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A SYNOPSIS OF METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS,
Under the direction of the Smithsonian Institute, for 1863. by W. M. BEAUCHAMP, Skaneateles, Onondaga Co., N. Y. Lat. 43; long. 761; height above the sea 932 feet. Observations taken three times a day, viz: 7 A. M., 2 P. M., and 9 P. M.
January 17th average...
COLDEST DAYS IN SAME MONTH.
Mercury highest on 4th....
28th.. 72 22d.... ... 85 14th, 15th, 28 82 3d and 7th.. 87 2d .... ... 90 15th and 16th 82 1st....
October 28th do November 30th do December 22d OBSERVATIONS.-January 4th barometer fell 24 degrees in nine hours; 10th, a hurricane; 28th, flocks of small birds flying northward. February 2d, hurricane; 5th, cherry birds and sparrows; 14th, hurricane in the night; 22d, cedar birds returned. April 9th, one of the most beautiful auroras ever seen commenced at 8 P. M.; continued over two hours; 26th, black frost; ice one-sixteenth of an inch thick. May 6th, snow in the night and morning; 8th, white frost; ice formed on the trees, grass and fences; swamp musicians in full chorus. September 23d, first fall frost was a white one. October 13th, first ice. First snow, November 1st. First sleighing, December 21st. Lake partially frozen, and skating 23d and 24th December. December 2d, remarkably dark afternoon-had to use lamps 3 P. M. The year ended in a hurricane; great damage done on the docks.
30th and 31st..
A REPORT ON THE AGRICULTURAL AND OTHER RESOURCES OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK.
BY THEODORE C. PETERS, STATE ASSESSOR.
NEW YORK STATE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY, }
EXECUTIVE MEETING, Sept. 20, 1864.
The following resolution was adopted: Resolved, That the Hon. T. C. Peters be requested to prepare his "Report on the Agricultural and other Resources of the State," as State Assessor, for publication in the Transactions of 1863.
B. P. JOHNSON, Secretary.
LETTER TO COL. B. P. JOHNSON.
Col. B. P. JOHNSON, Secretary, &c.:
My Dear Sir-I hand you herewith the report called for by the foregoing resolution.
You will please tender to the committee my sincere thanks for the honor conferred, by thus placing my humble efforts in behalf of the great inte rests of the people of this State among the enduring monuments of its Society. I am, sir, your old friend, with great respect, DARIEN, September 26, 1864. THEODORE C. PETERS.
In complying with the request of the Executive Committee of the State Agricultural Society, to prepare the following report for publication in the Transactions for 1863, I have in some slight particulars changed the text from that submitted to the Legislature last winter.
I believe it of very great importance to be well examined by each farmer and mechanic in this State. Facts are herein embraced that cannot be too well understood by all tax payers.
It is because of their ignorance of these facts, and the conclusions drawn therefrom, that legislation is so crude and faulty.
I trust it may be the means of calling the attention of the people to the inauguration of a thorough system of statistics, for its only thereby that their best interests will be conserved in the equalization of values r purposes of State taxation.
I regret that I have not met with that cordial support, both by people and legislatures, in the prosecution of my labors, which the importance of the subject demands.
Strenuous efforts have been made by people and members of the Legisla ture, during the whole time I have been engaged, to repeal the law which authorized the appointment of the State Assessors, and failing in that, some have sought for temporary popularity by endeavoring to compel resignation, by withholding appropriation for annual services.
A few men have been found each year who appreciated the importance of the subject, and to their steady friendship and support I am indebted for the power to complete this report.
I hope it will demonstrate the vital importance of the subject, and that hereafter, whether in my hands or those of a more competent person, no obstacle will be thrown in the way of prosecuting the inquiries into the resources of this State, and the best means of their most thorough development. DARIEN, September 26.
