Abstract

Between the American Revolution and the 1840s, silk cultivation was pursued enthusiastically across the United States. Although scorned at first, silk's republican virtues were rediscovered and rearticulated in the antebellum era by a range of proponents. Owing to an evolving infrastructure that integrated the press, the post, and agricultural societies, the appeal of silk drew in farmers and manufacturers of all classes and across many regions. Their disparate circumstances and motivations made a peculiar interest group, but one that secured considerable political and promotional support. More than just an exercise on paper, American silk was widely produced, thanks especially to the labor of women. Eventually, the far-flung community of sericulturists fell prey to environmental and labor-related limitations. But the speed of their downfall, linked to a speculative bubble in mulberry trees, was also due to the distinctive features of their agricultural reformism and its creative relationship with credibility.

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NOTES

1. William Kenrick,
The American Silk Grower's Guide or, The Art of Raising the Mulberry and Silk, and the System of Successive Crops in Each Season
(
Boston
:
Weeks, Jordan
,
1839
),
vi
.
2. For an exposition of these processes and overviews of global patterns in silk production, trade, and fashion, see, Philippa Scott,
The Book of Silk
(
London
:
Thames and Hudson
,
1993
); Claudio Zanier,
Where the Roads Met: East and West in the Silk Production Processes (17th to 19th Centuries)
(
Kyoto
:
Istituto Italiano di Cultura Scuola di Studi sull' Asia Orientale
,
1994
); Giovanni Federico,
An Economic History of the Silk Industry, 18301930
(
Cambridge
:
Cambridge University Press
,
1997
); Mary Schoeser et al.,
Silk
(
New Haven
:
Yale University Press
,
2007
); Jacqueline Field et al.,
American Silk, 18301930: Entrepreneurs and Artifacts
(
Lubbock
:
Texas Tech University Press
,
2007
).
3. On colonial efforts, see, for instance, Woodrow Borah,
Silk Raising in Colonial Mexico
(
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
1943
); Charles E. Hatch,
“Mulberry Trees and Silkworms: Sericulture in Early Virginia,”
Virginia Magazine of History and Biography
65
:
1
(
1957
):
3
61
; Ben Marsh,
“Silk Hopes in Colonial South Carolina,”
Journal of Southern History
(
Nov
.
2012
):
forthcoming
; Joyce E. Chaplin,
An Anxious Pursuit: Agricultural Innovation and Modernity in the Lower South, 17301815
(
Chapel Hill
:
University of North Carolina Press
,
1993
),
158
64
. For examples of symbolic gifts, South Carolinian Eliza Pinckney sent silk from Belmont Plantation to Princess Augusta in 1755. Harriott Horry Ravenel,
Eliza Pinckney
(
New York
:
C. Scribner's Sons
,
1896
),
131
;
London news section
,
Charleston South Carolina Gazette
,
Apr.
10
,
1755
,
1
. Queen Charlotte “graciously accepted” Pennsylvania silk in 1771. Jared Sparks, ed.,
The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Containing Several Political and Historical Tracts Not Included in Any Former Edition
,
10
vols. (
Boston
:
Hilliard, Gray
,
1844
),
8
:
3
4
. Samuel Hazard,
Hazard's Register of Pennsylvania, Devoted to the Preservation of Facts and Documents, and Every Kind of Useful Information Respecting the State of Pennsylvania
,
16
vols. (
Philadelphia
:
W. F. Geddes
,
1828–1835
),
16
:
92
.
4. For a debated survey of the changing meanings and practices of consumption in the late colonial and revolutionary era, see, T. H. Breen,
The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence
(
New York
:
Oxford University Press
,
2004
),
207
35
. For insights on fashion, consumerism, and the Revolution, see, Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor,
The Ties That Buy: Women and Commerce in Revolutionary America
(
Philadelphia
:
University of Pennsylvania Press
,
2009
); Kate Haulman,
“Fashion and the Culture Wars of Revolutionary Philadelphia,”
William and Mary Quarterly
(
Oct
.
