The imports of all kinds of tobacco for the last five years have been as follows:—
1848. 1849. 1850. 1851. 1852. lbs. lbs. lbs. lbs. lbs. Unmanufactured 34,090,360 41,546,848 35,166,358 31,061,953 33,205,635 Manufactured and snuff 1,512,714 1,905,306 1,557,618 2,331,886 2,930,299 35,603,074 43,452,154 36,723,876 33,393,839 36,135,934
Gross duty received:—
1848. 1849. 1850. 1851. 1852. L L L L L On raw tobacco 4,267,579 4,328,217 4,337,258 4,386,910 4,466,533 Cigars, snuff, &c. 97,655 96,814 92,873 98,858 94,298 4,365,234 4,425,031 4,430,131 4,485,768 4,569,831
The amount of tobacco consumed is so limited that the trade will not admit of an excessive growth. In the two most thickly populated countries in Europe—France and England—not more than a certain quantity finds its way there. In France the trade is monopolised by Government, which gives out contracts to deliver a stipulated quantity at certain prices; in England the duty imposed is so enormous that only a limited quantity of certain descriptions can be imported without risk of loss. In Germany and Holland, where the trade is more extensively carried on than elsewhere, the duty imposed is almost nominal, and all classes of their citizens are enabled to use the weed at prices very little higher than its first prime cost. The tobacco trade constitutes so large a staple of American produce that it is singular greater efforts are not made upon the part of that Government to cause a reciprocal duty to be imposed, that more favor may be shown by European Governments to this particular article. England, from the duty imposed upon it alone, derives a revenue of L4,500,000, being about L160 to the hogshead, or from ten to sixteen times its original cost. France makes the trade a monopoly, from which she derives an income of L3,000,000 sterling.
STATEMENT OF IMPORTS, SALES, AND STOCKS OF TOBACCO AND STEMS, IN BREMEN, FROM 1840 TO 1850. - -+ MARYLAND VIRGINIAN + - - - - S S S t S t t o D t o D o J I c e o J I c e c a m k c c a m k c k n p S e k n p S e Y u o a l m u o a l m e 1 a r l a b 1 a r l a b a s r t e s e s r t e s e r t y s s t r t y s s t r - - - -+ 1840 4,890 14,570 18,399 1,061 245 3492 3422 285 1841 1,061 19,629 18,321 2,369 285 3466 3025 726 1842 2,369 20,821 19,067 4,123 726 6729 5898 1557 1843 4,123 18,483 15,004 7,602 1557 5541 4242 2856 1844 7,602 16,978 18,338 6,242 2856 5092 4282 3666 1845 6,242 24,251 24,571 5,922 3666 1588 3099 2155 1846 5,922 26,785 23,788 8,919 2155 2386 2456 2085 1847 8,919 21,743 20,681 9,981 2085 911 2079 917 1848 9,981 12,084 9,935 12,130 917 847 1054 710 1849 12,130 19,285 22,112 9,303 710 1173 1734 149 + - - - -
- -+ KENTUCKY STEMS + - - - - S S S t S t t o D t o D o J I c e o J I c e c a m k c c a m k c k n p S e k n p S e Y u o a l m u o a l m e 1 a r l a b 1 a r l a b a s r t e s e s r t e s e r t y s s t r t y s s t r - - - -+ 1840 181 3,803 3,699 285 2853 3362 4564 1651 1841 285 5,206 4,941 550 1651 7085 7054 1682 1842 550 9,407 8,939 1018 1682 4151 5386 447 1843 1018 7,485 6,441 2062 447 3969 3447 969 1844 2062 9,736 9,569 2229 969 4753 5513 209 1845 2269 11,439 10,328 3340 209 5273 4152 1330 1846 3340 5,028 6,099 2269 1330 6092 4716 2706 1847 2269 3,816 5,013 1072 2706 6788 8038 1456 1848 1072 4,448 4,980 540 1456 4912 4473 1895 1849 540 4,620 4,746 414 1895 5188 5083 1000 + - - - -
Culture and Statistics in the United States.—Tobacco has been the great staple of the States of Virginia and Maryland from their first settlement. About the year 1642 it became a royal monopoly, and afterwards, in order to encourage its growth in the colonies, and thereby increase the revenue of the Crown, Parliament prohibited the planting of it in England. The average quantity shipped from the North American colonies to the parent country, for ten years preceding the year 1709, was about twenty-nine millions of pounds. For some years prior to the American revolution, about 85,000 hhds. were exported, then valued at little more than four millions of dollars, and constituting nearly one-third the value of all the exports of the British North American colonies. From 1820 to 1830 tobacco constituted about one-ninth in value of all the domestic exports of the United States. It finds a market principally in Great Britain, France, Holland, and the north of Europe. The crop of tobacco produced in the four principal States, was in—
1838. 1839. hhds. hhds. Virginia 26,000 45,000 Kentucky 27,000 35,000 Maryland 16,000 16,000 Ohio 3,000 4,000 ——— ———- 72,000 100,000
The whole crop of 1840 was 219,163,319 lbs., which, at the estimate of 1,200 lbs. to the hhd., would be equal to 182,636 hhds., and at the average price of that year, 81 dollars 5 cents. per hhd., would make the value of the crop of the United States 14,802,647 dollars 80 cents. The average annual export for the ten years ending with 1840, was 96,775 hhds. The actual exportation of 1840 was 119,484 hhds. The principal exports are formed of the produce of Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland, and North Carolina. The exports are chiefly to the following countries—about 30,000 hhds. annually to England, 15,000 hhds. to France, 20,000 hhds. to Holland, 25,000 hhds. Germany, and about 22,000 hhds. to other countries. The whole crop for 1845 was put down at 187,422,000 lbs. In 1839, it was ascertained that one and a half million persons were engaged in the cultivation and manufacture of tobacco in the United States, one million of whom were so occupied in the States of Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri. In the city of New York the consumption of cigars is computed at 10,000 dollars a day, a sum greater than that which the inhabitants pay for their daily bread; and in the whole country the annual consumption of tobacco is estimated at 120 million pounds, being 7 lbs. for every man, woman, and child, at an annual cost to the consumers of 20 million dollars (more than four million pounds sterling).
It is estimated that the manufacture of tobacco in the United States is increasing at the rate of 2,000 hhds. per annum.
hhds. The quantity manufactured in 1851, was stated at 55,000 Exportations for the year estimated at 120,000 ———- 175,000
The production for 1852 is supposed to be as follows:—
hhds. Virginia 27,000 Maryland 33,000 Western States, including frosted 65,000 ———- Total production 125,000 Deficiency in the year's crop 50,000
The quantity produced in the United States, in 1847, was 220,164,000 lbs., worth, at 5 cents per lb., nearly 11 million dollars (more than two million sterling). The principal producing States were—Kentucky, 65 million lbs.; Virginia, 50 millions; Tennessee, 35 millions; North Carolina, 14 millions; Ohio, 9 millions; Indiana, 4 millions; Illinois, Connecticut, and a few others in smaller proportions.
The production in 1848 was 218,909,000 lbs., which, valued at four cents per lb., would be worth nine million dollars. From persons largely interested in the tobacco trade, and well informed in relation thereto, I have gathered the following general statements:—
The crops of tobacco to come to market in the year 1851, were estimated as follows—
hhds. Virginia 30,000 Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri, about 50,000 Maryland, about 22,000 Ohio, about 14,000
From the above estimate it will be seen that the quantity produced in 1850 is less than two-thirds of the usual production in the States named. The entire crop of Virginia will be required for home consumption. About 15,000 hhds. Kentucky, and 5,000 hhds. Maryland will also be wanted for home use. Owing to the increase of population by immigration and otherwise, the domestic consumption, which was a few years ago so small as not to be considered worthy of notice, has now increased to a very important item, and affords a steady home market for a large portion of the production.
The quantity of Maryland tobacco left for export to Bremen and Holland, in 1851, will only be about 17,000 hhds., which is not more than half the amount usually shipped to these countries every year.
Of the Kentucky tobacco contracted for last year by France and Spain, through their agents in this country, less than one third has yet been purchased, and those governments will this year require the deficiency to be made up, in addition to their annual average supply, which, with the quantity required for England, will take the entire crop, leaving nothing for the rest of Europe, Africa, South America, the West Indies, &c. The tobacco markets throughout the world are in a much more healthy condition than has ever been known, and it is thought prices will rule very high the coming season. In Maryland, while the production has been not more than half an average crop, the price is nearly three times as high as usual; so that the planter will receive more for his diminished crops than in ordinary seasons of plenty.
QUANTITY OF TOBACCO EXPORTED ANNUALLY FROM 1821 TO 1850.
Exports for Year ending hhds. Stocks in Europe, year ending hhds.
September 30th, 1821 66,850 December 31st, 1821 " " 1822 83,169 " " 1822 " " 1823 99,000 " " 1823 " " 1824 77,889 " " 1824 " " 1825 75,986 " " 1825 " " 1826 64,099 " " 1826 " " 1827 100,020 " " 1827 " " 1828 96,279 " " 1828 69,485 " " 1829 77,136 " " 1829 63,670 " " 1830 83,810 " " 1830 50,672 " " 1831 86,718 " " 1831 54,690 " " 1832 106,800 " " 1832 61,868 " " 1833 83,153 " " 1833 50,543 " " 1834 87,979 " " 1834 53,413 " " 1835 94,353 " " 1835 57,458 " " 1836 109,042 " " 1836 68,918 " " 1837 100,232 " " 1837 38,703 " " 1838 100,593 " " 1838 31,067 " " 1839 78,995 " " 1839 38,715 " " 1840 119,484 " " 1840 37,623 " " 1841 147,828 " " 1841 50,880 " " 1842 158,710 " " 1842 62,496 June 30 (9 ms.) 1843 94,454 " " 1843 91,196 " (12 ms.) 1844 163,042 " " 1844 88,973 " " 1845 147,168 " " 1845 91,213 " " 1846 147,998 " " 1846 100,774 " " 1847 135,762 " " 1847 88,858 " " 1848 130,665 " " 1848 80,391 " " 1849 101,521 " " 1849 70,527 " ' 1850 145,729 " " 1850 66,777
It is a curious fact that, notwithstanding the variety of climate and soil in the northern State;, every State and territory in the Union produces some tobacco. In many of the States its cultivation is, of course, a secondary object, and perhaps in several it is attended to as a mere matter of curiosity; but in most of the States, probably a sufficient quantity has been grown, to show that with attention to this object, it might, in case of necessity, be resorted to as a profitable crop. The States in which the great bulk of the crop is grown lie between the latitudes of about 34 and 40 degrees.
