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NOTICE. Country SUBSCRIBERS who are in arrears should recollect to make returns for what we send them. Remittances to be made to
New-York. MR. T. P. Williams is our Agent to receive the names of Subscribers in the West and South. Editors and others kindly interested in the circulation of this Magazine, will oblige us by facilitating his designs.
0. D. Davis and John Stoughton, Jr., are canvassing for subscribers to this work in the state of New-York.
Entered, according to the act of Congress, in the year 1847,
BY JOHN ALLEN. In the Clerk's office of the District Court of the Southern District of New-York.
WINTXAS IN THX 800TU: RADE AND FRUIT TRES OF GEORGIA: HOLIDAYS AMONG THE SLAVES:
CULTIVATION OF RICE: SAVANNA AND ITS CITIZENS.
Savannah, Jan. 1, 1847. To a northern traveller the first appearance of Savannah varies but little from that of northern cities of a corresponding size. The streets are somewhat wider, the smaller private dwellings have a more frequent display of vine-covered porticoes and piazzas, and it seems rather strange to see the chimnies all standing outside the buildings; but yet the public houses, the churches and the residences of the wealthier citizens are so like those of Hartford or Worcester that he hardly realizes that he has left the land of the Puritans.
The climate of Savannah is always mild, and this New-Year's is as free from frost as a sunny May-day in Massachusetts. The present winter is as yet warm and dry, and cloaks and overcoats have scarcely made their first appearance. This however is unusual. Stormy days, with their damp and chilly atmosphere, often occur for several weeks in succession, and when the weather does become tranquil, the roads, instead of presenting a bright pathway of snow, are impassable from mud and water. The winters of the northern states are indeed fierce and stern, and bear heavily on those of feeble health and slender frame; but were the sturdy farmer of NewEngland compelled for a single season to draw homeward through mud and mire his firewood and his lumber, you must guarantee him many a bright and beautiful day to induce him to exchange climates.
The China is the favorite shade-tree of this and many of the southern towns. It has a rich and dark green foliage, which is never disturbed by vermin, and remains the latest of the season. In almost every yard there are also seen the sycamore, the Spanish mulberry and the mimosa. Of vines, the white and yellow jasmine, the woodbine, and the bamboo are the most frequent. They grow in the VOL. XXIX.
forests, and on the alluvial bottoms, overtopping the wild shrubbery, and hanging in waving festoons over the creeks and rivers. In the season of blossoms they form one of the most beautiful features of southern scenery.
The peach is the most abundant of the fruit trees of Georgia. It was cultivated by the Indians. It excels in variety, but not in flavor, those of New-Jersey. The fig and pomegranate are excellent fruit, and are easily raised. On the low-lands of the south the apple and pear never flourish. For three seasons they are very thrifty ; blossom, bear an indifferent fruit, and decay during the fourth. On the northern declivities of the Cherokee hills, however, there are some good orchards, with summer apples ripening in June and the winter in October. The lemon and orange are mentioned in our geographies as fruits peculiar to, and abundant in this and the adjacent States. It is true that these fruits are found in a few of the lower border counties, but they are dwarfish and unpalatable. In no part of the Union, save the peninsula of Florida, and the newly acquired provinces of New Leon and Tamaulipas, are the lemon and orange brought to a state of perfection.
The population of Savannah is about fourteen thousand, more than half of whom are negroes. The present or Christmas week is the holiday time of the slaves; their annual and only period of relaxation and freedom. Early on Christmas morning they come in crowds from the neighboring rice plantations with a few shillings each, which are speedily exchanged for trinkets, confectionary and whiskey. Occasionally one more considerate than the rest will purchase shoes or some article of clothing. They manifest a great buoyancy of spirits, and are full of talk and laughter. During this week they are allowed to traffic for themselves, and visit their acquaintances; privileges of which they avail themselves to the utmost of their ability. Toward sun-down they begin to disperse, and after dark scarcely one is to be seen, the city authorities forbidding them to be out after nine. They pass the night in singing and dancing; the favorite amusements of the negro. The next morning a smaller crowd collects together; for some have hired themselves to their masters, or to other citizens; and thus the number diminishes from day to day, till the night before New-Year's, when all return to commence their annual labor. To a descendant of the Pilgrims, the existence of slavery, in its most lenient and favorable form, must appear unnatural and forbidding. Not that he regards the slave as overburthened with toil, or destitute of suitable food and clothing; these and all other physical comforts he usually possesses in abundance. But the system is inconsistent with his views of equal rights and universal freedom; sentiments which he has cherished from his earliest years, and which he can never abandon.