2005
):
625
62
. On the evolution of politicized ideas about clothing, see, Michael Zakim,
Ready-Made Democracy: A History of Men's Dress in the American Republic, 17601860
(
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
,
2003
). Peter Force,
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,
9
vols. (
Washington, DC
:
M. St. Clair Clarke and Peter Force
,
1837
),
1
:
913
; John Adams to James Warren,
Oct.
20
,
1775
,
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Massachusetts Historical Society
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Apr.
24
,
1782
,
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American Philosophical Society and Yale University
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US Treasury
,
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Washington, DC
:
Gales & Seaton
,
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),
24
.
5. Webster's seven essays “on free trade and finance,” which began in 1779 were later collated in Pelatiah Webster,
Political Essays on the Nature and Operation of Money, Public Finances, and Other Subjects
(
Philadelphia
:
Joseph Crukshank
,
1791
); Pelatiah Webster,
An Essay on the Culture of Silk, and Raising White Mulberry Trees, the Leaves of Which Are the Only Proper Food of the Silk-Worm
(
Philadelphia
:
Joseph Crukshank
,
1790
),
3
; Ezra Stiles, Miscellaneous Volumes & Papers #318,
“Journal of Silkworms,”
p.
357
, Ezra Stiles Papers, Beinecke Library, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. The impact was notable in Connecticut, where Justices of the Peace recorded production of 151 pounds of raw silk by 1792, mostly around the towns of Mansfield and Ashford.
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MS 69784, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Conn. (hereafter CHS).
6.
“An ESSAY intended to shew that NECESSARIES are the best Productions of Land,”
Universal Asylum, and Columbian Magazine
(
May
1
,
1791
):
320
28
;
“Amusement,”
Boston Weekly Magazine
(
Feb.
19
,
1803
):
71
;
“Spontaneous Decomposition of a Fabric of Silk,”
Medical Repository
(
Dec.
3
,
1802
):
458
61
;
“Efficacy of Silk,”
Analectic Magazine
(
Sept.
1
,
1818
):
259
61
;
“Expense and Profit of Raising Silk Worms,”
Massachusetts Magazine, or, Monthly Museum of Knowledge and Rational Entertainment
(
June
1
,
1792
):
374
75
; Henricus F. J. M. van den Eerenbeemt,
Op Zoek Naar Het Zachte Goud: Pogingen Tot Innovatie Via Een Zijdeteelt in Nederland 17e20e Eeuw
(
Tilburg, Netherlands
:
Gianotten
,
1993
),
41
.
7.
United States
,
Compendium of the Enumeration of the Inhabitants and Statistics of the United States As Obtained From the Returns of the Sixth Census
(
Washington, DC
:
Blair & Rives
,
1841
); L. P. Brockett,
The Silk Industry in America, a History: Prepared for the Centennial Exposition
(
New York
:
George F. Nesbitt
,
1876
),
198
; William C. Wyckoff,
American Silk Manufacture
(
Trenton, NJ
:
John L. Murphy
,
1887
),
28
,
30
,
31
;
US House Journal
, 21st Cong., 2nd sess.,
Dec.
21
,
1830
,
84
;
US Committee on Agriculture
,
Report of the Committee on Agriculture on the Growth and Manufacture of Silk …
(
Washington, DC
:
Duff Green
,
1830
),
8
,
15
; Mr.Ward,
“On the Bill to encourage the growth and manufacture of Silk,”
in assembly,
Apr.
13
,
1841
, quoted on in-sleeve cutting titled
“The Silk Culture,”
Albany (NY) Evening Journal
, found glued to the Library Company of Philadelphia copy of
New York Silk Culturist, Nos. 12
(
1829
).
