« PreviousContinue »
Bul. 3, Division of Publications U. S. Dept. of Agriculture.
DESIGN FOR DEPARTMENT BUILDING AS PROPOSED BY MR. LE DUC IN 1880.
In spite of his opposition to the distribution of common seeds, Mr. Le Duc sent out, in 1877, 2,333,474 packages, of which 943,530 went to the district ravaged by grasshoppers. He also distributed 156,862 plants, cuttings, etc., from the propagating gardens, of which 70,000 were tea plants, 3,000 olives, 1,000 coffee, and 500 date palms.
Commissioner Le Duc recommended the erection of a larger Department building on the same site. The plans approved by him were for a structure in the form of a rectangular parallelogram 500 'feet by 1,000 feet, with an inclosed court for a display of agricultural implements. The view of the front of the proposed building here (Pl. I) presented was published in the report of 1880.
COMMISSIONER LORING’S TERM. Dr. George B. Loring, of Massachusetts, was appointed Commissioner of Agriculture by President Garfield, and took charge on July 1, 1881. He was educated as a physician, but was postmaster at Salem, Mass., for four years ending in 1857, and from that time devoted his time to scientific farming and politics. He was president of the New England Agricultural Society for twenty-seven years prior to his death in 1891.
In his first report he stated the work of the Department as he found it as follows: Investigations of tea planting, of sugar making from sorghum, of vegetable and animal fibers, of economic insects, of irrigation by the use of artesian wells, of diseases of domestic animals, and of the agricultural condition of the Pacific coast. .
The tea farm, as shown in a report by Mr. Saunders, the Horticulturist, gave little promise, and Commissioner Loring cut down the outlay in that direction as much as practicable under the lease already made. The attempt to sink an artesian well at Fort Lyon, Colorado, undertaken under Commissioner Le Duc, was abandoned. Two other wells were started on railroad lines in the plains east of Denver. The sorghum experiments were brought to a close with disappointing results as to the production of sugar. A report was secured from the National Academy of Science on the history of sorghum experiments for twenty-five years. Experiments with sorghum sirup were continued by the chemist. The distribution of sugar-beet seed on a large scale was begun and the Division of Chemistry began a series of analyses to determine the possibilities of producing sugar from beets.
Origin of Bureau of Animal Industry.—Commissioner Loring gave especial attention to the diseases of domestic animals, and the appropriation for investigations in that line was more than doubled. A veterinary experiment station was established at Washington under D. E. Salmon. Inquiries were carried on in Maine, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Texas. The study of inoculation, which resulted in the discovery and use of mallein and other forms of vaccine made and distributed by the Department, was suggested in the report for 1883. The control of quarantine against diseased animals was transferred to the Commissioner from the Treasury Department. In 1884 the Bureau of Animal Industry was established by act of Congress with $150,000 to prosecute the crusade against pleuro-pneumonia and other diseases.
The problem of silk culture was taken up anew with an appropriation of $15,000 in 1884. A special agent was appointed to conduct experiments under the direction of the entomologist.
The United States Entomological Commission was transferred to the Department of Agriculture from the Department of the Interior in 1881 and continued its reports on injurious insects.
Development of the work in statistics.—The Division of Statistics was reorganized, with a view to a more complete and perfect system of crop reporting. The appropriation was raised in 1882 to $80,000.
“The design is,” wrote DocGEORGE B. LORING,
tor Loring in his report, “by 1881-1885.
establishing a permanent sys
tem of efficient and prompt collection of current statistics to be able to present instantly and accurately the current changes in crop areas and conditions and in the production of breadstuffs, meats, industrial products, and all the results of agricultural labor.”
The publication of transportation rates was begun in the monthly reports by the direction of Congress, and a European agency was established for the collection of statistics showing the prospective demand for American produce, especially grain and meats. E. J. Moffat was appointed as agent at $2,500 a year. He had his office with the American consul-general in London. .
The Bahia seedless oranges were propagated extensively in the conservatories at Washington at this time, and young plants were sent to California and other States. Mr. Saunders estimated that the Division of Gardens and Grounds was sending out yearly 100,000
Commissioner of Agriculture.
plants of all kinds. Increasing quantities of seeds were distributed, reaching in 1883 a total of 2,467,230 packages, of which 76,232 packages were tobacco seed.
COMMISSIONER COLMAN'S ADMINISTRATION.
Hon. Norman J. Colman, of Missouri, was appointed Commissioner by President Cleveland, and took his place on April 3, 1885.
Norman J. Colman was born near Richfield Springs, N. Y., May 16, 1827. He obtained an academic education, then went to Louisville, Ky., where he taught school, attended the Louisville Law University, took the degree of bachelor of law and his license to practice, and located at New Albany, Ind., where he began the practice of his profession in partnership with M. C. Kerr (his former room and class mate), who became Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States and died while holding that office. They soon obtained a fine practice, and Mr. Colman was elected district attorney, which office he held one year, and then removed to St. Louis, Mo., continuing the practice of his profession. But having a strong love for rural pursuits, he purchased a country home, and began the publication of an agricultural paper under the name of Colman's Rural World. In the civil war he was a Union man, and lieutenant
NORMAN J. COLMAN,
Commissioner and Secretary of Agriculture. colonel of the Eighty-fifth Regiment of Enrolled Missouri Militia. In 1865 he was elected to the Missouri legislature. In 1868 he was nominated by his party (Democratic) for lieutenant-governor, but with his entire party ticket was defeated. In 1874 he was again nominated for lieutenant-governor and was elected. He was a member of the board of curators of the State University for sixteen years. He was president of the State Horticultural Society, of the State Live Stock Breeders' Association, of the State Board of Agriculture, and of many other State and National associations organized to advance the interests of the farmer. In 1885, when appointed by President Cleveland to be United States Commissioner of Agriculture, he enlarged the sphere of the Department, adding several important divisions. Under his administration it became one of the Executive Departments of the Government on February 9, 1889,