The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945

kce Production of Cobacco
in exas
GEORGE T. McNESS
ITTLE DETAILED information is available concerning the produc-
tion and use of tobacco by the Indians, but there cannot
be any doubt that the knowledge of tobacco and its uses
came to the rest of the world from the newly discovered lands
of the western hemisphere. In November, 1492, a party sent
out by Columbus from the vessels of his first expedition to
explore the isle of Cuba brought back information that it had
seen people who carried a lighted firebrand and perfumed
themselves with certain herbs which they carried along with
them. The habit of snuff taking was observed and described
by Ramon Pane, a Franciscan who accompanied Columbus
on his second voyage (1494-1496), while the practice of tobacco
chewing was first seen by the Spaniards on the coast of South
America in 1502. As the continent of America was opened up
and explored, it became evident that the consumption of tobacco,
especially by smoking, both by the Indians and the Spanish
was a universal custom and in many cases bound up with the
most significant and solemn ceremonies practiced by the various
tribes of Indians in what is now Texas and surrounding ter-
ritory. Benzoni, whose travels in America in 1542-1545 were
published in 1565, says that the Mexican name of the herb was
"tabacco." Texas at that time was claimed as a part of the
Spanish province of Mexico.
The tobacco plant itself was first carried to Europe in 1558
by Francisco Fernandes, a physician who had been sent by
Philip II of Spain to investigate the products of Mexico. While
the plant was introduced to Europe by the Spaniards, the
habit of pipe smoking was initiated and spread through the
English example of Ralph Lane, the first governor of Virginia.
It is related in the Quarterly that the first cigar manufacturing
in Texas was before 1836 and by Friederich Ernst. At that
time Texas was, of course, thinly settled and Caroline von Hin-
ueber says "in consequence, there was no market for any-

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/. Accessed April 24, 2014.