Longfellow Seed Corn

Accession Number



ELLIOTT, Subgroup Rumrunners (suspected)


The first known public notice of sale by Robert Elliott was January 13, 1913. The Barnstable Patriot includes his name in a list of those who “advertised matter in Hyannis Post Office.” After that first taste of community commerce, Robert frequently conducted business through the classifieds. In March 1919 he ran the following in the weekly local newspaper for three consecutive Mondays:

For Sale--- Longfellow Seed Corn from selected stock. Germination test 98 per cent. Price, $5.00 per bushel.*Robert Elliott, Centerville, Mass.

Longfellow is considered a flint corn, which is used to make hominy or for ornamental purposes. A germination test indicates the viability of the seed. 98 percent means that Robert Elliott was claiming that 98 out of every 100 seeds would yield in the field. He likely had the seeds tested at the annual Farmer’s Day in Hyannis. That year considerable interest was taken in the germination tests ** by biology students at the Normal School, who hosted the event, which drew over 200 people. The day’s program included speakers on poultry management, fruit growing, and pig farming. Remarks from the Agricultural Advisor for Worcester county, titled “How a Successful Farmer Succeeds” sparked a lively discussion on the merits of lime. The overall theme of the day was “Cape Cod’s Best Investment,” by which was meant young people. Being an enterprising young person with a course of study in agriculture under his belt, it is presumed that Robert Elliott had a ducky day.

*That very same month, a farmer in Middlebury, VT was asking $3.50 a bushel.
** It was reported that despite the poor quality of the seed from the previous year, the germination tests were quite high. This curious fact generated warnings about selecting only the most perfect ears, which we assume Robert Elliott did, given his studies (see ELLIOTT.3.1916/AG COLLEGE)


3.5 yellow corn kernels

Verification Reference

Barnstable Patriot, Special Notices [classifieds]


Dried Corn.png


“Longfellow Seed Corn,” Institute for Clew Studies, accessed March 24, 2019, http://instituteforclewstudies.com/items/show/21.