Saturday, October 23, 2010

History of Seaford -1799-1856 by Robert Boyce Hazzard /Chapter 3 Continnued


Additional town plots"

In 1809 Solomon Boston bought sixteen lots on West Street and put another street to the village, extending it a square further north than the Methodist Church. .

A third plot was what is now High Street from from Market to Pine on both sides by william Conwell in 1815. The field between those lots and West Street was cultivated many years after that survey.

In 1856, the heirs of Levin Cannon, had the land between Pine Street and the railroad , called Cannon's Division, plotted and put on the market.

The fourth plotting, between High and Second and Pine and Market streets, except that previously plotted by James Cannon, was made in 1853

The first bridge over the river at Seaford was built in 1834 by a Georgetown contractor , Henry Foster. There was a ferry before that, we suppose. This bridge was first owned by Captain Hugh Martin until 1883 when Levy court bought it, had it rebuilt in 1884, then made it a free bridge.

The first mill was built in 1835 by solomon Boston, that is the second Solomon and I remember see the first grist run through it. Before this mill was built the Seaford citizens utilized mill's at Concord and Ross'. I remember it well as I was but ten years old and paddles a barge every week or two in the summer to Robert Boyer's mill near Concord and in the winter by horseback to ross', now Hearn Mill.

In the lower part of Sussex there was not enough wheat raised to supply the village of Seaford.

When the pond was made to run Boston's Mill the village changed fromn a very healthy place to a distressingly sickly place, causeing every family to have someone down with arue and fever. That was the cause of my fathers illness, which ran into diabetes and broke him down physically and financially for the next three years. He left a large family , helpless and dependent, but a precious memory.

For many years no public building was erected except a school, which soon after it was built, burned, then rebuilt.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Delware in the Civil War Period

Houston Telegraph new edit
Contributed by Harrison

Description: Escape of Prisoners from Fort Delaware

Date: October 2 1863

Newspaper published in: Texas

Source: newspaper archives/genealogybank

Page/Column: The August 26 1863 Issue of Richmond Dispatch

Richmond, Virginia, August 26, 1863:

Yesterday afternoon five confederate prisoners, A. L. Brooks and C. J. Fuller, company G, 9th Georgia, J. Marian, company D, 9th Georgia, William E. Glassey, company B , 18th Mississippi and John Dorsey, company A, Stuart's Artillery, arrived here from Fort Delaware, having made their escape from that place on the night of the 12th inst.
The narrative of their escape is interesting. Having formed the plan of escape they improvised life preservers by tying four canteens, well corked, around the body of each man and during the late night preceded to leave the island. The night being dark they got off the island and swam off the back of the island for the Delaware shore. Three of them swam about four miles and landed about two miles below Delaware City. The other two, being swept down the river, floated sixteen miles and landed at Christine Creek. Another prisoner, from Philadelphia started with them but drowned a short distance from shore. He said he was not going back to the Confederacy, but was going home to Philadelphia. He had eight canteens for flotation but was not a good swimmer.
The three who landed near Delaware City laid in a corn field the rest of that night and the next day and the next evening after dark started on the way south. They had first made their intentions known to a local farmer who gave them a good supper. That night they traveled 12 mile through Kent county, Delaware, and lay concealed the next day in a friendly gentleman's barn. From here they went to Kent county Maryland where friendly citizens furnished them with clean cloths and money which made detection less probable as they had been in their Confederate uniforms the two days previous. They then took the cars on the Baltimore and Philadelphia railroad to Dover. In the car with them was a Yankee Colonel and Captain and the provost guard passed through frequently but they were not discovered and left the train at Delmar and made their way by Barren Creek Springs and Quantico to the Nanticoke River. Here they met with other escaped prisoners and went by boat to Tangier's Sound and crossing the Chesapeake landed in Northumberland county Virginia below Point Lookout, Maryland, where the Yankees were building a fort for confinement of prisoners. They met with kindness the citizens of Heathsville of the Northern Neck who contributed over $100 to aid them on their route. soon they met or pickets and came to this city on the York river railroad.
These escaped Confederates expressed their gratitude to the people of Delaware and Maryland who did everything they could to aid them. They had no difficulty in finding generous people with Southern sympathies.
These escaped prisoners tell that a large number of our prisoners at Fort Delaware have taken an oath and enlisted in the Yankee services. 270 men have been enlisted in the 3rd Maryland Regiment, some in artillery and some in the infantry. To effect these enlistments the Yanks circulated all sorts of stories among the prisoners, such as, General Lee had resigned, that North Carolina had left the Confederacy and reentered the Union and Virginia is only waiting for Lee to be driven from her borders to resume her connection with the Yankee nation.
They tell the men that if they enlist in the Union Army they will be sent out West to fight Indians so they will not be in danger of being captured by the Southerners. They have said the prisoners at Fort Delaware are dying at the rate of twelve a day and are receiving rations of six crackers a day with spoiled beef.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rehoboth High School 1948 Class Lunchon

