The History of New York State
Book 12, Chapter 18, Part 5

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam


Agriculture After the Revolution.--By 1800 this was the situation: A vast area naturally suited to agriculture and to and through which nature had placed means of transportation, but the sale and gift by the new State had been opened to development. There was no hesitancy on the part of the people; from 1790 on they moved into all parts of the State with an ever increasing flow. The proportion of the population engaged in agriculture has decreased steadily since 1850. From 1790 to 1840 the ratio of increase of the agriculturists was greater than that of the total population, a condition that never was true before or since. Not only did those who had campaigned in certain districts return; not only did settlers of the Hudson River sections and the neighboring localities move to upper New York, but New Englanders came by the thousands. Germans went from Pennsylvania to the western part of the State. Many German and English soldiers of the British forces during the Revolution remained, and with the Yankees took up the confiscated Tory areas. The Welsh settled in Oneida County; the Scotch and Irish filtered into Otsego County, and many of the Scotch into Genesee. The French drifted from all parts, all races, all religions hurried to the agricultural Eldorado which had been opened up to settlement in what was to be the Empire State of the Union. It is rather hard to understand the impulses behind this hegira, for with all its advantages, the State was heavily forested, had still its dangers, of which the recently deposed Indian was one, and of roads there were still few, and these hardly worthy of the name. But the country was now free from foreign dominion; the common citizen could own his farm; and it was realized that the new Nation must be self-supporting.

Pioneer Farming in 1800.--Nor is it easy to picture the pioneering farming conditions of that period. For a century and three quarters, there had been little change in the means and methods of agriculture. The man who now went into the wilds of New York carried few farming tools with him, because there were few that had been invented and used at this time. There were the wrought iron hoes, the wooden pitch-fork, the scythe and the wooden plow, although this latter had been improved with a bit of flat iron on point and share. The iron plow had been invented in 1797, but fairly efficient plows were not to be had much before 1850. The scythe had been improved for harvesting grain by the addition of a cradle, but the making of this was a work of art to whom few were capable. The main took was the "am-killer" heavy hoe, and with these three mentioned instruments, the pioneer, after he had provided for the bare necessities of life, started in to grow grain for market. A good man might scratch several acres a day with his crude plow, dodging the stumps he must leave to rot; he could, hitched with his wife or son, when he lacked an oxen, or when the ox was busy at something else, drag a small bushy tree over the roughened land as a harrow. The seed was sown by hand; when ripe a strong man could reap and cradle four acres a day. By hand flailing, or by the old Biblical method of treading it out by oxen, the grain could be threshed. On a windy day, this was gathered up and winnowed as it was poured from home-made baskets, just as in the days of Ruth. Such was the primitive methods of grain culture in the "dark ages" of New York agriculture before 1825.

It may be of interest to note that the plow, as mentioned, was improved shortly after the first settlement of up-State by these pioneers. The harrow, a crude affair, was simultaneously invented by dozens when they faced the problem of breaking the heavier soils. The cultivators, planting tools, and the whole list of harvesting and threshing machinery which now make grain-growing possible, all were invented between 1830 and the Civil War days. The cultivator was brought out in 1840, the seeder in 1850. The reaper was introduced in 1840, although McCormick had secured a patent in 1838. A New Hampshire Yankee brought to Saratoga in 1822 a threshing machine, and at Geneva in 1830 the manufacture of it began. But this and the many improved machines which followed it were very primitive and bear little relation to the modern affair. Hay soon proved a valued crop, and men tried to find less laborious ways of handling it. By the old method a man could cut by hand two acres in a long day, and then must rake and handle it by hand. The mowing machine was not perfected until about 1830, although patented in 1803. The horse-rake came in use about 1830; even the metal pitchfork was not common in the early years of the century.

Pioneering Industries.--To the imagination will be left the story of the pioneers' life in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, how he built his log or bark house, how he cleared his land, how he grew his flax and wool and spun the materials for his clothes, how he managed to face life without stores, doctor, even neighbors often, without a thousand things which are now considered necessities. Since they are a part of the history of agriculture in the State, three of the early agricultural industries may be mentioned. For example, potash was often the first paying crop of the new farm. It was used in soap-making, dyeing, glass manufacture, to make gun-powder, and fertilizer, and for raising biscuits in the pioneer's home before being displaced by "saleratus." And this potash was derived from wood ashes. The settler piled his cut trees and brush and burned them. The ashes he gathered and leached, later evaporating the lye to be solid mass known as "black salts." These were worth about three cents a pound in cash; butter brought from twelve to fourteen cents in trade. Often the only money the farmer handled was what he got for potash. For that matter, the three principal, and one might say only, exports of the up-State farmer until some time after the opening of the Erie Canal were potash, wheat and whiskey. As roads were built, "asheries" came into existence, their purpose being to relieve the farmer of the tedious process of evaporating and leaching.

