Peninsula Enterprise, January 31, 1885


Watermen -- Personal injury

Smith Joynes, colored, of Custis Neck, this county, left home in his canoe last Tuesday for the purpose of catching a load of oysters. Not returning home at night search was made for him next day and he was found dead on the marsh in a short distance of his home. His boat was adrift a few hundred yards from him. After he abandoned her, it is evident that overcome by fatigue he lay down and was frozen to death.


Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Postal service

Capt. O. A. Browne and Mr. T. W. Taylor of Accomac, and Hon. Thomas Hodson of Crisfield, went to Washington last week, with petitions signed by about 2000 persons, asking the Postmaster General for the continuance of the mail route on the Eastern Shore steamers.


Transportation -- Railroad - Freight

Large quantities of cotton are now being shipped over the N.Y., P. & N. R.R. Recently in two days twenty eight loaded cars accumulated at Cape Charles, and an extra freight train was necessary to take it away.


Moral -- AlcoholTransportation -- Railroad - Personal injury

Riley L. Kelley was found dead along the railroad track near Hallwood station last Wednesday morning. His head was crushed in a manner which caused the belief that he had been killed by the train bound north the night before, and that belief was confirmed by facts developed at the coroner's inquest. The engine sent down by Superintendent McConkey, for the examination of the jury of inquest, had on the cow catcher blood stains and strands of hair which left no doubt as to the manner in which he came to his death. Whether he lay down on the railroad while under the influence of liquor, or did so for the purpose of committing suicide of course can only be a matter of speculation. His presence there is accounted for on both grounds. It is possible that he had frozen to death before the train came along. No blame is laid upon the railroad authorities by any one.


Transportation -- Water - Steamboats

The steamer Maggie recently had a collision with two schooners near Crisfield, and her wheel house was damaged to the extent of about $100. The accident was due to the schooners laying in the channel way having up no lights. -- The officers of the Eastern Shore line of steamers are so competent and careful that it is safe to predict generally, that in case of accident, they are not in fault.


Moral -- Alcohol

Mr. Wm. S. Waterman of Guilford, presented Judge T. C. Parramore and the editor of THE ENTERPRISE last Monday with a bottle of peach brandy, 36 years old. It was distilled by Thomas Tatem, deceased, and purchased by Mr. Waterman of him at the outbreak of the war. On his way home with it, while passing through a thicket it occurred to him to bury it and drink it with the boys in Gray when the South had gained her independence. There it has remained until it was unearthed by him last week. It is useless to say that it is very palatable and its flavor is delicious. So rare a present, of course is highly appreciated and Mr. Waterman has the thanks of both the Judge and Editor for it.


Architecture -- JailsMoral -- AlcoholInfrastructure -- Commercial - Real estate

Northampton County.

On Thursday, 22nd inst., a house on the farm belonging to Mrs. M. A. Taylor of Norfolk, situated in Wilsonia Neck was accidentally burned.

Asa Sweeden, now in jail, sentenced to confinement in penitentiary for 18 years, attempted on Saturday night to escape by burning the jail. He succeeded in getting through the first door, but before he could break or burn the other, was discovered.

Liquor licenses were granted to J. J. Bunting and James K. Badger at last term of court.

The following transfers of real estate have recently been recorded:

Victoria J. Fitchett to Wm. T. Fitchett, Jr., her interest in the land of Denward Fitchett, deceased, near Capeville; $1,200.

G. S. Kendall, special commissioner, sale of 36 acres of Jesse L. Simkins, being his interest in the land of John A. Simkins, deceased, near the town of Cape Charles, to W. & J. D. Thomas; $1,500.

Cornelius Robinson to Maria Philips, 1 acre near Eastville; $40.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Banks


There is an effort on foot to establish a bank here.

The Proposed Chincoteague and Delaware Canal.

reprinted from Baltimore SunTransportation -- Water - Channel and harbor dredgingTransportation -- Water - FreightSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Seaside

The Secretary of war has addressed a letter to Congress covering the preliminary report of a survey made for a coast line canal from Chincoteague Bay, on the eastern boundaries of Accomac county, Va. and Worcester County, Md., to Delaware Bay at or near Lewes. The total amount of navigable waters that would be brought into safe communication by the proposed canal would be, in round numbers, one hundred and fifty miles to the various landings along the creeks and bays, thus giving an outlet to four hundred and fifty miles of territory. The total distance to be improved to render the whole line between the two bays navigable would not exceed sixteen miles. The cost of the improvement which would give a continuous channel seventy feet wide, with a depth of six feet at mean low water, is estimated by the engineers at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and the whole work, it is said, could be completed in about two hundred and fifty working days. The probable amount of freight that would be annually transported over this route by water carriage is put at about one million seven hundred and ninety-five thousand dollars. Of this total the exports, consisting of logs, ties, timber, lumber, cord wood, oysters and grain, would be over a million of dollars, and the exports seven hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars. The cord wood now standing in the woods along the bays and streams, are easily accessible, is said to be "almost inexhaustible," while ship and other timber is found there in great quantities and of superior quality. One effect of the proposed canal would be the drainage it would afford to some of the marshes through which it would pass and stress is also laid on the fact that while the oyster business as now carried on in Chincoteague bay gives employment to over five thousand men, it is capable of being largely increased if its waters are given a northern outlet, thus producing a current that would freshen and relieve the stagnation that now prevents the raising of oysters north of Snow Hill and renders one half of Chincoteague bay valueless for this purpose. The difficulty of improving the soil of the country lying along the bays, and naturally "of good quality, easily worked, and of great original productiveness," arises, according to the report of Engineer Bird, not only from the cost of transporting lime by railroad but because of the distance which it has to be hauled from the railroads to the interior farms. The cost and distance are too great to allow of its use at present, whereas, in his opinion, it would be freely used when with water transportation "it could be cheaply brought almost to the fields by vessels as return freights." Such is the substance of the preliminary survey for an inland coast line water route between Chincoteague and Delaware bays, as authorized to be made by Congress under the provisions of the river and harbor act of July 5th, 1884. This inland canal, it should be understood, is simply for the purpose of giving a free and safe passage between the two bays for small coasting vessels instead of exposing them to the dangers of open sea, and has no connection whatever with the proposed ship-canal from the Choptank river to the mouth of the Delaware, which would prove so valuable to the government for military purposes, and for commercial purposes, to Maryland and many of the interior States.