There are two classes of agriculturalists in this country who possess a sort of natural monopoly; the advantage of receiving an unusual profit in proportion to the labor employed and the capital invested. They are the rice-planters of Georgia and South Carolina and the sugar-planters of Louisiana. Nine-tenths of all the rice consumed in, or exported from the United States, is raised on the
sea-coast and islands between Cape Fear and the northern boundary of Florida. This species of grain can only be raised with profit on wet and marshy ground; and to insure a certain and abundant crop the soil must be kept in a uniform state of moisture. It is only that portion of the coast and the islands which is overflowed by the tides that is capable of this, a quantity quite limited in its extent. A mound is thrown up on the edge of the shore high enough to prevent the overflowing of the tides. The lowlands are then intersected with canals, opening through the mounds to the ocean. A gate closes each of these openings, which is only raised during the dry summer season, when the rice fields are irrigated by allowing the salt water to pass through the gateways and overspread the surface. The expense of preparing these lands for culture is nearly fifty dollars to the acre. The grain is sown in March and is gathered the first of October. The cultivation of rice is attended with more exposure than that of cotton, and is far more unhealthy.
It is very profitable, and some of the large planters realize an annual income of ten thousand dollars. During the summer months they reside with their families among the highlands, and remain on their plantations only in the winter season.
Savannah, which is the oldest town in the state, was founded by OGLETHORPE, one hundred and fourteen years ago. In the Revolution it was the scene of several sanguinary conflicts, and was for some time in the possession of the British troops. Here fell the gallant Pulaski, to whose memory a beautiful monument is erected in the public square. Both the bar and the pulpit of Savannah are noted for their ability. The Hon. J. M. Berrien, and Judge Wayne, of the Supreme Court, reside here. Among the most noted literary men of the city are the Hon. R. M. Charlton, one of the ablest contributors of the KNICKERBOCKER, and Col. H. R. Jackson, now commanding the Georgia regiment in Mexico. Your readers will admire with me the following impromptu lines by the latter, written by eamp-light, near Camargo, last September:
WHERE Rio Grande's turbid waves
The muffled drum with measured tone
O, Rio Bravo! when in war
LET TEP. SECOND.
TIE PIN AND MAONOLIA
CULTIVATION OF COTTON : PECULIARITIES OF SOUTHERN AGRICOLTIKE:
THX OSORIOA TEMALE COLLEGE
Macon, (Ga.,) Jan. 9, 1847. Macon, the largest interior town of this state, is at the western terminus of the Central rail-road, one hundred and ninety-two miles from Savannah. It is a ride of ten hours, over a level country sparsely settled, and of a thin barren soil. The first object that strikes the attention of a traveller is the occasional sight of an alligator as he splashes away from the sudden approach of the cars. They are an unsightly, hideous animal; the most loathsome of all quadrupeds. In size they are smaller than those of South Florida, are cowardly, and dangerous only to calves, pigs and ducks. The first part of the route is through a pine and cypress region, the last through one of oak and hickory.
Although the appearance of a southern pine forest is monotonous, perchance tiresome, it is by no means repulsive or forbidding. The trees are tall and erect, without a branch save at the top. There is no brush or underwood, for the fire annually sweeps over the ground and removes the rubbish. You may drive any where with a buggy, and on horseback may dash off at your pleasure in pursuit of the deer or fox. They are the pitch-pine of North Carolina, but are not as productive. The pitch is obtained by cutting an inclined notch in the tree, inserting a small spout, and placing a rough wooden trough underneath.
Once in a while in crossing a creek you meet with the magnolia, the most magnificent of southern trees. It is found only in a rich and moist soil. Its trunk is tall, and free from limbs. The leaves are large, and of a deep glossy green. Its blossoms, which appear the first of June, are oval like the water-lily, white, and often eight or ten inches in diameter. They scatter a rich fragrance through the unbroken forest. Like the wild southern eagle, which a century ago made its hiding-place among its branches, it is rarely domesticated.
Macon has a population of four thousand souls. About sixty thousand bags of cotton are annually brought to this place from the surrounding region. The culture of cotton is well nigh the sole occupation of the planters of Middle Georgia. It is their surest and speediest method of making money, and has the advantage of always being a cash article. In order to secure the largest crop possible, the planter sows but little grain and plants but comparatively few acres of corn. His bacon, which is the leading article of food among the slaves, is brought from Tennessee. His mules, horses, cattle, and often his flour, are from the same state. The low price of cotton for a few years past has led many, however, to change their policy, and to raise their own stock and provisions.
Cotton is planted in March. The seed is sown in rows like corn; in the spring months it requires a warm sun. The blossoms, which · begin to appear the first of June, closely resemble the holyhock. It is an annual plant, with an average height of four and a half, and