The County Election by George Caleb Bingham

The County Election by George Caleb Bingham
Until after the Civil War elections in Virginia were "viva voce," i.e. by voice vo/ The County Election- George Caleb Bingham

Monday, October 12, 2015

"Unfounded, Meritless, and Unsupported by Evidence."

A California "watch dog group"(that apparently consists of one person) has put on hold the Pamunkey Indians' quest for recognition by the United States Government. Stand Up for California, is an organization concerned with the growth of Indian reservation gambling. It made a last minute appeal to the Interior Board of Indian Appeals the "appellate review body that exercises the delegated authority of the Secretary of the Interior to issue final decisions . . .involving Indian matters."

Apparently the Federal recognition of the Pamunkey has become caught in the crossfire over the little known issues(at least for people on the East Coast) of “off-reservation casinos" and gambling on "tribal trust lands."

"Stand Up for California's request to the IBIA for reconsideration is unfounded, meritless, and unsupported by evidence, . . .The Tribe's sovereign strength, which traces back well before the arrival of the earliest colonists to Virginia, will see it through this frivolous attack as it has seen it through so many other thoughtless, mean-spirited attacks in the past," said Mark C. Tilden, attorney for the tribe and longtime legal advocate for tribes across the United States.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Come to the Event . . .

Come to the Cumberland Festival at historic Cumberland Plantation in New Kent, Virginia, October 17 and 18, 2015. See and learn about Life During the Civil War in New Kent as presented by members of the New Kent Historical Society.  Enjoy the grounds and beautiful autumn vistas of the Pamunkey River.

Yours truly will be one of the featured speakers.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Commerce on the Pamunkey- 1913

Much Building In Prospect -Steamer for the Pamunkey.
 West Point. Va., October 4.-
The Chamber of Commerce met Tuesday night and a stock company was organised(sic) for the purpose of building houses to accommodate the new people coming into the town. The directors of the company have boon appointed, but the  officers of same have not been fully decided upon. The organisation(sic) is to be known an the West Point Building Corporation, and twenty or more houses are to go up at once. There will be building done by others.
With the deepening of the water around the docks at West Point, the completion of the bridge across the Mattaponi River, and the prospect of a bridge across the Pamunkey River, and the building of houses for many people and the many other signs of progress around West Point there comes a cry for a small steamboat up the Pamunkey. W. J. Taylor, of Eltham Farm, New Kent County, calls attention to the fact that although the Southern Railroad skirts the Pamunkey River on the north side, up to the White Mouse, yet a vast territory on the south side of the river has no transportation facilities whatever. That there are many farmers who would grow much produce to ship could they have the chance to do so, and that above White House, where lie some of the largest and finest farms in Virginia, the farmers have no way of shipping their produce, except by the slow process of sail vessel, after a very long haul across the country.
A steamboat on the Pamunkey would awaken the farmers to grow larger crops, when, as the case now stands, they grow only enough for home consumption. The boat would not only handle freight, but many passengers would find it convenient to do their trading in West Point, which is the natural trading place for a large section of this country. The steamboat would be a paying investment, and would greatly increase and bring a large body of people in closer touch commercially with West Point.
In 1867 this present line of steamers was established from Baltimore. The boats, the Kenebeck and the Admiral, used to run up the Pamunkey river to White House until the railroad was completed to West point. In 1867 there was an established line from Norfolk. The Mystic, a moderate sized steamer, was used to accommodate the shippers and the traveling public. This boat ran to White House also until the  railroad was completed, but as a favor stopped at West Point in passing.
The stock books of the new bank have been opened for subscription, and from indications stock subscriptions will be received from every county In Tidewater Virginia, and there is a likelihood that its maximum capital of $50,000 will be oversubscribed. The bank will open its doors about November 1 in its temporary quarters in the Masonic Hall Building, but will move to D and Eighth Streets when the new building is completed. It is said that work on the new building will begin immediately.

-The Times Dispatch(Richmond, Va.) October 05, 1913

Monday, August 31, 2015

"A Most Notorious Actor"

Thomas Hall, Clerk of New Kent County, was hanged by the victorious Governor Berkeley after the suppression of Bacon's Rebellion. Said to be "a person of Neat Ingenious parts, but addicted to a more than ordinary prying into the Secrets of State affairs, which some years last past wrought him into the Governors displeasure." He was executed in 1677 for the crime that he "by divers writings under his own hand … a most notorious actor, aided and assisted in the rebellion."*

New Kent County was much larger at this time, covering most of the headwaters of the York River. It had been one of the flash points of the rebellion owing to its then frontier location, and the belief of the residents that the Governor had not been defending the area adequately against Indian depredations.

*Vestry book of Blisland (Blissland) Parish, New Kent and James City Counties, Virginia, 1721-1786
by Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hailstorms and Courts-Martial and Wine.

