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advantages derived from the acquisition of the public lands, under the recent acts of Congress on this subject. Quite a number of entries have been made in the Territory of Utah, yet to be finally passed upon, avaiting proof as to the non-mineral character of the land; the act of March 2, 1867, forbidding entries of lands containing mines of gold, silver, cinnabar, or copper.
The decision of April 21, 1869, on the application of the town of Ne. vada City, California, in which the municipal authorities were allowed to enter land in which the minerals were shown to be exhausted, has led to the application, by other towns in the mining districts of California, for the entry of their respective town sites, under the statute referred to, incontestable proof being offered that the mines were exhausted and the tracts selected were more valuable for purposes of trade than for mining. An act was passed by Congress July 1, 1870, amending the act of 1867, in so far as it applied to Salt Lake City, allowing the proper authorities to enter lands in trust for the full number of inhabitants claimed, which is 15,000, and therefore an entry embracing an area of 5,760 acres can be made. Numerous towns are springing up along the line of the Pacific Railroad, and applications are constantly being made for the entry of the Government sections by the proper corporate authorities, or by the county judge, as provided in the act of 1867. The city of Cheyenne, in Wyoming Territory, has recently been surveyed and will soon apply for an entry of that portion of the town site which does not inure to the railroad. As this great highway of the nation passes through so much of the public domain, it is expected that the inhabitants of these towns, now so rapidly building, will secure for themselves a title to their homes under the beneficent operations of the town site laws. The number of cities and towns on the public domain and in the older States of the republic may be estimated from the fact that post offices have been established at 28,503 localities, these being all linked together by the mail and telegraph system; this number being au increase of 1,279 in a single year.
ADAPTATION OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN TO SPECIAL BRANCHES OF
The enlargement of the range and scope of production is essential to the expansion of our civilization. The resources of the pablic domain are rapidly becoming better known by practical acquaintance, as · population extends in every direction. From information constantly arriving at this office, it appears that those resources are in a state of more rapid development than at any previous period in our history. Not only is the area of settlement expanding, but the effectiveness of cultivation is enlarging. A remarkable feature in the general character of our agricultural industry is the rapid westward shifting of our cereal production.
In 1859, the quantity of wheat harvested west of the Mississippi was 25,000,000 bushels. In 1867 it had increased to 65,000,000 bushels, and in 1868 to 70,000,000 bushels. The value of this crop to the new settler, representing, as it does, the maximum of money value with a minimum outlay of labor, is beyond comparison. Hence the cultivation of this cereal may be expected rapidly to increase within a short time in all the newly-settled States and Territories of the public domain.
In tbe older public land States in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, however, the proportion of the wheat to other crops is declining. Other branches. of agricultural product are there found more profitable, leaving to
the new States the quicker returns, but less permanent profits, of cereal industry.
In the older portions of the public domain the scope of agriculture is becoming more varied and elaborate. The wants of advanced society require a more scientific culture and greater division of labor. Hence we may expect in these the introduction of new staples as they grow more populous. When the necessaries of life are provided for by a liberal attention to the more pressing necessities of food and clothing, an increasing attention to the comforts and luxuries of life may be expected. There are several branches of industry pursued in the Old World which, it is believed, may be successfully introduced in some portion of our public domain. These additions, far from interfering with, or in any way crippling, the industries already in operation, will but supplement and render them more valuable by increasing the home demand for their production. Animated by these views, the Commis. sioner has been disposed, on every proper occasion, to elicit from the local officers of the public land system such information as lay within their reach in regard to the agricultural and other resources of their particular districts. These it is proposed, from time to time, to give to the public in a systematic and authentic form.
With this purpose there has been prepared in this office papers, which accompany this report, on the growth of tea and silk, believing the information therein contained will be of value in directing attention to the cultivation of these great staples. The Commissioner has no doubt that particular localities of the public land States and Territories will ulti. mately develop a capacity for these beautiful branches of agricultural industry, and realize therefrom an immense value of increased production.
In the previous pages of this report will be found a résumé of the resources of the public domain, and a glance at their capacity for future expansion. The American citizen, on reviewing the splendid natural endowments of his country, finds ample reason for patriotic exultation. In agricultural capacity the soil and climate present an endless variety and teeming richness of production such as no nation, not even the Roman Empire, ever enjoyed. Our crop of breadstuffs, amounting to 1,200,000,000 bushels per annum, worth $1,000,000,000, gives an average of 40 bushels to each man, woman, and child of the population. If, in addition to this, we consider scores of millions of slaughtered animals, our hundreds of millions of bushels of root crops, our unmeas
bundance and exquisite richness of fruits, we find a provision for the sustenance of our population immensely transcending its wants, and providing a large surplus for the crowded populations of Europe.
