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(title page) Agricultural Resources of Georgia. Address Before the Cotton Planters Convention of Georgia at Macon, December 13, 1860
By Joseph Jones, M. D.
STEAM PRESS OF CHRONICLE & SENTINEL,
Call number 2918conf (Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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Mr. President, Officers and Members of the Cotton Planters' Convention of Georgia, Friends and Fellow-Citizens:
The learned Pliny in his great work upon Natural History, pleaded the cause of the Earth, even with Romans; and felt it to be his duty as well as his honor, to become the advocate of her upon whom alone of all parts of nature we have bestowed the name which implies maternal veneration, for she is the common parent of us all, receiving us at our birth, nourishing us when born, and ever afterward supporting us, and finally when we are rejected by the rest of nature she embraces us in her bosom, and covers us with especial tenderness.
If this great man who comprehended all the sciences and learning of his time, thought in not unnecessary to arouse the interest of Roman agriculturists, and to defend their noble calling by showing that the earliest surnames were derived from agriculture, and that the various ranks and distinctions of state had no other origin than the pursuit of agriculture, and by reminding them that in the earlier and more fertile and virtuous periods of Rome, the lands were tilled by the hands of generals, and the soil exulted beneath the plough-shear crowned with laurels, and guided by husbandmen graced with triumphs--if the Roman censor Cato, the violent opponent of luxury and dissipation, and the sternest of ancient moralists, thought it not beneath his dignity to defend the agricultural population as producing the bravest men, the most valiant soldiers, and a class of citizens the least given of all to evil designs: surely the present attempt to advocate the claims of the earth, and to incite and encourage and defend her cultivators, imperfect, feeble and humble though it be, will not seem unnecessary.
The citizens of Georgia need not the examples of the past, great and illustrious though they be, to incite them to the defence and cultivation of the noblest and most virtuous of all employments--they have but to look to the benevolent founders of the colony of Georgia, who may well challenge the respect of the world, in their noble and generous designs and efforts to found a colony of active and enlightened and virtuous agriculturists, who should not only reclaim the dense forests and swamps from nature, but should also reclaim the still darker and wilder savages.
The motto "Non sibi sed aliis," which graced the Colonial seal of Georgia, well expressed the disinterested and noble zeal of these noble men, who expended their time, labor, money and lives, for the good of others, reserving for themselves no other reward than that of approving consciences, and the gratification of virtuous actions.
And here we cannot refrain from quoting the testimony of an eye witness to the efforts of these founders of the Colony of Georgia, to establish an enlightened system of agriculture, for it will afford pleasant and profitable materials of reflection to Agriculturists of the present day.
Francis Moore, in the year 1735, two years after the first settlement of Georgia, and one hundred and twenty-five years ago, thus describes the garden established near Savannah by the Trustees, for the use of the first settlers of Georgia, and the development and encouragement of a scientific system of agriculture:
"There is near the town, (Savannah) to the east, a garden, belonging to the Trustees, consisting of ten acres; the situation is delightful--one-half of it is upon the top of a hill, the foot of which the river Savannah washes, and from it you see the woody islands in the sea. The remainder of the garden is the side, and some plain low ground at the foot of the hill, where several fine springs break out. In the garden is variety of soils; the top is sandy and dry, the sides of the hill are clay, and the bottom is a black rich garden mould, well watered. On the north part of the garden is left standing a grove of a part of the old wood, as it was before the arrival of the Colony there. The trees in the garden are mostly Bay, Sassafras, Evergreen Oak, Pellitory, Hickory, American Ash and Laurel Tulip.
"The garden is laid out with cross-walks planted with orange trees, but the last winter, a good deal of snow having fallen, had killed those upon the top of the hill, down to their roots, but they being cut down sprouted again, as I saw when I returned to Savannah.
"In the squares between the walks were vast quantities of Mulberry trees, this being a Nursery for all the Province, and every planter that desires it, has young trees given him gratis from the Nursery. These white Mulberry trees were planted in order to raise silk, for which purpose several Italians were brought, at the expense of the Trustees, from Piedmont, by Mr. Amatis; they have fed worms, and wound silk to as great perfection as any that ever came out of Italy. But the Italians falling out, one of them stole away the machines for winding, broke the coppers, and spoiled all the eggs, which he could not steal, and fled to South Carolina. The others who continued faithful, had saved but a few eggs when Mr. Oglethorpe arrived, therefore he forbade any silk should be wound, but that all the worms should be suffered to eat through their balls, in order to have more eggs against next year. The Italian women were obliged to take English girls apprentices, whom they teach to wind and feed; and the men have taught our English gardeners to tend the Mulberry trees, and our joyners have learned to make the machines for winding.
"Besides the Mulberry tree, there are in some quarters in the coldest part of the garden, all kinds of fruit trees usual in England, such as apples, pears, &c.
"In another quarter are olives, figs, vines,
pomegranites and such fruits as are natural to the warmest parts of Europe.
At the bottom of the hill, well sheltered from the north wind and in the warmest part of the garden, there was a collection of West Indian plants and trees, some coffee, some cocoa-nuts, cotton, Palma-christi, and several West Indian physical plants, some sent up by Mr. Eveleigh, a public spirited merchant at Charlestown, and some by Dr. Houston, from the Spanish West Indies, where he was sent at the expence of a collection raised by that curious Physician Sir Hans Sloan, for to collect and send them to Georgia, where the climate was capable of making a garden which might contain all kinds of plants; to which design his Grace the Duke of Richmond, the Earl of Derby, the Lord Peters, and the Apothecary's Company contributed very generously, as did Sir Hans himself.
"These quarrels amongst the Italians proved fatal to most of these plants, and they were laboring to repair that loss when I was there, Mr. Miller being employed in the room of Dr. Houston, who died in Jamaica. We heard he wrote an account of his having obtained the plant from whence the the Balsamum Capivi is drawn; and that he was in hopes of getting that from whence the Jesuits Bark is taken, he designing for that purpose to send to the Spanish West Indies.
"There is a plant of Bamboo Cane brought from the East Indies and sent over by Mr. Towers, which thrives well
"There were also some Tea-seeds, which came from the same place; but the latter, though great care was taken, did not grow."
A voyage to Georgia begun in the year 1835, &c., by Francis Moore--London 1744.
From these statements of Francis Moore, we see that the founders of the colony of Georgia were equal to, yea far ahead of the Agriculturists of the present day, in their enlightened efforts to introduce the most important products of all countries, and to establish an enlightened system of Agriculture in Georgia.
The founders of the colony of Georgia endeavored to introduce the cultivation of the great staple of the South fifty years before its successful cultivation; and within two years after the settlement of the colony, these enlightened Agriculturists had experimented with Tea and Coffee and the Vine, which are only just now receiving attention at the hands of Southern Agriculturists.
