the ground, the settler is fur-
nished with a beautiful natural turnpike, better than any
macadamized road in the world ; and this occurs at a
season when he has abundant leisure to take his produce
to market, and to visit his friends at a distance. A merry
matter is this sleighing, to say nothing of its usefulness.
With the bracing cold of a settled winter, a clear blue
sky, and the face of the groun'd covered with a mantle of
the purest white, the settlers enjoy their heaven-made
turnpike with great zest. The cheerful bells resound
through forest and field, and the once dreaded winter is
rather desired than disliked. But to return from this

It is important, also, in making choice of a location, to
have an eye to the convenience of churches, schools,
medical men, a post-office, and the like. All these things
are very desirable, and to secure them it were better to
take up with a less quantity of land, or that of a poorer
quality. Let the settler make particular inquiries on
these points. It will not be difficult to find locations with
all these advantages ; but as land may be offered where
they do not exist, it is well that proper inquiries be made.
The reader should not take it for granted, that they are
to be found in every place to which his attention may be


The convenience of a grist-mitt should not be over-
looked. We have known of very great hardships endured
in some regions, from the want of means of getting bread-
stuffs properly ground. It will be well to make particular
inquiries on this point before purchasing.

In short, let the settler consider the various conveniences
which will render his life, and that of his children, com-
fortable ; and in the outset secure as many of them as he
can. It is far better to buy a small quantity of land with
good advantages, than a large quantity without them.
Your children will need instruction, and you should not
place yourself beyond the reach of schools, or the pros-
pect of schools at an early day ; the time of sickness will
come, and you will want medical attendance ; the hour
of mourning and serious reflection may arrive, and the
consolations of religion from the lips of the Christian min-
ister will be truly welcome. See, therefore, that there be
a reasonable prospect of having all these things at no
distant day in your new home. It is hard enough to bear
the burdens of the pioneer settler, even under the best of
circumstances. Be careful to get all the comforts you
can at first.

The quality of wild land may be judged of by the fol-
lowing general rules.

In the New-England States, in the State of New-York,
the principal part of Ohio and Michigan, in Canada, and
indeed throughout the northerly portions of America, land
which is timbered should have growing upon it tall and
strong hard timber, such as maple, elm, beach, bass-wood,
cherry, hickory, white-ash, butternut, and the like. If
the land on which any of these kinds of timber is found,
be dry, (as it usually is,) it is good. The trees should, as
a general rule, be tall, and branching only near the top.
A large hemlock occasionally among the timber, is no


bad sign. Land which bears the timber, we have now
named, or some kinds of it, is sure to be good.

If the trees be low in size, and scraggy, the soil is clayey
and cold, and inclined to be too wet for cultivation. The
trees which grow on wet and swampy lands are the oak,
pine, hemlock, tamarack, black-ash and cedar ; but the
pine and hemlock are often found on dry soil, and so is
the oak.

Some people judge by the surface of the land also. This
is not always a safe criterion. If the land appears un-
even, rising into little knolls or knobs, they reject it, think-
ing that the knolls are caused by rocks and large stones
beneath the surface. This is not right. In Canada and
various portions of the States, the old settlers do not reject
a piece of land because of its uneven surface. Quite the
contrary; for they know that the more uneven the land
appears with these small heights and hollows, the better
the soil probably is. We have known really sagacious
purchasers to take a small iron rod, a ramrod for instance,
into the woods with them, and run the rod into the knobs
and knolls, to ascertain what they were composed of.
This is a good plan. The end of the rod should be sharp-
ened. By this means you can tell whether the subsoil
be clayey or the reverse, which you could not otherwise so
readily determine, as the top of all soils is usually covered
with the black mould of decayed vegetable matter.

A lot of land should not be rejected, if a corner of it,
even fifteen acres, is covered with black-ash, pine, or
cedar. For fencing the cleared fields, black-ash and
cedar are invaluable. For boards and shingles, the pine
is of great value.

Tfte quality of prairie land is so easily known by the
eye, and is so universally good, that but few words need
be said on the subject. It should be dry, clear land, of a
deep rich soil, and as near as possible to timber-land ; say


from one to three miles distant, or nearer, if practicable.
It is of importance that you get within a reasonable dis-
tance of a supply of timber ; it is of much less import-
ance, however, than it was before the introduction of the
Pise mode of building houses and fences, an account of
which may be found in another chapter.

