How HEMP Built America

Early this morning, on my routine act of browsing the net, I came across a link about a new 3-episode show hosted by (my favorite!) Mike Rowe – yes, he’s the Dirty Jobs host – and the title of the show is, “How Booze Built America.”  It appears to be very interesting, with lots of historical content. Here is a blurb about the show:

“Did you know that the Puritans landed the Mayflower early on Plymouth Rock … because they ran out of beer? Or that Johnny Appleseed was actually creating farms to sell hard apple cider? Mike Rowe does, and he’ll walk you through all of this and more. He’s proven that dirty jobs can be fun. He’s ready to do the same for history.” ~

Now, this caused me to fire off some neurons…booze was only ONE aspect in the history of our fine country. What about HEMP?

Hemp was a critical component of our history, agriculture, economy, and environment.  It was used for food, clothing, shelter, fuel, and so on.

Let’s look again at this phrase: “Did you know the Puritans landed the Mayflower early on Plymouth Rock … because they ran out of beer?”

Do you know HOW they were able to sail to Plymouth Rock? HEMP! It was used for the ship’s rigging and sails, because hemp was stronger and more hardy than other materials.  AND….how did hemp arrive in America?

Hemp arrived in Colonial America with the Puritans in the form of seed for planting and as fiber in the lines, sails and caulking of the Mayflower. British sailing vessels were never without a store of hemp seed, and Britain’s colonies were compelled by law to grow hemp.

Hemp was the fiber of choice for maritime uses because of its natural decay resistance and its adaptability to cultivation. Each warship and merchant vessel required miles of hempen line and tons of hempen canvas, which meant the Crown’s hunger for the commodity was great. Ship captains were ordered to disseminate hemp seed widely to provide fiber wherever repairs might be needed in distant lands.” ~

An interesting side note: Some of the early colonists came to American in the hopes of finding their wealth with silver and gold, then returning home with their riches. They did not arrive with the intent of growing hemp. However, English rule served a proclamation that they were to farm hemp.

By the mid-1600s, hemp had become an important part of the economy in New England, and south to Maryland and Virginia. The Colonies produced cordage, cloth, canvas, sacks and paper from hemp during the years leading up to the Revolutionary War. Most of the fiber was then destined for British consumption, although at least some was used for domestic purposes. Ironically, the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence were penned on hemp paper.

Hemp fiber was so important to the young Republic that farmers were compelled by patriotic duty to grow it, and were allowed to pay taxes with it. George Washington grew hemp and encouraged all citizens to sow hemp widely. Thomas Jefferson bred improved hemp varieties, and invented a special brake for crushing the plant’s stems during fiber processing.” ~

Later on in our history hemp was used for fuel, as well as in automobile components, thanks to the genius of Henry Ford (who also grew his own hemp).
Today we see hemp in many more applications – plastics, paper products, construction, shoes, infant clothing…the list is almost unlimited as to how hemp can be used.
So you see, this wonderful plant was an integral part of our colorful history, and continues to be an important component for industry, health, environment, and economy.

It’s Hemp History Week!

Yes, it’s that time of the year – when we celebrate the history of the wonderful plant we know as hemp.

This is the third annual Hemp History Week, and this week is dedicated to education, awareness, health and wellness, and the  movement to let our farmers grow hemp again – which would benefit (of course) the farmers, our economy, our health, and our environment.

So, to kick off Hemp History Week, here is a 10,000 year timeline that showcases the history of hemp!

8000 B.C. – Hemp textiles are crafted in Asia and Europe.

3700 or 2700 B.C. – It is said that the first medical text, Pen Ts’ao, was written – which showcased the medicinal properties of hemp.

1500 B.C. – Scythians were harvesters of hemp. Scythia was located in Eurasia; it is said that the Scythians were the people who invented the scythe.

500 B.C. – During his 6-year travels and path to enlightenment, Buddha survived by eating hempseed.

450 B.C. – Herodotus records that the Scythians are making fine linens from hemp (at this time it is believed that he was writing about the Scythians living near Persia).

300 B.C. – Carthage and Rome fight for commercial and political power over the spice and hemp trade routes in the Mediterranean.

100 B.C. – China makes hemp paper.

100 A.D. – Pliny the Younger, a Roman official and historian and  writes a manual about the uses of hemp and how to grow and harvest hemp.

