Peninsula Enterprise, January 21, 1888


Sea -- Finfish - Methods : Pound-netNatural resources -- Conservation - ResourcesSea -- Finfish - Legislation

A meeting, of the citizens of Accomac and Northampton opposed to the repeal of the fish laws was held at Cape Charles, last Wednesday. A resolution was passed unanimously that a committee be appointed and instructed to proceed to Richmond at once and to protest against the repeal of the law. -- Dr. John T. Wilkins and Joshua Warren of Northampton and Mr. Thomas L. Carmine, of Accomac were appointed as the committee.


Transportation -- Railroad - Corporate

We learn through a telegram to the Baltimore Sun that active efforts are being made by parties on the Eastern Shore of Maryland to establish a railroad to the Va. line -- with the ultimate view of a through line to Cape Charles or thereabout. At a meeting at Denton, Md., on the 18th, resolutions were adopted looking to the securement of articles of incorporation and pledging Caroline county to $100,000 to be expended on her limits. The signs point to the B. & O. as having "a finger in the pie."


Transportation -- Railroad - Corporate

A meeting of the stockholders of the N. Y., P. & N. R.R. Co., was held at Accomac C. H., last Monday according to announcement. President Patton, Secretary Cariss and Superintendent Dunne were in attendance.


Infrastructure -- Public : TownsInfrastructure -- Public - Government : TownInfrastructure -- Commercial - Commercial construction

The town council of Cape Charles City has passed an ordinance forbidding the erection of frame buildings in the business section of the town.


Tourists and sportsmen -- Other recreation - Fraternal ordersInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Postal service

Belle Haven.

Our lodge of A. O. U .W., continues to grow. Five more candidates will be initiated at our next meeting. We will then be 50 in number, and the banner lodge of that Order on the Eastern Shore.

A post office will be established soon on Hog Island. A steamer owned by a Mr. Ferrel, who has bought a part of the island, will convey the mail from Willis' Wharf, near this place, to that point.


Transportation -- Water - SailboatsSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : MarketsTransportation -- Water - FreightTransportation -- Railroad - FreightSea -- Market hunting


Mr. C. Corbin has lately purchased of Wm. S. Richardson, of Maryland, the sloop T. J. Hallock -- consideration $50. She is to be commanded by Capt. Geo. P. Bonnewell, and be used for dredging in the Potomac river.

The oyster business in this section is looking up. Of late, oysters have improved in quality, and the barrel trade is about to commence. Schooner Shamrock, Capt. E. R. Thomas, is loading for Baltimore, at time of writing. Shipments will be made soon also by rail.

Many dozen birds have been killed and shipped from this section of late by Messrs. W. R. Drummond, Frank Hinman and C. Bonnewell, our jolly sportsmen. They shoot principally for pleasure -- the $2.50 per dozen, their usual receipts, being only a secondary consideration.

Improvement of Chincoteague Bay.

reprinted from Baltimore Sun, 19th.Transportation -- Water - Channel and harbor dredging

Ex-Representative George W. Covington, of Maryland, was at the Capitol today to consult Representative Gibson with reference to an appropriation in the river and harbor bill for continuing the improvement of Chincoteague bay. In view of the great importance of this improvement to commerce generally, Congress will be asked to appropriate at least $200,000. Mr. Gibson will exert himself to obtain as large an amount as possible, although he can hardly expect to secure the sum proposed. In the first session of last Congress, Chincoteague was provided with $25,000 and the river and harbor bill of last session, which failed, contained a provision for $15,000 to be expended on the same improvement. Mr. Gibson has received numerous appeals from almost every section of the State where there are rivers and creeks, especially on the Eastern Shore, for appropriations to improve certain streams. He cannot and should not be expected to be successful in every particular. The important water-ways will be first considered, and many of the smaller streams will have to wait a while.

Accidental Fire at Accomac C. H.

