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Full text of "Hemp (Cannabis Sativa) : a practical treatise on the culture of hemp for seed and fiber, with a sketch of the history and nature of the hemp plant"

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Growing for seed at Staten Island, New York. 


(Cannabis saliva) 







(^OPVKIGHT, 1900 

By orange ,1UI)D COMPANY 








JBount fiJIcagant CDnntcrp 

J. Horace McFarland Company 
Harrisburgf, Pa. 


There sliould be no necessity for an apology 
or an excuse for preparing a work upon lieinp cul- 
ture at this time. The hemp i)lant is the most 
widely diversified and, commercially and industrially, 
the most important plant in cultivation in Europe. 
It was among the first introduced into America, 
and one of the most extensive in cultivation among 
the colonists; and there is no good reason existing 
why it should not, but every reason why it should, 
today be among the first as the basis of another 
great and grand national indnstiw, employing 
hundreds of millions of capital and hundreds of 
thousands of work-people. 

Hemp fiber is acknoAvledged to be the standard 
fiber of the world ; and, properly manipulated, it is 
adapted to a much wider and more diversified use 
than any other fiber known. The hemp plant is the 
most simple and the most widely adapted to culti- 
vation in all climates, the most susceptible to the 
manipulations of chemical and mechanical processes, 
and the most universally adapted to the production 
of fine, strong fibers for the widest character of 
products, from coarse, strong cordage to threads and 



yarns for the finest linens, lawns, and laces, and 
the culture and handling of the plant should long 
ago have become as familiar as household words to 
the American people in all its details. 

But the industry, once flourishing and prosperous, 
has, by neglect and an over -competition from other 
less valuable but more easily manipulated materials, 
become a lost art to the most ready, most keenly 
alive people upon the globe, and some effort is 
necessary, and some pains of labor and expense, if 
it is to have a new existence at an early day, while 
the congestion of other industries, textile and agri- 
enltnral, suggests that the time is opportune for an 
investigation into the nature of the plant, and its 
adaptability to the wide indnsti’ial uses to which it 
seems applicable. 

The writer has given many years of study to a 
close, careful investigation of the hemp plant in its 
adaptability to cultivation in the soils and climatic 
conditions of the United States, its liabits and con- 
duct under various styles of cultivation, and also to 
the manipulation of the plant for obtaining a fiber 
best ada])ted to fine spinning, as well as to the 
condnet of the fiber in the processes of spinning 
and weaving. He speaks froin a ]iersonal knowledge 
of all the facts and particulars, from his point of 
view, when he says that of all the fiber-bearing 
plants known to agriculture and commerce, hemp is 
most universally adapted to the production of fine, 



soft, silky fibers, and to the establishment of one of 
the most important industries of the American peoi)le. 
Of all the industries of which the world Inas for 
centuries been conversant, that of hemp, and the 
spinning and weaving of its fibers into fine linen 
fabrics, is the last to obtain place among the Ameri- 
can people, and it is still waiting the revivifying 
intinences of modern industrial practices to take its 
place in the lead of their grand endeavors. 

As in other American efforts to develop new in- 
dustries, hemp and linen have long rested under the 
shadow of a persistent opposition from foreign in- 
fluences, and with the continued sneers of ’'yon 
can’t, yon can’t, yon can’t,” dinning perpetually, 
there has long been a feeling, and a want of confi- 
dence, as of some stupefying incubus which it seems 
hard to shake off, that only Russia, Austria, Italy, 
and Fi-ance could raise hemp, and only England 
and Germany could manufacture it. 

If this little work shall have the effect to call 
out the experience of others, and thus furnish a 
literature upon the subject of hemp culture to 
which the farmer may refer, the reward for the task 
will be sutficient. There is at present no record 
of experiments or of practical work of any definite 
value upon the subject extant. Quite the reverse, 
all old methods have been proved inadequate to the 
production of fine hemp fiber, while most of the 
directions for practice are diametrically antagonistic 



to wliat is found best at eveiy successive step of 
the iiidustiy. No complete determination of the 
nature, habit or needs of tlie hemp plant, in its 
twofold office of bearing seed and bearing- fiber, 
has been made. No coiiperation of the farmer and 
the manufacturei-, through the inventor and chemist, 
for the production of a i)erfect fiber, is recorded ; 
but the grower of hemp is left to grope in the dark 
as to what is required. 

The tenor of this work may seem over-sanguine 
or over-enthusiastic, but no success ever attended 
any industry without the championing of some one 
who believed it ])raeticable. The directions herein 
contained are in the interest of no individuals or 
])atents, but are so plain that he who runs may 
read and inexpensive!}" practice until he has proved 
the truth or falsity of all statements and claims 
made. The writer will welcome criticisms from what- 
ever source, and receive and worship any other god, 
if shown to be more benignant toward the farmer’s 

S. 8. BOYCE. 

Tottenville, N. Y., 1900. 



Preface v 

I. History of the Hemp Plant . 1 

H. Botany and Chemical Comi)Osition of Hemp Plant . 10 

III. Culture of Hemp in Europe 21 

IV. Early Cultivation of Hemp in America 35 

Y, Why the Hemp Industry Languished in America. 44 

VI. Hemp versus Flax 53 

VII. yoil and Climate Adaj)tetl to the Culture of Hemp. 58 

VIII. Growing Hemp for Seed 67 

IX. The Cultivation of Hemp for Fiber 74 

X. Irrigating the Hemp Field 82 

XI. Harvesting Hemp for Fiber 87 

XII. Retting and Preparing the Hemp Fiber 91 

XIII. Machinery for Handling Hemp 105 

L’Envoy 109 

Index Ill 




1. Chinese Hem]) Frontispiece . 

2. (Chinese Ifenii) tor Seed and Fiber (3 

3. Chinese Hemp, Male and Female Plants 11 

4. Stake Retting Pitt 31 

5. Stone Retting Pitt 32 

G. Retting Hemp on the Ground in Kentucky .... 39 

7. Slat Hand Break 41 

8. Section of a China Hemp Plot Grown for Fiber . G5 

9. Reap Hooks, for Cutting Hemp by Hand 73 

10. Irrigating Hemp by Water Furrows 84 

11. Hemp-Breaking Machine 97 

12. Single Tank for Retting Hemp 99 

13. Hemp Scutching Machine 



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Hemp, Cannabis saliva, is the most important 
plant, commercially, and the one the most widely 
cultivated, in Europe. Adapted to cultivation in all 
climates, from the equator to a latitude of 00°, 
we find some variety of the plant coexistent with 
the progress of humanity from the earliest dawn 
of civilization in the far East, six thousand years 
ago, and still accompanying man through all the 
vicissitudes, incidents and exigencies of his march 
around the world 

Whether the several varieties of the hemp plant 
now found growing wild or in cultivation in all parts 
of the world are all the children of one common 
mother- type, originating in the valleys of the Him- 
alaya mountains, in Asia, the original characteristics 
of which are now lost to agriculture, or there was 
one variety or species indigenous to this early home 
of the Aryan people in central Asia, or another with 
the Touranians or Celts in central Europe, and 
from which the varieties have sprung and commin- 
gled, intermarried and their children scattered to 
the four winds of the earth, cannot now be deter- 


( 1 ) 


II E 1\I P 

mined. A coarse hempen cloth has been found 
anion‘s the remains of the Cave-Dwellers and 
earliest inhabitants of Enroi)e, by whom it nmy 
have been made at a time as remote as when the 
Pharaohs were layiii”- the foundation stones of the 
pyramids, six thousand years a^o. Herodotus states 
that the Scythians cultivated hemp in the valley of. 
the Vol^a four thousand years a<^o. 

Whether the seed from the one wild parent • 
plant has been modified by the soils and climatic 
(joiiditions of centuries of existence, under varviim 
circumstances, irrc{>'ular, uncertain, often unfriendly, 
and become a more or less tractable, more or less 
useful plant, its habit changed to one of shorter 
growth, earlier and more prolific of seed, as found 
ill the higher latitudes, or to the plant of tall, 
slender and graceful character, as found in the 
warmer and more moist climates, cannot be ascer- 
tained. Certain it is that some variety of the iilant 
has accompanied humanity in its migrations, and 
found lodging place in the highways and byways 
of man’s industries, ministering to his wants in 
response to, and aecordingl}’’ as, his care has been 
friendly and considerate. 

The origin of the English word hemp is as 
obscure as that of the plant itself. The earliest 
name for the plant is the Sanscrit Sana, a hollow 
reed-like plant or cane. Corresponding to this is the 
Persian canna and I'annap, hence the Arabian word 
cannal), a small reed or cane. Greek I'anna, a reed 
and anything made from it ; also liannahis and 
liannahos. Latin cannahis, from canna, a reed or 
cane ; also a tube or small vessel. Italian cannapa; 
also canna, a reed, caiie, jiipe, hollow tube or uieas- 



iiring stick. French cluilu're, caiieraa, lieinp and a 
doth made from hemp ; also canne, a eane or reed, 
lienee cantare, a voice throu'^h the reeds; and the 
many words of similar derivation. In French, as 
is (jnite common, the c and k become ch. 

We find no exactly corresponding^ word in An^do- 
Saxon, or the German or Celtic tonj^iics. There 
seems to have been a division of names by those 
cnltivatiny: the plant, in the niif^rations from the 
far East, one branch passing? to the south of the 
Black Sea and the other to the north, and with 
the chaiif^^es in the sounds of letters and the word 
formation common to the language, the Greek k be- 
coming c in Latin, ch in French, and to the north 
of the Black Sea the k and c becoming h. The words 
Juuiapiis and hanaperium in Old Latin, Juuiap in Old 
French, and Jianaf in Old High German, a vase, 
bowl or basket, correspond to the English hamper 
and hanaper, and which are the same in Swedish, 
a hempen bag or wicker basket, while Latin ha- 
riindo is also a reed or cane, taller than cannabis. 
The word for hemp in Anglo-Saxon is lienep, 
Dutch hennep or kennep, Old High German hanaf, 
and Swedish hampa ; Polish honopj, and Russian 
konopUa. The word for canvas is the same as for 
hemp in Latin, Greek, Italian and French, while 
in all English canvas meant a cloth for strain- 
ing. The word cannabis is the Latin for the wild 
hemp plant, while Cannabis saliva is the plant 
in cultivation. Pott’s "Etymologische Forschun- 
gen,” and Winning’s "Comparative Philology’’ give 
the word hemp as of Slavonic origin. 

Beyond the cultivation of hemp for its fiber for 
making garments and household linens by a large 



part of the people of northern Europe and Asia, 
the Arabians cultivated a variety of the wild plant, 
j^rowin^ but three to live feet, for the resinous 
gum, hashish, or hhamj or hanque, an intoxicating 
drug. ^Eschylus also states that it was burned and 
nsed for vapor baths, while Herodotus says the 
Scythians were intoxicated by inhaling the fumes 
of the burning seed. The leaf, when dried and 
smoked, is also said to alleviate pain, producing a 
narcotic, intoxicating effect, increasing the appetite, 
and giving rise to mental cheerfulness. When the 
resinous gum which exudes from the plant is taken 
internally in small doses it produces hilarity, and 
the patient soon becomes insensible ; but when 
recovering ])erceives no apparent ill effects to mind 
or body. Gunjah is an East Indian word for the 
dried hemp folinge, which was smoked for its intoxi- 
cating effects. The seed is used to feed birds and 
fowls, and to make oil for paints and for making 

The name hemp is also given to the commercial 
fibers of a great number of plants, especially to 
those of the agave or century i)lant, Aqave Ameri- 
cana, the sisal of commerce, and growing in Central 
America. Also to the fiber of the wild plantain, 
or musa (Manila hemp), growing in the Philip- 
pines, neither of which are true fibers, nor are 
they capable of subdivision for spinning into fine 
numbers. Jute, corchorus, was once called India 
hemp. There is also a Sunn hemp, the Crotalaria 
juncea. A species of hibiscus, H. cannahinus, grow- 
ing in India, is also called hemp, but the fiber is 
inferior even to jute. New Zealand flax, Fhor- 
mium tenax, is often called hemp, as are a great 



number of other plants of less importance ; but, 
aside from the true hemp, cannabis, flax, Unum, and 
ramie, Ba’lnneria, there are no true vegetable fibers 
adapted to fine spinning at present known to com- 

The variet}' of hemp best adapted to the ]iro- 
duetion of a fine, soft fiber, and that growing the 
tallest, the most rapidl\', and the longest between 
leaf joints, comes from the wild Iiido-China plant. 
Cannabis Indica and C. sericeus, also called C. (ji- 
(jantea. It is later in maturing seed, however, and, 
bearing but little seed, is liable to be crowded out 
by the more prolific earlier varieties (Fig. 2). With 
favorable conditions of soil and moisture, the Indo- 
China variety grows to a hight of fifteen to seven- 
teen feet in a latitude of 40° in the United States, 
and up to twenty to twenty -five feet farther south, 
in from ninety to one hundred days, according to 
mean temperature and time of planting. 

A variety long known in Turkey as Smyrna 
hem]), and in Italy as Italian hem]!, canna})a, the 
seed of which is also imported into France for 
growing the taller French varieties, is earlier, more 
inclined to branching and more prolific of seed, 
and rarely grows aliove thirteen feet in hight, even 
under the most favorable conditions of soil and 

Another variety also found in Italy and called 
Cannapa pirola, or small hemi), grows four to six 
feet, while the common hemp cultivated in Europe 
grows five to seven feet tall, and seems to be a cross 
or degenerate from the former varieties, and i)erlia]>s 
from mixing with the Ifnngarian and Knssian 

Fir.. 2. CiiiNKsK 

St.ilks of IJenip grown for fiber in tlie center. 



This lower-growing variety is often planted nincli 
thicker, and furnishes a ])lant in character and habit 
intermediate in size and appearance between flax 
and hemp. 

The wild Hungarian and Ixussian varieties seem 
quite a distinct type, differing consideralfly in gen- 
eral appearance, in cultivation, from the others, and 
also partaking somewhat of all the other European 
varieties, being quite irregular in habit and in 
bight of stalk, and with a coarser, not so readily 
manipulated, fibrous material. 

The hemp plant is found growing wild, as if 
indigenous to all parts of the world, es])ecially in 
the northern portions of Europe and Asia, and, in 
the different latitudes, partaking to a considerable 
extent of the nature of the plant in cultivation 
near by, as if the wild iflant had cscapial from culti- 
vation or the cultivateil ])laut had Ihhmi reco\eied 
from its wild state and, by cultivation, made to 
assume a character more in keeping with the wants 
of the cultivator. In its struggles for existence 
the wild plant iiresents many differing characteris- 
tics of more or less intei'cst to the botanist. 

The general effect of cultivation upon hemp, as 
of all other iflants, is to restore it from the irregu- 
larity of unfriendly conditions of soil and the over- 
crowding of its own or other foliage, and to give 
it a tendency to a higher iiroduction of seed, instead 
of a large proportion of weed or stalk. This result 
is apparent in almost all farm crops, where the 
purpose is to seed thinly and to keej) out weeds, 
so that the production of fruit may be as great as 

possible, instead of a tall stalk or shoot. In cotton 
the aim is especially to prepare the soil in a way 



that the tap-root may early strike hard-pan, and 
thus force the plant up to fruit, while fertilizers 
are applied with special reference to fruit rather 
than to a tall -growing plant. With sugar cane, 
which does not flower in semi-tropical climates, 
the purpose is the reverse: to grow as tall and large 
a cane as possible. The same object is desired with 
hemp, by the application of nitrogen to produce a 
tall stalk, but with a thick seeding of the ground 
to prevent the growing of large stalks. 

Hemp is the king of fiber-bearing plants, — the 
standard by which all other fibers are measured; 
while none but silk is of a finer character, and none 
other is so universally adapted to a wide soil and cli- 
matic conditions and the rude arts of the semi -bar- 
barous husbandman, and the primitive methods and 
practices attending the preparation of its fiber; yet 
none is more amenable to the care of exact culture, 
nor better rew'ards the skill of fine -art methods of 
fiber -manipulation. No plant is more susceptible 
to the processes of producing a fine, white, soft and 
silky fiber, and there is not one to take its place in 
the wide and diversified area of its culture and 

Besides its adaptability to cultivation in all cli- 
mates, it may be grown continuously upon the same 
soil with but a minimum application of manures, 
provided the refuse is returned to the land. Accord- 
ing to the methods of manipulation to obtain the 
fiber, it may be used for the strongest and coarsest 
cordages or to produce the finest linens. In the 
colder latitudes, while the fiber is coarser, the 
medicinal qualities are milder, less pronounced, and 
less effective. The hot, moist climate of the tropics 



is exceedingly well adapted to the rapid growth so 
favorable to the production of an abundance of fine 
fiber, while the plant yields substances said to be 
very powerful in their narcotic and intoxicating 




Hemp is uii exogenous, liardy aiinnal plant, 
capable of withstanding a freezing teinperatni-e 
without damage. It grows luxuriantly in proportion 
to fertility, warmth and moisture, from a hight 
of three to live and seven to eight feet, according 
to variety, in latitudes of 50° to G0°, increasing in 
hight some two to five feet for each ten degrees 
of latitude, up to a hight of twenty to twenty-five 
feet for the Indo-China variety in the trojucs. 

Hemp may be ])lanted at the same time as oats, 
spring wheat or rye, as soon as the ground can be 
made readv, and south of a latitude of 35° at anv 
time during the year. 

In latitudes south of 40°, with care, two crops 
a year of the eai*ly varieties may l)c readily grown; 
or a crop of hemp and a crop of peas to keep up 
the fertility. of the soil. Under favorable conditions, 
the growTh of hem]i is very ra])id, from two to three 
feet the first thirty days, and three to ten feet the 
next thirty, according to variety, climate, character 
of fertilizers, condition of soil, and supply of 
moisture, being ready to harvest for fiber in eight}" 
to ninety days, the seed ripening in forty to fifty 
days thereafter, according to variety. With an 
abundance of moisture, humus, and nitrogen from 



decaying animal matter in the soil, seed-hemp of 
the Indo- China variety has been seen growing in 
Florida twelve mouths from the time of sowing the 
seed, twenty -five feet tall and six inches in diameter 
six inches from the ground. 

Fig. 3. Chinese Hemp. l\Iale and female plants. 

Remp is dioecious, the male and female stalks 
being essentially different in habit and in the 
peouliarity of fiber- production. Remp belongs to 
the family Uriicaccm (Nettles), and the tribe Cun- 
nuhinecv. A male plant is seen to the left in Fig. 
3, and a female plant to the right. 

