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Saturday, March 29, 2014


The Trustee's Garden was operated by Italians and Swiss who knew the art of producing silk from a silk-worm which resembled the appearance of a moth.  It was a long process which included nurturing the worms in clay ovens over the winter and then in the spring feeding them on a bed of mulberry leaves spread across a long table. Ultimately the cocoons produce a single thread about 914 meters long. (It takes about 3000 cocoons to make a pound of silk). The process of removing the silk involved boiling the cocoons in hot water then gently removing the strands using a dissecting needle.

The trustees (entrepreneurs) of the colony planned a profitable silk business and indeed, the first sample of cloth was taken by Oglethorpe to London and touted to be as fine as that produced in China.  However, due to the hardships suffered in the colony during the Oglethorpe days who went to raising cattle instead of the mulberry trees, runaway indentured persons, drought, and so on, this investment failed.  In 1752, the trustees washed their hands of the project by surrendering the charter to the king.  After that, large land grants attracted new settlers and agriculture prospered when permission was given to own slaves.

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