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(title page) Report of Vice-Consul R.E. Heide, on the resources, trade and commerce of North Carolina.
R. E. Heide
, 25 p.
North Carolina Presbyterian Publishing House
Call number Cp917 H46 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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North Carolina, one of the original thirteen States of the American Union, is situated on the eastern coast of North America, about half way between New York and the Gulf of Mexico. Its territory lies almost entirely within the parallels of 34° and 36½° North latitude, and accordingly has the same latitude as the southern part of Spain and northern part of Morocco. The State has about two hundred miles of sea coast, most of which is low and sandy.
The greatest length of the State from Cape Hatteras on the east to the Smoky Mountains, which separate it from the State of Tennessee on the west is 485 miles, and its greatest breadth from Cape Fear on the south to the Virginia line on the north is about 185 miles. Its area is 50,704 square miles, so that it is larger than the State of New York and very nearly the same size as England.
The State is naturally divided into three distinct regions: The Eastern, Middle and Western.
The Eastern, which comprises about two-thirds or the State or 20,000 square miles, is made up of a succession of low sand ridges which rise gradually from the sea coast.
The land bordering the streams and sounds in this region is generally low and swampy. The large Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds belong to this section.
The Middle district is a low plateau, its area being about the same as that of the Eastern. It is about two hundred miles broad, and rises gradually from about two hundred
feet above the sea level on the east to ten or twelve hundred feet at its western boundary at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Western district is about half as large as either the Middle or Eastern districts having an area of 10,000 square miles or one-fifth of the whole State. It is mostly a narrow, elevated plateau, from two to three thousand feet above the sea, extending in a north-easterly and southwesterly direction, being over two hundred miles long and from thirty to fifty miles broad.
The soil of the large swamps, which are very numerous near the coast and in the neighborhood of the sounds and bays, is a rich alluvial loam. When well drained and properly cultivated it will produce very large crops for many years without manure or fertilizers of any kind. The soil of the remainder of the Eastern section is only moderately fertile being generally light and sandy.
In the Middle and Western districts there is a great variety of soils both in composition and fertility.
The general character of the soil, however, in these two sections is a clayey, gravelly or sandy loam. In most cases when well cultivated it seldom fails to produce abundant crops.
The climate for the most part corresponds to that of Northern Italy and Southern and Western France, but over its extensive and varied surface North Carolina has a great range of climate from subtropical to cold temperate. The annual temperature of Smithville--near Cape Fear at its south-eastern extremity--is 66° or the same as that of Alexandria in Egypt, while the annual temperature of Boone, among the mountains in the Northwestern corner of the State, is about 51° being equal to that of Paris and New York. The annual temperature of the middle region between these two extremes is about 60° corresponding to that of Athens, Gibraltar, & c.
The great range of climate is also very clearly shown by the natural growth of the different sections. In the south-eastern part or the State, the Palmetto and Magnolia trees and Rice flourish, while in the north-western part the White Pine, Hemlock and Balsam Fir trees are found, and Canadian Oats and Buckwheat thrive. Although the climate is very changeable, the extremes are not very great. The cold of winter rarely reaches 10° (Fahrenheit) and sunstroke which is so common and fatal in many of the Northern States during the summer is almost unknown here.
Malarial diseases are prevalent in the swampy sections and along the rivers of the east, but the climate of the west is very pleasant and salubrious--the region at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains being among the healthiest on the continent.
The United States census table for the year 1870 states that four-fifths of the State or 40,000 square miles are still covered with forests. The most valuable forest tree is the Pine of which there are eight species in the State: The Long Leaf (Pinus australis,) Yellow (Pinus mitis,) and White (Pinus Strobus,) being the most important. The Long Leaf or Pitch Pine is only found in the eastern part of the State. The light, sandy soil of this region being well adapted to its growth. It is estimated that 15,000 square miles of the State are covered with forests of Pitch Pine. It is one of the most useful trees in the world--from the sap the naval stores (Turpentine, Rosin, Tar and Pitch,) of commerce are obtained, the trunk is sawn into the well-known pitch pine lumber and the leaves are used for the same purpose as coarse straw.
There are about thirty turpentine distilleries in the city of Wilmington alone, and probably about five hundred in the whole State. The average value of each distillery is about eight hundred dollars.
Early in the winter a deep notch or "box," as it is called, capable of holding about a quart, is cut in the trunk of the tree about twelve inches from the ground.
