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Transactions of the agricultural societies of Massachusetts online

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try, and his sagacious foresight in pointing out the internal com-
munications which would best call those resources into full and
vigorous action. There is equal evidence, that his example,
as a farmer, was in keeping, in every way, with his course, in
all those high spheres of action, to which, for our best good, as
weU as for his own undying memory, it was the pleasure of
Providence to call him. The vigilance, the comprehensiveness
of plan, yet exactness of detail, the mixture of energy and cau-
tion, of reflection and activity, by which he was so singularly
marked in his public conduct, were as strikingly and constantly
displayed in his agricultural operations. Had he written at
large upon agriculture, there is no reason to doubt, that he would
have displayed the vigor of thought, and the simplicity, perspi-



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204 SELECTIONS FROM ADDRESSES.

cuity and neatness of language, which have given him, as a
mere writer, no mean rank in the literary world. But his gen-
eral observations on agriculture are few, not sufficient in amount
to entitle him to the name, in any usual sense of the words, of
an agricultural author.

The remarks of Jeffebson on agricultural subjects are, I need
not say, expressed with the clearness and elegance of every thing
which proceeded from his pen ; but they are scattered in differ-
ent parts of his correspondence, and incapable of being embodied
in any regular essay. There is evidence everywhere of a pre-
ference for the country and for rural life, which seems to have
been in no degree quenched by the large share he took in every
important branch of political and literary inquiry. Though he
can scarcely be called an agricultural writer, he is entitled to
high distinction, as a friend to agriculture, from the improve-
ments which he made in the construction of the plough. This
most important of all instruments has been used in the old world
for thousands of years, and yet there are good reasons for be-
lieving, that it has been more essentially improved, within the
last half century, than in all past time. Look at the plough
used by old Roger Sherman, side by side with the improved
ploughs which you are now driving, (and this some of us have
actually done, a very little time since,) and you might suppose
that scores of centuries had rolled away in the interval. Now
the person who first, at least in this country, gave to this sub-
ject its due share of attention, was Jefferson. More than fifty
years ago, he was intensely occupied in contriving a mould-
board of the least resistance, an object, of which the consequence
is self-evident to every farmer. I have the authority of a French
standard work of the highest reputation, for saying, that Jeffee-
soN was the first who ever gave any formula, by which the
proper curve could be given to this important part of the plough,
and thus established a fixed rule for what before was a matter
of mere imitation, I had almost said mere accident !

The two friends of agriculture, whom I shall now mention,
were highly honored citizens of our own State, men who wrote
much and well on agricultural subjects, and who manifested
their knowledge and their interest in them, by able and valua-
ble addresses, delivered within the limits of this county.



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JOHN C. GRAY'S ADDRESS. 205

The first of these was the late Colonel Pickerino. No writer
(MI these topics, in this or any country, has written with more
practical good sense, and philosophical power of generalization.
His address at Brighton, to which I have already alluded, is, in
fact, a most valuable treatise on the whole subject of Massachu-
setts agriculture, and comprises information on the most im-
portant topics, which no ordinary mind could have condensed
in the same compass. He also wrote largely in other essays, on
the much vexed question, on the importation of foreign animals,
and on forest trees, and contributed materially to the documents
of the Agricultural Society of Essex County, over which he pre-
sided for many years. Colonel PidkEamo was not an impas-
sioned, nor perhaps a highly elegant writer. But his style was
marked by^ great neatness and precision, concise almost to a
fault, but yet free from obscurity, plain and sometimes homely,
but always natural, grave, and suited to his subject. His mind
▼as uncommonly searching and logical, and he seldom took up
a topic without nearly exhausting it, and leaving little to be
said, at least on his own side of the question. His writings, if
collected, would form a most valuable body of agricultural in-
formation, and \ believe our enlightened farmers, generally,
would feel called upon to differ from very few of his conclusions.
His interest in agriculture, as well as his intellectual vigor, con-
tinued to the end of his long life, and the last time in which be
appeared in any way before the public, was in the delivery of
an agricultural address to the society of his native county,
about three months before his death.

