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Chapter XVII. Agricultural Resources and Manufactures

WHITBOURNE and other earlier adventurers who visited Newfoundland, speak in high terms of the productiveness of the soil. As early as 1610 John Gay, who had established a colony in Mosquitto, in Conception Bay, speaks of the climate not being so severe as in England; he also raised garden vegetables. In 1623, Governor Wynn in his communications to Sir George Calvert, from Ferryland, speaks of wheat, barley, and oats being eared on the 17th of August, and that the garden vegetables had arrived at perfection.

Sir Richard Bonnycastle says :—

“Whitbourne was ridiculed when he talked of the productiveness of Newfoundland, and Lord Baltimore was almost ruined by choosing to build his castle on a bleak and desolate part of the coast, instead of upon the western shores, or in the interior. Had he chosen the fine healthy climate of St. George’s Bay, or the Bay of Islands, for the seat of the Calverts, Newfoundland would now have possessed a capital, rivalling that he afterwards founded in the pestiverous swamps of Maryland, and which, by dint of perseverance and labour, has since risen to rank as the fourth city of the Union, notwithstanding its ancient insalubrity. Alas ! its capabilities have never been truly appreciated; they interfered with the certain gains derivable from the Bank fishery; a false policy prevented the settlement of the fairest half of the Island, superior to parts of the opposite continent; and this has continued until nearly the present moment, because Great Britain was unnecessarily generous to the conquered French, and because it was originally the open and undisguised policy of a few rich merchants to keep tlie trade limited to the Bank fishery, thereby ensuring wealth to them at home, and to those they employed in the island as their chief factors.’

Again, Sir Richard says:—

“The climate is less severe on the western side of Newfoundland, the land more rich, in consequence of limestone prevailing there; and it is now known to be quite as capable of cultivation as Nova Scotia, Cape Breton or Prince Edward Island. It is therefore to that portion that we must hereafter look as the seat of a population dependant upon an inexhaustible field of agricultural resources. But with all its natural advantages in the scale, we must not allow it the whole weight; for assuredly the eastern half of Newfoundland is cultivable to the extent of supporting a population which can be gradually thrown into it, either for the fishery, or for settlement; and, at this day, notwithstanding the constant fog of misstatement which has been so sedulously cast over it, there is no colony of England which can produce a better fed, a healthier, a better clothed, or a more industrious and better behaved population, than the fisherman settlers and natives of Newfoundland.”

The first settlers in nearly all the British Colonies were aided by the Imperial Government to cultivate the land, whereas not a single shilling had ever been expended on Newfoundland, either for cultivation or any other improvement.

Mr. Morris says :—

“The ancient British Colonies were aided, if not by the Government, by the capital, skill, and industry of private parties, in their progress towards settlement and colonization. It was for the modern Colonies that the munificence, I may say the profusion, of Government was reserved.

“In 1748, the parent government commenced the colonization of Nova Scotia, advertised for settlers—large grants of land were offered—and also means for its cultivation, and subsistence until the land made returns. For that purpose 3,760 adventurers with their families were entered for embarkation according to the order of the Board of Trade. Application having been made to Parliament, £40,000 were voted to defray the expenses of their removal, ‘the liberality of this grant enabling Government to make ample provision for their comfort and support.’ They set sail in the beginning of May, 1749, under the command of the Honourable Edward Cornwallis, whom the King had appointed their Governor, and towards the latter end of June arrived at Chibucto Harbour (now Halifax), the place of their destination. At that time the whole of the country bordering on Chibucto was covered by woods to the water’s edge. The cold and sterile soil on both sides of the harbour was clothed with the beautiful verdure of the spruce and fir, whose umbrageous limbs concealed the rocks that were scattered in profusion on its surface, and which were doomed to disappoint the hopes and defeat the labour of the inexperienced settlers. As they passed up the harbour they noticed several canoes tilled with savages, who approached within a convenient distance, to observe the motions of the strangers; and then fled with inconceivable rapidity.—Haliburton’s Histvry, vol. I, page 138.

