Peninsula Enterprise, February 13, 1886


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Newspapers

The last issue of the Eastern Virginian contains the announcement, that the former proprietors have assumed control of it again. The change will be gratifying to many of its old subscribers.


Moral -- Murder

John R. Sturgis was taken by the sheriff and a guard of three to his home on yesterday to enable him to arrange some business matters of importance, prior to his departure for Richmond.


Transportation -- Water - Aids to navigation

A Bill has been introduced into Congress by Hon. Thos. Croxton, "for the relief of John W. Mears, who was unjustly fined $200 for not exhibiting a light on the schooner Tilton, of Onancock, Va."


Tourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Fraternal orders

The administrator of Wm. T. Bullen, lately deceased, has received a check of $2,000 from the Ancient Order of United Workmen. The deceased was a member of lodge of that order in Pocomoke City, Md.


Transportation -- Road - Liveries

Accomac C. H.

Mr. B. T. Melson, has recently improved his livery outfit by four new carriages and proposes to continue to add to it in every respect until it is superior to any on Eastern Shore. Few, if any livery stables are better prepared to accommodate the public now, or on more liberal terms.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Grist mills


The mill-house of Mr. Edward T. Downing, located near here on site known as "Frog Pond," was burned accidentally on the 3rd inst., with a loss to him of about $260.


Weather -- Snow storms


The jingling of sleigh bells during the late snow gave a new life to our town. Our people entered into the amusements which the snow brought with a zest, which showed that every season has its pleasures, if people would only keep their hearts warm and joyous enough to appreciate its blessing. The fine sleighing turnout of Mr. Allie Johnson attracted special attention which the fair sex patronized so liberally, that the conclusion is inevitable, that either "it" or he were irresistible.

Board of Supervisors.

Infrastructure -- Public - Government : TaxationTransportation -- Railroad - Regulation

The Board of Supervisors met at Accomac C. H., last Tuesday as advertised in THE ENTERPRISE. The following shows the result of their labors:

1. Accounts presented against county were audited and allowed.

2. A levy on railroad property in the county was directed -- 10 per cent. for county school purposes, and 10 per cent. for district school purposes in each magisterial district.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Law enforcement

MR. EDITOR. -- In consonance with his message to the legislature, Gov. Wm. E. Cameron transmitted "through the regular channel" a report of "The Board on the Chesapeake and its Tributaries" on the oyster question involving the record in its method of the "oyster navy." Were it not that the Governor has been relegated to private life -- and the times are too hard to joke -- I should show how our late Governor and his political friends enjoyed the navy -- and how utterly nonsensical is the boast he, and his Admiral Foster, made of the wonderful achievements of the "Chesapeake". It was to be hoped that while this steamer's "actual cost" was $585.82 above the entire amount appropriated by the General Assembly, sufficient work had been done by the entire force in the year to equalize her cost at least. But, such is not the fact. To aid her "it was found necessary in pursuance of the act" creating the oyster navy "to hire two schooners at the rate of $300 each per month, to protect Virginia's interest in Pocomoke and Tangier sounds."

This is very pretty. On paper it sounds well. But, ah! the but is here -- the "total revenue" is only $26,966.55 -- and the aggregate cost of service has been to October 1st, 1885, $12,861.31. -- Thus leaving the State the small minus debt of only $12,724.51 -- and we are gravely told in the report signed by Wm. C. Cameron, President of the Board on the Chesapeake and its Tributaries:

"This shows that, under the present system, criticized as it has been, the oyster beds have been protected, stealage has been prevented, individual industry has been satisfied, and the income to the State has been immeasurably increased." We can only say, from such another year of industry and increase, good Lord deliver us. To have a literary expert to pen reports is all well -- but he should be also honest enough to show shortage.

"Captain-in-Chief" Foster adds his mite of report to that of the President. We have every reason to believe that he is a humorist of the first water -- and we are satisfied that in penning this report to the "President of the Board" his jolly sides shook with laughter. He says, "during the past year I have travelled over 25,000 miles of territory." Herein he is equal almost, to "Sinbad, the sailor." But he adds what I am sorry I must deny -- not that his report may be invalidated, but that "Sinbad" Foster may correct his figures of speech, at least. There are 12 to 15 creeks on the bay shore of these counties, and as many on the sea shore, yet except Pocomoke and Tangier sounds, he has never been in these waters at all, (and in them all "oysters grow!") Have you sir?

The "Captain-in-Chief" recommends certain improvements in the "Chesapeake" -- but at the same time declares he is "prepared to tackle on to anything that floats in the Chesapeake bay, other than a man-of-war." Good! Let the improvements come out of the minus debt now owing of $12,724.51.

"Brag is a good dog, but Holdfast is a better." We had once an oyster navy. It consisted as this one of three vessels, -- three little steam tugs costing everything told, much less than the "Chesapeake" alone. The first fiscal year that navy paid into the treasury $46,122.07 less $25,824.04, and this difference paid the investment.

More, when by law, it died it left to its credit in the treasury over $200,000 -- clear of expenses. More, when the steamers were sold they added to the amount due the State. And yet more, not a report was made that did not deal with the oyster question other than as a scapegoat for junketing and travel -- notably the splendid reports of Capt. O. A. Browne to Auditor Taylor.

Our present navy is very good to talk about, its net income is a minus balance, its steamer nice to go on from Norfolk to Matthews, but its application to work and revenue, and its knowledge of the "oyster fundum" is laughable.


P. S. -- Won't the legislature give us $30,000 more to "monkey" with?

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
February 13, 1886