Pamunkey River

Pamunkey River
The Pamunkey River in 1864

Friday, August 29, 2014

Snark I Think

The West Point Star thinks that Richmond can never be made a great commercial city if she depends for her communication with the sea upon the James River, and hopes, that this being the case, the people of Richmond and of the State generally should assist the half dozen West Pointers to make their town a great commercial city.

-the Richmond Enquirer, January 31, 1873

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Jim Crow at Work

                                                          In New Kent
                                            (Special Dispatch to The Times.)
    NEW KENT C.H. VA., October 9.-The registration in this county is very satisfactory to the Democrats. It is as follows: Weir Creek- white 81; colored, 16. Cumberland- white, 112; colored, 21. St. Peter's- white, 56; colored, 20. Black Creek- white, 60; colored, 19. Total white, 318; total colored, 76.
Previously the white registration has been about 400 and the colored 800. New Kent is now a white county and safely Democratic.
-The Times(Richmond), October 10, 1902

This is what the new state constitution of  1902 had been designed to do.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Back In '36 There Weren't Too Many Planes Flying…But This One Didn't Make It."

U.S. War Department / August 12, 2014 via the Tidewater Review

I had intended to do a couple of pieces on this sometime soon. But the Tidewater Review beat me to it.

Well, they have a staff and I don't.

Some more facts on the B-10 here

. . . and here with some nice cutaways.

The 96th Bomb Squadron was America's first bomber squadron, and if that and Langley Field bring something to mind, it is because the 96th was the squadron that carried out General Billy Mitchell's experimental bombing of the Ostfriesland in 1920.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Death at Rocketts

ROBERT A. CRADDOCK, a young married man, twenty-four years of age, of the county of New Kent, fell overboard from the lighter "Woodbury" Monday night, whilst intoxicated, opposite the Virginia sugar refinery, Rocketts, and was drowned. He is the young man alluded to in The Journal yesterday as having been fatally injured near the sugar refinery, which representation was according to the tenor of existing advices at that time.

-The Daily State Journal(Richmond), August 14, 1873

 Robert A. Craddock is listed as living in the St. Peter's district in the census of 1870 along side his wife Mary, and two sons Gustavus and Albert, 2 years old and a infant respectively.

I assume he is the same "Robt" A. Craddock(though listed as14) of the 1860 Charles City census listed as the son of William H. and Sarah A. Craddock.(Household ID: 357). This would seem to be confirmed by a Robert Craddock marrying a Mollie A. Craddock in Charles City in 1866.

Monday, August 18, 2014

She Said . . .

Pretty New Kent Girl Declined to Wed and Go to the Far Away Philippines.
 (Special Dispatch to The Times.)
ROXBURY, VA., August 8.— Wednesday. August 13th; was the day appointed for one of the most brilliant marriages of the year to take place near here. Invitations had been sent out and preparations had been made. The young lady is one of the most beautiful and most popular of the county. The young, man is also a handsome soldier boy; stands six feet, with piercing black eyes, and is as straight as an Indian. He was reared in this county and is now at home from the Philippines, where he. has been doing service for Uncle Sam, and carries the honorable scars of many a hard-fought battle.
It had been understood between the two that when the time of his enlistment  was out they would marry. So true to his word he came to claim the one who had promised to be his bride, and all arrangements had been made for the happy event, when - a few days ago, this handsome soldier boy received  this message: "I love you. Jimmie, but I cannot go with you to that far-off country. So we had better declare our engagement off. It was a great surprise to all.
The young man will leave September 13th to join his command, as he has reenlisted for five years more, though his heart will be sad.

- Richmond Times, August 9, 1902

Friday, August 15, 2014

Scottish Games . . . of 1873?

When the Caledonia Club of this city visits West Point next, Wednesday, they will engage in the various athletic sports for which Scotchmen are famed, such as putting the stone, throwing the hammer, running, jumping, vaulting with pole, tossing the caber, etc., etc.; also the lighter sports, including quoiting, sack races, wheelbarrow races, three-legged races, and also a ladies' race.