“In 1750 and 1751, Government induced by great encouragement a number of German Protestants to emigrate to Nova Scotia. In these years near 2,000 persons embarked at Rotterdam, and were settled down at Lunenburg, now a populous thriving settlement. In seven years, from 1748 to 1755, the sum of £445,584 14s. 11d„ was expended in the new settlement. Mr. Burke had some reason to exclaim, in his speech in 1780, on economical reform: ‘The Province of Nova Scotia was the youngest and the favourite child of the Board. What sums the nursing of that ill-thriven, hard-visaged, and ill-favoured brat has cost to this mttol nation. Sir, this Colony has stood us in a sum not less than seven hundred thousand pounds. To this day it has made no repayment, it does not even support those offices of expense which are miscalled its Government. The whole of that job lies upon the patient, callous shoulders of the people of England.’

“It cost England upwards of a million for the colonization of Nova Scotia.

“The cost for the colonization, protection, and settlement of the Canadas, goes beyond counting. It may be stated by tens of millions, without reference to the vast expenditure at an earlier period. Some idea may be formed of the facilities for settlement and colonization in Canada, from the following summary of vast recent public improvements in Canada, taken from a statement of Sir Francis Bond Head.

“Magnificent harbours have been fortified, valuable fisheries and timber trade established, and mines in operation. On macadamised roads upwards of two hundred thousand pounds have already been expended, also an immense sum in plank roads.

On the Rideau Canal upwards of a million; on the Welland Canal half a million; on the St. Lawrence Canal more than three hundred thousand pounds ; on the Lachine about one hundred thousand, besides large sums on the Grand River navigation, lay navigation, innumerable mills of various descriptions have been constructed ; lastly, and in addition to the above, a million and a half sterling, the loan from the mother country, either has been expended or is at this moment expending on public works and improvements of various descriptions.” Sir F. B. Head’s Emigrant, page 86.

“About the year 1806, the late Dr. William Carson arrived in Newfoundland; he at once saw the great injustice that was done, both to the country and the resident inhabitants, by the sertii barbarous policy that prevailed which prohibited the cultivation of the soil. He raised his voice against it, wrote some excellent tracts on the subject, denounced it in the strongest terms, incurring no small risk of being transported for his temerity for arraigning the Venerable system that had prevailed for centuries. He became the most strenuous advocate for the cultivation of the soil, which he represented as fully equal in quality to that of his native country, Scotland; he was opposed by the local authorities, by the merchants, and a great portion of the inhabitants; he was ridiculed as a visionary. Notwithstanding, in good report and in evil report, he persevered until he saw, for some time before his death, his views and doctrines almost unanimously approved of by all parties. Dr. Carson may be called the parent of agriculture of Newfoundland; he not only eneouraged it by precept, but likewise by example. In the year 1818 or 1819, he obtained a large grant of waste land from the then Governor Sir Charles Hamilton, which he cleared and cultivated at considerable labour and expense. The land cleared and cultivated by Dr. Carson forms one of the most valuable farms in the vicinity of St. John’s.

“Though Dr. Carson, like most such proprietors, men who devote themselves to the public service, may not have gained by his agricultural speculations, however, his efforts for the improvement of the soil were eminently successful.”

In the year 1827 or 1828, during the government of Sir Thomas Cochrane, one of the principal merchants of St. John’s, H. P. Thomas, Esq., obtained a grant of 250 acres of waste land, distant some four miles from the town of St. John’s, which he cleared and cultivated, and occupied for some years, until he was repaid for the whole expense of the outlay; he then let the ground on lease to an intelligent Scotch farmer (the same person who had the superintendence of it from the beginning) at a rent of £200 sterling per annum, who in a few years, some twelve or fourteen, after paying his rent, realized a sum of not less the <£4,000. Twenty years before, this land was a wilderness, not producing one shilling a year, unapproachable even by a footpath. Since that time numerous farms have been cleared, many miles beyond it. I may say with truth, that within a circuit of two or three miles from this farm, there are now some thousands of acres in profitable cultivation, and in the occupation of some hundreds of industrious families.