Two other industries claimed the attention of the pioneer farmer; he made charcoal, which had many used at that time, and could be sold for cash, and for tanning the skins of the animals he killed must be made into leather, for this was one of the most desirable materials of that day. Charcoal, being light, could be transported long distances and brought what was good money then, ten to fifteen cents a bushel. So many things were made of leather that the farmer had to be able to cure hides in some sort of fashion, or suffer from the lack of many articles. Rawhide was tough but stretched; it also rotted easily, but this was often all that anyone could make by himself. Tanning was really a manufacturing industry, and was one of the first in which the farmers of a locality joined hands in establishing (the mill was usually an individual enterprise).

The grist and sawmill accompanied the settlement everywhere. Any small stream supplied the motive power, and water was the only power available for many years. The log cabin was the usual thing on the new farm, but sawn material was preferred when the cabin was replaced or enlarged. In 1845 there were 7,406 sawmills in New York; in 1855 less than 5,000. Of course, the most of the lumber turned out after 1825 as sent to market; Albany was one of the largest lumber headquarters in the State in 1845. The gristmill was an indispensable necessity to the early communities. The pioneer of 1800 usually had, for a time, to pound his corn and wheat after the Indian fashion, and soak his corn in lye and boil it for hours to make "samp." But he wanted something better from his grain and would travel long distances to a mill for grist. The Palatines traveled thirty miles to Schenectady to visit the miller. The grist was sifted at home to get out the bran, bolting being a later introduced process, one not general during the first quarter of the nineteenth century.

Other industries on the farm of the time were furniture and tool making, some examples of the era which had come down to us, while straight lined and plain, have both strength and beauty. Clay products were required, whether to make a puddled clay fireplace and chimney, or baked in crude kilns in the form of bricks. Most farm cabins had a still, and as a community grew, there was distillery and a tavern. In 1845 there were 221 distilleries in the State, and in that same year in the rural county of Schoharie there were seventy-five taverns. Drinking was as respectable then as church attendance; and there were no revenue complications. Whiskey was the most portable and potable, form of grain.

The crops that were grown in these "dark ages" were similar to those introduced by the Dutch nearly two centuries before. Corn was the most grown grain, with wheat making a close second. The principal change even today from the crops which the pioneers planted lies in flax, wool, barley and possibly buckwheat, barley and rye are relatively unimportant. From 1790 to nearly 1820, the new agriculture of the State was really the same old type established with New Netherland.

The Golden Age of Agriculture.--Horace Bushnell spoke of the "Golden Age of homespun" when referring to the period from 1820 to 1840. It was also the golden age of agriculture, for it was the period when agriculture in New York reached its top-most rung of the ladder as far as total production and the number of individuals engaged in it are concerned. As has been indicated, this was an era of improved farm machinery, most of the tools now used being invented or introduced into the commonwealth at this time. The primitive pioneering age was over; farms were no longer isolated, partly cleared spaces in the forest. There were roads, hamlets, and villages; many of the hand industries carried on at the farm were handled by factories and mills. The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 (parts of it were in use before this) gave an impetus to wheat-growing which did not wane for two decades, or until the "iron horse" had come to the aid of the West where vast areas of soft prairie became the granary of America, a position hitherto held by New York. The State went wild over wheat; there were more than a million acres planted to it in 1844. This was the high tide, for in the next two decades only half this amount was in this grain. Most of the wheat was being grown west of buffalo, the shipments through that town increasing from 3,600,000 bushels in 1850 to 18,500,000 in 1860. Meanwhile corn rose from 2,500,000 to 11,300,000 bushels. The golden age, which was also the wheat era, was short lived but splendid while it lasted. The type of agriculture changed thereafter, becoming diversified but centering more on dairying, the present principal form.