Ijike flax and ramie, the two other true fiber- 
bearing plants, hemp has its fiber in a heavy bark 


H E ]\i r 

or rind, firinh' massed and bound together by a 
resinous gum of great consistency, not soluble in 
boiling water, but readily yielding to putrefactive 
fermentation and to alkaline and saponaceous sol- 
vents, yielding a soft, white, silky fiber adapted to 
the production of the finest threads, linens, lawns 
and cambrics. Like the i)ure fiber of all i)lants, 
its natural color is white, and it is onh' discolored 
by the imperfect i)ractices used in cleansing it from 
its gum and extraneous suri’onndings 

In cultivation hemp has a long, white, fibrous, 
tapered root, deeply penetrating the soil, when made 
mellow by deep tillage, in search of the special plant- 
food and the large amount of moisture it requires. 
Hemp absorbs a large amount of nitrogen from the 
soil, and if dry the roots penetrate to a great dei)th ; 
while if an over- abundance of moisture is given, it 
spreads out numerous roots near the surface, ac- 
commodating itself to existing conditions with great 
facility and regularity. 

The hemp stalk is straight and ramified, holloAv 
at times, according to the presence of jAcculiar 
manures which force a rapid growth, oi- nearly solid 
in hard and impoA-erished soils, and bears long 
branches at short, regularly spaced intervals AAdien 
groAving isolated, but only leaves at the joints ten to 
fifteen inches apart if the ground is rich and the 
plant groAving rapidly. When soaa'ii thickly and 
the plant is groAving fast, these leaA'es fall early 
as the groAA’th proceeds, and the lieaAw top foliage 
shades the plants, i)rodueing a smooth, slender 
stalk of great beauty, and AA'ith a cortex condi- 
tioned to furnish a smooth, soft, silky fiber for 
fine spinning. 



A part of tlie fibers, startiiif^ from the root, end 
at eaeli suceessive leaf-joint, lienee the ainonnt of 
fiber «tom’S less towards the top ; thus the advan- 
ta*je of thick -seeding and of having the plant grow 
rapidly, so as to make the leaf-joints as far aj)art 
as possible. The leaves and branches grow opposite 
each other, the digitate leaves consisting of seven 
to nine, sometimes eleven lanceolate, coarsely ser- 
rated leaflets. 

In male hem]) the (lowers are panicled, axillary 
and terminate. They have five nearly equal sepals, 
five drooping stamens, and oblong, tetragonal an- 
thers disposed, ordinarily, in light green clusters. 
When mature, in some ten days to two weeks from 
time of blossoming, these turn yellow and, if not 
harvested, the plant dies and rapidly loses its 

Female hemp has sessile axillary flowers, too 
small to be noticed excejiting by close observation. 
The calyx is elongated and extended on but one 
side. The crowns are ovary -bearing, with two styles 
and their stigmas. A small, round capsule with two 
valves contains one little grain of seed, at first white, 
and then the covering green, turning to brown. 
The seeds are gray -striped in some varieties, while 
in others they are of a dull color, and when rijie 
sometimes nearly black. 

The finest fiber known to the manufacturer’s art 
is that of the best water -retted hemp frequently 
cleansed bv being carefully "boiled off,” to free it 
from the resinous, gummy matters which unite the 
fibers, and after it has been broken and the woody 
matter shnken out. In all manufactures of hemp 
and flax the yarns or fabrics are boiled off in alka- 



Hue solutions, to free them from the gmui and 
other extraneous matters, if the fiber itself has 
not been previously so treated. When so cleansed 
and subdivided, a mass of fine, soft JihrUhv is 
presented almost rivaling silk in luster and spiii- 
iiiug qualities. 

The chemical composition of hemp presents some 
features peculiar to the plant. Grown for fiber, 
fhere is nothing in the product removed from the 
hemp of much special value, compared with plants 
grown for seed. In cotton and corn and other 
grains the seeds carry away very large quantities 
of plant -food. Plants which do not produce or 
ripen seed, like hemp and sugar cane, require dif- 
ferent elements, and for that reason there is no 
analysis of hemp on record by which to make an 
exact comparison with the plant as grown for fiber. 
The tendency of all cultivation is to produce fruit 

at the expense of 

weed. For fibers the 

reverse is 

the aim. 

With the seed 

and plant complete, an analysis 

of the hemp and 

flax plants gives the 


composition : 



Carbon .... 



Hydrogen . . . 



Nitrogen . . . 



Oxygen .... 






Total . . 



The ashes of the hemp and flax plants give the 
following per cents : 






Chloride of sodium 
Magnesia .... 
Alumina .... 
Oxide of iron . . 


Phosphoric acid . 
Sulphuric acid . . 
Chlorine .... 
Carbonic acid . . 

Total . . . 












.O / 










10 72 



Tliese iuehule botli seed and stalk. The ashes of 
the hemp -seed and flax-seed show: 




Magnesia .... 
Peroxyde of iron 
Phosphoric acid . 
Sulphate of lime 
Chlorine .... 
Chloride of sodium 
Silicic acid . . . 



Total . . . 

Ueinp-seed Flaxseed 
























The leaves of the hemp plant contain: 

Carbon 40.50 

Hydrogen 5.98 

Nitrogen 1.82 

Oxygen *. 29.70 

Ashes 22.00 

Total 100.00 



The fibers of both these plants contain but very- 
little of plant-food. Where grown for fiber, as is 
hemp, and the refuse returned to the soil, it liter- 
ally takes nothing away from the land ; while in 
fact it furnishes sufficient plant -food to keep the 
soil in nearly i)erfect condition. The following will 
show comparative demands for plant -foods : 




Phos. Acid 

Hemp plant . 

. . . 1.74 




Hemp-seed . 

. . . 2.61 




Flax i)lant . . 

. . . .59 




Flax-seed . . 

. . . 3.28 




Cotton plant . 

. . . 1.90 




Cotton -seed . 

. . . 3.00 




Pea -vines . . 

. . . 2.07 




Cowpeas . . 

. . . 3.97 




The amount of fertilizing elements required to 
produce the plants for one hundred pounds of cot- 
ton lint, and of fiax and heinj) fibers, is given by 
the Year Book of the U. S. Dept, of Agriculture 

1897, as 

follows : 

Weight of plant {in 
pounds) for 100 
pounds of fiber 


Nitrogen Potash Phos. Acid 

Cotton . 

. . 747 




Flax . . 

. . 687 




Hemp . 

. . 597 




This shows that hemp requires less than one -third 
of the nitrogen and less than one -half of the 
phosphoric acid that does cotton, which requires 
41.94 pounds of fertilizers, flax 33.42 pounds, and 
hemp but 19.72 pounds. 

As an acre of cotton should give a yield of 500 
pounds of lint, the yield of dry stalks, with bolls 
complete, should be 3,735 pounds, and the amount 



of nitrogen used, 103.55 pounds, with G5.30 pounds 
of potash and 40.85 pounds of phosphoric acid. An 
acre of flax should yield 350 pounds of fiber, and 
the whole weight of growth should be 2,405 pounds, 
requiring G7.79 pounds of nitrogen, 25.51 pounds of 
potash, and 23. GG pounds of phosphoric acid. The 
average yield of hemp fiber ])er acre under similar 
conditions would be 1,500 pounds, giving a yield of 
8,955 pounds of growth, and the nitrogen used would 
be 94.05 pounds, potash 151.95 pounds, and phos- 
phoric acid 49.80 pounds. The value of the product 
of an acre of each of these three plants would be, 
at present prices, cotton $30 (seed and lint $45), 
flax $35 (seed and fiber $45), and hemp $105. The 
cost of the culture of each crop would not mate- 
rially differ. The cost of the chemical fertilizers, 
if they had to be purchased, would be, cotton $25, 
flax $14, and hemp $24 ; but as a large part of 
these plants may be returned to the soil, it is only 
necessary to see that the soil upon which the crops 
are to be grown is at first fully supi)lied with these 
plant-foods. The lint of cotton and fibers of hemp 
and flax practically carry away nothing from the 
soil. The seeds of these plants, however, represent 
a certain eash outlay for manures. The analysis of 
100 pounds of cotton-seed, flax-seed and hemp -seed 

Nitrogen Potash Phos. Acid 

Cotton-seed 3.00 1.20 1.00 

Fax-seed 3.28 1.04 1.30 

Ilemp-seed 2.G1 .97 1.75 

This shows 100 pounds of cotton -seed to be worth 
50 cents as manure for these plant-foods alone ; 100 
pounds of flax-seed to be worth G8 cents, and 100 




pounds of hemp -seed to be worth 50 cents. So that 
at the present prices of these seeds, the cotton -seed 
should be used as a fertilizer, and the flax- and 
hemp -seeds sold. 

A comi)arative analysis of the ashes 

of hemp-. 

tiax- and cotton -seed show: 

llemp-seed Flax seed 



. 21. G7 




. 2G.63 



Phos. acid 

. 34. 9G 

40 10 



. 14.04 



The hemp plant is not grown for both seed and 

fiber, so the fertilizers of 

the seed are saved: while 

if cotton -seed is returned to the soil 

its fertility 

would be preserved. 

Analyses of the steep- 


ill which hemp and 

flax have been retted, showed 

the following com- 

parisoii : 




. 55. G6 



. 8.21 



. G.45 



. 29. C8 



. 100.00 


The ashes of hemp -steep 


49.20 per cent, and 

of flax 42.01 per cent. As this steeping process, 
or any other dissolving of the resinous matters 
from the fiber, takes away almost everything which 
the i)laiit takes from the soil, it is easil}" seen how 
valuable a fertilizer is the refuse of these plants. 
After the hemp stalk has been peeled and the 
fibrous material removed, an analysis of the stalk 
alone showed ; 



Ashes . 








The ashes contaiu but a trace of alkali, and the 
nitrog-eii is in very small (luantity ; lienee the burn- 
ing; of the woody matter as fuel to run the 
maehinery neeessitates but a trilling; loss. 

Ill all these analyses, however, the fact remains 
that, on account of the lack of exact botanical 
determination, a g'reat deal still remains as an 
exceeding;ly interesting study for the chemist. An 
analysis of hemp must differ from cotton in the 
fact that when g;rowing- hemp for fiber, a tall stalk, 
and no seed product, is reipiired, while with cotton, 
as with most other plants but sug-ar cane, a short 
stalk, with much fruiting- or seeding-, is necessary; 
hence the determination of what special plant -foods 
are necessary to jiroduce hemp plants with seed, 
does not equally apply to the growth of a hemp 
plant without seed. In this connection, the results 
of some experiments now making show that where 
the soil contains a large ainonnt of humus and de- 
caying animal foods, furnishing an abundance of 
nitrogen, the hemp plant grows very inueli faster 
and taller. If two crops a year are to be grown, a 
different mannrial condition wonld be required than 
if the whole season were to be given to the produc- 
tion of one crop. With an abundance of nitrogen 
and moisture, the nitrogen dominates the growth, 
and the hemp stalk is far more hollow, the growth 



more rapid, and tlie distance between leaf -joints 
inneli greater. In 18G3 Congress appointed a com- 
mission to investigate the cultivation of hemp and 
flax, but its' labors Avere confined to the study of 
what practices were already in existence ; and while 
it found that the product of hemp in the United 
States in 18G0 was over 87,000 tons, the Avork Avas 
irregular, and the report too- incomplete to be of 
value to the hemp grower. Numerous publications 
have since been issued by the Department detailing 
foreign practices, but in a manner too superficial to 
materially aid the farmer. 



Few of the i)rimitive ]iractices, remnants of 
okltinio methods, still o))tainiii" with the proprie- 
tors of small plots of land, who still grow hemp 
as a braneh of their family employment in the Old 
World, present examples for eopying, or by whieh 
to profit, in the more extensive praetiees in Amer- 
ica, wher(^ ranches s((nare miles in extent take the 
])laee of s<inare acres in Europe, and labor-saving 
appliances that of hand labor. France, situated in 
the center of European indnstry, is a highly tense 
and concentrated indnstiaal country, with a teri-itory 
one- fifth less in extent than the state of Texas. 
She, nevertheless, has taken the lead in all the arts, 
coarse and fine, of agricultural j)rodnction, and in 
textile design and industrial advancement; but in a 
space so confined there has not lieen the oppor- 
tunity to work ont upon an extended scale the les- 
sons she has so exactly learned. 

Three -fourths of the agricultural acreage of 
France is divided np into small holdings, averaging 
less than six acres each, and upon these small tracts 
of land, adjoining the dwellings, the hemp industry 
of France first came into jirominence, dating back 
to the lieginning of the seventeenth century, when 
the people cultivated the hemp, pn'pared the fiber, 
and by hand labor spun and wove it into cloth for 




canvas, or for garments, and into linens for house- 
hold use. At the revocation of the Edict of Nantes 
the King of France sent out to the rest of the 
world the prolific seed of the world’s intelligence, — 
liberty and industrial progress, and the culture and 
manufacture of hemp was one of the best. In a 
few instances more modern methods have prevailed, 
and from these some knowledge may l)e gleaned hy 
which to verify the claims for better methods in 
American practice, and to suggest further improve- 
ments. The E)irijcIope(lie CJiimiqne, Paris, 1890, 
gives some account of the later ])ractices, with in- 
structions for hemp cultivation and for the prepa- 
ration of hemp fiber as at pre.sent practiced in 
Europe, from which we make selections. 

Researches among the remains of the semi- 
barbarous people first inhabiting France show that 
the production of hemp was among the earliest of 
the arts, and furnished the materials for garments 
and household linens continually. Hemp was of the 
simplest of cultivation, and its fiber product most 
easily adapted to the necessities of the peoi)le in 
their everyday tasks. As early as the beginning 
of the seventeenth century we find the industry 
systematical^' established among the small farmers, 
who possessed small idots of land adjoining their 
dwellings, where they sowed their hemp every year, 
after having given the utmost care and attention to 
the fertilization, deep tillage and careful prepara- 
tion of the soil for that purpose. 

The ingenuity and close application of the peo]>le 
of that country early gave a high character to the 
fibei's and household linens ])rodueed, and bolh the 
production and finality have steadily increased, until 



France annually produces over 70,000 tons of raw 
hemp fiber, and annually adds some 25,000 tons 
more by importation to supply her manufactories. 
Over 250 mills ai‘e engaged in its manufacture. i\I. 
Charpentier asserts that, contrary to most plants, 
hemp may l)e grown continually upon the same soil 
without any material deterioration, and the plant 
and fiber are always fine when the cultivation is 
carried on with care and intelligence. This culti- 
vation of hemp in the small household hem]) fields, 
and in which the cultivator spared nothing, served 
as a grand school for the exact culture and ])repa- 
ration of hemp fiber by making known and ai>i)re- 
ciated the richness of the fiber of this textile ])lant 
and its wide adaptation to the })roduction of fine 
fabrics for garments and household use. Besides 
this cultivation adapted to the small households, 
many parts of France now cultivate liemi) upon a 
large scale, with a systematic rotation of crops, and 
with great care in the preparation of the fiber. 

Up to the end of the eighteenth century, and 
l)efore the invention of machine-spinning by Ray, 
in 1826 (Ray was a French manufacturer at that 
time), the hemp ])roduced in Picardy and Alsace 
was chiefly used for coarse products of cordage aud 
fish-uets, while that of Dauphiiie aud Limoges served 
))artly to supply the hand-s])inners aud weavers of 
the mountains of the Tsere and Puy de Dome, 
fine fabrics so long had a , great reputation in the 
south of France. The plains of Grenolde produced 
hemp of a remarkalde fineness, Avhich supplied the 
numerous si)iiiners of Dauiihine, whose ])roducts 
contributed so much to the great n'putation of the 
fine linens of Voiron. Today these ])lains, so well 


H E M P 

adapted and so well situated in the shelter of the 
Alps, enjoying a damp and warm climate, possess- 
ing all the natural elements for producing a fine 
hemp plant, still produce good hemp, Limoges, 
which unites with the natural elements of a climate 
warm and moist during the time of the growth of 
the hemp plant a rich, deep soil, easily cultivated, 
has been particularly favored in the culture of hemp. 

Carried on intelligently, hemp culture is one of 
the most productive industries known. With care 
one can easily obtain 1,000 to 1,200 pounds per 
acre of a fine fiber, ready to spin, besides twenty 
bushels of oleaginous seed. The parts of France 
where hemp now gives the best returns are Anjou, 
Sarthe, Picardj^, Touraine, Maine and Normandy. 

The writer in the Encydopedie Chimique gives 
directions for the cultivation of hemp, and states 
that the plant is now the most widespread and 
important commercial plant of Europe. This is 
consequent not only upon the simplicity of its cul- 
tivation and the possibility of replanting indefinitely 
upon the same land, but also and especially upon a 
principle of oldtime husbandry which led the culti- 
vator of the soil to produce all he consumed. 
Thanks to its short period of growth, hemp can be 
cultivated in all latitudes on the continent of 
Europe, from the neighborhood of Archangel to the 
plains of Granada. 

As a complete crop in European farming, how- 
ever, we would like to see generally adopted the 
improved process of retting, by which there would 
be a more systematic cleansing and preparation of 
the fiber, and a complete return to the soil of the 
great amount of nitrogenous and mineral matters 



contained in the stalks and leaves of the plants, 
whieh ai*e now lost in the steep- water. The fibers 
of hemp are stronger, but by the present imperfect 
methods of retting not so easily subdivided, as 
flax. This the new and imin-oved methods of 
retting should rectifv. 

The art of producing a fine hemp fiber consists, 
first, in a careful noting of the proper time of sow- 
ing the seed, and that the soil be fertile and deej)!}”^ 
tilled, that the hemp may grow rapidi}’. The seed 
should bo perfect, so that it may all sprout at once, 
and sown in sufficient quantity that thd stalks be 
near enough together to prevent branching, and 
that the stalks do not grow too large, and also to 
perfectly shade the ground. 

Hemp having a long tap-root, the soil must be 
deeply tilled and made mellow, to give it free access 
to the humus and to obtain moisture, and to absorb 
its proper plant-foods during its period of growth. 
Deep fall plowing is also desirable and advan- 
tageous, to turn up the hard earth and expose it to 
the action of the frost and snows of winter, making 
the soil more permeable to the atmospheric influ- 
ences. Earl}" spring plowing is also recommended, 
to prevent the soil from hardening before the final 
stirring at the time of seeding, and because the 
soil cannot be too thoroughly pulverized and pre- 
Iiared for the free feeding of the fine rootlets of the 
plant. To see that the soil is mellow and friable 
is one of the most important rules to be observed. 

The amount of manures should be liberal, and 
be spread upon the ground as early in winter as 
])ossible, that the I’ains may soak the nutritive mat- 
ters into the soil. If we wish to use poudrette or 



guano, these should be applied after the last plowing, 
only a short time before planting. These fertilizers 
produce a more immediate effect and insure a more 
rapid and uniform germinating of the seed. 

The seed is a very important element in obtain- 
ing fine plants of even bight, and should be 
selected with great care. To be good, the seed 
should be gray in color, bright, plum)) and heavy. 
Wlien the kernels are crushed between the teeth 
they should leave a loronounced nutty taste. The 
seeds which remain white are abortive, and will not 
germinate, while those of a greenish color are unri))o 
and germinate slowly, the plants from them lack- 
ing strength, and are smothered by those of more 
vigorous growth. The black seeds have undergone 
fermentation, have a rancid taste, and their presence 
indicates want of care in drying at the time of 
harvesting, or a fraudulent mixture of old seed. 

