The Diseases, Regeneration,& Culture of the Potato

The Diseases, Regeneration,& Culture of the Potato

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Excerpt from The Diseases, Regeneration,& Culture of the Potato: Containing an Examination of the Royal Agricultural Society's Prize Essays on the "Blight"

It may be necessary in the outset to state, in as few words as possible, why I have been induced to examine a question which has baffled the skill of numerous individuals, distinguished for their scientific attainments.

About ten years ago I wrote several letters on horticultural subjects, which were printed in a provincial paper - the Preston Pilot. One of these letters was on the dry rot disease of the potato, at that time prevalent to a considerable extent. I forwarded a copy of the newspaper containing this letter, to the late T. A. Knight, Esq., then President of the Horticultural Society, thinking it would afford him some pleasure to learn, that an attempt, however humble, was being made to induce better modes of cultivation, based on a knowledge of natural laws. To my gratification Mr. Knight wrote to the Editor of the Pilot, in confirmation of the accuracy of my views respecting the cause of dry rot, and the remedy to be applied, requesting, at the same time, that I would furnish him with my address. This circumstance led to a correspondence between us, which ended only with his lamented death; and as a letter on the potato was the means of introducing me to a man who, by his interpretation of the laws of vegetable life, had conferred such inestimable benefits on mankind, I was, perhaps, thus led to take more than ordinary interest in anything relating to that plant.

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