Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Abrahams - McGinness

AGE 36

William John Abrahams, age 36, son of Mr. and Mrs Edward Abrahams, Sr., of 616 North Van Buren street, died suddenly Wednesday morning, March 2, 1927. Yesterday, he was in his office at the duPont Building, in the best of health and was out a short time last night and retired with no ailments. At 4 o'clock this morning he was seized with an attack of acute indigestion. , took some medicine and felt better. He had refused to call on his doctor, Dr, Julian Adair, until he had another attack. His brother, Alexander R. Abrahams, City Councilman, and the doctor arrived and he was pronounced dead, the indigestion affecting his heart.
Abrahams was born in Wilmington, educated at the schools there and in 1907 went to work for the A.I. DuPont de Nemoures & Company, and at his death was chief clerk of the balance sheet and general ledger division.
He was very popular in the city with his humorous sayings and pleasant disposition. He sometimes wrote humorous items for the newspaper as a hobby.
Mr. Abrahams was member of Eden Lodge, IOOF, the Elks, and Calvary P. E. Church, secretary in 1924 of the Wilmington Football Association, and Wilmington Baseball League.
Survivors are his parents, two brothers, Alexander R. and Edward, Jr., a sister Mrs, Stidham McGinness.
William John Abrahams is buried in the Silverbrook Cemetery.

Wilmington New Journal , March 2, 1927:

Monday, February 27, 2017



The Wilmington New Journal on Wednesday, March 2nd, 1927 informed that a music colony is to be formed at Rehoboth this summer. The Valentine Conservatory of music has purchased the property and studio of the artist Robert Hinkley of Rehoboth and will establish there a music colony, to be known as the Beethoven Colony, fashioned after the MacDowell Colony in New England.
Musicians, such as Ben Stad, violinist, Reinhold Schmit, baritone, Josef Schmit, cellist, and Arthur Freidhelm, Laszt student, will spend the summer here and prepare their winter schedules.

Mrs. Florence King Salin and Miss Floris Emily Downing, of Rehoboth, both graduates of the Burrowes Course of Music Study from Valentine Conservatory of Music and Arts, having been taught by the president of the conservatory, Mrs. Constance Henry Killen, will be in charge of the Rehoboth branch school. Mrs Salin and Miss Downing directed many concerts and student recitals while the school was in Rehoboth.

December of 1927 , Valentine Conservatory of Music and Arts was placed in the hands of a receiver, Frank M. Jones, appointed by Chancellor Wolcott. Complainant E. Burbage Wilson, alleges the conservatory is insolvent.

Wednesday, May 30, 1928 a Receivers Sale of Valuable Real Estate and Personal Property was held in the Chancellor's chambers, City of Wilmington, New Castle county, Delaware, court house.

The sale consisted of four lots, south side of Stockley Street, Rehoboth Heights, improved by a large, modern, well built, two story, frame dwelling house, garage and outbuilding, a lot on the north side Stockley Street, improved by a modern , well built, two story, dwelling with garage. All conveyed unto the Valentine Conservatory of Music and Arts by Robert Hinkley and wife, October 7 1926.
Personal Property consisting of living roomn, dinning room, bed room furniture and kitchen etensils to be sold at Public Auction., by order of Frank M. Jones. Receiver. Georgetown, Delaware.

June 4, 1928, Deputy Clerk of the Peace, Bud Coy, of Georgetown, purchased the Valentine Conservatory of Music and Arts , Rehoboth property on Stockley Street, Rehoboth Heights, at Receivers Sale for $10,000.00

Abstracts source: Wilmington Evening Journal, September 20, 1926, Wilmington Evening Journal 14 July 1927,Wilmington New Journal, June 4, 1928, Wilmington Morning News, 13 May 1928, Wilmington Morning News, December 3, 1927, and Wilmington New Journal, Wednesday March 2 1827.

Saturday, February 25, 2017


MAY 1941


Lewes at Wescoats Corner, on and off, restaurant and package store, Mervyn Lafferty.

Lewes Beach at Cape Henlopen, Rehoboth and Lewes Hundred, fronting on Atlantic Ocean, three miles east of Lewes, for consumption and non consumption, club private locker system, Belhaven Surf Club.

Rehoboth Beach, 16 Rehoboth Beach, Wagon Wheel, consumption on and off, 16 Rehoboth Avenue, Harry Rapkin.

