"Washington, Aug. 10. - The returns for cotton to the department of agriculture indícate an average condition of 86.9 on Aug. 1, as compared with 86.0 on July 1, an increase of nine-tenths of one point. The average condition on Aug. 1, 1896. was 80.1, and the average condition on Aug. 1 for the last ten years is 86.1. There has been a decided improvement in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, where the conditions have advanced 10, 7 and 6 points respectively. In the lower Mississippi valley the improvement is much less marked, and in Texas there is a decline of 10 points. The average of the states are as follows: Virginia, 99; Louisiana, 90; North Carolina, 97; South Carolina, 92; Georgia, 95: Florida, 88; Alabama, 88; Mississippi, 85; Texas, 78; Arkansas, 90; Tennessee, 84; Missouri, 85; Indian Territory, 94; Oklahoma, 86.