Drawing of the destroyed railroad bridge at White House on the Pamunkey

Drawing of the destroyed railroad bridge at White House on the Pamunkey
From the Story of Thirty-third New York Volunteers

Monday, January 9, 2017

Travel 100 Years Ago- "Leave West Point 6:15 P.M. and arrive Baltimore 7 A. M"


MOST INTERESTING AND DELIGHTFUL TRIP IN AMERICA, TO BALTIMORE BY BOAT. 
The mysteries of the sea were never more fully brought to mind than by this trip to Baltimore over the YORK RIVER LINE. The route is through one of the most historic, beautiful and scenic sections of the United States. Leaving Richmond 5:10 P.M.. the trip is one hour by Express Steamer Train to West Point situated at the head of York River. Fine new steamers of Chesapeake Steamship Company leave West Point 6:15 P.M. and arrive Baltimore 7 A. M. Many Colonial homes and other interesting places are located on this beautiful river. A stop is made at quaint Yorktown. and shortly after leaving this point the steamer enters Chesapeake Bay.  
Round trip fare between Richmond and Baltimore is $4.50, limited to 30 days; one way fare, $2.60. There are staterooms with berths, brass beds, private baths and showers. The cuisine is of the best, with sea food, table d'hote dinners, club breakfasts and a la carte service.  
In planning your summer trip let us tell you the interesting details of this wonderful trip. Descriptive literature on application. 
Magruder Dent, Division Passenger Agent, 
907 East Main Street. Richmond.

-Richmond Times-Dispatch, 31 July 1917





STATE ROOM






Thursday, January 5, 2017

Charles City County Courthouse Named


At its December 2016 meeting the Charles City Board of Supervisors vote unanimously to name the Charles City Courthouse after Iona Whitehead Adkins. Mrs. Adkins was Charles City's first African-American Clerk of Circuit Court and the only African-American serving in that position at the time. She served from 1968 until her retirement in 1988. Iona Adkins passed away in 2004 at the age of 79. 

Iona W. Adkins defeated  the incumbent clerk, Hudson Binns, in 1967. She received 1,188 votes to Binn's 552- Charles City at that time had under 2,600 registered voters.  

Mrs. Adkins is recognized as the first African-American woman to be elected a county clerk in America since Reconstruction. I personally can find no record of any African-American holding the position of Clerk in Virginia before her, during Reconstruction or later.  Edwin P. McCabe was elected a county clerk of Graham County, Kansas in 1881. John Mercer Langston was elected clerk of the small town of Brownhelm, Ohio in 1855 becoming probably the first African-American office holder in the United States- he later returned to his native Virginia after the Civil War where he was elected to Congress.






Saturday, December 31, 2016

It's Older Than You Think . . .

(Originally posted Christmas 2013)




That Holiday shooting? It's older than you think.


We have quite a merry Christmas in the family; and a compact that no unpleasant word shall be uttered and no scramble for anything. The family were baking cakes and pies until late last night, and to day we shall have full rations. I have found enough celery in the little garden for dinner.
 Last night and this morning the boys have been firing Christmas guns incessantly- no doubt pilfering from their fathers cartridge boxes. There is much jollity and some drunkenness in the streets, notwithstanding the enemy's pickets are within an hour's march of the city


From A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States CapitalJohn Beauchamp Jones, 1866



 1804.
 Robert Mitchell, Mayor, to the Governor
 Dec. 25, Richmond

Having a moment of time to spare, I take that opportunity of acknowleging the receipt of your letter enclosing the advice of our Council of State, bearing date the 3rd of last November, and yours of the 19th of same month. It did not come to hand at that date or for many days after. I have done all in my power to prevent that evil of unlawful Gaming within this city pointed out by you; besides it encourages the unguarded youth in Idleness vice and Immorality. You may depend on my doing all in my power to prevent such violation of our laws, and punish them when detected.
 Your favor of the 24th Inst. came very late to hand on the evening of that day. Had I rece'd it early in the day I might have had it more in my power to have its contents put in execution more compleat in order to comply with your wish and my own desire. On the 23rd Inst. I wrote Maj'r Wolfe to furnish a Serg't Guard out of the militia, in order to aid our city Patrol to patrol the city and its Jurisdiction during the Christmas Holydays, which has been complyed with, but it does appear to me to be impossible to prevent firing what is called Christmas Guns, being an old established custom, although there is an ordinance of the city police fixing a fine of 5s. for every offence of firing Guns within this city. The addition of the militia to the city patrol may prevent in part the evil pointed out to me in your letter.
 I am &c                    


- From Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts: ... Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond, Virginia- Volume 9, Henry W. Flournoy, 1890



March 1655-6    6th of Commonwealth  
                                                           ACT XII 
WHEREAS it is much to be doubted, That the comon enemie the Indians, if opportunity serve, would suddenly invade this collony to a totall subversion of the same and whereas the only means for the discovery of their plotts is by allarms, of which no certainty can be had in respect of the frequent shooting of gunns in drinking, whereby they proclaim, and as it were, justifie that beastly vice spending much powder in vaine, that might be reserved against the comon enemie, Be it therefore enacted that what person or persons soever shall, after publication hereof, shoot any gunns at drinkeing (marriages and ffuneralls onely excepted) that such person or persons so offending shall forfeit 100 lb. of tobacco to be levied by distresse in case of refusall and to be disposed of by the militia in amunition towards a magazine for the county where the offence shall be comitted.


From The Statutes at Large: Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619William Waller Hening,ed. 1823


Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas 1904- "The blowing of the fox-hunter's horn."