Rehoboth Beach, two miles south of Rehoboth on Ocean Highway, Indian Beach, consumption on and off, private, Rehoboth-Indian Beach Club.

Delmar, off premises consumption , Delmar Liquor Store, State Street and Railroad Avenue, Harry Rapkin,

Slaughter Beach, on and off premises consumption, hotel and dance hall, J. Franklin Wilkins.

Rehoboth Beach, on and off premises consumption, restaurant, ¾ mile of Rehoboth Beach, James Winchester.

Rehoboth , on and off premises consumption, Happy Hollow Restaurant, Midway, Lewes Rehoboth Highway, Howard A Foster.

Rehoboth Beach, off premises consumption, Store, 33 Rehoboth Avenue, Raymond Mariner.

Lewes, on and off premises consumption, restaurant, 122 Front Street, Frank Riniker.

Greenwood, on and off premises consumption, taproom, 16 West Market Street, Raymond Mariner.

Lewes, on and off premises consumption, taproom, Five Points, two and ½ miles from Lewes, Pearle H. Baylis.

Lewes, on and off premises consumption, restaurant, Fourth and Park, Avenue, Henry Stewart.

Rehoboth Beach, off premises consumption, store, 5 Rehoboth Mart, First Street and Reboboth Avenue, Cecil MacLaughton.


Thursday, February 23, 2017


17 APRIL 1801

A run away from John Cochran of near Middletown, New Castle county, in Sate of Delaware on 17th of April last, a negro man Adam, who has surname himself Right, about 35 year old, 5 foot and 5 inches high, well set, middling black, thin visage, and moves lively although very large feet for his size. Had on when he left a well worn tow-linnen shirt, a furtout, sailors jacket, and trowsers all home made of drab colored cloth. , all better than half worn. He also has a dress suit of blue broad cloth coat, dark velvet breeches.
He has a great turn to the Methodist religion and makes a good prayer. He took with him a wife, Rachel, a fat woman, somewhat with a yellowish cast, also three children, the oldest a 8 year old girl , Sarah, 3 year old girl, Eliza, and 4 month old boy, John, from a widow Price of Cecil County, Maryland, near Fredrick Town.
It is expected he tool them up country some where , either Wilmington, Turks Head or Philadelphia, the Jerseys or even New York.
They are so remarkable that it is easy to take notice of them. There is a $60 reward to be paid by John Corkran, Middletown, New Castle county, on Delaware.

Source: Gazette of the United States, & Daily Advertiser, by C. P. Wayne, 65 South Front Street, Philadelphia. Tuesday Evening, May 19, 1801.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017



Annual Service was held Sunday, October 2, 1921, by The Rev. Mr. Peter. K. Vanderkam,

pastor of the Presbyterian church at Frankford and Ocean View. There were residents of Wicomco and

Worcester county's in Maryland and many Delawareans to attend.

Rev. Vandekam's address “ Hold Fast To The Old Landmarks” was well received and it was

decided to hold monthly services once each month in the future.

Old Blackwater Church is more than 200 year old and believed to be one of the first

Presbyterian churches established in colonial America. One of the first pastors, Rev M. Tentant, was

said to be one of the founders of Princeton University.

Wilmington Evening Journal , Wilmington, Delaware. Wednesday, October 5, 1921.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sussex Iron Ore Industry

Did you know, prior to the Revolutionary War, the Delmarva Peninsula, was looked upon a the source o new America's iron and steel? The soil in many places was rich in workable iron ore and land was being bought by businessmen of the northern states and iron furnaces were established at strategic points.

This new industry found it's center at the head of the Nanticoke River a few mile east of Seaford in Broad Creek Hundred.

In 1763 Deep Creek Furnace was built six mile up the river and this venture failed because the head of navigation was at Outten's Wharf, three miles down the river, causing the finished product needing to be hauled over land. 1766, a Philadelphia and New York company purchased the ore rich land of this neighborhood and built the Pine Grove Furnace and began the village of Concord. A large scale production operation began, experienced iron workers flocked in from all parts of the county. Broad Cree was soon the busiest industrial center below Wilmington and Philadelphia. When the Declaration of Independence was drawn Pine Grove Furnace was an iron and steel center of America.