There is no friend to Massachusetts agriculture, who will de-
ny that it has been deeply indebted to the writings and personal
influence of the late Mr. Lowell, of Roxbury. This gentleman
was long known and respected among us, and distinguished for
his warm and liberal feelings, his powerful and acute powers of
reasoning, and bis copious natural eloquence. He wrote much
in his early days, on questions on which the honest and intelli-
gent men of his time were greatly divided in opinion, and which
are now of little moment, except as mere matters of political his-
tory. But, for the last twenty years of his life, his pen was* de-
voted almost exclusively to agricultural subjects. On these



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206 SELECTIONS PROM ADDRESSES.

subjects he wrote mofe perhaps than any man of that day in the
Commonwealth, if we except the lamented Thomas G. Fessen-
den. Mr. Lowell was the chief support of the periodical work
then published by the Massachusetts society, (over which he
presided,) and more than once addressed that society at the pub-
lic shows in Brighton. He entered upon the discussion of ag-
ricultural questions with the same intelligence and frankness,
the same sincere, if not always successful, desire to arrive at a
correct result, which have marked his productions on other to-
pics. As a writer, he was unambitious, not to say careless, in re-
spect to mere finish and ornament, but he always wrote with the
greatest simplicity and earnestness, and there was such an evi-
dent knowledge and interest in his subject, such a copiousness
of illustration, and easy flow of language, so much of that which
reaches the heart, because it comes from the heart, that I know
of no agricultural author, better entitled to the character of an
impressive and interesting writer.

The great men, whom I have mentioned, were, as you know,
not distinguished as farmers merely. They were deeply en-
gaged in political questions, which were never more agitating
than in their day, and on many of these questions differed wide-
ly from each other. But their political friends and foes could
bear witness, that neither of them carried his party feelings into
his agricultural investigations. Here, to borrow a happy phrase
of Jefierson 6n another occasion, they were '' all Federalists, all
Republicans," all warmly interested in the subject, all governed
by feelings of patriotism and philanthropy, all anxious to im-
prove our agriculture, and promote the prosperity and well-
being of our great rural population. Men of their comprehen-
sive minds could not fail to appreciate this object. If the
greatest poet and brightest genius of ancient Rome, in a pane-
gyric on rural life, to which two thousand years have failed to
produce a parallel, could ascribe the unequalled greatness of his
country to the domestic virtues, which chister round the farm-
er's dwelling, with how much more reason must we look to that
spot for the security of our best interests, under the influence of
a purer faith, and of a general system of moral and intellectual
education, of which the ancient world scarcely dreamed !



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JOHN C. GRAY'S ADDRESS. 207

The greater part of our population must always be rural, and
to every enlightened lover of his country, the occupations and
happiness of the farmer must be matters of deep and abiding
interest. I have no time to speak of our political and social in-
stitutions, in a way becoming the subject. Nor is it at all ne-
cessary. Whatever we may think on other matters, I am per-
suaded that there is no diversity of opinion among us, as to the
great political and moral principles which lie at the foundation
of our existence as a people, and by the observance or neglect
of which we are to become the model or the by -word of the na-
tions. We may differ on many questions not unimportant, but
I am satisfied that the rent never descends to the foundation ; I
am sure that I speak the sentiments of all of you, in saying,
that the threefold cord, which is to bind us together as a free,
enlightened and happy community, must be that woven by the
combined influence of the School, the Crubch, and the FiassroB.
But to a complete and enlarged patriotism, I think it desirable,
if not essential, to possess a just appreciation of the material re-
sources and natural scenery of our native home, a deep-felt in-
terest in its very soil, a wish, if possible, to leave impressed upon
it some lasting token of our affectionate regard. Who can man-
ifest such an interest, more extensively or more permanently,
tfian the cultivator? Whoever rears a single fine flower in
front of his dwelling, gratifies hundreds of beholders by a spec-
tacle, far surpassing, in grace and loveliness, all the wonders of
the chisel or the pencil. Whoever plants a fruitful orchard, or
magnificent grove, erects a monument of his taste and benevo-
lence, which will call forth the grateful acknowledgments of
those who may follow him, at the distance of a century. To
what of our own handiwork, to what, that can fall from the lips
or the pen of any of us, can we promise a continuance half so
enduring? We cannot all of us be farmers, few indeed of us can
be able agricultural writers, but we can all do something, di-
rectly or indirectly, and let each do what he can to ornament
the fece of our country — Chreat parent of Fruits^ and we trust
not barren of men, whose bright skies and bracing atmosphere
have given health to our frames, vigor to our arms, and elasti-
city to our spirits; which has unfailingly supplied our wants



