Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Profit of the EarthThe Global Seeds of American Agriculture$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Courtney Fullilove

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226454863

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226455051.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

Failures of Tea Cultivation in the American South

Failures of Tea Cultivation in the American South

(p.67) 3: Failures of Tea Cultivation in the American South
The Profit of the Earth

Courtney Fullilove

University of Chicago Press

This chapter considers failed public and private efforts to make tea a viable cash crop in the American South, focusing on the efforts of the entrepreneur Junius Smith and the US Patent Office's agricultural department. It argues that the failures of tea cultivation in the American South were many. These included the failure to acquire live seed, to understand environmental conditions of cultivation, and to perfect elaborate techniques of production. But the more significant failure was to envision smallholder production with skilled labor as an alternative to the plantation system, and to link visions for imported seeds to the systems of labor required to cultivate and maintain them. Ultimately the myopic focus of improvers on the acquisition and distribution of seed reflected an unwillingness to connect agricultural science to questions of political economy. Improvers paid little attention to the European colonial origins of the cultivation they pursued, and in doing so allowed its legacies to persist in 20th and 21st century agricultural science.

Keywords:   tea, cotton, Robert Fortune, Junius Smith, plantation, smallholder, cultivation, cash crop, agriculture

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.