Where Did That Tobacco Come From?
It is interesting to find out where cigars and tobacco comes from. We see people and whether we like it or not cigars and other tobacco products have been around for awhile. Many people believe that cigars were first produced in Spain. They were hugely popular in Europe and therefore assumed that since tobacco was needed to make them, cigars must have been brought from Spain. However, this is not the case at all.
Tobacco actually began in America and is actually indigenous to the area. Native Americans actually had been using and producing tobacco for hundreds of years. The earliest known users were the Maya of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico and some parts of Central America. These tribes grew and cultivated tobacco to smoke. Tobacco use spread from one tribe to another, from the north to the south. It was not until 1492 when Christopher Columbus discovered America and made his famous voyage, did he bring back and introduce the rest of the world to tobacco.
However, Columbus did not like tobacco or the way it was used by Native Americans. His ship mates actually enjoyed it must much more and grew fond of it. They used it often. Soon after tobacco became popular in Spain and Portugal, then it spread to France. Once in France the French Ambassador Jean Nicot used his name to give tobacco more of a scientific name, that name being Nicotiana tabacum. Other origins of the word tobacco are believed to have been a corruption of the word Tibago from the Caribbean island. There is also the theory that the word came from Mexico and the word Tabasco which is a state there.
By 1612 the first tobacco plantation was created in Virginia in the United States and then many more followed soon after in Maryland. Initially tobacco was only smoked in pipes and smoking tobacco as a cigar did not actually occur in the United States until the 18th century. This occurred because Israel Putnam who was a general in the Revolutionary War was the first to introduce the cigar in the United States. He had been to Cuba after the war and returned with a box of Cuban cigars. Cigars immediately became popular and spread all over, soon there was a factory built in Hartford, Connecticut, this being where General Putnam lived.
Actually, cigars and the production of them did not become popular in Europe until after the Peninsula War, which was not until the 19th century. Some British and French veterans had returned home after being in Spain for years and had brought back their tobacco pipes. However, the rich and fashionable of the time preferred their tobacco in the way of cigars and this still holds true today. One of the more popular and more widely accepted methods of using tobacco is through smoking cigars.