Then war was declared, the Chesapeake was blockaded by British Ships of War and Pine Grove was unable to move its finished product to any market, the iron workers were out of work and were needed by the Continental forces After peace was declared the iron industry was dead, Concord, the town, was laid out in 1796 but Seaford, home to grist mill's. saw mill's and other industries, tanneries ,etc, gained foothold and superseded Concord as the business center of the section.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) was a law passed by the United States Congress in 1933 to authorize the President to regulate industry in an attempt to raise prices after severe deflation and stimulate economic recovery.[1] It also established a national public works program known as the Public Works Administration (PWA, not to be confused with the WPA of 1935).[2] The National Recovery Administration (NRA) portion was widely hailed in 1933, but by 1934 business' opinion of the act had soured.[3] By March 1934 the "NRA was engaged chiefly in drawing up these industrial codes for all industries to adopt."[4] However, the NIRA was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1935 and not replaced.[3][5][6]
The legislation was enacted in June 1933 during the Great Depression in the United States as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal legislative program. Section 7(a) of the bill, which protected collective bargaining rights for unions, proved contentious (especially in the Senate),[3][7] but both chambers eventually passed the legislation. President Roosevelt signed the bill into law on June 16, 1933.[3][8][9] The Act had two main sections (or "titles"). Title I was devoted to industrial recovery, authorizing the promulgation of industrial codes of fair competition, guaranteed trade union rights, permitted the regulation of working standards, and regulated the price of certain refined petroleum products and their transportation. Title II established the Public Works Administration, outlined the projects and funding opportunities it could engage in. Title II also provided funding for the Act.
The Act was implemented by the NRA and the Public Works Administration (PWA).[6][10] Very large numbers of regulations were generated under the authority granted to the NRA by the Act,[11][12] which led to a significant loss of political support for Roosevelt and the New Deal.[6] The NIRA was set to expire in June 1935, but in a major constitutional ruling the U.S. Supreme Court held Title I of the Act unconstitutional on May 27, 1935, in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495 (1935).[6] The National Industrial Recovery Act is widely considered a policy failure, both in the 1930s and by historians today.[3][13][14] Disputes over the reasons for this failure continue. Among the suggested causes are that the Act promoted economically harmful monopolies,[11] that the Act lacked critical support from the business community,[15] and that it was poorly administered.[15][16] The Act encouraged union organizing, which led to significant labor unrest.[17] The NIRA had no mechanisms for handling these problems, which led Congress to pass the National Labor Relations Act in 1935.[18] The Act was also a major force behind a major modification of the law criminalizing making false statements.[19]

Monday, February 13, 2017



The great poet Milton, writer of “Paradise Lost” was blind much of his lifetime. The blindness is no doubt associated largely with the nature of his writings and with his philosophy of life.
There have been many considerations of the character of his blindness which moved Dr. William H. Wilmer of the Wilmer Ophthalmolgic Institute to make an analysis and publish writings concerning reasons for the loss of Milton's sight.
The father of John Milton lived to age 84 and had read without glasses all of his life. His mother, who died at age 65, was reported to have had weak eyes and used spectacles after she was 30 years old.
During his early boyhood, Milton, suffered with digestive disturbances and later in life had “gout”. His eyes were by nature 'weak' and he suffered with headaches. At age twelve and on, he abused his eyesight, reading late at night with the artificial light that was available in the early seventeenth century. He was said to have overused his eyes as long as he could see manuscript.
John Milton was born in 1608 and when he was 33 years old, problems with his left eye began and within ten years that eye was completely blind. The right eye also became affected and in 1654 that eye admitted only a tiny speck of light.
There have been many suggestions as to the reasons for Milton's loss of sight. Detachment of the retina has been left out because that comes on sudden, like a black curtain dropped before the eyes, and he had none of the symptoms. Except for his vision, indigestion and gout his health was generally good.
It is possible Milton suffered with nearsightedness as both his father and mother were nearsighted and he did not correct his vision errors at his mid age. Cataracts were put aside since there was no record of any symptoms.
Dr. Wilmer is inclined to believe Milton suffered nearsightedness complicated by glaucoma which occurs at all ages and increases with every decade of life after 35 or 40. The fact that he had gout would predispose toward glaucoma and the overuse of his eyes was a certain factor.

Wilmington News Journal, Friday, April 28, 1933, Daily Health News, by Dr. Morris Fishbein, Editor of the American Medical Association Health Magazine. Source.

