The Mast Trade
We also suggest you check under loggers and sawyers in the toolmaking trades
Additionally, we have an information file on lumbering
Albion, Robert G. (1926). Forests and sea power: The timber
problem of the Royal Navy 1652-1862. Harvard University Press, Cambridge,
MA. Reprinted in 2000 by Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD. IS.
Crowe, Mike. (February 2003). All shook up. Fishermen's
Voice. pg. 1, 6-7. IS.
Barry, William David and Peabody, Frances W. (1982). Tate
House: Crown of the Maine mast trade. National Society of Colonial
Dames of America in the State of Maine, Portland, ME.
- See annotations of this article in the
Maine Town Histories bibliography under Bangor.
Carlton, William. (March 1939). New England masts and the
King's Navy. New England Quarterly. 12(1). pg. 4-18.
- "Through a series of parliamentary acts, stretching back to 1691 and augmented
over the following decades, the crown claimed all white pine trees measuring
more than twenty-four inches at the butt." (pg. 11).
- "Masts might weigh as much as eighteen tons and were baulked or hauled
by as many as one hundred oxen." (pg. 10).
- "If masts were baulked out in the summer, giant wheels, later called galamanders,
were employed. But sleds were safer and cheaper and more men could
be gathered in the cropless season. Mast roads served to open the
backcountry..." (pg. 10).
- "Mast ships boasted huge stern ports through which the great sticks were
hoisted and stored." (pg. 10).
- "The White Pine Acts were first challenged in court in 1734, when John
Frost of Berwick, Maine, sued a contractor working for the Boston-based
mast agent, Samuel Waldo. Frost claimed that trees growing on his
land could not belong to the crown. After a decade of transatlantic
legal battling, nothing was decided. In the following years, settlers
resorted to sawing up pine, damaging trees of size, fighting surveyors'
men and, by the 1770s the courts were less able to enforce the laws." (pg.
- "Of the early surveyors general, David Dunbar of Portsmouth was the most
rash. In 1730 he arrived at lumbering settlements on Maine's Sheepscot
River where 'with an armed force, (he) turned them from their lands, seized
their timber, (and) burned and destroyed their houses.'" (pg. 12).
- "Though less thoroughly documented, the resentment of inland settlers toward
the government's pine policy was as real as that of the coastal merchants
toward trade regulations. Thus, backwoods anger smoldered and flashed
until it became one with the general fire of the Revolution." (pg. 13).
- "Samuel Waldo, the mast agent at Boston, was one of Massachusetts' most
powerful and ambitious merchants. He was a prime mover and chief
proprietor of the Muscongus or Waldo Patent..." (pg. 13).
Carroll, Charles F. (1973). The timber economy of Puritan
New England. Brown University Press, Providence, RI.
Chapman, L. B. (1896). The mast industry of Old Falmouth. Collections
and Proceedings of the Maine Historical Society. Second Series. 7.
pg. 390 - 404.
Defebaugh, James Eliot. (1906 - 1907). History of the
lumber industry of America. 2 Vols. The American Lumberman, Chicago,
Kyan, John Howard. (1839). An answer to the supplemental
chapter in Lord Anson's life (by Sir John Barrow, Bart.) in reference to
the preservation of timber for the Navy. Printed for the author by
W. H. Cox, 5, GT. Queen Street, Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, London. X.
Malone, Joseph J. (1964). Pine trees and politics:
The naval stores and forest policy in colonial New England, 1691-1775. University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA.
Manning, S.F. (1979). New England masts and the King's
broad arrow. Thomas Murphy, Publisher, Summer Street, Kennebunk, ME.
Revised edition by Tilbury House, Gardiner, ME.
Pike, R.E. (1967). Tall trees, tough
men. New York, NY.
- "To 'twitch' a log is to move it over the ground by brute strength without
benefit of wheels or runners. It is one of those expressions used
by woodsmen which harks back to the mast trade." (pg. 24).
Smith, David Clayton. (1971). Lumbering
and the Maine woods: A bibliographical guide. Maine Historical Society,
National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the State
of Maine. (date unknown). A catalyst for independence: The mast trade
in the Province of Maine. Tate House, Portland, ME.
Thurston, F.G. (1940). Three centuries of Freeport, Maine.
- "This twelve minute video relates the history of the mast trade, how it
affected the economic and social development of the region and planted
the seeds of a revolution."
Wood, Richard G. (1935). A history of lumbering in
Maine, 1820-1861. University Press [of Maine], Orono, ME. Reprinted
on April 10, 1961 in The Maine Bulletin, Maine Studies No. 33. IS.
- Some quotes about the mast trade excerpted from this book can be found
in our information file on lumbering