CBD production for home use in USA. The hemp industry began in Kentucky with the establishment of the first permanent homes in the wilderness, although for many years after the planting of the first crop the production and manufacture of the fiber were conducted upon a very limited scale.
Earlier adventurers who entered the region had had little need for textiles, since they followed the example of the Indian by clothing themselves in the skins of wild beasts. When whole families began moving into the country, however, skins alone would no longer answer the purpose, and there was an acute need for materials from which to make clothing as well as the other fabrics and the cordage necessary in a pioneer home.
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For a time many families were impelled by circumstances to manufacture cloth from fibers native to their new homeland. Nathan Boone, son of the famous hunter, recalled that in his early days in Kentucky the family “used to gather nettles, a sort of hemp, towards Spring, when it became rotted by the wet weather” and spin the fiber into thread.
Combined with buffalo wool, the nettle lint found general use on the frontier; and as late as 1786 or 1787 Francis F. Jackson wore a suit of clothing made of that material. At best, however, the product was crude, and no doubt the pioneer housewives often thought longingly of the hemp, cotton, and flax of the seaboard and planned to have them produced on their own newly cleared fields as soon as possible.
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One of the obstacles to the production of these fiber-bearing plants was the scarcity of seed. At least one pioneer, Archibald McNeill, was farsighted enough to provide himself with hemp seed from which on Clark’s Creek, near Danville, in 1775 he raised the first recorded crop of hemp in Kentucky. Others followed his example when possible, although at first the industry expanded slowly because of the scarcity of seed. In later years one reminiscing pioneer, formerly a resident of Strode’s Station, stated that he was first able to procure seed about 1780,5 and another, speaking of the events of 1781, said:
Hemp: Same year, raised 200 pounds of hemp. Mother’s sifter had gotten rubbed and spoiled bringing it out, and she made it new by running across horse-hair with a darning needle. Mrs. Fisher saw it and said Mother should have hemp and flax seed, if she had to steal it for her, if Mother would fill her one.
As the population of the West increased, land was cleared and homes were built farther and farther away from the forts and stations. The crops planted upon the new farms included hemp when the settlers were fortunate enough to obtain seed, which commanded a high price. In Jefferson County in 1781 sixteen quarts of hemp seed, left as part of the estate of John Westervall, victim of an Indian raid, were appraised at $320 (probably in Continental paper money).
Despite the cost of seed, however, the production of this important crop gradually became more widespread. Other estates appraised in the same county included seed, growing crops, fiber, yarn, and hackles for cleaning the lint. A frontiersman, who had begun farming on a small scale five miles from Fisher’s Station, saved his life in 1781 by hiding in his hemp field when hostile Indians swarmed into his cabin.
At Gilmore Lick, about three miles from Whitley Station, a group of redskins concealed themselves in a hemp patch while awaiting a favorable opportunity to attack the home of Samuel Davis. During the siege of Bryan’s Station in 1782, the renegade Simon Girty approached the fort through a field in which the hemp, high as a man’s head, concealed him from the eyes of the besieged marksmen.
The fiber was plentiful enough at Strode’s Station for the women of the community to co-operate in making thirty yards of hemp linen for an aged widower; and by 1785, if not earlier, hemp was being produced at Hood’s Station.
After the American colonies had won their independence, the influx of immigrants into the Kentucky country became greater than ever. So rapid was the westward movement that the population, estimated to be about 30,000 in 1784, rose to 73,077 within the next six years.14 New settlers were attracted by reports of the salubrious climate and fertile soils of the region.
Filson, the first Kentucky historian, declared that it was “the most extraordinary country that the sun enlightens with his celestial beams.
During the decade following its introduction into Kentucky, hemp began to assume the proportions of a major crop. Filson, who wrote in 1784, found that it was produced in abundance. In 1787 a landowner, offering for rent a plantation on Harrod’s Run, about three miles from Danville, was careful to state that it was “in good order” for producing hemp, as well as corn, flax, and tobacco.
A few months later Robert Barr, a merchant of Lexington, advertised that he had a quantity of hemp seed for sale, an indication that there was no longer a serious scarcity of that commodity.
Imlay, in his advice to the Kentucky immigrant, counseled him to grow corn for food as his first crop, then for the second to clear more land and sow one acre with flax or hemp seed, “in order to give employment to his wife, and to provide linen for domestic uses.” By 1790 “a correspondent” could state in the Kentucky Gazette that hemp was “the most certain crop and the most valuable commodity” produced in the region.
In pioneer times the fiber was produced primarily to answer the domestic needs for clothing, linen, and rope. Besides these uses, it also served, as did other products of farm and forest, as a medium of exchange at a time when money was scarce and of doubtful value.
The editor of the first newspaper in the region announced in 1788 that he would accept in payment for subscriptions to the paper “Beef, Pork, Flour, Wheat, Rye, Barley, Oats, Indian Corn, Cotton, Wool, Hackled Flax or Hemp, Linen or good Whiskey” at the market prices which prevailed in Lexington.
A short time later a stock breeder advertised that his stallion, Tippoo Saib, would stand the season at his farm in Fayette County, near the mouth of Hickman Creek, and that the fee of forty shillings might be paid in cattle, tobacco, pork, hemp, or butter.