Extracts of WEEKLY STANDARD (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Transcribed and Posted by Myrtle Bridges
February 09, 2003
Jan 15, 1862 Issue:
The Western Carolinian complains of the disappointment of the people in that region in getting salt
from Virginia Salt-springs. Many wagons had returned from the works with only about 20 bushels of salt.
It says the government has ousted the proprietors for their infidelity to their obligations, and will
manufacture both for the government and the people. We have seen no other notice of such arrangement.
March 12 1862 Issue:
Salt.-The State Convention passed an ordinance to encourage the manufacture of salt in the interior
of the State. Has any thing been done towards it yet? We have heard nothing from it. The making of
salt ought to be commenced in Onslow and on Topsail Sound, where the enemy would be less likely to
discover and break it up. The want of salt is te be felt worse during this year than last, from present
appearances. The Federals could in no way so effectually conquer us, as by depriving us of salt. Let
the matter be considered and acted upon.
March 26, 1862 Issue:
Salt!-Salt!-The most earnest and careful attention of the authorities and people of North Carolina
should be directed to securing a supply of salt. Cut off as we are likely to be from the ocean, it
must be obtained from mines or springs. There is not enough in the State to last longer than six
months, perhaps, if that. Without salt man and beast will become diseased and die. The origin of
Asiatic cholera, which started in the British possessions in India, it will be recollected, was
attributed to the embargo laid on the importation of salt into those provinces by the British
government. Let the authorities look to it at once.
April 02, 1862 Issue:
Salt-The greatest difficulty in the way of the South in the present struggle, is the want of salt.
Every means to obtain a supply of this article should be resorted to. We can do without many things,
but salt is a vital article.
April 15, 1862 Issue:
The scarcity of Salt is already beginning to be felt throughout this State. Letters received by us the
past week speak discouragingly of the scarcity in our upper Counties especially. What is to be done?
We urged a few weeks ago the importance of this matter. What is the result of the examinations in the
State for sale springs? If Dr. Emmons or any one else has any information on this subject, it would be
doing a service to the public to publish it. We have suggested the importance of making salt in Onslow
County, and Topsail Sound.-They are not convenient to railroad, but they are more out of the reach of
the enemy. Could it not be made on New River, Onslow, and on Topsail Sound, and about Shallotte, in
Brunswick County? Something must be done to provide this necessary article.
April 16, 1862 Issue:
Five Thousand Dollars Reward for Salt. Gov. Brown, of Georgia, has offered a reward of $5,000 to any
person or persons who will discover any salt springs or salt wells, to be located at least ten miles
from the cost, and to be capable of yielding three hundred bushels per day.
May 14, 1862 Issue:
We learn there is a slat marsh covering about 30 acres in Bladen County from which it is thought salt
water can be obtained which will produce considerable salt. During the dry season the salt is seen on
the marsh grass. We hope proper examination of it will be made at once. The people must have salt.
June 04, 1862 Issue:
DOMESTIC SALT. We have in our office a specimen of salt, taken from the surface of the ground on the plantation
of Mr. Harris Tysor, near Egypt, in Chatham County, and refined and crystalized by Dr. Emmons, State Geologist.
It is a beautiful specimen. The salt, of a dun color, was brought to this City, in a vial by Mr. Tysor. It is
now white and pure. We learn that there are several spots on Mr. Tysor's plantation that are white with salt,
on the surface; and Prof. Emmons is of opinion that with labor and care, enought salt can be obtained from this
locality to supply the neighborhood.
August 27, 1862 Issue:
SALT! SALT! Our readers and the public will doubtless be interested in the following facts, with which we
have been furnished for publication:
"Gov. Clark, in behalf of this State, has procured from the proprietors of the Virginia Salt Works, an
interest in those works, for the manufacture of salt. The proprietors agreeing to furnish as much brine as
can be used. So the quantity of salt made will be only limited by the amount of labor and machinery employed
by the State.
N. W. Woodfin, Esq., has been appointed superintendent in behalf of the State, and now at Saltville, Va.,
with ample means and authority to erect all the necessary machinery and hire labor: and as his success depends
on the amount of labor he can procure, it is evidently the interest of counties and individuals to assist in
sending up as much laborers as possible for this necessary work. Men with axes to cut wood will receive $20
per month, and teams for hauling from $4 to $5 per day. Employment will be given to all the labor that will
offer, and it affords a fine opportunity to Eastern slaveholders for employment of their slaves in a secure
September 03, 1862 Issue:
A small schooner loaded with salt, on attempting to run into Cape Fear river last week, was captured by the
blockaders. The crew escaped.
September 10, 1862 Issue:
THE SALT QUESTION:-Having read numerous articles in the papers on the manufacture of salt, and that many
of our enterprising planters and citizens are already engaged in making that indispensable article, I
perceive there are many who entertain doubts as to whether it will answer all the purposes of curing
and preserving meats in this climate; which is a very important thing to our planters at this present
time, as they will, early in the fall, commence preparations for putting up their provisions for next
year, and they should know, ere it is too late, whether this salt will answer their wants.
I ask a small space to lay before our people a few important facts in regard to this sea-coast salt
and its proper uses, which I am sure will prove of great value and interest to them. It will save them
time and money; also ensure them a good supply of provisions that will not spoil in this climate.
I have had experience of a number of years in curing, salting and packing all kinds of meats at the
North (previous to this war,) for Southern and Foreign markets, therefore I am able to state, from a
practical knowledge of the various kinds of salt, that the salt being manufactured on our coast and in
the interior, is almost worthless for putting up meats in this climate, unless they use a portion of
coarse Turk's Island Salt with it; for it is not substantial enough to retain its proper strength but
a short time, as it dissolves immediately after putting it into brine or pickle; therefore there is
nothing to sustain the meat. The brine will not preserve the meat unless there is sufficient salt upon
the meat that will not dissolve or evaporate.
