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[363] and six tons; and at a cost, according to the above estimate, of ten millions four hundred and forty-nine thousand two hundred and seventy dollars. The greatest number constructed in any one yard is one hundred and eighty-five; and, in any single year , thirty. That year was 1845.
The tonnage of the vessels built here in that year, “says Mr. Baker,” was nine thousand seven hundred and twelve tons; and their aggregate, as they left our yards, about half a million of dollars. The shortest space in which a vessel was ever built in the town was twenty-six days. Her name was “The Avon,” a ship of four hundred tons, which, with two others built here about the same period, served as privateers in the last war with the mother country. In the five years preceding April 1, 1837, sixty vessels were built in this town, which employed two hundred thirty-nine workmen, and of which the measurement was twenty-four thousand one hundred and ninety-five tons, and the value one million one hundred and twelve thousand nine hundred and seventy dollars. All those constructed in the county, except eleven, were built here. The value of these sixty was about one-sixth of all the shipping built in the Commonwealth during the same period. In the year preceding April 1, 1845, twenty-four ships were launched here, which employed two hundred and fifty men, whose tonnage was nine thousand six hundred and sixty, and whose value was half a million of dollars. In that year, one-quarter of the ship-builders in the Commonwealth were employed in this town, and built nearly one-quarter of the ships constructed in the State, one-third of the tonnage, and one-half the value of the whole. From this result, so creditable to our town, it appears that a given number of workmen here build larger and more valuable vessels than those which are commonly constructed in other parts of the Commonwealth.

Of these vessels, two merit a special notice. The first was framed and put together in the oldest yard in the town; then taken down, transported to Boston, and put on board the “Thaddeus,” commanded by a gentleman of this village, who carried out with it the first missionaries to the Sandwich Islands, where it laid the foundation for this useful art. The other is the “Falcon,” by the same builder, in 1817,--the most remarkable vessel that ever floated in our river, famed not for any wonderful beauty or perfectness of construction. Others may have sailed swifter, and been finer models; but, in one important respect, this vessel surpassed all before it,--and we trust that no others will ever have an opportunity to rival it,--it was the first vessel built in this town without rum. Previously, the keel was laid, and each part of the work accomplished, by the stimulus of ardent spirit. Each vessel was profanely christened with rum. He who first took this noble stand in the cause of temperance, in that day when all was drunkenness around, deserves our thanks, and ought to be encouraged in every

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