Guns and Suffrage

From the Gazette editions of February, 1909:

On old charts Squibnocket Bight is marked as “good holding ground” and was a much frequented harbor it seems, frequently being the first port touched at by West Indiamen. Many foreign vessels dropped anchor here, and there were bum-boats which supplied the sailors with such articles as they required. The fields thereabouts show the cellar holes of numerous houses which were then standing, and it was a common thing for sailors to come ashore and hire some room for a dance.

The following incident occurred there, probably during the Revolution. An American coaster fleeing from an English bird-of-prey, commonly known as a privateer, finding escape impossible was run on the beach and fired. The Englishmen sent in barges loaded with plunderers who put out the fire, but before they had done much looting Abner Mayhew, who lived on Squibnocket, descended to the beach with his shotgun loaded with buckshot and opened fire on the gang of red-coats. He managed to conceal himself so well that their return fire did him no harm. While he wounded many, it is not known that he actually killed anyone. In the meantime a Negro procured a howitzer with which he began to bombard the invaders from the cliff above and they were finally compelled to draw off without having effected their purpose, but with so many wounded that they must tow one of the barges out.

The Englishman was highly incensed at being thus paid back in his own coin and stood off and on all day shelling the coast, but the only damage he did was to a man whose curiosity led him to the cliff to see what might be doing and who got in the way of an English ball. It has been no uncommon thing in the past to dig up the small cast iron balls of about three inches diameter, which came ashore at that time.

The Cincinnati Enquirer predicts that a woman suffrage wave is about to sweep over the country. Abraham Lincoln was the first prominent public man in America to come out for woman suffrage. He declared for it in a letter to his constituents as far back as 1836. The suffragists are recalling this fact, in connection with the coming Lincoln centennial.

The New York World the other day published letters from the Governors of the States where women have the ballot, all saying that it works well.

Gov. Brooks of Wyoming writes: “It has had a marked influence in improving political conditions in this State. Politics are discussed around the fireside instead of in the saloon.”

Gov. Brady of Idaho says: “Better men have been induced to become candidates for office, and legislative activities have been along wiser and cleaner lines.”

The opponents of equal suffrage scoff at the utterances of the Governors, as designed only to catch votes. It must be remembered that in all the enfranchised states the men outnumber the women. If the women found equal suffrage satisfactory but the men did not, a Governor would please more voters by denouncing it than by praising it.

The ground hog’s shadow was visible here, for which no doubt the ice and coal men are grateful, indicating as it does, “The half of the winter’s to come, and more.”

There was a time when charts of Money Hill were in existence, showing where money was buried, but they have all disappeared long ago; the diggers, however, renew their efforts from time to time, but so far as known nothing has ever been found. One pair, however, thought for a brief space that they were on the track of gold.

A Chilmark man who was gunning along the beach at night discovered the sand flying when he neared Money Hill and investigating found a neighbor hard at work, in a pit he had dug. His friend confessed that he was digging for money, had dreamed two or three times that money was there and concluded to try for it. However, he was ashamed to have anyone know of it and made the gunner promise not to mention his name.

The second man concluded to help and the two worked until they were down through the soft sand, where they came on a long Spanish knife, which convinced them that they were on the right track. Try as they would nothing more came of their digging and they concluded that the knife had been dropped and covered over with the drifting sand. It was no doubt interesting while it lasted, even if the result was not entirely happy.

Sixty-five Grangers met at the Agricultural Hall to share in a genuine good time. The program of the evening was an Old Fashioned Concert. Over fifty of the members came in old fashioned attire: gowns ancient and honorable, tall silk hats, high collars, cutaway coats, knee breeches were a picturesque part of the whole. And those who had a part in the concert rendered well what was assigned to them.

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner