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TERMS:--The Culturist is published monthly at Wethersfield, Conn. at ONE DOLLAR a year in advance. Letters or Communications to be addressed to F. G. COMSTOCK, Secretary of the Society, post paid.


Subscriptions, Orders, &c.: left at the Druggist Store of JAMES S. FOLGER, No. 201, Main street, Hartford, will be promptly attended to.

To Silk Growers.

The editor of the Silk Culturist, is entering into contracts for the delivery of Mulberry Trees, in season for planting the coming spring. The trees are now growing on the island of Cuba, from stock sent out last fall, and may be depended upon as being the genuine Morus multicaulis variety, propagated from layers and cuttings—express written warranties in this particular will be given to each purchaser if requested. As the trees will be out of the ground but a few days, they will probably be in the best possible condition for planting, and it is believed will yield an increase of from 20 to 25 per cent. more than trees kept through the winter. Persons in the New England and Western States, wishing to avail themselves of this opportunity to procure their supplies, must engage them previous to their arrival, as all unengaged are intended for the southern markets. Letters of inquiry, free of postage, will receive prompt attention, and price, terms, &c. forwarded to such persons as may request them.

Address:-- F. G. COMSTOCK, Wethersfield, Conn.


As the season for putting eggs in ice houses, for the purpose of postponing the time of hatching, is advancing, we copy the following note from Davy’s Agricultural Chemistry, and submit the question to the more learned in these matters, whether it does not rationally account for the loss sustained the last summer, by such as entirely excluded their eggs from the air. Several gentlemen of our acquaintance put their eggs in bottles tightly corked and sealed, and the consequence was, their vitality was destroyed.

"The impregnated eggs of insects, and even of fishes, do not produce young ones, unless they are supplied with air; that is, unless the fœtus can respire. I have found that the eggs of moths did not produce larvæ when confined in pure carbonic acid; and when they were exposed in common air, the oxygen partly disappeared, and carbonic acid was formed. The fish in the egg or spawn gains its oxygen from the air dissolved

in water; and those fishes that spawn in spring and summer in still water, such as the pike, carp, perch and bream, deposit their eggs upon sub-aquatic vegetables, the leaves of which, in performing their healthy function, supply oxygen to the water. The fish that spawn in winter, such as the salmon and trout, seek spots where there is a constant supply of fresh water, as near the sources of streams as possible, and in the most rapid currents, where all stagnation is prevented, and where water is saturated with air, to which it has been exposed during its deposition from clouds. It is the instinct leading these fish to seek supply of air for their eggs, which carries them from sea or lake into the mountainous country, which induces them to move against the stream, and to endeavor to overleap weirs, mill dams, and cataracts."


We tender our thanks to Mr. Ruffin, editor of the Farmers’ Register, for several copies of that valuable publication, a copy of Davy’s Agricultural Chemistry, and several publications on the culture of silk. Mr. R. has recently published an edition of Sir Humphrey Davy’s "Elements of Agricultural Chemistry," in a cheap form, and is enabled to furnish it at one fourth the cost of the earlier American edition. It is a full reprint of the latest English edition, with the valuable notes of Dr. John Davy, a brother of the distinguished author. In recommending this work to the notice of the agricultural community, we adopt the language of the publisher, simply adding our own belief that his is the cheapest, and consequently, for general readers, the best edition extant. This work well deserves, for its subject and intrinsic value, to be adopted as a text book in all schools of scientific and high grade of useful instruction; and for low price, this edition might be economically and profitably adopted, as mere reading books in primary or common schools."

Law of Georgia.

