University of Rochester Library Bulletin: Bombyx Mori and Americans, Or, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

Volume XXXIX • 1986
Bombyx Mori and Americans: Or, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

Attempts had been made to produce silk in America from the beginnings of European settlement. The English sent the first shipment of silkworms to Jamestown in 1613 and silk production continued to be encouraged in South Carolina, Georgia and southern New England. The Revolution ended the payment of bounties and disrupted the trade, and the infant industry died, apparently a victim of the war and frontier economic conditions. Silk growing is labor intensive, and the most plentiful commodity on the frontier was always land. Any silk manufactured during the Federal period was made from imported raw silk.1

Beginning in 1825, when European governments as far north as Bavaria were encouraging domestic silk raising, silk culture entered its second great period in America. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution authorizing the distribution of a manual on silk culture. During the following decade, state legislatures passed laws and resolutions encouraging the raising of silk and the planting of mulberry trees, the sole food of the worms.

The agricultural journals which began to be published in the 1820s took up the cause, and began to promote silk as an ideal and highly lucrative cash crop for farmers and even for village and town dwellers who could grow mulberry trees in yards and around houses. The general interest agricultural journals were followed by ones devoted to the sole topic of silk, with such titles as The Silk Worm and The Silk Culturist. There were at least nine such periodicals available by 1839, at the height of the interest in silk.

Besides the bounties offered by such states as Connecticut, the agricultural societies gave premiums at the state and local fairs for cocoons, reeled silk and woven articles.

Mulberry trees were planted as a necessary preliminary to the actual rearing of the silk worms. In 1825, the first plants of a kind of mulberry, morus multicaulus, supposed to be the same kind grown in China to feed silk worms there, were brought to the Prince Nursery on Long Island. The new mulberry was reputed to be winter hardy, besides possessing the virtue of an Asiatic origin. It grew very rapidly in a bushy form, with enormous leaves. The large size of the leaves reduced the time needed to harvest them and each specimen produced enough leaves to feed two crops of worms per season. The multicaulus was also very easily propagated from stem cuttings.

In the wake of the interest in silk, speculation began in the propagation of both the imported and the native mulberry. The speculation grew to incredible proportions during the decade until by 1839 it was obviously close to collapse under its own weight. The severe winter of 1839-40 disproved the claims of hardiness for multicaulusand brought on the inevitable. With the collapse of the mulberry tree market, a reaction set in against the main industry, and silk culture began to be in bad odor. Even though conventions met and premiums were awarded after 1840, the matter did not regain its former momentum, and after 1850 silk culture in the northeast was dead, not to be revived.

After the fact, it was said that the real money was made by tree speculators who realized their gains before the collapse, and that the promise of wealth from actually producing silk was quite illusory.2

The excitement has been mentioned in the standard agricultural histories, both national and regional, and was generally treated as a mad if all too American spree, with little lasting benefit or effect.

Paul Gates suggested that the excitement arose from the search for another cash crop and from published accounts in the agricultural journals designed to arouse the cupidity of farmers. Easy wealth was promised in exchange for six weeks of work, using surplus land and otherwise unemployed labor. Additionally, Gates suggests that the editors of the agricultural periodicals often had stocks of mulberry trees and seeds for sale, and so were monetarily interested in promoting at least the silk culture, if not the speculation which accompanied it.3

U. P. Hedrick concentrated on the multicaulus speculation and its effects on the emergence of nurseries and the propagation of trees. He dismissed the subject of silk and implied that the propagation of trees for sale in the speculative market was the real attraction for farmers.4

Arthur H. Cole, in writing about agricultural crazes before the Civil War, suggested that the silk craze, unlike the merino sheep craze which preceded it, or the Berkshire hog craze which co-existed with it, or the Asian chicken craze which followed it, left no lasting benefits, and arose from mostly economic factors, complicated by naiveté. In a country without centuries of experience with soil and climate, the newness and changing character of American agriculture led farmers to try an ultimately impractical experiment. The changes in transportation and the competition from the west led older areas to look for a new staple crop, just at the time when the increase in manufacturing was freeing up part of the labor force, particularly women. People were looking for new occupations. In addition, crazes seemed to bloom in periods of economic upswing preceding panics and crashes, perhaps reflecting a psychological readiness to risk and speculate.5

These explanations concentrate on the purely economic factors, with a slight acknowledgement to psychology. None of them really explains the hold which such a seemingly unlikely product had upon so many imaginations, nor why so many varied groups and individuals became caught up in it.

