Imagens das páginas

he generally cleared $350 per hand, after deducting all expenses for the year, including the purchase of bacon, which, on account of the climate, it is difficult to make there.

The sugar culture is most profitable when carried on with a tolerably large force, and with every facility which is afforded by steam-power for making the sugar. The grinding by steam-power is much superior to the method of using horses or mules, and the patent method of refining by steam in a vacuum is simple and preferable to any other.

The cultivation of Cuba tobacco is carried on to a considerable extent in East Florida, and might be much more extended. The culture is a very profitable one as is shown by the following statement made by J. M. Hernandez, Esq., of Florida, and published some years since in the Southern Agriculturist :

“ Taking 600 lbs., which is the average product per acre, it would yield (if well cured,) at 50 cents per lb. $300 in the leaf.

“ The following exhibits the profits to be derived from it when manufactured into segars : 600 lbs., allowing 8 lbs. to the 1,000, would produce 75,000 segars, which at $10 per M.....

........... $750,00 Cost of the leaf.........

................$187.50_487.50 Worth of manufacture at $2.50 per M................... 187.50-487.50

Difference in favor of the manufacturer......................... $262.50

“ This amount being the profits of the manufacturer alone, the profit to him who would combine both pursuits would be more than doubled.”

The work of Mazantez contains minute directions for the culture of tobacco. Our space, however, does not permit us to give his method here. It is very similar to that now adopted in Florida. *

* In the years 1846, '47 and '48, we made the experiment of raising Cuba Tobacco on our plantation here. (Barnwell District, S. C.) The seed were imported from Havana in January, '46 and planted each year in February. The first year produced a mild and fragrant weed-like that raised in Cuba ; the second year it lost some of its peculiar aroma and was otherwise stronger; the third year it degenerated into something similar to common American tobacco. We inferred from this that a superior article of Cuba Tobacco might be raised, with favorable seasons, in South Carolina, by importing the seed from Cuba every year; and an ordinary article every other season by importing every third year.

Corn can be raised in Florida to supply the demand for it. On account of the climate, however, the weavel is so destructive that it will not last through the summer if permitted to lie in the crib without any preparation or guard against this insect. But proper attention by means well known to experienced planters as to the use of salt, lime, &c, will prevent this cause of complaint.

Potatoes, Peas and Oats grow abundantly.

Among the fruits of East Florida are the orange, lemon, lime, cocoa, guava, citron, pine-apple, banana, grape, fig, date, olive, &c. Previous to the year 1835, much attention was given to the rearing of groves of the sweet orange, and large investments had been made in planting out nurseries, which, indeed, could hardly supply the demand for the young trees. St. Augustine was one immense orange orchard; the annual export from this city amounting to between 2 and 3,000,000 oranges. The business was a source of revenue and profit to the place of great value. Eighteen years ago, the income to the the city was about $72,000 per annum. In very productive years, some of the orange groves paid as high as three thousand dollars. The largest and best trees sometimes produce six hundred; and the average product per annum of a single tree was five hundred oranges. During the orange season, the harbor of St. Augustine was enlivened by numerous fruit vessels that crowded the river for the purchase and transportation of oranges to other ports; but, on a night in February, 1835, known by the people of the United States as the coldest within their recollection, its chilly blasts reached the orange groves of St. Augustine and the country adjacent, and cut down the entire species of the orange. In one night, the labor and profit of years, the inheritance of many generations--the little all of many families, was destroyed! Poverty and distress overtook those who but the day before were in comparative affluence ! The revenues of the city ceased, and it has never recovered from that stroke. The population, which was then from four to five thousand, is now reduced to two thousand. Shoots from the dead trunks of the old trees have indeed sprung up, and they have preserved a sickly growth ever since; but all efforts to resuscitate the tree have been rendered of no avail by the ravages of an insignificant insect—the “bark louse," one of the cocideæ, which preys on the life of the young shoots. Even those shoots that survive and bear fruit are covered with animalculæ. Efforts, however, are still being made to rear orange trees, and there seems to be a prospect of success. The orange culture has been proved to be a source of great profit: it will be so again whenever success shall attend the planting of groves.* · The culture of the pine apple in South Florida will be found to be equally as profitable as that of the orange; and although the lands which are adapted to this culture are of limited extent, they are yet extensive enough to produce an amount sufficient to supply the home market. The pine is said to mature its fruit from the slips, when properly set out, in about eighteen months, and their stocks will continue to bear for several years. An acre of land is capable of producing forty thousand pine-apples, and they will command in the market, 10 to $18 per hundred. Allowing that the pine-apple, on account of risks in transportation and cost of getting to market, should be worth only half the market price in the field, yet an acre of thrifty, well cultivated pines will yield from $1,500 to $2,000 per annum. At five cents each, the product of an acre of pine-fruit would be $2,000. They often sell, we are told, in Charleston at twenty-five to thirty-seven and a half cents each.

