Obrázky stránek

two planters, two farmers, one banker, and three mine speculators. In the house there are twenty-five merchants, five bankers, three capitalists, two inventors, five manufacturers, two teachers, six doctors, one architect, four editors, two ministers, one stone cutter, one insurance agent, two millers, three owners of freight lines, and twelve farmers! Fourteen farmers in 359 congressmen !"

Mr. Hoxie - The point I want to express is this: That this is the very place where we want to bring out thoughts, so that the farmers will be intelligent enough to legislate if they have the opportunity.

Now, I think we may safely say, that there is intelligence enough in this assembly to make legislators just as good as we have in the other room. We must awaken the spark that is latent, and we shall be better prepared to make these laws. We shall not be browbeaten by a lawyer because he can put the words together a little faster than we can.

There is a gentleman in this room who has attended these meetings for the last eight or ten years. I remarked to bim, that as I had rode by his farm for the last seven or eight years, I noticed a marked improvement over his neighbors. He said, “ Yes, since I have attended these conventions, I have nearly doubled the pro. duct of my farm." Now, if a man can double the product of his farm, if he is in debt, that gets him out of debt. He is lifted above all these petty annoyances that debt brings, and is better prepared to take action and become an important part of such a meeting as this. And if he cannot induce his neighbors to come up, then I say let what we have published here go broadcast into every school district, and let them read it at home, and by and by they will come here and they will take thought and take heart, and we will be better prepared in the future to rule and govern this country as we ought to.



The value of good drainage cannot be over-estimated, in promoting the health, wealth, bappiness and prosperity of mankind. In the physical organization of the earth, those measures were not overlooked by its divine author, in external and internal forms, whereby man can improve to suit bis peculiar views and interests. We will briefly review the natural external forms, as they were made by their creator. The main base lines for natural drainage are rivers and their tributaries, whilst the oceans, lakes and ponds are the recipients of their contents. What a beautiful illustratration, when we review the formation and the location of the Mississippi river, discharging its contents into the Gulf of Mexico. No wonder it is called the Father of Waters, as it is the main base line for natural drainage to the great Mississippi basin, receiving the waters of the many large tributaries, those formed by smaller ones, until their formation are reduced to the small rivulet running from the small spring, located on some far distant hillside.

As we bave claimed the Mississippi river as the natural base line for the drainage to this vast extent of territory, we will briefly note the description as given by the most eminent writers. “The Mississippi river rises from the little lake Itasca, in Minnesota, at an elevation of 1,575 feet; has a southerly course of 2,800 miles in length, and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Its middle course from the Falls of St. Anthony to the mouth of the Red river is remarkable for the number of curves and serpentines. It drains a territory of 1,237,311 square miles, the wide plain between the Rocky mountains and the Appalachians. The annual discharge of this river is about nineteen and a half trillions of cubic feet of water into the sea. About one fourth of this amount is furnished by rains to its territory for drainage. The descent per mile of the

Mississippi is from the city of Memphis to the mouth 4.8 inches for the low water slope, but 5.2 inches for the high water slope." Hence we deduce from the above statement the following facts, to wit: The amount of water that rivers receive as the natural base line for drainage depends on, 1st. The extent of the territory they drain. 22. The amount of rain and moisture prevalent in the region. 3d. The physical features of the country through which they flow. A well wooded country impeding, an open one favoring evaporation; and 4th. The climate, heat and dry atmosphere increasing the loss of water by evaporation.

The natural velocity of the current of a river will be in proportion to its depth and the physical features of the section of country through which it flows. Thus a velocity of from two to four feet in the second is moderate; from four to ten great.

The Rhine, at Basle, flows 7.5 feet in a second when highest, but only 3.4 when lowest.

Hence we note the importance of well securing those natural avenues in the advancement of land drainage to the general in. terest of agriculture.

We will now notice the river system for drainage in the state, as we are interested with its interest in securing a more thorough system of land drainage. On looking over the state map, we observe the location of five principal rivers which flow into the Mississippi almost at equal distances from each other; and those on the eastern part of the state flow into Green Bay or Lake Michigan, only a few excepted.