On the arrival of Sir Thomas Cochrane as Governor of Newfoundland in 1825, he became the advocate of agriculture, opened a line of road from St. John’s to Portugal Cove, and Cochrane Street, in front of Government House. He also cultivated lands surrounding his private residence, “Virginia Waters,” situated about three miles from the town. During the administration of Captain Prescott, in 1838, 1839, about $175,000 was voted by the Legislature for opening up roads, and the Governor gave some hundreds of pounds from his private purse to assist Mr. Currie, a Scotch farmer, to cultivate a small farm.

On the arrival of Sir John Harvey, the Governor in 1841, he endeavoured to dispel the prejudice which had existed for centuries against the cultivation of the soil. On the 13th of January, 1842, an Agricultural Society was formed under his patronage. The following is an extract from the speech of Sir John, delivered on the occasion:—

“Newfoundland is in reality something more than a mere ‘fishing station,’ and possesses resources beyond the mere ‘ rocks on which to (liy the nets of tlie fishermen ; ’ in a word, I saw in it the undoubted evidence of a capability for agricultural pursuits far beyond what I had imagined to exist; and I likewise saw that by no other means can the great staple of this island, its fisheries, and the great national objects, the nursery of seamen and the consumption of the manufactures of the parent state, be so effectually promoted as by bringing the homes of the fishermen nearer to the scene of their pursuits and operations; in a word by encouraging settlement and the cultivation of the soil—an encouragement which contemplates the rapid increase of its population, consequently of its fishermen and mariners as well as of brave, hardy, loyal, and permanent settlers, who would constitute the ‘ constitutional defence ’ of the colony, and whose labours as auxiliary to the fisheries, might, at no remote period, go far to render the island independent of all foreign countries for the means of feeding those engaged in them.

“Without entering into speculations regarding a subject with which we are as yet imperfectly acquainted, but upon which it will be the duty of the Executive Government, through the aid of the Provincial Legislature, to acquire more accurate information—I mean the adaptation or otherwise of the extensive prairies of the interior of the island for cultivation and settlement—it may be sufficient for my present purpose merely to advert to a fact which is within the knowledge of you all, viz., that this island, throughout almost the whole extent of its bays, harbours and inlets, is skirted by a belt of cultivable land, varying in depth fix mi one to several leagues, well calculated to reward the labour of the agriculturist—of which no more convincing proof can be required than the specimens of produce now before you, consisting of wheat, barley, oats, turnips, potatoes, &c., equal in size, in weight, and in quality *o the productions of any other country, England not excepted.

“It may be asked (elsewhere) ‘how is this to be explained ’vith reference to the reputed sterility of the soil of Newfoundland, and to the length and severity of its winters and the consequent shortness of its open seasons.’ The answer is, ‘by the productive qualities of that soil, to which the imputation of sterility so unjustly attaches; by the fineness of its autumnal season, which affords ample opportunity for the preparation of the ground for the spring crops; and by the almost unexampled rapidity of vegetation during the summer, by which the shortness of that season is amply compensated.”

The following is also an extract of a speech delivered by Sir John Harvey at a ploughing match in 1844.

“Almost from the first moment of my arrival in this island, my eyes were opened to the fact of which the inhabitants themselves evidently appeared not to be sufficiently aware, viz., that it possessed agricultural treasures, capabilities, and advantages, as well of soil as of climate, which, if not unequalled, are yet certainly not surpassed by any of the surrounding colonies. And, as the result of three years’ experience, I will now read to you a short extract from a despatch which I have very recently addressed to Lord Stanley, and in which it has been my endeavour, in the discharge of my duty, to place before his Lordship my impressions upon a subject of so much importance to its inhabitants as the capability of the soil of a colony which has heretofore been regarded as little more than a mere fishing station, to minister to the wants, to the comforts, and even to the profit of those engaged in the prosecution of the fisheries. After speaking in the despatch referred to of the increased value which must necessarily be conferred upon lands by the construction of good and practicable roads in all colonies in which the soil is cultivable, I have said, ‘ With respect to this island (hitherto undervalued, as it appears to me to have been), there can be no doubt that the whole of those tracts designated (and depreciated by that designation) by the appellation of ‘barrens’ (merely because denuded of trees), are among the most fertile and productive soils in British America, the sections almost everywhere presenting to the eye from four to six feet of fine, light, gravelly soil, capable of producing luxuriantly every species of crop, except, perhaps, wheat, and requiring only the aid of artificial manures, and careful and judicious culture, to give good returns even in that species of grain, while in respect to all others, more especially grasses of every kind, including clover, vetches, and, I will add, flax, in oats and barley, turnips, potatoes, and in fact every species of “green crop,” I have seen no country out of England and Egypt superior to it.’”

