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Hemp Cultivation in Early South Carolina
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Hemp was one of many crops that nearly became a staple part of the economy in the early years of South Carolina. Requiring large quantities of the weed for use in the maritime industry, the provincial government and British Parliament offered sustained cash bounties to encourage planters to cultivate hemp on a commercial scale. Their efforts showed promise, but the results were overshadowed by larger circumstances of international trade. Despite its failure to take root, the rise and fall of hemp in eighteenth-century South Carolina forms one of the most interesting and least-remembered chapters in this state’s agricultural heritage.
What is Hemp?
Hemp is the traditional English name for a fast-growing annual plant that is a member of the botanical genus Cannabis. Although it’s grown in different climates around the world today, Cannabis probably originated in the warm, damp habitats of Asia. Over several millennia of human intervention, a myriad of cultivated varieties of Cannabis have appeared with different habits and characteristics. Despite this proliferation, all the known varieties and cultivars of Cannabis might be grouped into one or perhaps two species.
Early European botanists identified all common forms of hemp as Cannabis sativa. It’s generally a tall, thin plant with short branches and narrow leaves. In the late eighteenth century, a slightly different Asian form was identified as a potentially separate species called Cannabis indica, or Indian hemp, which is generally a shorter, rounder plant with a greater profusion of leaves. More than two centuries later, scientists are still debating whether C. sativa and C. indica are truly separate species or simply different varieties of the same species.
For thousands of years, humans around the world have cultivated hemp for a variety of purposes. Borrowing a pair of modern terms, we can divide the historical uses of hemp into two broad categories: industrial and medicinal. Industrial uses of hemp have traditionally focused on the plant’s stalk or stem, which contains stringy fibers that can be woven to make textiles or twisted and braided to makes ropes of various sizes. Medicinal uses of hemp have traditionally focused on the leaves, flowers, and seeds, which contain organic chemical compounds that are known to produce various psychotropic (or mood-altering) effects when inhaled or ingested by humans and animals.
During the rise of industrialization and the rapid growth of capital-driven commerce in the first half of the nineteenth century, conversations about diverging uses of hemp led to a bifurcation of terminology. English-language discussions of the plant’s industrial uses continued to embrace the traditional term “hemp,” while international discussions of the plant’s medicinal value increasingly used the Latin term “cannabis.” More precisely, common industrial hemp continued to be identified by the Latin botanical name Cannabis sativa, while medical cannabis was increasingly marketed under the name Cannabis indica.
As I mentioned earlier, however, scientists are still unsure whether these names represent two distinct species, or simply different varieties of the same species. Regardless of that academic debate, one fact remains true: The terms “hemp” and “cannabis” are synonymous and interchangeable in the historic lexicon of early American agriculture, especially in the years before the middle of the nineteenth century. The plant whose leaves and flowers are known to produce psychotropic effects in humans is the same plant that American colonists cultivated to make rope, textiles, and medicines.
What does hemp have to do with South Carolina history?
Hemp forms a rather small but important part of this state’s agricultural history. The volume of hemp grown in early South Carolina was never as large as that of rice, and only occasionally surpassed that of indigo, but knowledge of the crop’s value was widespread and accepted by all levels of society and government. It is a curious phenomenon of South Carolina history that many years of generous government incentives intended to stimulate hemp production in the eighteenth-century failed to spur a lasting tradition of investment. Hemp is now being grown legally in South Carolina for the first time in nearly a century, and, as a public historian, I feel it’s important to attempt to connect these modern efforts to the earlier, forgotten chapters of the state’s long agricultural heritage.
Why was hemp cultivated in early South Carolina?
The primary purpose of growing hemp in early South Carolina, as elsewhere in the early America, was to produce natural fibers needed to manufacture rope and cordage. Because sailing vessels once required various sizes and lengths of ropes for rigging and anchor cables, hemp formed part of a suite of agricultural products necessary for ship building and maintenance known in England and early America as “naval stores.” These commodities included timber (for ship construction, masts, and yards), products derived from pine resin (including tar, pitch, turpentine, and rosin), as well as cordage made from hemp.
Depending on the quality of the hemp and the quality of the processing, hemp threads can be transformed into a variety of products. The finest threads can be woven into textiles for garments and canvas for sails. Fine hemp was once commonly used for fishing lines, fishing nets, and a wide variety of household uses. Textiles made of coarser hemp yarn can be used as bagging for other goods and as durable floor coverings. People on a farm might grow less than an acre of hemp to supply thread, yarn, and rope for their own domestic needs, or a planter might sow several acres of hemp with the intention of selling the crop at market for industrial uses.
