Of rice, the census returns give about 2,700,000
pounds, as the crop of Mississippi in 1849. It is very
generally cultivated in the southeastern counties, rarely,
however, beyond an acre or two on a farm, although
there are some plantations of considerable extent, as on
the tide-waters of the gulf, one of which was observed
on Back Bay, a few miles in the rear of Mississippi
The Upland variety is chiefly cultivated, and is in
some cases partially irrigated.
It is principally cleaned by pounding by hand. A
mill was met with, however, in Marion County, where
both the hulling and winnowing were very effectually
performed by water-power, on a scale adequate to the
wants of a considerable neighborhood. The flavor of
the newly-prepared rice met with in those counties is
much richer and sweeter than that which we ordinarily
The sugar-cane is cultivated to a limited extent in
some portions of the State. By the census returns, it
appears that the crop of 1849 was equal to 388 hogsheads,
and about 18,000 gallons of molasses.
Molasses has been made as far north as latitude
330 40' north, in Chickasaw County, where an experiment
of three years has encouraged the belief that sugar
can be profitably produced there to the extent of the
Sugar has also been made in Hinds County on a small
scale for experiment, and small patches of the cane
become more common as we approach the sea-shore.
East of Pearl River, and south of Covington County,
many of the most substantial planters make all the sugar
and molasses required for their own use, and some to
spare to their neighbors.
The cane is obviously becoming gradually acclimated,
and may at no distant period be grown advantageously
throughout the greater portion of the State, for home
The sugar-mills are, of course, rude, and of small
dimensions, consisting, in fact, of little more than the
rollers for grinding the cane, which are made of seasoned
oak timber, and stand generally in the open air; a common
shed suffices for a protection of the kettles, which are
common iron ones, such as are used for stock.
There are two of these mills in Pike County, and as
many in Amite, where molasses has been made. In
Marion County there are some eighteen or twenty, and
several in Perry.
Should the ravages of the army worm and the rot
continue to increase, and the present price of cotton not
be maintained, the period is not remote, perhaps, when
the cane will, to considerable extent, supersede the cultivation
of cotton on the river plantations as high up as
Natchez or Vicksburg.