Further, silk traditionally had been the emblem of luxury and vice. The primrose path to ruin was usually trodden by persons wearing silk dresses. How then, could the editors of agricultural journals, with the enthusiastic support of their correspondents, promote silk growing as an ideal crop? How could the production of a substance which was neither food nor an essential commodity be considered a fit occupation for farmers 6who, according to the agrarian ethic, were the repository of virtue in society?

The following essay is an attempt to examine the rhetoric of silk growing, quite apart from the realities, successes and failures of the silk industry, and to see what rationale the participants themselves advanced to explain their involvement.

The principal source used was the Genesee Farmer, published in Rochester by Luther Tucker from 1831 to 1839. Although it was a local and specialized paper, it had a wide circulation over Western New York. Tucker followed the standard practice of reprinting items from other papers in and out of state, as well as original contributions written for the Farmer, and added his own editorial comments. The Genesee Farmer can be taken as a representative sample of the literature of silk culture which was being read in the agricultural and therefore the general community. 7

In corroboration of the Genesee Farmer, the statewide reaction to silk growing, especially after 1840, can be found in the Transactions of the New York State Agricultural Society, and the Transactions of the American Institute of the City of New York.

In order to understand the appeal of silk culture and the reasons advanced for its production, it is first necessary to describe the actual process of silk growing.

Silk is made by silk worms, the juvenile stage of a white, almost flightless moth, bombyx mori, originally native to China. The insect is completely domesticated and does not live in the wild. The worms hatch from pin-head sized eggs in the spring, after the trees leaf out, and for six weeks eat nothing but mulberry leaves. The worms moult, or cast their skins five times and finally spin cocoons and enter the chrysalis stage. If left undisturbed, the moth emerges in about two weeks, mates, lays eggs and dies. In order to make silk, however, the pupa is killed to prevent it cutting the thread of the cocoon, the gum holding the threads together is dissolved and the cocoons are unwound, a process called reeling. The individual threads are twisted together to make larger threads and can then be woven into cloth.

The worms live only on mulberry leaves, which must always be freshly gathered, or no more than 48 hours old. They must not be bruised or torn, or the worms are poisoned and die. During the six weeks of their lives, the worms are kept in trays, and as they grow must be transferred to larger and larger quarters. The trays must be kept clean, or the worms become subject to disease and die. The worms must be kept from extremes of heat and cold, and protected from cats, mice and birds. During the last two weeks of their existence, the worms eat constantly and voraciously, and must be attended and fed 24 hours a day, or they die of starvation.

The pupa inside the cocoon must be killed properly and dried, or the cocoons spoil before they can be unreeled. Each cocoon contains about 500 yards of filament and sixteen pounds of cocoons are required to produce one pound of raw silk. A woman with the assistance of a child and simple machinery could reel no more than one pound of raw silk in a day.8

Obviously, the pitfalls on the way to economically significant silk production were many.

During the initial years of the movement, the promoters of silk seemed to fall into two categories. The first was the inexperienced but enthusiastic amateur who minimized the difficulties and magnified the profits and benefits. Rearing silkworms is such an agreeable and interesting pursuit and so popular that it is hardly necessary to recommend it as a source of income, claimed one correspondent, and then proceeded to do so. Correspondents reported that one tree would furnish enough food to grow one pound of silk, and that three adults could make $300 in six weeks, not counting the time spent on reeling and the labor of the children in the family.9

For such enthusiasts, the period of growth was short, the labor light and agreeable, and the profits to be realized certain. Nothing could be simpler than silk worm culture. It would make the perfect cottage industry.