In Anjou the farmers usually purchase their seed 
from cultivators in Touraine, w^io make a specialty 
of raising seed. These latter generally obtain their 
seed from the valley of Carmagnola and Piedmont, 
Italy. This seed produces, the first year of sowing, 
a new seed which is called in commerce fiJs de 
Piemont (sons of Piedmont). The ))roduct from 
this last seed is designated by the name of "grand- 
sons of Piedmont," and from this last seed the best 
fiber is thought to be obtained. 

The time of sowing should vary with climate, 
soil and conditions of the season. Seed should be 
sown broadcast, and, if possible, just after a rain, 
toward the end of April in the latitude of Paris.* 

*Paris is wanner than the s-ainc latitude in the United States, and eor- 
responds in mean tempei'atnre to New York city, Indianapolis and Omaha. 



When we wish to obtain an espeeially fine, higli- 
lirieed fiber, the seed is sown more thiekly upon a 
warm, moist and fertile soil, so that the plants will 
grow in one long shoot with few leaf-joints, and if 
there has been eare in all the work of preparation 
the hemp plants will all grow of the same uniform 
size and hight, so that the interlacing leaves Avill 
shut ont the sunlight and the air from the stalks 
and their fibrous coverings. This protection to the 
stalks of the plant, seconded by a vigorous growth, 
is one of the most powerful elements in prodmdng 
a fiber bast rich in soft, fine, silky fibers, fit to 
spin into fine, strong yarns, and espeeially adapted 
to the ])rodnetion of fine linen, laces or other tex- 
tile fabrics for garments and household uses. 

The wind and the sudden changes of hot and 
cold atmospheric currents have a remarkable influ- 
ence upon textile plants in effecting changes in 
their fibrous nutrients, hardening the gum resin 
which binds the fil)crs together, and rendering them 
coarse and "harsky.” It is, therefore, easily seen 
that wdien growth takes 'i)lace under the natural 
shelter of the leaves, as if in the mild, soft atmos- 
phere of a eonservatoiy, the vegetation is protected 
against the ill effect of any sudden changes of tem- 
perature, while the mellowed air which surrounds 
the stalks ])reservcs their warmth and moisture in a 
inanncr and condition very essential to the produc- 
tion of soft, silky fibers. If the soil is fertile, warm 
and moist, the plants will spring np quickly and 
uniformly, and if all the direetious here given have 
been ol)served, the product will be a highly satis- 
faetoiy one. 

Weeding hemp is not necessary. The plant is 


E M P 

not injured by weeds, excepting the tie -vine or wild 
morning-glory, a weed which should be exter- 
minated from every plantation, no matter with what 

We have said that hemp can be raised for many 
years ni)on the same land, because the fertilizers 
ai)plied easily restore in most part the elements 
which hem]) takes from the soil. However, there 
usually comes a time when, fi-om neglect to com- 
pletely recuperate the conditions of the soil by 
rotation and the ai)plication of manures, the con- 
dition becomes inimical to a luxuriant growth of 
hemp. The soil has become exhausted, and a para- 
sitic plant of the genus Orohanche, chokewecd 
or broom -rape, fastens upon the root of the hemp 
plant in such a mauner and in such numbers as to 
sap its vitality. By the presence of this weed we 
know that the soil is becoming "hemp sick,” or 
exhausted of the special characteristics from a too 
long and a too steady drain in the cultivation of 
hemp, with a neglect of rotation or of a proper 
restoration; and the field must be turned to other 

Insects rarely attack the hemp ; in fact, it is in 
its nature, peculiar odor and medicinal composition 
a preservation against the attacks of insects upon 
other plants growing near it. The larva of the 
death’s- head moth, Acherontia atropos, at times 
bores the hemp stalk for a home. 

In harvesting hemp, if we wish a very fine, 
high-priced fiber, the harvesting is done before the 
seed is ripe. If the hemp is left growing too long 
the male stalks languish, while the fiber upon the 
female, or seed- bearing stalks, becomes coarse and 



hard ; wliile if the hemp is harvested too early, and 
before the male has blossomed, the fiber will be 
veiy fine, but too soft. 

In cultivation upon a small scale, the hemp is 
j^enerally harvested in two parts. The male is 
pulled Avheu it has shed its pollen, and the female 
after the seed has ripened. lu this way the male 
^ives a fine fiber, while that of the female is harder 
and only adapted to coarser work, but the seed is 

In Alsace the henii) is all pulled at one time, 
just as the seed is forming’; but it is allowed to 
ripen afterwards in the sun. In this way the fiber 
becomes coarser and only ada[)tcd to cordage, but 
some seed is saved. lu Picardy there is also Imt 
one harvesting, after the seed is formed. In most 
other places the hemp is gathered early and while 
the male is in full blossom, and no attention is 
paid to saving the seed, while a finer and softer 
and more valuable fiber is thus obtained, worth 
more than both seed and fiber as obtained by the 
other methods. 

Ill whatever way the hemp is harvested, it is at 
once l)ound up in small sheaves when pulled, and 
stood 111) to dry, and then shocked. The seed is 
beaten out, the tops and roots ent off, to even it 
in length, by a sharp cutter. Or after the roots are 
cat off the hemp is stood up, bundle by bundle, 
and the taller stalks pulled out; or the bundles are 
laid upon the floor, butts to the wall, and weighted, 
and the long stalks pulled out. To save the seed, 
care is taken to see that it is perfectly dry, that it 
may not heat and ferment. 

In very much of the hemp industry in France, 


H li: ]\i p 

still (ioiilined to small acreages, the work is irregu- 
lar ill many respects. Full advantage cannot be 
taken ot‘ labor-saving appliances or the more eco- 
nomical modern processes, as when conducted upon 
an extended scale, nor can any attempt be made at 
classification, as the small producer must dispose of 
his product to the middleman for classification, fin- 
ishing and marketing, thus losing a very large per- 
centage of the profits which would be his under the 
circumstances of working an extended acreage. 

A considerable i)art of the hemp grown in 
France is still retted by tli-e antiquated method of 
spreading it upon the ground for the destructive 
action of the elements, and the product is a very 
coarse, dark-colored fiber, almost worthless for any 
modern methods of manufacture. When not thus 
spread upon the ground the retting is largely done 
in pools of stagnant water, either natural or artifi- 
cially constructed by being dug in the ground at 
any convenient place, of an extent large enough to 
accommodate the one to fiv^e acres of hemp grown. 
For this a pool of a size to hold two to ten or 
twelve tons of hemp will be required, although 
these pools are usually four or five feet deep, ten to 
twelve feet long, and five to eight feet wide. The 
sheaves of hemp are packed with the butts alter- 
nately one way and the other, until the pit is full, 
or all the hemp is used up. It is then weighted 
down by stones and the pit filled with water. The 
same water may be used over several times, until 
all the hemp is steeped. The method is wasteful, 
the steep -water not being utilized, while the stench 
at the retting season of many of these stagnant 
pits is something unbearable. Nor is the product 

culturp: OF’ hf:mp in Europe 


of muoh greater value tliau by the more primitive 
method of spreading the hemp upon the ground. 

The best results are obtained when hemp is 
grown upon a large seale and the hemp retted by 
being steeped in running water. Quite often the 
hemp is plaeed in crates holding a ton or more of 
stalks, and then weights of stones plaeed upon them 
to hold the hemi) under water for live to eight 
days, aeeording to the temperature of the water. 

F’ig. -1. Stake Retting Pit. 

Part of the more modern jiraetice is to dig pools 
five to seven feet deep, which will hold ten to 

twenty-live tons of hemp, and into which, if the 

pits are so situated, a small stream of water may 

be conducted and the overflow allowed to run out 
upon the land as a fertilizer. The illustration, 
Fig. 4, shows a pit made of ujiright posts and 
cross bars for holding down the hemp, and in Fig. 
5 is seen a pit in which stones are used to weight 
and hold down the stalks when in place. 

A later practice is to place the hemp in the 



water for four to five days and then take it 
out and dry it, returning it again to the retting- 
or stee})iiig- place for from four to six days more. 
This gives a better fiber, of a creamy white color, 
and a more evenly retted product. Or, after first 
being in the water for five to six days the hemp is 
dried, and when afterwards broken and the hurds 
or shives shaken out the hemp is ” boiled olf,” as is 
done with silk or in wool -scouring, or as is done 

Fig. 5. Stonk Retting Pit. 

with yarns and fabrics after they are mannfae- 
tmred, to completely remove the hemp -gum and 
the other extraneous matters. Much of the prepa- 
ration of hemp is now done by the manufacturer, 
and conducted by secret methods, not easy to learn. 
Another process of retting consists in placing the 
hemp in tanks of convenient size, holding five to 
ten tons of stalks, which are filled with water first 
impregnated with acid, and then emptied and refilled 
with water containing alkaline preparations, or vice 
versa. In some instances the hemp is first broken 



or decorticated and the fibrous material ouly sub- 
jected to steeping. This requires much less space, 
and after steeping the fiber can be hung up 
to dry. 

One method of "boiling off” the fiber. before 
spiuiiiug consists in first passing the partly water- 
retted hemp through a softening machine consist- 
ing of sixteen sets of tinted rollers, set in a circu- 
lar manner and made to move with a forward and 
back, or reciprocal motion. The fiber is then 
macerated in a nearly boiling solution of carbonate 
of soda and soap, then washed, first in cold water 
and then in water containing a small amount of 
muriatic acid, and again steeped in water contain- 
ing soda without soap, to remove the acid ; it is 
then placed in a solution of one part of acetic acid 
and one part of water and afterward in water alone, 
and dried and again softened. The process is too 
long, but is well rewarded in producing an exceed- 
ingly fine, soft, valuable fiber, highly adapted to the 
manufacture of fine linen, lawns and laces. 

The finest Italian hemps are produced by those 
growing small plots upon soil very deeply tilled, 
often eighteen inches to two feet, and most extrava- 
gantly manured ; the hemp being retted in artifi- 
cial ponds, usually for five or six days, and then 
dried and again steeped. 

It is not easy to reconcile much of the informa- 
tion given as to hemp culture and the preparation 
of the fiber in Europe with what has been found 
most practicable and advantageous in the cultiva- 
tion in the United States, — especially that of the 
heavy seeding of one and a -half to two bushels per 
acre, where seven -eighths to a bushel properly sown 



11 E M P 

is found ample in the practice in America ; but 
only an experience of years in the actual work of 
<^’rowin<^ hemp can fully determine the correctness 
of the methods employed. 

(’IIai’Ti:k IV 


llKMi* was one of the first i)laiits under eultiva- 
tion anion<^ the early colonists of America, and one 
of which most strenuous efforts were made to extend 
the production. There is no ]-ecord of the sources 
from whence the seed was obtained, and only sur- 
mises can be made as to varieties iii cultivation by 
colonists from different parts of Europe, who settled 
at different points from New England to Georgia. 
It is quite likelj^ that the varieties were nearly the 
same and of the common European character, grow- 
ing quite irregularly four to seven feet in New 
England, and five to ten feet in Virginia and 

Hemp was cultivated in New England as early 
as 1629, while in 1662 Virginia awarded bounties 
for hemp - culture and manufacture, and imposed 
penalties upon those who did not produce it. Up 
to 1847-50 the clothing of every black woman in 
the South was made up of "one piece," fitting from 
the neck downward to the calf of the leg, with 
sleeves to the elbow, and held bv a belt around the 
waist; while every black man’s clothing was of two 
pieces, both made of a stout hempen cloth of light 
color, largely made upon the plantations, but more 
generally by the other colonists of the more north- 
ern states, Virginia, jMaryland, Pennsylvania and 

( 35 ) 



New Jersey. The establisliiiient of a cotton mill 
at Augusta, Georgia, in 1848, commenced the weav- 
ing of cotton into "standard” sheeting and shirting 
to take the place of hemp and linen for garments 
and household uses. The "relics” of this industry 
for a long time held place in the garrets and lumber 
rooms of the palatial mansions, and are still occa- 
sionally met with in the mountain hamlets. In 
1792, 3,000 bolts of light hem]) canvas were made 
by one firm in Boston, worth $13 per bolt. In 1790, 
2,729 families in Virginia produced 315,000 yards 
of hemp fabrics. The product of hemp and flax 
manufactures ' in the United States in 1810 was 
over 21,000,000 yards. 

In 1765 Edmund Quincy, of Boston, prepared a 
work upon hemp -culture, which was published by 
order of the Massachusetts Assembly, for the pur- 
pose of impressing upon the minds of the colonial 
farmers the necessity for an extension of the hemp 

In this work Mr. Quincy describes the male 
hemp as "lighter, smaller and more delicate, with 
fewer branches and a more hollow stem than the 
female,” and states that the male comes to maturity 
some weeks before the female, yielding a much finer 
fiber, capable of being spun "into the finest threads 
most fit for linens of various sorts.” Also, that 
among the Dutch, hemp has been used for the 
manufacture of canvas and sail cloth; in France 
"linens for sheeting and shirting of the very finest 
sorts ” were made from it, and in Flanders the 
finest lawns, showing how important it was that 

♦Edmuiul Qiiiney was a brother of Josi.ah Quincy, grandfather of the 
president of Harvard. He died in 1785. 



much care should be given to groM'iug the hemp 
plant. The finest fabrics were made from the fiber 
of the male, or "finible hemp.” 

The best soils for hemp culture, according to 
Mr. Quincy, are the "intervales,” dark, loam}' soils 
composed of sand and pure molds. In Penns 3 'lvania 
the farmers have for many years raised hemp to 
advantage upon their well-drained lowlands. Hemp 
does much better in poor, warm land than upon a 
rich but cold soil. Experiments made by the set- 
tlers upon the bottom lands of the larger New 
England rivers showed that these "intervales” are 
equal to the Nile lands in Egypt, from which the 
cities of the Turkish empire and Italy receive a 
greater part of their fine hemp cloths. 

Mr. Quincy’s directions for the culture of hemp 
were to sow it as early as the land could be made 
ready, as "the earlier jilanted gave a heavier fiber 
coat, and to sow one and a-half to two and a-half 
bushels per acre, covering half an inch deep.” 
From Mr. Quincy’s directions it seems that the 
hemp was sown in rows two feet wide and two feet 
between, for convenience in getting to the male, 
which was pulled out after blossoming, and the 
female left to ripen its seed, as both seeds and fiber 
were saved. The yield was 700 to 1,000 pounds of 
fiber and ten to twelve bushels of seed per acre. 

From this and other incidental remarks it 
appears that it was the early varieties of the coin- 
mom European hemp that was raised, as it grew 
four to seven feet tall and was very irregular in 
character. "If a tall-growing variety, and sown 
two and a-half bushels per acre ui>on rich ground, 
half the hemp would be smothered.” 


H E ]\I P 

For retting, or " ratting,” there is no mention of 
any other method than that of steeping or water- 
ing, and because steeping in the rivers killed the 
fish, artificial steep-pools were constructed. "After 
steeping for five or six days a bundle should be 
lifted out and rinsed to see if the leaves come off 
easily and the coat or bark readily opens and sep- 
arates from the ‘ bunn ’ (boon),” 

In breaking the hemp Mr. Quincy gives an illus- 
tration of a fixed, grooved base and a grooved head, 
to be raised by canes or a crank and let to fall 
upon the hemp. He also recommends the use of 
fluted rollers run by water power. 

Several letters from hemp growers are published. 
Joseph Blaney and Samuel Barton, of Salem, Jan- 
uaiy, 17G5, state that they had planted ten acres 
the year previous, nine acres in rows and one sown 
broadcast, which grew four to seven feet. It was 
planted April 14 to May 2G, one and a-half and 
two and a-half bushels of seed per acre, with a 
yield of 700 to 1,000 pounds of fiber per acre. 
They remark that when soil is well tilled hemp beai’s 
drouth better than Indian corn, and is not so 
likely to be killed by frost. 

Mr. John Stevens* recommends sowing broad- 
cast, and when pulling, to pull out paths two feet 
wide of both male and female, having as wide sec- 
tions as can be reached into to pull out the male 
stalks first. He remarks that hemp is much injured 
by letting it stand out in the sun and dew. 

At this time there was a British enactment in 
force, prohibiting the manufacture of hemp in the 

*Mr. Stevens est.ablished the Stevens mills at Webster, Mass., the only 
mills in the United States now spinning and weaving linen. 

Fig. G. Spreading Hemp on the Groend in Kentt'Cky. 



colonies, and Great Britiau was offering a bounty of 
$40 per ton for raw hemp exported to England. A 
notice to this effect appears in the South Carolina 
Gazette of that date. 

The coming of cotton lint, with its greater 
facility in spinning, turned the attention from hemp 
to the heavy standard cotton products, which served, 
many purposes of coarse garments and household 
uses, while the appearance of jute, a cheaper and 
much more easily spun fiber, took the place of hemp 
for bagging and gunny sacks, crowding it still 
further, while the use of steam instead of sails 
lessened the demand for canvas, and lastly the sub- 
stitution of steel wire ropes and those of sisal and 
manila in cordage generally, rendered the com- 
petition too severe ; nor have the efforts to develop 
a better system of cleansing the hemp fiber of its 
resinous matter been as successful as the main* other 
methods of substituting less costly and more easily 
manipulated materials. 

Hemp was grown in New York state up to the 
last decade, while the industry still exists in the 
blue grass regions of Kentucky in all the pristine 
glory and primitive practices of its establishment a 
hundred years ago. The same antiquated methods 
of hand -sickles or scythes to harvest the hemp ; 
spreading it upon the ground for the destructive 
action of the elements to ret it ; and lastly, breaking 
it by hand, still prevail, as shown in Figs. 6 and 7. 

From the eastern states the culture of hemp 
moved to the Mississippi valley, which at one time 
led in the production of a cheap, coarse fabric. In 
1864 Missouri produced 28,000 tons. In 1892 the 
Empire Cordage Company, of Champaign, 111., had 



Fig. 7. Sgat Hanp-Rreak in Operation. 

ashes of tlie boon, or Imrcls, burned as fuel to run 
tlie inacliinery. 