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208 SELECTIONS PROM ADDRESSES.

from her bountiful lap, and which, we trust, long after her
peaceful bosom shall have been opened to take us to our final
rest, will be the country of a free, a virtuous, and a happy peo-
ple, through countless generations.



The Pbooress of Industry, and the Harmony of Labor.

[Extract from an Address, by Hon. A. H. Bullock, at the last Fair of the Wer-
cester County Agricultural Society.]

This, then, is the grand moral lesson of the hour — the pro-
gress OF INDUSTRY, AND THE HARMONY OF LABOR. That FROaRBSS

is already proved and illustrated, when this society remembers,
on the one hand, what its fathers saw, and what they did, and
on the other, casts its eye on the exhibitions, and gathers up the
instructions, of this day. That harmony, in interest and growth,
in sentiment and purpose, is substantiated by this present re-
union of all the sons of labor at this annual civic triumph. These
exhibitions are teaching us that we are all producers and all
consumers. These holidays are proving to us that the circle of
all business and all pursuits, is a charmed circle, and that a sin-
gle jar any where spreads discord and disaster through the
whole. There is no such thing here as an isolated interest, nor
any such man as an isolated laborer. In the formation and
growth of communities, labor divides and subdivides itself— to
the end, not that this pursuit or that may become easier or more
honorable than the other, but that each and all maybe the more
profitable and the more productive. Would you say that the
divisions and subdivisions of human invention in the machinery
we have witnessed to day, with all their nice and varied im-
provements from year to year, involve any encroachment on the
rights of labor ? Neither with any more truth would you main-
tain, that any fired department of human pursuit, whether of
the hand or the head, in the field or the shop, in the counting-
room or the office, could be stricken out without imparting dis-
turbance to the whole. There is one harmonious idea running



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A. H. BULLOCK'S ADDRESS. 209

through the whole scheme and the whole fabric of society, the
whole theory and the whole practice of the world — and that is,
increased profit and increased production, — greater capacity for
producing, sustaining, educating, advancing the race. The
small and despised stream which flows through the heart of tfiis
city, is a wiser witness and a more liberal philosopher than we.
What growth, and upbuilding, and expansion of industry has it
not witnessed ! It rery early beckoned to its banks a scattered
bnmble, dependent colony of mechanics. It kept them up
through prosperous and adverse fortune, till now a score of
smoking shafts penetrate the sky, and from the reservoir on the
north to its southern outlet, its banks are vocal with the hammer
and the axe, the whirling wire and the building machine, the
fonning plough and the noisy plane, the fierce glow of the fur-
nace and the heavy working of iron, the whiz of the car-shop
and the crack of the pistol — while a host of children, whom no
man can number, look towards it in the morning and in the
eroiing, for their daily bread. If I were to call upon this pro-
doctive rivulet for its testimony, what think you, it would be?
Why, to be sure, that the wire-maker and the machine-builder
combined to supply the cotton and woolen mill — ^that the plough-
maker furnished his wares for the whole agricultural world —
that the iron man, with his five or six scores of hands, was at
work for every body — and so on to the end of the chapter, con-
cluding with this essential and impressive fact, that, as this com-
munity has increased from year to year, new churches and new
schools, a little more counsel and a little more medicine, yet
other stores for wholesale and retail, more boarding-houses, and
shoe-shops, and tailors and hatters, and grocers, and dress-
makers, were demanded and came in upon us, till the town has
become, what we behold it to-day — all helping one another, AifB
THE FAftHER FBBDiNo THE WHOLB. 1 hold him to be a suspicious
6iend, who would scatter the seeds of dissension where Provi-
dence and natural causes have established a coincidence of in-
terest; and against his testimony I place that ever-speaking and
benevolent stream, as it carries down to the waters of the Black-
stone, to be diffused over yet larger communities between this
27



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210 SELECTIONS FROM ADDRESSES.

and the bay of the Narragansetts, that large universal truth of
American life — the habmont of labor.

