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19th Century

1854: One Of The First Americans To Write About Cannabis

John GreenleafAmong the first Americans to write about hashish was not a novelist or a physician, but a poet - John Greenleaf Whittier. In "The Haschish", a short poem in his Anti-Slavery Poems (1854), Whittier writes of hashish-induced hallucinations and muddled thinking, but it is improbable that he himself had experienced the effects of the drug at the time he wrote the poem. The point of the poem, in fact, was not to describe the effects of hashish at all.

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1857: Fitz Hugh Ludlow writes The Hasheesh Eater

Fitz Hugh LudlowFitz Hugh Ludlow, or Fitzhugh Ludlow, born September 11, 1836  was an American author, journalist, and explorer. Ludlow became well known  for his autobiographical book The Hasheesh Eater which was first published in 1857. The book was published when Ludlow was twenty-one years old. It described the author's altered states of consciousness and philosophical fantasy's while he was using a cannabis extract. It was a success, going through a few printings in a short time. Although Ludlow published both the book and his earlier article The Apocalypse of Hasheesh anonymously, he could take benefit of the book’s notoriety.

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