Dispatch, February 26, 1889


Infrastructure -- Public : TownsInfrastructure -- Commercial - Residential developmentAfrican-Americans -- Racial violenceSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Law enforcementSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : SeasideProfessionals -- MerchantsForests -- SawmillsLumbermen -- Personal injuryMoral -- VigilantismAfrican-Americans -- Racial violence

ONANCOCK, February 24, 1889.

The new town of Parksley, some ten miles north of this place on the New York, Philadelphia, and Norfolk railroad, is forging ahead at a rapid rate. Though not more than three years old the place has about 300 inhabitants, and every week brings new additions to the thriving and ambitious young town. The Parksley Land-Improvement Company, at the head of which is Miss Elizabeth Chadbourne, an accomplished young lady from Boston, has bought up nearly all the land in and around the town and is now selling lots nearly every day to persons who desire to settle there. Among those who have located in the town are a number of northern people, who have come here on account of the temperate climate of the Eastern Shore, the latest acquisition from that section being Dr. Elmore H. Welles, of Meshoppen, Pa., who has bought a farm of fifty acres adjoining the town from William S. Mathews, Esq. Nearly all the merchants in the neighboring village of Leemont, on the bayside, have bought lots in Parksley, and intend to build and transfer their business there in the near future.

The recent visit of Detectives Drouse and Frey, of the Baltimore police force, to Accomack in search of Captain Thomas Mister, who is said to have been engaged in one of the recent attacks made by illegal dredgers on the Maryland oyster navy, created quite a sensation in several sections of the county, especially among the colored people, who seem to have thought that the detectives had something to do with the much-dreaded White Caps.

There are now twenty-two stores on Chincoteague Island, and the competition among the merchants is so strong that a general cutting down of prices took place there several days ago, many articles being sold below cost. How long this kind of competition will continue there is not known, but some of the merchants are considering the propriety of investing their money in some other way and thus diversifying the industries of the island, which is said to be suffering at this time from the poor condition of its oysters and the scanty profits realized from their sale.

James Drummond (colored), employed in a saw-mill near Parksley, had his hand so badly mangled Friday by a circular saw that it had to be amputated.

The Peninsula Enterprise, published at Accomac Courthouse, indignantly denies that there is any such thing as a White Cap organization on the Eastern Shore, and says that the rough treatment inflicted on John Lilliston at that place one night recently by a band of persons in disguise was only a joke. Lilliston, on the other hand, does not think there was much joke about it, and the Cape Charles Echo says that numerous persons there have received White Cap notices, ornamented with skull and cross-bones, and that one of these notices was received by a prominent church member, who was greatly shocked, as he says he has never whipped his wife or scolded his children or stayed out late of nights, and he is not a married man. Whether the White Caps are really here or not, it is certain that many persons have been and still are very much agitated on the subject.


Moral -- Murder

ONANCOCK, Va., February 25.-- A large crowd attended the opening of the February term of the Accomack County Court in anticipation of the trial of Mrs. Virginia Taylor, charged with having killed her husband last December by giving him strychnine. A jury was obtained without difficulty and about noon Mrs. Taylor was brought into court by the Sheriff. She was neatly dressed in black, and as she entered the court-room it was observed that she was weeping. She took a seat inside the bar near her counsel, and when in response to the order of the Clerk she arose to hear the indictment read every eye in the building was fixed on her. When the reading was finished and the clerk asked her to say whether she was guilty of the charge in the indictment, she responded in a clear voice, audible in every part of the court-room, "I am not guilty." When the court reassembled in the afternoon Commonwealth's Attorney Fletcher asked that the case be continued till the March term, on the ground that George W. Oldham, an important witness in the case, was absent on account of illness. Mr. Oldham is the druggist from whom Mrs. Taylor bought the strychnine shortly before her husband's death. Judge Garrison ordered the case continued and dismissed the jury. Mrs. Taylor was remanded to jail, but before leaving the court-room expressed her regrets and disappointment at not being able to stand her trial at this term.

State-Chemist Taylor, of Richmond, who analyzed the contents of the dead man's stomach, was present. It is now known that he found in the stomach evidence of enough strychnine to have caused death.

Mrs. Taylor's confinement in the jail is beginning to tell on her, and several times recently she has given indications of breaking down.

February 26, 1889