Peninsula Enterprise, September 23, 1893


Transportation -- Water - Steamboats

The gasoline boat William A. Winant is now making regular trips between Pocomoke City and several points on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and is doing, it is stated, a paying business.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Law enforcement

Schooner George T. Garrison, belonging to Charles E. Lewis and brothers, was captured by Capt. William E. Hudgins, commander of steamer Chesapeake, of Virginia oyster navy, on last Tuesday in Coan river, and by him taken to Messongo on Wednesday. She was taken on information furnished by Capt. John Gaskins, for violation of our oyster laws in March last, and will be held by the authorities of Accomac until the charges against her are disposed of.


Infrastructure -- Utilities - TelegraphTransportation -- Railroad - Other

The New York, Philadelphia & Norfolk Railroad Company has commenced the work of repairing the cable between Cape Charles and Cape Henry, recently purchased by the company.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Law enforcement

The State oyster gunboat Chesapeake, with her new commander, Captain William E. Hudgins, at the wheel, left Norfolk, last Saturday, at 3 o'clock, for a cruise of the oyster grounds of the State.


Infrastructure -- Public : ChurchesMoral -- Other

We are requested by Rev. J. W. Nicholson to say, that the disturbance of public worship at Guilford Church last Sunday night has been placed in the hands of the Commonwealth's Attorney and will be investigated by the grand jury, and punished to the fullest extent of the law. Also, that the disturbing parties are known and witnesses to prove the charge.


Tourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Excursions

A jolly party of six, consisting of G. Walter Mapp and sisters, Misses Madeline and Ada, Keller, Misses Florence and Marion Johnson, of Horntown, and Mr. Harry Mears, of Keller, left for the World's Fair, on Thursday, to return via Niagara Falls about the first of October.


African-Americans -- SocietyTourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Fairs

The colored "Fair of Improvement" which has been in progress near Deep Creek during the week, drew a large attendance on each of the four days in continued.


Tourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - BicyclingInfrastructure -- Commercial - Commercial construction

Belle Haven.

Mr. William J. Duncan, our townsman, no longer claims the championship in bicycle riding, since Mr. Forest Davis rode the mile in 1:30.

Lumber is being hauled for Kellam Bros' storehouses. Work will begin on same early in October.


Transportation -- Water - Aids to navigationTransportation -- Railroad - SteamboatsTransportation -- Water - WrecksSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : SeasideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : SurveyingProfessionals -- Mariners


The buoy-tender Lizard, of Philadelphia, was here this week with Lighthouse Inspector on board. The lights were inspected and buoys placed in their proper places in these parts.

The new iron steamer, Chincoteague, 110 tons register, 110 feet long, 24 feet beam and draught about 30 inches light, arrived here on Sunday, 10 a. m. She was reported due here some weeks ago but her machinery on the trial trip was not satisfactory and she was taken back to Wilmington to correct defects in same. Now she is in perfect running order and just the boat in all respects that was needed here. Her trial trip to Franklin city on last Monday, was made in 47 minutes. On her arrival she was welcomed with a display of bunting from every boat in our harbor and by cheers of a large assemblage of our people on the boats and wharves and along the shore. Captain John Pruitt, of Stockton, Md., had the honor of being the first commander of the handsome craft.

Sloop William Sherman, Capt. Alfred Lewis, was blown ashore during the night of the 15th inst., four miles of Fenwick Island, and is a total loss. She was loaded with fish scrap worth about $400, and the boat, worth about $1,000 and cargo belonged to Capt. John W. Bunting. The cargo was saved.

Mr. D. F. White, county surveyor, is here this week making survey of oyster grounds.

Capt. Joseph Pruitt and Pilot Joseph Gray, have resigned the positions of captain and pilot, respectively, on steamer plying between this place and Franklin city. The former will move his family soon to Chincoteague and open a store of general merchandise here -- the latter will go to Philadelphia and accept a position of pilot on a boat there.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideInfrastructure -- Public : ChurchesInfrastructure -- Public : Schools

Marsh Market.

Early on last Monday morning Messongo channel was white with the sails of canoes and other boats, bound to the oyster beds in Pocomoke Sound.

Rev. J. L. King baptized 13 persons at Pipestay landing last Sunday. About eight hundred men, women and children were there.

A revival meeting is in progress at the M. E. Church, South, Onley station, conducted by Rev. D. J. Traynham, pastor, with twenty conversions up to date and unabated interest in the meeting.

The trustees of Atlantic district, who recently appointed Mr. E. C. Kellam to be principal of the graded school at Greenbackville, were visited last Saturday by a number of the school patrons, who earnestly requested them to change their former decision relative to Mr. Kellam. They did so in justice to him and his patrons and re-appointed him to Copes school, No. 13, where he taught last session.


Infrastructure -- Public : SchoolsTransportation -- Water - Sailboats


Margaret Academy opened on Wednesday, with 105 pupils in attendance, the largest number on first day in the history of all the schools in the town. Fifty more pupils are expected in a week or so and it is thought the number may be increased to 200 or more before the session is very far advanced. All parts of the Shore are represented.

