Burley tobacco farmers in Kentucky and Tennessee are seeing their best paydays since plunging into the free market. Tight leaf supplies and a quality crop that bounced back after this summer’s drought are bringing burley growers nearly $2 per pound.
Recommended readings on the black patch wars include “The Tobacco Night Riders of Kentucky and Tennessee: 1905-1909” by James Nalland “On Bended Knees: The true story of the Night Rider Tobacco War in Kentucky and Tennessee”by Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham. Cunningham, also gives tonight's (Monday) keynote at Murray State’s Constitution day celebration. The title of his presentation, “The Fourth Amendment; the Majesty of the Ruined Tenement,” references a statement attributed to William Pitt while he was speaking about the cider excise tax in the British House of Commons in 1763. Judge Cunningham gave WKMS a preview of the speech.
The Kentucky Heritage Council has recognized a Calloway County tobacco barn as an area landmark. Built in the 1880s, the log frame barn was part of the Arnett Farm in the southwest of the county. A descendent of the family, Sam Arnett, told the Murray Ledger & Times that he sought historic recognition for the barn as a way to signify the cultural importance of tobacco in the region. Although tobacco barns are plentiful in the area, few have been the subject of artwork. J. C. Goodman, one of Arnett's cousins, used the Old Arnett Tobacco Barn in one of his paintings.