Pamunkey River

Pamunkey River
The Pamunkey River in 1864

Friday, February 27, 2015

Still Jittery in Williamsburg- 1865

         FORT MAGRUDER, VA., February 18, 1865.

Brig. Gen. JOHN W. TURNER,
    Chief of Staff, Headquarters Army of the James:

I received information yesterday from rebel deserters that there was a force, quite a large one, between me and the Chickahominy. At the same time the officer in command at Jamestown Island telegraphed that there was a force of them at the Burnt Ordinary(Toano), on the Richmond road. They took a pair of mules from a farmer in the immediate vicinity of the island, and the people outside our lines report the same. The pickets report seeing them outside of our lines. I think their object is to get horses to remount their own cavalry. My cavalry force is too small to scout the country. I have only 115 for duty, and there are daily detailed for guard thirty-three of that number. The only damage that I fear is that they may destroy or injure the telegraph wire between Fort Monroe and the front. Should I see or hear anything further I will immediately telegraph. It is quite possible that this may be a portion of the rebel cavalry reported from the front as coming down our way.
    Very respectfully,
                JULIUS C. HICKS,
    Major Sixteenth New York Volunteer Artillery, Comdg. Post.

        FORT MAGRUDER, February 18, 1865.
    Assistant Adjutant-General:

All is quiet in this vicinity at present. I will promptly notify you if the enemy appears. I think that it will do no harm to grant the furloughs now in hand; I have stopped them here. I have plenty of infantry. I will not approve any more furloughs, if I had the cavalry I would send out scouting parties. I have no doubt of quite a force of rebel cavalry above, as they are seen on York River, Jamestown Island, and by our picket-line; also, by reports of deserters and refugees, which tend to confirm the reports. I have a strong picket-line, also a reserve. I think that I am all right. My cavalry force is so small that they are overworked. Thirty three are on duty every day, and as I have only 115 total you can see the amount of work to be done.
    Very respectfully,
                        J.C. HICKS,
        Major Sixteenth New York Artillery, Comdg. Post.

A note on the 16th New York Heavy Artillery . . .
The Sixteenth New York Volunteer Artillery, commanded by Col. J. J. Morrison, headquarters at Yorktown, Va., is the largest regiment ever recruited in the United States, and has men in the following places: At Yorktown, 1,140; at Williamsburgh, 736; at Gloucester Point, 147; at Bermuda Hundred, 270; putting up telegraph, 60; with One Hundred and Forty-eighth New York Volunteers, 46; with First New York Mounted Rifles, 272—transferred; with Eighty-fifth New York Volunteers, 46; with light batteries United States Artillery, 22; with Army of the Potomac, 201—transferred; making a total of 2,928 men and 63 officers.
-N.Y. News, June 20, 1864

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Affair on the Road to Williamsburg, Va.- February 1865 III

                NORFOLK,  February 17, 1865-5 p.m.

 Lieutenant Colonel SMITH,
    Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters Army of the James:
COLONEL: Major Hicks reports some force of rebels about him at Williamsburg, and fears an attack on Jamestown Island. If two companies of cavalry, previously asked for, can be ordered to report to him, I request that it may be done.
                GEO. H. GORDON,
            Brigadier-General, Commanding.

                JAMESTOWN ISLAND, February 17, 1865.
Maj. J.C. HICKS:
There have been seen last night and this morning a force of cavalry at Burnt Ordinary, on Richmond road. A negro on Mr. Jones farm carries all the news to rebel scouts. He has been through oar lines at Williamsburg several times and back with information to them. Four  rebels were at a house last night above the island took two mules, and threatened to shoot the man. I am short of ammunition; can I have some up? Can I burn some houses across the island which serve as shelter for rebel scouts, and of which they easily can make a raft to cross over on the lower end of the island?
                    CARLO BLOMBERG,

