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l^UmUlllliUI IHitllUU^tSR 

For Reference 

Do Hot Take 

From the Library 

Eastern Shore 


1603 - 1964 


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For Reference 

Not to be taken from this room 

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The following explanations are offered relative 
to inlonnation contained in this printing of The 
Eastern Shore of Virginia 1603-1964. 

Page Line 

1 3 Reference is made to modern reckoning 

of longitude. 

28 20 The wife of William Gotten was a sis- 
ter-in-law of William Stone. 

The date should be July 28, 1643. 

The date should be March 1643 N. S. 

The General Assembly of 1732 provided 
for local sponsorship for licensing at- 
torneys rather than providing for the 
direct licensing of attorneys. 

197 16 It was George R. Mapp who became the 
third superintendent and not John R. 

272 40 William T. Fitchett was Circuit Court 
Judge from March 1882 to March 1884 
between two terms of Benjamin T. Gun- 

274 38 The reference to the Clerk of Court 
should be Robert H. Oldham rather than 
Robert H. Oldham, Jr. 

274 49 In the list of Superintendent of Schools 
for Northampton County, the name 
should be D. W. Peterson rather than 
W. D. Peters, 

280 1 John Andrews Upshur was graduated 

from the United States Naval Academy 
in the class of 1921. 

280 44 Henry Alexander Wise was the son of 
Edward S. Wise rather than Edgar S. 
Wise as stated. 

The publishers are glad to make these notations. 
If there should be future editions these corrections 
Vvill be made in the text of the book. 







Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

LYRASIS members and Sloan Foundation 


By the Same Author 





The Eastern Shore of Virginia 

1603 - 1964 






Illustrated with 

16 pen-and-ink sketches 

6 floor plans 

7 maps 

Published by 

The Eastern Shxire News, Inc. 

Onancock Virginia 



AlflE3D lLt.7^7 







This book gives an account of the outstanding events in 
the order in which they took place on the Eastern Shore of 
Virginia, from the first English landing on record to the 
opening of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. It is by 
no means a complete history, for the records of any century 
contain enough information for a volume larger than this. 
Only a few of the important people could be used in the 
narrative, and it is hoped that readers whose favorite an- 
cestors were not included will be tolerant. Since the writer 
has no ancestors on the Shore, there was nothing personal 
about the selection. 

The Eastern Shore of Virginia forms the southern part 
of the crescent-shaped Delmarva Peninsula which lies be- 
tween the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay on the east, and 
Chesapeake Bay on the south and west. The ocean islands 
help form the crescent which has a very irregular under curve 
next to Chesapeake Bay. The coast lines are broken by num- 
erous tidal streams and necks of land in assorted sizes and 
shapes. The Delmarva Peninsula takes its name from Dela- 
ware, Maryland, and Virginia, the states among which it is 

Virginia's part was divided into two counties in 1663. 
Northampton County, which begins at Fishermans Island, 
has a land area of 226 square miles and a population of 
75.1 per square mile. Its population in the 1960 census was 
16,966. Accomack County begins at Machipongo and Occo- 
hannock creeks and extends to the Maryland line. It has a 
land area of 470 square miles and a population of 65.2 per 
square mile. Its population in 1960 was 30,635. 

The land of the Shore gives the appearance of being al- 
most level but there is enough variation for it to be divided 
into three surface areas. The central part, which was bounded 


by the original bayside and seaside roads, has an elevation 
of 25 to 45 feet above sea level. The areas next to Chesa- 
peake Bay and the ocean vary from 25 feet to sea level or 
below. The salt marshes, or sea meadows, belong to the land 
at low tide and to the sea at high tide. However, there are 
some small tracts of land near both the bay and the ocean 
with elevations above 25 feet. The soil is fertile and the 
land requires no terraces. A few sand dunes may be seen next 
to the bay but any resemblance to them inland indicates a 
nearby irrigation pond. 

There are more than a hundred named towns, villages 
and hamlets in Accomack and Northampton counties. Sixty- 
six of these have post offices. Only three of the towns are 
large enough to have mail delivery. Well-kept farm houses 
between the settlements make it hard to tell where one village 
ends and another begins. 

The distance from the north terminus of the Bridge- 
Tunnel to the Maryland line is 72 miles. Every exit or 
crossroad leads to something of historic or recreational in- 
terest. Some are to hunting and fishing sites which give the 
Shore the unofficial title of "Sportsman's Paradise." Others 
are to historic shrines or monuments and one leads to Chinco- 
teague Ocean Beach. 

This narrative of the Eastern Shore of Virginia begins 
in the year 1603 and ends with the opening of the 17.6 
mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to the mainland. The 
book was written for the general reader but the chapter 
notes may help it find an audience among historians. 






























































HILLS FARM Floor Plan 90 



Drummonds Mill Farm 119 


TWO ROOM and LOFT HOUSE Debtors Prison 134 

DEBTORS PRISON Floor Plan 135 


END VIEW Floor Plan 141 

ONE ROOM and LOFT HOUSE Seymour Kitchen 146 

SIAMESE TWIN HOUSE Little Room. Colonnade 

and Kitchen of Seymour House 147 


KITCHEN Seymour House 148 

SEYMOUR HOUSE Floor Plan ■ 149 




Rectory 187 

THE RECTORY Floor Plan 188 

OLD POINT COMFORT Pennsylvania Railroad 

Steamer 201 

VIRGINIA LEE Pennsylvania Railroad Steamer 231 

KERR PLACE Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical 

Society Building 258 

POCAHONTAS Flagship of the last Ferry Fleet 264 






CREEKS 1870 192 




Chapter I 

At dawn on July 29, 1603, a fifty-ton ship was riding 
anchor at 37 degrees 7 minutes and 3 seconds north latitude 
and 75 degrees 54 minutes and 3 seconds west longitude. This 
was at the entrance to Chesapeake Bay and the young captain 
was gazing at tree-covered land at the north side. Soundings 
showed it was not safe to go nearer so arms and ammunition 
for eight men and boys were being put into one of the land- 
ing boats. The captain was prepared to carry out one of the 
orders of his famous uncle in England. 

The captain was Bartholomew Gilbert, and his uncle who 
owned the ship was Sir Walter Raleigh. Captain Gilbert 
had been with exploring parties in the northern part of the 
North American continent then called Virginia, but this was 
his first voyage with full responsibility. Plans were well 
under way when Queen Elizabeth I died on March 24 and 
her cousin James of Scotland became King James I of Eng- 
land the following day, which was New Year's Day 
of 1603. Sir Walter knew the elderly Queen's days were 
numbered and he was eager to prove to the successor that 
he had not abandoned his patent in the New World. Al- 
though he had sold part of it to a group of merchants, he 
still hoped to find survivors of the Roanoke Island Colony 
and reinforce their settlement. Captain Gilbert was ready 
to carry out the last of his orders. This was to land and see 
if any trace could be found of Sir Walter Raleigh's colony 
that had vanished from Roanoke Island almost fifteen years 

The ship had come to Virginia by the southern route and 
docked at enough islands where "lignum vitae" grew to fill 


every foot of cargo space. Lignum Vitae is a hardwood tim- 
ber which brought a high price when running works for clocks 
and other machinery were made of wood. It was also in de- 
mand for ten-pin balls. A fifty-ton shipload of this product, 
found only on American islands, would pay the expenses of 
the voyage and leave some profit for the owner and members 
of the crew. Captain Gilbert was well pleased with his as- 
signment up to this point. 

He left the ship in a landing boat carrying five men 
and two boys and enough arms and ammunition for all. Al- 
though the level tree-covered land looked near under the 
cloudless sky, almost a mile of rowing was required to reach 
the shore. 

The captain and five heavily-armed men went ashore 
while the boys were left to guard the boat. Hostile Indians 
must have been watching the ship for some time as warriors 
were near the landing site with arrows in place and bows bent. 
Members of the landing party were killed in sight of the 
boat. Captain Gilbert and another member of his party were 
dead before noon. Master Thomas Canner and one compan- 
ion returned to the landing boat in time to help the boys ov- 
erpower a band of Indians who were trying to take it. 

Presumably other Europeans had been here and the In- 
dians regarded all pale-faced men as enemies. Earlier ex- 
plorers might have been Spanish, English, French or Dutch. 
The Spanish had a temporary settlement near Jamestown be- 
tween 1570 and 1572. The southern shore of the entrance 
to Chesapeake Bay is on Captain John White's map of 1585, 
and the north side is indicated as the bank of a river. Ex- 
plorers from the other countries are known to have made 
landings farther north. 

Thomas Canner wrote the account of this landing on 
July 29, 1603, during the voyage back to England, or im- 
mediately after the ship reached its home port in the early 
autumn. His writing is the first account of a European land- 
ing in the geographical area of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. 
Thus, the Shore's written history begins in 1603. 

On June 2, 1608, Captain John Smith left Jamestown 

CHAPTER I — 1603-1625 8 

with a party of fourteen men to explore and map the Ches- 
apeake Bay. They were aboard the supply ship Phoenix 
which was towing the three-ton shallop that had been as- 
sembled and launched at Cape Henry by the first expedi- 
tionary force to Jamestown in April 1607. This open boat 
with sails and oars was to be their home for most of the sum- 
mer. The greatest ambition of the party was to find a pas- 
sage to the Pacific Ocean, or "South Sea" as they called it. 

The exploring party left the Phoenix near Cape Henry 
and crossed to the southern tip of the Eastern Shore peninsula 
over water slightly to the south of the bridge and tunnel sys- 
tem. These men proceeded with caution and they had a 
good reason to be both cautious and frightened when they 
came in sight of land. 

Two grim and stout savages with long poles like jave- 
lins stood as sentries. The poles had sharp points with hooks 
fashioned from bone at one end. When they asked who the 
white men were and why they came, Captain Smith must 
have given them a satisfactory answer in their own lan- 
guage. These Indians were a part of the Powhatan confed- 
eracy and spoke the same language as those in the vicinity 
of Jamestown. Likely through trading expeditions with the 
Indians on the mainland these Indians had heard about the 
settlement at Jamestown and some of the wonderful goods 
the English used in trading for corn and furs. Anyway, the 
men were directed to the Indian King's house at Accomack 
where they were cordially received. Before departing, the 
visitors learned that the "javelins" the Indians were holding 
when they landed were implements for spearing fish. 

The Englishmen found fish plentiful and the fish- 
monger in the party had no difficulty in providing a daily 
supply to be cooked over the fire built in a box of sand on the 
boat. With the supplies brought from Jamestown and some 
edible wild berries, these explorers fared well while they took 
soundings of some creeks and made short trips on land to 
record their findings on the map. Although the task was not 
finished until late in the summer, the area that was to become 
the Eastern Shore of Virginia was covered in two weeks. 


The map and later references to it in writings of others 
in England indicate that Captain Smith included the Eastern 
Shore mainland as well as the islands near the mouth of Ches- 
apeake Bay in the Smith Islands group. He drew two In- 
dian King houses and called them Accomack. When the 
group of islands including Watts and Tangier were discovered 
they were recorded as Russell Isles in honor of Walter 
Russell, "doctor of physicke," in the exploring party. Before 
the mapping of the Chesapeake Bay area was completed, each 
member of the party had been honored with the name of 
some place on the record. Keale Hill, possibly the present 
site of Onancock, was named for Richard Keale, and Watkins 
Point which is on the Virginia-Maryland line was named 
for another member of the party. 

Although some writers have said Captain Smith sent a 
copy of his map of the Chesapeake Bay area to England in 
the fall of 1608, the copy has never been found. He likely 
revised it before his final departure from Jamestown in Oc- 
tober 1609. The earliest surviving copy was published in 
1612. A part of the description of Virginia published with 
the map is local and some general statements help character- 
ize the Eastern Shore of Virginia: 

"There is but one entrance by sea into this country 
and that is at the mouth of a very great Bay . . . The 
Cape on the south side is called Cape Henrie in honor 
of our most noble prince . . . The north Cape is called 
Cape Charles in honor of the most worthy Duke of 
York. Within is a country that may have the preroga- 
tive over the most pleasant places of Europe, Asia, 
Africa and America . . . Heaven and earth never agreed 
better to frame a place for man's habitation." 
Among the streams mentioned in the description of Vir- 
ginia at this time were Occohannock and Accomack rivers. 
The Virginia government sent fishing parties to the area 
around Cape Charles at regular intervals. Their mission 
was not only to catch and salt fish but also to see that no 
foreign nation established an outpost here to use in the event 
England became engaged in a shooting war. There was still 

CHAPTER I — 1603-1625 5 

as much danger that Spain might try to wipe out the entire 
settlement as there had been since the arrival of the expedi- 
tionary force in 1607. Captain Samuel Argall, who suc- 
ceeded Captain Christopher Newport as admiral of Virginia 
in 1611, made a survey of the east side of the bay and its 
potential harbors in the spring of 1613. Thomas Savage 
was the interpreter. Sir Thomas Dale, marshal of Vir- 
ginia from 1611 to 1614, made one voyage to the Eastern 

In June 1614, a few weeks after Sir Thomas Dale be- 
came lieutenant-governor, he sent a detachment of seven- 
teen men under Lieutenant William Craddock to the Shore 
to buy some land from the Indians on which to establish 
an outpost. This land was bought for the Virginia Company 
and later records indicate that it was on the south side of 
Accomack River. Documents show that the land purchased 
was above the islands at the mouth of the bay and some years 
later the Virginia Company made use of this tract without 
further negotiations with the Indians. 

Salt works were set up on the largest island where the 
sea water was the most salty. The men could maintain a 
watch for enemy ships which might enter the bay. At least 
one experienced salt maker had been sent from the ancient 
trade guild in England to direct this phase of the work. Sea 
water was boiled in large kettles over wood fires and stirred 
with shovels to keep the salt from forming solid lumps. As 
water evaporated more was added until a kettle was at least 
half full of crystallized salt. From 250 to 300 gallons of 
sea water were required to make a bushel of salt which weighs 
seventy pounds. The salt was then dried and put into hogs- 
heads and brought to the mainland in the small boat which 
could anchor near the shore of the island. At intervals a 
ship from Jamestown brought supplies for the men and took 
the salt and salted fish back to Jamestown. From there it 
was sent to other settlements at Henricus and Bermuda City 
and possibly Kecoughtan, now the city of Hampton. 

By the spring of 1617 the outpost had been abandoned 
and the men were back in the James River area. Just how 


much land they cleared and how much food they grew at 
the outpost is not recorded, but it was customary for men at 
any outpost to grow vegetables. These men probably tried 
this soil for tobacco growing. Thomas Savage returned 
as interpreter for a merchant in the autumn of 1617 and 
traded with the Indians for corn. 

Sir George Yeardley arrived in Jamestown in April 
1619 with a commission to divide the land according to reg- 
ulations worked out by the Virginia Company and to set up a 
civilian form of government. He was instructed to reserve 
large tracts of public land to pay expenses of the govern- 
ment according to the prevailing custom in England. No 
patents were issued for land on the east side of Chesapeake 
Bay and no people were sent over here before the General 
Assembly was organized in July 1619, but Governor Yeard- 
ley was aware of the favorable conditions for a settlement 
and the necessity of developing the north side of the entrance 
to Chesapeake Bay under the government at Jamestown. 

In the fall of 1620 Governor Yeardley sent a group of 
men in charge of Captain John Wilcox to the Eastern Shore 
and English people have been here ever since. The exact 
number has not been found but deductions from the amount 
of land they cleared indicate about seventy-five. They were 
under contract to work on public land in the borough of 
Elizabeth City, one of the four governmental divisions that had 
been organized. No public land had been laid out in the 
area that is now Hampton when these tenants arrived. 

The contracts under which these men and others who 
came to work on public land were different from those of 
the apprentices of the early years and indentured servants 
who began coming in 1619. Each man was provided with 
transportation from England, "victuals," wearing apparel, 
weapons for defense, tools and implements, seed, cattle and 
living quarters for the first year. He got half of the to- 
bacco, corn and other commodities he grew and half of the in- 
crease of the cattle in his charge. The other half of the 
products went to the Virginia Company. After the first 
year each man provided his own food and clothes. The con- 

CHAPTER I — 1603-1625 7 

tract lasted for seven years. A thrifty man could accumu- 
late enough worldly goods to go in business for himself in 
this time. 

Thomas Savage again came as the interpreter and stayed 
to establish a family whose descendants have helped give the 
Eastern Shore a prominent part in founding and defending 
our state and nation. 

In the spring of 1621 a group of men arrived at James- 
town to tend land to support the office of Secretary. At the 
advice of Governor Yeardley, Master John Pory, who served 
in that office from the spring of 1619 to November 1621, 
placed these tenants on the Eastern Shore. A 500-acre tract 
on the north side of Kings Creek was designated as the Sec- 
retary's land. Contracts were the same as for the men on 
Company land. 

Although only men and boys made up these two set- 
tlements on public lands, organized community life was part 
of the routine from the beginning. The first religious ser- 
vices were conducted by a reader and the Reverend Francis 
Bolton began serving the Shore as a circuit-riding minister 
from Elizabeth City in the autumn of 1621. A quotation 
from a letter dated July 25, 1621, from the Virginia Com- 
pany to Governor Yeardley shows that men on public land 
had first consideration from a minister employed by the Com- 

We have sent you two sufficient ministers: Mr. 

Haut Wyatt, who is to be minister to the Governor's 
tenants, and Mr. Francis Bolton whom we have con- 
signed to Elizabeth City. 

Church services in such settlements were held in a build- 
ing used for cooking and eating and recreational purposes. 

The presence of a number of pro'.ninent people near Cape 
Charles, and their participation in. church and government 
some years before they patented land, may be explained by a 
patent issued in England on June 11, 1621. This patent was 
for a 5000-acre tract to Sir Richard Bulkley. It was on Eliz- 
abeth Island next to Cape Codd, presumably Cape Charles. 
Governor Yeardley was notified that such a patent had been 


issued, and that the people were to be subject to the govern- 
ment at Jamestown. The first settlers likely arrived in the 
fall of 1621 with breeding stock to start the cattle industry 
there, as well as to grow tobacco. 

After the Indian Massacre on March 22, 1622, the peo- 
ple in the most dangerous parts of the Upper James River 
area were evacuated and resettled. Among these were Lady 
Elizabeth Dale's tenants consisting of men and boys in Charles 
City Borough. Along with her cattle they were relocated 
near Old Plantation Creek. Although they had been in 
Virginia since 1619 no land was patented by her. An un- 
known number of other people came to the Shore from the 
James River area this year and the next. 

The first women came to live on the Shore in 1622 and 
at least two of these could have been among the adventurous 
maidens who came to Jamestown to find husbands. Margaret 
Epps, wife of Captain William Epps, the first commander 
of Accomack Plantation, and Hannah Savage, wife of En- 
sign Thomas Savage came to Jamestown in 1622. Captain 
Epps had been in Virginia since 1619 and Ensign Savage had 
been here since 1608. 

In this year of 1622 Sir George Yeardley and Thomas 
Savage completed negotiations with the Indian King for two 
necks of land for which patents were eventually secured. The 
Savage tract was on the north side of Accomack River op- 
posite the Company land. The Yeardley tract was between 
Mattawoman Creek, now called the Gulf, and the main 
prong of Hungars Creek, which is the present Mattawoman 
Creek. However, neither tract was occupied at this time. 

Ensign Savage built a house east of the Company land 
and lived there for the next several years. He grew tobacco 
and probably started a herd of cattle but he was not permitted 
to engage in fur trade with the Indians in competition with 
the government. 

Captain Epps presumably lived on the Secretary's land 
until he got a certificate for a patent on the south side of 
Kings Creek opposite this tract. 

In 1623 a 3000-acre tract of public land was laid out at 

CHAPTER I — 1603-1625 9 

the east end of Elizabeth City Borough, now Fort Monroe, 
and some of the men from the Eastern Shore were moved 
there after the crops were harvested. On November 2 1 of this 
year the Governor and Council at Jamestown issued the first 
order for the people of Accomack Plantation to pay a designat- 
ed part of the minister's salary. Up to this time he was paid 
by the Virginia Company and from the proceeds of land set 
aside for a glebe, or minister's home, at Elizabeth City. The 
order directed Captain Epps, commander, to see that 1 
pounds of marketable tobacco and 1 bushel of corn for every 
planter or tradesman above the age oi sixteen years, alive at 
the time of the harvest of the crop, be paid to the minister. 
This was the regulation fee which had been fixed by the Vir- 
ginia government. Presumably Mr. Bolton continued to live 
in Elizabeth City and serve the people of the Shore as a cir- 
cuit-rider by boat. 

In February 1624 Accomack Plantation was represent- 
ed at a stormy session of the General Assembly. Captain 
John Wilcox, overseer of the Company land, and Henry 
Watkins, overseer for Lady Dale, were the Burgesses. King 
James I had annulled the charter of the Virginia Company 
and only a decree of the highest court in England was need- 
ed to make the annulment final. The fate of the repre- 
sentative government which had functioned for almost five 
years was unknown. The King had never favored it and 
some members of the Virginia Company who sought Royal 
favors had criticized it. This Assembly was also concerned 
about the ownership of land in fee simple when the charter 
was annulled. Some existing laws were strengthened and 
additional ones were passed to make this government more 
closely conform to the English Parliament after which it was 
patterned. A new law of this year gives some idea of the 
date of the first church built on the Shore: 

"There shall be in every plantation a house or room 
which the people use for the worship of God, and not 
to be for any temporal use whatsoever. And there 
shall be a place empaled to be used only for the burial of 
the dead." 


Another law emphasized an earlier one that all land 
was to be bounded by the surveyor as soon as his services were 
available. The owner was to pay him 1 pounds of tobacco 
for each 100 acres bounded and recorded. 

The surveyor was Captain William Claiborne who came 
to Virginia in 1621. His first assignment was to lay out the 
public lands and then work for individuals for the above des- 
ignated fee. The Governor and Council issued certificates 
for designated tracts but the patents were not confirmed until 
the surveyor recorded the boundaries. Although the Virginia 
land books show private tracts recorded in 1623, there is no 
record of a private survey on the east side of the bay until 

After the General Assembly of 1624 adjourned, Bur- 
gesses Wilcox and Watkins returned to Accomack Plantation 
to explain the laws to the people. The census at this time 
showed that the population was 79 men, women and chil- 
dren. The charter of the Virginia Company was annulled on 
June 24, 1624, and Virginia became England's first Crown 

A church was built on the Secretary's land. It must 
have been started as soon as the cultivation of the crops was 
finished. Later records show it was on the north side of 
Kings Creek and, in keeping with the custom of England, 
there was burial space for officials in the chancel. 

After the harvest was finished in the fall of 1624, the 
rest of the Company tenants were transferred to Elizabeth 
City. No list of names of those sent to the Shore in 1620 
has survived but no doubt some of the people came back to 
stay as soon as their seven-year contracts were fulfilled. The 
Company land and buildings were offered for lease. 

The census of 1625 showed a population of 51. There 
were 44 males and 7 females. The decline in population 
was due to the removal of the Company employees to the 
mainland. This census also showed 19 houses, 16 store- 
houses, 1 fort, 5 boats, 3 swords, 54 guns of various kinds, 
150 pounds of powder and 601 pounds of lead and shot. 

These early houses presumably were built of unseason- 

CHAPTER I — 1603-1625 11 

ed lumber with the vertical weatherboarding extending from 
the ground to the roof. Chimneys for such houses were made 
of damp clay around frames of wood. Such houses as these 
were used for tenants and small farmers even into the next 
century. They were fire hazards since a law was eventually 
enacted forbidding the building or use of a frame and clay 
chimney near a public tobacco warehouse. 

A list of the people in the census of 1625 is of interest 
since some of the names are still found on the Shore. They 
have been arranged alphabetically by surnames rather than 
as they appear on the census record, 

William Andrews, age 25, in the Treasurer y 1617 

John Askume, age 22, in the Charles^ 1624 

John Baker, age 20, in the Ann^ 1623 

Robert Ball, age 27, in the London Merchant ^ 1619 

Thomas Belson, age 12 

William Bibble, age 22, in the Swafiy 1620 

James Blackborne, age 20, in the Samfson, 1619 

Frances Blore, age 25, in the London Merchant, 1620 

John Blore, age 27, in the Star, 1610 

William Burdett, age 25, in the Susan, 1615 

Henrie Charlton, age 19, in the George, 1623 

Thomas Cornish, age 25, in the Dutie, 1620 

Daniel Cugley, age 28, in the London Merchant, 1620 

William Davis, age 33, in the William and Thomas, 

Edward Drewe, age 22, in the Sam-pson, 1618 
Margaret Epps, in the George, 1622 
William Epps, in the William and Thomas 
Robert Fennell, age 20, in the Charles^ 1624 
Thomas Gaskoyne, age 24, in the Bona Nova, 1619 
Nicholas Granger, age 15, in the George, 1618 
Thomas Graves, in the Mary and Margaret, 1608 
Solomon Green, age 27, in the Diana, 1618 
Charles Harmar, age 24, in the Furtherance, 1622 
Margaret Hodgskins, born in Virginia 
iNicholas Hodgskins, age 27, in the Edimn, 1616 
Temperance Hodgskins, in the Jonathan, 1620 


John Howe, age 25, in the Margaret and Johriy 1621 
Benjamin Knight, age 28, in the Bona Nova, 1620 
James Knott, age 23, in the George, 1617 
William Munnes, age 25, in the Sampson, 1619 
John Parramore, age 17, in the Bona Venture, 1622 
Peter Porter, age 19, in the Tiger, 1621 
Thomas Powell, in the Sampson, 1618 
Nicholas Raynberd, age 22, in the Swan, 1624 
Edward Rogers, age 26, in the Ann, 1623 
Hannah Savage, in the Sea Flower, 1622 
Thomas Savage, in the John and Francis, 1 608 
Apphia Scott, in the Gist, 1618 
Percis Scott, born in Virginia 
Walter Scott, in the Herculese, 1618 
William Smith, age 26, in the Sampson, 1618 
Thomas Sparkes, age 24, in the Swan, 1616 
Nicholas Sumerfield, age 15, in the Sampson, 1619 
Thomas Warden, age 24, in the Ann, 1623 
John Washborne, age 30, in the Jonathan, 1620 
Perregrin Watkins, age 24, in the George, 1621 
John Wilcox, in the Bona Nova, 1620 
Briggett Wilkins, age 20, in the Warwick, 1621 
John Wilkins, age 26, in the Mary Gould, 1618 
Henry Wilson, age 24, in the Sampson, 1619 

Chapter II 

The first week in July ] 626, Captain Epps received an 
important and pleasing communication from Jamestown. Sir 
George Yeardley had returned with a commission as Royal 
Gov^ernor for the rest of his life. The people of Accomack 
Plantation prayerfully hoped he would have many years of 
service. Sir George was a man of integrity and experience, 
while Captain John Harvey, his potential successor, was looked 
upon with disfavor. Captain William Claiborne would take 
charge of the Secretary's land although he was not ex- 
pected to live on this side of the bay. Captain Claiborne 
had come to Virginia as surveyor in 1621, and was already 
a member of the Council. Since both the Governor and 
Secretary had business interests on the east side of the bay, 
the settlers were confident that Accomack Plantation would 
get its share of attention from the government at Jamestown. 

Captain Epps, commander, had the authority to admini- 
ster oaths and try cases in which compromise seemed possible. 
Differences which were not settled in this manner, and more 
serious ones, were tried before the Governor and Council at 
Jamestown or Elizabeth City. Church wardens were re- 
sponsible for the moral conduct of the people and were re- 
quired to report offenders to the court. 

The year 1627 was one of progress and growing stabil- 
ity for Accomack Plantation, as the settled area of the Shore 
was called. Captain Claiborne surveyed and recorded the 
first land on the Shore in February when he came to look 
after the Secretary's land, and before the year ended several 
tracts were recorded in the land books at Jamestown. 

On February 3 Captain William Epps had a patent for 


450 acres recorded for the transportation of 9 people. This 
land was on the south side of Kings Creek opposite the Sec- 
retary's land. Three days later Clement Dilke had a lease 
recorded for 20 acres of Company land with a house on it. 
The lease was for 10 years j however, a few months later 
Dilke got a patent for 100 acres for the transportation of 
himself and his wife. One could patent 50 acres of land 
for each person whose transportation he paid from England 
to live on his land for a designated time, usually seven years. 
Approximately 160 acres of improved Company land 
with buildings were accounted for in recorded leases after the 
employees who were settled here in 1620 had been trans- 
ferred to Elizabeth City. However, this land was available 
for patent when the leases expired. Records of leases show 
that the Company land and Secretary's land met near the 
shore of the bay. 

At this time there were three distinct settlements in 
Accomack Plantation. They were at Accomack from the 
river by this name to the settled land south of Kings Creek, 
at Old Plantation Creek down on the shore of the bay, and 
at Magothy Bay next to Cape Charles. Some settlers want- 
ed to move northward to the fertile land between the pic- 
turesque creeks which are arms of Chesapeake Bay on the 
west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. If Thomas Sav- 
age had not already cleared and cultivated some of his land 
north of Accomack River, he was eager to do so. When 
the 1625 census was taken, he was living next to the Com- 
pany land and had two servants. The men could have crossed 
the river to work and return at night. No doubt he was one of 
the petitioners for authority to move northward. He owned 
land but no acreage or boundaries had been recorded. The 
action of the court on such a petition presented October 13, 
1627, is: 

The court, being informed that diverse planters at 
Accomack, Old Plantation Creek and Magothy Bay on 
the eastern shore of the bay, desire to seat themselves 
in such places as may be inconvenient and dangerous, 
has resolved not to permit their transplanting, but to 



keep them seated closely together and encourage the 
full planting of the forest rather than any other place. 
Following this verdict Thomas Savage decided to get 
a patent for the small tract of land on which he lived next 
to the Company land. He used a plan which neither affect- 
ed his dividend, the land of an undetermined acreage due 
him for services rendered, nor the servants whose transporta- 
tion he had paid. He had his wife secure the patent which 
is recorded: 

Hannah Savage, wife of Thomas Savage of Ac- 
comack, 50 acres on the eastern shore within the pre- 
cincts of the plantation of Accomack, December 12, 
1627, (page 57 in Virginia Land Book I). This is a 
neck of land abutting north on the main river, where- 
upon they are now seated, south on the mainland, east 
on the long creek and west on Curtaile Creek, divid- 
ing same from land of Captain Clement Dilke. This 
is for her personal dividend, she having defrayed the 
charges of her own transportation and came in the Sea 
Flower with Captain Ralph Hamor in 1622, as by 
good certificate appeareth. 

Sir George Yeardley died a month before the surveyor 
made his December trip to Accomack Plantation. Accord- 
ing to the terms in his commission from King Charles I the 
Council chose an acting Governor to serve until Captain John 
Harvey arrived. This interim Governor was Captain Fran- 
cis West, a brother of Lord Delaware. Sir George's will 
left the 3700 acres of land on the Shore to his eldest son 
Argoll, then nine years of age. This meant that the land 
would remain unsettled until the heir reached the age of 
twenty-one years. 

The latter part of this year of 1627, Captain Thomas 
Graves succeeded Captain Epps as commander of Accomack 
Plantation. He had been in Virginia since 1608, and had 
served as a Burgess when the General Assembly was or- 
ganized in 1619. Since his name appeared in the census of 
1625, he apparently had chosen the Eastern Shore as his 
home and was waiting to have his land surveyed and re- 

CHAPTER II — 1625-1634 17 

corded. His authority in administering justice, like that of 
his successor, was limited to cases which showed promise of 
settlement by compromise. 

The announcement of a marriage at Jamestown in 1628 
was of interest to the people of Accomack Plantation, Act- 
ing Governor Francis West married Temperance Yeardley, 
thus becoming the step-father of ArgoU Yeardley, the po- 
tential owner of a large neck of land to the north of this 
plantation. Governor West acquired two other step-chil- 
dren, Francis and Elizabeth Yeardley, Temperance West 
died before February 5, 1629. On this date Governor West 
"gave power and authority to Dr. John Pott and his brother 
John West." He took this step after declining a request of 
the court to give bond as administrator of the Yeardley chil- 
dren's estate. Before the court met on March 2, Captain 
West left for England where the estate would be settled. 

The outcome of the settlement interested the people 
of the Shore and they did not have to wait too long for the 
verdict. Ralph Yeardley, brother of Sir George, qualified 
as temporary administrator when the report of his brother's 
death reached England. Temperance had not been there to 
qualify and she married without giving bond to protect the 
children's inheritance as specified in Sir George's will. Cap- 
tain West sued the estate in court in England, but lost his 
case. Since Temperance had not actually come into pos- 
session of her inheritance, Captain West did not share in the 
estate. Ralph Yeardley became guardian of the children. 
This settlement meant that Argoll would have money to de- 
velop his land when he was of the age to possess it. 

The year 1 629 brought some changes in the geograph- 
ical area of Virginia which extended from the Cape Fear 
River on the south to 40 degrees north latitude where New 
England began. After the charter of the Virginia Company 
was revoked in 1 624, the King had the authority to reassign 
the land as he saw fit. By 1629 King Charles I found some 
of his father's associates ready to help him hasten the re- 
assignment of this vast area. Sir Robert Heath, former at- 
torney general of England, and associates were given a pro- 


prietary patent for all that part of Virginia between 31 and 
36 degrees north latitude, or south of Albemarle Sound. 
The area was named Carolana, Latin for Charles. This 
was of no concern to the people of Accomack Plantation, 
but the next symptom of a proprietary grant alarmed them. 

In October 1629 Lord Baltimore arrived at James- 
town with part of his family and associates from Newfound- 
land. He had been secretary of state under King James I 
and was made a nobleman while serving in this capacity. 
In 1621 he had obtained a proprietary patent for a tract of 
land in Newfoundland. According to the terms of the pat- 
ent he was to exercise the authority of a king and be subject 
only to the King of England. He spent a large sum of 
money in trying to develop farming and a fishing industry 
there by 1628 when he decided to go there to live. After 
finding the "winter climate there to disagree with his con- 
stitution," Lord Baltimore decided to sail for Virginia be- 
fore another winter set in. No doubt he and Sir Robert 
Heath worked together in planning for proprietary grants 
in Virginia. 

Acting Governor Pott gave Lord Baltimore a cool re- 
ception but allowed him to purchase supplies for his boat 
and to leave some members of his family at Jamestown. 
Lord Baltimore explored the coastal area from Hampton 
Roads to Albemarle Sound and both sides of Chesapeake Bay 
to its head. And he likely made an overland trip across the 
four-mile isthmus to Delaware Bay before returning to James- 
town. Since the time had expired for a temporary stay in Vir- 
ginia, Governor Pott offered to administer the Oath of Su- 
premacy, which acknowledged the King of England as the head 
of church and state. Because of his religious belief. Lord 
Baltimore declined to take this oath. He left immediately 
for England which he must have planned to do anyway. 

The Jamestown government sent Captain V^^lliam Clai- 
borne to England to report to Sir Francis V/yatt, the Earl 
of Southampton and others, who were potential guardians 
of Virginia with her private enterprise system of economy 
and representative government, about Lord Baltimore's sus- 

CHAPTER II — 1625-1634 19 

picious stay in Virginia. 

In February of 1630 Accomack Plantation chose four 
Burgesses to the session of the General Assembly which Gov- 
ernor John Harvey had instructed to meet in March. Al- 
though King Charles I had declined to authorize him to do 
this, Governor Harvey knew better than to attempt to govern 
the colony without this legislative body which had been or- 
ganized eleven years earlier. From the autumn of 1 624 the 
General Assembly had no official status in England and the 
laws it made were signed only by the Governor and his 
Council. Captain Thomas Graves, Edmund Scarburgh I, 
Obedience Robins and Henry Bagwell represented Acco- 
mack Plantation at this first session of the General Assembly 
called by Governor Harvey. 

Captain Graves, commander, had patented 200 acres of 
land south of Captain Epps' patent, and slightly to the south 
of the present town of Cape Charles. Henry Bagwell had 
patented no land but was probably living on his future patent 
at Old Plantation Creek. Edmund Scarburgh, and Obedience 
Robins, chirurgeon, seem to have been associated with the 
Bulkley patent at Magothy Bay. Robins' mother was Mary 
Bulkley who could have been a daughter of Sir Richard, the 
patentee of 1621. After Sir Richard's death his second son, 
Thomas Bulkley, inherited the patent and may have sent 
Scarburgh, an attorney, to take charge of the enterprise which 
was short-lived. Four Burgesses for this and later sessions 
indicate four settlements on the Shore. This session of the 
Assembly did little that affected Accomack Plantation other 
than to review and emphasize the laws already in effect. 

Reports from England revealed nothing about Lord 
Baltimore's plans for getting a part of Virginia other than 
that he was conferring with King Charles and those closely 
associated with the English government. His delay in taking 
action indicated that he had something very important in 
mJnd, and that he was moving with caution. 

Accomack Plantation was represented in the General As- 
sembly of March 1632 by Edmund Scarburgh and John 
Howe. The latter had leased 30 acres of Company land 


with buildings four years earlier. At this session of the As- 
sembly monthly courts were authorized for Accomack Plan- 
tation and some other settlements where it was inconvenient 
for people to go to the general court for appeals and to be 
tried for serious offenses. Such an important step required 
confirmation by the English government so commissioners 
were not appointed until autumn. 

Early in the summer a shocking report about Lord 
Baltimore's patent reached Virginia. He had asked for "all 
that tract of land in Virginia between James River and Caro- 
lana." King Charles signed his petition, but enough pres- 
sure was brought by friends of Virginia and those with busi- 
ness interests here to get the petition withdrawn before it reach- 
ed the Privy Council for its seal. Lord Baltimore immediately 
submitted a petition for an alternate patent which he must 
have planned while cruising in Virginia waters in the fall 
of 1629. 

The second petition asked for all the present Delmarva 
Peninsula from the entrance of Chesapeake Bay to 40 de- 
grees north latitude near the present city of Philadelphia, 
and the land westward to the longitudinal line of the head 
water "of the first fountain of the most westerly stream flow- 
ing to Potomac River, then following the south bank to the 
mouth of this river." Some historians have said there was 
a second petition asking only for the peninsula between Ches- 
apeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, but such a petition is 
unknown to present-day researchers. Lord Baltimore pro- 
posed the name Crescentia, the "land of Crescense," for this 
patent, but King Charles preferred Terra Maria in honor 
of his Queen. The English for this is Maryland. The King 
signed this charter early in April, and it passed the seal of the 
Privy Council before the news got out. 

Again, friends of Virginia with her land in fee simple 
and representative government rallied to the cause. Upon 
the advice of the Attorney General of England final approv- 
al was delayed. A manuscript copy of this charter and print- 
ed documents show the charter as it must have been written 
but with the land and islands south of Watkins Point on the 

CHAPTER II — 1625-1G34 21 

north bank of "the River of Wighco," now the Pocomoke, 
reserved for the Crown. 

A ghmpse at Lt)rd Baltimore's patent in Newfoundland 
showed that he had half of the fishing rights in a river there, 
so he must have known by experience to ask for the entire 
Potomac River. Lord Baltimore died on April 15, 1632, 
and the Maryland patent was issued to his eldest son, Cecil - 
lius Calvert, who became the second Lord Baltimore. This 
patent passed the Great Seal of England on June 30, 1632. 
Saving the lower part of the peninsula left the land policy 
intact, and left Virginia in control of the entrance to Chesa- 
peake Bay. 

Governor Harvey and the Council held a monthly court 
at Accomack on July 5. No doubt these officials got the 
sentiment of the people regarding commissioners to be ap- 
pointed if the English Government approved a monthly court 
for Accomack Plantation and some other areas far removed 
from the places of existing monthly courts. 

The General Assembly met in September 1632. Bur- 
gesses from Accomack were Captain Thomas Graves, John 
Howe, Henry Bagwell and Charles Harmar. The latter 
was overseer for Lady Dale's land and had patented 100 
acres of land at the mouth of Old Plantation Creek in 1628. 
The monthly court for Accomack was established. It was 
authorized to try cases in which the amount involved did not 
exceed 100 pounds of tobacco or 5 pounds English money. 
It was also empowered to try criminal cases not involving life 
or limb. Any verdict could be appealed to Jamestown pro- 
vided the parties involved were willing and able to bear the 

This General Assembly provided for highways to be laid 
out at such places as the commissioners of the monthly courts 
regarded as necessary, or as the parishioners of each parish 
agreed upon. 

Existing laws to safeguard the free enterprise economy 
on which Virginia was founded were strengthened. Persons 
leaving Virginia to live in New England, or elsewhere, were 
required to have a license or pass, signed by the Governor. 


Shipmasters were not to transport people who had not giv- 
en ten days notice of their intention to leave. The penalty 
for disobedience to this law made the shipmaster responsible 
for any debts owed by the person transported. 

Some other laws enacted, or reenacted, this year dealt 
with duties of the ministers and church wardens. The min- 
ister was required to keep a book in which were written the 
day and year of every marriage, christening and burial. All 
of these rituals, as well as preaching and administering Holy 
Communion, were to take place in the church except when 
necessity required the service elsewhere. Marriage ceremon- 
ies could be performed only between the hours of 8:00 a.m. 
and 12:00 noon, after the banns were read in church on 
three Sundays or a license was issued by the Governor. Church 
wardens were elected each year during the Easter season. 
The minister and one church warden were required to at- 
tend the June quarter court at Jamestown and submit a list 
of all marriages, christenings and burials during the previous 
year. They were also required to give an account of all levies 
and expenditures of that year. 

The commissioners for the monthly court of Accomack 
Plantation were appointed by the Governor. The law re- 
quired a member of the Council to be a member of each 
court. Captain William Claiborne was appointed commander 
of this court. Other commissioners appointed in September 
1632 were Captain Thomas Graves, Captain Edmund Scar- 
burgh, Charles Harmar, Obedience Robins, John Howe and 
Roger Saunders. Saunders was the only member who had 
not served as a Burgess. He had leased 50 acres on the north 
side of Old Plantation Creek in 1628 and in June of 1632 
he patented 300 acres in the same vicinity. The oath 
of a commissioner, like that of other public officials, was sol- 
emn and serious. Captain Claiborne and the four Burgesses 
took their oaths in Jamestown. 

Henry Bagwell was the first clerk of the monthly court 
of Accomack Plantation. He had served as a Burgess in 1 630. 
This is the oath administered to a clerk: 

You shall swear that you will well and truly serve 

CHAPTER II — 1625-1634 28 

in the office of a clerk for the monthly court held at 
Accomack, within the government of Virginia. You 
shall attend the commander and court at every monthly 
court there held, unless any lawful cause or impediment 
prevents you, then and there to draw up all orders of 
court, and to do and perform all such acts and things as 
are incident to the said office. Rightly and justly ac- 
cording to the capacity of your understanding you shall 
do no wrong to any person for any gift or other behest 
or gain. And you shall do and execute all things be- 
longing to the said office, or place, so long as you shall 
there continue, according unto the account of your knowl- 
edge, power and abilities. So help you God. 
When the monthly court was organized in Accomack 
Plantation, slightly over 2000 acres of land had been bounded 
and recorded, but names which appear in the early court rec- 
ords and in the land books within the next five years show 
that many people were on improved land and waiting for it 
to be surveyed. The population was more than 300 in 1632. 
The people seem to have accepted the verdict of the Gov- 
ernor and Council in 1627 and refrained from starting new 

Although the details of two sessions of the monthly 
court of Accomack Plantation are lacking, the names of the 
commissioners present at each have survived. Since the com- 
missioners were appointed in September, it is assumed these 
sessions were for November and December 1632. After 
this time the records are continuous. 

The earliest deed of a sale of property in these court 
records was made before the court was organized and is re- 
corded as follows: 

These present shall witness that I, Captain Ed- 
mund Scarburgh for full satisfaction in hand received, 
do bargain and sell to John Wilkins, and by these pres- 
ent do assign and deliver to the said John Wilkins, his 
heirs and assignees, one brown cow with a white patch 
upon her hip and two white hind legs, she being about 
four years old, with her black cow calf a month old, and 


one black cow with a broad head and a broken horn, she 

being about five years old. In witness of the same I, the 

said Captain Scarburgh have hereunto put my hand this 

last day of April 1632. 

In the presence of William Berryman 

Edmund Scarburgh 

The court met at Accomack on January 7, 1633, and 
heard six cases. Among these was a law suit in which the 
defendant was ordered to pay an acknowledged debt within 
two weeks or be imprisoned until he made satisfaction for 
the whole debt. 

At the next session of the Accomack Court petitions 
were presented by Robert Swanson and John Wilkins for 
fourteen days work which the Plantation owed to each for at- 
tendance on the Burgesses at Jamestown. The court order- 
ed Captain Graves and Captain Scarburgh to see that Swan- 
son and Wilkins were paid. Both Swanson and Wilkins be- 
came sizeable landowners. 

The earliest sessions of Accomack Court were presum- 
ably held in a house on the Secretary's land near the church. 
There was no prison, so some responsible person was paid to 
keep in his custody a person sentenced to prison. 

Roger Saunders died before August 29, 1633. As a 
member of court he was entitled to burial within the church. 
Captain Thomas Graves had gone to England and Captain 
William Claiborne could not attend regularly. Governor 
Harvey and the Council appointed four new commissioners. 

At a court at Accomack on December 30, 1633, with 
Captain Claiborne present, the oath was administered to Wil- 
liam Stone, William Burdett, William Andrews and John 
Wilkins. William Stone came to Virginia at an unknown 
date and married Verlinda Graves, daughter of Captain 
Thomas Graves. He was associated with his uncle, John 
Stone, the first person known to get permission to patent 
land beyond the bounds fixed in 1627. He had a certifi- 
cate for the neck north of the Yeardley tract and had a size- 
able cattle industry under way before his untimely death in 
1 634, when William Stone inherited his land and got a pat- 

CHAPTER II — 1652-1634 25 

cnt in his own name. William Burdett lived on Old Plan- 
tation Creek J Andrews also lived near Old Plantation Creek. 
John Wilkins, the last of the new commissioners, had been 
to Jamestown the previous year to attend the Burgesses from 
Accomack Plantation. 

The first complete inventory of the estate of a deceased 
person was filed with the court on January 13, 1634. This 
was the estate of William Bats, a bachelor. He left his 
worldly goods to five men, one of whom he named as his ex- 
ecutor. His estate consisted of 16 pounds 19 shillings sterl- 
ing, 1833 pounds of tobacco, 7 barrels corn, staves for 100 
hogsheads, 1 bed and bolster, 1 fowling piece (gun), 2 hogs 
and 2 suits of wearing apparel. If William Bats was one 
of the Company tenants who returned to the Shore after his 
contract was up, he is a good example of what a thrifty man 
could do on his own in Virginia. 

Leonard Calvert, brother of Lord Baltimore, arrived at 
Point Comfort with two ships and settlers for the proprietary 
colony of Maryland the last of February 1634, Governor 
Harvey had previously received orders from King Charles I 
to give them aid and assistance in getting started. This in- 
cluded selling them breeding stock to start herds of cattle and 
sheep. Only Governor Harvey gave these settlers a friend- 
ly welcome. They went north of the Potomac River and 
founded the first settlement in Maryland at St. Marys. 

On March 14, 1634, Virginia was divided into eight 
counties to be governed like counties in England. Among 
these was Accomack County, covering all the area of the 
Eastern Shore of Virginia. The settled area had spread 
northward after the petition for such expansion had been re- 
jected by the Governor and Council in 1627. Captain John 
Stone received a patent south of the second prong of the 
original Hungars Creek. His nephew William Stone in- 
herited the property. The population of the Eastern Shore 
was increasing steadily and most of the inland area referred 
to as "the forest" in 1627 had been patented by the time 
the county w^as formed. 

Edmund Scarburgh I died in 1634. He lived at Ma- 


gothy Bay, presumably on part of the large tract of land 
patented by Sir Richard Bulkley in 1621. Edmund Scar- 
burgh had a large cattle industry. The fact that he had em- 
ployed Thomas Savage to secure the services of some Indians 
to round up those cattle that were running wild in the woods 
shows that he had been in the business for several years. 
Hannah Scarburgh, widow, sold some cattle on January 9, 
1635. Later in the year Edmund Scarburgh II, who had 
been in school in England, came to Virginia to take charge of 
the business. He patented the first land in the Scarburgh 

Tobacco was used for money. Some entries in an in- 
ventory filed at the first session of the court of Accomack 
Plantation reveal its exchange value for certain commodities: 
A barrel of corn was worth 40 pounds of tobacco; a breed- 
ing sow was worth 60 pounds j a pound of beaver skin was 
worth 10 shillings; and an otter skin was worth 5 shillings. 
This inventory was taken from the debts of owners of a ship 
who were being sued. Incidentally, Thomas Savage was due 
wages as well as part of the commodities secured in trade on 
the expedition from which the ship had recently returned. 

Chapter III 

At a court held at Accomack on July 5, 1634, county 
government began. The commissioners were continued from 
the Plantation court. Those present at this meeting were 
Captain William Claiborne, Obedience Robins, John Howe, 
William Stone, William Burdett, William Andrews and John 
Wilkins. A quotation shows the first business of this session: 
This day was read an order from the Governor and 
Council dated March 14, last past, requiring that sher- 
iffs shall be appointed in the several parts of the colony. 
In conformity to which order at this time Mr. William 
Stone was chosen sheriff of Accomack, and thereupon 
the said William Stone was sworn to execute the said 

The oath of a sheriff, like that of a clerk, gave some 
idea of his duties. He was to collect and turn over to 
the proper authorities all tobacco and money that belonged 
to the Crown and to do right as well to the poor as to the 
rich. He was to employ bailiffs and administer the oath to 
them and be responsible for serving all warrants. The sher- 
iff was sworn to be in the county at all time unless he was 
licensed by the Governor and Council to be absent. Like 
the clerk, he was to take no gifts for promise of favors. 

Captain William Claiborne had been appointed lieuten- 
ant for Accomack. He designated Obedience Robins as his 
deputy and expected a commission to be issued by the Gov- 
ernor and Council. However, Captain Thomas Graves, who 
seems to have been on a trip to England, returned and be- 
came deputy by the October term of court. 

The population of the new County of Accomack, re- 


corded in England the following year, was 396. This was 
presumably the report made in June 1 634, at Jamestown, by 
the minister and a church warden. 

The county court had the authority to issue certificates 
for land to be settled and improved. After a house was built 
and a garden and orchard were fenced and some land was 
cleared and planted, the Governor and Council exchanged 
the certificate for a patent. This was at the rate of fifty 
acres for each settler brought into the colony. Records show 
that some substantial houses had been built by this time and 
good furniture had been bought in England. However, much 
of the time of the court was taken up with small lawsuits, try- 
ing cases involving irritating behavior among neighbors and 
transferring property. Bills of sale were acknowledged in 
open court and ordered to be recorded. 

Mr. William Cotton was the minister at least from 1 635 
until his death in 1640. The date of his arrival in Virginia 
has not been found. He had been here during the time of 
the court of Accomack Plantation, and at times had to bring 
suit for parts of his salary. His wife was a sister of William 
Stone and thus a niece of Captain John Stone. 

At an undetermined date a tract of land, presumably 
100 acres, was designated for a glebe, or minister's farm. 
Later records show that this was about a mile below the pres- 
ent town of Cape Charles, fronting on the bay. Although 
a survey was never recorded, it was identified by a local his- 
torian by the surveys of tracts that joined it. Mr. Cotton 
probably lived in a house on the Secretary's land until the 
glebe house was built. 

The church on the north side of Kings Creek had been 
repaired the previous year. Both the roof and cracks between 
the weatherboarding were in need of repair after ten years 
of use. On May 1 9, 1 634, the court sentenced a man to the 
task of "daubing" the church for striking another man. At 
the same court another man, presented to the court for swear- 
ing, was fined. 

On September 14, 1635, William Cotton, minister, 
"presented an order of Court from Jamestown for building 

CHAPTER III — 1634-1642 29 

a parsonage house on the Glebe Land." This was to be 
done by the vestry which was a part of a county govern- 
ment. The court immediately appointed: 

William Cotton, minister, William Andrews, Cap- 
tain Thomas Graves, Obedience Robins, John Howe, 
William Stone, William Burdett, John Wilkins, Alex- 
ander Mountney, Edward Drew, William Berryman 
and Stephen Charlton. 

This first vestry of twelve men included seven com- 
missioners. Only William Claibornej a member of the Coun- 
cil, was not chosen as a vestryman. The men whose names 
appear officially for the first time had established themselves 
as businessmen. 

The vestry met on September 29, 1635, and took action 
that provides the earliest description of a house on the East- 
ern Shore. It compares favorably with the houses whose 
brick foundations have been uncovered and preserved at 
Jamestown. The order of the vestry is: 

It is agreed by this vestry that a parsonage house 
shall be built upon the Glebe Land by Christmas next, 
and that said house shall be 40 feet long and 18 
feet wide, and 9 feet to the wall plates, and that 
there shall be a chimney at each end of the house, and 
upon each side of the chimneys there shall be a room, 
the one for a study, the other for a buttery. Also there 
shall be a partition near the midst of the house with a 
door. And there shall be an entry and two doors, the 
one to go into the kitchen and the other into the cham- 

Also it is agreed that the new church wardens shall 
hereby have power to agree with workmen for the build- 
ing of the said house and to provide nails. At the next 
session of the vestry they are to bring (the) an account 
of all charges belonging to the building of the said 

The specifications for this parsonage house bear a re- 
semblance to a brick house that is still standing. It is the 
Sturgis house near Jamesville, thought to have been built with- 


in twenty years after the Parsonage House. The surviving 
house is 35^ feet long and 20 5^ feet wide, with a partition 
near the center. It has inside chimneys, which could have 
provided for little rooms on the sides, and an enclosed stair- 
way on one side. Little niches for salt and spices are below 
the mantel in the kitchen. The inventory of a member of 
the court and vestry when the Parsonage House was auth- 
orized shows a house with rooms corresponding to the present 
Sturgis House. With these contemporary records we can 
visualize the parsonage house with a high-pitched roof and 
two doors facing the bay. 

William Cotton left a will, but no inventory was filed. 
Other inventories of the time provide some basis for visualiz- 
ing the furnishings. A table and frame was in the kitchen 
which served as a family room and likely a meeting place for 
the vestry. This piece of furniture had two trestles with 
drawers which were kept by the wall when the table was not 
in use. Likewise, the top stood by the wall. By this ar- 
rangement a large table could be used without cluttering up 
the room. Chairs had tall straight backs and may have been 
upholstered with leather. A small chest with a lock and key 
was usually in this room. Cooking utensils used at the fire- 
place were iron pots, brass kettles, stew pans, skillets with 
lids for baking, and open skillets. Linen napkins, table cloths, 
pewter bowls and other serving dishes, pewter spoons and pew- 
ter water containers were standard furnishings. William Cot- 
ton may have brought along some silver spoons, salt-cellars 
and a tankard. 

Furnishings of the bedroom, or chamber, were bedsteads 
with curtains and valances, feather mattresses, blankets, quilts, 
linen sheets and towels, and a looking glass. A large chest 
with a lock and key held the linens and wearing apparel. 
Books, and records which the minister was required to keep, 
were in the study. A little room under the roof had an ex- 
tra bed or two and a sea chest, with seldom-used items in it. 

A fenced garden of at least one acre for vegetables, fruit 
trees and vines was a requirement for each household. Herbs 
for seasoning were introduced when the English first came 

CHAPTER III — 1634-1642 81 

and this glebe would have had a patch. Likewise, figs had 
been introduced at Jamestown near its beginning, and some 
trees would have been started in this glebe orchard as soon 
as the house was built. 

At a meeting of the vestry the following spring certain 
regulations of special interest were passed. The clerk was 
to be paid a peck of corn and two pounds of tobacco for ev- 
ery tithable person, and it was to be collected along with the 
minister's pay. The minister was allowed 10 pounds of to- 
bacco and 1 bushel of corn for every man and boy 16 years 
of age or older. The sexton was to receive 50 pounds of 
tobacco for every person buried within the church. The clerk 
was to have 1 pounds of tobacco for every grave made any- 
where, and 1 5 pounds for those in the church. A new bury- 
ing ground was authorized at the head of Old Plantation 
Creek and transportation was to be provided for the minister 
when he was called there to conduct funerals. The clerk 
was responsible for seeing that the graves were made there as 
well as at the church. A penalty was exacted for absence of a 
vestryman at a meeting, without due cause. The first of- 
fense carried a fine of 10 shillings, a second was 20 shillings 
and a third was prosecution for contempt before the Governor 
and Council at Jamestown. 

At this meeting the vestry issued an order for the church 
wardens to purchase a pulpit cloth, a carpet (cover for the 
Communion Table), a beaker, a chalice and a chest. In ear- 
ly records the chalice seems to have been a cover for the beak- 
er, or communion cup, and it was used for the bread as a 
paten is now used. The sacred vessels were kept in the 

Ensign Thomas Savage died before February 19, 1635. 
Since he was the first Englishman to come to stay and establish 
a family whose descendants still feature in state and national 
affairs, his biographical sketch is a part of this narrative: 

Thomas Savage came to Virginia with Captain 
Christopher Newport on his first return here after leav- 
ing the original settlers at Jamestown in 1607. When 
they landed Captain John Smith had just been released 


by the Indian King, Powhatan, after Princess Pocahontas 
saved his life. The records tell us that Thomas was 1 3 
years of age at this time. From this we find the date 
of his birth in 1595. 

Being chosen as an apprentice by the Virginia Com- 
pany shows that he was a lad of promise. Only three 
were in the expeditionary force and three others in what 
is known as the First Supply. Such boys got a sound 
basic education in a grammar school, conducted by the 
trade guilds in London. Likely Thomas was under 
close observation during the voyage to Virginia, and 
he must have scored high in politeness, neatness, 
memory, tact, respect for authority and other character 
traits which businessmen looked for in selecting appren- 
tices. His apprenticeship period would last until he 
reached the legal age of tweny-one years. 

In the spring of 1608 Captain Newport took him 
to Powhatan's home on the north side of the York 
River to live with the Indians and learn their language 
so he could serve as an interpreter. In exchange Pow- 
hatan let his son go to England. Although records in- 
dicate that Thomas stayed with the Indians for three 
years, he made regular trips to Jamestown and some- 
times stayed for days or weeks. It was not easy for 
a boy to learn a new language and not waver in his 
ability to keep his English intact unless he kept in touch 
with those who spoke English. This first venture of 
training an interpreter was an honor to Thomas and a 
responsibility of the Jamestown officials. 

His first voyage to the Eastern Shore was with 
Captain Argall in 1613, when he explored the potential 
harbors this side of the bay. When Sir Thomas Dale 
sent a detachment of men to establish an outpost and 
make salt here in 1614, Thomas Savage came as the 
interpreter. In 1618, he came on a trading expedition 
with Captain John Martin's ship. At this time he was 
employed by Captain Martin and lived at Brandon, on 
the James River. When the General Assembly adopted 

CHAPTER III — 1634-1642 33 

a policy for interpreters at its first session in 1619, 
Thomas returned to Jamestown to work for the gov- 
ernment for wages. 

In the spring of 1620 he came as interpreter for 
the detachment stationed south of Accomack River and 
he lived on the Eastern Shore the rest of his life. He 
must have made many voyages to the head of Chesa- 
peake Bay with trading parties for the Company, the 
English government, and in time for individual ship 
owners. The accounts of a ship owner, who had become 
so deeply in debt that the local officials took it over the 
year before Thomas' death, showed that the interpreter 
was owed three pounds three shillings and three pence 
for two voyages. For one of these voyages he also was 
owed two bushels and two pecks of corn. However, 
Thomas became a land owner at an early date. 

The Indian King gave him the neck of land north 
of the Accomack River in 1622, or earlier, but some 
years were to lapse before he actually possessed it. After 
he married he lived near the Company land. The cen- 
sus of 1625 listed his wife Hannah and two servants. 
Their son John was born later that year. The land 
books sent to England listed only three owners of pri- 
vate tracts of land east of the bay. One of these was 
"Ensign Thomas Savage, his divident." He was en- 
titled to 100 acres for his personal adventure and an un- 
determined amount for meritorious service as interpreter. 
Another 100 acres was due him for the two servants 
and still another 50 acres for his wife. Like other peo- 
ple on land that was eventually to be surveyed and re- 
corded, the location of his tract was not designated on 
any records. In 1627 his wife Hannah patented 50 
acres where they were living. This was probably 
Thomas' home the rest of his life, but at least in 1630 
he was developing what is now Savages Neck. He 
would hardly have left his wife and little son at "The 
Long Point" at the bottom of the neck while away on 
trading expeditions. 


Thomas Savage lived in peace and accord with his 
neighbors. He did not appear in any suit in the court 
records of Accomack Plantation, or the short time he 
lived after the county was organized. He died before 
February 19, 1635, age 40 years. 

On August 24 of this year the location of his land was 
described in the patent issued for his son John, then ten years 
of age: 

Mrs. Hannah Savage, relict of Ensign Thomas 
Savage, late of Accomack, planter, a parcel of land ly- 
ing in Accomack, bounded with the Creek of Accomack 
on the south, the great bay on the west, Wiscapanso 
(formerly Mattawoman) on the north and the main 
ocean on the east. Which land was granted unto her 
husband by the King of the Eastern Shore as by deed 
calling himself Esmy Shichans. Renewed in the name 
of John Savage. 

On February 19 of this year one Richard Hudson 
brought suit against Hannah Savage for 600 pounds of tobacco 
owed him for his services. Since this amount was larger than 
the court was authorized to handle, the case was referred to 
the Governor and Council. The outcome is unknown. 

When Accomack County elected Burgesses for the Gen- 
eral Assembly in the spring of 1635, the leaders knew that 
a stormy session would be held. Governor Harvey was at- 
tempting to exert as much authority as Leonard Calvert had 
in Maryland and this was offensive to guardians of representa- 
tive government. During the previous year he caused Sec- 
retary William Claiborne to be removed from office. In- 
cidentally, provision was made at that time for leasing the Sec- 
retary's land. The Governor and Council were in disagree- 
ment and the General Assembly supported the Council. 

On April 28, 1635, Governor Harvey was forced by the 
General Assembly to vacate his office. A set of grievances 
against him was prepared for officials in England and Cap- 
tain John Harvey agreed to go to the homeland to defend 
himself. Captain John West was elected acting governor. 
Although the names of the Burgesses were not found, 

CHAPTER III — 1634-1642 35 

the method of choosing them is on the record. The com- 
mander notified all free men to meet at the sheriff's house 
on a designated date to elect the Burgesses. Such an election 
was held a month before the session was to meet. 

Captain Thomas Graves disappeared from the records 
before the court met on November 16, 1635. There is no 
indication that his family ever lived on the Eastern Shore al- 
though he had featured in public life here from 1627 when 
he became the second commander of Accomack Plantation. 
His family may have stayed in England most of the time. 
His son John Graves secured a patent for land in another 
county by right of descent on August 9, 1637. Captain 
Graves' daughters presumably were married before they came 
to Virginia. Ann married William Cotton, minister j Cath- 
erine married Captain William Roper- and Verlinda married 
Captain William Stone. Neither of his three sons ever ap- 
peared in the records of Accomack. Although Captain Graves 
patented 200 acres of land north of Old Plantation Creek in 
1628, there is no indication that he lived on it. A house on 
the Secretary's land apparently was his home and a meeting 
place for the court. 

When the Accomack County court met on May 1, 1637, 
there were two new commissioners. Captain John Howe, 
who had served as a Burgess in 1632 and 1633, was com- 
mander. The other new commissioner was .Nathaniel Lit- 
tleton who lived in the Magothy Bay area. He was a fu- 
ture leader in county and colony affairs. On July 3 of this 
year, Henry Bagwell was sworn in as sheriff and John Dawe 
succeeded him as clerk of court. 

There are indications that the Maryland colony was try- 
ing to persuade residents of Accomack County to go there to 
live. On November 20, 1637, the court passed the follow- 

It is thought fit and so ordered by this court that 
no freeman or hired servant, or any person or persons 
whatsoever, shall depart from this plantation of Acco- 
mack without a special license from Captain John Howe, 
commander. And if any person or persons shall so de- 


part without such license, they that transport them, or 
in any way assist in their transportation, shall suffer 
such penalty and punishment as shall be thought fit. 
Captain Howe died less than two months after this or- 
dinance was passed. A court order on February 12, 1638, 
pertaining to his estate, shows that he was buried in the chan- 
cel of the church: 

"It is ordered by this court that Mr. William Cot- 
ton, minister, shall forthwith be paid out of the estate 
of Captain John Howe, deceased, by the overseers of 
the said estate, for his funeral service, and his grave in 
the chancel." 

