Peninsula Enterprise, February 24, 1894


Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Postal service

The post office at Cobb's Island . . . has been discontinued, the mail going to Cheriton.


Moral -- Alcohol

Petitions have been presented to the legislature by Delegate Russell, from citizens of Hallwood and New Church, protesting against the meddling with the local option law.


Moral -- Other violent crime

Thomas Willett, sentenced to eight years in the penitentiary for malicious cutting by the county court of Accomac, in November 1890, has been pardoned on account of ill health by the Governor of Virginia.


Infrastructure -- Public : Churches

The Virginia Annual Conference recently "bracketed" Cobb's Island Mission with Wachapreague Circuit. Rev. James A. Crowder, a former pastor, has been placed in charge of the mission. Last week he was present at the Quarterly Conference for Wachapreague Circuit and on Sunday last preached an able sermon at Garrison's Chapel.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : SeasideInfrastructure -- Commercial - Insurance companiesTourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Fraternal ordersWatermen -- Personal injury


Mr. Major Jones has just returned from an oyster collecting tour to the northern cities and reports collection slow.

Our truckers are busy this week planting round potatoes, peas and other small seeds.

Mr. Reuben G. Phipps is in Pittsburgh, Pa., this week, for the purpose of assisting Mrs. William K. Collins in getting $2000 due to her on policy of her husband, in the Order of Golden Chain, of which he was a member at the time he was drowned in the gale of February 22d, 1893.


Infrastructure -- Utilities - TelegraphTransportation -- Railroad - OtherTransportation -- Water - Wharves


The following preamble and resolution were adopted at a meeting of the citizens of Mappsburg and vicinity, held at this place last Saturday:

Whereas, The business interest generally of Mappsburg community and the interests of the potato growers particularly, are suffering from the lack of telegraphic facilities, depriving us of the benefit of a home cash market for our sweets, a generally admitted great advantage and enjoyed by nearly every station along the N. Y., P. & N. R. R., many of which ship a less number of barrels of sweets that Mappsburg,

Resolved, That we, the business men and sweet potato growers of Mappsburg and vicinity, earnestly request the management of the N. Y., P. & N. R. R. Co., to give us at an early date, a telegraphic service, pledging ourselves to promote and encourage such service as far as our business interests will permit.

The schooner Bill Nye, arrived at Hog Island from Poplar Island, last Monday, with piles for the government wharf to be built there. Work on same will be commenced at once.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideInfrastructure -- Public : Street lights


Capt. Thomas Johnson has been shipping all the oysters he could buy at the dock, for weeks.

The street lamps continue to go out one at a time. Sergeant Riley is on the war path.


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

Two Vessels and Their Crews Captured.

Marylanders, for the most part from Smith's Island, who of late have shown a bolder determination than usual to depredate upon the oyster beds of Virginia, were prevented by Capt. Reed and crew, of police boat Tangier, until last Saturday. On that day, however, they did not propose to be driven off and brought with them a fleet of about 30 boats, manned with about 150 men, to carry out their purpose to dredge on Woman's Marsh, on Virginia side, and when informed by Capt. Reed that they were in Virginia answered him with a storm of bullets. An engagement resulted which was continued until the powder of Capt. Reed was exhausted, when he was compelled to withdraw. Dropping the police boat down to Tangier Island and securing a keg of powder, Capt. Reed returned and renewed the fight, but was compelled to withdraw a second time, because his supply of cannon ball had given out. In the meantimes Capt. Reed had sent a dispatch to Capt. Hudgins, of steamer Chesapeake, and waited at Tangier Island, until his arrival on last Monday, when Capt. Reed and crew being taken on board, steamer Chesapeake was pointed immediately for Woman's Marsh and another engagement followed which resulted in the defeat of the oyster pirates and a hasty retreat for Maryland line. The Chesapeake poured volley after volley at the retreating vessels, sinking, it is reported, one vessel and putting balls through the cabins and hulls of others. In their precipitate flight two of the vessels ran ashore on Smith's Island and were captured with their crews, consisting of eighteen men. The captains escaped in their yawl boats. The captured schooners are the C. W. Stevenson and the William E. Price, both of Smith's Island, Maryland. The captured dredgers are in Accomac county jail. No one was killed or wounded, so far as we are advised, in this engagement, but in the fight on last Saturday a ball from the pirates passed through the hat of Capt. Reed, inflicting a slight scalp wound.

Mass-Meeting at Marsh's Wharf.

