[Sca-cooks] Drugs and tobacco

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Mon Mar 3 20:32:02 PST 2008

The earliest European reference to tobacco is found in the Diario of 
Christopher Columbus's first voyage, "The two Christians found along the way 
many people going back and forth between their villages, men and women with 
a firebrand of weeds within their hands to take in the fragrant smoke to 
which they are accustomed."  No particular reference to Columbus taking 
samples back with him, but as this was a voyage of exploration seeking 
spices and other salable commodities, he probably did.

There may be additional information on Columbus and tobacco in Peter 
Martyr's De Rebus Oceanicus et Novo Orde.


> Conversing with friends we tried to remember when drugs and tobacco
> entered Europe. We recalled that the first Duchess of Alba, in her own
> right - Goya's maja -, took some kind of powder or snuff, a drug from
> Mexico which could have caused her premature death at the turn of the
> 19th century. An Italian friend related his father smoked tobacco
> leaves without paper in the 20th century. Today's conversation turned
> into a void as we have no references between the 16th and the 19th C so
> to speak, off hand.
> Suey

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