A state of unrest still existed at Jamestown. Captain 
John Harvey had returned to resume his office as Governor 
in the spring of 1636, but found the Council ready to op- 
pose his dictatorial powers. Likewise, in England, relations 
between King Charles I and Parliament were such that some 
people feared a civil war between followers of the King and 
those who sided with Parliament. This condition might 
have caused Governor Harvey to appoint John Howe as 
commander and Nathaniel Littleton as his substitute when 
they were selected as commissioners. Later records show 
that Obedience Robins was not of the Crown Party. The 
General Assembly still had not been authorized, but it had 
not been forbidden. Its petitions and orders were signed by 
the Governor and Council. 

Although the court was extremely busy in hearing civil 
cases involving less than 500 pounds of tobacco or five pounds 
sterling, it handled numerous cases with sentences given in the 
form of fines or physical punishment. Most of these were 
legal in England and in time were authorized by the General 
Assembly in Virginia. Descriptions of the instruments the 
court owned for physical punishment, along with pictures of 
such equipment preserved in museums in England, give some 
idea of methods used to maintain law and order in Accomack 
County in the 1630's. 

The pillory was an instrument with a yoke which held 
a man's head in full view while he stood for a designated 


top to bottom, left to right 
Stocks Whipping Post 

Pillory Ducking Stool 


number of hours. Stocks had holes through which a man's 
hands and feet were put and locked in place while he sat for 
the duration of the prescribed sentence on the edge of a board. 
Whips were a part of the court's equipment, and a man was 
paid to use them. The usual sentence was 30 lashes or more 
on the bare shoulders of the convicted person to be adminis- 
tered in the presence of the court. 

The ducking s^ool was used for women. This instru- 
ment was somewhat like platform scales of our time, but with 
a long board with a chair at one end. This board was raised 
and lowered by a windlass and a rope. When a woman 
was sentenced to ducking, the instrument was rolled to the 
bank of the creek where the water was deep enough for the 
victim to be completely submerged each time the board was 
lowered. Other punishments also were meted out. At one 
time two women were sentenced to be towed across Kings 
Creek. On September 25, 1637, the court sentenced two 
women to "be ducked" for abusing a neighbor and his wife 
with vile and scandalous speeches. Scolding and backbiting 
were other crimes for which women were ducked. Sometimes 
they were given the alternate sentence of a fine. If they 
chose the ducking they were lowered and raised until they 
said they repented of the offense. 

On February 19, 1635, a man was convicted of speak- 
ing disrespectfully of the minister. His sentence was to build 
a new pair of stocks and sit in them during three Sabbath days 
during divine services, then ask the forgiveness of the min- 
ister. On August 8, 1636, a conviction of a false accusation 
of a neighbor, regarding a hog that had died, carried a sen- 
tence of one hour in the stocks. The stocks were used fre- 

When a person was kept in prison to await trial, the 
sheriff received 50 pounds of tobacco per month for board. 
If the prisoner was convicted, he paid it. If he was acquit- 
ted, his prosecutor paid his board. 

Although theft was rare, specific cases are of interest. 
There was more than one case of persons milking the cows 
of others and keeping the milk. On June 16, 1635, a ser- 

CHAPTER III — 1634-1642 89 

vant man was convicted of milking a cow "by stealth" and 
sentenced to be whipped in view of the court. 

At times the court handed out sentences for public 
work as punishment. For example, one man was sentenced 
to repair the church. Building a ferry boat for the use of 
those attending church was another sentence of this nature. 

The court owned a set of branding irons similar to those 
used for marking cattle at a later date, with VG (Virginia 
Government) outlined in letters about three inches high. 
When people brought new containers of quart, gallon, peck 
and bushel contents to be tested by comparison with a stand- 
ard set owned by the court, the iron was put in a bed of coals. 
As the court passed on a container by filling it with corn from 
the standard measure, a paid man put the VG seal on it with 
the red-hot iron. A fee in tobacco was charged for testing 
and sealing such containers. A barrel of corn contained for- 
ty gallons. 

Cattle marks were cut into the ears of the animal by its 
owner. Early deeds of sale designated the animal by color, 
but earmarking was an old practice in England and was used 
on the Shore from the beginning. The first reference found 
to earmarking was in 1 634. The first deed of sale with such 
markings included was made in the presence of the court on 
May 4, 1635, for the sale of "one black cow about four years 
old, cropped on the left ear and slit on the right." Other 
marks in use were: "cropped on both ears and slit in the right 
ear," "cropped on left ear, cropped on right ear," "cropped on 
left ear and a hole in right ear," and "a flower de Luce (fleur- 
de-lis) on the left ear." There must have been some method 
of registering cattle marks in this period since certain bills of 
sale merely stated "his mark" after the description of the cow. 
Listing cattle by name and age became a practice and was 
used in inventories. The same mark was used for other live- 

The demand for breeding cattle, and some idea of the 
extent to which this industry had developed, is indicated in 
an order which Lady Elizabeth Dale sent her overseer in 
1636. It was recorded on March 27, 1637: 


I have given you two former warrants for the sale 
of 30 cattle. I now permit you to sell all above 100. 
I want you to reserve 100 of kine and young cattle to- 
gether for my use although you should be offered a very 
great price for them. All above said 100 are to be sold 
to the best advantage and profit. (A cow was valued 
at about 600 pounds of tobacco.) 

Although Lady Dale never came to Virginia, she con- 
ducted a profitable business in Accomack County where her 
tenants were placed after being evacuated from the borough of 
Charles City in 1622. Her land was not surveyed and re- 
corded but its bounds were generally recognized by her neigh- 
bors and the court. 

Trading with the Indians was a profitable business and 
trading cloth was among the items used in exchange for bea- 
ver, otter, and wildcat skins. Trade had been established be- 
tween Virginia and New England in the early 1620's and 
by this time Accomack was sharing in it. 

The inventory of the estate of Thomas Lee, filed Jan- 
uary 7, 1639, indicated that Accomack County had a silver- 
smith. Apparently he combined this trade with tailoring and 
lived in the home of David and Joan Windley near the orig- 
inal settlement on Accomack River. He left his estate after 
his debts were paid to Joan Windley, wife of David Windley. 
He had no furniture other than a bed and its fittings. His 
personal belongings included a remarkable amount of wearing 
apparel for the time, as well as a comb and brush. 

His silver forge was appraised at 1 pound 8 shillings 
sterling, and silver spoons were worth 1 pound 16 shillings. 
Other items appraised in English money were a silver tooth- 
pick, a whistle, a silver bodkin, a pair of horns set in silver 
(probably used as a salt cellar) and one dram cup. His chest 
of tools which could have been for silversmithing, along with 
the forge, and tailoring equipment were appraised at 50 
pounds of tobacco. Thread, needles, buttons and loops were 
valued at 75 pounds of tobacco. A bundle of silk, ribbon and 
points were other items of a tailor. 

Sir Francis Wyatt returned to Virginia as Governor 

CHAPTER III — 1634-1642 41 

and Captain General the last of February, 1639. His com- 
mission was issued by the English government on January 1 1 . 
The people of Accomack County who had been in Virginia 
between the fall of 1621 and the spring of 1626 knew of his 
policy of fairness to all, and his strong support of representa- 
tive government. His commission included the English gov- 
ernment's authority to call the General Assembly. Although 
it had been meeting and functioning since 1619, all petitions 
and orders had been signed only by the Governor and Council 
since Virginia was converted into a Crown Colony in 1624. 

At a court held on September 18, 1640, an order was 
read for a list of all patents and larid boundaries to be sent 
to Jamestown. Argoll Yeardley, who had returned to Vir- 
ginia more than a year earlier with his wife Frances, and was 
living south of James River, took steps to have his 3700-acre 
tract surveyed and made plans to have a house built. The 
court ordered the guardian of John Savage to have his tract 
of an unknown acreage surveyed. 

On January 11, 1641, Argoll Yeardley attended his 
first session of Accomack County's court. He was not only 
commander but also a member of the Council, the first resi- 
dent Council member the Eastern Shore had ever had. 

John Savage's mother and guardian died before May 1 7, 
1641, when two witnesses testified that "on her death bed 
she had asked that John Webster be made guardian of her 
son and orphan of Ensign Thomas Savage, her former hus- 
band." After Savage's death she had married Daniel Cug- 
ley, a neighbor. The court appointed John Webster as John's 
guardian and instructed him to see that the land was put to 
the use of John Savage. Four thousand acres of the land 
had apparently been surveyed and the guardian was billed 
for taxes at the rate of one shilling for each fifty acres. 

The boundaries were designated as Cherrystone Creek, 
formerly Accomack River, and Savages Creek, originally 
Mattawoman Creek. This change of names of streams was 
becoming general in Virginia and sentiment was growing for 
the Indian name Accomack to be replaced by an English 
name for the county. 


By the end of the year 1641 the settled area of Acco- 
mack County extended beyond Nassawadox Creek and the 
population was about 700. 

Chapter IV 

After the name of the Eastern Shore county was changed 
from Accomack to Northampton, the first court was held on 
July 28, 1642, with Argoll Yeardley as commander. The 
number of commissioners had been increased to ten and eight 
were present. 

Sir William Berkeley was now Governor and Captain 
General of Virginia. The change of the county name had 
been authorized by an Act of the General Assembly in March 
along with new names for some other counties. When the 
General Assembly of March 1642 adjourned, five of the 
eight original counties in Virginia bore the names of English 
shires or counties. Northampton was named for a shire north- 
west of London, from which some of the leaders of the East - 
ern Shore had come. However, Governor Berkeley's re- 
sponsibilities were far greater than sanctioning the change of 
county names. 

Strengthening the defense system of the colony was of 
utmost importance. Civil war was expected to erupt in Eng- 
land at any time, between the party that had supported King 
Charles I while he pushed England more and more toward 
an absolute monarchy and those who resisted him. Members 
of both parties were leaders in Northampton County, but they 
could be depended upon to stand together for the defense of 
their homes, property and representative government. The 
immediate need for strengthening the defenses was against the 
Indians. Need for a defense against the [Netherlands, a former 
friend of England, was indicated. 

From the beginning every able-bodied man on the East- 
ern Shore, as well as the rest of Virginia, was a part of the 


militia. Regular drills and target practice were held under 
the commanders, or their deputies. After the formation of 
counties in 1634, the commissioners were military leaders 
under the presiding officer who had the title of commander. 

Northampton County was divided into six military dis- 
tricts covering all the settled area. That area from the north 
side of Nassawadox Creek to the north side of Hungars was 
put in charge of William Andrews and Stephen Charlton. 
Captain William Stone was in charge of the area from Hun- 
gars to the north side of Mattawoman, formerly the main 
prong of Hungars. Argoll Yeardley, commander, was in 
charge of the area from Mattawoman to a designated house 
south of Savages Creek, formerly Mattawoman. This put 
Commander Yeardley in charge of both streams which bor- 
dered on his land. 

Obedience Robins, who had acquired a sizeable acreage 
and developed his business and industrial pursuits on and 
near the original Company land, and Phillip Taylor were 
in charge of the district which started at Savages Neck and 
extended to Kings Creek. The district from Kings Creek to 
a point on Old Plantation Creek was under William Roper 
and Edward Douglas. The area on to Magothy Bay Point, 
now the entrance to the bridge-tunnel system, was under 
John iNeal and Edmund Scarburgh. Anyone who failed to 
obey the security regulations of these officers was to be sent 
to Jamestown for sentencing. 

On April 19, 1643, the court requisitioned all powder 
and shot. Owners were paid for it in tobacco from the an- 
nual assessment. John Nuttall was employed to distribute 
it among all free men. When a man was called for mil- 
itary duty he was ordered to bring his musket and ammuni- 
tion, as well as food and drink for a week. At times men 
were ordered to be armed at all times, even in church. Al- 
though the Eastern Shore Indians did not take part in the 
Indian Massacre of 1644, security measures were as rigid as 
those on the mainland of Virginia. 

The homes and means of earning a living on the East- 
ern Shore were worth defending. Owners were thinking of 

CHAPTER IV — 1642-1652 46 

their posterity as well as their own well-being. A man 
usually made his will before starting on a dangerous journey 
or during serious illness. Much can be learned about the 
property of the people through their wills and inventories of 
the estates of people who left no wills. Some of these show 
the number of rooms in a house and the furnishings in each, 
as well as the vocation of a man through the tools he possessed. 
One or more guns appeared in every inventory during this 

The will and inventory of Phillip Chapman, made on 
November 21, 1644, just before his death shows that his 
house had three rooms and it must have resembled the par- 
sonage house built in 1635. The furnishings were listed "in 
the room where he lieth, in the kitchen and in the little room." 
His wife had predeceased him and he gave specific instruc- 
tions for caring for his orphan children and saving the prop- 
erty for them when they reached the legal age of 1 4 years for 
girls and 21 years for boys. He arranged for his hogs and 
personal property to be sold to pay any debts and funeral ex- 
penses, and for his cattle and land to be kept for his chil- 
dren. His executors were to be the guardians. 

According to law a child was to be supported out of the 
income from an estate. In case there was not enough to sup- 
port him, unless a relative took him, he was apprenticed to 
someone who would teach him a trade. Inherited property 
could not be sold for his rearing and education. It had to be 
held in trust until he reached the age to take charge of it. 
The usual charge for board for a minor was 600 pounds of 
tobacco a year. Clothes and medicine were extra. Charges 
found on the records for schooling indicate that 350 pounds 
of tobacco a year was the tutoring fee for a child. When 
the wife was left as executrix and guardian, usually no specific 
instructions were given. 

The inventory of the estate of William Burdett, who 
had become a commissioner in 1633, is not only revealing, 
but forms the basis for some calculated guesses at answers 
to some questions which have been raised many times. Bur- 
dett lived on the land which became Arlington Plantation 


and the site of a temporary governor's house before the end 
of the century. Contents of the inventory indicate that he 
had a house large enough to keep the commissioners overnight 
in 1642 when sessions of the court were held at Fishing 

Burdett's inventory included nine feather beds with bol- 
sters. The finest of these, along with a suite of green cur- 
tains and valance, was appraised at 1000 pounds of tobacco. 
There was a table and frame, which consisted of two low cab- 
inets and a portable top which were placed against the wall 
between meals. The chairs, and tableware of pewter, were 
numerous enough to serve the commissioners and a jury. 

This inventory included "a court cupboard with two old 
wrought cushions and an old green cupboard cloth." He also 
had seven chests and a trunk, indicating that he was an im- 
porter of perishable goods which required the protection of 
chests during the voyages. Luxury items included two sil- 
ver salts, a silver wine cup, a warming pan, and one dozen 
plain silver spoons. Another entry in the inventory sug- 
gests equipment of a person taking paying guests. This was 
four "melted" candlesticks. 

This estate was appraised at 63,115 pounds of tobacco. 
It included 59 head of cattle and 32 goats, as well as 
his lengthy list of household items. This inventory did not 
show all the contents of his house since Alicia, his wife, had 
been married before. He left one son, Thomas Burdett. 
Alicia was destined to have two more husbands. Her last 
marriage will help explain the change of the name of this 
place to Arlington. 

While the settlement at Old Plantation Creek was de- 
veloping as a business and church center. Obedience Robins 
was expanding his cattle and tobacco raising activities on the 
south side of the mouth of Cherrystone Creek, formerly 
Accomack River. In 1642, he and an associate, John Wil- 
kins, employed an itinerant millwright to erect a windmill. 
Considering the cost, this must have been used for grinding 
grain on certain days and for sawing lumber the rest of the 
time. Mills which used wind for power had been found in 

CHAPTER IV — 1642-1652 47 

the Virginia colony from 1619. A small tower of brick 
and wood held the wheels and belts which operated the grind- 
ing stones or saws while the large circular frame equipped 
with canvas strips harnessed the wind to turn the wheels. 
The windmill built in 1642 cost 220 pounds sterling and 20 
barrels of corn. Robins and Wilkins also furnished all the 
iron needed in its construction. 

The owner of a mill was permitted to charge one sixth 
by weight of the grain brought to his mill as a fee for grind- 
ing. Indian corn and wheat were the principal grain crops 
at this time. 

Early in the year 1643, Edmund Scarburgh II, the 
eldest son of one of the Burgesses of 1630 was elected to this 
office. The other Burgess from Northampton for this year 
was Phillip Taylor. Edmund II had patented 1050 acres 
of land since he came to Virginia in 1635, some months af- 
ter his father's death. He was the first person to have a 
patent recorded in the Magothy Bay settlement. By 1640 
Edmund was a licensed surveyor. His election as a Bur- 
gess was the beginning of a long and stormy career in public 

At a session of the General Assembly in November 
1645, a law was passed pertaining to the handling of es- 
tates of deceased persons: 

"All administrations shall be granted at the coun- 
ty courts where the person did reside. All probates 
of wills there made and the wills recorded together with 
the appraisements, inventories and accounts. Records are 
to be sent to Jamestown to be recorded under the seal 
of the colony." 

John Savage took charge of his business affairs in 1 646. 
Two years earlier his guardian was required to pay quitrents 
on 4000 acres of his land. This is the first time any des- 
ignated acreage of the Savage land appeared on the records. 
It was less than half of John's eventual possession. He mar- 
ried Ann Elkington and they lived at his house at "The Long 
Point," at the bottom of the neck. His step-father Daniel 
Cugley died in 1647 and John became the guardian of his 


half-sister, Margaret Cugley. John Savage's estate must 
have yielded a sizeable profit while he was a minor since he 
began bringing in settlers to satisfy requirements for his 
eventual tract of 9000 acres. The records do not reveal 
just how much land his father received for meritorious service 
as interpreter for the colony, but he laid the foundation for 
his son to get a clear title to one of the largest tracts of land 
on the Shore in his lifetime. 

Although the growing of a sufficient food supply for 
each family was a part of the economic system of the colony 
from the first private ownership of land, people got care- 
less at intervals and laws had to be strengthened. The Gen- 
eral Assembly of March 1647 enacted a law providing for 
careful supervision to see that every planter grew three acres 
of corn for each of his tithables. On June 16, 1647, the 
Northampton County Court ordered the constables in the 
different precincts to visit the land of all the planters to see 
that they had planted as much corn as directed by the Act of 
the Assembly. The penalty for being short of the required 
acreage of corn was the loss of all tobacco grown that year. 
The proceeds from the forfeited tobacco were turned over to 
the public account. 

The General Assembly of 1647 also provided for the 
boundary line of the two parishes in Northampton to be mov- 
ed to the northward. Settlements had moved up the Shore 
so rapidly since the division of the county in 1642 that in- 
specting the upper part for corn acreage would have been a 
greater task than that in the lower part. Although the con- 
stables were paid for their services, a man could spend only 
a limited time in public service without neglecting his own 

Since the church was a vital part of county government, 
a glimpse at the buildings and the first parish division should 
make for a better understanding of events at this time. 

The original church building on the north side of Kings 
Creek, erected in 1625, served the entire Eastern Shore until 
a chapel of ease was built at Fishing Point in 1638. The 
minister lived at the glebe between these two churches after 

CHAPTER IV — 1642-1652 49 

the house was built there in 1635. William Cotton, minister, 
died in 1 640, but an immediate successor was appointed. In 
1 643 the General Assembly authorized the division of North- 
ampton County into two parishes with Kings Creek as the 
dividing line. By the end of 1643 Northampton had two 
ministers. This indicates that the original church was to be 
abandoned and a new one built in the middle of the upper 
parish. The new church was built on the north fork of Hun- 
gars Creek in the area then called Nassawadox, now Bridge- 
town. The Act of the General Assembly in 1647 moved the 
dividing line to Savages Creek, and then on a straight line 
from its head to the seaboard side. For some unknown cause 
Northampton County had ceased to be notified to elect Bur- 
gesses for the General Assembly in 1 647. Only the resident 
member of the Council was present when Governor Berkeley 
pled for loyalty to the Crown. 

In January 1650 the people got a first-hand report of 
conditions in England after the beheading of King Charles I. 
Henry iNorwood, a cousin of Governor Berkeley, spent a few 
days in Northampton after coming ashore in Lord Baltimore's 
colony, and making an overland journey through the Eastern 
Shore of Virginia. A summary of parts of the Norwood diary 
gives interesting details about ArgoU Yeardley's family and 
a description of the Eastern Shore, as well as something of 
conditions in England early in Cromwell's administration. 
Henry Norwood left England in September 1645 
along with some officers of the disbanded royal army, 
other royalists and servants. The captain of The Vir- 
ginia Merchant had been paid six pounds for the passage 
of each refugee, as those royalists may be called, and 
his servants to Jamestown. The number of passengers 
exceeded three hundred. Foul winds, stops in the Ca- 
ribbean Islands for water and fresh food, and eventually, 
a terrific storm caused the ship to get far off its course. 
Early in January 1650, the ship made a temporary 
landing. Norwood and eighteen others decided to stay 
on an island rather than take a chance on reaching their 
destination on the battered ship. Norwood's servant 


remained aboard the ship to look after his master's goods 
after fixing a bundle of food, ammunition, and trinkets 
for Indian trading. 

In time the people on the island were befriended 
by the Indians and the head man offered to take Nor- 
wood to the Kickotank king where he stayed until Jan- 
uary 24 when an Englishman arrived from Northamp- 
ton with an Indian guide. The Indian king had sent a 
messenger to Northampton with an account of the pres- 
ence of the white people here. 

Norwood learned that the ship had reached the 
James River and Governor Berkeley had conveyed a 
message to officials at Northampton regarding members 
of the party who were left on the Eastern Shore. Nor- 
wood learned that he was then about fifty English miles 
from Northampton, but that the walking distance would 
be twice that much since the trail went around the heads 
of numerous creeks and swamps on the Eastern Shore. 
He was given some encouragement about the journey 
when he was told that he would encounter no stones or 
shrubs with thorns. On the journey he found a cleared 
and marked path which was used by Indian traders. 

Norwood came to the house of Stephen Charlton 
where he was graciously entertained, then he went on to 
the house of Argoll Yeardley where he expected to get 
passage to Jamestown. In the diary we find this entry: 

"My next stage was to the house of Esquire Yeard- 
ley, a gentleman of good name, whose father had some- 
times been Governor of Virginia. There I was received 
and treated as if I had been that man of honor the King 
of Kickotank had created me. (The Indian had asked 
Norwood to give him his old coat.) It fell out very 
lucky for me that Yeardley had not long before brought 
over a wife from Rotterdam, whom I had known almost 
from a child. Her father (Custis by name) kept a 
victualling house in that town, lived in good repute and 
was general host of our nation there. The esquire know- 
ing I had the honor to be the Governor's kinsman, and 

CHAPTER IV — 1642-1652 51 

his wife knowing my conversation in Holland, I was 
treated more like a near relation than a man in misery 
and a stranger. I stayed there for ten days. I was 
welcomed and feasted not only by the esquire and his 
wife, but by many neighbors who were not too remote." 
Argoll Yeardley had a spacious house on the northwest 
side of his neck of land facing Mattawoman Creek. It was 
suitable for entertaining the Governor as well as his kinsman 
Henry iNorwood. Some of the furniture seems to have been 
in his father's house when he was Governor of Virginia. Ar- 
goll returned to Virginia as a married man. His wife Fran- 
ces had died at an undetermined date prior to 1649 leaving 
three children. Ann Custis was the first member of that 
family to appear in the records. Her brother John Custis II 
came to Virginia at the same tiine she did and he and his wife 
were likely among those who met Henry Norwood before he 
"left in a sloop" from Argoll Yeardley's house for James- 

Norwood reported that members of the Royal Party in 
large numbers were seeking refuge in other lands since the 
civil war, which ended with the beheading of King Charles 
I at Whitehall Palace on January 30, 1649. Cromwell and 
his parliament enacted laws which affected noblemen, clergy- 
men who would not renounce the Anglican form of worship 
and follow one prescribed by Parliament, and others who 
would not bow to the military government. The sad pros- 
pect of affairs in the homeland caused many to choose Amer- 
ica. His party decided on Virginia in preference to Barbados 
or the Leeward Island where many went as fast as they could 
get passage. Fortunately, English currency did not change 
with the government, so the people who had money were able 
to bring it with them. 

By the year 1650 land was patented as far north as 
Craddock Creek and the population was above 1000 men, 
women and children. The Commonwealth government in 
England was too busy to concern itself too much about Vir- 
ginia and Northampton County this year- however, new prob- 
lems arose and old ones returned. Rumors of an Indian at- 


tack were spread and depositions taken before the court show- 
ed that precautions should be taken, people had become 
somewhat lax since the aftermath of the massacre in 1644 
across the bay. Tension between England and the Nether- 
lands was mounting and people on the Shore got suspicious of 
Dutch residents, thinking they might join a hostile plot with 
the Indians. The courts issued an order forbidding any Dutch 
resident from trading with Indians. 

On February 16, 1651, members of the militia, includ- 
ing the commissioners who lived in the Upper Parish, met at 
Nassawadox to consider the peace and safety of the northern 
part of Northampton County. It was decided that 50 men 
and 25 horses should be made ready for duty. If not enough 
men with their own horses volunteered or extra horses were of- 
fered, the rest needed could be requisitioned. This alert led 
to a raid on Indians far to the north of the last English land 
on April 28, 1651. The incident was reported to the Gov- 
ernor and he summoned the leaders to stand trial at James- 
town on May 10. They were acquitted. On November 28 
the Northampton Court ordered William Andrews to be paid 
one thousand pounds of tobacco for his horse lost in "the late 
Indian war." 

Parliament passed a law October 9, 1651, which event- 
ually brought (Northampton County into the war which started 
in 1652 between England and her old friend the Nether- 
lands. This law was the First Navigation Act of the Com- 
monwealth. It seemed to be drafted to prohibit the Dutch 
from trading with Virginia and other colonies. It required all 
goods imported into England or her possessions to be brought 
in English ships or ships from the country which produced 
them. In the latter case the ships were to make no trading 
stops between the home country and England. 

Chapter V 

On February 16, 1652, a meeting was held at the house 
of Walter Williams to choose Burgesses to the forthcoming 
session of the General Assembly. This was the first time in 
five years Governor Berkeley had ordered such an election 
in Northampton. The people wh* met on this day doubt- 
less knew that a commission had been appointed by the Com- 
monwealth Parliament to transfer the Virginia government 
to its jurisdiction and they might have known the liberal 
terms of the inevitable change. Governor Berkeley had re- 
ceived a copy of the instructions to the commission on Jan- 
uary 1 9, and the Council had met. 

A detachment of soldiers on a heavily armed ship came 
with the commission. Richard Bennett and William Clai- 
borne must have been called to England to help write the 
terms for the transfer of the government. The other member 
of the Commonwealth Commission was the master of the 
ship. Richard Bennett had been an office holder in Virginia 
also. Both of these experienced Virginia legislators well knew 
that time and public sentiment would help ward off the use 
of force. However, the presence of soldiers in Chesapeake 
Bay may have shortened the delay. 

Obedience Robins headed the list of five Burgesses chos- 
en in Northampton County for this very important session 
of the General Assembly. The others were Edmund Scar- 
burgh II, Thomas Johnson, William Jones and Anthony Hos- 

On March 11, 1652, the Virginia government was trans- 
ferred from Royal Authority to that of the Commonwealth 
Parliament. The authority was placed in the hands of the 


General Assembly as soon as members of the Council and Bur- 
gesses who desired to remain in office had taken the oath of 
allegiance to the new government. The five from Northamp- 
ton took the oath immediately. 

On March 30j 1652, a meeting was held in Northamp- 
ton County for the purpose of making a protest to the As- 
sembly pertaining to its people having been taxed during the 
past five years without having Burgesses present when the 
levies were made. Six men were appointed to write the pro- 
test and convey it to the Northampton Burgesses at James- 
town. Stephen Charlton, Levin Denwood, John Nuthall, 
William Whittington, John Ellis and Stephen Horsey drafted 
the document which is known as the Northampton Protest, 
the first written account of Americans speaking out against 
taxation without representation. The committee asked that 
Northampton County be exempt from levies due for the cur- 
rent year. No action was taken at this session of the Assembly. 

The new form of government had very little effect on 
Northampton County the first year. Richard Bennett was 
elected Governor by the General Assembly and William Clai- 
borne was secretary. Those who did not want to take the 
oath of allegiance to the "government without King or House 
of Lords," were given a year in which to close out their bus- 
iness and leave the country. Indications are that everybody 
on the Eastern Shore decided to stay. Ministers were per- 
mitted to use the Book of Common Prayer for a year and 
there is no indication that the rituals for worship, marriages, 
christenings and burials, adopted by the Commonwealth Par- 
liament were ever used on the Eastern Shore. 

The Northampton court ordered a church to be built in 
the northern part of the county. Presumably it was built on 
Nandua Creek and it was the first church in the area of the 
present Accomack County. This was convenient for the set- 
tlers who lived as far to the north as Onancock Creek, but 
they found it inconvenient to attend court so far down the 
county. The following year the Burgesses took a petition 
to the General Assembly requesting a court for the upper 
part of the county. 

CHAPTER V — 1652-1663 55 

In January 1653 Governor Bennett received a notice 
from the Commonwealth Parliament that England was at 
war with the Netherlands. That country refused to recognize 
the Navigation Act of 1652. Dutch ships in Virginia waters 
were to be seized. When the order reached Northampton, 
there was concern among the Dutch residents here. They 
were in a precarious position as enemy aliens, although some 
of them had been born and reared in England. Ann Yeard- 
\e.y and her brother John Custis II and his wife had come to 
Virginia from Rotterdam where their father had gone to 
escape the Civil War in England. The Northampton court 
sent a petition to Governor Bennett asking for an order to 
give the law-abiding Dutch people he«-e the protection they 
had the right to expect. 

This question regarding the status of Dutch citizens was 
among several of a local nature which the Northampton com- 
missioners did not want the responsibility of settling even if 
they had the authority. The General Assembly of 1653 
appointed commissioners to sit with Governor Bennett and 
Secretary Claiborne at a court in Northampton. Argoll Yeard- 
ley and Nathaniel Littleton, resident members of the Coun- 
cil, were members of the commisson of five for this special 
court which, with Governor Bennett presiding, met at Hun- 
gars on July 26. The Dutch subjects were assured they would 
be given the opportunity to become naturalized under con- 
ditions set up by the Commonwealth Parliament though Gov- 
ernor Bennett had not received any instructions regarding 
naturalization requirements to date. 

The six men who wrote and signed the Northampton 
Protest of 1652 were deprived of the right to hold public 
office or do any public work until they admitted their error 
and received a pardon from the Governor and Council. This 
requirement must have been met without delay. By the next 
election these men were restored to full citizenship. 

Another petition which the General Assembly turned 
over to this court was for dividing the Eastern Shore into 
two counties. This petition was rejected but the court or- 
dered the commissioners to rotate the court with one meet- 


ing at Cherrystone, another at Hungars and a third at Oc- 
cohannock. Records show that some sessions were held in 
the area of Old Plantation Creek. 

The Commonwealth Parliament failed to function 
smoothly without an authorized leader. It elected Oliver 
Cromwell, head of the army, as Lord Protector on Decem- 
ber 16, 1653. This step caused the English government to 
be more like a military dictatorship than a representative 
government although Cromwell was capable and tactful. Vir- 
ginia kept her representative government and felt few ill ef- 
fects of the unsuccessful experiment in England until near the 
end of the decade. 

In the autumn of 1654 the Eastern Shore lost another 
outstanding citizen by the death of Nathaniel Littleton, a com- 
missioner from 1635 and a member of the Council. He had 
large tracts of land at Magothy Bay and Nandua which were 
to go to his two sons when they became of age and a young 
daughter. On September 4, 1654, he made a deed of gift of 
livestock which would assure her of money to live on during 
her minority and an estate to inherit when she was considered 
old enough to receive it: 

These present witness that I, Nathaniel Littleton, 
Esquire, devise and make a free gift unto my loving 
daughter, Hester Littleton, these goods following, vitz. 
five young cows marked with NL on the right buttocks j 
two ewe sheep, one is English the other is Dutch 5 and 
one bay mare with a white streak down her forehead. 

All these goods, with their increase, as belong to 
my said daughter, are to be carefully kept and looked 
after. They are to be delivered to my said daughter at 
the day of her marriage or when she shall attain the age 
of eighteen years. She is to perform such duty to her 
mother as expressed in my last will and testament dated 
August 12, 1654. 

And I do hereby devise my loving friend Captain 
Francis Pott to be the witness of the cattle, sheep and 
mare to be marked with a swallowed tongue on the right 
ear, and set apart for her. I hereby empower Captain 

CHAPTER V — 1652-1663 57 

Pott to be a father in trust for her. 

In witness wherewith I have set my hand and seal 

this fourth day of September 1 654. 

Nathaniel Littleton 

Signed, sealed and acknowledged in the presence of: 

Edward Littleton 

Daniel Baker 

Nathaniel Littleton's will was not found in the records. 
His wife was executrix, and her own will was probated before 
two of the children reached the age to inherit their property. 

When the General Assembly met in March 1655, the 
question of the location of the Northampton County courts 
was before it again. The Assembly enacted a law requiring 
the commissioners to hold court in just two places. One was 
to be at a place beJow Hungars Creek and the other was to 
be above it. The county commissioners were authorized to 
select a suitable location in each area. 

Another Act of the Assembly at this time pertained to 
Northampton as well as other counties. Each county was 
to have one place which would be a center of other activities 
as well as a site for holding court. There was to be a church, 
a prison and a market. The Northampton commissioners 
chose a site on the north side of Occohannock Creek in the 
first bend of the creek beyond the land of Edmund Scarburgh. 
Richard Kellam had patented the land and it was to revert to 
him if it ceased to be used for public purposes. 

Apparently the church was the only public building 
erected there. An ordinary, or public house, served as the 
meeting place for the court, with one room outfitted for a 
jail. The church was in use by the end of the year, and it 
continued to be a part of the government like the others in 
Northampton and Virginia. 

Trade within the colony and with other English colonies 
on this side of the Atlantic increased after the First Dutch 
War ended in 1654, with the Dutch accepting the terms of 
the First Navigation Act. Northampton County planters were 
not only selling tobacco to England, but also butter, cheese, 


cured beef and hog meat, hides, some wool, and livestock for 
breeding purposes to other colonies. Selling provisions to the 
masters of small ships which entered the creeks was another 
source of income. Fur trade was still valuable and skins, 
such as beaver, otter, wildcat and deer were sold by the pound. 
The General Assembly strengthened the law pertaining 
to standard weights in trade: 

The eldest commissioner in every county shall pro- 
cure, at the charge of the county, and keep at the court- 
house sufficient weights to try as often as shall be desired 
all steelyards as shall be complained of or brought thither. 
The penalty for false weights shall be three-fold 
damage to the customer, the cost of the suit and a fine 
of one thousand pounds of tobacco. Half of the tobacco 
shall be for the informer and the other half for the use 
of the public treasury. 

Mill owners still were permitted to charge as toll one- 
sixth of the grain brought for grinding. This was determined 
by weight. Salt, which was made by boiling sea water, was 
sold by the bushel which weighed seventy pounds. Sugar and 
molasses from Barbados were among the imported items sold 
by weight. 

The Eastern Shore lost another of its most progressive 
and influential citizens when Argoll Yeardley died in the fall 
of 1655. The inventory of his estate presented to the court 
on October 29 gives some idea of how the eldest son of a 
Governor, and a member of the Council at Jamestown under 
both King and Commonwealth, lived. A brief sketch of his 
life and an introduction to the family he established should 
make a glimpse at the record of his worldly possessions more 

Before Argoll reached his eleventh birthday, he 
went to England to live in the home of his uncle and 
guardian. Sir George Yeardley died in 1627 and his 
mother was dead before February of 1629 when Argoll 
left Jamestown. When he stood on deck of the ship as 
it neared the Virginia capes he probably looked toward 
the Eastern Shore where a 3700-acre tract of land 

CHAPTER V — 1652-1663 59 

awaited him when he reached the legal age of twenty- 
one years. He had a brother, Francis, and a sister, Eliza- 
beth, both younger than he. Argoll's formal education 
was finished and he was trained for business and govern- 
ment by his uncle and the friends of his distinguished 
father. He returned to Virginia in 1639 with his wife 
Frances. During 1640 he had his land surveyed and a 
house built on Mattawoman Creek. He moved to the 
Eastern Shore, then Accomack County, by the spring of 
1641. He was already a member of the Council at 
Jamestown and he was commissioned commander of the 
Accomack County Court by May 31, 1642. He served 
as a commissioner and a member of the Council the 
rest of his life. 

Argoll Yeardley died in 1655 and was survived by 
his second wife Ann Custis and five children. Frances 
was in her fourteenth year and Rose, the second daughter, 
was twelve. Each had had a cow deeded to her in 1643. 
Argoll II was in his tenth year. Edmund and Henry, 
sons by the second marriage, were under five years of 

The inventory shows seven rooms in Argoll Yeardley's 
house. The hall contained a table and frame and eight leather 
chairs along with other assorted items. The cooking utensils 
were in a room called the milk house, presumably the pantry. 
The hall chamber contained one dozen chairs upholstered in 
red mohair. This suggests a cross hall. The parlor contained 
only items belonging to Ann Yeardley and the children so 
it was not inventoried. A little chamber next to the parlor 
contained bedroom furniture, including a bed with curtains 
and valance and a Dutch looking glass. Another little room 
next to the parlor contained four feather beds, quilts, blankets, 
and an old looking glass. The parlor chamber contained one 
feather bed with curtains and valance, bolster and blanket. 
The supply of towels, table and bed linens stored in this room 
numbered eighty-four items. Books (in this inventory) owned 
by Argoll Yeardley included works of William Perkins, a lib- 
eral-minded theological writer (1558-1602) and Lucan^s 


Pharsaltay an epic poem dealing with the Roman War between 
Caesar and Pompey. There were two Bibles. The pewter- 
ware for eating, drinking, serving and bathing weighed 120 
pounds and was appraised at 5 1 pounds of tobacco. His 
silverware included a pot with lid, another silver pot, and 
tankard, presumably among the furnishings Sir George Yeard- 
ley brought to Jamestown in 1619. These items were ap- 
praised at 5 pounds 14 shillings sterling, or 517 pounds of 
tobacco. Ann Yeardley was the executrix and she became the 
guardian of the children. Argoll II would inherit the land 
when he became 21 years of age. 

Stephen Charlton, another distinguished citizen, died in 
1655. He was a member of the first vestry on the Eastern 
Shore when it was organized in 1635 and continued to be a 
devoted church leader the rest of his life. He patented the 
neck of land south of Nassawadox Creek and presumably gave 
the site for the first Hungars Church in 1643. Charlton was 
the first host to Henry Norwood after his overland journey 
through the Shore following a ship mishap in January of 
1650. He was a commissioner of the county court and had 
served as a Burgess. 

His will showed that he had made a financial success 
and that he had a substantial home and the comforts 
that the times afforded. Too, he and other people in the col- 
ony were being spared many of the annoying experiences 
which people in England were encountering under a govern- 
ment that was no less than a military dictatorship. Charlton 
left his estate to his second wife Ann and his two daughters. 
His eldest daughter Bridget was to inherit the home and land 
now known as Church Neck, after his wife's death. If the 
time came that he had no legal heirs by either daughter, this 
land and improvements was to go to the church. The will 
specified that each daughter was to inherit her property, not 
otherwise reserved for his wife, when she reached the age of 
fourteen years. Elizabeth was only six years of age when her 
father died and she was married at the age of twelve years 
without the consent of the trustees of her estate. She died 
the following year in childbirth. The husband sued the trus- 

CHAPTER V — 1652-1663 61 

tees for Elizabeth's part of the estate. Even after the North- 
ampton Court ruled that Bridget was to get the estate since 
Elizabeth was not alive to inherit it, the case was appealed 
to the higher court at Jamestown. The verdict was again in 
favor of Bridget and her husband. 

The will of Ann Littleton was probated on November 
20, 1656. Edward Littleton was named executor. Edward 
Douglas, Francis Pott and Francis Doughty, minister, were 
appointed trustees. Edward was already married to the 
daughter of Edward Douglas, or married her soon after his 
mother's will was probated. However, he did not reach the 
legal age of twenty-one years until 1657. He was given the 
land and house at Magothy Bay with most of the furnishings 
and all the cattle, horses, mares, sheep and hogs thereon, not 
otherwise bequeathed. His brother Southey, then under four- 
teen years of age, was to have the plantation and all the 
other property on it at Nandua. He was to be kept in school 
until he reached the age of sixteen years. The bequest to the 
daughter Hester, then only eight years of age, and plans 
for her rearing and education can best be described by ex- 
tracts from Ann Littleton's will: 

Item. I direct that my daughter Hester be with Mrs. 
Eyre (Susanne, wife of Thomas Eyre) until she is ten 
years old, and that Mrs. Eyre have eight hundred pounds 
of tobacco and caske. And afterward it is my request 
unto my loving and kind neighbor Isabella Douglas 
(wife of Edward Douglas) that she will take her into 
her care and tuition until she reaches the age of fourteen 
years. It is my will that Mrs. Douglas be paid one 
thousand pounds of tobacco and caske. Further, it is 
my will that if my daughter shall live unmarried until 
she reaches the age of eighteen years she is not to sell 
any part of her estate without the consent of my executor 
and trustees. 

Item. I give her one trunk marked E M containing 
household and childbed linens (much of it new), and 
one large new trunk marked N L containing my wear- 
ing apparel and another trunk marked S L containing 


my wearing linens and spiall boxes with rings and some 
jewels and three pair of silk stockings. 
Item. I do also give unto my daughter Hester Little- 
ton the room over my usual lodging room at Magothy 
Bay in which all of her trunks and other goods and the 
trunks of my youngest son Southey Littleton are to be 
kept and looked after by my executors until the time 
arrives for my son Southey and my daughter Hester to 
possess them. The key is to be kept by one of my trustees. 
When the General Assembly met in March 1660, the 
restoration of government in England under a King and 
House of Lords was only a matter of time. A strong army 
from Scotland had marched on London and seized the gov- 
ernment there. The leader had plans to recall Charles II 
from his exile in France and have him crowned. No doubt 
the people of Northampton County knew something of the 
trend when the Burgesses were elected for this year. Ed- 
mund Scarburgh II, William Waters and John Stringer were 

Virginia had been without a governor since Samuel Mat- 
thews, the third chief executive under the Commonwealth, 
died the previous January. Sir William Berkeley was elected. 
He accepted with the statement that he would relinquish 
his power if the English government commissioned another 
for the office. On July 13 King Charles II issued a com- 
mission to the Right Honorable Sir William Berkeley as 
Governor of Virginia. The transition back to Royal Authority 
was without undue hardship to the people of Northampton 
County, but they were destined later to share with the rest 
of the colony some fifteen years of trouble, unrest and at- 
tempted imposition of more Royal Authority than they were 
willing to accept. A revision of the laws to remove those not 
pleasing to the Crown was to be postponed for two years. 

Among the items of special interest in the revised code 
of laws which was adopted by the General Assembly of 1 662 
was the changing of the name of the superior court at James- 
town from Quarter Court to General Court. The title of com- 
missioners of county courts was changed to justices of the 

CHAPTER V — 1652-1663 63 

peace, and they were given the same authority as justices in 
England. Every county was to maintain for punishment of 
law breakers a ducking stool, a pillory, stocks and a whipping 
post. Although these instruments had been in use on the 
Eastern Shore from the time of Accomack Plantation, this 
is the first law requiring a county to have them. 

The first law in the new code provided for the Estab- 
lished Church. Rituals in the Book of Common Prayer were 
to be used; payment of ministers and church expenses were 
to be by tithes, which was discontinued during the Common- 
wealth Period, and the assignments of certain governmental 
duties to the church officers were renewed. 

Chapter VI 

The Eastern Shore was divided into two counties by 
an Act of the General Assembly of March 1663. The num- 
ber of tithables, or people on whom taxes were paid, was 707 
for the previous year. The division was made so that each 
county had approximately the same number of tithables rather 
than by geographical area. From, land patents and court rec- 
ords the division line has been located below the present vil- 
lage of Nassawadox. Records of the court since its formation 
in 1632 had been kept and indexed. The new county car- 
ried on the tradition in the same accurate and systematic form. 
The first page in the court records of Accomack County be- 

At a court held in Accomack County by his Majes- 

tie's justices of the peace for the said county on April 

21, in the fifteenth year of our Sovereign Lord King 

Charles the Second, and the year of our Lord God, 1 663, 

were present 

Anthony Hodgkins 
George Parker Devereaux Brown 

John West John Wise 

Robert Hutchinson was clerk and Edmund Scarburgh 
II was high sheriff. John Tilney, one of the justices who 
had been appointed by Sir William Berkeley, was absent at 
this session. The first item of business was to administer the 
oath to Wise and Brown, the only justices who were not sworn 
in at the March meeting of the Northampton Court. 

The first court order was for the bill of sale for a mare 
to be recorded. Then the age of a servant boy was judged by 
the justices as thirteen years. They ordered this recorded. Cer- 

CHAPTER VI — 1663-1674 66 

tificates for land were issued to five people. Constables, high- 
way surveyors and three of the justices to receive tithes were 
appointed. ** 

The justices examined written evidence against one Bul- 
begger Alworth and two associates for Sabbath breaking and 
ordered the sheriff to summon them to the next court. Each 
was fined 30 pounds of tobacco. The nature of the crime was 
not stated but this was the usual fine for a freeman found 
guilty of playing cards on the Sabbath. 

Court met at the house of Anthony Hodgkins, presiding 
justice and a licensed keeper of an ordinary at Pungoteague, 
for the next few years. (His house was at the site of Bob- 
town Crossroad.) Anthony Hodgkins had built an ordinary 
at Fishing Point when the court began meeting there back in 
1640. He was the first licensed keeper of an ordinary on 
the Eastern Shore. He continued in business at Pungoteague 
until his death. 

In this year of 1663 Virginia became conscious of her 
boundaries and realized that problems were ahead regarding 
the Maryland line at the north end of the newly-formed 
Accomack County. A controversy started which was not 
settled for many years. Another boundary of concern was with 
North Carolina, the name given to new patent holders for the 
area which had been granted as Carolana in 1 629, but never 
settled. The new patent extended to 36 degrees 30 minutes, 
a few miles farther north than the original one. Also, the 
Northern Neck of Virginia had been granted to a proprietor 
by King Charles II while he was in exile and renewed at this 
time. With proprietary colonies so near, the Crown Colony 
of Virginia had reason to be concerned about her boundary. 
The most vulnerable one was on the Eastern Shore. However, 
in 1663 the settled area did not reach even to the present 
town of Accomac. 

The clerk, sheriff, tithe collectors and surveyor were 
required to keep books. Apparently they had to pay for them 
out of their fees. The list of office and personal correspond- 
ence supplies in the inventory of a ship, the Sarah Hatchy 
gives some idea of the wholesale cost of such items sent from 


England. This list, along with the rest of the cargo of the 
ship, is in the court records of Northampton County. The 
office supplies and their wholesale prices were : 

Ten ink horns at 8 pence each, 3 dozen black lead 
pencils at 16 pence each, 2 cases of wax at 6 shillings 
8 pence, 6 boxes of wafers at 1 shilling 6 pence, 1 ell 
of parchment at 13 shillings 6 pence, 3 books in folio 
folders with parchment at 12 pence, 2 large books at 
12 pence, 7 books in gray toned with parchment at 8 
pence, and 2 books in quarto with leather at 2 shillings 
8 pence. The last books listed were used for the court 
records and surveyor's reports. 

Writing pens were made from the wing and tail feathers 
of geese, ducks and turkeys. Dry sand was used for blotting 
purposes. The ink horns presumably contained a dry chemical 
which could be mixed with water to produce the durable 
writing of those early clerks. 

On April 19, 1664, the Northampton Court issued an 
order for a courthouse to be erected. Since the court was es- 
tablished in 1632 it had been meeting in the homes of court 
officials or at public houses. This first courthouse on the East- 
ern Shore was built at Town Fields on the north side of 
Kings Creek. It was 25 feet long and 20 feet wide with walls 
9 feet high. William Waters, a member of the court, was the 
contractor. On February 21, 1665, he was paid 6405 pounds 
of tobacco. 

By the summer of 1665 the Accomack County Court 
was meeting at Folkes Tavern in Pungoteague and an incident 
at the tavern this year gave this village the distinction of be- 
ing the scene of the first dramatic performance in the New 

In the afternoon of Saturday, August 27, 1665, 
three local men presented a play called "The Bear and 
the Cub". It was written by William Darby, who directed 
the play and played the leading part. The members of 
his cast were Cornelius Watkinson and Phillip Howard. 
There is no record of the size of the audience, but there 
is an account of one John Martin, who considered the 

CHAPTER VI — 1663-1674 67 

play indecent. He made a statement under oath to that 
effect to be presented to the court. ' 

On November 16, 1665, the court examined the 
evidence presented by the King's Attorney for Accomack 
County and issued this order: 

"The court has thought fit to suspend the case 
till the next session, and orders that Cornelius Watkin- 
son, Phillip Howard and William Darby do appear in 
those habiliments that they then acted in, and give 
a draught of the speeches and passages they used." 

The sheriff was ordered to hold Watkinson and 
Howard until they gave bail for their appearance at the 
next court. William Darby, author of the play (called 
"The Bear and the Cub"), was to be held without bene- 
fit of bail until the date set for the reenactment of the 

The play was presented before the justices and the 
verdict was that the actors were not guilty of anything 
indecent. John Martin, the informer, was ordered to 
pay all the court cost, including board for Darby while 
he was in jail. 

Regardless of the acquittal, this ended dramatic presenta- 
tions on the Eastern Shore during the Colonial Period. But 
it does not mean that there was no entertainment. Horse 
racing, nine-pins, cards and gatherings of friends and relatives 
for home entertainment are mentioned as part of the social 
life of the times. 

Although tobacco and livestock raising were the leading 
sources of income there was some manufacturing on the Shore 
at this time. Salt was being made both by boiling sea water 
and by keeping clay-lined vats filled with sea water while the 
sun evaporated it. The latter method was used for a while 
on some of the seaside islands and then abandoned. Leather 
tanning and shoe making were established industries by the 
mid 1660's. 

The establishment of water mills for grinding grain 
had been encouraged for some time and as settlements moved 
northward new mills were built. A great deal of ingenuity 


was involved in making ponds with artificial waterfalls to run 
the machinery in this almost level country. The law required 
a mill dam to be twelve feet thick and any road that touched 
the pond had to be thirty feet wide. The mills were usually 
built near the heads of the main branches of the principal 
creeks, and signs of some of the early ponds can still be 

The Second Dutch War started in the spring of 1 665 and 
all ships to England were ordered to sail in convoys pro- 
tected by armed English ships. There were to be only three 
convoys a year. This meant reduced communication with 
England and longer periods between new supplies ordered 
from England. It resulted in a period of austerity for the 
Eastern Shore. However, the local problem was small in 
comparison with that of the First Dutch War in the 1 65 O's 
when a number of Dutch subjects were put under restrictions. 
(Now those Dutch subjects were naturalized citizens and at 
least one of them was a member of the Northampton County 
Court. News of the tragic fire in London in September 
1666 brought sadness to the Eastern Shore, as well as the 
rest of the colony of Virginia. Some of the people in both 
Accomack and Northampton counties had friends and rela- 
tives or people with whom they did busjness in the 450 acres 
in the very middle of London which had been burned in 
seven horrible days. Another inconvenience the Second Dutch 
War caused the Shore was the necessity for constant alert of 
the militia and keeping a watchman on duty at the entrance 
to the bay. 

Dutch ships did enter Chesapeake Bay and they captured 
a number of English ships in a tobacco convoy. Although 
there is no record of the loss this caused Eastern Shore 
growers, there must have been some. This war ended in July 
1 667 with a five-year cease fire and a no ship-seizing agree- 
ment. The Dutch were still objecting to the English Naviga- 
tion Acts which restricted trade with the American colonies. 

In 1666 a new land patent policy was adopted for Vir- 
ginia. The headright system was superseded by one in which 
an individual could patent a large tract and get a clear title for 

CHAPTER VI — 1663-1674 69 


it after he had built a house at least twelve by twelve feet, 
fenced an acre for an orchard and garden and had someone live 
in the house for a year. The King's rent on such patents was 2 
shillings for each fifty acres per year. Under these terms 
men with money patented large tracts on the islands and 
marsh land for cattle raising. The size of a house required 
for a patent was reduced at this time. Five years earlier the 
description of a tiny cabin "five and one half feet high, want- 
ing a quarter of an inch, with a door four feet nine and a 
quarter inches," was recorded. Presumably, the right of a 
patent was being contested when this little house was meas- 
ured by two men who testified before the court. Although 
the terms were easy for getting large patents, only men who 
could make the land yield a profit could pay the King's rent 
and hold it. 

The Eastern Shore lost one of its distinguished natural- 
ized citizens when Dr. George Hack died in the spring of 
1665. His will, proved on April 17, 1665, in Accomack 
County, shows he had made a financial success and was a 
scholarly man. He was born in Germany in 1620 but mar- 
ried and started his family in Holland. He and Augustin 
Herrman of Maryland married sisters. In 1652 George 
Hack patented 900 acres of land on the south side of Pungo- 
teague Creek next to the bay. He engaged in tobacco grow- 
ing, cattle raising and trading as well as his medical practice. 
^Vmong the items in his will showing his scholar'y nature 
were 22 German and Dutch books, 54 books in Latin aid 20 
books in English. The land he patented is still called Hacks 

In the summer of 1667 an outbreak of smallpox hit the 
Eastern Shore. The disease is said to have been brought by 
a seaman whose illness was not diagnosed until it reached its 
most horrible stage. By that time many people had been ex- 
posed. Late in the year the courts took action. The com- 
mander of the militia in each county issued the order of the 

No member of a family in which there was a case 

of the disease was to go near other people until thirty 


days after the last member of the household with the 
disease had taken the rash. In other words, the family 
was quarantined until all members had had the disease 
or shown an immunity to it. During the reign of King 
James I a law had been enacted in England requiring 
thirty days of cleansing and it was to be enforced here. 
The acreage of patented land in the northern part of 
Accomack County increased at a phenomenal rate and most of 
it was in large tracts. The first patent on what eventually 
became the Virginia-Maryland line was issued to John Wal- 
lop in 1664. Although Maryland claimed all land north of 
Watkins Point, Virginia patents had been issued north of it 
by 1670. These patents were in large tracts. 

Governor Berkeley and the Council were not pleased 
with the management of this second Accomack County so a 
change was made in the government of the Eastern Shore. 
On October 3, 1670, the General Assembly adopted a far- 
reaching resolution: 

It is ordered that Accomack County be united with 
Northampton and that they remain as one county until 
there shall appear good cause for again dividing them. 
This resolution was recorded in the Northampton County Or- 
der Book in 1670. The court was to meet in two sections to 
be known as the Upper and Lower Courts of Northampton 
County. The order took effect the following month. 

At a court held for the upper part of the county 
of Northampton, formerly called Accomack, this 7th 
day of November, in the twenty second year of our 
Sovereign Lord King Charles the Second, and the year 
of our Lord God, 1670, were present 
William Stringer 
William Kendall Edmund Bowman 

Southy Littleton John Whitall 

William Spencer Thomas Rydings 

Isaac Foxcroft 
Daniel iNeech served as clerk but in a short time he be- 
came deputy clerk for the two courts. John Culpeper had been 
commissioned by Governor Berkeley as clerk. Apparently the 

CHAPTER VI — 1663-1674 % 71 

latter spent most of his time at Jamestown. The Upper Court 
continued to meet at Pungoteague. 

Early in the summer of 1671 Daniel Jenifer, a surveyor 
from St. Marys County, Maryland, married Ann Toft of 
Gargaphia, who had more land than any other woman on the 
Eastern Shore of Virginia. Lord Baltimore's proprietary 
colony and Virginia were two nations under the English 
Crown and this marriage might have had its influence in 
solving the border question many years later. At least a 
truce prevailed for some time after the marriage and within 
a short time Governor Berkeley gave Daniel Jenifer an ap- 
pointment as a surveyor and as a member of the court. 

Daniel Jenifer was a widower who is known to have 
been in Maryland as early as 1 664. He had married Mary 
Smith who left no children by him. He was a sizeable land 
holder in Maryland and apparently an officer in the Mary- 
land militia. He was destined to become a large land holder 
on the Eastern Shore of Virginia before his estate was ad- 
ministered on February 21, 1693. 

Ann Toft came to Virginia in 1660 and was issued a 
patent of 800 acres of land at the north end of the settled 
area on the bayside. She had three daughters with the in- 
triguing names Arcadia, Atalanta and Annabella. They were 
living at Gargaphia House, which must have been one of the 
finest houses on the Shore in 1671. It was located near the 
Seaside Road a mile east of the present village of Gargatha. 
This was near her 4700-acre tract of land which reached from 
Bundicks Creek on the south to Assawoman Creek on the 
north, and to the present dual highway on the west. In 1669 
Ann Toft had bought 3000 acres which extended from the 
shore of Chincoteague Bay northwestward to the present 
Maryland line. The village of Horntown is near the center of 
this tract. She paid 9101 pounds of imported sugar in cask 
and 708 pounds of indigo. 

The year following their marriage Ann and Daniel Jeni- 
fer divided this northern tract among the daughters so each 
had about one third of the waterfront. A stipulation was made 
that if either daughter married without the parents' consent 


before reaching the age of seventeen years she was to forfeit 
her share of the property. Each girl got her property. 

On May 3, 1672, a son was born to Ann and Daniel 
Jenifer. He was christened Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer. 
Ann and Daniel received new patents for most of her land 
and additional acreage. Unlike most patents, all new ones were 
issued jointly as well as the renewals. Their patents were ex- 
tensive and two of them were on Chincoteague and Assa- 
teague islands. They made some sales as they patented new 
land. The last joint signature for a deed of sale was dated 
February 15, 1687. After that Daniel signed alone until 
his death in 1693. On September 9, 1686, Ann and Daniel 
had made deeds of gifts to Ann's daughters and their hus- 

The haste of Daniel Jenifer and others to patent the is- 
lands and marsh lands was due to restrictions that the General 
Assembly had placed on letting livestock run wild in the 
woods. Wild horses had become a menace in some parts of 
Virginia, including the Eastern Shore. Importation of horses 
was stopped and anyone catching a wild horse was entitled 
to keep it under certain conditions. Horse hunting became 
a sport but it was prohibited on the Sabbath. Horses and 
cattle were put on the islands as soon as they were patented 
and rounded up once a year for marking where more than 
one man owned such an island. Daniel Jenifer was a live- 
stock raiser as well as a tobacco grower, surveyor and im- 

The reference to Gargaphia House on the Seaside Road 
rather than on the water indicates that locations which had been 
called "forests" by the Governor and Council at Jamestown 
in 1627 were no longer looked upon with disfavor. The 
records show that there were a number of prominent people 
living on inland sites at this time. 

Edmund Scarburgh II died in 1671 after thirty-six 
years of strenuous business activities and public service. For 
some years he held the monopoly for selling salt on the 
Shore and he kept the price reasonable. He was a member of 
the court. Burgess, collector of customs on the Shore and in 

CHAPTER VI — 1663-1674 73 

] 666 he was appointed surveyor-general of Virginia. He 
owned trading ships which plied the waters to New Eng- 
land and southern islands, in which business he was both an 
exporter and an importer. Although Edmund Scarburgh II 
patented thousands of acres of land he held but little in his 
own name at the time of his death. Like many other men 
of his time, he did a big credit business and a number of judg- 
ments were filed against his estate which his wife Mary de- 
clined to administer. 

Edmund Scarburgh II lived on the north side of Oc- 
cohannock Creek from the early 1650's until the time of his 
death. Presumably he had an imposing house and furnish- 
ings as elaborate as those of his contemporaries. The area in 
which he lived and from which he conducted his trading 
business is the Scarburghs Neck of the present. He left 
sons and daughters to carry on the traditions of private en- 
terprise and representative government which had character- 
ized the Eastern Shore since 1620. 

The five-year truce between England and Holland 
ended In 1672 and a new shooting war which lasted two 
years was affecting the Eastern Shore by the following March. 
Governor Berkeley sent orders for the militia to stand ready 
to ward off a possible enemy attack and for one of the creeks 
to be declared a refuge for English ships. It was to be fortified 
at both sides of its mouth. Apparently, Pungoteague Creek 
was chosen but the war ended before the fortifications were 
complete. This war had but little effect on the Eastern 
Shore, but a large fleet of Dutch ships destroyed eleven 
Virginia merchant ships before the armed English ships could 
drive them away. This ended the Dutch menace in Virginia 

By 1673 the Shore had two roads over most of the 
area from Cape Charles to the Maryland line. As settle- 
ments moved northward, road surveyors were added to the 
districts set up by an act of the General Assembly In 1630, 
and amended as the need arose. The roads were built 
and maintained by labor requisitioned by the surveyors, who 
were not necessarily qualified to lay out land boundaries. 


When the citizens in a given district saw the need for an 
added mile or more of road, the surveyor estimated the num- 
ber of man days of work that would be required to make it. 
Each freeman was required to provide a part of the labor in 
proportion to the number of tithables he had. Anyone who 
failed to supply the workmen with food for the number of 
days they were to work, was fined by the court. 

When a road went through an enclosed farm, the owner 
was required to provide a fence on each side of the road or a 
gate at each end. Unpatented land could be used for roads 
at the discretion of the surveyor and church wardens. After 
a road was built the owner of the land through which it 
passed, or the two who owned land on either side, were re- 
quired to keep it free from fallen trees and limbs. 

Early roads were crooked in order to go between land 
patents rather than through them, to go around fenced fields 
and to go inland to avoid as many streams as possible. When 
a bridge was necessary, the owner of adjacent land was re- 
quired to sell the needed timber to the surveyor. This tim- 
ber was paid for out of public levies. 

Tobacco was hauled over these roads either in carts or 
rolled in hogsheads (with a gadget which was pulled by oxen 
or horses). There were roads to the churches and meeting 
places of the court as well as to the public wharves and mills. 
Too, there was a network of crossroads connecting those of 
the bayside and the seaside. The legal width of a public 
road was thirty feet. Small saplings or the trunks of young 
trees were sometimes put across low places in corduroy fashion 
to make the road passable in rainy weather. In summer, carts 
sometimes got stuck in the sand; but then, as now, people 
usually were able to travel where they needed to go. 

Although the records of the preliminary work have not 
been found, something must have been done during most of 
1673 to get the Shore again divided into two counties. On 
November 7 Governor Berkeley appointed justices for Acco- 
mack County. 

In this year of 1673 a map of Virginia and Maryland, 
which King Charles II had commissioned Augustin Herrman 

CHAPTER VI — 1663-1674 75 

of Maryland to make, was published in England and copies 
were sent to the Eastern Shore. The Herrman Map empha- 
sized large estates by name. The King might have been 
thinking in terms of a government by noblemen for Virginia 
as Maryland already had. This map shows the original 
Maryland line of 1632 located at 37 degrees 30 minutes 
north latitude. 

Chapter VII 

The Eastern Shore was again divided into two counties 
when the court for the third Accomack County was held on 
January 6, 1674. The first court of the Upper Court of 
Northampton had met on November 7, 1670, after the second 
Accomack County was deactivated as a governmental unit 
by the General Assembly. In this year of 1674 the boundary 
line had not been determined, but outside problems came so 
fast that there was little time for concern about the county in 
which people on the potential dividing line were to pay taxes. 
These outside problems were of mutual concern and the 
people of the Shore faced them as Eastern Shoremen and 

The justices for the new court were Southy Littleton, 
Charles Scarburgh, Edmund Bowman and John Wise who 
had been justices of the court when the county was discon- 
tinued in 1670. New ones were William Custis, Thomas 
Rydings, Daniel Jenifer and Thomas Brown. Rydings was 
a son-in-law of Argoll Yeardley II. Thomas Brown was the 
son of an early settler and at this time he lived in the lower 
part of the county. William Custis was a younger brother 
of John Custis II and they had been naturalized at the same 
court in 1658. 

