As of July 6th, APS offices are open to staff and invited visitors. The Society will remain closed to the public until further notice. Library & Museum staff now have access to our collections and will respond to reference and photoduplication requests as soon as possible. However, please note that response times may be delayed due to increased demand. The Society will continue a robust slate of virtual programs throughout the fall. Read more about virtual programming and resources that can be accessed remotely. For further information on the APS reopening and its COVID response, please click here.

Locating the Transatlantic Seed Trade in James Madison’s Garden

The early colonial transatlantic seed trade started when the first colonists set foot on North American land. It grew and prospered over the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Landowners, like James Madison, used the seed trade as a livelihood and for scientific study. Yet the seed trade also served other purposes: it was a tool of colonialist expansion as well as a lifeline for enslaved peoples to hold onto their own culture and botanical practices. The results of the early American seed trade can be seen today with the existence of botanical gardens, historic greenhouses, and European plants that have gradually naturalized into the North American environment. Learn more below. 

This exhibit was designed and written by Molly Nebiolo. Ms. Nebiolo is a PhD candidate at Northeastern University, and was an Experiential Fellow for the Center for Digital Scholarship this summer.