Pubdates: 1828-1829
Source: Compilation of Articles Relating to the Culture and Manufacture of Hemp in the United States; Selected principally from Newspapers and Journals Devoted to the Interest of Agriculture.
Compiled by: E. Fairbanks
Printed at: The Farmer's Herald Office by Jewett and Porter in St. Johnsbury, Vermont in 1829.
Pages: 3-5, & 30-35

[ HEMPOLOGY.ORG note: [sic] indicates unreadable text. ]


Although the following Articles have most of them been before the public, very few, it is believed, gave them at the time of publication, that attention which their importance deserved; and many who now feel a deep interest upon the subject, have not the means of readily obtaining the information they desire.

The attention of the Agriculture Public has of late been much excited in relation to the culture of Hemp, but there are few whose experience enables them to engage in the business with confidence of success.

The information contained in the articles here selected is valuable, embracing the result of experiments relating to the adaptation of our soil and climate to the growing of Hemp - the method of preparing the Land - the time and manner of Sowing and Harvesting - preparation for Market, &c., &c. These articles having been cut from different Newspapers, without any view to the present compilation, some of them are unavoidably inserted without giving credit to the Authors; but those embracing the most important information are under the signature of Gentlemen well known, and whose integrity and judgment entitle their communications to the highest confidence.

The insulated situation particularly of the Northern and Middle sections of Vermont, must for a long time to come, render most kinds of surplus produce of comparatively little value. Hemp will be an exception - And it is believed that no country, for soil and climate is better adapted to its culture. Aware of the importance of this branch of Agriculture, a respectable proportion of the Farmers in Franklin, Orleans and Caledonia counties have commenced the business with a spirit and enterprize much to their credit. Establishments for cleaning it are in a state of forwardness at Barton, in Orleans County, Hardwick, in Caledonia County, and Waterville, in Franklin County; and one of Hines & Bain's Machines will be put in operation in each of those places the present season. At St. Johnsbury in Caledonia County, a Company has recently been formed for the purpose of putting one in operation early next Summer.

These Machines are built at St. Johnsbury, by E. & T. Fairbanks, and warranted good.

The following facts from the letter of the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting statements of the imports and exports of the U. States for the year ending 30th Sept. 1828, will illustrate in some measure the extent of the market for hemp. It should be remembered that "the articles imported into the United States, are in all cases valued at their actual cost, or the value which they sustain in the foreign port from whence they are imported into the U. States, free of any subsequent charge whatever." The aggregate, therefore, paid in our ports for hemp and flax, and for manufactures of hemp and flax, may be safely estimated at Ten Millions of Dollars, annually.

It is a rational presumption that the consumption of hemp will be greatly increased; not only from the consideration of an increased population, but from the fact that the recent improvements in spinning and manufacturing it will render hempen goods a cheap and comfortable article for domestic use - superseding in great measure the use of cotton sheetings and shirtings in the Northern States - and probably, at no distant period, a profitable article for exportation. It may not be improper here to remark, that of the article entered as 'Lines', a large proportion of those not exceeding fifty cents per yard, are manufactured from hemp.


Manufactures subject to duties ad valorem HEMP. Sail Duck,


Ticklenburgs, Osnaburs & Burlaps,


Russia Sheeting - Brown,


Russia Sheeting - White.


All other manufactures of Hemp excepting Cordage


FLAX.  Linens, bleached and unbleached,


Check and Stripes


All other manufactures of Flax, paying a duty of 25 per cent.


Paying specific duties. Sail Duck, 1,515,534 square yards


Cordage, Tarred, & Cables, 2,164,096 pounds,


Cordage, Untarred & Yarn, 81,629 pounds,


Twine, Pack Thread, Seine, &c., 424,029 pounds


Hemp, raw, 161,604 cwt.


Flax, manufactured, 6,488 cwt.


St. Johnsbury, August, 1829.


[ HEMPOLOGY.ORG note: Difficulties in reading the photocopied document resulted in a $10 difference between the calculated total and the total show above. ]

On the culture and Preparing Hemp in Russia, transmitted by the Hon. John Quincy Adams, Minister at St. Petersburgh, March, 1810.

