Praising Maple Sugar in the Early American Republic


Across numerous parts of the rural northeastern United States, early spring is marked by the fragrance of maple sap being simplified into syrup and sugar. As early American literature scholar Mark Sturges writes, the romantic image of households tapping trees and producing scrumptious sweet deals with captured the imagination of some popular Americans in the 1790s. They promoted for maple sugar as a tidy, ethical alternative to walking stick sugar produced by enslaved laborers in Englands island nests– getting rather far out ahead of themselves in the procedure.
When British abolitionists were arranging a mass boycott of sugar produced on West Indies slave plantations, Sturges keeps in mind that the American maple sugar bubble came at a time. Maple sugar boosters provided the sweetener as both a feasible option and a symbol of a totally free, agrarian, clinically progressive society.
Rush argued that it would be impractical to centralize boiling homes and that individual families must manage the whole procedure.
Among maples prime advocates was William Cooper, who established a maple sugar business in upstate New York in 1789. He won support from a number of big-name Philadelphians, including Benjamin Rush, a prominent doctor and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Rush wrote enthusiastically about scientifically proven techniques of tapping maples and the capacity for prevalent cultivation of the trees. Generally suspicious of industrialization, he argued that it would be unwise to centralize boiling houses and that specific households must deal with the entire process. He also claimed that using “the economical labor of a farmers household” was more cost-effective than making use of slave labor, along with being more ethical.
Another Philadelphia citizen, Tench Coxe, promoted maple sugar as part of his work as assistant secretary of the Treasury under Alexander Hamilton. Coxes 1794 report A View on the United States of America consisted of a complete chapter on the maple sugar industry. Using extremely overinflated details from Cooper, he claimed that the farmers of the Northeast could fulfill the nations whole demand for sugar by cultivating maple trees on their land.
Possibly the most crucial supporter of maple sugar was Thomas Jefferson, a male well-known for his fascination with farming experiments. During the American Revolution, he had planted crops, including olive trees, at Monticello as part of a project to release the nascent country from dependence on imports. During the maple sugar bubble, he became equally enthusiastic about growing maple trees, claiming that the nations maples might not just satisfy its own requirements but supply exports to Europe, damaging walking cane sugar. Ironically, Jeffersons plans for releasing the American economy were often carried out by the individuals he enslaved on his estates.

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Jeffersons efforts at growing maple trees tumbled extremely, with seeds and transplanted seedlings stopping working nearly right away. And, just a couple of years into his own maple endeavor, Cooper quit also, chastened by numerous years of short springs that enabled little sugaring.
Yet, in one way, the maple boosters were right. Maple sugaring has shown challenging to combine into big commercial enterprises, leaving a substantial part of todays market in the hands of small family operations.
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By: MARK STURGES

Early American Studies, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Spring 2018), pp. 353-380

University of Pennsylvania Press

Throughout many parts of the rural northeastern United States, early spring is marked by the aroma of maple sap being boiled down into syrup and sugar. They advocated for maple sugar as a clean, ethical option to walking stick sugar produced by enslaved workers in Englands island nests– getting rather far out ahead of themselves in the process.
One of maples prime advocates was William Cooper, who founded a maple sugar organization in upstate New York in 1789. Using extremely overinflated details from Cooper, he claimed that the farmers of the Northeast might fulfill the countrys whole demand for sugar by cultivating maple trees on their land.
During the maple sugar bubble, he ended up being similarly passionate about growing maple trees, declaring that the nations maples could not just please its own needs however supply exports to Europe, damaging walking cane sugar.


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