Saltpeter Manufacturing And Marketing And Its Relation To The Gunpowder Industry In Kentucky During The Nineteenth Century

By: Gary O'Dell, NSS 10278

Originally Published: Historical Archaeology in Kentucky (1996), ed. Kim A. McBride, W. Stephen McBride, and David Pollack, 67-105, Frankfort: Kentucky Heritage Council.


This article provides a detailed examination of the saltpeter industry in Kentucky during the nineteenth century. Special attention is focused on the early 1800's, and the importance of Kentucky saltpeter in the War of 1812, when Kentucky was one of the most important producers nationally. Production processes, location of saltpeter mining sites, marketing practices and factors, and key players in the Kentucky trade are discussed.

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