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considering the fact, as stated by Webster, that Agriculture feeds us and clothes us, and without Agriculture we would have no Commerce-that of these three, Agriculture, Manufactures and Commerce, Agriculture is the hope of the nation. But here in Ohio, the agriculturist is at home considering how best to carry on his business. There is no co-operation; we have nothing to bring us together. We have nothing in the world by which farmers can come together like other classes, or, for instance, by combination so arranged as to make their influence felt nothing except this organization with its annual Convention of only a day. There are many questions, probably, of State interest touching agriculture, that it would be proper and competent for this Convention to consider. I wish to observe further in regard to this question of our influence, that the Wool Growers' Convention, sitting on yesterday, is a proof of the correctness of what I have said. Why was that isolated from every other branch of agriculture? The reason is because it partakes of the nature of commerce, and has brought capital and energy to its support. Gentlemen are engaged in it largely, and the same enterprise that is exhibited in all branches of trade is manifesting itself there.
This question of the acceptance of the grant of 630,000 acres of land for the endowment of agricultural colleges, offered as a gift to the State of Ohio by the General Government, needs further consideration. At the last Convention the Legislature was recommended to accept the grant, but it was not done. All the other loyal States, except Indiana and Kentucky, have accepted this munificent gift, and many of them have located their lands, principally in Nebraska and Kansas, where a profitable market promises to open at an early day. And here we are behindhand—630,000 acres offered which we do not propose to accept! I hope the Convention will take some action in the matter. As to what shall be done with the grant after it is accepted is another matter altogether.
We have been thinking also of offering a premium for agricultural surveys of counties. These surveys will embrace a description of the soil, products, and particularly of the farm management in different counties, so that farmers shall have their attention called to what is good farm man. agement. We hope, by the comparisons which will result from these sur. veys,
that shall improve the general condition of agriculture throughout the State. We have supposed, also, that if these Societies improve the time in these investigations, and the advantages afforded by these colleges, agriculture would have greater charms than it has had heretofore. From the birth of this Republic we have been devoted to agriculture, and the greatest men of the country have been born and bred upon farms; but agriculture does not seem to have charms enough to retain them there.
And hence we see the most intelligent and active of our friends flocking to the towns and cities and giving their attention to trades and professions. Now, what we want to do is to so improve agriculture, and so improve the condition of agriculturists, that the most learned and energetic shall remain farmers and give their best intellects and their attainments to the subject of agriculture.
AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE QUESTION. Mr. GARDNER. In order to make that practicable I offer the following resolution:
Resolved, That the State of Ohio ought to accept the grant of land for the establishment of agricultural colleges as soon as possible.
N. B. GATES, of Lorain. It seems that most of the States have accepted this grant made by the General Government, but the State of Ohio seems to remain indifferent to this magnificent offer. I see no reason why she should not accept it. I was reading, quite recently, the annual message of the Governor of Pennsylvania, in which he shows that their colleges are in a very flourishing condition. Although we have advantages as an agricultural State superior to Pennsylvania, yet she is ahead of us. Why do not we accept this grant of land ?
I like the remarks of Judge Jones on the various questions presented by him. He is right when he says we ought to spend more time here to discuss agricultural matters. We come in the night time and hardly stay through the following day, and of course very little is accomplished. Now, when we have an election this afternoon members will be rushing home, and that important matter will be neglected. The Ashland county matter ought to be settled and settled at once, and when it comes up again I shall move to have it settled, no matter what the report of the committee may be. (Laughter.] We ought to spend considerable time here to make our influence felt. We do our legislation in one day at railroad speed and accomplish very little. We ought to spend one week here at least two would be better. The necessary agricultural legislation ought to be thoroughly considered by us, for it is presumed that we understand our busi. ness better than those who are not practical agriculturists. The men we elect to fill this Senate Chamber are mostly lawyers, and they meet together for other purposes than the advancement of agriculture. Now, Ohio is an agricultural State, and this great interest ought to be fostered and promoted. Our highest intellects ought to be agriculturists, but such does not prove to be the case. The son who does not love his father's farm goes to a trade or profession, strongly impressed with the belief that farming is an old fogy institution, which, if followed, would not enable him to go to the Legislature. I am not a practical agriculturist. I was brought up on a farm on the Green Mountains of Vermont until I was 21 years of age, and then cut for the far West. I had a desire to make something of myself in trade, and thus abandoned the farm; but I am now convinced that farming is the best business. Matters, however, are managed badly. In our county we publish an annual report of the proceedings of the Society. Usually the records are kept by an incompetent secretary in pencil, which no one can make out intelligently. This is the way our reports are carried on. Every thing is left to the last day when all is hurry and bustle, and when each one is in eager chase after the dollars and cents, which being secured they rush away. Let us have some action whereby we can create an interest in agriculture.
