Pamunkey River

Pamunkey River
The Pamunkey River in 1864

Friday, May 29, 2015

"Such delays are no longer tolerable, . . ."

Samuel W. Tucker, who argued the petitioners case before the high court

Good piece over at the Tidewater Review on the historic, and yet fairly unknown Green v. County Board of New Kent Decision of 1968 . . .

'Fewer than 50 years ago, New Kent was a segregated county where black children went to George W. Watkins School and white students went to New Kent High School.
"It was us and them," said Barbara Sayles, 64, of the feeling segregation created among students in the county. She graduated . . .'

Read the full court decision here . . .

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day

A Memorial Day post that went up originally last year. . .

Union Soldiers Interred in Richmond National Cemetery, VA

Division: F
Section: 1

No. 5621
(76 to 148)

73 unknown
These bodies were interred in an triangular enclosure, at Bottom's Bridge, where the New Kent road crosses the Chickahominy river. No. 76 was No. 1 grave on the southwest corner of the triangle and the rows followed the hypotenuse.

-Roll of Honor: Names of Soldiers who Died in Defence of the American Union, Interred in the National  Cemeteries and Other Burial Places ...
Vols 16-17

United States. Army. Quartermaster Corps
U.S. Government Printing Office, 1868

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The S.S. Chickahominy, Part I

From the Clyde to the James . . .

"The new steamship line of the Chesapeake and Ohio Newport News to Liverpool commenced its service September 9. An English company called the Chesapeake and Ohio Steamship Company Limited was organised through the efforts of officers of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Company establish this line with a capital of $1,000,000 and $750,000 in five per cent debentures and the railroad company subscribed for $600,000 of the stock The contracts were let in 1892 for building six vessels for the line. Three of the ships Appomattox, Greenbrier, and Chickahominy are all being built at West Hartlepool They are 345 ft in length with cargo capacity 5,000 tons measurement and fittings for 550 head of cattle. The other three ships were built at Linthouse on Clyde and are named Rappahannock, Shenandoah, and Kanawha. They are 370 ft in length with cargo capacity of 6,785 tons measurement each and fittings for 770 head of cattle each. The Rappahannock is ready for service and the Appomattox is booked to sail from England in a few days. The six ships are expected to make weekly sailings from Newport News. This will allow six weeks for the round trip including the taking on and discharging of cargo. It is very probable that other ships will be added to the fleet but no arrangement has been made as yet for them. "

 -Railway News vol. 60, published 1893.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The "Baltimore Patriot" on White House- 1855

The below is excerpted from a contemporary report from the Richmond Dispatch . . .

The White House.-The house in which Gen. Washington was married, was in New Kent County, Va, and known as the White House. It has been demolished, and a new edifice occupies its site. A correspondent of the Baltimore Patriot writes:
"The White House as it now stands, on a slightly elevated bluff of the Pamunkey, it the conspicuous object of the country around. The site was selected with that controlling regard for the picturesque which is the characteristic of Eastern Virginia — But the building in its exterior is unpretending— to plainness. A stranger is slow, to realise that so rich in historic associations, this is also the mansion of
tract of 8000 acres, busy with 130 negroes, and an annual yield in wheat alone of 11,000 bushels— Yet it is not by the exterior that a stranger is to judge of the Old Dominion.

"Washington married at 27. As the widow of John Parke Custis, Mrs. Washington was entitled to one-third of the New Kent estate, and forty-five pounds stirling, the remaining two thirds being  divided between her two children, a son and daughter -the grandson, George P. Curtis, of Arlington, is the present proprietor of the White House estate."

"As a matter of general interest to our readers in tide-water Virginia, we would state, in connection with the above notice, that a line of stages will shortly be established on the route between Richmond and the White House. Thence passengers can take passage in the York River steamers for any landing in King and Queen, Gloucester, James City, York, or for other points, and avid the round about way which they are now forced to adopt. In some future number of our paper, we propose to embody some facts that we have collected with regard to the country bordering on York river, which cannot fail to prove interesting.