                FORT MAGRUDER, February 17, 1865.
    Assistant Adjutant-General:
There is a force of rebel cavalry at the Burnt Ordinary at the Richmond road. They are still around my lines. I have only a small force at Jamestown Island. Should they attack at that post I cannot help there. I want more cavalry. The rebels are in the vicinity of  Jamestown Island; last night stole some mules just above; threatened to shoot the owner. If possible I would like the two companies I requested a short time since. No news from Major Darling yet.
 Very respectfully,
                        J.C. HICKS,
                        Major, Commanding

-The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.; Series 1- Volume 46(Part II)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Affair on the Road to Williamsburg, Va.- February 1865 II

The attack on the Williamsburg pickets was apparently no local affair, being carried out under an officer of, if not actually by members of, John Singleton Mosby's 43rd Virginia Cavalry Battalion of partisan rangers.

An Exploit of some of Mosby's men.
Northern Virginia seems not to afford full occupation for the gallant and adventurous rangers of Colonel Mosby. Within the last week some of them have been stirring up the Yankees on the York peninsula. We are informed that, last Friday night, Captain Richardson, with sixteen men, all of Mosby's command, dashed into the town of Williamsburg, and, successfully pretending to be the advance of a cavalry brigade, cleared a regiment of Yankees out of the town, unhorsing upwards of a dozen and killing half that number. None of Captain Richardson's men were struck, though six of their horses were killed under them. They brought off a number of horses and some other plunder.

-The Daily Dispatch(Richmond), February 14, 1865

Captain Tom Richards of Company G made a trip to Williamsburg on a scouting expedition and created considerable consternation and captured a number of prisoners. 

-Mosby's Rangers: A Record of the Operations of the Forty-third Battalion of Virginia Cavalry from Its Organization to the Surrender
James Joseph Williamson
Sturgis & Walton, 1909

Captain T.W.T. Richards '60, who was an officer of the Confederate army under John S. Mosby, died at his home at Glendale, California August 18. Captain Richards was born in Loudoun County Va., in 1841. He was graduated in law at the University of Virginia. Shortly after the commencement of the Civil War he entered active service and soon became one of the personal attaches of Mosby. He was twice captured and three times wounded. In 1866 he moved to Los Angeles Soon afterwards he became secretary and treasurer of the Providencia Land and Water Company and was active in founding the town of Burbank. Since that time he had been engaged in the real estate business.

- Alumni Bulletin of the University of Virginia, January 1913

From Mosby's Rangers

Friday, February 20, 2015

Affair on the Road to Williamsburg, Va.- February 1865

                          February 11, 1865.- Affair at Williamsburg, Va.

Report of Lieut. Ira L. Dudley, Sixteenth New York Heavy Artillery.
                    February 11, 1865.
Sir: I have the honor to state that our picket-post at Williamsburg was surprised this morning about 3 o'clock by a party of rebel cavalry, numbering from twenty to twenty-five men, who advanced by the Richmond road. The vedette on the Richmond road challenged them, and, receiving no reply, attempted to discharge his carbine, but the cap snapped. He then retreated on the reserve, but was wounded in two places. The enemy then advanced as far as the reserve, evidently with the design of capturing the horses there stationed. I regret to state that they succeeded so far in their object, capturing 4 and killing 1. The following casualties occurred in the force stationed at the reserve: Private Hall, Company H, Twentieth New York Cavalry; Privates Belden and Dix, Company G, Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, and Private Libee, Company D, Sixteenth New York Volunteer Artillery, wounded; Private Cowan., Company D, Sixteenth New York Volunteer Artillery, missing; Private Gannon, Company D, Sixteenth New York Volunteer Artillery, killed; 3 horses, Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, captured; 1 horse, First New York Mounted Rifles, killed, and 1 captured.
I have to state that, as soon as the alarm was brought into camp, Captain Bóuve, Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, and Lieut. David Earle, First New York Mounted Rifles, lost not a moment in turning out their respective commands.
 I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
                        IRA L. DUDLEY,
             First Lieutenant Company L, Officer of the Day.