From one to five or six boxes are cut in each tree according to its size. During the winter the sap or crude turpentine collects in these "boxes," and by the beginning of spring they are generally nearly full. The turpentine is then dipped out with a ladle made for the purpose, and taken away to the distillery where it undergoes the ordinary process of distillation. The spirit thus obtained is known as the oil or spirits of turpentine and the residuum is rosin. The quality or grade of the rosin depends principally upon the purity of the crude turpentine. In the spring, when the boxes are first emptied, the bark directly over each box is chipped off and a fresh surface exposed, over which the turpentine collects and runs down into the box. This process is repeated for a number of years, from ten to fifteen inches of bark being chipped off during the course of each year. The usual estimate is that one barrel of crude turpentine weighing 280 pounds will produce six gallons of oil or spirits and 168 pounds of rosin or 60 per cent. of rosin and 15 per cent. of spirits.
After the turpentine of the tree has been exhausted it is cut down and sawn into lumber or cut into small sticks and charred in a kiln when the tar contained in the wood collects at the bottom and runs out into a place prepared for it. Pitch is made by boiling tar till it becomes hard on cooling. The value of naval stores and lumber, both products of the pitch pine tree, exported from the port of Wilmington alone during the year 1874, amounted to over 4,300,000 dollars though the price has declined about 25 per cent. from what it was last year.
The Yellow Pine is found throughout the State and makes very good timber. It has lately been used to a considerable extent for cabinet purposes and for finishing the interior of
buildings--the wood being hard and fine-grained, and taking a high polish. The White Pine is confined to the mountainous regions of the West, and frequently grows to a very large size. It resembles the Norwegian pine more than either of the other varieties. The Short Leaf Pine (Pinus tęda) is quite abundant in some parts of the eastern district. It is generally found in wet, swampy places, and makes good timber; it also produces turpentine, but not in sufficient quantities to make the cultivation of it profitable.
Oaks are found in nearly all parts of the State, but in the Western and Middle districts the oak growth predominates over all others. There are twenty species in the United States and all of them, with probably one unimportant exception, are found in North Carolina. The most valuable of these are the White, Red and Live Oak. The White Oak makes excellent timber and is largely used for making casks and for building purposes. The Live Oak grows only on the seaboard and is in great demand for ship building.
Of the nine species of Hickory in North America seven are found within the boundaries of North Carolina. This wood is highly prized by the wheel-wright, being very hard, dense and tough.
Many of the large swamps in the eastern part of the State are covered with extensive forests or Cypress. The lightness and durability of this wood are well known. It is principally used for the manufacture of shingles, though considerable quantities have lately been exported from Wilmington to the West Indies in the shape of railway cross-ties or sleepers.
The other most valuable forest trees found in the State are the Walnut, Chestnut, Juniper, Poplar, Maple, Beech, Elm, Cedar and Holly.
The western and central parts of North Carolina are very rich in minerals. The most useful and important are: Gold, Silver, Copper, Lead, Zinc, Mica, Graphite, Iron, Coal,
Marl, Limestone, Grindstone, Marble and Slate, and also Diamond, Garnet, Sapphire, Ruby, Beryl and Amethyst. The precious stones are seldom met with, though several very valuable specimens have been found.
The first gold mines in the United States were discovered in North Carolina about 1820, and worked on quite a large scale--yielding many millions of dollars--till the discovery of the California mines in 1847. A nugget weighing twenty-eight pounds was found in this State said to be the largest in the world up to the discovery of the Californian deposits. Gold is found in workable quantities in twenty-nine counties of the State.
Extensive and valuable deposits of iron ore are widely distributed over the western and middle districts. The ore in many cases is very rich, yielding 85 per cent. of excellent iron, equal in quality to the best Swede. The value of some of the most profitable mines is enhanced by their situation on the navigable streams, Cape Fear and Roanoke, and also by the proximity of large beds of coal. Iron is found in workable quantities in thirty counties.
The coal of the State is mostly bituminous and is well adapted to the manufacture of gas and is also valuable when coked for smelting purposes. The two largest and most important coal beds are situated near the head-waters of the Roanoke and Cape Fear Rivers. The workable seams vary from three to seven and a half feet in thickness.
Within the last few years a number of Mica mines have been opened in the western counties and have proved very profitable. The plates of Mica are of remarkable size, many being three and four feet in diameter.
