Pamunkey River

Pamunkey River
The Pamunkey River in 1864

Tuesday, March 29, 2011



Married Yesterday Morning In the Parlors of the Lexington Hotel.
The marriage of Mr. L. W. Sleater* and Miss Gertrude B. Cook, of New Kent county, yesterday morning in the parlors of the Lexington Hotel was the culmination of a romance which the good people of the county have watched with interest for many mouths.
The bride is the daughter of Mr L. W. Clark, of New Kent, and in the opinion of her parents, who opposed the wedding, was too young to marry, and time and time again they had interfered when the young couple had pressed the matter. Early yesterday morning they eluded the objecting parents, and driving across country several miles, caught a tram and came direct to Richmond, and within fifteen minutes after reaching the city applied at the office of the hotel for permission to be married in the parlors which was granted. The ceremony was performed by Rev. J. H. Franklin, a student at Richmond College, and a friend of the groom who had been notified by the couple if all plans carried they would allow him to perform this as his initial marriage ceremony.
Mr. and Mrs. Sleater did not register at the hotel, but left at once after the ceremony to visit friends in the city. The young lady's parents were notified last night.

-Richmond Times, November 21, 1901

*The Times article above is riddled with errors. "Mr. L.W. Sleater" is in fact Lawrence W. Slater.
Gertrude B. Cook, as one would expect is the daughter of Richard D. Cook, not "Mr L. W. Clark."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Barhamsville School Controversy Pt. 2

The New Kent School Matter
Editor of The Times:
Sir,. There appeared in the daily Issue of your paper of the 22d inst. an article headed "Fierce Feud About Schools in New Kent County," &, which I think should not be allowed to pass by unnoticed and I beg that you allow this a place in your paper.
 In the first place there is no uncommon trouble in the district about schools, only a difference of views among the people of the Bradenham School District as to the location of a school-house. It is true that a mystery surrounds the burning of the Bradenham school-house, but suspicion rests upon no one that I have heard of. In regard to the burning of Barhamsville school. There is not the slightest doubt as to the origin, as it was burnt about 11 o'clock in the day while school was in session and was observed first in the top of the building. The county superintendent knew this when he made the statement imputed to him by the writer of this article. that both houses were mysteriously burnt. He is absolutely false that there is any contention whatever between the neighborhoods of Barhamsville and Bradenham, and has never been. About eight years ago the people in the Bradenham neighborhood asked to have a school in their midst; the District Board declined to establish one on the ground that the means at their disposal did not justify it and that the place they wanted it was too near to the Barhamsville school. A Board of Reference was called and a school was established by shortening the term or all the schools and reducing the salaries of the teachers. This made the fourth white school. Last year it became necessary, on account of a falling off in our school population, to reduce the schools in order to meet the legal requirements under, the law and the District Board combined two colored schools and enlarged the house to accommodate the children, making only two schools for the colored people. After the Bradenham house was burned the patron's naturally wished it rebuilt. The attention of the District board was attracted to that part of the Constitution relating to public, schools, and being impressed with the idea that they were discriminating too freely in the division of the schools between the races, they declined to rebuild until they could get serious advice on the subject; however they rented a house and started the school. In the meantime a meeting of the patrons of the Barhamsville and Bradenham schools was advised to consider the above and see if some satisfactory arrangement could not be made to combine the two schools, but nothing was accomplished, I went to Richmond to consult the State Board. I did not see any of the members of the Board, but saw Mr. Brent, the secretary. I stated my trouble to him. I came home and reported the result of my conference to the District Board, and they decided to rebuild. We consulted with. a large majority of the patrons as to what place they desired, the house built, as there had been some talk by parties living in and around Plum Point to put the house closer to them.
 Patrons representing nineteen children attending school said put it back on the very same spot where the old one was burned and a contract was let to that effect under specifications that the contractor would furnish all material and build the house for the sum of $140. After the house was about three-fourths completed a Board of Reference was called, asking the removal the, house nearer Plum-Point. The Board met December 18th. There were only two of the advocates for moving the house present, one of whom was not a patron or any school and would not probably be for several years, his children being so young. The other gentleman did everything in his power and means to establish the school eight years ago where it now stands. There were five patrons present who testified that the house should remain where it is, but the Board decided that the school was improperly located when it was first built, and should be removed one and a half or two miles nearer to Plum Point. The contractor suspended work for a week or more no place having been designated to build the house. The superintendent had never visited that section of this county and it looked to him that no place would be found in any reasonable time, so he completed his contract. The Board received the house and paid the contract price. A petition, asking the county superintendent to grant a new hearing in the case, signed by eight patrons representing twenty children attending school out of an enrollment of twenty-four, was returned with the information (after consultation with Mr. Brent) that no rehearing could possibly be had from the decision of the Board of Reference.
Yours truly
 Barhamsville, Va., Jan. 25, 1902.

