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Elsewhere, lowlands, bluff and prairie so imperceptibly blend their various characteristics that the features of none can be accurately traced, while here and there the eye rests upon an isolated mound of a few acres in extent, which rises to the level of the high prairies beyond. These views combine the qualities of grandeur in their vast extent and of the picturesque in their loveliness of detail to such a degree that the poet preacher, Rev. Robert Pierpont, upon his visit to Kansas exclaimed: "God doubtless might have made a lovelier country, but it is certain that he never did it."

The landscape, even of the unsettled portions of Kansas carries with it an impression that this is not really a new country, but an old one long since deserted of its inhabitants. Concerning this feature, which immediately strikes all observant travelers, Bayard Taylor remarks: "The counterpart of this region is not to be found in the United States, yet there was a suggestion of other landscapes in it which puzzled me considerably until I happened to recall some parts of France, especially the valleys in the neighborhood of Epernay. Here too, there was rather an air of old culture than of new settlement, only the houses, gardens and orchards were wanting."

Upon the surface of hill and dale which we have described place the artificial groves and hedges, which four or five years suffice to perfect, place here the flocks and herds and growing crops, and you have a scene of pastoral beauty which few countries can equal. Such views are now to be found in the older portions of the State and will in a few years be common throughout its extent.


The soil of Kansas is similar to that of other prairie States. Indeed, this State having been largely settled by Illinoisians, its agricultural resources have always been estimated in comparison with that State-confessedly the Garden State of all the world.

Those of us who have lived in both States and cultivated land in both States, do not object to even this high standard of comparison, and it may be said then, that Kansas soil is as deep as Illinois soil. This opinion is the result of examination with my pocket rule in hundreds of places in both States. Owing to the rolling surface, its drainage is incomparably better, and it will consequently endure the extremes of dryness or moisture much better than Illinois soil. It does not "heave" as much by the action of frosts, and is superior in this, as well as in other respects, for winter wheat.

The vicissitudes of agriculture which are incident to every new country, have severely tried the reputation of this soil for productiveness. Add to this the exceptional occurrence of a dry season, which found a people who were poor when they came to Kansas, now stripped of every resource by the long continued Border war, and it is surprising that the State has obtained so remarkable a reputation for its productiveness.

But since the settlers learned that men must work for a living here as well as elsewhere, and plow and plant in season, and attend their crops as they would attend them in other States, Kansas has made returns that place her in the very front rank as an agricultural State. Formerly men thought that corn needed little or no cultivation here, and were quite indifferent as to the time of putting in crops. With . proper cultivation the results satisfy the most incred

ulous, as may be seen by the following comparative table of products.


Showing average yield in bushels per acre in fifteen of the most productive States, copied from the Reports of the United States Agricultural Department, Fractions are omitted.

Report for 1870 not yet published.

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16 18 12 14


22 25 23

11 14 16 15 14 16 15

16 18

35 19 33 35 29 32 33 36 37 37

23 19 25 24 22 20 23 25 26 25

Potatoes........... 160 106 108 114 102 69 112 155 106 103 115 107 123 112 1

The bottom lands are usually considered most valuable, but they do not invariably produce the best crops. In a wet season the uplands are most productive. The soil on the bottoms is from two to ten feet deep, and on the uplands, from one to three

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The above cut is from a photagraph taken for this book by Barker, photographic artist, of Ottawa, Kansas, who has copies for sale. It is a view of the only building now standing in which John Brown, the Abolitionist, ever lived in Kansas. No less than six of those who fell at Harper's Ferry upon the occasion of Brown's raid into Virginia, had eaten and slept in this cabin. The figure with uncovered head is the venerable James Hanway, and the other Mr. Wasson, who were neighbors, companions and friends of Captain Brown. The former at one time lived in this cabin, when it was that Old John Brown wrote his famous "Parallels" under its roof. (see Redpath's "Life of Brown," page 218.)

Through the doorway, and against the open space made by the falling of the huge old fashioned chimney, may be seen the ends of ox-bows suspended to dry. These tell the story of "the piping times of peace" whieh have come since the days when John Brown threw himself into the jaws of death to rescue an oppressed people. The cabin, now rapidly falling to decay, stands in Franklin county, about two miles from Lane post-office.

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