Rise and Fall of the Population Engaged in Agriculture.--It is difficult to realize the changes that have taken place in the agriculture of the State, but it can be grasped to an extent by consideration of figures showing the changes in the numbers of those engaged in the tilling of the soil. The following are some deductions made from a graph issued by the State Agriculture Department. In 1820 there were 250,000 who were wholly dependent upon the land for their support. Their numbers increased steadily during the next two decades until the numbers of those engaged in agriculture totaled 450.000, a very fair proportion of the population of the State. What is most remarkable is that this year, 1840, marks the peak of this industry as far as the number of those engaged in it is concerned; from this time forward there is a decline which is broken only slightly for two decades. From 1840 to 1870 the graph shows that the steady down-grade movement had reached a place where the agriculture workers numbered a little more then 350,000. In the twenty years to 1890 it climbed again but reached only 390,000. Another two decades and the gain had been lost; from 1910 the drop is very sharp to 1920, when the total number of those "engaged in agriculture" had reached the figures of 1820. In other words within a century the circle had been completed, and the agriculture population was no more than it had been in the days when it first started to make its rapid increase. This does not mean "rural" population, which has remained stationery, since 1890 at about 2,000,000. It is more than likely that at the present time those that depend wholly upon the broad acres of New York to support them and their families are fewer than they have been since agriculture became a prominent industry of the State. These figures do not mean that the industry is a failure; more wealth is produced than during the days of the greatest number who farmed. Possibly all that should be inferred is, that manufacturing has outdistanced crop-growing, and that the present type of agriculture uses more acres and requires fewer hands.

The Grain Period.--The importance of this grain age may be appreciated by the consideration of other figures, these also being taken from graphs of the agricultural department. Corn, for example, was planted on 600,000 acres in 1844; it rose to 900,000 in 1854, equaling wheat. Plantings fell, keeping company with wheat, and made like rises until they joined hands in 1914 at 350.000 each. Only 166,697 acres were planted in corn for grain in 1924. Twice this amount if now planted for silage. Oat acreages have remained bout the same for nearly a century, as has buckwheat. Barley reached its zenith from 1879 to 1889, but has since almost passed out of production. Rye, from more than 300,00 acres in 1844, has slumped until it has reached 35,851. As will be seen from these figures, the grains reached their utmost limits between 1840 and 1850. Meanwhile, the number of farms, and acres in farms, were steadily increasing and did not reach their limit until 1880, since which there has been a more or less steady decline until now there are fewer farms and about the same area of improved land as in 1850, the first year of which we have any statistics. As has been intimated all these figures do not indicate that agriculture has ceased to be profitable, or the industry a failure. very much the opposite is the truth. The statistics do show that New York grasped early it opportunity, and reaped wealth from grains before the West had been opened and made ready.

Agriculture from 1850.--When it was realized that a different style of farming must be put into operation, the New York State agriculturist was prompt to make the change. The evolution of its agriculture was not marked by the abrupt steps which agricultural reports might seem to indicate. From grain growing, attention was turned to cattle and milk production. Fruits had been planted on nearly every farm from the beginning, and were now considered from the standpoint of quantity production. Apples had been planted in orchard form as early as 1800; in 1817 a 700-tree orchard was set out in Niagara County. But little advance has been made in this line, for the varieties were but fair, and the profits came mainly from the cider which was made. In 1845 winter apples were set out at Lockport, and from this time on these varieties became the mainstay of horticulture. By 1890 apple growing had become a high-ranking business. Potatoes were found to be an important crops as early as 1820, but were not planted heavily until a decade later, and did not reach any great prominence until Civil War times; the largest acreages being those of 1884, and the two decades between 1899 and 1909. Bean planting for dried beans started about 18340, but little was done until Civil War times, when the "Yankee" bean, used by the armies, came mainly from New York. In the late World War, dried beans rose to unusual heights, reaching far over 200,000 acres, but have since dropped down to the average over a very long period. Hops seem to have been brought in by the English, but may have been introduced by the Dutch, but little was done with them, although there is a record of Madison county hops being sold in New York in 1816. This crop was taken more seriously about 1850, and in 1855 there were 100,000 acres of hops in the State, the amount steadily increasing until 1879, after which it declined until now they are no longer listed in the statistics. The growing of vegetables has varied so that little can be inferred form government reports except that in total amount they have steadily increased until about 1900, and declined gradually since.

