Thursday, May 29, 2008

087. Ginseng and the Early Development of the United States

Dr. Wang's paper, Ginseng, the Herb that Helped the United States to Enter International Commerce . In which Dr. Wang mentioned George Washington's concern about the Ginseng business in North America during his era. You could find more information on Ginsing in the United States history and current time through this website. Last Saturday I went to take this photo from a traditional Chinese drug store in Flushing, Queens, New York, where you can find many stores doing Ginseng business. We can tell from it that American Ginseng are still popular among the Chinese where ever they are.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

086. Benjamin Franklin and the Chinese Silk

Dr. Dave Wang's paper Benjamin Franklin' Efforts to Promote Chinese Sericulture in North America has been published in the E-Magazine of Huaren (Chinese)May 2008.

085. Benjamin Franklin and the Great Wall of China

I have realized that you might want to know more about the Great Wall of China in the wake of reading Dr. Dave Wang's paper, Benjamin Franklin and the Great Wall of China, Franklin Gazette, Vol. 18, No. 1, Spring 2008. Please enjoy the video about the great wall.

Friday, May 23, 2008

084. Franklin's Discovery after the Earthquake in 1737

In the wake of the devastating disaster generated by the earthquake in China on May 12, 2008, Scholars and the public worldwide are discussing the possibility to predict the occurring of an earthquake. I hope that we can get certain hints from Franklin's findings.

The Earthquake which surpriz’d us here on Wednesday Night the 7th Inst. was not felt at Annapolis in Maryland, but the Accounts we have from New-Castle on Delaware, represent the Shake to be nearly as violent there as here. We have not as yet heard of it from any Place farther to the Southward than NewCastle. But it was felt at Conestogoe near 100 Miles Westward of this City, where some Clouds at the same time were seen to waver, dance, disappear and appear again in an uncommon and surprizing manner. And all the Accounts we have hitherto received from the Northward, make us suspect that the most violent Shock was in that Quarter. Three or four Evenings successively after the Earthquake an unusual Redness appeared in the Western Sky and southwards, continuing about an hour after Sunset, gradually declining. It reach’d near 45 Degrees above the Horizon.

Monday, May 19, 2008

083. Franklin on Earthquake in 1750

In Jamaica, on June 7, at about 20 minutes to 12, immediately in the wake of a loud thunder, the earth began to shake, and then the walls of the houses fell on every side. Three shakes came one after another. The sea receded, then rushed back with terrible force, sweeping over the land and drowning hundreds of persons. Thousands perished. Shortly before noon on June 7, 1693, 33 acres (66%) of the "storehouse and treasury of the West Indies" sank into Kingston Harbor. (This information is from

In June 1750, Benjamin Franklin with his vivid language relayed the tragedy generated by the earthquake. In the critical time when the Chinese people, with the support of the whole world, are fighting heroically to recover from the tremendous casualty and damage caused by the earthquake of May 12, 2008, I post the following Franklin's description of the Jamaican tragedy. I hope that all peoples in the world should learn from Franklin's description that we should work together to find ways to avoid natural calamities, which are coming to visit the earth more and more frequently.

On the 7th of this Month, 1692, the Town of Port Royal, in Jamaica, was sunk by a fearful Earthquake.
The Day was very clear, and afforded no Suspicion of the least Evil; but in the Space of three Minutes, about half an Hour after 11 in the Morning, the fine Town was shaken to Pieces, sunk into, and cover’d, for the greater Part, by the Sea: By the falling of the Houses, Opening of the Earth, and Inundation of the Waters, near 2000 Persons were lost, many of Note.
For some Days afterwards, ’twas dismal to see the Harbour cover’d with the dead Bodies of People of all Conditions, floating up and down without Burial: For the great Burial Place, was destroy’d by the Earthquake; which dashing to Pieces the Tombs, whereof there were Hundreds in that Place, the Sea washed the Carcasses of those who had been buried out of their Graves.
A Sickness followed, which carried off some Thousands more.
During the Earthquake, Thieves robbed and plundered the Sufferers, even among the Ruins, while the Earth trembled under their Feet. Some were killed in the very Act by falling Walls, &c. JULY. V Month.

082. Dr. Wang's Published Papers on Benjamin Franklin and Chinese Civilization

01. Benjamin Franklin and China: A Survey of Benjamin Franklin’s Efforts at Drawing Positive Elements from Chinese Civilization during the Formative Age of the United States
02.Benjamin Franklin and Chinese Civilization, U.S –China Relation Series, No. 2, New York, Outer Sky Press, August 2006. Contact the Institute of Asian Studies at St. Johns University or send me an email, and I will try to help you.
03. Benjamin Franklin’s Attitude toward Chinese Civilization,
Social Science Journal of Harbin Institute of Technology, Issue 4, 2006
04.Exploring Benjamin Franklin’s Moral Life, Franklin Gazette, Volume 17, No. 1, Spring 2007
05. Benjamin Franklin and Chinese Civilization, in Reset Dialogues on Civilizations
06.Benjamin Franklin and the Great Wall of China Franklin Gazette, Volume 18, No, 1, Spring 2008.
07. Benjamin Franklin's Efforts to Promote Sericulture in North America, Huaren-E Magazine, May 2008.