Tom Eblen

February 21, 2016 4:10 PM

Kentucky hemp was king before steamships, free trade and reefer madness

Widely used fiber plant was key to Lexington’s early wealth and prosperity

Ropewalks and bag factories once stood amid city’s historic neighborhoods

FBI later went to UK historians seeking evidence slaves, field hands got high

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About Tom Eblen

Tom Eblen


Tom Eblen is a columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader who writes about life, people and issues in Lexington and Kentucky. A Lexington native, Eblen was the Herald-Leader's managing editor from 1998 to 2008.

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