8. Charles Grier Sellers,
The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 18151846
(
New York
:
Oxford University Press
,
1991
); John Lauritz Larson,
The Market Revolution in America: Liberty, Ambition, and the Eclipse of the Common Good
(
Cambridge
:
Cambridge University Press
,
2010
); Philip J. Pauly,
Fruits and Plains: The Horticultural Transformation of America
(
Cambridge
:
Harvard University Press
,
2007
),
102
.
9. Albert Lowther Demaree,
The American Agricultural Press, 18191860
(
New York
:
Columbia University Press
,
1941
),
17
18
; Clarence H. Danhof,
Change in Agriculture: The Northern United States, 18201870
(
Cambridge
:
Harvard University Press
,
1969
),
56
; John D. Majewski,
Modernizing a Slave Economy: The Economic Vision of the Confederate Nation
(
Chapel Hill
:
University of North Carolina Press
,
2009
),
58
,
76
80
; Report No. 287,
“Silk,”
US House Journal
, 24th Cong., 2nd sess.,
Feb.
25
,
1837
,
3
. The phrase “silk press” was coined by David Rossell,
“The Culture of Silk: Markets, Households, and the Meaning of an Antebellum Agricultural Movement”
(
PhD diss.
,
SUNY–Buffalo
,
2001
),
xv
. Some of the most prominent works were
Silk Culturist and Farmers' Manual
(
Hartford, Conn.
:
Hartford County Silk Society
,
1835–39
);
Fessenden's SilkManual and Practical Farmer, Devoted to the Culture of Silk, Agriculture, and Rural Economy
(
Boston
:
George C. Barrett
,
1835–1837
);
American Silk Grower and Agriculturist
(
Keene, NH
:
B. Cooke
,
1836–1839
);
American Silk- Grower and Farmers' Manual
(
Philadelphia
:
Charles Alexander
,
1838–1839
);
Journal of the American Silk Society, and Rural Economist
(
Baltimore
:
American Silk Society
,
1839–1841
).
10. John J. Dufour,
The American Vine-Dresser's Guide …
(
Cincinnati
:
S. J. Browne
,
1826
),
308n
. For examples of suggested diet of oak, lettuce, and Osage orange, see, respectively,
“Silk worms,”
Baltimore Patriot and Mercantile Advertiser
,
July
13
,
1826
,
2
;
“Facts and Observations,”
New England Farmer
(
Oct.
19
,
1836
):
115
; Henry Bry,
“The North- Western Region of Louisiana,”
DeBow's Review
4
(
Oct
.
1847
):
228
. One silk periodical alone claimed a circulation of over ten thousand in 1839: editor's note,
American Silk- Grower and Farmer's Manual
(
June
1839
):
276
.
11. Donald B. Marti,
“Agricultural Journalism and the Diffusion of Knowledge: The First Half-Century in America,”
Agricultural History
(Winter
1980
):
28
37
; Sally McMurry,
“Who Reads the Agricultural Journals? Evidence From Chenango County, New York, 1839–1865,”
Agricultural History
(Fall
1989
):
3
; Wyckoff,
American Silk
,
16
25
; Arthur H. Cole,
“Agricultural Crazes: A Neglected Chapter in American Economic History,”
American Economic Review
(
Dec
.
1926
):
627
32
; Robert Price,
Morus Multicaulis, or, Silkworms Must Eat,”
Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly
45
:
3
(
1936
); Elizabeth Hawes Ryland,
“America's ‘Multicaulis Mania,’”
William and Mary Quarterly
(
Jan
.
1939
); Paul W. Gates,
The Farmer's Age: Agriculture, 18151860
(
New York
:
Holt, Rinehart and Winston
,
1960
),
303
306
; Nelson Klose,
“Sericulture in the United States,”
Agricultural History
(Fall
1963
):
225
27
; Pauly,
Fruits and Plains
,
101
103
. For an example of a continuing defiant tone, see, A. C. Van Epps,
“Silk and the Silk Culture,”
DeBow's Review
5
(
June
1848
):
419
.