Cast your eye over this great county of fifty-seven townships,
itself larger than Delaware or Rhode Island, teeming with an
hundred and twenty thousand inhabitants. Thirty years ago,
when this society began, the hills and valleys of to-day reflected
back the smiles of the same great Benefactor. But, in all else,
how changed ! How would the statistics of that day, if we had
any, stand by the side of your industry and pr9duction? Par-
don me, for a moment, while I bring out, at a single glance, the
amazuig growth and development which speak like the notes of
a trumpet to Worcester County. They present a picture for pride
and hope to the farmer, exultation to the mechanic, and satis-
faction to every body.

Our county presents, this day, a valuation — of course far, far
below the real value — in neat cattle of almost a million and a
half of dollars, larger, considerably, than both of the counties
next highest on the list, the affluent Middlesex, and the verdant
Berkshire, and more than a quarter of the whole in the Com-
monwealth. I am reminded of a remark made to me by the
great farmer of Marshfield, a year since, in full view of the
waters of Plymouth, and while gazing upon his hundred head
of choice cattle, grazing upon his cultivated plains. ^^ Sir,"
said Mr. Webster, '^ I can show you fish from my seas, and very
excellent stock, but in the way of cattle, I have nothing to pro-
duce to a Worcester County man. In my opinion, your work-
ing oxen are not surpassed by any in the world, I saw none
better in England, than you have in Sutton and Charlton."
Our county gives us a valuation in horses — somewhat neglected,
I fear, by this patronizing society— of rising half a million, and
in swine, one hundred and forty thousand dollars ; of Indian
com, an annual production of almost $300,000, nearly one quar-
ter of the whole in the State ; of wheat almost $20,000, one
third of the whole. In rye, she is only equalled by alluvial
Hampden, while her production of barley is almost $50,000,
one half of all that is raised in the State ; of oats, one quarter of
the whole is hers, being the amount of $105,000, surpassed only
by Berkshire; of potatoes, ahnost one quarter of $1,000,000, be-



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A. H. BULLOCK'S ADDRESS. 211

ing only behind Middlesex; in other esculent vegetables, $40,000.
In bay, she stands far in advance of her sister counties, yielding
annually more than $1,100,000; in fruits, about $120,000, and,
in slaughtered beef, nearly $60,000. So that, when we have
set aside the stock, which is permanent, our county furnishes
an annual production of rising $2,600,000, from her hills and
▼alleys, and this is probably only an approximation to the re-
sult which more accurate returns would furnish.

What has produced, what has stimulated, this labor of men,
and these crops of the earth 1 The same official tables shall
instract us with the answer. In the county of Worcester, say
they, the annual production of the manufactured articles, spec-
ified in the returns, exceeds fifteen millions of dollars, and, as
nearly as I can reason upon the data furnished, they support
from forty to fifty thousand persons, having no direct connec-
tion with labor on the farm. Have you thought of it? The
county is up to about $2,600,000 in her cotton products, second
only to the county of Lowett. In woolens, she goes up nearly
to 14,000,000, about one half of all the products of the State ;
all these, of course, far below the reality, for our statistics are
incomplete, and seem likely ever to be so. Let me pass briefly
ever some other items in our tables. Machinery, about $600,-
000 ; cards, exceeding all the State beside ; cars and coaches,
nearly $350,000, one quarter of the whole ; chairs and cabinet
ware, $400,000, ahead of all ; boots and shoes, almost 3,000,000 ;
straws and palm leaf, about $360,000,-— 4000 females plying
their busy fingers, — but I forbear. The grand total I have
given, and it is a mountain of facts.