[HEMPOLOGY.ORG note: This article was also published on January 18, 1828. Source: 20th Congress, 1st Session. Doc. No. 68. House of Reps. American water-rotted hemp, &c. &c. Reports from the Navy Department, in relation to experiments on American water-rotted hemp, when made into canvass, cables, and cordage. Click here to go to this article: 1810: JOHN QUINCY ADAMS RE; RUSSIAN HEMP CULTIVATION ]

(From the St. Albans Repertory Feb. 26.)

We have just had a conversation with an intelligent farmer from Washington county, N. Y. upon the subject of growing Hemp. He says that he sowed upon wet, marshy land, nine acres to hemp; but owing to the extreme wetness of the season, but five acres of it was considered worth preserving. He sold the lint or stalk of the five acres, in the stack, for $160, and saved 75 bushels of seed, for which he has refused $300. He further says, that the labor bestowed upon the land was but a trifle more than would have been required for Indian corn. He intends sowing twenty acres the next season.

By the following extract of a letter from an intelligent farmer of Springfield Mass. to a gentleman in Washington County, N. Y. on the subject of the culture, cleaning and price of hemp, it will be seen by this branch of agriculture has already become systematized in that section of the country:

"As to the present price of Hemp, I can only say, that the Connecticut Company, who own and carry on one of Hines & Bain's machines for cleaning hemp and flax, at Long-Meadow, pay us at the rate of twelve dollars per ton for the stem from the field, when thoroughly dried. They hire it stem-rotted at about three dollars per ton. As to the labor and cost of growing a crop, it may be reckoned at something like that of a crop of oats or spring wheat. Our lands produce from two to four tons of stem to the acre; thus affording us not only a living but liberal profit. The seed saved from the lint will pay all expenses of tilling the land, harvesting and transporting the crop - say if within ten or fifteen miles of a machine. Seed is now high, but the present price cannot be relied on, as the country will be supplied. - Hemp seed, however, is worth as much for oil as flax seed."


The Machine for breaking Hemp and Flax, either rotted or unrotted, invented by Joseph Hines, and William Bain, (the right of using which, is secured to them by patent,) may be seen at Stillwater Village, Saratoga county, New-York where it has been in successful operation since the last season. This labor saving machine surpasses any yet offered to the public for the purpose intended, not only in America, but it is believed throughout the world. It is so constructed as to operate one hundred and twelve times on every inch of the stem; and when running at full speed, rising of two hundred thousand flutes operate on hemp or flax per minute, in sufficient force to crack and dislodge the stem, and at the same time preserve unimpared the coat or fibre. When well tended the Machine will break three hundred weight of hemp or flax in an hour. The Machine in this village is driven by steam power; and the shives which are made in breaking hemp serve as fuel both for the engine and drying-house, in all cases producing an excess of at least one half for other uses: thus saving an expense to the proprietors of two cords of wood per day. Experience has proved that the shives may be used as fuel in distilling and for other steam power to equal advantage. This machine may be worked either by steam or water power, as may best suit the convenience of those interested.

Those who wish occular demonstration of the correctness of this statement, are desired to call and examine for themselves. All persons are forbid using this Machine without license from the patentees. The subscriber offers for sale the right to use the machine in any territory of the United States, not before sold on reasonable terms. Communications in writing, post-paid, will be promptly attended to. *

Stillwater Village, July 12th, 1828.

Since it has been ascertained by experiment that Hemp and flax can be divested of its glutenous or vegetable substance, after breaking with less expense and greater safety than before, by the simple use of water - the above machine is increased in value, to the public and those engaged in the culture and manufacture of hemp or flax - inasmuch as these important articles of American growth and consumption, can now be manufactured at home of as good a quality, and at a much less expense than in any other country. The undersigned have fully tested this newly discovered and highly improved mode of rotting and cleaning hemp and flax: and with confidence recommend its adoption to the public. Three days immersion in still or running water is sufficient to cleanse the fibre of its vegetable substance. After which it will only require to be dried in the sun, or the drying house; and again run through the machine, to render it ductile and fit for use. Any information respecting this process, or the use of the Machine, as well as the culture or manufacture of hemp or flax, will be readily imparted on application to the subscribers, or either of them.

Stillwater Village, July 12th, 1828.

