Recovered last year at a garage sale outside the city of Buffalo, New York, the “lost hemp diaries” detail the work of Lyster Hoxie Dewey, who served as an assistant botanist of the United States Department of Agriculture from 1890 to 1902, and afterwards as botanist in charge of fibre investigations. In these marijuanalogues (for real) Lyster Dewey recorded his painstaking efforts cultivating varieties of hemp on a parcel of land belonging to the US Government, this parcel of land was then known as Arlington Farms, the chosen site for what is now the United States Pentagon, the largest office building in the world.
As early as 1914, Dewey writes of inspecting hemp at Arlington Farms. For nearly a quarter-century, he carefully notes his quotidian progress as a grower and hemp advocate: “Thursday, October 19, 1922. Fair, cool. Go to Arlington Farm on the 9 a.m. bus and work all day,” he wrote. “Harvesting Kymington, Yarrow, Tochigi, Tochimington, Keijo and Chinamington hemp.”
What was just another day at a garage sale will go down as another page in history of the United State’s twisted and sometimes ambiguous affair with hemp. David Sitarski was looking for local historical artifacts and stumbled upon several dusty diaries and yellowed photo albums and paid $130 for the items, planning on using them for a website he was creating. Eventually, after researching more about the artifacts, he deduced that the old man in the photographs was a crucial hemp pioneer, and jobless and hurting for cash, Sitarski auctioned off the items, asking $10,000. Michael Krawitz, funded by David Bronner, president of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, was able to purchase the historic objects for $4,000 and has put them on display in a public museum. (Fun fact: Bronner was arrested in October 2010 for planting hemp seeds on a lawn at DEA headquarters.)
Download Hemp by Lyster H. Dewey (USDA Yearbook of Agriculture 1914)
News Source: Washington Post