Infrastructure -- Public : Fire companies

A fire originating in the storehouse occupied by Mr. N. P. Kilmon, about midnight of Wednesday, destroyed that building, the entire stock of goods therein and the carpenter shop of Mr. S. J. Stevenson. The origin of the fire is unknown, but as it broke out in the lower part of the store, the presumption is that it caught from the stove. It was first discovered by the clerk, Mr. Beloate, who was sleeping in the upper part of the building, and it had then gained such headway that he barely had time to escape from an upper window of the store. In a few minutes after he left the building, and by the time he had reached the hotel, about two hundred yards distant, to give the alarm, it was one mass of flames. It was impossible to save the burning building or anything that it contained, and no attempt was made. Efforts to save the carpenter shop of Mr. Stevenson were equally futile, it also having caught fire before help could be summoned. The crowd which had assembled at the fire succeeded by hard work in saving part of the shop property of Mr. Stevenson, and in preventing the spread of the fire and thereby accomplished all that could be possibly done. The storehouse belonging to the heirs of Thos. Lilliston, deceased, and worth about $1,500 was uninsured. The entire stock of goods, books and about $20 in money belonging to Mr. Kilmon were destroyed. Their value was about $2,500, and were insured in the Virginia Fire and Marine Insurance Company of Richmond, of which Mr. L. W. Childrey is agent, for $1,600. Mr. Stevenson had no insurance and his loss on shop and material is about $225.


Moral -- Alcohol

MR. EDITOR -- Dear Sir: Our correspondent, 'Kallias' for the Richmond Dispatch, states that a petition is in circulation for signatures in this county -- asking the Legislature to pass an Act that will enable the people to vote next spring between local option and high license. (I have asked a great many but have not yet found a man who has had the petition presented to him) and goes on to say 'that few of those who voted for local option two years ago would vote to return to the old system with all its abuses and vices; but it is believed that as between prohibition and a good high license law the latter would sweep the county.' I voted for local option and would like to say a few things on this subject not with any unkind spirit nor for the purpose of provoking any controversy.

I believe I voice the sentiments of a large majority of the voters for local option, when I say I do not believe we are willing to return to the old license system with all its vices and abuses.

We have a good law now and it would be folly indeed to exchange it for the license system -- high or low -- and this new plan hasn't a feature in it to commend it over the old. I think when all the circumstances are considered, the local option law has worked well, and has unquestionably accomplished a vast deal of good. I say this with a full knowledge of the violations of the law considered. No advocate of this law claimed that it would be kept inviolate. The vote that overwhelmingly carried it in three districts, was a loud remonstrance against the 'abuses and vices' of the whiskey trade. We put its execution where it belonged. We introduced no system of espionage, made no threats, but simply trusted in the majesty of the law, and the Democratic law abiding spirit of the people. And whereas all has not been accomplished that we had hoped, yet we are convinced that local option is the most effectual barrier that can be employed against the 'vices and abuses' of the whiskey traffic.

We have a prohibition law against gambling, a vice in every sense as corrupting and pernicious to morals as the rum business; yet how few are ever indicted for the violation of this law, though no one doubts but that it is violated just as often as the local option law.

Has any law with which we have any acquaintance, been enforced more rigidly than this? Has the game law, or the law against seine hauling, or oyster dredging, or that against carrying concealed deadly weapons, or gambling? I think we have just as good reason for believing that all of these laws are violated, as that the local option law is violated and the frequent indictments for the violation of the local option law go to prove, that this evil at any rate is not altogether winked at. Out of 32 indictments only one has been acquitted outright. True, in 19 cases out of 32 a 'nolle prosequi' has been entered. What does this show? only this; that a doubt (according to law) favored the innocence, rather than the guilt of the indicted party. Yes, merciful law, one doubter among 12: (yea he may not even be a doubter) can establish innocence! Now as eight have convicted outright, shows that this law is enforced and by comparison more rigidly than any law I have enumerated. Friends of local option let us be patient, and stand firmly by our colors. The tide of prohibition is evidently rising and by and by we shall have a State and Federal constitution to back us in this most vital reform of the century.


ONANCOCK, Jan. 17, '87.


