How many silver bars can a raft made of whole logs bear?

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I am writing a novel and know I need physics to figure out a plot point , but I am not proficient in that subject so am turning to the expert community to see if someone can help.

It is 1845. We have six thousand silver bars, each ten pounds, to move by river about 140 miles downstream. I have lots of Indian labor who will build rafts of whole pine logs to stack the bars on and pole them down the river. There will be about 9 people on the raft as well.

How many barges of what size would we need, each carrying how much weight?

This is fiction, so we can make all kinds of assumptions. But I want it to be realistic. I don't want one of you reading my book someday and start laughing at my lack of physics knowledge!

Thanks, Fain
 
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Bill_K
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Sixty thousand pounds is a helluva lot of weight! Roughly equal to maybe 25 automobiles. How many automobiles would you intuitively imagine one of your log barges is capable of carrying? Well it depends on how big you make them, but I have trouble picturing more than one automobile per barge. The more the better, but I'd say at least 20-30.
 

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