The opening of good roads has greatly increased the value of land. In 1844 lands were sold, in their primeval state, at public auction, at from $2 to $16 per acre. These lands were situate on the Bay Bulls road, five or six miles from the Town of St. John’s. There is no loam in Newfoundland. The soil on the eastern shores, for the most part, consists of fine gravel, interspersed occasionally with marl. The geological structure of this part of the coast is composed of the secondary rocks, comprising shale and gritstone, variegated slates, and sandstones. On the western portion of the island the soil is superior. In St. George’s Bay and Bay of Islands the coal field is situate. Marbles, limestone and soft sandstone also abound. In 1846 I procured three samples of the virgin soil from different parts of the neighbourhood of St. John’s.

The following is an analysis of one sample obtained near the Convent, which was made by Dr. Stabb, and given in a paper which he read before the Agricultural Society:—

“In all cases,” said Sir Humphry Davy, “the constituent parts of the soil, which tenacity and coherence are the finely divided matters. A small quantity of finely divided matter is sufficient to fit a soil for the production of turnips and barley.”

“The soil analysed contained a fair proportion of fine matter, and the gravel and sand combined with it were aluminous. Upon the whole, therefore, the St. John’s slate soil is of an aluminous nature, deficient in animal and vegetable matter, and wanting the essential ingredient—lime.

“It is consequently necessary to add the lime, and afterwards to maintain a regular supply of animal and vegetable manure. To apply lime, as a component earth, it must not be simply added in the state of burned lime, just sufficient to aid the decomposition of peat, or of animal and vegetable substances in general, as at the first formation of the manure heap—although highly useful in this way,—but it must be separately ploughed into the soil.

“I think it expedient to caution farmers against the practice of burning the surface of our soil, for it is only useful when there is an excess of vegetable matter; whereas the slate rock is deficient in this ingredient”

On the arrival of Governor Sir John Gaspard Le Marchant, in 1847, he at once devoted his attention to the cultivation of the soil, and promoted agriculture in every way. It is said that in 1841 a considerable quantity of wheat was grown in Newfoundland.

The following is an extract from the report of the Agricultural Society of Newfoundland for 1848, of which Charles Simms, Esq., was president:—

“The Farmers’ Mill, at the River Head, St. John’s, has been set in operation, partly by the liberal aid of his Excellency the Governor, and partly by subscription; and although its power at present is scarcely equal to the numerous demands for the grinding of corn, means are being taken, by the erection of new and improved machinery, which will give the mill a greatly increased power.

“The Society has observed with regret that that valuable implement—the plough, indispensable as it is in the cultivation of the soil to any considerable extent, has been hitherto little used, and indeed almost unknown, not only in many of the out districts, but even in some of the more distant parts of this district; and under these circumstances it is gratifying to observe that his Excellency the Governor, in order to stimulate to an increased cultivation of the soil, has caused some efficient one-horse ploughs to be placed in several of the outports, which have of course been found of the greatest utility in the saving of labour; and from the number of horses which are entirely idle in the summer time in most of the out districts, an extensive use of the plough in place of manual labour would be quite practicable at little expense, and would be most beneficial in promoting the cultivation of the soil. The Society hopes that persons in the out districts will not be slow in obtaining so valuable an acquisition to assist their farming operations when they find that a plough will turn as much ground in one day as a man will require a fortnight or three weeks to dig.

“The prizes of a handsome silver cup and premiums of money, which His Excellency so liberally offered to the most successful grower of grain crops, have given rise to a very extensive and spirited competition amongst the farmers and other cultivators of the soil, and have been highly useful in exciting increased attention to that all-important branch of agriculture.