On February 25, 1674, slightly more than a month after 
the third Accomack County began to function as a govern- 
mental unit, which had enjoyed representative government 
with little or no taxation without representation, the King 
took a step which was a shocking blow to all freedom-loving 
Virginians. King Charles granted all of Virginia except the 
Northern Neck to two of his favorite noblemen who were to 
collect the quitrents here for thirty-one years. He specified 

CHAPTER VTI — 1674-1700 77 

that the grant was for the colony of Virginia and the terri- 
tory of Accomack. Accomack had continued to be the term 
used in most English documents for the whole Eastern Shore. 

Henry Bennett, Earl of Arlington, one of the principal 
secretaries to King Charles, and Lord Thomas Culpeper 
were the recipients of the colony of Virginia. They were to 
receive all rents (one shilling for each 50 acres after seven 
years of ownership), not only in the future but those which 
had gone unpaid since 1669. These two men were to have 
the power over Virginia which the King and Parliament 
had formerly exercised. Governor Berkeley and the Council 
were instructed to issue no more land patents. The proprietors 
would have that authority also. There was nothing in the 
King's order to assure the people in Virginia that they still 
owned their land. There is no record of the amount of money 
Arlington and Culpeper paid the King for this grant, but 
the King must have received a sizeable amount. 

The General Assembly met in September 1674 and 
drew up a petition to the King asking him to withdraw the 
proprietary grant to Lords Arlington and Culpeper and let 
Virginia be subject only to the King as she had been since 
the Crown Colony was formed in 1 624. This Assembly levied 
a tax to send three representatives to England to plead their 
cause with King Charles IL A communication from the Eng- 
lish government, dated November 19, 1675, confirmed the 
ownership of the land then possessed by the people in Vir- 
ginia, but left the people in a state of suspense regarding the 
other phases of the petition. They wondered what would be 
the fate of the General Assembly. 

In June 1676 a committee of ten representative Eastern 
Shore citizens was appointed to draw up a petition for their 
Burgesses to present to the General Assembly. They asked 
that a new vestry be chosen every three years, that lists of 
tithables be more carefully examined, that county records be 
open for any man who chose to see them, that no drinks be 
sold within a mile of the courts when in session, that no sher- 
iff hold office two years in succession, that five years of resi- 
dence in the same place be a requisite for holding public of- 


fice, and that people in Accomack and Northampton coun- 
ties have the privilege of appealing cases involving less than 
3000 pounds of tobacco to the Court at Jamestown. This 
petition was sent to the session of the Assembly which preceded 
Bacon's Rebellion, the first civil war in English America. 

In July 1676 Sir William Berkeley, with his secretary 
and some members of the Council, took refuge at the home 
of John Custis II. The fact that Old Plantation Creek had 
too much sand at its mouth to be listed among the ports of 
North America, probably had its advantages when Bacon's 
forces came to the Eastern Shore for the purpose of capturing 
Governor Berkeley and his staff. The Shore militia had been 
called out and the creeks were protected against an invasion. 
The commander on the ship which brought the detachment of 
Bacon's soldiers asked for a conference with the Governor. 
When he came ashore to the temporary capitol at Old Planta- 
tion Creek, possibly already called Arlington Plantation, a 
boarding party captured the ship. Early in September Gov- 
ernor Berkeley led an expedition to resume his duties as Gov- 
ernor at Jamestown. On September 19 Bacon returned with 
enough troops to take Jamestown which was fortified with 
militiamen. He burned the town and the church. Most of 
the early records, except the land books, were burned. 

Bacon died on October 26 of an infection. He had 
waged a strenuous fight against Indians on the fringe of the 
settled area of Virginia, and he was expecting to make an- 
other attempt to capture Governor Berkeley and put the en- 
tire colony under his control when death struck him down. 
Ships and soldiers arrived from England in the fall and the 
fight went on until Bacon's forces surrendered on January 
16, 1677. Governor Berkeley moved his headquarters from 
the Eastern Shore to Green Spring the last of January. Al- 
though Bacon's Rebellion was attributed to neglect of proper 
Indian defenses by Governor Berkeley, it is now regarded 
as a step in the long struggle of the people of Virginia to 
maintain their representative government and to be taxed 
only when their representatives authorized it. 

The people on the Shore were undoubtedly divided into 

CHAPTER VII — 1674-1700 79 

Berkeley and Bacon factions, but when the war began there 
is no indication that any ran the blockade to join the army 
under Bacon. After the war was over they were united in 
being disappointed in not being exempt from the quitrents 
to Proprietors Arlington and Culpeper, and other levies 
which might have been promised as Governor Berkeley went 
up and down the Shore to talk with officers of the militia 
early in the war. No written accounts of such promises have 
been found. 

After making bloody reprisals against Bacon's captured 
leaders and giving high praise for the favors received on the 
Eastern Shore, Sir William Berkeley left for England on 
May 5, 1677, where he died in July. Thomas, Lord Cul- 
peper, one of the proprietors, had been commissioned Gov- 
ernor of Virginia by King Charles II on July 8, 1675, and 
the commission was to become effective upon the death of 
Governor Berkeley. The King sent Colonel Herbert Jeffreys 
with a commission as Lieutenant Governor and an order for 
Sir William Berkeley to come to England for an audience 
with his Majesty. Although John Custis II was not paid the 
sum Governor Berkeley recommended for the use of his 
house as headquarters, this naturalized citizen was appointed 
to the Council. 

When the General Assembly met in 1677, Accomack 
County sent its own set of grievances by its Burgesses. Since 
the tithables had lost much time in guarding the Shore to 
prevent enemy landings during the late war, and the crops 
had been neglected by this loss of time, the people of Acco- 
mack asked for tax exemptions for quitrents and any levies 
which might be made to pay the cost of the late war, tNo 
action was reported on these and other grievances at the 
time, but they must have reached the King. In a note to Lord 
Culpeper he mentioned the loyalty of "The Province of Ac- 

Another Eastern Shore item that came before the General 
Assembly in 1677 pertained to the boundary line between 
Accomack and Northampton counties. Consideration was be- 
ing given to the building of new churches, and possibly 


courthouses, in both counties and people on the undetermined 
border line did not want to find themselves assessed for extra 
taxes in both counties. Governor Berkeley had left this as 
a local question when the third Accomack County was formed 
in 1674. The Assembly declined to act on it at this time. 
The strip of land involved was about a mile wide from bay to 
sea and the question was to remain unsettled for another 

In this year of 1677 the people of the northern part of 
Northampton County petitioned the court to hold its meet- 
ings at a place more centrally located than Town Fields where 
the first courthouse on the Eastern Shore was built in 1664. 
Later this year the court was held at a place called the Horns, 
probably in an ordinary. This meeting place was in the vi- 
cinity of the present town of Eastville. A public house was 
used for the meetings until the "New Courthouse" was 
ready for use on May 28, 1690. 

The churches in Northampton were at Town Fields, 
Old Plantation Creek and Hungars. The one at the head 
of Occohannock Creek was in the disputed area and the one 
farther up the Shore, built in 1652, was no longer appear- 
ing in the records. The lower parish of Northampton County 
had a minister and the Reverend Thomas Teackle apparently 
was serving Accomack County on week days along with the 
upper parish of Northampton. Accomack had at least one lay 
reader licensed to conduct routine worship services. 

On July 9, 1679, a contract was made for the building 
of the second Hungars Church where the present one now 
stands. The first church had been built after the county was 
divided into two parishes in 1643. It was in the neck which 
later took the name Church Neck. No description of the first 
building survives but the contract for the second is explicit. 

The agreement was made on July 9, 1679, between 

John Michael and Argoll Yeardley II, church wardens, 

and Symon Thomas, carpenter. 

The building was to be 40 feet long and 20 feet 

wide with wall plates ten feet high upon the posts. The 

foundation was to be of locust blocks and all framing, 

CHAPTER VII — 1674-17(X) 81 

including the rafters, was to be of oak. The roof was 
to be of wood. The outside was to be covered with 
plank and the inside was to be covered with the ceiling 
from the old church and as much new ceiling as would 
be required to complete the interior. 

The church wardens agreed to locate the nails and 
a boarding place for the carpenter and his helpers. He 
was to take no other work or leave the job except for 
dire necessity until it was finished. 

Symon Thomas was to be paid 10,000 pounds of 

merchantable tobacco and casks for this job, which was 

to begin at the earliest possible convenience. 

Symon Thomas, carpenter, lived in Accomack County. 

In 1677 the vestry collected 21,000 pounds of tobacco for 

some purpose. The following January services were being 

held at the church at Pungoteague. The name of Henr\' 

Parke, minister of Accomack Parish, first appears in the 

court records in 1678. 

The Shore lost a good citizen when John Savage died 
in 1678. His long and carefully- worded will was probated 
in Northampton County. Only seventy years earlier his 
father, who was known on the Shore as Ensign Thomas Sav- 
age, came to Jamestown as an apprentice to be trained as an 
Indian interpreter. John was only nine years of age when 
his father died, but his estate was kept intact until he reached 
the legal age of twenty-one years. He was required to furnish 
headrights for most of the land claimed by his father, but he 
eventually got a clear title for 9000 acres, extending from 
the bottom of Savages Neck to the seaside. Although John 
sold a small acreage at times, he had a large plantation with 
tenants on it to leave to each of his seven children and to 
make provision for his second wife, Mary, the daughter of 
Obedience Robins, by whom he had three sons and two 
daughters. His first wife was Ann Elkington and they had 
three daughters. John Savage rendered valuable service as a 
justice, vestryman and militia officer. He also served one 
term as a Burgess. 

Another good citizen, Southy Littleton of Nandua, died 


in the fall of 1679, leaving a place of leadership in Accomack 
County which was hard to fill. He was the youngest son of 
Nathaniel and Ann Littleton of Magothy Bay and inherited 
their entire estate after his brother, Edward, died without chil- 
dren. Southy managed wisely and increased his worldly pos- 
sessions. His wife was Sarah Bowman of Metompkin, now 
Bowmans Folly, and she predeceased him. They had seven 

Southy Littleton made provisions in his will for his 
children to be placed in the custody of friends until they 
reached the age for inheriting their property. Each boy was 
to receive his share at the age of 1 8 years and each girl was 
to possess hers at the age of 1 6 years. The estate was to be 
in charge of an overseer and supervised by his administrators. 
His desire was that each child's share would increase in value 
as well as yield enough revenue to pay expenses. One little 
girl was placed in the custody of Ann Jenifer and the youngest 
boy was to be in charge of his nurse at the homeplace. Other 
children were assigned to friends for rearing and educating. 

The inventory of the estate of Southy Littleton, taken 
January 10, 1680, shows that his house had ten rooms and a 
milk house. A porch chamber indicates that there was an en- 
closed entrance porch resembling the one at Bacon's Castle in 
Surry County. There were a hall, hall chamber, a hall garret, 
parlor, parlor chamber, porch chamber, back room chamber, 
new room, kitchen and little room over the kitchen. The new 
room contained only two large chests and it presumably was 
the one-story section later known as the colonnade. The hall 
contained a large table and frame as well as other dining room 
furniture. There were silver spoons, silver and pewter table- 
ware, household linens, beds and bedding, looking glasses, 
cooking utensils, milk pans, cheese presses, butchering equip- 
ment, twenty-three books and a map of the marshland of 

This large house apparently was built in sections and 
part of it was built before Southy's mother made her will in 
1656. It is doubtful if there was a more imposing house on 
the Eastern Shore during the seventeenth century. 

CHAPTER VII — 1674-1700 88 

The General Assembly of March 1680, following in- 
structions from England regarding a port of entry for each 
county, enacted a law providing for a town of 50 acres in size 
to be laid out in each county. The land was to be purchased 
by the Virginia government and surveyed into lots of one- 
half acre each. All tobacco shipped from a county was to be 
loaded at this town and all goods imported for sale in the 
county were to be unloaded here. In this way export and im- 
port duties could be more easily collected. Thus, the pre- 
scribed town was called a port of entry. 

Town Fields was selected for the Northampton port of 
entry. In 1682 Daniel Jenifer of Accomack County was al- 
lowed 450 pounds of tobacco for "laying out the town." The 
courthouse had been abandoned and there is no indication that 
it was restored to use. In fact, there is no assurance that the 
building of a town here got beyond the surveyor's plat stage. 
A site between the two forks of Onancock Creek was 
purchased from Charles Scarburgh to be a port of entiy for 
Accomack County. The land was surveyed by 1681 and 
buildings got under way. The purchaser of a lot got a cer- 
tificate for it and he agreed to build a house at least twenty 
feet long within four months. Then, upon the payment of 1 00 
pounds of tobacco, he was given a deed to his lot. Although 
the original plat has not survived, one reconstructed many 
years later shows the original layout with Market Street as 
it still is. The present North Street was the boundary line 
of the original town called Port Scarburgh or Onancock Town. 
In 1681 the justices for Accomack County ordered a 
courthouse built in the "County Town" with all possible 
speed. The court had been meeting at Metompkin, now Ac- 
comac, since it was moved from Pungoteague in 1678. A 
church was also built here and the earlier one at Metompkin 
must have been abandoned. Ten years later the court issued 
the following order to the road surveyor: 

To lay out and cause to be cleared with all possible 
convenience a good and sufficient road from the Great 
Neck of Metompkin to Onancock Town for the con- 
venience of his Majestie's subjects to the said church. 


Presumably both the courthouse and church were on 
the site of the present Public Square between Market and 
King streets. Some of the people on the seaside complained 
about the inconvenience of getting to court so sessions were 
alternated between Metompkin and Onancock until it was lo- 
cated at its present site in 1693. 

In 1682 the Eastern Shore lost another of its dis- 
tinguished citizens when Argoll Yeardley II, then high sheriff 
of Northampton County, died. His two half brothers and his 
own son predeceased him so the family name became extinct. 
However, Argoll II left three daughters who reared sons 
to help the Eastern Shore and the colony of Virginia carry 
on the ideals of private enterprise and representative govern- 
ment which had been transplanted to America by Argoll's 
grandfather, Sir George Yeardley, at Jamestown in 1619. 

Charles II died on February 6, 1685. Much had taken 
place in the Virginia Colony and on the Eastern Shore since 
he was crowned in 1660. The people had lost some of their 
rights and privileges, but by diligence the General Assembly 
was still a power of strength. In 1681 Lord Arlington sold 
his interest in Virginia to his partner. Lord Culpeper, then 
Governor of Virginia. The latter also bought the Northern 
Neck proprietary. In 1684 Lord Culpeper surrendered the 
proprietary rights of all but the Northern Neck to King 
Charles II for an annual sum which Virginians were taxed 
to pay. Lord Culpeper made this concession under pressure 
and he was using pressure to get a perpetual charter for the 
Northern Neck. This elimination of the proprietors gave 
the people of the Eastern Shore a feeling of security about 
their land titles which they had lacked for almost a decade. 

James II was crowned King of England upon his bro- 
ther's death in 1685, but with a general lack of enthusiasm 
and confidence on the part of people in England and in the 
colonies. Lord Culpeper made his final departure to Eng- 
land, leaving the government here in charge of a lieutenant- 
governor. James wanted more power and more money than 
his brother Charles II had requested. By 1688 there was 
a general state of unrest in England. Sentiment was growing 

CHAPTER VII — 1674-1700 86 

in favor of a revolution to overthrow James J I and put 
his eldest daughter Mary and son-in-law William, Prince 
of Orange, on the throne. iNews of such a plan reached the 
Eastern Shore and precautions were being taken to keep the 
people loyal to the King. At least one Shore citizen, Henry 
Pike of Northampton County, was prosecuted for drinking 
a toast to the "Prince of Orange." 

This Prince of Orange was a nobleman in Holland. He 
was invited by leaders of the two political parties in England 
to become their leader. He arrived in London on November 
5, 1688, with a large army of English and Dutch soldiers. 
A bloodless revolution was over by December 1 8. His fa- 
ther-in-law, James II, fled to France. 

William was related to the House of Stewart. His 
mother was a sister of James II. On February 13, 1689, 
William and his wife Mary accepted a declaration of rights 
which had been drawn up by those who opposed the auto- 
cratic rule of James II. Immediately they were proclaimed 
King William II and Queen Mary II of England. As the 
eldest child of the deposed King, Mary II was a joint mon- 
arch with her husband. The followers of the deposed King 
became known as the Jacobites. 

People on the Eastern Shore who were aware of the 
unstable conditions in England after the death of Charles II 
in 1685, welcomed the proclamation of the new rulers. And, 
Henry Pike who was punished for drinking a toast to the 
"Prince of Orange" must have felt heroic. 

On March 22, 1688, following an Act of the General 
Assembly, the boundary between Northampton and Accomack 
counties was fixed. One commissioner from each county and 
an appointee of the Governor met and made the survey: 

From an oak tree on the west side of a branch out 
of Machipongo Creek the line was run and designated 
by newly unmarked trees to a white oak tree on the east 
side of the northward branch of Occohannock Creek. 
(The distance is approximately four miles.) All land, 
marshes and islands below the said creeks and artificial 
line to belong to Northampton County. And, all land. 


marshes and islands above said line and to the Maryland 
line to belong to Accomack County. This survey was 
signed by John Custis II, John West and Edwin Con- 

On March 28, 1690, the Northampton County Court 
was held in a courthouse at The Horns. This building appar- 
ently was erected by an individual who ran a "victualling 
house," at his own expense rather than lose the court bus- 
iness. Plans were made to build a courthouse a mile south 
of the present Courthouse Square. The name "The Horns" 
is said to have been given the place because of the prongs of 
three bayside creeks which point toward it. 

In 1691 the two parishes in Northampton County were 
combined. A new church to replace the one built at Fishing 
Point by 1689 was planned and it got under way in 1691 or 
1692. A will in 1689 designated 1000 pounds of tobacco 
for the purchase of "The Lord's Prayer and Ten Command- 
ments" to be set up in the new church when it was built. 
These were panels as tall as windows, and usually a third 
panel containing the Apostles' Creed went with the set. 
These were the only wall or window ornaments allowed in 
colonial churches. This was Magothy Bay Church and built 
of brick. 

Accomack Parish was planning to build a church at Assa- 
woman at this time if it had not already been started. This 
was also a brick building. A deed for land for a burial place 
and a church was given by William Taylor in 1680. Since 
no contract was found for this or Magothy Bay Church, the 
building of the brick churches must have been done over a 
period of years and partly paid for in gifts of time and private 
gifts of tobacco. 

When the Burgesses returned from the General Assem- 
bly of March 1692, they brought the gratifying report that 
King William and Queen Mary were taking a friendly atti- 
tude toward Virginia and her problems. Also, they brought 
new defense orders. 

Pirates were operating in the Eastern Shore area as well 
as in other Virginia waters. At least one raid had been made 

CHAPTER VII — 1674-1700 87 

on Smiths Island in which enough cattle belonging to John 
Custis II were slaughtered to "victual" the pirate ship. Little 
could be done by the militia to protect the islands but the 
General Assembly had ordered the militias in Northampton 
and Accomack counties to be on call to drive off any pirates 
who attempted to land on the shores of any of the creeks. A 
watch was to be kept at Cape Charles by members of the 
militia on a rotating basis. If a fleet of pirate ships was 
seen entering the bay, the Governor at Jamestown was to be 
notified. Local militiamen were to keep their arms and 
horses ready to report at any place which the watchmen di- 
rected. This system of coastal defense was continued until 
the year 1700. 

John Custis II died at Arlington on the south side of 
Old Plantation Creek on January 29, 1696, after a successful 
business career and a life of public service, including mem- 
bership on the Council. 

John Custis II came to the Eastern Shore from. 
Rotterdam, Holland, in 1649 or 1650. In 1650 he 
got a certificate for 600 acres of land. The certificate 
was signed by Argoll Yeardley, and when John ex- 
changed it for a patent he used Ann Yeardley his sister 
as one of the headrights. 

John II married Elizabeth Robinson and they had 
one son John Custis III, born in 1653. Elizabeth died 
and John II married Alicia Burdett in 1656. Apparent- 
ly John went to live at the Burdett home which he pur- 
chased from Thomas Burdett some years later. In 
the meantime he had patented land next to it. He 
named this Arlington Plantation. 

John II and his brother William were naturalized 
in November 1658 and John immediately became a 
member of the Northampton Court. He was high 
sheriff in 1665. Presumably, he enlarged the house as 
his wealth increased. In 1 676 this house was used as a 
temporary capitol and place of residence for Governor 
Berkeley and his staff during the civil war known as 
Bacon's Rebellion. 


Alicia Custis died between 1677 and 1680 and 
John II married Tabitha (Scarburgh) Brown, a woman 
of wealth, charm and business ability. She had one 
granddaughter, child of the daughter by her first hus- 
band John Smart, and this granddaughter was now mar- 
ried to a nephew of John Custis II. The records show 
that disagreements developed between John and Tabitha 
over her property which became his after they were mar- 

John Custis IV, the eldest grandson, inherited Ar- 
lington. He was in England in school and Tabitha was 
to remain there as long as she chose. Before John IV^ 
became of age she married Edward Hill, a former treas- 
urer of the colony. John IV also inherited a diamond 
ring and a pocket watch. John Custis III, the only child 
of John II, was a substantial beneficiary of the will of 
his father. 

The Eastern Shore of Virginia was as far advanced as 
any area of its size in the colony by the end of the seventeenth 
century. As descriptions of houses gleaned from inventories 
show, some houses large enough to be called mansions were 
built. Although no clue to the plan of Arlington has been 
found, it was large enough to serve as a temporary capitol 
for the Governor and his staff during Bacon's Rebellion. 
The house of Southy Littleton in Accomack County had ten 
rooms and a milk house when the inventory of his estate was 
taken in 1 679. However, the prevailing type of house was a 
story and a half with two rooms on the first floor. Some 
of these with unbroken roof-lines, and others with dormer win- 
dows, are still in use. (The minimum length for a house in 
Onancock was 20 feet when the town was planned in 1680.) 
Tobacco and livestock were the principal money crops. There 
was some manufacturing. This included salt making (the first 
industry established on the Shore), butter, cheese, barrels, 
brick, lime, brewery products, leather, shoes, and hats. 

The danger of raids on homes and livestock by pirates 
was still present and the militia maintained a constant watch 
at the entrance of the bay. By a relay system the militia 



I— I 



























• 1—1 






>— « 




















CHAPTER VII — 1674-1700 91 

could be called into action on short notice. If outside help 
was needed to cope with these ships manned by vicious men, 
the commander of the militia could notify the Governor by a 
system of intercounty relays in which messengers could be 
dispatched on a moment's notice. 

The Burgesses from the Eastern Shore in 1 699 helped 
select a new site for the capitol and plan Virginia's first in- 
corporated city. John Custis III and Nathaniel Littleton II 
represented Northampton, while Thomas Parramore and 
Edmund Allen represented Accomack. This session of the 
General Assembly enacted legislation to move the capital 
from Jamestown to Middle Plantation near the site the As- 
sembly of 1693 had chosen for the College of William and 
Mary. And, this Assembly of 1699 planned the city of 
Williamsburg with its broad street, almost a mile in length, 
between the college and the site selected for the State House. 
Work on the new city was started immediately. By May 1 0, 
1700, all General Courts and Assemblies were to be held in 
the city of Williamsburg with the college building used as 
the temporaiy State House. Incidentally, Charles Scarburgh 
of Accomack County, a former Burgess, was a member of the 
original Board of Visitors of the college and served in that 
capacity while it was the temporary state house and until his 

At the close of the century the trend on the Eastern 
Shore was toward more home industries to supply the needs 
of each household or plantation than had prevailed earlier. 
This was not looked upon with favor by England who wanted 
to sell cloth, furniture, medicine and other manufactured 
products to the colonists. Wool cards, spinning w^heels and 
looms were becoming standard equipment on the larger plan- 
tations at this time. 

The Shore had produced a number of distinguished men 
by the end of the seventeenth century. Most of them had 
sons or grandchildren to carry on the business and govern 
Accomack and Northampton counties as well as to take part 
in the government of the Virginia colony. 

Chapter VI 11 

The year 1700 marked almost a century of progress af- 
ter the fateful landing of Bartholomew Gilbert at the tip of 
the peninsula. The census figures released bespeak the 
success the English had made in settling the Eastern Shore 
of Virginia and organizing it into two of the twenty-five 
progressive counties in the colony. During this time England 
was ruled by James I, Charles I, Parliament, Charles II, 
James II, William and Mary, and Queen Anne who was 
crowned in 1702. Progress and some disappointments had 
featured each period on the Eastern Shore, but the two most 
important goals of private enterprise and representative gov- 
ernment had suffered but little. 

The census of 1 703 showed a population of 2081 "souls" 
and 99,384 acres of patented land in Northampton County. 
This was almost 90 per cent of its total area. Accomack 
County had a population of 2800 and 200,923 acres of pat- 
ented land, which was slightly under 80 per cent of its 
total area. Northampton County had 347 men in its militia 
of which 70 were horsemen and 277 were foot soldiers. Ac- 
comack had 101 horsemen and 355 foot soldiers, making a 
militia of 456 fighting men. Thus, the Eastern Shore at this 
time had a population of 4881 with a militia of 703 men to 
protect the homes and cattle against pirates. The patented 
land covered 300,302 acres. 

The Shore had highways extending from the lower 
part of Northampton to the Maryland line. These high- 
ways had been surveyed and cleared by labor contributed by 
the landowners and tradesmen on the basis of the number of 
tithables of each. "Every highway was ten feet wide with all 

Ch 'ju:r> U-if^fiCrftik 


ChcicofWfx^m Cfm0c 

OU /'^ 






trees and stumps removed, and all boughs overhead cut 
down." With minor changes to eliminate curves or to go 
around farms, the Bayside and Seaside roads arc still in 
use. A middle road through the center of the Shore, sur- 
veyed by one John Wallop, and called Wallops Road, was 
incorporated in the present interstate highway of U. S. 13 
through Accomack County. There were crossroads to public 
wharves, mills, churches and the courthouses. 

A political maneuver by Maryland in 1703 is of interest 
because it laid the foundation for the eventual division of 
this crescent-shaped peninsula, between the Chesapeake Bay 
and the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay, among three 
states. Back in 1683 Maryland surrendered some 2000 
square miles of her territory to William Penn. From it 
three Pennsylvania counties were formed. Thus, the Shore 
was divided among three English colonies instead of two as 
it had been since Lord Baltimore got his patent in 1632. 
The three lower counties of Pennsylvania formed a separate 
province with its own legislature for the rest of the colonial 
period. This new province took the name Delaware and 
furnished the first three letters of Del-Mar-Va, now the 
Delmarva Peninsula. Overland trade was carried on between 
the Eastern Shore of Virginia and these northern neighbors. 
The General Assembly of 1705 fixed rates for a public 
ferry from Northampton County to the mainland of Virginia 
as follows: 

Whereas a good regulation of ferries in this her 
Majestie's colony and dominion will prove very useful 
for the dispatch of public affairs, and for the ease and 
benefit of travelers and businessmen, 

Be it therefore enacted by this General Assembly, 
and it is hereby enacted that ferries shall be constantly 
kept at the places hereafter named, and that the rates 
for passing the said ferries be as follows: (More than 
twenty river ferries were listed and the rates designated 
before the Eastern Shore was mentioned.) Viz. 

From the Port of Northampton to the Port of 
York, the price for a man shall be 15 shillings. That 

CHAPTER VIII — 1700-1714 95 

for a man and a horse shall be 30 shillings. (The charge 
was the same to the Port of Hampton. Both were cov- 
ered on the same voyage.) 

Previous Acts had provided for the county courts to ap- 
point and license ferry keepers. These courts designated the 
types of boats, number of crew members, accommodations on 
a boat and the schedule. Since the contract was included in 
the bond for each ferry keeper, it was not included in the 
court books. The name of the ferry keeper from the Port 
of Northampton in 1705 has not been found. This port pre- 
sumably was on the north side of Kings Creek where efforts 
had been made in 1680 to establish a town as a port of en- 
try for Northampton County. Apparently this contract which 
lasted until 1724 required one boat for men and horses and 
enough feed and water, food, and sleeping space for the 
passengers in the event the boat encountered a calm and the 
voyage required more than a day for the scheduled one-way 

Another public utility Act which was amended in 1705 
was that for building new water mills. Such mills had been 
in use on the Shore for more than half a century. Since the 
branches flowing into navigable streams were dammed to 
raise the water level enough to get power to turn the mill 
stones, and such branches were often boundary lines for land, 
legislation was necessary for a potential mill builder to get 
land on both sides of the stream. If a mill was considered 
necessary, a man who desired to build one on his own land on 
one side of the creek could buy an acre on the opposite side 
at a price agreed upon by arbitrators if the owner hesitated 
to sell it. When the mill ceased to exist, this acre reverted 
to the original tract. The purchaser was required to give 
bond to start the mill within one year and finish it within 
three years after purchase of the land and to operate the mill 
as a public utility. Every customer was to have his grain 
ground in turn without letting one take another's place in 
line. The toll by weight of the grain was one-eighth part 
of wheat and one-sixth part of Indian corn. The mill dam 
was required by law to be twelve feet wide. 


After a permit was issued for a mill on any branch, no 
mill could be erected upstream from it nor within a mile be- 
low it. In this way the water supply was protected as well 
as the business of the man who invested his money in a mill. 
A public road was maintained to each mill from the nearest 
highway. Grain was transported on horseback, with half 
of one man's supply hanging on each side of the horse be- 
hind the saddle, by ox cart, horse-drawn cart and sometimes 
by men carrying it on their backs. Grinding day was a social 
event for apprentices who were fortunate enough to be sent 
to the mill, as well as for small farmers and tradesmen who 
chose to take their own grain. Although every man put his 
grain in line when he arrived and moved up in turn, friends 
had an opportunity to gather in little groups to exchange 
opinions and gather news. 

The fields in this level country had taken on some 
characteristics of rural England and laws were enacted from 
time to time to protect the growers of crops from the neigh- 
bor's livestock which had the range of the forest for pas- 
turage. An Act of the General Assembly back in 1642 had 
defined a lawful fence and provided for a man to collect dam- 
ages if a cow, hog or horse belonging to another broke it 
and destroyed a crop. In 1705, the law was strengthened. 
Three types of fences were considered legal: 

A fence of split timber, called rails, laid with right- 
angle corners alternating toward the field and from it, was 
required to be five feet high and free from gaps through 
which any domestic animal could craw]. Another type was 
made of upright timber with one end buried in the ground 
and the part above the ground 4 feet 6 inches high. The 
third type was a ditch which served for drainage purposes 
and land boundaries as well as protection from livestock. 
Such a ditch was 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep with a hedge or 
fence 2 feet 6 inches high on one side. For this type of 
fence to be legal protection, the owner was required to keep 
the ditch cleaned out and the fence in repair if there was one 
in the place of a hedge. Some of the ditch fences of 1705 
or earlier are presumably still in use. 

CHAPTER VIII — 1700-1714 97 

When an animal broke the fence and destroyed a crop, 
the owner reported the incident to the constable who ap- 
pointed two reliable men to examine the fence to see if it 
met legal requirements and to estimate the damage. The 
owner of the animal was required to pay the damages. 
Horses were no longer allowed to range in the forests, so 
any damage by a horse was at the owner's expense. Wild 
horses had been considered a menace and a man who caught 
a horse older than two years was allowed to keep it under 
certain conditions. This resulted in extensive horse hunting 
by people with time to spare, and a law was passed making 
''horse hunting" illegal on the Sabbath. Livestock was 
rounded up once a year on set days for marking the young 
calves, pigs, sheep and goats. Since the markings were re- 
corded in the court records it was easy for one whose crop 
had been damaged to identify the owner of the culprits. 

In 1705 the law for the election of Burgesses was re- 
vised and strengthened. Each county was to have two Bur- 
gesses and the sheriff continued to be manager of the elec- 
tions as he had been since the original counties were formed 
in 1634. The new regulations were: 

Writs were to be signed and the seal of the 
Colony affixed by the Governor or Commander in Chief 
of Virginia 40 days before the assembly convened. 
Within 10 days the secretary of the colony sent them 
to the sheriffs in the respective counties. The sheriff 
signed each copy and added the time and place appointed 
for the election. Elections had to be held at the cus- 
tomary meeting place of the court at this time. 

Within three days after receipt of the orders the 
sheriff delivered a signed and amended copy to every 
minister or reader with orders to publish it after divine 
services in the church or chapel every Sabbath until the 
day set for the election and then endorse it and return 
it to the sheriff. 

If competition among the candidates nominated was 
close and could be determined "upon the view," pre- 
sumably by a show of hands, the votes were taken in 



Books were provided in the court room in which 
the names of the candidates were written. The sheriff 
gave the designated oath to the recorders and to each 
voter, in turn, to see that only free men voted. The 
voter then named his choice for two burgesses and his 
name was written on their pages. When voting ceased 
the sheriff proclaimed the fact that all free men could 
vote. If no other voter came after he issued the 
proclamation three times, he declared the polls closed. 
If there was a tie between the two candidates with 
the highest number of votes, the sheriff voted as tie 
breaker. Then the sheriff proclaimed the results of 
the election at the courthouse door. 

The oath of the voters was: You shall swear 

that you are a freeholder of the County of 

and that you have not been before polled at this elec- 

Penalties were designated for default of duty by 

anyone concerned with the election. That for the 

secretary was 40 pounds sterling. Other officers and 

voters were subject to fines in tobacco. Disabled voteiv. 

were exempt, but all others were fined 200 poun<is 

of tobacco for not voting. The penalty of the sheriff 

for failing to carry out his orders was 2000 pounds of 

tobacco and that of the ministers or readers was 1000 

pounds. Any apprentice or nonresident of the county 

who voted was fined 500 pounds of tobacco. 

The Northampton elections were held in the vicinity 

of the present town of Eastville, then called the Horns. 

The Accomack elections were held at the site of the present 

Accomac, then called "Metompkin," in a building erected 

by an individual when the court was moved from Pungo- 

teague in 1678. Tavern keepers were willing to provide 

a meeting place for the court in order to get the patronage 

of those who attended. Joseph Godwin was the court 

tavern keeper in Northampton and John Cole in Accomack. 

The General Assembly of 1710 fixed court days for 

CHAPTER VIII — 1700-1714 99 

all counties. Northampton was on the third Tuesday in 
each month and Accomack was on the first Tuesday. Four 
justices were the minimum for a session which was to con- 
tinue until all cases were heard. Both counties were con- 
sidering better quarters for their courts. In fact, Accomack 
had one under construction. It was 40 feet long and 20 
feet wide on a brick foundation and a loft with a staii-way 
for the use of the jury. It was finished and accepted later 
this year and remained in use for court, elections and other 
purposes for almost half a century. The new courthouse in 
Northampton was 30 feet by 20 feet with a loft covered 
with planed lumber for the jury. It was first used in June 
1716 and served for about fifteen years. 

For almost ten years the courthouse of Accomack Coun- 
ty was also used for divine services. A court order in 1713 
was "to clear the road from the eastern side of Deep Creek 
to this courthouse and place of hearing of sermons." 

Deep Creek probably had something to do with the 
location of the Accomack Court at its present site back in 
1678. The head of its navigation was only five miles from 
Metompkin Creek on the seaside and people could come 
from long distances by water to these creeks and go over 
land, sometimes by foot, to the county seat. The nearness 
to Metompkin Creek carried considerable weight in keep- 
ing the courthouse at its present site. 

At the beginning of the year 1714 leaders on the 
Eastern Shore, as well as the rest of Virginia, were antici- 
pating a change of the head of the English government. 
Queen Anne had borne seventeen children before she was 
crowned in 1702 and not one of them lived to be grown. 
She died on August 1 , 1714, and was succeeded by George 
I, a grandson of Princess Elizabeth for whom a river and 
a county in Virginia had been named. The news of a 
peaceful transfer of the head of the government reached 
the Eastern Shore in the early autumn. There was no 
immediate effect on the people here or in the rest of the 
colony, but the new King's policy toward more taxes from the 
colonies for the English treasury was evident before the 


decade ended. 

The Eastern Shore had the first licensed minister out- 
side of the Anglican church in Virginia. This was Francis 
Makemie, Presbyterian minister, mill owner, planter and 
merchant with his own ship. His will, which was probated 
In Accomack County in 1708, gives some idea of his suc- 
cess as a businessman. His place in the history of the Pres- 
byterian Church of America shows the importance of this 
Eastern Shore citizen and justifies a brief sketch of his life. 
Francis Makemie was born in Ireland in 1658. 
He was educated in Glasgow, Scotland, and received 
his license as a Presbyterian minister in 1681. He 
came to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1683 and 
married iNaomi, daughter of William Anderson, a 
wealthy planter on a creek across the Pocomoke River 
in Virginia. They lived for awhile In Onancock in the 
house which his father-in-law built before he secured 
the first deed on record in the new town in 1682. 
Francis Makemie served in a Presbyterian church In 
Maryland and organized at least one new congregation 
there. He made a number of voyages to Barbados for 
preaching and mercantile purposes. 

Francis and Naomi Makemie had two daughters, 
Elizabeth and Anne. William Anderson died in 1698, 
leaving his homeplace of 950 acres near Pocomoke 
River to Francis and Naomi. He had previously given 
land below Onancock to them and they inherited the 
house in Onancock at this time. In 1699 Makemie 
patented a tract of 850 acres of land, most of which was 
marsh land or islands near the mouth of Messongo 
Creek, presumably for raising cattle. In 1701 he bought 
land on Assawoman Branch near the present village of 
Temperanceville and erected a mill, which he operated 
the rest of his life. 

While Makemie was accumulating property and 
rearing a family, he was not neglecting his ministerial 
duties. He led a movement to get the General Assembly 
to accept the Toleration Act passed by Parliament and 

CHAPTER VIII — 1700-1714 101 

signed by King William and Queen Mary in 1689. 
This provided for the licensing of ministers other than 
those ordained in the Anglican church provided they 
did not represent a sect with political motives or rules 
that forbade members from being in the militia. This 
Act was passed by the Virginia General Assembly in 
1699 and Makemie immediately got a license to preach 
in his house in Onancock and the one on Holden 
Creek where his father-in-law had lived. 

In January 1706 Francis Makemie met with the 
other Presbyterian ministers of North America in Phil- 
adelphia. The meeting is said to have been arranged by 
Makemie and it goes down in history as the beginning 
of organized Presbyterianism in America. 

In his lengthy will, Makemie left his estate to 
his daughters. Elizabeth died later in 1708 and Anne 
became the sole heir. Almost twenty years later she 
and her first husband, Thomas Blair, sold the mill 
which was operated by successive owners under their 
names into the twentieth century. 

As a licensed minister, Makemie received notices 
for the election of Burgesses from the sheriff and was 
required to announce them after divine services. People 
who attended his services were exempt from attending 
those of the Anglican Church. However, Makemie and 
his members were required to pay taxes for the sup- 
port of the regular church and the poor in the parish. 
Mill owners had certain tax exemptions and this might 
have been one incentive for him to build the mill. 
When the report was sent to the Bishop of London in 
1705 Accomack and Northampton counties were without 
Anglican ministers. Northampton (Hungars Parish) prob- 
ably had part-time services by a minister from across the 
bay. Accomack Parish had the services of a minister from 
Maryland on some week days every other month. Accomack 
Parish bought a glebe farm of 250 acres in 1704 and there 
was a house on it at the time, or one was built immediately. 
Services were being held by readers at Pungoteague Church, 


the Courthouse and at Assa woman Church. Northampton 
had services at the second Hungars Church and at Magothy 
Bay Church. It, too, had a glebe farm. In 1709 the Rev- 
erend William Black, from the part of southern Pennsylvania 
which became the state of Delaware, became minister in 
Accomack Parish and remained the rest of his life, which 
was almost thirty years. 

In the year 1710 the upper part of Accomack County 
received a large bequest for the education of poor children. 
Samuel Sandford, a London merchant and Virginia farmer, 
who had served in the General Assembly and was sheriff 
in Accomack County for the year 1693, left 3400 acres of 
land with buildings and livestock to provide revenue for 
the education of poor children between Guilford Creek and 
a line to the Atlantic Ocean and the Virginia-Maryland 

The will was written and probated in London in April 
1710 and a copy was recorded in the Accomack County 
Court Records in January 1711. The vestrymen of Acco- 
mack Parish were designated as trustees, and the land was 
to be divided into tracts suitable for leasing to good ad- 
vantage. No lease was to be for more than a period of 
seven years. In the same paragraph of this will Samuel 
Sandford left a trust fund of 200 pounds sterling for the 
education of poor boys in his native parish of Avening in 
Gloucester County, England. He gave instructions for the 
use of the interest on that fund as follows: 

I give for the learning of six poor male children, 
whose parents are esteemed incapable of giving them 
learning the interest on said 200 pounds sterling. The 
children are to be put to learn when past five years of 
age, and when one has learned to read his primer and 
say his catechism without a book, he is to have a brown 
colored cloth coat with buttons of horn, one pair of shoes, 
one pair of stockings and a hat. Fourteen shillings are 
to be spent for these items for each child. No child is 
to be kept learning with this fund for more than two 
years but the number of boys to be kept learning is to 

CHAPTER VIII — 1700-1714 103 

always be kept at six. 
Although no record has been found of the subjects taught 
in Accomack County by the schoolmaster paid from income 
from the Sandford land, it is safe to assume that it was used 
to teach the children how to "read, write and cipher." Boys 
had the preference for free schooling. 

A school was being operated with the Sandford funds in 
1 724, and John Morough, an Irishman, was the schoolmaster 
when the Reverend William Black made his report to the 
Bishop of London. Since the area designated by Samuel 
Sandford as Upper x^ccomack County, covered an area of 
some 200 square miles, only a boarding school or an itinerant 
teacher who spent a few weeks in each neighborhood would 
have been practical. For more than 160 years the Sandford 
or "Free School" land remained free from taxes and the 
income was used as designated by the donor. More than 
half of the "Free School" land was "sea meadow" or marsh 
land, now in the Saxis Marsh Wildlife Refuge. 

The year 1714 was the one hundredth anniversary of 
the first English settlement on the Eastern Shore of Vir- 
ginia and Accomack and Northampton were as prosperous as 
any counties in Virginia. 

Chapter EX 

March 25 was New Year's Day on the Eastern Shore 
in 1715 as it was in England and all of her colonies. The 
tax reports submitted to the Governor and Council in 1714 
give some idea of the importance of the Eastern Shore as a 
part of the Virginia colony. Nothing had been recorded about 
making the Eastern Shore of Virginia a separate nation for 
at least twenty-five years. 

The report made in 1714 showed that Accomack and 
Northampton counties had 334,302 acres of patented land. 
Of this 230,462 were in Accomack and 103,840 were in 
Northampton. The number of people on whom taxes were 
paid was 1886. In general this represented one-third of the 
population which is calculated at 5658 men, women and chil- 
dren. Of these Accomack had 1055 tithables and Northamp- 
ton had 831. The small difference in the population in con- 
trast to the much larger acreage in Accomack may be explained 
by the fact that much of the upper part of Accomack County 
was in large patents, with a high proportion of the islands 
and marsh lands being used for cattle, sheep and horse raising. 

The vast areas in the ocean islands of Assateague, 
Chincoteague, Wallops and smaller islands had been patented 
more than three decades earlier. In order to hold his patent, 
the owner was required to keep only four men on it and pay 
the King's rent. This small number of men could tend a large 
herd of livestock where no fences were required. 

Where two or three men owned a whole island, they pro- 
rated the breeding stock put on the island, then prorated the 
increase. In this manner there was no need for a spring 
roundup to mark the young while they were with their 

CHAPTER IX — 1714-1752 105 

mothers as was the case on the mainland. The men em- 
ployed to serve as livestock rangers presumably did some 
slaughtering and curing of meat and prepared the hides for 
market. Such products required inspection at one of the ports 
on the mainland before they could be shipped out of the 

The General Assembly had enacted rigid inspection 
laws and authorized each county to appoint as many meat 
packers as necessary. These men were sworn in with a pre- 
scribed oath and they watched the packing of every hogs- 
head. Each man had a seal for labeling the hogshead after 
it was closed. This label designated the type of meat it con- 
tained and the contents. Each hogshead had to contain at 
least 220 pounds of pork or beef. In case of pork the label 
stated whether it was from large or small hogs. The penalty 
for a packer, who was actually an inspector, to let defective 
meat go into a hogshead for shipping was 5 pounds sterling. 
The packer received 6 pence for each hogshead upon which 
he placed his seal. 

Skins of wild animals were a good source of revenue. 
The cattle rangers were allowed to do some trapping and 
share in the profits from their catch. Later in this century 
an export duty was collected on hides and skins to help sup- 
port the College of William and Mary. The hides were 
rawhides, tanned hides (cow), dressed and undressed buck 
skins, and dressed and undressed doe skins. 

The fur-bearing animals from which skins were marketed 
were otter, beaver, mink, fox, raccoon, wildcat and muskrat. 
The duties on the otter and beaver skins were the highest, 
while that on the muskrat was the lowest. Skins were shipped 
in hogsheads and each shipper was required to take an oath 
before a justice regarding the contents of each hogshead and 
to put his name and the contents on it. There was a heavy 
penalty for a false statement. 

Each port from which boats entered and departed had 
a collector of customs and the ship master was responsible 
for seeing that nothing was put aboard his ship without the 
proper inspection labels. A certificate from the collector of 


customs was required before a ship could leave port. 

Among the islands that were being used for livestock 
ranges at this time were the Russell Islands group in Chesa- 
peake Bay which appeared on Captain John Smith's Map of 
1608. They were patented and given individual names as 
early as 1670. However, the name Tangier did not appear 
until 1713. It remained under the ownership of two families 
and was used as a cattle range until after the Revolution. 
Chincoteague, Assateague and Wallops islands on the sea- 
side also had been used for livestock ranges from the late 
1600's. Since no mention of shipping from these islands is 
in the records, it is assumed that all products were delivered 
to the owners on the mainland for packing and shipping. 

In the spring of 1722 the Eastern Shore ports, as 
well as those in the rest of the colony, required a new kind 
of inspection and protection. There had been an outbreak 
of the "plague" in several cities in Europe, and precautions 
were taken on orders from the Governor to prevent its spread 
into Virginia. Members of the militia were called out to see 
that the orders were obeyed when a ship arrived from an in- 
fected city. They were: 

Nobody was to land from the ship, no goods were 

to be transferred to other boats, and nobody was to 

go aboard without a permit from the master of the 

port. After the period of quarantine was over all goods 

were to be aired under the supervision of a designated 

person. The penalty for breaking any one of these 

rules was 20 pounds sterling. 

Although large ships could not enter the Eastern Shore creeks 

many small ones came, but happily no plague reached Virginia 

during this outbreak in Europe. 

Since the militia numbered more than 800 back in 1703, 
it must have been considerably larger by the 1720's. Vir- 
ginia had no standing army as such but every able-bodied 
man was a trained soldier and the General Assembly had a 
pay scale for men on duty. There was no remuneration for 
drilling. A man had to be on duty more than two days at 
a time to be eligible for any pay. Watches were being main- 

CHAPTER IX — 1714-1752 107 

tained at the entrances to Chesapeake Bay. Piracy was still 
a dreaded menace and England was constantly on the verge 
of war with some European nation, and the first blow might 
be struck at Virginia, her wealthiest Crown Colony. The East- 
ern Shore was the most vulnerable part of the colony. The 
two branches of the militia were "the horse" and "foot sol- 
diers." The daily pay was slightly higher for the "horse 
soldiers" as the following rates show in pounds of tobacco: 


Foot Soldiers 


60 lbs. 


60 lbs. 

Lt. Colonel 

50 lbs. 


50 lbs. 


50 lbs. 


30 lbs. 


30 lbs. 


22 lbs. 


25 lbs. 


25 lbs. 


25 lbs. 


18 lbs. 


22 lbs. 


18 lbs. 


20 lbs. 


15 lbs. 

Each county had these officers who were under the county 
lieutenant commissioned by the Governor. 

A ferry had been making two round trips a week, 
weather permitting, from the Port of Northampton to York 
and Hampton since 1705, but the accommodations were such 
that officers of the militia, Burgesses and other officials who 
had business in the capital city of Williamsburg, went in pri- 
vate boats. The Port of York was the debarkation point for 
passengers, horses, freight and official mail consigned to 

On September 14, 1724, one John Masters gave bond 
for operating ferries from the Eastern Shore to the ports of 
York and Hampton. The terms of his contract were written 
and filed with his bond for 20 pounds sterling in Northamp- 
ton County where it still is on file. George Harmanson, son- 
in-law of Argoll Yeardley II, signed the bond. The port 
was moved to Mattawoman Creek, the main prong of Hun- 
gars, where Harmanson had kept a public warehouse for 
storing tobacco for some ten years. The terms of the contract 

To keep a ferry from Hungars Creek in North- 


ampton County to the ports of York and Hampton on 
the Western Shore of Virginia, and to provide one good 
and sufficient boat to transport foot passengers and an- 
other for men and horses. He is to give speedy passage 
to all express which shall be sent from either port for 
the next seven years. 

John Masters could have been the operator of the orig- 
inal ferry and Harmanson merely got the port moved to Hun- 
gars. The contract for 1705 has not survived. Masters was 
not found among the land owners on the Eastern Shore and 
he left no property in Northampton. 

On March 12, 1731, Elias Roberts and Michael Christ- 
ian gave bond for operating the ferry from Hungars to York 
and Hampton. George Harmanson sold an acre of land for 
a public wharf and warehouse, presumably the land which 
was already in use for that purpose. Michael Christian mar- 
ried a niece of George Harmanson's wife and a grand- 
daughter of Argoll Yeardley II. This public wharf was in 
the present Old Town Neck and it remained in use until the 
twentieth century. The ferry terminal was destined to make 
two more changes. The bond for Elias Roberts covered the 
same contract as that of Masters. 

By an Act of the General Assembly in 1 745 the govern- 
ment at Williamsburg resumed the right to grant the fran- 
chise for the ferry across Chesapeake Bay. Littleton Eyre, 
who married a great-granddaughter of Argoll Yeardley II 
and inherited land in Old Town Neck, got the franchise. 
The following session of the General Assembly fixed the 
charges for ferry service across the bay: 

For a man or horse, passing singly, 20 shillings 

For a man and horse, or if there be more, for each 

15 shillings 
For a coach, chariot or wagon and the driver the same as 

for six horses (4 pounds 10 shillings) 
For every cart or four-wheel chaise and the driver, the 

same as for four horses (3 pounds) 
For every two-wheel chaise, or chair, as for two horses 
(2 pounds) 

CHAPTER DC — 1714-1752 109 

For every hogshead of tobacco as for one horse (20 

For every head of cattle as for one horse (20 shillings) 
For every sheep, goat or lamb, one fifth part of the 

ferriage for one horse (4 shillings) 
For every hog, one fourth part of the ferriage of a 

horse (5 shillings) 
As public wharves, or ports, increased in number, legis- 
lation was enacted by the General Assembly to protect the 
channels leading to them. Sailing vessels brought in quan- 
tities of sand, gravel and stone as ballast. This was material 
with considerable weight to balance the vessel when the cargo 
was not heavy enough to do it. When a vessel entered a port 
with a light load and took on a heavy load, the ballast had 
to be emptied. In order to keep this from being dumped 
into the water near the wharf, each county court was ordered 
to appoint overseers. The law enacted is as follows: 

Since casting stones, gravel, sand or other ballast 
into rivers or creeks must prove dangerous and destruc- 
tive to navigation, the court of every county adjacent to 
any navigable stream shall immediately appoint one or 
more persons, residing conveniently to places where 
ships ride, to be overseers and directors of the deliver- 
ing and bringing on shore all ballast to be unloaded. 
The shipmaster is to notify the overseer when he has 
ballast to bring ashore and the overseer is to direct the 
placing of the ballast where it will not be washed into 
the stream. 

The shipmaster is to pay the overseer of the un- 
loading of ballast 5 shillings. The penalty for unloading 
ballast other than in the presence of the overseer shall 
be 50 pounds sterling. 

When a shipmaster could utilize the space with building 
materials including limestone, chalk, bricks and stones cut 
for building purposes, he not only got the freight charges on 
it but also saved the overseer's fee. The overseers were 
sworn in by one of the justices and were under oath to an- 
swer the call of a shipmaster as soon as he conveniently could 


after receiving the call. The collector of customs at the port 
sometimes served as ballast overseer also. 

The Shore ports for which ballast overseers were ap- 
pointed at this time were on Pocomoke River (Pitts Wharf), 
Messongo Creek, Guilford Creek, Hunting Creek, Deep 
Creek, Chesconnessex Creek, Onancock Creek, Pungoteague 
Creek, ,Nandua Creek, Craddock Creek and Occohannock 
Creek on the bayside and Machipongo, Wachapreague, Me- 
tompkin (Folly) and Chincoteague (Mosquito) creeks on the 
seaside in Accomack County. Those on the bayside in 'North- 
ampton were Occohannock, Hungars, Mattawoman, Cherry- 
stone and Old Plantation creeks. Those from Cape Charles 
northward on the seaside in LNorthampton were Hawleys 
Creek and Machipongo Creek. 

This list of ports gives some idea of the extent of trade 
by sailing vessels in the second quarter of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. However, only small craft could enter most of these 
ports and they rendered shuttle service from the larger ports. 
King George I died on June 11, 1727, and was suc- 
ceeded by his son who was crowned as George II. The news 
was proclaimed in Virginia and prayers were offered at all 
Divine services for the new King as they had been for his 
predecessor. George II was 44 years of age while his father 
had been 54 when he became king. 

The General Assembly of 1732 provided for the li- 
censing of attorneys. Physicians and surveyors had been li- 
censed for some years. The procedure for an attorney to get 
a license was as follows: 

A petition setting forth the qualifications of the 
applicant was submitted to the Governor and Council. 
They referred the application to a person, or persons, 
learned in the law. If the qualifications were considered 
acceptable, the Governor and Council issued the license. 
Then the attorney took the oath prescribed by law before 
the court where he lived. After November 10, 1732, no 
attorney was to practice without a license and the pen- 
alty was 5 pounds sterling for each case in which he ap- 
peared. In 1748 the law was amended to require an 

CHAPTER DC — 1714-1752 111 

applicant to be examined and recommended by the jus- 
tices of the county in which he resided before submitting 
his application to the Governor and Council. 
By the time the Act for the licensing of attorneys was 
passed, Northampton Court was meeting in its first brick 
courthouse. The contract had been awarded to John Mar- 
shall on Febiiiary 9, 1731, two months after the justices in- 
structed the sheriff to give public notice to prospective build- 
ers in both Northampton and Accomack counties. Several bid- 
ders appeared on February 9 and Marshall, "being the fairest 
proposer for the undertaking of the building of a brick court- 
house in Northampton at a charge of 50,000 pounds of to- 
bacco," was awarded the contract and ordered to give bond 
in the sum of 100,000 pounds of tobacco. He was to finish 
the work by the last day of December 1751. This is the 
building known as the Old Courthouse - Restored. (It was 
torn down and rebuilt on its present site after being used as a 
store when another brick courthouse superseded it.) 

The first brick clerk's office was built near the brick 
courthouse after the courthouse was finished in 1751 and is 
now used as a museum. A brick prison, later known as the 
Debtors Prison, was built at an unknown date and it is still 

In 1722 Accomack County built a frame church near the 
present Accomack Wayside Park and called it the Middle 
Church of Accomack Parish. Divine services had been held 
in the courthouse for the middle part of the parish since the 
church in Onancock went out of use before 1708. 

An entry in the court records on October 3, 1738, shows 
that taxes were being collected to pay for a new church at 
Pungoteague, and the sum indicates that the church was of 
brick. A floor plan made in 1959, after extensive excavation, 
shows that the building was shaped somewhat like a Greek 
Cross with a semicircular apse at the east. The dimensions 
were 65 feet 3 inches east and west and 57 feet 4 inches 
north and south. The latter is the surviving part of the 
church. Tradition says the original building was irreverently 
called "the ace of clubs church" because of its unusual shape. 

^''3'> '^ 



CHAPTER IX — 1714-1725 113 

In 1 742 Northampton County built the second brick 
church in Hungars Parish, which then covered the entire 
county. This new brick building replaced the second Hun- 
gars Church which was started in 1679 and finished by July 
1681. It is still in use although it has had slight alterations. 
The original building was 45 feet by 95 feet, with one large 
door at the west end and doors near the centers of the north 
and south walls. More than a hundred years after this charm- 
ing edifice was built it needed considerable repairs, and it is said 
to have had a narrow escape from being torn down and re- 
placed. However, a skilled workman saw a way to repair 
it. The west end was removed and the building was shortened 
by about 15 feet. The side doors were replaced with the 
windows. The brick work is in the Flemish bond pattern 
and the mason who did the repair work was as skilled as the 
original builder. Hungars and three other churches on the 
Eastern Shore had communion silver which is still in use. 

Prosperity on the Eastern Shore was recorded for pos- 
terity in the lives of sons who were sent to the College of 
William and Mary and by imposing homes that were built or 
increased in size and architectural features. The story-and-a- 
half house with a cross hall and dormer windows was still 
fashionable. But in the 1730's this type of house inspired 
more spacious rooms on the second floor and the gambrel 
roof appeared. Dormers were visible from the outside but 
were surrounded by shingles between slanting sides joining 
the roof. In that manner the g-able end had seven segments 
instead of the traditional five of the high-pitched roof of 
earlier times. 

The story-and-a-half house was increased in size by the 
addition of a colonnade one story high and a kitchen end of 
a story and loft. This was known as the twin house. The one 
room and loft type of house was made into a twin house by 
the addition of a colonnade and another section. Sometimes 
this was a story and a half and had dormer windows. The 
traditional two-room-and-loft house continued to be popular 
with people of limited means. Those who inherited the quaint 
little houses usually added dormers and a colonnade and 


kitchen section. Surviving houses of each type and inventories 
of the estates of owners show that people on the Eastern Shore 
had the same comforts and luxuries for gracious living as the 
people in Williamsburg and Yorktown. The house at Arling- 
ton had been destroyed by fire before John Custis IV died at 
Six-Chimney House in Williamsburg, and was buried on the 
Eastern Shore. Daniel Parke Custis, who had married Mar- 
tha Dandidge earlier that year, inherited Arlington. The life 
story of John IV is a part of Eastern Shore history and the 
inscription he wrote for his tomb is an oddity. 

John IV, the eldest son of John III and Margaret 
Michael, was born in 1678 and received his grammar 
school education, along with his brothers and sisters, un- 
der private tutors at the home of their father. Then 
his grandfather sent John IV to a school in England. 
Although John III was one of the most prominent men 
on the Eastern Shore during his lifetime and held all 
the elective offices that existed at one time or another, 
he did not attempt to send nine children away to school. 
John IV went to Arlington to live when he reached the 
legal age of twenty-one years and engaged in tobacco 
growing and trading. 

After the only seven happy years of his life, as his 
tombstone indicates, he married Frances Parke who was 
regarded as a beautiful lady and supposed to be wealthy. 
(John IV became the brother-in-law of William Byrd 
II, who was married to Lucy Parke.) John IV and 
Frances had two children who died and were buried at 
Arlington. Two other children, Frances and Daniel 
Parke, lived to be grown but Frances predeceased her 
father and left no children. 

When John IV's father-in-law died, it was learned 
that his estate was a liability rather than an asset. Wil- 
liam Byrd, John IV and even his son Daniel Parke spent 
the rest of their lives clearing the debts. If John IV and 
his wife were ever congenial, this financial strain ended 
their happiness together and blotted out John's memory 
of it. They moved to Williamsburg some time before 

CHAPTER IX — 1714-1725 115 

Frances died on March 14, 1715. 

John IV finished rearing his children at Six Chim- 
ney House in Williamsburg. After his daughter mar- 
ried and Daniel went to live at his Pamunkey River 
Plantation, he lived alone and managed his home with 
a group of loyal servants. He became a member of the 
Governor's Council in 1733 and served in that capacity 
until the last few weeks of his life. 

He w^as a plant scientist and imported many plants 
and shrubs from England. The letters which he and 
Peter Collison of London wrote each other while they 
were exchanging plants have survived and they furnish 
valuable botanical information of the time. Although 
this exchange of plants took place long after John IV 
left the Eastern Shore, presumably some of the plants 
he imported were propagated and eventually found their 
way to the Shore. Scotch broom was one plant that re- 
ceived careful attention in his correspondence. 
At least one love letter written to Frances Parke the 
year before their marriage, shows that John Custis IV was a 
romantic dreamer and finding himself married to a human 
being, rather than one who approached the status of an angel 
in his imagination, was probably enough of a shock to inspire 
the pathetic inscription that was put on his marble tomb at 
his positive order. The seven years at Arlington were before 
his marriage. He lived as a widower thirty-four years at 
Six Chimney House in Williamsburg. 

In his will written in W^illiamsburg on November 1 4, 
1749, he ordered his executors to pay 100 pounds sterling 
for a handsome tombstone of the most durable marble, en- 
graved with his coat of arms and the following inscription: 
Under this Marble Tomb lies the Body 
of the Honorable John Custis Esqr. 
of the City of Williamsburg, and Parish of Bruton. 
Formerly of Hungars Parish on the Eastern Shore of 
Virginia and County of Northampton the 
Place of His Nativity. 
Aged 7 1 Years and Yet liv'd but Seven Years 


which was the space of time He kept 

a Bachelors house at Arlington 

on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. 

Neither Daniel Parke Custis nor his descendants ever 
lived at Arlington but the plantation remained in the family 
for a quarter of a century after Daniel's grandson built the 
mansion now called the Custis-Lee Mansion, at Arlington on 
the Potomac River. The Custis cemetery is owned by the 
Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. 

In the autumn of 1751 a communication from Williams- 
burg stated that an Act of Parliament had provided for a 
change in the calendar after the last day of December 1751. 
For almost two centuries other European countries and their 
colonies had been using the Gregorian (New Style Calendar) 
and the Act of Parliament had adopted it for England and 
her colonies. The year 1752 would begin on January 1 in- 
stead of March 25, which was New Year's Day by the Old 
Style Calendar. Thus there would be no court records on the 
Eastern Shore for January 1 through March 24, 1751. 

Moving New Year's Day to January 1 was not the only 
change necessary to bring the English calendar in line with 
those in the rest of Europe. Easter and other church festivals 
were eleven days later than those on the Continent. When 
Parliament enacted the law for the calendar it designated a 
time for dropping the eleven days when there was neither a 
Holy Day nor a church festival on the church calendar. This 
was between September 2 and September 14. 

When new calendars arrived from England there was 
a mild protest about the change by some people. January 1 
was New Year's Day and March 25 was a Holy Day. Sep- 
tember 2 was followed by September 14. People whose 
birthdays came between January 1 and March 24 had to 
move them up eleven days and add a year in order to make 
them authentic by the New Style calendar. A person born 
on February 11, 1750, would be officially recorded as if he 
were born on February 22, 1751. However, to keep the 
records clear, both dates were retained for those born between 
January 1 and March 24, 1750, and 1752. No boy was de- 

CHAPTER DC — 1714-1752 117 

prived of his inheritance when he reached the legal age be- 
cause of the loss of ninety-four days in 1751 and 1752. 

Chapter X 

When the Burgesses were elected for the General As- 
sembly of 1752, business was good and life was as near sta- 
ble as it had ever been on the Eastern Shore. The watch at 
the entrance to Chesapeake Bay had been maintained by 
militiamen for such a long time that it was accepted as a part 
of the routine rather than as a symbol of danger from en- 
emy ships. Littleton Eyre, ferry owner, and a Burgess since 
1745, was reelected and Matthew Harmanson was his col- 
league from Northampton. Ralph Justice and George Doug- 
las represented Accomack County. These Burgesses served 
until 1755 and drastic changes which affected the Shore and 
the colony took place while they were in office. 

In the spring of 1754 the General Assembly enacted 
a tax law to pay militiamen to join an army to drive the 
French from Virginia's western frontier then called the Ohio 
Country. The French soldiers from Canada had built some 
forts below the Great Lakes and their commander had dis- 
regarded an appeal from the Governor of Virginia to with- 
draw. A corporation known as the Ohio Company had been 
formed in 1 749 to develop this country and presumably some 
Eastern Shore businessmen had bought stock in the company. 
It was a colony-wide corporation. 

