THE MAKING OF CLAPBOARDS
THERE is far greater labor required in the making of
clapboards, and it is of a wearisome kind; but Captain
Newport declares that clapboards made of our Virginia cedar
are far better in quality than any to be found in England.
Therefore it is Captain Smith keeps as many men as he may,
employed in this work, which is more tiring than difficult.
The trunks of the trees are cut into lengths of four feet,
and trimmed both as to branches and bark. An
 iron tool called
a frow, which is not unlike a butcher's cleaver, is then used
to split the log into thin strips, one edge of which is four
or five times thicker than the other.
You will understand better the method by picturing to yourself
the end of a round log which has been stood upright for
convenience of the workmen. Now, if you place a frow in
such a position that it will split the thicknesses of an
inch or less from the outer side, you will find that the
point of the instrument, which is at the heart of the tree,
must come in such manner as to make the splint very thin on
the inner edge. The frow is driven through the wood by a wooden
mallet, to the end that the sides of the clapboard may be fairly
Master Hunt has told me that if we were to put on board a
ship the size of the John and Francis, as many clapboards
as she could swim under, the value of the cargo would be no
less than five hundred pounds, and
 they would have a ready
sale in London, or in other English ports.