Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/187

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Confederate Drug Conditions. 183

rhoea, chronic hysteria, diarrhoea, rheumatism, cynanche, tonsil- laris and asthma. The powder of the bark, mixed with lard, was a remedy in painful hemorrhoids, and used as a fomentation in pro- lapsus uteri and ani, and for deflections in these parts.

I quote from an article of Dr. Daniel Lee, in the Southern Field and Fireside of 1860: " It is poor economy for the South to destroy all its valuable tan-bark in clearing oak land, cutting rail timber and firewood, and thereby deprive our descendants of the power to manufacture their own leather. To send a million dollars worth of hides to the North, have them tanned into leather, made into shoes, boots, saddles and harness for Southern consumption, is to pay about eight million dollars for the support of that Northern economy which never wastes the bark that grows on oak and hemlock trees, and that industry which turns this bark into gold." Such advice as the following was published: " Every farmer ought to save all the tan-bark that he can, for we speak advisedly when we say that the Confederate States are even now short of oak bark if they are to manufacture all the leather they are to consume in saddles, bridles, harness, saddle-bags, buggy and carriage harness, caps and hat linings, book bindings, boots and shoes. Since the mechanical trades are essential to our happiness, we should encour- age our sons to become scientific mechanics as well as farmers, lawyers, doctors, priests and soldiers."

As substitutes for hemp the following were used: The sunflower stalk, Asclepias syriaca, Urtica diaecia and Yucca filamentosa, or bear grass. The juice of the skin of the blue fig made a red ink. Fig twigs were used as pipe stems. Rope was made of wahoo (Ulmus alata), and used in baling cotton. Wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) was employed in making candles, and as a basis for fine soap. The soap was obtained from the berries by boiling and skimming. Four pounds of the wax made forty pounds of the soap, with other ingredients counted. Candles made by the addi- tion of grease are of a green color. Says the Charleston Courier of 1 86 1 : " We have been so long dependent on our Yankee ene- mies for soap and candles that we have forgotten that we can make them ourselves. To our shame, we admit that even on our plan- tations in the low country and seaboard there are abundant materials for making the best candles in the world, but millions of pounds have been permitted annually to decay unused. The low bush myrtle, indigenous to our coast from Virginia, ad libitum, south,