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sading editor encouraged the chemists' purpose (23). This technique of periodic analyses, evaluation, and publication Johnson made peculiarly his own in his ensuing long career devoted to demonstrating the usefulness of applying science in the consumers' interest.

JOHNSON ADVOCATED AGRICULTURAL COLLEGES

ness.

During his first year in Norton's laboratory, Johnson accepted Norton's solution to the problem of institutionalizing research in agriculture in the most effective way; he agreed that a well-endowed State agricultural college with an experimental farm should employ teachers for diffusing knowledge and researchers for enlarging it (9). Convinced by the summer of 1851, however, that legislators would continue to balk at bills for a State college, he turned to the county agricultural societies for aid in subsidizing a noncollegiate form of laboratory research and rural education.

Johnson proposed that American farmers ignore their slow-moving State legislatures and, instead, convert their local agricultural societies, already established as features of farm life, into copies of the pace-setting British societies—the Scottish Highland Society and the Royal Agricultural Society.

Each county society, urged Johnson, should recruit a large membership with a minimum of 2,000 dues-payers, incorporate itself as a "Scientific Institution," adopt a constitution, and elect officers, a board of directors, and “one or more professors of agricultural science”; it should construct a building containing lecture rooms, a library, and in particular an analytical chemistry laboratory.

This Agricultural Institute, as Johnson carefully designed it, clearly recognized the chemist as "the chief means of the Society's useful

The heavy responsibility required of the scientist a special capacity and an unusual preparation; the appointee could qualify for his post, Johnson advised, only if his inclination and specialized training fitted him for research and only if, in addition, he understood practical farming. Having made the research scientist the central figure in the Institute, Johnson then placed at his convenience every available resource.

The British technique for subsidizing the agricultural scientist, transmitted by way of Norton's laboratory, Johnson accepted as his model during his 3-year apprenticeship in New Haven. Having finished his studies there, however, he sailed for Europe in the spring of 1853 to begin 2 years of study in German laboratories. Ardently he wished to receive instructions from Professor Justus von Liebig, whose influential book (16) had prodded Professor Johnson into energetic action in Scotland.

The ambitious American managed to make his wish come true although, finding it impossible to enter Liebig's laboratory for some months after arriving in Germany, he spent a period of time at a laboratory in Leipzig. Johnson's stay in the Saxon city proved profitable because it enabled the young chemist to examine a new type of research center differing in several features from the plan for an Agricultural Institute. To the village of Moeckern, lying on the outskirts of Leipzig, went Johnson on a February day in 1854 to visit a new institution, not yet 2 years old, which its founders called an “Agricultural Experiment-Station(16).

MOECKERN PLAN GROWS

The station at Moeckern was the Saxon answer to the search, stirring in the German provinces since the publication of Liebig's treatise in 1840, for methods of applying science to agriculture. Though that volume had evoked considerable discussion among German landowners, 5 years passed before a group of volunteers emerged to urge a proposal for employing an agricultural chemist. In 1845, after the Germans had learned of the Scottish success in operating the Chemistry Association, Friedrich Riessner and his associates submitted a petition to the Saxon government. They requested that their state appoint "an able young chemist” for each circuit district. This chemist should analyze soils and fertilizers when farmers in his district submitted samples; he should travel through his district familiarizing himself with the problems of the practical farmer and giving scientific advice to troubled farmers; he should lecture on agricultural chemistry; he should make the rural population experiment-conscious and improvement-minded (1).

The Moeckern plan maintained, in short, that Saxony should use tax moneys for the hiring of a number of scientists to perform the same type of duty which the Scottish tenants had demanded in 1842. Dispensing with intervening agricultural societies and an Association, it would make the chemists direct employees of the State.

The Saxon governmental officials, skeptical of the capacity of ignorant farmers to benefit from the proposed innovation, denied the petition. They did, however, decide before long to appoint Adolph Stockhardt to a professorship of chemistry at the Royal Academy of Agriculture and Forestry at Tharand. Stockhardt, going far beyond the call of duty, attempted to carry out by himself the activities envisioned in the Riessner petition and to do for the Saxons what Professor Johnston had done for the Scots. He analyzed samples, gave lectures at the meetings of farmers' clubs, and edited a journal of agricultural chemistry. He also conducted some laboratory experiments, though he complained that he could not perform field experiments because Tharand had no farm available.

