Saturday, May 30, 2009

147. Dr. Wang's Research on Benjamin Franklin Reaches Seven Countries

This is to report that Dr. Wang's study of Benjamin Franklin and China has reached India. The Indian Institute of Oriental Studies and Research has published his paper, Benjamin Franklin and China, in its journal, The Historical Review: A Biannual Journal of History and Archaeology.
So far, there are seven countries that have either published Dr. Wang's papers or invited him to deliver lectures on his research: Australia (published papers), China (published papers and presentation), India (published paper), Italy (published papers in both Italian and English and presentation), Portugal (presentation), the United Kingdom (presentations) and the United States of America (published papers and presentations).

Monday, May 25, 2009

146. Four Influential Newspapers Introduce Dr. Wang's Research

New York Times Weekends in Review Editor Tom Kuntz thinks of Benjamin Franklin as sage transmitter of the Western European tradition to the early American way of life. However, Dr. Dave Wang, a Chinese-American academic, points out that Franklin's correspondence and papers suggest lifelong influences from Chinese culture, “from Confucius philosophy to industrial technologies.”
The China Press, a popular Chinese newspaper in the United States published a brief interview, which introduces Dr. Wang' examination of the connections between traditional Chinese culture and the founding fathers.
Hawaii Reporters reports, New research discoveries focusing on influences between traditional Chinese civilization and the Founders of the United States of America in 1776 is revealed by Dr. Dave X. Wang, manager of Queens Library at Hollis in New York and adjunct professor with St. Johns University.
The Seattle Times introduces Dr. Wang's Exhibition on Benjamin Franklin and China. Benjamin Franklin and China: An Exhibition of Franklin's Efforts at Drawing Positive Elements from Chinese Civilization during the Formative Age of the United States. Exhibit shows Franklin's correspondence and his diary and how he borrowed Confucius' moral philosophy and Chinese technologies.

145. With China We Trade, Historical Ties between China the Founding Fathers

In the following I copy the excellent article written by Mr. Mead, the President of History Education Council of Hawaii. It is carried in Honolulu on March 11, 2009.

'With China We Trade,' Historical Ties between China and Founding Fathers

Jeffrey Bingham Mead, History Education Council of Hawaii
Reader Submitted

When Benjamin Franklin was in his final years as Minister to France in 1783-85 he commented on the Order of Cincinnati and the subject of the absurdity of descending honor. Franklin-descendant and author/historian Mark Skousen recorded in 'The Completed Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin' the following. "For honour worthily obtain'd, is in nature a personal thing, and incommunicable to any but those who had some share in obtaining. Thus among the Chinese, the most ancient, and from long experience the wisest of nations, honour does not descend but ascends This ascending honour is therefore useful to the state as it encourages parents to give their children a good and virtuous education." (note, Franklin's original words is available through this link)

New research discoveries focusing on influences between traditional Chinese civilization and the Founders of the United States of America in 1776 is revealed by Dr. Dave X. Wang, manager of Queens Library at Hollis in New York and adjunct professor with St. Johns University.
The March 11, 2009 edition of Asia Times Online features an interesting China-USA history article recommended by the History Education Council of Hawaii, said Jeffrey Bingham Mead, president and founder of the council. The author, Dave Wang, PhD., is the manager of Queens Library at Hollis in New York and adjunct professor with St Johns University.
The title of the article is 'With China We Trade' in the 'Speaking Freely' business section:
Dr. Wang points out that the newly independent United States of America faced dire economic challenges from the British Empire, which had successfully closed European markets to the Americans. "Embodying Americans' hope to break through the British blockade and revitalize the depressed postwar economy, the Empress of China, the first American commercial ship after its independence, left New York for Canton (Guangzhou), China, on February 22, 1784. Before the Empress of China left the East River Harbor of New York, George Washington duly signed the sea letter, guiding the purpose of the Empress of China's voyage."
"Given the situation," writes Dr. Wang, "commerce became 'the lifeblood of America's recovery from its economic slump'. New trade partners had to be discovered, new trade routes had to be opened and new connections had to be established. Otherwise, political independence wouldn't last long. It was in this critical situation that the first American voyage to China started."
"Dr. Wang has spent a considerable amount of time and effort uncovering Early America's ties to China and the China trade, asserting that Chinese culture and civilization influenced the Founding Fathers of the American Republic in 1776. Dr. Wang's discoveries provide a fresh and intriguing perspective that the ties between one of the world's oldest civilizations and one of the world's youngest are more important than ever. We are looking forward to inviting him to Hawaii and Connecticut to lecture," said Mead.
Dr. Dave Wang publishes his research on a weblog at:
"The bilateral trade relationship between America and China is far older than many people realize," said Mr. Mead. "Dr. Wang's research and publications are recommended for Hawaii's history classrooms and for historians and history buffs in general. His insights on Chinese influences on the Founding Fathers of the United States should spark curiosity and discussion. We look forward to having Dr. Wang to speak in Hawaii."
The History Education Council of Hawaii, Inc., (HECH) is an allied organization of the National Council for History Education (NCHE). The goals of the History Education Council of Hawaii are to promote and advance the study and teaching of history in schools throughout Hawaii, facilitate professional programs and interactive activities involving educators, teacher-candidates, historians and historic preservationists, museums as well as the government, military and business communities. HECH is located online at and by e-mail at