Marl is about the only mineral that is found in the eastern district where, however, it is very abundant and is used principally for fertilizing purposes.
The original settlers came principally from Scotland, the
North of Ireland, England and Germany. Many of the colonists came over direct from Europe, and others by way of the Northern States.
The most numerous and industrious class is probably the Scotch and Scotch-Irish and their descendants, many counties being settled almost exclusively by them. Since the United States became independent of Great Britain there has been very little immigration to this State, and the emigration to the new States in the South and West has been greater than the immigration from the North.
In 1870 the population was estimated at:
The population would have been 50,000 more but for the late war, judging from the former rate of increase.
Since the settlement of the country agriculture has been the leading pursuit. Mining is carried on to a considerable extent in the western and midland counties.
It is supposed that about five thousand men in the eastern or pitch pine region of the State are engaged in the manufacture of naval stores and probably half as many more in the manufacture of pitch pine lumber. The majority of the cotton and woolen manufactories are situated in the central portion of the State, where the numerous rivers and water courses furnish almost unlimited water power. Nearly all the industries of the State are in a very backward condition owing to the want of capital to develop its great natural resources. The greater part or the available capital the State possessed was lost in the late civil war.
The banks still charge from fifteen to eighteen per cent. interest for money on good security.
About nine-tenths or the population are engaged in agricultural pursuits. The whole system of agriculture in this State is very inferior to that of most European countries or even to that of the Northern States. The abundance and cheapness of land tempts many of the farmers to cultivate their fields for a number of successive years without fertilizing them to any extent, and when the strength has become exhausted the field is abandoned and a new piece of virgin land is cleared and put through the same process.
Since the abolition of slavery, however, his bad practice has not been so common, the tendency now being to reduce the acreage and raise the standard of cultivation. By these means as large a yield is now often obtained from one acre as was formerly had from two. About half the area of the State is suitable to the growth of cotton and of late years the production of this great staple has been very largely increased. The soil of some or the southern counties is especially adapted to cotton culture, the yield being quite large ahd the quality equal to that of the New Orleans cotton. The cotton crop of the United States for 1874 is estimated at 3,500,000 bales, of which about 200,000 bales were produced in North Carolina. The Tobacco plant thrives in about one-third of the State. It is most profitably cultivated in the northern and western counties where a very fine quality is produced. Very little of the tobacco crop is shipped at the ports of the State. The most of it is sent to Danville, Petersburg and Richmond, in Virginia, where large quantities of North Carolina tobacco are manufactured and sold as Virginian. Before the emancipation of the slaves, rice was extensively cultivated in the south-eastern counties, especially along the Cape Fear River, but
since then rice culture in this State has been almost abandoned owing principally to the difficulty and expense of obtaining suitable labor and also to the low prices that have prevailed.
Wheat, Rye and Oats grow in all parts of the State, but thrive best in the western and northern counties.
Indian corn or maze is the principal bread crop of the southern and eastern counties. Large quantities of this grain are raised on the rich alluvial lands or the eastern and north-eastern counties and shipped to the pitch pine region of the State and also to Norfolk and Baltimore.
The light, sandy Soil of the piney-woods section is well adapted to the growth of the Sweet Potato--one acre of moderately fertile land often yielding three hundred bushels of potatoes.
North Carolina is well adapted to the production of grapes and fruit--dried fruit especially being quite an important item among the exports of the State. It is mostly shipped by railway to New York and other northern markets.
Several of the most valuable varieties of grapes grown in America, such as the Catawba, Isabella, Lincoln and Scuppernong are natives of North Carolina. It is thought that in the course of a few years this will be one of the principal wine producing States in America.
Several valuable gold mines have lately been purchased by northern capitalists who have erected heavy and expensive machinery and begun work on an extensive scale.
Many parties have been very profitably engaged for a number of years washing the gold gravel beds along the streams and water-courses in the auriferous region. Most of the gold mines in the State lie on or near the surface--only
one has been worked to a depth of seven hundred feet, and one to a depth of one hundred and fifty feet.
Copper has been found in twelve counties, and before the late war a number of extensive mines were worked; since then, however, little has been done in copper mining. At present there is only one important mine that is being vigorously worked. At this mine a large smelting establishment has been erected, and from three to five tons of copper per diem are produced.