 -The Daily Dispatch(Richmond), March 21, 1855

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Hard Times- 1854

HAVING sold my farm in the County of New Kent, I will offer for sale, at public auction, on TUESDAY, the 28th day of the present month, (November,) commencing at 10 o'clock, (if fair, if not, the next fair day.) all the Crops, Stock and Farming Implements of every kind on the place, consisting of between 500 and 600 barrels of Corn, Blade and Top Fodder. Shucks. Hay, Sheaf and Seed Oats, Wheat and Oat Straw: Horses and Mules the most of them young and large; Cows Oxen, Hogs, &c; Farming Implements of every kind; together with one first rate Threshing Machine; two Wheat Fans nearly new; one Corn Sheller; one Cutting Box; one Grind Stone; two Penitentiary made Wagons(???); two Ox Carts: Horse Cart; Whip and Cross Cut Saws; Carpenters' Tools, &c.
TERMS OF SALE.—All sums under $20, cash: that amount and over, six months credit, the purchaser giving bond with approved security.
       no2o—td*         JOHN GEORGE.

of the personal Estate, advertised by John George, Esq., (say 10 o'clock,) will be sold, the valuable Farm recently owned by him, containing 1096 acres, according to recent survey. It lies on the main road leading from Richmond to New Kent Court House, 15 miles distant from the former. The place is so well known, and its productiveness as a farm so well established, that a further description is deemed unnecessary. The present owners having changed their determination with respect to settling, prefer to sell it.

The terms accommodating, and made known at the hour of sale.

    GODDIN & APPERSON, Auctioneers.

P.S. Immediately after the sale of the Land, and before the sale of the perishable Estate, will be sold 24 valuable Slaves,belonging to John George, Esq —Among them are some valuable men, boys and girls,and all of them, with two exceptions, are young and likely.
Terms- Six months credit, for approved, endorsed negotiable note, with interest added.
 no 21                        GODDIN & APPERSON, Aucts.

Mr. GEORGE having concluded not to sell the Negroes, they will not be offered, as advertised                               GODDIN & APPERSON. Aucts.
no 23       

 -The Daily Dispatch(Richmond), November 22, 1854

 . . . BUT . . .

NEGROES FOR HIRE —For hire for the remainder of the and for the next year, 6 men, good farm hands, drivers and managers of horses; 4 boys, from 10 to 14 years of age, and 2 girls, one about 14 and the other about 11 years old; the last will be put out to a good home for food and clothing. Also one old man, who would be very useful about a stable in cutting and preparing feed for horses. Apply to the subscriber on Marshall, near 3d Street.                            de3—3t*                JOHN GEORGE.

-The Daily Dispatch(Richmond), December 11, 1854

According to the 1850 Census, John George owned some 27 slaves in New Kent.
I assume that this is the John George resident in the city of Richmond at the time living on the corner of 3rd and Marshall, son of Major Byrd George and Mary Garthright. John George would die in November of the following year.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

A County's Records Lost To Fire . . . And It's Not New Kent.

The following piece might seem of peripheral interest to those interested in New Kent history, but beside the physical proximity there is the fact that King William County was formed out of King and Queen County in 1702 which itself had been part of New Kent until 1691.

And it shows how county records could be lost to fire even in the post-bellum era.


King William County-Clerk's Office Burnt on Sunday Morning. The clerk's office of King William County Court was destroyed by fire about 6 o'clock Sunday morning with all the records and papers of the County and Circuit courts. Nothing was saved.
Mr. Winston, the clerk of both courts, was in the city yesterday buying new books, &c., and he states his belief that the fire was the work of an incendiary. A window-blind usually kept closed was found open when the fire was first seen, and this, with other circumstances, he thinks removes the probability of an accidental fire. There were no stoves used in the building. The heating was done by the use of wood in a big open fire-place, in front of which there was a hearth near about five feet square. Mr. Winston's deputy was the last to leave the place Saturday night, and he informs Mr. Winston that he left the fire very low. The fire seems to have broken out on the lower floor, and when discovered was far beyond control.
The building was of brick, two stories high, and covered with slate, It had been burnt once before (about 1840), but then most of the records were saved. It was insured for $1,200 in the Virginia Fire and Marine Insurance Company, and that sum will go a considerable ways towards replacing it; but the loss of records is irreparable. Many of these dated back to 1715, and with them were evidences of debt, deeds and deed-books, and business paper that cannot be replaced, and which will entail a world of trouble upon the people of the county. There was no fire-proof safe for the keeping of precious records.
The loss is complete.
Mr. Winston estimates his own loss in evidences of debt and other property, at |$2,500, All the deeds, except one sent to his house, had been put on record, but originals, by hundreds, were burnt with the books.
There are plenty of other counties in the State with papers of equal value as poorly protected against fire as was King William. Well would it be if they took warning from her misfortune.

-The Richmond Dispatch, January 20, 1885

(Oh, and I'm sure the open fire left unattended over night had nothing to with the loss.)