Peninsula Enterprise, February 6, 1892


Transportation -- Water - Sailboats

The schooner Elexina, will be sold at public auction at Hoffman's wharf, by John H. Wise, sheriff, next Saturday, 13th, 11 a. m. See advertisement.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Real estateFarmers -- Farm subdivision

There were 92 deeds of different kind received and recorded in our clerk's office during the month of January just passed. An unusual number for that month, but not due to an unusual financial stress, showing for the most part only how our lands are being subdivided and changing hands.


Transportation -- Road - Better roads movement

Messongo, Temperanceville, Muddy Creek, Mappsville, Masonville and every precinct in the lower parish, sent delegates to the road meeting held at Accomac C. H., last Wednesday. The vote on the adoption of the road bill, the principal features of which have heretofore been published in our columns, stood 8 for and 3 against it.


Professionals -- Commission merchants

Mr. E. W. Barnes, Gargatha, is in Florida, to remain until the first of April, as the representative of "a combination of fruit and produce men."



There were only 208 marriages in Accomac county last year, a falling off of 64 from the year 1890. Our clerk says the low price of sweet potatoes last autumn accounts for the shortage. The few who did get married however, were doubtless consoled by having an "Old ham" attached to their license.


Fields -- Crops - Strawberries

Mr. A. J. McMath has recently received an order for 220,000 strawberry plants from a party in Maryland, and orders for smaller lots in many sections in the West and South. This extensive and increasing patronage however, is a matter of no surprise. He keeps the stock, 80 varieties in all, and purchasers always get from his nursery what they buy.


Infrastructure -- Utilities - IceFields -- Livestock - HorsesInfrastructure -- Commercial - Commercial constructionInfrastructure -- Commercial - General Stores


Many of our ice-houses were filled during the freeze of last week.

A handsome pair of ponies was sold last week, by Mr. W. J. Matthews, to Miles & Drummond, of Sykes Island.

Another store is in course of erection here, by Mr. William L. Watson. Salathiel Coard will occupy it and with his "new broom", it is stated, will sweep the bottom clean out of the old prices.


Professionals -- TeachersMoral -- Property crime


The citizens of Onancock take much interest in the Teachers' Association to be held here February 19th and 20th. They have tendered the use of the Town Hall and kindly offered to entertain the teachers. It is said that some of the best talent of the Peninsula will intersperse the sessions of the Association with choice music. Each session will be free and all persons interested in educational work and discussions are invited to be present at the meetings.

The dwelling of Mr. James Kilmon, East Point, near this place, was broken open last Monday, during the absence of the family, by two hands, (colored, it is believed,) from a dredge boat, but nothing was molested therein. Two old hens and some sweet potatoes were however stolen from another part of his premises.


Infrastructure -- Public : Fences


Some of the readers of the ENTERPRISE, at this place, assert, that our correspondents, here and elsewhere, are presenting their own side of the question relative to the no-fence-law. We have nothing to say "pro or con," but will justify our former statement. At the first road meeting held here on December 12th, 1891, a vote was taken on the subject -- Result -- out of 21 present, 20 voted for no-fence.

The Accomac and Northampton Teachers' Association.

Professionals -- Teachers

The joint Association of the teachers of Accomac and Northampton will meet in the Town Hall, at Onancock, Va., February 19th and 20th. There will be an afternoon session Friday, 19th, and a night session, and morning session on the 20th. The sessions will be free and all persons interested are cordially asked to attend. The citizens have opened their houses to the teachers. Mr. William T. Wise, druggist, on Main Street, will receive and assign all teachers to homes. Special arrangements to convey visitors from Tasley to Onancock have been made with Col. B. T. Parker, proprietor of the Grand Central -- price 25 cents. Teachers at Tasley station will ask for Grand Central teams, be conveyed to Wise's drug store, assigned to their places and driven to the same before getting out of hacks. All the trustees of the different school districts are especially invited.

Friday night, there will be a lecture by Mr. L. I. Handy, of Delaware. Mr. Handy is a fine lecturer and there is a treat in store for the people. He comes to this town highly recommended by the Hon. Thomas F. Bayard, of Delaware, and W. P. Wickersham, of Pennsylvania. This is sufficient to guarantee him an audience. His subject will be "The Road to Victory." Do not fail to hear him.


