Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Vick Genetics Project in 1827 – Vick’s 100 Cotton Seed

As I was indexing volume XIII of the Vick Family Newsletter tonight I came across a story about Henry William Vick. It turns out Colonel Henry may have organized our family’s first genetics project. The newsletter article was based upon information in Nitta Yuma King Cotton. The article says the following on page 15:

‘it was in the year 1827 or 8…my brother Gray Vick and myself then planting
together at the prairie near Manchester (Yazoo City) on the Yazoo River, known
among the Choctaw Indians as Nitta Yuma…procured from Thomas Vaughn of Petit
Gulf Hills some of his ‘Little Brown’ Mexican cotton seed, which were considered
at least equal to or superior to any of that celebrated

On establishing myself, in 1831,…on [land] on which my brother Willie B. Vick
had for many years resided and planted previous to his death (1817 to 18300 I
ordered from Thomas Vaughn 100 bushels of seed for which I paid him seventy-five
dollars, and continued the order for the same quantity, at the same price, for
five years.’

(The third year, Mr. Vaughn supplied Henry William with 100 bushels of what he
considered his best yield. The seed he supplied the two following years
was not comparable, so H.W. decided to improve the seed he had.)
‘…it was not until the month of March of this present year, 1844, that I made discovery of the fact that my former method, the one usually practiced by planters in the Petit Gulf Hills of selecting from the bank of seed those of a certain color,
coat and size, would not and could not carry the improvement of any considerable
degree of perfection.

The discovery I allude to was made this way. In the month of
September and October last year, having no answer, and being perpetually with
the hands while picking, I was in the habit of looking, examining ahead for the
best stalks, bolls and cotton, and upon meeting with a very superior stalk, of
picking the cotton and keeping it to self, and upon returning to the house
putting the separate parcels in paper to themselves. In the month of
March, preparatory to planting, I picked with my own hands the various lots…and
was surprised to find…they exhibited 2 find distinct varieties of seed and
consequently of cotton…

On the 4th of April, I planted the various lots of seed picked by me by hand,
and the wagon having passed frequently unknown to the driver over my favorite
lot – which in consequence of the 10 or 12 locks having furnished precisely 100
seed – I call my strain the 100 seed variety.’

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good~ keep sharing with us, please....I will waiting your up date everyday!! Have a nice day........................................