“The following is a list of prizes given by His Excellency, to encourage the growth of corn, with the names of the successful competitors :—

"The Le Marchant Cup—‘ for the greatest breadth of wheat crops, fair marketable quality for two consecutive years ’—to Hon. Patrick Morris.

“For the best crop of wheat, on any land of not less extent than three acres, £6—to Mr. Michael Allen.

“For the best crop of wheat, on any land of not less extent than two acres, £4—to Mr. William Hext, Grove Farm. u For the best cultivated crop of wheat, on any land of not less extent than one acre, £3—to Mr. John Harding, White Hills. For the best cultivated crop of wheat, on any land of not less extent than half an acre, £2—Mr. James Shea, hear Bally Hally.

“For the best cultivated crop of oats, on any land of not less extent than two acres, £3—to Mr. John Dwyer, Oaks Farm. “ For the best crop of wheat, of not less than half an acre in Outer Cove, £2—to Daniel Griffin.

“For the second best crop of wheat in Outer Cove of not less than half an acre, £1—to Patrick Roach.

“For the best crop of wheat in Torbay, of not less extent than half an acre, £2—to-White.

“For the second best crop of wheat in Torbay, of not less extent than half an acre, £1—to Thomas Costello.

“The judges of the crops, Messrs. Thomas Duder, James Gibson, David Reed, and Thomas Walsh, are all persons of great practical experience as farmers, and their examination required several days to accomplish. They close their report by stating that they found the numerous crops they visited, in general well cultivated, and that they far exceeded in number and extent of ground what they had expected. His Excellency has also intimated an intention to give prizes of an increased amount for competition next year, a list of which it is intended to append to this report.

“The importation which His Excellency has made of a bull and cow of the Ayrshire breed, will, it is hoped, be of ultimate utility, although it has not hitherto been the practice to breed and rear cattle in this district, principally owing to the large quantity of lean cattle imported from Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Those persons, however, who had bred and reared cattle in the neighbourhood of St. John’s, as well as in other parts of the colony, agree in the opinion that cattle bred in this Island are much hardier, and better suited to the country than those imported. In the south and west parts of this colony, large numbers of cattle are bred and reared, and in the district of Placentia and St. Mary’s alone, there are nearly 2,000 head of horned cattle kept, and about 800 in the district of Burin, and these numbers may not be considered the average stock constantly on hand. Hence it is obvious that if due attention were paid to the improvement of the breed, and if a system of agriculture were introduced and applied in those places where cattle are kept extensively, great advantages would arise, as well to the individuals as to the colony, in a much larger amount of produce. The completion of one of the roads to Placentia would also be a great and most desirable aid in furtherance of these objects, by enabling cattle to be driven to St. John’s at all seasons, especially early in the spring, when meat is scarce and dear, and before importations commence from the neighbouring colonies. The premium which His Excellency the Governor has recently offered to encourage a better system of stall-feeding cattle will, it may be confidently expected, awaken attention to the object, and tend to an improved practice in that department of our agriculture.

“The Agricultural Society would desire to impress upon the minds of all, and especially of those who rely on their own industry, and their own labour for support, the importance of an active and zealous attention to the cultivation of the soil as the foundation of their comfort and their independence. Let them break up and bring into cultivation all the waste land which their means and their ability will enable them, especially when it is in the vicinity of their dwellings or other convenient locality.”

The following is an extract from the Petition of the House of Assembly in 1837, to Her Majesty the Queen, on the subject of the Crown Lands :—

“It is only within the last twenty years that general permission has been given to the inhabitants to cultivate the soil of Newfoundland. It will scarcely be believed at this happy era of your Majesty’s accession to the throne of your ancestors, when the people in the most distant parts of your extensive empire look forward with unbounded confidence and hope to the just, mild, and merciful Government of your Majesty, that for upwards of two centuries the cultivation of the soil in Newfound-land was considered a criminal offence, and prohibited under the severest restrictions and prohibitions; this withering and desolating policy was the cause why your Majesty’s Colony of Newfoundland did not improve in the same progress with the other colonies in its neighbourhood.

“Representations have been made from the earliest period to the present Government, that the extreme severity of the climate, and the sterility of the soil of Newfoundland, formed insurmountable obstacles to cultivation. If these representations are correct, the House of Assembly would humbly submit to your Majesty, that there can be no necessity for creating further obstacles beyond those raised by nature herself.