Adam Wallace Irwin of Milton

1871 – 1925

The Wednesday, December 16, 1925, Wilmington News Journal newspaper reported that A. Wallace Irwin of Milton Succumbs, that he was a prominent Mason and was always interested in Civic Affairs, that the resident of Milton died in the Jefferson Hospital at Philadelphia. Saturday morning. Saturday would have been the 12th of December.

His family background stretches for ages in England and Scotland and he was a descendent of pioneers to America, some of which fought in the American Revolution for independence. He was born June 18, 1871 in Marydel, some say Maryland, some say Delaware, but in Marydel, a state line village, its not real important, I guess.

His father, Edward Gwin Irwin, was a Methodist Episcopal Church Minister who belonged to the Philadelphia and Wilmington Conferences.

His mother was a Milton lady, Annie Hall Megee. She was born in Milton, the 6th of November 1844, to Noah Wilbank Megee, born September 30, 1814 in Indian River Hundred, to his 28 year old father, Thomas and mother, Elon, also age 28. Noah died September 11, 1883. age 68. Noah's family goes back to the Scottish side of the Megees. Noah had brothers and sisters, Thomas Peter, born 1818, sister Elizabeth, born 1823, brother Levin , 1825, brother William Thomas , born 1827, a sister Mary born 1829, Noah's wife was the former Patience Kellam, born 1812, died 1859. They were married December 10, 1838 and had four children, twin daughters, born in Milton, Lydia born 6 November 1844, died at age 6, in 1850, and Anna Hall, born 6 November 1844 who lived to 1919. A daughter, Cordelia, born August 1848 but lived less than a year. A son , Charles Thomas Megee was born in Milton November 11, 1854 and lived to age 77.

Noah's father and mother died the same year, 1857, in Milton. Mother, Elon on 14th June and Father , Thomas, 27th August.

Noah's wife, Patience, passed away 18 November.1859, age 47, after 20 years of marriage.

Sometime prior to 1862, Noah married Lydia H Burton, or anyway, had three children with her, daughter Mary, born December 11 1862, son John B, born august 28, 1865, died 1866, and another son William Paynter Davidson Megee born 1872 who lived to be 79 years of age.

This covers for Adam Wallace Irwin's Milton side of his family, the Megees, and their Scottish family ancestors would be, for one, Patrick Adholach MacGregor, born 1550 , Lochaber, Invernessshire, Scotland and was married to Christiana Keppoch MacFarland .

It appears that Adam Wallace Irwin was raise and educated in Wilmington where his father moved when he had retired. During the Spanish - American War he enlisted in the Army and saw service, then reenlisted and served in the Philippines Army of Occupation, reaching the rank of Sergeant Major before he was mustered out in 1901,

September 27, 1905 , Adam Wallace Irwin was married to Miss Sara Martin Polk in Milton where he spent most of the rest of his life.
Sara and her twin brother, Samuel M. were born March 30, 1882 in Milton, Delaware to John Collins Polk, age 47 and Annie Elizabeth Martin, age 37. Sara's father died 15 January 1899, in Milton, and her mother, died 14 June 1904 in Milton. Sara lived to age 58 and died in Rehoboth the 3d of November 1940. Sara's father, John Collins Polk, was born 16 April 1834 in Delaware and died in Milton at age 64, January 15, 1899. his parents were William Polk, 1802 – 1847, and Sarah Bradford, 1798 – 1873.

The Polk family, Robert Bruce Polk, Sr., and Magdalen Tasker Polk, came to White Hall, Somerset county, Maryland, before 1672. They came to Maryland from Donegal, Ireland.

During World War One Adam Wallace Irwin was associated with the Philadelphia Schuylkill Arsenal, taking the positions of their officers who were called overseas. In 1920 he took a position of salesman and associate with the Philadelphia lumber company, Brown & Bates and sold their products in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania where he was popular and well known.

In Milton Mr Irwin was very interested in politics and the development of the natural resources of Sussex county. He was a member of the Building & Loan Association, member and official of the Goshen Methodist Episcopal Church, a Mason with Endeavor Lodge and Tall Cedars, active in all civic movements.

In November 1925 Mr. Irwin had a physical breakdown and on December 8th was taken to Beebe Hospital in Lewes , transferred to Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia where he died.

Adam Wallace Irwin is survived by his wife Sara, his daughter Anna, a senior of the Milton High School, a brother Charles of Ardmore and a sister Miss Francis Irwin of Philadelphia. Services were from his late home and burial was in Goshen Cemetery.

Saturday, February 11, 2017




Remember that Sarah Rowland, daughter of the Lewestown postmaster, was supposed to have made Caesar Rodney a bit late to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

In September 1938 the family of Francis D. Brinton of Oermead Estates, West Chester, Pennsylvania, in preparation of writing the genealogy of Mrs. Brinton's family were seeking data of the Rowland, Parker and Fisher families of Lewes.

Sarah Rowland was the grandmother of of Mrs Brinton, but information on this branch are missing and local historians of 1938 Lewes deny that her ancestor blocked the path of the the patriots duty.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017



There are several stories of the origin of coffee, here are several abstracts from the Saturday, October 31, 1903, Wilmington, Morning News.

A legend runs that it was first found growing wild in Arabia.
Hadji Omar, a muslim who was known to be able to cure illness by prayers was exiled from Mocha Yemen in 1285 to the Ousab desert. Starving in the wilderness he found an evergreen plant with small brown berries and tried to eat them but they were too bitter. He roasted them and then steeped them in water and found the extract refreshed him as if he had eaten solid food. He hurried back to Mocha and invited the wise men to try his discovery. They were so well pleased with it that they made his a saint.

Another story is told that coffee was introduced into the West Indies in 1723 by Chirac, a French Physician, who gave Captain DeClieux of the Normandy Infantry who was on his way to Martinique a single plant which was poorly nourished during a stormy sea voyage because of the scarcity of water. Although weak it survived and was planted in DeClieuxs' garden and allowed to grow until the years end when he gathered the brown berry’s, perhaps two pounds or so, had them distributed among the Islands inhabitants to plant. Soon Martinique coffee trees were being sent to neighboring islands , Santo Domingo, Guadaloupe and others.

The coffee tree is an evergreen shrub and grows to fourteen to seventeen feet high, the berries grow on the branches, close to the leaves. It has to be grown below the frost line and does best at the altitude of 4000 feet. Coffee has never been successfully produced in the United States.


1737 LEWES

In 1738 Lewes was a small port of several dozen houses on two streets which were parallel the Lewes Creek. Saint Peters Episcopal Church sat on four acres between Market and Mulberry streets, fronting on Second Street. Adjacent to the church was the 1681 Court House, constructed of logs at least eight inches thick and topped by a good strong roof, tight and well covered. Next to the courthouse stood Phillip Russell's tavern known to be a place that “persons play at cards” and illegal. Ryves Holt eventually owned the tavern.

Early 18th century English colonies allowed slavery and ships carrying slaves called at Lewes' colonial port which was in a area called “Three Lower Counties” on the western shore of Delaware Bay from Cape Henlopen to the boarder of Pennsylvania, and had a degree of independent autonomy. Here the Pennsylvania tariff on slaves was ignored and slaves were here off loaded. They then, as any other cargo, could be transported by land to Philadelphia without paying the tariff.

Jacob Kollack's father in law, a Philadelphia merchant, arranged for a ship with part of its cargo as slaves, to stop at Lewes and while it rode at anchor near Lewes, Jacob Kollack, inspected the cargo and ordered the sixteen slaves of the cargo be taken ashore.

Source: Michael Morgans Delaware Diary, Delaware Coast Press, 8 February, 2017,

Monday, February 6, 2017



The eastern shore is looking toward a new seaside resort on the Atlantic Coast at Fenwick's Island which s separated from the mainland by Assawoman Bay, which will be established by men prominent in business and politics of Maryland and Delaware.

