Pamunkey River

Pamunkey River
The Pamunkey River in 1864

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Steps to Prevent Spread of Smallpox In New Kent County. 
[Special to The Times-Dispatch.] 
New Kent, Va., May 25.-The local Board of Health of New Kent county met at the courthouse yesterday to take such steps as are necessary to prevent the spread of smallpox in the county. Dr. C.L. Bailey, Dr. U.H. Johnson, Dr. J.R. Parker, W.P. T. Tunstall and T.N. Harris, members, composing the board, were present, and ordered that all persons in the two districts in which the disease exists be vaccinated, the expense of such vaccination to be born by the county.  
There are only three cases in this county fully developed and several suspected of being infected. 

-Times Dispatch, 26 May 1912

In 1912 there were 20,190 cases of smallpox in the United States resulting in 235 deaths.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

To Each His Just . . .

FOR apprehending and delivering to me tn New Kent county, near Bottom’s Bridge, Daniel L. Bradley my apprentice, who absconded on last Sunday; he is a personal youth, very forward, 16 years of age his mother resides in New Kent.— All persons are forwarned from entertaining or harbouring said apprentice, & masters of vessels from carrying him out of the state, as the law will he enforced against them.
                                                 BENJAMIN KEININGHAM. :
November 23, 1805.                            3t*

 -Virginia Argus, 4 December 1805

From the 1803 edition of A Collection of All Such Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia, of a Public and Permanent Nature, as are Now in Force: 1776-1801

XI EVERY orphan who hath no estate or not sufficient for a maintenance of the profits, shall, by order of the Court of the County or Corporation in which he or he resides, be bound Apprentice by the Overseers of the Poor until the age of twenty-one years, if a boy, or of eighteen years, if a girl, to some master or mistress, who shall covenant to teach the Apprentice some art, trade, of business, to be particularized in the indenture, as also reading and writing; and if a boy, common arithmetic, including the rule of three, and to pay him or her twelve dollars at the expiration of the time; and the indentures of such Apprentices shall be filed in the Office of the Clerk of the County, and not transferable to any person whatsoever without the approbation of the Court. 

XII ANY Guardian may with the approbation of that Court in which his appointment shall be recorded, and not otherwise, bind his Ward Apprentice to such person for learning such art or trade, and with such covenants on part of the master or mistress as the said Court shall direct and every such Apprentice with the like approbation, or any Apprentice bound by his father, may, with the approbation of the Court of that County in which the father reside, after he hall be sixteen years of age, agree to serve until he shall twenty-four years of age, or any shorter time, and such agreement entered on record shall bind him.

The Code of 1819 has this . . .

If any person shall knowingly harbor or conceal any apprentice who shall have deserted from his master or mistress, such person, besides being liable to an action for damages, shall forfeit and pay, to such master or mistress, the sum of three dollars for every day that he shall so conceal or harbor such apprentice. 

And according to this calculator the relative wage value of 10 cents in 1805 is . . . $2.25.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

"I Consider it Unnecessary for Me to Dilate on Political Minutia"- 1810

I beg leave to inform you, that, in consequence of the suggestions of some of my friends, whose opinions I respect, I shall be a Candidate for your suffrages at the ensuing election of Representatives to the General Assembly: I flatter myself that I shall obtain the approbation of those who are acquainted with my political principles; but to those with wham I have not the honor of an acquaintance, I wish to introduce myself as one, the most cherished object of whose heart is the support of the present Republican form of government in it’s pristine purity; conscious as I am that an intimate Knowledge of the principles of that government has widely diffused itself among you, I consider it unnecessary for me to dilate on political minutia; while at the same time l feel it a duty incumbent on me to declare without reserve those principles which shall mark, the rule of my conduct, I am fearful, however, that in so doing in a manner the most efficacious to place my pretensions in a fair point of view, I shall descend into that kind of prolixity which tires rather by the introduction of familiar topics: but I trust, my Fellow-Citizens, that you would duly appreciate the circumstances under which I come forward, that you will make allowance for my youth and unacquaintance(sic) with some of you, and see the necessity of my entering somewhat into detail.
 I shall premise by observing that as in the ratification of the Federal constitution some of the most important powers of government were given up to the United States, I shall refrain from saying any thing on those powers, as should I obtain the honor of your suffrages, they will exceed the limits of my public duties ; but I hope that the opinions which I am about to express will sufficiently develop my ideas on the leading principles of the Federal Government. Government is the grandest subject on which the human mid has ever been employed, to direct man to a discovery of the real springs of his happiness, deserves the highest commendations which man can bestow, it will then by no means form an objection to me, that I declare my coincidence of opinion with the patriot whose labors produced the mild and equitable government, which under indulgent Providence we now enjoy; One of the most important among the powers reserved to the state is the regulation of the elective franchise- regulation which depends on principles variant as circumstances, since that standard which, when population is thinly scattered, equitably limits the exercise of that inestimable franchise, would after the encrease(sic) of population, and when the price of property has advanced require extension; the next in point of magnitude is the power of taxation— a power in itself highly necessary, but from which may result the most awful consequences, it therefore becomes the duty of the Representatives of the people so to exercise this power as not to exceed the legitimate defied objects of Government. The judiciary system, in its organization tending to perfection, possesses defects which have hitherto eluded the grasp of each successive law passed on the subject, and have in a manner clogged the wheels of justice, on the speedy and uniform administration of which depend the life, reputation and property of the citizen —in the distribution of the offices of Government, we see placed in the hands of the Legislature a power of rewarding meritorious services, which to reward is sound policy, encouraging the citizens to exert his every energy in deference of his country and its liberties.
               I remain, -Fellow Citizens,
               your humble servant.
                   JOHN P. CLOPTON
            ROSLIN, NEW KENT
                 February 20, 1810