    Commanding Post.

The rebel cavalry were dressed in Union uniforms, and deceived our pickets at first by pretending to be our men; they were soon found out, and we opened fire upon them, and there were a number of them wounded, which they carried off with them I have strengthened the picket-lines, and sent a strong force to re-enforce the reserves. I will render a good account of them if they come again. All is quiet at present.
             Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                          JULIUS C. HICKS,
           Major Sixteenth New York Volunteer Artillery, Comdg. Post.

                FEBRUARY 11, 1865- 8.45 p.m.
Major-General KAUTZ:
The enemy's cavalry attacked the picket-line of Fort Magruder this morning. General Ord wishes to know if you can cut them off. The force is supposed to be small.
                JNO. W. TURNER,
            Brigadier- General and Chief of Staff.

                        February 11, 1865.
Brigadier-General TURNER,
                  Chief of Staff:
 I see very little prospect of finding a small force on the peninsula, and the Chickahominy is a serious obstacle at this season to any force, in view of the fact that there are no bridges nearer than New Bridge, and it is not certain that there is one there. The distance from here to Williamsburg by that route cannot be less than eighty miles. I do not see much prospect of cutting off a small force; it would be chance work.               
                                                                          AUGUST V. KAUTZ,
                                                    Brigadier and Brevet Major-General.

 -The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 - Volume 46

Thursday, February 19, 2015

More Valentine Marriages . . .

CHAPMAN-BOSWELL.- Married, by Rev. John A. Richardson, on the 16th day of February, 1887, at "Fairfield," New Kent county Va., the residence of the bride's mother EDWIN C. CHAPMAN, of James City county Va. and Miss ANNIE E. BOSWELL, of New Kent county, Va.,
SHERMAN-HAZLEWOOD.- Married at the residence of the bride's parents James City county Va., on the 14th day of February, 1887 by Rev. John A. Richardson, Mr. BALLARD F. SHERMAN, of New Kent county Va., and Miss CYNTHIA EDEN HAZLEWOOD, of James City county, Va.
-Richmond Dispatch, February 18, 1887

The busy Rev. John A. Richardson was the founding minister of Corinth Baptist Church.
More on him soon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

George Washington's Farewell Address Concluded . . .

 . . . . from the post of February 16 . . .

 All obstructions to the execution of the Laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and modified by mutual interests.
However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterwards the very engines, which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the constitution, alterations, which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments, as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard, by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that, for the efficient management of our common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.
I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the state, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.
It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution, in those intrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories, and constituting each the Guardian of the Public Weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way, which the constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for, though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.
Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric ?
Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is, to use it as sparingly as possible; avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts, which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen, which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should cooperate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind, that towards the payment of debts there must be Revenue; that to have Revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised, which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.
Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and Morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great Nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt, that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages, which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a Nation with its Virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices ?
In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential, than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular Nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The Nation, which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The Nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the Government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The Government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times, it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of Nations has been the victim.
So likewise, a passionate attachment of one Nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite Nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest, in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite Nation of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the Nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained; and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, (who devote themselves to the favorite nation,) facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.
As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent Patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practise the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the Public Councils! Such an attachment of a small or weak, towards a great and powerful nation, dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.
Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens,) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove, that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.
The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connexion as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.
Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.
Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off, when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality, we may at any time resolve upon, to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.
Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?
It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.
Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.
Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing, with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them, conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view, that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.
[43-50 omitted from some newspaper printings.]
In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course, which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself, that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.
How far in the discharge of my official duties, I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.
In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my Proclamation of the 22d of April 1793, is the index to my Plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice, and by that of your Representatives in both Houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.
After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest to take, a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it, with moderation, perseverance, and firmness.
The considerations, which respect the right to hold this conduct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe, that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the Belligerent Powers, has been virtually admitted by all.
The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without any thing more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.
The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me, a predominant motive has been to endeavour to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency, which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.
Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope, that my Country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.
Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man, who views it in the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations; I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat, in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.

