American Hemp Culture Verbatim

extracted from "Fiber Wars" by David P. West, in
Hemp Today, E. Rosenthal, ed.

        "In 1824, domestic hemp was pitted against Russian hemp by rigging the USS Constitution on one side with American and the other with Russian grown hemp, 'and after being thus worn for nearly a year, it was found, on examination, that the Russian rope, in every instance, after being much worn, looked better and wore more equally and evenly than the American.'  But the commander said, 'the difference between them was not so great as to warrant a declaration that the proof was conclusive in favor of the Russian....'"
        Dodge, C. A.  1896.   A report on the culture of hemp and jute in the United States.  USDA Office of Fiber Investigations.  Report No. 8. p.15.

        "The Federal Government in 1841 authorized a bounty, which allowed for the payment of not more than $280 per ton for American water-retted hemp, provided it was suitable for naval cordage.  Many of the planters prepared large pools and water-retted the hemp they produced.  But the work was so hard on Negroes that the practice was abandoned.  Many Negroes died of pneumonia contracted from working in the hemp-pools in the winter, and the mortality became so great among hemp hands that the increase in value of the hemp did not equal the loss in Negroes."
        Bidwell, P. W. and J. I. Falconer.  1941.  History of Agriculture in the Northern United States: 1620-1860.  Carnegie Inst.  Washington, D.C. p.365.

        "There is no reason why hemp culture should not extend over a dozen States and the product used in manufactures which now employ thousands of tons of imported fibers."
        Dodge, C. A.  1890.   The Hemp Industry.  USDA Division of Statistics 1: 66.

        "Several [varieties of hemp] are grown in this country, that cultivated in Kentucky and having a hollow stem, being the most common.  China hemp, with slender stems, growing very erect, has a wide range of culture.  Smyrna hemp is adapted to cultivation over a still wider range and Japanese hemp is beginning to be cultivated, particularly in California, where it reaches a height of 15 feet.  Russian and Italian seed have been experimented with, but the former produces a short stalk, while the latter only grows to a medium height.  A small quantity of Piedmontese hemp seed from Italy was distributed by the Department in 1893, having been received through the Chicago Exposition...."
        Dodge, C. A.  1896.   A report on the culture of hemp and jute in the United States.  USDA Office of Fiber Investigations.  Report No. 8. p.7.

        "In Nebraska, where the [hemp] industry is being established, a new and important step has been taken in cutting the crop with an ordinary mowing machine.  A simple attachment which bends the stalks over in the direction in which the machine is going facilitates the cutting...  The cost of cutting hemp in this manner is 50 cents per acre, as compared with $3 to $4 per acre, the rates paid for cutting by hand in Kentucky."
        USDA.  1902.   USDA. Yearbk of Agric. p. 23.

        "The most important fact to be recorded in connection with the hemp industry during the past year is the successful operation of a machine brake in the fields of Kentucky.  This machine breaks the retted stalks and cleans the fiber, producing clean, straight fiber equal to the best grades prepared on hand brakes, and it has a capacity of 1000 pounds or more of clean fiber per hour.  So far as we have any record, this is the first machine having sufficient capacity to be commercially practical that has cleaned bast fiber in an entirely satisfactory manner."
        USDA.  1905 Report of Office of Fiber Investigations.  Bureau of Plant Industry. p. 145.

        "When the work with hemp was begun in Wisconsin, there were no satisfactory machines for harvesting, spreading, binding, or breaking.  All of these processes were performed by hand.  Due to such methods, the hemp industry in the United States had all but disappeared.  As it was realized from the very beginning of the work in Wisconsin that no permanent progress could be made so long as it was necessary to depend upon hand labor, immediate attention was given to solving the problem of power machinery.  Nearly every kind of hemp machine was studied and tested.  The obstacles were great, but through the cooperation of experienced hemp men and one large harvesting machinery company, this problem has been nearly solved.  The hemp crop can now be handled entirely by machinery."
        Wright, Andrew.   1918.  Wisconsin's Hemp Industry.  Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin # 293. p.5.

        "The organized hemp growers of Wisconsin, working in cooperation with the field agent of fiber investigations [Andrew Wright], have so improved the quality and standardized the grades of hemp fiber produced there that it has found a market even in dull times.  The hemp acreage in that State has been kept up, although there has been a reduction in every other hemp-producing area throughout the world."
        USDA.  1921.   Annual Report of the Department of Agriculture: Hemp. p. 46.

        "The crop of hempseed last fall, estimated at about 45,000 bushels, is the largest produced in the United States since 1859.  A very large proportion of it was from improved strains developed by this bureau in the hempseed selection plats at Arlington and Yarrow Farms."
        USDA.  Bureau of Plant Industry.  1917.  Report of the Chief. p. 12.

        "Early maturing varieties, chiefly of Italian origin, are being grown at Madison, Wisconsin, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station.  This is the third year of selection for some varieties, and the results give promise of the successful production in that State of seed of hemp fully equal to the Ferrara of northern Italy."
        USDA.  Bureau of Plant Industry.  1918.  Report of the Chief. p. 28.