-Virginia Argus, 27 February 1810

I assume this is John Bacon Clopton, son of John Clopton who was then New Kent's representative to Congress and who would have been only 21 at the time of this election (Virginia legislative elections were held in April). John Bacon Clopton, later Judge Clopton, according to an historical address after his death, "After an unsuccessful candidacy for the State Senate he was elected to that body, in which he served until the end of of the session of 1829-30, when he declined re-election." The Senate district was composed of New Kent, Charles City, and James City in 1810. William Chamberlayne, of Poplar Grove, was the Senator at the time and would represent the district from 1805 until 1818.

However he does refer to the "ensuing election of Representatives to the General Assembly." At that time every county had two members of the House of Delegates irrespective of size who were elected every year. So this may have been an earlier unsuccessful run for the House.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

                                                NEW KENT ACADEMY.
THIS School will be continued next year at St. Peter's Church, New Kent. The first term will commence on the 3d day of January. Tuition as heretofore, 35 dollars per year for the higher branches, and 35 dollars per year for English studies, due at the close of each term. Boarding 80 dollars per year, beds excepted The superior qualifications of my Assistant Instructor will enable me to present to the youth who attend my school, advantages for literary and scientific improvement, which flatter myself are not exceeded in any Academy in Virginia:- and parents may rest assured that the morals and deportment of the youth who attend the school, will claim our particular regard. To recommend my school to public patronage, I depend on the improvement of those who enjoy its advantages.                                                JON SILLIMAN.
New Kent, Dec. 18                                                    69-4t

-Richmond Enquirer, 21 December 1824

Jonathan Silliman was born in Chester, Conn, July 22, 1793, and died in Cornwall, N.Y., May 13, 1885, aged nearly 92 years. He was the son of Deacon Thomas and Huldah (Dunk) Silliman and the grandson of the Rev. Robert Silliman (Y.C. 1737.) 
He studied theology in Andover Seminary, teaching meantime for one year in Phillips Academy and finishing his professional studies in 1821. He soon went South and labored as a home missionary in eastern Virginia, being ordained on October 8, 1823. In 1830 he was settled over the Presbyterian Church in New Kent, Va., and on September 5, 1832, he married Anna, daughter of the late Rev. Dr Amzi Armstrong of Perth Amboy, N.J., and widow of Mr. Jared Mead; she was a woman of remarkable intelligence. As both his own and his wife's health suffered from the Virginia climate, they returned to the North in 1835, and in the same year he was installed over the Canterbury Presbyterian Church in Cornwall, Orange County, N.Y., where he labored in the ministry until his voluntary retirement in 1862. He continued his residence among his former people, and his benign presence was felt as a benediction. 
His wife died January 24, 1882. Their only child a colonel, in the Union army, died at Beaufort, S.C., in 1864.

-Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University ... Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Alumni 1880

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Virus and Response 1856 Pt, VII- the End and Peticolas

Some more information on the rather interesting Dr. Arthur Edward Peticolas (1824- Nov 27 1868) He was the grandson of Phillipe Abraham Peticolas born March 1760 Meziers, France came to American by way of Santo Domingo. His parents were Edward F. Peticolas(b 1793 Pa) and Jane Pitfield Braddick, both of artistic leanings, Edward F. Peticolas being one of the most well known painters of the Virginia of the time; young Arthur E. Peticolas displayed some canvases himself as a young man before turning to medicine.*

The below is from his obituary in the Richmond and Louisville Medical Journal of February 1869.

He received his medical education in the Medical Department of Hampden-Sidney College, (now the Medical College of Virginia), where he graduated in March, 1849. 
. . . 
In the autumn of 1854, the professor of anatomy, Dr. Johnson, having met his death by the loss of the steamer Arctic, on which he was returning from Europe, Dr. Peticolas was appointed by the faculty to deliver the lectures in that department, during the ensuing winter course, and in the following March, he was duly elected by the board of visitors to the vacant professorship. 
. . .
At the commencement of the war, he received a commission as surgeon in the army of the Confederate States, and was soon after assigned to duty as a member of the board established at Richmond for the examination of surgeons and assistant surgeons, in which position he remained until the termination of hostilities. 
The increasing inroads of his relentless disease upon his strength and spirits drove him at length to seek relief in a change of climate, and, with this view, he accepted, in the summer of 1867, the offer of the chair of anatomy in the New Orleans School of Medicine, and bade adieu to the Institution with which, in various relations, he had been so long connected. His hopes of amendment, however, were doomed to disappointment, and he resigned his position in New Orleans at the close of his first course. Returning to Richmond, he resumed the practice of his profession, and about one year ago, without solicitation on his part, he was elected superintendent of the Eastern Lunatic Asylum, at Williamsburg.
. . .
While bodily suffering and mental anxiety threw a tinge of melancholy over his character and imparted to his manners a habitual reserve which was unattractive to the stranger, the sincerity and real kindliness of his nature won for him the cordial esteem and affection of those who knew him most intimately.