-The Richmond Times, February 2,1902

Monday, March 14, 2011


Married at Walker's
A very pretty wedding was solemnized at "Palmer Cray" the historical old home of Mr. Robert Fox, near Walker's station, New Kent county, Wednesday February 14th. when Miss Nannie C. Fox became the bride of Mr. Richard Eggleston.
The ceremony was performed by Rev. Mr. Barnes promptly at 5 o'clock to the strains of Lohengrin's march, rendered by Miss Louise Mosmiller, of Richmond. The bride, leaning upon the arm of the groom, entered the parlor. The ushers were Messrs. Robert I Eggleston, Henry Eggleston, sons of the groom J. C. Fox, brother of the bride, and Edward Boswell.
The bride looked beautiful in a tailor made costume of pearl gray ladies' cloth with hat and gloves to correspond, and carried a large bouquet of white carnations.
The groom is a prosperous farmer of New Kent county. The bride is the daughter of the late Robert Fox ofKing William county, who by her cheerful disposition and loving kindness, has won a host of friends, both in her native and adopted county.
Immediately after the ceremony Mr. and Mrs. Eggleston left for their future residence, near Walker's, where they will. be at home to their friends.

-Richmond Times, February 18, 1900

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Barhamsville School Controversy Pt. 1

New Kent Community Wrought Up.Two School-Houses Burned.
The citizens of New Kent county, in the neighborhood of Barhamsville, are greatly wrought up over school matters. Two school-houses have recently been burned, both, under very unusual circumstances, as the superintendent of the county schools himself states. And two neighborhoods are waging a fierce tight against each other. They have done so for nearly ten years, and the settlement is apparently further off than ever before. Superintendent George  Fisher, of the New Kent Schools, was in the city yesterday to lay the matter before Dr. Southall the Superintendent of Public, instruction. He makes a lengthy report to Dr Southall stating that he is in a serious dilemma, and asks for advise as to what is best to be done.
To give a history of this trouble, which involves some of the most prominent people in that section of the county, is to give the history of the two neighborhoods of Barhamsville and Bradenham for ten years past. The feud started, between two families many years ago. A member of one family was supposed to have said something ugly about a prominent member of another family. Later this family wanted a school in their section of tho county, that is, down near Plum Point. This is the Weir Creek district. The other family, with all that was in them, opposed it. A Board of Reference was called and the new school was decided upon. This became the "Bradenham" School. But tho other family and their friends who lived at Barhamsville have fought the school ever since. Mr. Fisher says that it has been the "bone of contention" ever since it was built.
And so matters went on, the two neighborhoods nagging at each other until the fresh break came last fall. The Bradenham and the Barhamsville schools are only a mile and a half apart. All the children at Barhamsville and between the Bradenham school and Barhamsville have been attending the latter school, not one parent deigning to send a child to the Bradenham school. All the patrons of the Bradenham school lived down the county on the. other side of Bradenham. Matters took a curious turn as a result of the feud. The patrons of the Bradenham school wanted the school moved into their neighborhood. The Barhamsville faction would not hear to this, and determined to fight it with all their might.They didn't send their children there,but they were not willing to see the school moved on the ground that the locality to which Bradenham people wanted to take it was not healthy, etc. So matters stood and the question of moving had not been settled. It was apparently settled, however, just before the session, was to begin last fall, by the Bradenham schoolhouse being burned in the night. Mr Fisher says that no fire had been built in the house for months.
In due time a new schoolhouse was begun. But so strong was the suspicion of the incendiary origin of the fire and so certain did some feel that the new schoolhouse would also be burned that the persons who sold the lumber to the building contractor refused to deliver it until he had taken out a builder's insurance. About the middle of last month patrons of the Bradenham School sent a petition to Mr. Fisher asking for a Board of Reference to determine whether or not the new school-house, which was then half finished, should be moved to the place they wanted!. The board decided that it should be moved. The leader of this movement is recognized to be Mr. W. Jackson Taylor. But the contractor said that he was employed to build the school-house there and there he would build it. Just at Christmas the Barhamsville patrons sent a petition to the Board of Reference asking it to reconsider its action. Mr. C. Sylvanus Goddin is said to be the leader here.
Close upon this petition, just-ten days ago the school-house at Barhamsville was burned to the ground. Mr. Fisher admits that he is at his wits end to know what to do, and wants the advice of the State superintendent.

- The Richmond Times, January 22, 1902

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

After the War

From the Recollections and Letters of Robert E. Lee by Captain Robert F.

 * I believe the Major John Lee referred to is John Mason Lee, son of Sydney Smith Lee the older brother of Robert E. Lee.

** A good site on Pampaitke here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Handy Resource

I've decided to jump in and have my first post's subject be about a new resource on the internet. Internet Archive described as potentially (and rather hopefully) the "the ultimate archive of human knowledge" has added something else to it's vast audio, image and text collection. Available free and from the comfort of your laptop or other favorite electronic device the complete U.S. Census from 1790 to 1930.