Sea -- Shellfish - Crabbing : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Crabbing : LegislationSea -- Shellfish - Crabbing : Law enforcementSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Planting

On Monday, February 19th, the crabscrapers of above neighborhood held a mass-meeting for the purpose of asking our representatives in the General Assembly to pass a crab law. The meeting was called to order by Capt. John W. Marsh, who, after stating the purpose of the meeting was nominated and elected chairman, and Fred E. Runge, secretary. Capt. Marsh then read a letter received from our representatives in the House of Delegates asking the people's opinion on a crab law. The following resolutions placed before the meeting by Capt. John W. Marsh were adopted:

Be it enacted by our General Assembly that each and every boat engaged in the catching of crabs with scrapes pay a tax of fifty cents and pay fifty cents to the oyster inspector for putting a number on their foresail.

On motion it was further resolved that we also recommend, that police boat No. 2 be stationed in Pocomoke Sound to assist in protecting the oyster and crab grounds of this Commonwealth.

It was the sense of the meeting that we also call attention to the great mistake made of some of our people about the thousands of acres, that they proposed to rent out for the purpose of planting oysters, as we are confident that there is not more than one-fourth of the bottoms or vacant grounds that will do to plant oysters on. A large quantity of those bottoms are dead mud, and a much larger quantity are shifting sand, and if you were to plant oysters on such bottoms they would soon cover up in sand and die.

JOHN W. MARSH, Chairman.

FRED RUNGE, Secretary.


Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Maryland-Virginia boundarySea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Litigation

The case of Virginia and Maryland, as to their respective rights in Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds, will come up in the Supreme Court of the United States on Monday, March 5th, and in a few weeks it is likely therefore that the long and bitter controversy of the oystermen of the two States will be judiciously and forever settled. Judges Hughes and Goff, of the United States Circuit Court, recently decided, it will be remembered, that the claim on Maryland to the right of common fishery under the Compact of 1785, in the disputed waters, was not a just one and that their decision will be sustained by the highest tribunal in the land and therefore final, seems to be assured beyond any reasonable doubt.


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

Governor of Virginia, in sending congratulations to Capt. William E. Hudgins, of steamer Chesapeake for the victory gained by him over the oyster pirates in Tangier Sound, last Monday, did a graceful act. He merited, certainly, not only the congratulations and kind words of the Governor on the occasion which called them forth, but will ever be found deserving them in any emergency. It detracts not, however, from the praise due to Capt. Hudgins to say that congratulations to Capt. A. J. Reed for the part taken by him in the oysters fights of late, too, would have been eminently proper. He not only participated in the fight last Monday with Capt. Hudgins, but for weeks, in danger daily of loosing his life has kept an oyster piratical fleet from Maryland at bay and never hesitated to attempt of protect the oyster grounds in Tangier Sound until his ammunition gave out last Saturday. The congratulations of the Governor were due to Capt. Hudgins, but none the less merited by Capt. Reed.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Law enforcementSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Legislation

The special message of Governor O'Ferrall to the General Assembly, on the oyster question, published in this issue, strengthens the good opinion which our people always entertained of him and which made them practically unanimous for him when he was a candidate for the high office now filled by him. It is an interesting paper and worthy the man, whose whole life has demonstrated how sacredly he has always held Virginia's honor and which has always shown the jealous care with which he has watched for, and defended her from any encroachment upon her rights. But pleasing as the message is to every Eastern Shoreman, it can hardly fail to attract the attention of every Virginian and inspire them with the lofty sentiments it contains. Appealing as it does to the patriotism of every son of Virginia and pointing out as it does, so clearly the path in which duty should lead them, all her people must and do approve the manly, patriotic and sensible message of the Governor, who would defend the Commonwealth from those who invade her territory and would despoil her of her rights. The Governor in using the means at his command to protect the oyster beds of the State and in offering suggestions practical and sensible for their better protection has done his whole duty, the people approve his course and concur in his recommendations, and it now remains for our legislators to accept one of the alternatives presented by him in the following:

We should either determine to protect our waters absolutely, or abandon all police surveillance over them and cease our efforts to raise revenue from their products and allow them to become the common ground of the citizens of the commonwealth without restrictions and the preying ground of every predatory craft that may please to enter them.

That the members of the Legislature, now that the matter has been brought so forcibly to their attention, will have no difficulty in determining which alternative they will accept, the latest advices received indicate. The Legislature will make, it is stated, an appropriation for the enlargement of the Virginia oyster navy, in line with the suggestions made by our Chief Magistrate.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
February 24, 1894