Burrows, Nathan (1774-1841)

Burrows, Nathan (1774-1841)
Section F, Lot 28  
The early settlers came to "Kentucke" because they wanted land to grow crops. In 1796, Nathan Burrows invented a machine for cleaning hemp, a native Kentucky plant. It quickly became the most important crop in the area bringing in an estimated half million dollars a year in the early 1800's. Hemp was needed for bagging cotton and making baling rope. By 1810, between 60 and 100 slaves were working the hemp in long, narrow buildings. The buildings were called rope walks because the slaves walked back and forth from spindles, twisting the hemp fiber into rope as they walked. With the importation of sisal from the Philippines after the Spanish American War, the hemp industry died. Burrows was resourceful and discovered a process for manufacturing mustard which also grew wild in Kentucky fields. His product won a premium at the World's Fair in London in 1882.  

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