This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
"A wonderful country" is Illinois, and the States which lie around it - incomprehensible, too, to those who have never seen the broad territory they cover. Great efforts are making by the earnest men therein, to develop the untold wealth which lies buried in their soils. Vast are the prairies, too, and all the worse that they are so. A sprinkling of "rocks, trees, and running brooks" over their vast surfaces would make them abundantly richer in the elements of agricultural life, and save - oh, how much of man's brief time, weary labor, and anxious solicitude in planting trees, and pumping water 1 Doctor Kennicott's Transactions is a commendable work, highly creditable to his own industry and research, and full of promise to the future usefulness of the Illinois State Society, and as your remarks, Mr. Editor, express all I have to say on that subject, I have a word or two for the managers of that useful institution. I learn that they have heretofore pursued a quite mistaken policy, in docking the pay of their working secretaries - the very men, in fact, to whose brain labor they are chiefly indebted for the good show they make in the getting up of these valuable Transactions.
Now, gentlemen managers, this won't do. If you mean to have a society useful to the people, and creditable to the agriculture of your State, you must have an office at your seat of government for the depository of its papers, documents, library, and Transactions, with a living, thinking, writing, talking man inside of it - call him secretary, or what you like - as the New Yorkers do at Albany, to attend to its business, and communicate with the farmers of your State on all subjects appertaining to their agricultural advancement. And beyond this, you must pay him a salary sufficient to compensate his time and labor. Brains are not in the habit of working for nothing, unless there is a soft spot in them. In that office should be the annual and other meetings of your society - the general agricultural head-quarters of the State. Your great, big State cattle shows are all very well, but they should be only an incident, or high holiday of the year, showing the results of your annual progress. Illinois is purely an agricultural State, wide in territory, and probably, the fourth in population and agricultural wealth in the Union; and with agriculture its leading interest, why pursue a narrow, picayune policy in its development? No; that is not the way.
If the funds of the society are not sufficient, compel, as yon can do, your Legislature to give yon the means. This saving at the spigot, and losing at the bung, is no way to perfection in agriculture. Try the thing, and my word for it, you will find it pay.