The Colonial army which attempted to drive the French 
away in 1754 did not succeed in its mission. Then in the 
spring of 1755 a British army of 1000 men was sent to fight 
with the Colonial troops. This help would have been wel- 
come if the British had not been put in complete charge of the 
campaign. Every Colonial officer above the rank of captain 
was demoted to that of a captain. Some officers, including 




S V 

















CHAPTER X — 1752-1790 121 

George Washington, who had led the 1754 campaign, re- 
signed their commissions. General Edward Braddock who 
was in charge of the British troops engaged Washington as a 
member of his staff in order that he might have the benefit 
of his experience in frontier fighting. When the campaign 
failed and General Braddock was killed, Washington led the 
soldiers in the retreat. At least three commissioned officers 
and an undetermined number of soldiers from the Eastern 
Shore fought on the frontier at this time. 

When the General Assembly met in August 1755, the 
frontier war was a Colonial war. All the colonies had been 
asked to send men and to help finance it. On August 5 a 
draft law was passed by the General Assembly. Every county 
was assigned a quota of men, and county courts were given 
the power to draft members of the militia if there were not 
enough volunteers to fill the quota. This frontier war in 
which colonial troops were drafted went down in history as 
the French and Indian War. By the end of the second year 
it was almost a global war and the Eastern Shore was in a 
vulnerable position. 

England and France had been on unfriendly terms for 
some time and England declared war against France on May 
17, 1756. In English history it is known as the Seven Years' 
War, but Virginia had nine years of it. The French were 
driven out of the Ohio country and eventually out of Canada. 
While England was fighting for supremacy on the North 
American continent, the ports on the Eastern Shore were 
guarded against enemy landings. So many men were on 
guard duty or in the army of occupation on the frontier that 
production of tobacco was reduced and trade in general was 
curtailed. Although economic conditions grew worse as the 
nine years of war progressed, the people of the Shore de- 
veloped initiative and skills which made them more and more 
independent of England. 

On January 6, 1759, the people of the Eastern Shore 
became interested in George Washington for reasons other 
than as the hero of the early years of the French and Indian 
War. He became the step-father of the potential owner of 


Arlington Plantation. Daniel Parke Custis had died on 
July 8, 1757, leaving a son, John Parke Custis, born late 
in 1754 and a daughter Martha born in 1756. Martha Dan- 
dridge Custis married George Washington while he was a 
member of the House of Burgesses, John Parke Custis and 
his sister went to live at Mount Vernon. 

When the General Assembly met in November 1762, 
the Seven Years' War between England and France was 
pointing toward a victory for England and the fighting was 
practically over in North America. Although the mouths 
of navigable creeks on the Eastern Shore were still guarded, 
and some Shore militiamen were on duty in the string of 
forts which had been built to protect the western frontier, 
civilian life was back to a nearer normal state than it had 
been since the fighting began in the West in 1754. 

The making of cloth and other necessities on the various 
plantations had increased during the time when trade with 
England was hampered by enemy ships on the high seas and 
crops had been reduced because of militiamen on active duty. 
Traveling weavers, tailors and shoemakers went from 
place to place to make the necessary items to supply the 
family and servants for a season. Virginia-made linen sheets 
and pillow cases were found in increasing numbers in in- 
ventories, and weaving equipment was becoming a necessity 
on plantations. While the people were getting to be more 
self-reliant, the leaders of Accomack County were consider- 
ing some changes in order to make it easier for people to 
get to church. So, a petition was presented to the General 
Assembly for the creation of a new parish with the following 

It was enacted by the General Assembly of No- 
vember 1762 that from January 3, 1763, the Parish 
of Accomack shall be divided into two distinct parishes 
by a line to begin at the mouth of Parkers Creek (on 
the seaside), then to run up the said creek to the head 
of Rooty Branch, and from thence by a direct line to 
be run to the head of the branch called Drummonds 
Mill Branch, and thence down the said branch to the 

CHAPTER X — 1752-1790 123 

mouth of Hunting Creek (on the bayside). All that 
part north of the said bounds shall be a distinct parish 
and retain the name Accomack. All the part below the 
said bounds shall be another distinct parish and known 
by the name of St, George. 

All freeholders in the two said parishes shall meet 
on February 5, 1763, for the choosing of vestrymen. 
The sheriff is to notify the said freeholders of the time 
and place of each meeting by January 5. 

The glebe land of Accomack Parish is to be sold 
by the vestry of the new Accomack Parish to the indi- 
vidual or individuals who will pay the best price for 
it. The money is to be divided according to the num- 
ber of tithables in Accomack and St. George parishes 
and applied toward the purchase of glebes for the re- 
spective parishes for the use and benefit of the min- 
isters forever. 

St. George Parish bought a glebe farm of 349 acres 
on Occohannock Creek and built a house. This parish also 
bought a four-acre tract of land a mile south of the court- 
house and erected a brick church with a floor plan 86 feet 
in length and 40 feet in width. Although no further infor- 
mation has been found about the building, it seems logical 
to assume that it resembled Hungars Church. Upon its 
completion in 1767, it was called the New Church in St. 
George Parish. Some thirty years later it took the name St. 
James. The vestry planned a work house for the indigent, 
but the church was relieved of the duties of caring for the 
poor before the house was built. There was no town around 
the courthouse when St. George Parish was formed and the 
site chosen was near the road from the seaside to the bayside 
at its junction with the Middle Road. 

Although Accomack Parish got the frame building known 
as the Middle Church, it was too near the parish line for 
the convenience of the people. It was replaced with another 
frame building, some two miles north of the present Acco- 
mack Wayside Park, and was called the Lower Church in 
Accomack Parish. Another frame building was erected on 


the Middle Road near the Maryland line. It was called 
New Church and the village that was built up around it 
perpetuates the name. The brick church at Assawoman was 
the principal church in the parish. The new Accomack Parish 
bought the glebe which had belonged to the county-wide Acco- 
mack Parish. 

Some people considered the creation of two parishes in 
Accomack County a step toward forming a new county to be 
called St. George County. When the General Assembly met 
in 1770, a petition was presented as follows: 

Since the tithables in Accomack County are so 
numerous and the business of the court is so multiplied, 
the persons whose names are hereunto subscribed request 
that the said county be divided into two counties. 
Another petition with as many signatures was presented 
asking that the two parishes be kept as Accomack County. 
No action is on record in the Journal of the House of Bur- 
gesses so the first one must have been disposed of by the 
committee which reviewed such petitions. There were more 
urgent questions for Accomack and Northampton counties, as 
well as the rest of Virginia and other colonies, than minor 
local affairs. 

King George III succeeded his grandfather as ruler 
of England in 1760. The new King, 28 years of age, had 
met with favor during the final years of the war with 
France, which ended in 1763, leaving England in pos- 
session of the Ohio country and all of Canada. However, 
George III began to exert his authority over the colonies as 
soon as the treaty was signed with France. On October 7, 
1 763, the King signed a proclamation which set the Virginia 
boundary at the Allegheny watershed on top of the moun- 
tains. No new settlers were to cross these mountains and 
those who had gone to the Ohio country were ordered to 
move back to the eastern side. This was of concern to men 
on the Eastern Shore and elsewhere who had been promised 
land in the West if they helped defend the frontier, and those 
who had invested in the Ohio Company back in 1749. Little 
effort was made to enforce the proclamation, but this and 

CHAPTER X — 1752-1790 125 

other dictatorial acts of George III put the people on the 

When the General Assembly met in 1765, Burgesses 
from the Eastern Shore joined the others in indignation over 
the Stamp Act which was to become effective on the following 
November 1 . Every legal document, newspaper or pamphlet 
handled in an American colony was to have a stamp attached 
to it. Such stamps would cost from 1 penny to 4 shillings, 
English money, and they could not be purchased with tobacco. 
The revenue from the Stamp Act was to pay the expenses of 
British soldiers who were left in the colonies after the war 
with France ended and any surplus was to go into the Eng- 
lish treasury. With a normal volume of business, the nec- 
essary stamps would have taken all the English money out of 
circulation within a few years. Thomas Parramore and Southy 
Simpson from Accomack and John Harmanson and Thomas 
Dalby from Northampton represented the Eastern Shore at 
this time. They were present when Patrick Henry submitted 
resolutions against taxation without representation and the 
General Assembly adopted them to be sent in a petition to 

Both Accomack and Northampton County courts adopted 
resolutions opposing the Stamp Act, and they agreed to re- 
frain from prosecuting people who did legal business without 
using the stamps. The Northampton Court met on February 
11, 1766, with these justices present: Littleton Eyre, John 
Wilkins, John Bowdoin, Nathaniel Savage and John Stringer. 
The justices in attendance at the Accomack Court on February 
25 were: Edmund Allen, William Bagge, Isaac Smith, James 
Arbuckle, John Wise and Henry Fletcher. 

Virginia and other colonies not only sent petitions to the 
English government but they sent representatives to plead 
their cause. Purchase of English-made goods was so dras- 
tically reduced that English merchants and ship masters ex- 
erted their influence on Parliament. An Act to repeal the 
Stamp Act was passed by Parliament and signed by George 
III on March 18, 1767. At the same time Parliament 
adopted an Act claiming the right to make the laws for the 


colonies and denying them the right to petition the King or 
Parliament in matters displeasing to them. Parliament im- 
posed heavy import duties on certain items which the colonies 
were buying from England. Items on which the import 
duties applied and the charges were: 

For every hundredweight avoirdupois of: 

Crown, plate, flint and white glass 4 shillings 2 pence 

Green glass 1 shilling 2 pence 

Red lead 2 shillings 

White lead 2 shillings 

Painters' colors 2 shillings 

For every pound of tea 3 pence 

For every ream of paper. 

Atlas fine 12 shillings 

Sixty-six grades of other paper carried 
duties according to the grade. 
These import duties were to become effective in the colonies 
on October 1, 1767. 

The high duty on the best grade of paper was an al- 
ternative for collecting revenues from stamps on local docu- 
ments and the lower duty on cheap paper got revenue from 
newspapers and almanacs printed in Virginia and the other col- 
onies. The duty on painters' supplies touched boat builders 
as well as people with houses which required paint for their 
preservation. Having the paint supply taxed so heavily was 
of deep concern to the home owners of the Eastern Shore 
and other areas where dampness is a characteristic. However, 
most people valued their right to self-government above ma- 
terial conveniences and joined in an embargo on these rev- 
enue-raising imports. A group of Burgesses met as private 
citizens in Williamsburg after the General Assembly ad- 
journed in 1769 and signed an agreement to refrain from 
buying items covered by the import duties. Parliament re- 
moved the import duties on all the items except tea in 1770 
and trade with the mother country was renewed. However, 
the news had not reached Virginia when the Assembly met. 
The presence of British soldiers in the colonies kept the peo- 
ple on the alert for the next intrusion on their liberties as 

CHAPTER X — 1752-1790 127 

English subjects. A small minority of Eastern Shore people 
objected to resisting the arbitrary laws handed down from 

Littleton Eyre I, who presided when the North- 
ampton Court took the action against the Stamp Act, 
died in 1768. His will, written May 7, 1768, was pro- 
bated July 12, 1768. He was the son of Severn Eyre 
who had married Gertrude Harmanson, a granddaughter 
of Argoll Yeardley II. He lived on former Yeardley 
land for some years and operated a ferry from a port 
on this land for more than two decades. He became a 
justice of the Northampton Court in 1740 and served 
the rest of his life. He was the presiding justice in 
1766 when the court passed the resolution not to enforce 
the Stamp Act. He served in the House of Burgesses 
from 1748 to 1758. He had one son, Severn, who in- 
herited Eyre Hall. 

Littleton Eyre is best known for the ferry service 
he rendered. He got the ferry franchise in 1745 by an 
Act of the General Assembly and he might have held it 
under a county franchise from the death of Neech Eyre 
in 1737. In 1755 Littleton Eyre purchased two fast 
sailing boats and added the Port of Norfolk to those of 
York and Hampton. John Bowdoin II, who was his 
associate in the ferry business, got the franchise after 
Littleton's death in 1768. The franchise stayed in the 
Eyre and Bowdoin families, who had become related 
by marriage, for more than a hundred years. 
The Eastern Shore enj oyed a brief interval of peace and 
prosperity between the resumption of trade with the mother 
country and the next Act to keep the colonies in a state of sub- 
mission rather than partners in the English nation. Incident- 
ally, Maryland and North Carolina, which had been settled 
as proprietary colonies, and the Northern Neck of Virginia, 
which paid levies to a proprietor rather than to the Virginia 
government, were just as eager to preserve their rights as 
free Englishmen as the rest of Virginia and other colonies. 
The present state of Delaware was a part of Pennsylvania, 


but had its own General Assembly. Each small farm or 
large plantation in Accomack and Northampton counties 
was rapidly becoming a production factory for the bare ne- 
cessities of life. Only luxury items had to be purchased from 
off the Shore. 

Tobacco was still the principal money crop. Pork, beef, 
hides, shoes, corn and wheat, salt and sea foods were among 
the principal exports. Later records show that castor oil 
was produced extensively. This product was used for med- 
icine and in a number of other ways, including soap, axle 
grease for wheeled vehicles and artists' paints. Flax was 
produced to make linen and the seed were used in the manu- 
facture of house and boat paint. 

In 1773 the owner of a twenty-acre tract of land next 
to the Northampton Courthouse had it divided into forty 
lots of one-half acre each and offered them for sale. The 
settlement had been called the Horns since the court began 
to meet there. The colonial postoffice was called North- 
ampton. No record was found of a town being chartered at 
this time but the name Peachburg replaced the Horns and 
continued in use until the end of the century when it be- 
came Eastville. 

When the report reached the Eastern Shore that the 
port at Boston had been closed by an act of Parliament of 
March 31, 1774, the people were divided in their senti- 
ments. They had heard about the "Boston Tea Party" on 
the previous December 16 when Boston citizens, disguised 
as Indians, went aboard a ship and destroyed a large cargo of 
tea to keep the citizens from paying the prescribed 3 shillings 
a pound import tax. They expected some retaliation but 
nothing so drastic as closing the port and removing the per- 
sonnel of the Customs House. This meant that no ships 
from Virginia or other colonies could trade with Boston. 
Those who sanctioned the Act of Parliament became known 
as Tories. However, they were in the minority as later in- 
cidents show. When news reached the Shore that Parliament 
had annexed all the land north of the Ohio River and east 
of the Mississippi to the Province of Canada, Eastern Shore- 

CHAPTER X — 1752-1790 129 

men who had fought in the French and Indian War, or had 
an interest in land in Virginia's Northwest Territory, were en- 
raged. No doubt some Tories became Patriots when this and 
other moves touched their pocketbooks. 

When the General Assembly met in 1774, it called for 
"a day of fasting and prayer" as an expression of sympathy 
for the people of Boston, Lord Dunmore dissolved the As- 
sembly in protest of this action, but the Burgesses did not 
leave Williamsburg until they met in Raleigh Tavern and 
provided for a meeting of Delegates from the counties in Au- 
gust to conduct business for Virginia in the event Lord Dun- 
more ceased to call the General Assembly. Local Com- 
mittees of Safety were appointed in the various counties and 
local companies of volunteer soldiers were recruited in some 
of the counties. Lord Dunmore did call the Assembly in 
session on June 1, 1775, but he left Williamsburg on June 
8 never to return. The ex-Burgesses went home. The same 
people met as Delegates in Richmond on July 17, 1775. The 
convention voted to raise two regiments for the army which 
had already been organized with George Washington as com- 
mander in chief. Patrick Henry was chosen as commander 
of one regiment. 

The Delegates met for the fifth time on May 15, 1776. 
Records do not show how much work had been done toward 
a Constitution for a free Virginia, but early in July one had 
been written and adopted by the Assembly of Delegates. It 
provided for the House of Delegates and a Senate. The 
House was to be composed of one member elected in each 
county. The Senate was to be made up of members elected 
by districts formed according to population. There were 
twenty-four senatorial districts in the Constitution of 1776. 
The Convention was still in session when the Declaration of 
Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. Patrick Henry 
was elected Governor of Virginia. Instructions were sent to 
the counties for transferring the county courts from Colony to 
Commonwealth. The declaration read by the sheriffs of Ac- 
comack and Northampton counties was: 

The Continental Congress has declared the thir- 


teen United States of America free and independent. 
The convention of this Colony of Virginia has found a 
new plan of government in the name of the Common- 
wealth. All justices on the present list may continue 
to serve by taking the oath of fidelity to the State and 
the oath of office. 

Delaware and Maryland were among the thirteen states, 
so the Delmarva Peninsula became divided among the three 
states. The entire peninsula played an important part in the 
American Revolutionary War although it was not a major 

The Eastern Shore of Virginia supplied seven companies 
of soldiers, one captain, two lieutenants, one ensign, four ser- 
geants and a drummer who marched overland to join the 
Ninth Virginia Regiment. John Cropper was the highest 
commissioned officer from the Shore. As reenforcements 
were needed, it was necessary to draft some men. A large 
number of militiamen and some regular army soldiers were 
required to guard the creeks and inlets of the two counties. 

Some people were not in favor of the Declaration of In- 
dependence. They were watched by the loyal majority and 
tried for treason if found engaged in acts unfavorable to the 
Commonwealth and the American Army. John Cropper's 
diary, which has survived, indicates that a man lost the title 
of "Mister" if he showed a tendency to be a supporter of the 

British. Tory Tom , Tory John 

and others were mentioned. After a court martial a convicted 
man was sent to the Governor for sentencing. Presumably 
some Tories went to England or English colonies early in 
the war. 

The ministers of the Anglican Church were in a pre- 
carious position since they were subject to the Bishop of Lon- 
don, who was an official of the English government. Al- 
though taxes for their support were not provided in the new 
government of Virginia, a minister was privileged to live in 
the glebe house and carry on the work of his parish for vol- 
unteer contributions. He did not have to take an oath of 
allegiance to the new government, but he was required to 

CHAPTER X — 1752-1790 131 

leave out the prayer for the King of England in the services. 
One minister adjusted himself to the new situation and 
served his parish while another on the Shore was sent west of 
Richmond to stay until the Revolutionary War was over. 
Then he came back and served his parish the rest of his life. 

The beginning of the Commonwealth government did 
not bring about the separation of Church and State. The 
vestries were still required to collect taxes to care for the poor 
in the parishes and to look after the moral behavior of the 
people. This responsibility continued into the next century. 

After British warships took possession of the mouth of 
Chesapeake Bay, the ports of Accomack and Northampton 
counties became a part of the main supply line between France 
and other neutral counties and the Commonwealth of Vir- 
ginia. Medicine, munitions and other needed supplies from 
overseas were brought to Metompkin and Chincoteague 
Creeks, then taken overland for reloading on small vessels 
which went toward the head of Chesapeake Bay, then down 
the western side to escape the small craft, called barges, which 
operated in the bay. A fort was established on Parramores 
Beach to protect incoming ships and to intercept British raid- 
ing barges entering Metompkin Creek. 

In 1779 the Eastern Shore and the entire lower part of 
Tidewater Virginia were in danger of being seized by the 
British. The General Assembly of that year completed its 
business in Williamsburg and voted to move the seat of 
government to Richmond. 

Early in the Revolutionary War the British established 
an operating base on Hog Island. Small ships called tenders 
and barges raided the Eastern Shore to get food and live- 
stock which were used to replenish the supplies of British 
warships in the area. In most instances they made such raids 
at night when all the poultry was on the roosts and they cap- 
tured the entire flocks along with cattle in the pounds, hogs, 
and cured meat and grain. If there was any sign of resistance, 
or knowledge that the man of the house was in the United 
States army, the raiders usually took the silver and other 
valuables and set fire to the house. The Hog Island base 


was in command of Captain John Kidd. 

Ferry service to the mainland was discontinued be- 
fore the British got control of the lower part of the Ches- 
apeake Bay and the ships were leased to the new government. 
The ships in the ferry fleet, and others owned by people on 
the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland, presumably 
helped transport Washington's army from the head of Ches- 
apeake Bay to the area north of Yorktown in 1781. And 
some Eastern Shore of Virginia men fought in the decisive 
battle there which ended on October 19, 1781. However, 
the war was prolonged for another year. 

The last naval engagement took place on the Eastern 
Shore side of the Chesapeake Bay on November 30, 1782. 
It is known as the Battle of the Barges. Commodore Whaley 
of Maryland, whose name has been recorded as Zedekial 
Walley, Whalley, or Whaley, was in charge of a fleet of 
barges engaged in the protection of Maryland shores from 
Commodore Kidd's marauders. He came into Onancock 
Creek and appealed for Virginia volunteers to help man the 
barges for a battle with enemy craft up the bay. John Crop- 
per and a number of others volunteered. Commodore Whaley 
was killed and his body was buried in the graveyard at Scott 
Hall in Onancock. Many years later the United States gov- 
ernment placed a marker on his grave. John Cropper and 
other Virginians were captured but they were soon exchanged 
for British soldiers who had been captured earlier. 

During the interim between the adoption of the Vir- 
ginia Constitution in 1776 and the adoption of one for the 
United States, the Eastern Shore featured in trade agree- 
ments and a navigation contract with Maryland. The ques- 
tion arose regarding Virginia's right to charge toll on ships 
going between the Virginia Capes to and from Maryland. 
Also, the question had been raised regarding the right of 
people on the south bank of the Potomac River to build 
piers and fish in that river. On March 28, 1785, a commis- 
sion of three men from Maryland and two from Virginia 
met at Mount Vernon to work out an agreement. At the 
head of the Maryland commission was Daniel of St. Thomas 

CHAPTER X — 1752-1790 133 

Jenifer, a descendant of Ann Toft and Daniel Jenifer who 
had made a diplomatic marriage between Maryland and 
Virginia in 1671. An agreement was reached for Maryland 
ships to use the entrance to Chesapeake Bay without charge 
in exchange for Virginia citizens to use the Potomac River 
for commerce and fishing. 

In October 1786 the General Assembly acted favorably 
on a petition of seven people who lived near the Accomack 
Courthouse for the establishment of a town to include the 
houses of the petitioners and ten acres adjoining this built- 
up area as follows: 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly that ten 
acres of land, the property of Richard Drummond, ad- 
joining Accomack Courthouse, shall be laid out into lots 
of half an acre each, with convenient streets, and to- 
gether with twenty other half acre lots already improved 
shall form a town by the name of Drummond. John 
Cropper II, Thomas Evans, John Teackle, Thomas Bail- 
ey and Thomas Custis shall be trustees. The trustees or 
the major part of them shall sell the lots at public auc- 
tion after the time and place of the auction have been ad- 
vertised for two months at Accomack and Northampton 
courthouses. The purchaser of each lot is to build a house 
16 feet by 16 feet at least within two years of date of 
purchase. The house is to have a brick or stone chim- 
ney. The trustees are to convey the deed when the 
conditions are met and pay the money to Richard Drum- 
mond, or his legal representative. 

The kitchen ends of some of the imposing houses still 
in use were built to secure the deeds for lots purchased as 
soon as they were offered for sale in Drummondtown. One 
surviving unit of this type is 1 6 feet by 1 8 feet with a brick 
chimney 9 feet wide at the base. The charter designated brick 
or stone chimneys, and an added precaution against fire was 
taken. These chimneys which formed part of a brick end 
were separated from the gable several feet below the top of 
the roof. 

Drummondtown was built on a site that had been pat- 

















ented by 1664, and it was called by a succession of names. 
Among these were Freeman's Plantation, Metompkin and the 
Courthouse. The Colonial post office was Accomack. After 
more than two hundred years the name Accomac, spelled 
without the K, superseded Drummondtown. 

In 1786 the settlement had a brick courthouse, a wooden 
jail, and a brick house (now called the Debtors Prison) for the 
jail keeper and his family, a tavern, a saddle shop, at least 
one store and seven houses outside of the land divided into 
lots when Drummondtown was laid out. A Presbyterian 
meeting house stood just south of the corporate limits. 

The Baptist denomination had its beginning on the 
Eastern Shore with the coming of Elijah Baker in 1776, 
and several congregations were active by the end of the next 
decade. The first Baptist church was at the site of the pres- 
ent Lower Northampton Baptist Church. 

The Methodist denomination is first recorded on the 
Shore in 1 779, and Francis Asbury, the first Methodist bish- 
op in the United States, visited the Shore in 1784. In his 
Journal he mentioned Guilford, Downings and Garrisons 

The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States 
was organized in 1789 as a part of the Anglican Communion 
to supersede the Established Church of colonial times. The 
Book of Common Prayer was adapted to the new nation. 

A Sunday School was started in 1785 in the home of 
William Elliott of Accomack County, a member of the 
Methodist Church. After conducting it for some time in his 
home, he transferred the infant organization to Burtons 
Chapel and it was later moved to Oak Grove Church be- 
tween the present towns of Wachapreague and Keller. No 
record has been found of an older continuous Sunday School 
in the United States. 

The General Assembly of 1786 granted a charter to 
nine petitioners for establishing Margaret Academy. The 
charter provided for seven trustees from Accomack County 
and five from Northampton. The petitioners were George 
Corbin, Isaac Avery, Thomas Evans, Littleton Savage, Levin 

CHAPTER X — 1752-1790 137 

Joynes, George Parker, John Harmanson, Edward Kerr and 
John Cropper. They were among the original trustees. The 
charter placed the full responsibility for raising funds, ac- 
quiring property, erecting buildings and employing teachers 
in the hands of the trustees. Some funds were raised im- 
mediately but the opening of Margaret Academy and its 
story belong to the next century. 

John Parke Custis died in 1781 and his only son in- 
herited Arlington. He had married Eleanor Calvert and 
four children were born to them. George and Martha Wash- 
ington adopted the son George Washington Parke Custis and 
the youngest daughter. George Washington Parke Custis 
built Arlington on the Potomac, now called the Custis- 
Lee Mansion, and his only child was married to the future 
Confederate general, Robert E. Tee, when he sold Arling- 
ton on the Eastern Shore in 1832. 

Chapter XI 

The Eastern Shore of Virginia had 3 per cent of the 
population of the present state when the first United States 
census was taken in 1790. There were 6889 people in North- 
ampton County and 13,959 in Accomack. If the county 
planners in 1674 had three counties in mind for the Eastern 
Shore, and there are indications that they did, they put 
the dividing line where one third of the population was in 
Northampton when the 1790 census was taken. No figures 
were found for St. George and Accomack parishes, but ten 
years later the figures were published separately. Each 
parish had approximately one half of the Accomack popu- 

The county seat of Northampton had the characteristics 
of a town at the end of this century but no charter was found 
for the Horns, Peachburg or Eastville. The present name 
Eastville came into use around the year 1800. This town is 
within the 9000— acre tract which the son of Ensign Thomas 
Savage left to his children in 1678. Northampton had been 
the colonial post office and it remained Northampton Court 
House p. O. well into the next century. 

Hungars had some characteristics of a village spread 
over the 3700-acre tract of land originally patented by Sir 
George Yeardley. The ferry terminal and an ordinary, last 
kept in the brick end building with a gambrel roof and still 
known as The Ferry House, were important business enter- 
prises. The tobacco warehouse was near the ferry landing and 
a physician built a house In this area In the eighteenth cen- 
tury. John Bowdoln bought land and developed a planta- 
tion which he called Bowdoln Hungars, and John Mapp 

CHAPTER XI — 1790-1800 139 

bought a tract of land in the area and lived there for many 
years. Littleton Eyre inherited a house and land on the 
tract. He lived there until he inherited Eyre Hall from 
his father. At least seven historic houses built on the original 
tract, many times subdivided, are still in use. At some un- 
determined date the neck part of the Yeardley land ac- 
quired the name Old Town Neck. 

Other places had names which were destined to develop 
into villages. The present village of Hadlock is an example 
of an eighteenth century village in its infancy. A large area 
around this site was called "T B" from about 1 669 until the 
name Hadlock came into use in 1795. The name "T B" 
came from one Thomas Bell who burnt his initials on large 
white oak shingles with his cattle branding iron and fas- 
tened them to trees and ditches with fences to mark them. 

In 1794 one Robert Hadlock, merchant, bought sixteen 
acres of land on the Bayside Road, about two miles below 
the Accomack County line, and built a store and residence. 
Hadlock sold half of his land for another home site two years 
later. Other small tracts were purchased but no small build- 
ing lots were found on the records. Dr. John Tankard bought 
Lumber Hall, now called Tankards Rest, in the vicinity in 
1796 and engaged in medical practice for the next forty years. 
A tobacco warehouse stood on Nassawadox Creek and there 
was a wheelwright shop in the area. 

Joshua Robins, a planter and tradesman, lived on the 
road below the Hadlock Store site. The record of the settling 
of his estate in 1793, some four years after his death, ac- 
cording to terms in his will which provided for each of his 
six children to get an equal share of his property, gives a 
vivid picture of his house and furniture, work implements, 
home industries and farm products in this area. 

Robins was a younger son and his father had died when 
he was a child but he had made a success in business. He 
married Sarah Green in 1768 and seven years later he bought 
land and built the imposing house called End View. The 
name came from a brick end with two chimneys facing the 
road. There were two rooms and hall extending the length 





of both on the first floor and three rooms and a hall under 
the gambrel roof. Joshua Robins made his will on October 
13, 1788, and it was probated on February 10, 1789. In 
the will he stated that he was "sick and low in body but sound 
of mind and memory." He ordered his debts to be paid 
and then designated the use and disposition of his property 
in the following manner: 

I give to my sons, Arthur and William Robins, my 
joiners and turners' tools. I lend unto said Arthur and 
William 70 pounds each of money due me from Mr. 
James Sanford. Also I lend unto my eldest daughters, 
Rosey Robins, Sally Robins and Betsy Robins, the bal- 
ance of the money due me from Mr. Sanford. It is to 
be divided equally among them to be used by them. 
When my estate is divided the money they are using 
is to be taken out of their parts. 

My loving wife, Sarah Robins, shall have the use 
of the remainder of my estate to support as many of my 
children as choose to stay with her and obey her until 
my little son, Charles Robins, comes to the age of 14 
years in life or death, then my estate is to be divided 
as follows: 

I give my loving wife one third of my moveable es- 
tate. I lend her fifty acres of land which she can choose 
provided it does not contain my buildings and orchards. 
I also give her 25 pounds sterling from my estate to be 
used for building a house to use the rest of her life, 
then the land and house are to be sold and the proceeds 
divided equally among my children. 

My will is that the remaining part of my estate 
is to be sold. After 25 pounds is given to my wife the 
remainder is to be divided equally among my children. 
Among the items in Joshua Robins' inventory were six 
beds and two hammocks, sixteen chairs, three tables, three 
chests, a dish cupboard and a corner cupboard. The china, 
silver, pewter, and earthenware were sufficient for entertain- 
ing large crowds. A coffee pot and a tea pot were also listed. 
Sarah married Matthew Floyd before Charles Robins 

CHAPTER XI — 1790-1800 148 

reached the age of 14 years when Joshua's estate could be 
settled. The house was sold in 1793 and the settlement 
was completed. Matthew Floyd bought the house and all 
the land except the 50 acres in which his wife had a life 
interest. Floyd sold End View and the land to John Ad- 
dison in 1810. The new owner added the spacious dining 
room and made other improvements to keep this the most 
imposing house in the Hadlock area. 

Franktown was the nucleus of a village before the Rev- 
olution. It got its name from one Frank Andrews who open- 
ed a store there in 1764. A Quaker meeting house was in 
use on the site of the present Methodist Church before 1717. 
A brick house was mentioned in a will in 1716. Franktown 
is on the Bayside Road between Hadlock and the original 
Nassawadox, now Bridgetown. Magothy Bay was another 
area with a name at the turn of the century and there might 
have been others in Northampton. 

A record of places with names has been preserved in 
the census of 1800 for Accomack County. Head of Machi- 
pongo Creek, Belle Haven, Head of Occohannock and Scar- 
burghs Neck were the places next to the Northampton County 
line. Bradfords Neck, Hacks Neck, Pungoteague, Sleuthkill 
Neck, Deep Creek, Folly Creek, Drummondtown and Onan- 
cock were other places named in St. George Parish. Onancock 
was the largest settlement on the Shore at this time. 

Place names in Accomack Parish were numerous for the 
times. Some have survived while others have been super- 
seded by two or more settlements with new names. Metomp- 
kin. Hunting Creek, Middle Road, Seaside Road, Wallops 
Road, Glebe, Gargatha, Muddy Creek, Guilford, Kego- 
tank, Assawoman, Messongo, Pocomoke, Church Town, 
Swansecut, Gores Neck and Horntown were place names on 
the mainland. People were living on Jobes, Watts, Tangier, 
and Sykes islands on the bayside, and Chincoteague, Assa- 
teague and Wallops islands on the ocean side. Horntown 
and Guilford were the oldest places with the characteristics 
of villages at this time. Horntown was a place with a name 
in 1744. 


Guilford is the oldest village with its original name 
near the center of Accomack County. The name presumably 
came from a town in England and it appeared in the Acco- 
mack County records in 1683 in a deed given to six trustees 

One acre of land where there is a small house by 

the name of the Meeting House, where the people of 

God, called Quakers, shall have the right to meet at their 

pleasure and to bury their dead. 

The house was burned in 1694 and Quaker meetings 
were held in a private home in Onancock until a new one 
was built at Guilford and remained in use until 1728. The 
change of the meeting place to Onancock was recorded in 
the Court Records as required by law. 

The first tobacco warehouse on Guilford Creek was 
built in 1725. It was called a "rolling house" and the court 
ordered a rolling road to be cleared from the bayside cross- 
road to this site. Tobacco was transported over such roads in 
hogsheads attached to a frame which provided for a hogs- 
head to roll when pulled by an ox or a horse. 

The storekeeper from 1780 to 1802 was one William 
Young and his account book has survived. He also operated 
a boatbuilding establishment and a shoemaking shop for 
which he employed workmen by the day or by the year. 
Through the years the village store has been a social center 
on the Eastern Shore and before the days of the telephone, 
radio, and television it was the principal means of getting 
the news. If a doctor was in the community he would stop 
at the store after administering to the patient for whom he 
was called to get other calls that were left for him when 
the report got around that he was to be in the area. William 
Young of Guilford was a typical storekeeper and an accom- 
modating neighbor. Guilford had a Methodist congregation 
in 1785 when Francis Asbury visited the Eastern Shore. In 
1789 a half acre of land between the branch and the cross- 
road was deeded to the trustees: 

That they shall erect thereon a place of worship 

of the Methodist Episcopal Church and it shall be used 

CHAPTER XI — 1790-1800 145 

for no other purpose. 

Horntown is another village which had its name by 
1744. (It was originally called the Horns.) The keeper 
of an ordinary was licensed there in 1759 and before the end 
of the century it was a place for travelers to rest and feed 
their horses. This village is located on the Seaside Road less 
than four miles from the Maryland line. Corbin Hall, near 
Horntown, is an imposing Georgian house which was started 
by 1787. 

The settlement called Pocomoke was near the present 
village of New Church. A Baptist congregation is said to 
have been organized here in 1786 by Elijah Baker and the 
land on which Chincoteague Baptist Church now stands was 
donated in 1790. However, the name of the village came 
from the last Anglican church built in Accomack County dur- 
ing colonial times. The Anglican Church never appeared in 
the records after the Revolution. 

This sampling of villages gives some idea of their be- 
ginnings, getting names, growing into service centers and 
forming a connecting link between succeeding generations 
as civilization advanced and the people of the Eastern Shore 
built for posterity. 

In 1795 Northampton County built a second brick 
courthouse which was larger and more comfortable than the 
first, which was sold to be used for a store. It was torn 
down and rebuilt on its present site more than a century 
later. Part of the Eastville Inn was then in use. It was a suc- 
cessor to at least two taverns at the Northampton county seat. 
Coventon, Park Hall and possibly Ingleside were started 
before the end of the century. 

Drummondtown was the scene of considerable building 
from the time it was chartered in 1786 until the turn of the 
century. One of the houses that best illustrates the traditional 
Eastern Shore type of architecture known as Big House, 
Little House, Colonnade and Kitchen got an addition in the 
1790's. This house was built by Dr. Fenwick Fisher on Main 
Street. The one room and loft section with the large out- 
side chimney had a colonnade and another story and a loft 






o ^ 

S J 

<! o 














t— I 











































section added. This made what is known as a Siamese twin 
house on the Shore. Other one-room sections got additions 
with the colonnade joining the back of the story-and-a-half 
section forming an "L" while others were joined to form a 
"T". The varying roof levels prevailed regardless of the 
shape of the outside. Still other early houses with two sec- 
tions and a colonnade have survived. 

Among the houses in Onancock that were built in the 
eighteenth century and still in use are Scott Hall, completed 
by 1779, but now modernized, and Kerr Place, the home of 
the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society. This hand- 
some mansion was started in 1797, and completed, with the 
exception of the more recent annex, by the turn of the cen- 

While mansion houses were being built by the people 
who had accumulated the most wealth, many small houses 
of the story-and-a-half type, which characterized the 17th 
century, were built for comfort and some luxuries by people 
of moderate means. Because of the various winds and tropical 
hurricanes which have passed over the Eastern Shore at in- 
tervals like rigid building inspectors, substantial houses have 
dominated the landscape from the beginning. The story-and- 
a-half house of the 18th century usually had two or more 
dormer windows and small windows. The fact that most 
of the clapboard houses of the 18th century that have sur- 
vived have brick ends incorporating the chimneys, indicates 
that brick ends reduced the hazard of destruction by fire. 

Tobacco and livestock were the principal sources of money 
but numerous other items were sold in small quantities. Some 
merchants continued to keep their accounts and price their 
merchandise in English pounds, shillings and pence while 
they got their pay in French and United States coins, or in 
items for resale. This is illustrated by a page in the leather- 
bound account book of William Young. 
January 8, 1796 Charges 

Charge for building a vessel of 64 tons 

at 4 pounds per ton 250-0-0 

Additions to the vessel (presumably 




sails, ropes, anchor and sand box 
for cooking) 


January 8, 1796 


4-10- 7 
1- 4- 6 

By cash forty dollars ($40) 
105 lb. sugar 
14 lb. coffee at 0-1-9 
32 gallons molasses 
4 bushels of salt at 0-7-6 
March 25 

By cash 1 French crowns 
April 11 

By cash 
April 14 

3 barrels pork at 0-6-0 
415 lb. iron at 36-0-0 per thousand 7- 9- 4 
April 15 

By cash 30-0-0 

300 lb. spikes at 0-0-16 18-0-0 

1 sack of salt 1-10- 

3- 5-10 

1- 4- 






Balance due 

196- 9-9 

Saw Mill Charge 

For getting logs to table 

0- -6 

Cutting 500 ft. plank 

0- 7-6 

Cutting 346 ft. oak plank 

0- 6-S 

Sending the plank by vessel 


Small Items 

1 curry comb 

0- 1-6 

1 paper of ink powder 

0- 1-0 

1 paper of pins 

0- 1-0 

1 hat (for a man) 

0- 8-0 

1 yard fine linen 

0- 4-9 

14 yards linen at 0-2-0 

1- 8-0 

3 ib. feathers 0-0-6 

0- 1-6 


5 yards shirting 0-12-0 

2 handkerchiefs 0-6-0 0-12-0 


\y2 bu. wheat at 0-5-0 0- 7-6 

1 bu. peas 0- 1-0 

Fish 0- 1-3 

1 lb. coffee 0- 2-2 '' 

3 lb. sugar 0- 3-0 
1 gallon molasses 0- 4-6 
1 barrel pork 6- 0-0 
1 bu. corn 0- 6-0 

273 lb. beef at 0-0-3 3- 8-3 

Making of 1 pr. shoes 0- 1-0 

Making 1 pr. shoes and leather 

for making 0- 9-0 

1 pair half soles 0- 0-8 

Flax was grown on large plantations and small farms to 
provide linen cloth, boat sails, thread for fishing lines and 
nets, as well as for rope. In the month of August 1796 four- 
teen people sold flax seed in quantities ranging from a half- 
bushel to three bushels at the store at Guilford. The seed 
was a source of income as a byproduct of producing the plants 
for the fiber. They were used in making medicine and lin- 
seed oil for paint. The production of linen fiber was a long 
and tedious process and required more hand labor than any 
other product at the time. 

The seed were sown in rows in early spring and culti- 
vated to keep weeds out until the slender stalks, two or three 
feet high, were at the right degree of maturity to harvest. 
Each stalk had little branches with seed near the top, but 
the best fiber was made from plants harvested before the 
seed were fully ripe. The plants were pulled up and placed 
across the rows to dry. Then they were formed into small bun- 
dles to be drawn over a block with spikes like a comb to re- 
move the seed. This step was called rippling. Then the 
stalks were spread out for rain and dew to rot the woody 
part of the stalk. This was called retting. The flax was then 
passed through a brake or pounded to crack the woody part 

CHAPTER XL — 1790-1800 153 

of the stems. The Guilford storekeeper had a brake and 
charged customers for putting flax in it. It consisted of two 
grooved boards, one of which was on hinges and worked up 
and down like a hand printing press. Wooden mallets were 
used by some people for braking. Then the fiber was put on 
wooden blocks and scraped with wooden blades to remove 
the remaining woody portions. This process was called scutch- 
ing. The next step was heckling, or combing with combs to 
separate the long fiber from the short fiber, or tow. The next 
step was to spin the fiber on a flax wheel into thread of the 
desired size. The weaving or rope making came last. 

The making of wool cloth was another home industry 
on the Eastern Shore in the early years. Large farmers 
raised sheep to produce wool for home use and for market 
while smaller ones bought wool. In the spring, sheep were 
herded together in a small pasture and taken one by one to 
a shearing table where the wool was cut off. The sheep had 
time to grow a new coat before cold weather. Athough there 
was some bleating at shearing time, sheep put up little re- 
sistance to this annual ritual. The wool was washed, carded 
into rolls of fiber about ten inches long and spun into thread 
on spinning wheels about twice as large as flax wheels. Some 
people wove cloth to sell but no record was found of a weav- 
ing factory on the Eastern Shore. 

The woman at the head of a home was as busy as her 
money-earning husband and her hours were longer than from 
sun to sun. On a large farm there were servants to do the 
various kinds of work, but the lady of the house was the over- 
seer, instructor and coordinator. The woman in the small 
house with few or no servants did the work with the help of 
her children. All the girls were trained to be homemakers 
and in homes where there was time, the daughters were 
taught to do fine needlework as an expression of their ar- 
tistic talent. Stockings and socks were knit from yarn and the 
woman kept some knitting in reach when she sat down to rest 
or to chat with her family at night. When a woman went 
visiting she usually took along her knitting. 

Visiting was the principal recreation for women and 


family gatherings were frequent. Even with travel by boat 
or on horseback and horse-drawn vehicles, families managed 
to get together for a day or for a week. People kept open 
house, so to speak, and friends and relatives were welcome at 
any time they could come. The housewife made certain that 
the table was laden with food and that there was sleeping 
space although it was crowded by present standards. Pallets 
on the floor were frequently used for older children on such 

The men took part in family gatherings and it has been 
said that some candidates for office owed their election to 
these social events where friends of a candidate could influence 
their kinsmen. The men also found sociability at the county 
seats on court days and election time. In 1797 Thomas Ev- 
ans of Sunderland Hall in the Kegotank area, now Modest 
Town, was elected to the United States House of Repre- 
sentatives. He had been county surveyor for two decades 
when he was elected to Congress and was a trustee of Drum- 
mondtown when it was chartered. After serving two terms 
he returned to his position as surveyor until he was appointed 
Circuit Court judge. 

The Eastern Shore furnished the Speaker of the House 
for the Virginia General Assembly in 1798-1799. This was 
John Wise, a descendant of the first John Wise who came 
to Virginia in 1635, and was destined to be the father of a 
governor of Virginia in the next century. General John Crop- 
per was a State Senator in this decade. 

During this interim of peace and prosperity, defense was 
not neglected. Both Accomack and Northampton counties 
had militias with designated officers and scheduled drill 
periods, which were held monthly at eleven o'clock in the 
morning on the drill fields in Accomack and Northampton 

When ferry service was renewed after the Revolution, 
the first port on the mainland was Hampton where pas- 
sengers transferred to James River boats for Richmond. 
From Hampton the ferry went to Norfolk and then to York- 
town on the return voyage. The latter was never a profit- 

CHAPTER XI — 1790-1800 155 

able port for the ferry after the capital was moved from 
Williamsburg. Peter Bowdoin kept the franchise although 
others tried to get it from him through political maneuvers. 
The mail contract which went with the ferry franchise was 
equivalent to a government subsidy. The ferry with two 
boats sailing together continued to make two round trips a 
week from the port of Hungars, 

There were post offices at Accomack and Northampton 
courthouses. An overland mail route was provided to Phila- 
delphia during the Revolution and apparently it was con- 
tinued under the United States postal service. Newspapers, 
personal correspondence and official documents made a large 
volume of mail from Richmond to the Eastern Shore, es- 
pecially when the General Assembly was in session. Some 
items were sent postpaid, but the general rule was for the 
recipient to pay the postage. 

When the report reached the Eastern Shore that George 
Washington died on December 14, 1799, a memorial service 
was held at the Protestant Episcopal Church near Drummond- 
town, which had taken the name St. James. John Cropper 
was a vestryman and one of the greatest admirers of General 

At the end of the century the people of the Eastern Shore 
had good houses, food in abundance, equipment for manu- 
facturing cloth and other necessities, and tobacco to sell as a 
cash crop for paying taxes and ordering luxury items from 
Europe. Potatoes had probably been grown as table veg- 
etables since the English first came, but the first record was 
found at the end of this century. A workman collected 2 
shillings for plowing a "pertater" patch and making the holes. 

Chapter XII 

The Eastern Shore entered the nineteenth century on 
the wave of prosperity that blessed the new nation. Large 
planters, small farmers, watermen, tradesmen, merchants, 
lawyers, doctors, and surveyors were alert to the opportunities 
to accumulate property and money to lend out on interest. 
When the Second United States Census was taken In the 
year 1800, the Shore had a population of 22,456 with 6763 
of the people In Northampton County, 

The Accomack County census rolls for the year 1800 
are presumably the only such rolls for a Virginia county 
which have survived. This census was taken separately for 
Accomack and St. George parishes. Chincoteague and Wal- 
lops islands were in Accomack Parish while all the bay islands 
now in Accomack County were in St. George Parish. Only 
the heads of families were listed by name, but the ages of 
dependents show whether they were children or adults. Like- 
wise, the records show whether they were women and girls 
or men and boys. Accomack Parish had a population of 84-79 
and St. George had 7214. 

Chincoteague Island had a population of 60 Including 
23 people under sixteen years of age. Joseph Sharpley, Jo- 
seph Jr. and Thomas Sharpley, and their dependents, ac- 
counted for 13 of the population. Other heads of families 
were John Burch, Occro Brima, William Bowdoin, Lemuel 
Johnson, Parker Lewis, Edward Mumford, Isaiah Mears, 
John Stroks, and George York. Wallops Island had a popu- 
lation of 30 with only 14 of them above sixteen years of age. 
Thomas Hancock, William Pruitt, William Read, Michael 
Read, Revel Read and Kendall Thornton were the family 

tt \yt •'^^^J^^J^Dj^rairtS^E^-i 




Sykes Island, now Saxis in Chesapeake Bay, had a popu- 
lation of 35 and 20 of those were under sixteen years of age. 
The heads of families were Sampson Marshall, Abraham 
Marshall, Samuel Marshall and Molly Sterling. Jobes Is- 
land had a population of 27 and 10 of these were under six- 
teen. Watts Island had a population of 15. Of these 10 
were in the family of Robert Parker and the other five 
were employed by him. Tangier Island had a population of 
79 and it was one of the first places on the Shore to transact 
business in the currency of the new nation. 

One of the earliest wills in which a bequest was made in 
United States dollars was that of Joseph Crockett of Tan- 
gier Island made on July 18, 1805, and probated on April 
29, 1806, in Accomac. This will and the Accomack County 
census roll for the year 1800 provide some revealing details 
of the settlement on Tangier. Although this island in the 
Russell Islands group on Captain John Smith's Map of 1608 
was patented in 1670 the name Tangier was first used on the 
records in 1713. Joseph Crockett bought 450 acres of land 
there in 1778 from the heirs of the original patentees. He 
was the first Crockett to own land on the Eastern Shore of 
Virginia, although the family name had appeared on Mary- 
land records for more than a century. Of the 79 people on 
Tangier 33 were Crocketts. According to Joseph Crockett's 
will all of these were descendants or daughters-in-law of 
Joseph. There were 20 people in the Evans family with 
Richard and Richard Jr. as the heads of the families. One of 
these could have married a daughter of Joseph Crockett. 
The Parks family with Job and Zorobabel as the heads of 
families numbered 13. The wife of one of these was pre- 
sumably a Crockett daughter. Joshua Simpkins, James Spar- 
row and Joshua Thomas were the other heads of families 
on the island in 1800. No occupations were listed but later 
records indicate that the seafood business was a thriving busi- 
ness with Philadelphia and New York among the markets. 

Joseph Crockett had five sons and five daughters, but 
the son Jesse predeceased him and left at least one grandson. 

CHAPTER XII — 1800-1840 159 

Zachariah, the eldest son, received the home place of 250 
acres in fee simple and shared the livestock, other unbe- 
queathed property and furniture with a maiden sister, Tabitha 
Crockett. Zachariah was named the executor. Thomas Crock- 
ett got 200 acres where he was living in fee simple. John 
got $100 and Joseph Jr., who lived on the mainland of the 
Eastern Shore, got $100. Zachariah was given the use of 
South Point for life and then it was to go to a grandson John 
Crockett. All the sons were listed as heads of families in 
1800. The five daughters got cash bequeaths. Tabitha Crock- 
ett, Sally Dunton, Leah Hopkins, Rachel Parks and Molly 
Evans received $20 each. 

The first inventory in which the property was appraised 
in dollars was that of Dr. James Lyon, of Northampton, 
dated January 24, 1812. The items in this inventory brought 
$4014.53 at a public auction. Some items in the inventor)' 
show the value at this time of basic furnishings in comparison 
with similar items in seventeenth century inventories while 
others duplicate those found in museums depicting rooms of 
the early nineteenth century. A mahogany bedstead with 
curtains and furnishings sold for $73, a child's bedstead and 
furnishings for $12 and a large looking glass for $50. A 
set of breakfast china brought $10, a set of blue and white 
dining china brought $40 and the remainder of the dishes 
brought $20. The glassware, including 2 cut glass salt cel- 
lars, sold for $25, 2 cases with knives and forks brought $12 
and flat silver and hollow ware brought $336. 

Among items of special interest in this inventory are a 
new mahogany wardrobe, 6 carpets and 24 yards of entry 
carpeting, 20 black and gilt Windsor chairs, 1 clock on a 
stand, 12 botanical pictures, a portable writing desk, a spy 
glass, a mahogany bookcase with 100 books including a Pray- 
er Book and Bible, and the Encyclopedia Britannica in 3 

The supply of household linens was large. It included 
imported linen, Virginia linen and two large cotton counter- 
panes. A cotton wheel with a reel and winding blades in the 
inventory indicates that the thread was spun in the household 


of Dr. Lyon and sent elsewhere for weaving. This was the 
first cotton wheel found in an inventory on the Eastern 
Shore. Cotton was rapidly replacing flax as a home-grown 

Cotton required less labor than flax after the invention 
of the cotton gin in 1793, but more than two decades passed 
before gins were in general use. A gin propelled by a mule 
hitched to a pole which was attached to the gin created 
enough demand for cotton to cause Eastern Shore farmers 
to use part of their tobacco land for cotton. Before the gin 
was invented the seed had to be separated from the fiber 
by hand and one person with nimble fingers could produce 
no more than one pound of fiber in a long day. The seed 
were sown quite thick in rows in the early spring, then 
thinned with a wide hoe after the plants were strong enough 
to stand alone. The plants were cultivated and kept free 
from weeds until July when they produced white blooms. 
When these dropped off, little green bolls were left to grow 
and open into white puffs in the early autumn. These puffs 
were picked by hand. In some cases flocks of geese were 
used to pick the grass from the cotton plants. These same 
geese yielded feathers for market and for home use when 
the soft feathers were removed each spring at sheep shearing 
time. Thus, the geese reduced the hand labor and provided an 
extra source of income through the sale of the feathers. 

After the seed had been removed, the fiber was pressed 
into bales of about five hundred pounds. One thousand 
pounds of seed were a byproduct of each bale. They were 
pressed to extract oil. The hulls were used for livestock 
feed and the residue after the oil was clarified was made 
into a yellow powder, known as cottonseed meal. This was 
also used for livestock feed. Cotton was replacing tobacco 
as a money crop early in the nineteenth century. 

The most widely discussed public issue of the times 
dealt with completing the task of separating church and 
state. The Protestant Episcopal vestries still had the re- 
sponsibility of collecting taxes to pay for the support of the 
poor, although the church had been supported by voluntary 

CHAPTER XII — 1800-1840 161 

contributions since 1776. Other denominations did not ob- 
ject to the vestries having this task but they did object to the 
glebe farms and other property, bought while the church 
was an arm of the government, remaining in the possession 
of the Episcopal Church. Some people thought that denomi- 
national jealousy would end when the property acquired in 
colonial times was disposed of. 

The General Assembly of 1802 enacted a law authoriz- 
ing the county courts to appoint overseers of the poor. These 
new officials were to sell the glebes as soon as the ministers 
then in the parishes ceased to serve. Part of the money from 
the sale of the church property was to be used for the care 
of the needy. Church buildings and furnishings, other than 
those which were known to have been private gifts, were to 
be sold when they ceased to be used for divine services. St. 
George Glebe was sold in 1804 and the one in Accomack 
Parish was sold the following year. The brick church at 
Assawoman was used for a school. 

Margaret Academy was opened in an imposing brick 
building on the Bayside Road, north of Pungoteague, in the 
autumn of 1807. Part of the proceeds from the glebes were 
added to the donations which had been accumulating since the 
institution was chartered by the General Assembly in 1786. 
Margaret Academy was a boarding school to give students 
an elementary classical education. 

When Congress declared war against Great Britain on 
June 18, 1812, the Eastern Shore was again in a vulnerable 
position for enemy raids and possibly enemy occupation. An 
undetermined number of men from Accomack and North- 
ampton counties joined the armed forces and the militia was 
strengthened for home defense with Thomas M. Bayly as 
the highest militia officer. Drills were held on scheduled 
days and detachments of militiamen rotated at watch duty 
at the mouths of the bayside creeks. In so far as the records 
show the enemy did not bother with the seaside, which got 
the worst punishment during the Revolutionary War. 

Ferry service was discontinued across the bay as soon 
as British ships appeared in the Hampton Roads area. Mem- 


bers of the General Assembly went north to cross the bay 
and then journeyed overland southward to Richmond. Trade 
with northern cities was hampered but it was not paralyzed. 
Home industries provided most of the necessities of life so 
there was money for some luxuries from New England manu- 
facturers, France and other friendly European countries when 
ships succeeded in evading the British warships. During the 
first ten months of the War of 1812 the British were engaged 
in war with France. When the war was over, preparations were 
made to attack the nation's capital. The place chosen for the 
operating base was on Accomack County soil. This was des- 
tined to be mostly a naval campaign and the site chosen was 
out of reach of the Eastern Shore militias. 

On April 5, 1814, a British force under the command 
of Rear Admiral George Cockburn occupied Tangier Island 
and used it as an operating base until the end of hostilities. 
The number of troops landed there before the end of the 
summer has been estimated at 14,000. They cut trees and 
pitched their tents and commandeered the livestock on the 
island for their own use. The British also built a fort there. 
Through the efforts of the Reverend Joshua Thomas (a 
Methodist evangelist who was listed in the 1800 census as 
head of a family and later brought fame to the island), the 
trees on the Camp Meeting site were spared. The inhabitants 
of Tangier were practically prisoners of the army of occupa- 

The first recorded attack on Virginia from this base was 
near Pungoteague on May 30, 1814, and is known as the 
Battle of Pungoteague. A summary of the report made to 
the Governor of Virginia on May 31 is as follows: 

At seven o'clock on the morning of May 30, an 
enemy tender and seven barges fired some cannon at 
the mouth of Onancock Creek to draw the militia there 
while the fleet proceeded to Pungoteague Creek. The 
enemy crossed the bar of Pungoteague Creek in eleven 
barges and launches. Two tenders, a sloop and a schooner 
remained in the bay. Rear Admiral Cockburn's ship, 
the Albion J was in full view from the guard on the south 

CHAPTER XII — 1800-1840 163 

side of the creek. 

The enemy landed on the north side of the creek 
and advanced about a mile with a force of more than 
450 men. Plans were made to draw them inland as far 
as possible then to attack from both the front and the 
rear. Militiamen under Major Finney took a position 
behind a ditch on one side of an open field while the 
enemy took a position on the other side of the field 
where the ditch had a bank with a fence on it. The two 
ditches joined some distance inland. Each advanced 
toward the angle of the field under continuous ar- 
tillery firing. When the militiamen and the enemy 
were about one hundred yards apart a bugle from the 
barges sounded a retreat order. Some eighty marines 
covered the retreat. Six wounded men or dead bodies 
were seen to be carried in blankets to the barges. 
The militia loss was one private badly wounded. The 
British set sail to their fort and camp on Tangier Island. 
The war ended in February 1815 with little material 
damage to the Eastern Shore, but the people shared in the 
loss in Washington, D. C. The White House had been 
burned and the unfinished Capitol had been damaged by fire. 
When ferry service across the bay was resumed in 1815, 
the Hungars Ferry, which had been operated since 1724, had 
competition. A franchise with duplicate service was granted 
from the Port of Pungoteague across the creek from the site 
of the only Eastern Shore of Virginia battle on record against 
a European nation. The Battle of the Barges during the 
Revolutionary War was actually fought in Maryland waters. 
The Eastern Shore lost one of its best known citizens 
when John Cropper died on January 15, 1821, at Bowmans 
Folly. A summary of his life and public service not only 
preserves the memory of a useful man but it provides a digest 
of the Shore's history during his active years. 

John Cropper was born at Bowmans Folly on De- 
cember 23, 1755. He was a descendant of a John Crop- 
per who married the daughter of Edmund Bowman 
who patented Bowmans Folly Plantation in 1664. (In 


the seventeenth century the word "folly" meant a clump 
of trees rather than lack of wisdom.) Sebastian Cropper 
inherited the plantation and in 1721 he left it to three 
sons. His namesake Sebastian got the tract with the 
house on it and the John Cropper born in 1755 inherited 
it. John's mother was Sabra Corbin Cropper. 

John Cropper was educated by private tutors. In 
August 1776 he married Margaret Pettit. He had 
been a member of the local militia for some time and late 
in 1776 he was commissioned captain of a company of 
soldiers which left in December as part of the 9th Vir- 
ginia Regiment to join General Washington at Morris- 
town, 'New Jersey. In 1777 John Cropper was commis- 
sioned major of the 7th Virginia Regiment. He took 
part in the battle of Brandywine. In 1778 General 
Lafayette commissioned him lieutenant colonel in com- 
mand of the 1 1th Virginia Regiment. In June he took 
part in the Battle of Monmouth. In the fall of 1778 he 
got a furlough for six months and returned home. His 
first child Sarah Corbin Cropper was born the following 

In March 1779 John Cropper received a commis- 
sion as a lieutenant colonel of the 7th Virginia Regiment, 
signed by John Jay as President of the Congress. How- 
ever, he was permitted to remain in Accomack County on 
an indefinite furlough. Shortly after his arrival at Bow- 
mans Folly in 1778 a British raiding party landed, took 
the food they could find, removed his wife and daughter 
to a small building in the yard and were preparing to 
blow up the residence when John and an aide intercepted 
them. John Cropper moved his family to Latin House 
near Accomac until danger subsided. In 1782 John 
Cropper was one of the volunteers who took part in the 
Battle of the Barges in which he was wounded. His 
wife died later in 1782, leaving two daughters. 

John Cropper's second wife was Catherine Bayly. 
John's admiration for George Washington was so great 
that he commissioned Charles Wilson Peale, a traveling 

CHAPTER XII — 1800-1840 165 

artist, in 1792 to paint a portrait of Washington for him. 
He also had portraits of himself and his wife Catherine 
painted. Two of the six children by John's second wife 
had Washington as a middle name. 

John Cropper continued to render public service in 
peace and in war while he managed his plantation and 
looked after his shipping business. One entry in his 
diary mentioned a ship leaving for France. He was a 
member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1784 
to 1 792 and he was a member of the State Senate from 
1813 to 1817. His service in the War of 1812 was re- 
cruiting men and inspecting the drills of the militia. 
In 1815 John Cropper was commissioned brigadier gen- 
eral of the 21st Brigade, Virginia Militia. This ac- 
counts for his being known as General John Cropper. 

Sarah Corbin Cropper married John Wise of Ac- 
comac and in 1806 they became the parents of Henry 
A. Wise who was destined to become Governor of Vir- 

In 1815 John Cropper had the original Bowmans 

Folly house torn down and numerous tons of dirt hauled 

to the site. Then he built the three-story Georgian house 

with a little house, colonnade and kitchen attached. John 

Cropper left five daughters and three sons, and legacies 

to all. His wife chose Latin House, which had been 

renamed Edge Hill, as her share of the property. 

In the fall of 1824 Peter Bowdoin sold his ferries to 

one John K. Floyd, and he reopened the port on Kings Creek. 

Floyd had bought the Secretary's Land in 1800. The port 

of Hungars which had been the ferry terminal for at least 

a hundred years continued to be a public wharf but with 

little business after the tobacco warehouse was closed in 1824 

or earlier. 

In 1833 Henry A. Wise, a grandson of General Crop- 
per, was elected to Congress. He was educated at Margaret 
Academy and Washington College in Pennsylvania before 
going to a private law school in Winchester. After finishing 
law school he went to Nashville, Tennessee, and married a 


girl he met while he was at Washington College. When he 
was elected to Congress, as the third Eastern Shore citizen 
to win that distinction, he and his family were living at Edge 
Hill, near Accomac. 

In 1835 articles about Accomack and Northampton coun- 
ties were published in A New and Comprehensive Gazetteer 
of Virginia and the District of Columbia. Brief historical 
sketches were followed by a description of each county, the 
crops grown, some local customs and a description of the towns 
and villages which then had post offices. Since the United 
States Census up to this time did not cover agriculture, these 
articles furnish the earliest recorded information on agri- 
cultural products which replaced tobacco in the early part of 
the nineteenth century: 

The Shore is almost as level as a bowling-green 
and the ancient hospitality of Virginia is unimpaired. 
The people have a high relish for good living which 
they are able to indulge in because the soil and climate 
are so suitable for growing food and the waters abound 
in excellent fish, oysters and crabs. Huge fig trees laden 
with fruit, and some pomegranates are to be seen. There 
are few places where more food can be produced for the 
man or horse. 

The principal crops are wheat, Indian corn, rye, 
oats, peas, beans, cotton and potatoes. Crop rotation 
protected the soil from wearing out. In Northampton 
when a field is not cultivated it is soon covered with a 
sort of wild vetch, called the Magothy-Bay bean, which 
shades the land while it is growing, and returns to it a 
rich coat of vegetable manure. 

There is here an article of culture seldom found in 
other parts of the state. It is the castor bean and many 
farmers grow from eight to ten acres. The income from 
an acre is about as much as for an acre of corn. Each 
bushel of beans yields two gallons and a half of oil and 
sells at the press for $1.25 a bushel. 
The castor bean plant was an annual, planted in the early 
spring and grew from six to eight feet high before the burs 

CHAPTER XII — 1800-1840 167 

were ready to be picked and the seed threshed out. The plants 
had large leaves which served as umbrellas for the flowers 
and seed pods or burs. 

There were five castor oil factories, or presses, in North- 
ampton in 1835, and parts of one have survived. It is at 
Brownsville, a seaside plantation still owned by descendants 
of John Brown, who patented the land in 1652 and his grand- 
daughter who married Arthur Upshur II about 1690. The 
building which housed part of the operations was converted 
into a barn but the twelve-inch beam from which the scales 
were suspended is still intact. A large copper boiler with a 
flat bottom, straight sides and a three-inch rim at the top has 
survived. Another item of equipment in the possession of 
the owners of Brownsville is a five-gallon jug with a little 
pitcher-shaped top above the place where the cork stopper 
goes in. One family used this for its supply of oil and sent 
it to the factory each year. 

Castor oil was made by pressing the fluid from the beans, 
then heating it over boiling water until the sediment formed 
a solid mass. Then the clear oil was poured into jugs or pots 
ready for sale. The sediment was poisonous to animals, but 
it made an excellent fertilizer. A ledger with the list of cus- 
tomers and the price for a gallon of castor oil has been pre- 
served at Brownsville. It also shows that salt was being made 
and marketed on that plantation but salt was not mentioned 
in the Gazetteer article. 