Here was the first successful application of har- 
vesting machinery to cutting hemp, and of the nse 
of the modern hemp -break for obtaining the fiber. 
The general changing of the climate to an irregu- 
larity in the rainfall, and the more rapid drying of 
the soil, compelled the search for more favorable 

a hemp ranch of over 8,000 acres in cultivation, 
while several other ranches of 500 to 2,000 acres 
were in existence. Hemp was then grown upon the 
same land for thirty years in succession without 
fertilizers beyond the return of the foliage and the 



soil -conditions, a part of the hemp-growers going 
to the Platte river bottoms in Nebraska, a part to 
California, to use irrigation in the cultivation, and 
a part to Mississippi. Daring the past ten j'ears 
hemp has been planted experimentally in all the 
states, in the southern especially. Wherever the 
conditions of fertility and moisture have been 
present, the result has been all that can be desired. 
A small plat planted at the Sugar Experiment 
Station, near New Orleans, in 1893, and each year 
since, has shown that a grand future awaits the 
hemp industry in the semi-tropical latitudes, pro- 
vided an abundance of moisture can be regularly 
supplied. Of the result at New Orleans, Dr. W. H. 
Stubbs, Director of the station, says: 

"This station has not systematically conducted 
any experiments agriculturally with fiber plants. In 
its anxiety to find a machine that will successfully 
decorticate I'amie, we have iilanted the various kinds 
of fiber plants — ramie, two varieties of jute, Ameri- 
can Sunn hemi)s, and several varieties of fiax. No 
particular control has been exercised over these 
experiments other than to ])lant them and harvest 
them for use in the trial machines. In the use of 
American hemp, we had a varied experience; seed 
obtained from New York was old, and gave a poor 
yield and poor crop; seed obtained from some visi- 
tors, who wdtnessed some of our trials, was a great 
success, giving us large, strong, health}' ])lants, 
wdiich were easily decorticated upon one or two 
of our ramie machines. * * * * There is no 

question in my mind about the practicability of 
growing hemp upon these soils when a machine is 
discovered which will handle it. My idea is to 


clean the fiber on the mill machinery, so that there 
will be little left of gummy matter and other sub- 
stances that cannot be easily removed in the labora- 
tory. We have no trouble in removing the gums 
after we can obtain a machine that will success- 
fully deliver the ribbons. However, we are not 
after a hemp machine; onr object is to get a ramie 
machine, and hemp is tried only incidcntall}'. We 
have tested ui)on ramie machines the fiber from 
hemp, jute, ramie, cotton, okra, etc., and we find 
that with a machine that will successfully give 
us ribbons, these ribbons can be successfully treated 
in the laboratory and be brought into excellent 

There is no record or means of ascertaining 
the variety or varieties in cultivation by the early 
American inhabitants beyond surmise. The small 
importations of seed from China, India, Japan, and 
dilferent i)arts of Europe, have been lost in the 
association and cultivation with the common Apier- 
ican hemp plant. No systematical selection or 
preservation of any i>articular variety or strain has 
been atteni])ted, nor effort to determine the effects of 
hybridizing or of climatic conditions. This inter- 
esting Vvmrk remains for the botanist and chemist 
to elaborate and determine — a very important work, 
which is now in the hands of the special divisions 
of botany and chemistry of the United States De- 
partment of Agriculture, and from which full re- 
ports may be expected in due time. 




As liouseliold industries, hemp and flax were 
successfully grown, the fiber prepared and spun 
and woven in the United States np to 1825 to 
1850; but from this time these industries languished 
and gave place to a cheaper, coarser but more 
readily manipulated product. The cotton-gin, and 
the greater facility and more ready adaptation of 
cotton to modern inventions, and improvements of 
spinning machinery left the older industry of hemp- 
growing and manufacture far behind in the race. 

Cotton is an almost pure lint, requiring but little 
manipulation to prepare it for the spinner, while 
hemp is more obstinate, less flexible, and chemical 
processes and perfectly adapted mechanical appli- 
ances have been slow in coming to the spinners’ 
assistance in taking the place of hand labor. 
Beyond this, the efforts to establish the manufac- 
ture of hemp and linen have been but a series of 
struggles against adverse circumstances from the 
very earliest times. No sooner had the American 
colonists made the effort toward the establishment 
of their home industries than the parent country 
placed her heavy foot upon their tender npspring- 
ing, and especially in hemp and flax was this 
o])position pronounced and continued with a deter- 

( 44 ) 


miiuitioii which finally brought on the war of the 
American lievolntioii; but even after its successful 
termination, Great Britain continued to do by 
"diplomacy” and money in bounties and premiums 
what she could not do by force of arms and enact- 
ments, i. €., control and destroy America’s new 

Up to the beginning of the eighteenth century 
Great Britain had made no progress in the culture 
of hemp and flax, two plants very intimately con- 
nected in their manipulations, and of a nature so 
nearly alike as to be interchangeable in all branches 
of manufacture, and undistinguishable in product 
by the most experienced eye. But at the beginning 
of the century, after having by unfriendl}^ enact- 
ments destroyed the Irish woolen industry, the 
British Parliament sought by bounties and pre- 
miums to establish the culture and manufacture of 
hemp and flax in Ireland. 

In 1711 a "Board of Trustees of the Linen and 
Hempen Manufacturers of Ireland ” was created by 
Parliament, and a system of bounties and premiums 
provided to strangle the industry in America and 
to increase the cultivation and manufacture in 
Ireland, and the export of the products of manu- 
facture to America. 

In 1710 Ireland produced but 1,668,574 j’ards 
of coarse linen cloth. In 1768 her product was 
18,490,195 yards. In 1756 England made 26,000,- 
000 yards, and Scotland about 12,000,000.* 

Earh' in the eighteenth century England forbade 
the American colonists to manufacture hemp and 

*No hemp or liueii munufaeturo now exists in England or Scotland. 


H E M P 

linen, and ordered that the raw material be sent to 
England. Great Britain also offered a bounty of 
$40 per ton for hemp fiber so exported. In 1728 
Great Britain established a system of bounties to 
be paid for the export of hemp and flax manufac- 
tures to America, at the rate of one cent per yard 
for cloth worth less than ten cents a yard, two 
cents per yard for that worth ten to twelve cents, 
and three and a -half cents per yard upon all cloth 
worth over twelve cents per yard, which should be 
exported. These bounties were continued for over 
one hundred years, rendering the competition too 
great for any rapid progress of the hemp industry 
in America. In 1824 these bounties amounted to 
over $1,480,000, one -seventh of the value of the 
goods so exported. 

Besides these export bounties, the premiums paid 
to the Irish hemp and linen industries were over 
$100,000 per year. The items for 1821 were: 

To encourage the growth of hemp and flax £9,250 

To encourage the manufacture in the south of Ireland . 2,000 

To be applied as the Board of Trustees deem best . . 10,350 

Total £21,600 

or something over $105,000. At a meeting of the 

manufacturers in 1822 it was resolved "That it is 
the decided conviction of this meeting, founded upon 
long practical experience, that the bounty which has 
now for over seventy years been granted upon 
the exportation of British and Irish linens is of 
the most vital importance to the preservation of 
that branch of trade, and that without that bounty 
it would be quite impossible for the British and 
Irish hemp and flax manufacturers to compete in 


foreig'ii markets Avitli the linen fabries of the con- 
tinent, where the jiriee of the raw material, as well 
as of labor, is at all times extremely low.” 

At the (lissolntion of the "Board of Trustees of 
the Hempen and Jjiiien Mannfaetnrers,” in 1828, and 
the refusal of the English Parliament to g:rant fur- 
ther preminms, the industry declined ; and with the 
repeal of the bounty law in 1832, the industry found 
it impossible to continne in oldtime channels. The 
acreage in hemp and flax declined from over 182,000 
acres in 1824 to less than 50,000 acres in 1848. 

Up to the Revolution, the enactments against the 
mannfaetnre in the American colonies had become 
more and more stringent, with the exercise of a 
system of espionage upon the part of British agents 
and spies and colonial governors, until it was a 
wonder that the colonists conld possibl}' so far have 
established the indnstiy as to have produced over 
21,000,000 yards of hemp and flax mannfactnres 
in their households in 1810. 

Nor was this unnatural competition the only dif- 
ficulty with which hemp has had to contend. Cot- 
ton conld be produced cheaper than linen, and the 
aim of most industries has not been to produce 
the finest and best, but something which could the 
most readily be sold at a profit. There has been 
no " fatherly ” supervision of industrial affairs in 
America, as has always been the case by "patron- 
age” or bounties upon the part of England and 
France ; but in America industries have had to 
fight their battles single-handed and alone, and the 
history of each large industry of the country can 
today be traced l)y its milestone skeletons of disas- 
ters all along down the passing decades. 


H E M P 

From the imperfect processes of cleansing and 
purifying the fibrous material in the bark or rind 
of the hemp plant from its gummy matter, hemp 
fiber is less tractable, more rebellions and difficult 
of mampiilation to prepare it for the spinning 
frames, while more power and more labor are re- 
quired in attendance. The inventive genius of the 
textile world is late in being directed to the neces- 
sities of this noble fiber. The industry still waits 
for the intelligent labor of the scientific agricul- 
turist, the chemist, and the designer of textile ap- 

For instance, the cost of establishing a cotton 
mill, with all buildings and motive power, is about 
$10 per spindle, for wool $12, and for hemp $30. 
While the horse -power required for spinning a 
given weight of raw material will move 120 cotton 
spindles, or 140 woolen spindles, it will move but 
50 hemp spindles, while the proportion of labor 
required is in cotton five persons per 1,000 spindles 
and in hemp 25 persons per 1,000 spindles. The 
cost of the raw material does not greatly differ, 
but the cost of spinning was much greater, while 
those growing hemp upon a small scale were not 
able to enter upon the expensive experiments and 
investigations necessary for the desired improve- 

Worked by hand, hemp furnishes a thread of 
extreme fineness almost equaling silk, much finer 
than cotton, and much finer than can be produced 
by the present imperfect mechanical methods, ex- 
cepting as manipulated upon "spun-silk,” or on 
mohair machinery. Lace threads are spun from 
hemp by hand to the fineness of COO miles for each 


two and one -half pounds of hemp liber, while the 
present hemp macliineiy cannot spin beyond one- 
half of that. Cotton and wool machinery nearly 
efinal handwork, but do not exceed 350 miles to 
each two and one half pounds of material. 

The solution of the jiroblem of a perfect produc- 
tion and i)reparation of the fiber and of the adap- 
tation of processes and mechanical appliances to 
its rapid and economical manipulation, is one of the 
most important rpiestions, as it is one of the most 
j)romising of an ample reward, at the j)resent time. 
The question has been time after time urged by 
manufacturers and others interested for the last 
half century, but still awaits a perfect solution. 
The jury of the International Exhibition at London 
in 1862 most earnestly called attention to the neces- 
sities for an earnest effort to overcome the difficulty. 
They say: 

"We notice, in the first place, that thongli flax 
is a material most easily adapted for spinning 
yarns, being produced by hand labor quite equal to 
silk in fineness, and though the raw material of 
flax in the state of fiber is about the same price as 
the better kinds of cotton, the yarns produced from 
flax by machinery, taken in equal length for the 
same weight of fiber, appear to cost the most of 
all. We must also acknowledge that it is with the 
greatest difficulty that flax -spinners have been able 
to produce by machinery yarns of an extreme fine- 
ness, though still inferior in this respect to the fine- 
ness of the cotton yarns. As a principle, the funda- 
mental operations for the spinning, except perhaps 
the preparation of the raw material, are the same 
for all fibrous substances. The combing or carding, 



II E ]\I p 

the drawing and spinning, constitute, without any 
ini})ortant distinctions, these various operations; still 
such will cost much more for some one of these 
materials than for others, even though this material 
may not possess a nature deficient in spinning 

"The cause of this ditference is that the more 
costly fabric is produced from material which is 
worked with greater practical difficulty, and requires 
more etfort to coni])lete; this is especially the case 
with the fiax, the machinery for which must be 
decidedly stronger than that used for cotton, and 
the whole flax -spinning system must also have 
much more steam power applied, in consequence of 
the flax fiber not being sufliciently purified and 
freed from all heterogeneous substances, which, of 
course, present an obstacle to the sliding or draw- 
ing, the base of all spinning operations. On the 
present occasion we shall endeavor to give some 
explanation on the subject of steeping fiax, this 
being the principal process b} which more or less 
softness or purification of the fiber may be obtained. 

"The great fault of the flax flber is the excessive 
quantity of gum, which is not extracted by the 
present steeping [water retting] process ; when a 
new process shall have been discovered to remove 
completely this objection, there is no reason why 
flax flber should not be spun as easily and as fine 
as cotton. It is to be hoped, also, that by such 
improvement we may eventuallj" obtain a class of 
yarns more elastic, and that the cloth made from 
them may weave more readily, and in the end give 
greater satisfaction and durability. If we pass from 
the flax fiber to that of hemp and other similar 


substances, we find the hemp inferior to flax in 
softness and minuteness of subdivision, making it 
more difficult to spin; we find also that China-grass 
has the same defect in a much higher degree, while 
it is also much more costly. If jute manufactures 
have made such rapid i)rogress it can be easily 
accounted for by the low cost of material, combined 
with a considerable amount of spinning (piality. 

"We may remark, before cojicluding these reflec- 
tions, that great attention is now being given to 
the flax -steeping process, and in consequence the 
real cause of the difficulty of the fiber for spinning, 
as explained above, has thus become every day more 
generally known. We may hope, therefore, that at 
no late date the process of steeping will be im- 
proved to an extent equal to the great progress 
which the other manufactures, dependent on the 
aid of chemistry, have lately made.” 

Since the more complete development of the 
German textile industries, later in their establish- 
ment, and based upon older methods, but with very 
much of improvement, the spinning of hemp and 
flax has made rapid strides, and the demands for 
hemp of a character to take the place of flax, be- 
cause a fine hemp fiber can be more cheaply and 
economically prepared than flax, is rapidly increas- 
ing. At no time has it been forgotten that the 
linen fabrics of hemp and flax are the more de- 
sirable, and the public mind is becoming more and 
more awakened to the necessities of some deter- 
mined efforts to develop this new industry — new, 
especially, to the American people. 

The nature of the fibrous material of tlie hemp 
plant is such that a cooperation of the chemist, the 


farmer and the textile iiiaiiiifaeturer, or the inventor 
of improved textile appliances and methods, is 
necessary for the quickest results. It is found to 
be practicable to spin hemp upon "spun -silk” or 
mohair machinery by the combing process, when 
once the hemp -gum or resin is completely removed. 

The products from the Iminp plant are the most 
desirable for all puriioses of garments and house- 
hold use, and if its manufacture can be brought to 
the necessary point of economy, the hemp industry 
will lead in the world’s textile affairs. We have 
seen that hemp is the most widely diversified and 
most important plant in cultivation in the Old 
World; while sufficient experience has been had 
with the ])lant in America to show that the char- 
acter of the fiber is such as to warrant a systematic 
effort to establish its cultivation and to build up 
another grand industry for the American people. 

No plant is more simple of cultivation and 
manipulation, none more susceptible to the care of 
the husbandman, none more capable of a widely 
diversified product, and none is more universally 
adapted to American soils and climatic conditions, 
or to supplying raw material of the nature and 
character required by manufacturers of cordage and 
fine linen fabrics. 

The hemp industiy is the last of the great 
sources of the employment of capital and labor to 
feel the revivifying influences of more modern 
inventions ; but the writer is confident in the belief 
that the same labor which has been given to other 
agricultural products and textile manufactures will 
place hemp at the head. 



Why hemp? Wliy not flax? Wliy not ramie or 
China-grass? Why not sisal, or Manila, or jnte ? 
With the exception of hemp and flax, in the fibers 
of which there is no essential difference in char- 
acter and none in the machinery of mannfactnre or 
in the products, when systematically conducted, the 
spheres of the other plants are entirely different. 
Ramie or China-grass can be made to produce an 
exceedingly fine fiber, wdien its nature is perfectly 
understood, and the right variety, adapted to chem- 
ical and mechanical processes, is discovered; but its 
cnltnre is confined to tropical or semi-tropical cli- 
mates, while its yield is not more than one -fourth 
as nmch per acre as that of hemp. As yet no one 
has made such an exact study of the plant and its 
fiber, its adaj)tability to mechanical manipnlation 
and to the production of desirable fabrics, as to be 
able to furnish definite directions for its cnltnre 
and manipnlation, and until snch time as this is 
done the attention of the agricnltnrist were better 
not especially directed to it. Sisal hemp and 
INIanila hemp arc not true spinning fibers, and 
are not susceptible of a fine subdivision, nor can 
they be spun in fine numbers for the manufacture 
of fine fabrics. In the sphere of their uses as 
cordage they are valuable, and a great acquisition 
to the cordage industry. Attempts to grow sisal 

( 53 ) 



hemp in Florida have not been i)erfectly successful, 
nor have attempts to grow Manila hemp outside the 

For various reasons flax is less adapted to culti- 
vation in the United States than hemp. Flax only 
succeeds in a rather low mean temperature and 
upon a rather cold soil, with a very regular mois- 
ture supply. These conditions are not generally 
assured in the United States. Flax requires special 
fertilization and a rotation of crops which shall 
leave the soil specially conditioned, while it can be 
grown but once in six to eight years upon the 
same field. For hemp the ordinary coarse farm 
manures are all that is necessary, and it may be 
grown each year in succession for half a century 
upon the same land. 

While hemp does best in a warm, moist soil, it 
is so hardy that it may be sown early, and as it 
soon shades the ground, it does not suffer from the 
short drouthy spells as does flax. Flax requires 
two and a-half bushels of seed per acre, hemp but 
one bushel. Hemp grows rapidly and matures for 
fiber in eighty to ninety days, while flax is tender, 
must be sown later, and grows slowly, requiring 
the whole season to mature. Hemp never suffers 
from weeds, — in fact, is a weed -destroyer, — while in 
the general condition of American soils, flax is 
smothered by the more rapidly -growing weeds, not- 
withstanding considerable labor expended in weed- 
ing. Hemp is never blown down, while flax very 
often is ; hemp costs but twenty- five to fifty cents 
per acre to harvest, flax costs five dollars per acre. 
Because of its greater length, it is as easy to 
handle three to five pounds of hemp as one pound 



of flax, and it costs only about one -half as mncli 
to break and clean the flber. Flax 3 ields bnt 300 
to 400 .pounds of fiber per acre, while hemp gives 
1,500 to 2,000 pounds. 

There is no essential difference in the two fibers 
when ])repared for spinning ; both are CHpialh' well 
adapted to the production of the finest threads, 
linens, lawns and tissues. The report of Dr. W. K. 
McNab, Professor of Botany in the Royal Agricnl- 
tural College, states in a description of flax that 
"fibers api)ear as a grcatl^^ elongated cylinder, with 
a cavity sometimes well marked, sometimes scarcely 
visil)le, at other times wanting. Adhei-ing to the 
fibers, and often more or less discoloring them, 
were fragments of tissue, sometimes the epidermis 
with stomata, from the stem ; at other times the 
cells of the soft bass- or wood -cells from the cen- 
tral portion of the stem. The diameter of the fiber 
varies from about .0004 to .0006.” In describing 
hemp, he says: "The fibers are more or less sepa- 

rate, some entirely" free, others in small bundles. 
The fibers vary very much in diameter, some being 
very broad, others narrow, and they appear like lon- 
gitudinally-striated cylinders. Sometimes a cavity' 
exists, at other times none can be traced. The 
fibers are, on an average, from .0005 to .0007 in 
diameter, and in one fiber in which the diameter 
was .0007 the diameter of the cavity was .0001. 
Some cellular tissue was observed adhering to the 
fibers, but they were cleaner than the fibers of Irish 
flax. Like Irish flax, the hemp consists of bast- 
fillers, and is, anatomicalh' and pln'siologicalh', as 
well as chemicall\', different from the fibers both of 
Manila hemp and Phormium^' (New Zealand flax). 



