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Monday, March 31, 2014

Observations of William Bartram

William Bartram, explorer
The mulberry trees was grown by ancient civilizations and used for their delicious berry fruits and the green leaves which were eaten by livestock. In the Orient, the leaves were used to fatten silkworms, a prosperous trade. During 1733 General Oglethorpe imported 500 white mulberry trees to Fort Frederica in Georgia to encourage silk production.  Later on, when William Bartram, the famous explorer and botanist, came to America, he noted in his book Travels, page XC, that “Every landowner was required by law to grow silkworms and produce silk, but only a colony of Germans at Ebenezer, (Georgia), just up the river from Savannah, were successful with this crop”. Bartram found Mulberry trees,” (morus rubra)”, growing near Wrightsville,Ga. 30 miles West of Augusta. Bartram found white mulberry trees growing near Jacksonburg, S.C., a village on the Pompon River. He wrote on page 306, “At this plantations I observed a large orchard of the European Mulberry tree, “(Morus Alba)”, some of which were grafted on stocks of the native Mulberry (Morus rubra); these trees were cultivated for the purpose of feeding silk-worms (phalaena bombyx.)”

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