The island for years has been used as a hunting preserve as the wild ducks have made it a favorite to the hunters of many northern cities. It is at the head of Isle of Wright Bay, the northern part of Sinepuxent Bay, 10 miles from Ocean City, 14 miles south from Rehoboth. Fenwick's is close to the Gulf Stream which keeps extreme cold weather away and is well set with oak and pine, therefore a health resort. Fenwick Island is a narrow strip of sandy land extending from Fenwick Life Saving Station in Delaware to Isle of Wright Life Saving Station in Maryland, 5 miles in length and 1 to 1-1/2 miles wide. The Mason Line Line cuts the island in half.
A camp meeting has been held here every August for the past five years by the Methodist Protestant Conference of Maryland.
This gathering, drawing families from Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia, has made known the Island's unexcelled natural advantages as a fine bathing place.
The more prominent stockholder developers are determined to make the island , containing over 2000 acres, into a first class sea side year around resort. What we know of their plans contemplate erection of a hotel and a gunners club house. They plan a trolley line from the sea side to Frankford to meet the Delaware, Maryland & Virginia Railroad for passengers and freight.
Surveyors from Georgtown Delaware, under B. Frank Wagamon, are laying out streets and lots. To provide a wide beach the building line is set at 300 feet from the high water mark. According to W. B. Taylor of Philadelphia, representing the developers, the land has been purchased and cottage erection has been started.
Streets and avenues will be named for prominent politicians, Saulsbury, Keaney, Lea, Gorman, Gray, Bayard, Hunn, McKinley, Roosevelt and Schley.
On the Mason Dixon Line stands the Fenwick Island Lighthouse, 80 foot high . Off shore 13 miles is the Fenwick Island Lightship at the dangerous Fenwick Island Shoals during fogs.
A unique feature of the island is the white oak grove where the camp meeting is situated. It is the only grove of such trees on the barren sands from Cape Henlopen to Chincoteaue Bay. The beach, free of stones, pebbles and shells , no undertow. Assawoman Bay, unsurpassed for fishing, boating and sailing,about an hour and 1-1/4 from Ocean City.
Those interested in the development of Fenwick's Island Resort are; Willard Saulsbury, Preston Lea, directior of Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore Railroad and president of the Wilmington Trust & Equitable Bank, Mr Frank Taylor of Vulcanized Fiber of Wilmington, William Kenworthy, Capelle Hardware of Wilmington and Evert Hickman of Georgetown. Captain John Long of the Fenwick's Lighthouse , stockholder, a member of the executive committee of the camp meeting, is greatly interested in the project.


Sunday, February 5, 2017


1729 – 1794

Charles Hector, was a Frenchman, who assisted the American Colonies against the British Fleet of Lord Howe during the American Revolution. Here is an abstract of articles gathered from Wikipedia, Military Wiki, Encyclopedia Britannica and Barefootin in the Cape Gazette, that offers a bit of a story about he and his life.

Jean Baptiste Charles Henri Hector, born November 24, 1729, at the Chateau de Ravel in Auvergne, to Charles Francois, the Marquis de Saillant and Marie Henriette Colbert de Maulevrier, a descendant of Jean Baptiste Colbert. His father was a lieutenant general in the French Army and came from a family with a long history of service to the french crown. Charles Hector, also known as Count de Estaing, was educated alongside Louis the Dauphin, father of Louis XVI, was a close friend and served as an attendant of the Dauphin. At age 9, the year of 1738, he was enrolled in the musketeers by his aristocratic family. Within eight years he was a lieutenant in the Regiment de Rouergue. That was the year1746, the same year that he married Marie Sophie, the granddaughter of the Marshal Chateau Renault. The regiment was called to service in the War of the Austrian Succession. D'Estaing served as aide-de-camp to Marshal Saxe in the Flanders campaigns of 1746 and 1748, became a colonel of command of Regiment de Rouergue. In 1748 he was wounded at the Seige of Maastrich.
D'Estaing was a leading reformer in King Louis XV's program to modernize his army which the regiment under D'Estaing became known as a model of the infantry.
There too, he seeking to gain experience in diplomacy, he accompanied the French ambassador to England for a time.
In 1755, during hostilities between the British and French colonies in North America he considered joining the force of Louis Joseph de Montcalm and sail to America but was dissuaded by his family. In 1757, after he had transferred the command of his regiment, he applied to participate in an expedition to the East Indies, when accepted was promoted to brigadier general. Before embarking on this expedition, in January, 1757, d'Estaing was awarded the Order of Saint Louis. After the lengthy voyage of Count d'Ache's fleet with the forces of Count de Lally on board , they arrived at Cuddalore on the southern coast of India, controlled by the British, the date 28 April 1758. During one of the campaigns there d'Estaing was surrounded by the British troops, wounded and surrendered, confined at Madras until he was paroled in May of 1759 to Ile de France, Mauritius.