On the banks of the Indian River and St. Lucie Sound, where lie the tropical fruit lands of South Florida, a region of country lying some forty miles below Cape Canavaral, there are great resources for fruit. Orange orchards, pine-apple fields, banana and cocoanut groves are now in process of cultivation by settlers, many of whom are from the North, and have begun to clear these lands within the last few years, and ere long we may expect that they will furnish for Northern markets the delicious products of tropical climes. The adaptation of the soil and climate of South Florida to the production of tropical fruits is no longer an experiment. Though north of the tropical latitude, the climate is so genial, that it nourishes with luxuriance, in the open air, most of the fruits of tropical climes. We have seen and eaten of as fine specimens of the lemon, lime, guava and banana as those we have met with in Cuba.* To those who, on account of constitutional delicacy, consumptive habits, or other causes at the North, are disposed to seek other and more congenial latitudes, this section of Florida offers tempting inducements. How many poor working men of the North, whose labor is the support of helpless families, and who are destined to die by inches of that dreadful disease, consumption, by remaining in their present situation, might have their lives prolonged to a green and happy old age by changing their occupations, and engaging in the rural employments of this genial region! · The lands of South Florida on the east coast, in the region of

*Orange Lake, in sight of Micanopy, is girdled with orange groves. Bitter-sweets and sour are the only kinds in these dense groves. They bear abundantly, and when thinned out and left at a proper distance in the fields have a rich and pleasing appearance from the deep green foliage and pendent golden fruit. The bitter-sweet eats very well, and the sour when mixed with sugar and water, makes a cooling and pleasant beverage. Throughout the Peninsula, large groves of these trees may be seen.

Indian River, have the appearance of being an older formation, and are on a higher level above the sea than those higher up the coast. The landscape presents a finer view, and the climate is more salubrious. The attractions of Indian River for those who wish to make their own labor their capital, from which they may be enabled to draw, with moderate exertions, a support for themselves and families, are great; as we said before, it is one of the best “poor man's” countries that we know of.. .

It is curious to observe the various impressions and opinions held respecting Florida by persons who have gone there. Some are loud in their praises of both her soil and climate, while others are just the reverse. Much depends upon the opportunities which these persons have had for judging of the country, and the motives by which they were instigated in going.

There is a class of persons in the world whose sole object in life seems to be the making of money! Their estimate of a country is always according to the number of dollars and cents

* Mr. Russell, on Indian River, has raised a number of fine specimens of these fruits the past season. Dr. Speer, of Mellonville, has raised, the past season, twenty thousand lemons from two hundred and fifty trees.

they can put into their pockets. They are nothing more than speculators, and care little about the health or happiness of the community where they operate. If their schemes are successful, it is a fine country; if not, it is unfit to live in.

There is another class, a visionary and hopeful one, that never succeed anywhere. Hearing of the extraordinary crops of some planter, in which five hundred dollars were made to hand, he forthwith sells out his old home, takes up the line of march, and is soon encamped on lands purchased in the vicinity of the prospering planter. In a few years he finds that he is not as successful as his neighbor, and cannot understand why it is so. He becomes discouraged, and sighs for a return back to his worn-out lands, blaming Florida for his ill-success.

The third class, and it is much the largest, is composed of intelligent, energetic and practical men, whose lands at home have become so much worn and exhausted, as not to remunerate them for the labor bestowed in their cultivation. Calmly and dispassionately they examine for themselves the lands of Florida; the amount and character of their produce; the advantages and disadvantages of climate, health, &c.; in short, they estimate all the incidents of a planting interest, and then proceed practically, energetically, and perseveringly to work. Such men think well of Florida, and are successful there, and do not hesitate to recommend to others, planting worn-out land, like that which they left, to follow their example.

R. JUNE, 1854.

ART. III.-MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE. 1. A practical treatise of the law of marriage and divorce. By

Leonard Shelford of the Middle Temple. " 2. An Act to divorce certain persons therein named. Pamph

let acts, &c. The primal act by which human society was organized, the first social institution, was that of marriage. St. Augustine, finds in the first ordinances of the Creator concerning man, the constitution of this society, and a declaration of the terms on which it should exist, and the objects it was to serve.

« AnteriorContinuar »