Letter from William Tryon to the Board of Trade of Great Britain
Tryon, William, 1729-1788
Volume 07, Pages 440-441
[From Tryon's Letter Book.]
Letter from Governor Tryon to the Board of Trade
Brunswick the 22d February 1767
As in the letter I have the honor to transmit to your Lordships with this, mention is made of the saw mills constructed in this province, and which constitute a very considerable article in the exports of this river I judge it will not be thought foreign to the purpose to take notice of the timber that is sawed in these mills: At present scarce any is brought to them but the pine. The yellow and pitch pine here is esteemed equal to any on the continent and vastly superior to that of New England in closeness of texture, weight and durableness and will sell for one fourth more than the northward pine when carried to the West India markets. I sent some of the plank to Mr Hughes Commissioner of the Dock Yard at Portsmouth; the copy of his letter inclosed will certify the examination it underwent, and the report that was made upon that survey. Tho' the present mills will not allow of plank or scantling exceeding thirty feet and few above twenty five owing to the difficulty of raising a greater length of timber upon the stages of the mills; yet the pine trees will allow planks forty to fifty feet in length which could be sawed by hand in this country in any quantity.
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Here is other good pine timber but none like the yellow and pitch pine for duration. It is the received opinion in this part of the world that the yellow and pitch pine is admirable for ships decks or any works under water. It is my duty therefore to state for his Majesty's information the particular qualities of so valuable a produce of his colony of North Carolina. The present bounty granted by Act of Parliament for the importation of plank and ton timber into Great Britain from the colonies not being found sufficient to answer the expence of the freight of it from this colony, I have made an estimate of the bounties that appear to be necessary to open a channel for the above valuable produce to the mother country; a produce not the least among its valuable naval stores. For all sawed boards and scantlings, both clear of sap from 12 to 30 feet in length, the boards from 10 to 12 inches wide, thirty five shillings per thousand feet, superficial measure. All boards from 30 feet and any greater length, 8 to 12 inches wide, forty shillings per thousand feet superficial measure and so in proportion to its thickness: For square or round timber, 10 shillings per ton, 40 solid feet to the ton. The freight from this province to Great Britain for all lumber is from four to five pounds sterling per thousand feet, and for square or round timber forty shillings per ton. I mention the round timber on account of the great service it might be for the water pipes in lieu of elm. The cypress tree seems to me to be admirably calculated for this purpose, it grows from 70 to 90 and 100 feet in stem, clear of a branch or knot, and on a medium, its diameter will meet from 3 feet to 4 feet 6 inches clear of sap. It bores very well and endures wet and dry better than any wood except the cedar. It is troublesome to get out of the swamps and marshes, its natural situation, but for quantity there is sufficient to supply all the conduit pipes in London. It is of so clean a nature as to give no taste to water. Shingles are made from this timber, and it is to be observed if carefully placed on a building will endure from thirty to forty years in this hot and wet climate. Many are of opinion the cypress would make good masts for ships; when first cut it is heavy, but when seasoned, lighter than pine and of a very tough contexture. If these conditions should meet with the success I wish them his Majesty will experience his province to encrease as rapidly in its commerce as it does at present in its inhabitants.
I am &ca.