Assorted Entries from 1878-80

14 Nov

Drowning of a Colored Girl.

A colored girl by the name of Betsy Griffin, employed on the steamer A. P. Hurt, her step-father being cook of the boat, was drowned on Saturday last. She was last seen about 3 o’clock on that day, while the boat was lying at the wharf at Fayetteville, when she suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. The officers of the boat, however, were under the impression that she had seized a favorable opportunity and for some cause had left the boat; but this theory was exploded on Thursday morning, when the body of the unfortunate girl was discovered about three miles below Fayetteville, the supposition being that while engaged in playing around the boat or wharf she accidentally fell overboard and was drowned. Deceased was about 13 years of age.

[Wilmington Morning Star Weekly – Friday, May 31, 1878]

Our Charlotte Visitors.

The mail train on the Carolina Central Railway, yesterday morning, brought down about seventy-five excursionists, composed mostly of merchants and other business men and citizens of Charlotte. They received a cordial welcome at the depot, and were then conducted to the wharf, where they embarked on the steamer Passport, which had been awaiting their arrival, and landed at the foot of Market street. They then proceeded to the Purcell House and breakfasted, after which, in accordance with previous arrangement, they took passage on the steamer Passport for Smithville and other points of interest below. Several of our citizens accompanied them on the excursion, among whom, fortunately for our visitors, was Mr. Henry Nutt, who is well posted in regard to everything of interest on the river, and especially at the mouth of it.

The excursionists stopped for about a half hour at Smithville, after which the boat went outside for a short distance. The ocean was unusually smooth, and none of the excursionists got sea-sick.

After remaining outside for a short time, and some trying their luck at fishing, the boat returned to Smithville, where about an hour and a half was spent in securing rest and refreshments and rambling about the old town, visiting the garrison, &c., after which they embarked for the passage to this city, reaching the wharf about half past 6 o’clock, our visitors, we are glad to say, expressing themselves delighted with their trip.

Mr. J. P. Caldwell, of the Charlotte Observer, is among the excursionists, as also Col. C. W. Alexander, of the N. C. State Guard.

Among the notables is Major Thomas Beggs, a veteran of the Mexican war, now a merchant of Charlotte. Maj. Beggs, of Company H, was Color-Sergeant of the celebrated Palmetto Regiment, of South Carolina, and bore the flag of that regiment in the battle of Churubusco, it being the first American flag to wave in the Halls of the Montezumas. At this time, however, it was not borne by Maj. Beggs, he having been shot down on the 20th of August, 1874, before entering the city. He speedily recovered from his wounds and is now a hale, hearty, well-preserved gentleman.

Sudden Death of an Old Citizen.

Our community was startled yesterday afternoon, by the announcement of the sudden death of Captain T. F. Peck, one of our oldest and most esteemed citizens. The sad event occurred on the steamer J. S. Underhill, which left here yesterday morning, about a quarter past 10 o’clock, to take a number of excursionists down to Smithville. Just as the boat arrived at a point opposite the Orton plantation, Capt. Peck, who had been on the upper deck, descended to the lower one to get a drink of water, and had reached a spot near the foot of the steps on his return, when he was seen to stagger and fall against the side of the boat, whereupon two or three persons took hold of him. He was then borne, pursuant to the Captain’s instructions, to the cabin, upon reaching which a physician, who was among the Shelby excursionists, felt of his pulse and pronounced life extinct. He never uttered a word or showed a sign of consciousness after he was attacked. The deceased has been subject to heart disease for some time past, and no doubt is entertained that his was the malady with which he was stricken with such a sudden and fatal result.

As soon as it was known that the unfortunate gentleman was dead, Capt. Latham had the steamer turned about and came back to Wilmington, when the sad intelligence was conveyed to his son, Mr. Geo. F. Peck, the most of the remaining members of his family being on the boat with him when the sad calamity occurred.

Capt. Peck was a native of Milford, Connecticut, but had been a resident of this city since 1821, with the exception of a few years he spent in California. He was in the 78th year of his age, but looked to be much younger.

Colored Man Drowned.

A young colored man, by the name of Osborn Cowan, aged about 22 years, was drowned off the steamer A. P. Hurt, about twenty miles above this city, near a place known as the Devil’s Elbow, while on her upward trip from this city to Fayetteville, on Tuesday. He was seated on a flour barrel, when, by a sudden motion of the boat, which was rounding a curve in the river at that point which gives the spot its name, the young man was thrown into the river. A gentleman, in describing the accident, says when first seen after falling he was some distance behind the boat and on the opposite side from which he had fallen. The gentleman shouted and waived to him to make for the shore, which he did, and as he appeared to be a good swimmer it was at one time hoped that he would succeed in reaching it. It is supposed, however, that he became exhausted, or got into one of the dangerous eddies caused by the sudden turn in the river, as he was noticed to be king a fearful struggle soon after starting in the direction of the shore, and finally disappeared from view. A boat was lowered from the steamer as quickly as possible but too late to be of any service.

