Peninsula Enterprise, April 23, 1892


Watermen -- Personal injury

John Ayres, son of Littleton Ayres, residing on Chesconnessix Creek, was drowned in water not more than 18 inches in depth last Tuesday. He left home "to go oystering" that morning and had reached his canoe, when, being subject to fainting spells, it is supposed he fainted, fell over in the water and no one being at hand to rescue him was drowned. He was 28 years old and leaves a widow and three children.


Mental illness

Mr. Archibald Annis, superintendent of the almshouse of Accomac, was taken to the asylum at Williamsburg yesterday, by a messenger from that Institution. His loss of mind is due to a paralytic stroke of some months ago


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Residential constructionInfrastructure -- Commercial - Commercial constructionInfrastructure -- Public - Government : Life-saving serviceTransportation -- Water - FreightInfrastructure -- Utilities - IceMoral -- Other


The building boom continues here. Handsome dwellings recently finished by Ruben Jester and Daniel Beebe -- new dwelling in course of erection for Joshua Hudson, Jr -- storehouse of Isaac Coffin being enlarged &c.

A tin medal recently received by Mr. Peter White for distinguished gallantry in rescuing crew of the Dispatch, has made his brethren in the Life Saving Service green with envy. Admiring friends sent the medal, which the Government should have awarded him.

Schooner Thomas Thomas, arrived here this week, with load of ice for J. T. Kenney -- and schooner Palestine with load of coal for Capt. R. E. Swift

Two cases before our Justice's court this week:

Commonwealth vs. Daniel Beebe, charged with assaulting one Lynch. Defendant fined $2.50 and costs, and bound to keep the peace.

Commonwealth vs. Mrs. Obadiah Fisher, charged with shooting divers and sundry persons. In this case court was hung and hearing denied. The facts before the court were, that the defendant tiring of calls at night for her husband, Obadiah, and in being otherwise molested, armed herself with a shot-gun on Saturday night for them. They were on hand as she expected, but not in sight and five out of eight of a group of innocent persons passing at the time received the charge viz: Mordecai Andrews, shot in ear and neck -- Jesse Daisey, in the ear -- J. J. Thornton, in ear and neck -- son of D. J. Jester, in finger and David Andrews had the entire top of his hat shot away. Fortunately none of his wounds were serious.


Lumbermen -- Personal injuryFarmers -- Farmers' organizationsMoral -- Firearms


Mr. Joseph Sterling, an employee of Gordon Jones in his mill at Hallwood, was so unfortunate as to lose three or four fingers by a small saw this week. Mr. Sterling is a first-class man and has the sympathy of everyone in his misfortune.

The Alliance Fair at Mearsville on the holidays would have been a grand success but for the inclement weather. Notwithstanding the unfavorable conditions, there were present quite a large crowd on Tuesday. Mr. Thomas C. Kelly, the orator of the occasion, was introduced by Capt. James Sommers in a very credible manner. Mr. Kelly presented the claims of the Alliance in a very eloquent and convincing manner, calling attention particularly to the fact that the Alliance was a non-political organization. Mr. Kelly's speech was well received. The Mappsville cornet band furnished the music. The boys presented a handsome appearance and rendered some fine selections in a manner that reflected great credit upon themselves.

The continuous wet weather is very discouraging to our low land farmers. Many round potato patches hardly have a sound potato in them. Farm work generally is much retarded by the excessive wet. All other trades or professions are more or less affected by the rather gloomy farming outlook.

A young man by the name of Smith was accidently shot by the careless handling of a pistol by a Mr. Byrd, on Monday night last, at Mearsville. The wound, we are informed, is not considered dangerous by the attending physician.


Transportation -- Railroad - Rates and faresTransportation -- Railroad - Regulation

Application for Rehearing by N. Y., P. & N. R. R. Co. Overturned.

In the report and opinion of the Commission, filed April 13th, 1891, (3 Inters. Com. Rep. 552) it was decided (among other things) that certain of the freight charges by the defendant companies upon market produce, ordinarily known as "perishable freight" were unreasonable in themselves, and a reduction in the tariff thereon was ordered of twenty-five per centum upon some articles, and of twenty per centum on some others.

One of the claims of the complainant upon the hearing, was that the rates were in violation of the fourth section of the Act, by reason of lower rates from Norfolk, Virginia, to New York, than from intermediate points. The fact was conceded on the hearing, but it was insisted that the traffic was not carried on under similar circumstances and conditions, because Norfolk business was in the presence of sharp and controlling water competition. It was thought best, under all the circumstances of the case, which was marked by many months of negotiation between the parties looking to a settlement of all the matters in the controversy, that an order should issue as to those rates which were adjudged to be unreasonable in themselves, leaving the question of the effect of the lower Norfolk rates to New York, for future determination upon further proofs.