Livestock.--The present greatest agricultural industry of the State is livestock with the main emphasis placed upon dairy cattle. It started in 1625 with the three shiploads of cattle, horses, swine and sheep brought over from Amsterdam by Peter Huft. There has been no period when it was not important. But it was not until after 1850 that it became the principal phase of agriculture in the State. Resorting again to figures; in 1844 there were nearly 4,000,000 acres used for hay and forage. In 1869, the largest area ever used by the farmers for this purpose was reached, 5,500,000 acres; since that time while the amount had been less, it never has gone far below this amount. Improved grasses have been planted, however, and the clovers increased. To put it more accurately, clover was increasingly planted until 1889, and then dropped off; but meanwhile (1899) it was found possible to grow alfalfa successfully and not only replaced the losses in clover acreage; but is not grown very much more largely then that plant. It is possible that at the present time all the clovers total a greater acreage than was ever planted to them, exceeding the totals of 1889 when alfalfa was relatively unknown. It might be well to add that as Lucerne this plant was introduced as early as 1790, Robert Livingston planted fifteen acres of it in Jefferson County in 1793. It was tried out in the central part of the State in 1812, but with little success. The introduction of the necessary bacteria with the seed on the chaff solved the difficulty, its successful culture being begun in Onondaga County in 1867.

Sheep, Swine, and Chickens--The graphs of the livestock which is supported on these millions of aces in forage and pasture show many curious fluctuations in the numbers of difference animals. There were 3,500,000 sheep in New York in 1825; in 1845 there were nearly 6,500,000. Except in 1865 (5,500,500) these numbers were never approached--there are less than a half million now. In two counties, Madison and Otsego, in 1845 there were more sheep in each than in the whole State at present. Jared Van Wagenen estimates that "If we had today in New York State as many sheep per capita as we had then, more than one-half of all the sheep in North America would be within our borders." But again the West had the advantage, Australia and the Argentina proved able competitors, and the sheep industry was gradually given up. Swine were raised in the early days to consume crops, thereby saving the cost of transportation of the more bulky article. Today they are incidentals in the scheme of farming, being used as scavengers mainly. As a result, there are fewer pigs in the State than at any time of which we have records. These, like many other of the smaller livestock, were more numerous in 1840 to 1850. In recent years poultry have more than replaced hogs in the economy of farming. Statistics of these started in 1880, and the number of chickens have increased with every decade since then, until there are not nearly 13,500,000 of them; the egg production has increased even more rapidly.

Horses.--The larger animals as a whole have slowly become more numerous from 1825, or did so until 1900, since which time there had been a gradual decline. Horses have gone up from 440,000 to 660,000 in 1890 and back again to the original figures (440,203 in 1925). The State was notable for its fine stock in the pre-motor days. Elmer Fippen wrote this of the former times: "The original home of the trotter is orange County at Goshen where Hambletonian 10, a grandson of the imported Arabian stallion Bellfounder (Messenger) was foaled in 1849. His monument stands at Chester. He was by gate the greatest sire of famous trotting stock that the country produced. Other notable horses have been originated. At Stony ford in the same county is a monument to Green Mountain Maid, known as the greatest mother of trotters. Membrino Chief was foaled across the Hudson River in Dutchess County in 1844, and Ethan Allen, a notable sire of the Morgan stock, was also foaled in the Hudson Valley. Goshen in Orange County was known as the 'Lexington of the North.' "

One more group of statistics and this concerning the most important cattle industry, the cow. In 1850 the ox was almost as numerous and as desirable as the dairy cow; he was the draft horse of the farmer. There were a million cows in 1845; surprising as it may seem there are only 1,370,000 now (1925) the largest number in the history of dairying.

One might summarize the agricultural history as based on the statistics given of New York State in this fashion. After the era of pioneering beginning in 1790, came the grain age about 1825, which was soon succeeded by the dairy industry, which, with horticulture and vegetable growing, have held the stage ever since. As far as the cultivated area is concerned, it reached its height in 1880 when about 78 per cent of the land of the State was in farms, the improved area being about 58 per cent of the whole. The number of farmers had long since passed it highest total. The forage lands, after the grain period, have usually made up three-fifths of the average of the farms, much of the farm land being of a character which unfits it for planted crop productions. The largest total acreage in crops other then hay and fruits was in 1854 (the area in fruits has increased since 1890, when the heaviest planting of commercial orchards was begun). In total production the high water mark was probably reached bout a half century ago, possibly in 1880 or 1890. According to the thirteenth census, New York ranked eight in the value of all crops. It was first in the production of hay and forage, potatoes, vegetables, buckwheat, flowers and plants, nursery stock, small fruits, willows and teasel; second in orchard fruits and grapes, hops, maple sugar, and syrup; until recently it was third in beans. In grains it ranks low, excepting buckwheat in which it is first. Within the State dairying ranks first, general farm crops second, vegetables and fruit growing alternate in the third and fourth places.