The most common commercial use of hemp was in the cordage industry. Professional rope-makers transformed large quantities of hemp into ropes and cables suitable for a variety of uses, but principally in the maritime business. Because many of the ropes used in ship rigging needed to long and strong, industrial rope making usually took place under a long, narrow shed called a “rope walk.” Here, long continuous yarns were braided into small ropes which were then braided into larger ropes and even larger cables, up to ten and twelve inches in diameter. Most of the ropes intended for use in ship rigging were then coated with tar to make them waterproof and then coiled for ease of transportation.
Manufacturers of “white” rope were usually small factories that made narrow-gauge, un-tarred rope for fishing, horse lines, and domestic use—like the Snetter family in Charleston’s Rope Maker’s Lane (see Episode No. 97). Larger establishments making maritime ropes and cables were often called “black” rope works because of the tar they used. Such facilities required a lot of space and dealt in combustible materials, so larger rope walks were always located on the outskirts of early American cities. Charleston had a black rope walk on the north side of what is now Reid Street by the 1740s, and one opened on the southwest side of Columbia in 1792. We’ll talk in greater detail about Charleston’s rope walks in a future episode.
The medicinal and even recreational uses of the leaves, flowers, and seeds of Cannabis sativa were well-known in England and in her colonies as early as the seventeenth century, but we have little written record of such activities in early South Carolina. Cannabis was not considered any more exotic, dangerous, or taboo in early South Carolina than other plants revered for their medicinal properties. In 1732, for example, the South Carolina Gazette printed a description of hemp that was drawn from a popular English encyclopedia published in 1728. That description noted that the leaves of the hemp or Cannabis plant produced “a strong smell, which affects the head.” A powder made by crushing dried hemp seeds, when mixed with “any ordinary liquor,” said the encyclopedia, had the power “to turn those who drink thereof stupid,” and therefore it should “not to be used, but with caution and judgment.”
When did hemp cultivation begin in South Carolina?
The earliest European settlers of South Carolina, like those in other colonies, initially planted a number of different crops in order to learn the qualities of the local soils and the seasonal ranges of the climate. By the spring of 1672, local planters were reporting back to England that the soil around Charleston was suitable to make hemp a profitable commodity. At that time, however, England had a plentiful supply of hemp obtained from some of her European neighbors. Early South Carolinians may have cultivated hemp for their own domestic use, but there was no motivation to produce large quantities for export.
Seventeenth-century England procured most her hemp and other naval stores from Sweden and other allied territories bordering the Baltic Sea. That dependence was strained in the 1690s when the Swedish Empire drastically raised the prices of their naval stores. England’s ability to procure cheap naval stores was then further complicated by the outbreak of the Great Northern War in 1700 between Sweden and Russia. In response to the increasing difficulty of obtaining materials that were essential to the strength of the English Navy and the nation’s maritime industry in general, Parliament ratified in 1705 “An Act for Encouraging the Importation of Naval Stores from Her Majesty’s Plantations in America” (3 & 4 Anne, c. 10). From that moment until the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775 (with the exception of a few years in the late 1720s), the British government offered generous financial incentives or “bounties” to encourage North American farmers to produce tar, pitch, hemp, and other naval stores in quantities sufficient for export to the mother country.
In the years following the introduction of the British bounty on naval stores, the people of North and South Carolina began transforming pine trees into prodigious quantities of pitch and tar for export. Hemp was also included in the bounty scheme, but South Carolina planters were already too obsessed with rice to notice. To stimulate agricultural diversity, the South Carolina General assembly inaugurated an additional, local bounty on hemp in February of 1722/3. For every one hundred pounds weight of “well-drest merchantable hemp,” the provincial government would pay eight shillings and four pence “proclamation money” (or £2 South Carolina currency) to the producer. The purpose of this supplemental bounty was to encourage colonists to supply a want in the mother country—a sentiment at the heart of the economic concept of colonial mercantilism.
