Peninsula Enterprise, November 30, 1889


Professionals -- DoctorsInfrastructure -- Public : Schools


It must be that not only "Barkis is willin," but that "Peggoty" has also consented; for, the improvements referred to sometime ago, as being made at the residence of Mr. George W. Addison, have extended to the outbuildings which have been moved to a more appropriate site. These improvements, however, were suddenly interrupted on Wednesday of last week by a serious accident. Mr. A. (who has lately turned carpenter) while descending from the second floor of a building was precipitated, by the breaking of a ladder, and his left arm was dislocated at the shoulder. Prompt and proper surgical attention was rendered by Dr. Harmanson, of Onancock, and he is now in a fair way to regain the use of the limb.

An improvement has been made in the form and arrangement of the seats and desks in the public school at "Andrew Chapel," and it is proposed that the school building be improved by the addition of shutters and the application of a coat of whitewash. Evangeline H. Rew, a pupil in said school, eleven years of age, during written recitations embracing 400 difficult words selected from Swin's word-book, last week, spelled 392 of them correctly. X.


Sea -- Fish factoriesInfrastructure -- Commercial - Commercial construction


Capt. Rowland Wilcox, wife and daughter, after a sojourn of eight months in the county, left last Friday for their home in Mystic, Conn.

Capt. John W. Bunting laid up his steamer and closed his fish factory last week, with fair success for the season.

Mr. S. E. Matthews has completed his new store and will stock it shortly with new goods.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : BaysideSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Poaching

Schooner Lawson Attacked by the Tug Ida Augusta.

A special dispatch Wednesday last night from Readsville, Va., via Fredericksburg, says: "The schooner Lawson, of Crisfield, Captain George Evans, was today sunk off the upper end of Hog Island, in the Potomac river, by the tug Ida Augusta, of Onancock, Va. This is the outgrowth of the recent dispute between Maryland and Virginia about the right of the latter State to lease to Charles R. Lewis the oyster grounds known as Hog Island flats.

The Ida Augusta is owned by Mr. Lewis and was in charge of Capt. William S. Russell, who left Hog Island about 1.30 o'clock and proceeded to run around the Lewis reservation. When off buoy No. 5 Capt. Russell saw the Lawson dredging inside of the reserve ground. He started toward her when the hands were winding in the oyster dredges on the schooner. The tugboat was headed at the schooner's midship on the starboard side. The captain of the schooner evidently did not suspect the intention of Capt. Russell, who struck the schooner directly on the dredge roller.

The blow was a glancing one and only broke the schooner's log. Capt. Evans, of the schooner, wanted to know "What in the ____ was meant by the tug running into him." There was no reply from Capt. Russell, who started the tug off, and making for the schooner the second time struck her a little forward of the first blow, cutting her hull through about four feet on deck. When the schooner began to list towards starboard side the water soon commenced creeping up through the opening made by the tug.

Capt. Russell then invited Capt. Evans and his crew of five men to get on board the tug. By this time the schooner had filled and began to sink. The crew got into the yawlboat and boarded the tug. The schooner in the meantime went down in 2 1-2 fathoms of water with all sails set.

Capt. Evans said to a reporter of the Sun that the schooner was owned by Henry Lawson and himself. "We are both," he said, from Smith's Island, Somerset county, Md. The schooner was valued at $1,500 and not insured. Besides the loss of the boat there was $60 in my trunk which was on board. We shall look to Mr. Lewis for payment of our boat. After we were told that Gov. Jackson, of Maryland, had issued a proclamation declaring that Hog Island flats, were the property of Maryland, and that Mr. Lewis would not have the right to control the grounds, we thought we had a right to dredge there." He claims not to have been over the line. The captain and crew were landed at Mr. Lewis's door, and from there they left for their home.

In reference to the sinking Captain Russell, of the tug, said: "I was acting under the orders of Mr. Lewis, who employed me to look after the beds. For a month past, there have been boats at work on the grounds. Mr. Lewis directed me to sink any boat I found there. The Lawson was the only boat on the reserve grounds and I sunk her."

Mr. Lewis said: "I have faithfully complied with all the requirements of Virginia as to getting ground, and do not see what authority Gov. Jackson has to issue a proclamation which will allow Maryland boats to make the raid on my grounds. I am perfectly willing to submit to any decision made by proper authority, but fail to see how the Governor of Maryland can issue a proclamation by which I will be robbed. The authority for so doing is entirely based upon the report of United States Engineer Whiting. I consider that I have the right to defend my property, and I intend to look to Virginia to give me and my lease protection. Until the matter is finally adjusted I will take care of the intruders. The larger part of the oysters on the grounds are of no value for market purposes, as they are only about 18 months old, and while of no value to others, if let alone they will represent a great deal to me, who paid for the planting. If my oysters were not disturbed they would give in time employment to a number of people who otherwise would be out of employment."

Our Mails.

Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Postal serviceTransportation -- Railroad - Freight

MR. EDITOR -- I have read with much interest and full approval your remarks and the communications in the last two issues of your paper in regard to the unjust discrimination of N. Y. P. & N. R.R. in the delivery of our mail, and if no complaint has reached you from this point it has not been because our mail arrangements have been less severely condemned by our people. All of us, indeed, feel so mad and so much aggrieved over the contemptible conduct of the railroad officials that they agree with you, that it is in order to petition the P. O. Department for the return of the old stage mail. Nor is the indignation felt in this community confined to our people. While in attendance at court this week, a free discussion of the matter by the people from every part of our county, elicited only expressions of condemnation and disgust. Until the present railroad schedule went into effect and the consequent derangement in our mails such was the pride and interest we had in our railroad, we felt very much about it as the boy did, who on his way to the Sunday school being asked why he went, replied, "because he was one of the concern." But treatment of the railroad officials of late has thrown such a damper on our zeal and interest, that another railroad or any other line of travel or transportation would be hailed with delight and will doubtless be sought after. This corporation is very much like the negro or the mute, 'can't stand good treatment,' and our people recognizing that fact will extend its patronage only to it, of course, when it is compelled to do so.