Several of the 1948 Class of Rehoboth High School met at the Captains Table, Rehoboth, on Thursday, October 14th, to have lunch. The meal was a 'Your Choice' and 'You Pay' thing and appeared to have been well received. Classmate Virginia Savage Caras was the member to get the group together, basically because Shirley Thomas Graham was in town, visiting from Loxahatachee, Florida, for her annual junket to the Epworth Cemetery grave of her deceased husband, Lee Graham. Lee, who was one of the first owners of the old Robert Lee Restaurant on Rehoboth Avenue, with his brother Robert 'Honey Boy', Graham, Others from 'far away' were Thomas Thawley and his lady, from Annapolis and Jerry and Janet Vansant Rapkin, also of Annapolis, Janet being the class member, Bill and Silvia Richie of Rehoboth, Shirley, Ellie Tikiob Vansant, of Rehoboth, and other places which will have her, usually because she has a son or daughter there, Bill Barney and his wife Pati, of near Milton, Virginia Caras, of Georgetown, and myself and wife Yvonne. Eleanor Phillips Cordrey was unable to attend. I am more of a guest I suppose, since I did not graduate from Rehoboth High, but WAS one of the first grade members, along with Tom and Ellie. Another beginner, Jacqueline 'Jackie' Anderson Karlson, who was mentioned, but unable to attend, as she is having a hip replacement being done this week. A 'Get Well' card was signed by all, to be sent her by Tom. Also Nancy Mitchell McCabe of Arlington, who joined the class during WWII, now retired from the CIA, was remembered as was Edward 'Sprarkie' Thororoughgood, of near Angola. And, by the way, Tom Thawley got this name list together during the lunch. Much appreciated, Tom. Jerry Rapkin and Tom Thawley are both graduates of the Naval Academy, Jerry having made a career in the Navy and Tom, serving in the Arir Force. If everyone enjoyed the gathering as I did, it was a great success. We all look forward to these gatherings in the future and seek anyone who was at one time or another a class member of '48, to join with us, just put your name and address in the comment box below so we can get you the time and place of our next meeting.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chapter V / History of Seaford by R. B. Hazzard

Groceries, Shoes, Clothing, etc.
Groceries were not as well prepared then as now, and were held at higher prices. At Laurel, Louder Moore opened a 'cheap store' more then sixty years ago and advertised wet brown sugar for 6-1/4 cents per pound, and, calico at he same price per yard, which drew many Seaford citizens and area farmers. There was no refined or granular sugar at that time and sugar came in a cone shape loaf, wrapped in strong blue paper. This generally sold for 20 cents per pound. The buying and selling methods were different then, no traveling salesmen or delivery men, the merchant made two trips, spring and fall, to the cities to buy goods which were shipped by boat to the nearest port city.
A credit system prevailed over all the country which was very detrimental to the poorer class. Farmers who would go through the year buying freely, expecting that their crop would meet their liabilities, which would often fail, the consequence was a constables sale of all their goods. One of the benefits of the 1860's war was a change of this system.

Prior to the building of the Delaware Railroad to Seaford, Sussex county land was very poor and most people had to live very economic by necessity. todays young people have no idea of the privitions and hardships endured at home, school and church, in food and travel, as there was a great lack of comfortable accommodations. Many a little boy or girl would sit shiavering in the school house until it was their turn to move closer to the stove or fire in a fireplace.
There were few carriages at that time as they cost a good round of money. Some were able to ride horseback, sometimes two or three to a horse if they were small enough .

One hundred years or so ago there were few carpeted floors. What we call parlors now, were called 'halls', and a hall floor, bright and clean, would be sprinkled with clean white sand. Stoves were a great rarity. Perhaps the first stove put on the market was called a 'ten plate', bottom, middle and top plates make 3, a fire door, and two 'overdoors' make 6, a front and back plate make 8, yet they were always known as a 10 plate stove. Such stoves were used several years in the sitting rooms, office, shop and store and also for cooking. When the first cook stoves were built and put on the market, they were hailed with much delight. They would look very clumsy now.

Tradesmen of the era monopolized in their line. In Seaford there were five or six men and boys employed to fit and make suits for the young men, mothers and sisters would make the plain clothing. The tailors had no competition in clothing stores. Carriage makers, harness and saddle makers monopolized their trade. The blacksmiths had to make all the bolts and taps, horseshoes and horseshoe nails, hinges, hooks and door latches. The novelties and notions of today were not known then. The match for striking fire was in its infancy, the old blue 'locofoco' was just then invented and farm families kept flint and tinder to make fire. In town, fire was borrowed from neighbors, just like coffee and other forgetful items. Lighting was a nuisance, fish oil was used, as was a tallow dip but these were inferior to a good pine knot. Candal molds were a necessary part of the household as was the coffee pot. Many towns had a 'dipping day', usually in the fall, where a large block of tallow and a ball of 'wick' was turned into a supply of candles.
Shoes were made at home. Shoe pegs had not yet been invented and all shoes were hand stitched and shoemakers were as many as tailors who would take their kits and go house to house.