-The Daily State Journal,(Richmond) August 14, 1873

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

From the Army of the Potomac 1864

From the Army of the Potomac.
 Near Bottom's Bridge, June 11th, 1864.
It seems hard to realize that I am writing on almost the same ground as that occupied by the old "Empire Battery" two years ago. Really, some changes have come over since then, when we stole around through the underbrush and low pines to get a sly shot at the rebels across the Chickahominy. And when we opened on a rebel battery, lying on the other end of the railroad bridge, making them " skedaddle" with indecent celerity, we deemed it true that we had certainly done a big thing. And it was quite an achievement for such greenhorns as we were when. It was not till after the bloody baptism of Seven Pines that we realized the idea of battle. And here let me say that I have never experienced anything, even in this campaign of campaigns, which could compare with that fearful struggle. So here we are on the classic grounds of the Chickahominy. Two years have sped by, two crimson years. We have hoped and struggled and bled, and now, like a benighted traveler, we emerge from the wilderness to find ourselves walking in the same path we left but an hour ago. We are no nearer the rebel capital today than we were two years ago. Under ordinary circumstances this fact might be discouraging, but though we are even further from Richmond than we were two years since, we feel, we believe, we know we are nearer the end of the rebellion than at that time. There is naught pleasant in this desolate region, dotted on every knoll and hillock with the graves of our comrades, but there is an expression on the countenance of each bronzed veteran telling a different tale from that look which sat upon many faces in '62, when the Army of the Potomac dragged its slow length along at the rate of a mile a day. We all believe that the doom of the rebellion is scaled. We hope that this summer may put Richmond in our hands, and so the army is cheerful, even here in the ill-fated Chickahominy country. The army of the Potomac occupies ground near that held by McClellan in 1862, but it occupies the country in a totally different manner. There is life, energy and action in the army now. It fights and marches in downright earnest. We are in the Chickahominy swamps now, but we shall not lie here all summer, except for a purpose.
It is unnecessary for me to state, even as far as I know, the exact disposition of our troops. Be assured, however, that we do not consider this campaign ended. You may hear of new and unexpected developments at any day. I do not think Lee will act off the defensive, and General Grant will keep him busy. In the vicinity of Cold Harbor our lines are very close to the enemy, so close in fact, that the sharpshooters control every foot of the breastworks. In front of the 2d, 6th, 9th and 18th | corps, earthworks of the strongest kind have been thrown up in opposition to those of the enemy, and everything wears the aspect of a siege. It is not at all probable, however, that the siege of Richmond will be commenced at such a distance from the town, if it is Grant's intention to besiege it at all — The campaign has reached a most important crisis, and must now assume a different character. From the wide field between the Rapidan and Richmond, which afforded scope and range for Grant's splendid genius, the scene of war is transferred to a narrow strip of country corrugated and honeycombed with the productions of military engineering, and these works filled with soldiers and bristling with the most approved and destructive engines of war. Grant's irresistible logic has reduced and sifted the military problem down to the comparatively simple issue of a siege. All the vague, uncertain probabilities and chances which hung like an impending mist over the armies of the Rapidan have vanished like the mist. Then, Lee threatened invasion of the North. He stood on vantage ground, holding in his hands like reins the railroads of Central and Western Virginia. He was accessible to strong strategic points on every hand.— His army had the encouragement of prestige. If not the prestige of victory, the prestige of baffling a powerful foe. All these have gone; and now the boastful Army of Northern Virginia is weltering behind the sand works of Richmond, tired and worn, shorn of prestige, but still desperate and determined. And still, with ceaseless energy and undivided purpose, their terrible enemy keeps pounding at the door of their citadel. The memory of Vicksburg cannot have faded from the memories of the Richmond rebels. True, it will be a different undertaking to capture Richmond, but in no emergency has Grant's genius failed him yet. It may require a long time to accomplish the reduction of Richmond. The allies were many months before Sebastopol. Richmond may prove the Sebastopol of the rebellion, I will not venture to predict the time and manner of its fall, but will only record my full faith in Grant's ability to put a girdle around Richmond. All he needs is the full support of the Government and the people of men and means. Without these, he is helpless.
Since my last letter, the 5th corps has had but little fighting to do, and there have been no general engagements. The enemy back during the week made several desperate assaults on our position, but has always met with severe repulses. There have been comparatively few casualties, and those mostly from chance shots. The cannonading along the lines his been, at intervals, breaking suddenly the stillness of the night, or bursting forth at midday. All day long we hear the continued cracking of the sharpshooters' rifle's and the popping of skirmishers, while occasionally at night we will suddenly be aroused from sleep by an alarm on the picket, and ugly, spiteful volleys of musketry, fired at un-seen objects in the dark. We listen to the singing of the bullets till our nerves are grown quiet again, then turn over to uneasy slumbers. The days are very tedious. Only once in a great while can we get hold of a paper, and the mails come when they can be brought without interfering with the necessary transportation. But the regularity with which the general details of this army are managed, is perfectly astonishing. Forage has been short sometimes, but that occurred while we were in Winter quarters. Our animals have suffered from the lack of hay, which is never supplied on the march, but look very well indeed.
A few days since, I had the pleasure of meeting some of the 146th Regiment, which is attached to Gen. Smith's command. They have had hard fighting to do under Butler, but have been in no general engagement in this department. As the regiment still retains the able pen of your correspondent "Gene " to describe its joys and sufferings, I will not enter into details concerning it. Since the engagement of June 2d, I have learned further particulars concerning the part taken in the fight by the 24th N. Y. cavalry, now attached to Gen. Burnside's corps. Had they fought well as mounted cavalry, it would have earned them laurels, but inasmuch as they repulsed three fierce, distinct charges, and held their ground with seven companies against a much larger rebel force, till ordered to withdraw, their cavalrymen acting as infantry, sent out to reinforce Grant in his hardest struggle have thrice earned their laurels. They deserve triple praise at the hands of all, and should, as a reward for their good conduct,, be quickly mustered and allowed to fight in the capacity for which they enlisted. The 24th dismounted Cavalry, composed in good part of Oneida county men, old members of the 14th, 26th, 34tb, 35th, etc, be remembered, can fight on foot for the cause, and facing rebel infantry, beat them back with confusion and slaughter. I have been unable to procure a list of the losses in the 24th, but I know that Lieut; col. Newberry and Capts. Palmer and Coventry are all safe. They are all very anxious to get horses but all face the enemy in any capacity till such time as the Government can procure them their desired outfit.
Yours for our country; D.F.R.
-Utica Morning Herald