Saturday, May 23, 2009

144. Franklin Collected Books on China

You may wonder, like a graduate student who wrote me recently, how did Franklin get to know China. Franklin traveled and lived in Europe for many years, where he contacted and read the works about China. This link will lead you to his collection of the books on China. It will at least tell some basic information on China available to Ben at the time.

143. Two Works of Benjamin Franklin

The works of Benjamin Franklin: containing several political and historical tracts not included in any former edition, and many letters, official and private, not hitherto published; with notes and a life of the author
By Benjamin Franklin, Jared Sparks
Published by Whittemore, Niles, and Hall, 1856

Thursday, May 7, 2009

142. Benjamin Franklin and Confucius Moral Philosophy

At the Conference organized by the well known International Association of Benjamin Franklin Friends and St. Johns College in September 2007, Dr. Wang presented Benjamin Franklin's efforts to use Confucius Moral Philosophy to cultivate his virtue. Requested by a friend of mine I publish here the main content of his presentation. According to Dr. Wang, Benjamin Franklin contacted the works of Confucius when he was in London from 1724 to 1726. Inspired by Confucius moral teachings, Franklin started the lifelong drive to cultivate his virtue. Following Confucius’ virtual cultivating procedure,--cultivating one’s self virtue first, then promote others to cultivate their own virtue and eventually illuminate virtue to the whole world, Benjamin Franklin started to cultivate his virtue as soon he returned to Philadelphia in 1728. In the period from 1728 to 1736, he focused on cultivating his own virtue. Starting from 1737, when Franklin published some chapters from the book "The Morals of Confucius,” to 1783, the Americans won a totally victory in their struggle for independence, Franklin mainly promoted the youth in North America to cultivate their morals. The final period started from 1784, when Franklin relayed his moral cultivating experiences in his autobiography, to 1790, at the last minute of his life, Franklin promoted the people of the world to advance their virtue. Franklin’s efforts at moral cultivation remade him, influenced others and left a permanent legacy in American tradition.

Monday, May 4, 2009

141. Benjamin Franklin and China

Since 2005 when Dr. Wang's paper, Benjamin Franklin and China was published by the Official Website of Benjamin Franklin's 300th Anniversary, his study of the great founding father of the United States has won him international repute. He has been invited to deliver speeches and lectures in five countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal and China. The Well-known European Website Reset Dialogue on Civilization publishes Dr. Wang's paper, Benjamin Franklin and Chinese Civilization.On January 29, 2009, New York Times also joined the concert of introducing and promoting Dr. Wang's study of Ben Franklin, "the sage transmitter of the Western European tradition to the early American way of life". The famous site PDFox also includes Benjamin Franklin and China into its widely welcomed Benjamin Franklin Biography Collection. From this link you can find Dr. Wang's speech on Benjamin Franklin and the Great Wall of China. So far, Dr. Wang also published other papers related to Benjamin Franklin's efforts to draw nourishment from traditional Chinese culture. They include; Benjamin Franklin’s Efforts to Promote Sericulture in North America, Franklin Gazette, Volume 18, No. 2, Summer 2008; Benjamin Franklin and the Great Wall of China, Franklin Gazette, Volume 18, Number 1, Spring 2008; Exploring Benjamin Franklin’s Moral Life, Franklin Gazette, Volume. 17, No. 1, Spring 2007; Benjamin Franklin’s Attitude toward Chinese Civilization, Social Science Journal of Harbin Institute of Technology, Issue 4, 2006 and 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, The Official Website of Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Commission.