The unfortunate young man was well known in this city, bore an excellent reputation, and at the time of the accident which cost him his life was on his way to Fayetteville with a lady who had taken a fancy to him and employed him. At last accounts his body had not been recovered.

[Wilmington Morning Star Weekly – June 7, 1878]

Body Recovered – Inquest.

The body of Osborne Cowan, the young colored man who was accidentally drowned off the steamer A. P. Hurt, on Tuesday afternoon last, about twenty miles above this city, was recovered on Thursday by a colored man named Reed Deane, accompanied by a white man whose name we did not ascertain, and brought to this city yesterday. Coroner Hewlett was notified and held an inquest over the body yesterday afternoon, the jury returning a verdict to the effect that deceased came to his death from accidental drowning.

— Dick Paddison says there are two alligators up Black River (old residents) that are not one inch shorter than sixteen feet each. But, then, Dick, you know—well, there was a fellow once who swore his horse was sixteen feet high.

[Wilmington Morning Star Weekly – Friday, June 14, 1878]

— The steamer Wave, Capt. Robeson, which was to have left Fayetteville for this place on Thursday morning, on her regular trip, went above the bridge on Wednesday to procure some freight and got caught by the freshet, which increased in volume so rapidly that when she attempted to return it was found that she could not possibly get under the bridge. She will be compelled, therefore, to remain above the bridge until the freshet subsides somewhat. This accounts for the arrival here yesterday morning of the steamer D. Murchison out of her regular time, and the non-arrival of the Wave in her usual time.

[Wilmington Morning Star Weekly – Friday, December 20, 1878]

Sudden Death.

It was noised around early yesterday morning that some one had died suddenly aboard the steamer Wave, Capt. Robeson, which arrived here from Fayetteville about dawn. Upon inquiry we ascertained that the report was too true. Mr. C. V. Pridgen, of Pender county, went to bed on the previous night without any indication of being the least indisposed, and next morning was found dead in his berth aboard the steamer. An inquest held by Coroner Hewlett resulted, as was to have been anticipated, in a verdict that he came to his death from natural causes. He made the trip here evidently with the purpose of consulting Dr. J. Francis King as to his health, but did not live to have the benefit of his treatment. The exact cause of Mr. Pridgen’s decease is unknown, but persons acquainted with him think it was produced by heard disease.

[Wilmington Morning Star Weekly – Friday, January 31, 1979]

The Way to Do It.

The steamer Clinton, Capt. Bisby, arrived here yesterday from Bannerman’s Bridge, with a cargo of 700 barrels rosin. A few months ago the Clinton was a mere wreck, but thrift and go-aheadativeness led Bisby to suppose that he could make her pay. He is doing it, and it is this kind of energy which we need right here and now. Hundreds of the unemployed and complaining might improve their condition and secure at least a competency by determined efforts like that of this energetic and deserving mechanic.

[Wilmington Morning Star Weekly – Friday, April 4, 1879]

— The water in the river is still falling and navigation is getting to be extremely difficult, the boats frequently striking on the shoals. The steamer A. P. Hurt did not arrive until between 2 and 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon, but she was delayed considerably by other causes than the lowness of the water. She brought two flats down to within forty miles of the city, when the freight of one was transferred to the other, the boat and the remaining flat together bringing something over seven hundred barrels of naval stores, this amount being just about double the capacity of the steamer.

[Wilmington Morning Star Weekly – Friday, July 4, 1879]

— The steamer Clinton is being kept busy by the demands of freight. She arrived from Point Caswell on Tuesday evening with a full cargo of naval stores and left for that place the same night for another load. She runs at present in the place of the steamer Isis, which has taken the place of the steamer Wave, temporarily, on the Fayetteville line.

[Wilmington Morning Star Weekly – Friday, October 31, 1879]

Steamboat Enterprise.

We interviewed Capt. R. P. Paddison, a day or two since, with reference to his reported movements on the Neuse. He says he expects to put a boat on that river, to run between Newbern and Whitehall, in Wayne county, about seventeen miles below Goldsboro’, in time for the spring trade. He has not yet decided whether to build a new boat, or use an old one. He has a very good opinion of Gen. Ransom’s efforts to improve the navigation of the Neuse, and thinks the work will materially benefit the good old town of Newbern.

[Wilmington Morning Star Weekly – Friday, January 9, 1880]

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