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Lure of $1.25 a Day

Lure of WPA Higher Pay Causing Labor Concern
NEW KENT C.H- The farm labor problems in New Kent County is becoming acute because of the higher pay of WPA which is luring workers away from the farms, it was brought out at the meeting of the Board of Supervisors last Monday.
A report was made to the board that laborers in New Kent who had jobs available in the county at $1.25 per day in agricultural pursuits were being employed by WPA to the disadvantage of the local farmers.
The clerk was directed to contact W.A. Smith, State administrator of WPA, and arrange for an interview on Friday, Feb. 16, for a discussion of the matter by representative citizens of the county.
-The Chickahominy Sun, February 15, 1940

The wages of people employed by the Works Progress Administration were often controversial. In theory they were set to prevailing wage in the counties they were located in. Liberals believed the rates were set too low and that the WPA should be used as a force to drive wages up. On the other hand conservatives and business believed that the WPA prevented wages from finding a natural floor. In the South the issue of race was involved since Federal regulations forbid racial considerations in hiring. Many southern farmers and business believed that WPA projects drained off good field hands and provided Black women with other outlets than domestic work.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Barhamsville School Controversy, Pt. 3- A New Letter

 This letter was not part of my original series 3 years ago . . .

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

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Repeat: The Barhamsville School Controversy, Pt. 2

 The second of the series . . .

The New Kent School Matter,
Editor of The Times:
Sir,— The news item in ,The Times of January 22nd, under the caption "Fierce Feud About Schools, New Kent Community, etc.." does such gross injustice to the people in this section of our county that it should not be allowed to pass uncontradicted. It is quite a surprise to our people to learn of the existence of a feud. It is true that considerable dissatisfaction exists between some of the Bradenham people due to their differing as to location of school. That it has reached an acute stage is untrue, as is also the statement of "bad blood" between the Barhamsville and Bradenham communities (using your classification). There have been some bickerings among the Bradenham people since the first organization of their school, but the present trouble is very different from the former. It is needless to go into details of such controversies, which appear to be gradually working themselves in as a part and parcel of the public school system.
As to the burning of the two school buildings and the implication that one was a retaliation of the other, amounts almost to a slander. The Bradenham school-house burned just before the beginning of the school term. The origin of the fire was unknown, but not the slightest suspicion attaches to any or your correspondent's "feudists." The one at Barhamsville burned about 10 o'clock A.M. and during the session of the school, caused by a defective flue. We regret that you should have printed such a highly colored article on the shortcomings of this district. Our people are as law-abiding as any in the State, and the Barhamsville and Bradehham communities will unite in repelling any unjust attacks on their good citizenship.
Very truly,
        F.W. WOODWARD.
Barhamsville, Va., Jan. 23, 1902.

-The Richmond Times, January 25, 1902

Bradenham is the name of family in the Barhamsville area who are mentioned in records as far back as before the American Revolution. The recently deceased Gladys Bradenham Upp was a teacher in New Kent County schools.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Repeat: The Barhamsville School Controversy, Pt. 1

While doing some blog "house keeping" I came across theses postings from March of 2011, and thought that after tidying them up they might bear repeating . . .

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 the 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 the 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, no 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 Barhamville 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

Monday, August 4, 2014

Three Apprehended


[Special to The Times-Dispatch.]
WILLIAMSBURG, VA.,March 12.- Officer J.T. Crute of New Kent, and Sheriff L.P. Trice, of James City, captured three negroes, William Tabb, Arthur clayton and Ozie Williams, all residents near Toano, Friday, and they are now lodged in the New Kent County jail, charged with having committed a number of robberies the past few weeks.
The men were arrested for robbing the store of Robins Brothers in New Kent Thursday night. According to Officer Crute, the men confessed to this robbery and three others, one of which was that of the general store of J.E. Banks(Ranks?) at Toano. The men were said to have gotten away with considerable loot.
Because of the bad condition of the roads the prisoners could not be taken back to New Kent Friday, and were brought here for the night, having been taken to Providence Forge by train this morning.

-Richmond Times-Dispatch, March 13, 1922

It does say something of the Peninsula's roads, that in 1922 the 13 odd miles as the crow flies was considered too difficult a trek