Sundry Topics.

Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Law enforcementTransportation -- Road - MaintenanceArchitecture -- CourthousesAfrican-Americans -- Other

MR> EDITOR -- In your last issue appears a paper signed "Wm. E. Cameron, President," bearing date "January 6th, 1885," and being a resolution of the "Board on the Chesapeake and its Tributaries" authorizing inspectors to issue licenses to dredge for oysters in the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River," under certain restrictions as to certain lines therein. The date of the paper looks fishy -- inasmuch as its publication here was not until the 21st, and not elsewhere in the public prints until the 18th inst. But this precious Board is very knotty, as well as sappy, and its "ways are as dark, and its tricks as vain" as those of the "heathen Chinee," and fully as "peculiar," so one need not have been surprised to find it dated August 1st, 1884. Nearly a solid month have our oystermen been robbed by this Board of work precious to them and their dependent families, and they have only to accept and make the best of the remnant of time left them. No doubt when the little ones of those hardy "toilers of the sea" left their lisping voices to seek "deliverance from evil" the prominent and perfect impersonation of it with them is the "Board on the Chesapeake and its Tributaries." And no wonder, poor things, it has wrought evil to them. Well will it be if the evil it has done shall not live after it shall have gone into an early and well deserved political grave. The war monster of the oyster navy, the Chesapeake, has we observe lately "thro' the courtesy of the Navy department" at Washington been armed with "two 12 pounder rifled Dahlgreen guns, "and on her return from the Navy Yard these captured five dredging vessels." Let us throw up our caps and congratulate -- but no, the Grand Junketer was not aboard this time and hence, we doubt not, these prizes. Capt. Foster has made a fair beginning, and we trust that he may so discharge his duties that the oystermen may receive their legal due -- and the State justice. He has a field of usefulness before him, and that he may win honors and the State profit therein, every good man must wish. If he had behind him a Board the members of which knew, at least, whether oysters grow on trees, or whether they should have their feathers plucked before eating, and could have forced into their seething brains the truth that a boat drawing 8 1/2 feet of water cannot go into creeks with only 5 feet of water on the bar at high tide, he might have a career; as it is, he must possess his soul in patience until such time as Admiral Skaggs shall run him ashore, and the Maids of the Dancing Molly despoil him.

If one is to judge by the condition of our public roads, an idea must be abroad that the recent extra session of the Legislature passed a law forbidding all work upon them. They are in terrible plight, and, unless it be true that such a law was passed, there is no possible excuse for it inasmuch as we have had an open winter offering abundant opportunity for work. There are a few sections of the county where good roads can be had with so little work, and fewer still where the roads are so disgracefully bad. Let us hope, unless there be a law forbidding work on them, that something may be done to make them more easily passable -- certainly before March term. On this subject much might be said. The road law is no doubt defective in important particulars, but that fact by no means prohibits the overseers from doing their full duty under it. Mere patching of the roads, just prior to the grand jury term, or the little mending needed to put their roads in such a state as to permit the overseers to have successors appointed, is but an evasion of duty. The public would be very glad, Mr. Editor, if you would give the weight of your opinion in this matter, and secure a better state of affairs. We need good roads much worse than we need a new court-house.

The papers are freely discussing the Blair Educational Bill just now, and the belief seems to be well founded that the House will soon take it up for consideration. What will they do with it? What course will the Southern members pursue in the matter? Mr. Tucker seems to be the only Democratic member from this State who is opposed to it. Very many of the ablest lawyers of the country declare it to be constitutional -- and the voices of nineteen-twentieths of the people are raised for it. One thing is very sure, if it becomes a law of the land and shall be skillfully and intelligently handled it will take a heavy load from the South in the education of its vast mass of negro illiterates. The census of 1850 shows there are in the South 2,700,000 negro illiterates, and in the North but 482,000. The same census shows the assessed value of real property in the South was $1,870,736,584; while that of the North was $15,023,019,308. The unequal burden of education can be seen at a glance. "One-ninth of the wealth of the country must bear the burden of educating four-fifths of the illiterate colored." Virginia has paid as her quota of the "infernal revenue" nearly $100,000,000. The Blair Bill will give her $6,000,000. Mr. Editor, this is a matter of vital interest. -- For one, as at present advised, I am heartily in favor of its becoming a law. Let us hear from you on the subject. -- We need light and you can give it.


Accomac, Va., Jan. 28, 1885.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
January 31, 1885