The second type of promoter was the foreign expert who was familiar with the degree of skill necessary to produce marketable silk, but who looked to a factory setting to answer the technical problems of reeling. The foreign expert was usually certain that the climate and the economic conditions were both favorable, and advocated the raising of cocoons as a cash crop. Two experts frequently quoted were P. S. DuPonceau and J. d'Homergue, both engaged in silk manufacture in Philadelphia.10

As more people became familiar with the actual production, claims for the simplicity of silk raising were somewhat tempered by the admission that certain skills were required, and that disease or natural disaster could wipe out the profits, or indeed the entire operation. Still, all agreed that silk would be the next major crop and many emphasized again and again that the samples furnished the editors had been made by novices who had never seen a silk worm before embarking on the enterprise.11

Obviously, the most immediate attraction was economic. There were frequently repeated references to the unfavorable balance of trade, and the eight million dollars spent each year in importing silk and silk goods. Simple arithmetic showed that all of the agricultural products exported annually could not make up for this costly item. If silk were grown and manufactured domestically, either in factory or home workshop, the value exported to silk producing countries would stay in the nation. Conversely, the surplus raw silk could be exported to those same foreign silk manufacturers to generate even more income. Countries which produced silk made a great deal of money for a small capital outlay. It was claimed that even though the raw silk for it was imported, the English silk weaving industry supported 400,000 people. How much more profitable would it then be for a country which produced its own raw silk? 12

The economic appeal for farmers also lay in the small capital needed to begin. The worms would eat the nativemorus alba, of which enough could be grown from fifty cents' worth of seed, or cuttings taken from wild trees, to set up operations. Unlike conventional livestock which required years to breed and multiply, a single moth would lay an average of 300 eggs, so that within a season the basic stock could be multiplied to the necessary proportions to sustain a household industry.13

The actual production season was very short and fell between the periods of hardest labor. The silk worms began their cycle after spring plowing, but were finished before haying and harvesting. If the producer wished, however, he could also, because of the short life cycle, get in two crops of silk per season.

The market price for cocoons, if treated as a cash crop, was much higher by quantity than other farm crops. The cocoons were easily transported, and brought a good price when sold to the manufacturers. Writing in theGenesee Farmer, nursery owner Dan Bradley claimed that silk was twice as profitable as any other farm crop and that an acre planted to mulberry trees would yield enough food for 120,000 worms, producing 40 pounds of silk, for a value of $200. This would equal the yield of ten acres of wheat producing twenty bushels per acre at $1.00 per bushel, and at a fraction of the cost to produce. 14

Mulberry trees, it was claimed, could be grown on unused, broken or poor land which was unsuitable for any other purpose. Some writers even stated flatly that rich soil and fertilization produced leaves that were bad for the worms. This claim was almost immediately countered by writers who stressed the necessity of good soil in order to produce sturdy trees with good quantities and the best quality of leaves. 15

Another major economic argument was the suitability of silk raising for women, children and invalids and the otherwise unemployed. Silk would employ these people, while not drawing the main labor force away from other pursuits. It would effectively increase the labor force.

The pages of the Genesee Farmer are filled with anecdotes of women and girls who were able to produce income by reeling cocoons while managing to keep up with domestic chores of cooking and cleaning. One legendary young woman possessed silk worm eggs, but lacked trees for feeding them. She contracted with the owner of an orchard of mulberry trees to share the profits, raised her worms, worked for the family where she boarded, except for the final week of feeding, and cleared $200.16

Further, the task of reeling, whether at home or in a factory, was classified as female work. When machinery was employed, a child was also engaged to turn the crank. Such labor, it was said, possessed the virtue of commanding such low wages that the cost of production would not be driven up.17

A final but major economic argument was the analogy of the cotton trade. Through the 1830s it was pointed out that 40 years earlier cotton had been practically unknown as a staple crop and was almost as exotic as silk as a fabric. Now it was the prime source of income for the southern states, and cotton was considered an inexpensive fiber. Silk could well become the next great staple for the north. Besides the low cost involved in producing the cocoons, it was claimed that because the reeling process did not require expensive machinery such as gins and powered equipment necessary for cotton manufacturing, silk could be produced more cheaply than cotton. Since it could be produced for half the cost of cotton, logically it followed that if enough silk were produced, it could also be competitive with cotton in the market.18

This combination of a short season crop, managed by women, requiring almost no capital to engage in it, and yielding a valuable, sure and easily transportable product, would be difficult to resist. The economic arguments seemed to be reinforced by the natural evidence of soil and climate. The morus alba or white mulberry grew wild in the northeast and it was frequently stated that mulberry could grow wherever apple or peach trees would flourish, thereby equating the exotic with the familiar. The climate was also compared to the silk growing regions of China, and found to be similar, upon what authority was not stated.19

The next broad and obvious basis of appeal was that of national pride. It was, in short, the duty of everyone to contribute to the national good by engaging in silk culture. The unfavorable balance of trade must be overcome, and it was presented as a patriotic obligation.