While hemp and flax are mixed in spinning, or 
one is substituted for the other, it is the chemical 
l)reparation of the fiber which determines its fine- 
ness. The cost of the culture of an acre of flax is 
greater than that of an acre of hemp. While the 
value of the product of an acre of flax is $40 to 
$50, that of hemp is $75 to $125, from its greater 
yield under similar conditions ; while south of a 
latitude of 40°, in a mean temperature of 50°, two 
crops of hemp may be grown each season, or a 
crop of hemp and a crop of peas, to keep up the 
fertility of the soil. The hemp-lmrds furnish 
all the fuel required to make steam to run the 
machinery employed, while from the long tap-root 
of hemp it is less exhausting to the soil, and if the 
refuse is returned, the expense of manures will be 
very much less in proportion. 

Neither crop can be advantageously grown for 
both seed and fiber, although in the above compari- 
son we have given flax the benefit of both seed 
and fiber, and only fiber for the hemp. The 
product, when growm for seed, is about the same 
with both ; but for seed alone flax is much more 
easily handled, as it is sown at the rate of one to 
two pecks of seed per acre broadcast, harvested by 
a reaping machine or "header,” and threshed by an 
ordinary thresher. Hemp will grow fifteen feet 
upon good soil, and six feet upon the dry uplands, 
as surely as flax will two to three feet, and yield 
three times the profit in fiber. 

The methods of handling the hemp aud flax 
straw to obtain the fiber do not essentially differ in 
the retting and ])rcaking, while the expense of 
handling the flax after breaking is much the 



greater. Hemp is much better adapted to the em- 
ployment of labor-saving appliances than flax, as 
its length enables the handling of three or four 
pounds as readily as one pound of flax, and there 
is less liability to "tossing” or tangling. 

For these and many lesser reasons, after twenty- 
five years of close, careful study and practical ex- 
perience ill the cultivation and mani])ulation of both 
plants from the field to the loom, the writer 
believes hemp to be the coming fiber-bearing plant 
of the world, and that it is destined at an early 
day to make its way to the head in importance 
commercially and industriall}', as well as upon tlie 




There is no fact in agriculture more conclusively 
established than that with a deep, mellow soil and 
an abundance of the special plant -food required 
therein, an abundance of moisture regularly sup- 
plied, and a high mean temperature, plants will 
grow to perfection Hemp is no exception. These 
favorable conditions are more readily realized in 
some sections, some localities and in some climates, 
than in others. A farmer possessing land, and 
desiring to successfully grow hemp, or anj' other 
special crop, will select the soil, lay of the land 
and conditions best adapted to it, and apportion 
his land to the crops to whose peculiarities of growth 
it is best suited. 

Flat lands, or bottoms, or alluvial, adapted to 
hold moisture, but which maj' be readily drained, 
are best for hemp, especially when lying along 
streams, and not much elevated above the surface 
of the water. A regular supply of moisture, too 
much rather than too little, and a soil well filled 
with the humus of decaying animal and vegetable 
matters, are most favorable. But all soils can be 
made suitable for hemp, provided expense is not 
considered. If uplands are used, the plowing should 
be very deep, the earth made mellow and friable, 

( 58 ) 


and an abundance of Imnms incorporated to liold 
moisture in case of periods of drouth where irri- 
gation cannot be provided. Irrigated plateau lands, 
containing proper proportions of sand, mold and 
humus are good. In fact, bottom-lands are better 
adapted to hemp than to most other crops, because 
hemp requires a larger amount of moisture, and in 
case of periods of drouth, it can then send its long 
and strong tap-root far down for it. With the 
addition of an abundance of moisture, any soil well 
adapted to a perfect growth of any crop can be 
made serviceable for hemp. With an abundance of 
moisture and special plant -food, hemp grows much 
more rapidly in climates of a high mean tempera- 
ture. A crop of hemp planted in Mississippi, April 
18, 1894, grew fifteen feet, and was ready to 
harvest for fiber in eighty days. Another crop 
planted upon the Sacramento river bottoms in Cali- 
fornia, upon similar and nearly equally favorable 
soils, was fourteen and a -half feet high and ready 
to harvest for fiber in 115 days, the only apparent 
difference in conditions being the mean temperature 
of INIay, June and Jul}', which was nearly ten 
degrees higher in INIississippi than in California. 

Contrary to cotton and corn, hemp is sown 
liroadcast, and no cultivation can be given the crop 
after it is planted. Again, in the culture of cotton, 
which is a short plant with much fruit, shallow 
plowing is best, so that its tap-root may early 
strike hardpan and the plant be forced to fruiting. 
The effect of nitrogenous manures and soils rich in 
humus is to force the plants to a tall growth, hence 
the special fertilizers for cotton should have propor- 
tionately less nitrogen. With hemp, however, the 


H E M P 

object is to produce the tallest plant possible, hence 
the soil should be deep and the special manures used 
should contain a large amount of nitrogen, and the 
soil an abundance of humus to hold and supply 
the plants with soluble plant -foods and a regular 
supi)ly of moisture. 

Few plants grow so rapidly as hemp, or take up 
so much moisture for their best development. Hemp 
has often been observed to grow from live to six 
inches per day, and if the hemp plant is 90 per cent 
moisture, and the crop upon an acre weighs G tons 
(while that of a crop of barley weighs but 1 ton), 
it can be readily seen that an acre of hemp would 
require six times as much water. It is estimated 
that an acre of barley requires or takes up and 
evaporates 1,000,000 pounds of water, or 150,000 
gallons, during its growdh. Hemp should take up 
at least three times as much, or 450,000 gallons, 
which represents a rainfall of twenty to twenty- 
five inches during the three mouths of its growth, 
while it is rare that one -half this amount is made 
available through rainfall. An irrigation of one 
inch of water per week in addition to the rain whicli 
fell during the season of 1899 gave a growth of henqi 
of seventeen feet in one hundred days in latitude 
40°, while the ordinary hight without irrigation 
was eight to nine feet. 

A hemp crop is less exacting upon whatever 
soil it is grown upon, from its long tap-roots, but 
it, wdll be of much less hight, and as the yield of 
fiber is 150 pounds per acre for each one foot of 
growth, excluding about one foot of tops, it follows 
that the planter will be amply rewarded for his labor 
in securing a tall -growing crop. In proportion to 


depth of cultivation and fertility of the soil, and 
the warmth and moisture, will be the yield. 

Upon dry soils it is better to plant crops which 
can be often cultivated to conserve the natural snj)- 
I)ly of moisture and g’ive free access to atmosphei-ic 
inflnences. It is not enough, however, to dam np a 
snjiply of water ; the moisture must be in cirenla- 
tion, and not so great as to exelnde the air, nor 
must the soil be sour, nor the water allowed to 
stand for anj^ length of time ; although a rainfall 
of six inches in twenty-four hours upon a crop in 
Mississippi in 1895 had no ill effects, although the 
surface of the field was uneven and the water re- 
mained in places for four or five days. 

Thanks to the fact that hemp requires but a 
short season to mature, a crop of cow- peas may 
precede or follow a crop of hemp, and thus keej) 
the soil in fertile condition. A crop of peas fol- 
lowed by rye or vetch, to be turned under in March, 
will keep a soil in good condition for hemp, after 
the ground is once properly prepared, especiall}' if 
the refuse of the hemp is returned to it. No crop 
better rcAvai’ds the outlay to obtain a tall growth 
than hemp. Upon an old CHitton field of twenty- 
five acres, in which the cotton rows ran from one 
side to the other, experiments made in 1895 by 
skipping twelve rows and then applying 1,000 
])ounds of cotton seed upon the next twelve, then 
skipping twelve rows and applying ten loads of 
manure from a mule shed, and then skipping and 
applying 500 pounds of cotton seed and five loads 
of manure, and following the field across the rows 
with a four mule ])low nine inches deep and sowing 
the hemp in March, gave seventeen to nineteen feet 



of hemp where fertilized, the lowest part of the 
field g-iving the tallest hemp, while where no ma- 
nure was applied the growth was but five to seven 
feet. Upon similar soil adjoining, upon which there 
has been cow -peas broadcast and pulled off the 
year before, the hemp was eleven to twelve feet, 
while upon a field in corn the year before, with 
cow- peas in the rows between the corn, the hemp 
was seven to ten feet, the ten feet in rows, as the 
cow-])eas had been. 

At Augusta, Georgia, in 1898, hemp grew fifteen 
feet in ninety days with an unusually dry season 
and no fertilizers. The land was old Savannah 
river bottom. Upon good uplands, not fertilized, 
hemp was seven to nine feet. 

With perfect preparation of the level uplands in 
South Carolina, and without irrigation, several plots 
of hemp grew twelve to thirteen feet in ninety days, 
yielding at the rate of 1,500 pounds of fiber per 
acre, worth six and one -half to eight cents per 
pound. With an abundance of moisture the growth 
was sixteen to eighteen feet and the yield at the 
rate of 2,000 pounds per acre — a difference of $35 
to $40 per acre. 

Good crops of hemp are now grown upon the 
bottom lands of the Platte river, in Nebraska, 
although the rainfall is light and irregular. Better 
croi)s are grown upon the bottom lands of the 
Sacramento river, in California, with little or no 
rainfall, but the mean temperature is more favor- 
able. Better crops still are grown in the valley of 
the Kern river, southern California, by irrigation, but 
u 1)011 less fertile soil, the moisture and higher mean 
temperature causing the difference. Hemp sown in 


the Avarniei- nioiiths ^rows proportionately more 
rapidly. The rainfall upon the Atlantie coast is 
more rej^nlarly and more evenly distributed ; the 
mean temperature is hig-her, and natural conditions 
the most favorable of any section of the country. 
A perfect condition can be made by sui)plementin^ 
the rainfall by divertinj^ water from the many 
streams, or by artesian wells and windmills. 

The bottom lands along' the many considerable 
streams upon the east coast offer especially favor- 
able conditions for growing hemp. These lands are 
deep, and consist of deposits of vegetable matter 
washed down and composted in the soil, and are 
exceedingly fertile and well adapted to the growth 
of a plant with a long tap-root, like hemp. These 
soils have a tendency to supply moisture to plants 
by sub- irrigation, which brings a continuous supply 
to the surface. Upon lands so low as likely to be 
overflowed, dykes or low levees might be necessary, 
with openings, to be closed until danger of an over- 
flow is passed, and then opened for drainage in case 
of heavy rainfall. Clay soils, or those likely to 
"pack” or "run together” after heavy rains, are 
objectionable. Hemp planted upon "buckshot” 
(clay) lauds in Mississippi grew a foot high, and 
stood still for a period of forty days of dry Aveather, 
and grew to ten feet high after the rainy season 
opened. Five hundred acres of hemp planted upon 
clay soil in Mississippi in 1896 came up finely, but 
Avas met by a drouth Avhen three feet high on the 
first of May, Avhieh continued until September, Avhen 
the ground baked like adobe lirick, and the hemp 
burned up, while a feAV acres ui)on the alluvial 
banks of a bayou grew to fourteen feet in hight. 



Hemp planted upon Staten Island, New York, 
March 24, 1899, was cut for fiber June 24, eleven 
feet tall ; the same ground was replanted July 1 
and cut for fiber October 4, eight to nine feet tall. 
The soil was a warm, sandy loam, and irrigated by 
api)lying an inch of water once a week. The rain- 
fall was very light. Hemp planted August 1 grew 
to a hight of seven feet by November 1, and a 
])art planted September 1 was three feet tall and 
in blossom upon the 10th of December, and killed 
by 20° of temperature. China hemp, grown for 
fiber on Staten Island, New York, is seen in Fig. 8. 

Many years of practical experience with ferti- 
lizers shows that wilh the exception of acid phos- 
phate and sulphate of ammonia, to be composted 
with cotton seed and farm refuse, and manures, the 
commercial fertilizers are not economical for grow- 
ing hemp for fiber. Hemp is a plant requiring a 
large amount of humus, supplied by coarse animal 
and vegetable matters held in the soil in decay, to 
furnish the soluble nitrogen and moisture. Nor 
is cotton -seed meal of benefit in proportion to its 
additional cost. As a plant food and as a holder 
of moisture, and a mechanical preparer of soil, 
cotton seed is of itself a perfect fertilizer. Applied 
when plowing in autumn, at the rate of 500 to 
1,000 pounds per acre, according to condition of the 
soil, nothing else is required. If there has been a 
crop of cow -peas or soy beans, 500 pounds is 
sufficient. The rotation kept up by rye or vetch, 
hemp, peas, and again rye, gives as perfect a con- 
dition of soil as can be desired. The roots of the 
hemp decay early, the peas penetrate deepl}^ and 
leave the soil porous and supplied with nitrogen and 

Fig. 8. Section of a China Hemp Plot Grown for Fiber. 




liuiiiiis; while rye and vetch keep the soil employed, 
and the three furnish feeding material more than 
paying their cost, while the rotation prevents any 
cloying of the soil appetite. An application of 200 
pounds of bone-meal in November has the effect to 
warm the soil and hasten germination where hemp 
is sown early, and to stimulate the hemp to a quick, 
early growth, before it comes to assimilate the 
coarser foods, and to give an increase of a foot to 
a foot and-a-half in the growth. 

The hemp plant produces four to six tons of 
dry matter per acre, of which three to five tons is 
refuse, and if the machinery is run by water-power 
all of this refuse may be returned to the soil. If 
so done, it is spread as evenly as possible by a 
manure spreader, some two inches deep, before 
plowing. The result is to add to the humus in the 
soil, to improve its mechanical condition, and to hold 
moisture. Of itself this refuse, largely of woody 
matter, does not contain the fertilizing elements of 
the fibrous material in the bark; these come out in 
the steeping, and should be run upon the land. If 
steam is used to run the machinery, then this four 
to five tons of hemp shives or hurds is the cheapest 
fuel, and will be more than enough to run the 


<: no in Ml iiemi’ for seed 

The only assurance that the i)roi)cr, perfect seed 
will be at hand for seediii”’ for fiber is to select 
the strain desired, and to raise it. At present the 
hemp industry in all its l)ranches presents a tine 
op[)ortiinity for a carefid study of all its require- , 
nieiits, not oidy upon the part of the farmer but 
that of the botanist, chemist, and inventor of im- 
proved appliances as well. There are henq) ranches 
in various parts of the United States, and man}' of 
these are of an extent to warrant the expense of an 
exact investigation of all particulars of seed, of 
varieties desirable, and of improved methods of pre- 
paring the fiber, as well as of spinning it ; but 
every one of these particulars now awaits the 
authoritative determination of science and exact 

As there is no careful selection and propagation 
of seed today, there is no means at present of de- 
termining the advantages of different varieties in 
cultivation. The seed found in market may have 
been imported fi'om Bombay, or from Italy, or from 
London, or it may have come from Arkansas, or 
Missouri, or Kentucky. The result will be an 
uncertainty. Seed loses its germinating power in 
two to three years, from the drying up, souring or 
fermenting of its high, oily nature, and becomes 

( 67 ) 



rancid and dead. As at present obtained, the seed 
largely comes from allowing the hemp grown for , 
liber to stand nutil the seed begins to ripen. It is 
then saved, although the fiber is coarse and hard, 
and is called "lint seed,” or "linseed.” Added to 
this, there are numbers of "volunteer ” plants scat- 
tered about the highways and byways of the locali- 
ties where hemp is grown, springing up from seed 
scattered in autumn in fence -corners and upon the 
edges of fields, and often places in hemp fields 
where seed failed to germinate well and the stalks 
grow too large for use as fiber, being left to stand 
• for their seed to ripen. Small amounts of Indo- 
China seed have been imported at times, but grown 
near to the European varieties, which are earlier 
and more prolific of seed, the new importations are 
either crowded out or the plants cross with the 
other varieties. Many hemp growers claim that in 
this manner hemp degenerates to a less valuable 
plant. If so, the more care must be exercised to 
preserve the strain found most desirable. 

Three varieties are at present found in the hemp 
fields of the United States, mostl}^ mixed and pre- 
senting the same characteristics of growth — tall 
and graceful, or short and "scrubby,” and their 
intermediates. The same field may present a growth 
of from seven to nine feet in hight, or four to six 
feet, although the general character of the growth 
is of a hight some two to three feet taller than 
the various European hemps. 

Selecting the shorter stalks and propagating by 
continued selection, the apparently perfect Smyrna 
variety is obtained. This is an early, rather short- 
growing variety, inclined to branch, to flower early. 



and to produce a large amount of seed. If the 
quantity of seed is the object, this is the variety to 
be cultivated ; but its fiber product is coarser, less 
in amount, and harder to manipulate. Two crops 
of this variety may be grown for fiber each season 
in the latitude of 40°. 

Another variety, supposed to have originated in 
the East Indies — a tall, slender, gracefully growing 
plant, later in maturing — is also obtained by careful 
selection. It is equally hardy, but bears less seed, 
and is crowded out by the earlier, more prolific 
varieties, unless great care is given to selection and 
preservation of the strain. 

Still another sort, of sufficiently distinct charac- 
teristics to be called a variety, is supposed to be a 
cross between the other varieties. It presents many 
features common to the slender, graceful stalk of 
the China, but is earlier, bears more seed, and is 
inclined to a stouter, less graceful habit, with more 
tendency to branching. This is the variety in 
general cultivation where any attem])t at selection 
is made; and when grown for fiber is sufficiently 
early to allow of being followed ly a crop of peas 
to advantage, Avhile in the latitude of 35° two 
crops a season may be grown. When selected for 
propagation for a imre strain, it develops occasional 
plants of both the other varieties which shows the 
importance of care in selection. 

With the Smyrna variety no care is needed to 
preserve the i)urity of the strain. It is the lowest 
in the scale, and ripening earlier, and bearing more 
seed, it crowds out the other varieties. The only 
care to be taken is to see that all seed is better, 
and the plants from it are more vigorous and robust; 



tliat they have ample room to branch, and that the 
male stalk is near by. The seed should also be 
allowed to ripen, or very nearly so, before it is 
harvested, and {^iveii ample, time to dry and ripen 
before it is beaten out. Nor should the piles of 
seed and chaff 1)C so deep as to heat or excite 
fermentation, and all unripe or light-weight seeds 
should be blown off in the cleaning. 

