Sunday, May 4, 2014

349. Alexander Hamilton and the Report on the US-China Trade

Ginseng, the herb that grew in North America, played an important role in promoting the relations between the newly founded United States and China. It helped the founders of the United States in their efforts to open direct trade with China. The huge demand of the Ginseng forced the Chinese merchants to look for Ginseng from other places in the world.

When the American Ginseng carried by the Empress of China reached Canton, all Ginseng carried over were sold out quickly in the unbelievable price. Not long after the Empress of China made great profit from the Ginseng trade, the joint supercargo, reported to Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), Secretary of Treasure, “In the year of 1784, on the 22d of February, the ship Empress of China, being the first ship that ever sailed from United States for China, was sent to Canton by a company of American merchants; her cargo consists of Spanish dollars, about four hundred peculs of Genseng (Ginseng) , a piculs being 133/⅓ Ib English Avoirdu poids, some cordage, wine, lead, iron a few furs, with other trifling articles not worthy enumerating.”

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