On the 9th(of May 1862) we were still on board the schooner at West Point. Everybody was anxious to get ashore, but we waited to be taken in nearer shore so that the horses could be unloaded. We found it tiresome enough lying there all day.
The next day we were taken ashore much to our relief, the horses lowered overboard as at Shipping Point. We went to the guns, hitched on and marched about two miles, and camped at a place called Elkhorn, on the Pamunky River. Captain Arnold of the regulars had charge of the unloading.
Sunday the 11th, was quite warm. General McClellan arrived during the day, bringing news of destruction of the Merrimac. Magnolias were in full bloom.
Another warm day on the 12th. We had a division inspection that day. At this time no one could tell what our next move was to be or in what direction. All was uncertainty.
The same condition of affairs prevailed on the 13th. The daily drill was our only occupation. The warm weather continued and so did the rumors as to our destination.
We were at last called out, early on the morning of the 15th marched about fifteen miles and went into camp at New Kent Court House. It was quite warm and the infantry straggled badly, especially one regiment called the Baxter's Zouaves.
We remained in camp through the 16th. It was called Camp Stumps by some of the boys.
It was at this camp that a difficulty arose between Sergeant Budlong and Patrick Donnegan. It commenced over a claim of a bridle. The sergeant had possession of the bridle and stated that it was his and that Donnegan had taken it claiming that it was a bridle which he had used on the horse of Lieut. John G. Hazard. Donnegan had been detailed to take care of Lieutenant Hazard's horses. The lieutenant commanded the sergeant to give up the bridle. The latter refused to do so and some sharp words passed between them. Lieutenant Hazard ordered the guard to buck and gag Budlong and reduce him to the ranks. To degrade a sergeant in such a manner was something unknown and contrary to Army Regulations and was so stated by the president of the court-martial, Colonel Surrey, who was a graduate of West Point. He never received any redress for this punishment.
We got under way on the 18th, and marched two miles and went into camp with every kind of a rumor that was ever heard of about what was to be done next, and when we were going to move It grew monotonous.
On the 19th there was some little excitement, as firing was heard a number of times, though sounding a long way off, and in advance of us. Our corps, the Second, under "Daddy Sumner," as the boys dubbed him was in reserve.
On the 20th we exchanged visits with Battery B, the Fifteenth Massachusetts and First Minnesota. All were tired of creeping along as we had been doing, and they were grumbling about it as well as the men of our battery. The horses appeared to stand it very well.
We marched again on the 21st about six a.m. and passed by McClellan's headquarters at the Savage house at Baltimore Cross Roads. St Peter's Church stands there where Washington was married to Mrs Custis. We halted and entered the church. One of the boys came near getting into trouble. He was cutting a piece off the pulpit fringe for a souvenir, when a guard spied him and went for him with a bayonet. Marching on again we went into camp in the afternoon near Bottom's Bridge.
The 22d was a dull day. In the middle of the afternoon a strange coincidence took place. Lieut. Charles F. Mason's father, Mr Earl P. Mason and Mr. Slater of Providence, R.I., and Colonel Dudley, of New York, were visiting us and had brought with them some wine; and, as the case was about to be opened, the remark was made that it would be very desirable if they could have some ice to cool a bottle; but before the case was opened a shower broke upon them with great severity, and all hands turned their attention to the tent, which was in danger of blowing down. While holding up the tent some of the party had their knuckles injured badly by the hail which descended in torrents. In twenty minutes the shower was over, and all around the tents large hailstones were to be seen completely covering the ground. They were from one to three indies in size. As the weather was very warm the men were very grateful for the supply of ice so providentially furnished. It is needless to say that our officers and their guests had a cool bottle of wine. 

-The History of Battery A: First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery in the War to Preserve the Union, 1861-1865-Thomas M. Aldrich
Snow & Farnham, printers, 1904

Saturday, August 22, 2015

"The following officers have been appointed . . ."

Fort Monroe, Sept. 13.
The following officers have been appointed from the 3d Pennsylvania Artillery as Assistant Superintendents of the Freedmeu's Bureau: 
Captain J. B. Bisphane for Elizabeth City county, 
Lieut. James Darling. New Kent county; 
Lieut. Frank Martin, Charles City county;
Lieut Marshall, James City county; 
Lieut. J, W Kaye for York county.
-The New York Times, September 15, 1865

 James A.H. Darling was born in Maine, in 1840; removed to Reading with his parents, and thence to Philadelphia about 1848. He is an accountant. He was first lieutenant of an artillery company* for three years during the Rebellion

-History of Schuylkill County, Pa: With Illustrations . . .

Joel Munsell's Sons - 1881

An officer in Battery K, he was also the brother of one of the regiment's Majors, John Darling. His photograph is here, upper left corner.