For several years past a considerable breadth of land has been profitably devoted to the cultivation of the Cane in Southern Iowa and a very large amount of syrup manufactured, so much so as to cut off almost entirely the importation of molasses, and greatly reduce that of sugar. The process of manufacture has been improved from year to year, with a perceptible improvement in the syrup, which is quoted in this market at 25@30 cents per gallon. Such improvements as time will undoubtedly bring about, ridding the syrup of all vegetable matter and producing a fair per cent. of sugar, will enable, at least, Southern Iowa to produce all the sugar and molasses needed for home consumption, and thus be independent. Within a few days we have been shown very fair sugar, whiter than New Orleans, and in other respects equal to it, made in this State from cane grown in our soil, by Mr. Brainard, of Linn county. He has procured a patent for a sugar boiler, now being manufactured by Mr. Hendric in this city, with which, he claims, any farmer can manufacture the best of syrup upon his own farm. We know nothing about it. But we have always felt satisfied that in the end superior sugar and molasses would be made from Imphee. Whether Mr. Brainard’s Sugar Boiler will do all he claims for it or not, we are confident this result will be finally attained, and for this reason hope that cane will be grown in larger quantities the present season. A large refinery has been recently established at Chicago, where Sorghum syrup is reboiled, purified, and greatly improved. All other expedients failing, a part of the crop might be sent to Chicago, as an experiment. At any [rate], while it takes a bushel of corn to buy a pound of sugar, growing sugar cane will be found a great deal more profitable than raising grain.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 5, 1862, p. 2