It is of great importance that the settler do not purchase
too much land ; especially if he take it on credit. On this
point we cannot be too urgent. Many is the man who
has been ruined by not being careful in this particular.
Land-holders and land-agents are too apt to induce the
purchaser to buy too freely ; especially if the latter make
a pretty good down-payment. An instance in point occurs
to the writer.

A man once came into the land-office of which the
writer then had charge, to " take up " a piece of land, as
it is called. He was considerably advanced in life,
say past fifty ; and bore marks of having done much hard
work, and of having passed through many trials. " I
have come, sir," said he, " to take up a piece of land.
Though I am almost an old man, I am going to begin life
again. I am poor, and have a large family, but we are
all willing to work."

" Happy, happy to see you," said the land agent, in
somewhat of a cheering, earnest way ; " you are just the
kind of settlers we want. Our land is good, and there's
plenty of it ; and the more children you have, the better
off you are. But why are you so poor ? You say you
are willing to work."

" Why, sir," he replied, " I have had a great deal of
sickness in my family, that is one reason ; but the prin-
cipal one is, that 1 took up too much land when I made a
beginning. The landholder, knowing I was a hearty man,
and that I had a little money to pay down, prevailed on
me to take up three hundred acres, when I should have


taken but sixty or seventy. The consequence was, that
after working hard upon it for a few years, clearing some
fifty or sixty acres, and making other improvements, I
found I could not support my family, keep down the inte-
rest of what was due, and make the regular payments on
the purchase. I was discouraged. The landholder might
take away all I had whenever he should choose ; indeed,
I was literally his bondman. I felt that I might be taken
sick or die at any time, and leave my family in distress.
I have, therefore, sold out my betterments, and am now
ready to begin again."

Here was a man, who had worked hard and eaten the
bread of carefulness, but whose ill success was occasioned
solely by having taken up too large a farm at the outset.

It is usually the custom, for private landholders to re-
quire one-fourth or one-fifth of the purchase money down,
and the balance in four or five equal annual payments ;
the interest on the amount due to be paid every year. In
the early history of a settler, it will not be easy to gel
ready money ; and it will make a very great difference
whether he has to pay the interest on three hundred acres,
or on seventy. Besides this, a small farm well cultivated
is better than a large one poorly tilled. A man can do
but about a given amount of work, and he had better be-
stow all he can on a moderate sized farm. We have had
the very best opportunities of understanding this subject,
and we earnestly advise the reader to be moderate in his
purchase of land. In all our experience, we have scarce-
ly ever found an individual who could manage to pay for
and clear over, a hundred acres ; the majority are not
safe in contracting for more, nor, indeed, for so much.

Some landholders are sufficiently mindful of the inter,
ests of their settlers, to reserve small pieces of land, thirty
to fifty acres perhaps, in the rear or by the side of the
first purchase ; and, after a little time, both parties can


see whether it is prudent to enlarge the farm. By this
means the settler is not encumbered with too much land,
nor disheartened by large interest-money. It is true,
that the landholder's interest account is not so large as it
otherwise might be ; but in the first stages of a settlement,
it is of far greater importance to hare the settlers succeed,
than it is to have the land-owner's interest account large.
The sooner the settlers get deeds of their land, the better
for all parties.

Having entered into contract for such a quantity of
land as you have reason to believe you can pay for, have
it surveyed. Do not omit this. You will thus avoid any
trouble that might otherwise occur.

If your land be timbered, in the State of New-York or
Pennsylvania, Maine, Ohio, some parts of Michigan, and
so forth, the following articles will be required to do jus-
tice to your clearing. The estimate is made for Jefferson
county, in the State of New- York, and will vary some-
what, though not very materially, in other places.


One span of horses, say $100 00

One yoke of oxen 50 00

One double wagon 50 00

One superior plough 10 00

One drag 5 00

One spade, shovel, and hoe 2 50

Two log chains 8 00

One cradle, scythe, and snath 7 00

One axe 2 00

Two augers half-inch and inch 1 00

One saw 1 00

Two chisels 75

Rake and pitchfork 1 00

One hammer and 10 Ibs. of nails 1 25

One cow ~15 00

$254 50


The average price of clearing land in the places named,
may be set down at about ten dollars the acre, including
the common Virginia fence, which is a very good fence
for a new country. Persons can always be found who
will contract at this price.

