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Surveying, Leveling, &c. In English Literature, under Prof. ABBOT, they have studied Analysis of the English Sentence, Rhetoric, Ancient History, and the Nature and use of Arguments.
The past season has been a most unpropitious one for farm labor. Thirty of forty-two consecutive days in the early part of the season were rainy. It was, therefore almost impossible to get seed into the earth. A large portion of what was planted by our neighbors, rotted in the ground. In several instances, our own seed was twice replanted. Our corn-field was infested with pigeons and squirrels. At a later period we were visited by a severe drought.
But in spite of all these difficulties our crops have been successful, though moderate. It is sufficient to say, that they averaged larger than those of our neighbors. The wheat crop of the vicinity was almost entirely cut off by the midge and rust. The average was not over six bushels per acre. Our own crop was about eleven bushels per Of corn, our crop was twenty-six bushels per acre, and of potatoes, one hundred and twenty-five bushels per acre. The productions on the estate the present season have been three hundred and sixteen bushels of wheat, seven hundred bushels of corn, sixty-five bushels of barley, five hundred bushels of oats, one thousand bushels of potatoes, forty bushels of beans, five hundred bushels of turnips, and a large quantity of vegetables, sufficient to supply our tables abundantly for about six months. It may be mentioned that the productions of field and garden, each and all, were of the finest description as to quality. As an evidence of successful culture, it may be adduced, that a portion of the garden planted to potatoes expressly for early use of the table, produced at the rate of two hundred and eighty bushels per acre on the poorest sandy soil of the farm, high cultivation triumphing over excessive rains, and drought, and poverty of soil.
Continual and thorough hoeing, even when our garden and fields were parched like ashes, secured a sustained and vigorous growth, and saved crops that otherwise would have been lost, impressing the vital lesson that high culture is a guaranty against drought.
During the Summer Term of twenty-nine weeks, a large amount of labor was performed in spite of difficulties, and the afflictions incident to the country and the peculiar season. A large number of the students were compelled to leave the Institution in consequence of sickness, and many who remained were invalids. At one time, but about thirty were in the field, and as each was employed but three hours, they were not equal to eight able bodied men. The discouragement was almost equally severe for several weeks, and extended with more or less severity over a pe riod of three months.
During the summer, 100 acres of heavy timbered land have been logged and cleared. Stumps have been extracted, mostly by Willis's Stump Machine, from eighteen acres of land. One mile and an half of tile drain has been laid, some of it through quicksands, and through places presenting formidable obstacles to drainage. Students did not shrink even from this labor. Land where the water had stood from time immemorial at depths vary. ing from one to three feet on the surface, is now brought under cultivation, and produced good crops of corn and turnips the past season. Twenty-nine acres of wheat were harvested and threshed. The areas planted to spring crops were as follows: Corn, 23 acres; Barley and Oats, 30 acres, which was sown to Clover; Potatoes, 8 acres ; Beans, 2 acres; Turnips, 11 acres, and Garden, 5 acres. We have in Wheat 35 acres, which now promises well. We invite a comparison with any wheat upon new land in the State. Orchards have been commenced, and 400 trees set out, of a few varieties sanctioned by experience and tested in our latitude, most of which were transplanted
from a nursery of high reputation in New York. grounds around the dwelling houses were put in good condition, and 100 ornamental trees set out. Work has been performed on the public road leading to and through the estate. Three hundred cords of wood have been sawed and split. The repairing in wood during the Term was done by students skilled in the use of tools. The horses, oxen and cows have been in charge of students specially detailed to these respective trusts, and having in charge an average of twenty-two animals, not a single one has been lost by negligence or disease since the College opened, a period of nearly nineteen months-an evidence of fidelity and skill rarely witnessed on any farm. Students take charge of the buildings, and for the last four months of the Summer Term, they voluntarily assumed the duties of waiting upon the tables.
It has been found impossible for any Professor to perform the duties of Secretary, according to Section 10 of the organic act of the Institution. That section contemplates a maturity of the Farm, which does not exist. The heavy expenses incident to clearing are so merged and identified with the labors of raising the earliest crops, that separation and posting of the separate cost of each would engross more time than has been allowed to any Professor to perform it. Exact comparisons and tests, and deductions of practical and useful results, suppose highly cultivated land and fields with well-defined and permanent fences, and presumes the estate to have entirely emerged from that rough and crude condition in which we found it. The most important portions of the information however, demanded by that section, are embraced in this Report.
The Institution has met with serious calamities. There is great misapprehension, however, in the public mind relative to its cost. Of the aggregate cost of $109,792 73, at which it will stand in January next, $56,320 has been or will be derived from the Salt Spring Lands, which cost the
people of Michigan nothing. The balance of $53,472 73, would not be more than seven cents per capita upon the people of Michigan. But at most, the Agricultural College of the State has not cost at this time a sum but a trifle larger than the aggregate costs of the three Uuion Schoolhouses of Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Niles, a sum not onesixth larger than the annual expenditures of the Girard College, at Philadelphia, a sum not larger than it takes to sustain one single college a year in one of the Eastern States, a sum less than than the aggregate annual expenditure for three years of our own noble University.
A critical examination of the Financial Accounts rendered will show that the appropriation of $40,000, of February, 1857, proved sufficient for the maintenance of the the Institution and proposed improvements for two years, for which it was intended; the consumption of the balance on hand of old appropriation, and also of an amount equivalent to present indebtedness, being in payment of debts and contracts existing and maturing before the Faculty entered upon active duty, May 13, and for completion and repair of buildings supposed to be finished, expenses not contemplated in the appropriation named.
It is a significant fact that for three miles from the College, in every direction, land has risen in value at rates varying from ten per cent. to one hundred per cent.
It is also a significant fact that numerous applications for admission to the Institution continue to be received from various States of the Union. I think our present accommodations could easily be filled from other States.
In regard to Legislation, several topics deserve attention.
The Library is entirely inadequate to meet the wants of the little community already within the walls of the College. No specific appropriation is asked for, because it is not absolutely indispensable, yet in miscellaneous reading the Library will be very deficient, and some provision
ought to be made. If the State Librarian, in a manner prescribed by law, was authorized to deposit one copy of such volumes as the State Library contains duplicates of, or more copies than are necessary for the use of the Leg. islature, it would afford some relief to the College, and might preserve them in the contingency of fire, for the benefit of the State.
The students of the Institution are now divided into three classes. The most advanced class will have completed its course of studies, if the members remain, before another Legislature assembles. The law creating the Insti tution, does not empower the Faculty to confer degrees. It is worth consideration, whether, for acquisitions of as high an arder, the same honorable recognition should not be conferred, as is done by other Institutions.
It has become manifest from the experience of two winters, that the most advanced students will, many of them, be compelled to teach School during the winter months. This will prove a serious embarrassment to the College and to themselves. It is worthy the deliberation of the Legislature whether Section 6 of the organic law of the Institution might not be so changed as to throw the whole, or nearly the whole, of the vacations of the year into midwinter.
It is apparent from the last clause of Section 5, of the same law, that at the commencement of each term, if more students apply than can be accommodated, the benefits of the Institution are confined to citizens of this State. At the same time, we are advised by the Attorney General, that students could be admitted from other States to existing vacancies at any time. This anomaly may, therefore, occur, that students from other States might be admitted to the Institution in the middle, while they could not at the commencement of a Term. The law should be explic. it. The privileges of the Institution should be confined expressly to our own citizens, or residents of other States