State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ordinary for Sale- 1835


FOR RENT OR SALE, the old and valuable Tavern stand, at New Kent Court-house. The advantages of this stand are, that it is the site of the Court and Superior Court- is just half way between Williamsburg and Richmond. There is Land sufficient attached to it to work six hands. The crop is about four barrels of corn to the acre. There is a sufficiency of land of fine quality in wood, to make a good Farm, independent of the Tavern part- on this, a sufficiency of tobacco or cotton might be made to pay for the land in a few years. There is on this land fine shell marl, which could be used to great advantage. Any person wishing to rent or purchase, will be pleased to apply to the subscriber in Williamsburg, or to Mr. G.P. Crump of Richmond, who is authorised to sell or rent.                                  BURWELL BASSETT. 
Oct. 9. 


- Richmond Enquirer, 9 October 1835



The Burwell Bassett advertising the tavern(ordinary) at New Kent Courthouse is Burwell Bassett II, nephew of George and Martha Washington(his mother was Martha's sister). Bassett owned Bassett Hall in Williamsburg and Eltham plantation in New Kent. The Bassetts were the second largest landowners in the county after the Custises. Burwell Bassett II was a long time congressman, serving some  terms between 1805 and 1829. He never represented New Kent however representing Tidewater Virginia and the Eastern Shore from his Williamsburg residence. He died some five years after this advertisement in February 1841. After his death his nephew George Washington Bassett, of Clover Lea in Hanover, inherited his estates including the tavern.




Thursday, June 8, 2017

"The Fullness of Midsummer with the Vivid and Tender Green of Southern Spring- 1862"



We are lying in the Spaulding (medical transport, S. R. Spaulding) just below a burnt railroad-bridge, on the Pamunkey River, and, as usual, in the middle of the fleet of forage boats. The shores are at once wooded and wonderful to the water's edge, the fullness of midsummer with the vivid and tender green of Southern spring. Up the banks, where the trees will let us look between them, lie great fields of wheat, tall and fresh, and taking the sunshine for miles. The river winds constantly,—returning upon itself every half-mile or so, and we seem sometimes lying in a little wooded lake without inlet or outlet. It is startling to find, so far from the sea, a river whose name we hardly knew two weeks ago, where our anchor drops in three fathoms of water and our great ship turns freely either way with the tide. Our smoke-stacks are almost swept by the hanging branches as we move, and great schooners are drawn up under the banks, tied to the trees; the Spaulding herself lies in the shade of an elm-tree which is a landmark for miles up and down. 
The army is in camp close at hand, resting, this Sunday, and eating its six pies to a man, and so getting ready for a move, which is planning in ——'s tent. Half a mile above us is the White House, naming the place,—a modern cottage, if ever white, now drabbed over, standing where the early home of Mrs. Washington stood. We went ashore this morning with General ——, and strolled about the grounds, —an unpretending, sweet little place, with old trees shading the cottage, a green lawn sloping to the river, and an old-time garden full of roses. The house has been emptied, but there are some pieces of quaint furniture, brass fire-dogs, &c., and just inside the door this notice is posted: "Northern soldiers who profess to reverence the name of Washington, forbear to desecrate the home of his early married life, the property of his wife, and now the home of his descendants"; signed, "A Granddaughter of Mrs. Washington"; confronted by Gen. McClellan's order of protection.

-Hospital Transports: A Memoir of the Embarkation of the Sick and Wounded from the Peninsula of Virginia in the Summer of 1862- Frederick Law Olmsted
Publisher Ticknor and Fields, 1863


National Archive photo of unidentified ship- possibly the S.R. Spaulding


Monday, May 29, 2017

Hospitals on the Pamunkey


Interior of a Union hospital ship


An interesting Wikipedia article on a little known aspect of the Civil War- the hospital ships of the United States Sanitary Commission. The Commission was a privately funded and led relief organization run out Washington during the war. Some notable members of the organization include Frederick Law Olmsted and George Templeton Strong.


The Commission created and ran the Hospital Transport Service, a network of dozens of converted steamers that transported ten of thousands of Union wounded to hospitals out of the war zone.