The next thing to be done, is to build some sort of a
dwelling. The log shanty is usually the first a settler
builds. It is an exceedingly comfortable dwelling, cool
in summer and warm in winter ; and if whitewashed
every year, and clambering vines made to run over it, it
is a very pretty one. It is speedily built, and if neces-
sary, the settler can build it all himself. In another por-
tion of this book, full instructions will be found, on the
manner of building shanties, log-houses, farm- cottages,
barns, fences, and the like. By turning to the table of
contents, the reader will find where to look for the in-

Having got up a shanty or a log-house, the next step
will be that of clearing. The emigrant will now be
disheartened, perhaps. It will seem a long and dreary
work to lay the giant forest low, and make of the wild
land, fruitful fields. But as he proceeds, he will find it
less difficult than he had supposed. After the lapse of
two or three years, order will begin to reign, and he will
be more than satisfied.

In CLEARING, the first thing is to lay out in as regular
a shape as possible, the land designed to be cleared the
first season. A portion of this, say one or two acres,
should now be underbrushed, that is, the small growth of
wood and bushes all cut up. If there are any old logs
or trees lying on the piece to be cleared, cut them up in-
to fifteen-feet lengths. Having thus made clean work of
the underwood, go to work, and cut down all the trees,
clean as you go, with the exception of the rail-timber
which may be growing on it, such as black and white.


ash, bass-wood, and such other woods as the country fur-
nishes for rails. All this should be saved, and cut down
last and taken care of.

In clearing, the trees are usually cut down at that dis-
tance from the ground which is most convenient for the
man who uses the axe say about breast-high.

Having felled the trees, the next step is to cut them
into logs, of a size convenient to be drawn into piles foi
burning. These logs should be about fifteen feet in
length say five paces. Go on with this till all the trees
you have cut down are chopped into logs.*

Now cast your eye around, and see where the heaviest
logs lie, and if these be in tolerably convenient spots,
make them the centres of different piles. Now, with
your oxen and log-chains, draw the logs to these piles.
This is called logging. Now pile up the brush into
heaps, ready for burning. The log-heaps may be made
small, if it be a dry time ; if not, they must be large.
No particular instructions can be given on this po'nt ; the
settler must be guided by his own judgment, and by the
example of others. The logs and brush thus piled, take
occasion of the first dry time to set fire to them. They
wilr soon consume, if the weather be at all favorable.
The appearance of a new country by night, when this is
going on, is exceedingly picturesque and beautiful. The
fires light up the surrounding forest with great brilliancy ;
and one fancies that he is walking amid the aisles of

* The above is the common way followed in chopping. There is another, and
that is in "windrows" which is, by chopping all the trees down, so at the topi nre
thrown together, in row or strip, the trees being so chopped down, ax to causa
the brush to lie together, in a row, which not being cut, (unless some high branch-
es, which lie not close) save* trouble in cutting the branches off and pi'ing them
This plan is not often followed, however. There is another way also, and that is
to make juir heaps, by throwing as many of the tops of the trees together as pos-
sible, making thus a large brush-heap. This is not a bad plan, if the season is a
dry one, u these heaps burn off many of the upper and thick branches or limbs of
the trees, which would otherwise need to be cut by the axe, and logged or hauled

some gorgeous, though unearthly temple. If upon the
forest leaves there be the drops of a passing shower, or
of the dew, they glitter in the brilliant light like living

And even by day these clearings have a picturesque
and interesting appearance. When the air is still, and
the blue column of smoke rises like a tall fairy shaft, up
to the heavens, contrasting with their deeper blue ; it
seems as if it were a monument of praise to the noble pio-
neers who are thus willing to bear the heat and burden
of the day. Though it be a digression from the practical
work we have in hand, and the critic may deem it an
offence against good taste, we must be allowed to say,
that in the rude forest life of which we treat, there is
much of real romance. Often have we enjoyed it, with
a joy not equalled by that experienced in other scenes.
Look at the forester, on the Sabbath, if you please. He
has well kept the command, " six days shah thou labor,"
and he rises to enjoy the day of rest, deeming it indeed a
blessing. The church-going bell is not heard within his
wild domain, nor organ, nor anthem, nor choir. But
there is music in the deep silence. He wanders a little
way from his dwelling, and sits him down beneath the
verdant canopy of leaves. Up above all, through the
fretted roof of branches, he sees the deep blue of the
heaven of worlds, emblem of the divine purity. He

Online LibraryJosiah T MarshallThe farmers and emigrants complete guide : or, A hand book, with copious hints, recipes, and tables designed for the farmer and emigrant → online text (page 1 of 33)