George Washington
United States - September 17, 1796

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Reposting: Remember there is no such thing as Presidents Day . . .

  . . . , it is Washington's Birthday; and so today, for our edification, I serialize Washington's Farewell Address. Serialized because we seem to have rather short attention spans compared to the Eighteenth Century.*

George Washington's Farewell Address
The period for a new election of a citizen, to administer the executive government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed designating the person, who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprize you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.
I beg you at the same time to do me the justice to be assured that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.
The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me, have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty, and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped, that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives, which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement, from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence impelled me to abandon the idea.
I rejoice, that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty, or propriety; and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that, in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire.
The impressions, with which I first undertook the arduous trust, were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust, I will only say, that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious, in the outset, of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more, that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied, that, if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe, that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.
In looking forward to the moment, which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude, which I owe to my beloved country for the many honors it has conferred upon me; still more for the steadfast confidence with which it has supported me; and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment, by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to your praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that under circumstances in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead, amidst appearances sometimes dubious, vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging, in situations in which not unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism, the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that Heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence; that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual; that the free constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained; that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue; than, in fine, the happiness of the people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete, by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing, as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation, which is yet a stranger to it.
Here, perhaps I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion.
Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.
The unity of Government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquillity at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very Liberty, which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee, that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the Palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion, that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.
For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of american, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the Independence and Liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.
But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those, which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the Union of the whole.
The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common government, finds, in the productions of the latter, great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. Turning partly into its own channels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and, while it contributes, in different ways, to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength, to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improvement of interior communications by land and water, will more and more find, a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad, or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort, and, what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connexion with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious.
While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in Union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of inestimable value, they must derive from Union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighbouring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rivalships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty. In this sense it is, that your Union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.
These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the union as a primary object of Patriotic desire. Is there a doubt, whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope, that a proper organization of the whole, with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to Union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those, who in any quarter may endeavour to weaken its bands.
In contemplating the causes, which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern, that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by Geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavour to excite a belief, that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence, within particular districts, is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heart-burnings, which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those, who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head; they have seen, in the negotiation by the Executive, and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, of the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event, throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the General Government and in the Atlantic States unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mississippi; they have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties, that with Great Britain, and that with Spain, which secure to them every thing they could desire, in respect to our foreign relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the union by which they were procured? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren, and connect them with aliens?
To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a Government for the whole is indispensable. No alliances, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions, which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a Constitution of Government better calculated than your former for an intimate Union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This Government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true Liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish Government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established Government.

To be continued tomorrow . . .

* and he was married to a New Kent girl.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

250 Years Ago, A Valentine Marriage . . .

On February 15th, at Monumental Church, by Rev. Mr. Norwood, rector of St. John's Church, Dr. H. Wythe Davis (Surgeon First regiment Virginia reserves) of Richmond city, and Miss Mary E. Apperson, only daughter of John C. Apperson, of New Kent county, Virginia.

-The Daily Dispatch(Richmond), February 18, 1865.

The good doctor's biography from Vol. IV Lyon Gardiner Tyler's Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography . . .

Hugh Wythe Davis, M. D. Born in Richmond, educated classically and professionally in Richmond, and for over half a century actively engaged in medical practice in Richmond, Dr. Davis acquired an intimacy with Richmond and her people little short of marvelous. He was perhaps the best known and best loved physician of the city, knowing his vast army of patients and a true doctor of the old school, ministered to body, mind and soul, regarding his patients many of them as his especial charge, to be freely admonished and reproved, as well as treated for bodily ills. His maternity practice was very large, three generations in the same family in several instances having been brought into the world by the aid of good Dr. Davis. He was in the truest sense, the family physician, knew the intimate life history of hundreds of his clientele from cradle to grave, rejoiced in their success, sorrowed with their misfortunes and often by timely advice and aid enabled them to pass safely perilous points in their careers. He held true to the soundest principles of medicine and never followed the fads of his profession, never countenanced the newer theories and rarely left the city to attend medical gatherings. This was less from inclination than the fact that his very large practice occupied every moment of his working hours. From the age of twenty-one years until the December preceding his death, at the age of seventy-four years, he was actively in practice and barely able to meet the demands made upon him. A newly fledged M. D., in 1861, he was almost immediately appointed assistant surgeon to Dr. Samuel Preston Moore, surgeon general of the Confederate States and until the war, 1861-65, closed, served with devotion and distinction in field and camp hospitals, always in or near Richmond. His devotion to the southern cause was deep and lasting and Richmond had no more loyal son. For forty years he lived at 110 West Grace street, his address being better known than any other private citizen in the city. He now lies in Hollywood Cemetery, near by the scenes of his childhood, youth, manhood and old age. His life was filled with good deeds and his memory will long be cherished.
Dr. Hugh Wythe Davis was born in Richmond, September 20, 1840, died June 29, 1914, son of John F. and Delight (Thomas) Davis, and nephew of Dr. Creed Thomas, who was a schoolmate of Edgar Allan Poe at the University of Virginia. Dr. Davis, after attendance at private schools in Richmond and Chesterfield county, Virginia, entered Richmond College, there completing his course of classical study. He decided upon the profession of medicine and prepared in the Medical College of Virginia, received his degree of M. D. with the class of "61." The war clouds which had been hovering burst asunder in that year and the young doctor, a personal friend of Surgeon General Dr. Samuel Preston Moore, of the Confederate army, was at once selected by Dr. Moore as his assistant. The ensuing four years were spent in active hospital service, much of Dr. Davis's time being spent in the hospital located on what is now the campus of Richmond College. After the war he began private practice in Richmond, in association with his maternal uncle, Dr. Creed Thomas, one of his first patrons being Surgeon General Moore, whose family physician he remained until Dr. Moore's death, the two men always continuing warm friends until separated by death. Dr. Davis was entirely devoted and absorbed in his practice, ministering to a very large clientele. He won the love and confidence of his parents and was held in highest esteem by all who knew him. For fifty-three years he practiced the healing art and only desisted when nature gave way and when he was unable to continue. He retired from practice, December 20, 1913, and about six months later a complication of diseases ended his long and useful life.
Dr. Davis was a member of the Virginia State Medical Society, trustee of Richmond College, trustee for the Baptist Home for Aged Women and a deacon of Grace Street Baptist Church. He was an authority on all that pertained to the medical history of the Confederacy, his close association with the surgeon general giving him opportunity to obtain accurate information. While a true son of Virginia, he took no active part in political life, held no public office but by official appointment for special service, one of such instances being the examination of the body of Mrs. Jeter Philips, murdered by her husband at Drinker's Farm in Henrico county in 1870. Dr. Davis being one of the two physicians appointed by the state for that duty.
Dr. Davis was married in Monumental Church, Richmond, February 15, 1865, by Rev. Dr. Norwood, to Mary Elizabeth Apperson, of New Kent county, Virginia, who died June 4, 1900. Seven of his children survived the good doctor: 1. Dr. Wray Wythe, now located at 614 West Grace street, graduated from the University of Maryland, class of 1890, as D. D. S., has thus been for twenty-four years in dental practice in Richmond; he married Mary Hopkins, November 12, 1895, and they have four children, all living: James Hopkins, Hugh Wythe, Mary Elizabeth, and Wray Wythe Jr. 2. John A. 3. Eva T., married C. L. Moore. 4. Bessie C., married W. G. Bragg. 5. Rhoda L., married H. Seldon Taylor. 6. Susie T. 7. Edna S. All are living in Richmond.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bleak House Estate