Despite these dual layers of cash incentive, it appears that South Carolina planters did not pursue large-scale hemp production in the 1720s. When the colony’s first royal governor, Robert Johnson, arrived in Charleston in December 1730, he brought news that “his Majesty had instructed him to encourage useful manufactures,” and to remind the local legislature “that the Parliament had already given a discount upon hemp.” Governor Johnson also initiated a scheme to expand the white population of South Carolina by creating new inland townships and offering free lands to “poor Protestants” from Europe who would settle them. The government hoped that many of these immigrants—including families from Switzerland, Germany, and Ireland—would cultivate crops like hemp and flax on a large scale to support the Anglo-American maritime industry.
An Englishman named Richard Hall came to South Carolina in the early 1730s and was impressed by the commercial potential of hemp and flax grown in the local soils. After listening to Hall’s proposals for stimulating such an industry, the South Carolina legislature ratified in May 1733 “An Act for the encouragement of Richard Hall, gentlemen, to forward the improvement of flax and hemp in this province.” “Forasmuch as the growth and improvement of flax and hemp may prove a very considerable advantage to the people of this country,” says the act’s preamble, “and may be in the consequence an useful manufacture to his Majesty’s Royal Navy, and to the navigation in general of Great Britain; and forasmuch as Richard Hall, gent[leman]., has been at considerable pains in trying and examining the soil of this country, which, he gives us reason to believe, is in many places very well adapted for the culture and production of flax and hemp,” the South Carolina government agreed to pay Hall a salary of £100 sterling for three years if he would fetch three hundred bushels of hemp seed and twenty bushels of flax seed and distribute them to South Carolina planters and teach them the proper methods of cultivation.
Mr. Hall returned to London, asked the Board of Trade for additional money, and then went to Holland to collect the flax and hemp seeds for South Carolina. After a series of delays, he arrived in Charleston in mid-May 1734, and immediately advertised to distribute seeds and advice for free. Few planters took advantage of his offers, however, because they felt the season was already too warm to plant. Trials began in the spring of 1735 in Williamsburg Township (now Williamsburg County) and proved favorable. Governor Johnson expressed concerns that the cost of shipping bulky raw hemp to England would eclipse the value of the existing bounties. Hall remained confident that South Carolina could singlehandedly produce enough hemp to satisfy all of Britain’s naval requirements, and have leftovers to sell to Europe. He composed a long treatise on the proper methods of sowing and managing hemp and flax, which he believed the government of South Carolina would pay him to print and distribute.
Despite his sincere efforts, Richard Hall faced stiff resistance that stemmed from both an unfamiliarity with hemp and from a particular nature of South Carolina’s colonial economy. “The planters are so much attach’d to following rice,” said Hall, because they use that commodity to pay most of their debts, “and most of the inhabitants are so much in debt that they are fearful of entering upon new projects till [they] are farther convinced, of the difference between hemp and rice.” To alleviate this resistance to hemp and other crops, South Carolina’s provincial government ratified a new bounty in the spring of 1736 that offered to pay farmers £4 South Carolina currency—double the bounty offered since 1723—for every hundred pounds weight of clean, dressed hemp, above and beyond the British bounty.
Richard Hall lingered in South Carolina as late as 1738, importing hemp seeds into Charleston and distributing them among the settlers of the new townships, but his efforts failed to produce a sufficient quantity for export. When a new war between Britain and Spain and then France broke out in 1739 (the so-called War of Jenkins’ Ear), the business of shipping goods across the Atlantic declined sharply. Britain needed raw materials, especially naval stores, to fight the war, but traditional supply lines were under threat. To stimulate agricultural experimentation in South Carolina on an even larger scale, the provincial legislature ratified a new law in May 1744 to offer cash incentives to farmers who would experiment with the production of wine, olive or sesamum oil (see Episode No. 78), flax, hemp, wheat, barley, cotton, indigo (see Episode No. 124), and ginger. To distribute the incentive more evenly across the several crops, however, this 1744 law reduced the bounty on hemp to the figure offered in 1723—eight shillings and four pence proclamation money per hundred pounds weight. In response to this stimulus package, experimenting South Carolina planters found indigo to be the most promising crop. From the late 1740s onward, rice and indigo formed the colony’s two principal staple exports.