Mr. McCluny of Miami, made some remarks in regard to the action of the General Assembly on the land grant. He said—I am happy to say that the resolution passed by the Convention last year met with a favorble response, and I think the only reason the bill did not pass the Legislature was for the lack of time. This project was one of very considerable magnitude, and members had a hesitancy as to what was best for the acceptance of this grant. A bill was presented to accept the grant, that met the approbation of the agricultural members of both Houses; and the grant would have been accepted, I think, if there hadn't been another year in which to accept it. It was put off with that idea, that it would be accepted by this General Assembly. There was a general disposition to accept the grant if we had known what to have done with it. We wanted to make agriculture occupy a position that would make it felt throughout the State, and attract the attention that is its due. My idea was to have a place to which the farmer's boy could go-a No. 1 place, which would stand as high as our best theological colleges. I think there is no doubt but that this General Assembly will accept that grant. My successor here is a friend to agriculture, and I am sure he will go for it. There is some discussion as to how we shall dispose of this thing; some thinking that we shall be like the boy who drew an elephant at Barnum's Museum-will not know what to do with it.
There is another question that came up before the General Assembly. Parties desired to have the grant divided up in different parts of the State. This was somewhat against the action of the General Assembly, the members being desirous to put the agricultural college as far beyond the influence of political affairs as possible. Now, it looks to me that we ought to have this college in one place. If we divide up the grant and endow several institutions, we will find that we shall have less influence than with one thorough institution. Here lies the one great difficulty in our waywe do not put forth in any movement a oneness of effort. So, if we undertake to establish two or four colleges we shall fail. After having tried one college, and it shall have proved successful, we can then try another, if thought best. I should like to have gentlemen express their opinions on this subject, as it is a practical question that will come before the General Assembly. If we only get one college and it is a success, then we can have any number more. The Agricultural Committees of both Houses last winter were unanimously agreed on that subject.
Mr. EARL of Lucas. It seems to me that there is another point involved in the resolutions presented; that is, whether the Legislature of this State will agree to accept the donation of a large tract of land for the dissemination of agriculture. I am inclined to think that there is no great difficulty in regard to the acceptance of the grant, but as to how it shall be disposed of when received. It is now the desire of the agricultural interests of the State to accept this donation made by the National Government. Then let the grant be accepted, and if the present Legislature fails in unanimity as to the disposal of the fund, let them leave that to those who may come after them; but do not let them throw away so important a grant. I hope, therefore, the resolution will be adopted, and when the question comes before the Legislature, let the wisest heads get together and mature a plan.
Mr. McCLUNG. The bill before the General Așsembly not only involves the acceptance of this grant, but certain conditions that are essential. The act of Congress provides that we cannot accept this grant until we arrange what we are to do with it.
Mr. GARDNER. I feel no disposition to censure the last Legislature for the course they pursued in this matter. They were influenced, no doubt, by the action of the late Auditor, who was always watchful of the Treasury of the State. His report was adverse to the acceptance of the grant. And although at that time I felt as I now feel, that the State ought to accept this grant, I have no criticism to pass upon those who thought otherwise. The burdens of that Legislature were onerous, as it was required to consider measures which should enable the State to do its share in carrying on the war. The maturing of an act as asked by this Convention, required a good deal of time and careful consideration, as it involved not merely the acceptance of the grant, but the legislation necessary to put it in practical operation. But this year the situation is different and more auspicious than last. The people seem to carry themselves as if their burdens sat easy upon them. Their faith insures success. that peace almost dawns upon us, it is proper to consider this munificent grant, and it becomes the State of Ohio at as early a day as possible to accept it, I hope that the expression of this sentiment upon the part of
this body, may be heard by the Legislature of the State, and that they may take such wise measures as shall secure to us this grant of land. I trust, therefore, that the resolution may pass this Convention unanimously, and that it may also receive the approbation of the Executive Department of the State.
The motion was then put and carried unanimously.;
STATE AGRICULTURAL FUND.
Mr. A. C. Welch, of Richland, offered the following resolution: Resolred, That the State Board of Agriculture ask the Legislature to appropriate ten thoueand dollars to be awarded in premiums at the next Agricultural Fair in the State of Ohio.
Mr. WELCH. One word, Mr. Chairman, in favor of the resolution. Ten thousand dollars from the State of Ohio to pay these premiums is only a drop in the bucket, while that sum in addition to the funds the Board will have, will give such premiums as will induce men to go there who never before have attended a State Fair, and who will bring stock there such as has never been seen at a fair. As it now is, there is not sufficient inducement for this class of men to run the risk of damage and injury to stock, consequent upon railroad transportation, and bring their fine stock for competition at our fairs. The sum, as I have already said, is nothing to the State. In Richland county, in 1863, the people paid $40,000 towards crushing out this infernal rebellion. Now if Richland county can pay $40,000, what cannot the great State of Ohio pay? There are a great many men of this kind in the State who withhold their support from agricultural societies, because there is nothing offered sufficient to attract attention. Every one knows that agriculture is the great interest of the country, that it whitens the seas with the sails of commerce, that it improves and civilizes the vast prairies of the West and builds towns and cities. Why, the gentleman of the Senate who strives to make a popular record, gets his backbone, gets his very style from agriculture. [Applause and laughter). Let us draw out the best stock and the best products and manufactures from every section of the country. There is Mr. Campbell, of Vermont, the victor at the Hamburg Exhibition, who should be induced to visit Ohio and enter his sheep at our fair. If þe comes, we want the ability or means to give him a premium such as no Dutch Count can compete with. [Applause.]
The speaker again stated that the sum would be nothinig for the State to pay, which had never contributed anything towards the encouragement of agriculture save an annual pittance from escheated lands and show lic;nses. The State-rich in soil and in resources-ought in fact to con. tribute $20,000 for premiums.