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TOBACCO IN NORTH AMERICA

by: Roy S. Boyer, Sr.

Published 1951; Pennsylvania Outdoors

Most of the Indian tribes in what is now the United States and southern Canada grew and used tobacco in daily use. As the influence of the European moved over the country-side, native tobaccos were gradually replaced by South American varieties. By the 19th century, processed tobacco had become an extremely important commodity.

The common native tobacco found in the eastern United States and southwestern Canada was Nicotiana rustica, a large plant with yellow flowers. First found in the Virginia settlements and introduced in Europe .

Nicotiana attenuata, was found in the western half of the United States and parts of southwestern Canada . It is reported to being growing wild in some of these areas today.

Nicotiania miltivaluis, was grown by the Crow and Shoshoni, along with several other tribes in Oregon , Idaho and western Montana .

Nicotiania Bigelovii, was grown in California in several different varieties.

Nicotiania quadrivalvis, a small plant only 2 feet high with white flowers and small leaves was found with the Mandan , Arikara, Hidatsa, Omaha and Pawnee tribes.

Nicotiana tabacum, originally native to South America is most likely what is found in the late 19th century through-out the United States and southern Canada and seen a lot today.

The Spaniards began growing tobacco in the first part of the 16th century, as were the new settlers in southern New York and Pennsylvania in the 1650's. With some research you will find that the tobacco business was a good cash crop that the local governors of the colonies and later states were quite involved in, building large warehouses to store and dry this valuable resource. While others involved in the business were moving it through areas that were not watched as closely as others, voiding heavy taxes on their product.

Many of the traders would work with the growers to move the rolls of tobacco into French territory and the trade of furs among those trappers. The history of tobacco, Native Americans and various periods of our countries growth, the Fur Trade , etc. can fill a book shelf.

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I thought you may enjoy one of my grandfather articles written back in the mid 1940, this one not being printed until - Published 1951; Pennsylvania Outdoors

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Until next time, we leave as friends and followers of those that went before us.

Buck Conner 

"One who trades”

"Uno quién negocia"

“Unqui commerce”

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