Monday, December 23, 2013
328. The Founders and Chinese Plants and Industrial Technologies
The founding fathers regarded China as a place where they could find important resources to promoting agricultural and industrial development in North America. They made their exertion to transplant valuable plants from China to North America. In 1770, Benjamin Franklin also sent soybean seeds from London to John Bartram in Philadelphia.
Two years later Franklin obtained rhubarb seeds and sent them to Bartram. George Washington made his own experiments to plant Chinese flowers in his garden on Mountain Vernon. Thomas Jefferson made long time commitment to transplant the dry rice to southern United States. In addition to Franklin, Benjamin Rush promoted the sericulture in North America. Franklin expressed his great interest in Chinese industrial technologies, such as heating house in the winter, ship building, paper making, candle and mill and other technologies.
Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816) was influenced by the literature on the Grand Canal of China. The Chinese canal construction technologies had an impact on the New Yorkers, who wanted to build the Erie Canal, which could help making New York one of the great cities in the United States. Jefferson borrowed elements from Chinese architecture in his effort to create a new style of building.