Is there no harmony here 1 The two great divisions have
gone onward together, each offering a market to the other, and
both—agriculture and manufactures— uniting to develop and re-
ward human labor. These are some of their harmonious re-
sults. They have started thousands in the great race of life,
organized families to methodize the enterprising impulses of the
heart of man, erected three church spires in every village,
founded a thousand schools, opened accessible marts for trade
and exchange, diffused graces, comforts, and charities at home,
And transmitted, to all parts of our Union, influences that shall



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212 SELECTIONS PROM ADDRESSES.

neither fade uor decay. Here, than, we find, in this chief in-
land county of New England, amid her ice and granite, manu-
factures and agriculture, living in equality, advancing in fra-
ternity. The one has developed, built up, enriched the other.
Thirty years ago, when your society was founded, an embargo
q»read a panic through the interior. Now, the same interior,
rich in her mechanic arts and manufactures, and strong in the
smitten rock of her agriculture, I was about to say, could defy
wars and embargoes, any thing but pestilence and famine. Not
quite that either. While we plough the earth, there are others
who, for us, must plough the ocean. We must, rather than go
hungry, trade a little with the North and the West. We must,
rather than dispense with luxuries that have become necessaries,
trade considerably across the waters. Hence, we are not more
closely bound up together, here at home, in the same purposes and
destiny of labor, than we are all dependent on the commerce of
the eastern cities. We send them our products, and they pay us
with those of their own making or procuring. The metropolis
of Massachusetts comes, therefore, within the sphere of this
day's consideration — Boston — in her growth and progress, her
pride and renown, her trade and commerce — ^we are her's, and
she is our's — sitting upon her peninsula and ours — with one
hand receiving the products of the inland and the West, and,
with the other, ''espousing the everlasting sea." I repeat it,
the great moral instruction of the hour, is the progress of in-
dustry and the harmony of labor. Worcester county has es-
tablished the truth. The world proves the doctrine. England
illustrates it on a stupendous scale. About as large as Illinois,
she is mistress of the globe. Her harbors are a forest of masts,
and her flag is on every ocean. She manufactures for the con-
tinent and the East, and has been called the workshop of the
world. And, yet, with all her commerce, and all her manufac-
tures, there is something more vital and valuable than they.
The corn crop of Great Britain is estimated higher than them
all. Commerce and manufactures have stimulated the soil and
the labor of the empire, and her heaths, and bogs, and fens, have
been converted into smiling fields for the hungry millions.
So shall it be recorded in Massachusetts— the England of



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A. H. BULLOCK'S ADDRES& 213

America. Her manufactures have only commenced. With
studious economy, and continual improvement, their progress is
upward and onward, for a growing market at home, in New
England, over the Western prairies, yet half peopled, and in the
South, of freemen and slaves. Agriculture shall catch the im-
pulse, and obey the necessity. We cannot enlarge our territory,
but extensive cultivation shall become intenswe cultivation, by
which an acre, a third of a century hence, shall yield what five
or ten acres produce now. And when the agricultural and me-
chanic societies shall meet, after the lapse of thirty years,
where we are now, they shall count an aggregate production
such as our times have not contemplated. They will then look
forward, as we do now, to a future before them, of inventions
and discoveries, yet to be apprehended, of more machinery and
more food, to be produced for a population ever increasing, and
ever making new demands for new and multiplied wants. And
over the whole field of their vision, to them, past and future,
they will recognize lines of harmony that bind all the sons of
labor together, in one common interest and destiny.

Our government was formed for the purpose of unfolding,
protecting, and expanding the interests of American labor, and
weaving them into one system as broad as the Union. If the
pursuits of men, however diversified, are, at the same time,
identical — if American society is but an aggregation of labor-
ers—then it ought to be the universally recognized duty of gov-
ernment to support and strengthen the right arm of its power.
I say not, here, how that object would best be obtained— whether
by legislation, or by withholding legislation, and leaving labor
to take care of itself — that is a discussion which does not belong
to the present occasion. But the principle — the doctrine, that
government, emanating from the people, should have, for its first
and highest aim, the promotion and preservation of the indus-
try of the people, that, I take it, it is proper at all times to main-
tarn in the midst of a community, linked together by a com-
mon and vital tie. And, accordingly, we find the record. Our
glorious Constitution was erected upon that basis. In Massa-



Online LibraryMassachusetts. Secretary of the CommonwealthTransactions of the agricultural societies of Massachusetts → online text (page 17 of 58)