It has been announced as our duty as well as our privilege and honor, to consider upon the present occasion the Agricultural resources of Georgia.
In the brief space of time now at my command, I can no nothing more than present the most general views.
Georgia has been divided by the hand of nature into three zones, with very distinct geological, zoological, climatic, botanical and Agricultural features.
First, the lowest and what may be called the tropical zone, commencing in a chain of islands and rising by a very slow acclivity from the Atlantic Ocean to an elevation of from 10 to 30 feet, is bounded at the distance of 30 miles from the Atlantic Ocean by another more elevated plain, differing in the structure of its soil and in the character of its vegetation.
In the first low plain, which may well be termed the tropical zone, there are numerous swamps, clothed with a most luxuriant and imposing vegetation--the tall cypress, the splendid magnolia grandiflora, the majestic live oak with its mossy boughs, the luxuriant sweet gum and tupulo, and the impenetrable canebrakes, indicate not only the fertility of the soil, but the warmth and moisture of the climate.
These swamps discharge their waters into short, deep, sluggish streams, and increasing in breadth from their junction with the rivers and interlocking with each other form a chain across Georgia and Carolina to the Neuse in North Carolina, and southward again along the Atlantic border into Florida. The soil of the river bottoms and swamps and marshes, consists of a rich deposit of vegetable matter, mixed with varying proportions of sand and clay, sometimes alternately with beds of marl and sand: this clay deposit varies in depth from 5 to 50 feet, and contains buried deep beneath the surface supporting the present luxuriant growth, the stumps of pine, cedar, oak cypress, and other trees; and in some localities, as upon Skiddaway Island and Hyner's Bridge, near Savannah, and on the Brunswick Canal, between the Altamaha and Turtle Rivers, bones of the megatherium, a gigantic sloth, and of extinct varieties of the horse, and other extinct animals similar to those found in the Pampas of South America, an analogous formation along the borders of the Atlantic Ocean.
The existence of these remains of ancient forests, deeply buried beneath the present surface, together with the bones of these extinct animals, associated with sea shells identical with those now inhabiting the Atlantic Ocean, prove conclusively that this portion of Georgia has not only been but recently reclaimed from the sea, but has been subjected to successive elevations and depressions; and there are facts to show that the sea coast of Georgia and South Carolina is now slowly settling, and if this continues many rich and valuable plantations will, in the process of time, be covered by the waters of the Atlantic.
This rich soil, formed from the washings of Upper Georgia, brought down by numerous rivers and deposited in a shallow sea with a level bottom, is not only characterized by the tropical aspect of the palmetto, Spanish bayonet, tall feathery cypress, and glorious magnolia, but to the agriculturist it is specially characterized as the peculiar region for the successful cultivation of rice and long staple cotton. Notwithstanding the great and inexhaustible fertility of these inlands swamps, they are less cultivated now than formerly, and the population of this region has scarcely increased at all during the last sixty years. We may, in these swamps, see every-where the marks of former cultivation--old embankments covered with large trees, and the enclosed lands which were once clothed with golden rice, now support dense forests of cypress, tupulo and gum; and the once deep and broad canals, which were used by the ancients to drain these swamps, are now covered with trees and choked up with trunks and limbs of dead trees and accumulated sediment.
The sagacious American traveller, William Bartram, thus describes the appearance of St. John's Parish, now Liberty county, in the year 1773, two years before the Revolutionary war.
"Obedient to the admonitions of my attendant spirit curiosity, as well as to gratify the expectations of my worthy patron, I again set off on my Southern excursion, and left Sunbury in company with several of its polite inhabitants who were going to Medway meeting, a very large and well constructed place of worship in St. John's Parish, where I associated with them in religious exercise
and heard a very excellent sermon delivered by their pious and truly venerable pastor, the Rev. Osgood.
"This respectable congregation is independent, and consists chiefly of families and proselytes to a flock, which this pious man led, about forty years ago, from South Carolina, and settled in this fruitful district. It is about nine miles from Sunbury to Medway Meeting House, which stands on the high road, opposite the Sunbury road. As soon as the congregation broke up I resumed my journey, proceeding down the high road towards Fort Barrington on the Altamaha, passing through a level country, well watered by large streams, branches of Medway and Newport Rivers, coursing from extensive swamps and marshes, their sources; these swamps are daily clearing and improving into large, fruitful rice plantations, aggrandising the well inhabited and rich district of St. John's Parish.
"The road is strait and spacious and kept in excellent repair by the industrious inhabitants, and is generally bordered by tall and spreading trees as the magnolia, liquid amber, liriodendron, catalpa and live oak, and on the verges of the canals where the road was causewayed, stood the cyprus, lacianthus and magnolia, all planted by nature and left standing by the virtuous inhabitants, to shade the road and perfume the sultry air.
"The extensive plantations of corn now in early verdure, decorated here and there with groves of floriferous and fragrant trees and shrubs, under the cover and protection of pyramidal laurels and plumed palms, which now and then break through upon the sight from both sides of the way as we pass along; the eye at intervals stealing a view at the humble but neat and elegant habitation of the happy proprietor, amidst arbours and groves all day, and moonlight nights filled with the melody of the cheerful mock-bird, warbling nonpareil and plaintive turtle dove, altogether present a view of magnificence and joy inexpressibly charming and animating."
These statements of Bartram with reference to the extensive cultivation of rice in the early history of this section of Georgia are substantiated by facts which I have already alluded to and by the exports of Georgia at that period.
The great value of these rice lands, appears to have been most thorougly understood by Gov. James Wright, who, by the successful management and cultivation of the low lands and swamps of Georgia, not only acquired a large fortune, but also by his successful example promoted at once emulation and industry amongst the planters.
In 1763, the exports of Georgia consisted of 75,000 barrels of rice, 9,533 lbs., of indigo, 1,250 bushels of Indian corn, which together with deer and beaver skins, naval stores, provisions, timber &c., amounted to £27,021 sterling.
In 1772, the exports from Georgia in 217 vessels, amounted to £121,677 sterling, and consisted in large measure of rice.
The introduction of cotton produced not only a marked effect upon the cultivation of rice, but upon the Agriculture and political position and commercial relations of the State.
Previous to the year 1788, cotton was not cultivated in Georgia as an article of commerce; in this year, Richard Leake made an extensive and successful experiment with this new staple, and in 1789, John Milledge, Josiah Tatnall and a rice planter of Liberty county, Mr. Gignelliat made successful and extensive experiments with cotton. The cultivation of cotton increased greatly, in 1790, 20,000 pounds of ginned cotton were brought to the Savannah market, and in the year 1796, 1,700,000 pounds were produced. This increased culture of cotton, excited by its greater certainty and greater profit, led the rice planters to abandon to a great extent, the less certain and less profitable cultivation of the inland swamps.