THREE VALUABLE FARMS IN NEW KENT, NEAR TO YORK RIVER RAILROAD,FOR SALE AT AUCTION -1st. Bleak House Estate is situated in the upper end of New Kent county, (40 acres being in Hanover,) it contains 450 acres, about 250 cleared, the balance well wooded, is remarkably healthy, and in as good a neighborhood as any in the State; the land is very good along the streams, and the high land is fully equal to any adjoining, as the crops will indicate. Marl is abundant, one mile off, and from the quantity of marl weed along the branches, most be on the farm. The house contains 6 rooms, and is beautifully situated. one mile from the first Depot of the York River Railroad and 12 from Richmond It will be shown to any one by Mr. Foster McGhee who resides upon the premises, or Mr R.R. Duval who lives opposite.—
Possession given 1st of January next, or sooner if desired. The above farm will be sold on FRIDAY, the 31st of October, 1856, on the premises, at 11 o'clock, immediately afterwards will be sold two other farms, one containing 300 and the other 100 acres, adjoining the 1st Depot of the York River Railroad, and lying upon the Chickahominy River, half cleared and half in woods with some very valuable timber, and being directly on the Railroad, a saw mill might be very profitable. The land is very superior, and when the Railroad is completed must be very valuable. Those in want of good land would do well to attend this sale as both the situations and the quality of the land really deserve attention. Terms accommodating.
                GODDIN & APPERSON,
                   oc 16—2awtd                        Aucts

EIGHTY-SEVEN AND A HALF ACRES FOREST LAND, IN NEW KENT COUNTY, FOR SALE AT AUCTION.—After the foregoing sale will be sold the above tract of land. It adjoins the lands of Mr. Braxton Garlick, Dr. Webb and Mr. Courtney. Terms: One-third cash; balance at 6 and 12 months, for negotiable notes, interest added, secured by a trust deed.           GODDDIN & APPERSON,
                           oc 18—2awtds             Auctioneers.

-The Daily Dispatch(Richmond), October 18, 1856

For those who are curious, Bleak House was published serially from spring 1852 to fall 1853.

Monday, February 9, 2015

While Perusing Newspapers . . .

    The best, safest and most pleasant remedy for Worms yet discovered —Tried by thousands and approved by all—Children cry for it.—
Most of diseases from which children suffer are occasioned by the presence of Worms in the body, and if they are neglected, they produce great derangement of the system, and give rise to many alarming affections.
This Valuable and well-known preparation is recommended with the greatest confidence: past experience and test of years having proved it to be one of the best and most reliable Vermifuges in use. It has a great advantage over most articles of the kind, as it is readily taken by children, being mild and pleasant to the taste, and safe, prompt, and certain in its effects. Prepared only by BERRIAN & MCPHAIL, druggists, corner Main and 17th streets, Richmond, Virginia.
Dear Sir —It gives me much pleasure to add my testimony in behalf of your most excellent Vermifuge, known as the "Virginia Worm Killer," which I have used with the most gratifying results. I can recommend it as a sole and reliable Vermifuge, and far preferable to any now extant, and less likely to be attended with unfavorable results. It may be safely given to children of all ages, and should be an indispensable medicine in every household.
    Yours, with respect,
        L.A. SLATER, M.D.
Slatersville, New Kent county, Oct 5, 1867.

-Staunton Spectator, August 29, 1871

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Inflation 1855

In Consequence of Provender having advanced, I shall increase the rate of fare
between Richmond and New Kent Co. H. as follows:
To Ratcliffe's Tavern . . . . . . $1.50
To Cross Roads. . . . . . . . .  1.75
To Slater's Store . . . . . . . . . 2.00
To New Kent C. H . . . . . . . . 2.50
Any person wishing to contract to carry the mail on the above route can see me by calling at my
office on 18th street, between Franklin and Grace sts.

no i3—2t*         JNO. M. WALLS.
 -The Daily Dispatch(Richmond), November 24, 1855