After the conclusion of the long war with Spain and France in 1748, South Carolina planters settled into routines based on their familiarity with rice and now indigo. Hemp was not completely forgotten, however, and some continue to feel that it was a crop worth pursuing on a larger scale. A writer using the name “Publicus” in 1753 opined that hemp had much to offer to South Carolina planters: “In strength our hemp is preferred to any brought from the Baltic: And, for our greater encouragement, it is brought to perfection here in much less time, with less labour, and fewer hands, than rice or indigo, and the profits arising from it are reckoned equal, if not greater, than of either of those commodities.”
In the spring of 1756, the South Carolina legislature passed another law for the encouragement of hemp and flax that increased the bounty on hemp to the extremely generous value of twenty-eight shillings and four pence proclamation money (£7 South Carolina currency or £1 sterling) for every hundred pounds weight of merchantable hemp brought to market. A revision in 1762 reduced the hemp bounty by half, to fourteen shillings and four pence proclamation money (or seventy shillings currency), and this value continued through middle of April 1769. In the meantime, the British Parliament created an additional bounty on hemp in the summer of 1764, offering to pay £8 sterling (£56 South Carolina currency) per ton of American hemp that arrived in Britain. These twin stimuli apparently succeeded in creating the desired surge of hemp production in South Carolina. One observer noted in 1766 that backcountry farmers living on the South Carolina frontier had planted so much hemp “that this commodity promises fair to become another valuable staple.” Despite this upward trend, it’s impossible for me to chart the rise of hemp production during this era without further research into the treasury records of the late colonial era.
Besides the fluctuating value of the local bounty on hemp, the task of quantifying the volume of colonial South Carolina’s hemp production is complicated by the fact that only part of each year’s crop was exported. It’s easier to track the volume and value of rice and indigo during the same period because the vast majority of those crops were exported through the port of Charleston. An unknown quantity of the hemp grown in late-colonial South Carolina, on the other hand, was apparently sold to local rope walks and then transformed into cordage. At this moment, I don’t know what percentage of the crop was exported and what percentage was used locally, so export statistics provide only partial clues. One might be able to gain a more complete snapshot of annual hemp production by looking at the extant South Carolina treasury records for this era, but I haven’t had a chance to access those records during the recent weeks of quarantine. Nevertheless, I have a few anecdotal records that reveal a partial picture of the rising tide of hemp in the decade preceding the American Revolution.
In the calendar year 1760, for example, the South Carolina government paid nearly £350 pounds currency for hemp and flax bounties, which at £1 per hundred weight, indicates a total commercial production of approximately 17 tons. In 1764, the provincial government paid bounties on nearly one hundred thousand pounds of hemp. In late April of 1769, the newspapers of Charleston reported that the South Carolina government had recently paid more than £20,000 currency in bounty money for the hemp crop of 1768. Paying a bounty of seventy shillings currency per one hundred weight, that’s approximately 575,000 pounds of dressed hemp. This impressive figure was certainly smaller South Carolina’s annual rice crop, but it surpassed the colony’s indigo crop of that same year.
The generous hemp bounty created by the South Carolina legislature in 1762 expired in mid-April 1769 and reverted to the value instituted in 1723 (forty shillings South Carolina currency per one hundred pounds weight). In November of 1769, Lieutenant Governor William Bull proudly summarized the recent success of hemp in a speech to the General Assembly: “It is with great satisfaction I acquaint you, that the bounty given by you, for some years past, for raising hemp, hath happily answered your intentions; several hundred tons having been made this year, and the culture thereof will doubtless receive additional spirit from the bounty given by Parliament.” The amount of hemp exported from Charleston in the spring of 1773 exceeded sixty-six tons, but I don’t know yet know how that figure compares to the total value of the hemp bounties paid by the treasurer that year. From these few numbers, however, we can clearly see a rising tide of hemp production in South Carolina during the 1760s and early 1770s.
Why did hemp production decline South Carolina?
The sustained program of government incentives convinced planters across the landscape of colonial South Carolina to try growing hemp, and then to produce sufficient quantities to operate the rope walks in Charleston and to export to rope walks in England and the neighboring colonies. With the coming of the Revolutionary War in 1775, however, both the provincial and imperial bounties disappeared. Cut off from her traditional maritime trade with Britain, South Carolina and the other colonies needed hemp and other naval stores more than ever. Agricultural production was difficult to sustain in a landscape that doubled as a battlefield, so American merchants and diplomats sought new European channels for trade. After the conclusion of the war in 1783, hemp production resumed in South Carolina and elsewhere. Without cash incentives to encourage its cultivation, however, the volume of hemp produced in this state declined sharply. Charleston’s rope walks of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries relied principally on large quantities of hemp imported from the northern states and from Russia. The final nail in the coffin of hemp came in the 1790s, when the beginning of a commercial bonanza around cotton left hemp in the dust. The advent of steam-powered rope walks in old England and New England put the last of Charleston’s rope walks out of business in the 1820s.
