Kinsearching April 18, 2010




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     This week we resume with selected data regarding domestic animals found in the publication by the U. S. Congress, {House of Representatives} REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF PATENTS FOR THE YEAR 1853. AGRICULTURE (Washington: A. O. P. Nicholson, Printer, 1854). Like the material in Kinsearching dated 3 January 2010, the following information from condensed correspondence pertains to "horses, asses, and mules." (Surnames are in all-caps for emphasis and some punctuation added for clarity.)

     Page 34 – Jacob KNOOP of Elizabeth, Miami Co., OH, writes: "The present high prices obtained for horses has (sic) also induced many of our farmers to engage in raising good horses and mules. A good four-year-old horse brings from $120 to $150, and mules, at two or three years old, are worth about $100 each. The expenses of driving them to the Atlantic markets are about $10 a head. The cost of raising horses till ready for market about $60; mules about $50.”

     William M. MACY of Quercus Grove, Linn Co., OR, states: “Horses succeed well here. Those Yankee bred are worth from $150 to $200 each. The Indian horses and Spanish mules are used in doing the drudgery of the country, and in packing to the mines.”

     A portion of the joint report of H. N. MCALLISTER, George BUCHANAN, James ALEXANDER, J. K. SHOEMAKER, and William J. WARING to the Centre County Agricultural Society in PA tells an interesting story: “The horses used and most needed are heavy draught, and this class of horses is brought to great perfection here. The quick draught and saddle horse has (sic) been from time to time improved by the introduction of stock from neighboring States. In 1834, the late Henry F. TAMMANY, of this county, purchased at the sale by government, at Washington, ‘Abder Haman,’ one of the stallions presented by the Emperor of Morocco to General JACKSON, then President of the United States. This horse was kept here about three years, and though too small and light for this region, when combined with the larger breeds, his progeny have proved valuable for the saddle and quick draught.”

     An interesting discussion about the use of mules in the area appears in another section of the joint report: “Mules are much used about our iron works. They are preferred, because of their being less liable to disease, hardier, and longer lived than horses. Many of the carters, however, have an aversion to them, and it is difficult to find one who does not prefer driving a team of horses. They are not raised here, but are brought from Kentucky, and cost from $100 to $130 each.”
     (Editor’s note: In this context, a carter is someone who drives a cart, perhaps to transport materials.)

     Page 35 – Joshua S. KELLER, Orwigsburgh, Schuylkill Co., PA, also gives an account of the use of horses and mules in industry. Regarding horses, he remarks: “They are of the greatest value for the different branches of industry in our district, although a large number of mules are employed in the mining operations, in teams, and some on farms.” In addition, he states: “Many of our farmers labor under great disadvantages for the want of servants who know how to treat a horse....”

     M. F. MYERS, Kingston, Luzerne Co., PA, reports: “Our horses are tolerably well bred animals, being crossed and re-crossed by the different blooded stallions which have made their appearance among us from time to time for the last twenty years. When well matched, they will command from $350 to $600 a pair.”

     Horses are also the topic of the account by H. D. MAIZE, New Berlin, Union Co., PA: “The animals which can be raised to the best advantage in this section of this country, I believe, are horses.” Comparing expenses and sale prices, he reports the cost of raising a good “serviceable” colt until he is four years old ranges from $60 to $75; the colt’s value at that age ranges from $125 to $150. “The cost of transporting him to Philadelphia, on foot, may be about $5. As there are no imported blood-horses in this vicinity, except the breed most common in the State...they have been the only ones used for labor.”

(To be continued)

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