George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Landon Carter, 8 November 1796

Philadelphia 8th Novr 1796


The letter you have been so good as to favor me with dated the 27th Ulto: found me in this City—immersed in papers, and preparing for the approaching Session & busy Scenes with Congress; let this be my Apology—then for doing little more at present, than to give your letter and its inclosure an acknowledgment. A time will soon come, I hope when I can do more; and be in a situation to profit from the relations you may give me of your further experiments. Permit me in the mean while to ask your solution of the following questions, being a warm frd myself to green in preference to naked fallows.

1st Have you continued the alternate growth of Pease and Wheat, since the year 1794, in the field refered to in your printed letter of the 29th of Jany of that Year?

2nly In that case what has been the product of your crops in it since?

3dly Has the field received any other aid, than what you supposed it had derived from the leguminous crop & mode of cultivating it?

4thly If not what is the present condition of the field? Is it improving or otherwise?

5th Would the peas have yielded as well on a Stiff Loam, or clay, as on such light or sandy land as you have described yours to be?

6th Did you drop them by hand or by means of a Drill plough?

7th As there is a great variety in the tribe of Indian Pease, which kind of them have you cultivated? Some run and extend their vines so far as soon to impede the operations of a plough.

8th Is there always a ready sale of them? and at what Price?

9th Could as many be bought now or in the course of the ensuing Winter as would sow or plant at the distances, and in the manner you recommend, a field of about 70 Acres?

10th At what period would you choose the Pease should be planted or sown?

11th In that case when would they be sufficiently ripe to harvest? or in other words how long do they usually remain on the Ground?

12th by your sketch & the letter also is not expressed whether more than one plowing is given after the peas are planted, and their is a disagreement between the two the 1st throwing the mould to, & the 2nd from the peas? Is one plowing sufficient (especially if the Season is moist,) to prevent the ground from being foul wth grass, and hard as well as With large Weeds thereby rendering it unfit for the reception of Wheat?

13th What is meant in the 4th paragraph of the sketch by the Words "about the time of its sunning"? And when does this sunning happen?

14 As by the rotation, which is here contemplated the fields may be always in culture, what proportion of pasture or grazing ground would you give the farm, of any given Size?

I will make no apology Sir for giving you the trouble of Answering these queries. The Gazette containing your printed letter to the Agricultural Society in Culpeper is returned with my thanks to you for giving me the perusal of it. If the Experiment mentioned in the Sketch has been continued on the same fields as successfully as it appears to have been commenced there can be no rotation so simple, no dressing (if it is sufficient) so cheap—nor any profit from field cultivation greater if progressive as you conceive it to be. With much Esteem—I am your Obliged and Obedt Hble Servt

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