is an organically grown plant. No one knows when the first
tobacco plant was discovered, however it is known that it
was found in the Mexican Yucatan peninsula. It is known that
the tobacco plant was used during the Maya civilization in
Central America. When the Maya civilization fell, clans moved
to North and South America.
1492, when Christopher Columbus found his way to the North
American continent, he came across Native Americans smoking
tobacco. From that point on, people began to smoke tobacco
and it spread throughout Spain and Europe.
The premium, hand-rolled cigar as we know it
today has changed little from those first rolled in Seville,
Spain. In 1831 King Ferdinand VII granted Cubans the right
to grow and sell tobacco in their homeland. In the US, tobacco
was grown in various regions of the original British colonies.
General Putnam is attributed with bringing tobacco to the
state of Connecticut after serving in Cuba with the British
Army in 1762.
After the Revolutionary War, tobacco factories sprang up
in southern New England as well as Pennsylvania and New York.
The word "stogie" is derived from Conestoga, Pennsylvania.
smoking in America had a dramatic rise during the Civil War
era. Most cigars were made of domestic wrappers and Cuban
fillers. Political upheaval in Cuba in the late 1800's forced
many manufacturers to flee to the U.S. The first revolution
in Cuba took place in 1895, freeing the country from Spain's
control. Jose Marti supported by Teddy Roosevelt and his famous
Rough Riders at San Juan Hill led this revolt.
The cigar and its myth of wealth and power have been popularized
in modern times by many well-known figures in film and politics,
here and abroad. From Bogart to Milton Berle, Edward G. Robinson,
George Burns, MacArthur to Einstein and perhaps the most well
known man of our century, Sir Winston Churchill.
Later in the ensuing years, the popularity and
sophistication of tobacco products has widely grown and the
1990s has brought to us a significant increase in the popularity
of cigars in the United States and a dramatic increase in
the sales of imported premium cigar products.
Despite much of the controversy surrounding
the use of tobacco products, the status of fine cigars as
a luxury product in the American culture seems secure.
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