In preparing a report on the "Resources of the State," an attempt has been made to so divide the several counties into groups, as to show at a glance the prevailing topography and agriculture of the State, and from the condition of its agriculture the value of its lands and the wealth of its agricultural population, as their prosperity is an index to the prosperity of all other industrial pursuits.
The commercial advantages of each group are also shown, as by the internal commerce of the State the continued increase of capital is to be affected, and upon that increase depends much of the value of the real estate of cities and villages, and the accumulation of personal property.
In a general manner, also, the manufacturing facilities of each group are alluded to, so that the future prospect of a rapid accumulation of population and wealth or the reverse may be anticipated.
Sufficient time cannot be had before the close of the session, even if a large clerical force could be commanded, to give in proper detail the manufacturing capital in each group and county. The aggregates only are given for the whole State.
The value of the real estate depends upon the condition of agriculture, commerce and manufactures; whenever they are prosperous, there is a steady accumulation of personal property in the shape of realized capital aggregated in banks. This capital becomes more disintegrated as the country grows more prosperous, for aggregated capital is less productive as individual capital accumulates and seeks new combinations in manufacturing enterprises.
The present prospects and future condition of markets is noticed as giving important facts in regard to the value of farm lands, and village and city real estate, in the aggregate and for each group.
The State census of 1860 has been taken as the basis for agricultural and manufacturing statistics, not only from the fact that it is better adapted in its detail, but that it is more under the control of the State, and can be made better subservient to the plan for a more complete and systematic collection of facts than the census of the United States. It has, however, been found full of faults and errors.
As the time draws near for the next census, it is important that preparations should be begun this year; and it is respectfully suggested, that in arranging the schedules, a very great improvement can be made upon those of the last census.
It is not important how many currants or gooseberries were raised in 1864 or '65, but it is important to know how many acres are in wood land
or absolute waste, as well as how many are improved. It is also important to know how many acres are occupied by buildings, roads and fences; how many by orchards, by nurseries and vineyards, as well as the quantity and value of their products.
It is also important to know how much land is in village and city occupation, and the population of each, distinguished from farming or rural population.
The schedules in regard to animals should also be extended, especially. those relating to sheep, dividing them into fine and coarse wooled.
Indeed, any person who has had occasion to study the condition of the property of this State, can readily suggest many important sources of information which are now entirely wanting in the development of the industrial resources of the State.
Our great need at this time is a department devoted to the assessment of property. The present method is so entirely defective and partial, that in many cases the levy of taxes upon individual property is little better than a farce, while upon others it amounts to a serious burthen.
The assessment of property for purposes of taxation interests almost every person in the State, and spreads over its whole available wealth, amounting to billions of dollars. Yet the system is one of the most defective which is known in the history of any civilized people.
A bureau of assessments, if properly conducted, will gradually improve this defective system and introduce order and equity into the administra tion of the tax laws.
No originality is claimed for this report beyond the grouping of the counties. That has grown out of a repeated personal examination of all parts of the State, with reference to the value of its lands and to its gene ral industrial resources.
Information has been sought in all places where it could be found, and when found, appropriated. In the general arrangement and detail of the report no model has been followed, simply because none existed which gave any adequate idea of the internal resources of the people of a State. Imperfect as this report may be, yet it fills a gap in regard to the material condition of the people, which it was important should be closed. It is the first of a series of reports that should be made as often as once in five years, and its importance will become more manifest each year.
It was intended at first to give the valuation of all the real estate with the same minuteness of detail as is shown in the valuations of Erie county, page, ample materials being in hand therefor; but upon reflection it seemed best to defer those valuations until they could be tested by a more thorough examination, if means should be permitted for that purpose.
The tables in the appendix will be found worthy of study. Tables G and H are particularly useful in regard to the density of animals in the different groups, as well as the proportion of general crops grown in each.
The tables at the end of each group give the census details for each county in the group.
If this report be the means of disseminating a better knowledge of the true condition of our State among all classes of its citizens, an important work has been accomplished, and the labor of years not in vain.