annual precipitation for the state is about 43 in. It is greatest, about 53 in., on the east slope of Catoctin Mountain, owing to the elevations which obstruct the moisture-bearing winds, and is above the average along the middle of the shores of the Chesapeake. It is least, from 25 to 35 in., in the Greater Appalachian Valley, in the south on the West Shore, and along the Atlantic border. During spring and summer the precipitation throughout the state is about 2 in. more than during autumn and winter.
Soils and Agriculture.—The great variety of soils is one of the more marked features of Maryland. On the East Shore to the north is a marly loam overlying a yellowish-red clay sub-soil, to the south is a soil quite stiff with light coloured clay, while here and there, especially in the middle and south, are considerable areas both of light sandy soils and tidal marsh loams. On the West Shore the soils range from a light sandy loam in the lower levels south from Baltimore to rather heavy loams overlying a yellowish clay on the rolling uplands and on the terraces along the Potomac and Patuxent. Crossing the state along the lower edge of the Fall Line is a belt heavy with clay, but so impervious to water as to be of little value for agricultural purposes. The soils of the Piedmont Plateau east of Parr’s Ridge are, like the underlying rocks, exceptionally variable in composition, texture and colour. For the most part they are considerably heavier with clay than are those of the Coastal Plain, and better adapted to general agricultural purposes. Light loams, however, are found both in the north-east and south-east. A soil of very close texture, the gabbro, is found, most largely in the north-east. Alluvial loams occupy the narrow river valleys; but the most common soil of the section is that formed from gneiss with a large per cent. of clay in the subsoil. West of Parr’s Ridge in the Piedmont, the principal soils are those the character of which is determined either by decomposed red sandstone or by decomposed limestone. In the east portion of the mountainous region the soil so well adapted to peach culture contains much clay, together with particles of Cambrian sandstone. In Hagerstown Valley are rich red or yellow limestone-clay soils. The Allegheny ridges have only a thin stony soil; but good limestone, sandstone, shale and alluvial soils, occur in the valleys and in some of the plateaus of the extreme west.
Of the total land surface of the state 82% was in 1900 included in farms and 68% of the farmland was improved. There were 46,012 farms, of which 15,833 contained less than 50 acres, 3940 contained 260 acres or more, and 79 contained 1,000 acres or more—the average size being 112.4 acres. In 1890, 69% of the farms were worked by the owners or their managers, in 1900 only 66.4%; but share tenants outnumber cash tenants by almost three to one. Of the total number of farms about seven times as many are operated by white as by negro farmers, though the number of farms operated by white share tenants outnumber those operated by negro share tenants by only about five to one. Of all the inhabitants of the state, at least ten years old, who in 1900 were engaged in gainful occupations, 20.8% were farmers. The leading agricultural pursuits are the growing of Indian corn and wheat and the raising of livestock, yet it is in the production of fruits, vegetables and tobacco, that Maryland ranks highest as an agricultural state, and in no other state except South Carolina is so large a per cent. of the value of the crop expended for fertilizers. In 1907, according to the Year Book of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Indian corn crop was 22,196,000 bushels, valued at $11,986,000; the wheat crop was 14,763,000 bushels, valued at $14,172,000; the oat crop was 825,000 bushels, valued at $404,000; and the crop of rye was 315,000 bushels, valued at $236,000. Of the livestock, hogs were the most numerous in 1900, cattle next, sheep third, and horses fourth. The hay and forage crop of 1899 (exclusive of corn-stalks) grew on 374,848 acres. Until after the middle of the 18th century tobacco was the staple crop of Maryland, and the total yield did not reach its maximum until 1860 when the crop amounted to 51,000 hhds.; from this it decreased to 14,000 hhds., or 12,356,838 ℔ in 1889; in 1899 it rose again to 24,589,480 ℔, in 1907 the crop was only 16,962,000 ℔, less than that of nine other states. In market-garden products, including small fruits, Maryland ranked in 1899 sixth among the states of the Union, the crop being valued at $4,766,760, an increase of 350.9% over that of 1889. In the yield both of strawberries and of tomatoes it ranked first; the yield of raspberries and blackberries is also large. In its crop of green-peas Maryland was exceeded (1899) by New York only; in sweet Indian corn it ranked fifth; in kale, second; in spinach, third; in cabbages, ninth. The number of peach-trees, especially in the west part of the state, where the quality is of the best, is rapidly increasing, and in the yield of peaches and nectarines the state ranked thirteenth in 1899; in the yield of pears it ranked fifth; in apples seventeenth.