In another column will be found the Act passed at the late session of the legislature of Georgia, for the encouragement of the culture of silk, and it is unnecessary for us to say, that of all previous legislation on the subject, it is the most liberal. By the provisions of the act it will be seen that the silk grower will receive about $5 bounty on every pound of silk he grows and reels, for the term of ten years. The bounty added to the market value of the silk, will enable him to realize at least $10 a pound in the raw state, and according to Mr. Roberts’ estimate, which may be a fair one for Georgia, a gross income of $3,333,33 from an acre of land. We considered the Pennsylvania bounty liberal, and witnessed with pleasure its practical effects the last season; but what are we to expect from Georgia, where the bounty is double? If we are not mistaken in our views on the subject, it will immediately become a great silk growing state; for it is questionable whether yankee enterprize can be kept at home under present circumstances.

The genial climate of Georgia for the rearing of the silk worm, and the munificent encouragement held out by the bounty, will probably overcome the love of home of many silk growers in the northern and middle states, and induce them to transplant their trees to the high and healthy parts of Georgia for future operations. Should this be the case, and enterprize knows no bounds, we shall be stripped of what few trees there are in New England, and left to gaze upon and admire the prosperity of Georgia, in a branch of rural economy substantially of our own devising. It will be a matter of rejoicing to us to see the work going forward, even if our native state is not permitted to participate in it; but we do hope there is sagacity and policy enough in Connecticut to prevent other states drawing away all the industry and enterprize among us.

Female Subscribers.

Among the many names which have lately been added to our subscription list, we notice a goodly number of females residing in different parts of the country, and manifesting a strong interest in the silk enterprize—the all absorbing topic of inquiry and discussion. It is always gratifying to an editor to receive this kind of testimonials that his labors are duly appreciated, especially when accompanied by the best of all corroborative evidence—payment in advance. This gratification we have hitherto been permitted to enjoy far beyond our deserts; but when it comes from a quarter on which we have long depended for the final success of the cause we advocate, we cannot express our feelings, or the hopes it has inspired. We may rely too much on female industry and influence, but give it to us in full measure, give us the aid of the feminine zeal, patience, perseverance, &c., and we care not for all the opposition which masculine ignorance can array against us—go it must, and go it will. With these view and feelings, we cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of tendering our public thanks to Lucilla, Miranda, Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary, and a host of others, who have lately added their names to our list; and thereby expressed their approbation of the great cause which we are endeavoring to promote. In them we behold the future benefactresses of our country, and al-most envy the happiness of the favored individuals who shall hereafter be bound to them by the strongest of all—the "silken cord."

Repeal of the Silk Law.

An effort has been made in the Legislature of New Jersey, to repeal the law for the encouragement of the culture of silk, passed a year or two since. From the following, which we copy from the Trenton Gazette, it appears, its enemies are likely to fail of accomplishing their object. "The agricultural committee of the Assembly have reported against repealing this law. We understand that Mr. Hall of the Committee, though a Van Buren man, was decidedly opposed to the repeal, and spoke with the utmost contempt of the prejudice against the law."

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From the earliest colonial days there had long been efforts to establish a silk industry in America. None were very successful. But in 1826, a new species of mulberry tree, morus multicaulis, was introduced from China. It seemed to promise success. One silk manufacturer in Florence, Massachusetts, planted hundreds of the trees. When his operation failed, he decided instead to sell the trees. In 1838 he began to promote the tree through advertisements. The publicity worked and he began a fad. The price of the tree quickly became very expensive, soon too expensive. When the price suddenly dropped a year and a half later many in the silk industry were ruined. This newspaper was printed at the height of the speculative bubble.


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"The Silk Culturist"

publisher   Secretary of Hartford Cty Silk Society
creator   F. G. Comstock
date   1839
location   Wethersfield, Connecticut
width   9.25"
height   11.5"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Magazine
accession #   #L02.066

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See Also...

Raw Silk

"Specimen of a Leaf of the Morus Multicaulis Tree for The Silk Grower"

"Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury-Growth and Manufacture of Silk"

"Manufacture of Silk Not New in New England" from New England Farmer

"Chinese Mulberry" and "Persian Management of Silkworms from New England Farmer"

"Culture of Silk" from New England Farmer

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