This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
As we desire to keep our reading pages as free as our advertising columns, we give the following just as it was received :
"It is always a pleasure to receive and read your Monthly, and I for one would kindly aid in getting new subscribers and spreading its circulation. But I must plainly tell you it is with me, and others I know, quite the other way, for we never allow your paper to be seen or speak of it to any one. Our reasons are these: You seem to have a class of advertisers who are ' anxious to give their stuff away - and next thing to pay you if you will take it. Now this would be all very good if it were confined to nurserymen and from nurserymen to their patrons-We have many small nurseries in the land who would buy from your advertisers, say several hundred plants at $6.00 per hundred, or thousand at $50.00, to supply their customers, etc, but they find them already supplied from these very advertisers six, ten or twelve plants mailed free at 1000 rates. But Yankee and Yankee tricks go together; and while you have many honorable nursery firms, they are disgraced by cheap Jew tricksters, who stoop to anything and who are found in all papers as well as yours. There ought to be a line of discretion in all lines of business, and between and among nurserymen.
This way of advertising so-called trade prices, sending indiscriminately cheap trade lists to everybody, and cheap printed postal cards and the like, is all wrong, they can all reach those in the trade by the commercial reports.
S., Memphis, Tenn".
[The main point of our correspondent's note-is this : Is it a nurseryman's interest to aid the cir culation of agricultural and horticultural papers which admit advertisements of wholesale prices, surplus stock at low rates, and so forth? "We think it is. The one who sells below cost cannot do so long; it is an evil that will cure itself in time. On the other hand the increase of horticultural or agricultural taste which agricultural or horticultural papers engender is for all time, and will make a healthy legitimate trade long after the poor fellow who sells below cost is crowded out. Of course reckless men who advertise to sell goods below cost are an injury to legitimate trade, but there is no way by which a publisher can know whether a man can afford to sell what he has at the price he offers; he has to take all advertisements that have an honest look. It only goes to show that there is nothing on earth - not even a horticultural or an agricultural paper - that is an unmixed good. But admitting the worst against agricultural papers in the line sketched by our correspondent, the question for the nurseryman narrows down to this: Is it to my advantage to have a person take little or no interest in agriculture or horticulture, sutler him to know nothing of what is going on in our world, and leave him where he certainly will buy nothing at all from us or anyone; or is it better to quicken his tastes, and make him an enthusiast in culture, though once in a while some of his orders may go to an unworthy source? The fact is that though the sales of honorable firms are certainly injured by a few reckless advertisers, their sales would be infinitely more restricted if there were no agricultural or horticultural papers at all.
We trust our correspondent, therefore, will see that the advantages of a newspaper are very far beyond its defects and that it is really the permanent interest of every nurseryman to increase the circulation of agricultural and horticultural magazines. - Ed. G. M].