Two Years Before The Mast A Personal Narrative Of Life At Sea By Richard Henry Dana, Jr.





























































































































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Having filled the ship up, in this way, to within four feet of
her beams, the process of steeving commenced - Page 390
Two Years Before The Mast A Personal Narrative Of Life At Sea By Richard Henry Dana, Jr. - Page 390 of 618 - First - Home

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Having Filled The Ship Up, In This Way, To Within Four Feet Of Her Beams, The Process Of Steeving Commenced,

By which an hundred hides are got into a place where one could not be forced by hand, and which

Presses the hides to the utmost, sometimes starting the beams of the ship, resembling in its effects the jack-screws which are used in stowing cotton. Each morning we went ashore, and beat and brought off as many hides as we could steeve in the course of the day, and, after breakfast, went down into the hold, where we remained at work until night. The whole length of the hold, from stem to stern, was floored off level, and we began with raising a pile in the after part, hard against the bulkhead of the run, and filling it up to the beams, crowding in as many as we could by hand and pushing in with oars; when a large "book" was made of from twenty-five to fifty hides, doubled at the backs, and put into one another, like the leaves of a book. An opening was then made between two hides in the pile, and the back of the outside hide of the book inserted. Two long, heavy spars, called steeves, made of the strongest wood, and sharpened off like a wedge at one end, were placed with their wedge ends into the inside of the hide which was the centre of the book, and to the other end of each, straps were fitted, into which large tackles were hooked, composed each of two huge purchase blocks, one hooked to the strap on the end of the steeve, and the other into a dog, fastened into one of the beams, as far aft as it could be got.

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