In the American variety the tendency will be to 
a crowding out by the Smyrna influence, and a 
degeneration result, unless great care is given to a 
weeding out of the earlier male and shorter and less 
vigorous female plants. The plants of the distinc- 
tive American variety will grow the most vigorously' 
and tallest. The Indo- China variety must be care- 
fully guarded to preserve its ])urity, and in that 
grown for seed a careful selection must continually 
be exercised; the tallest, most graceful stalks 
steadily chosen from which to sow the seed for 
future seed -growing. 

In cultivating hemp for seed the conditions are 
the reverse of those for cultivating hemp for fiber. 
For fiber the object is a tall, rapidly -growing stalk, 
without branches and with little or no seed, while 
the stalks are grown slender and so shaded as to 
give a fine character to the bark in which the fiber 
is contained. In growing for seed it is a short, 
stout, slow-growing, coarse, branching stalk, with 
every part exposed to the full influences and effects 
of the sunshine and the wind, the heat and cold 
of atmospheric changes. The ground is less deeply 
tilled, as with cotton, less fertilized, withholding 
nitrogenous manures entirely, as an early, abundant 
fruiting is the purpose. 



The system of cultivation as practiced for cotton 
or corn is best suited for seed liemi). The ground 

may be bedded up, or planted level, or in furrows, 

if -there is great liabilit}' to drouth. Not so much 
moisture is required, although the cultivation keeps 
the roots muhdied. 

The seed is sown two quarts to the acre, in 
rows or drills, or planted in hills, as is done with 
cotton and corn, and cultivated in the same manner. 
No thinning out is done until the male stalks begin 
to show a tendency to blossom, when all male 
stalks, but- one robust one to each three or four 

feet of row, are cut out with a reap-hook, and also 

the less vigorous female stalks, so as to give abun- 
dant room to the i-emaining ones lo branch. The 
hemp thus removed is dried and put under cover 
for fiber. Should the wild morning-gloiy or tie- 
vine make its appearance, it must be removed by 
hand. When the male has shed its ])ollen and be- 
gins to turn yellow, it should all be cut out, and 
that without branches be saved for fiber. The 
brauehiug stalks are thrown into the compost heap. 

With the Smyrna variety, planted upon rather 
dry and not very fertile soil, the seed will begin to 
ripen in 100 to 110 days from the time of sowing, 
and when the first seeds begin to s<*atter out, the 
stalks are cut by hand with a reap-hook or scythe, 
and carefully stood up together to become partly 
dried, and then put under cover. In housing the 
stalks, they should be placed in a barn with a tight 
floor, or under a shed where the earth is hard and 
has been carefully swept. 

The American varietv is ten to tweutv davs 
later in maturing, grows taller and with a more 

II E M 1’ 

vigorous, more branching stalk. On Staten Island, 
in 1899, a stalk of this variety standing alone grew 
fourteen feet tall and six inches in diameter at the 
ground, and gave two quarts of seed. 

The Indo- China variety will not always fully 
ripen its seed north of latitude 40°, unless planted 
upon a rather dry, infertile soil, and as early as 
the first of April. This variety bears much less 
seed than the other varieties, hence the danger of 
its being crowded out. 

Some judgment must be used as to the time of 
j harvesting the henq) grown for seed. At times 
•pigeons, blackbirds and sparrows arc numerous, 
and feed upon the ripening seed. At times the 
season may be very dry, and the seed will begin to 
shell out and fall, when it is well to cut earlv. 
With an abundance of moisture the seed will not 
be as likely to shell out. 

For seed the hemp is cut by hand with a reap- 
hook or scythe, as seen in Fig. 9. The stalks are 
then stood up to dry. When dry thej’ are threshed 
upon a hard, dry place on the ground, or uiion the 
barn floor, by liand with flails, or the seed is beaten 
out with a cudgel an inch in diameter and four or 
five feet long, while the hemp stalks are held 
across a beam or log ; or the hemi> stalks may be 
run through the hemp-breaking machine and the 
seed winnowed in a fanning mill. C\are must be 
taken that the seed does not heat or ferment, and 
that it be thoroughly dried before sacking. It is not 
desirable to ])lace it in liins for storage, on account 
'of its tendency to ferment and grow rancid. When 
sacked it should be iu two-lmshel bags (88 pounds), 
and piled two sacks near together and then two 



across them, in the manner cord -wood is piled to 
dry, carefully secured from vermin and dampness. 
The product per acre varies from twenty to thirty 
bushels for the Smyrna, to fifteen or twenty bushels 
for the China variety, depending somewhat upon 
soil and cultivation. 

Hemp seed is valuable as bird- and poultry- 
food, to make oil for paints, and for soap -making. 

seed cake being valuable for feeding to stock and 
as a fertilizer. Ground and mixed with other feed 
in small proportion it is fed to animals, although 
an authoritative determination of its value and 
effect is wanting There is no better fertilizing 
element, but the seed must be scalded or heated by 
composting or crushed, before applying it to the 
land. The price of prime seed varies from $1 to 
$4, according to the ability of dealers to "corner” 
the market. 



There is no more interesting task than that of 
carefully prei)aring a piece of land by deep tillage 
and the application of manures in a manner to 
produce a tall, perfectly growing fiber-bearing plant, 
like hemp, perfectly adapted to the production of a 
fine, soft, silk}" fiber, and possessing high spinning 
qualities adapted to the manufacture of fine fabrics. 
There i^ a charm in seeing a plant respond to in- 
telligent preparation of the soil in the steady growth 
and development of a character exactly corre- 
sponding to what modern agricultural science has 
shown to be practicable. In the growth of no 
plant is theory more surely borne out by ])ractical 
results than with hemp. A long, careful study of 
the nature of the plant has shown that its character 
and growth may be as absolutely controlled and 
directed as the breeding and development of a fine 
animal, or any vegetable or fruit. The products 
of the soil are what vou make them, and none is 
more susceptible of the shaping of agricultural 
fine-art methods than hemp. According to exact 
methods and care in cultivation, the fiber of the 
hemp plant is made to become of the fine nature 
and high spinning qualities rendering it of great 
value. Nor is it the variety of hemp alone which 
insures its high character, but the high cultivation, 

( 74 ) 


the application of manures of a character to develop 
a tall, slender and rapidly -growing plant, and a 
thick seeding, which insures an even growth and a 
perfect shading of the soil and the stalks of the 
hemp, and protects them from the injurious effects 
of sharp changes in temperature, and, above all, 
the periods of droutli, in which the plant is de- 
prived of a proper supply of moisture, and the 
growth and exact plant -formation checked and in- 
terrui)tcd for such periods as cause it to take on a 
different character of fiber and growth for self-jir^s- 

No plant will more completely adapt itself to 
soil and climatic conditions, producing therefrom as 
high a charaeter of growth as possible ; and none 
will more exactly respond to high cultivation, or lie 
more siiseeptible or sensitive to its conditions and 
surroundings. Irregularities in character of soil, 
the depth and manner of plowing and pulverizing 
it, and the amount and composition of maiiiires all 
produce their effects upon the character of the 
hemp plant, as does an even or uneven, thick or 
thin seeding, and an irregular or a deep or shallow 
covering. Exact attention to all of these is neces- 
sary for the most perfect result, but none are more 
important than the provision of a deep, mellow soil 
with all abundance of humus and moisture -holding 
manures, high in nitrogen, to insure a ciuick germi- 
nation and a rapid growth. 

This fact is very plainly illustrated in all animal 
and vegetal)le life, where cold, poorly fed and upon 
innutritions foods, such animal or plant exhibits a 
weak, scrubby, half-starved apiiearance, while the 
irregularities of care and condition give large and 


H E M P 

small, and coarse and fine products, as generally 
found among plants in a wild state. Such plants 
are poorly adai>ted to the production of fine fruit, 
fine seed, or fine fibers, while years of careful cul- 
ture and breeding are required to bring wild plants 
or wild animals up to the most perfect nature. 

Upon whatever soil the hemp is to be grown, a 
mnch taller, finer plant, much better adapted to the 
production of a fine fil)cr, and j'ielding a much 
larger product, will result from the following eon- 
ditions : 

1. A deep, thorough stirring and i)ulverizing of 
the soil. With the long tap-root of the hemp plant, 
this thorough tilling is of itself a large increase of 
the plant-food supph', and secures the i)laiit against 
drouth by enabling it to obtain moisture from 
below, and also ])uts the soil in condition to take 
and hold a mnch larger amount of moisture from 
whatever rain falls, and in condition to be taken 
up by the plant as required. All foods of animals 
and plants are more readiU' assimilated when fur- 
nished in soluble form, which is not possible without 
the presence of moisture. 

2. The application of a sufficient supply of 
coarse animal and vegetable matters, to give a light 
mechanical condition to the soil, and to assist in 
holding moisture as well as to add to the humus, 
nitrogen and available plant-foods if the condi- 
tions are favorable. Nitrogen is the most imi)or- 
tant element in the production of a tall, rapid 
growth of hemp, while it is a tall, rapid growth of 
l)lant which is desirable for fiber, rather than a 
good 3'ield of seed. Hemp yields 150 pounds of 
fiber per acre for each foot in hight, hence the 



advaiitaj^e of the tall jilaiit. Grovai rapidly, the 
liber is softer, liner and of a more silky nature, and 
of a mnch higher spinnino: quality. I’erfeet pro- 
ductions of hif^li character are what pay the best 
in agriculture. The world is full of "cheap and 
nasty" goods of very little value, and alfordiug no 
prolit to the producers. A crop of peas before or 
after a crop of hemp, and in preparation for the 
next crop, is highly desirable, because of furnishing 
the coarse plant -food to the soil in decay, and 
mechanically deeply preparing it, and because cow- 
peas give to the soil food and put it in condition 
for hemp. The best manure is cotton seed, put 
into the ground in autumn, at the rate of 1,000 
pounds per acre. The next is a compost of cotton 
seed and farm manures of equal proportions, with 
an addition of 10 per cent of acid phosphate, 
applied according to the condition of the soil. The 
only other addition to the compost of 1,000 pounds 
cotton seed, 1,000 pounds barn manure and 200 
pounds of acid phosphate, would be 250 pounds of 
sulphate of ammonia. The cost of this compost 
would be $5 for cotton seed, $6.50 for sulphate of 
ammonia and $2.50 for acid phosphate, a total of 
$14, or $7 per acre. This would only be required 
upon old, exhausted cotton lands, while this amount 
would be sufficient for four or five acres, according 
to fertility, and for ten acres, provided a crop of 
cowpeas broadcast had preceded. Cotton seed and 
barn manures have always given the best results. 
Mineral or commercial fertilizers are not generally 
desirable for the proper growth of hemp for fiber. 
An application of bone meal in the autumn, that it 
have time to become soluble, is a valuable stiniu- 


H E M V 

laiit to the early y;ermiiiatioii of the plant, while 
the rootlets are small ami tender, and a i)rinie intro- 
dnetion to the coarser manures. 

3. The character of the seed, and an even dis- 
tribution, and even coverin*^, and of a i)roper 
amount per acre. One bushel of clean, bright, 
plump,, glossy seed one year old, per acre, is best, 
while if two years old, or uncertain in character, it 
should be tested before sowing. A certain number 
of seeds should be }>laced between two moist 
woolen cloths in a vessel to keep them wet, and 
placed in a warm location, to see what per cent 
will germinate. At least twenty out of every 
twenty-five seeds should grow, or else there should 
be thirty -six or more (piarts of seed per acre, 
instead of thirty -two, or fifty to fifty -five pounds 
instead of forty -four, which is the weight of hemp 
seed per bushel. 

It is not easy to change the climate of any 
locality, but water -furrows at frequent intervals 
will allow the surplus winter moisture to run off, 
and the soil will be warmer; while it will be better 
still if deeply plowed in autumn and an abundance 
of decaying animal and vegetable matter turned 
under. A light soil, as a rule, is sweeter, warmer, 
and more congenial to plant growth than a hard 
soil. This also applies to the means of retaining 
a proper supply of moisture. A light soil with 
an abundance of humus will hold a much greater 
amount of moisture than if "packed” and hard. 

If not covered by vetch or rye to be turned 
under in early spring, the ground should be plowed 
eight to ten inches deep, and if it has not been 
recently more deeply stirred the furrow should be 



followed with ;i lifting subsoiler, the deeper the 
better. If, previous to plowing, the snrfaee to the 
depth of four or five inehes has been thoroughly 
l)ulverized with a disc harrow and then turned 
under, the subsoil will be in perfeet eondition for 
the deep searehing of the roots of the plant. When 
so i>lowed and prepared in autunin, the only stirring 
neeessary in the si)ring will be a thorough pulveri- 
zation four to five inehes deei> by the disc, renieni- 
bering that the thorough niechanieal working of the 
soil adds as inueli as an ordinary application of 
manure. Of eourse the hemp plant will grow to 
some hight without these ideal conditions, but no 
plant Jjetter rewards all the extra labor and time 
in a perfeet preparation of the soil. An acre of 
hemp twelve feet high will give a yield of 1,500 
pounds of fiber, worth six to seven cents a pound, 
but if the same acre is made to grow a crop fifteen 
feet tall in a perfect manner the yield will be over 
2,000 pounds of fiber, worth seven to eight cents a 
pound, a difference in favor of a perfect prepara- 
tion of -the soil of $25 to $35 j)er acre. 

The preparation of the soil is the one particu- 
larly important thing. The seed is sown, one 
bushel of prime seed per acre broadcast, and prefer- 
ably with a press drill, in which the shoes are not 
over five inches apart, and the springs and pressure 
so set that the seed will all be placed at an even 
depth of one to one and one -half inches. This 
insures an even germination, so that all plants 
start at the same time and continue an even hight 
until maturity. The drill is drawn by four light 
mules — the driver riding — and should cover twenty 
acres per day. This gives as good a stand as is at 



present practicable, unless there be but half a bushel 
per acre sown at a time and the field be cross- 
sown with another half bushel. This insures each 
seed a definite amount of space in which to grow, 
not to be too thinly seeded nor overcrowded. After 
seeding a light fine-tooth harrow, drawn by two 
mules and covering twenty to twenty -five acres 
per day, may be run over the ground to create a 
mulch and prevent packing. If the surface soil 
is exceedingly light and dry a roller may take the 
place of the harrow. For a perfect result a light 
mulch of cotton hulls or fine hemp hurds, thrown 
by a rapidly revolving manure spreader, will be a 
great advantage. 

South of latitude 35° hemp may be planted 
any mouth in the year. The growth will be slow 
in December and January above ground, but the 
tap-root will be taking a firmer hold in the warmer 
earth below, and the crop will be a decided improve- 
ment over one sown in March and April. The only 
thing to be considered in sowing seed in the warmer 
months is the probability of a want of sufficient 
moisture to germinate the seed before it is killed 
by the hot sun, and to guard against this the seed 
should be covered at least two inches deep and the 
light harrow run over the ground afterwards. 

As hemp sown in the winter and early spring 
will be ready to harvest for fiber in June, prepara- 
tion should be made to plant a succeeding crop of 
hemp if land is rich or manures are to be had, or 
a crop of cow-peas or other rapidly growiug plant 
to furnish feed for stock and to improve the soil 
condition . 

If planted early hemp is likely to get such a 



start as to completely shade the ground and be less 
affected by any short periods of drouth. Where 
there is likelihood of heavy rains the ground 
should be bedded up by "back furrowing” in plow- 
ing, so that a water furrow can be left each thirty 
or forty feet, and these leading into ditches, so that 
suri)lus water may readily run off. 

North of a mean temperature of G0° hemp is 
sown at the same time as spring grains, or earlier 
if the ground is in proper condition. In the lati- 
tude of New York city, Indianapolis and Omaha, 
hemp is sown April 1 to 15, according to the earli- 
ness of the season. Upon Staten Island, N. Y., 
hemp was sown for fiber March 24 and harvested 
June 24, 1899. A second crop was sown ui)on the 
same land July 1 and harvested October 10. The 
first crop was eleven feet tall, the second nine feet. 
Smyrna hemp, planted August I , was seven to eight 
feet tall by November 1 and the seed ripening. 
The tendency of late-sown hemp is to a shorter growth 
and an earlier seeding. All these plantings were 
irrigated. One crop of American hemp is all that 
it is practicable to grow north of latitude 40°. 

The surface of the field should be left as even 
and free from lumps or obstructions, weeds, roots, 
or anything which will interfere with the steady 
running of the cutting machine within an inch or 
two of the surface. Nothing can be done to the 
crop or the soil after the seed is sown. No weeding 
is ever recpiired. Hemp is as sure a destroj'er of 
weeds as a heavy broadcast seeding of cow -peas. 




It is highly probable that three -fourths of the 
farm lands of the United States could successfully 
grow hemp to a hight of ten to fifteen feet, 
according to latitude and variety of hemp sown, 
giving a yield of 1,200 to 2,000 ])ounds, and a 
profit of $75 to $150 per acre, if there were a reg- 
ular supply of moisture during the growing season. 
With the uncertainty attending the rainfall, how- 
ever, it is only safe to plant hemp upon soils 
adapted to liolding moisture, or of such a character 
and so located as to receive moisture from below by 
what is termed sub -irrigation. Even upon these 
lands the yield would generally be enough greater 
by irrigation to meet the entire expense of con- 
structing an irrigation system, especially where the 
location is near a considerable stream of water. 

In the hemp industry every idea of economy 
points to the employment of a considerable acreage, 
that all labor-saving appliances may be employed 
and machinery perfectly adapted to the performance 
of the work in an economical manner. If this be 
the case there will be machinery of a character to 
be directed to all dei)artments of the work, and as 
the hemp hurds are of no other particular value 
than to furnish mulch, or to improve the char- 
acter of the soil mechanically, they may be burned 

( 82 ) 



as fuel to run the iiiaeliiiiery. The hurds, or woody 
matter of the hemp, eoiitaiiis but a tritiiiig amount 
of plant-food, the greater part of which may be 
returned to the soil in the ashes. These hemp 
hurds will supply all the fuel for running the 
machinery to handle 100 or 500 acres of hemi), and 
to allow of the diverting of steam to run steam 
pumps to supply all the water recpiired in irrigation 
at a merely trilling expense. 

The cost of an irrigation system for running the 
Avater ni)on the land in water furrows will be, a 
steam pump of sufficient capacity to raise 25,000 
gallons of Avater an hour for ten hours a day, — 
Avitliout reservoirs — during periods of drouth, and 
for pii>e four inches in diameter as may be re(iuired 
to convey the Avater to the higher parts of the 
hemp field. The manner of applying Avater Avhere 
the siijiply is abundant Avill be seen by reference 
to Fig. 10, ill Avhich a a represents the main Avater 
furrow along the highest parts of the field and 
h h the lateral furrows running over the ground. 
All these AV'ater furrows should be jiarallel and the 
system always laid out at right angles to admit of 
the running of the drill in seeding and the moAving 
machine in cutting. The furroAA’^s should be about 
thirty to forty feet apart. The main furrow con- 
ducting the Avater to the other furroAA’s Avill require 
to be deeper than the lateral furroAA's, Avhich need 
not be deeper than the furroAA's left betAveen lands 
at ploAving. The amount of 25,000 gallons an 
hour is suflicient to Avater ten acres each ten hours. 
To do this the AA’ater furroAvs covering one or more 
acres are opened at the junction Avith the main 
fiirroAV enough to let in the Avater in proper amount. 