Some of the vessels that operated specifically on the Pamunkey River were, the Elm City, Commodore, Louisiana, State of Maine, Kennebeck, Daniel Webster No. 2, John Brooks, Whilldin, Knickerbocker, St. Mark, and the Euterpe.*

Some other sites of interest on this topic:





*Note from A MEMOIR of the Embarkation of the Sick and Wounded from the Peninsula of Virginia in the Summer of 1862.-Compiled and Published at the request of the Sanitary Commission. 


"The St. Mark arrived about this time, a splendid clipper East-Indiaman, and, after her, the Euterpe, both first-class new sailing vessels, entirely reconstructed interiorly by the Commission, as model hospital-ships, and having their own corps of surgeons, dressers, &c. Drawing too much water to come up the Pamunkey, they anchored at Yorktown, and the sick were taken down on steamboats to them, and they made the voyage round to New York in tow of steamers."



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

1863: Sunken Mules and Quick-Pig

An excerpt from Thirteenth Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865: A Diary Covering Three Years and a Day by S. Millett Thompson (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1888)


July 8(1863). Wed. Hot; heavy showers. Reg. marches at 6 a.m. to New Kent Court House and about six miles beyond. Distance twelve miles. Roads one mass of mud. Two wagons are mired in one place, cannot be extricated and are burned. The worst roads and worst mud we ever saw. As we march to-day over a bad corduroy road, old, rotten and strewn with army waste, a big darkey, leading a mule, gets off the road with his charge and into a deep slough. The darkey is rescued with a pole, but the mule goes down down, until his ears and sorry countenance are alone visible- a sudden struggle, a gulp or two, and a few bubbles are the last signs of the mule. The darkey's sole comment, given with a scared grin, was: "I, golly! Done gone forebber!" as he plainly saw how he himself might also have gone under, but for that pole and a few strong men. The Thirteenth are all placed on picket, tonight as rear-guard, and forage far and wide for something good to eat. 
During the first halt, near New Kent Court House, of scarcely half an hour and in a pouring rain, some of the men have a lunch of 'quick-pig.' They had caught him a mile or two back, had knocked him on the head and partly dressed him while they marched. Instantly upon halting the pig is cut into very thin slices and distributed, a fire is built- of dry wood found in some wood-shed by the way, rolled in a rubber blanket and lugged may be for a mile or more- the thin slices of meat are rolled in salt, put on a green stick, and broiled in the fire. When a dozen veteran soldiers start upon an affair of this kind, a halt of ten or fifteen minutes suffices to furnish them with a hearty meal.
After this first halt, the 13th moves a little way to drier land near some buildings, and remains there for nearly two hours. Then marches about four hours to make six miles; the teams in the train, we are guarding, sticking fast in the mud at every few rods. We are marching to Hampton as a convoy to the wagon train. 



Monday, May 8, 2017

"Regarded As One of the Most Interesting Seventeenth Century Structures . . ."

                                     



                                         Historical Markers Placed in New Kent

Historical markers are now being placed in New Kent County, particularly along Highway No. 451, which follows the old county road, according to Dr. H.J. Eckenrode, head of the history division of the State Conservation and Development Commission.
Among the places being marked are the "White House," once the home of Mrs. Martha Custis, who became the wife of George Washington, and later the property of General W.H.F. Lee, son of General Robert E. Lee; old St. Peter's Church, regarded as one of the most interesting seventeenth century structures in the state; "Eltham," once a famous estate; and Eltham's Landing, the scene of a skirmish in the War Between the States. A new marker is to be placed at New Kent Courthouse.

