Chronology of the colonial goods - 1

Nov 2019
Andrew Stepanenko
Translated by Berenkova Violetta Michailovna

There are three reliable bases for dating of Europeans’ crossing the borders of their continent: 1) appearance of the colonial goods in the European markets, 2) acclimatisation of overseas cultures in Europe and 3) acclimatization of overseas cultures to the conditions of other overseas colonies.

Hernan Cortes reported about vanilla growing in Mexico in 1528, and it was described in detail in the work of Bernardino de Sahagun in 1577. However the first attempt to adapt precious vanilla (to the conditions of the Seychelles) was dated in 1756, the second (to the conditions of Java island) – in 1816, and the third (to the conditions of Reunion) - 1819. The gap is, at least, 179 years (1577-1756).
The way to achieve vanilla fructification by artificial pollinating was discovered in 1841 on the French island Reunion (the official version), but the Dutchmen had achieved fructification on Java by 1834, and Frenchmen reaped a harvest in the Seychelles right after 1756.
The date “1756” is doubtful: the role of a pollen tube became clear only in 1836. In 1841 there were no these problems any more.
It is possible to fix a disorder in dating, but the main thing here is that for the first time vanilla began to be supplied officially not from Mexico after 1841.
The epoch date is 1841.

Let’s intentionally make a false assumption that mate and coca are not the same, and consider them separately. It’s necessary to remind here that mate was introduced into the region by Christians (it is dated 1691). For the first time the order to grow “mate potion” was given by Governor-general and the Supreme Court of Asuncion, Hernando Arias de Saavedra - in 1592-1594. Actually, mate plantations appeared in Paraguay only in 1821 when during military special action at the territory of Argentina a botanist Aimé Bonpland was stolen and taken out to Paraguay - a unique qualified expert in this area. Readiness for mate export from Paraguay should be dated 1830 when Bonpland was released when he was not needed. We haven’t found later data concerning mate.
So, the epoch date is 1830.

We will remind that coca was imported to Peru and Bolivia from Mexico. The first news about coca are dated 1505 - in connection with taxes to the Spanish crown, with nature products. In 1571 the volume of coca production was estimated at half a million dollars, but the only consumers of coca were Indians working at silver mines of the South America. From 1785 until 1795, coca-traffic was estimated at 2.641.487 dollars. The consumer of coca was not stated. In 1850 the income of Bolivia for coca realization was 200 thousand dollars, but the consumer was still absent. In 1862, the total revenue of the Latin American countries for coca sale estimated at more than 30 million pounds, but the consumer of this coca was missing. In 1863 in France there appeared wine with coca addition that was connected with the success of chemists, who managed to isolate cocaine. This is the first direct evidence concerning coca entering the European markets.
The epoch date is 1863, however, actually, it is the date of coca naturalization as coca, but not as mate, tea, snuff or chewing tobacco.

We will remind that smoking tobacco was created by cross breeding of the Argentina and Peruvian species, and was delivered to Cuba through Brazil and Colombia, that is, tobacco is a product of the European selectors. The first steady series of the cigar factories foundation in Cuba was in 1844-1848. At this time Europe, America and Russia preferred snuffing and chewing to smoking. Here we have the beginning of the product line.
The epoch date is 1844.

We will remind that, actually, the first snuff was cut coca leaves. For this reason there are no evidences concerning where exactly snuff tobacco was grown. They began to add known to us tobacco into snuff stuff not earlier than 1844.
Snuff production in Europe was developed by Catherine de’ Medici in 1561, but in 1566 she forgot about it in a odd way, and the following first snuff factory was created already in Seville in 1620. Then snuff appeared in China, Germany, and only in 1730 - in Virginia. Then, in 1733 - again in Germany and, again, for the first time. As you can see, evidences and dates are absolutely unreliable.
In 1794 in the USA snuff was taxed. Smoking and chewing tobacco were not mentioned, and, probably, they just did not exist at that time. The causes were purely of technological character: for chewing tobacco, it was necessary to be able to extract alkaloids, and this problem would be solved only in 1820. Well, and smoking tobacco would become the object of selectors’ interest about 1844.
In 1837 there appeared the first statistics of snuff tobacco production in Russia, at Zhukov's factory, and it is the first date of reliable snuff fixing in the Old World.
We would assume as the epoch date 1794 – the year when snuff was taxed.

The first box with chewing tobacco was produced in Stockholm in 1822. As a result chewing tobacco became extremely popular in Scandinavia, and smoking tobacco which came later could not fully force it out. We trust this evidence. In Sweden there worked the best chemists of that epoch, and in 1820 they learnt to extend alkaloids from leaves using lime, leach and potash. Without lime it was not possible to obtain chewing tobacco. In 1860 on the accounting records of Virginia and Northern Carolina, there were 348 factories manufacturing chewing tobacco in these states, and only 6 of them produced smoking tobacco, as a by-product from waste of the basic production.
The epoch date is 1822.

Evidences and dates are mostly doubtful. The first reliable fact seams foundation of a pipe tobacco factory by Robert Morris and his son in 1858. As the second reliable evidence we consider the permission of pipe tobacco sale in Russia in 1860. It is just the most beginning of cheap variants of smoking tobacco - soon after appearance of the expensive variant - cigars (1844-1848).
We will remind that smoking in the street in Russia ceased to be a crime only in 1865, and opium intake, not in the form of solution, but by means of smoking had started to develop in California since 1871. The technology of smoking was still new.
The epoch date is 1858.

1828 Sample planting of tobacco in Crimea
1829 First planting of tobacco in Mysore (India)
We suppose, it is about the contemporary tobacco.
The epoch date is 1828.

They write that Hernan Cortes had seen for cocoa the first time in Mexico, but it was already cultivated cocoa species - Criollo. The cocoa native land is Peru. Genetics have very precisely located the progenitor birthplace, this is Iquitos. We will present a map of genetic clusters.

And here is a problem. The Maya Empire had never reached such size and had no commercial relations with these places. Here is the Empire map.

By Aldan-2 - [1][2], CC BY-SA 4.0, File:Aztec Empire.png - Wikimedia Commons

The Europeans are again under suspicion. We will list the basic arguments.

1. Europeans are the only stratum in the region, having technical possibility to carry out so scale rotation of inoculum.
2. The same pattern as the one with cocoa (selection, inoculum transfer and acclimatization), happens with coca and tobacco. It is already a complete system, and neither the Maya, nor the Peruvians of cultural haven’t left traces in this system, - we can only see the European traces.
3. They write that the Aztecs had known cocoa since XIV century, that is, rather close to the epoch of Mexico conquer by Hernan Cortes. Deflections of dates up to 250 years in the history of colonies is an ordinary fact.