12. Rossell,
“Culture of Silk,”
128
; Cole,
“Agricultural Crazes,”
630
. For samples of varying manuals, see, John Clarke,
Sericon
(
Philadelphia
:
By the author
,
1841
); Jonathan Dennis Jr.,
Dennis' Silk Manual
(
New York
:
Mahlon Day
,
1839
); Samuel Whitmarsh,
Eight Years Experience and Observation in the Culture of the Mulberry Tree …
(
Northampton, Mass.
:
J. H. Butler
,
1839
).
13. On the evolution of the postal service, see, Demaree,
American Agricultural Press
,
60
63
; Richard R. John,
Spreading the News: The American Postal System From Franklin to Morse
(
Cambridge
:
Harvard University Press
,
1995
):
1
168
; Wayne Edison Fuller,
The American Mail: Enlarger of the Common Life
(
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
,
1972
):
42
147
;
1828
figure from Anon.,
The United States Postal Service: An American History, 17752006
(
Washington, DC
:
United States Postal Service
,
2007
),
10
. William A. Budd to Daniel Bulkeley, Jan. 29, 1829; Godfrey Cady to Daniel Bulkeley, Dec. 19, 1834. Bulkeley's correspondence is in boxes 8–11 of the Taintor-Davis Family Papers, 1763– 1917, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass. (hereafter AAS). On Bulkeley's postal operations, see, James Oliver Robertson and Janet C. Robertson,
All Our Yesterdays: a Century of Family Life in an American Small Town
(
New York
:
Harper Collins
,
1993
),
146
74
.
14.
“Prospects of Silk Culture in Western Virginia,”
Farmers' Register
(
Jan
.
1837
):
536
.
15. Rossell,
“Culture of Silk,”
236
,
155
. The suspicion that silkworms were unhealthy also appeared in other forms especially in the South, e.g. the comments of Thomas Spalding of Georgia on their effect on breast milk.
Southern Agriculturalist and Register of Rural Affairs
(
Mar
.
1828
):
106
. For how an “etiquette of social proximity” was improvised, see, Catherine E. Kelly,
“‘Well Bred Country People’: Sociability, Social Networks, and the Creation of a Provincial Middle Class, 1820–1860,”
Journal of the Early Republic
(
Oct
.
1999
):
454
.
16. Pauly,
Fruits and Plains
,
265
; Tamara P. Thornton,
“The Moral Dimensions of Horticulture in Antebellum America,”
New England Quarterly
(
Mar
.
1984
). The membership of the Pennsylvania Silk Society, for instance, was socially mixed. See, Pennsylvania Silk Convention et al.,
Proceedings of the Pennsylvania Silk Convention, Held at Harrisburg on the Twenty-Second and Twenty-Third Days of February, 1839
(np: np,
1839
); F.G. Comstock, ed.,
The SilkCulturist and Farmer's Manual … Volumes I and II
(
Hartford, Conn.
:
Hartford County Silk Society
,
1836
),
77
; Wyckoff,
American Silk
,
22
23
; Rossell,
“Culture of Silk,”
164
66
; Sarah T. Phillips,
“Antebellum Agricultural Reform, Republican Ideology, and Sectional Tension,”
Agricultural History
(Fall
2000
):
799
822
.
17. Linda J. Borish,
“‘A Fair, Without the Fair, Is No Fair at All’: Women at the New England Agricultural Fair in the Mid-Nineteenth Century,”
Journal of Sport History
(Summer
1997
):
155
76
;
Transactions of the New York State Agricultural Society, Together With an Abstract of the Proceedings of the County Agricultural Societies, and of the American Institute, Vol. V-1846
(
Albany
:
Charles van Benthuysen
,
1846
),
133
; Field et al.,
American Silk
,
20
;
“Hamilton Co. Agricultural Fair and the ‘Farmer's College,’”
Ohio Cultivator. A Semi- Monthly Journal, Devoted to the Improvement of Agriculture and Horticulture, and the Promotion of Domestic Industry
(
Nov.
