Introduction of the soybean to Illinois


Events leading to the planting of the first soybeans in Illinois and the subsequent distribution of the seed throughout the United States are documented. In December 1850 theAuckland left Hong Kong for San Francisco. The ship came across a Japanese junk floundering on the sea. The Japanese crew was removed from the junk and placed on board theAuckland, which continued on to San Francisco. In March 1851 Dr. Benjamin Franklin Edwards obtained soybean seeds from the Japanese and brought the seeds to Alton, Illinois. Mr. John H. Lea of Alton planted the soybeans in his garden in summer 1851. These events took place 3 yr prior to the famous introduction of soybeans from Japan into the United States by the Perry Expedition.

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Hymowitz, T. Introduction of the soybean to Illinois. Econ Bot 41, 28–32 (1987).

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  • Economic Botany
  • Soybean Seed
  • East India Company
  • Subsequent Distribution
  • American Soybean Association