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Bishop, J. Leander (John Leander), 1820-1868 / A history of American manufactures from 1608 to 1860 : exhibiting the origin and growth of the principal mechanic arts and manufactures, from the earliest colonial period to the adoption of the Constitution : and comprising annals of the industry of the United States in machinery, manufactures and useful arts, with a notice of the important inventions, tariffs, and the results of each decennial census
Volume 3 (1868)

The great tobacco manufactories,   pp. 511-532

Page 511

The Tobacco Plant is indigenous to almost every latitude of the globe.
More than forty varieties have already been discovered, every variety
possessing qualities and characteristics peculiar to itself, and singularly
adapted to the preferences of those among whom it is found. When or
where its cultivation began it is not now possible to determine ; nor is
it positively known at what time it began to be extensively used.
The only reliable records on these points date from the period when it
became a commercial staple, and even these are meagre, and for that
reason unsatisfactory. Columbus, as most persons are aware, observed
it growing in abundance in the West Indies when he landed there ; and,
twenty-five years later, Cortez found the subjects of the Inca, almost
to a man, indulging in the practice of smoking; and, if tradition car be
relied upon to any extent, its growth had been encouraged and its use
indulged in throughout the whole of South America for many years
before the Spanish conquest. Sir Walter Raleigh is said to have been
the first to introduce the practice of smoking into England; but this
assertion lacks confirmation. Francisco Hernandez De Toledo, a phy-
sician sent to Mexico by Philip II. of Spain, on his return to Court,
brought with him a quantity of the seeds of the tobacco plant from
that country, and the cultivation and use of the article commenced in
Spain immediately afterwards. This was in 1559; while Sir Walter
Raleigh did not make his appearance in England with the exotic until
1584, twenty-five years later. The intercourse between England and
Spain at this time was such as to preclude the supposition that the
article had not made its way into the former from the latter country prior
to its introduction by Sir Walter. The most, it would seem, that can
reasonably be claimed in behalf of Sir Walter in this connection is,
that he was the first among the nobility and higher order of people to
sanction by example the use of the article, and by this means to bring
it into favor.
The cultivation of this plant was commenced at a very early period
in our colonial history and the various efforts that were made to foster
and stimulate its growth were alluded to in the first volume of this
Though not positively demonstrated, it seems probable that the
various kinds of tobacco raised in this country have all emanated from
the same stock, and the difference observable in them is traceable solely
to the influence of climate, soil, and varying modes of culture. The
Macrophylla, or Orinoco tobacco, of Virginia, is doubtless the source

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