Early American Trade with China

Trade Routes & Trading Strategies

Economics of the China Trade

Contrasting Views of Trade

Life on a Merchant Ship


Contemporary Accounts of Life on a Clipper

The primary sources included in this lesson illustrate the points made in the introductory discussion. Excerpts from the “Log of the Empress of China” give students a look at the day to day life on board the ship, and the “Sea-man’s Vade Mecum” shows some of the standard rules for seamen working on early sailing ships. Students can get an idea of how long this journey felt by reading “John Swift’s letter home.”

Questions are included with each reading for students to answer individually, in groups, or in class discussion.


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