At Ile de France in 1759, he was unable to re- join with Count Lally's forces due to terms of the parole, not to fight the British in the East Indies with Lally. Honoring the terms of parole he joined the service of French East India Company, as a “Spectator” in command of a naval expedition for Ile de France. Here he saw action as commander of a 50 gun Conde and frigate l'Expedition in the Persian Gulf, took prize a British ship at Muscat, destroyed a British factory at Bandar-Abbas, then sailed to Sumatra , arriving in February of 1760, capture British Natal, sailed to British Tappanooly to destroy the fortification . sailed to Padang, a dutch settlement and supplemented his forces with local recruits and supplies, after which he sailed for Bencoolen, capital of Indonesian Bengkulu, a major settlement on Sumatra, defended by Fort Marlborough and a garrison of 500 Europeans and locals. With one broadside on the fort the defenders fled into the jungle. D'Estaing then used Fort Marlborough to subdue the British settlements on the west side of Sumatra. He returned to Ile de France ten months after departure.
Ordered back to France, on the voyage the ship was captured by the British , he was again imprisoned, successfully defended himself and was allowed to return to France. There he was welcomed with a commission of Field Marshal for his East Indies service.
Early 1762 d'Estaing was promoted to army Lt .General, then removed from the army, sent to the navy with the rank of chef d'escadre, a rear admiral.
1764 King Louis appointed d'Estaing governor general of the French Leeward Islands, a post he held until 1766. His efforts to recruit a population of Acadians was unsuccessful because of climate, poor land and disease.
1767 he returned home to France and was granted a divorce or separation from his wife which has been in contention since 1756.
1772 he was appointed Naval Inspector and Governor at Brest, the French principal Atlantic Naval Station.
1777 he was promoted to vice Admiral of Asian American Seas, the vice-amiral des mers d'Asie et d'Amerique.
1778 France entered the American War of Independence, d'Estaing left Toulon in command of twelve ships and four frigates to assist the American Colonies. He saw action at New York's Sand Hook and Newport, Rhode Island., was defeated at St. Lucia, capture St Vincent and set out to capture Barbados which was a failure because of the westerly trade winds, however, he was able to take Grenada. He and Admiral Byron met in a somewhat disorganized battle with both fleets having to retire to their bases for repairs before either could call a “victory”.
On August 1778 d'Estaing sailed for Savannah, Georgia to join forces with the Americans to recapture the British held city. A siege by the joint Franco American force with d'Estaing in command lasting near a month failed and he was twice wounded. The British held control of coastal Georgia until the end of the war.

1780 D'Estaing returned to France on crutches, fell in disfavor and criticized by subordinates. . He went into politics, was a grandee of spain, a member of Assembly of Notables and suported the revolutionary cause in the French Revolution. 1789 he became commander of the Versailles National guard, 1792 prometed to admiral rank by a National assembly. Staying loyal to the royal family, favored Marie Antonette, brought to trial charged as a reactionary and sent to the guillotine 28 April 1794, suggesting that his severed head be sent to the British which he said would pay a good deal for it.
Both his wife, Marie Sophie Rousselot and his only child had died earlier.
1784 D'Estaing and his heirs were granted four 5000 acre tracts of vacant land in Franklin county Georgia by the Governor John Houston

So what is the Lewes connection to this story? Barefootin tells that General George Washington had sent his chief aid, Lt. Colonel, Alexander Hamilton to Lewes at the time of the Savannah siege to rendezvous with D'Estaing and his fleet. Hamilton sailed from Philadelphia to Lewes, where there were taverns, inns, residences and commercial establishments, seeking Henry Fisher, who monitored shipping activity, and relayed the information to Philadelphia, probably lodging with him at home. The rendezvous apparently never happened and Hamilton left Lewes for Egg Harbor, New Jersey, hoping to meet up with D'Estaing there. There are feelings that Hamilton enjoyed the hospitality and fine fall weather and strode the streets of Lewes as the most important historical figure to ever visit this part of Delaware.




Milton was the only Sussex county Delaware town to celebrate Armistice Day.
At 9:30 that morning the parade began at the school house, all along the parade route, the line of march, houses were decorated with American, red, white and blue, flags. World War I veterans led the parade, carrying a large American Flag that had been presented to the Legion Post by a family whose son had been buried by that Legion Post with a Military Funeral, then came Dr. Hopkins with the Milton Band, next was an automobile in which rode Civil War Veterans, E.E. Collins, William Fearing, William T. Collins and James Leonard. Over 200 school children and teachers, carrying American flags followed. After the automobile carrying the speaker and the ministers came decorated floats of the Milton New Century Club, Intermediate Christian Endeavor, the I.O.O.F Golden Rule Lodge, the the Red Men's Lodge marched with flags and last was the float with “America” and an American soldier.

