Welcome to Pennsylvania Genealogy Trails!
Pennsylvania Genealogy Trails
Agriculture History


First Exibition of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Society (1823)

Taken From The Republican Compiler 19 Nov 1823 Page 2

Reprinted From the Village Record, Oct. 29.

Agricultural Exhibition and Cattle Show

The first exhibition by the Pennsylvania Agricultural Society was held on the 22d, 23d, and 24th of October, instant, at the Paoli, Chester county.

The days were remarkably fine, and a great number of people, principally farmers, from this and the neighboring counties, were convened on the occasion. Many animals distinguished for the excellence of their origin and beautiful of their kind were brought together. Elegant Arabian horses from Africa; fine imported specimens of the best English stock of cattle, for the dairy and for fatting, with their offsprings; sheep of the Tunisian, Spanish and best English blood, and a variety of superior American animals of several kinds, rendered it a desirable place to vist, by the naturalist and the man of liberal curiosity, as well as the practical farmer. Without such an exhibition, a whole life might pass without the opportunity of seeing all these varieties of superior animals.

The first day I was not present. The second, I came in sight of the Paoli about noon, and the scene I must say, was one of great life and beauty. Several thousands of persons were collected, and spread over the fields in groups, sometimes of hundreds. In a large field on the left, were pens of different animals, numerous instances of agriculture; the stage from which the address was to be delivered; several pair of horses were in motion, trying new-fashioned ploughs, miles, cultivators and drills; each one attracting a number to witness their operation. In the smooth part of the field, two elegant Arabian horses, Bashaw and Grand Sultan, were moving with all the sprightliness and grace from which they are renowned; and contrasted with their light forms were to be seen the powerful Pennsylvania draught horses of the Lion strain. In several fields on the right were herds of the very best selections, both English and American, belonging to Mr. Sheaff, Mr. Powell, and other; and what to me is always a pleasing sight, an air of good humor and cheerfulness was everywhere prevalent.

On the last day the address was delivered; the ploughing matches performed; and the premiums awarded. The address was delivered by Jonathan Roberts, Esq., president of the society, to a vast concourse of people; among whom were a large number of ladies, who graced the exhibition with their presence, and for whom seats had been prepared in front of the stage. The address was sensible, pertinent, and given in handsome style. The ploughing contests were interesting. Four pieces of land, each an eighth of an acre, had been previously measured off for each plough. Four teams, each a pair of horses, entered for the premium. The contest was spirited, and excited a great deal of interest. The difference in the time of finishing the work was trifling; the quickest performing in 19 minutes; the slowest being only 20 minutes. The premium was awarded to Peter Luce, and in truth he contested the point with a spirit worthy of his name. Next came on the ploughing with oxen, the same quantity of land being laid off for each team, which consisted of one yoke only, and without any other driver than the man who held the plough. The time of accomplishing the work was about 25 minutes. I confess, to me, there was something exhilarating and pleasant in these peaceful contests for superiority.

The Second Exhibition of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Society

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)

November 3, 1824

Page 2

The Cattle Show

The Second Exhibition of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Society, which was held at Chester, on the 14th and 15th of October, was one of those occasions on which the productive classes of the community appeared in the most honorable and interesting point of view. There was an assemblage of Pennsylvania Farmers, whose zeal in the cause was in the highest degree creditable to our State. A very respectable number of gentlemen from New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and from the more southern states, also attended.

The display of Horses, Neat cattle, and Sheep, was remarkably fine. There were nearly twenty stud horses upon the ground, as competitors for the Premiums; besides a number of colts of one, two and three years old. Among the neat cattle, were selections from the superb stock of Mr. Powel, of Philadelphia county, and Mr. Carpenter of Lancaster; and a number of very fine cattle produced by the Messrs. Serrils, Mr. Smith, Mr. Davis, Mr. Woodward and Mr. Edge, of Delaware and Chester counties.

The Dishley Sheep, exhibited by Mr. Davis, and Mr. Barney, were truly excellent; and of the Merinos, Mr. M'Ilvaine brought a detachment of five or six hundred from his immense flock. Taking the whole together, it may safely be asserted that so splendid a collection of superior stock has rarely it ever, been seen in this country.

The stock, however, by no means constituted the entire value of the Exhibition. The Implements of Husbandry very justly attracted great attention. In addition to the various kinds of Ploughs, which were upon the ground, we may mention Eastman's admirable "Straw-cutter"; - also a complete Fan, or wind mill, upon a new construction by Mr. Mitchener, of this county - the Revolving Horse Rake of Pennock and Pierce, with an improvement - an, above all, Cape and Hoope's improved and simplified Mowing Machine. The machine was an object of admiration to every beholder; and leaves but little to be desired, in an apparatus of that description. With this improved Mowing Machine, and the Revolving Rake of Pennock and Pierce, the near Farmer, who keeps his ground in good order, may be relieved of at least seventy-five percent, of his usual Harvest labor; beside the incalculable advantage, in this fickle climate, of getting in his crops in good condition. It is in the highest degree honorable to Chester county, to have produced two such Implements; which, it is hazarding nothing to say, have not been rivaled by any agricultural invention, during the last century.

The Household manufactures were highly creditable to those Ladies who furnished samples of their skill and industry. Several pieces of excellent carpeting, sheeting, counterpanes, double coverlids, &c. &c. were exhibited: But in nothing were the taste and ingenuity of our females more conspicuous, than in the manufacture of split straw, and grass Bonnets. In addition to a number which were produced from the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, from the Fellenberg, and Walnut street Charity Schools - (all of very superior quality) there were two grass bonnets, in imitation of Leghorn, made in Chester county - the one by Miss Dunlap, of East Nottingham, and the other by Miss Dickey, of Lower Oxford - both without the aid of instruction; and both discovering a degree of ingenuity and taste, in those young Ladies, rarely to be met with.

When such performances result from the first essays of the self taught, what may we not expect from our fair Country women, when their talents shall have had the advantage of instruction and experience? Let our Government afford protection, and our People give due encouragement to such laudable exertions, and there will soon be no necessity to drain the country of its wealth, to bring us head dresses from Leghorn. The specimens which we have seen, manufactured in Pennsylvania, afford ample assurance that the taste of the most fastidious, in these articles, may speedily be gratified.

The business of the Exhibition was concluded, prior to the awarding the Premiums, by a Ploughing match; which was conducted with much good feeling, and excited great interest among the spectators. The Premiums awarded by the Society will soon be officially announced; and to that report we beg leave to refer the reader, for the details; but we could not deny ourselves, the pleasure, in the mean time, briefly to notice the most prominent circumstances attending the labors of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Society. It may be well (?) to remark, that the Society have just published a volume of memoirs, chiefly consisting of practical essays on the best breeds, and management of stock, the most approved modes of Farming, &c. which is worthy the attention of the Agricultural Public. On the whole we were highly gratified with the Exhibition, and the manner in which it was conducted; and most sincerely do we hope that the Institution may be cherished by an intelligent community. It richly merits the countenance and support of every patriotic Farmer, and public spirited citizen. - West Chester Repub.

Back to Pennsylvania Trails History and Genealogy



Back to Pennsylvania Trails History and Genealogy