Monday, April 26, 2010

The History Of Pocomoke by Murray James (10)

60 History of Pocomolce City r He died 1861, aged sixty-seven years, and his tomh> stands in the Presbyterian Cemetery, of Pocomoke Cityv In 1840, Grove & Harris bought out the stock in trade- of John S. Stevenson, and pursued the mercantile business, until 1844, when they retired. In 1844, William J. S. Clarke and William H. T.Clarvoe- united in co-partnership, in the sale of goods, in New- Town, under the firm of Clarke & Clarvoe, which firm continued successfully for eight years, when by mutual, consent they dissolved partnership.

Mr. Clarke, at slight intervals, has conducted a business, on a large scale ever since ; part of the time by himself" and the balance of the time with his son, Edward H.- Clarke, and his brother John H. Clarke. His business career runs nearly thirty-eight years. He built the first steamboat, the first Marine railway,, and the first three masted schooner on the Eastern Shore^ He has during his time built from forty to fifty vessels*.

During the last sixteen years he has, in common with his. brother, run the steam mill business and Marine railway,, which have done an average business of $40,000 annually.. He owns ten thousand acres of land, some of it is iia fme estates. He also owns thirty houses and lots, and amongst them is the well known Clarke House, which is one of the^ first Hotels on the Eastern Shore. He is also one of the directors and stockholders of the Eastern Shore Steam- boat Company.

He has been twice married, his first wife.- Formerly New Town. 61 was Miss Amanda C. Clarvoe, daughter of the well-known Dr. John B. H. W. Clarvoe ; his second wife was Miss Eliza- beth A. Hargis, daughter of Thomas M. Hargis. He has .four children, two by each wife. It will be no detriment to Mr. Clarke to say that he was -a poor boy. He was born the twenty-third day of June, -1823, in Somerset county, near this place.

His mother died when he was two weeks old ; he was then taken and .raised by Captain Robert W. Swan, whose wife was a relative of his mother. Captain Swan, being a New Englander and a sea cap- tain was well educated : consequently he was well pre- pared to give Mr. Clarke a liberal education, for those days' nvhich he did. Mr. Clarke began his mercantile life with John S. -Stevenson, in the fall of 1838, in the fifteenth year of his •age. He remained with Mr. Stevenson two years.

In 1840, he went to New Orleans at the age of seventeen years, and remained there until 1844, when he returned -again to New Town and commenced to do business for himself as before stated. In Mr. Clarke's case, we can see what can be done by -a man of push, who is determined to succeed, for he had -nothing to commence on but the wide world in which to ?ply his active mind, and this scrap of his life shows how well he has played his part.

There are two features of his character that are \worthy of notice : The first is, that he is an indomitable worker, always 62 History of Pocomoke City r full of business and always at business. The second is, aifc ardent desire to promote his friends. About 1835, Joseph Fisher engaged in the sale of goods in New Town, he occupied the old stand of his- father-in law, Stephen Redden, for several years and then, moved to the city of Baltimore.

Between 1S44 and 1850, there were several other- stores in New Town, such as : William Tcwnsend, Irving Merrill, William T. Hearn, Oliver Jones, J. Francis Hen- derson and David H. Long, doing business under the firm of Henderson and Long, Quinn and Sturgis, Ashcraft and Risley ; after a while David Long drew out of the firm of Henderson and Long, and Henderson took as a partner, George W. Hargis, then James Sturgis as a third partner. After continuing sometime Henderson bought out Hargis and Sturgis and transacted business by himself; after continuing by himself for sometime, he took as part- ners his brother Henry Henderson and Levin Conner. During this partnership J. Francis Henderson died,, then Henry Henderson and Levin Conner conducted the business for two years, when Conner sold out to Hender- son, then Henry Henderson transacted business in his own. name for five years or until 1S65, when he closed out.

All the above named stores were first-class stores, and the proprietors were all highly reputable men ; they have all passed away except Henry Henderson and Levin Conner, who are still living in this place, and David H.. Long, who lives in the City of Baltimore, and is engaged Formerly New Town. 63 in a very extensive wholesale phosphate house, as general agent. Mr. Long is something over fifty years of age, of high moral character, of tried integrity, and has ever been found faithful to all trusts committed to his care, and is worthy of any position of trust and responsibility which may be placed in his hands.


In 1843, Captain Henry Long commenced merchan- dising, in New Town, and continued until 1855, in which year he died. His store was considered the poor man's store to deal at; he always kept a heavy stock of groceries, and sold his goods lower than others. It was said by some that there was no chance for other merchants in New Town, as long as Captain Long sold goods.

His eventful life is worthy of notice in this history ; in many respects he was a remarkable man ; he com- menced life a poor boy, with but little education, engaged as cook on board of a schooner, and continued the life of a sailor until he was 63 years of age. He then engaged in the sale of goods until he died. He rose from the position of cook to be master and owner of his vessel. While engaged in the vessel trade he amassed considerable wealth. Captain Long, though comparatively uneducated, had studied human nature, and had as large a share of the knowledge of men as the most scientific.

His was a 64 History of Pocomoke City, decided character ; integrity marked the whole course of his life. He was true to his engagements. No one ever feared that Captain Long would not meet his word. He was also kind and benevolent. Many a dollar he has given to the poor ; he took a real pleasure in accommodating and helping those who were in need.

Captain Harry long, for so we used to call him, was a bachelor ; and, as a matter of course, his associations were with the young folks. He was also quite eccentric ; would make it a point to go to church at least twice a year, when the preacher would come on the circuit, and go again to hear his farewell discourse. On one occasion he went out to church ; it so happened that the young preacher had the first appoint. Captain Long took his seat as usual near the door. After the sermon was over the young men gathered around him and asked him how he liked the discourse. Captain Long had a by-word, very pat, which he called " By Jing," and he was much in the habit of smacking his mouth and shrugging his shoulders in conversation.

When he was asked, " How did you like the discourse?" he replied : " O ! by jing, boys," with a smack of the mouth and shrug of the shoulders, " that other preacher is a big preacher." " How do you know, Capt. Long, have you ever heard him? " "No, by jing, I have never heard him, but I will tell you what I go by. They generally send them like shad — a big one and a little one together."

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