The great difficulty in the cultivation of these inland swamps, is the uncertainty of the supplies of water--in dry weather, it is impossible to obtain a sufficient supply of water, and in wet weather, it is impossible to draw off the water from the rice fields, and upon many places as large a proportion as one crop in four, is lost by one or other of these causes.
From my own personal experience in planting one of these inland swamps, I am perswaded that the great measure to render them safe, is the construction of large canals, which will allow a free exit of the waters during freshets.
These canals cannot be dug wtthout increased labor, and as the laboring force in this section of the State will not be increased until the tide of emigration to other newer and more easily cultivated portions of the State is arrested, many years must elapse before these immense bodies of lands with their inexhuastible fertility will be brought under thorough cultivation.
Notwithstanding that the population of the low country of Georgia has remained stationary for half a century, and notwithstanding that there are thousands of acres of most valuable land lying idle; still, it is a pleasing thought to the Agriculturists of Georgia, that the increasing population of Georgia after all the new lands shall have been cleared up and settled, will, in this fertile region, with its tropical climate, so favorable to a dense vegetation find a wide field for action, and will moreover, find that this is the garden spot of Georgia.
The great enemy of the white man in these regions is the climate--no white man can ever work with impunity in this climate--no race but the African can ever stand the burning heat and fatal miasms of the Rice fields, and of the Cotton fields; and it is worthy of note that the first attempt to establish African slavery in Georgia, originated in this section of the State--and especially worthy of note that the reasons which led the citizens of Savannah and the surrounding country, to petition the Trustees of the colony of Georgia, to introduce negroes, still exists, in spite of the ravings of dishonest abolitionism.
The freeholders in the county of Savannah, finding that it required an immense expenditure of physical labor to clear the river swamp lands, covered with a dense forest--finding that the air of the swamps was loaded with poisonous qualities, which generated disease, which, if not fatal, ended in debility and entire destruction of the constitution--finding that the cultivation of the pine lands was not productive, and finding that after the severe labor, exposure, and ill health of several years, they were unable to provide even a coarse common subsistance for themselves and families, addressed an earnest appeal to the Trustees of the Colony of Georgia, in the year 1738.
That I have not misrepresented the freeholders of Savannah, will be evident from the following quotation from their petition:
"We have most of us settled in this colony, in pursuance of a description and representation of it by you in Britain, and from the experience of residing here several years, do find that it is impossible the measures hitherto laid down for making it a colony can succeed.
"None of all those who have planted their lands, have been able to raise sufficient produce to maintain their families in bread kind only, even though as much application and industry have been exerted to bring it about, as could be done by men engaged in an affair, in which they believe the welfare of themselves and posterity so much depend, and which they imagine must require more than ordinary pains to make it succeed; so that by the accumulated expenses every year of provisions, clothing, medicine, &c., for themselves, families, and servants, several of them have expended all their money, nay even run considerably in debt, and so have been obliged to leave off planting, and making further improvements; and those who continue are daily exhausting more and more their money, and some daily increasing their debts, without a possibility of being reimbursed, according to the present constitution.
"This being now the general state of the Colony, it must be obvious that people cannot subsist by their land according to the present establishment; and this being a truth resulting from trial, patience and experience, cannot be contradicted by any theoretical scheme of reasoning.
We do not in the least doubt but that in time silk and wine may be produced here, particularly the former; but since the cultivation of rice lands with white servants only, cannot raise provisions for our families, as before mentioned, therefore it is likewise impossible to carry on these manufactures according to the present constitution.
"Your honors, we imagine, are not insensible of the numbers that have left this Province, not being able to support themselves any longer, and those still remaining, who have money of their own and credit with their friends, have laid out most of the former in improvements, and lost the latter, by doing it on such precarious titles; and upon account of the present establishment; not above two or three persons, except those brought on charity, and servants sent by you, have come here for the space of two years past, either to settle land or encourage trade, neither do we hear of any such likely to come, until we are on better terms.
"We do, from a sincere regard to its welfare, and in duty to both you and ourselves, beg leave to solicit your immediate consideration to the following causes of our misfortunes and the deplorable state of the country; and which we are certain, if granted, would be an infallible remedy to both:
"The want and use of negroes, with proper limitations; which, if granted, would both induce great numbers of white people to come here, and also render us capable of subsisting ourselves by raising provisions upon our lands, until we could make some produce from it for exportation, and in some measure to balance our importation.
"We are very sensible of the inconveniences and mischiefs that have already and do daily arise from the unlimited use of negroes; but we are as sensible that these might be prevented by a proper limitation, such as so many to such a quantity of land, or in any other manner which your honors shall think most proper.
"By granting us, gentlemen, these particulars, and such other privileges as his Majesty's most dutiful subjects in America enjoy, you will not only prevent our impending ruin, but we are fully satisfied, also, will soon make this the most flourishing colony possessed by his Majesty in America, and your memories will be perpetuated to all future ages, our latest posterity sounding your praises as their first founders, patrons and guardians; but if, by denying us these privileges, we ourselves and families are not only ruined, but even our posterity likewise; you will always be mentioned as the cause and authors of their misfortunes and calamities, which we hope will never, never happen."
Notwithstanding that this petition of the free-holders of Savannah was refused by the trustees of the colony of Georgia, and notwithstanding that it was followed by counter petitions against the establishment of slavery in the colony from the Highlanders of Darien and the Saltzburghers of Ebenezer, slaves were continually introduced into the colony of Georgia, and agriculture advanced, and wealth and commerce increased, in exact proportion to the increase of slaves.
Without this race, which alone of all races is capable of bearing with impunity, and in fact thriving better in our hot and sickly climate than in the most healthy climates to the white race, the great staples of the South could not be cultivated; and not only would millions of now wealthy and happy inhabitants be brought to absolute poverty and starvation, but the African would have himself remained in the deepest degradation of ignorance, vice and superstition, defended from all intercourse and shrouded in the deepest darkness, by his own inhospitable climate.
It is worthy of record by the side of these facts, that this section which was first to introduce slavery, was also the first to preach the truths of the gospel to the slave; and there now lives in this region a devoted minister of the gospel, who has for one quarter of a century, devoted his time, talents and substance to the religious instruction of the negroes, with no other reward than that of an approving conscience, and who alone has accomplished more real good to the African race than all the abolitionists in the world.
The second zone of Georgia extends from the one just described, in a northerly direction up to the falls of the rivers, and is bounded upon the North by a line passing through the cities of Augusta, Macon and Columbus. The Southern portion of this zone is elevated 70 feet above the tropical zone, and after maintaining this elevation for thirty miles it rises again abruptly to a similar height, and then gradually rises to the commencement of the primitive region which constitutes the third zone.
