1776: Washington’s troops wear hemp fabric uniforms

1776:Troops Wear Hemp Uniforms

1776: Washington’s troops wear hemp fabric uniforms.

Washington at Valley Forge. During the American Revolutionary War which started in 1775, thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America.

In 1776 Patriot wives and mothers were organizing spinning bees to clothe Washington’s troops, spinning the majority of the thread from hemp fibers. Troops wear hemp-stitched uniforms. Without them, the Continental Army would have frozen to death at Valley Forge.[1]

At the same time Common Sense was written by Thomas Paine. The pamphlet was first published anonymously on January 10, 1776. In his pamphlet he encourages the colonist to fight for freedom. He lists cordage, iron, timber and tar as America’s four essential natural resources and he writes “in almost every article of defense we abound. Hemp flourishes even to rankness, so that we need not want cordage”.

Photo: March to Valley Forge, painting depicting George Washington leading the Continental Army to Valley Forge in 1777 . By William B. T. Trego (1883).

Research and text © Hempshopper Amsterdam.