-Richmond Times-Dispatch, March 27, 1931



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

OIL IN NEW KENT.
Four Inch Stream Forced, Out of Limb of a Tree. 
(Special to The Times-Dispatch) 
ROXBURY, VA., April 4.— Near the famous Long Bridge that spans the historic Chickahominy Swamp, a quarter of a mile from Roxbury, is a huge cypress tree which leans over the swamp. About thirty feet from the ground is a large limb, which extends over the main stream, and forced through this limb by some hidden power is a four-inch stream of pure oil. The surface of the water is covered with oil, and fears for the fish are apprehended, as the oil floats down the stream for many miles. 
Mr. M.C. Talley*, who discovered it, says he attempted to get to the limb from which it spouted to catch some of the fluid to have it tested, but the water was so high that the attempt was futile. Were the oil comes from or what it will prove to be is a mystery. The tree stands over the land of Mr. Robert Taylor, who a few years bought it from the heirs of the late John T. Harris†. Mr. Taylor, who is an expert in coal mining, which business he followed in the far West before casting his fortunes in the Sunny South, believes there is coal oil on his farm. If such proves a fact, the farm that cost $3,000 a few years ago will go up into millions. The place where the tree stands is famous place for crowds of fisherman from Richmond, and it will be learned with interest by the anglers who frequent this place all summer and fall that the sport they love so well at this hallowed spot is a thing of the past.
The pressure that forces that oil up the tree through a hollow for thirty feet and out through the limb is necessarily enormous.

- Times Dispatch, April 5, 1904


* I believe this is actually Nathaniel C. Talley.

† In 1890 Robert Taylor bought the farm, "Soldier's Rest," from the heirs of John T. Harris.



A look at the time of year when this was published might shed light on this strange story. 😃




Friday, April 21, 2017

100 Years Ago- From School to War,1917-


Fired by accounts of German atrocities and disappointed in missing a train. John Stone, principal of the high school at Quintin(sic). New Kent County, walked twenty miles Saturday night and presented himself at the recruiting station in Richmond yesterday morning as a candidate for any fighting the government might, have for him. He was not eligible for enlistment in the active service on account of being  more than thirty years old, but he was enrolled in the coast-defense reserve. He left Richmond by train yesterday afternoon to finish his term of teaching at Quinton before putting on the uniform.

-Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 9 1917



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

School Report of 1839- Part II

Some more information pertinent to the early "public" schools of New Kent post of April 2.

A)The post mentioned the "200 poor children in county." The 1840 Census luckily breaks down by race, sex and age. To give you and idea of what percentage of the county's children were considered poor. Looking at school age children, for New Kent it gives a total of 359 white males aged 5 through 14, and 307 females the same age.(The school system of course was only available to whites.)

B)Some background on the public school system, such as it was, of the time.
Charity or Public Schools-  . . . The lack of funds, as we have seen, was the cause of the failure of Jefferson's [education] plan of 1796, and this law[school law of 1810] said that all money coming into the state treasury from fines, forfeitures and certain other sources should be set aside to provide schools for the poor children in every county. The money thus set aside was called the "Literary Fund." In 1816 the money loaned by Virginia to the United States government in 1812 to help carry on the war with Great Britain was repaid to Virginia, and the General Assembly added this money, amounting to over $1,200,000, to the Literary Fund. Beginning in 1818 $45,000 each year was paid out of the interest on this fund for schools. Later on the amount increased as more fines came in. 
Only the children of poor white people could get the benefit of this money. In 1825 for instance, 10,226 children went to these schools; in 1851 31,486 were sent, and in 1859 54,232 were sent, the money coming annually from the fund for the schools being about $160,000. The schools were charity schools and wrongly called public schools. They were open only about three months in the year and nothing but reading writing and arithmetic were taught. Especially in the eastern section of Virginia it was considered a disgrace to be so poor as to have to go to the "public schools" and long after they had ceased to be charity schools and had become schools for all classes, rich and poor alike, and good enough for the richest as well as the poorest boy and girl, the "public school" was looked down upon in some parts of Virginia because the old idea of charity school still stuck.   

-School History of Virginia- Edgar Sydenstricker, Ammen Lewis Burger-1914




Sunday, April 2, 2017

School Report of 1839

ABSTRACT OF SCHOOL COMMISSIONERS REPORTS FOR THE YEAR 1839 
NEW KENT- The teachers patronized by the school commissioners are of good moral character and qualifications. The children progress as well as children generally do and some beyond mediocrity The school commissioners take the liberty of suggesting an opinion, that if the price of tuition were raised to six cents per day, more good might be done. Most of the common school teachers would not take them in their schools, but for philanthropic feelings, and the more efficient teachers, who reject them now, might be induced to take them in their schools.