The first plain is composed of sandy soil, and is covered chiefly by the long leaf pine and scrub oak. This portion of Georgia will never support a dense population, and will be valuable chiefly for its timber. The northern, western and south-western portions of this zone are more fertile, the soil contains more clay and in many places rests upon the joint clay which belongs to the Burr stone formation, which I have shown to be remarkably rich in Phosphate of Lime.
This joint clay, and in fact the whole country is underlaid by the Eocene lime formation, which may always be reached at a depth varying from 10 to 60 feet beneath the surface, and which in many places is exposed where the joint clay has been washed off by the denudations of former deluges.
This Eocene lime formation contains inexhaustible stores of lime and of Phosphate of lime and is capable of supplying the State with lime for Architecture and Carbonate and Phosphate of lime for agriculture in inexhaustilbe quantities for unnumbered ages.
The value of these marls and shell limestone has been developed in my recent report to your honorable body, and I will merely state that
in an ordinary application of these calcareous manures, we apply more phosphate of lime than is contained in a most liberal application of the very best phosphatic manures; and further, that, the value of lime in agriculture has been established by the best and most reliable Agriculturists from the days of the learned Pliny to the present time--in England the experience of Agriculturists has been that the majority of soils cannot be cultivated with advantage until they are dressed with lime, which forms the basis of all good husbandry; the predictions of Baron Liebig as to the value of the fossil lime formations of the chalk and ghault of England are now being verified; the celebrated Chemist of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, Prof. Way, is now conducting an elaborate series of experiments upon the action of lime upon English soils, which demonstrates conclusively its great and absolute value in agriculture; Prof. Philip Tyson, of Maryland, in his report of the last year, affirms that the farmers of many portions of Maryland, who had abandoned Marl for Commercial Phosphatic manures, are now returning to the Marl and abandoning Guanos; within the past week the distinguished Southern statesman and Agriculturist, Senator Hammond, of South Carolina, has rebuked an attempt to decry the value of marls and shell limestone of Georgia, and affirms his experience "that in a good crop year, marl judiciously applied, would increase the crop 100 per cent., in an ordinary year, 50 per cent.," and in the number of the Southern Cultivator just now being issued, its learned editor, C. W. Howard, has brought forward reliable tistimony to the great value of lime upon Georgia's soil--whoever, therefore, attempts to decry these inexhaustible sources of fertility, is an enemy to the planters of Georgia, and must be either grossly ignorant or else actuated by improper motives.
In addition to these inexhaustible deposits of shell limestone and marl in this section of the second zone, there are beds of the most superior of kaolin, capable of furnishing material of the finest quality for China ware; and in the future, when Georgia is independent of the North, and developes her manufactories as well as her agriculture and her commerce, her China wares will rival those of Europe and Asia.
Here, are also found inexhaustible quarries of the finest burr-stone, which has upon trial proved equal and in some respects superior to the French burr mill stones.
We turn now to the third zone, which includes all that portion of the State which lies north of the line which connects the cities of Augusta, Milledgeville, Macon and Columbus.
The justly celebrated argillaceous soils of this zone which have resulted from the decomposition of the granites and slates, are not only richly endowed with all the elements of fertility, and especially with that most valuable element, potash, which has such a controlling effect upon vegetation, and which, in these soils, has been derived from the decomposing feldspathic rocks; but under a proper system of culture, are capable of being maintained in their primitive state of fertility and of yielding abundant harvests which will correspond in luxuriance to the magnificent forests of Black Walnut, Chesnut, Hickory, Elm, Red Cedar, short leafed Pine, Black Oak, Red Oak and Spanish Oak, which adorned this soil in its virgin fertility.
With a rich and under a proper system of culture an inexhastible soil--with the purest water and the healthiest climate in the world--with an elevation of 350 feet upon the Southern border, and more than 2,000 feet in the Northern mountanious regions, affording inexhaustible supplies of water, with the requisite falls and water power for thousands of manufactories--with the cool bracing and delightful and fertile vallies of the Etowah and Chattahoochee rivers, so rich in minerals and so favorable to the culture of wheat and the grasses--with inexhaustible mines, of gold, iron, copper, manganese and many other minerals--with inexhaustible quarries of slate, granite, marble, limestone and sandstone for architectural purposes--with rich mines of coal the wealth of which has not yet even been conjectured--with extensive regions of country, yielding the diamond and other precious stones--with mineral springs of the greatest medicinal value--with scenery, which will compare either in its grandeur or its beauty, its softness or its sublimity, with any in the world, this zone is destined not merely to afford a rich field to a teeming and busy population, and to present a scene of the busiest and happiest and most successful industry; but it is destined under a new and independent form of government, of supplying the entire South, with the most delightful watering places, equalling in climate and surpassing in scenery the most fashionable and frequented watering places of the North, and we may add even of Europe, and of supplying the entire South with manufactured articles, with cotton and woolen goods, with Railroad iron, with arms and ammunition, and with a thousand other articles for which she is now dependent upon England and the North--it is destined nnder a new and improved form of government to support splendid seats of learning and science, which, in the course time, will rival those of Cambridge and Oxford--it is destined under a new add improved system of government to realize what should be the golden dream of every true hearted Georgian, the independence of his State, in all that constitutes the true wealth, power, dignity and happiness of a people, and the mutual depence and inalienable union and friendship of the different sections, by a mutual interchange of the products of labor.
In view of the inexhaustible resources of this, our noble State, which in its Southern extremity, has a climate suitable to the cultivation of long staple cotton, sugar cane, rice, indigo, the orange, olive, pomegranate, date, lemon, and palm; whilst in the northern mountaious regions, the climate is fully eight degrees colder and is favorable to the cultivation of wheat, apples, and the grape, and thus affords a field for the successful cultivation of every agricultural product cultivated upon the North American continent; we may well ask the question whether the agriculturists of Georgia have improved aright these great natural advantages? If we attempt to decide this question by an examination of the increase of her population, we will find:
1st. The rate of the decennial increase of the entire population of Georgia, has progressively diminished from 1790 to 1860.
2d. The population of the first settled counties in the Southeastern portion of the State, has remained stationary in most of the counties for the last fifteen years, in some there has been a slight increase, whilst in others there has been an actual decrease of population.
3d. The population of the earliest settled counties of middle Georgia, has in most cases progressively decreased for many years past.
4th. The population of the newly settled counties of middle and northern Georgia, notwithstanding
the rapid increase in the first years of the settlement of this section of the State, is now becoming stationary in some counties, and in a few counties has already commenced to decrease.
5th. The counties of the Northeastern portion of the State, the geological formations of which are more recent than middle Georgia, and older than those of the cretaceous and tertiary formations of Georgia, have been but recently settled, and in most cases are rapidly increasing, and it is, therefore, at the present time impossible to say what the limits of the population will be--especially as the soil contains more lime than any other portion of Georgia, and appears to be inexhaustible under culture.
