QUERY XX
 
        _A notice of the commercial productions particular to the
state, and of those objects which the inhabitants are obliged to get
from Europe and from other parts of the world?_

        Commercial productions
        Before the present war we exported, communibus annis, according
to the best information I can get, nearly as follows:

      ARTICLES.       Quantity.          Price          Am.
                                       in dollars.   in dollars.

      Tobacco         55,000 hhds     at 30 d. per      1,650,000
                        of 1000 lb.     hhd.

      Wht           800,000         at 5/6 d. per     666,666 2/3
                        bushels         bush.

      Indian corn     600,000         at 1/3 d. per     200,000
                        bushels         bush.

      Shipping        --- --- ---     --- ---           100,000

      Masts, planks,  --- --- ---     --- ---          66,666 2/3
      skantling,
      shingles,
      staves

      Tar, pitch,     30,000          at 1 1/3 d. per  40,000
      turpentine        barrels         bar.

      Peltry, viz.    180 hhds.       at 5/12 d.       42,000
      skins of deer,    of 600 lb.      per lb.
      beavers, otters,
      muskrats,
      racoons, foxes

      Pork            4,000           at 10 d. per     40,000
                        barrels         bar.

      Flax-seed,      --- --- ---     --- ---           8,000
      hemp, cotton

      Pit-coal,       --- --- ---     --- ---           6,666 2/3
      pig-iron

      Peas            5,000           at 2/3 d. per     3,333 1/3
                        bushels         bush.

      Beef            1,000           at 3 1/3 d.       3,333 1/3
                        barrels         per bar.

      Sturgeon,       --- --- ---     --- ---           3,333 1/3
      white shad,
      herring

      Brandy from     --- --- ---     --- ---           1,666 2/3
      peaches and
      apples, and
      whiskey

      Horses          --- --- ---     --- ---           1,666 2/3

      This sum is equal to 850,000 l. Virginia
              money, 607,142 guineas.               2,833,333 1/3 D.

        In the year 1758 we exported seventy thousand hogsheads of
tobacco, which was the greatest quantity ever produced in this
country in one year.  But its culture was fast declining at the
commencement of this war and that of wheat taking its place: and it
must continue to decline on the return of peace.  I suspect that the
change in the temperature of our climate has become sensible to that
plant, which, to be good, requires an extraordinary degree of heat.
But it requires still more indispensably an uncommon fertility of
soil: and the price which it commands at market will not enable the
planter to produce this by manure.  Was the supply still to depend on
Virginia and Maryland alone, as its culture becomes more difficult,
the price would rise, so as to enable the planter to surmount those
difficulties and to live.  But the western country on the Missisipi,
and the midlands of Georgia, having fresh and fertile lands in
abundance, and a hotter sun, will be able to undersell these two
states, and will oblige them to abandon the raising tobacco
altogether.  And a happy obligation for them it will be.  It is a
culture productive of infinite wretchedness.  Those employed in it
are in a continued state of exertion beyond the powers of nature to
support.  Little food of any kind is raised by them; so that the men
and animals on these farms are badly fed, and the earth is rapidly
impoverished.  The cultivation of wheat is the reverse in every
circumstance.  Besides cloathing the earth with herbage, and
preserving its fertility, it feeds the labourers plentifully,
requires from them only a moderate toil, except in the season of
harvest, raises great numbers of animals for food and service, and
diffuses plenty and happiness among the whole.  We find it easier to
make an hundred bushels of wheat than a thousand weight of tobacco,
and they are worth more when made.  The weavil indeed is a formidable
obstacle to the cultivation of this grain with us.  But principles
are already known which must lead to a remedy.  Thus a certain degree
of heat, to wit, that of the common air in summer, is necessary to
hatch the egg.  If subterranean granaries, or others, therefore, can
be contrived below that temperature, the evil will be cured by cold.
A degree of heat beyond that which hatches the egg, we know will kill
it.  But in aiming at this we easily run into that which produces
putrefaction.  To produce putrefaction, however, three agents are
requisite, heat, moisture, and the external air.  If the absence of
any one of these be secured, the other two may safely be admitted.
Heat is the one we want.  Moisture then, or external air, must be
excluded.  The former has been done by exposing the grain in kilns to
the action of fire, which produces heat, and extracts moisture at the
same time: the latter, by putting the grain into hogsheads, covering
it with a coat of lime, and heading it up.  In this situation its
bulk produces a heat sufficient to kill the egg; the moisture is
suffered to remain indeed, but the external air is excluded.  A nicer
operation yet has been attempted; that is, to produce an intermediate
temperature of heat between that which kills the egg, and that which
produces putrefaction.  The threshing the grain as soon as it is cut,
and laying it in its chaff in large heaps, has been found very nearly
to hit this temperature, though not perfectly, nor always.  The heap
generates heat sufficient to kill most of the eggs, whilst the chaff
commonly restrains it from rising into putrefaction.  But all these
methods abridge too much the quantity which the farmer can manage,
and enable other countries to undersell him which are not infested
with this insect.  There is still a desideratum then to give with us
decisive triumph to this branch of agriculture over that of tobacco.
-- The culture of wheat, by enlarging our pasture, will render the
Arabian horse an article of very considerable profit.  Experience has
shewn that ours is the particular climate of America where he may be
raised without degeneracy.  Southwardly the heat of the sun occasions
a deficiency of pasture, and northwardly the winters are too cold for
the short and fine hair, the particular sensibility and constitution
of that race.  Animals transplanted into unfriendly climates, either
change their nature and acquire new fences against the new
difficulties in which they are placed, or they multiply poorly and
become extinct.  A good foundation is laid for their propagation here
by our possessing already great numbers of horses of that blood, and
by a decided taste and preference for them established among the
people.  Their patience of heat without injury, their superior wind,
fit them better in this and the more southern climates even for the
drudgeries of the plough and waggon.  Northwardly they will become an
object only to persons of taste and fortune, for the saddle and light
carriages.  To these, and for these uses, their fleetness and beauty
will recommend them. -- Besides these there will be other valuable
substitutes when the cultivation of tobacco shall be discontinued,
such as cotton in the eastern parts of the state, and hemp and flax
in the western.

        It is not easy to say what are the articles either of
necessity, comfort, or luxury, which we cannot raise, and which we
therefore shall be under a necessity of importing from abroad, as
every thing hardier than the olive, and as hardy as the fig, may be
raised here in the open air.  Sugar, coffee and tea, indeed, are not
between these limits; and habit having placed them among the
necessaries of life with the wealthy part of our citizens, as long as
these habits remain, we must go for them to those countries which are
able to furnish them.