Texas Almanac, 1859 Page: 82
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There is a manifest advantage in securing two separate plantings, of both cotton
and corn, as the cultivation of each will thereby be greatly facilitated, and the sear
sons, so extremely variable in this climate, be more aptly met. The work of this
month is the most important and valuable to the planter or farmer of all.others in
the year. Work may be delayed and time dissipated with less material injury at
any other season than the lapsed labors of the opening spring. Let none refuse to
lend a helping hand to drive the sharpened plough, led on by the sleek horses or
cattle, or toss the shining hoe, dazzling the eye with its reflected brightness. Let
all hands begin the toils of the day by early dawn-
" Cheered by the simple song and soaring lark."
This, in our climate too, is the opening of the season of cheerfulness, as well as
that of precious toil. 'Tis now the time when the groves of fruit and forest trees,
and flowering shrubs-
"Put forth their buds, unfolding by degrees,
Till the whole leafy forest stands displayed,
In full luxuriance to the sighing gales."
This month, although like Niobe, addicted to showering "pearly drops," is with
us the most enchanting of all the seasons. At one moment the clouds may be
draped in the deepest mourning, when with all the suddenness and surprise of ma-
gic power, the sun, so wonderfully formed to display the powers of nature, will
rend asunder the deepening shadows, and open to human vision a foretaste of
the brightness of eternal glory.
It is delightful at this season to visit our beautiful country, and lounge upon the
turreted hills, surveying in the valleys below every charm for the vision, "distance
lending enchantment to'the view," while all nature is arrayed in her richest attire,
and musical with the joyous songs of animated existence. It would almost seem a
profanation of this holiday of existence to devote any part of it to thoughts of
business. But it is equally the time for labor, as the flood-tide of beauty and hap-
The planter must now, if possible, put his last cotton in the ground, plough out
and chop over his early corn; and towards the close of the month, if not sooner re-
quired, thin out his first planting of cotton, and, if necessary, give his early corn a
It may be, if he has bedded his sweet potatoes early, and.the ground should be
sufficiently moist, that he will have slips to set for early use. This crop is a most
important one to the planter, and no opportunity should be lost to make a large
and early planting. The potato is nutritious and healthy, and especially con-
venient for little children, black and white, and is by far the best esculent in the
South. Although much is to be done in this month, we can not say more, except
that we sometimes feel, amid the beauties of April, that we could submit to be dis-
solved to mingle with the sweetness and freshness of gay nature.
It is now the clouds collect their richest treasures, and scatter them with a lavish
hand on our verdant fields. It is now that the flowers of the orchard drop their
leaves, and the fruits of the earth begin to exhibit intheir embryo form the brilliant
type of ripening perfection, and repose side by side "in social sweetness on the
In this month the early corn is ploughed for the last time, and silks and assets
begin to display their rich drapery to the admiring gaze. It is better worth than
a thousand days of metropolitan joys, to feast upon the wealth of Ceres, and to
look upon the ripening corn and gently-waving fields of "the golden harvest."
The late corn and all the cotton must now be watched with a skillful eye, and
made clean and thinned out, as the season may require. -It is impossible to point
out at this period any precise process of cultivation, which must be regulated by
the weather and the visible condition of the crop.
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Texas Almanac, 1859, book, 1859~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123765/m1/83/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.