The information about towns and villages with post 
offices seems important enough to quote. Apparently a post 
village was one served by a stage coach which carried passen- 
gers and mail. Mail to post offices only was carried by a gig 
or a two-wheel cart, or on horseback. The towns and villages 
described were: 

Capeville P. O. situated 12 miles south of East- 
ville, the county seat, 6 miles north of Cape Charles 
and 1 76 miles from Richmond. It is a small village 
containing 12 houses, 2 mercantile stores, 1 boot and 
shoe factory and several other mechanical shops. It is 
a place of great resort for the neighbors of several 


miles around to obtain early possession of the news from 
vessels arriving on the coast. Population 25. 

Eastville P. V. (Post Village) and seat of justice 
is in about the middle of the county and two miles 
from the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. East- 
ville has 2 principal streets running at right angles to 
each other. Besides the usual county buildings it con- 
tains 21 dwelling houses, 4 mercantile stores, 2 taverns, 
1 new and handsome Episcopal church, 1 common school 
and 1 Bible society. The mechanical pursuits are: 1 
coach factory, which completes about $6,000 worth of 
work annually j 1 harness maker, 1 cabinet maker, 2 
blacksmiths, 2 boot and shoe manufacturers, 3 tailors, 1 
house and sign painter and 1 hatter. 

There are in Eastville 3 castor oil manufactories 
and 2 others in the county. The county exports about 
20,000 gallons of oil annually. The principal com- 
merce is with Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. 

The population is 217 persons, of whom 2 are at- 
torneys and 3 are regular physicians. The inhabitants 
are not to be surpassed for their morality and hospitality 
to strangers. 

Accomack Court House, or Drummondtown, be- 
sides a brick courthouse and jail, contains a Methodist 
house of worship, 39 dwelling houses, 1 common school, 
3 mercantile stores, 1 tannery, 2 saddle and harness mak- 
ers, 3 tailors, 3 cabinet makers, 1 watch and clock maker, 
1 carriage maker, and 2 boot and shoe factories. There 
are 3 grist mills in the vicinity. The population is 240, in- 
cluding 4 attorneys and 2 physicians. County courts are 
held on the last Monday of every month, quarterly courts 
are held in March, June, August and November. Judge 
Upshur holds his Circuit Superior Court of Law and 
Chancery on May 12 and October 15. 

Belle Haven P. O. is situated in the southeastern 
part of the county, 20 miles from Drummondtown. 
Pungoteague P. O. is 12 miles from Drummondtown. 
There are 20 dwelling houses, 1 Methodist house of wor- 


CHAPTER XII — 1800-1840 169 

ship, 1 Episcopal house of worship, 1 common school, 
1 tavern, 1 mercantile store, 1 tannery, 1 boot and shoe 
maker and 1 blacksmith shop. The trade from Pungo- 
teague Creek employs 5 regular coasting vessels. The 
population is 100 including 1 physician. 

Onancock P. O. is situated on the creek next to the 
Chesapeake Bay and is southwest of Drummondtown. 

Modest Town P. V. is 10 miles northeast of Drum- 
mondtown. It is 2 miles from the tide water, and 3 
miles from the Atlantic Ocean. It contains 6 dwelling 
houses, 1 Baptist and 1 Methodist house of worship, 1 
Sabbath school, 2 mercantile stores, 1 boot and shoe 
maker and 1 blacksmith shop. The population is 43 in- 
cluding 1 physician. 

Horntown P. V. is 16 miles northeast of Drum- 
mondtown and is on the Post Road leading to Snow 
Hill, Maryland. It is within a mile of a navigable 
stream for vessels which draw from 6 to 8 feet of water. 
It has 15 dwelling houses, 1 Methodist house of wor- 
ship, 1 common school, 2 taverns, 4 mercantile stores, 

1 house carpenter, 1 hatter, 1 wheelwright, 1 tanyard, 

2 shoe and boot factories, and 1 mantua maker (dress- 
maker) and milliner. The population is 150. 

The Episcopal church in Eastville in 1835 was Christ 
Church. It was built in 1826 to replace the old Magothy Bay 
Church which was condemned as unsafe and beyond repair. 
The absence of an Episcopal church in Drummondtown is ex- 
plained by the fact that the colonial church was a mile south 
of the courthouse. In 1838 it was torn down and rebuilt on 
South Street in Drummondtown. Classical revival architect- 
ural design was used for the new edifice and the interior was 
painted with murals with Christian symbols and perspective 
lines to give the effect of a chancel extending beyond the back 
wall. (This is St. James Church in the present town of Ac- 
comac.) Francis Makemie Presbyterian Church was built on 
Back Street in Drummondtown in 1837. It, too, is in the 
classical revival style of architecture. Methodist and Baptist 
churches had been built in many sections of the Shore by this 




CHAPTER XII — 1800-1840 171 

time, but apparently no buildings in use in the 1830's are 
still in use. Most of those early ones were frame buildings 
and were replaced with brick structures. 

Many plantations and town houses had ice houses. This 
was not a new practice, for references were found of harvesting 
ice and storing it for summer use at Jamestown in the seven- 
teenth century. It is safe to assume that the early planters 
on the Eastern Shore provided themselves with the same 
conveniences. However, the ice houses which have survived 
were built in the early part of the nineteenth century. They 
remained in use until mechanical means of making ice for sale 
and delivery provided a supply at a reasonable cost. 

The typical surviving ice house is a well about 20 feet in 
diameter and from 15 to 40 feet deep. The brick curb with 
mortar made of oyster shell lime makes the ice house water- 
proof even when nearby cellars are flooded. The curb extends 
from 3 to 4 feet above the ground and has a door 4 feet 
wide. The cone-shaped roof is of wood shingles and the top 
is ornamental but with holes for ventilation. 

One of the best preserved of these ice houses is at The 
Folly, a plantation on the south side of Folly Creek near its 
head. It even has the ladder used to place the ice between 
layers of sawdust or carefully chosen leaves and to attach 
blocks of it to a pulley when it was to be removed for use. 
The owner of The Folly remembers when a dam was placed 
across a fresh-water branch to form a pond for harvesting 
ice. When the water froze to a depth sufficient to cut one- 
hundred-pound blocks, it was harvested with an ice saw pulled 
by a mule. When the weather was too mild for ice to be 
harvested locally, boatloads were brought from the Hudson 
River and other northern ice fields to be stored for summer 

The need for lighthouses on the Eastern Shore had been 
evident since colonial times, but the actual building got under 
way in the 1830's. Cape Charles Lighthouse, on Smiths 
Island, was completed in 1828 at a cost of $7,398.82, ap- 
propriated by Congress. One on Assateague Island was com- 
pleted the following year and land was purchased for one on 


Watts Island in Chesapeake Bay. A study was under way 
for a lighthouse on Hog Island between Cape Charles and 
Assateague on the ocean side, but some years passed before 
Congress appropriated the money. Dwellings for the keeper 
and assistant keeper were built along with the lighthouses. 
The lights were oil lamps in front of reflectors so the lamps 
required daily care and the reflectors had to be cleaned at reg- 
ular intervals. The lighthouse keeper was an important part 
of Shore life by the end of the 1 830's. 

Chapter XIII 

Accomack and Northampton were wealthy farming coun- 
ties when the first agricultural figures were officially record- 
ed with the Sixth Census of the United States in 1840. The 
transition from staple crops to commercial vegetables was 
under way. The steamboat era was in sight and this new 
form of transportation got Eastern Shore products to market 
more rapidly than sail boats. Farm products and by-products 
were in demand in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia 
and New York. The completion of the Chesapeake and 
Delaware Canal across the fourteen-mile neck of the Del- 
marva Peninsula in 1829 shortened the distance from Ches- 
apeake Bay ports to the northern cities. 

The population of the Shore was 24,8 11 in 1 840 and 
the people chose to live in the open country, or small villages, 
rather than in towns. No place had a population of 500 at 
this time. Post offices were opened at Franktown, Bridge- 
town, Messongo, Locustville and Locust Mount (now Wacha- 
preague) after 1835. This made a total of thirteen for the 
Shore in 1840. Mail was still being sent with the word "pre- 
paid" written by the address if the sender chose to pay the 
postage. Otherwise the recipient paid the charges. News- 
papers presumably came to the Shore from northern cities 
as well as from Richmond. Merchants were interested in 
news from the places where they did business. 

Agricultural products recorded in 1840 were in quanti- 
ties produced rather than acres planted. The sweet potato was 
the commercial vegetable of greatest importance and 165,000 
bushels were produced the year before this census. Com, 
wheat, peas, and beans, including castor-oil beans, were among 


the staples. The census report included 10,254 pounds of 
cotton, 107 tons of flax and only 112 pounds of tobacco. 
Other items sold were 173 pounds of beeswax, 4598 bushels 
of salt and 3372 cords of firewood. The wood is called a 
by-product since it presumably was cut from land being clear- 
ed for farming. 

Mills for grinding corn and wheat were among the early 
public utilities and the Shore had seventy-five in 1 840. There 
were five lumber mills and one brick-making plant. Sixty- 
four stores were recorded. Some of the owners were post- 
masters, traders, importers and exporters. 

The seafood industry was a going concern and oysters 
were being marketed in northern cities. Legislation had been 
enacted by the General Assembly prohibiting the sale of oy- 
sters between May 1 and September 1 as a conservation 
measure. It was unlawful to use seines or nets at the mouths 
of streams or in them between March 1 and October 1. No 
turtles were to be marketed during the same period and it was 
unlawful to disturb the eggs of turtles. Anyone convicted of 
breaking any of these laws forfeited his nets, seines, tongs and 
boat, and paid a fine. One half of the fine went to the in- 
former. Although these conservation laws were in force, the 
census barely touched the seafood industry. Only one item, 
234 pounds of salt fish, was recorded. 

In 1841 Abel Parker Upshur was appointed Secretary 
of the Navy. He was the first Eastern Shore man to serve 
in a President's Cabinet. The Secretary of the Navy was 
well known on the Shore and in Virginia long before he re- 
ceived this appointment. 

Abel Parker Upshur I was born June 17, 1790, at 
the spacious and artistic family home known as Vaucluse 
in Church Neck, Northampton County. He was the 
fifth of nine children born to Littleton I and Ann Parker 
Upshur. He attended Princeton University and then 
studied law under a tutor in Richmond. 

He practiced law in Northampton County and be- 
gan his political career as a member of the General As- 
sembly from Northampton County in 1812. From 1818 

CHAPTER XIII — 1840-1870 175 

to 1823 he served as Commonwealth Attorney for the 
city of Richmond. He returned to Vaucluse and repre- 
sented Northampton County in the General Assembly 
in 1824. Two years later he was appointed to the Gen- 
eral Court by Governor John Tyler. Judges of the 
General Court also served as Circuit Court Judges. 
Abel Parker Upshur was a member of the Constitu- 
tional Convention of 1830. He continued to serve in 
the General Court and the Circuit which included Ac- 
comack and 'Northampton Counties until President John 
Tyler appointed him Secretary of the Navy in 1841. 
On June 24, 1843, he succeeded Daniel Webster as 
Secretary of State. 

Secretary Upshur was killed accidentally on Feb- 
ruary 23, 1 844, along with another Cabinet member and 
several others on the battleship Princeton, in the Po- 
tomac River. President Tyler, members of the Cabinet 
and others were on the ship to witness the firing of a 
new kind of cannon called "The Peacemaker." The 
first firing was without incident, but late in the after- 
noon a second firing resulted in an explosion of the gun 
and the end of the life of Abel Parker Upshur I, one 
of the Eastern Shore's most distinguished citizens. His 
brother George Parker Upshur was a naval officer of 
distinction and became Superintendent of the United 
States Naval Academy in 1 847. 

Steamboat ferry service began between the Eastern Shore 
and Norfolk, Hampton and Yorktown in the early 1 840's. 
Either before or immediately after the death of John K. 
Floyd, who had operated the ferries from Kings Creek 
for two decades, a steamboat company got the franchise for 
both Accomack and Northampton counties. The terminal 
was moved to Cherrystone Creek in Northampton and two 
round trips a week were made to the ports on the main- 
land. Once a week the boats went to Pungoteague. The 
steamboats used on this route for many years were the Star 
and the Josef h E. Coffee. 

In 1845 the General Assembly enacted a law permitting 


communities to form school districts and to levy taxes for free 
schools. If a proposed district desired to take advantage of 
this regulation, the County Court appointed three election 
commissioners. All men who were entitled to vote in an 
election for a member of the General Assembly were entitled 
to vote. If three-fifths of the votes were in favor of a free 
school, it was established and the election commissioners 
served as the school commissioners until the following Jan- 
uary 1. Thereafter three commissioners were elected by the 
voters for a one-year term to begin in January. Chincoteague 
Island was among the first communities in Accomack County 
to vote for a free school and some details are on record: 

The Board of School Commissioners appointed a 
superintendent, who acted as treasurer and clerk. He 
collected school taxes in the district as the sheriff did 
in the county. He attended all meetings of the Board 
and kept a record of the proceedings. He kept a register 
of all children enrolled at the school and supplied them 
with books, stationery and other items authorized by the 
School Commissioners. The superintendent was required 
to give a bond in the amount of $1000 and his compen- 
sation was not to exceed $50 per year. 

The School Commissioners selected the teachers and 
fixed their salaries. A member of the commission visited 
each school once every three months and examined the 
register of the teacher. 

The teacher was required to teach reading, writing, 
arithmetic, English grammar and geography. When the 
commissioners considered it practical it designated other 
subjects to be taught. All children between the ages of 
six and twenty-one years living in the district were per- 
mitted to attend the school. Any pupil of incorrigibly 
bad habits or guilty of gross misconduct could be sus- 

In 1850 Accomack County had twenty-seven one-room 
schools with an enrollment of 1260 pupils. Northampton had 
thirteen such schools with an enrollment of 622. In addition 
to the taxes collected by the superintendent in the district, 

CHAPTER XIII — 1840-1870 177 

each county got a part of the State Literary Fund income. 
Upper Accomack had an annual income from land left by 
Samuel Sandford back in 1710 and Charles Piper who left 75 
acres near Horntown for free school use in 1818. Private 
tutors were still serving many families. 

The General Assembly of 1850 passed a law dealing 
with the marketing of sweet potatoes: 

Be it enacted that in the County of Accomack sweet 
potatoes shall be purchased and sold by weight and the 
standard weight of a bushel shall be 65 pounds and a 
barrel of sweet potatoes shall weigh 150 pounds. Any 
person who shall sell or purchase sweet potatoes in this 
county in any other manner shall pay a penalty of $21 
for each offense upon conviction in any court having 
jurisdiction to try the case. But nothing in this act shall 
be construed to prohibit any person in said county from 
selling his crop of sweet potatoes by the gross, patch or 

When the Virginia Constitution was revised in 1851, a 
provision was made for the division of all counties into dis- 
tricts. Accomack was to have six districts and Northampton 
was to have three. No district was to have more than two 
voting precincts and one was to be at the Courthouse. The 
districts were numbered rather than named. Commissioners 
in each county were appointed by the Governor to lay out 
the districts and to designate the voting precincts. They were 
paid $2 per day. 

The new Constitution extended the right to vote to every 
white male citizen over 21 years of age (except crim- 
inals, paupers and insane), while formerly a voter was re- 
quired to own or hold a lease on real estate. The Governor, 
Lieutenant Governor, members of the Board of Public Works, 
Commonwealth Attorneys, county clerks, sheriffs and judges 
were to be elected by the people. Governor and Lieutenant 
Governor had been elected by the General Assembly, and oth- 
er officers were appointed by the Governor and approved by 
the General Assembly. The Shore had not furnished a gov- 
ernor for the state of Virginia, but it had not been without 


public officials. 

During the first half of the nineteenth century six East- 
ern Shore men represented their district in Congress. In 1801 
Thomas Evans was succeeded by John Stratton of Northamp- 
ton who served one term. Thomas M. Bayly of Accomack 
served from 1813 to 1815, Severn Eyre Parker of North- 
ampton served from 1819 to 1821. Henry A. Wise served 
from 1831 to 1843. He was succeeded by Thomas H. Bayly 
of Accomack. 

Henry A. Wise was the Democratic candidate for Gov- 
ernor of Virginia in 1855. During 1843, his last year in 
Congress, he built a house on Onancock Creek in Accomack 
County and named it Only. He served as Minister to Brazil 
from 1844 to 1847 and then returned to his native county 
to practice law and take part in political affairs. After Can- 
didate Wise secured the nomination in a convention he can- 
vassed the present area of Virginia and West Virginia and 
made speeches wherever people could be assembled to listen. 
The opposition candidate also covered the vast area through- 
out which voters lived. 

Votes were still cast by voice. Magistrates who served 
as election judges sat on high benches with the clerks who call- 
ed the names of the voters and recorded their votes at a low 
table in front of them. A judge repeated the name and 
asked, "For whom do you wish to vote for Governor?" The 
voter named the candidate of his choice. After the judges 
saw the vote written in the proper place, one of them an- 
nounced the candidate for whom the vote had been cast. A 
representative of the fortunate candidate rose and thanked 
the voter. Voting was leisurely and time-consuming since 
this procedure was followed for every office to be filled by the 
election and for every person who appeared to cast his vote. 
More than two weeks passed before all the precincts got their 
reports to Richmond to show that Henry A. Wise was elected. 
He took the oath of office in the Capitol on January 1, 1856, 
and never returned to the Eastern Shore to live. He was a 
Brigadier General in the Confederate army and then practiced 
law in Richmond until his death in 1876. 

CHAPTER XIII — 1840-1870 179 

In 1855 a survey was made through the Shore for a rail- 
road and the map which was published gives some interesting 
information although the railroad was not built. The title 
is A Map and Profile, Exferimental Survey, Virginia Section, 
New York and Norfolk Air Line Railway, May 1 855. The 
term air line was used to indicate a straight line. The pro- 
posed railroad was to extend from Snow Hill, Maryland, to 
Eastville in a straight line, then one branch was to terminate 
at the steamboat landing at Cherrystone and another was to go 
to the tip of the peninsula. In the northern part of Accomack 
County the proposed railroad was east of New Church, call- 
ed Church Town on the map, on the west side of Drummond- 
town, through Belle Haven, Hadlock Town and Eastville. 
Hadlock Town was one of the important places on the map. 
The east branch was drawn through Capeville, west of Sea 
View then to Cape Charles. Among the unusual names of 
villages that have disappeared were Turkey Pen and Chinch 

The Eastern Shore had twenty-three post offices when 
the Postal Guide was published in 1856. The post offices 
and the names of the postmasters were: 
Accomack County: 
Accomack Courthouse (Drummondtown) 

Samuel E. Lilliston 
Belle Haven Joshua E. Humphreys 

Chincoteague John W. Corbin 

Guilford Samuel Andrews 

Horntown John Henderson 

Locust Mount Nathaniel B. LeCato 

Locustville Emmanuel Binswarger 

Messongo Thomas A. Northam 

Metompkin John L. Snead 

Modest Town George W. Widgen 

New Church William H. Marshall 

Onancock Samuel L. Carmine 

Pungoteague Walter Raleigh 

Temperanceville William S. Byrd 

Wagram (iNorthwest of New Church) 


Irvin W. Merrill 
Wiseville Oliver P. Drummond 

Northampton County: 

Bayview John C. Dalby 

Capeville Thomas Hallett 

Cherrystone Edward T. Robins 

Eastville Leroy Oldham 

Franktown Thomas B. Fisher 

Johnsontown Albert G. Holt 

Sea View Edmond T. Nottingham 

Postage stamps were first issued by the Government in 
1 847 and the charge for sending a piece of paper a distance 
of thirty miles or less was five cents, up to eighty miles 10 
cents, to 150 miles was \2y2 cents, to 400 miles was 18 3^ 
cents and any distance beyond that was 25 cents. When post- 
age stamps were first issued they were in solid sheets to be 
cut apart with scissors and they had no glue on them. Pre- 
payment of postage became mandatory the year the govern- 
ment issued its first stamps. 

While the number of post offices was increasing, busi- 
ness was expanding and records were kept to show if an en- 
terprise was yielding a profit, as well as to keep account of 
the purchases and payments of credit customers. The account 
book of Spencer D. Finney from 1852 to 1860 includes 
items imported, produce bought and sent to cities for sale 
and local customers' purchases. Among these are : 

6 boxes soap, 28 lb. each at 7c per lb. $1 1.76 

936 lb. sugar at 6c per lb. 56.16 

The book gives the account of the cargo and profits of 

the Schooner Magnolia on a trading trip to a northern city 

in the fall of 1858: 

Sold the loose potatoes for $348.00 

Paid for them 293.75 

Profit from them $ 54.25 
Second trip : 

Sold loose potatoes for $337.02 

Paid for them 277.32 

CHAPTER Xin — 1840-1870 181 

Profit from them $ 59.70 

Sold in barrels 4 barrels for 17.62 

Total Profit $ 77.32 
The same account book, with another Finney name, listed 
the retail charges to some customers: 

1 lb. coffee $ .25 

1 lb. bacon .05 

143/2 yards of checked osnaburg at 35c 5.08 

10 yards of domestic at 26c 2.60 

1 Yz ounces of thread . 1 5 
3 dozen buttons at 3c .09 

2 pounds butter .62 
14^2 yards striped osnaburg 3.60 
SYz yards satin 3.41 
1 comb .28 
5 lb. sugar at 15c .75 

1 pair shoes 1.50 

2 oz. indigo .25 
2 lamp chimneys at 1 2c .24 
20 lb. flour 1.00 
2 bu. potatoes 2.00 

2 gallons molasses at 50c 1.00 
1 shovel 2.50 
1/^2 yds. calico .31 
1 pair boots 5.00 
1 tin basin .31 
1 broom .25 
lYz lb. of rope .40 
ZYi. lb. cheese .SZ 

3 boxes of lye at 20c .60 
Y2 gallon vinegar .10 
1 paper of pins .10 
Candy .05 
Some of the items were used for home industries to sup- 
ply the needs on the farm. Soap for bathing was usually pur- 
chased, but that for laundry and cleaning was made at home. 


From the earliest times of the English in America, lye for 
soap making was extracted from wood ashes by placing them 
in a hopper with a trough at the bottom. Water was poured 
over the ashes until the lye dripped in the form of a reddish 
liquid. This was boiled with fat until it was of the right 
consistency for liquid soap. Then it was strained and stored 
in large gourds or pottery containers. When lye crystals 
came on the market much of the labor of making laundry 
soap was eliminated. 

Calico, satin, thread and osnaburg were materials for 
making clothing. This was done by hand at home. A trav- 
eling tailor, who lived with a family while he made the best 
clothes, was part of the commercial services during the 19th 
century, but most of the clothes were made by members of 
the household. 

The census figures for 1860 show that the Eastern 
Shore was producing more food than formerly, less cotton, 
and no flax. The crop of Irish potatoes was 62,807 bushels 
while that of sweet potatoes was 305,525 bushels. The com 
crop exceeded 1 million bushels and oats were produced in 
the amount of a half million bushels. Some of the corn and 
oats were used for food and feed on the farms, but a sub- 
stantial surplus was exported. 

At the beginning of the year 1861, the Eastern Shore 
was an important farming and maritime area with scheduled 
steamboat ferry service to the mainland. Steamboats were 
making regular stops on both bayside and seaside ports to 
deliver goods and to take on cargoes of farm produce and 
seafoods. Fleets of sailing ships owned by local people were 
trading with Cuba and other nearby islands, and with north- 
ern cities of the United States. The survival of sailboats in 
the steamboat era was due to the fact that the sails and rig- 
ging had been improved for more speed and smaller crews 
than in earlier times. The wind was free and wood or coal 
was required for the steamboats. Too, the initial cost of 
a steamboat was far more than that of a sail boat. One firm 
which had been in business since 1842, and the only one 
known to predate 1861 and still in business in 1963, is Hop- 

CHAPTER XIII — 1840-1870 183 

kins Brothers at the wharf in Onancock. It had a half dozen 
sailing ships to import goods and export produce in 1860. 
Many farmers owned small boats to use like farm wagons 
and several hundred watermen owned work boats. 

Lighthouses were standing as sentinels in strategic plac- 
es to guide the outgoing and incoming vessels. The most 
important one was built in 1832 on Smiths Island at the 
mouth of Chesapeake Bay. One on Assateague Island had 
been in sei-vice from 1 833 and one on Watts Island in the bay 
was started that year. The Hog Island lighthouse was com- 
pleted in 1852. Small lighthouses marked the entrances to 
Occohannock and Pungoteague creeks. 

In 1857 a new brick tower was built for the Assateague 
light and it is still in use. The bricks were brought in by 
boat and hauled to the top of the sand ridge in carts pulled 
by oxen. The oyster shell lime was made near the building 
site. Tons of broken stone were hauled in to be put under 
the concrete foundation before the building was started. The 
red brick tower is more than 27 feet in diameter at the base 
and the wall there is 28 inches thick and it tapers gracefully 
to 129 feet in height where the lens is attached. A spiral 
stairway leads to the lens which was once lighted by oil lamps 
but was equipped with electric lights a century after the land 
for the lighthouse was purchased in 1832. Assateague light 
is located at 37 degrees 54 minutes and 40 seconds north lat- 
itude and 75 degrees 31 minutes and 23 seconds west long- 
itude. Its importance in maritime history is extensive. 

These lights were burning bright in February of 1861 
when the delegates from Accomack and Northampton coun- 
ties went to Richmond to the Convention which had been 
called to consider a referendum in which the people would 
decide whether to remain in the Union or secede and join 
the Confederate States of America. A referendum was or- 
dered for May 23, 1861, in which the people of Accomack 
and Northampton counties were to accept or reject the action 
of the Convention to join the Confederacy. Before the date 
arrived, federal ships had taken possession of the lower Chesa- 
peake Bay. The lighthouses were blinded by the Confederate 



Brick Tower 142' 

CHAPTER XIII — 1840-1870 185 

soldiers as soon as ferry service was stopped between the East- 
ern Shore and the mainland. Assateague light was not put 
out. Both counties, with the exception of Chincoteague pre- 
cinct, voted to join the Confederacy. 

The courts in both Accomack and Northampton counties 
authorized funds for arms and ammunition, and a recruiting 
program, between June and September 1861, resulted in an 
army of 800 men, divided into eight companies of infantry- 
men, two of cavalry and one of light artillery. Every able- 
bodied white man between the ages of 18 and 45 years was 
already a member of the local militia and there had been 
three drills a year. After the 800 were put into the army, 
drills for the militiamen were held weekly. The Shore militia 
was in three regiments with one in Northampton County, 
and one each in St. George and Accomack parishes in Acco- 
mack County. This had been the arrangement for drilling 
the militia since the War of 1812 while an era of peace pre- 

Colonel Charles Smith of Ingleside, Eastville, was put 
in command of all the forces on the Shore. Lieutenant-Col- 
onel Louis C. Finney of Meadville, near Onancock, was sec- 
ond in command, and Major R. R. Cary was third. Dr. 
Peter F. Browne of Accomac was assistant surgeon with the 
rank of Captain, and Richard B. Winder was assistant com- 
missary with the rank of Captain. These officers received 
their commissions from President Jefferson Davis. Each com- 
pany of infantry, cavalry and artillery was in charge of cap- 
tains, first and second lieutenants and non-commissioned of- 

Major General John A Dix, a native of New York, was 
put in command of the defense of Maryland on July 23, 
1861. Baltimore was known to have Confederate sympa- 
thizers. General Dix immediately saw the necessity of oc- 
cupying the Eastern Shore of Virginia in order to keep Mary- 
land supplies from being sent to the Confederates through 
Accomack and Northampton counties, and to keep those coun- 
ties from influencing Maryland people to join the Confed- 
erate States. He worked out a plan for occupying these Vir- 


ginia counties and the War Department approved it. 

Brigadier General Henry H. Lockwood, a native of 
Kent County, Delaware, and a West Point graduate, was 
selected to head the army of occupation. He was a professor 
of mathematics when hostilities began but resigned immed- 
iately and enlisted. He was stationed at Cambridge. After 
he got a report of the Confederate activities in Accomack and 
Northampton, he requested an army large enough to show 
the Confederates that there was no need to fight. By No- 
vember 15, 4500 troops were stationed at Newtown, now 
Pocomoke, Maryland. On that day General Dix sent a 
proclamation through General Lockwood "To the People 
of Accomack and Northampton Counties, Virginia." He 
offered assurance of protection of private property if the 
people would not resist the army of occupation. He promised 
to reopen trade with these counties and to restore the lights 
in the lighthouses. 

When the troops began to arrive at Newtown, General 
Smith ordered his army of 800 men and about 1200 militia- 
men to the northern part of Accomack County to defend it. 
Breastworks, forming three sides of a pentagon, were built 
between New Church and the present intersection of the Chin- 
coteague Road. General Smith had a way of keeping informed 
of what was taking place at 'Newtown. When the proclama- 
tion reached him, there was no alternative but to order a re- 
treat. Before the Union Army had complete possession of 
Accomack and Northampton counties, 44 officers and 64 en- 
listed men escaped to the shores of Gloucester and Norfolk 
counties to join other units of the Confederate Army, Young 
men from the Shore who were in college enlisted and still 
others ran the blockade to join them. A total of 197 men 
from Accomack and 255 from Northampton served in the 
Confederate Army away from the Eastern Shore. Many 
letters written in camp to relatives on the Shore have survived. 

General Lockwood occupied the home of Dr. Browne 
in Accomack and used the medical office in the yard for a 
telegraph office, as soon as lines were strung from Maryland. 
Property of people known to be in the Confederate Army 





' — ' 

»— 1 



































CHAPTER XIII — 1840-1870 189 

was confiscated, or commandeered. (It was eventually re- 
turned to the owners.) A camp near Accomac which had been 
used by the Confederates was occupied by the Union Army. 
Staff Headquarters for Northampton were established at Cess- 
ford in Eastville and the Union Camp for soldiers was in 
Old Town Neck where breastworks which probably date to 
the Revolutionary War are still visible. 

On December 21, 1861, General Lockwood issued an 
order which shows that the occupation of Accomack and 
Northampton counties without bloodshed did not mean that 
the task was completed. Since several attempts had been 
made by men to run the blockade, guards were to be placed 
at the mouths of sixteen streams and landings. They were: 

Cape Charles, Cherrystone Inlet, Chesconnessex 
Creek, Craddock Creek, Guilford Creek, Hungars 
Creek, Hunting Creek, Messongo Creek, Nandua Creek, 
Nassawadox Creek, Occohannock Creek, Old Planta- 
tion Creek, Onancock Creek, Pungoteague Inlet and 
Smiths Inlet. 

The order directed that no trade should be permitted 
between soldiers and natives except under strict regulations. 
A portion of every article of food offered for sale to soldiers 
should be eaten in the presence of an officer before a soldier 
was permitted to buy it. The penalty for violating this order 
was to be punished by hard labor for one month. If hard 
labor was not practical, then the guilty soldier was to be 
imprisoned for one month with a diet of bread and water. 
Horses which had been purchased for the Confederate Caval- 
ry and those owned by officers were taken over by the Union 
iVrmy. The other horses on the Shore were undisturbed. 

The Union soldiers used some churches for barracks or 
stables. Among these were Downings, near the Maryland 
line, Francis Makemie Presbyterian Church in Accomac, and 
the Methodist and Episcopal churches in Pungoteague. 
Through the influence of a tactful lady in Accomac, plans 
were abandoned to occupy St. James Episcopal Church and 
the commanding officer granted permission for services to 
be held there provided a prayer was said for the President of 


the United States. 

Civil officers who took the Oath of Allegiance were 
permitted to carry on their work. The courts were restricted 
in the cases they could try during the first few months of the 
occupation. Everyone who practiced a profession, engaged in 
mercantile business, shipped produce, or left the Shore was 
required to take the Oath. 

For administrative purposes the Federal government 
grouped Accomack and Northampton with the western coun- 
ties that chose to stay in the Union when the referendum was 
held. However, there is no record of the Eastern Shore hav- 
ing been represented at the General Assembly in Wheeling, 
now in West Virginia. The Assembly provided for Accomack 
and Northampton to have a referendum for becoming a part 
of Maryland, but no record of a vote has been found. 

The Eastern Shore of Virginia became an important link 
in the communication system between Washington, D. C. and 
Fort Monroe. A telegraph line was built through the Shore 
to Cherrystone and a cable was laid to Old Point. Troops 
were moved through the Shore to reinforce Fort Monroe. 
Steamboat service from Cherrystone was established by the 

The state of West Virginia was formed from the counties 
that declined to join the Confederacy and was admitted to the 
Union in 1863. After the surrender at Appomattox in 1865, 
Virginia was given the status of a territory and was designated 
as Military District 'Number 1. Accomack and Northampton 
were a part of that District. A new Constitution acceptable 
to Congress was a requisite for Virginia's readmission to the 

A Constitutional Convention met in 1867 and finished 
its work in the spring of 1868. Congress accepted the Consti- 
tution but it was not presented to the voters for ratification 
until July 1869. Some of the objectionable clauses were to 
be voted on separately. The document known as the Under- 
wood Constitution was accepted by the voters. The General 
Assembly met in October 1869 and Virginia was readmitted 
to the Union early in 1870. 

Chapter XIV 

The people of the Eastern Shore rejoiced with the rest 
of Virginia when self-government was restored early in 1870 
and the last of the Union soldiers were withdrawn. They 
had been under military rule for more than eight years and 
Accomack and Northampton counties had been encouraged to 
join Maryland. The Constitution of 1869 required some 
changes in county government and the General Assembly met 
in March 1870 to provide for the changes. 

On April 2 an Act was passed to divide the counties into 
townships as units of county government to replace the magis- 
terial districts which had been created eighteen years earlier. 
The Governor appointed commissioners for Northampton and 
Accomack counties on April 21, and they were instructed to 
divide their respective counties according to area and popu- 
lation, and to include at least thirty square miles in each 

The commissioners appointed for Northampton County 
were: Thomas J. Hallett, Leonard B. Nottingham, A. W. 
Downing, Edwin Goff igon and John W. Tankard. They were 
sworn in as required by law and met in the office of Severn 
P. Nottingham in Eastville with all the commissioners pres- 
ent except John W. Tankard. They divided Northampton 
County into three townships as follows: 

The township of Capeville was laid out to include 
all that part of the county which lies south of Salem 
Crossroad, including Mockhorn and Smiths islands. 
From the terminus of Salem Crossroad it extends on a 
straight line eastward through Dr. Thomas J. L. Not- 
tingham's land to the creek, and from the western 


CHAPTER XIV — 1870-1900 193 

terminus of said crossroad in a straight line with Severn 
Eyre's riding-in way to Cherrystone Creek, and thence 
down said creek by Sandy Point to Chesapeake Bay, 
leaving Severn Eyre's house north of said line. 

Eastville Township was to start at the line just 
designated and to include Sand Shoal Island which is 
between that line and one running from Red Bank Creek 
at the southeast corner of the land belonging to the es- 
tate of Jacob Nottingham, deceased. Then the line 
follows the Red Bank Road to Red Bank Church. Then 
it runs westwardly along said crossroad to the intersection 
of that road with Jacob Branch and down said branch 
to Parramores Mill. From there it runs down Church 
Creek to its mouth and thence down Nassawadox Creek 
to Chesapeake Bay. 

Franktown Township was to include Hog Island 
and all of the area of the county between the Eastville 
Township line and the Accomack County line. The road 
dividing Capeville and Eastville townships is attached 
to Eastville Township and that road dividing Eastville 
and Franktown townships is attached to Franktown 

Capeville and Bayview were appointed as election 
precincts for Capeville Township j Eastville and John- 
sontown were chosen as election precincts for Eastville 
Townships; and Franktown and Wardtown were desig- 
nated as the election precincts for Franktown Township. 
The time required was one day each for four commis- 

The report was accepted and recorded in the Deed Book 
of Northampton County in April 1870. 

The commissioners for dividing Accomack County into 
townships were Thomas P. Copes, John E. Wise, William S. 
Byrd, J. W. Gillet and John R. Reade. They received the 
notice of their appointment on April 21 and on April 23 
they took an oath before a justice of the peace "faithfully 
and honestly to discharge the duties required of them." The 
commissioners met on April 26 and 27 and after due con- 


sideration divided the county into five townships. 

The Islands Township consisted of Chincoteague, 
Assateague, Piney Island and Popes Island. The Tav- 
ern House on Chincoteague Island was designated as 
the place for opening polls (in the said township for all 
elections in the commonwealth). 

Atlantic Township was to begin at the Maryland 
line at the north with the east boundary in the middle 
of Chincoteague Bay, including Wallops Island and ex- 
tending to Assawoman Inlet. The south boundary was 
placed through the said inlet and up Assawoman Creek 
and to a branch emptying into a prong of the creek, to 
the head of the branch. Then a right line was designated 
to a stone placed by the commissioners at a point where 
said line intersected Wallops Road, then to the head of 
a ditch and following the said ditch to the point where 
the ditch emptied into Messongo Branch, then through 
Messongo Creek to Pocomoke Sound. The line passed 
to the west of Sykes Island to the Maryland line. New 
Church, Temperanceville and the Store House of Henry 
Hall were designated as the places for opening polls. 

Metompkin Township was to begin at the southeast 
corner of Atlantic Township and passed east of Assa- 
woman, or Gargatha, and Metompkin beaches to Me- 
tompkin Inlet. Then it turned at a right line across Me- 
tompkin Bay to the mouth of Parkers Creek, then follow- 
ed the line known as "the Parish Line" to the mouth 
of Hunting Creek, then in the bay west of Jobes Island 
and Bennett Island to the southwest corner of Atlantic 
Township, Mappsville, Newstown and the Store House 
at Guilford occupied by William H. Bloxom were desig- 
nated for opening polls. 

Lee Township was to begin at the southeast corner 
of Metompkin Township then extended southward along 
the Atlantic Ocean east of Cedar Island to Wachapreague 
Inlet. Then on a line through the said inlet and up 
Wachapreague Creek to Nocks Branch and up it through 
the big ditch to a sycamore tree near the head of the 

CHAPTER XIV — 1870-1900 195 

ditch, then to the northern end of the store house. Then 
along the Pubhc Road leading toward the main road 
from Accomack Courthouse to Pungoteague until the 
first mentioned road reached Bull Branch. Then the 
line went down Bull Branch to Pungoteague Creek and 
through it to Chesapeake Bay, up the bay so as to in- 
clude Tangier, Big Watts, Little Watts, Fox and Half 
Moon Islands, and any part of Smiths Island in Virginia, 
then to the mouth of Hunting Creek and along the 
southern boundary of Metompkin Township. Polls 
were to be opened at the Courthouse of Accomack Coun- 
ty, in the town of Onancock, and on Tangier Island in 
the Store House formerly occupied by John Thomas. 

Pungoteague Township was to begin in the Atlantic 
Ocean at the southeast corner of Lee Township and 
pass east of Parramores Beach to Machipongo Inlet, 
then through the inlet and up Machipongo Creek along 
the line dividing Accomack and Northampton counties 
and through the mouth of Occohannock Creek, then up 
Chesapeake Bay to the Lee Township line. Pungoteague 
and Locust Mount were designated as places for opening 
the polls. 

In November 1874 the word "township" was changed 
to magisterial district by a Constitutional Amendment. The 
magisterial districts in both counties have retained their names 
and boundaries. But the big ditch between Atlantic and Me- 
tompkin districts was filled some years later, and an Act 
of the General Assembly in 1 892 was required to have it 
opened and again accepted as a part of the boundary. 

The modern school system began on the Shore on Oc- 
tober 7, 1870, when the Governor of Virginia commissioned 
superintendents for the two counties. James C. Weaver held 
the office in Accomack County for the next fifteen years and 
John S. Parker served in Northampton for eleven years. A 
brief sketch of the life of the former is as follows: 

James C. Weaver was born in 1 822 at Portsmouth, 
Virginia, and educated at Richmond College. After 
graduation he came to Northampton County to teach. 


After one session he went to Kentucky and qualified to 
practice law. After three years in that profession he re- 
turned to the Shore and married Sallie Pope Sturgis 
of Accomack County. He engaged in farming until 
1861 when he enlisted in the Confederate Army. From 
1865 to 1870, when he was appointed Superintendent 
of Accomack County Schools, he taught a private 
school near Onancock. His home was in Onancock, on 
Kerr Street, and his office was presumably in his home, 
his buggy or saddlebags and in his coat pocket. In 1885 
James C. Weaver became associated with the Eastern 
Virginian, a newspaper published in Onancock. In 1887 
he made an unsuccessful bid for the office as floater dele- 
gate to the General Assembly from Accomack and North- 
ampton counties. He was appointed keeper of the Cus- 
toms House in Onancock and held that office until his 
death in 1900. Some of his descendants are now teach- 
ing in Accomack County. 

Three trustees were appointed for each magisterial dis- 
trict and these trustees composed the county school boards 
which met once a year. Accomack County had fifteen trustees 
and Northampton had nine. They qualified for office on 
January 1, 1871, and public schools went into operation on 
February 1. Since the labor of many children who should 
attend the public schools would be required on the farms of 
their parents at harvest time, the school term opened on Feb- 
ruary 1 and closed on June 30, during the first decade at least. 
Some existing schools with one or more students having their 
tuition paid out of the Literary Fund or other public money 
were taken into the new public school system. By June 30, 
1871, Accomack County had thirty-two tuition-free schools 
and Northampton had four. 

In 1 873 the "Free School Land" bequeathed by Samuel 
Sandf ord in 1710 was surveyed and offered for sale to indi- 
viduals. The survey showed 1660 acres of upland and more 
than 1700 acres of marsh. A two and one-half acre tract near 
Jenkins Bridge was reserved for a school and public wharf. 
The other land was sold to sixteen different people. The 

CHAPTER XIV — 1870-1900 197 

largest purchaser got some upland and the marsh, which was 
converted into a muskrat ranch. The village of Sanford is on 
part of the "Free School Land." The funds received from the 
land were made available to the part of Accomack County 
above Guilford Creek for building purposes. Atlantic Dis- 
trict got three-fifths while the Islands and Metompkin dis- 
tricts got one-fifth each. 

When James C. Weaver made his final report as super- 
intendent of Accomack County schools in 1885, there were 82 
public schools. Of these 1 8 were graded with more than one 
teacher. However, private tutors or neighborhood private 
schools were still used to educate many children. 

In 1885 Northampton County had 26 public schools and 
several excellent and flourishing private schools. John S. 
Parker had been succeeded as superintendent by John B. 
Dalby in 1882. John R. Mapp became the third superin- 
tendent in 1885 and served until 1888 and was followed by 
Robert B. Handy. S. S. Wilkins succeeded him in 1893 and 
remained in office until 1903. 

John E. Mapp, M.D. was the second superintendent of 
Accomack County Schools. 

He was born on February 1, 1846, in Accomack 
County and received his early education in private schools. 
He was graduated from the College of Physicians and 
Surgeons in Baltimore. He married Margaret B. LeCato 
of Accomack County. (Their children and grandchildren 
have taught in the county school system and a grandson 
is now chairman of the Accomack County School Board.) 
After sixteen years in office. Dr. Mapp terminated his 
work as superintendent in 1901 and devoted his time 
to his medical practice until his death on April 20, 1927. 
One college and at least nine academies served the East- 
ern Shore during the last half of the nineteenth century. In 
1893 Margaret Academy was moved from near Pungoteague 
to Onancock. The trustees purchased the frame buildings on 
the site of the present Onancock High School for its use. These 
buildings had been erected in 1860 for the Atlantic Female 
College which was established by the Baptist church and closed 


within a decade. Locustville Academy was also a Baptist 
school. Other academies on the records were: Craddock and 
Occohannock Academy, Eastern Shore Academy, Eastville 
Academy, Jenkins Bridge Academy (a day school only), 
Machipongo Academy, Onancock Academy and Pungoteague 
Academy. The last ones closed thirty-one years after the 
modern public school system was established. 

In June 1874 the Federal government established Life- 
Saving Stations on the Eastern Shore. This was only three 
years after Congress provided for Life-Saving Service in the 
United States. It was under the supervision of the Treasury 
Department. Numerous sea disasters near the Atlantic coast 
from Maine to Florida had molded public sentiment for 
something to aid seamen and save the cargoes of damaged 
ships. Prior to 1874 volunteers rendered valuable service 
whenever they found a ship in distress. The creation of a 
life-saving service meant that trained men with the proper 
equipment would always be near the scenes of possible dis- 
aster. Two-story frame houses were built with living quarters 
for a crew of men and rooms for lifeboats which could be 
launched on a moment's notice. The length of time on duty 
was a week or more and time off was the same. This new 
service attracted young men as a vocation. The stations 
authorized in 1874 were: 

Assateague Beach Station, located on Fishing Point 

of Assateague Anchorage, Syi miles southwest of Assa- 
teague Light. 

Wachapreague Beach Station, located on the south 

end of Cedar Island, on the north side of Wachapreague 


Hog Island Station, located near the south end of 

Hog Island, 1 ^ miles southwest of Hog Island Light. 
Cobbs Island Station, located near the south end of 

Cobbs Island, 1]/$ miles southwest of Hog Island Light. 
Smiths Island Station, on Smiths Island, % mile 

west of Cape Charles Light. 

In the next few years four additional Life-Saving Sta- 
tions were authorized for the Shore by Acts of Congress on 

CHAPTER XIV — 1870-1900 199 

June 18, 1878, and May 4, 1882. The additional stations 

Popes Island Station, on Popes Island on the Mary- 
land line, 944 miles northeast of Assateague Light. 

Wallops Beach Station, on Wallops Island, 5M; 
miles southwest of Assateague Light. 

Metompkin Inlet Station, located on south end of 
Metompkin Island on the north side of Metompkin In- 

Parramores Beach Station, located on Parramores Is- 
land 2 miles south of Wachapreague Inlet and 1 1 S/g 
miles northeast of Hog Island Light. 
The keeper had the status of a commissioned officer. He 
trained and drilled the men at regular intervals and directed 
their rescue tasks when disaster befell a ship in their area. 

The shores from Delaware Bay to the mouth of Chesa- 
peake Bay were designated as Life-Saving District No. 6 and 
Captain Benjamin W. Rich was appointed as its first super- 
intendent. He was a seaman until he moved to Accomack 
County in 1857 to engage in farming. He was apppointed 
Superintendent of the Sixth Life-Saving District in 1 875, and 
served until his death in 1901. During that time the men un- 
der his supervision helped in more than 800 sea disasters in- 
volving 6300 people and $12 million worth of property of 
which more than $8 million worth was saved. Only 45 lives 
were lost in the shipwrecks. 

In the year 1 884 a railroad was built through the Eastern 
Shore of Virginia to connect with the line in southern Mary- 
land. The stations originally established took the names of 
nearby towns and villages although most of them were a mile 
or so away. When towns and villages were built around the 
stations, new names became necessary for establishing post of- 
fices near the stations. The original stations were: New 
Church, Messongo, Metompkin, Accomac, Pungoteague, Ex- 
more, Bridgetown, Eastville and Cape Charles. 

A harbor was built at the present town of Cape Charles 
along with the railroad. It was deep enough for large steam- 
ships and the station and wharf facilities were spacious and sub- 


stantial. A steamship met each train to take passengers and 
mail to Old Point Comfort and Norfolk. When the first 
trains arrived from New York, passengers transferred to the 
steamer for a four-hour voyage to Norfolk in good weather. 
On November 22, 1884, a Shore newspaper contained this 

The first through fast express train was run over the 
'N.Y.P. & N.R.R. on Monday night. The steamer 
Jane Mosley left Norfolk at 6:30 P.M. with fifteen 
through passengers for the North. She made good time 
to Cape Charles City and the train left immediately. 
The speed to Wilmington, Delaware, averaged forty 
miles per hour and the train arrived there at 3:00 A.M., 

The Jane Mosley apparently was a chartered boat for 
use while the Cape CharleSy a steamer equipped with tracks 
for Pullman cars, was being completed. This luxury liner, 
which enabled passengers to remain in their seats or berths 
from iNew York to Norfolk, was short lived and the practice 
of having passengers walk aboard the ships was resumed be- 
fore 1890. The Cape Charles was a side-wheeler steamboat 
with two smoke stacks. It was launched in 1885 and was 
superseded by the Old Point Comfort, another side-wheeler, 
two years later. The New York, a screw-propelled steamer, 
joined the Old Point Comfort in 1890. 

William T. Scott owned the land on which Cape Charles 
Station was built. He had the area west of the station laid out 
in blocks for a town. The building of homes and churches as 
well as business houses began immediately. By the end of 
the year 1885, the town of Cape Charles had a volunteer fire 
department with some equipment on push carts. This was the 
beginning of town and village building around the railroad 

In less than a year after the railroad was built, a move 
was made to relocate the Accomack County Courthouse near 
it. By an Act of the General Assembly approved February 
1885, a referendum was held. The proposed new site was 
north of the present village of Greenbush on the land of the 

















1— ( 

o ^ 








heirs of Harry White, deceased, three miles from the loca- 
tion of Accomac. The vote was taken on the fourth Thursday 
in May and the majority favored leaving the Courthouse 
where it was. Two years later a Clerk's Office was built. 

In 1890 the General Assembly provided for the citizens 
of Northampton County to vote on the question of moving 
the county seat from Eastville to Cape Charles. The voting 
was to take place at the time of the general election on Tues- 
day after the first Monday in November. The bill designated 
the wording of the ballots: "For removal of the Courthouse 
to Cape Charles," or "Against the removal of the Courthouse 
to Cape Charles." If the removal was favored by the ma- 
jority of the voters the property at Eastville was to be sold 
and the money applied toward a new Courthouse and jail. The 
county was not to pay more than $5000. The town was to 
pay $5000. The removal issue was defeated. 

The problem of protecting crops and gardens from live- 
stock, which had existed from the days of the first private 
ownership of land, grew worse as the production of commercial 
vegetables expanded. In January 1896 Northampton Dele- 
gates to the General Assembly got an Act passed providing 
for a referendum on a no-fence law. It was to be county 
wide but any of the three districts could accept or reject it. A 
no-fence law provided that every owner of livestock was re- 
sponsible for any trespassing or damage on the property of 
another. Livestock was to be fenced in and fences around 
fields were to be abandoned. If the Act was defeated every 
farmer would be required to have his fields enclosed with a 
lawful fence "of posts and boards or posts and wire 44 inches 
high or of mauled rails 4 feet high." Apparently the no-fence 
law was passed. Some years later Accomack County passed 
a similar law. However, incidents between citizens over the 
livestock of their neighbors continued to occupy space in county 
court records. 

Parksley was the second town to be laid out around a 
railroad station built in the open country. Henry R. Bennett, 
a paint salesman representing a Philadelphia firm, saw the 
opportunity for a town at Metompkin Station, and he inter- 

CHAPTER XIV — 1870-1900 203 

ested enough capitalists to form the Parksley Land Improve- 
ment Company in 1885. A 160-acre tract of land was pur- 
chased from Benjamin F. Parks and surveyed. A business 
section on both sides of the railroad and residential blocks 
with broad streets and service alleys for each block were laid 
out. Lots sold rapidly. 

All went well for Metompkin Town until the officials of 
the corporation filed an application for a post office. They 
were informed that there was already a post office by that 
name some three miles to the east of the station. Negotia- 
tions were undertaken to get the patrons of that little post of- 
fice to give up the name in favor of the potential city of Me- 
tompkin. When negotiations failed, the officers of the Land 
Improvement Company chose the name Parksley, in honor of 
Benjamin F. Parks. In order to guard against the sale of lots 
adjoining the town, the corporation reserved a strip four feet 
wide around the town. Every deed contained a clause to the 
effect that if alcoholic beverage was sold on the lot the land 
reverted back to the Parksley Land Improvement Company 
or its successor. Businessmen from Lee Mont, west of this 
new town, built stores and eventually built homes in Parksley. 
Some retired people associated with the railroad also built 

The experience of settlers around other stations in mak- 
ing applications for post offices duplicated that of Metompkin, 
so new names were given the stations. Messongo became 
Hallstown and eventually Hallwood. Accomac Station be- 
came Tasley, and Pungoteague Station became Keller. Ex- 
more apparently was a new name and tradition says it was 
so named because it was the tenth station south of Delaware. 
Bridgetown Station became Birdsnest, and Eastville Station 
got a post office although it was a mile from Eastville 
Courthouse. Oak Hall Station was opened before the post 
office dilemma arose and the village around it took the name 
Horsey. At least ten additional stations were opened before 
the end of the nineteenth century. The early stations, except 
in Cape Charles, were two-story buildings and the agent's 
family lived on the second floor. 


The railroad with fast trains to New York and connec- 
tions with other cities hastened the conversion of the Shore 
crops to sweet and Irish potatoes, strawberries and other per- 
ishable foods. Grain was limited mostly to food and feed for 
the individual farms. Most of the potatoes were shipped in 
barrels and a barrel factory was among the first industries to 
start around the railroad stations. The legal weight of a bush- 
el of Irish potatoes was 60 pounds and a barrel held three 
bushels. A bushel of sweet potatoes had a legal weight of 56 
pounds and a barrel held three bushels. 

The trains also brought salesmen, called drummers, with 
large trunks of sample shoes, yard goods, the latest fash- 
ions in men's clothing and women's coats, and other items for 
comfortable living. Hotels were built at the railroad villages 
and livery stables were maintained to transport the drummers 
and their samples to stores in the surrounding area. The ho- 
tels also were patronized by produce buyers, fertilizer sales- 
men and bachelors who worked in the community. Near the 
end of the century at least one dentist spent one week each 
month as an itinerant practitioner in a hotel room with his 
portable equipment to serve the surrounding area. Some pa- 
tients came from a distance by train. 

The seafood industry was second only to sweet and Irish 
potatoes as a source of income near the end of the nineteenth 
century. In addition to the edible seafoods, menhaden, locally 
called "old wives," were caught for the manufacture of oil 
and fertilizer. There were at least three fish factories on the 
Shore in the late 1800's. Oysters were sent to canning fac- 
tories in the shell or opened and iced for market in northern 
cities. Clams, crabs and some turtles were likewise marketed. 

By 1 891 the oyster rocks were rapidly becoming depleted 
and the General Assembly strengthened legislation to protect 
them and to increase the business of leasing oyster grounds to 
individuals. This practice was already in use but no boundaries 
of leased grounds were recorded. The Governor recommend- 
ed a survey of all oyster grounds in the state and that holders 
of leases be protected by law. This led to the employment of 
Lieutenant James B. Baylor, of the United States Coast and 

CHAPTER XIV — 1870-1900 205 

Geodetic Survey. All areas that had oysters in them were des- 
ignated as public grounds, or rocks, and any citizen of Virginia 
could harvest oysters upon paying a nominal fee for a license. 
This was recorded as the Baylor Survey and is still in effect. 
By the end of the centuiy much of the oyster harvest from the 
Eastern Shore was made from leased grounds where the les- 
sees had brought in shells or rocks as a foundation, then spread 
seed oysters over them. Oyster farming helped save the oyster 
industry for the Shore. 

The demand for good roads to railroad stations was so 
great that each magisterial district had a road superintendent 
who was employed and paid by the Board of Supervisors. 
He was given the authority to employ the necessary workmen 
to build roads and bridges at a wage not to exceed 30 cents 
per hour for actual working time. On the second Monday in 
January of each year the supervisors estimated the cost of the 
roads for each district and levied a tax to pay for it. Each 
county was required to own eight mules to work on the 
roads, two road scrapers, one stump puller, the necessary 
plows, hoes, axes and one or more road machines. The su- 
pervisors had the authority to buy any other necessary im- 
plements. This method of building roads was far different 
from a century earlier when every man was required to do- 
nate a designated number of days, either in person or by a 
workman he sent, each year to road work. One set of equip- 
ment was enough for Northampton but the size of Accomack 
County necessitated a set for each parish, as the upper and 
lower parts of the county were still designated. 

The vehicles used on the roads near the end of the 
nineteenth century and some years later have strange sound- 
ing names. Among these were tumbril carts, double wagons, 
single wagons, buggies, hacks, surreys, speed carts and bi- 
cycles. The latter was the only vehicle not drawn by an 
animal. Instances are on record in which horses became 
frightened by bicycles and got out of control of the driver. 

The Shore was widely known for its recreational facili- 
ties. Resort hotels were operated on Cobbs Island on the 
seaside and in Occohannock Neck on the bayside of North- 


ampton County. The former featured surf bathing, croquet 
and billiards as well as gunning and fishing. The latter was 
for recreation and health and one of the offerings was "hot 
salt water baths for rheumatism." The commercial inns which 
survived from the previous century and new hotels also 
catered to sports fishermen and those who came in season 
to shoot wild ducks and geese and marsh hens. The limit 
per hunter was restricted only by his skill with a gun. 

In 1896 an Act of the General Assembly was amended 
further to protect wildlife on the Shore. It was unlawful to 
kill rabbits or quail between January 15 and November 15, or 
to destroy quail eggs at any time. The season for shooting 
marsh hens was from September 15 to January 15 and no 
marsh hen eggs were to be taken after June 1. No gulls 
were to be killed and it was unlawful to take their eggs after 
July 4. 

At this time people went "egging" on seaside islands in 
the spring in the same sporting spirit as they went gunning in 
winter. A gallon or a bushel of eggs might be collected in a 
half day. Some were frequently boiled and eaten on the is- 
land along with a packed lunch. The greater part of the har- 
vest was brought home to be eaten by the family and shared 
with friends and neighbors after a real successful trip. In 
time the sport of egging was prohibited at all times to help 
prevent the extinction of certain species of wildlife. 

The outstanding public social and recreational event in 
the last two decades of the nineteenth century and for many 
years after was the Keller Agricultural Fair. This institu- 
tion had its beginning in 1878, three years after the Eastern 
Shore Grange Society was organized. Farm products were 
exhibited by Grange members at the Turlington Camp Meet- 
ing Grounds northeast of the present village of Keller. The 
next year the fair was held for two days and some colts and 
other livestock were paraded before the audience. The event 
met with such success that in 1880 the Grange acquired land 
for a fair. It included a race track. A Grange Hall was built 
with living quarters upstairs for the keeper and his family. 
After the Grange ceased to exist the Eastern Shore Agri- 

CHAPTER XIV — 1870-1900 Wl 

cultural Fair Association was formed and stock was sold to 
buy the Grange property and additional land. A large grand- 
stand with an agricultural exhibit hall beneath was built, and 
in time special buildings for poultry and livestock and stables 
for race horses were added. Horse racing was a sport in the 
seventeenth century and the breeding and training of race 
horses has been a vocation through the years. The Keller 
Fair attracted race horses from the mainland of Virginia and 
from neighboring states. 

By the end of the century former citizens of the Shore 
made annual visits to coincide with the Keller Fair. Thurs- 
day was designated as homecoming day. Some families 
brought packed lunches for themselves and friends while 
others got meals at the "boarding tent" which was a res- 
taurant with a sawdust floor and some of the best cooks on 
the Shore to prepare the food which was served for a nominal 
charge. Cape Charles and Tasley held fairs for some years 
but they never reached the importance of the "Grange Fair" 
as some people always called it. Keller Fair was also hand- 
shaking time for aspirants to political offices from justices 
of the peace to United States Senators and Congressmen. 

Two Eastern Shore men were elected to Congress after 
1870. George Tankard Garrison whose home was across Folly 
Creek from The Folly, and the site of the first Accomack 
Country Club, represented the First Congressional District 
from 1881 to 1885. Thomas H. Bayly Browne, one time 
owner of Bowmans Folly, served from 1887 to 1891. 

Every community with a name either had one or more 
churches or the people attended services of their denomina- 
tion in a nearby community. Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian 
and Episcopal were the denominations with churches on 
the Shore. A successor to the seventeenth century church at 
Assawoman had been built at Temperanceville in 1860. This 
was Emmanuel Episcopal Church, a Gothic style frame build- 
ing, and it was not used by the Union Army. But in 1887 it 
was torn down and moved to Jenkins Bridge. The Baptists 
and Methodists were anticipating the erection of brick church- 
es to replace their early frame ones. Throughout the nine- 


teenth century the Methodist camp meetings were annual 
events. The camp grounds at Pungoteague were mentioned 
in 1804 and those at Tangier which featured in the War of 
1812 continued in use. The best known one in the 1890's 
was The Turlington Camp Meeting near the Keller Fair 

Court days were important social events for the men. 
Public issues were discussed among friends who, in turn, led 
discussions back at the country stores which were crossroad 
seminars from colonial times. 

In 1898 a move was made to locate the courthouse in 
Parksley and the question was to be settled by the Board of 
Supervisors. At that time people from Chincoteague came to 
the head of Folly Creek by boat and walked to the Court- 
house. One of the points brought out against removing the 
courthouse to a railroad town was that Chincoteague people 
would be inconvenienced and exempt from jury duty just 
as those on Tangier were. The supervisors voted to build a 
new courthouse in Accomac, where the court had been meet- 
ing since 1693. The present courthouse was completed in 
1899. Northampton County also built a new courthouse 
in 1899. 

In 1899 the Eastern Shore had 105 post offices, but 
some of these were on their way out. Marsh Market, at the 
mouth of Messongo Creek, lost much of its business when a 
harbor was dredged to Sykes Island which was called Saxis 
by 1 897. Before that time steamboats landed at the Hum- 
mock near Marsh Market and small boats ferried the mail 
and merchandise to Sykes Island. Many of the communities 
on the Shore had telephone service supplied by a number of 
small companies. Steamboats held their own against the 
competition of the railroad. And, telegraph service was avail- 
able at the railroad stations. 

But all of the means of communication and transporta- 
tion did not spoil the leisurely way of life which characterized 
the Eastern Shore. People not only knew how to earn a good 
living but they knew how to enjoy leisure time and the di- 
versions the Shore had to offer. 

Chapter XV 

In the year 1900 the Eastern Shore was as far advanced 
in the production of commercial vegetables as any part of the 
nation and seafood from adjoining waters found markets 
throughout the East. The population was 46,340, with 32,- 
570 people in Accomack County and 13,770 in Northampton. 
Their distribution in Accomack County by magisterial dis- 
tricts from the Maryland line was: Atlantic, 7320; Islands 
District, 2743; Metompkin, 6133; Lee, 9247; and Pungo- 
league, 7127. In Northampton, from the Accomack County 
line, the distribution was: Franktown, 5086; Eastville, 4958; 
and Capeville, 6628. The latter included Cape Charles with 
a population of 1948. Other incorporated towns were East- 
ville, Onancock and Belle Haven. 

Census figures for 1900 show the agricultural records 
for the previous year when 11,500 acres of Irish potatoes 
and 9300 acres of sweet potatoes were grown on the Shore. 
Although these crops covered less than ten per cent of the 
140,500 cultivated acres, Irish and sweet potatoes were the 
principal money crops. Irish potatoes had a strong appeal be- 
cause of the short time between planting and harvesting, a 
good income per acre, and the opportunity for planting an- 
other crop on the same land. This second crop was usually 
corn, and known locally as "tater corn." The greatest need 
was a marketing system. 

The Eastern Shore of Virginia Produce Exchange was 
chartered by the General Assembly on January 20, 1900. A 
group of farmers and some professional men met on Sep- 
tember 10 of the previous year to consider the possibility of 
forming a marketing organization. They framed a constitu- 



CHAPTER XV — 1900-1920 211 

tion which was approved at a mass-meeting on September 30. 
The charter stated the object of the organization as follows: 
To buy and sell produce as the agent of the pro- 
ducer; to consign produce as agent of the producer j to 
inspect all produce it may handle j to own and operate 
storage warehouses and packing houses j and to engage 
in all other lawful things customarily connected with 
the trade known as the produce business. 
The incorporators were Benjamin T. Gunter, John E. 
Nottingham, Thomas B. Quinby, L. Thomas LeCato, John 
W. Bowdoin, John H. Ayres, Albert J. McMath, Thomas B. 
James, Levin J. Hyslop, Hezekiah A. Wescott, William El- 
zey, John H. Roberts, William B. Pitts, George Walter 
Mapp, John T. Williams, Jr., and William E. Thomas. 