Americans must also show the world the true enterprising Yankee ingenuity, and the superiority of the products of American soil. Anything American, whether natural or manufactured, must be demonstrably better than the foreign. Repeatedly, writers claimed that American silk had been judged to be superior to French or Italian.20

Underlying much of the writing is the assumption, or at least the claim, that Americans, particularly Yankees, could do anything, and that no task, however difficult, would prove to be too much for them. Although Dan Bradley acknowledged that sewing silk for home use was easier to make than export quality silk for cloth, he was certain that Americans were equal to the task.21

A prime advantage for the American silk industry was the ease and capability with which Americans invented machinery to save labor, increase output and simplify the process. Mr. Gay was reported to have applied water power to his silk looms, contrary to the advice of the French, who had not discovered that such an advance was possible. Mr. Daniel Roe of Dayton exhibited silk made on a machine of his own invention which produced strong and serviceable cloth for handkerchiefs.22

Quaker Adam Brooks of Scituate studied his wife's silk reel after she complained of its shortcomings, and within three weeks invented (and later patented) a device which more than tripled the output of silk. A young man in Connecticut, possibly the brother of the young woman who raised silk on shares, invented improved machinery by studying the action of his own muscles. Further, his invention was begun at the request of an immigrant English mill operator, a representative of the nation which invented modern cloth manufacturing. It was obviously a triumph of the natural American over European sophistication.23

Americans also solved problems of silk culture which had baffled Europeans. A correspondent announced chloride of lime to be a simple, effective and cheap cure for tripes, a devastating disease of silkworms which the French were unable to cure.24

But this was not all. Americans were also fortunate in the benefits of the native soil and climate. Here the trees grew more lushly. One farmer set the trimmings of his mulberry trees in the ground in August and they budded and grew two inches before frost. The cocoons produced from American trees made more silk per pound and while mulberry seed planted in Europe sometimes perverted and did not grow true to its kind, in America it always remained true to its parentage.25

The climate even affected the silkworms themselves. One Livingston County farmer reported that he put his worms outside on the mulberry tree at the age of ten days. The worms survived fifteen days of sun, rain storms, and a cold spell when the temperature dropped from 88° to 40° F, but the experiment ended when they were eaten by birds. Elias Frost of Plainfield, New Hampshire, found his worms less helpless than he had been led to expect. "I gave them what they would eat, and they appeared to know what to do with the leaves as well as any other insect."26

The most blatant sort of spread-eagle nationalism was reflected in the report of a rumor of native American silkworms, reputed to be possessed by a lady near Georgetown, D.C. The cocoon was the size of a turkey egg, with a fiber the coarseness of flax. The moth which emerged was the size of a wren, with black antennae, red back and legs, and black and red striped body. The American silkworm was obviously a more interesting creature than the Chinese one.27

The silk rhetoric also appealed to a spirit of scientific enterprise and farm improvement. The best and most energetic farmers let nothing go to waste, according to the agricultural editors, and made every part of the farm produce. At first mulberry trees were recommended for land that had been worn out through overuse. Later, the favorite suggestion was to use the field corners and fence lines for the trees, or to grow them as hedges. By discarding fences in favor of mulberry hedges, the farmer need not make repairs, and could realize a profit from his boundary lines alone. If the mulberry trees were grown in an orchard, they could be interplanted with vegetables, potatoes or field crops until the trees were well grown.28

The short life cycle of the silk worms also enabled the grower to make experiments and see quick results. Reports were printed of trials in feeding different kinds of mulberry leaf to the worms, and breeding moths which made various colors of cocoons, to see which parents produced the best qualities. Mrs. Parmentier of Brooklyn tried six different kinds of mulberry leaf, and decided in favor of morus multicaulus, because her worms seemed to prefer it, and the resulting cocoons were larger. She also discovered that her worms made white cocoons when fed multicaulus, despite the color of cocoon of the parents. It was not recorded whether the editor of theAmerican Farmer had discovered by experiment that contrary to the statement in the Jerseyman, silk worms would not eat oak leaves. He declared that the worms would eat such leaves only if they were starving, as men eat old shoes.29