In 1851, a wealthy landowner named Crusius conveyed a portion of his estate near Moeckern to several cooperating societies for the purpose of fitting out a scientific laboratory on an experimental farm. Thereupon he, Professor Stockhardt, and the societies created a board of directors representing the sponsoring groups. They drafted a charter, which the Saxon government legalized by statute. They secured an annual appropriation from the government and proceeded to appoint a brilliant young chemist as the station director and an experienced farmer as the superintendent of the 120-acre farm (10). The enterprise opened its doors in 1852.

The organization and functioning of the Moeckern station deeply impressed Samuel Johnson when he visited there in 1854. He took the trouble to translate into English the pertinent statutory provisions authorizing the new institution to conduct scientific research in agriculture. These details he immediately sent home for publication in the farm press:

Under the title "Ag(ricultural) Experiment-Station, upon the farm of the Leipsic Ec(onomical) Society, and the adjoining lands of Dr. Crusius," is founded an institution to be devoted to the advancement of agriculture by means of scientific investigation carried on in close connection with practical experiment. This object shall be prompted by the co-operation of a practical farmer and a man of science. The investigations and experiments they shall institute, shall be mainly directed to the following particulars :

1. The growth of plants—the conditions affecting it generally; and in particular, the influence of the constituents of the atmosphere, of the soil, of manures, and of the preparation of the soil upon it; and also the various hindrances to vegetable development.

2. The ingredients of plants and their action on the animal organism. The various kinds of feeds, their composition and their valuation for the production of flesh, milk, wool, etc.

3. Meterological observations.

4. The cultivation of plants here little known, and the determination of their value.

5. Testing of ag(ricultural) implements and machines.

6. The construction of authentic tables of comparative numbers, having references to all branches of agriculture, as for example, tables of the relative value of feed.

The conduct of these investigations is under the care of a practical farmer, and of a scientific man, and the institution falls therefore into two divisionsthat of practical agriculture and that of natural science.

The Saxon statute revealed clearly that the German system for subsidizing the agricultural scientist, though it had evolved more slowly than the British system, had introduced a greater number of significant refinements by 1852 than had its Scottish counterpart. That statute established a specialized institution operating under its own charter and separated organically from an agricultural society, although on its board of control there sat representatives from several societies.

As a state-chartered station for experimental research, the Moeckern station drew some of its funds directly from the tax revenues of the state. It concentrated in one location all necessary facilities for the conduct of research in the laboratory and in the field; the availability of its farm eliminated the chemist's need for cooperative experiments. Its founders, not leaving to chance the interpretation of the station's research function, carefully designated the broad areas of investigation. Its charter directed the station to concentrate on research as a profession. It eliminated "diffusion", the duty which in the British experience had been a companion feature with the “enlargement of knowledge.”

Both the Scottish and the Saxon movements to subsidize science started with simple demands from farmers for a service agency; yet the Saxons, though starting later than the Scots, proceeded much more speedily and directly to the establishment of a station designed solely for research.

LITERATURE CITED

(1) CALDWELL, G. C. 1882. THE EXPERIMENT STATION AS AN EDUCATOR OF THE FARMER. In

Convention of Agriculturists Proc. U.S. Dept. Agr. Rpt. 22,

204 pp.

(2) CHITTENDEN, R. H. 1928. HISTORY OF THE SHEFFIELD SCIENTIFIC SCHOOL OF YALE UNIVER

SITY, 1846–1922. (2 v.) v. 1, pp. 37-41. (3) DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY. 1908. JOHNSTON, JAMES FINLAY WEIR. v. 10, pp. 953–954. Oxford Univ.

Press, London.

9

(4) THE HIGHLAND AND AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND. 1839. SCIENCE OF AGRICULTURE. Highland and Agr. Soc. Scotland Trans.

6 (n.s.): 28–29. (5) 1841. [REPORT ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN EXPERIMENTAL FARM.]

Highland and Agr. Soc. Prize-Essays and Trans. 7 (n.s.) 1839–

1841: 497-507. (6) 1845. PRELIMINARY NOTICE. Highland and Agr. Soc. Scotland Trans.

(n.s. 3) July 1843–March 1845: 9-11. (7) 1845. PROCEEDINGS OF THE AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY ASSOCIATION OF

SCOTLAND. Highland and Agr. Soc. Scotland Trans. 1 (n.s. 3)

July 1843–March 1845 : 459 469. (8) 1849. (REPORT BY THE DIRECTORS ON THE PROPOSED CHEMICAL ESTABLISH

MENT.] Highland and Agr. Soc. Scotland Trans. 3 (n.s. 3) July

1847-March 1849 : 335 344, 484485. (9) JOHNSON, S. W. 1851. COUNTY AGRICULTURAL INSTITUTES. The Cultivator 8 (n.s.) : 263–