-9 common schools
-200 poor children in county
-56 attending per diem
-5384 days attended
-rate of tuition 4 cents a day
-$250.88 annual expenditure 




Saturday, March 25, 2017

Play Ball


     Base-ball and Commencement Exercises
           [For the Dispatch.
The people of New Kent and James City counties had the pleasure of witnessing at Barhamsville on Tuesday the 13th one of the finest games of ball ever played in this section, it was between the West Point and Lofty Academy clubs. The academy boys won by a score of 6 to 5, Mr. Diggs, of the Point, being umpire. 
The night following (14th) about six hundred persons assembled at Liberty church to witness the closing exercises of the academy. It was a most enjoyable occasion, such as Major Vaiden always gives, and the immense crowd present attest their popularity, Fauquier county carried off most of the prizes, Master E.L. Childs getting an elegant cup, while Messrs. Shumate, Holtzclaw, and Coates won beautiful premiums.       A PATRON

-  Richmond Dispatch- June 17, 1888


Friday, March 10, 2017

A Not Very Holy Meeting

 
   A WARM TIME. 
AT A HOLINESS MEETING IN NEW KENT.
A correspondent of the Richmond Dispatch, writing from Oak*, New Kent county, Wednesday, says: 
"At Roper's Tabernacle Monday night a few cool-headed persons succeeded in averting what promised to be a serious affair. 
"As was seen in the Dispatch about ten days ago a Mr. Boroughs, a new comer to this county, invited the Rev. R.W. Webb, of Norfolk, to hold a Holiness camp meeting near his place. Mr. Webb carries his own tent with him, but the Methodists of this vicinity, who own the above-named tabernacle, granted him leave to hold the meeting in that building. The meeting commenced Sunday with Mr. Webb on hand. He began his discourse by abusing the members of the Methodist Church who did not believe in holiness, Christian perfection, or sanctification. He finally became so violent and personal that he was called down by Rev. Eugene Potts, pastor of the Methodist Church here. The two had quite a hot discussion for a few minutes, when several members of the Tabernacle congregation Jumped from their seats and Joined in what was then getting to be a very high-pitched row. One man was shaking his fist in the Rev. Webb's face. While this was going on the ladies took to their heels and ran out of doors. Some never stopped until they reached their homes. The Rev. Webb and his few followers were ordered to leave the tabernacle, but he has sent on for his tent (which he left behind after securing the building), and will continue the meeting on the land of Mr. Boroughs."


-Virginian-Pilot, 20 October 1899


*approximately where the Saude Creek Winery is now.




Saturday, February 25, 2017

President's Day/ Washington's Birthday Conclusion

 . . . . from the post of February 20. . .


