Thomas Jefferson wrote and acted on behalf of hemp many times, smuggling rare seeds into America, redesigning the hemp brake, keeping his farm and garden journals in which, on March 16, 1791, he wrote:
The culture [of tobacco] is pernicious. This plant greatly exhausts the soil. Of course, it requires much manure, therefore other productions are deprived of manure, yielding no nourishment for cattle, there is no return for the manure expended.
It is impolitic. The fact well established in the system of agriculture is that the best hemp and the best tobacco grow on the same kind of soil. The former article is of first necessity to the commerce and marine, in other words to the wealth and protection of the country. The latter, never useful and sometimes pernicious, derives its estimation from caprice, and its value from the taxes to which it was formerly exposed. The preference to be given will result from a comparison of them: Hemp employs in its rudest state more labor than tobacco, but being a material for manufactures of various sorts, becomes afterwards the means of support to numbers of people, hence it is to be preferred in a populous country.
America imports hemp and will continue to do so, and also sundry articles made of hemp, such as cordage, sail cloth, drilling linen and stockings
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