The Indian-corn, wheat and livestock sections of the state, are in the Piedmont Plateau, the Hagerstown Valley and the central portion of the East Shore. Garrett county in the extreme north-west, however, raises the largest number of sheep. Most of the tobacco is grown in the south counties of the West Shore. The great centre for vegetables and small fruits is in the counties bordering on the north-west shore of the Chesapeake, and in Howard, Frederick and Washington counties, directly west, Anne Arundel county producing the second largest quantity of strawberries of all the counties in the Union in 1899. Peaches and pears grow in large quantities in Kent and neighbouring counties on the East Shore and in Washington and Frederick counties; apples grow in abundance in all parts of the Piedmont Plateau.
The woodland area of the state in 1900 was 4400 sq. m., about 44% (estimated in 1907 to be 3450 sq. m., about 35%) of the total land area, but with the exception of considerable oak and chestnut, some maple and other hard woods in west Maryland, about all of the merchantable timber has been cut. The lumber industry, nevertheless, has steadily increased in importance, the value of the product in 1860 amounting to only $605,864, that in 1890 to $1,600,472, and that in 1900 to $2,650,082, of which sum $2,495,169 was the value of products under the factory system; in 1905 the value of the factory product was $2,750,339.
Fisheries.—In 1897 the value of the fishery product of Maryland was exceeded only by that of Massachusetts, but by 1901, although it had increased somewhat during the four years, it was exceeded by the product of New Jersey, of Virginia and of New York. Oysters constitute more than 80% of the total value, the product in 1901 amounting to 5,685,561 bushels, and being valued at $3,031,518. The supply on natural beds has been diminishing, but the planting of private beds promises a large increase. Crabs are next in value and are caught chiefly along the East Shore and in Anne Arundel and Calvert counties on the West Shore. Shad, to the number of 3,111,181 and valued at $120,602, were caught during 1901. In Somerset and Worcester counties clams are a source of considerable value. The terrapin catch decreased in value from $22,333 in 1891 to $1,139 in 1901. The total value of the fish product of 1901 was $3,767,461. The state laws for the protection of fish and shell-fish were long carelessly enforced because of the fishermen’s strong feeling against them, but this sentiment has slowly changed and enforcement has become more vigorous.
Minerals and Manufactures.—The coal deposits, which form a part of the well-known Cumberland field, furnish by far the most important mineral product of the state; more than 98% of this, in 1901, was mined in Allegany county from a bed about 20 m. long and 5 m. wide and the remainder in Garrett county, whose deposits, though undeveloped, are of great value. The coal is of two varieties: bituminous and semi-bituminous. The bituminous is of excellent quality for the manufacture of coke and gas, but up to 1902 had been mined only in small quantities. Most of the product has been of the semi-bituminous variety and of the best quality in the country for the generation of steam. Nearly all the high grade blacksmithing coal mined in the United States comes from Maryland. The deposits were discovered early in the 19th century (probably first in 1804 near the present Frostburg), but were not exploited until railway transport became available in 1842, and the output was not large until after the close of the Civil War; in 1865 it was 1,025,208 short tons, from which it steadily increased to 5,532,628 short tons in 1907. From 1722 until the War of Independence the iron-ore product of North and West Maryland was greater than that of any of the other colonies, but since then ores of superior quality have been discovered in other states and the output in Maryland, taken chiefly from the west border of the Coastal Plain in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties, has become comparatively of little importance—24,367 long tons in 1902 and only 8269 tons in 1905. Gold, silver and copper ores, have been found in the state, and attempts have been made to mine them, without much success. The Maryland building stone, of which there is an abundance of good quality, consists chiefly of granites, limestones, slate, marble and sandstones, the greater part of which is quarried in the east section of the Piedmont Plateau especially in Cecil county, though some limestones, including those from which hydraulic cement is manufactured, and some sandstones are obtained from the western part of the Piedmont Plateau and the east section of the Appalachian region; the value of stone quarried in the state in 1907 was $1,439,355, of which $1,183,753 was the value of granite, $142,825 that of limestone, $98,918 that of marble, and $13,859 that of sandstone. Brick, potter’s and tile clays are obtained most largely along the west border of the Coastal Plain, and fire-clay from the coal region of West Maryland; in 1907 the value of clay products was $1,886,362. Materials for porcelain, including flint, feldspar and kaolin, abound in the east portion of the Piedmont, the kaolin chiefly in Cecil county, and material for mineral paint in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties, as well as farther north-west.
Between 1850 and 1900, while the population increased 103.8%, the average number of wage-earners employed in manufacturing establishments increased 258.5%, constituting 5.2% of the total population in 1850 and 9.1% in 1900. In 1900 the total value of manufactured goods was $242,552,990, an increase of 41.1% over that of 1890. Of the total given for 1900, $211,076,143 was the value of products under the factory system; and in 1905 the value of factory products was $243,375,996, being 15.3% more than in 1900. The products of greatest value in 1905 were: custom-made men’s clothing; fruits and vegetables and oysters, canned and preserved; iron and steel; foundry and machine-shop products, including stoves and furnaces; flour and grist mill products; tinware, coppersmithing and sheet iron working; fertilizers; slaughtering