The incorporators and John H. Wise made up the first 
board of directors. Benjamin T. Gunter was elected presi- 
dent and Thomas B. Quinby was the first secretary. William 
A. Burton was employed as general manager, sales manager 
and treasurer for the first shipping season and L. Thomas 
LeCato was general inspector. Thomas B. Quinby resigned 
in September of 1900 and Albert J. McMath was elected 

Two grades of potatoes were packed for sale through 
the Produce Exchange. The first-quality package was the 
''Red Star Brand" while the second was the "Gear Wheel 
Brand." Getting quality packages and uniform barrels was 
one of the difficult tasks in the early days. Small barrels and 
large barrels had been in general use for Irish potatoes, and 
one historian stated that early inspectors sometimes found a 
pumpkin near the bottom of a barrel of sweet potatoes. With 
the grading system in effect and daily contact with markets 
in the United States, Canada and Cuba, the Eastern Shore 
potato market was greatly expanded. The profit per barrel 
was increased through systematic marketing. 

The stockholders of the Exchange got substantial divi- 
dends and they built an imposing brick administration building 
in Onley. The personnel was increased to handle the expand - 
mg business and a representative was employed at each railroad 



The increase in potato acreage in 1901 was phenomenal, 
and it marked only the beginning of the transition to a one- 
crop system of farming and a large cash income for the Shore. 
The demand for more merchandise such as clothes, furniture, 
imported food, building materials and new vehicles for trans- 
portation followed. One of the luxury items purchased in 
1901 by three Accomac men was a gasoline launch to be used 
as a "pleasui-e boat" in seaside waters. 

The hotel business was good and competition was keen 
for the patronage of the salesmen. During the week of 
January 18, 1902, one railroad town had forty traveling 
salesmen among its guests. Livery stables with carriages to 
transport large trunks of samples also did a thriving business. 
The most up-to-date of the hotels had running water from 
large elevated tanks into which the water was pumped by 
windmills above the tanks. The Wachapreague Hotel, one 
of the largest ever built on the Shore, opened for business in 
1902. It was designed for commercial trade and sports 
fishermen and gunners. A steamer from New York to Nor- 
folk stopped near Wachapreague, and livery stable managers 
at Keller stood ready to transport passengers who arrived by 

Commercial ice plants were among the new industries 
which were established. Railroad cars carried blocks of ice 
along with crates of strawberries, and they were also equipped 
with ice chambers to cool the entire cars. Commercial ice was 
in demand for home use as fast as people could get refrig- 
erators, and the ice wagons made house-to-house deliveries. 

Vegetable canning was started on the Shore in 1900. 
John W. Taylor of Wharton Place, near Mappsville, opened 
a factory for the canning of tomatoes in the fall of that year. 
Other factories opened and closed until 1917 when H. E. 
Kelley of New Church began canning vegetables for sale dur- 
ing World War I. John W. Taylor Packing Company and 
H. E. Kelley and Co., Inc. are still in business. 

The Victorian style of architecture made its appearance 
on the Shore when the new towns of Cape Charles and Parks- 

CHAPTER XV — 1900-1920 213 

ley were built. At first the houses were two-story rectangular 
buildings with four gables, but as time went on, the fad for 
more ornate roof lines with cupolas grew. Bulging rooms 
with six or more windows and spacious porches on three sides 
of the houses characterized the houses built in the first two 
decades of the twentieth century. Many early colonial and 
Georgian houses were remodelled and Victorian porches add- 
ed to give them a fashionable look. Fortunately, people ap- 
preciated their good furniture enough to refrain from trading 
it for the golden oak of the times. Phonographs were new 
and so few people had them in 1902 that "a graphaphone 
party" was a newsworthy social gathering. 

When the report reached the Shore that the Wright 
Brothers had actually flown a flying machine at Kitty Hawk, 
North Carolina, on December 17, 1903, the few people who 
paid any attention to the report in a Norfolk newspaper were 
skeptical. Only birds, kites and balloons were supposed to 

Some people had seen horseless carriages, called auto- 
mobiles, on visits to the city and a few were aspiring to own 
one early in the century. The first one was owned by Claude 
Nottingham of Onancock about 1906. It has been said that 
ladies would not go out in their carriages until the said Not- 
tingham was consulted to see if he expected to use that horse- 
frightening machine that day. W. P. Bell of Accomac owned 
the second automobile on the Shore, and it is described as 
a one-cylinder affair with the motor under the seat, the crank- 
starter on one side and a top like a buggy with front and side 
curtains to snap in place in case of rain. Through the year 
1910 the purchase of an automobile, usually made in Balti- 
more and brought home by steamboat, was news for the papers. 

On March 17, 1906, the General Assembly approved 
an Act for operating automobiles. Every owner was required 
to apply to the Secretary of the Commonwealth for a cer- 
tificate of registration. The registration certificate contained 
a number assigned to the automobile, the owner's name and 
address and the registration date. One license plate bearing 
the registration number was supplied for the rear of the auto- 


mobile. The registration fee was $2.00 and the license was 
good for the life of the car unless it was sold. Then the new 
owner applied for a new registration. The rate of speed was 
fixed at fifteen miles per hour in the open country and eight 
miles per hour for going around curves, up and down hills, 
and in villages, towns, or cities. 

The driver was to watch for the approach of horseback 
riders and vehicles drawn by animals. If the driver or rider 
found his animal frightened, he was to signal the driver of 
the horseless carriage to stop until the frightened animal pass- 
ed. If such driver were a man, he could be asked to lead 
the frightened animal past his horseless carriage. If the 
horseless carriage driver wished to pass an animal-drawn ve- 
hicle, he was to give the signal by a bell, gong or horn and 
passing speed was not to exceed four miles per hour. If the 
animal became frightened, the driver was to get out and hold 
it until it became quiet, then drive his automobile past it. Fines 
of from $10 to $100 were imposed for failure to obey these 

Interest in road improvement on a state-wide basis had 
been growing for some years before the advent of the auto- 
mobile. Benjamin T. Gunter represented the Eastern Shore 
at the Governor's Good Road Conference in Richmond in 
1902. Road building was a business of the Board of Super- 
visors on a district basis. 

Public schools gained in favor and replaced private acad- 
emies early in the century. The first graduating class in i 
high school on the Shore was at Cape Charles in 1901 with 
three members. Elmore Dickinson was the principal and the 
four-room building was on Monroe Avenue. 

The first graduates in Accomack County were two girls 
in 1903. Edgar Sydenstricker was principal. He had suc- 
ceeded G. Goodwyn Joynes who became superintendent: 

G. Goodwyn Joynes was born near Onancock on 
September 6, 1865. After his graduation from Dickin- 
son College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, he taught for two 
years at Finneys Gate School near Onancock, and then 
became principal of the Onancock Graded Public School. 

CHAPTER XV — 1900-1920 215 

In 1880 he married Sallie Wright Northam. They sent 
their children to the public school when their friends 
were ardent supporters of private schools and academies. 
In July 1901 he became Superintendent of Accomack 
County Schools and served in that capacity until his re- 
tirement in 1 924. He died at his home on Market Street, 
Onancock, in 1932. 

The first public schoolhouse in Onancock was in a build- 
ing located in what is now a field two blocks east of Kerr 
Place. The high school was established in a building erected 
for a garment factory on Kerr Street. It remained there until 
1918 when the site of the present building was purchased. 
A former Margaret Academy building was used until the 
brick building was completed in 1921. 

Margaret Academy was operated during the term 1901- 
1902 with C. W. Mason as principal. On November 30, 
1901, he submitted a list of twenty-six names of students 
with "distinguished standing" for the first quarter. This cen- 
tury old institution of learning was closed in the spring of 

Pungoteague Academy closed when a public high school 
was established in 1902 for the Pungoteague-Harborton area. 
A notice appeared in the county paper in August advising par- 
ents to send their children to the public school. 

The year 1902 brought the establishment of high schools 
in a number of places in Accomack County and the number of 
small schools increased. Superintendent Joynes' report in July 
1908 showed 153 schools. 

Northampton County also established high schools and 
increased the number of elementary schools. L.uther Notting- 
ham became county superintendent in 1903 and held the office 
for six years. A. Preston Scott succeeded him in 1909. He had 
a B.A. degree from Hampden-Sydney College and was on 
the faculty of The Presbyterian College, Fredericksburg, 
when he returned to his home county as superintendent. After 
two years he entered private business there. Edward G. Tank- 
ard was superintendent from 1911 to 1921. He was born near 
Hadlock, Northampton County, in 1862 and died in 1946. 


He was recognized as one of the Shore's outstanding business 

A teacher training department was established in the 
Onancock High School in 1908 and continued until 1915. 
Students from the Maryland line to Cape Charles boarded in 
private homes in Onancock to take this course in the tenth and 
eleventh grades, or after they graduated from high school. 
Upon completion of the "Normal School Course," as it was 
called, and reaching the age of eighteen years a student was 
issued a teacher's certificate. This provided a supply of teach- 
ers for the smaller schools when graduates from colleges or 
institutions of higher learning were not available. 

The first children on the Shore to have transportation 
to school at public expense were from Lee Mont and Bayside 
to Hunting Creek in 1902. Benches were built on the sides 
of the platform of a farm wagon and a step was lowered at 
the back for children to get in or out. In clear warm weather 
the wagon had no cover, but an oval frame with canvas over 
it provided protection from rain or chilly weather. 

Interest in local history antedated the twentieth cen- 
tury. It reached a visible form in historical markers in the 
first twenty years of this century. In 1 899 the Confederate 
Monument was dedicated at Parksley. It was erected by the 
Harmanson-West Camp Confederate Volunteers in memory 
of their dead comrades from Accomack and Northampton 
Counties. Then in 1913 a Confederate monument was dedi- 
cated in Eastville. It was erected by the Harmanson-West 
Camp Confederate Veterans, the Daughters of the Confed- 
eracy and the citizens of the Eastern Shore in memory of the 
soldiers from Accomack and Northampton who lost their 
lives in Confederate service. 

On May 14, 1908, a monument was dedicated to Fran- 
cis Makemie at his former home and burial place on Holden 
Creek not far from its junction with Pocomoke Sound. This 
life size monument on a high pedestal is dedicated to: 
The chief founder of organized Presbytery in America, 
A. D. 1706, and the First Moderator of the 
General Presbytery. 

CHAPTER XV — 1900-1920 217 

This monument and a brick pyramid with a marble tab- 
let bearing an inscription about Makemie's wife's family and 
his children, including Madam Holden for whom the 
creek is named, were placed in a small park. This park and 
the monument were gifts of the American Presbyterian His- 
torical Society, with headquarters in Philadelphia. Bloom- 
town Railroad Station was changed to Makemie Park. A local 
Makemie Memorial Association was organized to care for 
the park and to further interest in Francis Makemie, The 
association is still active. A memorial service was held at the 
little park in 1958, the 300th anniversary of Makemie's 

Speeches made at the dedication services of the Acco- 
mack and Northampton courthouses preserved some of the 
Shore's history and created a new interest in the Shore's rich 
heritage, including court records which are continuous from 

The most dedicated student of local history in the last 
quarter of the nineteenth and first decade of the twentieth 
century was Thomas Teackle Upshur: 

Thomas Teackle Upshur was born at Brownsville, 
Northampton County, December 22, 1844. He entered 
Virginia Military Institute in 1859 and volunteered for 
Confederate service in 1861. He was appointed drill 
master for a company under Captain Spencer Fletcher of 
Jenkins Bridge. He left the Shore before it was occu- 
pied by Union soldiers and spent the rest of the war 
years in a company of scouts and couriers. 

After the war he became associated with a Baltimore 
business firm and was sent to a branch in Sumter, South 
Carolina. There he married Caroline deSaussure Bland- 
ing. Before 1880 he returned to Brownsville and en- 
gaged in farming and delving in the ancient Court Rec- 
cords of Northampton County. He mastered the skill 
of reading the handwriting of the early clerks and did 
extensive research on his family back to Sir George 
Yeardley. He wrote articles for historical magazines 
which brought him well deserved recognition. 


In 1 892 Thomas Teackle Upshur was commissioned 
by the Virginia State Library to transcribe the first and 
second books of the Accomack-Northampton Court Rec- 
ords. He completed the assignment in 1896, with two 
books in handwriting as even as engraving and more in- 
tricately indexed than the originals. 

He was then commissioned to transcribe other rec- 
ords for Northampton County. In his later years he 
worked in a rocking chair at home with a board across 
the arms. His handwriting continued to resemble en- 
graving to the last word. 

Thomas Teackle Upshur died on January 14, 1910, 
leaving his local history work unfinished. His children 
shared his records with others interested in Shore his- 

The establishment of the "McMaster Old Home Es- 
say Award" by John Stevenson McMaster for a Maryland 
school in 1908, and extending it to include Accomac, Onan- 
cock and Chincoteague high schools by 1911, did much to keep 
alive the interest in Shore history. A trust fund provides 
medals for essay winners in the senior classes of the high 
schools designated by the founder. 

In 1911 The Early History of the Eastern Shore of 
Virginia by Jennings Cropper Wise, was published. This 
followed several other excellent books by members of Gov- 
ernor Wise's family which deal with certain phases of the 
Shore — principally biographies. These writings did little to 
make the rest of the state and nation aware of the progressive 
segment of Virginia between the Chesapeake and the At- 
lantic. State and national office seekers however did not 
neglect it. Post offices were secured through the chairman of 
the Democratic or Republican party in a county, and there 
were 105 new jobs each time the political affiliation of the 
President of the United States changed. The Shore got its 
first Rural Free Delivery mail service on June 1, 1905, with 
a route on Chincoteague Island. 

The census of 1910 shows that Accomack County had a 
population of 2>6.,6S0j the highest on record, and there were 

CHAPTER XV — 1900-1920 219 

2977 farms. Northampton's population was 16,672, but it 
was not to reach its maximum until two decades later. North- 
ampton had 1298 farms. Accomack planted 14,519 acres of 
Irish potatoes the year before the census, and Northampton 
planted 16,109 acres. The yield for the two counties was 3,- 
019,000 bushels. Accomack planted 14,811 acres of sweet 
potatoes while Northampton planted 4121 acres. The total 
yield was 3,123,129 bushels. Accomack planted 993 acres in 
strawberries and Northampton planted only 21 acres. The 
total yield was 1,703,079 quarts. Other vegetables, including 
cabbage, onions and tomatoes were planted on 2725 acres in 
the two counties. Strawberries had been listed in the past two 
censuses but the acreage did not increase as did that of Irish 
and sweet potatoes. These figures, which represent a total 
of more than 53,000 acres in vegetables and strawberries, show 
that the Eastern Shore was a truck farming area. Grain was 
still being grown for corn meal and to feed the livestock, in- 
cluding 9380 horses and 1721 mules. 

The railroad company furnished freight and express cars 
for its share of the produce transportation business. Passenger 
service from 'New York to Norfolk required less time 
after the Pennsylvanhy a large screw-propelled steamship, re- 
placed the side-wheeler Old Point Comjort. In 1907 the 
Marylandy another screw-propelled ship with as much speed 
as the Pennsylvania and New York, made two round trips daily 
between Cape Charles, Old Point Comfort and Norfolk. 

Steamboats which had served the Shore for more than 
half a century got their share of the produce business as the 
acreage increased. Freight and passenger service was available 
from most of the bayside creeks during the growing season 
and at the height of the oyster season. Between these seasons 
the boats ran less frequently. The business increased to the 
extent that service was expanded in 1910. Many farmers 
took a leisurely trip to Baltimore at the end of the harvest 
season for the sociability on the boat and to visit friends. The 
fare was reasonable and the food was just right for a hungry 
man. In some instances the captain of a boat took good pa- 
trons without charge near the end of the potato season. Steam- 


boat captains worked hard to hold their customers when rail- 
road competition was keen. 

Life Saving Service, which had been a valuable institu- 
tion on the ocean side of the Eastern Shore and elsewhere for 
almost half a century, was combined with the Revenue Cutter 
Service and organized as the United States Coast Guard by 
an Act of Congress on January 28, 1915. Although the 
Coast Guard remained under the Treasury Department, the 
men became naval reserve units for use in time of war. They 
were eligible for retirement pensions after long and faithful 
service. The Revenue Cutter Service predated Life Saving 
Service and its principal business was to see that goods of an 
illegal nature or regular imports were not smuggled in 
through ports that had no custom houses. 

The Shore became a part of the Fifth Coast Guard Dis- 
trict. From the beginning of this century the stations from 
Popes Island to Smiths Island were connected by a telephone 
relay system so facilities from two or more stations could be 
combined in case of a major sea disaster. After the formation 
of the Coast Guard, two-story buildings were erected with liv- 
ing quarters for the crew, boat houses with slanting platforms 
and storage space for other equipment. Earlier quarters were 
in one-story buildings with watch towers on top and boat hous- 
es attached to the sides. The invention of wireless telegraphy 
which most ships used removed the necessity for keeping the 
look-out towers manned. 

During World War I the Coast Guard was the sole 
armed protection of the Eastern Shore from European en- 
emies. Beaches were patrolled with diligence to prevent the 
landing of Axis spies in small boats from submarines. Constant 
watch was maintained at the Cape Charles Station at the mouth 
of Chesapeake Bay for enemy ships for the protruding peri- 
scopes of enemy submarines. Some Coast Guard men were 
sent for navy duty in other places and others were trained for 
duty on the coast which had the natural protection of 3000 
miles of ocean between it and the European enemies. 

When Congress declared war against Germany on April 
6, 1917, most of the men under forty years of age who had 

CHAPTER XV — 1900-1920 221 

attended military schools applied for commissions and many 
others enlisted. In time others were drafted after the Na- 
tional Draft Act was passed and each county was assigned a 
quota of men to be supplied each month. A Selective Service 
Board was appointed in each Shore county to choose from 
among the registered men those who were to supply each 
month's quota. The memorial plaques list 31 in Accomack 
and 21 in Northampton who lost their lives defending the 
principles on which the United States were founded. 

The imprint made by World War I on the Eastern 
Shore dinner tables is part of the Shore's history. When sugar 
was rationed, people were astounded. They were epicures and 
only the ability to pay for sugar and other food items not pro- 
duced at home had governed purchases. Then a national ap- 
peal was made for families to observe "wheatless days and 
meatless days" to permit more of those items to be shipped to 
the American Army in Europe and civilians in England and 
France. Corn meal molded in transit, and the supply of live- 
stock in the United States was not sufficient to meet the de- 
mands of World War I. 

The number of automobiles increased so fast on the 
Shore during World War I that the General Assembly ap- 
proved an Act to regulate the operation of motor vehicles in 
Accomack and Northampton counties as follows: 

It shall be unlawful for the owner of an automobile 
to permit it to be operated by any person under twelve 
years of age j to fail to keep to the extreme right side of 
the road when meeting a horse or horse drawn vehicle j 
and to use lights without apparatus for shading or dim- 
ming them when approaching other users of the highway. 
When the men returned from training camps or over- 
seas, jobs were plentiful and there was a place in college for 
those who chose to continue their education. Many of them 
did. Potato growing was attractive enough to cause many of 
the young men to engage in farming. A few were lured to 
cities for some good jobs in the rapidly expanding automobile 

In 1919 almost every returning steamboat brought 


new automobiles from Baltimore and trains brought some on 
flat cars. Filling stations sprang up and garages followed. 
Brick churches were built in many communities to replace 
frame ones and a new boom was in the making for home build- 
ing. People invested their money in stocks and bonds or made 
loans to those who wanted to buy more land on which to grow 
more Irish potatoes. Land prices spiralled week by week. 
"Horse and buggy" days were rapidly fading away and the 
hitching post was being replaced by parking space wherever 
Shore people assembled in business areas, at church and at 
the Keller Fair. 

Chapter XVI 

The year 1920 began the "Rubber Tire Era" into which 
the Shore had been moving for a decade. The census showed 
that 53,267 acres of Irish potatoes were grown the previous 
year and the acreage was increased. This quick money crop 
brought the highest prices on record in 1920. New automo- 
biles and small trucks exceeded those in previous years. Auto- 
mobile dealers were in business and garages were available for 
service. Filling stations sprang up on the roadsides and there 
was competition to see who could be the closest to the road. 
An Act of the General Assembly prohibited a gasoline tank 
from being filled while on a public road. Filling stations then 
were built farther back with circular drives to the pumps. 

Some of the islands were not interested in automobiles 
for they had no room for them. Among these were Hog Is- 
land, with the post office called Broadwater, on the seaside 
of Northampton, and Assateague and Tangier in Accomack 
County. Saxis was connected with the mainland by a "corduroy 
road" after 1888. This type of road was covered with small 
logs split in half lengthways and placed side by side across the 
road. Chincoteague did have automobiles and was looking 
forward to driving them to the mainland. The boyhood dream 
of a native son showed signs of being realized upon the or- 
ganization of the Chincoteague Toll Road and Bridge Com- 
pany in 1919. 

John B. Whealton was born April 3, 1860, on Chin- 
coteague Island. After getting a limited education in a 
public school, he went to sea. By his sixteenth birthday 
he had been on trading expeditions to South America, 
Europe, Africa and Asia, including one voyage to China. 










■gateague Creek y,^^ J[ 

y (I 

^^FoUy Creeh 

JiiUaaomiai Creek ^^ Indian Toan 



CHAPTER XVI — 1920-1940 225 

He had seen roads and bridges over short stretches of 
marsh and he began to plan for a land connection for 
Chincoteague. He was a thrifty seaman and owned a 
four-masted schooner before 1890. With a well-trained 
crew he made his trading expeditions profitable. 

An illness, which would have deactivated a weaker 
man, made it necessary for him to give up his life as a 
merchant seaman, but led John into a new vocation which 
helped him realize his dream. He went to Norfolk and 
got a job with a firm which made excavations for base- 
ments and built roads. From there he went to Tampa, 
Florida, and set up his own construction company which 
got contracts for building roads with a mixture of oyster 
shells and dirt. He returned to Chincoteague in the sum- 
mer of 1918 and began work toward organizing a stock 
company to build a road and bridge system from Chinco- 
teague to the mainland. As soon as enough stock was 
subscribed to pay an engineer he hastened to Accomac and 
engaged one. Before Christmas the application for a 
charter for the Chincoteague Toll Road and Bridge Com- 
pany was in the hands of the State Corporation Com- 

The Charter was granted on January 21, 1919. The 
incorporators were: LeRoy Jester, E. J. Bowden, H. J. 
Jester, John W. Winder, John Leonard, D. J. Whealton, 
T. P. Selby, E. W. Watson, E. E. Adams, W. J. Adams, J. 
T. Mears and John B. Whealton. D. J. Whealton was presi- 
dent and LeRoy Jester was secretary. 

John B. Whealton, whose dream was taking on visible 
form, was known as "Captain Jack." He studied the route 
previously surveyed from the south end of the island to Wal- 
lops Neck on the mainland and convinced the directors that 
it should be changed to a site in the business section of town. 
A new survey was made and the Federal government granted 
permission for a drawbridge to span Chincoteague Channel. 
The Governor had called a special session of the General As- 
sembly for September 1919 and an application for a permit 
to cross the marshes and salt water creeks was made. Bids for 


the contract were advertised in August. 

The General Assembly approved the bill on September 
4, 1919, for: 

A road to be built from A. F. Jester's dock, next to 
the Atlantic Hotel Dock, leading across Chincoteague 
Channel to the marsh and then across Black Narrows 
Channel and marsh, then in a southwestern direction 
across Wide Narrows to Queen Sound at the mouth of 
Shell Bay, then in a westerly direction to W. H. Hick- 
man's Farm in Wallops Neck. 
The bill became effective on the day it was passed and the 
bids were opened when the telegram arrived at Chincoteague. 
John B. Whealton was awarded the contract for $144,000. 
No guarantee for a completion date was required. Stock- 
holders on the island, on the mainland and in other states 
watched the progress of the work and they sometimes grew 

On November 1 5, 1 922, the long-awaited opening of the 
Chincoteague Toll Road and Bridge system took place. Some 
4000 visitors were on the island to hear the Governor speak 
and to witness the cutting of the ribbon which was placed 
after the many automobiles from the mainland and adjoining 
states had crossed. The Governor commended the builder 
and all others who had worked diligently as directors without 
remuneration and those who had bought the stock. He not 
only proclaimed a new era for the island, but he prophesied 
that some people in the audience would ride over a hard- 
surfaced road from the Maryland line to Cape Charles. Be- 
fore the ceremony was completed rain began to fall, but ev- 
eryone stayed until it was over. 

The causeways had not been tested in such a rain and 
they failed to stand up under the automobile traffic. The 
section adjoining the mainland was the last to give up and 
ninety-six cars were stuck on the causeways. People with 
small boats spent the night evacuating people from the cause- 
ways. Since the hotel was already filled with visitors who had 
come to spend the night, the evacuees who were taken to the 
island were made comfortable in private homes. The next 

CHAPTER XVI — 1920-1940 227 

morning Captain Jack Whealton, the hero of the previous 
day, was on the causeway with his hip boots on to help rescue 
the automobiles. For two days cars were ferried on barges to 
Wisharts Point or Franklin City. 

The causeways had been built with soil pumped from the 
creeks and marshes and mixed with some shell. When the 
visitors were safely home Captain Whealton began the task 
of rebuilding the causeway. Oyster shells from packing houses 
far and near were added and covered with soil. Before Christ- 
mas 1922 the Chincoteague Bridge and Toll Road Company 
was in business and the shell and dirt were firm enough to 
hold up in heavy traffic in wet or dry weather. 

Captain Jack Whealton returned to Tampa with other 
ideas. He was dreaming of a road from Chincoteague to As- 
sateague and a resort on that island to rival Atlantic City. 
And he was dreaming of toll-free passage to Chincoteague 
when the investors got their money back with a fair rate of 
interest. He died in Tampa in 1928. The State Highway 
Department paid for the stock and the crossing to Chinco- 
teague became toll free on July 1, 1930. 

The prophecy of the Governor about a paved road 
through the Shore was within the realm of possibility at the 
time. On March 24, 1922, the General Assembly approved 
an Act to create a State Highway Commission of five mem- 
bers to be appointed by the Governor. This commission had 
the authority to accept roads for the State Highway System 
and to establish routes. A survey had already been made 
through the Shore and the present U. S. 1 3 was to be in the 
state system. 

The big issue to be settled was whether to build roads on 
a pay-as-you-go basis from automobile license fees, now sold 
annually, and gasoline taxes, or to borrow money and build 
roads immediately on a state-wide basis. A referendum in 
1923 showed that the voters of the state favored the pay-as- 
you-go road building plan. 

The route of the proposed highway from the Maryland 
line to Cape Charles was a controversial issue from 1922 until 
1927. The first concrete was poured south of the Maryland 


line and from Cape Charles to a point six miles northward in 
1923. There was no objection to the location of these strips. 
The controversy localized on the road from Tasley to Ex- 
more. One group insisted on its following the old stage route 
which went through Onancock, Pungoteague and Belle Haven. 
The other group favored a new roadbed parallel to the rail- 
road. The latter was the choice of the State Highway Com- 
mission and the new road was built as fast as funds were avail- 

The towns that were bypassed took steps to build hard 
surface roads to the paved road. Public roads not in the state 
highway system continued to be financed by local taxes until 
the state took over all public roads. 

The opening of the Accomac Hotel in the spring of 1 922 
was one of the spectacular events of the decade. It was built 
as a community project after fire destroyed the colonial tav- 
ern which had served those attending court and had the dis- 
tinction of being the birthplace of Governor Henry A. Wise. 
The handsome brick building with seventeen bedrooms, a 
men's lobby, a women's parlor, writing room and a spacious 
dining room, was second to none outside of a city. Automobile 
taxi service was maintained from Tasley for the benefit of the 
traveling public. 

The manager of this hotel came from Norfolk and his 
only complaint was the tremendous cost of bringing his Nash 
automobile across the bay. The gasoline had to be drained 
from the car at Norfolk dock where it was pushed onto 
the steamer by deck hands. Likewise it was pushed off at Cape 
Charles where the gasoline tank was replenished at his ex- 
pense. The express charge for transporting the car was $18 
in addition to the sacrifice of the gasoline m Norfolk. Fire 
regulations did not permit the presence of gasoline on the 
steamer. On August 24, 1925, the Pennsylvania Railroad 
put into effect a refund system for the benefit of travelers who 
had to drain their tanks. 

Women began to take more interest in public affairs after 
they were given the right to vote on August 26, 1920. One 
early project was to prohibit the keeping of hogs in one of the 

CHAPTER XVI — 1920-1940 229 

towns. Enough voters signed a petition to cause the town 
council to hold a referendum along with a regular election. 
The amendment was printed and blocks were provided "for" 
or "against" it. The amendment was defeated. The women 
admitted that they thought they were voting against the hogs. 

On February 11, 1921, a National Guard unit was 
created on the Shore when Archibald E. Tanner, then prin- 
cipal of Onancock High School, who had previously formed 
a cadet corps of students, received orders from the Adjutant 
General of Virginia to organize a National Guard Unit. The 
Governor appointed Archibald E. Tanner as commanding of- 
ficer with the rank of Major. The temporary armory was on 
the third floor of the Matthews Building, now the shirt fac- 
tory, in Parksley. 

On July 27, 1921, the Shore National Guard was of- 
ficially mustered in and designated as the 7th Company, 2nd 
Provisional Infantry with the First Platoon at Parksley and 
the Second at Chincoteague. A few weeks later the Chinco- 
teague Platoon was transferred to Coast Artillery. In Feb- 
ruary 1922 the Parksley Platoon was divided and one platoon 
drilled in Onancock. These platoons were Company K of the 
183rd Infantry Division. The present armory in Onancock 
was completed in 1955 and the National Guard Unit is Anti- 
Aircraft Artillery. 

The public school system underwent a change in March 
1922 when an Act of the General Assembly abolished the 
district school boards, which had their own clerks and treas- 
urers and the responsibility of keeping up the buildings and 
employing teachers. The same Act created the "County Unit 
System" in which one school board member is chosen from 
each magisterial district, and one from each town consisting 
of a separate district. These members compose the county 
school board and a chairman is chosen from the members. 
This paved the way for needed consolidation. School build- 
ings remained the responsibility of the magisterial districts. 

For the school term 1924-1925 Accomack County had 
seventy-one schools. Sixteen of these were four-year high 
schools and two others taught eighth and ninth grade subjects. 


including algebra and Latin. School buses replaced school 
wagons. The first hot soup served at a school in Accomack 
County to supplement the home-packed lunches was in At- 
lantic District in 1923. 

There were 29 schools in Northampton in the 1924- 
1925 term. Of these, 6 were four-year high schools, and 2 
others offered some high school subjects. William H. Wil- 
kins was superintendent from 1921 to 1927. 

Two highway troopers for the Shore were appointed in 
1927. They wore gray uniforms and traveled on motorcycles. 
Prior to that time district inspectors, in unmarked cars, made 
periodic visits to the Shore to check on violations such as coun- 
terfeit license plates and improper registration of vehicles. 

In 1927 the Shore had twenty-four banks. Some of them 
had branches in nearby towns. Their assets were $ 1 0,490,359. 
Some were National, others were State, and Thomas H. 
Blackstone had a private bank in Accomac. The assets of the 
banks did not register the wealth on the Shore because many 
people had large investments in stocks and bonds. Others 
were private money lenders with mortgages on real estate. 
The ambition of a thrifty small businessman or farmer was 
to own a home with a sizeable garden in one of the towns and 
have $10,000 loaned on interest at 6 per cent. If a man 
that well fixed chose to retire, he and his wife could live 
comfortably on $600 in cash, and be reasonably certain of 
having debt-free real estate to leave to their children. Many 
people attained this goal in the prosperous 1920's and refrain- 
ed from speculation for quick gain, while others took risky 
ventures to make more money. 

The railroad was prosperous and willing to invest in a 
new ferry. The Virginia Lee, the finest steamboat that ever 
plied the waters between Cape Charles, Old Point and Nor- 
folk, was put into service in 1928. It was 300 feet long and 
had an automobile deck capable of carrying up to eighty cars. 
The task of driving them around deck posts and parking them 
on the designated inch of space, as uniformed crew men di- 
rected the activity, was an exacting one. When all cars were 
on, a deck hand turned a huge screw resembling the steering 


wheel of a car until the rounded stern of the steamer was en- 

The elegant dining room was on the lower deck. The 
crisp linens, pretty dishes and uniformed waiters equalled 
the luxuries enjoyed in Pullman diners, and the food was de- 
licious. The large main deck was furnished with comfortable 
chairs and the ladies' lounge was as elegant as one in a good 
hotel. There were comfortable staterooms for passengers who 
chose to spend the night on the boat in readiness for an early 
sailing in the morning. This boat was as handsome as an 
ocean liner and it was as seaworthy. 

Train passengers to and from New York and other 
points north transferred to the steamer or left it at Cape 
Charles. The Virginia Lee and the Maryland each made three 
round trips daily between Cape Charles, Old Point and Nor- 
folk. The latter had an improvised automobile deck. The 
fares for ferrying cars were high enough to encourage people 
to travel by train rather than private automobile. When 
holiday traffic required it, the Pennsylvania was used and 
extra coaches were added to the trains at Cape Charles. 

The Northampton- Accomack Memorial Hospital, which 
had been one doctor's dream for twenty-five years and the 
working ambition of many people since 1921, was opened for 
service in 1928. Dr. W. J. Sturgis of Nassawadox had been 
thinking in terms of a hospital for the Shore from the day he 
took his first surgery patient to a Baltimore hospital in 1903, 
the year he began the practice of medicine. (He had tried 
to form a stock company to build a hospital, but did not get 
enough support to incorporate.) 

In 1920 there was enough interest in a hospital as a me- 
morial to the men who had lost their lives in World War I 
to justify a fund-raising campaign. This was completed in 
November. Dr. W. J. Sturgis and B. D. Holland, Sr. were 
appointed to purchase land on which to erect the building. In 
January a two-acre tract in Nassawadox was bought for $3000 
and a set of ready-made plans and specifications for a fifty- 
bed hospital was purchased from an architect's firm for $1 000. 
The specifications called for 150,000 brick and a car load of 

CHAPTER XVI — 1920-1940 233 

patented windows. They were bought for $8000. The brick 
were put on the building site and the windows were stored in 
Dr. Sturgis' barn. All the money had been spent. 

A Bi-County Ladies' Auxiliary was organized by Mrs. 
Bessie B. Anderson whose husband had died after delayed sur- 
gery following a trip by train to Baltimore. The ladies held 
bazaars, served a luncheon at Kiptopeke each year and con- 
ducted annual membership campaigns. They also helped im- 
press the need for a hospital on the minds of the public. 

In 1922 the General Assembly enacted a law permitting 
boards of supervisors to contribute funds toward World War 
I memorials. All requests for more than $500 had to be ac- 
companied by the signatures of at least one-fourth of the qual- 
ified voters. The ladies got the signatures requesting $ 1 5,000 
from each county. Dr. John W. Bowdoin who served on the 
Accomack Board of Supervisors for more than thirty years and 
whose ancestors lived at Bowdoin Hungars, near Eastville, 
favored the plan for a bi-county hospital and helped dispel 
the idea that each county could have its own. Each county ap- 
propriated $15,000. 

A new hospital required the sponsorship of one already 
in operation. Finding one to sponsor a community hospital 
on the Eastern Shore required more than one trial. Johnston- 
Willis Hospital, Richmond, signed a five-year contract with 
the Northampton-Accomack Memorial Hospital and agreed 
to send two surgeons and an internal medicine specialist when 
the building was completed and equipped. 

Northampton- Accomack Memorial Hospital was opened 
with appropriate ceremonies on August 17, 1928. General 
Hugh S. Gumming, Surgeon General, United States Public 
Health Service, was the principal speaker. John E. Notting- 
ham (later Circuit Court Judge), president of the Board of 
Trustees, made the presentation speech. Hon. G. Walter 
Mapp made the acceptance speech in which he said, "Genera- 
tions yet to come will voice their gratitude for this labor of 
love and service." The Pennsylvania Railroad Band fur- 
nished the music. 

The original staff consisted of Dr. Don Daniel and Dr. 


William Carey Henderson, surgeons, and Dr. John R. Ham- 
ilton, internal medicine specialist. These doctors had rooms in 
the hospital and got their meals from the kitchen which was 
under their supervision. Dr. Daniel was recalled to head the 
surgery department of Johnston- Willis, and Dr. Harry Lee 
Denoon came in his place. The first superintendent of nurs- 
es was Miss Margaret Walkley. 

The first Board of Trustees was: Mrs. Bessie B. Ander- 
son, F. B. Bell, Dr. J. W. Bowdoin, Mrs. Elizabeth P. 
Costin, Mrs. G. W. Curtis, E. V. Downes, Dr. E. W. P. 
Downing, W. P. Godwin, Ben T. Gunter, Dr. G. W. Hol- 
land, Dr. S. S. Kellam, Mrs. G. Walter Mapp, J. Brooks 
Mapp, Mrs. J. S. Mills, John E. Nottingham, Dr. John W. 
Robertson, James S. Rogers, Dr. W. J. Sturgis, Mrs. Jane 
Ames Taylor, J. C. Walker, Judge N. B. Wescott, M. Smith 
Wilson and Mrs. Henry A. Wise. 

Physicians on the Shore were given the privilege of using 
the hospital for maternity cases. Dr. W. J. Sturgis not only 
saw his dream of a hospital on the Shore come true but he 
enjoyed its benefits for more than thirty years. He practiced 
as a family physician until his death in 1959. One of his 
sons joined the surgical staff of the hospital after World War 

Interest in local history was encouraged by the women's 
patriotic societies. The Daughters of the American Revolu- 
tion took the initiative in getting government markers for the 
graves of Revolutionary soldiers and sailors. In 1928 a 
tablet was placed on the grave of the commander of the Bat- 
tle of the Barges at Scott Hall in Onancock. The inscription 

In memory of 

Commodore Whaley 

U. S. Navy, Revolutionary War 

The same organization helped get the early court records 

restored and indexed. This project is still under way. 

The United Daughters of the Confederacy helped get 
markers for the graves of Confederate soldiers. A collection 
of Civil War relics was assembled by this organization for 

CHAPTER XVI — 1920-1940 235 

display in a room in the Debtors Prison building in Accomac. 
The late i920's were profitable years for Shore farmers 

and watermen as well as business and professional men who 
served them. Irish potato growing was so profitable that 
many families abandoned the custom of growing and storing 

The price of farm land increased with the income and 
many people bought more land on which to grow more Irish 
potatoes on credit. Some even mortgaged their inherited 
farms and homes to buy more land. Federal Land Bank loans 
were popular because of the lower rate of interest than at 
local banks. 

'New homes were built and old ones were modernized. 
Windmills, which had been used to pump water for a limited 
number of homes, were replaced with gasoline or electric 
pumps. Bathrooms were installed as fast as plumbers could 
get the supplies and mechanical refrigerators, which became 
a threat to the ice man in this decade, were in great demand. 
The roads were filled with late model cars and a few fam- 
ilies even had two cars. 

Thrifty people who already had stocks and bonds bought 
more, and additional people invested in securities. Others 
made loans to business firms or individuals through local banks. 
A few had diversified investments, including Government 

The Shore was widely known for its recreational facilities. 
The hotels were patronized by sportsmen from northern cities 
during fishing seasons and at wildfowl shooting time. Local 
people enjoyed these phases of recreation and horse racing 
at Keller Fair time. Many people owned pleasure boats that 
would have been acceptable in a yacht race. 

The Shore had three country clubs and each had a nine- 
hole golf course. The Maplewood Golf Course was between 
Exmore and Nassawadox on a tract of land which was leased. 
The Accomack Country Club leased part of the Garrison Farm 
and the colonial house on the north side of Folly Creek. The 
Maplewood club disbanded when its lease expired. The Ac- 
comack Club was discontinued at the beginning of World War 


II and the farm containing the golf course was sold to a dairy- 
man. The Cape Charles Country Club bought a tract of land 
on the south side of Kings Creek and built a clubhouse and 
it is still active. 

The stock market crash in October 1929 brought im- 
mediate loss to some people and the economic depression 
that followed affected everybody on the Shore in time. Irish 
potato prices went low and there was not enough income to pay 
the bills. In turn the creditors were unable to pay the whole- 
sale firms. Many small merchants were forced to go out of 
business while others could only get credit for a short time. 
Some grocei-y salesmen covering the area became collecting 
agents. They got pay for the previous order before taking 
another. Professional people could not collect enough to pay 
expenses. Schools were closed early when the county had no 
funds for the ninth month and county officials did without 
their salaries for months at a time. 

The State Highway Department took over the primary 
roads in 1928 and allotted funds from the gasoline tax and 
automobile licenses to the counties. On June 30, 1930, the 
state took over the assets of the Chincoteague Toll Road and 
Bridge Company. The stockholders were paid par value for 
their stock, and the state allotted $100,000 to repair the 
bridges and causeways, and to build a road from Wattsville to 
Oak Hall Farm, now T's Corner. (The road was not given 
a hard surface at that time.) 

The "Stone Road," now U. S. Route 13, was completed 
between Cape Charles and the Maryland line and opened 
with a colorful ceremony, with all members of the State High- 
way Commission present, on July 1, 1931. The strip of con- 
crete was sixty-two miles long and nine years were required for 
building it. Early in this decade all public roads on the Shore 
were made a part of the State Highway System and classified 
as primary and secondary roads. Automobile drivers' licenses 
were issued in 1934. An Act of the General Assembly of 
that year made a license a requirement for driving. 

A ferry franchise was granted to the Peninsula Ferry 
Company in 1930 and a ferry began operation between the 

CHAPTER XVI — 1920-1940 237 

north side of Cape Charles and Pine Beach, near Ocean View. 
The big open steamer had the capacity for one hundred cars 
and the fares were lower than those of the Pennsylvania Rail- 
road steamers. Although the latter lowered its fares, the new 
ferry was a success. 

Before the "Stone Road" was finished, Charles F. Rus- 
sell, a contractor in the county, visualized the tourist business 
which would be forthcoming. He built a dining room and 
twelve tourist cabins in the spring of 1931. He offered a prize 
for a name, and "Whispering Pines" was chosen. Facilities 
were expanded to take care of the volume of business which 
increased year by year. The original cabins were sold to give 
space for motel buildings. 

In 1933 the Virginia Ferry Company superseded the 
Peninsula Ferry Company. A streamlined steamer, the Del- 
marvay especially designed for automobiles and trucks was 
built and the Shore terminal was moved to the Pennsylvania 
Railroad Terminal and the southern terminal was at Little 
Creek where the Pennsylvania had built tracks for its box car 
barges. Presumably the Pennsylvania Railroad owned a 
large amount of the stock in the new ferry company. Other 
steamers were added as time went on. 

"Home and Garden Tours" began on the Shore in 
June 1934 under the sponsorship of St. James Episcopal 
Church, Accomac. Nine places in Accomac and Onancock 
were included in a block ticket for seventy-five cents which 
included afternoon tea. Proceeds from the tour went for 
improvements for the historic church. 

The following year the Hospital Auxiliary conducted 
a two-day tour. The beautiful estate, Kiptopeke, which had 
been open for hospital benefits during the struggling years 
before the building was completed, was included in the tour. 
Such tours were held annually until the Eastern Shore be- 
came a part of the "Virginia Garden Week Tours" in 1941. 

The year 1934 brought the full force of the economic 
depression which had been spreading like a dread disease 
from the time of the stock market crash in 1929. The demand 
for Irish potatoes had decreased in northern cities, and other 


sections of the country were producing both early and late 
crops. The late potatoes could be stored and Irish potatoes 
were available every month in the year. Eastern Shore po- 
tatoes had become infected with a pest called the tuber moth 
which destroyed them while in storage. In 1934 potato 
prices fell below production cost and the Shore was engulfed 
in the nation-wide depression. 

During the years the Irish potato was the money crop 
many people became accustomed to buying food, clothes and 
other necessities, as well as luxuries, on credit. When potatoes 
were sold, the bills were paid and the process was repeat- 
ed for the next twelve months. Merchants, fertilizer sales- 
men, insecticide salesmen and almost everybody associated 
with the potato industry did business on credit. When the 
Irish potato crop did not pay out, everybody was penalized. 
By 1935 firms which formerly had commendable credit 
ratings could buy only on a cash basis. Country storekeepers 
were among the hardest hit of small businessmen. Unem- 
ployment, which had hardly been known on the Shore in the 
past, became widespread. 

Home gardening and canning took on a new meaning 
and housewives began to use their time and skills to provide 
balanced meals from homegrown food, when there was but 
little money to buy the luxuries which had been taken for 
granted during the prosperous years. The home demonstra- 
tion agent helped the women learn new homemaking thrift 
methods. The courage with which people met the disaster was 
their salvation. This, with thrift and industry, enabled many 
families to send their children through college. Some fam- 
ilies lost their homes through circumstances beyond their con- 
trol and paid rent until they could buy them back. 

Works Progress Administration projects in which gov- 
ernment funds were allotted to counties were developed. 
Roads, water systems, mosquito control, sewing rooms for 
women, in which clothes were made for needy people, were 
among the relief projects on the Shore. The most unusual 
of these was the revival of making linen. Flax was grown, 
processed, spun and woven into beautiful curtains for schools 

CHAPTER XVI — 1920-1940 239 

and other public buildings, including the library at Hyde 
Park, iNew York. The unfortunate thing about this project 
was that it was so time-consuming that products could never 
have been sold to yield forty cents an hour for the workers. 
That was the minimum wage after 1936 for people making 
items to be sold in interstate commerce. 

In 1937 the first horseless farm was operated on the 
Shore. This was on the west side of U. S. Route 1 3 at Tas- 
ley and various kinds of tractors were supplied and the dem- 
onstration was financed by a farm implement manufacturer. 
The undertaking was a spectacular success and tractors began 
to replace horses and mules up and down the Shore. Also, 
trucks replaced farm wagons during this decade. 

When Germany started World War II on September 
1, 1939, farmers on the Shore were harvesting crops other 
than potatoes. Soybeans were among the new crops and the 
list of vegetables for canning had expanded to include pump- 
kins. A plant for processing quick-frozen foods had been 
opened at Exmore and a number of people were finding em- 
ployment there. By the spring of 1940 many men had 
gone to ship yards and war material plants to work. As in 
World War I, the United States began helping friendly 
countries against a ruthless enemy and preparing to defend 
her own rights on the high seas and at home if necessary. 


Chapter XVII 

In 1 940 the Shore was a peaceful farming area with its 
50,627 people emerging from the depression years with hope 
and courage. Many families had adopted the practices of their 
ancestors by growing and storing food for year-round use. 
Diversified farming had replaced the one-crop system of the 
early part of the century and many acres of farm land were 
in the "soil bank." The United States government paid a 
nominal rent for part of each participating farm to keep cer- 
tain crops from glutting the market. Such land was planted 
with grain or beans to be plowed under to enrich the land. 
The W.P.A. program was providing jobs on school buildings, 
sidewalks, drainage projects and public water systems. Some 
women were employed in the linen weaving project. 

There was but little concern about the war in Europe 
until France fell and friendly England was in danger. When 
Congress passed the Selective Service Act and the Shore coun- 
ties were given their first quotas for draftees there was some 
uneasiness but no widespread concern. The 3000 miles of 
ocean provided a natural barrier. But this state of mind was 
short lived. 

In August 1 940 the Government acquired land for a fort 
at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. Kiptopeke estate and ad- 
jacent farm land were acquired for Fort John Custis. This 
defense area at the tip of the peninsula and Fishermans Island 
covered 798 acres. This fort was the first of many visible 
signs of war. 

The year 1941 was a prosperous one. New model auto- 
mobiles replaced those used during the depression years. 
Tractors and other farm machinery sold fast and savings ac- 

CHAPTER XVII — 1940-1960 241 

counts were started by new customers. The price of Irish 
potatoes, however, dici not climb to its pre-depression level. 

On Sunday afternoon, December 7, 1941, some people 
were listening to radios in their new cars, others were listening 
to radios at home and still others were not in touch with what 
was going on, when the announcement came that the Japan- 
ese had bombed Pearl Harbor. Everyone on the Shore who 
kept up with affairs of the Government knew that Congress 
would declare war on Germany and Japan. 

Civilian Defense organizations and the Red Cross chap- 
ters went into immediate action. Volunteers were secured in 
every locality for educational purposes and to drill people in 
self-preservation in the event of any enemy attack. By the 
end of January 1942 classes were under way in home nurs- 
ing and nutrition, with registered nurses and home economists 
as instructors. First Aid classes were taught by physicians, 
and voljunteer firemen went to school at defense centers to 
qualify as instructors in air-raid defense, poison gas counter- 
measures and coping with expected sabotage. All these peo- 
ple served without pay. In addition to the educational work, 
the Red Cross chapters opened home service departments to 
aid service men and their families with various problems 
which the government assigned to this agency. Stewart K. 
Powell was Chairman of the Accomack County Red Cross 
Chapter and A. F. Dize was chairman from Northampton. 

The air raid wardens were organized so that a message 
received by the Civilian Defense coordinator in Accomac or 
Eastville could be relayed to every locality in less than ten 
minutes. Telephones were attended at all times and a num- 
ber of blackout drills were held. Wardens checked their 
town streets or rural areas to see that no lights could be seen 
and they had the authority to report for prosecution those 
who did not conform to rules. Apparently the only person 
fined during the entire time was a newcomer who refused to 
stop a car and turn off the lights. Nobody was supposed to 
have a light in a house after dark unless somebody was at 

Fire sirens were used for air-raid warning signals and 


for the "all clear signal" somewhat like a fire-drill signal in 
a public school. Only people with civilian defense identifica- 
tion cards, and physicians who had identification tags on their 
cars, were permitted outside during an air-raid drill. For- 
tunately, Tangier had radio telephone communication estab- 
lished in 1 940 so the entire Shore could be reached. 

The Shore was in a continuous dim-out region until the 
end of the European phase of the war. Street lights were 
hooded so no light could shine upward and the upper parts 
of automobile headlights were painted black. All outside ac- 
tivities which usually had bright lights limited their operating 
time to daylight hours. Even Keller Fair omitted night 

Food rationing was inevitable and government officials 
set up an educational program to prepare the public for it. 
Civilian mobilization was a unit of the County Civilian De- 
fense organization. Women in the various towns and villages 
accepted the responsibility of chairmen of block leaders. These 
chairmen recommended a woman to cover each block. A com- 
munity chairman was secured for each magisterial district with 
neighborhood leaders to represent twenty families or less. 
These people were given training by the volunteer home econ- 
omists. A pamphlet entitled "Share the Meat" was issued. 
This publication explained that government purchases of meat 
for men in uniform, and some for allies, would reduce the 
amount available for civilians to 117 pounds per person in 
1943. The amount purchased during 1941 was approximately 
200 pounds per person. When several bales of the booklets 
arrived in Accomac they were divided for towns and magis- 
terial districts by a formula worked out from the 1 940 census 
figures so there would be one for each family. 

This program forewarned the people of the Shore of 
the drastic changes that were coming to their dinner tables. 
When the dates were set for getting ration books, every fam- 
ily was represented at the schoolhouse or other building where 
teachers and other volunteers made records of applicants and 
handed out the books with names written on them. Coupons 
for sugar, coffee and canned goods were in one kind of book. 

CHAPTER XVII — 1940-19G0 243 

Those who wanted extra sugar for canning could get permits 
only by standing in line at the Ration Board Office in Ac- 
comac or a specially arranged center in a magisterial district 
and then finding a store which had sugar. Butter, lard, salad 
oil, cooking oil and soap were in another book. Gasoline, 
kerosene and fuel oil coupons were in still another type of 
coupon book. It was a strange experience for people to be 
prohibited from purchasing food as they wished so long as 
they had the money to pay for it. The loyal people on the 
Shore understood that these methods were necessary for vic- 
tory and the preservation of private enterprise and the free- 
dom which had been taken for granted in America for so 
many years. 

Community canneries were established in the schools. 
People took their food to process it in large boilers or steam 
pressure cookers. The few family-size pressure cookers on 
the market were rationed. 

Shoes were rationed and a shoe coupon was a cherished 
Christmas or birthday present. Clothes were scarce in stores 
and silk and nylon hose disappeared and rayon ones were 
hard to find. Manufacturers were prohibited from putting 
pockets in women's coats or furnishing a second pair of trous- 
ers for men's suits. 

In February 1942 the papers carried a grim headline, 
"Axis Submarines Mine Virginia Waters." The little airport 
near Parksley was taken over by the Civil Air Patrol in April. 
The social hall of the firehouse was rented for living quarters 
for seventy-five men. They watched the coastlines from 
bomb-laden planes during the day. Small army posts were 
established at Chincoteague and Accomac. With the aid of 
trained dogs they patrolled the shores from dusk to daw^n. 

This patrol work was to prevent saboteurs from landing 
and to locate submarines. The number of submarines des- 
troyed by Civil Air Patrol planes was never made public. Ten 
ships were officially listed as having been torpedoed off the 
Virginia coast. One of these was laden with laundry soap for 
the use of service men. This ship got to a beach and an Ac- 
comack County man bought the soap and sold it by the case. 


Each cake was 4 x 4 x 24 inches. After the salt sediment was 
scraped off it was quite usable for family laundry. Explo- 
sions could be heard on the Shore and sometimes pictures and 
plaster fell. It is assumed that the explosions on the ocean 
side were from ships being torpedoed or planes bombing 
enemy submarines. 

In April 1 942 the Government bought a site in Wallops 
Neck, west of Chincoteague Island, for a naval air station. 
The land was cleared and a landing strip was built over the 
road that had led to the bridge and causeway system. The 
Civil Air Patrol began using it in January 1943. Frame 
buildings were erected for offices and for some members of 
the unit and work proceeded on other landing strips. The 
Chincoteague Naval Air Station was commissioned on March 
5, 1943, as an auxiliary to the Norfolk Naval Air Station. 
Additional land was purchased. The personnel was 2038 
when World War II ended in August 1945. 

The Agricultural Census of 1945 shows what Shore 
farmers were doing to help feed armed forces around the 
world and civilians in defense plants in this country. There 
were 12,090 acres planted in tomatoes, 26^563 acres of Irish 
potatoes, 11,038 acres of sweet potatoes and 33,881 acres of 
corn. Peas, string beans, lima beans, turnip greens, broccoli, 
spinach and strawberries were other crops of significance. The 
number of tractors had increased to 1073 and many farmers 
were awaiting their turn on the order lists. 

Labor for harvesting the crops became acute in 1 943 and 
the Government arranged to bring workers from the Bahama 
Islands. The first detachment arrived in Accomack County 
the first week in June. A camp had been built somewhat like 
the small army posts on the Shore. A chef was provided and 
a supply of army rations was on hand. While civilians were 
hungry for meat, these people refused to eat it as it was 
cooked. Some of the people actually became ill. Then a 
cook was chosen from the group and food was prepared as 
they liked it. Chicken was fried in deep fat without flour 
and then dusted with pepper. Most of the vegetables were 
a mixture of some kind and highly seasoned with onion and 

CHAPTER XVII — 1940-191)0 245 

pepper. When the food was adjusted, the Bahama laborers 
fared well. 

The poultry industry which had been started on a large 
scale in the middle 1930's was expanded to help meet the 
constantly increasing demand. The census showed that 5,745,- 
420 chickens were grown in Accomack County and 233,083 
in 'Northampton in 1 944. 

Among the unusual wartime industries was the dressing 
of kosher turkeys. A rabbi was at the dressing plant to ex- 
amine the turkey and cut its throat if it looked healthy. One 
that did not look just right was rejected. Most of the turkey 
pickers were local women and they lined up with the bird 
in their hands to await their turn before the rabbi. He ex- 
pressed regret when a bird was rejected for the pickers were 
paid by the number they dressed. 

The Northampton-Accomack Memorial Hospital got a 
new wing through a small local fund and $1 1 6,000 as a Gov- 
ernment grant during World War II. This was secured 
through Congressman S. Otis Bland, a college roommate of 
Dr. W. J. Sturgis. The use of the hospital by the Chinco- 
teague Naval Air Station, Fort John Custis and the Coast 
Guard justified the government grant for the two-story wing. 
After the war a nurses' home was built and appropriately 
named the Bessie B. Anderson Memorial Nurses' Home. A 
Government grant and a local fund drive made this possible. 
Local funds helped remodel the original building for needed 
extra space. The imposing porch with high steps and large 
dormic columns was converted into sun porches for patients, 
and the space beneath was utilized to good advantage. The 
hospital is a living memorial to those who lost their lives in 
both World Wars. 

When the announcement of the Japanese surrender end- 
ing World War II was made on August 14, 1945, there was 
great rejoicing, even by families who were in grief over the 
loss of loved ones. The Gold Star Honor Roll in Virginia y 
published by the World War II History Commission, listed 
seventy-two for Accomack and thirty-seven for Northampton 
— a total of 109 Shore men who lost their lives. 


Before the first atomic bomb was dropped over Japan, 
the Langley Field Research Center of the National Advisory 
Committee for Aeronautics had an operating base on Wal- 
lops Island. A survey of the island was made on May 
3, 1945. With the exception of the site of the Coast Guard 
Station at the north end, the island was owned by a group of 
northern sportsmen who had used it for fishing and shooting 
wildfowl before World War II. After the survey the Govern- 
ment purchased 80 acres at the south end and leased 1000 
acres. Construction of facilities for firing rockets was started on 
May 10 and the first test rocket was fired on June 27. A 
dummy missile was launched on July 4 and the first research 
vehicle was sent up on July 8, 1945. On November 7, 1949, 
the Government purchased the remainder of the island and 
expanded its research work. 

Everything associated with research was on the island 
but there were no living quarters. The employees lived in 
various towns on the Shore and went to Wallops by boat 
from the south side of Assawoman Creek. Some of the scien- 
tists came by plane from Langley Field at intervals. 

The Chincoteague Naval Air Station was converted into 
a training and research center with a personnel larger than 
during World War II. Living quarters were so hard to find 
that a group of apartment houses were built near the entrance 
to the Naval Air Station to supplement the houses which 
had been built by the navy. The village was called Toms 
Cove Apartments. A large number of local people were em- 
ployed by the navy also. 

Farm products brought good prices and canning factories 
continued to work to full capacity. The demand for civilian 
goods which had been restricted, and in some cases disap- 
peared from the market during the war years, was high. 
Electric refrigerators, stoves, toasters, vacuum cleaners and 
other household appliances were sold as fast as dealers could 
stock them. Home freezers, which appeared on the market 
just before World War II, were in demand by farm families 
who were growing and storing their own food and others 
who bought food to store. Rental lockers at frozen food 

CHAPTER XVII — 1940-1960 247 

plants were used for a while but the travel involved in going 
for the food soon made them unprofitable. 

New automobiles were most in demand. The few that 
dealers secured during the war years were rationed and sold 
to people who most needed them to carry on necessary work. 
Some dealers went out of business during that time and new 
ones opened firms as the supply increased. Young men who 
had gone into the armed forces before they owned a car were 
among the most impatient customers. 

Television sets became available to people on the Shore 
for the first time in the late 1940's and for some years the 
supply did not come in fast enough to meet the demand. 
Home television replaced radio more rapidly than the radio 
outmoded the record player in the 1920's. Home television 
also reduced the attendance at motion picture theaters to the 
extent that some of those on the Shore were closed within 
ten years after this new form of entertainment came on the 

Home building flourished when materials were back on 
the market after the war years. Contractors and carpenters 
were engaged for months in advance and plumbers, electri- 
cians and painters had long waiting lists of customers. The 
ranch house made its appearance on the Shore at this time. 
This type of architecture resembles the bungalow of the 
1920's with a breezeway and garage added. Most homes 
that were in need of paint at the end of the depression did 
not get it until after World War II because of the shortage 
of both paint and workmen during the war years. By 1950 
old houses were reconditioned and many new ones were built. 

Military installations and other uses for the coastal area 
were threatening the survival of waterfowl and other wildlife 
by the end of World War II. Both the State and Federal 
governments took steps to prevent their becoming extinct. In 
1945 the United States government bought the Virginia part 
of Assateague Island and established the Chincoteague Na- 
tional Wildlife Refuge, covering 8809 acres. The Govern- 
ment purchase included some 250 acres of the Shore's best 
oyster grounds. Watermen who had been leasing these 


grounds from private owners got new leases from the gov- 
ernment. Wild ponies owned by the Chincoteague Volunteer 
Fire Department were permitted to remain in the wildlife 
area and firemen were given permission to round them up for 
the annual swim to Chincoteague for "Pony Penning," one 
of the best known events on the Delmarva Peninsula. The 
Wildlife Refuge is used for biological studies, feeding, and 
banding wild ducks and geese during their flights to the 
South for winter and back to the North for nesting in 
the summer. This refuge serves as a motel, especially for 
snow geese which were almost extinct in 1945. 

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Develop- 
ment bought three tracts of land for wildlife refuges. The 
Saxis Marsh Wildlife Refuge, in Accomack County, was 
started in 1957. Part of the area has an interesting history 
as public land and later as a unique private enterprise. It was 
in the "Free School" bequest of Samuel Sandford in 1710 
and was sold in 1 873, after the public school system was es- 
tablished in Accomack County. The purchaser established a 
muskrat ranch on the marsh land. Windmills were installed 
to operate pumps to provide fresh water during dry weather. 
The ranch had ceased to be profitable and all but one of the 
picturesque windmills had disappeared when the state bought 
the land in 1957. Additional purchases of adjoining marsh 
land have been made and the refuge contains approximately 
5000 acres. A hard surface state road through the marsh con- 
nects Saxis Island with the mainland of the Eastern Shore. 

Sound Beach was bought for a wildlife refuge in 1960. 
This is a 759 acre tract of marsh, sandy beach and woodland, 
between the north bank of Onancock Creek and Chesapeake 
Bay. Additional acreage including Robertsons .Point will 
eventually be added to the refuge. 

Mockhorn Island, on the seaside in Northampton Coun- 
ty, was purchased by the state in 1959 for a wildlife refuge. 
It contains 6000 acres. The island was used for various com- 
mercial purposes until 1933 when it was left to revert to a 
semi-tropical wilderness. It had been patented for a cattle 
range in the seventeenth century. At one time clay-lined 

CHAPTER XVII — 1940-1960 249 

vats were constructed to use in making salt by the evaporation 
of sea water by the sun. In time some private homes were 
built. After a tropical hurricane with high tides destroyed 
the buildings in 1933 the owners continued to pay taxes but 
made no use of it. The Mockhorn Island Wildlife Refuge 
contains both marsh and woodland. 

The railroad through the Shore, with separate tracks for 
north- and south-bound trains, was used to capacity during 
the war years. Mile-long trains with flat cars carrying land- 
ing boats, iced cars for produce, open cars for coal or oil and 
passenger trains for civilians and troops were passing day and 
night. The freight cars were put on barges with tracks at 
Cape Charles and pulled to Little Creek by tug boats as they 
still are. Passengers transferred to the steamer Maryland at 
Cape Charles. Changes came rapidly after World War II. 

Cargo trucks got much of the produce business, oil was 
brought in by boat, and two bus lines got most of the passen- 
gers who did not travel in private cars. The steam engines on 
the trains were replaced with streamlined Diesel engines with 
faint whistles, in comparison with the whistles of the steam 
locomotives. But the new ones could be operated more eco- 

A ferry terminal was built at Kiptopeke Beach, seven 
miles below the town of Cape Charles. Two lines of concrete 
Liberty ships bought as war surplus formed jetties for a new 
harbor. A waiting room, ticket office and restaurant were 
built. This new harbor was completed in May 1950 and be- 
came the terminal for the Virginia Ferry Company's boats 
to Little Creek. The Maryland had been replaced by an 
old boat the EUsha Lee when the former failed to pass in- 
spection. In February 1953 it was discontinued. The follow- 
ing year all passenger and mail trains were discontinued. Most 
of the railroad stations were closed and express was brought 
to the remaining ones by truck. The railroad offices and shop 
at Cape Charles were closed and the station at the wharf was 
torn down. 

