The Plough, the Loom, and the Anvil, 1856, Vol. 8
Excerpt from The Plough, the Loom, and the Anvil, 1856, Vol. 8 There is another view in which the importance to the South of a variety in agricultural crops assumes, in our own view, even gigantic proportions. A short supply of cotton raises the price of the article. Suppose, instead of the usual supply of two and a half millions of bales, only one and a half millions were grown. Very nearly the same value must be received for this diminished quantity that is now received for the whole. It might be that more would be received. Besides, these two-fifths of the land, before devoted to cotton, will now be cultivated with other crops, and thus the entire pro seeds of some acres of land, producing, at the rate only of the cotton lands, a gross sum of some annually, without a day's additional labor, or any material increase of expense. This would be annual net gain, while the lands would be improved by the change. There is another record in the census tables which, if there is any mean ing in its title, confirm our views as heretofore expressed, and authorizes even more unfavorable conclusions as to the profits of this crop. Table 188 shows that in all the slaveholding States there is raised lbs. Of cotton to each person. That is to say, the great crop which overshadows every other crop grown, at 8 cents the average price for a series of years, pays a gross annual sum of $80924 to each person. Should it cost only 6 cents, the profit of this chief crop could be only to each per son. But it uses up, in a double sense, acres. If this is within gun-shot of the truth, the South surely ought not to support the spindles of the north and of England at rates so ruinous to themselves. That same land, properly managed, ought to earn a net profit of $20 to $40 per acre, and would do so if the system we advocate were properly carried out. Some months ago we gave it as our belief that some other crop might be profitably grown instead of wheat in many sections of country where that is a favorite growth. Let us look at this. The census returns are our only data in these matters, in respect to nearly the whole country. A few States have made up their own census, and it is probable that these are more reliable than those under the direction of the general government. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.