265. (10) 1854. FOREIGN CORRESPONDENCE. The Country Gentleman 3(17): 261

262. (11) 1856. LECTURE, “ON THE RELATIONS THAT EXIST BETWEEN SCIENCE AND

AGRICULTURE." N.Y. State Agr. Soc. Trans. (1855) 15:[73]-95. (12) JOHNSTON, J. F. W. 1844. LECTURES ON AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY AND GEOLOGY. app. no. 1,

pp. Edinburgh. (13) 1848. THE PRESENT STATE OF AGRICULTURE IN ITS RELATION TO CHEMISTRY

AND GEOLOGY, Roy. Agr. Soc. England Jour. 9: 200–236. (14) 1850. LECTURES ON THE GENERAL RELATIONS WHICH SCIENCE BEARS TO PRACTICAL AGRICULTURE.

New York. (15) (LARNED, W. A.]

1852. JOHN PITKIN NORTON. New Englander 10 (n.s. 4): 614–616. (16) LIEBIG, JUSTUS VON. 1840. ORGANIC CHEMISTRY IN ITS APPLICATIONS TO AGRICULTURE AND

PHYSIOLOGY. 387 pp., illus. London. (17) NORTON, J. P.

1844–45. LETTER FROM EUROPE. [No. I.] The Cultivator 1 (n.s.) : 204 ;

-No. II. 1 (n.s.) : 245–246; -No. V. 1 (n.s.): 364; 2 (n.s.) :

139, 171. (18)

1844-45. MR. NORTON'S LETTERS—NO. IX. The Cultivator 2 (n.s.) : 121. (19)

1847. LECTURES ON AGRICULTURE. The Cultivator 4 (n.s.): 324–325. (20) 1850. ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE ONTARIO CO. AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.

Canandaigua, N.Y. (21) 1850. LETTERS FROM PROF. NORTON-NOS, 9 AND 10. ON THE IMPORTANCE

OF EXTENDED CHEMICAL INVESTIGATIONS. The Cultivator 7 (n.s.):

296–297; 323–324. (22) 1851.

NOTES OF A TOUR IN CENTRAL NEW-YORK. The Cultivator 8 (n.s.) :

74–76. (23) OSBORNE, E. A. 1913. FROM THE LETTER-FILES OF S. W. JOHNSON. 292 pp., illus. New

Haven. (24) TRUE, A. C. 1929. A HISTORY OF AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES,

1785-1925. U.S. Dept. Agr. Misc. Pub. 36, 436 pp., illus.

221 pp.

25 pp.

Chapter Three

AMERICAN BEGINNINGS

A hundred years ago the exploration and settling of a largely underdeveloped continent presented many practical, physical problems. They appeared minor, indeed, in the face of the war that was being waged between the States. And they were minor when compared with many facing the world today. Yet their magnitude and urgency, as viewed by many in those years, provided a fertile seedbeed for the idea of solving problems by gearing science and education to the objective. The Land Grant Act, like its Federal counterpart, the Act creating a Department of Agriculture, was passed midway during the war. Both helped formalize the programs for "improvement discussed by the agricultural societies for many years.

As the agricultural colleges became physical realities, the professors of those colleges continued to grope for scientific subject matter that could be taught so as to provide practical methods for the improvement of agriculture. Little such subject matter was available. Moreover, the great variations in climate, soils, topography, and other natural conditions required a variety of interpretation of such knowledge in the sciences fitted to a particular area. In the discussions that were to ensue for the next 25 years among

college presidents and professors, those with experience abroad enjoyed an advantage. Samuel Johnson, the young chemist who had observed the pilot operation at Moeckern, was one of the group that made their influence felt in the discussions and policy formulation that took place between 1862, when the LandGrant Act was passed, and 1887, when the Hatch Experiment Station Act became law.

JOHNSON ADVOCATED LABORATORIES

On his return from Germany in August 1855, Samuel Johnson accepted an assistantship in the Analytical Laboratory at New Haven as a temporary base of operations from which to explore the possibilities for initiating a station. Convinced that a prominent agricultural society must make the first move, he renewed his contacts with the New York State Society, which in 1849 had first hired a chemist's services and had therefore prepared itself, he felt, to subsidize a larger laboratory and to concentrate on a project of scientific research. Securing an invitation to address that group at its annual meeting in February of 1856, Johnson there presented a major essay (6). In it he urged the Society to sponsor an agricultural laboratory patterned according to proposals which he proceeded to set forth. First of all, however, he attempted to familiarize his audience with the procedures

* Italic numbers in parentheses refer to Literature Cited, p. 28.

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