In 1954 the General Assembly authorized the formation 
of the Chesapeake Bay Ferry Commission through a bill in- 


troduced by Wrendo M. Godwin, Delegate from Accomack 
County. Judge Jeff F. Walter, Circuit Court Judge of Ac- 
comack and Northampton counties, appointed two members 
of the Commission. Judges in the Hampton Roads area ap- 
pointed five other members. Lucius J. Kellam of Accomack 
County was chairman. George R. Mapp, Jr. from North- 
ampton was the other Shore member. In July 1957 the 
Commission was enlarged to include eleven members. Milton 
T. Hickman was added to represent the Shore at large. The 
Commission took over the ferry system after bonds were sold 
to pay the stockholders in the Virginia Ferry Company. The 
fleet had five ships. They were the Delmarva^ Princess Anney 
Pocahontas y Northampton and Accomack. The Accomack has 
its own story: 

The Virginia Lee which was built with an auto- 
mobile deck in 1928 was taken over by the government 
in 1942. It was considered suitable for a troop transport 
ship so it underwent some conversion for that purpose, 
but it was later rejected. Then the coal burning steam 
engines were replaced with Diesel engines and large 
fuel oil tanks which drastically reduced its cargo tonnage 
and hampered its usefulness as a transport ship. 

In March 1943 the ship was sent to Para, Brazil, 
for use in the rubber industry in the Amazon River area. 
After World War II the ship was sold to a steamship 
line and made into an excursion boat. As the excursion 
boat Holiday it began to operate between Boston and 
Provincetown in 1949. It had 7500 square feet of wood- 
en dance floor, a children's playroom, a snack bar and an 
attractive dining room. On February 3, 1951, this ex- 
cursion boat encountered a storm off the coast of North 
Carolina while it was being taken to Miami for the 
winter season. In a damaged condition it was towed to 
Morehead City and offered for sale. 

The Virginia Feriy Company purchased the 
Holidajy formerly the floating palace Virginia Lee, 
and had it converted again. It became a member of 
the ferry fleet under the name Accomack in the summer 

CHAPTER XVII — 1940-1960 251 

of 1951. 

The Chesapeake Bay Ferry Commission had the first 
three ships of the fleet enlarged and added the Virginia 
Beach and the Old Point Comfort. Immediately after its 
formation, the Commission began exploring possibilities for a 
bridge and tunnel system across the Chesapeake Bay, 

Radio Station WESR, founded by Brooks Russell, was 
opened on January 23, 1958, as a daydme station with world 
news coverage. It carries a variety of sponsored programs and 
public service features. 

The Chincoteague Naval Air Station was closed on June 
30, 1959. The announcement six months earlier was a shock 
to the business people who had customers among the military 
and civilian employees, and to local people who had been em- 
ployed there for almost seventeen years. However, the clos- 
ing of this military installation proved to be a blessing in dis- 
guise. Preliminary steps had been taken for the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration to acquire 1000 acres 
of land west of Wallops Island. This would have meant the 
relocation of some people whose ancestors had lived on the 
land since patent days. But it would not have included the 
village of Assawoman and the site of the seventeenth century 
brick church. Instead of taking over the proposed tract, 
which was a half mile wide and more than two and a half 
miles along the marsh, the NASA expansion was made on 
the Naval Air Station site. 

On July 1, 1959, the administrative and technical ser- 
vice support facilities of Wallops Island were moved to the 
mainland. When the National Aeronautics and Space Ad- 
ministration superseded the National Advisory Committee for 
Aeronautics in October 1958, Wallops Island was sep- 
arated from the Langley Field Research Center which started 
the operations at Wallops in 1945. The Chincoteague branch 
post office which had served the Naval Air Station be- 
came independent with the name Wallops Island, Virginia. 
The Air Station site covers 2400 acres. Some of the houses 
were made available to NASA personnel and office build- 
ings, along with one hangar, were converted into quarters 


for the administrative and support facilities. The land outside 
of the enclosed area was leased for agricultural purposes in 

The decade of the 1950's ended with a smaller popula- 
tion on the Shore than at any other time in the twentieth cen- 
tury. But the economy was rapidly adjusted to the changed 
conditions and the gradual increase in the NASA personnel 
put more money in circulation. Plans that had been made for 
expanding religious and recreational facilities were being car- 
ried out. Agricultural products continued to be the principal 
sources of income. The number of farms declined each year 
while the acreage of most of the remaining ones was increas- 
ed. With improved seed and fertilizer used with mechanized 
equipment, and with irrigation in some cases, the yield was 
increased. The Shore lost a cherished institution with the 
closing of the Keller Agricultural Fair in 1957. For almost 
a century this had been an annual event the last week in Aug- 

Chapter XVIII 

The Shore had a population of 47,601 in April 1960 
and the number of families was 12,131. One- and two-horse 
farms had disappeared along with the animals that once pulled 
the plows. The average size of farms had increased and the 
number decreased more than 50 per cent from the 1945 cen- 
sus. Then there were 2402 and only 1175 in 1960. Less 
farm labor is required for mechanized farming than was nec- 
essary for horse-drawn plows but the harvesting of vegetables 
must be done by human hands. Approximately 10,000 migra- 
tory laborers come to the Shore at the height of the harvest 

Land that has been in use for three hundred years is 
highly productive even when it is dependent on rain for its 
moisture. The 11,413 irrigated acres have even a higher 
yield. The Eastern Shore Branch of the Virginia Truck Ex- 
periment Station, which was located on a new site near Painter 
in 1958, has tested seed, fertilizer, types of soil, cultural 
methods and pest control measures since 1913 to help in- 
crease production of commercial vegetables. The acreage of 
the principal crops grown in 1959 was: 2)G^Z2G in soybeans j 
19,061 in Irish potatoesj 14,682 in sweet potatoes; 11,708 
in tomatoes; 6744 in snap beans; 30,075 in other vegetables; 
and 990 in strawberries. Land in the soil bank was 2100 acres. 

The growing of ornamental shrubs and plants is profit- 
able on the Shore. There are seven nurseries and some of 
these do wholesale business only. Gulf Stream Nursery, 
Inc. is widely known for roses it has patented as well as for 
evergreen shrubs which are sold to retail firms throughout 
the East. 


Woodland covers 102,000 acres with loblolly pine as 
the principal forest crop. Almost every farm has some wood- 
land which serves as a windbreak, source of income and variety 
for the landscape. Timber is sold for lumber and pulpwood. 

The Virginia Division of Forestry has maintained a de- 
partment on the Shore since 1946. Preservation of wood- 
lands, reseeding cut-over land, keeping a check on insects 
and diseases of forest trees and fire prevention are among 
the services rendered. 

The broiler industry is important although a million 
fewer broilers were marketed in 1959 than in 1945. The 
1959 total was 4,886,870. This business is as much a game 
of chance and luck as any agricultural product. In three 
months a grower can make a good profit or lose several 
thousand dollars. In winter the houses must be heated with 
stoves and in hot weather they must be cooled with ice and 
fans. In extreme weather sometimes the mortality is high 
regardless of the care. When broilers reach the right weight 
for market, they must be sold. There is no such thing as 
holding them for higher prices since they will soon grow 
beyond the broiler stage. 

A Poultry Diagnostic Laboratory was established in 1 949 
to help the broiler growers find the causes of sickness and 
death in flocks of chickens in time to avoid the loss of entire 
flocks. The works of this laboratory was expanded to check 
on diseases of cattle and other farm animals. It is now called 
the Regional Regulatory Laboratory. 

Food packing and processing are thriving industries. 
Eight canning factories fill orders for millions of cases of 
tomatoes, peas, lima beans, snap beans, pumpkin, spinach, 
Irish potatoes and sweet potatoes. Dulany Foods, Incorpor- 
ated, at Exmore is one of the large frozen food plants on the 
East Coast. It was opened in May 1938 and has furnished 
employment for many people in the past twenty-five years. 
Packing green tomatoes to be sold and ripened under con- 
trolled temperature in warehouses as stores need them, is quite 
a business before tomato canning begins. 

The seafood business is important although it has di- 

CHAPTER XVIII — 1960-1964 255 

minished during the twentieth century. Oysters, clams and 
crabs are sold in large quantities and some firms operate deep- 
sea fishing fleets. There are forty-two wholesale seafood 
dealers on the Shore. The Virginia Institute of Marine 
Science at Wachapreague does research on diseases and pests 
that kill shell fish and make the information available to 
watermen throughout the state. 

Each county has its own department of health, depart- 
ment of welfare, soil conservation department and farm and 
home demonstration agents. The State Police Department 
with fifteen troopers, including the sergeant in charge, and 
the State Highway Department with a resident engineer, 
serve both Accomack and Northampton counties. 

The Shore has some industries that are not related to 
agriculture or seafoods. A garment plant now known as 
the R and G Shirt Corporation in Parksley was opened in 
1937. The Bayshore Concrete Company in Cape Charles 
is among the new industries. Book publishing by The East- 
ern Shore News, Inc., Onancock, is a new business on the 

The public schools on the Shore have continued to fol- 
low the earlier trend toward consolidation. Northampton has 
two county high schools, a high school with an elementary j| 

section in Cape Charles and seven elementary schools. Acco- ' 

mack has seven high schools; five of these have elementary 
sections. When the present building program is completed, 
the elementary schools will be reduced to ten. Transporta- 
tion is furnished for all people of school age who live out- 
side of towns where the schools are located. 

The Eastern Shore Public Library, which was opened 
in 1957, serves all communities with bookmobile visits once 
a month. The central library in Accomac has an excellent 
collection of general reference books and more than fifty 
titles dealing with Accomack and Northampton counties. It 
also has historical indexes seldom found in a rural library. 

The Shore has 153 churches representing fourteen de- 
nominations. Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians and Presby- 
terians are the most widely known of the denominations. 


Some new churches have been built in recent years and edu- 
cational buildings have been built for existing ones. Hungars 
and St. George are the only colonial churches still in use. 
Each has acquired a brick parish house. Emmanuel at Jenkins 
Bridge, the successor to the brick church at Assawoman in the 
1690's, is of historical and architectural interest. The vertical, 
or board-and-batten weatherboarding was matched for the 
parish house with such precision that the entire building ap- 
pears to have been erected at one time. And some of the 
brick from the foundation of the church at Assawoman were 
used in the floor of the entrance. The church at Jenkins 
Bridge is one of four with communion silver dating from 
colonial times. Its large chalice bears the London date line 
1749-50. St. George has the oldest communion service with 
the dates 1734-1735. Christ Church in Eastville has the 
silver from the Magothy Bay Church with the dates 1736- 
37. Hungars communion service has the date 1742. The 
historic silver is used on special occasions. 

There are three weekly newspapers on the Eastern 
Shore and at least one of these gets an annual award in the 
Virginia Press Association entries. The first paper of which 
any record was found was the National Recorder y started in 
Accomac in 1 860. It was a Civil War casualty and its presses 
were used for printing a Union Army paper. Another early 
paper was The Eastern Shore Heraldy established in East- 
ville on April 8, 1881, by Thomas M. Scott and Julius W. 
Borum. From 1912 to 1947 it was edited by Benjamin T. 
Fisher. In 1885 The Pioneer was established and published 
in Cape Charles by William Bullitt Fitzhugh until 1901. 
The Farmer and Fisherman was established by Nathaniel B. 
Rich, Wachapreague, in 1890, with John H. Johnson as his 
associate. In 1891 it was moved to Belle Haven. In 1901 
John H. Johnson left the Shore and the paper was discon- 
tinued. The Eastern Virginiany Onancock, was established in 
the early 1870's and James C. Weaver, first superintendent 
of Accomack County schools, was associated with it in 1888. 

The Peninsula Enterprise, Accomac, was established on 
June 30, 1881, by John W. Edmonds. After his death in 

CHAPTER XVIII — 1960-1964 257 

1914 his sons, John W. Edmonds, Jr. and Alfred B. Ed- 
monds became the owners. After the death of Alfred B. 
in 1962 John W. Jr., and his sons, John W. Ill and Franklin 
Spicer Edmonds, bought the part owned by the estate of the 
deceased partner. John W. Edmonds, Jr. has been editor 
since 1914. Historical features are "From Our Files" and 
"Know the Eastern Shore." 

The Northampton Times was founded in Cape Charles 
before 1903 with John T. Daniel as editor. It remained in 
the Daniel family until 1959 when The Eastern Shore News, 
Inc. bought it. Marion C. Daniel is the editor. 

The Eastern Shore News, Onancock, was established as 
The Accomack News in 1896 and edited by James C. Rowles. 
The next owner was Nehemiah Nock who sold it to L. D. 
Teackle Quinby in 1907. Spencer F. Rogers became the 
owner and publisher in 1910. John T. Borum, and associates 
in the Eastern Shore Publishing Company, purchased The 
Acco7nack News in 1920. In 1924 this company purchased 
The Eastern Shore News which had been published in Cape 
Charles from 1920. The Eastern Shore News has been pub- 
lished in Onancock since the consolidation. John T. Borum 
was editor from 1920 to 1957. In 1944 he and his wife 
Thelma Borum became owners of the Eastern Shore Pub- 
lishing Company. In 1946 they published a daily evening 
paper along with the weekly. In 1957 George N. McMath 
and Ben D. Byrd bought the assets of the Eastern Shore 
Publishing Company and incorporated as The Eastern Shore 
News, Inc. George N. McMath is editor. Among the his- 
torical features are: "The Shoreline," started by Calvin Rob- 
inson in April 1928 and edited by James E. Mears since 
1933j and "Through the Years" and "Where Were You?" 
columns edited by A. Parker Barnes. 

Organizations are numerous and a member of a service 
club visiting on the Shore has a good chance of finding a place 
to keep his attendance record intact at a Rotary, Kiwanis, 
Lions or Ruritan club. The Elks have a spacious home near 
Accomac. Masonic lodges and other secret organizations are 
found in several communities. The Chamber of Commerce 

^^ fA 












t— i 













1— 1 





























CHAPTER XVIII — 1960-1964 259 

of the Eastern Shore has headquarters with an executive sec- 
retary in Accomac. The Jaycee organization (Junior Cham- 
ber of Commerce) is made up of younp; business and pro- 
fessional men of both counties. 

Both counties have Women's Clubs which are affiliated 
with the General Federation of Women's Clubs. The Acco- 
mack County Woman's Club built a clubhouse in 1963 with 
the help of a generous gift from Herman C. Watson as a 
memorial to his wife, Carrie Whealton Watson. A Business 
and Professional Women's Club serves both counties and Ac- 
comack has a Soroptimist Club with a junior club. 

The Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society, or- 
ganized in 1957, bought Kerr Place in Onancock in 1960 for 
its headquarters. The APVA (Association for the Preserva- 
tion of Virginia Antiquities) has a chapter in each county. The 
patriotic societies with chapters are the DAR (Daughters 
of the American Revolution), CAR (Children of the Amer- 
ican Revolution) and the UDC (United Daughters of the 
Confederacy). Garden clubs hold flower shows and sponsor 
other activities. The oldest social club on the Shore is the 
Parksley Three Arts Club organized in 1920 to locate and 
train the talent of its members in music, literature and drama. 
It has a membership of both men and women. 

The Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club has a nine- 
hole golf course, swimming pool and an air-conditioned club- 
house on historic Pungoteague Creek. This club held its first 
meeting in August 1959 and the following January it pur- 
chased a 126-acre tract of land. The swimming pool was 
opened in 1960 and the other facilities were ready for use in 
1961. This club is a member of the Delmarva Golf Associa- 

The Cape Charles Country Club which was organized 
in 1928 has been continuous. Its golf course rivals that of the 
new club for water hazards and sand traps. The clubhouse 
faces historic Kings Creek near Chesapeake Bay. 

In September 1962 Chincoteague Ocean Beach on the 
southeast end of Assateague Island was opened. Wyle Mad- 
dox and associates had made one of the dreams of John B. 


Whealton come true. In 1956 the General Assembly auth- 
orized the formation of the Chincoteague-Assateague Bridge 
and Beach Authority. The Federal government granted per- 
mission for a bridge to be built to the Wildlife Refuge and 
for a road to cross it to the beach. A steel bridge that was 
being replaced in New York was purchased by the Authority. 
It was partly dismantled and placed on a barge for the voyage 
to Assateague Inlet where it was reassembled. The task was 
long drawn-out but the stockholders were patient and the 
workmen were diligent. The town of Chincoteague built an 
approach street to the bridge and named it Maddox Boule- 
vard. The road through the Wildlife Preserve is fenced on 
both sides and wild ponies graze leisurely among the odd- 
shaped trees and marsh grass. A first drive to Chincoteague 
Ocean Beach is a memorable experience for anyone. 

During the last week in July the ponies are rounded 
up for a swim to Chincoteague for Pony Penning, the most 
widely publicized carnival in the East. On Tuesday exper- 
ienced horsemen enter the Wildlife Refuge on their saddle 
horses and round up the ponies. On Wednesday the ponies 
swim to Chincoteague and spend the night in a pound in the 
center of the carnival grounds. On Thursday some of the 
ponies are put on the block and sold to the highest bidder 
by a well-trained auctioneer. The proceeds help finance the 
activities of the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department, 
which owns all the ponies in the Wildlife Preserve. Then on 
Friday of Pony Penning Week the old stock and ponies that 
have not been sold are returned to Assateague to graze un- 
disturbed, except by high tides, until Pony Penning Week of 
the following year. 

Pony Penning had its origin in Colonial times when 
livestock owners were required to mark the young in the 
presence of the neighbors. Sheep Penning was also an annual 
event in various communities but not for entertainment. The 
roundup on Chincoteague was called "Horse Penning" in 
1924, and the entertainment was a baseball game between 
the Chincoteague and Cape Charles teams. At that time the 
ponies were privately owned. 

CHAPTER XVIII — 1960-1964 261 

Ponies have featured in the economy of Chincoteague 
for three centuries and the annual Pony Penning brings tour- 
ists to the entire Eastern Shore. In the year 1900 
ponies on Chincoteague and Assateague were owned by 
a great many people. Each owner had his own brand mark 
registered in the Clerk's Office at Accomac. One way of 
starting a savings account for a baby was to give him a mare 
colt and deposit the proceeds from sales of the offsprings to 
his account until he was grown. The ponies on Chincoteague 
Island are still privately owned. Those at the Beebe Ranch 
and the Clarence Burton Barns are the most widely known. 
Children's books by Marguerite Henry, especially Misty of 
Chincoteague published in 1947 and Stormy y Misty^s Foal, 
published in 1963, helped publicize the Eastern Shore. The 
former was made into a motion picture with professional actors 
and local people taking part in 1960. Tourists come to see 
ponies the year round and every hotel, motel and private 
home with rooms to rent on the Eastern Shore is filled 
during Pony Penning Week. 

The Eastern Shore was first included in the Virginia 
Garden Week tours in 1941 but tours were already well 
known in both Accomack and Northampton counties. Kipto- 
peke Day was started in 1927 when Major and Mrs. Henry 
A. Wise opened their palatial home and gardens to the 
public for the benefit of the Northampton-Accomack Me- 
morial Hospital which was nearing completion. Incidentally, 
that house was in the area on which Fort John Custis was 
built, and it was in the right-of-way acquired from the 
government for the approach road to the Bridge-Tunnel and 
it was torn down in 1963. A church sponsored a tour in- 
cluding nine homes in 1934, and from 1935 to 1941 the 
Hospital Auxiliary sponsored a well organized tour includ- 
ing houses in both counties. Other organizations have also 
held tours. A total of sixty-six homes and ten public build- 
mgs have been open for tours. This annual tour on Thurs- 
day and Friday of the last week in April attracts visitors 
from many states to see the historic places and hear their 
stories told by charming hostesses. 


Cedar Island promises recreational facilities for local 
people and those from other areas. Lots have been sold for 
cottages in the future Ocean City, Virginia. Some cottages 
have been built and owners and their friends go to them in 
private boats from Folly Creek. Steps have been taken to 
connect the island with the mainland by a bridge and cause- 
v^ays resembling the road between Chincoteague and Assa- 
teague islands. 

Seven of Virginia's ocean islands have lifeboat stations. 
They are Smiths Island at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, 
Cobbs Island, Hog Island, Little Machipongo Island, Parra- 
more Island, Metompkin Island, Assateague Island, and 
Popes Island near the Maryland line. Each station has liv- 
ing quarters for the men while they are on duty and the 
necessary rescue equipment for boats or ships in distress. The 
employees have their homes on the mainland of the Eastern 
Shore or on Chincoteague Island and they work in shifts. But 
in case of disaster all are subject to around-the-clock duty. 
These lifeboat stations are in the Fifth Coast Guard District 
with headquarters in Norfolk. 

The Cape Charles Air Force Station at the mouth 
of Chesapeake Bay is the only military installation on the 
Shore. It superseded Fort John Custis which was established 
as a coast artillery station during World War II. It covers 
an area of 798 acres less the right of way for the access road 
and administration buildings of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge- 

Wallops Station, National Aeronautics and Space Ad- 
ministration, had brought worldwide publicity to the Eastern 
Shore by the end of the year 1963. More than 5000 rockets 
had been launched since activities began there in 1945. They 
included weather vehicles which caused a salmon colored sky 
glow that was visible for miles j capsules carrying Monkey 
Sam and Miss Sam, two of the experimental animals sent 
aloft in preparation for putting the first man into space; 
earth satellites which were put into orbit and numerous other 
experimental vehicles. Space scientists from friendly countries 
around the world had been to Wallops to learn to fire rockets 

CHAPTER XVIII — 1960-1964 263 

made in their countries as well as to study the methods of 
firing those made in the United States. Robert L. Krieger, 
one of the first space engineers at Langley Field and a mem- 
ber of the first task force at Wallops in 1 945, is Director. He 
had the title of "Engineer in Charge" from 1948 until the 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration replaced the 
National Committee for Civil Aeronautics in 1958, and Wal- 
lops became an independent unit of NASA. At that time 
his title was changed to Director. 

Wallops Island was patented by John Wallop in 1672. 
He had previously patented Wallops Neck where the Chin- 
coteague Naval Air Station was located until the site was 
transferred to NASA in 1959. In 1960 Wallops Island was 
connected with the mainland at Assawoman by a bridge and 
causeway system over Cat Creek and through the marsh. A 
wide road was built from Assawoman to Wallops Station. 
One weekend in October the island and station are open to 
visitors for self-guided automobile tours. This event attracts 
visitors from many states and the principal Eastern cities. 

The Eastern Shore of Virginia Branch of the University 
of Virginia, a community college at Wallops Station NASA, 
was authorized for liberal arts and technical courses by an Act 
of the General Assembly in February 1964, and provisions 
were made for opening it in September. The Eastern Shore 
Chamber of Commerce led the promotional program, Wal- 
lops Station offered one of the barracks of the former naval 
air station for the college building, and the Boards of Super- 
visors in Accomack and Northampton counties passed Reso- 
lutions urging the General Assembly to authorize the estab- 
lishment of the college. Senator E. Aimer Ames, Jr., Dele- 
gates Howard H. Adams and George N. McMath sponsored 
the necessary legislation in the General Assembly. 

On August 1, 1960, The Chesapeake Bay Ferry Com- 
mission, which had been operating the ferries since 1954, 
adopted plans for a road to be built over and under Chesapeake 
Bay from the southern tip of the Eastern Shore to a point 
five miles west of Cape Henry, now in the city of Virginia 
Beach. The route which the engineers had chosen for this 

































CHAPTER XVIII — 1960-1964 265 

road was near the path of the three ton boat used by Captain 
John Smith and his party to cross the bay and explore the 
Eastern Shore in the summer of 1608, a few months after 
the Virginia Capes had been named for Henry and Charles, 
the sons of King James I. 

When the plans for the road were adopted, the name of 
the governing body was changed to The Chesapeake Bay 
Bridge and Tunnel Commission. Bonds were sold to raise 
the $200 million needed for the project and the first pile 
was driven in an impressive ceremony on October 26, 1960. 
By the spring of 1962 parts of the causeway were visible 
from the ferries which the road was to replace. 

The road over and under Chesapeake Bay is 17.6 miles 
long. There are four man-made islands with 8 acres of land 
in each; 12.2 miles of trestle 3 two tunnels under the ship 
channels 5738 feet and 5450 feet in length; and two bridges 
across 'North Channel and Fisherman Inlet. The principal 
materials that went into this road sound more like a tall 
tale than a reality. Among these were "110 million pounds 
of steel, 34 thousand carloads of rock, 550 thousand cubic 
yards of concrete and 4 million cubic yards of sand." The 
land connection was near enough complete for two of the en- 
gineers to walk the 17.6 miles the last week in October 1963, 
and the opening date was set for April 15, 1964 by the 
Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission. The fer- 
ries were sold to be delivered when the road was opened, and 
a white sea gull in flight on a blue background was adopted 
as the Bridge-Tunnel Emblem. 

The highway from the toll gates at the north end of 
the Bridge-Tunnel to the Maryland line goes through almost 
level country but the scenery is varied and picturesque. The 
tender green foliage against a background of pine in early 
spring is accented with dogwood and other blooming trees. 
The white blooms of the Irish potatoes the last of May make 
a setting for a gala festival, and the crape myrtle in August 
outdoes both for roadside beauty. The autumn leaves rival 
a mountain scene, and the bare brown fields in winter are 
broken here and there by a patch of turnip greens which turn 


to a golden yellow in March. But all this scenery fails to give 
a true picture of the Eastern Shore. Most of the historic 
homes are on by-roads or winding creeks and the most scenic 
drives are over roads across the marshes which U. S. Route 
13 by-passes. But all the driving which one can do through- 
out Accomack and Northampton counties, without encounter- 
ing a traffic stop-light, will not give a true picture of the 
Eastern Shore. 

It has been said by many who have traveled far and 
wide that the Eastern Shore is a state of mind as well as 
a highly developed geographical area with almost half a 
hundred thousand people. All the changes, in war and in 
peace, which have altered the methods of earning a living, have 
not changed the "way of life." The Bridge-Tunnel will bring 
some changes but it is to be hoped that the people will still 
take time to live by the philosophy expressed in the slogan 
of the Eastern Shore of Virginia Chamber of Commerce: Liv- 
ing — Like you like it! 

The End 




Acknowledgments 269-70 

Federal Officers from the Eastern Shore 1900-1964 272 

State Officers from the Eastern Shore 1900-1964 272 

Circuit Court Judges 1831-1964 272 

State Senators 1900-1964 272-3 

Members of the House of Delegates 1900-1964 273 

Clerks of Court 1632-1964 273-4 

County Superintendents of Schools 1924-1964 274 

Homes Open for Tours 1934-1964 275-7 

Historic Public Buildings 277 

Eastern Shore Authors 1940-1964 278-80 

Notes by Chapters and Pages 281-9 

Selected Bibliography 290-3 

Index 294 



The author acknowledges with sincere thanks all the 
help that has been given in the preparation of this volume. 
But those who assisted are in no way responsible for the sub- 
ject matter, interpretations and conclusions. General thanks 
are extended to everyone who assisted or encouraged the 
writer, and special thanks are given those who carried out 
definite assignments. 

The greater part of the research was done on the East- 
ern Shore where court records are continuous from 1632. 
Thomas H. James, clerk of the Northampton County Court, 
and Virginia Williams, deputy clerk j J, Fulton Ayres, clerk 
of the Accomack County Court, and Mildred Grant Melson 
(Mrs. J. Revell) and Beulah Lowe Mason (Mrs. J. Milton), 
deputies, rendered courteous service over a period of years. 
William H. Savedge, Jr., librarian, Catherine Spicer Ed- 
monds (Mrs. John W., Jr.), assistant, and other staff mem- 
bers of the Eastern Shore Public Library were helpful. 

The Virginia State Library helped in more ways than 
can be listed. Milton C. Russell and Bertie Craig Smith 
(Mrs. Pinkney A.) of the Research and Circulation De- 
partment j and John W. Dudley of the Archives, deserve 
special mention. The Library of Congress, the John Carter 
Brown Library, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of 
William and Mary helped. John L. Lockhead, librarian 
at the Mariners Museum, helped with the information about 
the ferries. 

The Virginia Historical Society was both inspirational 
and helpful. John Melville Jennings, director, helped in 
the selection of the title j James A. Fleming and Virginius 
C. Hall, Jr. rendered personal service in the library. The 



Maryland Historical Society supplied photostatic copies of 
material which helped clarify some incidents in the narrative. 

Judge Jefferson F. Walter and attorneys in Accomack 
and Northampton counties helped locate material by finding 
books in the clerks' offices, making suggestions for search- 
ing other sources, and permitting the use of their professional 
libraries. These attorneys were: Howard H. Adams, B. 
Drummond Ayres, E. Aimer Ames, Jr., Benjamin T. Gun- 
ter, Jr. and J. Brooks Mapp. 

Levin Nock Davis, secretary of the State Board of Elec- 
tions, the Reverend Samuel F. Gouldthorpe, rector of St. 
James and St. George Episcopal churches, and Mark C. Lewis, 
Eastern Shore genealogist, rendered valuable assistance. 

Colleagues in the Accomack County school system who 
assisted with specific phases of the manuscript are: Henry L. 
Derby, Arthur King Fisher, Oliver C. Greenwood, Leonard 
W. Johnson, W. Avery Lewis, J. D. Pennewell, Jr., Lucy 
Lingo Phillips (Mrs. William) and John W. Waterfield, 
Jr. Those who helped in other ways are: Avalon Drummond 
Bodley (Mrs. Milton D.), Earl G. Hoppes, Charles T. 
Huckstep, John C. Justis, Elizabeth Payne Miles (Mrs. 
Vernon W.), Melvin G. Nuckols, Thomas Phillips, and 
Nina Glyer Tarr (Mrs. Daniel, Jr.). Those in the North- 
ampton County school system who helped with specific phases 
of the manuscript or by personal interview are: William F. 
Lawson, Jr., Margaret C. Scott and B. Gordon Wescott. 

Other Eastern Shore people who assisted in tracking 
down needed information or supplied documents in their li- 
braries are : Byron O. Bonniwell, Bernice FitzGerald Brough- 
ton (Mrs. Max C), Johna H. Davis, Elidie Jones Fletcher 
(Mrs. Donald F., Sr.), Lois Chandler Hearne (Mrs. H. 
Roland), Bessie Trewett Lewis (Mrs. Edward C), L. Floyd 
Nock, Jr., Sarah N. N. Parker, Annie Rippon Parks (Mrs. 
Stephen T.), Burton H. R. Randall, John W. Robertson, 
M.D., Nell C. Scott, Anne Floyd Upshur, Evelyn Watts 
(Mrs. Paul F.), and Fairy Mapp White (Mrs. Rooker J.). 

The owners of homes and public buildings used to illus- 
trate the architecture of the Eastern Shore are : John R. Ham- 


iton, M.D., and Gladys Lee Hamilton of End View; Henry 
J. and Fredonia Rowland Richardson of Hills Farm; Kathryn 
Custis Ross (Mrs. Samuel T.) of Seymour House; John 
Andrews Upshur, Commander USN (ret.), and Eleanor 
Walton Upshur of Drummonds Mill Farm; The Accomack 
County Chapter of the Association for the Preservation of 
Virginia Antiquities, custodians of the Debtors Prison; the 
Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society, Inc., owner of 
Kerr Place; and the Vestry of St. James Episcopal Church, 
owner of the Rectory. 

Dudley B. Miller, assistant professor of Industrial Ed- 
ucation, East Texas State College, and a nephew of the 
author, made the floor plans; Katherine Roberts Wescott 
(Mrs. Joseph Vernes) made the pen-and-ink sketches; A. 
Parker Barnes assisted the author with the maps; and Billie 
Woods Fletcher (Mrs. W. Beverly) typed the manuscript. 

Royce W. Chesser, associate professor. School of Educa- 
tion, College of William and Mary, checked the notes by 
chapters; J. Paul Hudson, curator of the National Park Ser- 
vice Museum, Jamestown Island, read the seventeenth cen- 
tury chapters of the manuscript and offered helpful sugges- 
tions; and Robert L. Krieger, director of W^allops Station 
NASA, helped in many ways, including furnishing the in- 
formation about the operations at Wallops and checking the 
page proofs of the chapters including it. 

Margaret Denny Dixon (Mrs. John W.), historical 
writer and friend, offered advice and inspiration and read 
the material from the third draft through the page proofs. 

George N. McMath and Ben D. Byrd gave editorial 
advice and assistance in many other ways in the final stages 
of the preparation of the manuscript. They, and all other 
members of the staff at The Eastern Shore NewSy Inc.y have 
had a tremendously important part in the completion and 
publication of this book in 1964, the 350th Anniversary of 
the first English settlement on the Eastern Shore, and the 
year of the opening of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. 
Parksley, Virginia 
April 15, 1964 Nora Miller Turman 



Robert L. Ailworth, United States Marshal 1933-1954 
William Andrew Dickinson, Collector of Customs for the 

State of Virginia 1953-1961 
Walkley E. Johnson, Clerk of the United States Court for 

Eastern District of Virginia 1947- 

Assistant District Attorney 1940-1947 

Clarence G. Smithers, United States Marshal 1921-1930 

(Only chairmen and secretaries of appointed offices) 

Levin Nock Davis, Secretary of State Board of Elections 1947- 

Associate Counsel, State Corporation Commission 1942-1944 

Director of Motion Picture Censorship Board 1944-1947 

William Bullitt Fitzhugh, Sergeant-at-Arms of the House 

of Delegates 1926-1944 

John Henry Johnson, Chief Pension Clerk for Confederate 

veterans and their widows 1912-1961 

Assistant in office of State Auditor 1901-1912 

Other public service 1883-1901 

Commission of Fisheries 
(Board of Fisheries until 1908) 

John W. Bowdoin, M.D., Chairman 1902-1906 

Milton T. Hickman, Chairman 1958- 

Charles M. Lankford, Jr., Chairman 1942-1958 

G. Walter Mapp, Chairman 1938-1941 

J. Brooks Mapp, Chairman 1941-1942 

S. Wilkins Matthews, Secretary 1906-1912 

Shellfish Commissioner 1927-1928 

Quinton G. Nottingham, Secretary 1918-1922 

Thomas Henry Nottingham, Shellfish Commissioner 1924-1927 

John S. Parsons, Chairman 1916-1920 


Abel Parker Upshur 1831-1841 

Thomas H. Bayly 1842-1843 

George P. Scarburgh 1844-1852 

Edward P. Pitts 1852-1869 

George T. Garrison 1870-1881 

Benjamin T. Gunter 1881-1897 

John W. G. Blackstone 1898-1908 

Clarence W. Robinson 1908-1910 

James H. Fletcher 1910-1922 

Nathaniel B. Wescott 1922-1930 

John E. Nottingham 1930-1942 

Jefferson F. Walter 1942- 


(Accomack, Northampton and Princess Anne Counties) 

E. Aimer Ames, Jr. 1956- 

Warner Ames 1923-1927 

George L. Doughty 1928-1932 



Jack Etheridgre (Princess Anne County) 1952-1955 

Ben T. Gunter, Sr. 1903-1910 

Ben T. Gunter, Jr. 1944-1950 

G. Walter Mapp 1911-1923 

Jefferson F. Walter 1932-1942 

Accomack County 

B. Drummond Ayres 1928- 

Peter D. Copes 1944-1947 

Levin Nock Davis 1930-1933, 1940-1942 

Wrendo M. Godwin 1938, 1948-1955 

Georgre N. McMath 1963- 

S. Wilkins Matthews 1900-1902 

J. Harrj' Rew 1912-1927 

John R. Rew 1904-1910 

Melvin L. Shreves 1956-1962 

Roy D. White 1934-1937 

Northampton County 

(Floater Delegate for Accomack and Northampton) 

Howard H. Adams 1934- 

William Bullitt Fitzhugh 1910-1912, 1918-1919 

J. Fred Floyd, M.D. 1916-1918 

John E. Nottingham 1900-1904, 1920-1924 

Thomas B. Robertson 1914-1916 

Charles Smith 1904-1906 

Wan-en J. Topping 1926-1933 

John T. Wilkins, IH 1906-1908 


Accomack County (entire Shore 1634-1642) 

Henry Bagwell 1632-1634 

(Accomack Plantation) 

Henry Bagwell 1632-1638 

George Dawe 1637-1639 

Henry Bagwell 1639-1640 

George Dawe 1640-1642 

Northampton County (entire Shore 1642-1663) 

Edwin Conway 1642-1648 

Edmond Matthews 1648-1658 

John Boys 1658-1659 

Robert Hutchinson 1659-1663 

Northampton County (after the Shore was divided) 

Robert Hutchinson 1663-1665 

William Melling 1665-1670 

John Culpepper 1670-1674 

(Accomack County was temporarily reunited with Northampton) 

Daniel Neech 1674-1703 

Hancock Custis 1703-1705 

Robert Howson 1705-1720 

Hilars^ Stringer 1720-1721 

Godfrey Poole 1721-1729 

Thomas Cable 1729-1743 


Griffin Stith 1743-1783 

William Stith 1783-1791 

Thomas L. Savage 1791-1813 

Caleb B. Upshur 1813-1821 

Nathaniel J. Winder 1821-1844 

Lewis O. Rogers 1844-1852 

LaFayette Harmanson 1852-1869 

James M. Brickhouse 1869-1884 

Gilmor S. Kendall 1884-1891 

T. Sanford Spady 1891-1899 

Rodney W. Nottingham 1899-1912 

George T. Tyson 1912-1954 

Thomas H. James 1954- 

Accomack County (upper part of the peninsula) 

Robert Hutchinson 1663-1670 

John Culpepper (clerk of the entire Shore) 1670-1674 

Daniel Neech, Deputy for Accomack 1671-1674 

Francis Lord 1674-1675 

John Washbourne 1675-1703 

Robert Snead 1703-1712 

Charles Snead 1712-1717 

John Jackson 1717-1737 

George Holden 1737-1774 

Littleton Savage 1774-1805 

Edmund Bayly 1805-1805 

John Wise 1805-1812 

Richard Bayly 1812-1828 

Thomas R. Joynes 1828-1845 

James J. Ailworth 1845-1850 

John W. Gillett 1850-1862 

John B. Ailworth 1862-1865 

John W. Gillett 1865-1869 

William H. B. Custis 1869-1887 

Montcalm Oldham, Jr. 1887-1900 

Robert H. Oldham 1900-1904 

John D. Grant, Sr. 1904-1910 

John D. Grant, Jr. 1910-1941 

Robert H. Oldham, Jr. 1941-1956 

Robert M. Oldham 1956-1960 

J. Fulton Ayres 1960- 

Accomack County 

J. Milton Shue 1925-1929 

Henry A. Wise 1929-1954 

Roscoe M. Doub 1953-1957 

Royce W. Chesser 1957-1962 

Oliver C. Greenwood 1962- 

Northampton County 

W. D. Peters 1921-1928 

George J. Oliver 1928-1938 

A. S. DeHaven 1938-1950 

W. F. Lawson, Jr. 1950- 






Bowmans Folly 




Cedar Grove 








Colonial Hall 

Belle Haven 



Corbin Hall 




Cropperville Farm 


Crystal Palace 


Drummond Place 


Drummonds Mill 




End View 


Eyre Hall 




Finneys Wharf 


Green Farm 


Gulf Stream House 
and Gardens 


TOURS 1934-1964 

OwTiers January 1, 1964 

Miss Florence Walker 
Miss Vena Walker 

Gen. and Mrs. Beverly 
Browne (USA Ret.) 

Miss Anne Floyd Upshur 
Mrs. Florence Upshur 
Dick and nieces 

Mrs. Helen Wilkins Mapp 
Mrs. Julia Wilkins 

Mrs. Ellen Ailworth Scott 

J. Holland Scott Estate 

Mr. and Mrs. Germain S. 

Dr. and Mrs. Milton 

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph E. 

Mrs. Frances C. Rogers 

Mrs. Margaret Wilkins 

Mrs. Ann Wilkins 

Mr. and Mrs. Eugene A. 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. 
Lankford, Jr. 

Mr. and Mrs. Roland F. 

Com. and Mrs. John A. 

Mr. Quinton G. 

Dr. and Mrs. John R. 

Mr. H. Furlong Baldwin 
and Miss Mary Eyre 

Mr. and Mrs. G. L. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hugh P. 

Mr. and Mrs. R. LeCato 

Mr. Jacques Legendre 

and Mr. Robert Talley 




Hedra Cottage 
Hills Farm 

Kelso Place 
Kendall Grove 

Kerr Place 


Matthews House 



Mount Custis 

Mount Pleasant 

Nickawampus Creek 

Oak Grove 
Park Hall 
Pine View 

Prospect Hill 
Ross House 
Rural Hill 
Seven Gables 
Seymour House 


Kendall Grove 





Sea View 


Belle Haven 















Dr. John Ames 

Mr. and Mrs. Henry J. 

Mrs. Addison Jarvis 

Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Belote 

Benjamin W. Mears' 

Eastern Shore of Virginia 

Historical Society, inc. 

Mr. and Mrs. Kirwan C. 

Mr. and Mrs. Carroll G. 

Mr. G. Goodwyn Joynes, 

Mr. and Mrs. Kemper 

Goffigon, III 

Mr. and Mrs. H. Watson 

Mr. and Mrs. Lucius J. 

Mr. and Mrs. John iM. 

Mr. and Mrs. J. Edward 

Mr. and Mrs. John Van 

Kesteren, Jr. 

Mr. and Mrs. Edward M. 
T. Addison 

Mrs. Warner Ames 
Mrs. L. C. M. Smythe 
Mrs. J. Fred Edmonds 

Mr. and Mrs. Alex G. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hal G. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bransford M. 

Mr. and Mrs. William P. 

Bell, HI 
Mr. and Mrs. E. Aimer 

Ames, Jr. 
Mrs. Samuel T. Ross and 

Mrs. George T. Buck, Jr. 
Mr. and Mrs. George D. 

Mr. and Mrs. Wendell K. 

Mr. and Mrs. Julian N 




Taylor House 

The Cottage 

The Folly 

The Haven 

The Hermitage 

The Rectory 




West View 


White Cliff 


Windy Hill Farm 















Belle Haven 




Mr. and Mrs. Emmett G. 

Taylor, Jr. 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. 

Mr. and Mrs. L. Floyd 

Nock, Jr. 
Mr. and Mrs. George 

Walter Mapp, Jr. 

Mrs. Charles B. 

St. James Episcopal 

Mrs. Verne Minich 
Dr. and Mrs. A. W. D. 

Mr. and Mrs. Richard 

Mr. and Mrs. Edward M. 

Mr. and Mrs. B. 

Drummond Ayres 
Mr. and Mrs. Charles R. 

Mr. and Mrs. Edward T. 

Mr. and Mrs. Lucius J. 

Mr. and Mrs. Claude R. 

Mr. and Mrs. J. Henry 

Mr. and Mrs. David C. 



Northampton County Seat, Eastville 

Clerks Office with continuous Court Records from 1632 

Debtors Prison Museum 

Old Jail 

First Brick Courthouse (rebuilt) 

Christ Episcopal Church 

Hungars Episcopal Church (Colonial) - Bridgetown 

Accomack County Seat, Accomac 

Clerks Office with continuous Court Records from 1663 

Debtors Prison Museum - hall, parlor and loft type of archi- 
tecture - built for the jailor and his family. 

Francis Makemie Presbyterian Church 

Kerr Place, Onancock, a manor house now owned by the East- 
ern Shore of Virginia Historical Society, Inc. 

St. George Episcopal Church (Colonial), Pungoteague 

St. James Episcopal Church, Accomac 


SUSIE MAY AMES, Ph.D., daughter of Samuel W. and Annie Mears 
Ames, was born in Pungoteague, Accomack County, and was graduated 
from high school there. She received her B.A. degree from Randolph- 
Macon Woman's College, did summer school work at the University 
of Chicago and the University of California and received her M.A. and 
Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University. She taught in high schools 
in Virginia and Maryland and in the Eastern Kentucky State Normal 
School before joining the faculty of Randolph-Macon Woman's College 
where she retired as Professor of History in 1955. She was one of 
the founders and second president of the Eastern Shore of Virginia 
Historical Society. Her articles illuminating Eastern Shore history 
have appeared in many historical publications including the Journal of 
Business and Economic History, William and Mary Quarterly and the 
Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. Her best known books 
are Studies of the Virginia Eastern Shore in the Seventeenth Cen- 
tury, Richmond, 1940; Some Colonial Foundations of Virginia's East- 
em Shore, in The Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, ed. by 
Charles Clark, 3 volumes, New York, 1950; County Court Records of 
Accomack-Northampton, Virginia, 1632-1640. Edited for the American 
Historical Association, Washington, D. C, 1954; Reading, Writing and 
Arithmetic in Virginia, 1607-1699, Richmond, 1957; and A Calendar 
of the Early History of Virginia's Eastern Shore, Onancock, 1959. 
JAY SHENTON LODGE (1889-1962), son of the Reverend Wilson 
Wesley and Harriet Estabrook Lodge, was bom in Salisbury, New 
Brunswick, Canada, and was graduated from the University of Mount 
Allison in that province. He received seminary training for the Meth- 
odist ministry at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He married 
Frances Billups of Norfolk, Virginia, and two sons and two daughters 
were born to them. He was a gifted writer of both prose and poetry. 
When failing health required his retirement from the Virginia Metho- 
dist Conference he devoted his time to writing and won distinction as 
a colvunnist for a daily and a weekly newspaper. More than three 
hundred poems were published in newspapers and magazines in the 
United States and Canada. He wrote one book The Strolling Scribe, 
Onancock, (posthumously) 1963. 

JAMES EGBERT MEARS (1884- ), son of James H. and Rose Wise 
Mears, was born in Hacks Neck, Accomack County. He married Mrs. 
Caroline Horner Corcoran of Chicago. He served as administrative as- 
sistant to the president of Suliins College, as a chamber of commerce 
secretary and as operator of a domestic and foreign travel service be- 
fore his retirement in Hollywood, Florida. Although he left the East- 
ern Shore early in life he has constantly done research and writing a- 
bout the Shore. Hacks Neck and its People, 1937, with a Supplement in 
1963, and "The Eastern Shore of Virginia in the Nineteenth and Twen- 
tieth Centuries" in The Eastem Shore of Maryland and Virginia, 
ed. by Charles Clark, 3 volumes, New York, 1950, are his best known 
writings. He has been editor of "The Shoreline" in The Eastem Shore 
News since 1933 and has written for other Shore newspapers. His 
clippings in thirteen scrapbooks have been indexed by him and put 
on microfilm by the Virginia State Library. The Virginia Historical 
Society Library and the Eastern Shore Public Library own copies of 
the microfilm. 

WILBER JACKSON MILLINER, JR., son of Wilber J. and Iva Mar- 
tin Milliner, was born in Locustville, Accomack County, and was 



{graduated from Onancock High School in 1947. After two years at 
Randolph-Macon Academy he entered the business of farming. In 1955 
he married Faye Joyce Brown. He began trapping local wild animals 
with saleable skins in his childhood. The otter was most interesting 
to him and the most difficult to lure into his traps. From personal 
experience and extensive research he wrote Fooling Mister Otter, O- 
nancock, 1961. 

MAHALINDA KELLAM PARKS, daughter of Alfred S. and E. Byrd 
Kellam, was born in Wachapreague, Accomack County, and was grad- 
uated from Onancock High School in the class of 1906. Her special 
interest was in music and she continued to study under Miss Margaret 
Groton of Onancock. In 1907 she married Everett P. Parks (1888- 
1947) and one son and two daughters were born to them. She has 
been a church organist for thirty-five years and has written poetry 
for many years. Children's poetry is most interesting to her. Her 
book which she illustrated with silhouettes is Little Castles in the Air, 
Onancock, 1963. 

JOHN WILLIAM ROBERTSON, M.D., son of Dr. Edgar Waples and 
Bell Britton Robertson, was born in Onancock, Accomack County. 
He attended Margaret Academy and was graduated from Onancock 
High School in the class of 1905. After graduation from the Univer- 
sity of Maryland Medical School he joined his father in the practice 
of medicine with the office on North Street, Onancock, where his 
practice has been continuous except while he was in the armed forces 
during World War I. In 1921 he installed the first X-ray equipment 
on the Eastern Shore and combined the specialty as an X-ray prac- 
titioner with his general practice. He man-led Lula Price of Snow 
Hill, Maryland, and two daughters were born to them. Photography as 
a hobby began in 1902 and he was recognized as a photographic 
artist even before he finished high school. On Land and Sea, A Pic- 
torial Review of t(he Eastern Shore of Virginia, Onancock, 1961; and 
Land of the Evergreen, Onancock, 1963, contain selections from the 
collection of more than three thousand pictures in his files. 
NORA MILLER TURMAN, daughter of Milam W. and Pearl Garland 
Miller, was born near Minden, Louisiana, and was graduated from 
high school there. She received her B.A. degree from George Peabody 
College. After receiving her M.A. from Cornell University in the class 
of 1931, she came to the Eastern Shore as an employee of V.P.I. , 
Blacksburg. She married Charles Franklin Turman, D.D.S. of Parks- 
ley in 1938. After his death she became Atlantic High School Li- 
brarian. In summer school at Madison and Longwood colleges she got 
her credits for a library certificate. Writing was a hobby even in her 
high school years and she became interested in historical research 
while in college. She has written articles for general, professional 
and historical magazines, including the Journal of Home Eco- 
nomics and the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. Her 
best known writings are: George Yeardley: Governor of Virginia and 
Organizer of the General Assembly in 1619, Richmond, 1959; Sir 
George Yeardley in the Encyclopedia Americana, 1964; Inventory of 
the Estate of Argoll Yeardley of Northampton County, Virginia, in 
1655 (edited Richmond, 1962); The Episcopal Church in Accomack 
County from 1652, Onancock, 1954; The Parksley Three Arts Club, 
Onancock, 1947; The Girl in the Rural Family, Chapel Hill, 1935; and 
Introduction to On Land and Sea, Onancock, 1961. 
JOHN ANDREWS UPSHUR, U.S.N. Cmdr. Ret, son of Robert Lee 
and Julia Andrews Upshur, was bom in Norfolk, Virginia. He was grad- 


uated from the United States Military Academy in the class of 1921, 
after having been on active duty as a cadet in World War I. He mar- 
ried Eleanor Walton of Atlanta, Georgia, and a son and a daughter 
were born to them. He served with the Atlantic, Pacific and Asiatic 
fleets and as an instructor at the Naval Academy. In 1937 he joined 
the staff of Colonial Williamsburg where he was in charge of Mer- 
chandising Operations. While in that position he developed the or- 
ganization's Reproduction Program. During World War H he was on 
leave from his civilian position for active duty with the United States 
Navy. In 1956 he retired from Colonial Williamsburg but remained 
on the staff as a consultant. He and his wife restored the house on 
Drummonds Mill Farm near Accomac. Upshur Family in Virginia by 
John Andrews Upshur, Richmond, 1955, is a history of the family and 
connections who have lived on the Eastern Shore since 1640. It won 
the annual award of the National Genealogical Society. 
KATHERINE ROBERTS WE SCOTT, daughter of William T. and 
Katherine Joynes Roberts, was born in Nassawadox, Northampton 
County, and received her B.A. degree from Longwood College in 1939 
with a major in art and recognition for her ability as a poet. She 
was a public school teacher and gave private art lessons. In 1942 
she married Joseph V. Wescott, 0. D., of Onancock, where they live. A 
son and a daughter were born to them. Her poems have appeared 
in a number of periodicals and her illustrated book of Eastern Shore 
poems, Salt and Sand, Onancock, 1963, bespeaks her success as a poet 
and an artist. She made the sketches for this historical narrative. 
RALPH THOMAS WHITELAW (1880-1950), the son of Robert H. 
and Mary Westgate Whitelaw, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and 
attended Smith Academy there. He received his B.A. degree from Am- 
herst in the class of 1902 and became president of Whitelaw Brothers 
Chemical Company the same year. He held that position until his re- 
tirement except while he was on leave for YMCA work with the armed 
forces in France during World War I. In 1922 he married Paula Oer- 
tell of St. Louis. In 1926 they bought Warwick in Accomack County 
and restored it for a retirement home. He grew peonies for market 
for some years, then entered the real estate business. He began his- 
torical research and writing during his first year on the Shore. After 
his wife's death he sold Warwick and built a house near Accomac. 
He devoted more than fifteen years to a study of the land patents on 
the Shore and related history of those with historic houses. His book, 
Virginia's Eastern Shore, was published in two volumes by the Vir- 
ginia Historical Society in 1951. This publication received the annual 
award given by the American Association for State and Local History 
for 1951. 

HENRY ALEXANDER WISE, son of Edgar S. and Elizabeth Jacob 
Wise, was born in Craddockville, Accomack County, and received his 
early education there and at Pungoteague. He received his B.S. de- 
gree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in the class of 1898 and M.A. 
degrees from both Centre College, Kentucky, and the University of 
South Carolina. He began his teaching career in Accomack County. 
He was on the faculty of Converse College in South Carolina when he 
was elected to the position of superintendent of Accomack County 
schools in 1929. After his retirement in 1954 he taught extension 
classes in Virginia History for the College of William and Mary. His 
writings in both poetry and prose have appeared in a number of per- 
iodicals. His published books are: Just Little Things and Other Poems, 
Accomac, 1933, and Over on the Eastern Shore, Onancock, 1962. 


These notes were made for the general reader, who may want 
additional information on some incidents in the narrative, but they 
should be adequate for a future researcher. The year, month, and 
day have been used of many incidents so they can be located in the 
original documents, manuscript copies, microcards, microfilms, micro- 
sheets, printed form, photostats, or typescripts. Months and years, 
but not the days, before 1752 were transcribed to the New Style 
Calendar. County court records on the Eastern Shore are continuous 
from 1632. Other source material should be easily located from these 
notes and the selected bibliography. 

Page Chapter I 1603-25 

1 Thomas Canner, "A Relation of the Voyage to Virginia 
... in 1603," Purchas His Pilgrimes, XVILI, pp. 329-35. 

2 Clifford M. Lewis, The Spanish Jesuit Mission in Virginia 

3-5 John Smith, Travels and Works of Captain John Smith, 

I, pp. 343-6 and II, pp. 412-14. 

5 Susan M. Kingsbury, ed., Records of the Virginia Com- 

pany, III, p. 304. Land purchased on the Eastern Shore in 

6-7 Ralph T. Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, pp. 167-76. 

Company land. 

6-7 Nora Miller Turman, George Yeardley, p. 144. Company 


Page Chapter II 1625-1634 

13 Nathaniel C. Hale, Virginia Venturer, A Biography of 

William Claiborne 1600-1677. 

13-14 Nell Marion Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts 

of Virginia Land Patents, p. 10. 

14-16 H. R. Mcllwaine, ed.. Minutes of the Council and General 

Court, p. 156. Three settlements are named. 

16 Turman, George Yeardley, pp. 183-86. Will of Sir George 

Yeardley and its probate. 

18-21 Sloan Manuscript No. 3662, British Museum Library. A 

description of Lord Baltimore's Newfoundland Patent and cir- 
cumstances surrounding his Virginia Patent. 

21 William Macdonald, Documentary Source Book of Amer- 

ican History, pp. 32-5. Charter of 1632 with Eastern Shore 
of Virginia reserved for the Crown. 

21 Mcllwaine, Minutes of the Council and General Court, p. 

321. Act establishing a monthly court for Accomack Planta- 

24 Susie iM. Ames, ed., Accomack-Northampton Court Rec- 
ords 1632-40, p. 4. First entry by Henry Bagwell, clerk. 

25 Ibid., p. 158. Reference to Thomas Savage and some In- 
dians having been employed to round up cattle for Edmund 
Scarburgh I. 

Page Chapter III 1634-1642 

27 Ames, Accomack-Northampton Court Records, p. 17. 

Sheriff was chosen for Accomack County. 
29 Ibid., p. 29. Vestry and specifications for parsonage house. 

29 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, p. 142. Glebe land 

is located. 
31-34 Turman, George Yeardley, pp. 44, index and chapter notes. 



Early life of Thomas Savage and the documents in which 
details were found. 

34 Kingsbury, Records of the Virginia Company, IV, p. 319. 

Land records sent to England in 1625 list Thomas Savage, 
"his divident." 

34 Ames, Accomack-Northampton Court Records, p. 42. Suit 

against the estate of Thomas Savage was referred to James- 

34 Ibid., p. 101. Estate of John Howe was billed for his 

funeral and grave in the chancel of the church. 

38 Susie M. Ames, Studies of the Virginia Eastern Shore in 

the Seventeenth Century, pp. 179-207. A ducking stool is de- 
scribed on p. 190. 

38 Ames, Accomack-Northampton Court Records (sentences 

imposed by the court for various crimes using conventional de- 
vices). See index. 

Ibid., p. 143. Inventory of an estate including a silver 

Page Chapter IV 1642-1652 

43-45 Northampton County Court Records, Book 11. Military 

districts can be found from the names of their commanders 
in the index. 

45-46 The inventory of the estate of William Burdett was filed 

on April 24, 1645. 

48 A chapel of ease was a house of worship remote from 

the main church. Divine services were conducted by lay 
readers when the minister could not be present. 

49-50 Henry Norwood, "A Voyage to Virginia in 1649-50," in 

Peter Force ed.. Tracts and Other Papers, III, No. 10, p. 49, 
and in Francis Coleman Rosenberger, Virginia Reader, pp. 

Page Chapter V 1652-1663 

54 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, I, p. 129. A copy of 

the "Northampton Protest" with the names of the signers. 

57 Northampton County Court Record Book IV, p. 197. A 
deed of gift from Nathaniel Littleton to his daughter. His es- 
tate must have been settled at Jamestown since no record was 
found of his will mentioned in the deed of gift, inventory, or 
certification of his wife as executrix. She was serving in that 
capacity at the time of her death. Her will was probated in 
Northampton County on November 6, 1656. 

58 Turman, "Inventory of the Estate of Argoll Yeardley," 
The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, October 
1962, pp. 410-19. Inventory was taken on October 29, 1655. 
Original is in Northampton Court Record Book V. 

Note Naturalization papers of some Dutch citizens, including 

John Custis II and Ann Yeardley, are among the Northamp- 
ton County Loose Papers in the Clei'k's Office, Eastville. 

Page Chapter VI 1663-1674 

64 The law required the owner of a servant child to register 
his name and age. If the age was unknown, the child was 
presented to the court and his age was estimated and recorded. 
When he reached the age of 16 years, the master began pay- 
ing a head tax, or tithe, on him. 

65 An ordinary was an inn, or licensed place for keeping 
paying guests. The keeper was required to furnish beds and 


meals for the g:uests, and stables and feed for their horses. 

65 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, pp. 1386-89. The ac- 
count of the controversy over the Virginia-Maryland line is 
given and documented. 

66 Susie M. Ames, "The Bear and the Cub," The Peninsula 
Enterprise, January 18, 1958. Account of the play and a list 
of references in the Accomack County court records, prepared 
for the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society when it 
made the application for the Historical Marker which is on 
U. S. Route 13, east of Pungoteague, where the play was 

68 William Walter Hening, Statutes at Large, 11, p. 244. 

Land Reform Act. 

68 Richard L. Morton, Colonial Virginia, II, p. 420. Un- 

desirable practices and abuses of the headright system and 
the Reform Act are explained. 

71 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore. Information about 

Ann Toft and Daniel Jenifer. 

74 Augustin Herrman, Map of Virginia and Maryland in 

Page Chapter VII 1674-1700 

75 Court records in the Clerk's Office in Accomac are con- 
tinuous from 1663 but they are entered as the Upper Court 
of Northampton County for the time the entire Eastern 
Shore was reunited as one county, 1670-74. 

76-7 Morton, Colonial Virginia, I, pp. 208, 303 and 309. The 

proprietary grant of the Eastern Shore and the mainland 
of Virginia to two noblemen. 

78 Ibid., pp. 258-72. Bacon's Rebellion. 

81 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, pp. 218-21. John 

Savage, 1625-1678. 

81-2 Ibid., pp. 677-79. Biographical material about Southy Lit- 

tleton. The Inventory of his estate was filed in Accomack 
County on January iO, 1680. 

86 Jennings Cropper Wise. The Early History of the East- 

ern Shore of Virginia, pp. 184-7. Information about pirates 
on the Shore. 

86 Lloyd Haynes Williams, Pirates of Colonial Virginia. An 

explanation of the pirate menace with copies of documents 
in the appendix. 

87-8 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, I, pp. 108-9. Bio- 

graphical information about General John Custis. His will 
was probated in Northampton County on February 10, 1696. 

89-90 Richard Pratt, Ladies' Home Journal, April 1963, pp. 

74-5. Color pictures of Hills Farm. 

Page Chapter VIII 1700-1714 

92 Census figures quoted were found in the court records. 

Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, I, pp. 563 and II. 
pp. 1385. The total number of acres of land patented on the 
Eastern Shore was 360,250 by the end of patent times. 

94 Acts of the General Assembly for 1705 contain the only 
records found for the ferries of 1705-24. 

95 Water mills with ponds were eventually supplemented 
by tidemills. Mason's Mill, near Parksley, was the last of its 
kind on the Shore. It was destroyed in a storm in 1943. 

99 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, I, pp. 248-62. North- 


ampton courthouses. 

Ibid., pp. 1027-33. Accomack Courthouses. 
100 Littleton Purnell Bowen, The Days of Makemie, Francis 


100 I. Marshall Page, The Story of Francis Makemie. Ap- 
pendix contains a copy of every item in the Accomack County 
Court Records pertaining to Makemie. 

100-1 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, II, pp. 1282-5. Ma- 


101 Colonial Manuscripts. Fulham Palace Library, London. 
Reports of the Reverend William Black. 

103 William S. Perry, Historical Collections Relating to the 

American Colonial Church, I, pp. 30O-2. A copy of the an- 
swers to a questionnaire sent to the Bishop of London in 1724. 
The name of the schoolmaster is given. 

Page Chapter IX 1714-1752 

107 Hening, Statutes at Large. Pay for soldiers throughout 

the Colonial Period. 

109-10 Ibid., pp. 349-54 and IV, pp. 94-101. Ballast laws. 

Appointrnents of overseers are recorded in the county court 
order books. 

Ill Accomack County Order Book 1737-44, p. 99. "An as- 

signment of all tobacco and casks to be levied for the build- 
ing of Pimgoteague Church." In 1959 Burton H. R. Randall 
and William H. Guy uncovered the foundations of the east 
and west sections of the church and Finlay F. Ferguson, 
architect for the Parish House, made an archaeological floor 
plan. It is a Greek Cross with a semicircular extension at the 
east end. This drawing and a sketch made in 1819 show that 
this end resembled a wing of the restored Capitol in Colonial 
Williamsburg. The present St. George Church was the north- 
south transept of the original brick church. 

113 Gambrel roof house. See illustration, p. 140. 

114 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, I, pp. 320-24. John 
Custis III of Custis Hungars and inscription on his tomb. 

114-15 Ibid., pp. 108-17. John Custis IV of Arlington and Wil- 


114-15 Douglas Southall Freeman, George Washington, II, p. 

291, John Custis IV and descendants associated with the 
Eastern Shore. 

115 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, I, p. 110. Love let- 
ter to Lucy Parke. 

115 Earl G. Swem, Brothers of the Spade, pp. 9-20. Sketch 

of life of John Custis IV, and explanation of his will. His 
will was proved in James City County on April 9, 1750 . . . 
The records of that county have been destroyed. Owing to 
some of his property being in England, the will was filed 
in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, England, and was 
proved on November 19, 1753. An abstract is in printed 
form in the Virginia State Library. 

115-16 The inscription on the tomb is given with spelling, punc- 

tuation and capitalization as it appears with two exceptions. 
The is spelled out and the letter h is left out of Williams- 

116-17 Hening, Statutes at Large, I, p. 393. Note explains the 

Calendar Reform Act of 1751. 


Page Chapter X 1752-1790 

118 William Edwin Hemphill, and others, Cavalier Common- 

wealth, pp. 104-15. Dates and details of French and Indian 

122 Accomack-St. George Parish line (See map p. 192 same 

as Lee-Metompkin District line.) 

126 Macdonald, Documentary Source Book of American His- 
tory, Import duties imposed on the colonies, pp. 86-92. 

127 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, I, pp. 189-91. Lit- 
tleton Eyre. 

1.^0 Ibid., I, p. 42. 

130-31 Barton Haxall Wise, A Memoir of General John Cropper. 

Also "Cropper Papers" in the Virginia Historical Society 

130-31 John H. Gwathmey, Historical Register of Virginians in 

the Revolution, p. 194. War records and later military com- 
missions of John Cropper. 

132 Maryland Historical Society Magazine, IV, p. 115 and 

XIV, pp". 269-70. Commodore or Captain Zedekiah Walley 
or Whaley who was killed in the "Battle of the Barges." 

Page Chapter XI 1790-1800 

139 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, I, p. 490, origin of 

the name T B. 

