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of every position in life, so that all may receive the benefits paid for by all. At the same time statements of progress in scientific research were issued in technical language in limited number for the benefit of persons associated more or less directly with Department scientists in their investigations. The illustration of these books was directed to making clear the statements of the text. The Yearbook series of the Department, which had recently been started when Mr. Wilson came into office, was continued and improved. It has received the commendation of American farmers and farm journals as well as European authorities.

The distribution of Department publications to farmers constituted an important feature in connection with their publication. Press notices, lists of new and of all available publications were issued to keep the people informed as to what information and aid could be obtained. At the same time methods of keeping record of where valuable books have been sent as well as of inquiry as to where they are needed were combined to secure the greatest usefulness of these books to the farming world. .

The demand for these publications has so far exceeded the supply that it has been necessary practically to do away with all free distribution, except to persons who contribute by service rendered to the Department work. Sales of them have increased notably in recent years.

Special efforts by indexing were made to keep easily in reach of farmers and students such information as has been secured by the Department.

Expositions. The several important expositions of the past eight years received due consideration. The Department has been fitly represented at Nashville, at Omaha, at Buffalo, 'at Paris, at St. Louis, and at Portland. What is being done for the farmer and farming was put before the world and had a wide influence in increasing the knowledge of the American public as to their opportunities for informing themselves regarding progressive farming and in the same degree as the spread of this knowledge was accomplished the usefulness of the Department was increased.

Work in new territory.—The discovery of gold in Alaska and the addition of the several island possessions to the United States in 1897–98 presented new fields for Department operations, and they were promptly occupied. Explorations and preliminary surveys were made with the purpose of determining the agricultural products and possibilities of all, and experts were set to work to introduce new methods, to improve old methods of work, and to find where new crops and industries could be established. Tropical and subtropical crops were carefully studied, and the problem of live-stock production was investigated. Experiment stations were established in Alaska, Hawaii, and Porto Rico, and aid was given in the organization of a department of agriculture in the Philippines.

Study in the Department.—The library of the Department affords a means for the study by persons fitted for independent investigation of what has already been done in the leading agricultural problems that is hardly equaled anywhere else in the world. Its growth has been steady and well regulated. In 1897 there were 58,000 volumes; in 1905 the number had grown to 81,000.

The need of specially trained assistants in the Department work and the existence of unusual opportunities for study joined to make practicable a system of admission of young men and women into certain branches of Department work at low salaries with the purpose of continuing their studies along their chosen lines. From these student assistants the Department has selected a number of capable officials, whose service has justified the establishment of the system.


With the establishment of a new department of Government in 1862 it was expected that separate offices would be provided, but this was not done till six years later. Reservation 2, at Washington, D. C., a square of ground between Twelfth and Fourteenth streets SW., B street SW., and the canal (B street NW.), containing about 40 acres, was given to Commissioner Newton as an experimental farm. The ground was broken, a supply of water was carried from the city waterworks, and considerable planting was done, but there was little building during his time.

The first Department building.-In 1867 Congress appropriated $100,000 for the erection on the reservation of an office building for the Department. The contract was let to Francis Gibbons, jr., of Baltimore, and on September 1, 1868, the house was ready for occupancy. The frontispiece of this bulletin shows this building. About the same time houses for use in the propagation of plants for distribution were erected, along with conservatories, and a grapery · for tests of foreign grapes. The total cost of these buildings was $140,000.

Afterwards some additions were made, but nothing considerable was done till after the Atlanta Exposition in 1880. The Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia added a large amount of material to the Department museum, but it was thought sufficient to provide space for this by putting up a gallery around the large room on the second floor of the main building. This was then occupied by the museum, as it is now by the library. But after the Atlanta Exposition other additions to the museum were made, and it was then found necessary to have more room. Accordingly $10,000 was appropriated in 1881 for the construction of a building for its use. The bill called it a “building for display of agricultural implements.” It was intended by Commissioner Le Duc that this should be of brick, and it was to be located some distance north of the southeast corner of the reservation. Excavations for the foundation were dug on this proposed site, but Mr. Le Duc was succeeded by Commissioner Loring and the plans were changed. The extreme southeast corner of the grounds was chosen, and the frame structure long used as a museum and for offices for several divisions of the Department was erected.

Erection of smaller structures.—Immediately after this an appropriation of $25,000 for a building for the storage and distribution of seeds was made, and the brick structure just southeast of the main building was put up. It was occupied by the Seeds Division on the first floor and the Division of Statistics on the second; but when, under Secretary Morton, the distribution of seed was taken away from Washington, the lower story of the building was given to the Divisions of Entomology and Biological Survey. In 1879 an appropriation of $1,500 was made for the building of the stable and in 1883 $2,500 for an additional greenhouse. In 1897 provision was made for the erection of a fireproof building at a cost not to exceed $3,000. This was put up near the south entrance to the grounds at a cost of $1,650.66. It furnished safe storage for important books and records. The majority of the other structures on the ground were built by the carpenter, Mr. Halley, from the Department contingent fund. In all not more than $210,000 appears to have been expended for the Department buildings up to the beginning of Secretary Wilson's administration.