We had no parlor organs to make inspiring music, but a few wealthy had a forte piano. There were maybe three in the town of Seaford but the people would exercise their vocal powers which would awake the echoes far distant.

Postal Facilities:
In the early times, Seaford had but onr mail a week which was carried on horse back. Later on, at ren years old in 1834, I drove for Rhodes Hazzard, a contractor, from Seaford to Milford on Friday afternoon and returned Saturday forenoon. . This mail had two stops on route, at Bridgeville and St. Johnstown, On Tuesdays and Wednesdays mail was sent to Easton, Maryland with stops at Cannon Ferry, Federalsburg, and Upper Hunting Creek near Linchester. It tooks two weeks to send a letter to Indiana and cost 25 cents. There were no envelops or stamps. One folded the paper and sealed with wax wafers. Foolscrap paper, quill pens , wax wafers and ink were the requisites for writing.

These accounts were written to show the lifestyle of our great grandparents against ours today, so that modern inventions may be more appreciated.

Notice: This is the end of chapter V. There is no chapter VI, so next we will have chapter VII

Sunday, October 3, 2010

More Neighborly Cape May History We Should Know

Cape May Court House:
Settlers on the peninsula of Cape May, framed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay, were well aware of the naval actions during the Revolutionary War days. This area, at the tip of Southern New Jersey, experienced the first naval action of the war in June 1776.

On June 29, Captain Montgomery in the brig 'Nancy', bound from St. Croix and St. Thomas, Virgin Island, for Philadelphia, was closely pursued by six British Men-of-War. Captain Montgomery ran his vessel aground at Cape May and protected by a heavy fog succeeded in removing a large part of his cargo, which was mostly powder and arms for the Continental Congress. After the fog had lifted and it was evident the British were going to board the brig, Captain Montgomery thwarted her seizure by placing gun powder around his cabin and in the folds of the main sail as he and the crew abandoned ship after starting a small fire. Crews of the British boarding parties were shouting their victory aboard the 'Nancy' when she blew up and tossed bodies forty to fifty feet in all directions. Meanwhile, on shore, several citizens mounted a gun from an American war vessel and exchanged fire with the British.

Records at the Continental Congress show that a Captain William Hollock of Cape May, was one of the first to receive "Letter of Marque" but his sloop was found unsafe and was awaiting repairs before going to sea.

During December of 1776 a Continental spy was order to Cape May to inform the maneuvers of the six British ship in Delaware Bay.

April 18, 1777, the ship "Surprise" was ordered down the Delaware to assist in the defense of the Delaware Capes and the 'Cape May Channel'. She and two other vessels, the "Fly" and the "Andrew Soris" were ordered to open the channel for American vessels and drive away the British craft blocking the passage way.

July 1777, four British vessels were sighted off Peck Beach and Cape May people built a breastwork but a northwest wind drove off the British convoy. This same day, a whale boat under command of Captain Thomas Sister, came into Corsons Inlet with a crew belonging to the brig "Stanley", who were captured and sent to Philadelphia as prisoners. Later on the Brigantine "Delight" with 12 guns and 29 hands went ashore on Peck's beach and the settlement citizens took possession of the vessel and sent the crew under guard to Philadelphia.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cape May County New Jersey

Sunday Press new edit
Contributed by Harrison

Description: Pilgrim Descendants In Cape May County

Date: April 12 1964

Newspaper published in: Atlantic city, NJ

Source: Shaw Collection

Page/Column: Heritage Edition

How about some neighborly news from our cousins across the Delaware. I thought this article would be very interesting to Sussex county people researching Cape Henlopen and the Breakwater.


Hannah Gorham was born at the Plymouth Colony in 1663 and after her marriage to Joseph Whilldin in 1683 came with him to Town Bank on a whaling ship to become a part of the early thirteen cabin colony of Town Bank at the mouth of the Delaware River in Cape May County.
Hannah's grandfather was John Howland the Pilgrim who came over on the Mayflower, landed at Plymouth in 1630. The colony of Town Bank was built on a bluff that fronted the bay but is now under the waters of the Delaware Bay.
All of Hannah's early life was spent at Town Bank and in close contact with the sea. The Whilldin children intermarried with the other families of this county. They were Hannah, Joseph, Mary, Experience and Isaac. They did not migrate south because it was too hot, nor did they go back north because it was too cold, but being suited with the climate and surroundings they stayed, multiplied, and intermarried until today there are more Mayflower descendants in Cape May county than any other county of the United States.
Hannah died in 1728 and is probably buried in the Whilldin grave yard at Cool Spring, behind the William Eldredge Plantation. Her husband, Joseph, died in 1725, and many of the family are buried in the 'Old Brick' cemetery at Cool Spring, including a son Joseph who died 1743.