 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


Correspondence from New Kent County- 1875




From New Kent County. 
[Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.
           New Kent Courthouse, Va., )
           February 24, 1875. ) 
The ice crop gathered in this section during the last cold weather is perhaps the largest that has been housed for many years, measuring in thickness from three to four inches. 
Today had been fixed upon for a meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the county, but for some cause unknown to the writer they not did convene. While your correspondent was engaged in a business transaction with the clerk of New Kent, in his office, a stalwart but sable colored individual the writer had known in the past as a waiter, but who has now become one of the leading Radicals of New Kent, thrust his head in the door and asked the clerk if he thought "dem fellows was gwine to come whar had bin 'lectcd to reglate de fenances ob de county." alluding to the Board of Supervisors". The clerk could not give him a satisfactory reply, and the fifteenth amendment departed. 
Indications of the revival of the various industries of the county are very apparent. They can be seen in almost every neighborhood. While it may be several years before the county will enjoy the same prosperity that it did before the war, still the signs are very perceptible that she has made considerable progress within the last few years. 
Owing to the severity of the winter wheat can scarcely be seen in the fields, yet there is a good stand of it, and a few warm days with a genial sun would cause it to grow rapidly. 
The move in the Legislature to disturb the judiciary does not meet with any favor here. The reasons assigned for doing this are poor: and while a few ambitious legislators who are aspirants for judgeships may endeavor to put the judiciary in that shape by which vacancies must necessarily be created, the people do not desire it. There can be no change with out an increase of public expense: and with the immense debt that is depressing the industries of the state this should certainly be dispensed with. There has been a great diminution of business in this circuit within the last four years, and the writer presumes from an act lately passed reducing the number of terms of the courts in several of the circuits from three to two that there has been a decrease in business all over the State. The judge of this circuit gives entire satisfaction, and the people would dislike very much to be deprived of his services. By close application to his official duties and his urbane and gentlemanly bearing he has made a host of friends, who would part with him most reluctantly. We would suggest to the distinguished member of the House from Accomac(sic), for whom the writer has high regard, that it is not expedient at this time to split in twain the Eighth circuit, it is true that the Chesapeake bay is a large body of water, and divides the circuit, but the facilities are so great for crossing it that it is scarcely a barrier.¹
Your correspondent has never heard of as many case of pueumonia, and death has ensued in a large number of them. 
The roads are almost impassable, rendered in this condition by a thorough thaw, together with incessant and copious rains. There is but little said about the reelection of county officers in May next, but I believe it is Generally conceded that an election will take place, and the effort being made in the legislature for the officers to hold over will not prevail. 
A law imposing a tax on all dogs is very much desired in the county. Something should be done to reduce the number of canine, thereby giving greater protection to sheep, or, if the owners will keep them, they should be made a source of revenue to the State. 
Mr. Alexander Mosley, of the Whig, who has been domiciled in the neighborhood of Dispatch station, in this county, for six months or more, has gone to Florida, where he will remain until late in the spring.² 
There is in contemplation the establishment of a newspaper at this place by Captain Telemachus Taylor, to be called The New Kent Cavalier. Captain Taylor gained an enviable reputation for gallantry while in command of the New Kent cavalry during the war. F.

Alexandria Gazette, 27 March 1875



 ¹ An article in the same edition of the paper tells how the legislature did indeed split the Eighth Judicial Circuit which had previously included the Peninsula and the Eastern Shore. Former Lt. Governor R.L. Montague became the new judge, replacing George T. Garrison who continued to represent the Eastern Shore.

² Alexander Mosley would die at his home, "The Shanty," at Dispatch Station in 1881.




Monday, February 20, 2017

My Annual "President's Day" Post . . .

  . . . to remind you it is actually 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.*

The Washington Family- Edward Savage, 1804

George Washington's Farewell Address
FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS:
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 18, 2017

Virginia Population Increases 2010-2016

Top 11 Localities by percentage population increase . . .


Locality  2010 Pop. 2016 Pop. Increase %
Loudon County 312,311 385,327 73,016 23.4%
Falls Church City 12,332 14,123 1,791 14.5%
Arlington County 207,627 236,691 29,064 14.0%
Alexandria City 139,966 159,464 19,498 13.9%
New Kent County 18,429 20,895 2,466 13.4%
Prince William County 402,002 448,050 46,048 11.5%
Fredericksburg City 24,286 27,025 2,739 11.3%
Harrisonburg City 48,914 54,224 5,310 10.9%
Manassas Park City 14,273 15,802 1,529 10.7%
Manassas City 37,821 41,616 3,795 10.0%
Stafford County  128,961 141,915 12,954 10.0%








-Cooper Center Estimates/ July 1, 2016 Estimates



Saturday, February 11, 2017

Running With the Hounds


There was much excitement near Quinton a few days ago, when a colored woman came near being frightened to death. Mr. Harvey Mantelo, a prosperous young farmer in that neighborhood, has a pretty little son and the father humors him to everything he wants. Some time ago he told his father he wanted a little billy goat. So the young farmer bought the goat. At the, same time he was raising a pair of young hounds. It seems that the goat and hounds grew up together and became very fond of each other. When the dogs got large enough to go hunting the goat would go too. It is said the goat will keep up with the hounds. It cannot bark like the hounds, but it makes a terrible noise just the same. It seems a colored woman who lives in the neighborhood left home early one morning to see a friend and left a small child in the care of a larger girl. She had not gotten far when she heard some hounds running and a terrible noise in the same direction. The poor frightened woman thought it was her child calling- and the hounds, would devour it before she could get to it. 
It was nothing but the little billy goat running with its companions. It was a long time before she could be restored to consciousness, when found by one of the neighbors.