6th. The counties of the South-western portion of the State, embracing the cretaceous and more recent Eocene lime formations, like the counties of North-western Georgia, have been but recently settled, and are rapidly increasing by emigration from the older counties of the State, and it is impossible to assign at the present time, the probable limits of the population with any degree of certainty. We may, however, from a careful review of the rapid increase of population, and from a consideration of the resources of the soil of North-western and South-western Georgia, affirm that under the same exhausting and reckless system of agriculture which has been pursued in the older counties, the population of these portions of the State will, in the course of fifty years, reach its culminating point, and the tide will then flow to the rich lands of newer States.
If we examine these facts collectively, and endeavor to determine their causes, we will find that the main cause, which is of far greater importance than emigration, changes of climate and seasons, the value of produce and many other causes is that system of agriculture which takes for granted that soils are inexhaustible, and which has regarded alone the interests of the acting generation.
The lands of Middle Georgia, which at the time of their original settlement were clothed with dense and magnificent forests, and covered with the accumulated mould of thousands of years, and which yielded most luxuriant and profitable crops of cotton and corn to the early cultivators, who imagined that the oils would last forever without either rest or manure, and without any attention to hill-side ditching and plowing, now present the monotonous and dreary spectacle of barren red clay hills, barely supporting stunted crops of cotton, struggling to lift its fruit a few inches above the hot and barren ground and avoid the pelting of the sand, hardly saving the reputation of the planter from the charge of sanded cotton.
These bald red clay hills, marred by deep furrows and yawning red gullies, and by deserted dilapidated houses, with their diseased, half-dead fruit trees, will long remain monuments of that system of agriculture, which has disregarded the value of the vegetable deposits of ages, and which has had for its great object the enrichment of the living generation, regardless of the interests of future generations.
The same result has followed the same system of culture in the Southern portion of Georgia, the effects, however, are not so patent to the eye, because the country is level, and because the rivers afford in- exhaustible supplies of organic and mineral matters to the rice plantations.
It remains to be demonstrated, whether not the fruitful plains of Southwestern Georgia, and the fertile vallies of Northwestern Ga. will share the same fate. The great questions to be solved by the agriculturists of Georgia, are: How can the new lands of Northwestern and Southwestern Georgia be preserved in their original fertility? Are the native resources of the State adequate to the regeneration of her exhausted lands and the permanent preservation of the fertility of her new lands?
Upon the determination of these questions will depend the future agricultural, commercial and political progress and importance of Georgia.
If they are ignored by the agriculturist, certain it is that the lands will steadily be exhausted; their value will steadily diminish; the population will as steadily emigrate to more fertile regions, and our State will not attain to that high political and commercial position assigned her in Providence, by her soil, her climate and her productions. If, on the other hand, the resources of Georgia be carefully developed and employed, and the reckless exhaustion of the soil be checked, and an enlightened system of agriculture be inaugurated, Georgia will be capable of containing as many inhabitants, black and white, as are now found in the territory of the fifteen Southern States, and will, with this teeming population, be not more thickly settled than Great Britain is at the present day. If we wish to conviuce ourselves of the mighty results which may be achieved by an improved system of agriculture, we have only to compare the present conditions of France and England.
In this comparison we shall use the testimony of a French writer of the highest authority, as quoted and endorsed by the leading Agricultural journal of England, and shall use both his measures and his calculations, that the greatest accuracy may be maintained.
No stronger testimony than this of M. Leonce de Lavergne could be adduced, not merely to prove the relative conditions of England and France, but more especially to demonstrate that the commercial, political and intellectual condition of a State depends upon the condition of the Agriculture, for aside from the very high qualifications of this distinguished Agriculturist to draw such comparisons, he is a Frenchman--a native of that conntry, which in the natural gifts of soil and climate, is far superior to England.
And first as to the system of Agriculture pursued in France and England.
France has devoted herself too exclusively to the production of corn crops, which are the immediate food of man, without sufficiently considering the means necessary to uphold the fertility of the soil under this exhausting process.
England, on the contrary, has been led, partly by the nature of the climate, partly by design, to take a sort of by path, which reaches corn crops through the intervention of green crops; finding, in the rearing of cattle and the supply of manure the restorative process which is necessary.
The experiment has entirely succeeded, and is extending itself day by day; and the remarkable fact is, that in proportion as the head of cattle increases the quantity of corn increases also; the gain in intensity exceeds the loss in extent.--Thus, on a surface of 31,000,000 of hectares, reduced to 20,000,000 by the waste lands, the British Isles produce more food for animals than the entire surface of France, of double the extent. Hence the supply of manure is in proportion three or four times greater.
The average produce per hectare in France is 6 hectolitres of wheat, about 5 of rye, and 1 of maize, or buckwheat; collectively about 11 hectolitres. In England, 25 hectolitres of wheat (3½
quarters per acre,) more than double in quantity, and three times more in saleable value. Scotland and Ireland are included in this estimate. If the comparisons are made with England alone, the results are far more striking. This little country, not larger than one-fourth of France, produces 38,000,000 of hectolitres of wheat, 16,000,000 of barley, 34,000,000 of oats. If France produced as much in proportion, she would produce, deducting seed, 150,000,000 hectolitres of wheat, 200,000,000 of oats and other grains; that is at least double her actual production. Taking all products into account, animal and vegetable, it appears that the produce of England, per hectare, nearly doubles that of France.
The great lesson which these figures teach beyond the disproportion of the result, is the relation of vegetable to animal products.
In France the vegetable products form four-sixths of the whole, and the animal products two-sixths only; showing at first sight an exhausting cultivation, and one at least stationary. In the United Kingdom the animal products are equal to the vegetable. Thus the animal products alone of an English farm, are equal to the entire products, animal and vegetable, of a French farm of the same extent.
The most remarkable feature of British farming, in comparison with that of France, is the number and quantity of sheep. According to the statistical returns and estimates, the number of sheep in France and in England, is about equal--about 35,000,000 of sheep in France and 35,000,000 in England. But this apparent equality conceals an inequality the most marked. 35,000,000 sheep in the United Kingdom live on 31,000,000 hectares of land; 35,000,000 of sheep in France live on 53,000,000 hectares. France, in order to have as many sheep in proportion as the United Kingdoms, ought to have 60,000,000.
If the comparison is made with England alone, the difference is far greater. England feeds 351,000,000 sheep on 15,000,000 hectares of land; that is proportionally three times as many as France.
But the great difference is in the quality of the sheep, upon the breeding and improving of which, with a view to early maturity, so much care and attention has been bestowed. The weight of an English sheep is twice that of a French sheep; so that an English farm on an equal surface gives six timesas much mutton as a French farm.