Thereupon the defendants filed a motion for a rehearing, and claimed, (1) that the former testimony did not warrant a finding that the rates upon articles, which were ordered to be reduced, were unreasonable in themselves, and it was claimed that the testimony to that effect, was in view of and limited to the unsatisfactory service, which the defendants admitted had been rendered before that time, and which it was said had been so much improved as to be satisfactory; and (2) that the deduction made by the Commission that the rates were too high, because of the earnings on the articles complained of in this case, between the starting point and New York, bore a disproportionate relation to the earnings of all other traffic, was fallacious.

As to the first objection which is presented above, it is proper to state that while some of the witnesses did say that the rates would be satisfactory, if the service was brought up to what it ought to be, this is not true as to all witnesses, some of whom testified that the rates were unreasonable and without qualification. Besides, the question of the reasonableness of a rate does not depend always upon the opinion of witnesses, but is often determined, as the Commission has repeatedly said, by a comparison of the rates generally for the transportation of the same commodities, the rates charged upon other commodities having some, but more remote, bearing upon the question. Evidence of this character is always within reach of the Commission, in its own records; and the question of the reasonableness of rates is one which is constantly before us, and when this case was under consideration, another case was considered and passed upon, in which all the features of this special service involved here were pressed upon the Commission, and by the same parties in interest, as are now pressing this motion. From a careful review of the whole case, which necessarily includes not only the oral and other testimony submitted, but also the evidence of records, which are always consulted, we are well satisfied that the result arrived at was just and fair to all the parties.

Upon the second objection above stated to the effect that the Commission made a fallacious deduction from the statement of the earnings of all other traffic, it may be said that the discussion of that subject was mainly by way of argument and for the purpose of testing the reasonableness of the rates by comparison with other traffic, and for the same commodities between other points, in which the defendants, or some of them participate.

In support of this second objection, the President of the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad Company has filed a statement, entitled, "A comparison of the rates charged by the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad, with rates charged by other roads on similar articles." In this statement, the rates are given in cents per hundred pounds, and per ton, per mile, using for the purpose the station at Cape Charles only, which is the most remote of all the stations from New York, being 326 miles from that city, and 136 miles farther distant than the average of all the stations.

As was distinctly pointed out in the former decision of this case, the tariffs in vogue are not made up on all articles on an increasing rate according to distance. For the most part they are grouped, and the group rates extend over a very extended territory, in one instance (potatoes), the group being more than 200 miles in length, and to which a single uniform rate is applied.

Manifestly, in dealing with rates so markedly grounded as these are, that is not a fair statement which is based upon the rate per ton per miles, from that station of the group which is the farthest from the place of destination. Such a statement is worse than useless for it is actively misleading. Comparisons of rates may properly be made, but a comparison of rates from a group of statistics should be made from that station which is at the average distance of all stations from the place of destination.

Upon the line of the defendants, that station which would fairly represent the average distance would be 190 miles from New York, and not 326 miles as is Cape Charles.

Assuming the mileage to be as above stated, and taking the article of berries, for illustration, the rate given per ton per mile, in the statement above alluded to and filed in support of the motion, is but 4 60-100 cents, figured on the mileage from Cape Charles. But the rate on the berries from the station representing the average distance of all Peninsula points yields to the carriers an income of 6 53-100 cents per ton per mile. No further comment is necessary except to say that the same fallacy exists as to the articles other than berries, mentioned in the statement. A comparison of the very lowest of a group rate proves nothing; the defendants would hardly be satisfied with a comparison of the highest of a group rate, if it was claimed to be a controlling of the questions, yet such a comparison would be quite as fair as one made with the lowest of the group. A comparison of the rate which fairly represents the average of all the group rates, is the only comparison that ought to influence the question and it is that comparison which was made in the former decision.

After making the reduction of twenty per centum on berries, as the Commission has ordered, the defendants will still receive, on an average, 5 30-100 cents per ton per mile, which is seven mills more than the amount of income derived from the rates on that commodity before putting into effect the reduction ordered by the Commission.

All the foregoing computations have been made upon the assumption that the distance from New York to Cape Charles is 326 miles. It appears from the records of the Commission furnished by the defendant companies that the distance is 310 miles only. If the correct mileage had been stated in the comparative schedule filed, the decreased mileage would increase the rate per ton per mile above the amount given in said statement.

Another feature of the comparative statement and illustrative of its misleading character, is to be found in that part which deals with a comparison of the rates on kale, spinach and cabbage, with their market values. In this comparison, the rates on these articles are given at 20 cents per hundred pounds, that being the group rate for all the stations south of Delmar, the rate north of Delmar being twice as great, although the distance is very considerably less. This characteristic of the existing tariffs was pointed out in the decision, which only reduced the rates north of Delmar and did not interfere with the 20 cent rate south of that station. It is not easy to see why the decision should be challenged by the citation of a rate with which it did not interfere.

The motion for rehearing is overruled.

Farmers' Institute.