600 A.D. – Hemp fiber is popular and used widely by Germans, Franks, and the Vikings.

700 A.D. – Muslims adopted the Chinese process of making hemp paper.

850 A.D. – Africa saw its first paper mill built in Egypt.

(from this point onward, until around the 1800s, it was common to make paper from hemp).

1492 A.D. – Hemp sails, ropes, and caulking are used on the ships Columbus used to sail to America.

1545 A.D. – Hemp agriculture makes its way to Chile and other parts of South America.

1564 A.D. – King Philip of Spain follows the lead of Queen Elizabeth, and orders Cannabis to be grown throughout his empire, from modern-day Argentina to Oregon. Here is a bit of interesting history: The Spanish Empire included the West Coast of the United States, including Oregon, Washington, and parts of British Columbia, Canada, and down to South America.

16th and 17th centuries – Cannabis is a widespread commerce for the Dutch.

1619 A.D. – Virginia makes hemp cultivation mandatory.

1630 A.D. – Hemp used as currency throughout the American colonies.

1776 A.D. – The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper.

1791 A.D. – George Washington encourages domestic hemp industries; Thomas Jefferson urges farmers to replace tobacco with hemp, calling hemp a ‘necessity’.

1800’s – Australia survives 2 famines by eating hempseeds and hemp leaves.

1850’s – Petrochemicals are processed and toxic processes are used to manufacture wood pulp and paper.

1930’s and 1940’s – New machines are constructed to process hemp hurds and fiber, for use in textiles, paper, and fuel. Henry Ford built a hemp car, powered with hemp fuel, grown with hemp on his own farm. Popular Mechanics magazine (1938) touted hemp as the new ‘Billion Dollar Crop’. Unfortunately, it did not happen. Hemp was a threat to those who had investments in timber, oil, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. There was rampant propaganda against hemp; hemp farming was subsequently outlawed (illegal to farm hemp without the proper permits from the DEA.

1943 – Hemp For Victory – the government allows hemp farming to aid in the war effort and creates a film showing the uses of hemp.  After the war, hemp was banned again.

1998 – The Canadian government legalizes commercial farming of industrial hemp.  U.S. imports hempseed and hempseed oil (mainly from Canada and China).

2004 – Ninth Circuit Court decision in Hemp Industries Association vs. DEA permanently protects sales of hemp foods and body care products in the U.S.

2005 – A bill is introduced in the U.S. Congress for the first time to allow states to regulate hemp farming, but to date no committee hearing or floor vote has taken place.

2007 – The first hemp licenses in over 50 years are granted to two North Dakota farmers.

2010 – HIA uncovers diaries and photographs of the USDA’s Chief Botanist Lyster Dewey, who grew 5 varieties of hemp on the current site of the Pentagon. Rep. Ron Paul makes Congressional statement in support of Hemp History Week.

As you can see, hemp has had a rich history on our planet for 10,000 years. No other plant has had such a beneficial, commercial, economical, environmental, and, of course, political impact…than hemp.

Hemp: “Don’t Tread On Me!”

The phrase ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ was a phrase on the Gadsden Flag. To better understand this, let’s take a little history lesson.

The Gadsden Flag was a flag from the earlier part of American history, named after American General Christopher Gadsden. It was bright yellow with an image of a rattlesnake on it, and the words ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ were below the snake. The main principle of the flag was unity.

In an original drawing by Benjamin Franklin (which was the country’s first political cartoon), the rattlesnake was cut into pieces, each symbolizing the original colonies, and had the words ‘Join or Die’ below the pieces of the snake.

I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids—She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance.—She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage.—As if anxious to prevent all pretensions of quarreling with her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenseless animal; and even when those weapons are shewn and extended for her defense, they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal:—Conscious of this, she never wounds till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of stepping on her.—Was I wrong, Sir, in thinking this a strong picture of the temper and conduct of America?” (Benjamin Franklin)

In fall 1775, the United States Navy was established to intercept incoming British ships carrying war supplies to the British troops in the colonies. To aid in this, the Second Continental Congress authorized the mustering of five companies of Marines to accompany the Navy on their first mission. The first Marines enlisted in the city of Philadelphia and they carried drums painted yellow, depicting a coiled rattlesnake with thirteen rattles, and the motto “Don’t Tread On Me.” This is the first recorded mention of the future Gadsden flag’s symbolism.” (Wikipedia)

This flag was later replace with Old Glory.

