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God for man and beast, awaits without loss our leisure for gathering, and shades the ground very closely through the hottest months of the year. This with the loosening of the soil, I take to be the chief means by which the pea improves the soil. We know that the sun in our cloudless climate is the most powerful destroyer of fertility in naked ground, and therefore that the perpetual fallows will not do here, which are so beneficial in i cloudy climate. Still I shall with care try all the several kinus of pea you have been so good as to send me, and having tried all hold fast that which is good. Mr. Randolph is peculiarly happy in having the barleys committed to him, as he had been desirous of going considerably into that culture. I was able at the same time to put into his hands Siberian barley, sent me from France. I look forward with considerable anxiety to the success of the winter vetch, for it gives us a good winter crop, and helps the succeeding summer one. It is something like doubling the produce of the field. I know it does well in Italy, and therefore have the more hope here. My experience leaves me no fear as to the success of clover. I have never seen finer than in some of my fields which have never been manured. My rotation is triennial; to wit, one year of wheat and two of clover in the stronger fields, or two of peas in the weaker, with a crop of Inlian corn and potatoes between every other rotation, that is to say once in seven years. Under this easy course of culture, aided with some manure, I hope my fields will recover their pristine fertility, which had in some of them been completely exhausted by perpetual crops of Indian corn and wheat alternately. The atmosphere is certainly the great workshop of nature for elaborating the fertilizing principles and insinuating them into the soil. It has been relied on as the sole means of regenerating our soil by most of the land-holders in the canton I inhabit, and where rest has been resorted to before a total exhaustion, the soil has never failed to recover. If, indeed, it be so run down as to be incapable of throwing weeds or herbage of any kind, to shade the soil from the sun, it either goes off in gullies, and is entirely lost, or remains exhausted till a growth springs up of such trees
as will rise in the poorest soils. Under the shade of these and the cover soon formed of their deciduous leaves, and a commencing herbage, such fields sometimes recover in a long course of years; but this is too long to be taken into a course of husbandry. Not so however is the term within which the atmos phere alone will reintegrate a soil rested in due season. of wheat will be balanced by one, two, or three years of rest and atmospheric influence, according to the quality of the soil. It has been said that no rotation of crops will keep the earth in the same degree of fertility without the aid of manure. But it is well known here that a space of rest greater or loss in spontaneous herbage, will restore the exhaustion of a single crop. This then is a rotation; and as it is not to be believed that spontaneous herbage is the only or best covering during rest, so may we expect that a substitute for it may be found which will yield profitable crops. Such perhaps are clover, peas, vetches, &c. A rotation then may be found, which by giving time for the slow influence of the atmosphere, will keep the soil in a constant and equal state of fertility. But the advantage of manuring, is that it will do more in one than the atmosphere would require several years to do, and consequently enables you so much the oftener to take exhausting crops from the soil, a circumstance of importance where there is more labor than land. I am much indebted.
TO MR. PATTERSON.
PHILADELPHIA, March 27, 1798. DEAR SIR,—In the lifetime of Mr. Rittenhouse, I communicated to him the description of a mould-board of a plough which I had constructed, and supposed to be what we might term the mould-board of least resistance. I asked not only his opinion, but that he would submit it to you also. After he had considered it, he gave me his own opinion that it was demonstrably what I had supposed, and I think he said he had communicated
it to yoll.
Of that however I am not sure, and therefore now take the liberty of sending you a description of it and a model, which I have prepared for the board of Agriculture of England at their request. Mr. Strickland, one of their members, had seen the model, and also the thing itself in use in my farms, and thinking favorably of it, had mentioned it to them. My purpose in troubling you with it, is to ask the favor of you to examine the description rigorously, and suggest to me any corrections or alterations which you may think necessary, and would wish to have the ideas go as correct as possible out of my hands. I had sometimes thought of giving it into the Philosophical Society, but I doubted whether it was worth their notice, and supposed it not exactly in the line of their ordinary publications. I had therefore contemplated the sending it to some of our agricultural societies, in whose way it was more particularly, when I received the request of the English board. The papers I enclose you are the latter part of a letter to Sir John Sinclair, their president. It is to go off by the packet, wherefore I will ask the favor of you to return them with the model in the course of the present week, with any observations you will be so good as to favor me with. I am with great esteem, Dear Sir, your most obedient servant.