In the end, the limited success of hemp production in early South Carolina was the result of the peculiar market forces that dominated our economy during the first two centuries of this state’s history. The planters of colonial-era South Carolina competed directly with other American farmers to find a British market for their agricultural commodities and to claim the government subsidies designed to encourage the production of certain goods. To maximize their profits in a crowded market, South Carolina planters focused their efforts on crops like rice and indigo that their northern neighbors were unable to grow because of differences in climate and topography. Conversely, early South Carolina planters spent far less energy cultivating crops that the northern and middle-Atlantic colonies grew in profusion, like wheat, barley, tobacco, and hemp.
What’s the legacy of hemp in South Carolina?
The soil and climate of South Carolina are certainly conducive to the production of hemp, and, historically speaking, there was certainly local and international demand for hemp to manufacture rope and maritime cordage in the early centuries of this state. Despite these advantages, the ample supply of both raw hemp and finished cordage in the larger Atlantic marketplace ultimately discouraged South Carolina farmers from investing heavily in its cultivation. From the beginning of the colony in the 1670s to the early twentieth century, many farmers grew a bit of hemp to satisfy their own domestic needs, but the basic forces of supply and demand generally restricted the scale of their investments.
The botanical difference between Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica was relatively inconsequential until the middle of the nineteenth century, when manufacturers of patent medicines began marketing elixirs containing the liquid extract of what they identified as Cannabis indica. Common hemp, used for industrial purposes, continued to be identified as Cannabis sativa during that era. As the regulation of medicines and drugs became more rigorous and institutionalized during the early decades of the twentieth century, the United States government labeled Cannabis indica as a narcotic. Conservative Americans waged a political war against the drug during the 1920s and 1930s, using the Spanish name “marihuana” to insinuate that its influence was un-American. In its efforts to eradicate the recreational use of Cannabis in the second half of the twentieth century, the United States government deployed blunt laws that also prohibited the cultivation of hemp for traditional industrial and medicinal purposes.
In recent years, people involved in various efforts to rehabilitate the reputation of Cannabis have adopted the phrases “industrial hemp” and “medicinal cannabis” in reference to the different uses of what is essentially the same plant. In the spring of 2019, the South Carolina General Assembly ratified a law to permit the cultivation of industrial hemp, and the state’s Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for permits to grow the ancient crop. A new day has dawned for South Carolina farmers, but it’s not entirely a brave new world. If our soil had a memory, I’m sure it would recognize these familiar seeds. Although it might be unfamiliar to some and unwelcome by others, hemp has deep roots in South Carolina.
 South Carolina Gazette (hereafter SCG), 8–15 January 1732, quoting from Ephraim Chambers, Cyclopaedia: Or, An Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, volume 1 (London, 1728), 237.
 Langdon Cheves, ed., “The Shaftesbury Papers and Other Records Relating to Carolina and the First Settlement on the Ashley River Prior to the Year 1676,” in Collections of the South Carolina Historical Society, volume 5 (Richmond, Va.: William Ellis Jones, 1897), 377.
 Justin Williams, “English Mercantilism and Carolina Naval Stores, 1705–1776,” Journal of Southern History 1 (May 1935): 172–76.
 Act No. 469, “An Act to Encourage the Making of Hemp,” ratified on 23 February 1722/3, in Thomas Cooper, ed., The Statutes at Large of South Carolina, volume 3 (Columbia, S.C.: A. S. Johnston, 1838), 184. The preamble to the 1723 hemp act provides a good summary of the mercantile philosophy.
 Gentleman’s Magazine, volume 1 (May 1731): 219; Robert L. Meriwether, The Expansion of South Carolina, 1729–1765 (Kingsport, Tenn.: Southern Publishers, 1940), 29, 34, 37, 45, 46, 56, 62, 82, 90, 106, 126, 143, 167, 254, 255.
 “An Act for the Encouragement of Richard Hall, Gent., to forward the improvement of flax and hemp in this province,” ratified on 4 May 1733, in David J. McCord, ed., The Statutes at Large of South Carolina, volume 6 (Columbia, S.C.: A. S. Johnston, 1839), 619–20.
