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color, sometimes glazed; the natural color is pale yellow, inclining to green, and the infusion of a pale straw color, deepening as the quality deteriorates.
Hyson Skin is the refuse of the green teas, with a large, uneven, twisted and knobby leaf, and a decoction like that of other green teas of the same quality ; very little is now made. Twankay is designated from the river Twan, in the district of Taiping, in Naganhwain. The leaf is curled, open, and bright, resembling Hyson ; some chops of this tea are really good Hyson. Imperial and Gunpowder are not Chinese designations. The first is called by them Yuen-chu, a round pearl; the latter Chi-chu, or sesamum pearl, from the round leaves.
The foregoing classes of teas, both green and black, are extensively imitated by what are called the Canton teas. The green imitations are highly colored with the Prussian blue and gypsum before mentioned, and glazed. They are also highly scented. Scenting teas is practiced mostly for the foreign market, such being seldom used by the Chinese themselves, believing that it is only the inferior sorts that require any such manipulation. Foreigners who have used the finer sorts of unscented tea agree with the Chinese in this opinion. Yet there are several kinds of scented tea which bear a high price and of really excellent quality. Scenting, however, is generally used to give to common teas a flavor, assimilating them to the finer varieties ; hence to the Chinese themselves it is suspicious.
The green teas are generally scented by mixing them in layers, hot from their last roasting, with layers of odoriferous flowers and inclosing both for 24 hours in tea-chests. Black teas are sprinkled with flowers, which have sometimes been dried, prior to the last two roastings, , which operate upon the scenting flowers as well as the tea. For the overland trade with Western Asia and Russia a kind of tea, called brick or tile tea, is prepared. It consists of masses of leaves compressed into cubes, the cohesive principle being the serum from the blood of animals. The tendency of the tea leaves to agglutinate by means of their expressed viscid juices would seem to render unnecessary any such artificial cohesive principle, inasmuch as it requires to be constantly resisted by repeated drying and handling, in the preparation of tea for export by sea. The kind of tea used is generally very inferior, classed with the common Bohea, a term which formerly embraced all black teas, but now indicates only the coarser descriptions imported into Europe from the Bohea Hills. Prior to the introduction of the processes of manufacture on the field of production, the Bohea teas were often fermented and spoiled on the way to Canton. These spoiled leaves were used for the manufacture of brick tea for the poorer classes and for the Tartars of the outlying provinces of the Empire. The coarser kinds of Bohea are now generally used for this purpose, and such being deficient in gluten, it has been found necessary to supply an artificial cohesive principal. The ulk of this brick tea is produced in Se-chuen, a province bordering on Thibet.
The acounts given of the introduction of tea to the civilized nations of Europe, as might be expected, are somewhat variant. Letsom, in his “Natural History of the Tea Plant,” published in 1799, says that, about the year 1600, Texeira, a Spaniard, saw dried tea leaves in Malacca, and was informed that the Chinese made them into a beverage. In 1633 Olearius found tea-drinking generally prevalent in Persia, whither, under the name of Cha-orchia, it had been imported from China by the caravans of the Usbeck Tartars. In 1039 Starkaw, the Russian ambassador at the court of the Great Mogul, Chan Altyn, partook of it, but failed to appreciate its attractions, refusing a present of several pounds to his imperial master, the Czar Michael Romanoff. It was introduced into Europe early in the seventeenth century by the Dutch East India Company. In 1666 it is said to have been brought to England from Holland by Lords Arlington and Ossory, though there is evidence of its having been used somewhat generally before that time. In Pepy's Diary, September 25, 1661, he says: “I sent for a cup of tea, (a Chinese drink,, of which I never drunk before.” In 1664 the English East India Company brought two pounds two ounces as a present to the King, and in 1667 issued their first order to their agent at Bantam to send 100 pounds of the best tea he could get. In 1678 Dr. Cornelius Bontekoe, a Dutch physician, published a treatise recommending the general use of tea. It is likely the Dutch got their tea from Japan.
Tea was sold in London up to 1707 at 60 shillings per pound, though it cost no more than 28. 6d. or 38. 6d. at Batavia, in Java. In 1689, in stead of taxing the decoction in the shops, Parliament levied a duty of 5 shillings per pound upon the imported leaf. In 1790 the amount of tea imported into Great Britain and Ireland was 1,645,095 pounds, worth £580,362. The East India Company monopolized the import trade up to 1833, when it was thrown open to general enterprise. In 1715 green tea was very generally used, and prices fell, with an enormously increased importation. The extension of the tea trade of China presents one of the most singular and important themes for the study of the social economist. From the tables of Letsom, reported on the authority of Sir George Staunton, it is seen that during the 20 years closing with 1795 the Chinese tea export rose from 16,243,915 pounds to 29,303,010 pounds; transported in 35 ships, of which 21 were English. The American carrying trade rose from 2 ships and 880,100 pounds in 1785 to 7 ships and 1,974,130 pounds in 1794. MacCullough, in his “ Cyclopedia of Commerce," places the figures of the American carrying trade much higher, rising from 3,017,292 pounds in 1790, to 7,839,457 pounds in 1810. According to his estimates our average consumption of Chinese tea in the United States from 1801 to 1812 was 3,350,000 pounds per annum; from 1813 to 1820 the average consumption, as shown by the difference between the imports and exports, was 3,339,740 pounds per annum. The total import rose from 4,975,616 pounds in 1821 to 20,006,595 pounds in 1810, the exports for those years being 531,691 pounds and 3,123,496 pounds respectively.