The rhetoric of the silk excitement also touched upon deeper anxieties and made more subtle appeals to the readers of the journals. One such was the reverse of the nationalistic strain: the respect for the authority of foreign experts and perhaps foreigners generally. DuPonceau and Homergue were quoted repeatedly for their opinions upon the suitability of the climate and soil for mulberries and for the possibilities of building an economically feasible industry. Homergue was declared to be in fact the only person in America familiar with all the branches of silk culture, and referred to as a person too valuable to be lost to the nation if he did not receive proper encouragement to stay and give the benefit of his knowledge. The admiration of the French for New York State silk cocoons was relayed with satisfaction in a letter to the New York State Agricultural Society, and the silk growing instructions from the Practical Course of Agriculture were translated from the French and reprinted at length through four numbers of the Genesee Farmer.30

The economic incentives also seemed to bear messages in reverse of the easy optimism which seems so ubiquitous at first glance. It has been claimed that American farmers throughout the nineteenth century loved speculation and risk and Tocqueville has been quoted on the subject of the American fascination with risk and chance. While the farmer may have been fascinated, the fascination apparently coexisted with a profound uneasiness. Repeatedly, the terms of the silk appeal stress the ease of culture, the lack of risk and the guaranteed profits. The Baltimore Farmer and Gardener published a manual in 1835 so that every intelligent person might take part in silk raising "without risk of losing by inexperience or want of knowledge." 31

If all-out competition was the order of the day, the ascendency of the hard-nosed businessman was greeted with mistrust in the pages of the agricultural journals at least. Writers stressed the lack of competition and the importance of cooperation in silk growing. Dan Bradley urged that silk growers publish the results of their experiments in feeding, breeding and preparing silk, in order that everyone benefit. The competition to make new discoveries would be a positive good, while the injurious competition to succeed at the expense of one's fellow cultivators was quite unnecessary. There could be no possibility of crowding the silk market. 32

Even the livestock involved in the culture assumed a positive and unthreatening aspect, and the necessary violence was rendered innocuous. A writer in Vermont described the silk worm as being a gentle and inoffensive creature of a handsome cream color, and the moth was described as a beautiful white miller which emerged, enjoyed its brief new state of existence and died after completing its task of egg laying. Another writer advocated dousing the cocoons with wine and camphor, and putting them in the sun in a tin box. Presumably the worms would die happily.33

As an increasing proportion of the labor force entered factories and worked inside all day, the writers looked to silk culture to provide a healthy outdoor occupation for many workers. The labor of gathering leaves was light and easy, and took place in late spring and early summer, at the most delightful time of year. In addition, even town dwellers, through silk culture, could participate in an agrarian pursuit which could only benefit them financially and morally.34

Another disturbing effect of industrialization was the breakup of the family workshop and the lack of traditional employment for children and young people. With the introduction of factory production of so many goods formerly produced at home or in small-scale workshops, it seemed that women and children must cease their meaninGFul contribution to the family income, or else go outside for work. Without economically productive work, children would grow up never forming proper habits of industry and responsibility.

Silk was the answer. If silk growing could be justified on economic grounds as the ideal cottage industry, on social grounds its claims were just as strong. So much of the work was so suitable for young people to engage in, all at home and under the supervision of their parents. Further, said the Genesee Farmer the task of tending silk worms would promote the moral growth of children and adolescents, as it inevitably claimed their attention and promoted reflection by example, and they observed how the worm spent its life pursuing its appointed task, finally spinning its own tomb.35

Anxiety about geographical mobility is also reflected in the rhetoric of silk. Silk culture could counteract the mobility of the farmer who improved a plot of land and then sold it to move on, and the mobility of the younger generation moving far beyond the parental influence. While profits could be realized in a short time, the greatest gains could be made only by investing time and patience. A full grown mulberry orchard was characterized as a suitable legacy from a farmer to his children. The trees which formed the entire basis for silk culture lived for years and when mature would produce bountifully. The father who engaged in silk culture bequeathed to his family an occupation which was healthy, profitable and morally uplifting. At the same time, the legacy in the form of trees was immovable. The trees had value only as a basis for silk culture, and if not used for that were practically worthless. The exhortation to plant mulberry trees for the benefit of the following generation also assumed a generation that would not abandon its parents and move west, a generation that could only realize its inheritance if it stayed home.36