G. G. Joynes, Sec.

The Road Question.

Transportation -- Road - MaintenanceInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Taxation

EDITOR OF ENTERPRISE -- In your issue of January the 30th, I find what the writer's fertile imagination only, might distort into an answer to my circular letter in reference to our proposed new road law. He starts out by charging me with "gross misrepresentation, false reasoning, misleading statements, etc." It required but slight mental effort to prefer these charges, and to prove them, he makes little or no attempt; conscious no doubt, that he could not sustain them, and that the prestige of a good name together with the logic of even an Hon. Ex. or an Ex. Hon. -- I hardly know in the case, what arrangement the much abused prefix should rightly assume -- were entirely inadequate to the task which his flagrant assertions had imposed upon him. Having made the charges, and utterly failing to sustain them, and save in one labored and verbose instance guiltless even of an attempt to do so, they are hereby returned upon the head of this Sir Oracle, who wears his "titled trail, proud as a cockerals rainbow trail." His little diatribe was evidently written to his wards, who, upon hearing such pompous rhetoric doubtless swelled the Ex. Hon's bursting pride with the loud guffaws of approval so characteristic of their race. His attempt at an argument was so irrelevant and farfetched, that he has almost entirely relieved me of the opportunity of making any reply whatever. I had not supposed until now that, the leading tariff reformer of the land, Mr. Cleveland, took any notice of our little road affairs down here, and thought from his well known record, and from the trend of his remarks made at the Jackson Anniversary in New York, that he was wholly absorbed in that great issue, with which he is so inseparably connected, and that in that speech he had no reference whatever to our little affair down here in Accomac, and had supposed that he had never given a thought to our Ex. Hon. and his 2,500 proteges. But in this it now appears, I was wholly mistaken, as is shown from the assurances made in the gentleman's little say of last week. He undoubtably has had both the ear and the confidence of the distinguished ex-President, and knew whereof he spoke, I therefore beg his pardon, "and bending low, and in a bondsman's key, with bated breath, and whispering humbleness, lay this." "He hath optics sharp, I ween, to see what is not to be seen." Having thus, happily for him disposed of his far fetched tariff argument, or a portion of it at least, we will now listen to what he has to say about license taxes, and direct taxes. It seems if he prefers a very serious charge against "my unfortunate wards whose cause I hereby champion," in this, that he says virtually, that they are terribly large guzzlers of "tangle foot," and besides, inordinate gluttons in the use of the filthy "weed." This fatherly individual and self constituted champion, has not performed his fatherly offices with due diligence I am afraid, or else he fails from some cause, to exercise that controlling influence, over his ward's good morals, that usually marks an efficient leadership. Evidently, unless he uses his persuasive powers more effectively, or has recourse to more firmness, or discipline, he will have to resort to the guard-house, or the bastinado one, or else his brigade will soon not only pay the license tax, but many of the other expenses of government besides. When he gets this road reform through all right, he had better then go to work and do a little wholesome reforming in his own ranks; at least he should try and persuade them not to pay all their money toward the license tax, but to save a dollar now and then to chip in toward roads, free schools and the poor-house -- well, we shall see what we will see, when he gets to work at it. Speaking of Federal taxation &c., he says, "that I dare not deny, that I have misrepresented and maligned the unfortunate poor" and that this is a severe charge &c. If true, this would indeed be a severe charge and worthy of all condemnation, but fortunately the days in which people placed implicit faith in the utterances of Oracles, has passed away, and, a few only, are now compelled to believe all that this modern one says. No one who has read my circular with unprejudiced mind, will believe a word of the charge true, and the man who makes the charge, I don't believe thinks it true. He had an evil purpose in making it, and made it, regardless of all considerations that should actuate a fair minded and honorable man. I am not afraid of my record concerning my attitude or dealings toward the poor, either at present or in the past, and according to my means and opportunities, challenge a comparison in that respect with any man, and with even this Generalissimo himself. In order that all may be satisfied as to the falsity of the Ex. Hon's charges, I herewith submit that portion of my circular letter upon which he affects to rest his charges:

