Peninsula Enterprise, January 17, 1885


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

Capt. John S. Gaskins of Pocomoke, and Capt. E. J. Corbin of Pungoteague, have been appointed commanders of two of the schooners in our oyster navy, and have been assigned to duty respectively in Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds. Each furnish schooner provisions, crew &c., and are allowed by the Board of Public Works $300 per month for their services, less expenses.


Transportation -- Railroad - OtherInfrastructure -- Public : Fences

Dr. E. W. Goerke will be at Drummondtown one week from Monday, the 19th of January, 1885, to confer with the land owners along the line of the N. Y., P., & N. R.R., in regard to fencing their properties. The Dr. expresses the wish, "that all will come forward promptly, so that an understanding may be had before seed times arrives."


Moral -- Other violent crimeTourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Other

John Dix, one of a serenading party at the wedding of Mr. George Beasley, on the 7th inst. was stabbed by the groom for indignities offered himself and wife.


Farmers -- Farmers' organizations

Capt. O. A. Browne authorizes the announcement, that the members of Matompkin Grange will meet at the Masonic Hall in Drummondtown, on Monday, the 28th inst., at 1 o'clock. -- All farmers are invited to be present to assist in work that interests all agriculturists.


Transportation -- Railroad - FreightInfrastructure -- Commercial - Hotels

Belle Haven.

Messrs. West & Willis are agents for the sale and delivery of coal direct from the mines of Pennsylvania to any station on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Abdell Bros., "our village blacksmiths" and known as the "finest horse shoers" on the Eastern Shore contemplate improvement in their business, and a change of location to another part of our town in the spring.

The hotel of which Mr. George Jacob became the proprietor on 1st of January is to be enlarged in the spring. As proprietor he already ranks among the best on the Eastern Shore. It is rumored that he will give a ball next month.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : MarketsTransportation -- Railroad - FreightInfrastructure -- Public : Sidewalks, etc.Architecture -- CourthousesFields -- Livestock - SheepInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Postal serviceFields -- Crops - White potatoes : Diseases and pests


Since the establishment of the railroad a great many drummers have visited this place from New York.

Capt. Johnson is shipping oysters by the railroad to Philadelphia.

There will be considerable competition between New York and Baltimore for the trade to this town. It being as desirable as any that goes to Baltimore. The merchants may not buy as largely as from some parts, but the credit of the Accomac merchants is second to none in Baltimore, and we think that if the railroad puts the freight down, New York will get considerable of Accomac trade.

Our sergeant is fixing the sidewalk.

Onancock wants the court-house to remain where it is.

Mr. T. W. Parker has quit the mercantile, and gone into the sheep raising business.

A petition is being circulated to retain the mails on the Eastern Shore steamers.

Fear of the ravages of the potato bug will prevent, to a very great extent, the planting of round potatoes.

Oyster Interests.

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

MR. EDITOR: -- Nearly a year ago the Legislature passed "An Act for the preservation of oysters, and to obtain revenue for the privilege of taking them within the waters of the Commonwealth." This Act was "approved March 4th, 1884," and section 52 declares "This Act shall be in force from its passage." To carry out the provisions of this act, section 41 declares, "A Board on the Chesapeake and its tributaries, consisting of the Governor, first auditor and treasurer," is constituted. Section 42 says, "It shall be the duty of such Board, as soon after the passage of this Act as practicable, to cause to be built, or to buy, or charter, not more than one steamer and three sail vessels of the kind and draft, and with said equipments and armament, as may be needed to be used in the execution of the provisions of this Act." Other sections point out the further method of "execution of the provisions of this Act;" while section 47 appropriates "the sum of thirty thousand dollars, to the purchase or charter of the aforementioned fleet" and additional sums are provided for if they should be required. This is in brief the bill as to the construction and government of the oyster navy. What in nearly twelve months has this Board accomplished? It has, with a wasteful and profligate disregard of the interests of all parties concerned, failed to carry out in its spirit and intent the Act. It has wastefully and extravagantly expended $24,500 of the peoples' money in the building of a steamer drawing 8 1/2 feet of water, measuring 110 feet in length, and of 210' tons burthen, and utterly unfit for the purpose for which it was built. It has wastefully, ignorantly and without possible excuse, practically thrown away nearly five-sixths of the money (grudgingly given) for the protection of a vast interest. It has done more to ruin the oyster interest of Virginia, both that of the State and individual, than all other causes combined in the last twenty years. It could have readily purchased a steamer at very far less cost and infinitely better suited for the work intended than the yacht of the "Commander-in-chief of the Naval forces of the State" imposed upon us for no reason we cannot possibly conceive save the desire to pay a high price for a useless article to feed the vanity of an amateur Board of admiralty. Throughout, all that has been done bears the impress of inanity and incompetence. It has transpired that two vessels have been chartered on the Eastern Shore to complete in some measure the proper work of these incompetent and faithless officers. Still we find the work is incomplete because of failure to carry out the law in its spirit, and the result is a practical prohibition of work for the dredgers. The outcome of all this is tyrannous, brutal and unfaithful toward the oystermen, for section 43 provides that only "when the police force established in this bill is fully equipped and in operation," or "when in the judgment of the Board, said police force is sufficient to protect the grounds in which dredging is prohibited, the Board may authorize any resident of the State to take and catch oysters with dredges." So only can our men whose capital and labor are involved, whose bread, and meat, and clothing, and house, and fuel, and that of their wives and children depend on their daily labor, have the means of living. They have been left to the mercy of a Board ignorant and incompetent in every line and possible circumstance in connection with oysters, or any point, parcel, or method connected with an oyster police force, and now are to further suffer because this Board which has either refused to seek knowledge, or seeking it has preferred to be governed by dense ignorance and incompetency, instead of intelligence and experience, and has deprived them, because of this, of legitimate means of work. This Board has failed to do its duty in providing the police force, and because of its own failure, our people are prohibited under penalty of confiscation of vessels and material, and fine or imprisonment -- or all -- from seeking support where but for this unfaithful Board it could be had under protection of law. It is time to call a [illegible]. Under the regime of the Mahoneite-Republican Governor, and the Democratic auditor and treasurer, our oyster interest and our oystermen are suffering violent wrong. Not only are our people being deprived by the incompetency of this Board of a means of livelihood, but our interest must suffer when another general assembly shall be asked for further aid, as it must be, inevitably, to make, under existing circumstances, the oyster police force worth anything to the State, individual or the oyster interest. Our people have submitted to much wrong, and for the peace and general prosperity of the people at large, are willing to yield much. But "patience ceases to be a virtue." They are sick and tired of such wrongs. An end must be put to this continued wrong and injury. We shall, if our people are true to themselves, get rid next fall, utterly and entirely, of the Mahone-Republican junketing Governor, and we absolutely intend to rid ourselves of the incompetents who are with him for evil on this "Board for the destruction of oysters and oyster interests," and in addition every man who may sustain them by vote or confidence.


January 15th, 1885.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
January 17, 1885