Silk was, finally, seen as a way to preserve traditional patterns of life that were going or gone. The writers conjure visions of the family members taking part in the leaf gathering, worm feeding and silk reeling. The silk reel could replace the spinning wheel made obsolete by the spinning jenny.37

The Genesee Farmer reprinted an item from the Cultivator which summed up the view of the beleaguered traditional family. The editor reacted to a report of a projected operation in which the entire process of silk production would be vertically integrated under the control of a limited liability company. Silk culture, he declared, was the province of the simple labor of family members working in farmhouse and cottage. It formed the means of helping themselves without going out to work, and replaced the domestic manufacturing that had been taken away, from women in particular, by capitalists who built factories and installed costly machinery. These same capitalists had speculated in wool and injured domestic wool growers. Silk growing was as much a domestic occupation as milking cows and making butter or raising and shearing sheep. If vigilance was not exercised, these same capitalists would capture silk growing also, and with it the last bastion of the family.38

In his protest, and in anecdotes of silk-growing families and individuals who achieved economic independence, lurked a basic fear of dominance by impersonal economic and political forces which no individual could ever hope to evade totally. But at its most optimistic point, silk culture seemed to offer a resolution to many problems and anxieties besetting ordinary people. A man could be forward looking and engage in the most novel of occupations, while benefitting his fellow citizens and avoiding injurious free-for-all competition. The basis of family life would be preserved in its traditional form, and agrarian virtues would be promoted. All this and a life filled with independence and economic security. What more could one ask of an inoffensive insect?


APPENDIX:  The Conversion of Silk from Vice to Virtue

The promoters of silk paid more or less attention to the question of its basic necessity. When they did address the question, the most frequent response was that people would have it, whether or not, so it might as well be domestically produced. This was the "silk as necessary evil" argument.39

Eventually conscientious promoters came up with positive arguments. Among them were the following:

Since silk does not conduct electricity which is so injurious to invalids, it thereby greatly relieves their suffering, and is a proper and necessary outerwear for these unfortunates.40

Silk is beautiful and durable, as well as waterproof, and so is a very practical fabric for clothing.41

If silk were produced in quantity, it could become as cheap as cotton, and then would not be a luxury item.42

Silk was made domestically before the Revolution and ladies wore dresses of American silk. It therefore had the blessing of patriotic antiquity and the Founding Fathers.43

Compared to the major arguments in favor of silk raising, these are marginal and of less weight. Still, the ingenuity expended to justify the industry in moral terms suggests that the issue was not a minor or extraneous one to the silk promoters.



