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operation, unless other inconveniences in the use of it should be found to overbalance them.
“The kinds of timber brought down our rivers are pine, spruce, hemlock, ash, birch, maple, cedar, and hackmatack. Far thé greater part of it is pine. The lumberers make about six kinds of pine; though they do not agree exactly in the classification, or in the use of some of the names. The most common division is into pumpkin pine, timber pine, sapling, bull sapling,* Norway, and yellow or pitch pine. The pumpkin pine stands preëminent in the affections of the lumberers, because it is the largest tree, and makes fine large clear boards. They are soft and of a yellowish cast. The timber pine and saplings are the most common. The former is generally preferred, as being larger and more likely to be sound. Yet the saplings are said make the harder and more durable boards. The common sapling grows in low lands, generally very thick, but is apt to be much of it rotten. The bull sapling is larger and sounder, grows on higher land, and mixed with hard wood. The Norway pine t is a much harder kind of timber than the others. It is seldom sawed into boards, though it makes excellent floor boards. But it is generally hewed into square timber. In the Provinces it bears a higher price than the others. There is not much of it brought to market, and it is not very abundant in the woods. The yellow pine is very scarce, if to be found at all in that region.
“I will conclude with some remarks upon the different modes of operating, made use of by owners of timber. These are three. One is, for the owner to hire his men by the month, procure teams, and furnish them with equipments and supplies. A second is, to agree with some one or more individuals to cut and haul the timber, or cut, haul, and run it, at a certain price per thousand feet. The third way is to sell the stumpage outright; that is, to sell the timber standing.
“ The first mode is seldom adopted, unless the owner of the timber is likewise a lumberer, and intends to superintend the business himself. The second mode is very common.
It is considered the most saving to the owners, because the lumberer has no inducement to select the best timber, and leave all that is not of the first quality; to cut down trees and take a log, and leave others to rot that are not quite so good, but which may be well worth hauling. Its inconveniences are, that as the object of the lumberer is to get as large a quantity as possible, he will
All the kinds here named, with the exception of the two last, are varieties of white pine.
+ This pine is called also red pine, from the color of its bark.
take trees that are not worth as much as the cost of getting them to market, and which, besides being of little value themselves, render the whole lot less saleable by the bad appearance they give it. The owner too is subject to all the losses that may happen, in running the logs down the river. Very frequently he is obliged to make one contract to have the timber cut and hauled to the landing places, and another to have it run down; for the river drivers are a distinct class from the lumberers. Most of them are indeed lumberers. But it is but a small part of the lumberers, that are river drivers. A great part of the lumberers are farmers who must be on their farms at the season of driving, and therefore cannot undertake any thing but the cutting and hauling. They are paid for the number of thousand feet they deposit at the landing places; and the logs being surveyed, or sealed, as they are hauled, their object is to get as many thousand as possible on the landing places; while the river drivers may be very careless about getting them all down, and the owner may never receive nearly the quantity he has paid for cutting and hauling. In operating in this mode, the owner usually furnishes the supplies, provisions, &c.; and the lumberer procures the teams and hires the men. The owner commonly does not bind himself to pay, before the logs get to market; and he frequently makes a contract for his supplies on the same condition, in which case he has to pay from twenty-five to thirtythree per cent. more for his goods, than he would dealing on cash or common credit. Sometimes, when there is no freshet, the logs do not get down until the second year; and then the trader and lumberer both suffer for want of their pay.
“ The third mode is the simplest and easiest for the owner. He avoids all trouble of furnishing supplies, of watching the timber on the river, and of looking out for a market. But he must have a man of some capital to deal with, as he furnishes his own teams and supplies, and pays his men, receiving very heavy advances. The purchaser of it has no interest to cut the timber savingly, and he sometimes makes dreadful havock among the trees, leaving a great deal of valuable stuff on the ground to rot. And if he selects only the best trees in a berth, much of the timber left standing may be lost, because no one will afterwards want to go into that berth, from which all the best trees have been culled. It is common now, in all large concerns, for the owner to employ a man to pass the winter in the camps, living alternately at one or another, for the purpose of sealing the logs, keeping a correct account of them, and seeing that the timber is cut according to the contract. But, after all, there is
always found to be a considerable difference between timber cut by the thousand, and that which is cut on stumpage.
“ Each mode has its troubles. But I think that owners at a distance will manage their concerns with least vexation by selling the stumpage, provided that they have honest men to deal with."