“But may it please your Majesty, these were false representations made by persons, who, from corrupt or interested motives of their own, attempted to arrest the order of Providence, and prevent the people of Newfoundland from receiving that support and sustenance from the soil which God and nature intended it to afford.

“The House of Assembly therefore have most humbly to bring the subject under your Majesty’s benign consideration, with the certain hope that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to give every encouragement, and remove every restriction to the cultivation of the soil of your Majesty’s ancient and loyal colony of Newfoundland.”

Gypsum, of which there is abundance on the west coast of Newfoundland, could be procured at a small cost, and would make an excellent top-dressing for the meadow lands. Fish offal and sea-weed are used throughout Newfoundland as manure. It is calculated that nearly one-half the weight of the fish taken is thrown away in heads and entrails into the sea. Manufactures for the conversion of fish offal into a concentrated manure are now in operation in the United States. The French, too, on the French shore, on the northern part of Newfoundland (Quirpon), have a manufactory of the same sort, and export the product to France.

Mr. Morris says :—

“It may be said that landed property quadrupled in value during the eminently successful Government of Sir John Harvey. The most important measure of Sir John Harvey’s Government in reference to the agricultural improvement of Newfoundland is the law for the sale and regulation of the Crown Lands.

“Her Majesty consented, and with a truly royal bounty, to grant the whole of the land to her loyal subjects in the colony.

“Newfoundland is no longer to be hoarded as a *royal wilderness.’ The people will ever entertain a grateful sense of Her Majesty’s royal beneficence. It is only those acquainted with the partial mode of disposing of land which prevailed in Prince Edward Island, and in most others of the modern North American colonies, that can form a correct estimate of the vast boon that has been conferred.

“The main principles affirmed by the Land Act:

“1st—That all lands should be sold at public auction, subject to a moderate upset price.

“2nd—That not more than 100 acres should be put up in one lot.

“3rd—That public notice shall be given by the publication in the newspapers of all land sales.

“4th—That all persons in the occupation of land without grants from the Crown, should be confirmed in their titles and occupation.

“5th—That the proceeds of all sales of land shall be paid into the public treasury, to be appropriated for the internal improvement of the colony.

“The best practical proof of the capabilities of the soil of Newfoundland for agricultural purposes, is to be found in the census returns of 1836 and 1845.

“Returns for 1836.

“Annual Produce.

“Returns for 1845.

“Annual Produce.

Owing to some errors in the agricultural returns in 1845, Mr. Morris says that the value of the produce of that year ought to be $933,319.

Bishop Mullock says :—

“Wheftt will ripen very well, especially if the proper variety of seed adapted for a northern country be procured; but as long as we have the great grain country of the United States at our doors, no one will take much trouble about such an unprofitable crop. I have never seen finer barley than the growth of Newfoundland, and all persons who have bought, as I have done, Newfoundland oats, at nearly double the price of the husky grain imported here, will find that he has gained by his purchase. Hops are most luxuriant, and so are strawberries, currants, gooseberries, cherries, and many other species of fruit. The hawthorn flourishes here when planted, and I have seen as fine hedges of it laden with haws here as in the home country ; and I mention this as a proof of the comparative mildness of our climate, for I find in Russia, as far south as Moscow, it is a hot-house plant. My estimate then of the agricultural capabilities of Newfoundland, comparing it with what I have seen in the north of Europe, is that if we had a large agricultural population we could support them in comfort, and that as population increases we must attend more to the land, then more general wealth and comfort will be diffused a hundredfold than now, when our population is, I may say, wholly maritime, and we depend almost altogether on other countries for our food. My earnest advice would be, kill the dogs, introduce settlers, encourage domestic manufactures, home made linen, and homespun cloth, and Newfoundland will become the paradise of the industrious man. The soil in general is thin, but kind, easily cleared, and, beside the legitimate manure of the farm-yard, can always be enriched near the sea by sea-ruck and fish offal. The climate is comparatively mild, and all we want are hands and industry.”