Two or three valuable iron mines have recently been opened in the central part of the State, but owing to the present depressed condition of the iron market very little is being done.
North Carolina possesses great natural facilities for manufacturing. In addition to the abundance of water-power--many of the streams having a descent of a thousand feet in their course from the mountains to the sea--building stone, timber and fuel are very plentiful. There is also little or no ice to obstruct operations during the winter and labor can be had cheaper than in the Northern States. As before stated, there are about five hundred turpentine distilleries in the pitch pine region, about thirty of which are in the city of Wilmington, where there are also five steam saw mills, three steam grain-mills, a rice mill, and a steam mill for the manufacture of paper material from reeds or canes which grow in great profusion along the lower banks of the Cape Fear River; there is also a large cotton factory in process or erection. Throughout the State there are about twenty cotton and woolen manufactories of considerable importance. Last year some of these made a profit of twenty per cent. on their capital when many Northern cotton factories had to suspend operations or limit their production to about half their capacity. It is thought North Carolina will
become a great manufacturing State, though at present manufactories are neither numerous nor extensive, owing to the great scarcity of capital.
Many or the inhabitants of the sea-coast are engaged in the fisheries of the State. The most abundant kinds of fish being Mullets, Herring, Shad, Trout, Mackerel and Blue Fish. The annual catch is estimated at a hundred thousand barrels--worth about half a million dollars.
[Much of the foregoing information was kindly furnished by Prof. W. C. Kerr, the State Geologist.]
On its two hundred miles of sea-coast North Carolina has only three seaports and two good harbours.
The former are New-Berne, Beaufort and Wilmington; the latter Beaufort and Wilmington.
New-Berne is situated on the Neuse River, about 75 miles from the sea. It is only accessible to vessels of light draught which have to sail through Pamlico Sound.
With the exception of a small trade with the West Indies it has no foreign commerce, almost its whole trade being between New York and Baltimore, to both of which places it has a regular line of small steamers.
Beaufort--a few miles south of Cape Lookout--has the best natural harbour in the State, but is not a place of much commercial importance.
Wilmington, the principal seaport of the State, is situated on the east bank of the Cape Fear River, on a long, narrow, sandy peninsula, which opposite the city is only seven or eight miles broad; the distance by the river, however, to the main entrance to the harbour is over thirty miles.
In the year 1761, during a heavy storm, the sea broke through the narrow peninsular--at this point quite low and only about a mile wide--which separates it from the river and formed what is now known as New Inlet.
The harbour was greatly damaged by the opening of this new entrance as it decreased the depth of water on the main bar between three and four feet, and formed shoals in the river. The New Inlet is about ten miles nearer the city than the old one, but as it has only ten or twelve feet of water at high tide it is not navigable for large vessels.
Within the past year the current of the river has been cutting out a new and deeper channel, and at present the only obstruction between Wilmington and the sea is the shoals in the river below the city, supposed to have been formed by the opening of New Inlet.
The government has now a dredge-boat at work at this point, which has been doing very good service of late, and it is hoped large vessels will soon be able to take in their full cargoes at Wilmington and proceed at once to sea without the necessity of lightering. For the last two years the government has also had a force at work at New Inlet building breakwaters and otherwise endeavoring to send the whole volume of water out through the old channel and thus restore it to its original depth, but owing to the strength and direction of the currents and the shifting nature of the sands at the now entrance it has been found exceedingly difficult to close it. The work, however, is still going on, the last Congress having appropriated 150,000 dollars for this purpose and the engineer and parties in charge are still hopeful of success. The prominent points on the coast are well supplied with light-houses, and besides those at each entrance to the Cape Fear River there is also a light ship stationed on Frying Pan Shoals, about twenty-five miles from the land. For the maintainance of light-houses and similar purposes, the government imposes a tax of thirty cents per ton once a year on all vessels (American and foreign) trading between the United States and foreign countries.
With this exception the custom-house fees at this port are quite moderate, in most cases amounting to less than six dollars for both entering and clearing.
The other port charges besides pilotage and towage are harbour-master's and quarantine physician's fees. The former is three dollars and the latter generally five dollars on all vessels subject to quarantine.
The following are the present rates of pilotage, towage and lighterage:
For the Cape Fear Bars and River, established on the 2d day of August, 1870, in accordance with existing Acts of the Legislature of North Carolina, to go into operation August 10th, 1870.