The public attention is, of late, we hope, more alive than it has been, to the value of our forests, and to the necessity of economizing what yet remains of these rich national treasures, and of replacing what has been so carelessly wasted. This necessity is every day making itself more manifest. Fuel has already become scarce in our seaports, or rather on our whole acoast ; a fact worthy the serious consideration of those, who reflect that the sufferings of the poor, from the want of this article, are probably greater than from all other causes united. Our best timber also is becoming more and more costly, and our civil and naval architects are constantly driven to the employment of that of inferior quality. The live oak of the southern States is already procured for our navy yards with great difficulty, and in fifty years will probably disappear from our soil ; and our own white oak, as well as our other most valuable timber trees, must follow at no very distant period. It is in the power of every one who possesses a few acres of land, to do much to arrest this mighty evil ; and what might not be anticipated from a simultaneous effort on the part of cultivators in our commonwealth, or even in a single county? And all this, at the expense, on the part of each individual, of a few shillings of money and a few hours of interesting labor. If we owe any thing to posterity, in what way could we confer on them so great a benefit at so cheap a rate ?
It is not, however, strictly true, or rather it is not the whole truth, to say with Virgil, that he who plants benefits his remote posterity. A friend of ours once observed, that those who set out forest trees, reminded him of the student, who on hearing that a crow would live for a century, bought a young one, for the sake of watching the experiment. As a stroke of humor, this remark is privileged from criticism ; but as a statement of facts, it must be received with much qualification. It is no uncommon circumstance to find oaks of twenty years' growth, of more than a foot in diameter, and of forty or fifty feet in height; and we have seen an English willow of only VOL. XLIV. — NO. 95.
double that age, measuring, at several feet from the ground, more than seven yards in circumference.
Were planting commenced at the time when our young men usually enter on their professions or their business, how many might live to enjoy ihe shade of majestic groves of their own raising !
These remarks may derive some additional interest from the fact, that a taste for rural occupations is rapidly springing up and extending itself in our large cities, and that objects of this description are gradually absorbing more and more of the capital as well as the intelligence, of that portion of our community. Where indeed could they find a source of entertainment more pure, more copious, or more beneficial to themselves or their fellow citizens ? To say nothing of the value of forest trees for what are strictly denominated useful purposes, let us ask in what way any individual among us can do more to decorate and beautify the country. How many millions have been devoted in this, as well as in other communities, to architecture, and yet how little have the results corresponded to the time, the effort, and the money so expended! For one chaste and magnificent edifice, we have ten irregular and disproportioned piles, countenancing, and almost justisying, the sweeping remark of a French author, that the Genius of architecture had shed his malediction on America. But he who rears a stately grove or avenue, bestows an ornament on his native land, which none but a Vandal would wish to destroy. How much has been done in this city and its beautiful environs, by the taste and public spirit of a few individuals! To pass over numerous other instances, we are indebted to one of former days, as we have already observed, for the chief ornament of Boston, the triple colonnade of weeping elms in the Mall; and it is owing to the good taste of another accomplished individual of the present day, that the majestic, or, as we may now call them, the sacred groves of Mount Auburn, were rescued from the woodman's axe.
It is not merely, however, to those who are or may be practically engaged in the propagation or preservation of forest trees, though these we hope are not few, that our remarks are directed. Though comparatively a small number may be the planters or the owners of groves or of gardens, all may be admirers of forest scenery. For the indulgence of such a
: taste we have the highest intellectual authority. “A tree in full leaf,” says Lord Bacon, “is a nobler object than a king
in bis coronation robes.” But it is in a community like our own, above all others, that taste for the beauties of forest trees, as well as an acquaintance with their nature and uses, should be carefully cultivated. It is sufficient to recommend it, that it furnishes a never-failing source of occupation and amusement to those who travel in this country, and a strong additional inducement to the general adoption of this practice, so essential and at the same time so neglected. Is it not a fact that a large proportion of those among us, who enjoy the leisure and the means for visiting other regions, confine their researches exclusively to Europe ; and if it be so, is it altogether creditable to our good taste, to say nothing more? How far the practice of travelling in other countries may be advisable, is a question we do not intend to agitate, though we are convinced, after some reflection and experience, that its advantages have been astonishingly overrated. But while years are frequently employed in exploring the European continent, a few months spent in visiting the most interesting portions of our own, must assuredly be considered as any thing but wasted. Personal intercourse, if not the only, is certainly the chief means, by which the inhabitants of the different States of our widely-extended Union may be enabled to acquire a proper knowledge of the wants and the character of each other, and above all to cherish those feelings of regard, so essential to the prosperity, if not the existence of our nation. The press, however great the obligations we owe it, is of necessity always an imperfect, and sometimes an unfaithful mirror of public sentiment; and it is to personal intercourse, and to the spirit of mutual fairness and friendship, which such intercourse will assuredly generate, that we must look to supply the deficiencies, and correct the aberrations, of that mighty engine of good and of evil. It were to be wished, indeed, that the practice of travelling extensively in our country were often pursued, at least as a preliminary to an European tour. We should not find in that case, as we think we now do in some instances, the most incorrect representations of the character and manners of our population, proceeding from the pens of our own tourists in other countries. To many of our best-educated and most accomplished men, the interior of other States, if not of their own, is a Terra Incognita, and this too in spite of those facilities of communication, which exist in the United States, to a greater degree than in almost any portion of the old world. We need not state