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MAHOGANY TREE:

ITS BOTANICAL CHARACTERS, QUALITIES AND USES, WITH
PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS FOR SELECTING AND CUTTING

IT IN THE REGIONS OF ITS GROWTH,

IN THE

WEST INDIES AND CENTRAL AMERICA,

WITH NOTICES OF

THE PROJECTED INTEROCEANIC COMMUNICATIONS OF

PANAMA, NICARAGUA, AND TEHUANTEPEC,

IN RELATION TO THEIR PRODUCTIONS, AND THE SUPPLY OF FINE TIMBER FOR
SHIP-BUILDING AND ALL OTHER PURPOSES;

WITH A MAP AND ILLUSTRATIONS.

AND

AN APPENDIX,

CONTAINING THE DOCUMENTS PRESENTED TO THE

LLOYD'S COMMITTEE OF REGISTRY,

IN FAVOUR OF

THE USE OF MAHOGANY,

FOR THE BUILDING OF FIRST-CLASS VESSELS.

LIVERPOOL:

ROCKLIFF AND SON, 50, CASTLE-STREET.

LONDON:

EFFINGHAM WILSON, 11, ROYAL EXCHANGE.

1857.
340.

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LIVERPOOL: PRINTED BY ROCKLIFF AND SON, 50, CASTLE STREET.

PREFACE.

SOME years ago Mr. EDWARD CHALONER put forward a Pamphlet, on the subject of the preparation of Mahogany for shipment to this country. This met with such a favourable reception, that two editions were soon expended; and many Friends enquiring for such information, it became desirable to reprint it. In so doing, the idea has naturally suggested itself, that it might be made much more interesting, if accompanied with a short sketch of the various places producing the Mahogany Tree, more especially at the present time, when the concentrated attention of the world is turned towards the marvellous development of California, and the Countries bordering the Pacific Ocean; causing the reproduction of various schemes which are now being acted upon to obtain ready access to them by crossing the Central Isthmus of America; and this happens to be precisely the zone in which the Mahogany tree, and other fine and hard woods, exist in great abundance.

From a growing conviction that the period is not remote when the trade in the Tropical Woods of America with this

country may be greatly extended, more especially in that of Mahogany, which, in respect of quality, durability, dimensions, and beauty, greatly exceeds that of all others known to us, we are persuaded the next move of consequence will be directed to that quarter of the world, and that such a trade eventually may be made to approximate in value to that of the Colonial Fir Timber itself, which, comparatively speaking, is but of recent date, and in its origin was promoted by the earlier importers receiving a bounty at the expense of the community, in order to enable them to compete with the Fir trade of the Baltic, which latter continues to this day oppressed with heavy import duties, greatly to the detriment of national interests. Time was, only a few years since, when not more than two or three small cargoes of Firs were imported into Liverpool from America in a year, but its consumption now needs almost such an importation daily. Until the year 1845, Mahogany, although by far the greater portion of it came from British Settlements, did not meet with equality of treatment. It never seemed to have entered the minds of our Statesmen, or even of the Public generally, that it might compete with the Woods of North America or the Baltic in any other manner than as a luxury. Mahogany was loaded with duties, so that by these means it had not a chance of being consumed as a raw material, eoncurrently with the Timber of North America.

However the views of our legislators have become more rational by the alterations of the Tariff which now admits Mahogany free of all duty; an intercourse is encouraged between our possessions and the Countries on the Continent

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