Here is the significance of the Gadsden Flag – it meant ‘Don’t mess with us!’ It was a symbol of unity between the colonies. The rattlesnake symbolizes reputation and respect.

Of course there is more to it than that, in that a rattlesnake will fight back when threatened, even after a warning with the rattles. It keeps a sharp eye and weighs the situation carefully.

So, now you are probably asking why I chose to blend the Gadsden Flag with the topic of hemp?

It’s quite simple. Hemp has been walked on, stomped on, tread on. Hemp has been demonized by corporations and the government in the name of greed, to protect investments in oil, pharmaceuticals, timber, chemicals, and synthetics. It was given a bad reputation through ugly UNTRUE propaganda. Hemp has been ostracized through lies and deliberate misconceptions.

This wonderful plant that feeds us, houses us, clothes us, heals us…this plant that heals our environment and can create jobs and boost our economy is banned where it once flourished and was revered for it’s strength and diversity.

Those of us who believe in the power of hemp, this perfect plant that nature has given us, are uniting in the knowledge that hemp WILL be a LEGAL part of our economy again. It is through education and making our voices heard that we are taking the steps needed to allow this plant to flourish on American soil once again. Will it happen overnight? No. But that is ok. Each step takes time. But there WILL  be a time when hemp will rise above…

And not be tread on any more.

Hemp – A Current Need for an Ancient Seed

Hemp. It’s been around for at least 10,000 years. Many cultures, societies, and countries used this wonderful plant as medicine, food, and fiber. It cured diseases, it eradicated hunger, it clothed us, it sheltered us.

Our country once depended on industrial hemp. It was our clothing, our food, our medicine, our paper (the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper). It was an important part of our economy. The federal government, via the USDA, encouraged farmers to grow hemp for the war effort (WWII – you can see the USDA film Hemp for Victory here: Taxes could be paid with hemp. It was CURRENCY.

Why do we need hemp today? Let’s first look at what has replaced hemp.

Food – our food has become fast, convenient, yet less nutritional. Canned and processed foods have become laden with chemicals and preservatives. The nutrition has been cooked out of it. The essential nutrients that our bodies need have become secondary to ease and preparation. Some foods have been genetically modified.

Fibers – hemp clothing and rope has been replaced with synthetics. Nylon and polyester are synthetics that are fossil-fuel and chemical-based. And in the processing we have damaged the environment and polluted our earth, air, and water.

Medicine – Nutritional medicine has been replaced with chemical medications. I am not saying ALL chemical medications are bad, but have you seen the pages of warnings and side effects for those drugs? They are dangerous, especially if too many are taken or if dosages are too high.

Fuel – renewable hemp fuel, which is cleaner, safer, and environmentally responsible has been replaced with non-renewable pollution-laden fossil fuels. And where do we get those fossil fuels? Some are in the US, some are imported. (Plus, look at the cost.) Some wars were even fought because of this!

Why do we need hemp now more than ever?

1. Hemp is environmentally safe. While hemp grows it heals the soil and cleans the air. Processing is less chemical intensive than processing cotton and carbon-based products.

2. Hemp is healthy. Hemp is a complete protein. It also has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids needed by the human body. It is CLEAN food, it is CLEAN medicine.

3. Hemp can put our farmers back to work and boost our economy. Did you know that the US imports all of its hemp? Canadian exports of hemp for 2010 reached about $10,000,000. With the legalization of hemp farming we can have healthy, clean food products, healthy hemp homes, create hemp-based plastics and cars – the list is endless. Hemp can be manufactured into approximately 30,000 products. Can you see how this crop would help our economy?

4. Hemp can fuel our cars and boats, heat our homes, and be used in ovens and stoves. It is a clean, healthy fuel that is renewable and safe.

This wonderful plant, which has been used for centuries, has thousands upon thousands of uses – biodegradable, nourishing products and safe, clean energy.

This seed will NOT go away, it will continue to make its way back to the mainstream. It MUST. Our physical, economical, and environmental health depend on it.

My Mission – Healing Through Hemp Education


“Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb (plant) to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence.”
-Mourning Dove (Salish) 1888-1936

Today’s post is taking a little bit of a personal track. I had several topics in mind, and while scrolling through Facebook I saw the above quote. I knew then what I was going to write for today’s post.