"The writer spoken of is surely unmindful of the fact that 99-100 of the burdens and expenses of government are now borne by the property-holders of the Commonwealth. Should not this fact satisfy the wishes of the writer and the class who hover within the shadow of his shield and spear? Does this not satisfy him, and would he yet add to the load the other 1-100 part, and leave his wards taxless, burdenless, and free to roam or do wherever or whatever their fancy might direct? Let him apply his own quotation of Mr. Cleveland's: "That we must meet face to face the voters of our land, with ballots in their hands, demanding, as a condition of their support, justice and an equitable distribution of public burdens," To this matter in hand, and see in what a predicament it places him, or any other man who says that all the burdens of government should be placed on one class of citizens, while the other class enjoys every privilege, and goes "scot free." "An equitable distribution of the burdens" -- indeed, what burden does his followers bear? They are educated at the expense of the taxpayers. They, or many of them, are fed and clothed by them. They have every benefit of the law free, if one is imposed upon in any matter, they throng our halls of justice, walk and ride our highways, vote for men to hold office and levy taxes upon other people's property, and pay none themselves. And what does the gentleman's 2,500 contribute? Anything? Yes, something! The items for expenditures. That is about all.

Nothing said by me here is intended to cast any reflection or odium upon any honest and worthy poor man. Poverty is no crime. It is simply a misfortune; in some instances brought about by one's own acts, as well as by causes which it is unnecessary to discuss here. It is enough to say that the condition exists to an extent that is alarming to any man who has a heart in him. But as much as I may sympathize with struggling poverty; as much as I may deplore the conditions that bring it about in our midst, I cannot shut my eyes to the fact that in a government like ours, "of the people and for the people," every man has a duty to perform and a burden to bear, which should be performed according to his strength. Anything less than this would not be right; would not be justice to others."

Those who read can now form their opinions as to the truth of the man's charges, or not. Evidently, that "to the Jaundiced eyed, all things are green," has been fully exemplified in this writers tirade. Further on in his piece, he gets off another self-satisfying and brilliant piece of rhetoric, which withal contains a bit of information, to the most of us. I tell you we never know what is in a bag until we shake it. This bag has been shaken and lo! out dropped the fact, hitherto unknown, or even undreamt of, "that the delinquent tax payers stand as a shield between the property holders of Accomac and direct federal taxation." For instance, says he, if the tariff taxes were not paid, then the general government would impose direct taxes on all out property &c. So it appears then that his delinquents, unbeknown to anyone but themselves, and their titled champion, have been paying our tariff taxes all along for us. I did not believe before that they had so much money. I had thought according to the opening part of his little farce, that it took about all of their money for whiskey, tobacco and the license tax, but I am glad to learn it is otherwise, and that we have a gallant band of delinquents who surround a still more gallant leader, "who stand as a shield between the property holders of Accomac and direct federal taxation. Hip! hip! hurrah! Long live the leader and his now, thrice noble wards, who stand between us and direct federal taxation. This is an item of news, indeed. THe Herald would pay a hundred dollars a word for it. When they hear it, Cleveland, Mills and Springer, will yield up the ghost, toss up the sponge, for the delinquents of Accomac have stolen their thunder. Away with the tariff question, it is of no interest to us.

A dulcet lute, and cooing voice are next heard. In a plaintiff strain an old song greets our ears. Its words are about as follows: "My traduced wards, most of you, all who can ought to pay your capitation tax. It is a sacred duty you owe to the children of the county and State, etc. You should pay a fair share also of the road tax -- a change has recently come over the spirit of his dreams -- for you all will be benefitted by good roads." We herewith tender our congratulations -- and humbly accept even these grains of concession -- and so the voice goes on.