In the case of cattle, the same care in breeding from selected animals in the United Kingdom, and continually improving the races, in studying meat-producing qualities and early maturity, has effected results similar to the results produced in sheep. France possesses 10,000,000 head of cattle, the United Kingdom 8,000,000. In France three products are demanded from cattle--labor, milk, meat; in England only two--milk and meat. The yield of these two valuable productions is materially interfered with, by requiring work also from cattle. It might appear at first sight, that the work of cattle could not in an important degree, influence the supply of meat, and it is not difficult for people to persuade themselves that labor in utilizing the life of an ox enables meat to be sold at a lower price. But experimeent has proved, that if this is sometimes a truth in detail, it is an error in the gross. The habit of labor forms hardy, rigorous races, which like men devoted to hard work, eat much, fatten slowly, develop their bony structures, make little flesh, and make slowly. The habit of inaction on the contrary, forms, races, gentle, tranquil, which fatten early, assume round fleshy forms, and give with equal food, a far larger yield to the butcher. If we look to labor, the ox is killed when he has finished his task. If we look to meat, the ox is killed at the moment when he yields the largest amount. Cattle in France are killed too young or too old; among the 4,000,000 head killed, figure 2,000,000 calves, giving each only 30 kilogrammes of meat. Those which survive are killed at an age when the growth has long ceased, i. e., when the animal has long been consuming nourishment which has not added to its weight. In England on the contrary, animals are killed neither so young, because in their youth they make the most meat, nor so old, because then they make none. The moment is seized when the animal has reached his maximem of increase. In France the number of animals killed annually, is about 4,000,000 head, producing 400,000,000 kilogrammes of meat, averaging therefore 100 kilogrammes per head. In the United Kingdom, the number killed is 2,000,000 producing 500,000,000 kilogrammes of meat, averaging 250 kilogrammes per head. Thus with 8,000,000 head of cattle and 30,000,000 hectares of land, british agriculture produces 500,000,000 kilogrammes of meat; while France with 10,000,000 head of cattle and 53,000,000 hectares of land, produces only 400,000,000 kilogrammes.
(Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, vol. 17, 1856, p. 35.)
Such wonderful results as these achieved by an enlightened system of agriculture, should encourage the members of this Cotton Planters' Association to persevere in their attempts to inaugurate in Georgia a more perfect system of agriculture, by employing the experience of the past in this State, and in every other State and nation in the world, by inaugurating an enlightened system of practical experiment, and by developing all the native resources of the State, which have been so bountifully bestowed by a benificent Providence--feeling assured that their labors are all in the right direction--feeling assured that their labors in the breadth of the field which they occupy, in the purity of the motives by which they are prompted, and in the value of the results which they seek to accomplish, are destined to obtain the highest of all rewards, the increased wealth, and happiness, and power of that class upon which depends the commercial, social, and political advancoment of our noble State.
If the ancient Romans, so justly celebrated for learning and courage, regarded the planting of colonies amongst their noblest works, more glorious than wars and victories; surely such an Association as this, which labors to increase the prosperity of Georgia, and of the entire South, by improving imperfect systems of agriculture, reclaiming exhausted lands, preserving virgin lands in a state of primitive fertility, by developing native resources, by advocating and sustaining home manufacturies, and thus setting in motion that circulation of wealth and prosperity which will continue forever upon our own soil, and for our own citizens; and by the establishment of direct trade with all parts of the world, and thus promoting such an interchange of ideas with all nations, as will excite intelligent and profitable action--surely such an Association is entitled to the respect and confidence of virtuous minds.
The Planters of Georgia, and of the entire South, have at this time the highest incentives to deep thought and decided action--the planters of Georgia and of the entire South, have at this time the most stirring calls to vigorous and intelligent action.
A sectional party has triumphed which has
sworn to subvert our institutions, and excite our slaves to rebellion and murder; and which would not merely make us dream of fire, poison, and murder in our sleep, but would surround us with a wall of fire, and apply the torch of the incendiary to our cities, our farm-houses and our dwellings.
Notwithstanding that the South pays more than fifty millioms of the seventy millions raised annually by our government--notwithstanding that the South, in the distribution of these seventy millions of dollars looses each year, more than thirty millions of dollars of the money raised upon her own soil--notwithstanding that the South has generously submitted to those arrangements by which the North commands the carrying trade, and in fact, the entire commerce of the United States--notwithstanding that the South employs the North to carry one hundred and forty-three million dollars of the one hundred and eighty-eight million dollars of Southern exports, and twenty-seven million dollars of the thirty-three million dollars of the direct imports of the South--notwithstanding that the South purchases more than sixty million dollars worth of goods from New England alone--notwithstanding that the South expends millions upon millions of dollars upon Northern hotels, Northern watering places, Northern Railroads and Northern literary and scientific institution--notwithstanding that the South during her entire connection with the Government of the United States, has never asked protection for a single branch of her industrial, Agricultural or Commercial pursuits--notwithstanding that the South has generously granted protection to all the departments of Northern industry--notwithstanding all this, the North has grown brutal upon the generosity of the South, has become inflated, inflamed, drunk and maddened by her success; and now, that she has doubled us in population and feels herself secure in numbers, with a combination of cowardice and fiendishness and base ingratitude, unknown in the records of the past, threatens to destroy that institution by which her prosperity has been mainly achieved--threatens to degrade and desolate with fire swords and poison her generous and confiding twin sister.
Two courses are before the Planters of the South:--submission to a sectional, false and base party, who have not only violated all good faith and justice, by the nullification of the fugitive slave law and the passage of most odious liberty bills; but who have trampled the Constitution of the United States in the dust and gloried in the basest treason--submission to a treacherous and blood-thirsty party, who would not only deprive you of your political position and rights in the National councils and in the common Territories, acquired by common blood and common treasure, but would excite your slaves to rebellion, apply the torch of the incendiary to your peaceful dwellings, and poison the very food and drink of your wives and children:--or a brave prompt and full assertion of your rights peaceably if possible, but if needs be, at the point of the sword, and at the mouth of the cannon.
The cry of Union at this time at the South, is the cry of submission.
Union with whom? Union with men who are the sworn enemies of your institutions and of your liberties?--union with men who glory in the thought of debasing the South to a position far lower than that of Mexico or of St. Domingo!--union with men who have prostituted even the temples of the most high to the basest political purposes, to the brazen promulgation of the blackest treason, and to the preaching of rapine fire and poison!--union with men who have excited, armed and deified the ruffians who murdered your peaceful citizens!
Submission to what? Submission to the tyrannical rule of a purely sectional party who would degrade you to a level lower than that of the native African!