The depressed state of the Naval Store and Lumber markets during the past year has had a very bad effect on the trade of this port. The prices declined from fifteen to twenty-five per cent., from what they were last year, on the principal articles of export, so that in some cases manufacturers were compelled to work at a loss, in order to meet their obligations.
Notwithstanding these very unfavourable circumstances, however, it will be seen on referring to the following tables that there has been an increase both in the tonnage, and the quantity or exports. Special attention is called to the great increase in Norwegian shipping during the past three years, as is shown in Table A. In 1872 only thirteen Norwegian vessels visited the port, while in 1874 there were sixty-six arrivals. Seventy-two Norwegian vessels, with an aggregate tonnage of 9,158½ lasts, sailed from the port during the past year with cargoes valued at 1,301,431 dollars, and during the same time there were five Swedish vessels whose tonnage amounted to 516½ nylaster, and the value of the cargoes to 45,017 dollars, making a total of 72 Scavdinavian vessels cleared during the year with cargoes valued at 1,346,448 dollars.
With the exception of one vessel that went to Cardenas with Cypress Railway Ties, and another to Demerara with a cargo of Pitch Pine Lumber, these vessels were loaded with Cotton and Naval Stores.
All the Cotton was shipped to Liverpool, and the Naval Stores principally to Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Germany.
Special attention is also called to the rapid increase in the foreign shipments of Cotton from this port as is shown in Table B.
It is thought that next year the increase will be still greater, and preparations are being made for better and greater facilities in pressing and stowing the Cotton.
Formerly nearly all the foreign business of the place done through New York, but for the last two there has been a rapidly direct trade--the merchants receiving orders for cargoes direct from their correspondents abroad instead of through New York.
The completion of The Carolina Central Railway last month to Charlotte--a growing and prosperous town in the western part of the State--through the Cotton growing section is expected to largely increase the trade of Wilmington.
When this railway is finished, it will connect with the railway system of the Mississippi valley, and shorten the distance between the Southern part of this fertile region and the North Atlantic Ocean several hundred miles, and thus give a powerful impetus to the trade of this port which will be its Eastern terminus.
Until within a few weeks, there has been no direct communication between the Western part of the State and the Seaboard, and accordingly the products of this the richest section of North Carolina have been shipped overland by railway through Virginia to Richmond, Norfolk and the Northern Cities instead of through the Seaports of the State.
At present there are over twelve hundred miles in operation, and two or three hundred miles more projected.
Wilmington is the terminus of three railways--the "Wilmington and Weldon," connecting it with New York via Richmond and Norfolk, the "Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta," which connects it with the Southern and Southwestern Cities, and the "Carolina Central," which, when completed, will connect it with Cincinnati and the Western and Northwestern country. It has also a semi-weekly line of Steamers to both New York and Baltimore, and a weekly line to Philadelphia, besides numerous sailing vessels to the various Northern ports.
All the coastwise imports and exports are in American vessels, as the United States government does not allow foreign ships to engage in its coasting trade.
Through the various channels above mentioned nearly all the imports are received form the North.
The value of direct foreign imports entered at Wilmington during the year 1874, only amounted to it little over 120,000 dollars, and consisted principally of Salt and Iron from Europe and Fruit and Molasses from the West Indies. The duty on salt is eight cents per 100 pounds, which at the present price is between 25 and 30 per cent. The duty on many other articles of daily use is much greater being as high as 60, 75 and 100 per cent., and over. The Southern and Western States are thus compelled by a very oppressive tariff to use the products and manufactures of the Northern States. It is thought, however, that there will soon be a change in administration of the government, when a more liberal and equitable policy will, in all probability, be pursued.
The following Table A is it comparative statement of the nationality, number, and tonnage of vessels entering the port during the past three years. It does not, however, include the numerous arrivals of small vessels engaged in the coasting trade or this State--no record of these being kept at the Custom House. It is estimated that there were between 400 and 450 such arrivals during the year 1874; the inward cargoes, consisting principally of Corn, Fish, Naval Stores, and Cotton, being valued at 560,000 dollars, and the return or outward cargoes of general merchandise, at 200,000 dollars. Table B is a comparative statement of the quantity and value of the principal articles exported from the port of Wilmington during the same period--the last three years.
It does not including the miscellaneous articles exported, or the Cotton and other produce shipped by railway to the Northern markets. As the Custom House keeps no record of the value of coastwise shipments, the valuation given in the table is only approximate. Considerable pains, however, have been taken to make the figures as accurate as possible.
