Elliott & Shields
The Farmer. Devoted to Agriculture, Horticulture, the Mechanic Arts and Household Economy
Seller ID: 723
Richmond, VA. Volume I: Nos. 1-12 (January- December 1866), 488 pp., with many pages of advertising. Tall 8vo in half leather and marbled paper over boards. With the bookplate 'Old Home Library' of John C. Shields and many full and part page engravings, chiefly in service of the advertisements. Begun with the encouragement, if not the sponsorship of William H. Richardson, erstwhile Adjutant General of Virginia, Elliott and Shields' periodical set out to encourage a 'new labor system of the whole South' and more generally to revive a moribund agricultural economy. Central to this new system of agriculture, as advocated by Richardson in an October 1865 article in the Richmond Whig, was the retention in whole of the 'large landed estates of Virginia' and 'settling them with an English or Scotch tenantry' (i.e., replacing black slaves with white tenants). Failing a source of suitable white replacements, black tenants might do. The February number reprints a 'Form of Contract with Farm Laborers' as used by a Virginia planter and 'colored laborers employed in the cultivation of his farm.' Ambitions of the landed gentry aside, the periodical includes a great deal of information useful to the farmer and householder. Binding professionally repaired, edges and tips worn through; exceptionally clean text including front and back covers of each issue. A hard to find publication of the Reconstruction.
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