But our growth of animal and vegetable fiber is on the same magnificent scale. Our wool, cotton, flax, and silk are the basis of an industry of the grandest proportions, and of the most delicate and subtle manipulation. In all departments of our agriculture we meet with the same characteristics of massiveness and of richness. But all this is but the imperfect product of partially-developed resources.
Of our agricultural land in the United States not one-tenth has in any one year been subject to cultivation. Our agricultural system has been of an unsettled and experimental character, evolving sound principles only after numerous failures and an immense waste of time and labor. When the great lessons of agricultural science shall have been learned, not only by professional experts, but shall be diffused through the mass of the farming population of our land, we have reason to hope that our agricultural production will receive an expansion greater even than the increase of our population, thus providing a still broader basis of comfortable subsistence in the future.
Our mineral resources, of which a brief sketch will be found in this report, are of the same splendid character. In the exploitation of precious metals or of useful minerais our resources exhibit a breadth and massiveness of deposits, with a concentration of intrinsic and commercial value upon developments, which transcends the mineral endowments, so far as known, of all the rest of the globe. In our gold and silver we have the means of regulating the world's exchanges; while in iron, copper, lead, tin, and zinc, with enormous stores of mineral coal to work them, we have awarded to us the mass of the industrial power of the future.
We are now attacking the enormous accumulations of oriental industry and trade, which have, for at least two thousand years, been draining Europe of its metallic currency, especially of its silver. At least ten thousand millions of dollars, since the days of Pliny, have been buried in the great financial abyss of the cast. Social science has been puzzling itself with the question, “What has become of this enormous accumulation in countries where so small a metallic circulation is known to exist?" That drain still continues. In the report of this office for 1868, our special capacity of dealing with this problem was pointed out, with the influence of our enormous deposits of gold and silver upon the Pacific coast, in seizing upon oriental trade, by meeting this absorbing demand for silver in the East. Our commercial relations with India, China, Japan, and the East India Islands are daily becoming more in timate and effective. We have special influence with the Chinese and Japanese governments, from the fact of our non-complicity with the past aggressions of the European powers. We occupy the great commercial belt of the fortieth parallel, to which the east and west lines of the world's trade are rapidly adjusting themselves, and are assuming each year a larger control of their traffic and travel. Our present maritime depression, we have reason to believe, is temporary, growing out of infractions of international comity on the part of our great commercial rivals in Europe during our late civil war. When once more we adjust our productive and trading systems, we will have escaped disturbing causes which have marred our prosperity in the past, and with a clear field our ascendency in foreign commerce promises to be as decided as it was before the late civil war.
If our capacities lof production are wonderful, they are supplemented by equal facilities for transportation and exchange. Our natural means of communication by internal navigation surpass those of all other nations. The arrangement of our lake and river systems is such as to penetrate the continent to its very heart with great water highways, while the lack of impassable mountain ranges, such as isolate the parts of the Asiatic Continent, invite the construction of artificial communications upon a more effective scale than civilization ever before enjoyed. The extent of our railway and canal communications is treated of in the foregoing pages, with their rapid increase in construction. The domestic trade of the Union is at least six or seven fold the amount of our national debt.
But not only are we endowed with facilities for domestic trade for the exchange of raw material and manufactured products between different portions of our own country, but we also hold a commanding position right in the main axial line of the world's commerce. By the construction of transcontinental lines of railway, we have deflected a large proportion of the travel and transport between Eastern Asia and Western Europe right across our territory. We find, in relative importance, the artificial highways gaining upon the natural communications. Even tho cheapness of ocean transportation is largely counterbalanced by other advantages of railroad travel, including directness and speed of transit. We find, further, that the tendency of high civilization is to condense values for transportation by manufacturing raw material as far as possible upon the field of its production. Thus the expense of transport is made to bear the smallest possible ratio to the value of the freight, and the largest margin is saved to the producer.
Under such conditions we find our through foreign traffic annually increasing, and our controlling influence upon the world's civilization constantly enhancing. But this great country is the broad empire of democracy. Here the noblest principles of freedom are embodied in the most effective political and social organization. Here the oppressed of all nations may come and find a welcome to our immense wastes of fertile soil. Here society is now being reconstructed with the choice blood and muscle of the Caucasian populations of Europe, developing a power for the subjugation of the great forces of nature never before known in human history. Here the practical relations of men to each other are infinitely diversified, while the latent forces of individual character are admirably brought out, creating a type of humanity capable of self-development and dependent upon no leading-strings of favorable influence.
