Tapping pines for turpentine.

Harper’s was not the only illustrated periodical. Ballou’s Pictorial had a short run the decade before the Civil War and on 12 May 1855 published a feature on North Carolina. The illustration above and description below depict a scene — other than the ship — that would have been commonplace in Wilson County:

“The yeoman with the axe has been engaged in ‘tapping’ these pines to obtain the crude turpentine, which exudes in great abundance. The negro hands are busy in directing its flow into the bung-holes of the barrels rolled against the trees for the purpose. A negro in the middle distance is making an incision in the hole of a pine tree with an axe. In the distance we behold a loaded ox-team with its driver, and far off a vessel laden with the exports of the State, under full sail. The turpentine in the form of tar and pitch is exported in great quantities and gives employment to between two and three thousand men.”

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