With all the recent legislation that aims to prohibit the use of tobacco among adult consumers, we often forget about the people caught in the middle: the tobacco farmer. The American tobacco farmer is the first link in the chain that stretches from the planted seed to the hand-delivered package that arrives on our doorsteps or the sealed container that we buy at the convenience store.
While the tobacco companies and the anti-tobacco coalitions make money hand over fist regardless of outside circumstances, the farmer is only as good as his crop. His laurels rest on what he can produce today, and what he can produce tomorrow. A little over a hundred years ago, a literal war was fought in the tobacco growing hills of southwestern Kentucky and northern Tennessee, an area known as the "Black Patch". All sides that participated have been viewed equally as heroes or villains, depending on who is telling the tale. I set out with this article to be as objective as possible, and to paint the events as they happened.
The ramifications of the war are still resonant today, but many people are unaware of this curious (and disturbing) chapter in American history. Let's look back at what became known as the Black Patch War of 1906.
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