1
,
1845
):
161
; Wyckoff,
American Silk
,
31
;
“Public Improvements of Charleston, SC,”
DeBow's Review
7
(
Oct
.
1849
):
346
47
;
“Annual Fair of the Planters' Club of Hancock,”
Southern Cultivator
(
Mar.
1
,
1843
):
8
;
“Domestic Silk,” Southern Cultivator
(
June
21
,
1843
):
104
;
“Henrico Agricultural Society,”
Southern Planter
(
Jan
.
1842
):
16
;
“Black Oak Agricultural Society,”
Southern Agriculturist
(
June
1846
):
236
;
“Premium List of the Southern Central Agricultural Society,”
Soil of the South
(
Feb
.
1853
):
432
.
18. Klose stated that the “great publicity … caused much silk to be produced.”
“Sericulture,”
227
. Jean D'Homergue,
An Historical Review of the Rise, Progress, Present State, and Prospects, of the Silk Culture, Manufacture, and Trade, in Europe & America
(
Philadelphia
:
Lydia R. Bailey
,
1831
),
6
,
9
,
24
; Brockett,
Silk Industry
,
26
; Ward's remarks. There is no evidence for this claim, and for a contrary viewpoint on moriculture and the effects of war, see, Luca Molá,
The Silk Industry of Renaissance Venice
(
Baltimore
:
Johns Hopkins University Press
,
2000
),
219
.
19. Whitmarsh,
Eight Years Experience
,
59
;
“Report of the Committee on Manufactures,”
New England Farmer
(
June
7
,
1837
):
377
; D'Homergue,
Historical Review
,
18
,
19
,
28
; Ronald Savoie,
“The Silk Industry in Northampton,”
Historical Journal of Western Massachusetts
5
(Spring
1977
):
21
32
;
The Silk Question Settled: Report of the Proceedings of the National Convention … Held in New York
(
Boston
:
T. R. Martin
,
1844
),
8
; Pauly,
Fruits and Plains
,
9
29
;
US Treasury
,
Letter from the Secretary
,
112
13
; Thomas Spalding,
“On the Culture of the Silk-Worm,”
Southern Agriculturalist and Register of Rural Affairs
(
Sept
.
1828
):
389
;
US Committee on Agriculture
,
Essays on American Silk
,
5
,
56
; Kenrick,
American Silk Grower's Guide
, preface and 150;
Transactions
,
178
; Comstock,
Silk Culturist
,
29
,
67
; Ellsworth et al.,
Improvements in Agriculture
,
16
; William A. Tieck,
“In Search of Peter Stephen Du Ponceau,”
Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
89
(
Jan
.
1965
):
77
. Some Americans sought out foreign assistance as well as materials and mulberry cuttings, see, Albert Keller Hostetter,
“The Early Silk Industry of Lancaster County,”
Historical Papers and Addresses of the Lancaster County Historical Society
(
Feb
.
1919
):
35
. Richard Dobson Margrave,
The Emigration of Silk Workers From England to the United States …
(
New York
:
Garland
,
1986
),
29
,
32
,
39
,
40
; Alfred Theodore Lilly,
The Silk Industry of the United States, from 1766 to 1874
(
New York
:
Jenkins & Thomas
,
1882
),
4
; Brockett,
Silk Industry
,
134
; Van Epps,
“Silk and Silk Culture,”
420
.
20. Clarke,
Sericon
,
viii
ix
;
“Silk Culture,”
Silk Grower and Farmer's Manual
(
Oct
.
1838
):
77
; A. C. Van Epps,
“Characteristics of the Worm,”
Debow's Review
(
Apr
.