Weather Bureau buildings.—The buildings for the Weather Bureau at Twenty-fourth and M streets NW. were purchased, along with the site, in 1888 for $112,000. The service was then still in the War Department. Additions were made to adapt the place for its use at a cost of $38,000. The grounds contain 54,000 square feet.

The buildings occupied by Weather Bureau stations at several points are owned by the Department, and several of the more important have been erected in recent years. In 1903 it was determined. to establish a meteorological observatory similar to the great institutions maintained by the leading nations of the world, and a high point on the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, about 50 miles from Washington, was chosen as the site. The place was called Mount Weather and is the highest elevation within easy reach of the Capital. Its elevation is 1,800 feet. The erection of suitable buildings was begun promptly in 1903, and as soon as one was completed it was equipped and scientific work was commenced. Already buildings which cost $150,000 have been erected and equipped, and construction and equipment are still steadily progressing.

New Department building.–The buildings occupied by the Department were found to be constantly more inadequate as the work grew rapidly in many directions, and the number and cost of rented buildings greatly increased. In 1901 an appropriation of $5,000 was made for the selection of architect and plans for a new building. Under the direction of the Supervising Architect, Treasury Department, a commission, consisting of Messrs. D. H. Burnham, C. F. McKim, Augustus St. Gaudens, F. L. Olmsted, jr., and James K. Taylor, was named to pass upon architects and drawings.

On February 9, 1903, Congress appropriated $1,500,000 for the . new building and made $250,000 available for the commencement of work. In September, 1903, Rankin, Kellogg & Crane, of Philadelphia, were selected as architects and a contract for plans and specifications was made with them. At that tiine the Department was occupying about 3 acres of floor space, over half of which was rented. A building committee, consisting of B. T. Galloway, D. E. Salmon, and A. C. True, was appointed to supervise the work on behalf of the Secretary. They worked out a scheme for a series of buildings, ten in all, as originally planned, connected by pavilions and constiucted so as to make a harmonious whole. Nine of these were to be laboratory buildings, grouped about a central structure designed for administrative uses. The two principal laboratory buildings are now in course of construction and it is expected that they will be completed within the contract time, November 14, 1907.

Experimental grounds and Arlington farm.—The reservation at Twelfth and B streets SW. continued to be used as an experimental garden till after the erection of the Department buildings. It was then agreed that for anything in the way of an experimental farm a much larger tract ought to be provided, and that Mr. Saunders, then the Department horticulturist, should be directed to lay out and improve the grounds as an arboretum, to contain all the trees and shrubs which will grow without protection in this climate. They were to be grouped according to their families. The old canal was still in existence in front of the grounds and had to be filled. At the same time Mr. Saunders was converting the swampy reaches of the reservation into the present handsomely rolling grounds, covered with fine trees and surmounted at the front of the building by a terrace, with a beautiful display of flowers. The work of filling the canal and laying out and beautifying the grounds was completed in 1871.

The rich lands lying on an island in the Potomac opposite Washington, known as the Potomac Flats, were turned over to the Department in 1898 for use in seed testing and experiments with crops. A number of tests were made there and some unusual results in crop production were secured. But soon after the Bureau of Plant Industry was organized the part of the Arlington estate in Virginia, border

ing immediately on the river, about 300 acres, was given to the Secretary by act of Congress to be used as an experiment farm, and an appropriation of $10,000 was made in the bill of 1901 to provide for its maintenance. This farm is under the control of the Bureau of Plant Industry, but space is allowed to other branches of the Department whenever they have farming experiments to make. The land was originally barren but it is being brought up to a high state of fertility and cultivation.


The Department of Agriculture up to May 1, 1906, cost the people of the United States, all told, $60,110,836. This is much less than $1,500,000 a year. The question naturally presents itself: In what manner and to what extent has it made a return for this outlay? For in this respect does the Department of Agriculture differ from all the other departments of the Government; namely, that its services are more susceptible of being measured in actual money value. Its duties are not confined to the collection of taxes nor to police protection; it spreads information by which the people are better able to pay taxes and to protect their property and increase its value. About the time the work of the Department began it was necessary to import considerable quantities of agricultural products. This was partly due to bad crop seasons, but partly also to careless and ignorant methods of culture. Fertilizers were little known, barnyard manure was still regarded in many places as a nuisance to be got rid of, and rotation of crops was little practiced. Planting according to the phases of the moon was still in vogue in some sections.

Increase in cereals.—The production of corn and wheat, shown by the census, affords some proof of the increasing effectiveness of cultivation and, by just inference, of the assistance given by the Department. In 1839 the production of corn was 23 bushels for each person in the United States; in 1859 it was 27 bushels; in 1899, 34 bushels. This does not of course show with certainty that there was a corresponding increase in the production for each acre cultivated, but a comparison of the crop of 1879 with that of 1889 justifies that inference. In 1879 there were 35 bushels of corn raised for every person in the country, in 1889 only 34 bushels, but the production per acre increased from 28.1 bushels in 1879 to 29.5 in 1889. It may be supposed that a similar increase in product per acre would be found for the other decades if a record of the acreage planted had been made.

The comparison of the production of wheat gives a similar result. The quantity raised for each person in 1839 was 5.3 bushels; in 1890 it was 7.4.

Other manifest gains.—Through its Division of Statistics the Depart

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