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May 27, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County: An Inlet at Perkins’ Falls, Part IV

James River at New Canton. Photo by Joanne Yeck.

In 1844, Richmond’s Whig published a letter to the Editor signed “Many on Slate River.”

To catch up, click here: Buckingham County: An Inlet at Perkins’ Falls, Part I

Despite the fact that the letter to the Whig Editor was signed “Many on Slate River,” the correspondent’s summary was written in the first person.  This organized conclusion for this “argument” might have been written by an attorney.  Who was the spokesperson for the Slate River farmers and millers?

The letter to the Whig Editor concluded:

It is understood that petitions have been presented for inlets at Warren, Scottsville and Perkins’ Falls — and the [last] mentioned has paramount claims, as several hundred persons have signed this petition. That is the great central location—the meeting ground between Hardwicks and New Canton, where all the different parties should consent to meet. We all know that every man cannot have his own wants subserved, and it is incumbent on all to sacrifice something for the general good.

Scottsville is too remote from the great central district of country described, and being 4 or 5 miles farther from extensive the milling establishment of Hocker’s than Perkins’ Falls or Warren.

I have shown that this district of country considered in extent and in productions, is at this time subject to heavy exactions at the several Ferries, or to a burdensome and expensive land carriage to New Canton. That the tolls lost by the Company on produce sent to New Canton that would seek the inlet at Perkins’ Falls, would more than pay the expense of a public Ferry at that point. That Hocker’s Milling establishment, where 40,000 bushels of Wheat may be manufactured, should deserve especial regard. That Warren or Scottsville have but few claims compared to Perkins’ Falls. That Scottsville is some 4 or 5 miles more distant from Hocker’s and the central region named, than either of the other places specified. That distant companies enjoy more ready, safe and cheap conveyance to the Richmond market. That the excessive tax incurred by Hocker on land carriage of Flour, falls most heavily on the producers of some 30 or 40 bushels of Wheat.

We ask how long shall the Southside, at least this portion of it, be deprived of great natural advantages which we once enjoyed? This Mammoth Scheme promised to bring innumerable blessings to our fire-sides, but when we half seen millions squandered and the result only partial benefits, it is time to withdraw our support from a scheme which promises to entail more calamities than substantial good. The people of Buckingham are decidedly adverse to the expenditure of another dollar on the improvement, until ample facilities have been provided for the Southside. We consider it incumbent on the Company at an early day to establish the inlet at Perkins’ Falls. We have been debarred of our rights for several years. We may be divested of them for five more, but justice, though sometimes slow, will surely come.



Interested in learning more about ferries in and around Buckingham County?  Consult “Ferrying across the James River,” in my book At A Place Called Buckingham” (Volume Two).


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