Public Roads.

Transportation -- Road - MaintenanceTransportation -- Road - Legislation

MR. EDITOR -- In my last communication I alluded to the splendid condition of the public highways in England at the present day -- but I find by reference to Macaulay's history of England, Vol. 1, pages 293 to 295, that the roads of that kingdom were in an almost impassible condition towards the close of the Seventeenth Century. Macaulay says "a coach and six is in our time never seen, except as part of some pageant, 'but', people in the time of Charles the Second travelled with six horses, because with a smaller number there was great danger of sticking fast in the mire, nor were even six horses always sufficient. Vanburgh, in the succeeding generation, described with great humor the way in which newly chosen a member of Parliament, he went up to London. On that occasion all the exertions of six horses -- two of which had been taken from the plow -- could not save the family coach from being imbedded in a quagmire." "One chief cause of the badness of the roads seems to have been the defective state of the law." "The peasantry were forced to give their gratuitous labor of six days in the year." And this was supplemented by a parochial tax.

These quotations are all from Macauley -- one of the most accurate and accomplished of English historians, and they prove, to my mind, our road laws were imported from England, and that as they utterly failed to secure good roads in the old country where "the peasantry were forced to give six days gratuitous labor in the year" -- they must inevitably fail to secure good roads here, where the road hands consider it tyranny to be ordered on the road more than two full days in a year. Like produces like. Bad road laws in England produced bad, almost impassible roads. The same laws slightly modified and weakened, have produced like results here. The main feature of the old English law was gratuitous labor, and this feature is unjust and iniquitous cannot be successfully controverted. A poor man, with no team or cart, is required to perform just as much labor on the road as the mill owner who has twenty teams and carts. Will any right-thinking man lay his hand on his heart, and in the face of a christian world say this law is just and equitable? It is a well known fact, that unpaid road hands work with great reluctance, that they are continually framing excuses for not obeying the summons of the surveyors, and sometimes are in almost open rebellion; and when they are forced on the roads they perform their work in the most perfunctory manner. They regard the law as unjust, and try to evade it. All experience shows that a law which is not supported by public opinion and which is considered unjust and tyrannical -- cannot be successfully enforced. This old road law the cardinal feature of which is gratuitous labor has proved alike in England and in Accomac, an utter and almost ruinous failure. Like Patrick Henry "I know of no way judging of the future except by the past," and judging by the past, I am fully convinced we shall continue to flounder in the mud and mire entirely, until we have a better road law. The English clung with tenacity to the old law and for many years opposed its repeal, but Macaulay informs us that after a long struggle, and "by slow degrees reason triumphed over prejudice; and our island is now crossed in every direction by near thirty thousand miles of turnpike road." Those roads excite the admiration of American tourists, and Dr. Landrum pronounces them "equal to the best paved streets in Richmond or Baltimore." With this example before us, are we to continue this old road system, with its inevitable results -- miserable, miry roads and great pecuniary loss? Surely we shall gain nothing by lying supinely on our backs and grumbling about bad roads. The Legislature will soon meet. Let us go to work in earnest and try to get a new road law that will meet our wants -- a law that arrives at a system of permanent well drained, smooth, hard, well graded highways. They can be made of dirt at small expense by the use of proper road machines, and by the employment of convict labor as far as practical, and paid labor when necessary. The work should be under the general supervision of a competent engineer who understands road making -- and here let me suggest, that the great central highway through the county should receive special attention at the beginning. It should be straightened, where practical, without unnecessarily infringing upon private property, widened, graded and raised in the centre so as to form a watershed to each side; and each of the most important roads leading to the great shipping points should receive attention as soon as possible. If our people are not ripe for so great a departure from the old law as I have here outlined, let us try some other scheme. The Henry County law, (although it retains the odious gratuitous labor feature.) would, I think, with some modifications be superior to our present system. Let us go to work. Civilization and progress as well as our pecuniary interests demand it. UNO.


Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Postal serviceTransportation -- Railroad - Freight

The New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad mail trains continue to run, in utter disregard of the wishes of our people, whom the authorities representing them contracted to serve. Protests against the wrong thereby done to us and demands for a change, with an unanimity almost without a dissenting voice, seem to be matters of no concern to them. That a Peninsula of 40,000 inhabitants has any rights which they are bound to respect, of course, has not occurred to them. That the right of way, with a liberality almost unparalleled, was for the most part given to them and the fact that the railroad is self sustaining only, through the patronage it receives from our people, according to their notions of justice, evidently entitles us to no consideration. Deaf as they seem to be to all our entreaties and antagonizing as they do our most sacred interests, it would not be a matter of surprise, as a correspondent in our issue of today expresses it, if our people should turn with disgust from a railroad, which heretofore we have regarded with so much pride, to other lines of travel and transportation. An evil, producing dissatisfaction so general, as truly represented by our correspondent, must have a remedy, and our people if true to their interests will find it.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
November 30, 1889