The Local Government gives an annual grant of $500 in aid of the Agricultural Society. The following is an extract from the Report of 1849, when Lawrence O’Brien, Esq., was President:—

“Since the failure of the potato crop, and during the continuance of the disease, the attention of the farmers has been naturally turned to the cultivation of grain, and it is gratifying to observe, that with very few exceptions, the result has been satisfactory both in yield and quality, the quantity of barley and oats, independent of wheat, grown, and addressed at the Farmers’ Mill, River Head alone, during the autumn, and still coming in daily, sufficiently demonstrates the important fact that the culture of our corn is no longer confined to a scanty green crop, to help in feeding cattle, but now results in the production of a primary article of human food. Our wheat is found to weigh, with few exceptions, not less than sixty pounds to the bushel, and our oats and barley maintain a proportionate character. With a view to encourage this important branch of our agriculture, His Excellency has caused several thousand bushels of seed corn, of the best and most suitable description, to be imported from various places, and distributed among the farmers throughout the colony. The result has been highly advantageous; the harvest has yielded a fair return, and due care has been taken to mark and ascertain the varieties of seed, which appear to be best suited to our soil and climate.

“The Society thankfully acknowledge the solicitude manifested by the Governor, that the breed of cattle here should be improved and encouraged. With this view His Excellency has imported two cows and a bull of the Ayrshire breed. The bull has been placed at the Grove Farm, in the care of Mr. Jocelyn. Of the character of the Ayrshire cow it is unnecessary to say more than that the one imported yields now, without having bestowed on it any more care or trouble than upon the ordinary cattle, almost double the quantity of milk that can be obtained from the ordinary cow of the colony.

“The prizes offered for competition by His Excellency last season, produced a show of fat cattle in the Park fronting Government House, in March last, such as never had been witnessed here before, and would not have disgraced the English market.

His Excellency in person handed over the prizes, to the successful competitors, and in doing so stated, that he should feel happy in giving similar prizes for the next year. The shew of fat cattle for the ensuing year comes off on the 12th of March next.

Those prizes, also, which His Excellency so liberally offered and paid to those, who by their skill and industry, had reclaimed and brought under cultivation the greatest quantity of ground, and for the best and most approved samples of grain of various kinds, and of vegetables, butter and cheese, have been attended with the happiest results. The exhibition which was held in October last, in the great hall of the Market House Building, in competition for those prizes, excited the wonder and astonishment of many who had been present at exhibitions in the old countries, and who a few years ago could not be induced to believe that our soil was capable of yielding such fine samples. The Hall on this occasion was tastefully decorated with flags and evergreens, the Band of the Royal Newfoundland Companies was, through the courtesy of the Commanding Officer, in attendance, and His Excellency, as on former occasions, handed the several prizes with suitable and encouraging observations to each of the successful competitors. His Excellency has been pleased to offer an additional prize of ten pounds for the ensuing years, to be called ‘The Le Marchant Fiize.’ With a view that no part of our population who may be industriously inclined may want useful and profitable employment, His Excellency has taken measures to import and secure the services of a man and his wife to instruct those who may be desirous to learn the operation of spinning and weaving flax and wool. The Society strongly recommend the attention of the labouring classes to this important branch of industry ; it is one universally pursued throughout tlie neighbouring colonies; it is well known that one pound weight of wool will produce one yard of good warm cloth, and of much better texture than is usually purchased in the shops; and as the expense in producing it is scarcely anything beyond the time, which in too many instances is unprofitably spent, it is hoped that the homespun of Newfoundland will soon become as generally known and valued as the other productions of the country. The Society begs that those who have not witnessed the operation of cloth making will satisfy themselves by visiting the St. John’s Factory where they will witness, and be gratified by, the proficiency already attained in this domestic manufaeture. Should this measure succeed, as there is good reason to think it will—it will serve as a further inducement to pay more attention to the breed and increase of sheep, which would prove of great advantage.