The time and situation is for a champion, and a leader of a strong contingent, and extremely ludicrous one. It reminds me -- in connection with the peculiar surroundings, of a free negro trying to doctor an exceedingly sick, but vicious mule. He would like for him to take the medicine, but is afraid of his heels; so this man would, it seems, now like for his contingent to take his medicine, but is afraid to say emphatically that it is their bounden duty as participators in every blessing of government, to help support it. His leadership might be imperiled, were he to do so. It is useless at present to pursue this game further, the carcass would not be worth the powder. I have made but little effort to treat this man's piece with any degree of seriousness, it is not worthy of it, but have made a slight effort to treat him as every man deserves to be treated, who denies his own record in this discussion and who persists in misrepresentation, and who maliciously raises false issues to discredit an opponent that he might injure the cause he advocates, and also to blind the public to his own weakness, and to the true facts in the case. THe writer of last weeks's platitudes is well known to me and to this community, his weakness, as well as his strength. It is a true and forceful old saw, especially appreciable in this case, "that a man who lives in a glass house should not throw stones." I commend it to his consideration. For the present I leave the matter with the public.


A Bill.

Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Taxation

To authorize the board of supervisors of Accomac county to increase their levy for county and district school purposes.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia, That the board of supervisors of Accomac county are hereby authorized and empowered to increase the county levy of said county two and one-half cents on the hundred dollars of the assessed value of the taxable property of said county for county free-school purposes two and one-half cents on the hundred dollars of the assessed value of the taxable property of any magisterial district in said county.

This act shall be in force from its passage.

EDITOR OF ENTERPRISE -- The Hon. D. Frank White has introduced the above bull in the House of Delegates allowing the board of supervisors of Accomac to increase the levy for county school purposes 2 1/2 cents on the $100, and the district school fund also 2 1/2 cents on the $100. He states that he advocated it in his canvass last fall, and that the people desire it. I did not make a canvass myself last fall and do not know that I ever heard the matter mentioned. I learn that there is some opposition to the bill. It has passed the House and is now in the Senate. I am willing to vote for the bill if the people want it, but I desire to hear from them on the subject. I enclose copy of bill. Will you kindly publish this or call attention to it in your paper, so I can learn through it the wishes of my constituents. Yours &c.,


Richmond, January 28th.


Infrastructure -- Public - Government : Taxation

A letter of Hon. John W. G. Blackstone and a bill appended thereto, now pending in the Legislature, is commended to the perusal of our readers. Mr. Blackstone is right in wishing to hear from his constituents as a question of taxation is presented of importance to them.


Transportation -- Railroad - Legislation

The advocates of the Kent railroad bill, it is stated, are not as enthusiastic in its support as they were earlier in the session of the Legislature of our state, and it is even said, that no railroad commission bill, will be passed by this legislature. The above statements, if correct, mean, that very many statesmen will find themselves on the retired list, when they are called upon to give an account of their stewardship to the people. We were of the opinion, during our last election, that the most of our legislators committed themselves to the passage of a railroad bill.


Sea -- Shellfish - Oystering : LegislationSea -- Shellfish - Oystering : Planting

The long looked-for oyster bill was introduced into our Legislature last Monday. It is a lengthy document, into which have been incorporated some of the suggestions of Governor McKinney's oyster message, some of the provisions of the existing law and several suggestions of the oystermen. The measure provides for leasing the grounds, natural oyster beds excepted, for a term of twenty years at one dollar per acre -- the limit being placed at 250 acres to one person, except in deep water on the Chesapeake bay. A natural bed is defined in the bill as "any bed, rock or shoal which, during the period of the previous five years, has furnished a livelihood to the public, or from which tongsmen have been able to gain a fair average daily remuneration."


Transportation -- Road - Legislation

The road question, after this issue, "we are happy to be able to say," will be given a rest in our columns. A road law adopted by the delegates, elected by the people, in a meeting held at Accomac C. H., last Wednesday, seems to render a further discussion of the question unnecessary. It does not meet our views entirely -- none could be framed that would not be open to objection by somebody -- but bowing to the will of the people, we are willing to accept it and give it a fair trial. It is now in the hands of our Legislators and two of them, Messrs. White and Wilkins, having pledged themselves, in the convention which nominated them, to secure the passage of a road law, cannot but accept the road bill as passed upon, as the will of the majority and entitled to their support. The principal features of the bill have heretofore been presented through our columns and the objections thereto, have doubtless been noted by the most casual reader of the ENTERPRISE, and been brought to the attention of our representatives in the Legislature.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
February 6, 1892