TO JAMES MADISON.
PHILADELPHIA, March 29, 1798. DEAR SIR, I wrote you last on the 21st. Yours of the 12th, therein acknowledged, is the last received. The measure I I suggested in mine, of adjourning for consultation with their constituents, was not brought forward; but on Tuesday thret resolutions were moved, which you will see in the public papers. They were offered in committee, to prevent their being suppressed by the previous question, and in the committee on the state of the Union, to put it out of their power, by the rising of the committee and not sitting again, to get rid of them. They were taken by surprise, not expecting to be called to vote on such a proposition as "that it is inexpedient to resort to war against the French republic.” After spending the first day in seeking on every side some hole to get out at, like an animal first put into a cage, they gave up their resource. Yesterday they came forward boldly, and openly combated the proposition. Mr. Harper and Mr. Pinckney pronounced bitter philippics against France, selecting such circumstances and aggravations as to give the worst picture they could present. The latter, on this, as in the affair of Lyon and Griswold, went far beyond that moderation he has on other occasions recommended. We know not how it will go. Some think the resolution will be lost, some, that it will be carried ; but neither way, by a majority of more than one or two. The decision of the Executive, of two-thirds of the Senate, and half the House of Representatives, is too much for the other half of that House. We therefore fear it will be borne down, and are under the most gloomy apprehensions. In fact, the question of war and peace depends now on a toss of cross and pile. If we could but gain this season, we should be saved. The affairs of Europe would of themselves save us. Besides this, there can be no doubt that a revolution of opinion in Massachusetts and Connecticut is working. Two whig presses have been set up in each of those States. There has been for some days a rumor, that a treaty of alliance, offensive and defensive with Great Britain, has arrived. Some circumstances have occasioned it to be listened to; to wit, the arrival of Mr. King's secretary, which is affirmed, the departure of Mr. Liston's secretary, which I know is to take place on Wednesday next, the high tone of the executive measures at the last and present session, calculated to raise things to the unison of such a compact, and supported so desperately in both Houses in opposition to the pacific wishes of the people, and at the risk of their approbation at the ensuing election. Langdon yesterday, in debate, mentioned this current report. Tracy, in reply, declared he knew of no such thing, did not believe it, nor would be its advocate.
An attempt has been made to get the Quakers to come forward with a petition, to aid with the weight of their body the feeble band of peace. They have, with some effort, got a petition signed by a few of their society; the main body of their society refuse it. M'Lay's peace motion in the Assembly of Pennsylvania was rejected with an unanimity of the Quaker vote, and it seems to be well understood, that their attachment to England is stronger than to their principles or their country. The revolution war was a first proof of this. Mr. White, from the federal city, is here, soliciting money for the buildings at Washington. A bill for two hundred thousand dollars has passed the House of Representatives, and is before the Senate, where its fate is entirely uncertain. He has become perfectly satisfied that Mr. Adams is radically against the government's being there. Goodhue (his oracle) openly said in committee, in presence of White, that he knew the government was obliged to go there, but they would not be obliged to stay there. Mr. Adams said to White, that it would be better that the President should rent a common house there, to live in ; that no President would live in the one now building. This harmonizes with Goodhue's idea of a short residence. I wrote this in the morning, but need not part with it till night. If anything occurs in the day it shall be added. Adieu.
TO MR. PENDLETON.
PHILADELPHIA, April 2, 1798. DEAR SIR, I have to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of January 29th, and as the rising of Congress seems now to be contemplated for about the last of this month, and it is necessary that I settle Mr. Short's matter with the Treasury before my departure, I take the liberty of saying a word on that subject. The sum you are to pay is to go to the credit of a demand which Mr. Short has on the treasury of the United States, and for which they consider Mr. Randolph as liable to them, so that the sum he pays to Short directly lessens so much the balance to be