In the 1800s, hemp was a vital part of everyday life in America. Indeed, one could speculate that settling North America would have been much more difficult if it were not for the high quality rope, paper and canvas that was made from hemp. From the sailboats that brought Europeans across the ocean, to the covered wagons crossing the plains, to the twine used by cotton farmers, to the paper used to print bibles, hemp had many practical uses through the 19th century.
Hemp was so useful that George Washington is quoted as saying, “Sow it everywhere!” Even cotton farmers grew hemp for twine, often allowing their slaves to grow small amounts of a recreational strains of cannabis while growing larger crops of hemp for rope. Many slaves worked very hard and died harvesting or processing hemp.
For a fascinating, in depth look at the hemp industry in the 19th century, one should read REIGN OF LAW, a book about the hemp industry in Kentucky published in 1904. With wonderful pictures of the vast hemp fields and crude processing techniques, this is a must read for those interested in the old art of hemp production. Since Kentucky was perhaps leading the world in the production of good quality hemp during that century, the book provides many details about agricultural life and the importance of hemp at the time.
For more information about the uses of hemp during the invasion of North America, please buy my book, HEMPOLOGY 101: THE HISTORY AND USES OF CANNABIS SATIVA. Of course, you might also want to subscribe to my youtube channel or follow our daily blogs at the cannabisdigest.ca, too!