There is a considerable increase of consumption of American tobacco in Europe, as well as in the United States, which should encourage the planters of Virginia and North Carolina to cultivate this article more abundantly than they have done for several years past; and, since the home manufacture has increased so much, and the Virginia tobacco is preferred in many parts of the European markets, they may safely count on getting good prices for many years to come.
It is not in the power of Virginia to make any three years together more than 56,000 hhds., even with good seasons, and 30,000 hhds. annually of this will be wanted by our manufacturers.
The planters, then, should enrich their lands, and aim to make full crops.
The increased consumption in Europe is three per cent., and in the United States four per cent. per annum.
The crop of the United States from 1840 to 1850 inclusive—say 11 years—averaged about 160,000 hhds.; this embraces the large crops of 1842-43-44.
The consumption of Europe from 1829 to 1838 was 96,826 hhds.—it is now 130,000.
An account of the quantities of unmanufactured tobacco, manufactured called negro-head, and cigars, imported into the United Kingdom in 1850:—
Countries from whence imported. Unmanufactured Manufactured United States of America 30,173,444 1,191,001 Venezuela, New Granada and Ecuador 895,523 527 Brazil 12,138 56,802 Peru 8,649 6 Cuba 589,627 153,819 British West Indies, including Demerara and Honduras 26,169 3,242 British Territories in the East Indies 14,500 25,332 Philippine Islands 12,233 51,210 Hongkong and China 2,706 2,340 Turkey, Syria, and Egypt 140,361 2,882 Malta 13,028 7,818 Italy, Sardinian Territories 431,939 17 Gibraltar 7 3,063 Spain 307,641 1,100 France 29,950 1,521 Channel Islands 149 1,342 Belgium 29,922 6,579 Holland 2,418,732 9,078 Hanseatic Towns 50,610 36,680 Other parts 8,930 1,980 ————— ————- Total unmanufactured 35,166,358 1,556,321 Ditto manfactured 1,556,321 Snuff 1,197 ————— Total 36,723,876
From the tobacco circulars of Messrs. Clagett, Son, and Co., leading brokers of London, dated Feb., 1st, 1850, I take the following extracts:—
The exhaustion of the stock has resulted from the concurrence of a gradually decreasing supply and increasing consumption, which may be very clearly perceived by a reference, first to the official returns from New Orleans of the yearly receipts of the western crops in each of the last seven years; and secondly, to the consumption of American tobacco in Great Britain and Ireland in the years 1847, 1848, and 1849, as compared with that of 1840, 1841, and 1842. We have no means of exhibiting with similar accuracy the relative consumption of Continental Europe in the latter as compared with the former part of these last ten years, but it is quite reasonable to assume that the increase, where there has been little or no duty, must have gone on more rapidly than it has done here, under the restraining force of a duty of 800 to 900 per cent.
The deliveries from London and Liverpool, independently of those from Scotland, Bristol, and Newcastle, for the use of Great Britain and Ireland, have been as follows:—In 1840, 15,037 hhds.; 1841, 15,019 hhds.; 1842, 15,468 hhds.; 1847, 18,091 hhds.; 1848, 18,595 hhds.; 1849, 18,738 hhds.
The highest estimates we have seen of the whole of the crops of the United Slates in 1849, do not exceed 140,000 hhds., of which it is not doubted that fully 45,000 hhds. will be required for consumption there, and we estimate the supply required for the consumption of Europe, South America, the West Indies, and Africa, at certainly not less than 125,000 hhds.; if these estimates be realised in fact, it will follow that the stocks at the close of this year must be 30,000 hhds. less than at the close of 1849.
We estimate the present consumption of American tobacco in Great Britain and Ireland as follows:—
The deliveries in London and Liverpool in 1849, were 18,738 hhds.; do. do. Bristol 1,400 hhds.; do. do. Scotland we assume at 2,800 hhds. Total 22,939.
Of Stripts, the deliveries in Liverpool last year were 8,544 hhds., of which about 300 were for exportation; the deliveries, therefore, were—For the use of Great Britain and Ireland, 8,250 hhds. In London we have no account of the deliveries of stripts, as distinguished from leaf, for the whole of last year; it is doubtless less than that in Liverpool, and we assume it at 7,000 hhds.; in Bristol it was about 900 hhds.; in Scotland we assume it at 2,400 hhds. Total 18,550 hhds.
Now, assuming 1,500 hhds. of the deliveries in Scotland and Bristol to be included in the coastwise returns in London and Liverpool, then the consumption of Great Britain and Ireland would appear to be about 21,500 hhds. of American tobacco, and 17,000 for these to be stripts. The progressive increase which we have shown in the returns of 1849, as compared with those of 1840, must still go on.
Without troubling you with any detail of the stocks in each of the several markets, it may be sufficient to show that the summary of the whole in all the markets of Europe, other than Great Britain, consisted on the 31st December, 1849, of about 22,000 hhds.; of which about 18,000 were Maryland and 2,000 stalks; and it is important to notice especially the fact, that the stocks of the manufacturers and dealers in Germany, Holland and Belgium are unusually small. We have taken very considerable care to inform ourselves on this point, and are fully satisfied that the usual stocks in second or dealers' hands do not exist. The whole demand of the year must, therefore, be supplied from those stocks in importers' hands, from England or from the United States.
The following were the prices current in London in the spring of 1853:—Virginia Leaf, common, per pound, 31/4d. to 33/4d.; middling, 5d. to 6d.; good and fine 61/2d. to 71/2d. Stripts, 51/2d. to 10d. Kentucky Leaf: common 3d., to 31/2d.; middling, 33/4d. to 41/2d.; good and fine, 5d. to 6d. Stripts, 5d. to 7d. Maryland, 31/2d. to 9d. Negrohead and Cavendish: common and heated, 4d. to 6d.; middling to good, 6d. to 8d. and 9d.; fine, 10d., 12d., 16d.; Barret's none. Columbian, 7d. to 1s. 8d.; Brazil, 3d. to 6d.; flat, 5d. to 1s. 1d.; Manilla, 7d. to 2s. 6d.; Havana, 10d. to 5s.; Yara, 11d. to 3s.; Cuba, 9d. to 1s. 1d.; ingars, 3s. to 16s.; cheroots, Manilla, 7s. 6d., nominal; German and Amersfoort 4d. to 1s. 3d.; stalks, duty paid, 2s. 6d. to 3s. 4d.; smalls, 2s. 9d to 2s.
The shipments to Europe were 76,516 hhds. against 40,652 hhds. the previous year, and 43,576 hhds. in 1850. The rapidity of sales, the diminished stocks even now held in first hands, were taken as an infallible index of the progressive rate of consumption; and of a truth the quantity of hogsheads received in the principal markets of Belgium, Holland, Germany, and the North, and as speedily relieved from the control of the importers, was enough to control even those who were alive to the existing necessities of Europe, and to give a color to the rumour of almost inexhaustible consumption.
This extraordinary demand for tobacco on the continent has been occasioned by three distinct causes; the first of which was the pressing wants which, for the last two years, were well known to have existed, and the constant willingness of consumers to act at the very moderate rates which prevailed some time last spring. The second was the compulsory purchases by the Austrian Government, amounting, it is estimated, to 20,000 hhds., by reason that the discontented Hungarians, for political considerations, abandoned altogether the cultivation of tobacco, and which deficiency was obliged to be replaced by American growths. The third cause also had a political origin: the anticipation of the extension of the Zollverein or German Customs League to the Kingdoms of Hanover and Oldenburg, whereby the duties on tobacco in those countries would be greatly increased, was a natural incentive to the dealers and manufacturers there to lay in heavy stocks, to reap the benefit thereon; and these last two causes, therefore, may be viewed in the light of fortuitous circumstances, which have fostered a speculation originally founded on the cheapness of money alone.
It has been shown, and the statistics of the past year fully confirm the statement, that a plethora of money and prosperity among the middle classes of society, while it induces to the consumption of tobacco in general, rather curtails than otherwise the demand for American growths. A poor man addicted to smoking takes his pipe not from choice, but necessity; as he grows independent, the humble pipe is abandoned and the more costly cigar assumed. We have frequently heard this matter noticed, more especially after the disasters which followed the railway speculations of 1846, when the demand for English cigars sensibly declined; and we have now a further verification of the assertion in the opposite sense, the sales of cigar materials in Bremen having been extended more than 40 per cent, in three years, viz., from 94,750 bales and cases in 1850 to 135,650 during last season.
From New Orleans we learn that the arrivals from the interior since the 1st September had amounted to 18,043 hhds. against 5,165 hhds. last season, and the stock on hand was 24,128 hhds. against 7,927 hhds. only.
The shipments from Virginia during the past year exceeded 13,700 hhds. In 1851 they were under 4,000 casks.
From Baltimore 54,272 hhds. have been exported. The official figures for the previous year gave 35,967 as the total.