The moment that the spirit of fanaticism, injustice and treason of the North culminated in the triumph of the Republican party, by all laws of nations, by every principle of justice, the compact of these free and independent States was broken; and he who cries Union, to the South, cries submission to tyranny and anarchy.
With a territory of eight hundred and fifty thousand square miles--with more than three thousand miles of continental shore line--with four hundred and fifty thousand square miles suited to the cultivation of cotton--with the largest body of land and the best climate in the world, and with the best system of labor that has ever been devised for the cultivation of the great staple, which has accomplished almost as much for the civilization of the world as the printing press, and which controls not only the destinies of the North, but of England, and we might almost say of the civilized world--with a population five times as great as that of the United States at the period when we gained our National Independeece--with a surplus production of two hundred and fifty million dollars--with a surplus production more than three times as great as that of the entire North--with the ability of raising for the support of her government, fifty millions of dollars by a system of taxation not greater than that now pursued--with command of the Mississippi, with its forty thousand miles of tributary streams--with possession of most of the great Mississippi valley, and with the ability of commanding the whole of this splendid region which by itself is capable of forming a splendid empire of the first magnitude--with Mexico on the west and southwest and Cuba on the south, for the reception of our surplus population and such an extended cultivation of the great stapples, cotton, rice, sugar and tobacco, as shall meet the increasing demands of the world; the South is not only independent of the North in all the elements of nationality, but if relieved of the unjust oppression of her Northern robbers she will form the most splendid and powerful empire in the world.
Is the South dependent upon the North? Is the South unable to secede? Has the South anything to lose by secession?
According to the last published official Report of the Secretary of the Treasury for 1859, the total value of the Exports of the United States, from the 1st July 1858 to the 30th June 1859, was $335,894,385, and of this amount a single article of Southern produce--Cotton--formed $161,434,923.
The three great articles of Southern produce, Cotton, Rice and Tobacco, together from $184,717,109--nearly two-third of the entire exports of the United States.
Of the $151,177,276 remaining, $57,502,305 were gold and silver bullion; if we substract this from the remainder of the exports, after the substraction of the Cotton, Rice and Tobacco, we have remaining $93,674,971.
It is fair to assume that the other products of the South, sugar, lumber, pitch, tar, turpentine, hemp and other articles, constitute at the lowest
calculation, one-fourth of these remaining ninety-three million dollars.
This calculation, therefore, gives us only $72,756,225 as the value of the exports belonging exclusively to the North. The exports of the South then are more than two hundred million dollars, and are nearly three times as great as those of the entire North.
Is the South unable to support an independent existence? Is the South unable to go to war? Let us see what the South will lose by asserting her independence.
The South will lose first and foremost a degrading association under a common government, with those who have plundered and insulted her; the South will lose a multitude of transient school teachers, professors and preachers, who greet us with honied words to our faces and behind our backs distribute incendiary documents; the South will lose a multitude of transient merchants and peddlers, who come merely to make a fortune by sharp transactions and miserly accumulations, and then to retire to colder regions where they may with impunity enjoy their gains, and villify those who only too easily and generously allowed them to make their fortunes; and above all, and this will be the greatest loss, the South will lose the prayers and the curses of those most devout Ministers, who thank heaven they "are not as other men are, Slaveholders, Mormons and Murderers;" who wax valiant and fight terrible but bloodless battles with the South, within the close safe walls of their most comfortable churches; who subscribe most liberally for Sharpe's rifles and iron pikes to be used by men in the destruction of their fellow Southern brothers, hundreds of miles distant; who sympathise intensely with the negroes of the South, write incendiary tracts, pay liberally the midnight incendiary and assassin of the Planter, and who at the same time, disdain to preach the gospel to or feed the degraded starving negroes in their very midst.
And what will the South gain by the assertion of her independence?
The South will gain her commercial as well as her political independence--the thirty million of dollars of which the South is now yearly deprived in the collection and distribution of the revenues of the government, will be saved, and her revenue which goes now to sustain Northern manufactories and Northern ships, will be distributed among our own citizens, and will be expended in building up Southern manufactories, Southern towns and Southern commerce.
According to the last published report of the Secretary of the Treasury, the total imports of the Northern States for the year ending June 30th, 1859, was $305,812,849, whilst the total imports of the Southern States was only $32,955,281, whilst the exports of the Southern States during the same period were $200,000,000. If the independence of the Southern States was established, our Northern factors would be displaced, and more than $200,000,000 of imports now received at Northern ports, would enter Southern ports, and all the duties and advantages be received where they of right belong.
During the year ending June 30th, 1859, $143,045,445 of the Southern exports were carried in Northern vessels, whilst only $44,586,212 were carried in foreign vessels; during the same period, $27,898,653 of the Southern imports were brought by Northern vessels, whilst only $5,006,628 were brought by foreign vessels. When the independence of the South is established, the North will lose the protection of cunningly devised laws, and will have to enter into competition with the ships of the world for this carrying trade.
The Southern patriot should enquire with the deepest concern--what has become of all this immense amount of money, annually received by the South for her great staple products?
Has her greater production rendered her correspondingly greater and more powerful than the North? Has the South built more railroads, erected more factories, and supported more splendid seats of learning, than the North?
We are compelled to confess that in all permanent, agricultural, industrial and educational improvements, the North has surpassed the South.
The largest proportion of the money received by the South in exchange for cotton, rice and tobacco, has not remained in the South, but has flowed out for the protection of the North, and in the purchase of Northern and English manufactured goods, and in the support of Northern cities, Northern watering places, Northern commerce and Northern literary and scientific institutions, Northern authors, Northern papers, journals and books: the money of the South, therefore, has not fulfilled its high destiny.
It matters not what the income of a nation or of a man may be, if it is all expended abroad, no permanent benefit will be obtained. Money to be really useful to the country where it is produced, must be expended in that country, and must change hands often amongst its citizens, and like the life giving and force conveying red particles of the blood, be diverted into a thousand different channels, and accomplish a thousand beneficial results. It must build up and sustain manufactories, it must circulate in a never-ending stream between the agriculturist and the manufacturer--it must build ships and railroads--it must support those great institutions of science and learning, which will react upon the State and return in the development of her resources and in the scientific improvement of her agriculture, arts, and manufactures a thousand million fold.
It is time that Southern manufactories should be established and sustained by Southern money--it is time that this ruinous drain of money should be stopped--these great and vital results to the South can be accomplished in no other way than by establishing her independence. The fire and sword with which our Northern enemies threaten us, will prove our ultimate good and their final injury.