This mass of civilization is dominated by intellectual and spiritual forces of transcendent power. The facilities for the transmission of intelligence exist in a measure never before known.
Postal and telegraphic communications now cover all parts of our older territory, and permeate the wilderness itself with great central lines, upon which will be engrafted a network of minor ramifications to meet each new settlement of pioneer agriculturists. The press is pouring forth its daily millions of periodicals and books, discussing every subject of public or private interest with an earnestness, a profundity, a clearness, and, above all, a freedom which is found to be perfectly coin. patible with the most perfect social order. All these intellectual activi. ties are governed by moral and spiritual ideas, the growth of a Christian civilization. We find, then, in our national endowment every element of social organization that can minister to the welfare of society at large and of the individual.
In the development of national character and institutions, the genial policy of our public land system has had remarkable influence. In the endowment of canals and railways it has opened and multiplied the relations between men, developing the great ideas of reciprocity of interests and conduct. In the endowment of schools and colleges it has diffused the means of popular intelligence, and has enabled the people to grasp the great thoughts of self-government. But in the diffusion of proprietary interests in the soil, secured by its operation, is found one of its noblest features. While the peace of Europe is not assured even by a standing army of five and a half millions of armed soldiers, our social order is held steady by the intelligent coöperation of five and a half millions of landholders, amounting to one-eighth of the population. It is a trust hastening with more rapid steps each year to its complete discharge. The increasing rate of immigration will probably, by the advent of the second future generation, have appropriated the great bulk of our unoccupied domain. Its history will present some of the most remarkable features in the progress of civilization. May we not hope that when the relief it now affords to the pressure of social evils in the world shall have been withdrawn, those evils will themselves have been superseded by a higher and a more genial civilization. Respectfully submitted.
JOS. S. WILSON, Commissioner. The Honorable SECRETARY of the Interior.
OBSERVATIONS, ACCOMPANYING ANNUAL REPORT OF 1870
TEA CULTURE-HISTORICAL SKETCH OF ITS EARLY HISTORY AND OF
ITS PROGRESS-THE ADAPTABILITY TO ITS CULTURE OF LOCALITIES
Since the last annual report of the Commissioner, a request was made to the Secretary of State of the United States that our diplomatic representatives in China be instructed to obtain from the tea districts of that country specimens of the soil in which the different varieties of the tea plant are grown, and to transmit the same for analysis in the General Land Office cabinet, with such information in regard to the geological character of the tea districts, climate, and conditions affecting tea culture, and modes of preparation for market, as might be accessible. The State Department duly responded to the application, and having invited the interposition of the diplomatic and consular authori. ties in China, this Department has received a sample of tea soil from a rich tea-growing district, accompanied by a satisfactory report on the subject. In that report it is represented that the region of tea country from which the specimen of soil we have received was taken is known as the Peling district, 15 miles from Fow-chow. The consul intended to forward a specimen from the Bobea Hills, 150 miles from the above-named city, but states that the feeling which exists in the minds of the natives there toward foreigners is such, that no foreigner would be warranted in the attempt to procure the same, while if a native were employed to perform the service there would be no certainty of his success; and yet it is hoped a specimen may be obtained from those hills through a friendly native tea broker. The specimen we have was taken from among thrifty plants on a plantation visited by one of our consuls. A considerable portion of the large quantity of black tea shipped from the port of Fowchow is grown in the Peling district. The country is mountainous and broken, and most of the plantations are situated at an elevation of from 1,500 to 2,500 feet above the sea-level. They lie inland from the coast a distance of from 20 to 30 miles, and are protected from the sea breezes by intervening mountains.
The plants are grown on sides of the mountains which look toward all points of the compass. It is represented to this Department that the climate of this district is mild and even, the extremes of temperatire during the year being about 360 and 104° F. The underlying strata of the whole district is granite, the soil itself being decomposed granite and apparently almost void of any substance of fertility. It is also stated that the only fertilizer used, which is described in the report to us from China, is gathered by the peasant women and deposited in large cisterns or vats prepared for the purpose, where it remains until thoroughly decomposed, and is then used in limited quantities in bringing forward the young plants, which require but little attention further than to keep them free from weeds and to gather the young leaves in spring and autumn.
In glancing at the topographical features connected with tea culture, we find that the Himalaya Mountain system projects an offshoot of no great altitude, traversing the entire length of Assam, the extreme frontier province of the Anglo-Indian Empire, and forming, in eastern pro. jection, the boundary between the central and southern provinces of