  1. Klose, Nathan. "Sericulture in the United States." Agriculture History 37:225-234. October 1963. 
    Bonner, James C. "Silk Growing in the Georgia Colony." Agriculture History 43:143-147. January 1969.
  2. Klose, N. "Sericulture in the United States," opcit.
  3. Gates, Paul. The Farmer's Age: Agriculture, 1815-1860Vol. III. The Economic History of the United States. N.Y., 1960. PP. 303-306.
  4. Hedrick, Ulysses Prentiss. A History of Agriculture in the State of New York. Albany, 1933. pp. 159-162.
  5. Cole, Arthur H. 'Agricultural Crazes: A Neglected Chapter in American Economic History." American Economic Review 16:622-639. December 1926.
  6. Liddle, William D. "Virtue and Liberty: an Enquiry into the Role of the Agrarian Myth." South Atlantic Quarterly 77:15-38. Winter 1973. 
    I am indebted to Liddle's explication of the agrarian ethic and the relative social value of the farmer, the manufacturer, the merchant and the capitalist. His essay dealt with the Revolutionary period, but the attitudes expressed in the agricultural journals do not seem to have altered from those of fifty years before.
  7. Monroe County was one of the five or six counties in New York State which actually produced raw silk. Even if this was only the result of proximity to the Genesee Farmer, the editors still would seem to have touched a chord and knew what would appeal to their readers. Also, proximity is not the entire story. Nursery owner Dan Bradley of Marcellus, Onondaga County, boomed silk strenuously, but Onondaga County produced only 3 ½ pounds of silk in 1845, a year when Monroe County produced 283 pounds, Genesee County 66 pounds and Wayne County 136 pounds.
  8. Bonner, James C. "Silk Growing in the Georgia Colony," opcit.
  9. Genesee Farmer and Gardener's Journal. Edited by N. Goodsall. Rochester, N.Y. 1:66. March 5, 1831. (Hereafter GF)
  10. GF 1:294-295. September 17, 1831. 
    GF 3:116. April 13, 1833.
  11. GF 2:324. October 13, 1832. 
    GF 2:398. December 15, 1832. 
    GF 3:71. March 2, 1833. 
    GF 3:224. July 13, 1833. 
    GF 3:366. November 16, 1833.
  12. GF 5:30. January 24, 1835. 
    GF 1:371. November 26, 1831. 
    GF 2:46. February 11, 1832. 
    GF 2:176. June 2, 1832.
  13. GF 5:4. January 3, 1835.
  14. GF 2:46. February 11, 1832. 
    GF 2:93. March 24, 1832.
  15. GF 2:301. September 22, 1832. 
    GF 3:17. January 19, 1833.
  16. GF 3:71. March 2, 1833. 
    GF 3:116. April 13, 1833. 
    GF 3:224. July 13, 1833. 
    GF 1:66. March 5, 1831. 
    GF 1:114-115. April 16, 1831.
  17. GF 1:294-295. September 17, 1831. 
    GF 3:301. September 21, 1833.
  18. GF 3:71. March 2, 1833. 
    GF 3:224. July 13, 1833. 
    GF 4:283. September 6, 1834.
  19. GF 3:116. April 13, 1833.
  20. GF 2:307. September 29, 1832. 
    GF 4:106-107. April 5, 1834. 
    GF 5:30. January 24, 1835. 
    GF 1:114-115. April 16, 1831. 
    GF 3:71. March 2, 1833. 
    GF 3:116. April 13, 1833.
  21. GF 1:318. October 8, 1831. 
    GF 2:398. December 15, 1832. 
    GF 2:324. October 13, 1832.
  22. GF 5:415. December 26, 1835. 
    GF 2:398. December 15, 1832.
  23. GF 4:283. September 6, 1834.
  24. GF 1:167. May 28, 1831.
  25. GF 3:304. September 21, 1833. 
    GF 1:114-115. April 16, 1831. 
    GF 5:43. February 7, 1835.
  26. GF 2:332. October 20, 1832. 
    GF 3:366. November 16, 1833.
  27. GF 1:182. June 11, 1831. 
    From the context it was impossible to tell if the editor realized that the American silkworm was a hoax. Nothing further was heard about it.
  28. GF 2:93. March 24, 1832. 
    GF 4:117-118. April 12, 1834. 
    GF 5:130. April 25, 1835.
  29. GF 1:278. September 3, 1831. 
    GF 2:363. November 17, 1832. 
    GF 2:203. June 30, 1832.
  30. GF 1:294-295. September 17, 1831. 
    GF 5:131. April 25, 1835. 
    GF 1:331. October 22, 1831. 
    GF 3:119. April 13, 1833.
  31.  Lurie, Jonathan. "Speculation, Risk and Profit: the Ambivalent Agrarian in the Late Nineteenth Century."Agriculture History 46:269-278. April 1972. 
    GF 5:310. September 26, 1835.
  32. GF 4:372. November 22, 1834. 
    GF 4:291. September 13, 1834.
  33.  GF 1:310-311. October 1, 1831. 
    GF 3:224. July 13, 1833.
  34.  GF 2:157-158. May 19, 1832.
  35.  GF 1:7. February 19, 1831. 
    GF 5:42. February 7, 1835.
  36.  GF 5:4. January 3, 1835.
  37.  GF 5:42. February 7, 1835.
  38.  GF 5:187. June 13, 1835. 
    GF 5:277. August 29, 1835.
  39.  GF 1:331. October 22, 1831. 
    GF 4:373. November 22, 1834.
  40.  GF 5:399. December 22, 1835.
  41.  GF 5:42. February 7, 1835.
  42.  GF 5:399. December 12, 1835. 
    GF 5:414. December 26, 1835.
  43.  GF 3:397. December 14, 1833.


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