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I Forge Iron

George Washingtons forge being rebuilt.

Steve Sells

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"Bond of Iron" describes a VA iron smelter which ran between the rev war and the ACW.

Slaves were preferred as workers as they did not show up for work drunk. The owner used to hire slaves from other people as he did not have enough to cover the needed jobs.

It also quotes original documents that slaves did have a say in what they were hired out for as an owner refused a second contract for one of her slaves as he "didn't like it there"; also the manager offered to pick up some material for one of the slaves while he was in the big town...

It's an interesting read and gave a very different window on the pecular institution in just what was recorded in this one incidence.

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While I am firmly against bondage of any sort, I think it may be preferable to trying to convince my wife to hold the end of a 3/4 piece of stock 12 ft long so the tripod forge doesnt tip over, then try and explain that time is of the essence when working stock like that out of my pitifully undersized forge. :p

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My wife would sell me if I suggested that she should help in the forge! (Cheap!).

OTOH a third hand with a roller between the upper sidebars and a swiveling top can help you a lot.

I'm a good chunk Irish and when they went to dig canals through the quartzite regions of VA, the slave owners refused to hire their slaves for the job as it results in silicosis, saying "hire the Irish instead, nobody cares if they live or die". So I know where on the social scale we counted back then...

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