139 and 

142 Ibid., End View and its builders. 

140-41 End View. Illustrations. 

143-45 Map on page 157 shows locations of the places named. 

146-49 Illustrations of sections, completed house and floor plan 

shows how the typical Eastern Shore style of architecture 
was developed for economic and utilitarian purposes. The 
kitchen ends of Seven Gables and the Ailworth Cottage are 
among other surviving sections of houses built to secure the 

150-52 "The William Young Account Book" is owned by Nell 

C. Scott, a descendant. 

Accounts were kept in English money. Note that $40 
paid on an account was recorded in pounds, shillings and 
pence. At least two decades passed before there was enough 
United States money in circulation for general use. 

Page Chapter XII 1800-1840 

156 Samuel Waples was the official for the district including 

Accomack and Northampton counties for the Second Census 
of the United States in 1800. The Accomack rolls were located 
in 1948, among papers which had been stored since 1887. 
No other complete Virginia county lists have been found for 
this census. 

160-61 G. MacLaren Brydon, Virginia's Mother Church, H. See 

index. Separation of Church and State. 

162 Adam Wallace, The Parson of the Islands. Joshua Thomas 

persuaded the British soldiers to spare the trees on the Camp 
Meeting grounds. 

162-3 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, I, pp. 815-17. Battle 

of Pungoteague. 

163-5 Ibid., General John Cropper. 

163-5 Barton Haxall Wise, A Memoir of General John Cropper. 

163-5 "Cropper Papers," Virginia Historical Society. 


165 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, I, p. 174. Floyd's 

Ferry Franchise. 
166-7 Joseph Martin, A Comprehensive Gazetteer of Virginia, 

pp. 249-50. The castor oil industry is reported. Relics of one 
factory are at Brownsville, near Nassawadox. 

167-9 Ibid., pp. 111-12 Accomack County, and pp. 249-51 North- 

ampton County. 

170 The ice house illustrated is at the Folly. Among the 

others which have survived are those at the Seymour House, 
Accomac; Nock's Pasture, Accomac; Woodbourne, Accomac; 
Poplar Hill, near Eastville; and Kendall Grove, north of 

171-2 Robert Hamilton, "Lighthouses of the East Coast." 

Page Chapter XIH 1840-1870 

173 The U. S. Census of 1840 was the first to include agri- 

cultural products. 

174-75 Claude H. Hall, Abel Parker Upshur 1790-1844. 

John Andrews Upshur, Upshur Family in Virginia, pp. 

Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, I, pp. 416-20. 
As a member of the General Court, Judge Upshur pre- 
sided over Circuit Courts which included those in Accomack 
and Northampton counties. The General Court was the State 
Supreme Court for criminal cases until 1852. 

175 Mears, in Clark, The Eastern Shore of Maryland and Vir- 
ginia, II, p. 588. Steamboat ferries. A painting of the Joseph 
E. Coffee is at the Mariners' Museum, Newport News. 

176 Turman and Others, "A Brief History of Education in 
Accomack County." 

177 Northampton County Order Book 1851-1857, pp. 64. Ma- 
gisterial districts into which the county was divided in 1852. 
Areas and boundaries were retained in 1870 but the districts, 
or townships, were given names instead of numbers. Orig- 
inally the present Capeville District was Number 1. 

Accomack County Order Book 1851-1854, pp. 194-7. In 
1852 Accomack County was divided into 6 districts. Numbers 
1, 2 and 3 were below the Parish line established in 1763. 
Numbers 4, 5 and 6 were above this line. Number 6 extended 
from Holdens Creek to the ocean and included the present 
Islands Magisterial District and all the mainland to the Mary- 
land line. 

178 Barton Haxall Wise, The Life of Henry A. Wise 1806- 
1876. John S. Wise, The End of An Era. 

180-81 "The Account Book of Spencer D. Finney" is owned by 

Byron O. Bonniwell. 

183 Robert Hamilton, "Lighthouses of the East Coast." 

184 Assateague Light is at 37 degrees 54 minutes and 42 
seconds north latitude, and 75 degrees 21 minutes and 23 sec- 
onds west longitude. 

185-6 Mears, in Clark, The Eastern Shore of Maryland and Vir- 

ginia, II, pp. 603-12. 

Susie M. Ames, "Federal Policy Toward the Eastern 
Shore of Virginia in 1861." The Virginia Magazine of His- 
tory and Biography, October 1961, pp. 432-459. 

189 Henry H. Lockwood, General Order No. 18. Margaret 

Scarburgh Smith (Mrs. Eugene A.) owns a signed copy. 


Page Chapter XIV 1870-1900 

191 Northampton County Deed Book No. 37, 1867-71, p. 435. 

192 Map - Districts and Boundary Creeks in 1870. 

193-5 Accomack County Deed Book No. 46, 1869-71, pp. 348-51. 

Report of commissioners appointed by the Governor. 

195 Emory Lewis, Pioneers of Public Education in Accomack 
County from 1870 to 1925. McMaster Essay from Chinco- 
teague High School in 1935. A grandson and namesake of 
the first superintendent was principal. 

196-7 James C. Weaver, "An Epitomized History of Education 

in Accomack County," in Report of the State Superintendent 
of Public Instruction for 1885. 

196 The Accomack County Surveyor's Book for 1873 contains 
a plat map of the Free School land as it was divided for sale. 

198-9 The Peninsula Enterprise, August 8, 1936, lists the Life- 

saving Stations. 

199-200 Whitelaw. Virginia's Eastern Shore, I, pp. 144-5 gives 

an account of the building of the town of Cape Charles. 

199 and 

203 Henry R. Bennett, founder of the town of Parksley, told 

the story of the first railroad stations and the post office 
conflicts to the author in 1939. 

199-200 Mears, in Clark, The Eastern Shore of Maryland and 

Virginia, pp. 590-92 describes the coming of the railroad and 
town building. 

208 Fairy Mapp White, "Turlington Camp Meeting." 

Page Chapter XV 1900-1920 

212 Clark, The Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, HI. 

p. 285 and p. 254-6. Pioneers in vegetable canning on the 

214 The Cape Charles High School files contain the names of 

the members of the first graduating class which v.'as in 1901. 

215-16 Annual Report of the State Superintendent of Instruc- 

tion showed the amount of money appropriated for the Nor- 
mal Department of Onancock High School. Graduates and 
other students were interviewed. Practice teaching was done 
with individual students who were called from their regular 
classes at scheduled times. 

216 Wise, "A Brief History of Education on the Eastern 

Shore" contains the information regarding early transporta- 
tion of students. It was secured in an interview with G. 
Goodwyn Joynes in 1928. 

216 Turman and Others, "A Brief History of Education in 

Accomack County," pp. 10-14. 

Wise, Over on the Eastern Shore, pp. 49-52. 

216-17 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, II, pp. 1283-85. Ma- 

kemie Monument. 

218 "Accomack-Northampton Court Records," Book I and 

Book II, manuscript copies in the Virginia State Librarj' 
give the dates on which Thomas Teackle Upshur was com- 
m.issioned to do the work and the dates on which the vol- 
umes were received by the librarian. 

220 The Accomack County Memorial Plaque for World War 

I is on the front of the Courthouse. 

The Northampton County Memorial Plaque is at the Me- 
morial Library, Cape Charles. 


Page Chapter XVI 1920-1940 

223 and 

225 Thalia Virginia Jones. "Benefactors of Chincoteague : 

William J. Matthews, John Leonard and John B. Whealton." 

224 U. S. Department of Agriculture Soil Maps of Accomack 
and Northampton counties, 1920. 

225 State Corporation Commission, Richmond. Names of the 
incorporators of the Chincoteague Toll Road and Bridge Com- 

226-7 J. Brooks Mapp, attorney for the Corporation and its 

president when the road was opened, described the opening 

day and related incidents to the author. 
229-30 Annual Reports of the State Superintendent of Public 

Instruction and reports of principals and head teachers. 
231-2 Mears, in Clark, The Eastern Shore. Railroad steamers 

are named. Photographs are in the Mariners' Museum. 
232-4 W. J. Sturgis, Sr., M.D., "The Northampton-Accomack 

Memorial Hospital from Its Beginning," The Eastern Shore 

News, November 26, 1953. 
238-9 Dicton Wector, The Age of the Great Depression 1929- 

1941, pp. 76-78. W.P.A. 
239 Turman, "Hand Loomed American Linen," The Weaver, 

July- August 1941, pp. 28-30. 
Page Chapter XVII 1940-1960 

240-45 "The War Years" was given weekly coverage by The 

Eastern Shore News and The Peninsula Enterprise. 

Thelma Borum, "A Chronology of the Eastern Shore in 

World War II," The Eastern Shore News, August 16, 1945. 

243 Edward Rowe Snow, Famous Lighthouses of North A- 
merica, pp. 165-67. Ships destroyed off the Virginia Coast 
during World War II. 

244 Sonja Lewis Holloway, "The Chincoteague Naval Air 
Station," McMaster Essay, Chincotea2:ue High School. 1956. 

245 W. Edwin Hemphill, Editor, Gold Star Honor Roll of 
Virginians in World War II, pp. 1-3 and p. 288. 

246 Robert L. Krieger, "Wallops." 

247-8 "Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge Strategic for American 

Waterfowl," Virginia Wildlife, September 1947, reprinted in 
The Peninsula Enterprise, September 19, 1947. 

248 Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, I, p. 90. Early use 

of Mockhom Island. 

250 Mariners Museum Library Clipping Book No. 110 and 
No. 113. The story of the Virginia Lee from 1928 until it be- 
came a part of the Chesapeake Bay Ferry fleet in 1951. 

251 Krieger, "Wallops." 

Page Chapter XVIII 1960-1964 

255 Wise, Over on the Eastern Shore, pp. 56-7. Biography 

of Mary Nottingham Smith (Mrs. Robert L.), the supervisor 
of schools for whom Mary Nottingham Smith High School 
was named. 

255-6 The number of churches was secured from the Eastern 

Shore newspapers through the announcements of services 
over a period of six weeks. 

255-6 George Carrington Mason, Colonial Churches in Tide- 

water Virginia. 

Sarah Ann Steele, A History of Holy Trinity Episcopal 



Turman, The Episcopal Church in Accomack County from 

Blanche Sydnor White, History of the Baptists on the 
Eastern Shore 1776-1959. 

Whitelaw, Virginia's Eastern Shore, II, pp. 1390-1405. 
256 Mears, in Clark, The Eastern Shore of Maryland and 

Virginia, II, pp. 598-9. Newspapers. Editors and former ed- 
itors were also interviewed. 
258 Kerr Place, built in 1797 with a later addition, has an 

overall length of 108 feet and a maximum depth of 38 feet. 
It is one of the most cherished architectural gems on the 
Eastern Shore. 

261 Historic Garden Week in Virginia, 1941-1964, the annual 
guidebook, and newspaper announcements of local tours were 
used to identify the 66 homes which have been open for tours. 

262 "Sam Got Down," Time, December 14, 1959, p. 52. 
262-3 Krieger, "Wallops," NASA, 

265 Over and Under the Sea, Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel 

publication, p. 4, lists the principal materials used. 
265-6 Robertson, On Land and Sea, Introduction, pp. 6-7. 



Ames, Susie M, An Itemized List of Accomack and Northampton 
Court Records Books, 1632-1783, in Studies of the Virginia East- 
ern Shore in the Seventeenth Century, Richmond, 1940, pp. 250- 

Swam, Earl G. A Selected Bibliography of Virginia, 1607-1699 by Earl 
G. Swem, John M. Jennings and James A. Servies, Richmond, 

Swem, Earl G. Virginia Historical Index, Roanoke, 1934-36. 2v. 

DOCUMENTS - Manuscripts 

Accomack County Court Records, 1663, Accomac. 

"Cropper Papers." The Virginia Historical Society. 

"Custis Papers." The Virginia Historical Society. 

Muster Roll (census) of the Virginia Colony in 1624, in the Public 

Records Office, London. Photostatic copy in the Virginia State 

Northampton County Court Records, 1632, Eastville. 
Sloan Manuscripts. British Museum Library, London. Photostatic 

copy of items used in the Eastern Shore Public Library, Accomac. 
Second Census of the United States, Schedule for Accomack County, 

Virginia, in 1800. Virginia State Library. Micropage copy in 

Accomack County Clerks Office. 

DOCUMENTS - Printed 

Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia (State) from 1776. Rich- 

County Court Records of Accomack-Northampton, Virginia, 1632- 
1640. Susie M. Ames, ed. Washington, 1954. 

Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia, 1622- 
32, 1670-76. H. R. Mcllwaine, ed. Richmond, 1924. 

Records of the Virginia Company of London. Susan M. Kingsbury, ed. 
Washington, 1906-35. 4v. 

Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of the Laws of Virginia . . .1619- 
1792. William W. Hening, ed. Richmond, 1809-23. 13v. 

Tracts and Other Papers Relating to the Colonies in North America, 
to the year 1776. Peter Force, comp. Washington, 1836-46. 4v. 

Travels and Works of Captain John Smith, Edward Arber, ed. Edin- 
burgh, 1910. 2v. 


(Including printed documents) 

Ames, Susie M., ed. County Court Records of Accomack-Northampton, 
Virginia, 1632-40. VII of the American Legal Record Series. 
Washington, 1954. 

Ames, Susie M. Studies of the Virginia Eastern Shore in the Seven- 
teenth Century, Richmond, 1940. 

Asbury, Francis. 1745-1816. Journal of the First Methodist Bishop in 
Virginia, New York, 1821. 3v. 

Bowen, Littleton Purnell. The Days of Makemie. New York, 1885. 

Brydon, G. McLaren. Virginia's Mother Church and the Political Con- 
ditions Under Which It Grew. Richmond: Virginia Historical So- 
ciety, 1947-1952. 2 volumes. 



Clark, Charles B. The Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia. New 

York, 1950. 3v. 

Force, Peter, comp. Tracts and Other Papers ... to the year 1776. 
Washington, 1836-46. 4v. 

Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington. New York, 1948-57. 

Garden Clubs of Virginia, comp. Historic Garden Week in Virginia. 
Richmond, Annual. 

Gwathmey, John H. Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolu- 
tion. Richmond, 1938. 

Hale, Nathaniel C. Virginia Venturer, a Historical Biography of Wil- 
liam Claiborne, 1600-1677. Richmond, 1951. 

Hall, Claude H. Abel Parker Upshur, Conservative Virginian 1790- 
1844. Madison, Wisconsin, 1964. 

Hemphill, William Edwin, ed. Gold Star Honor Roll of Virginians in 
the Second World War. Charlottesville, 1947. 

Hemphill, William Edwin. Cavalier Commonwealth by William Edwin 
Hemphill, Marvin Wilson Schlegel and Sadie JEthel Engelberg. 
New York, 1957. 

Hening, William W., ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of 
All the Laws of Virginia . . . 1619-1792. Richmond, 1809-1823. 

Hotten, John Camden. The Original List of Persons . . . Who 
Went from Great Britain to the American Plantations, 1600-1700. 
London, 1874. 

Kingsbury, Susan M., ed. Records of the Virginia Company of London. 

Washington, 1906-1935. 4v. 

Lewis, Clifford M. The Spanish Jesuit Mission in Virginia, 1570-1572 
by Clifford M. Lewis and Albert J. Loomie. Richmond, 1953. 

Macdonald, William, ed. Documentary Source Book of American His- 
tory, 1606-1926. New York, 1937. 

Martin, Joseph. A Comprehensive Gazetteer of Virginia and the Dis- 
trict of Columbia. Charlottesville, 1835. 

Mason, George Carrington. Colonial Churches of Tidewater Virginia. 
Richmond, 1945. 

Mcllwaine, H. R., ed. Minutes of the Council and General Court of 
Colonial Virginia 1622-1632, 1670-1676, with notes and excerpts 
from original Council and General Court Records into 1683, now 
lost. Richmond, 1924. 

Morton, Richard L. Colonial Virginia. Chapel Hill, 1960. 2 vols. 

Norwood, Henry. "A Voyage to Virginia", 1649-50, in Peter Force, 
comp. Tracts and Other Papers ... to 1776. Ill No. 10. 

Nugent, Nell Marion, editor. Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of the 
Virginia Land Patents and Grants 1623-1666. Richmond, 1934. 
This book covers the period in which 50 acres of land could be 
patented for each person brought into the colony. It contains 
the names of the patentees and their headrights. 

Page, I. Marshall. The Story of Francis Makemie. Grand Rapids, 1938. 

Perry, William S. Historical Collections Relating to the American 
Colonial Church. I, Virginia. Hartford, Conn., 1870. 

Purchas, Samuel. Purchas His Pilgrimes. Glasgow, 1906. 20v. 

Robertson, John William, M.D. On Land and Sea, A Pictorial Review^ 
of the Virginia Eastern Shore. Onancock, 1961. 

Rosenberger, Francis Coleman. Virginia Reader, a Treasury of Writ- 
ings from the First Voyages to the Present. New York, 1948. 

Smith, John. Captain John Smith, Travels and Works, ed. by Edward 


Arber. Edinburgh, 1910. 2v. 
Snow, Edward Rowe. Famous Lighthouses of North America. New 

York, 1955. 
Steele, Sarah Ann. A History of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Onan- 

cock, 1961. 
Swem, Earl G. Brothers of the Spade, Correspondence of Peter Col- 

linson of London, and John Custis of Williamsburg, 1734-46. 

Barre, Mass., 1957. 
Swem, Earl G., comp. Virginia Historical Index. Roanoke, 1924-36. 2v. 
Turman, Nora Miller. The Episcopal Church in Accomack County from 

1652. Onancock, 1954. 
Turman, Nora Miller. George Yeardley, Governor of Virginia and 

Organizer of the (general Assembly in 1619. Richmond, 1959. 
Turman, Nora Miller, and others. A History of the Parksley Three 

Arts Club, by Nora Miller Turman, Nell C. Drummond (Mrs. C. 

Lester), John Herbert Hopkins, W. Avery Lewis, Florence W. 

Rew (Mrs. John R.) and Nell C Scott. Onancock, 1947. 
United States Census, 1790 to 1960. Agriculture included from 1840 

and a separate agricultural census from 1925. Washington, Con- 
United States Postal Guide. Washington, Annual. 

Upshur, John Andrews. Upshur Family in Virginia. Richmond, 1955. 
Wallace, Adam. The Parson of the Islands, A Biography of the Late 

Reverend Joshua Thomas. Philadelphia, 1872. 
Wecter, Dicton. The Age of the Great Depression, 1929-1941. New 

York, 1948. 
White, Blanche Sydnor. History of the Baptists on the Eastern Shore 

of Virginia, 1776-1959. Baltimore, 1959. 
Whitelaw, Ralph T. Virginia's Eastern Shore. 2v. Richmond, 1951. 
Williams, Lloyd Haynes. Pirates of Colonial Virginia. Richmond, 1937. 

The appendix contains copies of documents pertaining to the pun- 
ishment of pirates. 
Wise, Barton Haxall. The Life of Henry A. Wise of Virginia, 1806-76. 

New York, 1899. 
Wise, Barton Haxall. A Memoir of General John Cropper of Accomack 

County, Virginia. Richmond, 1892. 
Wise, Henry Alexander. Over on the Eastern Shore. Onancock, 1962. 
Wise, Jennings Cropper. Ye Kingdom of Accawmacke or The Eastern 

Shore of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century. Richmond, 1911. 
Wise, John S. The End of an Era. New York, 1902. 


Augustin Herrman's Map of Virginia and Maryland. London, 1673. 
Made by him from the survey he made in 1670. Facsimile copies 
in the John Carter Brown Library and the Accomack County 
Clerk's Office and a positive photostatic copy is in the Eastern 
Shore Public Library. 

Captain John Smith's Map of Virginia. London, 1612. 

Captain John Smith's Map of Virginia. B. C. McCary, ed. Richmond, 

New York and Norfolk Airline Railway Map and Profile, Virginia 
Section, May 1855. Print in Archives of the Virginia State Li- 
brary and a photostatic copy is in the Eastern Shore Public Li- 

U. ,S. Department of Agriculture. Soil Survev Maps of Accomack and 
Northampton Counties. Washington, 1920. 


Virginia Department of Highways. County and District Road Maps. 

The base map used in this book was adapted from these. 


Ames, Susie M. "Federal Policy Toward the Eastern Shore of Vir- 
ginia in 1861." The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 
October 1961, pp. 432-459. 

"Chincoteague-Strategic Virginia Refuge for American Waterfowl." 
Virginia Wildlife, September, 1947. 

Pratt, Richard. The Ladies' Home Journal, April 1963, pp. 75-7. 

Turman, Nora Miller. Inventory of the Estate of Argoll Yeardley of 
Northampton County, Virginia, in 1655, ed. by Nora Miller Turman 
and Mark C Lewis. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 
October 1962, pp. 41€-19. 

Turman, Nora Miller. "Hand Loomed American Linen," The Weaver, 
July-August 1941, pp. 28-30. 

Maryland Historical Society Magazine, IV and XIV. 

The Virginia Genealogist, July 1957 - December 1958. Census Rolls 
for 1800. 


Anderson, Charles F. "Some Extracts from the Ancient Records of 
Northampton County, Virginia, from 1632 to 1712," 1856. 

Hamilton, Robert. "Lighthouses of the East Coast." A term paper, 

Holloway, Sonja Lewis. "The Chincoteague Naval Air Station," Mc- 
Master Essay, 1956. 

Krieger, Robert L. "Wallops" (Autobiographical and research ma- 
terial pertaining to John Wallop and NASA on the Eastern 

Lewis, Emory. "Pioneers of Public Education in Accomack County, 
1870-1925." McMaster Essay, 1935. 

Tarr, Thalia Jones. "Benefactors of Chincoteague," McMaster Essay, 

Turman, Nora Miller. "A Brief History of Education in Accomack 
County," by Nora Miller Turman, Henry L. Derby, Oliver C. 
Greenwood, W. Avery Lewis and John W. Waterfield, Jr., 1963. 
(Typescript and tape recording in the Accomack Coimty School 
Board Office.) 

White, Fairy Mapp. "Turlington Camp Meeting" (mimeographed), 

Wise, Henry Alexander. "A Brief History of Education on the East- 
em Shore of Virginia," 1928. 


The Eastern Shore News. Onancock (files) 

The Peninsula Enterprise. Accomac (files) 

Richards, Albert A., comp. Fifty-fifth Anniversary Edition of The 
Peninsula Enterprise, August 8, 1936. 

Sturgis, W. J., M.D. "Beginning and Early Years of the North- 
ampton-Accomack Memorial Hospital," The Eastern Shore News, 
November 26, 1958. 


Accomac ( Drummondtown be- 
fore 1883), 65, 82, 166, 199, 

208, 213, 218, 228 
Accomack Country Club, 235 
Accomack County organized 

1634, 25, 27, 28, 41, 42 
Northampton 1642, 43 
Second Accomack 1663, 64, 

70, 75 
Accomack Courthouse, 133 
Accomack County Courthouses 

(See courthouses) 
Accomack News, 257 
Accomack Parish (1663-1763), 

80, 101, 102, 123, 138, 156 
Divided in 1773, 163, 185 
Accomack Plantation, 3, 8, 9, 10, 

13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 22, 

28, 35 
Accomack River (Cherrystone 

Creek), 4, 5, 8, 14, 40, 41 
Accomack Territory, 77 
Accomack and Northampton 

with West Virginia, 190 
Accomack-Northampton County 

line, 76, 79-80, 85 
Adams, E. E., 225 

Howard H., 263, 270, 273 
W. J., 225 
Addison, John, 143 
Age, Recording law, 64 
Allen, Edmund, 91, 125 
Alworth, Bulbegger, 65 
American Revolution, 129-32, 

145, 154, 155, 189 
Ames, E. Aimer, Jr., 263, 272 

Susie May, 278 
Anderson, Bessie B., 233-4 
Naomi, 100 
William, 100 
Andrews, William, 24, 27, 29, 

44, 52 
Anglican Church (before 1776, 

Protestant Episcopal after 

1789), 31, 63, 101, 130, 131, 

136, 145 
Anne, Queen, 92 

Big House, Colonnade and 

Kitchen, 187-88 
Big House, Little House, 
Colonnade and Kitchen, 
Classical Revival, 169 
Dormer Window, 90-91 
Gambrel Roof, 113, 140-41 
Manor House, 258 
One Room and Loft, 146 
Siamese Twin House, 147 ■' 

Two Room and Loft, 135-36 I' 

Argall, Samuel, 5 
Arlington, Earl of, 77 
Arlington Plantations, 45, 46, 

77, 114-16, 121, 137 
Arms and Ammunition, 10. 44, 

130, 146, 149, 185 
Arbuckle, James, 125 
Artists, Traveling, 164 
Asbury, Francis, 144 
Assateague Island, 72, 104, 106, 
171, 172, 183, 184, 194, 223, 
247, 259, 260 
Assateague Lighthouse, 171, 184 
Assawoman Church, 86, 102, 124 

161, 207 
Assawoman Creek, 71, 100, 143, 

194, 246 
Association for the Preserva- 
tion of Virginia Antiquities, 
Atlantic Female College, 197 
Atlantic Magisterial District, 

194, 197 
Attorneys, 110, 168 
Authors of the Eastern Shore 

1940-64, 278-80 
Automobiles, 213, 221, 222, 247 
Avery, Isaac, 136 
Ayres, John H., M.D., 211 




Bacon's Rebellion, 78-9 
BapTgre, William, 125 
Bagwell, Henry, 21, 35 
Baker, Daniel, 57 

Elijah, 136, 145 
Ballast, 109 
Ballots, See Voting 
Baltimore, Lord, See Lord Balti- 
Baltimore, Md., 173, 185, 197, 

219, 232 
Banks on the Eastern Shore, 230 
Baptist Church, 136, 145, 169, 

Barnes, A. Parker, 257 
Barracks, 189, 263 
Battle of Punp:oteag:ue, 162 
Battle of the Barges, 132, 164 
Baylor Survey, 205 
Bayly, Catherine. 164 

Thomas H., 133 

Thomas M., 161, 178 
Bay Side Road, 94, 139, 161 
Bayview, 180, 193 
Bear and the Cub, The (play), 

Beebe Ranch, 261 
Bell, F. B., 234 

Thomas, 139 

W. P., 213 
Belle Haven, 168, 179, 194, 209, 

228, 256 
Bennett, Henry R., 202 

Richard, 54, 55 
Berkeley, William, 43, 49, 50, 62, 

64, 70. 71, 74, 77, 78, 79 
Bicycle, 205 
Bills of sale, 28 
Birdsnest, 203 
Bishop of London, 102, 103 
Black. William, minister, 102, 

Blackstone, Thomas H., 230 
Boats, 5, 10, 150 
Bolton, Francis, minister, 7, 9 
Book of Common Prayer, 54, 

62, 136 
Books, 58, 69, 144, 159, 180 
Borum, John T., 257 

Julius W., 256 

Thelma, 257 
Boston, 128, 129 
Bowden, E. J., 225 
Bowdoin, John, 125, 138 

John W., M.D., 211, 233 

Peter, 155, 165 

William, 156 

Bowdoin Hungars, 138, 233 
Bowman, Edmund, 70, 75, 163 

Sarah, 81 
Bowmans Folly, 163, 207 
Branding irons, 39, 165, 261 
Bridgetown, 173, 199, 203 
British soldiers, 118, 125, 131, 

132, 161 
Broadwater, 223 
Broiler industry, 254 
Brown, Devereaux, 64 

John, 167 

Tabitha, 88 

Thomas, 75 
Browne, Peter F., 185, 186 

Thomas Bayly, 207 
Brownsville, 167. 217 
Bulkley, Mary, 19 

Richard, 7, 19, 26 

Thomas, 19 
Burdett, Alicia, 46, 87 

Thomas, 46, 87 

William, 24, 25, 27, 29, 45 
Burgesses, 9, 19, 21, 35, 47, 49, 
53, 62, 87, 97, 118, 126, 129 
Burials and burying grounds, 9, 

22, 31, 36 
Burton, William A., 211 
Burtons Chapel, 136 
Byrd, Ben D., 257 

William II, 114 

William S., 193 

Calendar Change (January 1, 

1752), 116-17 
Calvert, Eleanor, 137 

Leonard, 25, 34 
Camp meetings, 162, 208 
Canada, 107, 118, 124, 211 
Canner, Thomas, 2 
Canning factories, 212 
Cape Charles (now Cape 

Charles Air Force Base), 

4, 7, 14, 19, 73, 110, 171 
Cape Charles (established 1884 

near Kings Creek), 196, 

197, 199, 202, 207, 214, 219, 

225, 227, 230, 236-7, 249, 

257, 260 
Cape Charles Country Club, 236, 

Cape Henry, 3, 4, 19, 263 
Capeville, 165, 167, 179, 180, 

191, 193 
Capeville Magisterial District, 

Cary, R. R., 185 



Castor oil, 128, 167-8, 173 

Cattle, 23, 24, 26, 28, 39, 40, 45, 
46, 61, 69, 85 

Cedar Island, 195, 262 

Census, Colonial (See begin- 
nings of chapters) 
United States, of 1790, 138; 
of 1800, 156-9 

Chamber of Commerce, 257, 266 

Chapman, Phillip, 45 

Charles I, King, 16, 17, 19, 20, 
25, 36, 43, 49, 51, 92 

Charles U, King, 62, 75, 76, 83, 

Charlton, Ann, 60 
iBridgett, 60 
Elizabeth, 60 
Stephen, 29, 44, 50, 54, 60 

Cherrystone Creek (Accomack 
River), 40, 110, 175, 179- 
80, 190, 193 

Chesapeake and Delaware Ca- 
nal, 173 

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, 

Chesapeake Bay Ferry Commis- 
sion, 249, '251 

Chesconnessex Creek, 110, 189 

Children of the American Rev- 
olution (CAR), 259 

Chincoteague Bay, 71, 179, 194, 

Chincoteague Baptist Church, 

Chincoteague Creek (Mosquito 
Creek), 110, 131 

Chincoteague National Wildlife 
Refuge, 247 

Chincoteague Naval Air Sta- 
tion, 244, 246, 251, 252, 263 

Chincoteague Ocean Beach, 259- 

Chincoteague Toll Road and 
Bridge Company, 236 

Chincoteague Town and Island, 
72, 104, 106, 154, 156, 176, 
185, 194, 207, 218, 220, 222, 
223, 225, 229, 243, 248, 261 

Christ Episcopal Church, 169 

Christian, Michael, 108 

Church Neck, 60, 79, 174 

Churches Colonial (at four 
places in Northampton), 
25, 48, 49, 80, 86 
(at eight places in Acco- 
mack), 54, 81, 86, 100, 101, 
111, 122-3, 128 

Churches after American Rev- 
olution (See also individ- 
ual names and denomina- 
tions), 136, 255-6 

Circuit Court Judges 1831-1964, 

Civil War, 183-190 

Civil Air Patrol, 243-4 

Civilian Defense, 241-242 

Claiborne, William, 10, 13, 18, 
22, 24, 27, 29, 34 

Clarence Burton Barns, 261 

Clerks of Court 1632-1964, 273-4 

Coast Guard (Life Saving Ser- 
vice before 1915), 220, 245, 
246, 262 

Cobbs Island, 195, 205, 262 

Cockburn, George, 162 

Cole, John, 98 

College of William and Mary, 
90, 105, 113 

Colleges on the Eastern Shore, 
197, 263 

Commercial vegetables, 173 

Commissioners of Fisheries 
1900-1964, 272 

Communion Silver, 31, 256 

Company land, 7, 8, 10, 16, 44 

Confederate Monuments, 216 

Congressmen from the Eastern 
Shore, 175 

Constitutions, Virginia: of 1776, 
129: of 1830, 165; of 1851, 
175, 177; of 1869, 190, 195; 
of 1902, 212 

Conway, Edwin, 84 

Copes, Thomas P., 193 

Corbin, George, 136 
Sabra. 164 

Corbin Hall, 105 

Costin, Elizabeth P., 234 

Cotton, Ann, 35 

William, minister, 28, 29, 30, 
36, 48, 

Cotton culture, 158, 160, 166, 

County Agent, V.P.I. Extension, 

County Superintendents of 
Schools 1925-64, 274 

Courts, Accomack-Northampton, 
1632-1642, 21, 22, 23, 24, 
34, 35, 36, 41 
Northampton 1642-1663, 43, 

44, 51, 52, 68, 76 
Northampton 1632 (records 



Accomack 1663 (records con- 
tinuous), 65, 68, 70, 76 
Courthouses (at Town Fields, 
Eastville, Accomac and O- 
nancock), 66, 79, 82, 84, 99, 
111, 136, 145 
Coventon, 145 
Craddock Academy, 198 
Crafts and trades, 122, 136, 167, 

168, 169 
Cromwell, Oliver, 49, 51, 56 
Cropper, Catherine, 165 
John (Revolutionary War of- 
ficer), 154, 163-5 
Margfaret, 164 
Sarah, 164 
Cuffley, Daniel, 41, 47 

Hannah (See also Hannah 

Savage), 41 
Margaret, 48 
Culpepper, John, 70 
Cuba, 107, 179 

Currency, Pounds Shillings 
Pence, 26, 40, 148-50, 106 
Tobacco, 25, 30, 38, 45, 46, 107 
United States Dollars, 149, 
151, 156, 158 
Custis, Alicia, 87 

Daniel Parke, 114, 115, 116, 

Eleanor, 137 
Elizabeth, 87 
Frances, 114 
George Washington Parke, 

John I, 50 
John n, 51, 55, 75, 78, 84, 85, 

John m, 87, 113, 114 
John IV, 114-16 
John Parke, 122, 137 
Margaret, 114 
Martha, 137 
Tabitha, 87 
Thomas, 133 
William, 76 
Custis Hungars (Wilsonia 

Neck), 284 
Custis-Lee Mansion, 116, 137 

Dalby, John B., 197 

Thomas, 125 
Dale, Elizabeth, 8, 9, 21, 39, 40 

Thomas, 5 
Daniel, John T., 257 

Marion C, 257 
Darby, William, 66-7 

Daughters of the American Rev- 
olution, 234, 259 
Davis, Jefferson, 185 

Levin Nock, 270, 273 
Debtors Prison, Accomac, 134, 
135, 136 

Eastville, 111 
Declaration of Independence, 

Deed of Gift, 56 
Deed of Sale, first recorded, 23 
Deep Creek, 99, 110 
Defense, 43, 44, 45, 77, 86 
Delaware, 94, 130, 199, 202 
Delegates, Members of the 

House of, 1900-1964, 273 
Delmarva Peninsula, 94, 130, 173 
Democratic Party, 218 
Denoon, Harry Lee, M.D., 234 
Depression of 1929-1941, 236-8 
Devices for Punishment, 37 
Dilke, Clement, 14 
Dix, John A., U. S. Army, 185 
Dize, A. F., 241 
Doughty, Francis, minister, 61 
Douglas, Edward, 44, 61 

George, 118 

Isabella, 61 
Downes, E. V., 234 
Downing, A. W., 191 

E. W. P., 234 
Downings Church, 189 
Draft Laws, 121, 220, 221, 240 
Drew, Edward, 29 
Drivers License, 236 
Drummond, Richard, 133 
Drummonds Mill Farm, 119, 120 
Drummondtown (Accomac after 
1883), 133, 134, 145, 150, 
168, 169, 179 
Ducking Stool, 37, 38, 63 
Dulany Foods, Inc., 254 
Dunmore, Lord, 129 
Dutch Residents, 51, 55 
Dutch Wars, 51, 55, 68, 73 

Eastern Shore Academy, 198 
Eastern Shore Herald, 256 
Eastern Shore News, The, 257 
Eastern Shore of Virginia His- 
torical Society, Inc., 259 
Eastern Shore of Virginia Pro- 
duce Exchange, 209, 211 
Eastern Shore Public Library, 

Eastern Shore Publishing Com- 
pany. 257 



Eastern Shore Yacht and Coun- 
try Club, 259 
Eastern Virginian, 196, 256 
Eastville (Honis before 1800), 
79, 80, 98, 128, 138, 145, 
168, 179, 185, 191, 199, 209, 
Edge Hill, 165, 166 
Edmonds, Alfred B., 257 

Franklin Spicer, 257 

John W., 257 

John W., Jr., 257 

John W., Ill, 257 
Education of Orphans, 61, 81 
Elections, 176, 178, 193 
Elizabeth City, 6, 9, 13, 47 
Elizabeth Island, 7 
Elkington, 47, 81 
Elks, 257 

Elliott, William, 136 
Ellis, John, 54 
Elzey, William, 211 
Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 

207, 256 
Encyclopedia Britannica, 159 
End View, 139-43 
Epps, Margaret, 8, 11 

William, 8, 9, 11, 13, 16 
Evans, Thomas, 133, 136, 154, 

Exmore, 199, 203, 228, 239, 254 
Eyre, Gertrude, 127 

Littleton, 118, 125, 127, 139 

Severn, 127, 193 

Suzanne, 61 

Thomas, 61 
Eyre Hall, 127, 139 

Farmer and Fisherman, 256 
Federal Officials from the East- 
ern Shore 1900-1964, 272 
Fence laws, 73, 96, 202, 228 
Ferries and ferry terminals: 
Cape Charles (town), 200, 
219, 232, 237, 249, 250, 256 
Cherrystone Creek, 165, 175, 

182, 183 
Hungars Creek, 107, 108, 109, 

127, 132, 154, 155 
Kings Creek, 94, 101, 107, 163, 

165, 175 
Kiptopeke Beach, 237, 250, 
Ferry House, 138 
Ferry keepers, 95 
Ferry rates, 94, 108, 109, 237 
Filling Stations, 222, 223 

Fines, 38 

Finney, Louis C, 163, 185 

Spencer D., 180 
Finneys Gate School, 214 
Fire Departments, Volunteer, 

Fisher, Benjamin T., 256 

Fenwick, M.D., 145 
Fishermans Island, 240 
Fishing Point, 46, 48, 85 
Fitzhugh, William Bullitt, 256 
Flax, 128, 152, 153, 174, 238 
Fletcher, Henry, 125 

Spencer, 217 
Floyd, John K., 165. 175 
Matthew, 142, 143 
Sarah, 142 
Folkes Tavern, 66 
Folly Creek (Metompkin Creek), 

163, 171, 207, 208, 235, 262 
Forests, 25, 72 
Forts, 10, 131, 162, 240, 245 
Foxcroft, Isaac, 70 
Francis Makemie Presbyterian 

Church, 169, 189 
Francis Makemie Monument, 

Franklin City, 227 
Franktown, 173, 180, 193 
Free enterprise, 21 
Free school land, 102, 103, 177, 

197, 248 
French and Indian War, 118-121 
Funerals, See burials 

Garden Clubs, 259 

Gargatha or Gargaphia, 71, 72, 

143, 194 
Garrison, George Tankard, 207 
Gasoline Refund System, 227 
Gazetteer of Virginia, 166 
General Court (1662-1852, Quar- 
ter Court before 1662), 62 
George I, King, 99, 110 
George II, King, 110 
George III, King, 124, 125 
Gilbert, Bartholomew, 1, 2, 91 
Gillett, J. W., 193 
Glebes, 9, 28, 29, 48, 122, 123, 
143, 161 

House of 1635, 29 
Gloucester County, England, 102 
Godwin, Joseph, 98 

W. P., 234 

Wrendo M., 250 
Goffigon, Edward, 191 
Gores Neck, 143 



Grain, 47, 166, 170, 173, 182, 

204, 209 
Grange Society, 206 
Graves, Ann, 35 
Catherine, 35 
John, 35 

Thomas, 16, 19, 21, 27, 35 
Verlinda, 24 
Greenbush, 200 
Green Spring, 78 
Guardians for Orphans, 45, 82 
Guilford, 143, 152, 179, 194 
Guilford Creek, 102, 110, 144, 

189 253 
Guilford Methodist Church, 144 
Gulf Stream Nurseries, Inc., 

Gunter, Benjamin T. 'Judge), 
Benjamin T., Sr., 211, 214, 

Benjamin T., Jr., 270, 273 

Hack, George, M.D., 69 

Hacks Neck, 69 

Hadlock, 139, 143, 179, 215 

Hall, Henry, 194 

Hallett, John W., 191 

Hailwood, 203 

Hamilton, John R., M.D., 234 

Hamor, Ralph, 16 

Hampton, 96, 107, 108, 154, 175 

Handy, Robert B., 197 

Harmanson, George, 107, 108 

Gertrude, 127 

John, 125, 137 

Matthew, 118 
Harmanson-West Camp, Con- 
federate Veterans, 216 
Hamiar, "Charles, 21, 22 
Harvey, John, 13, 16, 19, 25, 34, 

Hawleys Creek (Indiantown 

Creek), 110 
Health departments, 255 
Henderson, William Carey, M.D., 

Herrman, Augustin, 74 
Hickman, Milton T., 250 

W. H.. 226 
Hill, Tabitha, 88 
Hills Farm, 89-90, 276 
History, Eastern Shore, 216, 

218, 234, 259 
Hodgkins, Anthony, 53, 65 
Hog Island, 131, 172, 183, 193, 
198, 199, 223, 262 

Holden Creek (Crooked Creek), 

Holland, G. W.. M.D., 234 
Home and Garden Tours, 237, 

Home Demonstration Agent, 

V.P.I. Extension, 255 
Home industries, 153, 159, 160, 

182, 212, 238, 246 
Hopkins Brothers, 183 
Hornto\vn, 143, 145, 177, 179 
Horseless farm. First, 239 
Horsey, Stephen, 54 
Hospital, See Northampton-Ac- 
comack Memorial Hospital 
Hotels, 204, 212, 228 
Houses, Sizes of some, 45, 58, 

69, 81, 82, 133 
Howard, Phillip, 66, 67 
Howe, John, 21, 22, 27, 29, 35, 

Hudson, Richard, 34 
Hungars Church, 49, 60, 79, 101, 

107, 112, 113, 123, 189, 256 
Hunoars Creek, 25, 44, 49, 57 
Hungars Port, 107, 108, 110, 

138. 155, 163, 165 
Hunting Creek, 123, 189, 194, 

210, 216 
Hutchinson, Robert, 64 
Hyslop, Levin J., 211 

Ice Houses, 170, 171 
Indian guide, 50 

Interpreter, 5, 80 

King, 3, 4, 8 

Traders, 6, 50 

Trading, 8, 40, 43, 51, 57 

War, 52 
Indians, 2, 3, 5, 26, 51, 77 
Ingleside, 145, 185 
Inspection laws, 105 
Inventories of Estates, 25, 30, 

142, 159 
Irish potatoes, 182, 204, 209, 

211, 219, 221, 225, 236, 237, 

Islanus Magisterial District 
(Township), 194 

Jail, 57, 67, 136 
James I, 9, 18, 92 
James II, 83, tt4, 92 
James, Thomas B., 211 
Thomas H., 269, 274 
Jamestown, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 
18, 21, 25, 31, 44, 47, 51, 



60, 70, 77, 80, 87 
Japanese Surrender, 245 
Jaycees, 257 
Jenifer, Ann, 71, 82 

Daniel, 70, 71, 86 

Daniel of St. Thomas, 72, 133 

Mary, 71 
Jenkins Bridge, 196, 207 
Jenkins Bridge Academy, 198 
Jester, H. J., 225 

LeRoy, 225 
Jobes Island. 143, 157, 158 
Johnson, John H., 256 

Lemuel, 256 

Thomas, 53 
Johnsontown, 180, 193 
John W. Taylor Packing Com- 
pany, 212 
Jones, William, 53 
Joynes, G. Goodwyn, 214 

Sallie, 215 
Justice, Ralph, 118 
Justices ( Commissioners before 
1662), See courts 

Keale Hill, 4 
Kegotank, 143 
Kellam, Lucius J., 250 

Richard, 57 

S. S., M.D., 234 

William, 70 
Keller, 136, 203, 206, 212 
Keller Fair, 207, 222, 235, 252 
Kendall, William, 70 
Kerr, Edward, 236 
Kerr Place, 104, 150, 215, 259 
Kidd, John, 131, 132 
Kings Creek, 7, 8, 10, 14, 28, 44, 
48, 66, 95, 165, 175, 236, 259 
Kiptopeke Beach, 233, 237, 240 
Kiwanis, 257 
Kosher turkeys, 245 
Krieger, Robert L., 263 

Land, bought from Indians in 
1614, 5 
Certificates for, 28 
Land Reform Act (Headright 

policy replaced), 68 
Ownership confirmed after 

proprietary grant, 76 
Patents by headrights, 28 
Land Books, 10, 77 
Langley Field Research Center, 

246, 251, 263 
Latin House, 165 
Laws, Revised code of, 62 

LeCato, Margaret B., 197 

Thomas L., 211 
Lee, Robert E., (CSA), 137 
Lee Magisterial District, 195 
Lee Mont, 203, 216 
Leonard, John, 225 
Lewis, Parker, 156 
License, Ferry keeper. 

Ordinary keeper, 65 

To leave Accomack, 22, 35 
Life Saving: Service (Coast 

Guard after 1915), 198-9 
Lighthouses, 171, 172, 183 
Lions, 257 

Literary Fund, 177, 196 
Little Creek, 237, 249 
Littleton, Ann, 61, 80 

Edward, 56, 60, 61, 80 

Hester, 56, 61 

Nathaniel, 35, 55, 56, 57, 80 

Nathaniel II, 87 

Sarah, 81 

Southy, 61, 70, 75, 80-82 
Livery stables, 212 
Livestock, 39, 45, 57, 61, 72, 96, 
97, 104, 105, 131, 150, 162, 
202, 219 

Laws pertaining to, 72 
Lockwood, Henry L., 186, 189 
Locust Mount, 173, 179, 195 
Locustville, 173, 179 
Locustville Academy, 198 
Lodge, J. Shenton, 278 
Lord Baltimore, 18, 21, 25, 94 
Lower Northampton Baptist 

Church, 136 
Lyon, James, M.D., 159 

Machipongo Academy, 198 
Machipongo Creek, 85, 110, 143 
McMaster Old Homes Essay 

Award, 218 
McMath, Albert J., 211 

George N., 257, 263 
Maddox, Wyle, 259 
Magisterial Districts, Accomack 

County, 177, 193-95 
Northampton County, 177, 

Magothy Bay, 14, 19, 26, 35, 47, 

56, 61, 80, 143, 166 
Magothy Bay Church, 86, 102, 

Magothy Bay Point (Cape 

Charles), 44 
Makemie, Anne, 100 
Elizabeth, 100 



Francis, 100-101, 217 
Naomi, 100 

Makemie Monument, 216-17 

Maplewood Golf Course, 235 

Mapp, GeorR-e R., Jr., 250 
G. Walter, 211, 233, 272, 273 
J. Brooks, 234, 272 
John, 138 

John E., M.D., 197 
John R.. 197 
Marpraret, 197 
Mildred (Mrs. G. Walter), 234 

Mappsville, 194, 212 

Margraret Academy, 136, 137, 
161, 165, 197, 215 

Marriapres, 22 

Marshall. John, 111 

Marv, Queen (Daughter of 
James II). 83. 84, 85 

Maryland, 20, 25, 34, 65, 69, 70, 
94, 127, 130, 132, 158, 179, 
185, 194. 218 

Mason, C. W., 215 

Masons, 257 ^ 

Masters, John, 107, 108 

Mattawoman Creek ^Now the 
Gulf, originally Mattawom- 
an. Present Mattawoman 
was south prong of Hun- 
gars. Ferry terminal was on 
the latter), 8, 34, 44, 50, 

Matthews, Samuel, 62 

Meadville, 185 

Mears, James E., 254 
J. T. 225 

Messongo, 143, 173, 179, 199, 

Messongo Creek, 100, 110, 189, 
194, 208 

Methodists, 162, 168, 169, 208 

Metompkin (Accomac, village 
near Parksley Wayside and 
Parksley R.R. Station), 82, 
98, 136, 179, 194, 199, 203 

Metompkin Creek, 99, 110, 131, 
194, 195 

Metompkin Island, 262 

Metompkin Magisterial District, 

Milliner, Wilber Jackson, Jr., 

Mills, Mrs. J. S., 234 

Mills (grain and lumber), 46, 
47, 67, 94, 95, 168, 174, 193, 

Ministers, 9, 22, 28, 54, 101, 
130, 131 

Reports to General Court, 22 

Michael, John, 79 
Margaret, 114 

Middle Road, 123, 143 

Military Districts, 44, 190 

Militia, 44, 68, 73, 77, 85, 87, 92, 
101, 106, 107, 118, 121-2, 
130, 154, 161, 163, 165, 185 

Mockhorn T?land, 191, 248 

Modest Town, 169, 179 

Monkey Sam (NASA Space an- 
imal), 262 

Morough, John, schoolmaster, 

Motor Vehicles, 221 

Muddy Creek, 143 

Muskrat ranch, 197 

Nails, 29, 80 
Nandua, 56, 80 
Nandua Creek, 110, 189 
Nassawadox, 49, 52, 64, 232 
Nassawadox Creek, 42, 44, 60, 

139, 189, 193 
National Advisory Committee 

for Aeronautics, 246 
National Aeronautics and Space 

Administration, 251-2, 262-a 
National Guard, 229 
National Recorder, 256 
Naturalization, 55 
Navigation Acts, 52, 55, 57 
Neal, John, 44 
Neech, Daniel, 70 
Netherlands, 43, 51, 52 
New Church, 124, 143, 145, 179, 

186, 194, 199, 212 
New England, 17, 21, 40 
Newfoundland, 18, 21 
Newspapers, 173, 256-7 
Newstown, 194 
New Style Calendar, 116-17 
New York, 158, 173, 185, 204, 

Nock, Nehemiah, 257 
Norfolk, 121, 154, 175, 200, 210, 

225, 230, 257, 262 
Normal Department in Onan- 

cock High School, 216 
Northampton - Accomack Me- 
morial Hospital, 232, 233, 

245, 261 
Northampton County (named), 

Northampton Courthouse Post 

Office, 128, 138 
Northampton Protest, 54, 55 



Northampton Times, 257 
North Carolina, 65, 127 
iN'ortnern Neck, 65, 75, 127 
Northwest Territory, 129 
Norwood, Henry, 49, 50, 51, 60 
Nottingham, Claude, 213 

Jacob, 193 

John E., 211, 233, 273 

Leonard B., 191 

Luther, 215 

Severn P., 191 

Thomas, J. L., M.D., 191 
Nuthall, John, 44 

Oak Grove Methodist Church, 

Oak Hall Farm, 203 
Oaths, 13, 18, 23, 27, 53, 98 
Occohannock Academy, 198 
Occohannock Creek, 55, 75, 84, 

110, 123, 183, 189, 195 
Occohannock Neck, 205 
Office supplies, cost of, 65, 66 
Ohio Company, 118, 124 
Ohio Country annexed to Can- 
ada, 124 
Old Courthouse-Restored, 111 
Old Plantation Creek, 8, 14, 19, 

21. 22, 25, 31, 35, 44, 56, 77, 

Old Style Calendar, 116 
Old Town Neck (Yeardley land), 

108, 139, 189 
Onancock (Port Scarburgh), 4, 

83, 100, 101, 111, 144, 150, 

178, 185, 195, 196, 197, 213, 

228, 256 
Onancock Academy, 198 
Onancock Creek, 82, 110, 132 
Onancock High School, 197, 208, 

Onley, 211 
Only, 178 

Ordinaries, 57, 65, 145 
Orphans, care of, 45 
Overseers of the Poor, 161 

Painter, 168 

Parish line, 122-3, 194 

Park Hall, 145 

Parke, Frances, 114, 115 

Henry, minister, 80 
Parker, George, 64 
Parks, Mahalinda Kellam, 279 
Parksley, 202, 203, 208, 243 
Parksley Land Improvement 
Company, 203 

Parksley Three Arts Club, 259 
Parliament, 9, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 

92, 125, 128 
Parramore, Thomas, 87, 125 
Parramore Island, 131, 195, 199, 

Parsonage house (glebe) of 

1635, 29-30 
Patents for land, 14 

Land Reform Act, 68 
Peninsula Enterprise, 256 
Peninsula Ferry Company, 237 
Pennsylvania Railroad, 199, 203, 

207, 232, 233, 237 
Pettit. Margaret, 164 

William B., 211 
Philadelphia, 20, 101 
Physicians, 110, 168, 169 
Pillory, 36 
Piper, Charles, 117 
Pirates. 85, 106 
Pitts Wharf, 110 
Pocomoke, 143, 145 
Pocomoke River (Wighco), 100, 

110, 194 
Pony Penning (Horse penning 

earlier), 104, 248, 260 
Popes Island, 199, 220, 262 
Pory, John, 7 
Postage, 155, 173, 180 
Postmasters in 1856, 179-80 
Post Offices. 128, 138, 155, 173, 

179-80, 203, 208, 218 
Pott, Francis, 53, 61 
Poultrv Diagnostic Laboratory, 

Poultry Industry, 245, 254 
Powell, Stewart K., 241 
Presbyterian Meeting House, 

Prisons and prisoners, 24, 38, 57 
Private enterprise, 18, 92 
Proprietary grant of Virginia, 

65, 70, 75, 78, 83 
Protestant Episcopal Church 

(named 1783, organized in 

America 1789), 136, 160 
Pungoteague, 65, 66, 82, 161, 

162, 163, 168, 179, 195, 197, 

199, 203, 228 
Pungoteague Academy, 198, 215 
Pungoteague Church, 80, 101, 

Pungoteague Creek, 66, 110, 162, 

169, 183, 189, 195 
Pungoteague Magisterial Dis- 
trict, 195 



Pungoteague Methodist Church, 

199, 207 
Punishment, 24, 29, 62, 65 

Quaker Meeting House, 144 
Quakers. 143, 144 
Quarantine laws, 69, 70, 106 
Quarter Court (General Court 

after 1662), 62 
Quinby, Thomas B., 211 

R and G Shirt Corporation, 255 

Railroad, 179, 228 

Ralei.s;h, Walter, 1 

Reade, John R., 193 

Red Bank Baptist Church, 193 

Red Cross, 241 

Regional Regulatory Laboratory, 

Republican Party, 218 
Rich, Benjamin W., 199 

Nathaniel B., 256 
Richmond, 129, 131, 162, 167, 

172, 173, 178 
Roads, 21, 73, 82, 92, 95, 99, 
144, 205, 214, 223, 227, 228, 
236, 265 
Roberts, Elias, 108 

John H., 211 
Robertson, John W., M.D., 234, 

270 279 
Robins, ' Joshua, 139, 142 

Mary, 81 

Obedience, 19, 22, 27, 29, 36, 
44, 46, 53 

Sarah, 139, 142 
Robinson, Elizabeth, 87 
Rogers, James S., 234 
Roper, Catherine, 35 

William, 35, 44 
Rotary, 257 
Rotterdam, 50, 55 
Rowles, James C, 257 
Rubber Tire Era, 223 
Ruritans, 257 
Russeii, Brooks, 251 

Charles F., 237 
Russell Islands, 4, 106, 158 
Rydings, Thomas, 70, 76 

Sabbath breaking, 97 

Salt making, 5, 58, 67, 72, 174 

St. George County, Petition for, 

St. George Episcopal Church, 

111, 161, 185, 189 
St. George Parish, 123, 138, 156 

St. James Episcopal Church, 

123, 155, 169, 189, 237 
St. Marys, Maryland, 25, 71 
Sandford, Samuel (donor of 
Free School land), 102, 103, 
177, 197. 248 
Sanford, 197 
Saunders, Roger, 22, 24 
Savage, Ann, 47 
Hannah, 34 

John, 34, 41, 47, 80, 138 
Littleton, 136 
Mary, 80 
Nathaniel, 125 

Thomas (Indian interpreter), 
5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 26, 
31-34, 41, 138 
Savages Creek (Original Matta- 
woman, now the Gulf), 41, 
44, 49 
Savage Estates, 34 
Savage land, 8, 34, 41, 47, 80, 

Savages Neck, 44, 80 
Saxis Island (Sykes), 158, 248 
Saxis Marsh Wildlife Refuge, 

103, 248 
Scarburgh, Charles, 82, 90 
Edmund I, 19, 22, 23, 24, 26 
Edmund II, 26, 44, 47, 53, 57, 

62, 64, 72 
Hannah, 26 
Mary, 72, 73 
Tabitha, 88 
Scarburghs Neck, 73 
Schools. Private, in Accomack, 
197, 218 
Public, 103, 161, 176, 194, 214, 
229, 255 
Schools, Private, in Northamp- 
ton, 197 
Public, 168, 176, 195, 197, 215, 
229, 230, 236, 255 
Scott, A. Preston, 215 
Thomas M., 256 
William T., 200 
Scott Hall, 132, 150, 234 
Seafoods, 158, 174, 202, 204, 254, 

Sea Side Road, 94, 143, 145 
Sea View, 180 
Secretarv's land. 8, 10, 13, 14, 

24, 28, 34, 35 
Selby, T. P., 225 
Senators, state, from the East- 
em Shore 1900-1964, 272 
Sheriff, Office of, 27, 35, 111 



Shichans, Esmy, 34 

Ships torpedoed in Virginia Wa- 
ters 1942-45. 243 

Silver, 30, 40, 46, 81, 131, 142 

Silversmith, 40 

Simpson, Southy, 125 

Smith, Charles, 183 
Isaac, 125 
John, 4 
Mary, 71 

Smiths Island, 4, 85, 165, 171, 
183, 189, 191, 198, 220, 262 

Soil Conservation program, 240, 

Sound Beach, 248 

Spanish Settlement in Virginia, 

Spencer, William, 70 

Stamp Act, 125 

State Highway Department, 227, 
236, 255 

State Senators from the East- 
ern Shore 1900-1964, 272 

State Troopers, 230, 255 

Steelyards (scales), 58 

Stocks, 38 

Stone, John, 24, 25, 28 
Verlinda, 24, 35 
William, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 35 

Stores, 144, 145, 152, 167, 168, 
169, 173, 194 

Stratton, John, 178 

Strawberries, 219 

Strinp:er, John, 62 
William, 70 

Sturgis, Sallie Pope, 196 
W. J., M.D., 232, 234 

Sunday School, 136, 169 

Superintendents of Schools, 175, 
195, 197, 214, 215, 230, 274 

Surveyors, 10, 47, 65, 71 

Sweet potatoes, 173, 177, 209, 

Sykes Island (Saxis), 143, 158, 
194, 208 

Table and frame, 30, 46 
Tangier Island, 4, 106, 143, 158, 
159, 162, 163, 195, 208, 223, 
Tankard, Edward G., 215 

John, M.D., 139 

John W., 191 
Tankards Rest, 139 
Tanner, Archibald E., 229 
Tasley, 203, 228 
Taverns, 98, 136, 169, 203 

Taylor, Jane Ames, 234 

John W., 212 

Phillip, 44, 47 
Teackle, Thomas, minister, 79, 

Telegraph service, 186, 190, 208 
Telephones, 208, 220, 241 
Television, 247 
Temperanceville, 100, 179, 194, 

The Folly, 171, 207 
Thomas, John, 195 

Joshua, minister, 158, 162 

Symon, 79 

William E., 211 
Tilney, John, 64 
Tithables, 64 

Toast to Prince of Orange, 83 
Tobacco, P, 26, 27, 57, 121, 128, 

150, 160, 174 
Tobacco warehouse, 107, 108, 

138, 139, 144 
Toft, Ann. 70, 132 

Annabella, 71 

Arcadia, 71 

Atalanta, 71 
Toleration Act, 211 
Tories, 128, 129, 130 
Tourists, 237, 261 
Trappers, 105 
Turkey Pen, 179 
Turlington Camp Meeting, 206, 

Turtles. 174 
Tyler, John, 175 
United Daughters of the Con- 
federacy (UDC), 216, 234 
United States (Federal) Offic- 
ials from the Eastern Shore 
1900-1964, 272 
University of Virginia, Eastern 

Shore Branch, 263 
Upshur, Abel Parker, 168, 174-5 

Ann, 174 

Arthur II, 167 

Caroline, 217 

George Parker, 175 

John Andrews, Commander, 
U.S.N., ret., 271, 275, 279 

Littleton I, 174 

Thomas Teackle, 217-18 
Vaucluse, 174, 175 
Vestry, 29, 31, 76, 102, 123, 161 
Virginia Beach, 263 
Virginia Capes, 263 
Virginia Division of Forestry, 



Virprinia Garden Week Tours, 
237, 261, 275 

Virginia Institute of Marine 
Science, 255 

Virginia Lee, steamer, 230, 231, 
232. 250-251 

Virginia Ferry Company, 237, 
249. 250 

VJ*.I. Extension Service, 255 

Virginia State Police, 255 

Virginia Truck Experiment Sta- 
tion, 255 

Voting, 35, 97-98, 123, 177, 178, 
183, 190, 194, 195, 202, 229 

Wachapreague, 110, 136, 173, 

195, 212, 255, 256 
Wachapreague Creek, 110, 195 
Walker, J. C, 234 
Walkley. Margaret, 234 
Wallop, John, 70, 263 
Wallops Island, 104, 106, 143, 
156, 194, 199, 246, 251, 262, 
Wallops Island Post Office, 251 
Wallops Neck, 225, 226, 244, 263 
Wallops Road, 94, 143, 194 
Wallops Station NASA, 251, 

Walter, Jefferson F., 250, 272, 

War of 1812, 161, 165, 185 
Wardtown, 193 

Washington, George, 118, 121, 
131. 155, 164, 190 

Martha, 122, 137 
Waters, William, 62, 66 
Watkins, Henry, 9, 10 
Watkins Point, 4, 21, 70 
Watkinson, Cornelius, 66, 67 
Watson, Carrie Whealton, 259 

E. W., 225 

Herman C, 259 
Watts Island, 4, 143, 158, 171, 

183, 195 
Wattsville, 236 

Weaver, James C, 195-6, 197, 

Sallie Pope, 256 
Webster, John, 41 
Weights and measures, 39, 58 
Wescott, Hezekiah A., 211 

Katherine Roberts, 280 

Nathaniel B., 234 
WESR Radio Station, 251 
West, John, 17, 34, 64, 86 
West Virginia, 190 

Whaley, Zedekiah, 132, 234 
Wharton Place, 212 
V/healton, D. J.. 225 

John B., 225, 226, 227 
Whipping post, 38 
Whispering Pines, 237 
Whitall, John. 70 
White, Harry, 202 
Whitelaw, Ralph Thomas, 280 
Whittington, William, 54 
Wilcox, John, 6. 9, 10, 12 
Wildlife, 103, 174, 203, 206, 247 
Wilkins, John. 23, 24, 25, 27, 29, 
46, 47, 125 

S. S., 197 
William II, King (Prince of 

Orange), 83, 84 
William and Mary, King and 

Queen, 84, 92, 100 
Williams, John T., Jr., 211 

Walter, 53 
Williamsburg, 90, 107 
Wilson, M. Smith, 234 
Winder, John W., 225 

Richard B., 185 
Windley, David, 40 

Joan, 40 
Wise, Henry A. (Governor), 
154, 163, 178 

Henry A. (Grandson of Gov- 
ernor), 228, 261 

Henry A. (school superintend- 
ent), 274, 280 

Jennings Cropper, 218 

John, 64 

John. 125, 128 

John E., 152 

John H., 211 
Wiseville (Drummonds Mill), 

Wisharts Point, 227 
Women's Clubs, 259 
Works Progress Administration 

(WPA), 238, 240 
World War I, 212, 220, 232, 233 
World War II, 234, 235, 240-45 
Wyatt, Francis, 18, 40 

Yeardley, Ann, 51, 55, 58, 60 
Yeardley, Argoll, 16, 17, 43, 50, 

51 55 58-59 
Yeardley, Argoll II, 59, 60, 75, 

79, 83, 108 
Yeardley, Edmund, 59 
Yeardley, Elizabeth I, 59 
Yeardley, Frances, 41, 51, 59 
Yeardley, Frances II, 59 

306 INDEX 

Yeardley, Francis, 58 Yeardley, Temperance, 17 

Yeardley, George. 6, 8, 16, 83 Yeardley land, 8, 16, 24, 41, 127, 

Yeardley, Henry, 59 York^Tyo'rl^town), 94, 108, 114, 
Yeardley, Ralph, 17 132, 154, 173 

Yeardley, Rose, 59 Young, William, 144, 151 


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.R-LE 975.51 T941e CL 
Turman, Nora (Miller) 1901 
The Eastern Shore of 
Virginia, 1603-1964