I have examined several samples of this sea-coast salt, some of which resemble flakes of snow, and
some is as fine as any ground table salt that I oversaw; but it is no fit for packing meat with. It is
as good as Ashton's or Worthington's Liverpool salt for making brine or rubbing the blood out of the meat,
and it is better for either of the above for family use. It has not the requisite strength for retaining
the virtues of meat packed in brine. It does not contain solids, and there is but one kind of salt that
is suitable for the purpose; that is Turk's Island salt, which is of a hard rocky nature and will not
To put up Mess Beef or Pork with this sine sea-coast salt, is like throwing the meat to the dogs,
for in this warm climate it will spoil in a few weeks, unless every particle of blood is drawn from the
meat, before packing, and none but persons who have had large and extensive experience in curing meat
are capable of judging, for the two most essential points in curing meat is to preserve its real nature
and sweetness, and protect it from generating heat. If the least amount of blood is left in the meat,
the pickle will soon become sour, and the consequence is the meat is bound to spoil.
Northern packers use Liverpool Salt for curing their meats, but not for packing purposes. An this
sea-coast salt being much finer than Liverpool, it is not half as strong, and is only fir for brine and
rubbing meat with, and it requires a double quantity that that of the Liverpool. And I would advise all
our planters who contemplate using this coast salt for curing their Bacon, Hams and shoulders with, to
use double the quantity to that of ordinary Liverpool, otherwise their meat will be a dead loss. I would
also advise them not to attempt to put up Mess Beef with this sea-coast salt, unless they have Turk's
Island Salt to pack it with, as it will prove a perfect failure in this climate.
The majority of our planters will only cure Bacon this fall, therefore I propose giving them a receipt
for putting up the best quality of Bacon and Sugar-cured Hams that ever came to the Southern market, and
put up with sear-coast salt:
For putting up Bacon and Sugar-cured Hams
Let our planters, after killing their hogs, follow this simple method of cutting them up; divide
the carcase into two halves as usual, then separate the hams and shoulders from the sides, take each
side and divide it in four parts by cutting lengthwise and across through the middle, making two flank
and two back pieces each side. By cutting this way, you do not have the spare ribs, to "gnaw over," but
make your bacon much sweeter.
To cure them, rub them thoroughly with salt, in all the open places and elsewhere, then pile them up
on some boards properly arranged, so as to let them drain, being careful that the flies do not sting them,
allow them to remain so for two days, then pack them into a barrel or hogshead, (according to the quantity
you wish to cure,) till it is ¾ full, then fill it up with pickle*, putting some kind of pressure on top,
to keep the meat below the surface of the brine, let it remain this way for two weeks, then take out the
pieces and let them drain, then put them into an empty barrel again without any salt, and fill it up with
sugar pickle, and let them remain so for a week or ten days, then take them out and hang them up in the
smoke-house, and smoke them gradually for four to six days. Corn cobs make the best smoke. They should,
after hanging in the smoke house for a week or so, be taken down and packed in an air-tight cask, and
placed in some dry shed or barn, until required for use or for market.
The above is the original Northern process of curing "Sugar-cured Hams," and if our planters desire
a choice stock of well cured hams and bacon, they will obtain them by following the above process.
By this method of curing, 2,000 lbs. Of choice, sweet bacon can be put up at the low cost of $20,
reckoning all the things used at the present high rate of prices. The cost being one cent per pound for
curing from 100 lbs. To 50,000 lbs., and that, too, as fine and choice meat as ever came to this market.
Now, if this is not worthy the notice of our planters, then I must say that "salt won't save them."
There are other processes of curing and putting up Mess Beef, Mess Pork, Smoked Beef, Dry Salted
Meats, &c., by Northern packers for foreign markets, which I should be happy to bring before our planters
and citizens, provided it will meet with your approval. Respectfully yours, Westphalia.
*This pickle is made as follows: To 20 gallons of water, add 70 lbs. of sea coast salt, (if Liverpool salt,
half the quantity); add 7 lbs of the cheapest kind of sugar; add ½ lb. Saltpeter and ½ lb. saleratus of
Put them in a large kettle and boil by a brisk fire, keeping it well stirred till the scum commences
to rise, then skim the scum off till it ceases to rise, after which it should be put into a barrel to cool.
The pickle which remains in the barrel will be ½ blood, and should be immediately reboiled over, taking
the scum and blood off as fast as it rises to the top. When the scum ceased to rise, the pickle will become
very clear. It is then carefully dipped out, as a great part of the blood adheres to the side and bottom
of the kettle. And should be kept from mixing with the pickle again. This pickle, when cold, is poured upon
the meat. But under any circumstances, never pour warm or hot pickle upon meat.
This sugar pickle is simply the same as above, except that there is a double quantity of sugar added
when the meet comes to this process of cure.
November 5, 1862 Issue
We asked a merchant the other day if he had any salt, and he replied that he had it at $100 per sack. We
presume it was to sell on commission, the owner demanding that price for it. Can the speculators in salt
and other articles of
necessity, hope for mercy in the day of retribution, especially when the salt makers
on the coast are making 3,000 bushels per day?
We learn that Col. T. G. Whitaker, the Salt Commissioner of this County, has purchased 6,000 bushels of
salt at the State salt works in Virginia, and when delivered here, it will be sold at $2.50 per bushel. The
fear is that it may be delayed in coming. We hope, when it does come, some just rule will be established for
the disposition of it, so that all who need it most will get some of it.
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