The aggregate stock of tobacco on the 1st of January last, in the principal ports of America, was taken at 52,982 hhds. against 45,292 the year before and the growth of the Western States, Virginia, and Maryland during 1852, to come forward for our supply the present season, is estimated at 185,000 hhds., notwithstanding all the unfavorable influences and curtailing causes which were said to have prevailed.
The method adopted of cultivating tobacco in Virginia is thus described:
Several rich, moist, but not too wet spots of ground are chosen out in the fall, each containing about a quarter of an acre or more, according to the magnitude of the crop, and the number of plants it may require.
These spots, which are generally in the woods, are cleared, and covered with brush or timber, for five or six feet thick and upwards; this is suffered to remain upon it until the time when the tobacco seed must be sowed, which is within twelve days after Christmas. The evening is commonly chosen to set these places on fire, and when everything thereon is consumed to ashes, the ground is dug up, mixed with the ashes, and broken very fine. The tobacco seed, which is exceedingly small, being mixed with ashes also, is then sown and just raked in lightly; the whole is immediately covered with brushwood for shelter to keep it warm, and a slight fence thrown around it. In this condition it remains until the frosts are all gone, when the brush is taken off, and the young plants are exposed to the nutritive and genial warmth of the sun, which quickly invigorates them in an astonishing degree, and soon renders them strong and large enough to be removed for planting, especially if they be not sown too thick. Every tobacco planter, assiduous to secure a sufficient quantity of plants, generally has several of these plant beds in different situations, so that if one should fail, another may succeed; and an experienced planter commonly takes care to have ten times as many plants, as he can make use of.
In these beds, along with the tobacco, they generally sow kale, colewort, and cabbage seed, &c., at the same time.
There are seven different kinds of tobacco, particularly adapted to the different qualities of the soil on which they are cultivated, and each varying from the other. They are named Hudson, Frederick, Thick-joint, Shoe-string, Thickset, Sweet-scented, and Oronoko. But although these are the principal, yet there are a great many different species besides, with names peculiar to the situations, settlements and neighbourhoods wherein they are produced; which it would be too tedious here to specify and particularise. The soil for tobacco must be rich and strong; the ground is prepared in the following manner:—after being well broke up and by repeated working, either with the plough or hand hoes, rendered soft, light, and mellow, the whole field is made into hills, each to take up the space of three feet, and flattened at the top.
In the first rains, which are here called seasons, after the vernal equinox, the tobacco plants are carefully drawn while the ground is soft; carried to the field where they are to be planted, and one dropped upon every hill, which is done by the negro children. The most skilful slaves then begin planting them, by making a hole with their finger in each hill, inserting the plant with the taproot carefully placed straight down, and pressing the earth on each side of it. This is continued as long as the ground is wet enough to enable the plants sufficiently grown to draw and set; and it requires several different seasons, or periods of rain, to enable them to complete planting their crop, which operation is frequently not finished until July.
After the plants have taken root, and begin to grow, the ground is carefully weeded and worked, either with hand hoes or the plough, according as it will admit. After the plants have considerably increased in bulk, and begin to shoot up, the tops are pinched off, and only ten, twelve, or sixteen leaves left, according to the quality of the tobacco and the soil. The worms, also, are carefully picked off and destroyed, of which there are two species that prey upon tobacco. One is the ground worm, which cuts it off just beneath the surface of the earth; this must be carefully looked for and trodden to death; it is of a dark brown color, and short. The other is a horn worm, some inches in length, as thick as your little finger, of a vivid green color, with a number of pointed excrescences or feelers from his head like horns. These devour the leaf, and are always upon the plant. As it would be endless labor to keep their hands constantly in search of them, it would be almost impossible to prevent their eating up more than half the crop had it not been discovered that turkeys are particularly dexterous at finding them, eat them up voraciously, and prefer them to every other food. For this purpose every planter keeps a flock of turkeys, which he has driven into the tobacco grounds every day by a little negro that can do nothing else; these keep his tobacco more clear from horn worms than all the hands he has got could do were they employed solely for that end. When the tops are nipped off, a few plants are left untouched for seed. On the plants that have been topped, young shoots are apt to spring out, which are termed suckers, and are carefully and constantly broken off lest they should draw too much of the nourishment and substance from the leaves of the plant. This operation is also performed from time to time, and is called "suckering tobacco." For some time before it is ripe, or ready for cutting, the ground is perfectly covered with leaves, which have increased to a prodigious size, and then the plants are generally about three feet high. When it is ripe, a clammy moisture or exudation comes forth upon the leaves, which appear, as it were, ready to become spotted, and they are then of a great weight and substance. The tobacco is cut when the sun is powerful, but not in the morning and evening. The plant, if large, is split down the middle, and cut off two or three inches below the extremity of the split; it is then turned directly bottom upwards, for the sun to kill it more speedily, to enable the laborers to carry it out of the field, else the leaves would break off in transporting it to the scaffold. The plants are cut only as they become ripe, for a field never ripens altogether. There is generally a second cutting likewise, for the stalk vegetates and shoots forth again, and in good land, with favorable seasons, there is a third cutting also procured, notwithstanding acts of the Legislature to prevent cutting tobacco even a second time.
When the tobacco plants are cut and brought to the scaffolds, which are generally erected all around the tobacco houses, they are placed with the split across a small oak stick, an inch and better in diameter and four feet and a half long, so close as each plant just to touch the other without bruising or pressing. These sticks are then placed on the scaffolds, with the tobacco thus suspended in the middle, to dry or cure, and are called tobacco sticks. As the plants advance in curing, the sticks are removed from the scaffolds out of doors into the tobacco house, on to other scaffolds erected therein in successive regular gradations from the bottom to the top of the roof, being placed higher as the tobacco approaches to a perfect cure, until the house is all filled and the tobacco quite cured, and this cure is frequently promoted by making fires on the floor below. When the tobacco house is quite full, and there is still more tobacco to bring in, all that is within the house is struck, and taken down, and carefully placed in bulks, or regular rows, one upon another, and the whole covered with trash tobacco, or straw, to preserve it in a proper condition, that is moist, which prevents its wasting and crumbling to pieces. But, to enable them to strike the cured tobacco, they must wait for what is there called a season, that is rainy or moist weather, when the plants will better bear handling, for in dry weather the leaves would all crumble to pieces in the attempt. By this means a tobacco house may be filled two, three, or four times in the year. Every night the negroes are sent to the tobacco house to strip, that is to pull off the leaves from the stalk, and tie them up in hands or bundles. This is also their daily occupation in rainy weather. In stripping, they are careful to throw away all the ground leaves and faulty tobacco, binding up none but what is merchantable. The hands or bundles thus tied up are also laid in what are called a bulk, and covered with the refuse tobacco or straw to preserve their moisture. After this, the tobacco is carefully packed in hogsheads, and pressed down with a large beam laid over it, on the ends of which prodigious weights are suspended, the other end being inserted with a mortice in a tree, close to which the hogshead is placed. This vast pressure is continued for some days, and then the cask is filled up again with tobacco until it will contain no more, after which it is headed up and carried to the pubic warehouses for inspection. At these warehouses two skilful planters constantly attend, and receive a salary from the public for that purpose. They are sworn to inspect with honesty, care, and impartiality, all the tobacco that comes to the warehouse, and none is allowed to be shipped that is not regularly inspected. The head of the cask is taken off, and the tobacco is opened by means of large, long iron wedges, and great labour, in such places as the inspectors direct. After this strict attentive examination, if they find it good and merchantable, it is replaced in the cask, weighed at the public scales, the weight of the tobacco and of the cask also cut in the wood on the cask, stowed away in the public warehouses, and a note given to the proprietor, which he disposes of to the merchant, and he neither sees nor has any trouble with his tobacco more. The weight of each hogshead must be 950 lbs. nett, exclusive of the cask—for less a note will not be given. Under the name of a crop hogshead, however, the general weight is from 1,000 to 1,200 or 1,300 lbs. nett, but if the tobacco is found to be totally bad, and refused as unmerchantable, the whole is publicly burnt in a place set apart for that purpose. However, if it be judged that there is some merchantable tobacco in the hogshead, the owner must unpack the whole publicly on the spot, for he is not permitted to take any of it away again, and must select and separate the good from the bad; the last is immediately committed to the flames, and for the first he receives a transfer note, specifying the weight, quality, &c. This great and very laudable care was taken by the public to prevent frauds, which, however, was not always effectual, for, even with all these precautions, many acts of iniquity and imposition were committed.
So little is this crop cultivated in the States north of Maryland, that scarcely any notice has been taken of it in the agricultural or other public journals.
In Connecticut, in some few towns of Hartford county, considerable attention has been directed to it for a number of years past. A ton and a-half the acre is said to be no uncommon yield. The tobacco is planted very thick, two feet and a half each way. The seed came originally from Virginia. It is cured in houses, without having been yellowed in the sun, and without the use of fire. It is said that the best Havana cigars (as they are termed) are often manufactured from mixed Cuba and American tobacco, and sold under that name in Connecticut.
In the Connecticut Valley is produced about 500 tons of tobacco annually, the average quantity, 1,500 lbs. per acre, value from seven to ten cents per pound.
Culture.—Seed bed made rich and sown as cabbage early in April as possible.
Land well ploughed and manured and harrowed as for corn, laid out in rows three feet apart, and slight hills in the row about two and a-half feet apart; begin to plant about 10th of June, the ground to be kept clean with hoe and cultivator, and examine the plants and keep clear of worms.
