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to our own text, were goading on Washington, to insult the feelings of a subdued and prostrate enemy! And,
2d. That, after the surrender at York, the conduct of these same officers was such,-as secured, and no doubt deserved, the following glowing acknowledgment from the pen of Lord Cornwallis. “ The kindness and attentions that have been shown us,
by the French officers in particular—their delicate sensibility to is our situation—their generous and pressing offers of money both
public and private to any amount-have really gone beyond “what I can possibly describe, and will, I hope, make an impression
on the breast of every British officer, whenever the fortune of “ war shall put any of them into our power.”
Art. II. A Letter to the Farmers and Graziers of Great Britain ;
explaining the advantages of using Salt, in the various branches of Agriculture and in feeding all kinds of farm-stock. By SAMUEL PARKE, F. L. S. &c. &c. London. i818. In Asia, in Africa, and in Europe, (as in the south-western part of our own country) a are large tracts of land, completely saturated with salt; the exhalations of which-called forth by hot and dry weather-spread themselves over the otherwise naked surface, and give to it the appearance of our own fields, when covered with the hoar frosts of autumn and winter.
These soils are generally, if not altogether, unproductive of plants; a fact which in “olden times” led to the belief, that salt, in any quantity, or under any modification, was destructive of
vegetable life; and which-in the progress of the opinion—even induced the conquerors of the earth to adopt it as the symbol of destruction :for, when most indignant and determined to punish an enemy, they ordered his city, or territory, to be torn up by the plough and sown with salt. But how short-sighted is the vengeance of man! Instead of inflicting incurable barrenness, as was believed,- these human demons were but laying the foundations of eventual fertility and increased abundance. Such is the regular deduction from the work, whose title stands at the head of this article, and of which we shall now proceed to offer a brief account to our agricultural readers.
The objects of Mr. Parke's pamphlet are two; 1st. to show the farmers of Great Britain, that common salt is a powerful and cheap manure, whether applied to arable, or to grass land; and 2d, that it may also be very usefully employed, as a condiment, or seasoner of the food of catile, of every description.
(a) See Pike's journal,
On this last head, we will spare ourselves the trouble of much amplification; as however new the doctrine may be in England, it is here an old story, with which every man, woman and child is acquainted. Still, it may be worthy of notice that, so far as our particular knowledge extends, no series of experiments has yet been instituted among us, with a view to ascertain the quantity of this article, which may be profitably given to any, or to all the different species of farm-stock within a given time. In this respect, John Bull has goi the start of us; and it now appears, pretty satisfactorily, that though long in the habit of giving salt to horses, cows, sheep and hogs, yet that we have never given it, either so frequently, or so freely, as would have been proper. The following extracts will show what has been done in this way in England, and will indicate
- with some allowances for difference of climate-what ought to be done in the United States.
• William Glover, of the Schoose farm, in the parish of Workington, in the county of Cumberland, feeder and superintendent of • the cattle of John Christian Curwen, Esq. at the said farm, ma• keth oath and saith, that this deponent began to give salt to the
cattle under his care, the nineteenth day of November last past; and from that time till now, the said cattle have had salt as follows: forty milch cows and breeding heifers have had each four ounces per day; fourteen oxen for fat and sixteen oxen for work, each four ounces ; twenty-seven young cattle, (seven of them two ‘years old, the rest one year old) have each had two ounces per
day; twenty-six young calves, each one ounce; two bulls had ' also salt administered to them; and forty-eight horses, kept at the • farm, have bad each four ounces per day; four hundred and for
ty-four sheep, had four stone, or two ounces each per week, given at twice, and on slates. The advantage of salt for sheep appears * to this deponent to be great; as none of the stock have died in
the sickness, since they commenced giving salt, and they have • had none in the rot; in other years, they lost some of their ewes · and wethers in the sickness. The cattle, both old and young * stock, have their salt given in steamed chaff, twice a day, which 'makes them eat it up as well as other inferior food. The horses • have their salt amongst their steamed potatoes, twice a day, which makes them clean out their cribs, and is a benefit to their
health and condition ; the cattle have been in the highest health • ever since they commenced the use of salt. And this deponent * saith, that he has now kept the cattle at the Schoose farm for ten
years, and they never were so long without sickness; they were ' formerly subject to obstructions and inflammations; and that he • has not bad occasion to use any medicine since the twenty-vinth • of November last, except in one instance of a cow (now quite ' well ;) and he can show the whole of the said stock, (one hundred
• and twenty-five head of cattle) without the exception of any one • animal that is out of order. And he believes there is nothing that ' will promote the health of cattle and their good condition more * than salt, when rightly administered; and that medicine would, · in his opinion, be little required, if he had salt at command. And this deponent saith, that the fourteen oxen above mentioned for fat, were fed on straw, steamed chaff and turnips only; and eight of them were weighed on the thirteenth day of February last and • seventeenth day of this month of March, and the increased weight
of the eight, was thirteen stone, of fourteen pounds to the stone.' As follows, viz:
Gained per day from the 21st of
st. lb. oz.
do. 132 138 6 2 6 • Rose, do. do.
3 1 6 Brown, do. do.
111 115 4 1 6
144 5 2
4 1 10.'
Pages 62–3 and 70. With regard to the use of salt as a manure, the information derived from Mr. Parke, tho' perhaps not "containing the sum of all " the knowledge that Europeans are possessed of on the subject," is, we think, amply sufficient to justify the most extended experiments; but, that the reader may judge of this matter for himself, we hasten to lay before him some additional extracts.