Showing the Nationalities, Kind, Number, and Tonnage of Vessels entering the Port of Wilmington, N. C., during the years 1872, 1873 and 1874:
|NATIONALITY.||No. of Steamers.||Tonnage of Steamers.||No. of Sailing Vessels.||Tonnage of Sailing Vessels.||Total No. of Vessels.||Total Tonnage.|
|British||. . . . .||. . . . .||52||13,129||52||13,129|
|Norwegian||. . . . .||. . . . .||13||3,189||13||3,189|
|Swedish||. . . . .||. . . . .||5||1,157||5||1,157|
|German||. . . . .||. . . . .||35||11,260||35||11,260|
|Spanish||. . . . .||. . . . .||2||579||2||579|
|Russian||. . . . .||. . . . .||1||290||1||290|
|NATIONALITY.||No. of Steamers.||Tonnage of Steamers.||No. of Sailing Vessels.||Tonnage of Sailing Vessels.||Total No. of Vessels.||Total Tonnage.|
|British||. . . . .||. . . . .||72||18,935||72||18,935|
|Norwegian||. . . . .||. . . . .||49||12,599||49||12,599|
|Swedish||. . . . .||. . . . .||7||1,973||7||1,973|
|German||. . . . .||. . . . .||84||26,828||84||26,828|
|Spanish||. . . . .||. . . . .||4||1,348||4||1,348|
|Russian||. . . . .||. . . . .||1||396||1||396|
|NATIONALITY.||No. of Steamers.||Tonnage of Steamers.||No. of Sailing Vessels.||Tonnage of Sailing Vessels.||Total No. of Vessels.||Total Tonnage.|
|British||. . . . .||. . . . .||49||12,650||49||12,650|
|Norwegian||. . . . .||. . . . .||66||17,500||66||17,500|
|Swedish||. . . . .||. . . . .||5||1,482||5||1,482|
|German||. . . . .||. . . . .||64||20,127||64||20,127|
|Costa Rican||. . . . .||. . . . .||1||258||1||258|
Showing the quantity and value of the principal articles exported from the Port of Wilmington, N. C., during the years 1872, 1873 and 1875:
|ARTICLES.||Coastwise 1872.||Coastwise 1873.||Coastwise 1874.||Foreign 1872.||Foreign 1873.||Foreign 1874.||Total 1872.||Total 1873.||Total 1874.||Valuation 1872.||Valuation 1873.||Valuation 1874.|
|Spirits Turpentine, Casks||59,410||42,283||42,838||77,969||88,953||83,087||137,379||131,236||125,925||3,159,717||2,665,727||2,014,800|
|Crude Turpentine, Bbls..||11,558||14,520||14,945||950||735||650||12,508||15,255||15,595||43,778||60,525||39,143|
|Rosin . . . . . Bbls.||423,394||342,499||308,959||196,666||347,652||379,330||620,060||690,151||689,289||2,170,560||2,152,714||1,730,115|
|Tar. . . . . Bbls.||32,368||41,030||47,820||4,919||4,296||30,799||37,287||45,326||68,619||111,861||147,396||162,627|
|Pitch. . . . . Bbls.||7,072||8,284||7,316||275||180||167||7,347||8,464||7,483||22,041||27,594||17,735|
|Cotton. . . . . Bales||46,717||35,016||55,621||707||4,634||11,897||47,424||39,650||67,518||3,558,150||2,536,868||4,051,080|
|Cotton Yarn. . . . . Bales||48||497||1,095||. . . . .||. . . . .||26||48||497||1,121||3,600||29,800||67,260|
|Cotton Sheeting. . . . . Bales||1,218||2,356||2,375||. . . . .||. . . . .||3||1,218||2,356||2,378||150,960||223,820||225,910|
|Peanuts. . . . . Bush||102,680||73,263||33,562||. . . . .||. . . . .||. . . . .||103,680||73,263||33,562||129,600||164,842||43,630|
|Pitch Pine Lumber..Feet.||16,553,716||12,597,597||9,998,295||6,710,436||6,920,171||4,231,030||23,264,152||19,517,768||14,229,325||465,283||449,515||335,812|
|Staves||136,606||108,060||300,055||. . . . .||. . . . .||5,000||136,606||108,060||305,055||3,415||4,322||9,992|
|Cypress Railway Ties||. . . . .||. . . . .||. . . . .||. . . . .||15,861||39,580||. . . . .||15,861||39,580||7,932||19,196|
The appended communication was received from Rev. J. L. Keen, Chaplain of the Port, and will very probably prove of interest.
