APPENDIX ALEPH: GEORGE WASHINGTON'S HEMP CROP
Many readers will assume that this book consists of nothing but fiction and fantasy; actually, like most historical tomes, it includes those elements (as do the works of Gibbon, Toynbee, Wells, Beard, Spengler, Marx, Yerby, Kathleen Windsor, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Moses, et. al.); but it also contains as many documented facts as do not seriously conflict with the authors' prejudices. Washington's hemp crop, for instance, is mentioned repeatedly in Writings of Washington, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1931. Here are some of the citations:
Volume 31, page 389: October 1791, letter from Mount Vernon to Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of Treasury: "How far… would there be propriety, do you conceive, in suggesting the policy of encouraging the growth of cotton and hemp in such parts of the United States as are adapted to the culture of these articles?"
In the next three years, Washington evidently settled the matter in his own mind, whatever Hamilton thought of the "proprieties." Volume 33, page-279, finds him writing from Philadelphia to his gardener at Mount Vernon to "make the most you can of the India Hemp seed" and "plant it everywhere." Waxing more enthusiastic, on page 384 he writes to an unidentified "my dear doctor," telling him, "I thank you as well for the seeds as for the Pamphlets which you had the goodness to send me. The artificial preparation of the Hemp from Silesia is really a curiosity…" And on page 469 he again reminds the gardener about the seed of the India Hemp: "[I] desire that the Seed may be saved in due season and with as little loss as possible."
The next year he was even more preoccupied that the seeds be saved and the crop replenished. Volume 34, page 146, finds him writing (March 15, 1795) to the gardener again: "Presuming you saved all the seed you could from the India hemp, let it be carefully sown again, for the purpose of getting into a full stock of seed."
Volume 34, page 72, undated letter of Spring 1796, shows that the years did not decrease this passion; he again writes to the gardener: "What was done with the seed saved from the India Hemp last summer? It ought, all of it, to have been sewn [sic] again; that not only a stock of seed sufficient for my own purposes might have been raised, but to have disseminated the seed to others; as it is more valuable than the common Hemp." (Italics added)
Volume 35, page 265, shows him still nagging the gardener; page 323 contains the letter to Sir John Sinclair mentioned in the First Trip.
The Weishaupt impersonation theory, congenial as it may be to certain admirers of the General, cannot account for all of this. A diary entry of August 7, 1765 (The Diaries of George Washington, Houghton-Mifflin, 1925), reads: "Began to seperate [sic] the Male from the Female hemp at Do- rather too late." This is the passage quoted by Congressman Koch, and remembered by Saul Goodman in the novel; the separation of male from female hemp plants is not required for the production of hemp rope but is absolutely necessary if one wants to use the flowering tips of the female for marijuana. And at that time Adam Weishaupt was very definitely still in Bavaria, teaching canon law at the University of Ingolstadt.
All of this data about General Washington's hobby, originally researched by Michael Aldrich, Ph.D., of Mill Valley, California, was rediscovered by Saul Goodman while he and Barney Muldoon were employed as investigators by the American Civil Liberties Union on test cases seeking to have all remaining anti-marijuana laws repealed as unconstitutional. The Goodman-Muldoon Private Investigations Agency (which had been formed right after those two worthy gentlemen had resigned from the New York Police Department amid the international acclaim connected with their solving the Carmel disappearance) was offered a lion's share of the best-paying business accounts possible. Saul and Barney chose, however, to take only the cases that really interested them; their most notable work was performed as investigators for lawyers defending unpopular political figures. Goodman and Muldoon, it was agreed everywhere, had an uncanny knack for finding the elusive evidence that would demonstrate a frame-up to even the most hostile and skeptical jury. Many political historians say that it was in large part their work which kept the most eccentric and colorful figures of the extreme right and extreme left out of the prison hospitals during the great Mental Health/Social Psychiatry craze of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
In fact, Rebecca Goodman's memoir of her husband, He Opened the Cages, written during her grief after his heart attack in 1983, is almost as popular in political-science classes as is her study of comparative mythology, The Golden Apples of the Sun, the Silver Apples of the Moon, in anthropology classes.