Old Times on the Upper Mississippi: Recollections of a Steamboat Pilot from 1854-1863

By George Byron Merrick | Go to book overview

Chapter VII
Wooding Up

As second clerk, I was early taught to hold my own with the pirates who conducted the woodyards scattered along the river, from which the greater part of the fuel used on old-time river boats was purchased. There was a great variety of wood offered for sale, and a greater diversity in the manner of piling it. It was usually ranked eight feet high, with a “cob-house” at each end of the rank. It was the rule on the river to measure but one of the end piles, if the whole rank was taken, or one-half of one end pile if but a part of the rank was bought. For convenience, the woodmen usually put twenty cords in a rank, and allowed enough to cover the shortage caused by cross-piling at the ends. Being piled eight feet high, ten lengths of the measuring stick (eight feet long) equalled twenty cords, if it were fairly piled. Woodmen who cared for their reputation and avoided a “scrap” with the clerks, captains, and mates of steamboats, usually made their twenty-cord ranks eighty-four feet long and eight feet high. Such dealers also piled their sticks parallel to each other in the ranks; they also threw out the rotten and very crooked ones. When the clerk looked over such a tier, after having run his stick over it, he simply invited the owner aboard and paid him his fifty or sixty dollars, according to the quality of the wood, took him across the cabin to the bar, and invited him to “have one on the boat”, shook hands, and bade him good night.

It took the “pirates” to start the music, however. When only scant eighty feet were found in the rank, with rotten and green wood sandwiched in, all through the tiers, and crooked limbs and crossed sticks in all directions, it became the duty of the clerk to estimate his discount. After running his rod over it, he would announce, before the first stick was taken off by the deck hands,

-59-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Old Times on the Upper Mississippi: Recollections of a Steamboat Pilot from 1854-1863
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 324

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.