The American carrying trade with China showed a considerable de. cline from 1833 to 1841, the tonnage of the former year being 15,334, and of the latter, 11,986. The value of the tea cargoes fell from $5,484,603 to $3,166,245. In 1853, lowever, this trade rose to its maximum, presenting an aggregate tonnage of 92,861, and a value of tea cargoes amounting to $8,174,670. The total value of our imports from China during that year was $10,537,710. The statistics of later years are not at hand, but the general increase of our tea trade is a well-known fact.
The civilized world having settled in its habits of life upon an enormous consumption of this beverage, it has become a question whether its production shall continue to be monopolized by the countries of Easteru Asia. Efforts have been made during many years to naturalize the tea industry in this country. From present indications the difficulties to be overcome mainly result from the higher price of labor. The immense amount of labor involved in this gathering and preparation of the tea leaves for market may be partially appreciated from the foregoing sketch of tea production in India and China. The immigrattion of Chinese laborers into the United States is looked upon by many as solving this difficulty, by the introduction of free labor. Against every influence of this character, however, which tends to cripple the condition of the native laborer, and thus to render him the mere tool of capital, all the instincts of our democratic civilization seem to revolt. It is to be hoped that the Chinese, in entering upon the great race of competitiou in our labor market, may see proper to rise in his demands, and to assume the full claims of, independent manhood. The addition of a new branch to our varied industry would be dearly purchased by any sacrifice of the principles of a social equality or by the introduction of social caste, which would inevitably follow any degradation of labor. Tea culture has been introduced as an experiment into several of our Southern States, and also into California. Mr. James Campbell, resid.. ing some ten miles east of Knoxville, Tennessee, is reported as having a considerable number of plants in a flourishing condition, the remnant of a plantation commenced before the war. Though neglected during the convulsions of our late struggle they are now doing well. In a letter to this office, dated March 3, 1870, Mr. Campbell expressed himself in very sanguine terms as to the result of this experiment. He suggests that the scope of country, embracing North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, and the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, would be well adapted to tea culture. In this opinion he seems to be supported by the facts previously sketched in this article. The limits he has indicated do not differ in general climatic and chorographic characters from the tea region of China. The absence of the monsoons, and the fierce extremes of temperature which result from this alternate activity, represents the main difference between the Asiatic and the North American tea region indicated. Mr. Campbell's plants were obtained nearly eleven years ago, were about one year old at the period of transplanting, and were set out in a rich gravelly loam, where they bave never been disturbed.
A number of experiments in tea culture of late origin, in different parts of this country, are reported as promising good results. The most prominent and successful of these enterprises, however, is reported by Sherman Day, esq., surveyor general of California. In El Dorado County in that State, about a half a mile northeast of Gold Hill, a small mining town, and about half way between the larger towns of Placerville and Coloma, Mr. J. H. Schnell, a German gentleman, who had resided some ten years in Japan as an attaché of the Gerinan legation, has commenced the cultivation of the tea plant. Mr. Schnell has brought with him his Japanese wife and a number of Japanese laborers, familiar with the tea culture in their native land.
The locality of this experiment is the foot-bills of the mining region, rising in successive benches toward the foot of the Sierra. It is 2,400 feet above the sea, 600 feet above the level of the American River, and just below the first heavy-timbered belt of the mountains. The surface of Schnell's tea farm is gently rolling, drained by a few shallow ravines, with a light brown gravelly soil made up of the wash and decomposed elements of a granitic formation, and resting at a few feet below upon a bed-rock of rotten granite. Black and white oak of various species grow in scattered groups in the knolls. The soil is not red like that around Placerville, but is very productive of grasses and farm crops generally. The region abounds in luxuriant vineyards, orchards, and gardens. The South Fork Canal, a large mining ditch, sends a branch near the grounds, furnishing water for irrigation at very cheap rates. Mr. Schnell has 120 acres inclosed land out in vineyard, orchard, and garden, besides tea land and farming land. He has set out 400,000 tea plants
which he brought with him from Japan. These are planted in small hills or groups, containing five plants each, which it is intended to have grow up into one bush. Many of the plants perished from drought, no resort having been had to artificial irrigation.
It is found that young trees of all kinds in that region require irrigation in the first and second years of their growth, but that subsequently they get along very well without it. Some of the dried-up plants are, under the operation of irrigation, now sending up fresh shoots of vegetation. These are also protected by pine boughs. The leaves and stalks have a very healthy appearance. Of these Mr. Schnell will soon have several hundred thousand, enabling him to furnish the neighboring cultivators with the means of testing the tea culture on a great variety of soils.