Pig. 10. IKKIGATINO Hemp by Water Fpuuows. 



while the others are closed by a shovelful of earth 
at the entrance. Where the soil is sufficiently 
saturated these furrows are closed and the water 
run to the next lot. In this manner one man can at- 
tend to the irrigation of ten acres each ten hours, and 
one hundred acres each ten days. The soil should 
not be left flooded nor over -saturated for more 
than a day or two, as would be the case were there 
a rainfall amounting to one inch per day. These 
water furrows should have openings and connections 
to a lower ditch, to facilitate drainage at times 
of excessive rainfall, while any basins or low places 
where water would collect should have openings. 

Another and most satisfactory method of watering 
a field, large or small, level or hilly and uneven, 
and where the water supply is not as cheai)ly 
obtained, nor so abundant as to allow of its being 
thus wasted, has been perfected b}' the writer. 
This is to answer the objections of expense and the 
difficulties attending the irrigating of fields of 
uneven surface, and also the objection that a 
thorough saturation of the soil has the effect to 
dilute the soluble plant-food, wash a considerable 
part of it away, and also to smother for a time or 
drown the plants and retard their rapid growth while 
the water supply is too large, and to allow of the 
soil becoming run together, and afterwards the period 
of drying out of the soil giving an irregular supply 
of plant-foods. The objection is also made that 
water should be ai)plied to the foliage as well as to 
the roots, and that it should be done at night 
instead of during the sunshine, especially at seasons 
of high temperature. 

This new system which the writer has had in 



experimental practice foi’ several seasons, consists 
in erecting tanks, or constructing reservoirs to give 
a considerable pressure, and then la 3 'ing pipes 
upon or under the ground below depths of plow- 
ing, which cany the water to the fields as desired. 
Openings are provided at points about one hundred 
feet apart each waj^ and standing pipes with spra}^- 
nozzles applied, and the water turned into the pipes. 

The effect of the i)ressure is to force the water 
out upon the atmosphere and allow it to drift or 
be carried b>’ the wind to a veiy considerable 
distance, thus moistening the foliage of the plants. 
As the work is done at night, and maj^ be 
regulated in flow at will, there are none of the 
objections to the sj'stem brought against the satu- 
ration of the soil. In this sj^stem small pipes nuw 
be laid to aiy* part of a field, without reference to 
the unevenness of the surface. 

These standing spraj's can be made to cany a 
large or small supply' as desired. An inch pipe 
under pressure will cany 50,000 gallons a day 
from the reservoir and supi)!^^ ten spray pipes 
upon ten acres with 2,500 gallons each for each 
twelve hours, six P. m. to six a. m. 

In the artificial raining which is produced ly 
this method the atmosphere is rendered humid 
during the night, the moisture is given in a form 
to be al)Sorbed and held, none running off and 
none percolating below the reach of the plant-roofs. 
The expense and the amount of water supply are 
readily witliin reach of every farmer, and the mois- 
ture may be given to the higher lands, Avhere the 
soil conditions are of the character most needing 
the moisture in controllable quantities. 


nAitvEsnycr hemp for fiber 

The young hemp plant slionld begin to come np 
in four to six days after planting, according to 
temperature and moisture. The growtli above 
ground will be slow for five to ten days, more 
especially in cool weather, bnt the roots of the 
plant will be making progress downwards, its tap- 
root searching deeply for a foundation and food 
and moisture supply for a tall, vigorous plant. A 
growth of thirt}^ to thirty -six inches, even under 
favorable conditions, is all that may be expected 
for the first thirty days. At that time the plant 
will have become firmly rooted, a great number of 
feeders will have become established in all direc- 
tions, and, if the soil be fertile and mechanically 
favorable, the plant will make a growth of two to 
four inches per day, according to warmth, for the 
next thirty da}'S for the Smyrna and American 
varieties, np to a growth of thirteen to fifteen 
feet in eighty to ninety da}s, when the plants will 
then begin to blossom, and the Smyrna variety be 
ready to harvest, the American variety, some two 
feet taller, following in about ten days. The China 
variet}' is sufficiently distinct and susceptible to the 
influences of fertilizing elements that, with an 
abundance of moisture and fertility in the soil, it 
will be found growing about an inch a day faster 
than the other kinds, and to have attained a hight 



H E M P 

of eighteen to twenty feet. The inconvenience of 
handling the taller -growing crops often suggests 
that the American variet 3 % not growing quite as 
tall and maturing ten days earlier, may be prefer- 
able where the conditions favor the growth of two 
crops each season. 

When in fall blossom the hemp is in best con- 
dition for fiber. The oil is still in the bark, while 
it has become sufficient!}" mature to stand the action 
of the chemical changes by the putrefactive fermen- 
tation in warm, soft water, and the harsh methods of 
crushing and breaking the hemp stalks to separate 
the wood from the fibrous material. If a soft fiber 
is desired, such as is highl}' susceptible of a subdi- 
vision into fine fihrillw for laces and lawn tissues, 
the hemp may be harvested some ten daj's earlier, 
or at the first general appearance of the indications 
of bloom upon the male stalks. When dela^'cd 
until the male stalk dies and seed begins to ripen, 
the fiber becomes drier, grows harder, the stalks 
begin to lose their natural form, and the fiber be- 
comes "dead.” 

The hemp is cut close to the ground b}* a self- 
raking combined reaper and mowing machine, pref- 
erably the old style heavy, substantially made 
Champion, cutting four to four and one-half feet wide, 
rear cut No. 4, and using but two of the four rakes 
used in cutting grain. This machine does not bind 
the hemp, but lays it off at the side in convenient 
armful size. This work is rather severe, and the 
more substantialh* made kinds of old-style machines 
are best. With three heavy, quick-stepping mules 
or farm horses, and a driver who understands his 
work, an average of ten acres per da}’ may be cut. 



A helper, or man ■with a hook four to six inches 
long in the end of a fork stale, attends in the 
field, and if several machines are at work several 
helpers will be required, to pull out any particularly 
large or "volunteer” stalks, which are too coarse to 
be easily cut, and to assist the machines in eases 
of accident* or difficulty from the tangling of the 
cut stalks by high winds.*. 

While at work each machine will require four 
sharp sickles per day: one at commencing work 

in the morning, another by ten o’clock, the next 
at noon, and another change by three o’clock, which 
will keep one man employed at the grindstone and 
at replacing and repairing broken sections, etc. 

After lying two to four days the armfuls of 
hemp are turned bj^ thrusting a fork stale close 
under them near the tops and throwing them endwise 
over the butts, where they are spread if desired and 
let to dry for two to four days longer, and then 
tied with rope yarns from old sisal or Manila rope, 
cut of the right length and ready looped at one 
end, a supply of which the binder carries under 

♦Volunteer hemp is growing from seeds which have been scat- 
tered in handling previous crops, and that has lain on the ground all 
winter. From its lying on the ground it is ready and gerinin.ates quicker 
upon the appearance of warm weather, its roots get more firmly fixed, and 
it grows more rapidly, attaining a hight of two to four feet .above tbe 
rest of the hemp, and may be double the diameter. From this suggestive 
fact experiments have been made in planting hemp in December, but the 
occurrence of warm spells sufficient to germin.ate the seed before severe 
freezes are over renders it north of a l.atitude of 35°. .Ml 
wild hemp is volunteer hemp, and what genninates in cold latitudes before 
winter is killed by freezing, but of the seed rem.ains upon tbe 
stalks until freezing weather, while some falls in cool, protected, or dry 
spots, or is saved by the natural mulch of st.alks, leaves and foliage, so 
that the wild plant thrives to the extreme north. The experiments in fall 
and winter planting of hemp have not been carried on to an extent to fully 
determine its advantages or difficullies. In Florida hemp is best sown in 
November or December, as .are winter grains. 



his suspender during the work. Others follow the 
binders, bringing the sheaves together in shocks or 
stacks, where they remain a few days longer to 
sufficiently ”cure” not to mould in stacks or mow, 
when the hemp is put under cover or stacked. If 
stacked, it is in a circle around a pole and upon 
poles or planks to keep the hemp from contact 
with the ground, tops inwards and lapping a little 
for elevation and convenience in thatching to shed 
rain. A convenient shed is made b}’ setting posts, 
fifteen to twenty feet long, firmly in the ground 
and placing a roof upon them. This kind of shed 
may have posts each ten feet in rows, and another 
row twenty -five to thirty feet away, parallel and 
continued to any length as the amount of stalk of 
hemp require. When housed under these sheds it 
is placed butts outwards. In this way or in stacks, 
carefully covered, the hemp will remain uninjured 
for a couple of years, if necessaiy. 

After stacking or putting under cover, the hem]) 
should be let remain thus a few weeks at least, to 
ripen, mellow and cure, the fibrous material to gather 
” nature” and maturitj^ and above all ” quality,” be- 
fore it is retted and handled to obtain the fiber.* 

*This -word "quality,” and the other "nature,” are words coininon to 
the industry, hut, like the word "skin” iii the Irish and Belgian Hax 
manipulation, diffioult to describe or define. "Skin” is the glossy, lustrous 
appeai’ance of a fiber containing great "nature” .and "quality,” and the 
added characteristics of "life,” as opposed to a dead fiber of a hard, 
"harsky,” woolly or towy ch.aracter. Silk has quality, life, skin, and 
above all nature, it is .alive and highly susceptible to the spinner's art. 
N.ature and qu.ality are to some extent synonymous : they are what give 
ch.aracter to the material, as the difference between iron and steel, gold 
and brass, the characteristics of fine qu.alities in fabrics, — in fact, in any- 
thing, — but are best understood from a long experience in h.andling .and 
manipuhating. In the fine art of an exact scientific culture of hem]) the 
purpose is to develoj) this silky ch.aracter, and the work continues in all 
stages of handling. It is not the plant so much as the skill in manipula- 
tion which produces the high character. 



Next in importance to a careful preparation of 
the soil and the plantin'^ of the hemp seed, is the 
work of reeovering the fiber and of preparing it in 
a perfect condition to enter into the various products 
of manufacture. The valuable part of the hemp 
plant, grown for fiber, is in the bark or eovering of 
the hemp stalk. This, in the fine art culture, has 
become a tall, slender stalk, bearing no branches 
until near the top, and covered with a ripe, mellow, 
strong and flexible cortex of fibrous material, only 
waiting the skilful cleansing from the gummy 
matters surrounding and uniting them together to 
present a quantity of soft, white silky fiber, almost 
rivaling silk in luster and in fine spinning quality. 
This cortex or bark of fibrous material is composed 
of an outer covering of thin film, and then a fleshy 
mass of chloropliyl and resinous gum holding a 
great number of infinitesimal cellnlar tissues, the 
surroundings of which are not soluble iii water, 
even by hours of boiling, but soluble in the natural 
destruction of a putrefactive fermentation in soft 
water, by steeping from five to ten days, according 
to the temperature, and also in alkaline and neutral 
saponaceous solvents in from three to five days 
when cold, and in twenty -four hours when hot, 
and in two to three hours bv boiling. 




Tlie effect of the fermentatiou is to generate an 
acid which corrodes and burns the fineness of the 
fibers to some extent, hence the great number of 
efforts to furnish a solvent harmless in its effects 
upon the fibers, and }'et of a character to dissolve 
the gummy matters. 

In the earlier part of this work the statement 
has been made that the cost of spinning the hemp 
fiber was much greater than that of spinning cot- 
ton or wool, because of a want of suppleness or flexi- 
bility resulting from the imperfect cleansing of the 
fibers from the resinous gum with which they are 
surrounded. When perfectly purified and prepared, 
however, the fibers of the hemp plant are as soft, 
fine and flexible as those of any other plant. This 
imperfect cleansing of the fibers is the result of the 
imperfect processes of retting and preparing them, 
as chemistry has not, as yet, solved the problem of 
furnishing a perfect dissolution of the gummy mat- 
ters, which shall at the same time be rapid and 
harmless to the fibers and economical in practice. 
When this is accomplished there are many reasons 
why the hemp industry will be the greatest one for 
the production of fine serviceable fal)rics. 

When the hemp stalks are crushed and broken 
and the woody matters separated from the bark, the 
bark holds some 20 to 25 per cent of foreign mat- 
ters. Raw silk holds some 18 to 25 per cent, and 
wool something more. The cleansing of all these 
fibers have special processes which have been adapted 
to them, but which are steadily being improved, but 
all have many features in common. Wool is the 
hardest to purify, requiring not only long boiling in 
neutral soapy solutions, but a considerable amount 


of scrubbing and "scouring” to perfectly cleanse 
and prepare it for fine spinning. 

The coating or crusting matters upon raw silk 
resemble glue to such an extent that they are given 
the name of "silk glue,” or sericin. To fnlly 
remove this glue the skeins of silk are carefully 
tied to prevent being tangled, placed in canvas 
bags and tied to prevent the mingling of any 
foreign matters, and })laced in wooden tanks of a 
size to hold about 100 ])ounds of silk and still 
allow of the free circulation of the liquors around 
it. These tanks have false bottoms, perforated, 
and under which are copper coils in which steam 
is turned to boil the liquor. The boiling licpior 
is composed of pure soft water, in which there 
is no lime nor mineral matters in solution, and 
in Avhich about 25 per cent of the weight of the 
silk of fine neutral soap, free from resin or other 
impurities, is dissolved. After the liquor is pre- 
pared the hemp canvas bags of silk are placed in 
them and made to remain under the solution, the 
steam turned in and the silk boiled for two to 
three hours, according to the character and variety 
of the raw silk, and the purposes for which the 
fiber is to be used, coarse or fine, hard or soft. 
Often silk is made to take up an additional amount 
of gummy sericiii to give weight to the product. 
Another process is to first boil the silk for an 
hour and then remove it to another tank of fresh 
solution, to be perfectly cleansed. After boiling, the 
silk is rinsed in warm, soft water to remove the 
silk glue when completely softened. The first 
boiling of silk in a fresh solution is not as good 
as the second after a portion of the sericin be- 



comes saponified with the soap. If the boiling 
off of silk and the scouring of wool has not been 
sufficient to perfectly cleanse the fibers before 
spinning, the yarns or fabrics are subjected to a 
further purification by boiling previous to the final 
” finishing” and "dressing.” 

This indicates the line of practice for preparing 
the fibers from hemp. Not the same glue or gum 
exists in both animal and vegetable fibers, nor the 
same acids, but the expert chemist wants no more 
interesting task than to determine the exact rela- 
tion and composition and the solvent required for 
the peculiarly existing constituents of either, and 
when he shall have given hemp the exact study 
wdiich all the other fiber and textile industries have 
received, there is no question of the final results. 
Hemp is the best adapted by nature to res])ond to 
the work of the chemist and textile inventor, and 
the most susceptible of fine manipulation, and from 
its simplicity in cultivation and wide adaptation to 
soil and climate offers the most interesting base 
upon which to build. 

The processes of retting hemp have thus far 
largely been the same primitive practices which 
have come down from the middle or dark ages. 
Not even the lost arts of hemp and linen ]u*acticed 
by the ancient Egyptians have been recovered. 
They produced a canvas and a linen of a character 
not yet equaled by modem methods. The methods 
of retting were naturally such as must be practiced 
in all industrial matters wdiere confined to hand 
labor, and the small acreage of an unintelligent 
people without the knowledge or the means to 
undertake experiments or the research for improved 


processes, or for labor saving appliances and exact 
chemical methods. These are, however, slowly giv- 
ing way to better practices, a better intelligence, and 
a more exact knowledge of the nature and recpiire- 
ments of this king of liber -bearing plants. 

As the process of cleansing wool is called scour- 
ing, and that of silk boiling off, so that of hemp 
is called retting, macerating, steei)ing, or watering. 
The origin of ''retting,” or "rotting,” now most 
commonly used, can only be referred to the old 
l)i*actice of spreading the hemp ui)on the ground 
to become rotten from the action of the dews and 
rains and heat of the atmosphere, and to become 
decayed and the gummy matters sufficiently destroyed 
to admit the bark to be pulled off* from the stalk. 
The term retting seems to have been applied origi- 
nally to the dew retting practice, which has been 
generally superseded by macerating or stee})ing in 
stagnant or running water. The Italian term is 
macerare or macerato, from macerate, to steep, while 
the French is roiii and roitissage, from arrosage 
and roscidiis, bedewed. Added to the word rouissage 
in French, we have routoir and rutoir, a steeping 
pool or retting tank. German stippen, to steej) or 

The general practice is to place the hemp stalks 
in sheaves in a wooden crate of such size as can be 
handled with means at command, and slide them 
down tramways into the river, and then anchor the 
crates and pile stone upon them to sink them to a 
level with the surface of the water. Another prac- 
tice is to pile the hemp stalks upon the bottom 
of artificially constructed retting pits (see Figs. 4 
and 5), and either weighting with stones or by cross- 



bars lield under firmly fixed uprights. When it is 
found that the bark will readily slip from the woody 
stalk, ill from eight to twelve days, the hemp is 
taken out and dried by spreading upon the ground, 
or separating the sheaves at the butts and standing 
them up. Another practice is to place the hemp in 
the water for four to six days, and then remove and 
dry it, and again return it to the retting pit. This 
gives a more even result, with less injury to the fiber. 

In this manner the finest Italian hemps are pro- 
duced. In France it is the practice to partly rot the 
hemp in the water, and after drying the stalks and 
breaking them to remove the hurds, boil olf 
the fiber, as is done with silk. After retting in 
water, as described above, and drying the henii) 
stalks, they are run through a break consisting of 
several sets of fluted rollers, and the fiber freed from 
the hurds by shaking (see Fig. 11). 

Added to these older methods are many modifi- 
cations, both chemical and mechanical, and mixed, 
while the encyclopedias are burdened with accounts 
of patented processes for quickly doing the work, 
and many of the manufacturers have their own 
secret methods of improving or boiling off the 
fiber before spinning. Although the work is by no 
means complete, much light has been thrown upon 
the subject of fibers, their nature, composition and 
requirements of culture and preparation, as well 
as the adaptation and improvement of manufacturing 
machinery and appliances. It may also interest the 
reader to learn that the U. S. Department of Agri- 
culture has undertaken a com])lete investigation of 
the subject of the hemp-fibers, from which we may 
hope definite results may soon be derived. 

Fig. 11. Hemp Breaking Machine. Showing style of gearing, a. Feed table. 