"When in blossom and before seed is formed, the plants must be topped about thirty-two inches from the ground, having from sixteen to twenty leaves on each stalk, after this the suckers are broken off, and the plants kept clean till cut. When ripe the leaves are spotted, thick, and will crack when pressed between the fingers and thumb. It is cut at any time of the day, after the dew is off, left in the row till wilted, then turned, and if there is a hot sun, it is often turned to prevent burning; after wilting it is put into small heaps of six or eight plants, then carried to the tobacco house for hanging, usually on poles twelve feet long; hung with twine about forty plants to a pole, twenty on each side, crossing the pole with a hitch knot to the stump end of the plants; when perfectly cured, which is known by the stems of the leaves being completely dry, it is then taken in a damp time, when the leaves will not crumble, from the poles and placed in large piles, by letting the tops of the plants lap each other, leaving the butts out; it remains in these heaps from three to ten days before it is stripped, depending on the state of weather, but it must not be allowed to heat. When stripped it is made into small hands, the small and broken leaves to be kept by themselves; it is then packed in boxes of about 400 lbs. and marked "Seed Leaf Tobacco."
One acre of tobacco will require as much labor as two of corn that produce 60 bags to the acre, and requires about the same quantity of manure. If the tobacco can be cured without fire heat the quality will be improved, and if dried in the open air, should have shades of boards to keep off rain and excess of sun. The chief market for Connecticut tobacco is Bremen.
In a number of the "Charleston Southern Planter," a remedy is described for preventing the destruction of plants by the fly. The writer says: "I had a bushel or two of dry ashes put into a large tub, and added train oil enough (say one gallon of oil to the bushel of ashes) to damp and flavor the ashes completely: this was well stirred and mixed with the hand, and sown broadcast over certain patches, and proved thoroughly effectual for several years, while parts left without the remedy were destroyed."
The best ground for raising the plant, according to Capt. Carver ("Treatise on Culture of Tobacco," &c.), is a warm rich soil, not subject to be overrun with weeds. The soil in which it grows in Virginia is inclining to sandy, consequently warm and light; the nearer, therefore, the nature of the land approaches to that, the greater probability there is of its flourishing. The situation most preferable for a plantation is the southern declivity of a hill, or a spot sheltered from the blighting north winds. But at the same time the plants must enjoy a free current of air; for if that be obstructed they will not prosper.
The different sorts of seed not being distinguishable from each other, nor the goodness to be ascertained by its appearance, great caution should be used in obtaining the seed through some responsible mercantile house, or individual of character.
Each capsule contains about a thousand seeds, and the whole produce of a single plant has been estimated at 350,000. The seeds are usually ripe in the month of September, and when perfectly dry may be rubbed out and preserved in bags till the following season.
There is a large quantity of tobacco raised in the southern part of Indiana annually, equal in quality to the tobacco raised in Kentucky. In some counties the article is extensively cultivated, and generally pays the producer a handsome profit on the labor bestowed on it. The cultivation of it is becoming more extensive every year. Nearly all this crop is taken to Louisville for sale, very little being shipped south on account of the producer.
Heretofore, owing to the heaviness of tobacco and bad roads, the producer has encountered great difficulties in getting his crop to market. The hauling of a few hogsheads fifty or sixty miles, or even forty, is no light job, even over good roads. Hence, tobacco has not been as extensively cultivated as it would have been under different circumstances. But, with the facilities afforded by the railroads in carrying their crops to market, I doubt not the farmers of the interior will more generally engage in the cultivation of tobacco, and those who have been in the habit of raising small crops will extend their operations.
In Maryland the seed is sown in beds of fine mould, and the plants arising therefrom are transplanted in the beginning of May. They are set at the distance of three or four feet apart, and are hilled, and kept continually free from weeds. When as many leaves have shot out as the soil will nourish to advantage, the top of the plant is broken off, which of course prevents its growing higher. It is carefully kept clear from worms, and the suckers which put out between the leaves are taken off at proper times, till the plant arrives at perfection, which is in August. When the leaves turn of a brownish color, and begin to be spotted, the plants are cut down and hung up to dry, after having sweated in heaps one night. When the leaves can be handled without crumbling, which is always in moist weather, they are stripped from the stalks, tied up in bundles, and packed for exportation in hogsheads. No suckers nor ground leaves are allowed to be merchantable. An industrious person may manage 6,000 plants of tobacco, which will yield 1,000 lbs. of dried leaves, and also four acres of Indian corn.
Miller, an American author, thus describes the mode of culture:—
When a regular plantation of tobacco is intended, the beds being prepared and well turned up with the hoe, the seed, on account of its smallness and to prevent the ravages of ants, is mixed with ashes and sown upon them, a little before the rainy season. The beds are raked, or trampled with the foot, to make the seed take the sooner. The plants appear in two or three weeks. As soon as they have acquired four leaves, the strongest are carefully drawn up and planted in the field by a line, at a distance of about three feet from each other. If no rain fall, they should be watered two or three times. Every morning and evening the plants must he looked over in order to destroy a worm which sometimes invades the bud. When they are about four or five inches high, they are to be cleaned from weeds and moulded up. As soon as they have eight or nine leaves, and are ready to put forth a stalk, the top is nipped off in order to make the leaves longer and thicker. After this the buds which sprout at the joints of the leaves are also plucked off, and not a day is suffered to pass without examining the leaves to destroy the large caterpillar, which is often most destructive to them. When they are fit for cutting, which is known by the brittleness of the leaves, they are cut off with a knife close to the ground, and, after lying some time, are carried to the drying-shed or house, where the plants are hung up by pairs upon lines, leaving a space between, that they may not touch one another. When perfectly dry, the leaves are stripped from the stalks and made into small bundles, tied with one of the leaves. These bundles are laid in heaps and covered with blankets; care is taken not to overheat them, for which reason the heaps are laid open to the air from time to time, and spread abroad. This operation is repeated till no more heat is perceived in the heaps, and the tobacco is then ready for packing and shipping.
I have been favored by Mr. J. M. Hernandez, a Cuba planter, with some valuable instructions for the cultivation of Cuba tobacco, which I subjoin. These remarks apply principally to America, but most of the advice and information will be found generally applicable to other localities:—
The first thing to be considered in this, as in every other culture, is the soil, which for this kind of tobacco (N. repanda) ought to be a rich, sandy, loam, neither too high nor too low—that is, ground capable of retaining moisture, the more level the better, and, if possible, well protected by margins. The next should be the selection of a spot of ground to make the necessary beds. It would be preferable to make those on land newly cleared, or, at all events, when the land has not been seeded with grass; for grass seeds springing up together with the tobacco would injure it materially, as the grass cannot be removed without disturbing the tobacco plants. In preparing the ground for the nurseries, break it up properly, grub up all the small stumps, dig out the roots, and carefully remove them with the hand. This being done, make the beds from three to four inches high, of a reasonable length, and from three to three and a-half feet broad, so as to enable the hand, at arm's length, to weed out the tender young plants with the fingers from both sides of the bed, and keep them perfectly clean.
The months of December and January are the most proper for sowing the seed in Florida. Some persons speak of planting it as early as the month of November, I am, however, of opinion, that about the latter part of December is the best time to sow tobacco seed; any sooner would expose the plants to suffer from the inclemency of the most severe part of the winter season. Before the seed is sown take some dry trash and burn it off upon the nursery beds, to destroy insects and grass seeds; then take one ounce of tobacco seed and mix it with about a quart of dry ashes, so as to separate the seed as much; as possible, and sow it broadcast. After the seed has been thus sown, the surface of the bed ought to be raked over slightly, and trodden upon by the foot, carrying the weight of the body with it, that the ground may at once adhere closely to the seed, and then water it. Should the nursery-beds apparently become dry from blighting winds or other causes, watering will be absolutely necessary, for the ground ought to be kept in a moist state from the time the seed is planted until the young plants are large enough to be set out.
The nurseries being made, proceed to prepare the land where the tobacco is to be set out. If the land is newly cleared—and new land is probably more favorable to the production of this plant than it is to that of any other, both as respects quality and quantity—remove as many of the stumps and roots as possible, and dig up the ground in such a manner as to render the surface perfectly loose; then level the ground, and in this state leave it until the nursery plants have acquired about one-half the growth necessary to admit of their being set out; then break up the ground a second time in the same manner as at first, as in this way all the small fibres of roots and their rooted parts will be more or less separated, and thus obviate much of that degree of sponginess so common to new land, and which is in a great measure the cause of new land seldom producing well the first year, as the soil does not lay close enough to the roots of the plants growing in it, so that a shower of rain produces no other effect than that of removing the earth still more from them.
The ground having been prepared and properly levelled off, and the plants, sufficiently grown to be taken up—say of the size of good cabbage plants—take advantage of the first wet or cloudy weather to commence setting them out. This should be done with great care, and the plants put single at equal distances, that is, about three feet north and south, and two and a-half, or two and three-fourths feet east and west. They are placed thus close to each other to prevent the leaves growing too large. The direction of the rows, however, should alter according to the situation of the land; where it has any inclination, the widest space should run across it, as the bed will have to be made so as to prevent the soil from being washed from the roots by rain when bedded; but where the land is rather level, the three feet rows should be north and south, so as to give to the plants a more full effect on them by passing across the beds, than by crossing them in an oblique direction. To set the plants out regularly, take a task line of 105 feet in length, with a pointed stick three feet long attached to each end of it, then insert a small piece of rag or something else through the line at the distance of two feet and three-fourths from each other; place it north and south (or as the land may require), at full length, and then set a plant at every division, carefully keeping the bud of the plant above the surface of the ground. Then remove the line three feet from the first row, and so on, until the planting is completed. Care ought to be taken to prevent the stretching of the line from misplacing the plants. In this way the plants can be easily set out, and a proper direction given to them both ways. In taking the plants up from the nursery, the ground should be first loosened with a flat piece of wood or iron, about an inch broad; then carefully holding the leaves close towards each other between the fingers, draw them up, and place them in a basket or some other convenient thing to receive them for planting. After taking up those that can be planted during the day, water the nursery that the earth may again adhere to the remaining ones. The evening is the best time for setting out the plants, but where a large field has to be cultivated it will be well to plant both morning and evening. The plants set out in the morning, unless in rainy or cloudy weather, should be covered immediately, and the same should be done with those planted the evening previous, should the day open with a clear sunshine,—the palmetto leaf answers the purpose very well. There should be water convenient to the plants, so as to have them watered morning and evening, but more particularly in the evening, until they have taken root. They should also be closely examined when watered, so as to replace such plants as happen to die, that the ground may be properly occupied, and that all the plants may open as nearly together as possible.
