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Crops of Early Catahoula Parish
and Who Grew Them


These records are taken from Historical and Statistical Collections of Louisiana.
Parish of Catahoula; DeBow's Review Vol 12, 1852.
This has a lot of wonderful facts about Catahoula Parish from the beginning, until 1852, when this was written.But I am only picking out items that will be truly interesting --- especially the ones that contain names of early settlers.

We give here an extract from the Cotton Book of G. W. Lovelace for October, 1817, when he raised the green seed cotton. He was a good thrifty planter in his time, and had some choice negroes; and here now is a specimen of their day's pickings for one week:

Mon. Tues. Wed'y. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Totals.
Sally............ 57........ 49........58........ 51........52........ 58........ 3 25
Bill............. 66........55........56........59........58........57........ 351
Charles........ 46........45........48........54........55........62........ 310
Elsy............ 31........ 37........26........ 2 8........31........39........192
Nancy..........42........49........54........ 53........ 42........ 52........293
Dave...........19........20........18 2................ 27........23........129
Harry........... 68....... 68....... 44........ 69........78........78........405
Joe....... 34........ 41........ 50........51........49........ 52........ 277
Lewis........... 23........38........ 34........33........44........43........ 21-5
On looking over the same book for the month of December, when the weather was colder, there is a proportional falling off in the picking. Probably if those same negroes could now be put in our cotton fields, they would pick as much as our best negroes; whereas, here we see that the best picker, in a whole week, got only as much as thousands of negroes now can pick in one day. The cotton was grown on the rich bluff lands of Sicily Island, and was as good as any then in the world.

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Wheat was raised also at one time in much grea-ter abundance than now. Mr. Anguish (sp) Buie raised largely every yeah-, and ground it on the common corn mill-stones then in use, which were turned with a staff by hand.

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In speaking of cotton, it should have been stated that during the past spring and summer, the cut-worms were very bad on the island. Mr.Clark, who lives at the head of the lake, assured me, that in one week, with ten hands, he picked up off and scratched out of the ground, 36.000 cut-worms, as he counted each hand's pickings himself. The manager on Dr. H. J. Peck's place, said he picked up 43 of these worms himself from under one single cotton stalk in the month of June. They injured the cotton crops there very much. Col. W. M. Tew says, that the disease called the rust, appeared in one particular spot, in a cotton field of his, in the summers of 1846, 1849 and 1851; although, in the intermediate years, corn was planted in the same field.

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