Hot Dads: Founding Fathers Were First to Plant Peppers

As if being #1 and #3 Presidents and authoring the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were not enough, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were talented gardeners as well. Both were the first Presidents to dip their green thumbs into planting peppers.

Before George Washington was President, he was a farmer and gardener. Everything that was planted in his botanical garden at his estate at Mount Vernon was recorded so historians know exactly from poppers to peppers what grew in his garden. One of the plants he planted were “cayan” as in the cayenne pepper plant and “bird pepper”.

Some of his men that fought in the American Revolutionary War used to put red peppers in water and drink it as a cordial.

Thomas_Jefferson, our third President, also was quite the gardener. He kept detailed records in his garden book for nearly 60 years. In his book, he recorded that he planted “Capsicum Frutes" which are a variety of both hot and sweet peppers. . He planted the peppers in pots in his kitchen garden as early as 1814. He also recorded that the plant was easy to tend to and really only needed protection from the most severe frost. He talked of them growing abundantly and plentiful. He wrote that the peppers could be turned into a pickled vinegar and used on lettuce, rice, fish, and meats.

The pepper seeds that both Presidents had planted were said to have come from ships traveling for trade purposed from Spain and the West Indies where it was used as much as Americans


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