Farmers -- Innovation


I note what you said awhile back editorially about the proposed Farmers' Institute, and you are right in saying that here are farmers who resist "book farming," and the science of their calling. This is so, because farming has had less brain work exercised in its behalf in the past than has any other profession, whereas, it should have always led, for it is more difficult to deal with. Those who have appeared, representing themselves as "book farmers" were really no farmers at all and could neither farm with a book or without it; they had no practical knowledge of the work, therefore, their efforts were fruitless. The continued failures of this class (so called farmers) has caused practical farmers to reject books and the teachings of men of science. This is a mistake, and they are now seeing their error.

Farming can be aided by books as much as law, medicine, mechanics, astronomy or any other professional calling, but books alone will not make a successful doctor, lawyer, mechanic or astronomer, any more than they will a farmer. Experience and common sense are essential to a proper use of the knowledge gained from them in all professions. The farmer has the highest profession and the most difficult to deal with and to gain the best results a vast amount of information is necessary beyond that required by doctor or lawyer, for the farmer deals with laws of Nature, and unless these are understood by him, evil results follow, especially financial failure. All the good farming in practice to day has been written down in books and successful farming is scientific work. Practical farmers can learn much more of their calling if they will read good books on the subject and take agricultural papers.

The word science is a great impediment to many farmers -- the idea of it, is some deep mystery, which they cannot fathom. This should not be so; science has been defined to mean "refined common sense," and this should be understood by the farmer. All of our common practical operations on the farm are scientific performances. Greasing an axle tree, putting salt on pork to preserve it, putting camphor with woolens in summer, to protect from moths -- these are all scientific operations. The knowledge of these things were all written down in books, and it they are true, why other truths must exist in them also, and if we do not know them all, why we should learn. Scientific men discovered the use of oil on an axle tree, practical men accepted and have used it ever since. Should the practical man refuse the new discoveries and teachings of the scientific men of to-day? The students of agricultural science in our colleges and experiment stations are doing valuable work for the farmers, work that the farmers engaged in the business of making a living cannot do for himself -- he has neither the time to devote to it, nor a mind trained for it. For instance, chemistry had done more for the farmer than any other science. Yet, it is not necessary for a farmer to be a thorough chemist. He needs to know the results of the chemist's work and he needs the chemist to tell him how to apply it. The letter published below is a practical illustration of what I want to show:

Experiment Station.

BLACKSBURG, VA., March 24, 1892.

Mr. Orris A. Browne,

Cape Charles, Va..

Dear Sir -- I am not prepared as yet to report in full on the seeds sent me, but send you this partial statement thinking it might by of use to you. The test of vitality is still in progress, but the following figures give the result of test as to purity of the clover seed.

In round numbers, 27 parts good seed, 3 parts impurities or 90 per cent. good seed, 16 per cent. impure seed. The grass will naturally fall lower than this. Will report as soon as possible on it.




I found some clover and orchard grasses on the market -- I wished to know the purity of them -- I took samples and sent them to the Experiment Station, and this is the reply as to the clover -- later I will hear the value of the orchard grass seed. I have now ready for the mail a sample of guano sold in Accomac, it goes to the State Chemist in Richmond, to be tested, in a short while I will know its value, also what profit is being made on it, and for what crops it is best suited. This is work I could not do for myself, I am not trained and educated for it, and if I were, I would not have the time to do it. I, like all the rest of the farmers, am trying to make farming a success. I wish to say here, that any farmer in the State can have seeds and guano tested at no cost to himself, by sending his samples to the Agricultural Department in Richmond.

As it is proper for an official to render an account of his stewardship to the people, I hope I will not be judged egotistical when I report to you, that I introduced both of the measure which allow farmers this opportunity before the State Board of Agriculture; and the one giving to farmers the right to have their fertilizers analyzed has now become a law, and the arrangement between the Experiment station and the Agricultural Board is about to get into operation. I wish to say also I obtained permission from the State Board of Agriculture to have one or more Institutes in this district and the one at Cape Charles will not deprive the people of at least two on the Western Shore, if they make applications for them.

I now propose to hold the Farmers' Institute at Cape Charles, May 31st. I do hope to receive applications sufficient by May 3rd. Here is a form: To the State Board of Agriculture.

We, the undersigned citizens respectfully ask that a Farmers' Institute be held at Cape Charles, and we do each of us promise to attend the same:

When signed forward to me.

Those petitions asking for a Farmers' Institute April 18th, will not answer now, new ones must be signed.

I would ask that the school teachers of both counties take an interest in the farmers and help with this Institute. I appeal to them, because they are fully aware of the benefits the school Institutes which are doing so much good in our midst.

Yours very respectfully,


Prohibition Mass Meeting.

EDITOR ENTERPRISE: -- Please announce in your paper, that at a meeting on Saturday, the committee agreed to secure the service of Col. R. S. Cheves, and to have a public meeting at Drummondtown, on Monday, April 25th, 2 p.m. at which time delegates will be elected to attend the convention that meets in Lynchburg, June 1st to nominate delegates to the National Convention that meets in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 27th. All friends of Prohibition are invited to be present.

Yours truly,


Chm'r. Co. Com. Prohibition Party Onancock, April 16th, 1892.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
April 23, 1892