Have you ever had those moments in your life when you weren’t sure what your purpose was? Trust me, I’ve had many of those. And now I actually have SEVERAL missions in my life – hemp education and legalization is but one of them.

But first, a little history: hemp has been used throughout the world for thousands of years.

The oldest Chinese agricultural treatise is the Xia Xiao Zheng written circa the 16th century BC, which names hemp as one of the main crops grown in ancient China.” (Yu 1987)

Almost 4000 years ago the Aryans (Indo-Persians) brought Cannabis to regions of India. It was used as food and medicine.

The oldest relic of history from humans using hemp is a piece of hemp fabric which as been dated to 8,000 BC. It is from Mesopotamia (what we know as Turkey today). Hemp has been grown as long as recorded history (and probably beyond) for fuel, food, and textiles.)

The ancient Greeks used hemp for cordage and textiles.

It is said that in 500 BC Gautama Buddha, during his travels, survived by eating hempseed.

Pliny the Younger, in 100 AD, teaches of the uses of industrial hemp and writes manuals on how to farm hemp.

In the 1800s Australia suffered from 2 prolonged famines; populations survived by eating industrial hempseed (for their protein) and hemp leaves as a vegetable.

And, in all of known recorded history, industrial hemp has been used for medicine. The hempseeds (not leaves) have been praised for having excellent nutritional and healing properties.

Good nutrition is one the the building blocks of health.  Hempseed is one of the most nutritious plant foods known to man. Hempseed is a complete protein. It has all the essential amino acids found in meat; it is 35% protein (65% of which is edestin protein, the protein closest to human globulin which makes it easily digestible); it has the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega fatty acids (which are needed for brain, eye, cellular, heart, skin, organ, blood, and hair health).

Hempseed is full of vitamins and minerals and also has chlorophyll, fiber, calcium, and iron.

Now, why is all this important to me? Why have I made this one of my missions in life?

3 years ago I didn’t know squat about industrial hemp. I thought it was marijuana. I didn’t know that it was good for my health, and I certainly didn’t know that it was good for the planet, for our environment. I had no idea that hemp could replace fossil fuels and anything made with fossil petroleum products.

I read voraciously, I studied, I dug deep into hemp history. And I discovered amazing stories and historical facts about how hemp can cure diseases, eradicate starvation, heal the soil, clean the air, supply us with energy, and boost our economy (if we in the U.S. could legally farm it).

Most importantly, I experienced for myself the wonderful attributes of industrial hemp. When I incorporated hemp into my diet I lost weight, my cravings were reduced, my migraines became fewer and farther apart, I slept better, I felt energized. My body felt alive, I ‘felt’ my cells awaken. My eyesight improved, my sense of smell improved. My mind became more ‘awake’.

I am a level 2 reiki healer. And I found that when hemp was part of my diet, I was more connected to myself, both spiritually and physically. This helped me become more able to help others through the reiki and intuitive healing.

I then read about why hemp was prohibited in the U.S. I also realized that my prior beliefs about hemp were due to the propaganda that we’ve been fed since the early 1900s. I believe the lies. I didn’t know any differently! And I never thought to question it at all. Until 3 years ago.

I didn’t like that fact that I had been ‘sucked in’ – essentially, ‘brainwashed’. I didn’t like the fact that this plant, this herb, this ‘fruit of the earth’ that fed and clothed and healed us for thousands of years was now banned because of its threat to oil, chemical, pharmaceutical, and timber industries. And I realized also that the ‘medicines’ that replaced hemp were doing more damage than good. (I am not totally knocking pharmaceutical medicines, some do help. But, have you read the warning leaflets on some drugs, as well as the side effects?)

For too long we were cheated of the medicine that truly does heal, from planting as seed in the soil to harvest of seed and stalk. Hemp heals the ground as it grows, heals the air, fertilizes the soil after harvest, and heals our bodies when we eat it.

It’s time to go back to natural healing with natural nutrition. Most of our diseases are either from nutritional deficiency, chemicals in foods, or toxins in the environment. Because hempseed is so nutritionally dense, it is a perfect healthy solution (and can also eradicate starvation in countries where food is scarce).

Industrial hemp farming and processing, industrial hemp as fuel, as food, as textiles (uses less chemicals and water in processing than cotton), as medicine ~ in all these areas hemp is the healthier choice.

