Pamunkey River

Pamunkey River
The Pamunkey River in 1864

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