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maize. The latter does not thrive in dry seasons. Wheat is the staple production.'
The following mode of cultivation is practised by Mr. Rickets :
About the close of February, or early in March, a bushel of clover-seed is sown on eight acres of wheat; and in April or May, a bushel of pulverised plaster of Paris ? is scattered over the surface. The following year the clover is cut, dried like hay; and is excellent provender. If not used for pasture, the field is mowed twice during the first year, sometimes twice the second, and once the third. The soil is afterwards in a fine condition for wheat, of which it yields from twenty-five to thirty bushels per acre. The clover protects the soil froin the action of the sun, and it is perforated and loosened by the roots of this plant. The following is his mode of top-dressing : in the fall, the winter crop of wheat, or of rye, is covered with cow
nixed with straw, which is beaten down by the rain and snow, and this covering protects it from the frost. Mr. Rickets is of opinion, that a load, spread in
1. Sulphat of lime, or gypsum.'in
this manner, is equal to ten covered in the ordinary way by the plough.
This Northern Neck is famed for fine beef and butter.
Hemp and flax are cultivated on the flat lands, where horses, hogs, sheep, and poultry thrive in a remarkable manner. The best soil sells at from twenty-five to thirty-five dollars per acre. The second quality from ten to fifteen. The third, from three to four. The last is usually employed as a range for catlle.
The improved lands of Morefield, on the Northern Neck, in lots of two, three, or five hundred acres, sell at a hundred and forty, and sometimes at a hundred and sixty dollars per acre. In the purchase of tracts of the Southern Branch Bottom, the adjacent barren hills are given as a gratuitous appendage.
The lands of Loudon county, exhausted more than twenty years ago by successive crops of tobacco, now give luxuriant crops of Indian corn, in consequence of the above mentioned culture. Improved lots, from three to five hundred acres, are sold from twenty-three to twenty-five dollars per acre, on account of their fertility and vicinity to sea-ports. A great portion of Loudon county. has been purchased by farmers from Pensylvania or New Jersey. ,
The Loudon farmer often sells his lands at twenty-five or thirty-five dollars per acre, and purchases others equally good in Prince William, Stafford, or Franquier counties, where they are worked by negroes, for one third less than the former.
The lands at some distance from the Potomac and Rappahanoc rivers, produce oak, gum, and other forest trees, which thrive best in a clayey soil. Where sands prevail, pine and red cedar grow. The latter is employed for posts or wattled fencing. The soil which had been exhausted by iobacco is now covered with black cattle, which are fed on red clover, or Indian corn. The soil is generally rich, but the country is unhealthy. The land-holders, in the sickly season, fly to the hilly regions, leaving their houses and plantations to overseers and slaves.
The waters abound with a variety of fish and excellent oysters. :
The lands of Fairfax County, within a few miles from Alexandria, sell from ten to twenty dollars per acre, and some highlyimproved spots at thirty dollars. They are cultivated in the old Virginia fashion. After showers of rain, followed by a warm sun, vegetation is uncommonly rapid. Farmers say, that Indian corn has been found to shoot up seven inches in twenty-four hours, and the pumpkin-stem eighteen; that they can hear the corn grow, which, in one sense, may be true, as the envelopement of the grain bursts with a crackling noise.
ANNALOSTAN ISLAND. .
Annalostan Island, the seat of General Mason, is situated in the river Potomac, opposite Georgetown, and contains nearly seventy acres. A flat boat, of a rude construction, awkwardly impelled by an oar, placed near each extremity, affords a safe conveyance between the island and the main land, a distance of about two hundred yards. The profits of the ferry are rented by General Mason for the sum of seven hundred dollars a year. Before the erection of the Potomac bridge, it yielded more than double this
amount. On one side, the island is now connected with the main land by an artificial mound, or causeway, which was raised at the expense of the government, for the purpose of stopping the current on this side of the island, and thereby increasing the depth of the water in the Georgetown Channel. This current, in 1784, was considerably deepened by the passage of an immense quantity of ice, that forced itself down after a sudden thaw, and carried with it large masses of the muddy bottom. The Georgetown Channel has been but little deepened by the erection of this causeway. Mr. Custis proposed to open a passage for vessels by means of floodgates : he observes, that there were formerly from fifteen to twenty-six feet of water in this channel. Near the close of the year 1810, it was proposed to confine the current by mechanical means, and to remove the soft bottom by increasing the velocity of the water. For this purpose, the corporation of Georgetown entered into a contract with the proprietor of this plan, engaging to pay the suin of eight thousand dollars for its execution, with the guarantee of its duration for the space of two years. If, at the expiration