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Cotton.—It is calculated, that 2,400,000 acres in the state of Louisiana are fit for the culture of cotton, which, at the rate of 240 pounds (clean) per acre, would amount to 576,000,000 pounds; and the revenue resulting therefrom, at fifteen cents per pound, would amount to 86,400,000 dollars. The quantity from 250 acres, cultivated by fifty workmen, is estimated at 60,000 pounds, which, at fifteen cents per pound, would give 9000 dollars, or 180 for each hand. The average quantity of cotton, in seed, produced from an acre, is stated by French writers at 1500 pounds, the net quantity 400 pounds; which, at twenty-five dollars the quintal, amounts to 100 dollars per acre; but the injury which may be occasioned by caterpillars, rain, &c. is estimated at one-third. * Cotton is planted in the latter end of March, blossoms about the middle of June, and is gathered or picked about the 1st of September. It was formerly cultivated with great success by the French colonists, and a species of the white Siam was preferred, which thrives well in a light
* Mr Schulta estimates the general average produce of cotton from Palmyra and the country below, at 2000 pounds per acre, valued in the seed at from four to five dollars the cwt. and from fourteen to fifteen when cleaned. A prime slave can cultivate three acres, which, at a low calculation, will yield a net profit of 240 dollars, from which is to be deducted the expeuces of the slave, estimated at 200 dollars. Mr Robertson, member of congress from this state, says, in a letter to the author of the Western Gazetteer, (p. 148,) that the cotton lands of Louisiana yield from 500 to 2000 pounds weight of seed cotton per acre; and that a hand will cultivate ten acres.
soil, high and dry. The seeds are sown about three feet asunder. Indigo grows naturally on the high lands, where the climate and soil are so favourable, that three cuttings are obtained, equal in quantity to four in the islands, but of a quality inferior to that of Cuba. The rich soil on which it may be cultivated embraces an extent of 2,000,000 of acres. The quantity produced from 150 acres, by fifty workmen, is about 7000 pounds, which, at one dollar per pound, would give 7000 dollars, or 140 to each hand. This plant requires a deep, rich, and black loam. It has given place to the culture of cotton, which is more profitable, but it is still cultivated in the Opelousas.
Tobacco can be raised in different parts of the state. The land adapted to its cultivation is estimated at 15,000,000 of acres. The quantity raised by fifty workmen is estimated at 60,000 pounds, which, at ten dollars per cwt. would give 5357 dollars, or 107 to each hand. The tobacco of the low grounds of Red river and of Natchitoches is of an excellent quality. According to Mr Sibley's statement, the low grounds of the latter have, without manure, produced luxuriant crops of tobacco aud maize for nearly a hundred years. It was formerly cultivated with great success by the French colonists, and some raised in the upper country was sold at five shillings a pound, but it was soon taxed so heavily by the government, that the culture was neglected, though there was an advantage in Louisiana, not found in Virginia and Maryland; that of having two crops in the year. After the first is cut, fresh shoots spring up, which are brought to maturity, by the greater length of the summer.
Silk.—The high lands, where the natural mulberry abounds, are peculiarly adapted to the culture of silk, and the worms might be fed and cleaned by children or young negroes, without interrupting other sort of work, as Dupratz has justly observed. Hemp grows naturally to the height of six feet. Esculent plants grow everywhere without manure, and yield a greater produce than in many other countries with manuring. Melons, particularly the water melon, has a fine flavour. The artichoke is said to grow on the borders of Red river, to the height of ten or twelve feet. The northern parts of the state will probably be found more favourable to the growth of the potatoe and other edible roots than the lower parts. Of the fig tree, three or four species are cultivated. The most delicate fruit is the large purple fig, sold in the markets, which unfortunately does not grow above the 30th parallel of latitude. The yellow French fig is cultivated as far north as the 33d degree. The fruit ripens in July, and is often injured by the heavy showers which fall in that month. The olive tree is common, and the Provengals who were settled in Louisiana affirmed, that the olives yielded as good an oil as those of their native country; and on the high dry soil the tree is not liable to be killed by the frost as on the coast in South Carolina. * Peach trees grow everywhere throughout the state luxuriantly, and have been long cultivated by the Indians. Some late travellers saw clumps of this tree at the villages of the Yatasuc na
* American Husbandry, 86, Vol. II.
tion, near the Sabine river. It thrives well below the 33d degree of latitude, but is liable to injury from the heavy rains that fall along the Mississippi in July and August, and the blossom is sometimes nipt by early frosts. The fruit is ripe from the middle of July to the end of August. The French colonists planted the peach stones about the end of February, and gathered from one tree, the third year, at least 200 peaches, and double that number for six or seven years more, before the tree died. * The fruit of the apple tree and pear tree, in the southern parts, is injured by too great heat. The pomegranates are excellent. The meet orange tree is everywhere cultivated, below the 30th degree of latitude, above which it is liable to injury from frost. Some pine apples are produced in the upper part of the state. The citron, lemon, and lime, are also cultivated below the i>ame parallel. The fruit of the cherry tree is of an inferior quality. The plum tree bears well, in every part of the state where it has been introduced. The mulberry ripens in May. Gooseberries and currants are but indifferent, and in small quantity. The fruit of the persimon grows to the size of a billiard ball, and, in the form of a paste, is employed by the Indians as a remedy for the dysentery. The fruit of the papaw is fine and delicate. The cassavi flour and bread is made of the Mendihoca root. The "wild grape produces fine fruit throughout the state, in places exposed to the sun. Two kinds grow here, which
* American Husbandry, p. 91, Vol. II. VOL. II. M m
are not seen in other parts of the United States; the Vitis iEstivalis and Riparia. The animals injurious to agricultural productions are bears, rats, ants, locusts, and insects of different kinds. The ants carry off the new sown grain, to lay up in their storehouse.
Price of Land, cjc.—From New Orleans to Pointe Coupee the plantations - are sold at from forty to fifty dollars an acre, exclusive of the improvements, which often exceed 50,000 dollars, and of the stock slaves, valued at from 50,000 to 100,000 dollars and upwards. * The price of an African, or brute negro, as
* General La Fayette's large fortune, at the commencement of the American revolutionary war, prevented his acceptance of the share of military lands allotted by congress to the continental officers, although he spent a considerable part of that fortune in support of the American cause; another part was spent during the revolution in France; and the remains of his fortune were confiscated after his proscription, when the revolution of the 10th August threw the power into the hands of those who destroyed the first constitution. His cruel captivity afterwards of five years, in the dungeons of the coalesced powers of Europe, threw him into difficulties, though he received some private aid from generous individuals; particularly from an English lady, Mrs Edwards, who bequeathed him the sum of L.1000. The American congress, apprised of his situation, without any communication with him, passed a resolution, (in which Mr Jefferson warmly interested himself,) to grant him 11,500 acres of land, near Pointe Coup6e, in the richest part of Louisiana, being precisely the quantity originally allotted to officers of his rank (major-general) in the American army. By this delicate proceeding he was enabled to discharge all the debts which he had contracted; and the compare