Correspondence of the New-York Times.
Nearly all the desirable plantations on both sides the
There have been many delays and difficulties in getting to work, growing out of the scarcity of mules and negroes. Mules have advanced, so as to touch $250 each for good plantation animals and are scarce at that; while last year they could be had for less than $100. As it requires from 60 to 75 mules to cultivate an estate of 1,000 acres, this change becomes important. My estimates are that it will cost this year to cultivate each 100 acres, (including cost of mules,) about five thousand dollars -- deducting the mules, &c. for each 100 acres, about three thousand. Here after this estimate may be reduced to two thousand, depending upon prices of labor and supplies.
Say outlay for labor....................$3,000
Say outlay for mules, &c............... 2,000 -- $5,000
Return, say 50 bales cotton, at 25c......$5,000
Or 50 bales cotton, at 50c................10,000
Many persons expect to get a bale of cotton to the acre. I have estimated it half a bale to the acre. Last year was a very favorable cotton year and everything went well. But in this pan of
The sugar crop of the State is not rated over 50,000 hogsheads in the last year, (and there is no probability of its reaching so high a figure this, against, say 400,000 hogsheads in the best of days. Very little new cane was put in last year, but little seed cane was saved for this year, and of the old stubble I think a great deal will have been destroyed by the severe frosts. Whatever sugars are produced will therefore bring higher prices. As to the value of these sugar lands, it is evident they must every year grow less, as the old cane "runs out," and no new cane is saved for renewals. I have no idea that they would now sell for more than one quarter their extreme prices. Whenever the settling day comes there must be a slaughtering of the innocents, who having spent their substance in riotous living are heavily mortgaged. The longer this settling is postponed the worse for the individual, the State, and the nation. Most of the propertis must change hands, and the sooner the better.
The best cotton region is further north upon the Teche, the
The "chivalric" Gov. ALLEN (I am told and believe,) has given orders to burn right and left, upon the advance of our forces, and it is difficult to see whence large amounts of cotton are to be derived in the coming year.
Labor here is not at all adequate even this year to the demand. Many of the best men have enlisted in the army; many have wandered away, and thousands have died; so that at the present time brokers are getting from five to fifteen dollars for each good hand. There is no great danger therefore that our Irish citizens at the North will be driven out by the negro. I regret the fact. There is little doubt that the old owners will have to give it up, as the negroes are not willing to work for them, while they work well for the new men. The old owners will, in some cases, try it this year to their own satisfaction and to that of the negroes, and will then disappear. Let them go -- they have had their day, and a long and luxurious one it has been.