Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Buffalo Whig & Journal (Buffalo, NY), 7 Oct. 1835, page 2
Full Text

Increase of our Navy, Ship Timber, &c.-- By an advertisement in the Washington Globe, we observe that the Navy Commissioners invite proposals for furnishing the frames of several ships of war, soon to be built at the different naval depots on the Atlantick coast. As the valuable white oak of which they are to be constructed has mostly disappeared from our sea-board, they will doubtless be obliged to range the interoiur [sic] for their supply.

Our neighbours of Grand Island, we understand, have made a contract to deliver the keel pieces for several Ships of the line, Frigates and Sloops of war, at different ports on the Atlantick, which will be got out the coming winter and sent down the canal in the ensuing spring. They are to be heavy sticks of solid white oak, averaging fifty feet long, and near two feet square; thousands of which grow in the forests of Grand Island and Tonawanta. Out navy too, we learn, is beginning to use the Whitehaven ship plank in building and repairing our ships of war. Indeed these plank from their superiority over any other in use, although this is the first season that any have been sent to market, are getting into general use wherever they can be obtained. The Timber Company have already shipped about one hundred boat loads, averaging fifty tuns each, to Albany this season, amounting to near two millions of feet, worth in market from 75 to 80,000 dollars, and yet there is every prospect that the demand, in New-York and Boston, for the coming winter, will much exceed the supply; a practical proof of the utility of their operation.

The region for a few miles around the Tonawanta Creek and its tributaries, now contains most of the valuable white oak timber in this state, within reach of its navigable waters. Twenty years will probably see it all cut off and sent abroad to market. Yet the enlargement of the Erie Canal by which the rates of transportation will be greatly reduced, will no doubt warrant the shipment of white oak timber from the forests of Maumee, Saginaw and Chicago to New-York, there to be moulded into ships thousands of miles from its native woods in the interiour of Ohio, Michigan or Illinois. This may appear [...] not more so, than that Great Britain has been supplied with millions of cubick feet of white oak from the borders of Niagara River and Lake Erie, since the war of 1812.

Item Type
Column 3
Date of Original
7 Oct. 1835
Local identifier
Language of Item
Richard Palmer
Copyright Statement
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Buffalo Whig & Journal (Buffalo, NY), 7 Oct. 1835, page 2