• In some parts of Great Britain, particularly in the neighbour+ hood of salt works, the value of common salt as a manure is well known and acknowledged ; and it has lately been given in evidence before the select committee of the House of Commons, by ' a gentleman of the highest credit, that the farmers of Cornwall
are so convinced of the value of salt, as a manure, that whenever • the waste salt that has been employed in the curing of fish is on
sale, there is a violent contention, among the occupiers of land, • who shall have the largest share of it. The same gentleman informed the Committee that, where wheat or barley has followed turnips on land which had been salted, the ensuing crop has in"variably escaped the mildew; although that disease had infected
all the corn upon the lands immediately adjoining, on which salt • had not been used.'
• The efficacy of salt in destroying noxious weeds, grubs, worms, flies and insects is well known in many districts, and those who are incredulous, may very easily satisfy themselves by direct ex
* périment. For instance, if a few common earth worms are taken out of the ground and sprinkled with a little salt, they will be
seen to writhe about for a few minutes and then expire. Thus salt does as it were perform two operations at once; for, by de
stroying the worms and the weeds, while the land lies fallow, it prepares the ground most effectually for the reception of corn, or plants, before it can possibly take any effect upon the crop itself. And besides this peculiar advantage, the extreme luxuriance and verdure which common salt gives to grass lands, when properly applied, would be so satisfactory to such farmers as would make use of it, and so convincing to all the neighbouring agricultural
ists of every description, that if only one or two gentlemen, in each district, were to employ it, in a few instances, I am certain
this mode of top-dressing would very soon engage the attention of ' every person in the empire, who had even but a garden to manage and cultivate.
From the evidence which has already been collected upon this subject, it is obvious,—that a great portion of the land in this kingdom might, by the proper use of salt, be made to produce nearly double the amount of the present crops of grass, as well as corn. How greatly this would serve the manufacturing and in* deed all other interests of the country, I need not attempt to ex“plain. Moreover, by forcing the land with a sufficient portion of salt, our crops would be brought to maturity much sooner than they now are;-a matter of considerable importance in the northern parts of this island, where much of the corn is frequently spoiled by the autumnal rains, before it can be sufficiently dried 'by the sun and wind, to stack with safety. And in the hay har
vest, should the farmer be induced, from the uncertainty of the 'weather, to carry in his hay too soon, a small quantity of salt 'sprinkled upon each layer of the rick, will prevent the hay froin becoming mow-burned, as it is called; and when hay, which has been thus treated, is presented to horses and cattle, it will be preferred by them to that which has been put together in a more favourable season and not treated with salt.'
* The cleanliness of rock salt as a manure, is likewise another considerable advantage. In many cases this circumstance will be 'found to be very important; particularly in the grazing districts. It * has repeatedly been observed, that if land be manured with dung, after the hay has been carried off, the neat cattle will refuse to eat the eddish (rowan) which grows upon such land. On the con"trary, if a field be dressed with about two bushels of fine salt, instead of dung, soon after the hay is cut, this inconvenience and loss will be avoided and a large crop of after-grass will be obtained, possessing such peculiar sweetness, that all kinds of cattle as well as horses, will eat it with the utmost avidity.' Vol. II.
• The farmers in some districts, are accustomed to steep their corn in lime-water, and doubtless the practice is often useful; but I am decidedly of opinion that a strong brine, made by the solu. tion of rock salt in water, will be infinitely more efficacious. Crops of wheat are often reduced one half in value, by a disease to which this kind of grain is very liable, called the smut or rust ; but when the seed has been properly prepared with salt, this mis. fortune can never happen. It has also been proved by some pub• lic spirited individuals, who have made the necessary experiments, that the scab is never found upon potatoes, wbich have grown upon land that has had a proper dressing of common salt.'
Our review of Mr. Parke's work, and the extracts from it, close here—but we have thought, that, on a subject of so much interest, it may not be amiss to say a few words also concerning the doctrine and practice of other countries, in relation to salt as a ma
This use of salt has been long known in France-particularly in Brittany—and as far back as the year 1792, engaged the attention of the agricultural society there, who instituted two sets of experiments on the subject; the one, in the neighbourhood of Paris -the other, in that of Marseilles. The result of these, according to the report of Silvestre (which may be found in the 33d volume of the Annals of French Agriculture) was," that the produce of “ land manured with salt, was much greater than that to which “ stable dung alone (though in an extraordinary quantity) had “ been applied; the difference being 58 kilogrammes, 8 grammes, a " in favour of the salı."
Many experiments were also made by M. Feburier, but in these, the salt was combined with cow-dung. "This mixture,” he says, “ applied to marshy land, or to cold clay soils, was eminently use6 ful, but on chalk and sand, it did harm."
One of the greatest difficulties attending the subject, in the present state of our knowledge, is, to ascertain the exact dose, most useful to different kinds of land, and to the same kind of land, under different degrees and kinds of cultivation. On this head Silvestre, whom we have already mentioned, quotes with approbation the practice of M. Plucheit, “who thinks 300 lbs. the acre “ (about four bushels] the proper dose ; and that as more would
probably do harm,--less, would be wholly inefficient."
Few of our readers need be told, that salt is composed of what the chemists call muriatic acid and soda ;-but as it is obtained in states very different, and by processes, more or less perfect, its degrees of purity and powers of operation are necessarily wide of
a The Gramme is the unit of weight, and is equal to 15.45 grs. Troy. The Kilogramme is equal to 1000 grammes, that is 2 lbs. 3 oz, 5 drins. Avoird.