not long content

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HolyUnicorn

Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect
Hello,

And, as these practices grew, the Chesapeake rapidly developed an oyster industry of its own. Resourceful watermen were not long content, needless to say, with loading down Yankee ships and letting them sail off to make the greater profits.

Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay by William W. Warner

Context: Yankees came to take oysters from the Chesapeake because the stocks in New England were almost exhausted.

How can I interpret “not long”?
 
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It means they soon became discontented with unloading(?) Yankee ships.

    In other words, it was not long before they became unhappy with the situation.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    :thumbsup:
    I think loading down means loading here, not unloading, and that the watermen were the people who were growing the oysters and selling them to the Yankee ships. They were making some money from this, but became unhappy when they realized that the shippers were making more money than they were.

    I note in WRD that in the Chesapeake Bay Area "waterman" has a specific local meaning: a person with a general license to take any legal catch of fish and shellfish in Chesapeake Bay.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    not long content = not content for long = not happy for long

    They felt like they were doing the hard work and more of the money was going to the Yankee traders who were buying the oysters from them for a low price and selling at much higher prices later. So they decided to develop their own industry - I assume meaning canning their own or otherwise going into the more retail oyster business, somehow, where prices were higher.
     

    HolyUnicorn

    Senior Member
    Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect
    Thanks, e2efour, Edinburgher and kentix.

    I note in WRD that in the Chesapeake Bay Area "waterman" has a specific local meaning: a person with a general license to take any legal catch of fish and shellfish in Chesapeake Bay.
    Yes. Here is what the book says about "waterman". The word soon came to be used more generally in the Chesapeake country to seperate those who had the resources to acquire land and those who didn't and went out on the waters for subsistence.

    They felt like they were doing the hard work and more of the money was going to the Yankee traders who were buying the oysters from them for a low price and selling at much higher prices later. So they decided to develop their own industry - I assume meaning canning their own or otherwise going into the more retail oyster business, somehow, where prices were higher.
    Amazing, kentix. It is exactly what the writer is talking about. :thumbsup:
     
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