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The census of 1870 gives an aggregate value of all personal and real property for that year of $29,822,535,140.
The agricultural interest being valued at 38 per cent. of all others combined, the value of farms and property is $11,124,959,037. Value of farms in 18:0......
$9,262,803,861 Value of larm animals in 1870.
1,525,276,747 Value of farm implements in 1870.
In the United States about half, or twenty-three millions, of the people are engaged in agriculture. It is the fundamental business of the country, the leading commercial interest, and the most important home industry. We are a nation of farmers, and because of the vast area of our soil and its great fertility, we must remain sɔ. Our agricultural products not only support our people, but pay for what we buy abroad; they furnish our greatest source of revenue, and to them we are indebted for the balance of trade now being largely in our favor, and that our bonds and other indebtedness held abroad are so rapidly coming home. Ordinarily, upon the results of our crops hinge our prosperity for a given year or period. If the crops are good, business is good; if short, business is dull
The crops exert a controlling influence upon the moneyed operations of the people, at home and abroad. The bankers, manufacturers, and merchants-in fact, all classes of business men-watch, if possible, with more interest and concern the growth and gathering of the crops than the farmer who sows and reaps them. Mr. Jefferson declared that onehalf of our old war debt was paid through the products of agriculture, and it is through them mainly that our new war and other debts have been and must be paid. If the farmers, for a given year, should only raise enough for their own support, the consequences to the other classes would be almost ruinous; and if the crops should absolutely fail for a year, the ruin and the starvation that would follow would be beyond description.
We have rich gold and silver mines, inexhaustible iron, coal, copper, and lead mines, great salt and petroleum wells, large forests of timber; but none of these, nor all combined, are equal to agriculture. Not only are the people of the United States interested in American agriculture, and dependent upon it for support, for revenue, and for prosperity, but the whole world, because America is the granary of the world.
In the United States, a more general and better interest is being awakened in agriculture; its importance is fast becoming better under
stood and appreciated; the people are beginning to learn and understand that mainly to agriculture, now and in the great future, we must look for our prosperity as a nation. It is not so much discredited and abandoned for the overcrowded professions and cities, for mercantile pursuits, and for clerkships, now as in times past.
The following figures, taken from official sources, will serve to show what agriculture has done, and is doing, for the country. An official statement of the Treasury Department, dated January 1, 1879, shows that
The imports for the twelve months ending November 30, 1877, were.. $482,292,984 And for the twelve months ending November 30, 1878, were. 430,661,998 Decrease of imports.....
The exports for the twelve months ending November 30, 1878, were.. $739,971,739 And for the twelve months ending November 30, 1877, were. 623,016,613 Increase of exports....
The exports for the twelve months ending November 30, 1878 .... 739,971,739 The imports for the same period ......
430,661,998 Exports over imports......
-... 309,309,741 This is a good showing in round numbers during 1878. We bought $5,000,000 less and sold $116,000,000 more than we did in 1877, and we sold $309,000,000 more than we bought. This is principally owing to agriculture.
The following table, taken from the official report of the Bureau of Statistics, dated September, 1878, speaks well for agriculture : Statement showing the value and per centage of agricultural products (including products of the
forest) exported from the United States for each year from 1850 to 1078.
Statement showing the value and percentage of agricultural products—Continued.
This statement shows that in 1878 our agricultural products, including forest, were about 82 per cent., and since 1850 they have averaged about 74 per cent. of our total exports.
The annual production and value of cereals for the ten years ending 1877 are given in the following table from official sources:
THE CEREAL CROPS OF THE UNITED STATES. Statement showing the annual production, acreage, total value, value per bushel, yield per acre, and value per acre of the cereal crops of the United States, from 1868 to 1877, inclusive.