Need we attempt to excite the Planters of the South to action, and to sustain them in their determination to assert their independence, by showing that England with all her expression of sympathy for our Northern enemies, with all her holy horror of slavery, imported during the year 1859, 2,086,341 bales of cotton from the South, whilst from all other sources she received less than 800,000 bales--by showing that England has three hundred and fifty million dollars invested in the cotton manufactories, and four million inhabitants interested in the cotton trade, and that in 1859 exclusive of the cotton used by her own people and employed in her woolen manufactories, $540,403,600 out of $650,503,185, the value of all her exports for this year were for cotton goods and cotton yarns?--need we enter into a history of the manufactures of England, and show the powerful and unrivalled influence which the great staple of the South has had upon the development of this great nation, and demonstate that England with all her wealth and power is dependent for her very existance upon the cotton crop of the Southern States?--need we recount the fruitless
experiments, and calculate the immense sums expended by England in her attempts to supply herself with cotton from her possessions in Asia, Africa, and South America, to demonstrate that she must forever remain the firm ally and defender of the South, and the natural and uncompromising rival of the North? need we recount the progressive increase of the consumption of cotton in France, Belginm, Holland, Germany and Spain--that in 1859 France exported $22,437,920 worth of Southern cotton, Belgium $1,155,328, Holland $1,859,895, Germany $7,321,416, and Spain $7,222,942?--need we picture to you the filthy condition of the inhabitants of Europe, during the middle ages, and prove that the twenty thousand hospitals for lepers, said by Mathew Paris to have existed in Europe during the middle ages, were filled by inmates who were lepers because they had no changes of clothing, more than any other cause, and were diseased because they were in an habitually filthy state?--need we prove that insufficient and filthy clothing, more than any other cause, produced the terrible epidemics which committed snch fearful ravages in the middle ages?--need we point the planters of the South to all these well established facts to prove that their great staple will prove the greatest blessing to mankind, will ever prove their strongest defense against lawless oppression, and will ever command the navies and armies of the world?
I trust not my countrymen. I believe that the spirit which animated and fired the hearts of our noble revolutionary fathers, still inspires your bosoms, and that you will need no such facts to sustain the firm resolve to achieve Southern independence, peaceably if possibly--but if need be through fire, carnage and blood, at any cost and at any sacrifice, however dear, regardless of every object and result except the establishment of your liberties. I believe that the Planters of the South will never rest upon the navies and armies of any nation, but will appeal to the God of battles and summon to the conflict their own strong arms and brave hearts.
I have spoken of these subjects which interest us as citizens of the South as they have impressed themselves upon myself a humble citizen of the South; I have dwelt upon them because the efforts of this association are not bounded by the confines of Georgia--we aim to advance the Commercial and Agricultural interests of every Southern State by the establishment of direct trade and the inauguration of that system of Agriculture which will preserve the lands of the South in a state of permanent fertility.
I have now completed such a view of the Agricultural resources of my native State as the brief space of time allotted to this address permitted--if the picture falls far short of the reality, and if measures have been urged which are inexpedient, the errors have been those of the judgement and not of the feelings--as a descendant of those who fought and bled and died upon Georgian soil, in defence of the rights, honor and liberty of Georgia and of the original States of the Union, I drank in with my mothers milk, love veneration and true loyalty to the Union of these free and independent States; the first name which I was taught to revere above all other immortal names was that of Washington, and the relations which were inculcated as second only to those with my creator, were those to the Government of the United States: it has been, therefore, with no ordinary feelings that I have for the first time in my life lifted my voice against this Union--but when the mother who bore me is dishonored and her liberties, and her existence as a free independent and honorable State are threatened, every ties which binds me to her enemies, even those of the once proud and glorious Union of the United States of America, shall be sundered and fortune and life pledged to the defence of the sacred honor and liberties of Georgia.
If upon the present occasion I have in the desire to point out the defects, and tendencies of the present system of agriculture, appeared to disparage the power of Georgia, it has been from a too anxious regard for her future course of prosperity, honor and glory.
Far be it from me to speak slightingly of the resources of my native State at any time; and especially at this time, when resistance--resistance to insolent oppression and defiant treason, resounds throughout her borders.
With a population of more than one million, distributed over fifty-eight thousand square miles--with a territory three hundred and twenty-two miles in length from North to North, extending from the mild, almost tropical climate of the Atlantic coast to the cool bracing climate of the Blue Ridge mountains; two hundred and twenty-four miles in breadth from East to West; watered by fifty streams which deserve and hold the name of rivers--with a territory embracing almost every geological formation, from the oldest to the most recent found upon the Western continent; the primitive and metamorphic non-fossiliferous strata of Middle and Northern Georgia, with its inexhaustible mineral resources; the older fossiliferous formations of North-western Georgia, resembling the celebrated wheat district of New York, with its inexhaustible deposits of limestone, iron, coal, and other minerals useful in agriculture and the arts; the cretaceous formation of Western Georgia, with its inexhaustible beds of green sand and marl; the Eocene lime formation of Southern and South-western Georgia, with its inexhaustible supplies of lime and phosphoric acid; the rich alluvial and diluvial plains and river bottoms of Southern Georgia--with a territory embracing every variety of soil, suitable to the growth and culture of every important agricultural product, and yielding almost every mineral useful in the arts and agriculture--producing annually five hundred thousand bales of cotton, and with capabilities of producing under an improved system of agriculture, and with an increase of population, two million bales of cotton--with an annual surplus production of fifteen million of dollars--with 1160 miles of Railroads, which have been built and equipped at an actual cost of twenty millions of dollars--with 25 banks in a sound condition, returning during the last year $9,028,078, as their taxable stock paid in--with 33,345,289 acres of cultivated land, valued according to the tax returns of 1860, at $161,764,955 dollars; cultivated by 450,022 slaves, valued at $302,694,855--with city and town property, money and solvent debts, merchandise shipping, tonnage, stocks, and manufacturies to the value of $207,832,640--with an increased value of land during the past year of $12,217,075, and increased value of slaves during the same period of $31,074,450--with a balance in her Treasury of $274,820, and with a tax upon slaves and other property of only 6¼ cents on the $100--with a taxable property of $609,589,876, which if distributed equally amongst the entire population, adults and children, black and white, would give to each inhabitant six hundred dollars; and if we were to estimate the absolute and not the tax value of the property, this sum would
be even greater than one thousand dollars to each individual, black and white, man, woman and child--with fourteen hundred churches, capable of accommodating half a million of persons--with twelve hundred primary and public schools with twelve hundred teachers; fifteen colleges for males with thirteen hundred students; twenty-seven colleges and high schools for females, and twenty-five hundred female scholars--with fifty newspapers and pepiodicals--with resources and a territory capable of supporting with even greater ease than England supports her dense population, fifteen millions of inhabitants, GEORGIA has been and will ever continue to be, if she improves aright the blessings of Providence, the EMPIRE STATE of the SOUTH--Georgia is not only the Empire State of the South, but she has the resources and the power to maintain her independence with or without the South, and to form by herself an EMPIRE.