The article below is rather more . . . direct  . . . about the end of Dr. Peticolas.

Dr Arthur E Peticolas.
Dr Arthur E Peticolas, Superintendent the Eastern Lunatic Asylum at Williamsburg, committed suicide there on the morning of Nov. 28th, by leaping from a window of the building, and dashing out his brains. He was a distinguished physician, and formerly a professor the medical college at Richmond. His mind been unsettled for some time past. 

-The Medical and Surgical Reporter, Philadelphia, Oct. 17, 1868

*"Talented Virginians: The Peticolas Family"-L. Moody Simms, Jr.
The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography Vol. 85, No. 1 (Jan., 1977),

Friday, April 3, 2020

Virus and Response 1856 Pt VII- Names and Places

Some of the people affected in the 1856 small Pox outbreak, either infected "naturally" or who may have been infected by the "live" vaccine from the full text of the report to the General Assembly.

1) "Thomas Breeden" "Mrs Breeden the wife of the deceased, her son Lloyd, Joseph Robbins a boy of 12 years of age living in the family"

2) "George W. Mitchell the head of the family, his wife, and infant daughter"

3) "Pryor a free negro lad aged about 18 years"

4)"Peter an old man aged about 70 years the property of John G. Mitchell."

5)Ellen Richardson and George Richardson, the children of Dr. W. Pryor Richardson

6) Leroy Williams

7) Elizabeth a black girl about 14

8) "four negroes" Jack, George, Lizzy, Drusilla,

9) "Mr. (Thomas) Boswell's son and daughter aged about 17 and 13 years and a young man in the family named Lewellin Crowdis"

10) William O. Hockaday- "17 members of family" and Charles, Dick, and George Lewis Washington

11) Mrs Sally Hockaday at her residence, " A colored man named Washington Scott"

12) Thomas M. Timberlake-"14 members of family"

Below a map of the chief area of infection- you will notice some of the family names from the report, such as Digges(orDiggs), Hockaday, Timbelake, Mitchel, Williams, Boswell, and Lacy.

Below is a map of the area near Tabernacle Church showing the residence (actually residences) of Dr. Richardson as well as a Mitchel property on Weir Creek that seems a likely place for the Smallpox hospital mentioned.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Virus and Response 1856 Pt VI--- -"Report of the Special Committee of the House of Delegates"

Dr. John Henry Claiborne, Del- Petersburg

Art II. Report of the Special Committee of the House of Delegates on the Vaccine Agency. By J. Herbert Claiborne M.D. Delegate from Petersburg and Chairman of the Committee.*

 The committee to whom was referred the communication of the governor of this commonwealth relative to the conduct of the vaccine agent have had the same under consideration and have examined the documents appertaining to the subject the letters of certain persons in the county of New Kent complaining that the agent had distributed among them the matter of small pox instead of vaccine matter together with the communication of Dr. Patteson who was dispatched by the governor to New Kent to enquire(sic) into the case and other papers in the possession of the house germane to the whole and beg leave to submit the following report.
The committee have found it to be well established that Dr. A.E. Peticolas has been the unfortunate agent of dispensing to sundry persons in the county of New Kent matter which by inoculation has produced variola and varioloid instead of the vaccine disease Of this fact the agent himself is convinced and avers it in his candid and impartial communication to the governor. It remains then for the committee to enquire into the motives of the agent whether the distribution of this noxious matter was intentional on his part and into his official conduct whether it has been marked by sufficient carefulness and by intelligent precaution. 
In the total absence of any reason why the agent a state officer of high character and unimpeached integrity should intentionally lend himself to the fiendish act of spreading a fatal and loathsome disease among the people of this commonwealth the committee cannot conceive it possible that his motives should be impugned by any one. They deem it unnecessary to say more on this point. 
 In reference to the official conduct of the agent the committee believe that he has exercised as much caution and sagacity in the procurement of the matter which he distributed to the citizens of New Kent as he has done in all other cases when called on for matter And that he has in all other cases acted with care and prudence will appear from the fact that in a term of five year’s service in which he has supplied many thousand people with virus he has never before been accused of sending improper matter And moreover it will appear on an investigation of the mode in which Dr. Peticolas procures the vaccine scab that no man can do more to obtain and transmit that which is genuine.

- as reported in The Stethoscope and Virginia Medical and Surgical Journal Combined , April 1856

*This is different than the previous committee mentioned which was from the Virginia Senate.