1848
):
338
39
; Christopher Clark,
The Communitarian Moment: The Radical Challenge of the Northampton Association
(
Ithaca
:
Cornell University Press
,
1995
); Field et al.,
American Silk
, chpt. 3, p.
8
; note on Daniel Webster,
New England Farmer
(
June
1
,
1836
):
371
; extract from the Globe published in
“The Silk Manufacture,”
Niles' Weekly Register
(
May
2
,
1835
):
154
55
; Edmund Ruffin,
“The Silk Business Beginning in Petersburg,”
Farmers' Register
(
June
1836
):
126
27
. The most prominent and well-studied intersection of abolitionism and sericulture was the Northampton Association of Education and Industry, a residential community in Massachusetts launched in Apr. 1842.
21. Laurel Ulrich,
The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth
(
New York
:
Knopf
,
2001
),
377
,
395
; Clark,
Communitarian Moment
,
142
43
;
Silk Question
,
69
70
. Most writers did not contrast silk “homespun” against factory production but rather domestic silk against international products. See, for example, Comstock,
Silk Culturist
,
102
. The author would like to thank Carolyn Eastman for sharing her insights into the arguments harnessed to silk promotion: “United by Silken Bands,” unpub. paper precirculated to the American Seminar, Johns Hopkins University,
Mar.
1996
.
22. Edmund Ruffin and Jack Temple Kirby,
Nature's Management: Writings on Landscape and Reform, 18221859
(
Athens
:
University of Georgia Press
,
2000
),
256
,
257
. For a discussion of silk operations attempted at poorhouses, see, Rossell,
“Culture of Silk,”
95
97
;
“Miscellaneous,”
Niles' Weekly Register
(
July
21
,
1827
):
344
;
“The North-Western Region of Louisiana,”
Debow's Review
4
(
Oct
.
1847
):
226
29
. For a clear (over) statement of the transport costs case, see, Gideon B. Smith,
“Importance of the Culture of Silk,”
Journal of the American Silk Society
(
Feb
.
1840
),
2
:
53
; Felix Pascalis Ouvrière,
Practical Instructions and Directions for Silkworm Nurseries, and for the Culture of the Mulberry Tree
(
New York
:
J. Seymour
,
1829
),
30
; George Richardson Porter,
A Treatise on the Origin, Progressive Improvement, and Present State of the Silk Manufacture
(
London
:
Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green
,
1831
),
35
;
Transactions
,
524
25
.
23. Phillips,
“Antebellum Agricultural Reform,”
810
; Albert Lowther Demaree,
“The Farm Journals, Their Editors, and Their Public, 1830–1860,”
Agricultural History
(Fall
1941
):
185
; D'Homergue,
Historical Review
,
31
; Van Epps,
“Silk and the Silk Culture,”
411
45
; F. G. Comstock,
“Great Increase, and Value, of Chinese Mulberry,”
Farmers' Register
(
Jan
.
1837
):
549
;
“Importance of Proper Selection of Silkworms' Eggs. Difference Between Northern and Southern Eggs,”
Farmers' Register
(
July
30
,
1839
):
444
; Letter to Edmund Ruffin dated Dec. 16, 1836 in
Farmers' Register
(
Jan
.
1837
):
570
.
24. Emily Noyes Vanderpoel,
American Lace & Lace-Makers
, ed. Elizabeth C. Barney Buel (
New Haven
:
Yale University Press
,
1924
), plate 72; folders 1 and 2, oversize box 1, Stark Family Papers (1813–1832), MC 134, Milne Special Collections, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH; Mary Tyler's diary, 1821–1842, doc. 45, Royall Tyler Collection, 1753–1935, Vermont Historical Society, Barre, Vt.; Ulrich,
Age of Homespun
,
380
; Marilyn S. Blackwell,
“Love and Duty: Mary Palmer Tyler and Republican Childrearing”
(
master's thesis
,
University of Vermont
,
1990
),
166
67
.
25.