-The Times(Richmond), 3 November 1901

Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Golden Anniversary- 1898

AFTER FIFTY YEARS. 
DR. AND MRS. L. C. CRUMP CELEBRATE THEIR GOLDEN WEDDING. 
THE ONLY LIVING WITNESS PRESENT. 
He is a Feeble Old Negro, Who Tells of the Other Wedding- A Happy Circumstance- Dr. Crump's Grandchild Christened for Him. 

Dr. and Mrs. Leonard C. Crump, of this city, celebrated the golden anniversary of their marriage last evening, at their residence, No. 116 north Twenty seventh street. 
The fates have ordained that occasions of this kind shall come but rarely; a fair fortune had decreed that this should be one of great interest and joy, not to be forgotten by those who attended, in many, many years. 
Dr. Crump and Miss Emily A. Savage, a bright and winsome daughter of Captain Nat. Savage a wealthy planter of New Kent county, were married at the old homestead, June 28 1818. The whole county was interested in the nuptials of this popular couple, and the festivities were kept up after the wedding night for week. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Dr. John P. McGuire. an Episcopal clergyman, now long since gone to his reward. 
A half a century has passed since then, many changes have come, old faces have gradually sunk out of sight, and as they have journeyed along new ones have taken their places. Eleven children, in the course of time, came to their home; six of that number are still living, and are all present They are Messrs. William A. and N.R. Crump, of Richmond, and N.S. Crump, of Omaha, Neb.; Mrs. H.R. Davis, of Atlanta, Ga., and Misses Sallie B. and Emily B. Crump, who reside with their parents. 

CHRISTENED BY THE DOCTOR. 
The reception Dr. and Mrs. Crump tendered their friends was held from 5 to 7 In the evening. Just preceding the reception a most beautiful and interesting ceremony occurred. This was the christening exercise of the grandson of Dr. and Mrs. Crump, the son of Mr. N.S. Crump, of Nebraska, for the venerable Doctor himself. Only the family and intimate friends were present. Dr. R.A. Goodwin, rector of St. John's church, of which Dr. Crump is a vestryman, was the officiating minister. Dr. Crump is inordinately proud of the boy who bears his name, and well he might be, for he is as bright an pretty a youngster as one would care to see. 

ALL GONE BUT HIM. 
That was a gay and beauteous throng which gathered fifty years ago to witnesss the happy union. Gallant men and bright-eyed, fresh, young girls were there, and they laughed and loved, talked and sang as gallant men and fair girls do at marriages to-day. But the mirthful ones have passed away. Every one save three has "joined the great caravan which moves to the pale realm of shade" has "wrapped the drapery of his couch him and lain down to pleasant dreams."* 
Two of the three are Dr. and Mrs. Crump; the other is John Smith, who was a butler at the marriage; stood at the door, as the slave did on such occasions, witnessed the ceremony, and waited on the table at the marriage dinner. He is a white-healed, wrinkled, and kindly faced old man now. The days of youth have long since fled him, and his incoherent talk at times shows that gradually his mind is giving away. 

A GUEST THIS TIME. 
He, too, has left the plantation in New Kent, and is now living in Richmond. More than that; he was an honored guest at the golden wedding yesterday afternoon, a seat was given him at the door, and not a guest who passed in failed to greet the old man, who bowed his white head very low, hat in hand, and said, "Sarvant, Massar." He was asked by a guest about the other wedding, and replied, "I couldn't tell yer 'bout dat all, but it larsted a week."
Among those who called during the evening were Mr. Cyrus Bossieux, son, and daughters; Mrs. Hankins, wife of Dr. Hankins, of Williamsburg; Mr. and Mrs. Johnn Alvey, Mr. Edward Alvey, Mrs. Sallie Hoffman, and Mr N.R. Savage. A number of presents were received, appropriate and handsome. 
Dr. Crump is well known in Richmond, where he has been a resident since the war. Until the outbreak of hostilities of 1861 he was a practitioner in New Kent. Then he came to Richmond, was a physician at the hospital on Chimbarazo Hill, and has ever since made his home here. For a quarter of a century or more he has been a communicant of St. John's Episcopal church, and also a member of the vestry. Both his health and that of Mr. Crump are good and fortune bids fair to grant the heartfelt and earnest wish of their many friends that they may yet "live long and prosper." 