From the time the plants are set out, the earth around them should be occasionally stirred, both with the hand and hoe. At first hoe flat, but as soon as the leaves assume a growing disposition, begin gradually to draw a slight heel towards the plant. The plants must be closely examined, even while in the nursery, to destroy the numerous worms that feed upon them—some, by cutting the stalk and gnawing the leaves when first set out; these resemble the grub-worm, and are to be found near the injured plant, under ground; others, which come from the eggs deposited on the plant by the butterfly, and feed on the leaf, grow to a very large size, and look very ugly, and are commonly called the tobacco-worm. There is also a small worm which attacks the bud of the plant, and which is sure destruction to its further growth; and some again, though less destructive, are to be seen within the two coats of the leaf, feeding as it were on its juices alone. The worming should be strictly attended to every morning and evening, until the plants are pretty well grown, when every other day will be sufficient. The most proper persons for worming are either boys or girls from ten to fourteen years of age. They should be made to come to the tobacco ground early in the morning, and be led by inducements, such as giving a trifling reward to those who will bring the most worms, to clear it thoroughly. Grown persons would find it rather too tedious to stoop to examine the under part of every leaf, and seek the worm under ground: nor would they be so much alive to the value of a spoonful of sugar, or other light reward. Beside, where the former would make the search a matter of profit and pleasure, it would to the latter prove only a tedious and irksome occupation. Here I will observe, that it is for similar reasons that the culture of the Cuba tobacco plant more properly belongs to a white population, for there are few plants requiring more attention and tender treatment than it does. Indeed it will present a sorry appearance, unless the eye of its legitimate proprietor is constantly watching over it.
When the plants have acquired from twelve to fourteen good leaves, and are about knee high, it may be well to begin to top them, by nipping off the bud with the aid of the finger and thumb nail (washing the hands after this in water is necessary, as the acid juices of the plants, otherwise, soon produce a soreness on the fingers), taking care not to destroy the small leaves immediately near the bud: for if the land is good and the season favorable, those very small top leaves will in a short time be nearly as large, and ripen quite as soon as the lower ones, whereby two or more leaves may be saved; thus obtaining from 16 to 18 leaves, in the place of 12 or 14, which is the general average. As the topping of the tobacco plant is all essential in order to promote the growth, and to equalise the ripening of the leaves, I would observe that this operation should at all events commence the instant that the bud of the plant shows a disposition to go to seed, and be immediately followed by removing the suckers, which it will now put out at every leaf. Indeed, the suckers should be removed from the plant as often as they appear. The tobacco plant ought never to be cut before it comes to full maturity, which is known by the leaves becoming mottled, coarse, and of a thick texture, and gummy to the touch, at which time the end of the leaf, by being doubled, will break short, which it will not do to the same extent when green. It ought not to be out in wet weather, when the leaves lose their natural gummy substance, so necessary to be preserved. About this period, the cultivator is apt to be rendered anxious by the fear of allowing the plants to remain in the field longer than necessary; until experience removes those apprehensions, he should be on his guard, however, not to destroy the quality of his tobacco, by cutting it too soon. When the cutting is to commence, there should be procured a quantity of forked stakes, set upright, with a pole or rider setting on each fork ready to support the tobacco, and to keep it from the ground. The plant is then cut obliquely, even with the surface of the ground, and the person thus employed should strike the lower end of the stalk, two or three times with the blunt side of his knife, so as to cause as much of the sand or soil to fall from it as possible, then tying two stalks together, they are gently placed across the riders or poles prepared to receive them. In this state they are allowed to remain in the sun or open air until the leaves have somewhat withered, whereby they will not be liable to the injury which they would otherwise receive, if they came suddenly in contact with other bodies when fresh cut. Then place as many plants on each pole or rider as may be conveniently carried, and take them in the drying house, where the tobacco is strung off upon the frames prepared for it, leaving a small space between the two plants, that air may circulate freely among them, and promote their drying. As the drying advances, the stalks are brought closer to each other, so as to make room for those which yet remain to be housed.
In drying the tobacco, all damp air should be excluded, nor ought the drying of it to be precipitated by the admission of high drying winds. The process is to be promoted in the most moderate manner, except in the rainy season, when the sooner the drying is effected the better; for it is a plant easily affected by the changes of the weather, after the drying commences. It is then liable to mildew in damp weather, which is when the leaf changes from its original color to a pale yellow cast, and from this, by parts, to an even brown. When the middle stem is perfectly dry, it can be taken down, and the leaves stripped from the stalk and put in bulk to sweat, that is, to make tobacco of them; for before this process, when a concentration of its better qualities takes place, the leaves are always liable to be affected by the weather, and cannot well be considered as being anything else than common dry leaves, partaking of the nature of tobacco, but not actually tobacco. The leaves are to be stripped from the stalks in damp or cloudy weather, when they are more easily handled, and the separation of the different qualities rendered also more easy. The good leaves are at this time kept by themselves as wrappers, or caps, and the most defective ones for fillings, or tripa. When the tobacco is put in bulk, the stem of the leaves should all be kept in one direction, to facilitate the tying of them in hanks: afterwards make the bulk two of three feet high, and of a proportionate circumference. To guard against the leaves becoming over-heated, and to equalise the fermentation or sweating, after the first twenty-four hours, place the outside leaves in the centre, and those of the centre to the outside of the bulk. By doing this once or twice, and taking care to cover the bulk either with sheets or blankets, so as to exclude all air from it, and leaving it in this state for about forty days, it acquires an odor strong enough to produce sneezing, and the other qualities of cured tobacco. The process of curing may then be considered as completed. Then take some of the most injured leaves, but of the best quality, and in proportion to the quantity of tobacco made, and place them in clean water, there let them remain until they rot, which they will do in about eight days; then break open your bulks, spread the tobacco with their stems in one direction, and damp them with this water in a gentle manner, that it may not soak through the leaf, for in this case the leaf would rot. Sponge is used in Cuba for this operation. Then tie them in hanks of from, twenty-five to thirty leaves; this being done, spread the hanks in the tobacco house for about twelve hours, to air them, that the dampness may be removed, and afterwards pack them in casks or barrels, and head them tight, until you wish to manufacture them.
The object of damping the tobacco with this water, is to give it elasticity, to promote its burning free, to increase its fragrance; to give it an aromatic smell, and to keep it always soft. This is the great secret of curing tobacco for cigars properly, and for which we are indebted to the people of Cuba, who certainly understand the mode of curing this kind of tobacco better than other people. It is to them a source of great wealth, and may be made equally so to others. We have here three cuttings from the original plants; the last cutting will be of rather a weak quality, but which, nevertheless, will be agreeable to those who confine their smoking to weak tobacco.
In ratooning the plant, only one sprout ought to be allowed to grow, and this from those most deeply rooted; all other sprouts ought to be destroyed.
The houses necessary for the curing of tobacco ought to be roomy, with a passage way running through the centre, from one extremity of the building to the other, and pierced on both sides with a sufficient number of doors and windows to make them perfectly airy.
In addition to what I have said respecting the mode of cultivating and treating the tobacco plant, I have further to state, that when once the plant is allowed to be checked in its growth, it never again recovers it. That in promoting the drying of the leaf, fire should not be resorted to, because the smoke would impart to it a flavor that would injure that of the tobacco itself.
In order to obtain vigorous plants, the seed ought to be procured from the original stalk, and not from the ratoons, by allowing some of them to go to seed for that express purpose. In Cuba, the seed is most generally saved from the ratoon plants, but we should consider that that climate and soil are probably more favorable to the production of the plant than America, and consequently we ought to confide in the best seed, which is had from the original stalk.
All plants have their peculiar empire: nevertheless, we should not be deterred from planting Cuba tobacco here; for even if we should be compelled to import the seed every third year, which would be as often as necessary, it would still prove a profitable culture. Taking 600 lbs., which is the average product per acre, it would yield, if well cured, at 50 cents, per lb., 300 dollars in the leaf.
The following exhibits the profit to be derived from it when manufactured into cigars:—
Dls. Dls. Six hundred pounds, allowing eight pounds to the 1.000, would produce 75,000 cigars, which at ten dollars per thousand 750.00 Cost of the leaf 300.00 Worth of manufacture, at two dollars fifty cents per thousand 187.50 487.50 ———— Difference in favor of manufacturer 262.50
This amount being the profits of the manufacturer alone, the profit to him who could combine both pursuits would be more than doubled.
As to the quantity of land which can be cultivated to the hand, there is some difference in the practice of planters; however, I think that I am within the usual calculation in saying, that an acre and a half would not exceed the quantity that an able hand can easily cultivate and manage properly.
