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[p. 54]

Old ships and ship-building days of Medford.


Chapter 4: 1

After the War of 1812, the northwest fur trade gradually declined for various reasons, the gradual extermination of the sea otter and competition by the British and Russians being the principal ones. By this time, cotton manufacturing, encouraged by the embargoes and by the War of 1812, and later by a protective tariff, had increased enormously and a considerable amount was sent to the Far East as cargo. There was more specie in the country by this time, too, and this could be sent. The trade in sandal-wood was also developed. Previously the sandal-wood had been preserved almost religiously, but on the death of King Kamehameha, his son, Likoliko, who succeeded him, proceeded to realize on this preserve and stripped his domain, which he bartered for liquor, clothes and vessels. For several years it proved a very lucrative trade until the supply was exhausted and a drug on the Canton market. The brig Thaddeus, commanded by Capt. A. Blanchard of Medford, carrying the first missionaries, had landed at the Hawaiian Islands. Captain William Hall of Medford, who afterwards commanded several Medford ships, made his first voyage as cabin boy on the Thaddeus and wrote home a vivid account of the landing. They were received by the chiefs and dignitaries, who were arrayed in miscellaneous feminine apparel which an enterprising trader had bartered a short time previously.

The Jones and the Tamahourelaune were built in Medford and sold in Hawaii for sandal-wood. The History of Medford says they were taken apart and sent out in the Thaddeus, but this is probably incorrect, as Morison in an article on the Hawaiian trade gives reliable evidence that they were sailed round.2 The Jones was renamed the Inore.

1 the names of Medford-built ships are italicized.

2 Morison. ‘Boston Traders in Hawaiian Islands.’ Mass. Hist. Proc. Vol. 54, p. 29.

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