Weekly Writing #8: Writer’s Choice

For this weekly writing, I would like to discuss in the search of source that I found interesting that we discussed in class. One of the maps in our group’s set was the map “North America, As Divided Amongst the European Powers” by the English mathematician Samuel Dunn. While I was browsing the many notes that littered the west coast of the North American continent, I stumbled upon one that caught my attention. The note said, “Land which is supposed to be Fousang of the Chinese Geographers”. I wanted to know more about the story of Fousang and why it is included on this map. As many people know, Christopher Columbus was not the first European to discover the Americas rather the Vikings. However, I never heard of the Chinese also making voyages to America. So, on the Trexler website in encompass search, I searched for Fousang and got little results that I was willing to cite. I then googled Fousang and found the Wikipedia entry for it with a different spelling, Fusang. So, I went back and used the alternative way of spelling it and found an article by Alexander Statman at Stanford University titled, “Fusang: The Enlightenment Story of the Chinese Discovery of America”. To give a brief rundown of the article, It discusses the story of Fusang of a Chinese monk travelling to the west coast and trading with native peoples in 500 CE. It goes on to discuss this discovery by French Enlightenment philosophers debating if this was possible through research and debate. It was a pretty interesting read and gives greater meaning to that little note on an English map.

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