I rather liked his use of the word steeve
, for the OP). We all know stevedore
, for cargo handlers on the docks. But TYBTM
shows in excellent detail how stevedores steeved. Or stove. Anyhow. First, you fill the ship up with as many hides as will possibly fit. Then you take twice again that many hides in packets of five or six, fold them in half over what sounds like a big pizza peel, and use muscle, levers, or tackles to insert them into the hide piles, as deep as they will go. Repeat until the very shape of the hull distorts from the pressure. Then steve in a few hundred more.
He doesn't describe how the hides were removed in Boston. Presumably they just dismantled the ship.
Spelling -- or the more exact term, orthography
-- was largely a invention of mid-seventeenth to eighteenth century busybodies. In England, that meant Puritans and their ilk. Humorless, systematic, and almost completely devoid of creative juices, they believed everyone should speak and write the same and that English should closely resemble Latin and Greek -- even though it is essentially Danish. These same prescriptivists gave us idiot rules like "Never end a sentence with a preposition". With the singular anomaly of Milton -- who managed to be both Puritan and interesting -- that era of English letters is a miserable desert populated by smug little dorks like Pope and Dryden. Good spelling is not good writing.
Dana was (IIRC) High Church Episcopalian, and thus exempt from the orthographic ravings of Noah Webster.