        "The second-generation hybrid Ferramington, combining the height and long internodes of Kymington with the earliness and heavy seed yield of Ferrara, gives promise of a good fiber type of hemp that may ripen seed as far north as Wisconsin."
        USDA.  Bureau of Plant Industry.  1919.  Report of the Chief. p. 21.

        "The work of breeding improved strains of hemp is being continued at Arlington Farm, Va., and all previous records were broken in the selection plats of 1919.  The three best strains, Kymington, Chington and Tochimington, averaged, respectively, 14 feet 11 inches, 15 feet 5 inches, and 15 feet 9 inches, while the tallest individual plant was 19 feet.  The improvement by selection is shown not alone in increased height but also in longer internodes, yielding fiber of better quality and increased quantity."
        USDA.  Bureau of Plant Industry.  1920.  Report of the Chief. p. 26.

        "In 1929 three selected varieties of hemp (Michigan Early, Chinamington and Simple Leaf) were grown in comparison with unselected common Kentucky seed near Juneau, Wis.  Each of the varieties had been developed by 10 years or more of selection from the progeny of individual plants.   The yields of fiber per acre were as follows: Simple Leaf, 360 pounds; Michigan Early, 694 pounds; Chinamington, 1054 pounds; common Kentucky, 680 pounds."
        USDA.  1929.   Bureau of Plant Industry, Annual Report. p. 27.

        "The hemp breeding work, carried on by the Bureau for more than 20 years, was discontinued in 1933, but practical results are still evident in commercial fields.  A hemp grower in Kentucky reported a yield of 1750 pounds per acre of clean, dew-retted fiber from 100 acres of the pedigreed variety Chinamington grown in 1934.  This is more than twice the average yield obtained from ordinary unselected hemp seed."
        USDA.  1935.   Annual Reports of the Department of Agriculture, p.6.

March 30, 1943

        The New Deal Bureaucrats and their fellow "dollar a year" fiber racketeers of the War Production Board are now offering Hemp Marijuana (dope) narcotic to the American people instead of increased food production.  The American people are footing the bill.
        In one of the most dastardly propositions ever "cooked" up the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the War Production Board are manipulating the proposition of a promotion and scheme to grow and produce hemp from a plant, outlawed by law, that is the fount of the insiduous [sic] drug known as Marijuana, the worst and most serious source of all (dope) narcotic evils afflicting children, in the schools and outside, and grown-ups alike in all walks of life.  The fiber itself from this plant is worthless.  The seeds from this plant fly far and wide.  The resultant wild growth becomes dangerously uncontrollable.  In the face of shortage and scarcity of labor, foodstuffs, linseed oil, fibers and other critical materials which are peculiarly being denied us, these corruptors [sic] of American life are now engaged in the promoting of 350,000 acres, erecting 100 buildings and building a large volume of equipment and machinery in a number of Mid-Western States for the production of this narcotic (dope) plant product, all of which must reach the staggering cost of $500,000,000 and end in catastrophic failure.  A number of land-grant educational institutions are in on this racket.  The Commodity Credit Corporation and the War Production Board and the Defense Plant Corporation, through their own created socalled [sic] "War Hemp Industries, Inc., Agency," something new in the New Deal bureaucratic set-up, are running this (dope) narcotic show with private racketeers as undercover men.  Large profits have been made already by them on the seeds by cheating and gipping [sic] the government.  The financial "kill" is figured to be colossal for all the participants.  The kill to agriculture, industry, (the choicest and most fertile land or soils are being demanded) and health and welfare of the American people is going to reach disastrous proportions from which recovery may never be found possible.   Congressman Hampton P. Fulmer, Chairman, Agricultural Committee, and Congressman Paul Brown, overseeing the Commodity Credit Corporation, and certain other members of the Congress, among them Senators Harry S. Truman and Scott W. Lucas, and Donald M. Nelson, Chairman, War Production Board, and John R. Hutson, President of the government Commodity Credit Corporation, Agricultural Adjustment Administration, etc. (the latter active participant) are acquainted with the facts as are being described here and have been presented to them in detail.  The power-pressure of the participants in this narcotic (dope) racket is obviously superior to the best interests of the American people even during these dangerous times of their sacrifices and sufferings at home and on the battle front.  The truth of the above report is vouched for.  Do you want this (dope) narcotic in your community?  You are lined up for it.  It is to be noted that increased acreage for guayule rubber has been stopped because of the acute food shortages but though rubber scarcities exist yet.

        HOWARD D. SALINS, Managing Director
        Flax and Fibre Institute of America,
        6423 North Newgard Avenue
        Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

        NOTE: --- This whole hemp marijuana racket will be dumped out of existence right after the war is over in accordance to with [sic] a statement from Washington, D.C., but obviously not before the "kill" in taxpayers' money has been made and the narcotic has been spread to dope them.
        Reproduced in Barash, L.   1971.  A Review of Hemp Cultivation in Canada.  MS.