As you can see, I am very passionate about this beautiful, nutritious plant that can only do good. And so, I’ve found my mission – education and speaking out about the plant that for nearly 100 years in the U.S. has been ostracized and prohibited to farm.

I am but one voice, but I am a powerful one.

Hemp History – Hemp Banned in Politics and Religion in the Middle Ages (History is Repeating Itself)

I am continuing my foray into history, specifically hemp history. My favorite read? The Emperor Wears No Clothes (Jack Herer). And surprisingly, the Middle Ages also saw politics and the church controlling/banning/ostracizing hemp.

“The Politics of Paper

 The masses of people, “the commons,” were kept in check through a dual system of fear and enforced ignorance. All learning except the most rudimentary was controlled and strictly regulated by the priests.

The commons (about 95% of the people) were forbidden to learn to read or write – not even an alphabet – and often were punished or put to death for doing so.

The people were also forbidden to learn Latin, the language of the Bible. This effectively enabled the few priests who could read to interpret the scriptures any way they pleased for about 1,200 years, until the Reformation in Europe, circa 1600.

To prohibit knowledge, people were literally kept in the dark, without a piece of paper to write on. The monasteries preserved and guarded hemp’s secrets. They saw that cannabis held two threats to this policy of absolute control: papermaking and lamp oil.

Something had to be done.” (The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer)

My first thought after reading this was, “Wow. This sounds so familiar!”  If you saw my previous articles about the Rockefellers, Hearst, oil, timber, and the prohibition of hemp, you will remember that they did the same thing. Hemp was a threat to their investments, so they (and their lobbyists and their money) succeeded in running rampant propaganda against hemp which ultimately led to hemp farming in the U.S. being banned without a permit from the DEA (the permit being nearly impossible to get). The underlying factors were: 1) Money and 2) Control.

“Cannabis Medicines Forbidden

 While embracing wine as a sacrament, and tolerating beer and hard liquor, the Inquisition outlawed cannabis ingestion in Spain in the 12th century, and France in the 13th. Many other natural remedies were simultaneously banned. Anyone using hemp to communicate, heal, etc. was labeled “witch.”

Saint Joan of Arc, for example, was accused in 1430-31 of using a variety of herbal “witch” drugs, including cannabis, to hear voices.” (The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer)

Again, sound familiar? Natural remedies were banned, yet beer and hard liquor were tolerated. Read on:

“Church Sanctioned Legal Medicines

 Virtually the only legal medical cures allowed the people of Western Europe by the Roman Catholic Church Fathers at this time were:

1. (a.) Wearing a bird mask for plague. (b.) Setting fractured bones or cleaning burns.

2. Bleeding pints and even quarts of blood from all flu, pneumonia or fever patients (victims) which was the most used treatment in Europe and America by doctors until the beginning of the 1900s. It does not work! And did not work no matter how much blood they took.

3. Praying to specific saints for a miraculous cure, e.g., St. Anthony for ergotism (poisoning), St. Odilla for blindness, St. Benedict for poison sufferers, and St. Vitus for comedians and epileptics.

4. Alcohol for a variety of problems.

In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII singled out cannabis healers and other herbalists, proclaiming hemp an unholy sacrament of the second and third types of Satanic mass. This persecution lasted for more than 150 years.”  (The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer)

Now, back then they didn’t replace natural remedies with chemical drugs like we do today, yet, as you can see, the remedies that WERE allowed were just as dangerous (or more), or ineffective, as chemical drugs. (Have you actually read the 3-page list of warnings and side-effects that come with chemical medications today?)  You can also see that they didn’t look for specific causes of illness (when applicable), but that’s another story.

They say history repeats itself. And I am definitely seeing that today.

I am looking for ward to the day when (like our own previous history in the U.S.) hemp will be embraced for the wonderful economic, health, and medicinal properties that it possesses. Perhaps soon, our history will repeat itself and hemp will be legally grown in the U.S., used as ‘money’, used as medicine, fuel, paper, and more.

Do You REALLY Know Your History? The War Of 1812 Was Fought Over Hemp!

I remember (vaguely) learning about the War of 1812 in history class. (History was/is not my best subject, but now I am enjoying going back and re-learning.)

We were taught that the War of 1812 was fought for several reasons, some of them being trade restrictions, British support of American Indian tribes against American expansion, and America’s desire to annex Canada (which, of course, didn’t happen).