"With reference to the cultivation of Spanish tobacco from the seed, the following remarks are also made by a gentleman residing in Maryland:—
My experience for some years in the cultivation and manufacture of Spanish tobacco into cigars, convinces me that the first-rate variety of Spanish tobacco—that is, the most odorous and fine—will bear reproduction in our climate twice, without much deterioration; by that time it becomes acidulated and worthless as Spanish tobacco. For seven years I have imported annually first seed from Cuba, but have occasionally made experiments with reproduced seed, and I have arrived at the conclusion above stated. I have obtained, annually, a cigar maker from Baltimore, who has made for me on my farm, and from Spanish tobacco. These produced about the average of 70,000 cigars, per year; they have been sold in Baltimore and Philadelphia for five dollars the half box, that is ten dollars the thousand. The tobacco has been uniformly admired, but in former years they have been very badly made; for the last two years, (writing in 1843,) my crops were destroyed by the unfavorable weather. This growth and manufacture do not interfere with my cultivation of other crops; in fact they are wholly unconnected with the other operations of the farmer." He mentions having obtained a premium from an agricultural society, for having produced on one and a half acres, growth and manufacture included, of Spanish tobacco 504 dollars net profit.
The following letter from Mr. Clarke, to the Hon. H. L. Ellsworth, Washington, speaks favorably of a new variety of tobacco:—
Willow Grove, Orange County, Virginia,
Feb. 13, 1844.
Dear Sir,—Agreeably to my promise I enclose you the Californian tobacco seed. It grew from the small parcel given to me by Mr. Wm. Smith, in your office in March last. On getting home, although late, I prepared a bed, and sowed the small parcel, the first week in April, and not having seed enough to finish the bed, sowed the balance of the bed in Oronoko tobacco seed, and to my astonishment the Californian plants were soon ready to set out, as soon as the other kinds of tobacco sown in the month of January; and the Oronoko seed, that was sown with the Californian, did not arrive to sufficient size until it was too late to set out. The Californian tobacco, if it continues to ripen and grow for the time to come, as it did for me on the first trial, must come into general use—first, because the plants are much earlier in the spring (say ten days at least), than any kind we have; secondly, when transplanted, the growth is remarkably quick, matures and ripens at least from ten to fifteen days earlier than any kind of tobacco we have in use amongst us. It is a large broad, silky leaf, of fine texture, and of a beautiful color, and some plants grow as large as seven feet across, from point to point; upon the whole, I consider it a valuable acquisition to the planting community.
Tobacco is one of the chief staples of Cuba. There are many qualities, but it is usually classed into two kinds. That which is raised on the western end of the island and is unequalled for smoking, is called "Vuelta abajo." That which is raised east of Havana, is called "Vuelta arriba," and is far inferior to the former.
The best Havana tobacco farms are confined to a very narrow area on the south west part of Cuba. This district, twenty-seven leagues long and only seven broad, is bounded on the north by mountains, on the south and west by the ocean, whilst eastward, though there is no natural limit, the tobacco sensibly degenerates in quality. A light sandy soil and rather low situation suit the best.
The "Vuelta abajo" is usually divided into five classes.
Calidad or Libra. Ynjuriado Principal or Firsts. Segundas or Seconds. Terceiras or Thirds. Cuartas or Fourths.
Calidad is the best tobacco, selected for its good color, flavor, elasticity and entireness of the leaves. The bales contain sixty hands of four gabillas, or fingers of twenty-five leaves each, and are marked L.60. Ynjuriado Principal has less flavor, and is usually of a lighter color. The leaves should be whole and somewhat elastic. The bales contain eighty hands of four gabillas, or thirty leaves each, and are marked B. 80. Segundas is the most inferior class of wrapper. There are many good leaves in it, but the hands are usually made up of those which are stained, have a bad color, or have been slightly touched by the worm. The bales contain eighty hands of four gabillas of thirty-six to forty leaves each, and are marked Y. 2a. 80.
Terceiras is the best tilling, and much wrapper can usually be selected from it when new. The bales contain eighty hands of four gabillas of more than forty leaves each, and are marked 3a. 80.
Cuartas is the most inferior class, fit only for filling. The bales contain eighty hands of four gabillas of no determined number of leaves, and are marked 4a. 80.
The Vuelta arriba tobacco is prepared in a similar manner, but neither its color or flavor is good, and it does not burn well.
The crop is gathered in the spring, and usually begins to appear at market in July. Good tobacco should be aromatic, of a rich brown color, without stains, and the leaf thin and elastic. It should burn well and the taste should be neither bitter nor biting. The best is grown on the margins of rivers which are periodically overflowed, and is called "De rio." It is distinguished from other tobacco by a fine sand, which is found in the creases of the leaves.
The tobacco plantations in Cuba increased in number from 5,534 in 1827, to 9,102 in 1846. The production of tobacco has nearly doubled in the province, of which St. Jago is the port, in the last ten years.
The following figures show the exports from the Havana:—
Leaf tobacco. Cigars. 1840 1,031,136 lbs. 147,818 thousand. 1841 1,460,302 " 161,928 " 1842 1,053,161 " 135,127 " 1843 2,125,805 " 153,227 " 1844 1,197,136 " 147,825 " 1845 1,621,889 " 120,352 " 1846 4,066,262 " 158,841 " 1847 1,936,829 " 1,982,267 " 1848 1,350,815 " 150,729 " 1849 1,158,265 " 111,572 "
The class of tobacco shipped at the port of Havana, is not the same as that gathered in the districts from which the manufacturers of cigars there receive their supplies—it would cost too dear. However, it is not a rare occurrence to find among a number of bales a few of a quality about equal to that employed there, and this happens in years when the crop has been very abundant, as in 1846 and 1848. The various classes are paid in proportion to the capa, or outside leaves, which are found in an assortment; the three first classes are employed as covers, and often, if the tobacco is new, they may be found in the fourth and even in the fifth. In parcels well assorted, one-fourth is composed of capa—say, first, second, and third, and the rest is composed of tripa, or interior of the cigar. In the first-named, there generally comes more of the capa than is necessary to use; the remaining bales, which contain the inferior class, are fit only for fillings.
The following is an analysis of the ashes of Havana tobacco:—
Salts of potash 24.30 Salts of lime and magnesia 67.40 Silica 8.30 ——- 100.00
Hayti exported in 1836 1,222,716 lbs. Porto Rico, in 1839 43,203 cwt.
The French have been so successful in cultivating tobacco, in their possessions in Northern Africa, that they hope soon to be independent of the foreign grown article. The mode of preparing it, however, is not very well understood by the colonists. In 1851, the number of planters in Algeria was only 137, whereas in 1852, it was 1,073. The number of hectares under culture with the tobacco plant was 446 in 1851, and 1,095 in 1852. The total of the present year's crop is estimated at 1,780,000 kilogrammes, of which 700,000 kilogrammes have been grown by the natives, and the rest by Europeans.
In the province of Algiers alone, the quantity of tobacco sold will amount to 550,000 kilogrammes, which is nearly three times as much as in 1851, and an equal progression has taken place in the provinces of Oran, and Constantina.
The cultivation of tobacco in Algeria has proved most successful; in 1851, only 264,912 kilogrammes were produced; in 1852, the quantity had risen to 735,199 kilogrammes. There are two crops in the year, the first being the best, but even this is capable of almost indefinite augmentation.
CULTURE OF TOBACCO IN THE EAST.
Having touched upon the practice of culture in the western world, we will now bend our steps towards the east, and it may be curious to notice the method pursued in cultivating and curing the celebrated Shiraz tobacco of Persia (Nicotiana Persica), which is so much esteemed for the delicacy of its flavor, and its aromatic quality. It is thus described by an intelligent traveller. The culture of the plant, it will be seen, is nearly the same; it is only the preparation of the tobacco that forms the difference:—
In December the seed is sown in a dark soil, which, has been slightly manured (red clayey soils will not do). To protect the seed, and to keep it warm, the ground is covered with light, thorny bushes, which are removed when the plants are three or four inches high; and during this period, the plants are watered every four or five days, only however in the event of sufficient rain to keep the soil well moistened not falling. The ground must be kept wet until the plants are six to eight inches high, when they are transplanted into a well moistened soil, which has been made into trenches for them; the plants being put on the top of the ridges ten or twelve inches apart, while the trenched plots are made, so as to retain the water given. The day they are transplanted, water must be given to them, and also every five or six days subsequently, unless rain enough falls to render this unnecessary. When the plants have become from thirty to forty inches high, the leaves will be from three to fifteen inches long. At this period, or when the flowers are forming, all the flower capsules are pinched or twisted off. After this operation and watering being continued, the leaves increase in size and thickness until the month of August or September, when each plant is cut off close to the root, and again stuck firmly into the ground. At this season of the year, heavy dews fall during the night; when exposed to these the color of the leaves change from green to the desired yellow. During this stage, of course no water is given to the soil. When the leaves are sufficiently yellow, the plants are taken from the earth early in the morning, and while they are yet wet from the dew, are heaped on each other in a high shed, the walls of which are made with light thorny bushes, where they are freely exposed to the wind. While there, and generally in four or five days, those leaves which are still green become of the desired pale yellow color. The stalks and centre stem of each leaf are now removed, and thrown away, the leaves are heaped together in the drying house for three or four days more, when they are in a fit state for packing. For this operation the leaves are carefully spread on each other and formed into sorts of cakes, the circumference from four to five feet, and three to four inches thick, great care being taken not to break or injure the leaves.
Bags made of strong cloth, but thin and very open at the sides, are filled with these cakes, and pressed very strongly down on each other; the leaves would be broken if this were not attended to. When the bags are filled, they are placed separately in a drying house, and turned daily. If the leaves were so dry that there would be a risk of their breaking during the operation of packing, a very slight sprinkling of water is given them to enable them to withstand it without injury. The leaf is valued for being thick, tough, and of a uniform light yellow color, and of an agreeable aromatic smell.