US Treasury
,
Letter from the Secretary
,
25
; Lilly,
Silk Industry of the United States
,
2
4
,
271
; Brockett,
Silk Industry
,
31
.
26. Account Book of Luther Kingsley, 1827–1834, MS 69662, CHS; Martha Ogle Forman,
Plantation Life at Rose Hill: The Diaries of Martha Ogle Forman, 18141845
, ed. W. Emerson Wilson (
Wilmington
:
Historical Society of Delaware
,
1976
),
271
; Brockett,
Silk Industry
,
50
79
; Margrave,
Emigration of Silk Workers
,
30
83
; Clark,
Communitarian Moment
,
162
.
27.
Transactions
,
133
52
,
524
25
; Karl J. Arndt,
“Three Hungarian Travelers Visit Economy,”
Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
79
(
Apr
.
1955
):
203
; Elizabeth Armstrong Hall,
“If Looms Could Speak: The Story of Pennsylvania's Silk Industry,”
Pennsylvania Heritage
32
(Summer
2006
):
26
27
; Charles M. Allmond III,
“The Great Silk Bubble,”
Delaware History
11
(
Apr
.
1965
); Mabel Agnes Rice,
Trees and Shrubs of Nantucket: Descriptions, Identification Keys, List of Trees and Shrubs
(
Ann Arbor
:
Edwards Brothers
,
1946
),
20
21
; John Leander Bishop et al.,
A History of American Manufactures, From 1608 to 1860: Comprising Annals of the Industry of the United States in Machinery, Manufactures and Useful Arts
,
3
vols. (
Philadelphia
:
E. Young
,
1864
),
2
:
392
94
; Wyckoff,
American Silk
,
16
18
; Donna Parker and Jonathan Jeffrey,
“Sericulture, Silk and South Union Shakers,”
DLSC Faculty Publications
, paper 21, Jan. 1993, http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_fac_pub/21 (accessed Jan. 31, 2011). In 444 counties (out of 1,269) from 1840 to 1850, sericulture either disappeared completely or appeared where it was previously absent; 90 counties showed sustained production. Naturally, the census and patent estimates should be considered fragile figures. One economic historian felt that the silk estimates “seem[ed] clearly deficient,” Robert E. Gallman,
“A Note on the Patent Office Crop Estimates, 1841–1848,”
Journal of Economic History
23
(
June
1963
):
185n1
; although Rossell concluded that “Far more silk was raised in the country than the Census indicates.” Rossell,
“Culture of Silk,”
207
208
.
28. Pauly,
Fruits and Plains
,
55
58
,
103
. On struggle of southern agricultural reform movement, see, Majewski,
Modernizing a Slave Economy
,
56
; Manual presented to Congress on Feb. 11, 1828 and published as United States,
Letter fromthe Secretary of the Treasury … in relation to the Growth and Manufacture of Silk
(
Washington, DC
:
D. Green
,
1828
);
US Committee on Agriculture
,
Essays on American Silk
,
6
; Rossell,
“Culture of Silk,”
29
30
; Cole,
“Agricultural Crazes,”
628
;
US House Report No. 182, “Mulberry-Silk Worm,”
19th Cong., 1st sess., May 2, 1826; Richard Rush,
“Circular Letter to the Several Governors of States and Territories,”
July
29
,
1826
,
New England Farmer
(
Sept.
22
,
1826
):
69
70
; Oliver Wolcott to Zalmon Storrs, Aug. 19, 1826, folder 38:18, Oliver Wolcott Jr. Papers, CHS.
29. US House Journal, 21st Cong., 1st sess., May 3, 1830, 599; D'Homergue of Nîmes, France, offered his services to the Committee of Agriculture in 1829. US Committee on Agriculture, Essays on American Silk, 8, 15. For congressional debates on this and other motions, see, US House Journal, 21st Cong., 2nd sess., Dec. 21, 1830, 84; 21st Cong., 2nd sess., Feb. 11, 1831, 294–95; 22nd Cong., 1st sess., Jan. 20, May 22, 1832, 209, 781.