Each country that participated in the War of 1812 (Britain, U.S., Russia) has it’s own story that it has written in its history books and taught in schools, but as far as the U.S. is concerned, the REAL history is not taught.

The War of 1812 was fought over HEMP!

Below are a few excerpts from The Emperor Wears No Clothes regarding the War of 1812:

“1740 on…

Russia, because of its cheap slave/serf labor, produces 80% of the western world’s cannabis hemp and finished hemp products, and is, by far, the world’s best-quality manufacturer of cannabis hemp for sails, rope, rigging and nets.

Cannabis is Russia’s number-one trading commodity – ahead of its furs, timber and iron.

1740 to 1807

Great Britain buys 90% or more of its marine hemp from Russia; Britain’s navy and world sea trade runs on Russian hemp; each British ship must replace 50 to 100 tons of hemp every year or two.

There is no substitute; flax sails, for example, unlike hemp sails, would start rotting in three months or less from salt air and spray.

1803 to 1807


Britain continues to trade for and buy 90% of its hemp directly from Russia.



Napoleon and Czar Alexander of Russia sign the Treaty of Tilset, which cuts off all legal Russian trade with Great Britain, its allies, or any other neutral nation ship acting as agents for Great Britain in Russia.

The treaty also sets up a buffer zone, the Warsaw Duchy (approximately Central Eastern Poland) between Napoleon’s allies and Russia.

Napoleon’s strategy – and his most important goal with the treaty – is to stop Russian hemp from reaching England, thereby destroying Britain’s navy by forcing it to cannibalize sails, ropes, and rigging from other ships; and Napoleon believes that eventually, with no Russian hemp for its huge navy, Britain will be forced to end its blockade of France and the Continent.

1807 to 1809

The United States is considered a neutral country by Napoleon, as long as its ships do not trade with or for Great Britain, and the United States considers itself to be neutral in the war between France and Great Britain.

However, Congress passes the 1806 Non-Importation Pact: British articles which are produced in the U.S., but which could be produced elsewhere, are prohibited. Congress also passes the 1807 Embargo Act, to wit: American ships could not bring or carry products to or from Europe.

These laws hurt America more than Europe; however, many Yankee traders ignored the law anyway.

1807 to 1810

Secretly, however, Britain offers the captured American traders a “deal” (actually a blackmail proposition) when they “overhaul” – board and confiscate – an American ship and bring it into an English port.

The deal: Either lose your ship and cargos forever, or go to Russia and secretly buy hemp for Britain, who will pay American traders with gold in advance, and more gold when the hemp is delivered back.

At the same time, the Americans will be allowed to keep and trade their own goods (rum, sugar, spices, cotton, coffee, tobacco) to the Czar for hemp – a double profit for the Americans.


The United States, cut off from 80% of its Russian hemp supply, debates war in Congress.

Ironically, it is representatives of the western states who argue for war under the excuse of “impressed” American sailors. However, the representatives of the maritime states, fearful of loss of trade, argue against war, even though it’s their shipping, crews, and states that are allegedly afflicted.

Not one senator from a maritime state votes for war with Great Britain, whereas virtually all western senators vote for war, hoping to take Canada from Britain and fulfill their dream of “Manifest Destiny,” in the mistaken belief that Great Britain is too busy with the European wars against Napoleon to protect Canada.

It’s interesting to note that Kentucky, a big supporter of the war which disrupted the overseas hemp trade, was actively building up its own domestic hemp industry.

At this time, 1812, American ships could pick up hemp from Russia and return with it three times faster and cheaper than shippers could get hemp from Kentucky to the East Coast over land (at least, until the Erie Canal was completed in 1825; shortening travel time dramatically by as much as 90%).

The western states win in Congress, and on June 18, 1812, the United States is at war with Britain.

America enters the war on the side of Napoleon, who marches on Moscow also in June of 1812.”

(An interesting side note – all schoolbooks up until the 1880s were made from hemp.)

So, this brings questions to my mind – why was the REAL reason for the war not told? Why was it ‘hidden’ from our history lessons? Were earlier generations taught the truth? Was the history story ‘changed’ for future generations? And, was else was ‘hidden’ from us as far as history is concerned?

It looks like I’ll be brushing up more on my history, and digging for the REAL truths!