In India, the Surat, Bilsah, and Sandoway (Arracan) varieties of tobacco are the most celebrated. The two first are found to be good for cultivation in the district about Calcutta, but the Cabool is still more to be preferred. Tobacco requires in the East, for its growth, a soil as fertile and as well manured as for the production of the poppy or opium. It is, therefore, often planted in the spaces enriched by animal and vegetable exuviae, among the huts of the natives. I have tried seed in different soils, says Capt. C. Cowles,—namely a light garden mould with a large portion of old house rubbish, dug to a good depth, which had a top dressing of the sweepings of the farm-yard and cow-houses; a rather heavy loam, highly manured with burnt and decayed vegetables, and old cow dung; the third was a patch of ground, which was originally an unwholesome swamp, from being eighteen inches to two feet, lower than the surrounding land; the soil appeared to be a hard sterile clay, and covered with long coarse grass and rushes. As there was a tank near it, I cut away one side of it, and threw the soil over the ground, bringing it rather above the level. Such was its appearance, (a hard compost marly clay,) that I expected no other good from it than that of raising the land so as to throw the water off; contrary, however, to my expectations, it produced a much finer crop of tobacco than either of the other soils, and with somewhat less manure. The agricultural process is limited to some practical laws founded on experience, and these are subject to two principal agents; viz., the soil and climate. With respect to the former, it is the practice amongst the growers in tobacco countries, such as Cuba, the States of Virginia, North and South Carolina, and the Philippine Islands, to select a high and dry piece of land, of a siliceous nature, and combined with iron, if possible; and with respect to the latter, there are seasons of the year too well known to the planters to need any explanation. The only difference (if there is any) depends on the geographical situation of the place, with respect to its temperature, or in the backwardness or advancement of seasons, and even on the duration of the same—in which circumstances the planter takes advantage of the one for the other.
The influence of a burning climate may be modified by choosing the coolest month of the year, whereas the soil cannot be altered without incurring great expense. I have seen tobacco lose its natural quality and degenerate by transplanting from one soil to another, although of the same temperature, and vice versa.
Mr. Piddington has analysed several Indian soils, distinguished for the production of superior tobacco. These are the table soils from Arracan, (Sandoway,) a soil from Singour, in Burdwan, near Chandernagore, the tobacco of which, though of the same species as that of the surrounding country, sells at the price of the Arracan sort; and the soil of the best Bengal tobacco, which is grown at, and about Hingalee, in the Kishnagur district.
The best tobacco soils of Cuba and Manila, are for the most part red soils. Now, the red and reddish soils contain most of their iron in the state of peroxide, or the reddish brown oxide of iron; while the lighter grey soils contain it only in the state of protoxide, or the black oxide of iron. Mr. Piddington believes the quality of the tobacco to depend mainly on the state and quantity of the iron of the soil, while it is indifferent about the lime, which is so essential to cotton. None of the tobacco soils contain any lime. Their analysis show them to contain:—
Arracan soil. Singour soil. Hingalee soil. Oxide or iron, (peroxide) 15,65 10,60 6,00 Water and saline matter 1,10 75 1,50 Vegetable matter and fibre 3,75 1,10 75 Silex 76,90 80,65 87,25 Alumina 2,00 4,50 1,50 ———- ———- ———- 99,40 97,60 97,00 Water and loss 60 2,40 3,00 ———- ———- ———- 100 100 100
From which it will be seen that the best tobacco soil hitherto found in India contains about sixteen per cent., or nearly one-sixth, of iron, which is mostly in a state of peroxide; and that the inferior sort of tobacco grows in a soil containing only six per cent., or one-sixteenth of iron, which is, moreover, mostly in the state of protoxide, or black oxide. Mr. Piddington thought it worth examining what the quantity of iron in the different sorts of tobacco would be, and found that while the ashes of one ounce, or 480 grains of Havana and Sandoway cheroots gave exactly 1.94 grains, or 0.40 per cent., of peroxide of iron the ashes of the same quantity of the Hingalee, or best Bengal tobacco, only gave 1.50 grains, or 0.32 per cent.; and it appears to exist in the first two in a state of peroxide, and in the last as a protoxide of iron; rendering it highly probable that the flavor of the tobacco to the smoker depends on the state and quantity of the iron it contains! Green copperas water, which is a solution of sulphate of iron, is often used by the American and English tobacconists and planters, to colour and flavor their tobacco; and this would be decomposed by the potass of the tobacco, and sulphate of potass and carbonate of iron is formed. Carbonate of iron is of an ochre-yellow color. Mr. Piddington says he took care to ascertain that this process had not been performed with the tobacco used for this experiment; and adds that Bengal cheroot makers do not know of this method. Mr. Laidley, of Gonitea, dissents from the idea suggested by Mr. Piddington that ferruginous matter in the soil is essential to the successful growth of tobacco. He observes that if we attend only to the iron contained, why every plant will be found to require a ferruginous soil; but tobacco contains a notable quantity of nitrate of potass and muriate of ammonia (the latter a most rare ingredient in plants), and these two salts are infinitely more likely to affect the flavor of the leaf than a small portion of oxide of iron, an inert body. Now as neither of these can be supplied by the atmosphere, we must search for them in the soil, and accordingly he imagined that a compost similar to the saltpetre beds which Napoleon employed so extensively in France, would be a good manure for tobacco lands; namely, calcareous matter, such as old mortar, dung, and the ashes of weeds or wood. He was aware that good tobacco might be grown in Beerbhoom, having raised some himself several years ago from American seed. The plants grew most vigorously, and he further observed, in confirmation of his opinion about the proper manure, that in other districts in which he had resided the natives always grew the tobacco (each for his own use) upon the heap of rubbish at his door, consisting of ashes, cow-dung, and offal of all kinds. While the soil of the Gangetic diluvium almost always contains carbonate of lime, the Beerbhoom soil does not, as far at least as Mr. Laidley had examined it.
The following is the mode of culture pursued about the city of Coimbetore. Between the middle of August and the same time in September, a plot of ground is hoed and embanked into small squares; in these the seed is sown, and covered by hand three times at intervals of ten days. To secure a succession of seedlings water is then given, and the sun's rays moderated by a covering of bushes. Watering is repeated every day for a month, and then only every fifth day. The field in which the seedlings are transplanted, is manured and ploughed at the end of August. Cattle are also folded upon the ground. Four or five ploughings are given between mid September and the middle of October, when the field is divided as above into small squares. These are watered until the soil is rendered a mud. Plants of the first sowing are then inserted at the end of September, about a cubit apart, the transplanting being done in the afternoon. At intervals of ten days the seedlings of the other two sowings are removed. A month after being transplanted the field is hoed, and after another month the leading shoot of each plant is pinched off, so as to leave them not more than a cubit high. Three times during the next month all side shoots thrown out are removed. When four months old, the crop is ready for cutting. To render the leaves sweet the field is watered, and the plants cut down close to the surface, being allowed to remain when cut until next morning. Their roots are tied to a rope and suspended round the hedges. In fine weather the leaves are dry in ten days, but if cloudy they require five more days. They are then heaped up under a roof, which is covered with bushes and pressed with stones for five days. After this the leaves are removed from the stems, tied in bunches, heaped again, and pressed for four days longer. They are now tied in bundles, partly of the small leaf and partly of the large leaf bundles, and again put in heaps for ten days—once during the time the heaps being opened and piled afresh. This completes the drying. A thousand bundles, weighing about 570 lbs., is a good produce for an acre.
In 1760, Ceylon produced a considerable quantity of tobacco, principally about Jaffna, a demand having sprung up for it in Travancore, and on the Malay coast. The cultivation spread to other districts of the island, Negombo, Chilaw, and Matura. Not long after the possession of the island by the British, a monopoly was created by an import duty of 25 per cent., ad valorem, and in 1811 the growers were compelled to deliver their tobacco into the Government stores at certain fixed rates. The culture and demand thereupon decreased. In 1853, the duty on the exports of tobacco from this island amounted to L8,386, and in 1836 to L9,514.
Ceylon now exports a considerable quantity of tobacco. The value of that exported in 1844 was nearly L18,000: it went exclusively to British colonies. The shipments since have been as follows:—
1848 L17,992 —— 1849 22,300 —— 1850 20,721 22,184 cwts. 1851 21,422 22,523 " 1852 20,531 21,955 "
About 96,000 piculs of cigars, of five different qualities, are exported annually from Siam. A good deal of very fine tobacco is grown in the Philippines, and the Manila cheroots are celebrated all over the globe. The quantity of raw tobacco shipped from Manila in 1847 was 92,106 arrobas (each about a quarter of a cwt.); manufactured tobacco, 12,054 arrobas; and 1,933 cases of cigars. 5,220 boxes of cigars were shipped from Manila in 1844. 73,439 millions of cigars were shipped in 1850, and 42,629 quintals of leaf tobacco.
The manufacture of cigars in Manila is a monopoly of the government, and not only is this the case, but it is a monopoly of the closest description, and any infringement of the assumed rights of the Spanish Indian government is visited by the most severe penalties. Public enterprise, however little of that commodity there now exists in the Spanish character, is thus kept down; and this is not only detrimental to the nation itself, but is also unjust towards those persons who are the purchasers of the article, enhanced in price, as is always the case, by monopoly. The cheroot, which now costs, free of duty, about one halfpenny, could be rendered for half that sum, according to well-authenticated opinions. To protect itself from illicit manufacturers, or smuggling of any kind in connection with cigars, the government is compelled to maintain an army of gendarmes, in order to adopt the most stringent means which despotic states alone tolerate. No person is, therefore, permitted to have even the tobacco leaf in its raw state on his premises, and gendarmes pay, at stated intervals, domiciliary visits to the habitations of the people, in search of any contraband materials. There are several extensive manufactories of cigars and cheroots belonging to the government in and near Manila. Mr. Mac Micking, in his recent work on the Philippines, thus describes the mode of manufacture by those employed by the government:—
In making cheroots women only are employed, the number of those so engaged in the factory at Manila being generally about 4,000. Beside these, a large body of men are employed at another place in the composition of cigarillos, or small cigars, kept together by an envelope of white paper in place of tobacco; these being the description most smoked by the Indians. The flavor of Manila cheroots is peculiar to themselves, being quite different from that made of any other sort of tobacco; the greatest characteristic probably being its slightly soporific tendency, which has caused many persons in the habit of using it to imagine that opium is employed in the preparatory treatment of the tobacco, which, however, is not the case.