WILMINGTON, N. C., Dec. 1874.
Mr. R. E. Heide,
Vice-Consul of Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
In compliance with your request, I herewith give you a statement of our work, as a Seamen's Friend Society at this Port; also, of the work contemplated, partly performed and to be speedily completed. Our object you will find fully explained in Article 2d of the Constitution, to-wit:
"The great leading object of this Society shall be to improve the social, moral and religious condition and character of Seamen; and, as means to secure these ends, there shall be erected, in this town, a suitable building for a Boarding House or Mariner's Home, to be conducted under the general management of this Society, where the seamen shall be properly cared for and attended, as well in sickness as in health; and, there shall also he provided a Mariner's Church in which the teaching and ministration of the Gospel shall be secured."
To carry out the provisions of the Charter, Constitution and By-Laws, a Board of Trustees consisting of fifteen gentlemen, who are to meet every three months; and an Executive Committee consisting of six Trustees whose duty it is to meet the last Friday evening in every month, are elected at each Annual meeting in February by all the members of the Society from among their number. To guard against sectarian predominance the constitution forbids that more than one-third of the Trustee shall at any time be of one religious denomination.
The Trustees now in charge of the work are gentlemen of the highest social and business standing, representing all the Protestant denominations in the city, and are all members of some branch of Christ's Church. Among these are three Vice-Consuls (embracing yourself), and the other two, (Spanish and French,) are members of the Society.
All but two of the Trustees are to a greater or less extent engaged in shipping, and are acquainted with the needs of the sailors. They are our leading merchants and most reliable men.
The Mariner's Home is a new and comfortable building, conveniently and pleasantly located, near the water. Has modern improvements, well furnished, kept clean, table well supplied daily from the markets, bedding cleanly, and often changed; well conducted. The keeper, with his family, lives in the Home. Adjoining the Home is the Bethel, a large and very comfortable hall, furnished plain and substantial, with proper heating apparatus for cold weather. This hall was built expressly for this purpose.
The Bethel is open every Sunday for Divine Worship. During the working days and on Sunday morning the Chaplain visits the shipping and distributes tracts among the men in their own language. Every provision has been made for their spiritual welfare that can be under the circumstances.
We have been much troubled by the keepers of disreputable boarding-houses. They use every effort to entice sailors from their ships, secrete them, rob them and then turn them into the streets to suffer if they cannot ship them and get the advance wages.
By my recommendation this evil is being promptly met by the Trustees, and we are now in consultation with the civil authorities who have promised all aid in their power, to break up these dens of iniquity and to stop their nefarious traffic in human flesh and souls.
Arrangements have been completed and a Pest House is now being erected on the river shore, about four miles below the city, in which all seamen sick with pestilential diseases will be placed, under the especial care of the Society, where they will receive food, clothing, nursing and medical attendance at as little cost as possible for proper care, thus taking them out of the hands of the city authorities and putting down the exhorbitant charges by the same.
In the house and above the Bethel we have a large and very comfortable hall, to be used as a hospital for sick seamen; and arrangements are being made with a view to take care of foreign sick sailors there at a reasonable charge.
The Marine Hospital for American Seamen having been turned into a political machine for making money, was taken from us and placed in the hands of an outside party, the building being at least a mile from the water-side. We are trying to have it transferred to us again, so that the seamen may be under the watchful care of those who have no desire to speculate upon or make money out of their necessities.
I am not fully prepared to make a general statement, but ean say that I believe we have now inaugurated movements that will do so much in carrying to a successful issue, the objects for which the Society was organized, ie, the social, moral and religions welfare of the sailors, of
all nations, who visit our port. Much good has been accomplished since its organization in February, 1853. And, with God's approving smile upon our labors, great, very great good will be accomplished in the future.
We have not reached the meridian of our labor; but we cease not until all nations, kindreds, tribes and tongues shall confess--not only, that Jesus is the Christ, but shall own him as their personal Savior--having found peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOSEPH L. KEEN, Jr.,
Chaplain to Seamen, Port of Wilmington, N. C.