Fleets of sail vessels ply regularly from here to Baltimore Thursday and Saturday and to Washington every Saturday from Crockett's dock.


reprinted from Baltimore Sun, September 19.Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : LitigationInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Maryland-Virginia boundary

Pocomoke And Tangier [illegible] the State of Virginia.

Every Claim of Virginia in Contention Held to be [illegible].

All the points in the contest between citizens of Maryland and Virginia over the catching of oysters in Pocomoke and Tangier sounds and involving the construction of the compact of 1785 between the two States were decided against Maryland in an opinion filed yesterday by United States Judges Goff and Hughes.

The cases involved were those of Robert L. Wharton and Severn Nelson, convicted of unlawfully catching oysters in Pocomoke Sound, and of William W. Marsh, convicted of the same offense in Tangier sound. All three are citizens of Maryland [illegible] their cases were heard on habeas corpus at Richmond.

The opinion was delivered in Baltimore to suit the convenience of counsel, and was read by Judge Hughes. It deals principally with the cases of Wharton and Nelson, who were convicted at Drummondtown, Va., on the 25th of April, and were sentenced to pay a fine of $500. Their defense was that being citizens of Maryland they had the right to take oysters in the sound under the compact of 1785, as the Virginia oyster law had not been ratified by Maryland.

The opinion states that a great mass of documentary evidence and historical literature was filed by counsel on both sides, and it describes at length the oyster properties of Pocomoke sound and the laws enacted by Virginia for the protection of the oyster interests of that State. The conclusion reached by the Judges is that the oysters in Pocomoke sound will soon be destroyed unless laws for their protection are passed and stringently enforced, and that in order to preserve and increase the supply in is necessary to allow private ownership in the oyster plants, subject at the pleasure of Virginia to such taxation as entails upon the State the duty of protecting the taxed oyster properties by police and penal laws.

The defense set up is declared to be technical only, and it is also declared that for 108 years Virginia and Maryland, by their non-action , have given practical refutation to the contention of counsel for the petitioners that any grant of a common right of fishing in the Pocomoke river was intended in sections 7 and 8 of the compact. The opinion then quotes an opinion adverse to the claims on Maryland, given by the late I. Nevitt Steele, upholds the Virginia law and declares that the claim of identity between Pocomoke river and sound is untenable.

The defense in the case of Marsh was that the boundary line near Hurley's Rock, where the oysters were taken in, is doubtful, and that he should have been tried in Maryland, under the tenth section of the compact. The opinion says that the commission appointed by the two States in 1877 removed all doubts from this part of the line, as well as others and the defense is inadmissible.

Wharton, Nelson and Marsh are remanded to the custody of the sheriff of Accomac county, Va. Their cases will probably be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States for the purpose of having the dispute finally settled, in accordance with an act of the Legislature of Maryland.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : LitigationInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Maryland-Virginia boundary

In an opinion filed by United States Judges Hughes and Goff, of the United States District Court, in Baltimore, on last Monday, all the points in controversy between citizens of Maryland and Virginia over the catching of oysters in Pocomoke and Tangier sounds, and involving the construction of the Compact of 1785, were decided in favor of Virginia. The opinion was not only adverse to the claims of Maryland, but the judges in delivering it, emphasized it, by declaring that the defense set up by that State was technical only. In arriving at their conclusions, no doubt seems to have existed in their minds, in whatever aspect the questions before them were considered, nor was victory less decisive and complete expected in Virginia by anyone at all conversant with the points in controversy between the two States. A reversal of that decision, of course, is not expected by anyone, if in order to gratify a few citizens of Crisfield and vicinity, it is ever passed upon by the Supreme Court of the United States, and it is to be hoped, now that the court has decided in favor of Virginia, that there will be no further depredations committed on the part of our neighbors.

In the decision rendered this State will be benefitted to the extent of millions of dollars and every citizen of the State, especially those of the Eastern Shore, have the right to rejoice over the great victory gained by them, but amid their rejoicing they should not be unmindful of the debt of gratitude due by them to those by whom the victory was achieved. The suggestion is made by us, because of the claim which appears in many of our exchanges, that "the victory Virginia has secured in her suit regarding the oyster interest in Pocomoke Sound is another triumph of Attorney-General Scott, of this State." That he made a gallant fight in the cause we do not deny, but while we would not detract one iota from the honor due to him therefor, it is no great injustice to him to say that the greater honor is due to others -- Hon. John W. Gillett and Mr. James H. Fletcher, Jr., of this county. Nor can the claim we make for the former, be disputed by any one who has ever read the incomparable and unanswerable argument presented by him on the part of Virginia in a pamphlet, entitled, "A Review of the claims of Maryland of the right of her citizens to fish in the waters of Pocomoke Sound." No court could have read it, as the tribunal which rendered the decision did, and not arrive at a correct conclusion as to the rights of Virginia in Pocomoke and Tangier sounds. Nor could any court fail to be impressed by one so thoroughly conversant as Mr. Fletcher was, in the presentation of the questions at issue before them. Indeed we are advised that the speech made by him before the court showed a better knowledge of those questions than that of anyone else and that the decision was in the line of argument made by him. Let us not therefore while we do justice to our able Attorney-General fail to give credit to those, who if not so conspicuous in the fight, rendered such valuable assistance.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
September 23, 1893