Agricultural Advantages of the Present Day.--Statistics are often the most misleading things to put on paper; figures may not lie, but they often create false impressions. If one was to judge from the statistical history of New York State that it was wallowing in the mire agriculturally no greater mistake could be made, for it is as attractive a region to those disposed to make a living from the soil as any in the Union. It may be excelled in some given respect but all around there is none like it; the opportunities are here for the one who can make the most of them. It has the topography, the varieties of soil, the climate, and above all, the markets and the transportation systems to reach them. There are few things grown in the temperate zone that cannot be grown successfully in New York. There has seldom been a crop failure because of climate conditions where these have been take into consideration. New York City has a kitchen bill annually of more than half a billion dollars; it pays for dairy products and poultry supplies $175,000,000. Of these only cheese is made in sufficient quantities to supply this one city's demands. And New York is only one of sixty cities which form the principal markets of the State, not to mention nearly a half thousand incorporated villages. Railroads spread like the mail strands of a spider's web through the Commonwealth, joined together by an even greater web of highways. Withal, farms are low priced. No less an authority than James Wilson, former Secretary of Agriculture said: "The low-priced farm lands of New York State are the best investment in America." The region for cheap land and agricultural opportunity is no longer the West but the East, and the tide seems definitely turned in that direction.

Of many are the varieties of soils and of productions in the State that there is a place for the specialist in agriculture whether he be farmer, horticulturist, vegetable or truck grower, nurseryman, viticulturist, poultryman of dairyman. Long Island is in a class by itself as regards the character of its production. Truck crops and all the garden vegetables are the specialties, but there are few forms of agriculture that cannot be found here. The Hudson River is one of the important fruit sections of the Commonwealth. Back from the river general farming prevails, and in the lower alley dairying is extensively practiced, with the metropolis as a hungry market for everything produced. The Mohawk Valley is a wider, finer continuation, agriculturally, of the Hudson, and continues the same types of farming on even broader lines. The great central plateau which extends from the Catskills to Lake Erie has been carved by glacial action in a variety of mills, levels, lakes and streams which permit of all manner of cultivation. It is a natural livestock country, with dairying, general farming and orcharding providing the chief agricultural interests. It is the great grape and small fruit district, potatoes and vegetables are grown in quantities, and there is a sure market in the numerous canneries in addition tot he many cities and towns. The soil is adapted for all the ordinary crops, but its future seems to be with livestock. The Great Lakes area, protected from the north and west by these bodies of water, is a fruit district par excellence. Apples, pears, peaches and the berries have been grown here for a century. The North Country, one of the chief vacation centers of the Eat, is progressing remarkably along the lines of dairying and hay production. There are sections scattered all over New York where specialties are practiced. The man must be very hard to please who cannot find a district eminently suited to his particular purpose.

At the risk of repetition emphasis must again be laid upon the fact that dairying is the dominant form of agriculture in New York, the basal agricultural industry. Other States may surpass it in the number of cows and heifers, kept for milk (New York ranks third in this respect) but it unquestionably holds first place in the sale of milk and cream for fluid use, and in the production of several specialized dairy products. Of the latter, New York stands first in the manufacture of many varieties of cheese, in the making of sweetened condensed milk, and in bulk condensed and evaporated milk. Two States now exceed it in the pack of unsweetened evaporation milk. So, too, with powdered milks, creams and mil sugar. It is second to California in the output of dried casein, and second to Pennsylvania in ice cream.