Fox Hall held the exercises an was decorated by the New Century club with holly, pine, American flags, Red Cross posters, and war relics.

The program opened with the singing of “America” led by Rev. Eldridge of the Methodist Episcopal church , after which the Rev. Lewis Sasse of the Episcopal church offered prayer. John Fisher, chairman, presided, telling that the American Legion had made the efforts possible.

At 11 o'clock the fire house siren sounded and two minutes of silence was observed. Milton resident Leon Black blew “TAPS” followed by a salute to the flag by the school children. The presence of the Red Cross was announced by Mrs LeRoy Lynch, charirmen . Rev. Eldridge led all in singing, “The Long, Long,Trail” , “Till Wee Meet Again”, “Keep The Home Fires Burning” and “Marching Through Georgia”. The pianist was Delma Simpler.
Featured at the exercise was the recitation of “Flanders Field” by George Goodwin and Katherine Dickerson's “Americas Answer”.
After singing by the school children of “Our Delaware” Representative Robert G. Houston gave his address.

Closing the program was “The Star Spangled Banner” and benediction by Rev. Townsend of the Methodist Protestant church.

Representative Robert G. Houston told on Armistice Day we should rejoice our freedom, and it means so much to our veterans and families of those who did not return. He hopes it will mark the end of wars for all nations. He tells us that war is due to selfishness, failure to accept another viewpoint. Our minds need to be trained to love peace, admire heroes of peace.

John Fisher was chairman of the 1925 Milton Armistice Day celebration and responsible for the success. He is an WWI overseas veteran serving in Company I, 113th Infantry , 29th Division and is an officer with the American Legion Milford Post.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017




Had Robert Shaw not have had rheumatic fever while attending Shellpot School in New Castle county Delaware, the world probably would have been deprived of his art, the etchings and paintings of local scenes and structures, and the beauty of Brandywine Creek.

Here is his story, gathered from Wilmington Delaware newspaper articles from the “Man About Town' column, his 1912 obituaries, items by Mr. Charles Green of Carrcroft, over a period of several years.

Robert Shaw as born to David and Anne Shaw the 10th of January 1859 at Rockwood in Brandywine Hundred , New Castle county, the country home of Joseph H. Shipley along the Shellpot Creek, where David, his father, born on Scotland' west coast, came to America in 1852, was a caretaker and coachman for the Shipley's Rockwood Estate. In 1870 records show he had an older brother by one year, John, another brother the same age , 11, name William, not a twin but born the same year, a sister Margaret, age 9, brother David, age 7, and a baby sister, Mary Shaw, age 5.

While within the walls of the school at Shellpot , young Robert was being taught rudiments of an English education when a severe attack of rheumatism greatly disabled him from further education and ability to work on the estates farm.

Bed fast with the illness, Robert Shaw, began to draw on anything that came to his hands, his natural talent being recognized and encouraged by his family and visitors such as Dr. George C. Hall rector of St. Johns Church , a close friend and frequent visitor. He took up pen and ink etching, latter the etching of copper plates, he had no instructors, using his own skills and aptitudes to paint local scenes and buildings which became historic value. After a trip to Europe, France and England, in 1898, he returned to America and established a studio at the Old Penny Hill Farm, in a wagon house , where his mother and sisters , and he, had lived since their youth.

From the Penney Hill studio, working under great physical disability, came etchings and drawings of buildings and homes of the Colonial and Revolutionary period in Delaware. He again went abroad in the late 1890's and did pen and ink etchings in England. Upon returning this time he was engaged by a New York publishing company to do a series of 65 houses located from Virginia into New England, which found him traveling in his special built carriage. It was while doing this work that he lost his sight due to the strain of his etching works. Four years later he regained eyesight and turned to water color and oils, painting pictures of all the historic buildings in Delaware, setting this as his goal.

A favorite site was the Brandywine Creek and the etchings and paintings from there are some of his best. While painting the picture of the home of Judge Edward G. Bradford along the Brandywine, he died the 18th of July, 1912. Shaw never married and is survived by his mother, Mrs Anne Shaw, his sisters, Margaret an Anne, Mrs C. W. Bryan of New Rochelle, New York, brothers David and William. Artisit Robert Shaw is buried in Riverview Cemetery, Wilmington, Delaware.
Source: Wilmington News Journal, January 11, 1949 Man About Town.