The cigars are made up by the hands of women in large rooms of the factory, each of them containing from 800 to 1,000 souls. These are all seated, or squatted, Indian like, on their haunches, upon the floor, round tables, at each of which there is an old woman presiding to keep the young ones in order, about a dozen of them being the complement of a table. All of them are supplied with a certain weight of tobacco, of the first, second, or third qualities used in composing a cigar, and are obliged to account for a proportionate number of cheroots, the weight and size of which are by these means kept equal. As they use stones for beating out the leaf on the wooden tables before which they are seated, the noise produced by them while making them up is deafening, and generally sufficient to make no one desirous of protracting a visit to the place. The workers are well recompensed by the government, as very many of them earn from six to ten dollars a month for their labor; and as that amount is amply sufficient to provide them with all their comforts, and to leave a large balance for their expenses in dress, &c., they are seldom very constant laborers, and never enter the factory on Sundays, or, at least, on as great an annual number of feast days as there are Sundays in a year.
The Japanese grow a good deal of tobacco for their own consumption, which is very considerable. They consider that from Sasma as the best, then that from Nangasakay, Sinday, &c. The worst comes from the province of Tzyngaru; it is strong, of a black color, and has a disgusting taste and smell. The tobacco from Sasma is, indeed, also strong, but it has an agreeable taste and smell, and is of a bright yellow color. The tobacco from Nangasakay is very weak, in taste and smell perhaps the best, and of a bright brown color. The tobacco from Sinday is very good. The Japanese manufacture the tobacco so well, says Capt. Golownin, (Recollections of Japan,) that though I was before no friend to smoking, and even when I was at Jamaica could but seldom persuade myself to smoke an Havana cigar, yet I smoked the Japanese tobacco very frequently, and with great pleasure.
The culture of tobacco is a very profitable article for the laborers, seeing that the produce is obtained from grounds which have already given the first crop. The qualities of Java tobacco are more and more prized in the European markets, the preparation and assortment are not yet all that could be desired, but they have progressed in this branch, and the contracts made with the new adventurers assure them of a considerable benefit. But before the Java tobaccos can find an assured opening in the European markets, it is necessary that the cultivators should make use of seed from the Havana or Manila. The residencies of Rembang, Sourabaya, Samarang, Chinbou, and Tagal, present districts suited for its culture; it has been carried on with success for a good many years in the residencies of Treanger, Pakalongan, and Kedu, but only for the consumption of the interior, and of the Archipelago.
Tobacco is cultivated in Celebes, but merely in sufficient quantity for local consumption. It is exclusively grown by the Bantik population—the mode of preparation is the same as in Java; it is chopped very fine and mostly flavored with arrack. When bought in large quantities, it may be had for thirty cents the pound; but in smaller quantities it costs double that price.
Tobacco is cultivated in New South Wales with much success. Australia produces a leaf equal to Virginia, or the most fertile parts of Kentucky, but the great difficulty is to extract the superabundant "nitre." The first crop in New South Wales exceeds one ton per acre, and the second crop off the same plants, yields about half the weight of the first. In 1844 there were about 871 acres in cultivation in New South Wales with tobacco, and the produce was returned at 6,382 cwts. In New England, New South Wales, as fine a "fig" as could be wished for is manufactured under the superintendence of a thorough-bred Virginia tobacco manufacturer—but the impossibility of extracting the nitre by the heating, or any other process, renders the flavor rank and disagreeable. Perhaps cheroots, or the lower numbers of cigars, manufactured from the Australian leaf, might prove more successful.
In Sydney the time for sowing tobacco seed is September, but in Van Diemen's Land it should be a month later, as tobacco plants cannot stand the frost. The ground should be made fine, and in narrow beds three feet wide from path to path, to allow for weeding without stepping on the beds. The seed, being small, should not be raked in; but after the ground is raked fine, and perfectly clean, and well pulverised, mix the seed with wood ashes, and sow over the beds, and pat in with the spade, or tread in with the naked feet, which is preferable. The ground should be moist, but not much watered, or it moulds the plants. When about as large as moderate sized cabbage plants, they should be put out—three feet or three feet six in the rows, and five feet apart between the rows. When the plant rises to about two feet high, it will throw out suckers at each leaf, which must be carefully taken off with the finger and thumb, and all bottom and decayed leaves that touch the ground taken off. When the tobacco plant throws out flower, it must be topped off, leaving about twelve leaves in the stalk to ripen and come to maturity. When the leaves feel thick between the finger and thumb, and assume a mottled appearance, they are fit to cut.
In "Tegg's New South Wales Almanac" it is stated that the end of July is the usual time for sowing the seed. In order, however, to prevent the plants from being subsequently destroyed by frost, care must be taken not to sow the seed until the frost has ceased in any respective locality (unless raised in a frame). Tobacco requires a rich light soil, and well manured.
By the instructions for cultivating it, the plant must be three feet apart each way, which would give 4,840 plants to an acre; assuming that each plant would yield half a pound for the first crop, this would give 2,420 lbs. to an acre, which is only 180 lbs. in excess of a ton. In New South Wales several parties use the tobacco stems for sheep wash. One pound of tobacco is sufficient to wash five sheep on an average (one washing), which would give 12,100 sheep to one acre.
Assuming that only one crop was grown in New Zealand in one year, of 2,420 lbs. to an acre, at 3d. per pound, (which is about half the market price of a fair sample of tobacco in bond,) it would amount to L30 5s. per acre.
Three rows of Indian corn are planted outside the tobacco plants to shelter them from the wind. In order to save seed, a few plants are allowed to flower. The Virginian tobacco is the largest; it is known by a pink flower; the Nicotiana rustica (common green) has a yellow flower.
A planter in Northern Australia furnishes the following directions:—
The land selected for the growth of tobacco ought to be of the most fertile description, of a friable description, and upon which no water can rest within eighteen inches of the surface. Newly cleared brush lands of this nature are the most prolific; upon such, after good tillage, put the plants about four feet or more apart, in rows, and five feet six inches asunder. In interior or old ground, plant proportionately closer. Before topping or nipping off the head, all the lower leaves (that is such as may touch the ground) ought to be broken off, leaving only from five to seven for the crop, which will yield a greater weight and be of a superior quality than if double that number were left. When ripe, a dry and cloudy day should be selected to cut it, as the sun destroys its quality after cutting. It ought then to lie sufficiently long upon the ground so as to welt before carting to the sheds, hanging up each stalk next morning so as not to touch its fellow.
The drying sheds ought to be built upon an elevated or dry spot, with a hoarded flour of rough split stuff, fifteen or eighteen inches from the ground, with apertures as windows to admit or to exclude the external atmosphere. In damp weather close all the doors and windows, also every night; in contrary weather open all.
In these drying houses the stalks should remain suspended until the vegetable moisture is entirely evaporated, so that on a dry day the stems of the leaves will break like a glass pipe, and the finer parts crumble into snuff upon compression; after which, in humid weather, they will become quite pliable; then strip the leaves off the stems, make them up into hands, and pack them tightly into a close bin: when full, cover it with boards and old bagged stuff, upon which place heavy weights. In this state it undergoes the sweating process, which, in this colony, is little understood or not properly attended to, and yet, upon the skill displayed thereon, the quality of the tobacco greatly depends. I will therefore give some general directions upon this portion of the planter's office. If the tobacco happen to be too damp when put into the bin, it will attain either an injurious or a destructive degree of heat; it must therefore he watched for some days after it is packed. To an experienced operator I would say, if the heat exceed 80 degrees of temperature, immediately unpack and re-hang the whole, waiting its condition as before explained, before it is again put into the sweating bin. Should the degree of heat be below that stated, it may remain for weeks or until the heat has subsided. I have generally removed it from the sweating process in about fourteen or twenty days, sometimes considerably longer, regulating that act by the odor and color of the leaf. If, however, it appears to be attaining a very dark brown color and its heat not subsided, it should be taken out and closely pressed into large cases or casks, when it will again attain a gentle heat called the "second sweating," as is invariably the case with the hogsheads of the American leaf tobacco: this again improves its quality. Here the grower's operations terminate.
It may be necessary to remark, that how skilful and experienced soever the grower may be, it is hardly possible for him to produce a good article upon a small scale; for with a less quantity than one ton to place in the sweating bin at a time, the requisite heat to insure success will not be generated. I would further observe, that the practice of the colonists in growing what they term a "second crop" is most injurious to their interests, their lands, and the quality and character of the colonial tobacco. The American planter never attempts it. I would therefore strongly recommend its discontinuance, and also never to crop one piece of land with tobacco more than two or three years in succession. The Americans rarely take more than two crops unless the land be new; after which they sow it down with grasses, in which state it remains for two or three years until it is again planted with tobacco. I would recommend this plan to the growers.
The character of the American tobacco has been greatly advanced in the mercantile world by an ordinance regulating that source of national wealth. The planters are thereby obligated to deposit their crops in warehouses, over which sworn inspectors preside, who rigidly examine every hogshead, and if found to be of mercantile quality, grant the owner a certificate, by which instrument only he sells his produce. The purchaser is hereby safe in buying these certificates. The tobacco to which they refer is delivered to the holder on presentation to the inspector. I mention this not as applicable here at present, but it most probably may hereafter.