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which the lint is dropped. These bags which especially inspired him, he exare emptied into great baskets at the end claimed: “Beloved, I see before me a tenof the rows. To gather two hundred or acre lot white for the harvest.” At which three hundred pounds of cotton is a good a sister in the flock—whether moved by day's work for a picker. This, of course, zeal or weariness seems a little uncertainis “ seed cotton.” After the seeds have shouted : “Good Lawd, put up de bars ?” been “ginned ” out, the net weight is The yield of cotton varies greatly. reduced two-thirds. Cotton that will Under the most favorable conditions two “third” itself, as the planters say, is said bales are harvested to an acre. Sometimes to be doing well. A field should be ten acres will not yield more than one picked over once in two or three weeks, bale. In Alabama an average yield is a and the season for picking lasts three bale to three acres with little or no fertimonths or more. Many planters make lizer. Land which has been enriched at three pickings suffice for the season. the rate of a hundred pounds of cotton
I never see a “white” cotton-field that seed-meal and two hundred pounds of there does not come to my mind a most phosphate to an acre should produce from unfortunate illustration used by a colored three-quarters of a bale to a bale to the preacher in a sermon. The enthusiasm acre. The quantity and kind of fertilizer of colored congregations in the South which can be most profitably used vary sometimes leads the members to make greatly according to locality and soil. audible and pertinent comments on the Probably five hundred pounds of fertilizer points in a pastor's sermon. A good but to an acre would be a reasonable quantity. perhaps not wholly wise minister had one Most farmers would find it profitable to day preached for an hour and a quarter, plant less ground and fertilize and cultiwhen, arriving at a period in his discourse vate what they do plant more thoroughly.
Formerly the cotton when picked was of the fiber and pull it free from the seeds. piled up on a platform, called an “arbor," These fall to the floor. A cylinder covered in the open air, but now it is usually taken with bristles revolves against the disks to the gin as soon as possible. There and takes from them the lint. A draft of are two kinds of gins, the “ roller " and air blows the lint far out of the machine, the “saw.” The former has been used in and it falls into a receptacle in which it India from time immemorial. It was at is pressed down to be baled. The gins first a flat stone on which a wooden roller leave a good deal of dirt in the cotton. was moved by the operator's foot. Now Some factories estimate the waste from it consists of two small rollers, one of this cause to be twenty per cent. of the wood and one of iron, turned by hand. weight of the bale. These slowly press the seeds out. Five Each of the big old plantations had its pounds of clean cotton is a day's task, own gin, commonly operated by muleand the woman who works the machine power, but with the dividing up of the land gets five cents a day wages. Various into small farms gins have been built, like forms of this machine are in use in other any other mill, as an investment, and the countries. Before Eli Whitney invented farmer brings his cotton to the gin as he his gin, cottonseed was picked out by brings his grist to mill. These gins are hand in this country. Four pounds of more apt now to be run by steam than by clean cotton a week was the task assigned any other kind of power. Thirty cents to the head of a family. This would be per hundred pounds is an average price at the rate of a bale in two years. In the for the planter to pay for ginning and Whitney gin the seed cotton is held in a baling, and he furnishes his own “bagbox, one side of which is a grate of steel ging” and “ties.” The latter are the bars. Between these bars a number of thin iron strips used to bind the bale. thin steel disks notched on the edges Twenty-five years ago planters were locatrotate rapidly. The notches catch hold ing their gins over a running stream when possible, that the despised and supposedly now realize on store accounts which the worthless cottonseed might be easily got- farmers have been running for a whole ten rid of by throwing it into the water to year previous, secured by a mortgage on float down stream. Now there are up- a part or all of this year's crop. These wards of $40,000,000 invested in this country stores boast that they can furnish country alone in mills and apparatus for anything from a cambric needle to a utilizing cottonseed in the form of oil, lumber wagon, and usually they can make meal, cake, and hulls, and the value of the boast good. Whole families come to these products is one-sixth that of the the village on this occasion-often the fiber.
only time in the year when the women and Steam mills increase the danger from fire children do come. Strings of mules or -the foe which the planter perhaps dreads steers, hitched up one pair before another, worst of all. A bale of cotton once set draw the wagons, sometimes as many as on fire will burn until it is destroyed, even five yoke of steers hitched to one cart. if it be thrown into the water, and a pile The head of the family sits on the tongue of lint cotton-fiber from which the seeds of the cart to drive. The women and have been removed—will burn close, while, children perch on the bales of cotton oddly enough, considering the oil in the in the cart. An old, splint-bottomed seed, a pile of seed cotton if set on fire chair will be tied on behind the load will flash over, and then the fire frequently for “mother” to sit in going home, will die out.
surrounded by the miscellaneous assortCotton bales vary greatly in shape. ment of groceries, furniture, hardware, Within the last few years the cylindrical and dry-goods for which the cotton has bale, much more compact and smaller been traded. “Mother” usually has a than the square bale-weighing about baby to bring along. two hundred and fifty pounds—has begun Many of these country teams to be used. Each has its advantages. thirty or forty miles—too far for them The first bale is usually brought to market to come and go in one day. For such as in Texas—the most forward State—by these, most Southern towns, or associaJuly 10, and the first bale in Alabama tions of traders, provide a public “wagon a month later. There is great strife among yard,” a plot of ground surrounded by a the planters to see who shall bring the wall and having stalls and sheds in which first of the year's crop to market, and the men and beasts can find shelter free of first bale is often sold at auction for some charge. In this yard at night, in cottoncharity. As soon as the picking is fairly market time, there may be seen camped a under way the towns in the cotton States dozen or more outfits. The tired mules become centers of trade. Small villages and steers hitched about the inclosure on the railroads will handle as many as champ bundles of fodder brought from five thousand bales; larger towns, from home on top of the loads of cotton. The that amount up to a hundred thousand men sit about, smoking or talking, or cook bales. Firms in the big cities send out their suppers over little fires whose lights buyers, but much of the crop is handled and shadows make pictures such as one by the local merchants, many of whom looks to see only in Spain or in the East.
William H. Hunt The Hon. William H. Hunt, who is to succeed Governor Allen as civil ruler of Porto Rico, is a classmate and intimate friend of Judge Taft, the Governor of the Philippines. Both were graduated from Yale University in 1878. Judge Hunt practiced law in Montana, was made Collector of Customs for Montana and Idaho by President Garfield, and in 1884 resigned this office to become Attorney-General of Montana. Later he filled minor judicial offices in the State, and in 1896 was elected Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Montana for six years. In addition to his experience at the bar and on the bench, Judge Hunt has had executive experience and an opportunity to learn Porto Rican affairs thoroughly in his capacity as Secretary to Porto Rico.