- From my limited reading on colonial shipping I have found that ships going
back to Europe left from N.A. with logwood as the main cargo. One could
assume that the logwood (used for dye) could serve as ballast and cargo.
The other item I came across was the use of fine sand as dunnage or ballast.
The sand, a fine, reddish sand, was said to be the same as used in hour
glasses. Perhaps this was unloaded as well at port and sold.
Also consider that finished goods came from Europe to N.A. Raw materials
where shipped out from here back to Europe. Perhaps the raw materials
weighed more and therefore less ballast was needed for the return trip?
Ballast might have been the bricks or paver stones that line the streets of
Boston yet today.
Many thanks for those who answered about Brick dust.