The great amount of oil in the tea seeds renders them particularly liable to decay. Hence he expects that not more than 25 or 30 per cent. of the seed planted, as a general thing, will come up. He hopes to organize a paying business in supplying the neighboring farmers with healthy seeds. He states that even in the tea districts of Japan there are very few agriculturists who devote themselves exclusively to the tea culture. It is generally confined to nooks and corners of land that cannot be very easily used in any other branch of agriculture. The leaves are generally sold to the operators skilled in the drying and packing processes. Mr. Schnell is not satisfied that the soil upon which his experiment has been inaugurated is the best in the neighborhood. He supposes, however, that well-drained, loose, gravelly soils are preferable for tea culture. By the enlargement of his operations from year to year it will not be difficult for him to obtain an aggregate of a million of plants, each averaging about a pound of good tea per annum. There are three pluckings in the season, in March, June, and August, the first of which is the best, yielding the high-priced Imperial tea. The plants will bear cropping seven years, and then may be cut down to give the roots a chance for fresh sprouting. The same root may thus be serviceable from thirty to forty years. The plant will grow to the height of eighteen or twenty feet, it permitted, but for facility in gathering leaves it should be restrained to a height of four or five feet. It is an evergreen and presents an aspect of beauty the year round.
The indications, observed both in the older system of culture in Oriental Asia and in the experiment in this country, go to show that this business may be profitably pursued as a supplement to other agricultural enterprises; each farmer may raise enough for his domestic consumption, for ten or twelve trees will furnish enough tea to meet the wants of an ordinary family.
The question of competing with China and Japan in the markets of the world by the production of tea, is of course problematic. We have not yet seen enough of our tea production to judge of its ultimate capacity. But when it is thus made a matter of domestic industry on every farm, the aggregate results cannot fail to be very considerable. The price of labor, the continuance of tariff duties, and the decreasing cost of transportation are all to be taken into consideration in estimating the efliciency of our tea industry as a separate branch of agriculture, but the labor necessary to cultivate a few tea plants will only absorb the odds and ends of a farmer's time, which might otherwise go to waste. The feasibility of growiug tea seems to be sufficiently settled in the United States. In different portions of the country the healthy and promising growth of plants has been secured. We may expect that by
degrees this important industry will be established, adding to the wealth and natural resources of the American people. Respectfully submitted.
JOS. S. WILSON,
Commissioner General Land Office. The Honorable SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.
OUTLINE OF THE PROGRESS OF SILK CULTURE.-PORTIONS OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN ADAPTED TO THIS INDUSTRY.
PAPER ACCOMPANYING REPORT FOR THE YEAR 1870 OF THE COMMIS
SIONER OF TIIE GENERAL LAND OFFICE,
This branch of industry, now rising into prominence among the interests of nations, is one of great antiquity. From all that can be gathered it appears to have arisen in China, long before the Christian era. It formed a staple of export to the Roman Empire, and was an article of luxury, against which Pliny complained as one of the causes of that immense drain of the precious metals, constituting one of the most perplexing problems of the science of finance. The Chinese annals attribute to the Emperor Fau Hi the employment of silk in the manufacture of musical instruments, 3,400 years anterior to the Christian era. The Empress Si-Ling-Chi was said to have invented the fabrication of silk 2,650 years before our era, an invention the beneficent effect of which upon the prosperity of China has caused her apotheosis. Divine honors are now paid to her under the expressive name of “Sien Thsan,” or the “First promoter of silk industry.”
As it is the habit of the Chinese Emperor once a year to plow the earth in order to invest agriculture with royal dignity, so the Empress annually visits the silk-worm nurseries, and encourages the production of this valuable commodity by her personal labors. It has been fostered also by still more substantial tokens of imperial favor, and has become one of the leading industries of the Empire. Two centuries prior to the Christian era, the Chinese carried on a commerce with Persia, Greece, and Italy, in which silk occupied a prominent place. The route of transmission was protected by military colonies against the marauding tribes on the borders of the Empire, but the exportation of eggs of silkworms and the impartation of knowledge of the process of culture was forbidden under penalty of death.
The secret, however, was discovered, and the Chinese monopoly broken up in the sixth century of the Christian era. Two Persian monks, wlio acted as missionaries in the Celestial Empire, stimulated by the gifts and promises of the Roman Emperor, Justinian, in the year 552 A. D., succeeded in conveying in hollow canes a number of silkworm eggs to Constantinople. These eggs were hatched, and this constituted the beginning of the silk culture of Europe. It spread, however, very slowly. Several silk manufactories arose in Athens, Thebes, and Corinth for the rearing of the worms and for the manufacture of the silk into fibers and fabrics. The Venetians imported these Greek fabrics into Western Europe, and drove a thriving trade in silk goods.
The Moors imported the silk culture and manufacture into Cordova, Murcia, and Granada in Spain, about the year 910 A. D. In the year