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Saturday, February 25, 2017

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.

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