There are three methods of retting hemp practi- 
cable where hemp is grown upon a large scale in 
the United States. If not grown upon a scale of 
at least three to five hundred acres by one planter, 
there should be arrangements for uniting several 
smaller growers, or that the hemp grown upon a 
smaller scale should be disposed of to the middle 
man prepared to ret the hemp and prepare the fiber 
and properly classify it. There is little economy 
in the small acreage system, as with cotton raising 
or beet sugar growing, where the working up is 
done by others. If there is sufficient profit in rais- 
ing hemp with a yield of three to five tons of hemp 
straw or stalks per acre, and disposing of them to 
the middle man or manufacturer of fibers at $5 to 
$6 per ton, then it may be so done; but it is a 
division of profits against the farmer, as he loses 
all fertilizing matters where the hemp stalks are 
carted from the farm. 

The first method is the ordinary water retting. 
For this method a system of square wooden tanks, 
as shown in Fig. 12, is constructed of a size and of 
a number to correspond to the scale upon which 
the work is to be carried on. To ret the hemp in 
the rivers is out of the question, from a point 
of sanitary consideration and also from that of 
economy. To handle 500 acres of hemp, growing 
fifteen feet high, requires preparations to handle 
2,500 tons of hemp stalks. If the work of retting 
goes on continuous!}' from March to November out- 
of-doors, it will require the handling of at least ten 
tons of stalks per day. If the work is done by the 
same gangs of laborers as the plowing and plant- 
ing and harvesting, and there is an interruption 


of a iiioiitli ill Marcli and another in July, the 
capacity should be sufficient to handle fifteen or 
twenty tons per day, — that is, of emptying tanks 
holding twenty tons and putting the stalks out to 
dry and refilling the tanks, and also taking in 
twenty tons of dried retted stalks and putting them 

under cover to be broken at a later day. The 
breaking can be done from December to March. 
Upon a hemp ranch of 1,000 to 5,000 acres, in a 
latitude of 35°, the work of preparing the soil, sow- 
ing and harvesting the hemp, retting and breaking 
and shipping may go on continuously, several gangs 
of laliorers being employed, each under its depart- 
ment superintendent, for the purpose. 

Fifi. 12. SiNOLE Tank for Retting Hemp. 



To handle twenty tons of hemp stalks per day 
will require eight retting tanks 8 x 15 feet and five to 
six feet deep. These should be situated upon the 
more elevated portions of the ranch at one point, 
or in two places some distance apart, or the tanks 
may l)e so constructed upon timbers as to be moved 
from place to i)lace once a year as the ground 
around the tanks becomes fertilized by water and 
refuse from handling the heini). The steep-water 
and the foliage and waste from the hemp are high 
in fertilizing elements. 

To construct a system of four tanks that will 
be firm and substantial and j'et adapted to removal 
once a year as desired, four timbers 8x8 inches 
and thirty -six feet long are placed level upon the 
ground, five feet apart and parallel to each other. 
Upon these timbers heavy planks one or two feet 
wide, two and one -half inches thick, and fifteen 
feet long are jointed, pressed closely together and 
firmly spiked down. At the front edge planks are 
set up edgewise and spiked to the first one, and 
uprights six feet long of 2 x G pieces are spiked 
to the sides of the timbers below and against which 
the sides of the tanks are spiked. After a floor- 
ing eight feet wide is laid, other planks are 
set up and spiked to the last plank laid down. 
The work, is thus continued until four tanks eight 
feet wide are provided for. The divisions of the 
tanks are held in place by other uprights and the 
ends fitted in, or upon the outside, uprights being 
set in the corners of the tanks to spike to. This 
gives four substantial tanks holding three tons of 
hemp stalks each, when closely packed, the first having 
the larger butts all one way, and the next larger the 


other. Wlieii so filled the stalks are held down 
firmly liy cross-pieces and the tanks are filled with 
water. Tanks of smaller size, and only one or 
two in a system, can bo used if ])roferred, and 
may be located in separate ])laees, as desired, to 
receive and dispose of a Avater sni)ply, and for 
convenience in standiiif^ out the hemp sheaves, or 
spreadin<j them to dry. In six to ten da}^s, ac- 
cording to temiieratnre, the l)ark of the hemp stalks 
will be found to readily slip off when the stalks 
are broken in the hamls, and the hemp should 
then be taken from the tanks or vats and dried 
and put under cover to be broken, shaken from 
the Avoodv matter and baled. The onlv limit to 
number of tanks and size is the supply of Avater. 

The above method Avill iiroduee a prime cordage 
hemp for use Avhere a strong, scrviceal)lc fiber is 
desired. Another process is to take the hem]) stalks 
from the retting vats in fi\"e days and dry them by 
standing out or spreading, and again returning them 
to the vats for fie^e to eight days longer. This 
produces a fiber corres])onding to the best Italian 
hemps noAV found in market, and is ada])ted for 
fine cordage, coarse threads, carpet Avarps, canvas 
and similar products. 

Another method is to ])lace false end pieces 
across the tanks some two inches from each end of 
the retting tanks and reaching doAvn to Avithin tAVo 
to four inches of the bottom. A half-inch stream 
of Avater is let IIoav into the tank upon the toj). 
This carries all impurities doAvnwards and out 
under the ends of the false ends and up and out 
OA'or the real end, made an inch the lowest, 
and thus maintains a circulation of Avater Avhich 



produces a fiber of iniicli lij^liter color, especially if 
the water used is slightly "hard” and impregnated 
with lime. 

After the hemp is retted in water in the tanks 
for five days it may be taken out, dried and broken, 
and will furnish an exceedingly strong fiber for 
many uses. After watei' retting and drying the 
stalks, they are iiiit under cover to further ripen 
and mellow. In all the work there .should lie some 
six Aveeks between the time of harvesting the hemp 
before it is retted, and the same length of time 
between the retting and the breaking, so that there 
will of necessity have to be a storage room for at 
least a supply for the work of six Aveeks. 

In retting, the tanks are emptied one or more 
each da}% the contents put out to dry and again 
filled, so the Avork goes on steadily. Rain and 
snoAV and frosts do not injure the hemp after it is 
retted; in fact, the Avashing from a rain is an advan- 
tage, Avhile a sharp frost serves to disintegrate the 

Another process is to first break the hemp stalks 
by passing them through a breaking machine con- 
sisting of ten to tAA'enty sets of lieaA'y fluted rollers 
rim by bevel or miter gears and held together by 
springs upon the top. (See Fig. 11.) When so 
passed through these heavy crushing rollers the 
"shives,” "boon,” "hnrds,” or Avoody matter, is 
thoroughly broken nj) and shaken out. As it 
requires fiA^e to six tons of hemp stalks to yield a. 
ton of fiber, it can readily lie seen that first break- 
ing the hemp and disposing of four-fifths of the 
Aveight and bulk leaA'es a much less amount to be 
handled and very much saves labor in the Avork; 


besides, a tank lioldin^ five tons of stalks would 
hold all the fiber from tweuty-five tons of stalks. 
If the hemp is first lu-oken the retting tanks may 
be of much less size, while it is much easier to 
handle the fiber alone than the stalks, and in ret- 
ting the water attacks the liber eveidy on all sides 
alike, whereas with the stalks the water only comes 
in contact with the ontsidc; of the lil)ci’. In drying 
the lil)er after it is so i-ctted twenty -five tons may 
be hanged upon an acre of ground if placed’ upon 
bars, upon horses, or other frames, for supi)ort. 
After drying in some four daj'S, the fiber is jiut 
under cover to be again run through the breaking 
machine, and is in mnch finer condition for market. 
In all this work, if the retting tanks are filled with 
one pound of potash lye to (*ach one hnndi'ed ])ounds 
of hemp stalks or fiber, the retting will be done in 
four daj's instead of eight. When this is done 
with the fiber alone, the filler is afterwards put 
into a solution of muriatic acid, one iiound to one 
hundred gallons of Avater, and again rinsed in Avater. 

To facilitate the Avork of. handling the fiber, it 
may be put into long AA’Ooden or galvanized iron 
crates or baskets, holding two hundred pounds each, 
and placed in the tanks, and Avhen retted hoisted 
out l)y a traveling imlle}- overhead and immersed 
in other tanks. In packing these baskets or crates 
a cross-i)iece is placed at the bottom of eaidi, Avith 
upright fingers two and a half to three inches apart, 
betAveen Avhich the handfuls of filler are placed, and 
cross-pieces laid on and again handfuls of fiber, 
that they maj' be more readily sepai’ated in re- 
moving them. 

Instead of potash, some tAvo to four pounds of 



neutral soap, free from resin, may be used and 
tlie hemp fiber retted without the use of the acid 
bath, the fiber being rinsed in soft water. Also 
the retting will be done in two to three days if the 
weather is warm, and there will be but little of the 
bad odor attending ordinary water retting. If this 
solution of soap and water is made hot, the retting 
will be done in twelve hours. If perforated steam 
l)ipes are inserted at the bottom of the tanks or 
vats and live steam turned in for boiling, the ret- 
ting will be complete in one to three hours, accord- 
ing to strength of solution used and the degree of 
fineness desired. If the hemp which has previousl}" 
been water retted and broken is boiled for half an 
hour in such a saponaceous solution a uearlj* ])er- 
fect fiber results. After boiling and rinsing and 
drying, and the hemp has lain four to six weeks 
to mellow, ripen and gain nature and quality, 
it is run through the breaking machine, softened 
and baled, as is done with cotton. 



Before the lieiiii) stalks are retted they may 
be run through a liemp- breaking niacliine (see 
Fig. 11), consisting of ten to twenty or more 
sets of cast-iron rollers tinted lengthwise, soine 
six inches in diameter, and having fifteen or seven- 
teen flutes to eaeli roller for the first three sets, 
twenty -one or twenty -three for the next five sets, 
and twenty-seven to thirty-one for the rest. If 
but ten sets of rollers are used, it will be neces- 
sary to pass the hemp stalks in small handfuls 
twice through the machine ; with twenty sets twice 
the amount can be broken. This machine, which 
can be built upon an oak frame of four- l)y eight- 
inch stuff, and the rollers, cast by any iron founder, 
can be set up by ordinary mechanics and run 
by common laborers under the direction of a su- 
perintendent. The expense is $175 to $d00, ac- 
cording to how close the builder attends to the 

In a ranch of five hundred acres the use of 
two of these breaking machines would be required, 
and the capacity of uiindted straw five tons a 
day each and of retted straw seven tons, recpiir- 
ing ten horse ]iower and the service of foui' men to 
each machine. The hurds fi’om the hetnp furnish 

( 105 ) 


n E M p 

all tlie fuel, and are moved bj^ endless carrier to 
siKjli points as desired, and are fed under the 
boiler with a large door by a large hand scoop 
made of seven or eight tines two and one -half feet 
long. The ashes from this fuel furnish some 10 
to 12 per cent of potash and 3 to 5 per cent 
of phosphoric acid, and will furnish all the pot- 
ash for making soap and for softening the water 
and retting the hemp, besides a large amount of 
fertilizing element directly to the soil. Used to 
soften water and to ret hemp, the fertilizers should 
afterwards go to the soil. The cost of the engine 
and boiler will depend largely upon ideas of the 
purchaser. A second-hand forty horse -power engine 
and boiler in first-class order was put up complete 
for $375. But, as with a cotton ginning outfit, the 
style and surroundings materially differ with dif- 
ferent men. 

Beyond this breaking machinery there is but 
little rerpiired in the farmer’s manii)ulation of hemp. 
After the hemp is retted in the special way to suit 
special demands of x, xx and xxx hemp, it is 
often found that if the ends of the hemp fiber 
are combed or straightened out and smoothed 
down, or partly dressed by the action of revolv- 
ing teeth, the manufacturer is willing to pay one 
to two and sometimes five cents a pound more for 
it, according to the skill in ” handling” the fiber. 
To meet this demand, a revolving cylinder, some 
five feet in diameter and four feet wide, is made 
l)y fastening bars of wood across two iron wheels 
and passing a shaft through it, as seen in Fig. 13. 
In the cross bars are spikes protruding some two 
inches and preferably sloping backwards, that their 



action may be gentle ni)on the liamlfnls of fiber 
held 111) to them or thrown upon them, as shown 
in the illustration. 

This combing- or scutching- machine docs all 
the working which the hemp fil)er requires after 
l)cing softened in the breaking maidiine. Nor 

Pig. 13. Hemp Scutch ok Combing Machine. 
a . Handful of Hemp. 

should the work be made severe upon the heni]), 
as a good deal of tangled fiber or tow would thus 
be made, which is of less value than the straight 
fibers or line. 

As with other products and practices upon the 
farm, there is an abundant reward for fine work, 
while but a poor recompense attends the careless 


H E M P 

and uiipaiiistaking. In proportion as the farmer 
studies the nature and wants of his soil, his crops 
and his animals, and becomes skilful in the manipu- 
lation, is there the permanent probability of profit, 
which is the aim of all pursuits. 


As tliis little work is leaving the i>ress we have 
the deliuite aiinouiieenieiit from the Division of 
Botany of the United States Department of Agricul- 
ture, that it has "determined to import experimental 
quantities of superior varieties of hemp seed from 
China, Japan and the Mediterranean region for 
experiments with their cultivation in the United 
States. It is planned to carry on these exi)eri- 
nients at various points from Washington south- 
ward through the Atlantic states to Florida." We 
thus have the assurance that the unsettled questions 
pertaining to the best methods of cultivation and 
the most jirofitable management of hemp will be 
determined, and definite conclusions presented to 
the American people, as the intelligent basis for the 
employment of labor and capital in successfully 
developing in America the last of the great leading 
industries with which the old world has so long 
been conversant, but which has not yet obtained 
prosperous foothold in the United States. There is 
no question that when the inventive genius, compre- 
hension and energies of the American people become 
interested, another grand source of ))rofitable emploj'- 
ment and prosperity will be established. 

( 1011 ) 



w« *• 



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Amount of dry matter produced per 
acre, 0(5. 

Amount of hemp Brown in the United 
States in 1800, 20. 

Analysis of cotton, flax and hemp 
seed, 17. 

Analysis of steep water, 18 

Atlantic coast adapted to hemp cul- 
ture, 0.1. 

IJoard of Trustees for hemp and linen 
industries of Ireland, 15. 

bounties for early hemp cultm-e in 
VirBinia, 35. 

Bounties paid by Great Britain for 
exports of linen to America, 10, 17. 

BoiliiiB off of fibers, 33, 91. 

Botany of hemp plant, 10. 

California, hemp srown in, 02. 

Chemical comparison of plant con- 
stituents, 10. 

Chemistry of hemp plant, 10. 

Chinese hemp. (See frontispiece.) 

CombiiiB or scutchiiiB hemp, 100, 107. 

Commercial fertilizers not economi- 
cal, 01. 

Commercial hemps, 1. 

Comparison of hemp and cotton man- 
ufactures, 11-18. 

Construction of rettins tanks, 100. 

Cooperation of chemists and manu- 
facturers necessary, 51. 

Cost of chemical fertilizers, 17. 

Cultivation of hemp for fiber, 71. 

Cow peas a desirable fertilizer, 04. 

Cultivating for seed and fiber not the 
same, 70. 

Culture of hemp in Europe, 21. 

Culture of cotton and hemp differ, 59. 

Decorticating machinery for hemn 
and ramie, 13. 

I lifferont fertilizers reyuired for seed 
and for fiber, 19. 

Early culture of hemp in .\merica, 35. 

Early culture by the Dutch, 30. 

Early culture in France, 22. 

Edict of Nantes, 22. 

Edmund Quincy on early hemp cul- 
ture, .30. 

Effects of temperature, 59. 

Experiments in culture of hemp, 12. 

Fertilizing elements retiuired, 10. 

Flax and hemp fibers not essentially 
different in character, 55. 

French methods of rotting hemp, 30. 

French rules for hemp culture, 22. 

First use of modern appliances in 
hemp culture, 11. 

Georgia, hemp grown in, 02. 

Groat Britain opposing new indus- 
tries in America, 11-17. 

Great Britain paid bounties for ex- 
ports of hemp from America, 10. 

Great Britain prohibited hempmanu- 
fa(!turo in American colonics, 38. 

Growing hemp for seed, 07. 

Growing for fiber, 05. 

Harvesting hemi> for seed, 72. 

Harvesting for fiber, 87. 

Harvesting hemp in France, 28. 

Hashish, 1. 

Hemp and flax fibers more "reliel- 
lious” than cotton, 48-50. 

Hempen cloth found in moxrnds of 
cave dwellers, 2. 




Hemp stalks grown £orfiber(ilhistra- 
tratioii), C. 

liemi) the last of the great industries 
awaiting recognition, 52. 

Hemp versus flax, 52. 

History of the hemp plant, 1. 
Hungarian varieties, C. 

Improved pi’ocesses of retting desir- 
able, 25. 

Insects which attack hemp, 28. 
Invention of machine spinning, 22. 
Irrigating by water furrows, 84. 
Intoxicating effects of hemp, 4. 

Italian small hemi>, 5. 

Kentucky, hemp grown in, 29. 

Largo acreage needed; cultivation 
best, 82. 

Manila hemp, 4. 

JIachiucry for handling hemp, 105. 
Manures best adapted to hemp cul- 
ture, 77. 

Mississippi, hemp grown in, 40, 02. 
Missouri, hemp grown in, 40. 
Aloisture needed, 00. 

Nebraska, hemp grown in, 02. 
Necessity for a careful selection of 
seed, 07. 

Neither flax nor hemp practically 
grown for both hemp and fiber, 50. 
New Orleans Experiment Station 
grows hemp, 42. 

New system of irrigation, 85. 

New York, hemp growing in, 40. 

New Zealand flax, 4. 

( )ld-time hemp break, 41. 

Origin of the woi'd hemp, 2. 

Origin of the hemp plant, 1. 
Orobanche, or broom rape, 28. 

Processes for retting, 91-104. 

I’roduct of hemp and flax in Great 
Britain, 45. 

I’reparation of the soil for hemp, 
25, 79. 

Production of hemp in France, 22. 

Ramie, 5. 

Reap hooks, 73. 

Relics of colonial hemp culture, 30. 
Rotting hemp, 30-28, 91. 

Retting poles, 21-22. 

Selection of seed in France, 26. 

Short season to grow, 01. 

Sisal, 4. 

Small area of French farms, 21. 

Soil and climate adapted to hemp, 58. 
South Carolina, hemp grown in, 02. 
Stacking hemp, 90. 

Staten Island, hemp grown upon, 63, 
Steep-water as a fertilizer, 18. 

Tanks for retting hemp, 99. 

Time of planting, 20, 80. 

Value of seed as a fertilizer, 17. 
Varieties in cultivation, 43, 68. 
Varieties of hemp, 1. 

Want of definite knowledge of hemp 
manure, 19. 

Want of support for new industries 
in America, 47. 

Weeding hemp not necessary, 27. 
When hemp land becomes exhausted, 

When to harvest hemp, 72, 88. 

Why the hemp industry lanquished 
in America, 44. 

Yield of hemp fiber, 37, 79. 

Yield of hemp seed, 73. 

















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