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[361] soul, and he felt that they must be answered. As his eye was searching river and woods, he saw the two masts of a schooner, which was lying at one of the distil-house wharves, in Medford. He immediately started for her. This was his first visit to Medford. He reached the schooner; and his eager question to the captain was, “How much water do you draw?” Answer, “Ten feet.” “What's your tonnage?” Answer, “One hundred and twenty tons.” “Do you go up and down the river often?” “Yes, I bring wood for this distillery.” “Are there any large rocks or bad shoals in the bed of the river?” “No, it's all clear.” “How deep is the water generally at high tide?” “I guess from fifteen to twenty feet.” “Do you think an empty ship of three hundred tons could float down the river?” “Oh, yes.” After this conversation, he silently concluded to make the trial. He found intelligent and affluent citizens in Medford who were ready to aid him; but he told them “he could not afford to be helped.” A young man thus afraid of debts would be likely to succeed without foreign aid. Young Magoun thus illustrated the common remark, that, where fathers do every thing for their sons, the sons do nothing for themselves; and, where fathers can do nothing for their sons, the sons do every thing for themselves; making the difference between the giant and the dwarf. Some advised his beginning to build above the bridge. He accordingly examined the bed of the river, and the depth of the water at low tide, by fording and wading; and thus decided not to fix himself there. He then weighed the reasons for preferring other places, till he finally concluded in favor of the spot where he first settled, and where all his ships have been built. His convictions being firm, that the river could float any vessel he might build, that the neighborhood could furnish an ample supply of oak timber, and that the site he had chosen could be purchased at a moderate price, he made an offer, which was accepted. Thus 1802 saw laid the first keel of that fleet of ocean merchant ships whose sails have shaded every sea and bay on the navigable globe. Honor to him to whom honor is due! Mr. Magoun lives to see his favorite science and art carried to new triumphs; and, resting in the affluence that follows his labor, may he long enjoy that respect and gratitude which society loves to give to its real benefactors!

Timber was procured from Medford, Malden, Woburn,

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