In most rivers we may distinguish between three different sections of their courses the upper, middle, and lower course. The upper course is that portion which flows in a mountainous or hilly country. It is characterized by a steep descent, great veloc. ity and nearly vertical banks. The water plunges, rather than flows, and, falling over precipices and rocks, forms cataracts and rapids. Sharp turns or angles, and straight lines of considerable length, succeed each other in their courses.

The middle course begins where the river emerges from the mountains. The descent has but a slight grade, and the river flows in a well-defined bed, with alluvial flats along the shores,

subject to overflow by the higher freshets, called flood grounds or bottoms. The bed is formed of more sand-like materials, which are more easily washed away by the flowing waters, and the decreased velocity renders the river more liable to be turned, and change its direction.

These conditions produce rounded off curves, called serpentines, very different from the sharp, angular bends of the upper course.

The rocks of these curves are easily washed away, and thus islands, nearly round in shape, are formed. The lower course begins where the surface of the river is scarcely higher than the ocean. The fall of this water is hardly perceptible, but the pressure on the water above causes the onward flow to the ocean. The low, alluvial banks rise but little above the water.

The above divisions can with propriety be applied to very many of the main rivers, as the base line for natural drainage for this state, which we shall review in the first division of this topic.

Internal or subterranean drainage will be in proportion to the porosity of the subsoil and to the depth of rocks with which the water will come in contact in its descent below the surface of the soil, which we shall review in the second division of this paper.

The vast number of plant-forms which compose the vegetable covering of the earth, are distributed in accordance with certain laws. Every plant species was created in a certain locality and form; thus it has spread or migrated over a more or less extent of area or region. As the different natural conditions of the climate and soil influence the growth of plants, each region has its own distinct flora. Also, every plant requires certain conditions of soil and climate in order to live and thrive. The soil oa which it stands must contain the elements which enter into its composition, and the climate must be of a certain temperature and degree of moisture. The amount of moisture required by different plants varies greatly. Aquatic plants, as our pond lily and the seaweed, live only in water ; others live in swamps, and still others live in dry, sandy soil.

The entire earth, a few limited localities only excepted, is covered with plants. But as every region presents different conditions of heat, moisture, light and soil, we find in each a dis

8- W. S. A. S.

tinctive and characteristic flora, which is demonstrated by the distribution of plant forms, even over the surface of this state ; for we do not find the stately growing pines of the northern section of this state growing among the dwarfed specimens of the burr oak of the southern section. Also true, we do not find the beautiful tiny flowering plants of the southern prairies of this state growing in the dense forests of the northern section. For a more comprehensive illustration of our position, we would call your attention to the classification of the land of this state, to wit: It is reported by competent authority that this state contains thirtyfour million five hundred and eleven thousand three hundred and sixty (34,511,360) acres, which is divided in the following ratio : prairie, 16 per cent.; timber, 50 per cent; openings, 19 per cent.; marsb, 15 per cent. The reduction would give the following result, to wit: prairie, five million five hundred and twenty.one thousand eight hundred and seventeen (5,521,817) acrez; timber, seventeen million two hundred and fifty-five thousand six hun. dred and eighty (17,255,680); openings, six million five hundred and fifty-five thousand one hundred and fifty-eight (6,555,158) acres ; marsh, five million one hundred and seventy-six thousand seven hundred and four (5,176,704) acres.

Each division being covered with these classes of vegetation, naturally adapted to the conditions of the various soils and climates therein located, we do not find the genus of plants whose growth requires a rich, moderately dry soil, growing among those whose vitality and existence depend on the extreme wetness of the soil. Time and space will not allow me to review all of the different formations of the various plant forms in their physical construction, but I will notice those which are the first to become apparent, as required in the discussion of this topic, to wit: The roots of the plant forms. Roots grow chiefly by lengthening their substance, and somewhat by thickening it. Botanists recognize several kinds of roots, as top, crown, bulbous, tuberous and fibrous. The latter only are interesting to us, because they are the means of growth. All other roots derive their nourishment from these. They acquire size and form not from any activity of their own. They are mere receptacles of what the fibers

« PředchozíPokračovat »