Christmas in New Kent.
(Special to The Times-Dispatch.)
ROXBURY, VA., December 26- The Christmas of 1904 was one of the most quiet ever observed in New Kent, not a gun fired or firecrack was heard to remind of the happy event. 
The blowing of the fox-hunter's horn or the cry of the dogs can be heard on every hand, however. 
The pound party and ball to be given at Liberty Hall Friday night, is looked forward to with much pleasure. City music has been engaged for the occasion.

-December 27, 1904



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Travel 100 Years Ago- Baltimore via the York River Line

The City of Annapolis



DAILY SERVICE TO WEST POINT AND RICHMOND, VA. 

On October 21 the Chesapeake Steamship Company placed in service on its York River line the palatial steamer City of Annapolis and on November 17 the City of Richmond will be placed in service, giving to Baltimore a daily service to West Point and Richmond, Va. Beginning November 17, the following schedule will be maintained: 
Leave Baltimore . . .              6.00 P.M. 
Arrive West Point . . .            7.00 A.M. 
Steamer Train- leave West Point . .7.20 A.M. 
Steamer Train- arrive Richmond . . 8.30 A.M. 
Between Richmond West Point and Baltimore 
Steamer Train- leave Richmond . . .5.30 P.M. 
Steamer Train- arrive West Point   6.40 P.M. 
Steamer leave West Point . . .     6.50 P.M. 
Arrive Baltimore . . .             7.00 A.M. 
The service via the Southern Railway between West Point and Richmond will be performed by a special steamer train with parlor car and day coaches. The line between West Point and Richmond has been conditioned enabling the steamer train to make the run- thirty-nine (39) miles- in an hour and ten minutes. The pier at West Point has been rebuilt for the convenient transfer of passengers between the trains and the ships, making the entire service first class in every respect. 
The steamers City of Annapolis and City of Richmond have a gross tonnage of 1,923 tons and a net tonnage of 1,127 tons. She is 277 feet over all 53 feet over guards and 43 feet beam at the water line, with a carrying capacity for 600 tons of freight and accommodations for 400 passengers. She has 117 rooms with running water in all rooms. Eight rooms contain double brass beds and connect with bath room; five rooms with double brass beds and shower bath; seven rooms with two berths and connecting with bath rooms, and four rooms with two berths and shower bath. All bath rooms and shower baths are equipped with hot and cold, fresh and salt water. She is equipped with Marconi wireless, interior telephones for communication between state rooms, and when alongside the dock connection is made with the city telephone system. The dining room is located on the gallery deck forward and has a seating capacity for sixty people. A special feature of this steamer is the segregation of the colored from the white passengers, a number of rooms and a smoking room on the main deck aft having been set aside for the exclusive use of the colored passengers. A handsomely furnished smoking room for white passengers is located on the gallery deck aft. 

-Baltimore(magazine), November 1913




Sunday, December 11, 2016

Travel 100 Years Ago- Ride the Rails



     SOUTHERN RAILWAY
Premier Carrier of the South 
Trains Leave Richmond, Main St. Station

 N. B.- Following schedule figures published as information. Not guaranteed.
 5:30 A.M.  Daily. Local for Danville, Charlotte, Durham and Raleigh.
10:30 A.M. Daily limited for all points South.
 3:00 P.M.   Ex. Sunday-Local for Durham, Raleigh and intermediate stations.
 6:00 P.M.   Daily for Danville, Atlanta and Birmingham, with through electric lighted observation sleeping car.
11:16 P.M.  Daily limited for all points South. Pullman ready 9:00 P.M.  
YORK RIVER SERVICE. 
 4:16 P.M.   Daily. Local for West Point.
 6:10 P.M.   Daily except Sunday. Steamer train to West Point, connecting for Baltimore. (Parlor Car.)
 7:36 A.M.  Daily. Local to West Point.
Trains Arrive In Richmond. 
From the South: 7:06 A.M., 8:00 A.M., 3:60 P.M., 8:30 P.M. daily, and 8:40 A.M., except Sunday.
From West Point; 8:45 A. M., except Monday and 9:40 A.M., and 6:16 P.M. daily.   MAGRUDER DENT.    D. P. A.. *

907 East Main Street, Phone Madison 373



-Presbyterian of the South, 16 February 1916



*Division Passenger Agent



Sunday, December 4, 2016

Historical Markers in the News

From the New Kent Historical Society . . .

The Department of Historical Resources (DHR) will be replacing and updating two older markers in New Kent County;  
(1) New Kent Courthouse WO-16

  
(2) Peninsular Campaign WO-31.  

VDOT notified the DHR that the markers are in need of replacement, and VDOT has some funds on hand to support this work. 



In other "marker news", a new marker for the Highway Marker Program has been approved for King William County . . .


Pamunkey Indians in the Civil War 
Residents of the Pamunkey Reservation, ten miles southeast of here, aided Union troops during the Civil War. About a dozen Pamunkey men enlisted as guides, scouts, gunboat pilots, and spies for Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac during the Peninsula Campaign in 1862. Women and the elderly provided intelligence, shelter, safe passage, food, and supplies for Union troops. Confederate authorities pressed Pamunkey men into service as laborers and punished others for their Unionism with imprisonment at Richmond’s Castle Thunder. After the war many Pamunkey Indians won compensation from the federal Southern Claims Commission for property damaged or taken by Union soldiers. 
Sponsor: DHR
Locality: King William County
Proposed Location: intersection of King William Rd (Rt. 30) and Powhatan Trail (Rt. 633)


And for some more background on the Historical Marker program here is a 2011 thesis from Joseph D. Bayless III.