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June 27, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County: Rebuttals to an Inlet at Perkins’ Falls, Part I

 

Richmond Daily Whig. Courtesy Virginia Chronicle.

In May 2019, Slate River Ramblings ran a series entitled, “Buckingham County: An Inlet at Perkins’ Falls.”

Click here to read the original posts: Buckingham County: An Inlet at Perkins’ Falls, Part I

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The series was based in a letter sent from “Many on Slate River” to the editor of the Richmond Daily Whig in August of 1844. The authors stated that the James River and Kanawha Canal Company had promised access to the canal from a central point in Buckingham County.  A rebuttal followed in the Whig on August 16, 1844, arguing that Scottsville rather than Perkins’ Falls was the obvious choice to build a bridge. This letter, signed simply BUCKINGHAM, begins like this:

TO THE DIRECTORS OF THE JAMES RIVER AND KANAWHA COMPANY.

In the Whig of the 7th inst, is an article addressed to you urging the establishment of an inlet to the canal from the Buckingham side, and recommending Perkins’ Falls as a suitable location. The only advantage claimed for this place over the town of Scottsville is, that it is a little nearer to Hocker’s Mills, and to a portion of the People for whose benefit the inlet is to be made. I am as willing as any man to sacrifice personal interests when the public good is thereby to be promoted, but in this case I would regretfully suggest a few reasons why it would be best for all, or at least a large majority of the parties concerned, that a bridge should be billed at Scottsville, as I understand has been contemplated by the company.

First. Scottsville being an old established place for crossing the river, there are on both sides, roads approaching it from every direction already open. On the other hand, there are few if any public roads terminating at Perkins’ Falls, and the county would necessarily have to incur the expense of making new ways of access to the latter place.

Second, it can be proved beyond any doubt that Scottsville is, in the aggregate, a good market for the sale of produce and the purchase of groceries and other supplies needed by us, as Richmond, there being no difference in prices except the freight and toll between the two places. — Give us access to Scottsville and we have the great advantage of a market where we can, in person, purchase our supplies, and sell our surplus products, without being taxed with commissions and storage. This consideration alone, I think, ought to outweigh all that can be addressed on the opposite side of the question.

Third. Persons shipping produce at Perkins’ Falls would necessarily have to pay storage, whereas at Scottsville boats can always be found ready to receive it.

Coming Next: Buckingham County: Rebuttals to an Inlet at Perkins’ Falls, Part II

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