Kinsearching September 27, 2009




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

     Since September and October are the months in which many state and local fairs take place, we resume with selected data from 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). Perhaps you will find your ancestor's name in the list of men submitting reports. (Surnames are in all-caps for emphasize.)

     Like the material in Kinsearching dated 12 October 2008, the following information from condensed correspondence pertains to "horses, asses, and mules." Burnett's account, written in an fascinating manner, may be of special interest to persons curious about the history of horses in the Bluegrass State.

     Pages 29 and 30 - Micajah BURNETT, United Society of Shakers, Pleasant Hill, Mercer Co., KY, writes: "Horses in this State, or rather in the central part, were first bred, for some thirty years, to an imported English race-horse, until there might be found animals which, for speed and endurance, could not be surpassed anywhere. The farmers, as well as the turfmen, bred to these horses; but they found they had erred, as they did not suit for the practical uses of the farm. They had too much metal, and were also too small. To remedy this evil, they imported an English draught-horse of the Flanders breed. In this they found they were on the other extreme; their progeny were too heavy for our McAdamized roads, and too slow for the plough. Another cross being necessary, they more recently imported from Canada the Norman French horse, and others from Vermont of the same breed, which have been crossed on our English race-mare, and produced a most valuable stock. These animals appear to suit for all purposes, for the saddle as well as harness. With this cross, it is presumed Kentucky may be looked to as having the most valuable horse, for all practical purposes, that can be produced.

     Cost of raising colts to three years old, from $40 to $45. Value at maturity, from $70 to $150, and in some instances more. Cost of transporting them by water to Mississippi and the New Orleans market, $10; by land to the other Southern States, something less

     Many mules are raised in this vicinity of very superior qualities; but they have not been much used in farming, owing to a general objection growing out of their 'peculiar qualifications,' though they are more hardy and durable than horses."

     p. 30 - Daniel FULTON, Bowdoinham, Lincoln Co., ME, states: "The Messenger and Morgan breeds are considered the best in this State."

     p. 30 - William UPTON, Jr., Dixmont, Penobscot Co., ME, reports: "The various grades of the Messenger breed are here considered most valuable for the carriage. 'Bush Messenger,' owned by Hiram REED, of Augusta...took the third premium at the late National Horse Fair at Springfield, Massachusetts. Many of his colts are scattered throughout the State...."

     pp. 30 -31 - Statement of Samuel JOHNSON, Jackson, Waldo Co., ME

     pp. 31-32 - Thomas W. SAMPSON, Ashland Farm, Rocheport, Boone Co., MO, says: "Horses have been raised heretofore without much regard to the particular purpose for which they were intended....but the farmers have learned better within the last five years." He then mentions horses that were exhibited at the Boone County Agricultural and Mechanical Society at Columbia and mules that won prizes at the State Agricultural Society at Boonville.

     p. 32 - James L. MINOR, Jefferson City, Cole Co., MO, discusses the shipment of mules: "These animals are...kept until they are generally four years old, when they are either sold to purchasers who visit our State from Kentucky or the Southern States, or are driven by their owners to a Southern market. So few of them go to the Atlantic States by railway or canal, that I have found no one who can give me any information as to the cost of this mode of transportation."

     p. 32 - Statement of H. L. BROWN, Fayette, Howard Co., MO

(To be continued)

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