Transportation -- Road - Maintenance

MR. EDITOR -- In addressing you a line on the public roads, we are aware that we are calling attention to nothing new -- their deplorable condition is known to all. The magnitude of the evil has been overlooked, and the numerous suggestions heretofore have been received by deaf ears. Why should this be so? the writer has asked himself time and again. Careful observation of the different classes of society and their relations to each other "in our midst" reveal the truth. We have a dead weight on top in the intelligent and better educated classes, who having been leaders of public affairs for so long a time, do not dare deviate their course in any new direction, for fear they may lose their hold on the less educated and the masses of the people; their idea being, if all matters are left "in statu quo," they will of necessity be at the head of the column. This educated element is a very respectable one in society. It is composed of men who have led upright and correct lives, and in dealing with the masses have in private affairs been honest and truthful. Transactions of this sort have begotten confidence, and the masses have come to look upon them as possessing all the wisdom of the age and are consequently led and governed by this upper class even against their own interests in public affairs. These leaders are conservative to a degree that reaches stolid fogyism, they can see nothing new and can approve nothing progressive; they want all manner of affairs to remain on a dead level. If this were not so, this expensive evil of miserable roads would have been removed long ago. No remedy for bad roads can be suggested that they will not at once say, that it cannot be done. They claim this to be the best system. No one can make a suggestion that is not at once denied and promptly sat down on. Suggest drainage -- it cannot be done, suggest the contract system -- it cannot be done, suggest to make it some one's business to look after the road -- it cannot be done, and thus we have the Can'ts and Cannot's, and we remain "in a hole." This same class denied a railroad would ever be built "in our midst." the sing-song expressions that were passed down by the leaders are still remembered, such as: 'We will never have a railroad down here, your children and my children and their children's children will never live long enough to see a railroad down here.' Such can't and cannot's we were treated to by wholesale, and it was kept up until the iron horse arrived, and then they all with one accord exclaimed, 'who would have thought it!' Yes, it was true that within seven years from the granting of the charter for the railroad, it was an accomplished fact and was actually carrying our freight away! We do not consult their can'ts and cannots, if we wish to build a new house or repair the old one, buy a sewing machine, cook stove, reaper, or carriage, to start a new crop or change the breed of our potatoes or horses. Then why should we be governed by them in this matter of our roads? Are they not as much our own as any of the private interest mentioned above? It is as important as the hiring of labor to farm with, the keeping of horses and mules to drive over them, the purchasing of cart or wagons to haul our produce, or carriage to go on business, pleasure, to church or to visit a neighbor. All are improvements and conveniences, the inventions of man to add to our profit, ease and comfort. We need a road for business and pleasure as much as we do the carts, wagons, horses and mules. Now what is needed is a change of mind, by the Messrs. Can't and Cannot. The younger men must think over this matter for themselves, look at it all points that it is possible to view it from, and see the profit and pleasure that good roads must give. It is absolutely necessary that each one think for himself, be a slave to no man's views or opinions. There is ability enough here in this the latter end of the nineteenth century to give us good roads.

I will suggest in my next letter how it can be done cheap.



Transportation -- Road - Maintenance

Our readers will find elsewhere a letter from "Progress" giving reasons why our public roads are in such deplorable condition -- and promising in a future letter suggestions, how to make them what they should be. There is no question but that our roads are abominable, not the least doubt but that the present method of working them -- by enforced labor -- does not by any means reach the end proposed. If that method is the proper one why is that on a plain so admirably adapted for drainage, they are not in not merely good, but, excellent condition? If that method is the true one, why is it that the road surveyors are never "brought to book" because of the intolerable condition of 99 per ct. of our highways? All over the State is heard the cry of "bad roads." -- The present system of roadwork prevails all over the State. The truth is we are too much like the mill-boy who carried his corn in one end of his bag and balanced it with a rock in the other -- and justified it by saying, "father did so and his father before him -- what they did is good enough for me." We are living too much in the past. The system of working roads which prevailed "before the war" when we had slaves in super abundance for the work and our traffic was scarcely one third what it is now does not today meet the point. Something better must be had. We cannot afford to chaffer with the "Messrs. Cant and Cannot." We must go forward. The changed condition of our farming interest brought about by our steamers and rail communications, the value of our lands, the hoped for increase in wealth and population -- all demand that we seek better, wiser, easier and more profitable paths to shipping points. The necessity is upon us and it must be met. The how to meet it scarcely requires a Solomon. One thing is certain; howsoever much we may revere the memory of things "before the war" we cannot afford to retain what has become an evil to us. We cannot at this day afford to feel as the old fogy Virginian implied in talking to his active, alert and progressive New York business friend who visited him years after the "unpleasantness" ceased. They sat together upon the broad portico chatting. The progressive New Yorker remarked: "How bright the moon is tonight!" His fogy host replied: "Yes, but it aint half so bring as before the war!" Wedded to "the good old way" he could see no good in the progress of the present -- nor look forward to a higher goal beyond. He lived in the past. We live in a new era. An era of development, when to stand still is death. We must go forward to reach higher, lest the resistless care of progress crush us. To us, that we may do so good roads are essential. We must move in this matter -- without delay.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
January 21, 1888