* E. & T. Fairbanks of St. Johnsbury, and Col. Ellis Conn [sic] of Barton, are appointed agents for vending the right to use this machine in the Counties of Orange, Washington, Caledonia and Essex in Vermont.

The following certificates from Messrs. Cookes of Ohio will be read with interest, as they are gentlemen of extensive acquaintance, highly respected for their intelligence and practical knowledge in agriculture, particularly in the culture and manufacture of hemp. One of them has been a member of the Legislature of that state, and the other is, and has long been, Post-Master of the village in which he resides, and extensively engaged in mercantile and agricultural pursuits:

"We hereby certify that in the autumn of 1824, we established in Huron County Ohio, one of Mr. Hines' Machines, (called Hines and Bain's Machine for breaking flax and hemp,) and that since that period we have kept the same in constant and profitable operation.

There have been several machines, made in that country, embracing in part the same principle, but varying in their construction from that of Mr. Hines, in order to evade his patent; all of which have proved unprofitable to the owners, and highly injurious to the general character of hemp prepared by machinery. We have observed these failures and attempts at evasion with regret; and having thoroughly tested, by long experience and observation, the decided superiority and preeminent practical utility of Mr. Hines' Machine, compared with others, we are fully satisfied, that it is altogether the most perfect Machine for the purpose now in operation. And we are equally well satisfied, from much observation and reflection upon the principles of its operation, and the nature of the plan upon which it is designed to operate that no other machine different from his in principle will ever be invented, to supersede it.

An experience of four years has confirmed us in the opinion we had long entertained, that there is no branch of agriculture that will afford as great a profit, or contribute so vastly to advance the wealth and prosperity of the country, as that of the culture of hemp, aided by said Machine, and that without such aid the great labor and expense of preparing it for market, would continue, (as heretofore) to discourage its cultivation. We are therefore, clearly convinced that the invention and introduction of this Machine by Mr. Hines, in a national point of view, will ultimately confer the most lasting and important benefits upon his country, and, at no distant day be looked upon as constituting the brightest Era in the history of American Agriculture. So far as we are individually concerned, Mr. Hines has our most sincere thanks for the very great benefits we have received through his improvement, and whatever may be the pecuniary rewards of his enterprise, they can never equal the fame which awaits him at the hands of his country."

E. & E. COOKE.
Four Corners, Huron Co. Ohio, June 20, 1828.
Stillwater, August 7th, 1828.

P.S. I have this day seen and examined Mr. Hines' Machine, now in operation, by steam power, at Stillwater, Saratoga Co. New-York. The only fuel used, is the shives it makes in breaking the hemp, only one half of which is required to keep it in constant operation. It performs its work with great facility, and in my opinion, the heat after creating the steam, by passing through a flue nearly horrizontal, will be fully sufficient for a dry-house. I have also seen samples of hemp that were broken in an unrotted state, and afterwards water-rotted, which I think to be fully equal if not superior in quality to the best of Russian Hemp.


"The following is an extract of a letter from Joel Buttles [sic], Esq." Post-Master of Columbus, (Ohio,) dated July 24, 1828, to Joseph Hines the patentee on the subject of his machine for dressing hemp and flax:

"Thomas Carpenter's Machines turn out about as you predicted they would - they do but little, and that but poorly. There are other machines introduced into the northern part of this state, none of which do well. I sold one of your machines last week, to put up on Huron River, instead of one which had been in use for some time (the kind I do not now recollect.) The purchaser said his would clean hemp and flax - still he is willing, it would seem, to throw it by, and purchase yours with the right to use it, and be at the expense of transporting it one hundred and twenty miles by land. There have been a great many machines tried here, but none of them answer the expectation, or recommendation, nor does any one of them clean near as well, or as fast as yours."

(From the Sandy Hill Sun.)

The following is an extract of a letter from Joseph Hines, Esq. the patentee of the only Hemp machine in successful operation in the United States, to the Editor, under date of the 20th August:

"Samples of Duck, manufactured from Hemp rotted in our newly discovered mode, may be seen here next week. The principal of the factory informs us that our hemp works finely, and it will make duck of a better quality than the best of flax. This too is hemp you must know that stood for the seed to get ripe. We have commenced making Bale-Rope."