30. Fred W. Powell,
“Industrial Bounties and Rewards by American States,”
Quarterly Journal of Economics
28
(
Nov
.
1913
):
194
97
; Rossell,
“Culture of Silk,”
188
90
; Louis Hartz,
Economic Policy and Democratic Thought: Pennsylvania, 17761860
(
Cambridge
:
Harvard University Press
,
1948
),
333
; Allmond,
“Great Silk Bubble,”
214
17
; Ellsworth et al.,
Improvements in Agriculture
,
17
; Joseph M. Harper,
Mr. Harper's Report to the Legislature of the State of New-Hampshire on the Culture of Silk
(
Concord, NH
:
np
,
1830
),
13
15
; Isaac D. Jones et al.,
Memorial of a Committee of the Citizens of Somerset County, Asking a Bounty on the Domestic Production of Silk
(
Annapolis
:
William M'Neir
,
1839
),
3
,
5
;
Laws of the State of New-York, Passed at the Fifty-Eighth Session of the Legislature, Begun and Held at the City of Albany, The Sixth Day of January, 1835
(
Albany
:
Wm. Gould
,
1835
),
341
44
; Walter David Lewis,
From Newgate to Dannemora: The Rise of the Penitentiary in New York, 17961848
(
Ithaca
:
Cornell University Press
,
1965
),
193
96
.
31. Justus Blanchard to Bulkeley, June 25, 1832; Edmund Badger to Bulkeley, Aug. 2, 1833; John B. Chapman to Bulkeley, Dec. 12, 1834; Thomas Gibson to Bulkeley, June 1, 1834; A. B. Jones to Bulkeley, July 25, 1837; S. & N. Richmond to Bulkeley, Nov. 23, 1830, Taintor-Davis Family Papers; to David Hall, Feb. 3, 1843; to C. T. Talbot & Co., Apr. 15, 1844; to Messrs Bullard, Lee & Co., May 31, 1844; to John Miller, Dec. 30, 1844; to Thomas Whitlemore, Jan. 28, 1845, vol. 4, Northampton Association of Education and Industry Records, 1836–53, AAS; Pauly,
Fruits and Plains
,
103
104
; Allmond,
“Great Silk Bubble,”
209
; Klose,
“Sericulture,”
226
27
; Margrave,
Emigration of Silk Workers
,
22
27
; Rossell,
“Culture of Silk,”
38
44
; Howard S. Russell,
A Long, Deep Furrow: Three Centuries of Farming in New England
(
Hanover, NH
:
University Press of New England
,
1976
),
382
83
.
32. The most famous case of alleged commercial fraud involved Samuel Whitmarsh. See, Samuel Blydenburgh (with comment by Edmund Ruffin),
“Mulberry Imported from France by Mr. Whitmarsh,”
Farmers' Register
(
Jan
.
1837
):
558
59
; Clark,
Communitarian Moment
,
32
33
; Rossell,
“Culture of Silk,”
131
33
. Klose suggests that many speculated with the
M. multicaulis
in an attempt to recoup fortunes reduced by the Panic of 1837. Klose,
“Sericulture,”
227
.
33. Clark S. Monson,
“Mulberry Trees: The Basis and Remnant of the Utah Silk Industry,”
Economic Botany
50
(
Jan
.
1996
); Nelson Klose,
“California's Experimentation in Sericulture,”
Pacific Historical Review
30
(
Aug
.
1961
); L. O. Howard,
“The United States Department of Agriculture and Silk Culture,”
in
Yearbook of the United States Department of Agriculture, 1903
, ed. G. W. Hill (
Washington, DC
:
GPO
,
1904
),
139
; Brockett,
Silk Industry
,
131
; Ryland,
“America's ‘Multicaulis Mania,’”
26
.