 Calendar of State Papers, 41: item No. 557; Act No. 605, “An Act for Encouraging the Raising of Hemp, Flax and Silk, within the Province of South Carolina,” ratified on 29 May 1736, in Cooper, Statutes at Large, 3: 436–37. This 1736 law remained in force into the spring of 1744; see Act No. 684, “An Act to revive and continue the several acts therein mentioned,” ratified on 8 April 1741, in Cooper, Statutes at Large, 3: 587–88.
 SCG, 12–19 January 1738; Act No. 708, “An Act for the further improvement and encouraging the produce of silk and other manufactures in this province, and to repeal an Act of the General Assembly entitled An Act to encourage the making of Hemp, passed the 23d day of February 1723, and for repealing such part of an Act of the General Assembly entitled An Act for the better regulating the Port and Harbour of Charles-Town, and the Shipping frequenting the same, as is therein mentioned,” ratified on 29 May 1744, in Cooper, Statutes at Large 3: 613–16. Note that the value of the hemp bounty is given as “eight shillings proclamation money” in the printed transcription of the 1744 law, when the correct sum is eight shillings and four pence, proclamation money.
 SCG, 12 February 1753.
 Act No. 849: “An Act to encourage the making of Flax and Hemp in the Province of South Carolina,” ratified on 13 April 1756, in Thomas Cooper, ed., The Statutes at Large of South Carolina, volume 4 (Columbia, S.C.: A. S. Johnston, 1839), 28–29. The text of this law states that the hemp bounty amounted to twenty-eight shillings and four pence proclamation money; In SCG, 17 February 1757, “Regulus” clarified this value by stating that the bounty on hemp was currently £7 currency, or £1 sterling, per hundred weight “brought to market in merchantable order.”
 Act No. 919: “An Additional Act, to an Act intitled ‘An Act to Encourage the Making of Hemp,’” ratified on 29 May 1762, in Cooper, Statutes at Large, 4: 166–68. The full text of this act appeared on the front page of South Carolina Gazette, 5–12 June 1762. The 1762 act was continued to 1769 by Act No. 960: “An Act to revive and continue, for the term therein limited, several acts and clauses of acts of the General Assembly of this province, and for repealing part of the General Duty Act, and for appointing inspectors of hemp for the ports of Georgetown, and Beaufort, Port Royal,” ratified on 18 April 1767, in Cooper, Statutes at Large, 4: 264–65. An abstract of this act appeared in the South Carolina and American General Gazette, 17–24 April 1767.
 The full text of “An act for granting a bounty upon the importation of Hemp, and rough and undressed Flax, from his Majesty’s colonies in America” appeared in SCG, 15–22 October 1764; the paragraph relating to hemp was also printed in the South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, 7 April 1767 (Tuesday), No. 69.
 SCG, 30 June–7 July 1766.
 Act No. 909, “An Act for raising and granting to his Majesty the sum of two hundred and eighty-four thousand seven hundred and fifty seven pounds seventeen shillings and four pence three farthings, and applying twenty-four thousand and seventy pounds nineteenth shillings and eight pence three farthings, being surplus of taxes and the balance of several funds in the Public Treasury, making together, three hundred and eight thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight pounds seventeen shillings and one penny half-penny, to defray the charges of this government from the first day of January to the thirty-first day of December, one thousand seven hundred and sixty, both days inclusive, and for other services therein mentioned,” ratified on 30 July 1761. The title of this act is given in the published Statutes at Large of South Carolina, 4: 155, but the editors did not include its text. The full text of the law can be found among the engrossed manuscript statutes at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
 SCG, 31 December 1764–7 January 1765.
 See the local news in South Carolina and American General Gazette (hereafter SCAGG), 17–24 April 1769 and SCG, 27 April 1769; John J. Winberry, “Indigo in South Carolina: A Historical Geography,” Southeastern Geographer 19 (November 1979): 93. That the volume of South Carolina hemp exceeded that of indigo in 1768–69 is confirmed by an extract of a letter from a gentleman in Charleston to a gentleman in Bristol, dated 19 August 1769, which was printed in a London paper in October and reprinted locally in SCAGG, 4–13 December 1769.
 SCAGG, 17–24 April 1769; SCAGG, 30 November 1769.