- Richmond Dispatch, 29 June 1898


Dr. Leonard Crump would survive only another seven months passing away February 6, 1899.



*from Thanatopsis- William Cullen Bryant




Saturday, January 28, 2017

Forest Fire of 1910

The year of 1910 was a year of terrible forest fires across the western United States contributed to by severe drought. The West was not the only place affected. A two month drought had struck the eastern United States in the spring of 1910 only breaking in April of that year.

The heavy forest fires of late have caused the destruction of thousands of dollars worth of standing timber a this section. Many dwellings having narrowly escaped destruction. At New Kent Court House, the beautiful Baptist church, Corinth, was destroyed by the fire and the beautiful residence of Mr. T.N. Harris, our county clerk, was only saved by the heroic efforts of the ladies who formed a bucket brigade and fought the flames; one young lady, a daughter of Mrs. J.M. Harris, came near loosing her life, her clothing having been set on fire two or three times. Cord wood and ties owned by Mr. R.E. Richardson were destroyed, with not a cent of insurance on anything. The organ and a few of the pews of the church were saved.

-Virginia Gazette, 21 April 1910



Sunday, January 22, 2017

Fake News of 1851


We sincerely regret to learn that Dr. R.N. Hall, the representative of Henrico in the last Legislature and the Whig candidate for the same post in the late election has committed suicide in New Kent county, by shooting himself with a pistol. He had gone out gunning, and was after a long search found dead. His friends have for some time suspected  a slight aberration of intellect.

- Richmond Enquirer, 4 November 1851



The painful news of the death of Dr. Hall, the late Delegate in the Legislature, from Henrico county, was fully confirmed yesterday by intelligence direct from the scene of the unfortunate occurrence. The melancholy event occurred on Saturday last, in New Kent county, whither the Dr. had gone a few days ago on a visit to his relatives. The fatal shot was from a six barreled revolver*, the ball entering the front and centre part of the abdomen. He was found some distance from the house of his relatives while still living, and stated that he had received his wound accidentally while practising(sic) with his pistol. Several balls were found lodged in a tree at the fatal spot, and the barrels of the revolver unscrewed and separated from the stock, or handle. Rumor, at first, stated that his death was the result of deliberate suicide.

-Richmond Enquirer,7 November 1851



To the Editors of the Enquirer. 
New Kent C. H., Nov. 6, 1851.
Gentlemen- it was with feelings of regret that read in your paper of the 4th inst such an egregious inaccuracy relative to the death of the lamented Dr. Richard N. Hall of Henrico, in your issue of that date, it was stated that he came to his death by perpetrating suicide, which was attributed to an aberration of intellect. This I beseech you to correct, as there is not a particle of truth attached to it. I do not blame you for the statement given, but I do condemn the informer, of whom you received the news. I will, in a succinct manner, state the facts: -Dr. Hall came to New Kent on the 31st ultimo, to stay a short time with Dr. Geo. W. Morris, a brother-in-law of his, and on the day preceding his death he conversed rationally, with much fluency with some members of the family, and no one suspected the least aberration of mind. On Saturday evening, as a means of recreation, he proceeded from the house of Dr. Morris with a revolver, with a design to practice shooting. After he had gone some live or six hundred yards he halted, and commenced firing, which he continued to do until the cylinder of his pistol became somewhat irregular. As soon as it was discovered, he drew a knife from his pocket to adjust the irregularity, but in endeavoring to do so the pistol was discharged, the ball entering near the centre of the lower part of the abdomen and passing into the region of the spine.He was discovered soon after the occurrence by Dr. Morris, who asked him if lie had shot himself intentionally? He exclaimed, no! no!! no!!! and was afterwards interrogated further, but his exhaustion was so great that nothing more could be learned from him. He was conveyed to the house, where, in a short time, he expired. 

-Richmond Enquirer, 11 November 1851


*six barreled revolver,"which sounds like a notoriously unreliable pepperbox.

Monday, January 9, 2017

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


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

-Richmond Times-Dispatch, 31 July 1917





STATE ROOM






Thursday, January 5, 2017

Charles City County Courthouse Named


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

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

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