The incompleteness of the contemplated Natural History of the State was recognized by the Governor and Legislature, and it was also claimed that agricultural interests had not been sufficiently considered in the work already published. It was, therefore, determined that the department of paleontology should be re-established, and that of agriculture be added to the plan of the work. Under the latter title Dr. Emmons published five volumes; the first being devoted to the general relations of the topography and geology of the State to its agriculture and agricultural products; the second, to the chemical analysis of the soils and agricultural products, with extended observations upon the temperature of the air, soil, etc.; the third and fourth (text and plates), to the description and illustration of the cultivated fruits of the State; and the fifth, to insects, chiefly those injurious to vegetation.
The paleontology was committed to Mr. James Hall, who entered upon the work in 1844. Volumes one and two had been substantially completed and the third considerably advanced, when, in 1850, further appropriations were withheld and the work virtually suspended. In 1855, through the influence of the Hon. E. W. Leavenworth, Secretary of State, the work was revived and a plan for its completion proposed. A provision was also inserted that an appropriation from the State for the collection of fossils should be made annually for eight years. Through this means large collections were made and a great amount of new material added to that previously obtained, and this necessarily and unavoidably expanded the work much beyond what was originally contemplated, and beyond what could have been expected before such collections were made.
At the present time, five volumes of the Paleontology have been published, two of which were bound in two parts, making the entire number of seven bound volumes. These volumes contain about twenty-seven hundred pages of text and five hundred and sixteen plates. At the time of this writing the work has been virtually suspended for the past two years, with one hundred and seventy-five plates already lithographed and printed, and more than sixteen hundred pages of manuscript ready for the printer, besides drawings for more than one hundred and twenty-five plates.
- Many of the results obtained by the late Dr. Fitch, of Salem, New York, and by Dr. Harris, of Cambridge, are incorporated in this volume.
- The work was begun almost without collections of fossils of any kind, without a library for reference, without artists or any of the appliances or resources considered necessary in scientific investigation and illustration. It became necessary to create the department from the beginning. No appropriations of money were made by the State for the collection of fossils until 1856, and this burden of labor and expense bore heavily upon the author of the work.
- No printing has been done for three years (since 1879), and no lithographic work for about two years. The delays in the publication of the volumes during the past are not chargeable to the author. The work was virtually suspended from 1850 to 1856.