The proximity of many great markets account for the specialized turn dairy production has taken in recent years. There is a year round demand for market milk at high prices. The immense acreage of pastures, great crops of hay and roughage, which have been mentioned as characterizing the agriculture of the Commonwealth, are utilized to the best advantage in the production of the more then 5,000,000,000 pounds of milk which are used in the 1,340 milk plants of the State. The total production of milk was, in 1925, estimated at very nearly 7,000,000,000 pounds. The three principal dairying sections are: First, the broad band extending along the Hudson straight north tot he Canadian line; second, around the eastern end of Lake Ontario and southward between Syracuse and Utica through the Susquehanna and Chenango valleys; third, in the extreme southwestern counties of the State. "The most intense concentration of dairy cattle is between and a little south of Syracuse and Utica," the alfalfa district.

Horticulture has been brought to high estate, particularly during the last quarter century, although its most marked feature, grape growing, began with settlement of the State and reached great heights towards the close of the last century. In acreage and value of fruit production New York is second only to California. "One acre in every fifteen in crops in New York is devoted to fruit culture." The State is first in apples, fresh grapes, bush fruits, pears and quinces; fourth in peaches and plums, seventh in cherries, and eighth in strawberries. Apples are ahead of all other fruits in acreage and value. The apple while doing well in all parts of the State, for commercial growth is restricted somewhat to three or four districts; the shore of lake Ontario, the Central lakes, the Hudson and the Chaplain valleys. In 1909 "five counties on the Ontario shore, Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Wayne and Ontario, produced more apples than any State except Pennsylvania."

Viticulture, with its interesting history, is one of the feature industries of agricultural New York. It is a far stretch from the Richards' vineyards on Long Island of 1664 to the development of the Finger Lakes and Chautauqua grape sections. In 1818 Deacon Elijah Fay planted the first grapes in the latter mentioned county and laid the foundation of grape growing in what is now the grape belt. In the Keuka Lake district the first plantings were not until 1830--in the garden of Rev. William Bostwick, at Hammondsport. The concord grape, the variety which now occupies ninety per cent of the commercial grapes, was originated by Bull in Massachusetts in 1850. The Niagara grape was originated at Lockport by Hoag and Clark in 1868. It was not until 1880 that the first carload of grapes was sent from western New York, and that phase of the industry began to reach commercial importance. Prior to this the wine press formed the main outlet or the larger vineyards. The commercial production of unfermented grape juice began in Westfield about 1900; today more then 3,000,00 gallons are made in the Chautauqua region alone. Probably only about one-quarter of the grapes in the State now grown are pressed for juice. In the production of grape juice New York leads the country, as it does in the growing of the American table varieties of grapes. In 1910, it was using about 52,000 acres, on which were 36,000,000 vines for viticulture. The number of vines was more than one-third of those in the United States outside of California. The principal grape regions are: Chautauqua, far in the lead; the Central lakes; with smaller districts in the Hudson Valley and the Niagara area. To the dairymen and the horticulturist the State holds an opportunity probably not surpassed in America.

Living conditions are splendid almost everywhere. Educational advantages are at every man's door. New York leads the Union in education. In more than 10,000 school districts no child need lack teaching. Agriculturally, there is the State College of Agriculture at Cornell University, than which there is no superior. Then there are six secondary agricultural schools placed with reference to the geography of the State. One is in St. Lawrence County, another in Alleghany, a third in Madison, others on Long Island, Delaware, and Schoharie counties. Back of, and with these, are the half hundred high schools which give full length courses in agriculture. Nor must the experiment stations be overlooked. Established for "investigation and experimentation concerning agricultural problems." The Department of Agriculture is both a regulatory body and an education agency. There are county farm bureaus in every county. Fraternal agricultural institutions are numerous and helpful. The New York State Society for the promotion of agriculture is possibly the oldest and the most influential of its kind, dating from February, 1791. The State Fair, permanently located at Syracuse, is one of its many contributions to agriculture. The New York State Horticultural Society, formed in 1918, with 1,700 members is probably the largest in the world. It dates from 1855. Then there are the Dairymen's League, the Grange (1867 at Fredonia), the Patrons of Industry (1887), and many other organizations for different types of agriculture, horticulture and associated industries. No effort is spared by the Commonwealth or its people to perfect all things relating to its agriculture. The motto on its Great Seal is "Excelsior" which maybe interpreted, "More is to be achieved." New York can offer no apologies for its agriculture, for it needs none. It is like a many faceted clear stone, shaped by tillers of its soil through three centuries, and polished by the thought and care and tool of many generations.


The History of New York State, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1927

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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