“It is highly gratifying to see enrolled among the members of the Agricultural Society, the names of so' many of the respectable merchants of this place, who have been spending their lives in pursuing the trade and fisheries ; it affords the strongest evidence of the fallacy of the opinions formerly prevalent, but of late years rapidly disappearing, that to encourage agriculture and promote the cultivation of the soil, would necessarily create separate and conflicting interests. The facts already prove the contrary, for not only are the ordinary pursuits of the fisheries not impeded or in anywise interfered with, but it has now become evident that the best interests of the trade, and the moral and social condition of the people, are equally promoted by bringing to our aid all those valuable auxiliary resources, which, by a proper application of our skill and industry our soil is capable of yielding to us, and the Society would now impress upon the minds of all the working classes, more particularly on those engaged in agricultural pursuits, that the present state and condition of the country requires that everyone should renew, and if possible redouble his exertions in his respective position; and experience abundantly proves, that men capable of labour, relying under Providence on their own perseverance and industry, and having such facilities as are so easily attained in Newfoundland, will seldom fail in procuring a comfortable support and maintenance for themselves and their families.

"It is a source of great satisfaction to observe that the disease affecting our potato crops, has during this season assumed a more mitigated aspect, and has been much less destructive in its ravages, it is still however more or less extensive, but we indulge the hope, that by the blessing of Providence, and a careful attention to the culture of the root, it may soon pass away. It behoves us in the meantime to bestow every care in the culture of our ‘corn, and, to apportion the various seeds to the different soils best fitted for their reception.”

It will be perceived from the foregoing report of the Agricultural Society, that the manufacture of “ home spun,” has been commenced in Newfoundland, which will be of great advantage to the inhabitants. The Island has more resources than either Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, or even Massachusetts. There is no reason why manufactures could not be carried on in Newfoundland, as well as in Massachusetts, the manufactures of which annually amounted to sixty-two millions of dollars. The population of Massachusetts for an area of 11,000 square miles is over a million, while Newfoundland with an area of 36,000 square miles has about 160,000 inhabitants. Flax in Newfoundland grows as well as in any country in the world, and there is nothing whatever to prevent the manufacture of linen as well as cotton fabrics. There is plenty of capital, all that is therefore wanting, is enterprise to put in motion the loom and spindles.

The following returns made in 1857 will show the increasing value of the agricultural resources of Newfoundland :—


It thus appears that Newfoundland produces according to population, six times as much potatoes and hay as some of the above States of the United States. In 1866, the Legislature of Newfoundland passed an Act, giving a small bounty, as an encouragement to cultivate and settle on the wild lands.

Manufactures according to the Returns of 1857.— There were in St. John’s, one oil factory, employing twenty hands, value of oil SI6,080. Logy Bay, one cod-liver oil manufactory, producing ten tuns of oil, valued at S3,688. Middle Cove, one cod-liver oil factory, producing five tuns of oil, valued at SI,156. There were at Torbay three cod-liver oil factories, producing thirteen and a half tuns of refined and five tuns of common oil and fat; and at Pouch Cove, three cod-liver oil factories producing twenty-eight tuns of refined and seven tuns < >f common oil, the whole valued at $16,104. There were, also, three cod-liver oil manufactories at Petty Harbour, quantity and value not specified. In St. John’s there was one foundry, employing seven hands, value of castings $6,540.

There were three breweries and distilleries, employing thirteen hands, distilling 16,000 gallons of malt liquor and 10,000 gallons of distilled liquor. The following are the aggregate returns for the whole island:—Fourteen saw mills, valued at $22,800; three grist mills; boots and shoes manufactured, $34,714; cabinet ware, $130 ; carts and carnages, $392; wooden ware, $24,976; lime burnt, 16,500 bushels; butter manufactured, 129,726 lbs.; cheese, 600 lbs.; value of agricultural implements, $1,200; oil clothing, $2,700; home-spun cloth, 500 yards; soap, 10,000 lbs.; candles, 500 lbs.; stockings and gloves 500 pairs.

The return for 1869 gives the land under culture, 41,715 acres. Yield of crops—turnips, 17,000 bushels; potatoes, 308,357 bushels; hay, 20,458 tons. Butter made, 168,508 lbs. Horses, 3,764 ; horned cattle, 13,721; sheep, 23,044; goats, 6,417, and swine, 19,081. The manufactures amounted in value to $72,675.

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