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Wide farm equipment
It is obvious that harvest time is
upon us in Perquimans County due to
the number of combines that we are
seeing on our local highways.
There are several laws which
govern combines and other wide
farm equipment when being
operated on the highway. The law
that I am questioned about most
frequently regulates the width of
Farm equipment greater than 18
feet wide cannot be operated on the
highway, except by special permit.
Equipment that is 10 (eet wide or less
can be operated on a highway (ex
cluding Interstates and Defense
Highways) without any type of
Equipment that is between 10 and
18 feet wide may be operated on the
highway during daylight hours, but
the equipment must display a red
bag on the front and rear.
The flags must be >t least 3 feet
wide and 4 feet long and be visible
from both directions for at least 300
Equipment which must travel
more than 10 miles or on which the
flags cannot be seen for at least 300
feet at any point due to the terrain or
obstacles (curves, etc.) must have an
The escort must precede the wide
load at a distance of 300 feet. A
second escort must follow the wide
load at a distance of 300 feet. Both
escorts must display an appropriate
warning light or flag.
When the wide equipment is
causing a delay in traffic, the
operator must move the equipment
off the paved portion of the highway
at the nearest practical location until
the vehicles following the equipment
Letting the backed up traffic by is
not only a matter of courtesty, there
is a traffice law which specifically
requires this action.
Farmers are a very important part
of everyday life in Perquimans
County. I trust that you the farmer
will operate your wide equipment in
a safe and lawful manner when on
our highways in order to promote
safety and prevent accidents.
Oldest land deed
claim proved false
I The claim that Perquimans County
has the oldest land deed in North
Carolina has circulated for at least a
So weighty an authority as the
respected William L. Saunders wrote
in 1886: "The earliest grant made in
North Carolina, of which we have a
fcopy, is now of record in Perquimans
County, and was made by the King of
the Yeopim Inidans on the 1st March,
1662, to George Durant, . .
Numerous books repeat the claim.
Reproductions of the purported
(>ldest deed hang in the county
Courthouse and may be had from
However, the claim is completely
false on two grounds: first, because
the much publicized document is not
the oldest deed in Perquimans, and
second, because Perquimans' oldest
is not the oldest deed in North
Examination of the deed books in
our Courthouse reveals the two
earliest deeds there are numbers 374
and 375 in Perquimans Deed Book A.
Both insturments are conveyances
from the King of Yeopim (whose
name may be rendered Kiskitano) to
Deed A: 374 bears the date March
1, 1661; it is the famous deed for
which great claims of age and im
portance are made. Deed A: 375 is
dated August 4, 1661; it is unjustly
The assumption has commonly
been made, based on appearances,
that A:374 is older than A:375;
surely, March precedes August.
However, appearances delude. The
ran of August 4, 1661, had set nearly
?even months before that of March 1,
1661 ever dawned.
The calendar used by George
Durant was not the Gregorian one we
use today. Until 1752 England and her
colonies adhered to the outmoded
Julian Calendar, refusing to accept
so practical a thing as an accurate
calendar because it was recom
meded by a pope, Gregory XIII.
Julian usage began the year on the
Feast of the Annunciation, March 25.
Thus March 1 came very near the
end of the year.
Expressed in terms of our calen
dar, the year of Deed A: 374 would be
1662, as Saunders himself noted.
Despite its fame, it is not the oldest
deed in Perquimans and therefore
cannot be the oldest in the state.
Deed A: 375 has the distinction of
being Perquimans' oldest.
Having disproved the claims for
A:374, can it then be said that A:375
is the oldest deed in North Carolina?
Much as Perquimans seeks an af
firmative, the answer must be
Dr. Elizabeth McPherson and Mrs.
Mittie Baum were examining the
early records of old Norfolk County,
Va., in Chesapeake some years ago.
There, in Deed Book D:293; they
discovered a deed from Kiscutanewh
Kinge of Yausapin to Nathaniel Batts
on September 24, 1660.
By that deed Batts was to receive
the land on the south side of
Pascotanck River running from the
river's mouth to the head of new
Begin Creeke. The text, with much
historical background on Batts, was
printed in "The North Carolina
Historical Review" in January, 1966.
A copy of the deed was also
recorded in Pasquotank County, and
commemorative markers were
erected as well.
At the moment, the Batts deed of
1660 is the oldest deed known for
North Carolina. All claims that
Perquimans has the oldest deed are
false, as shown by evidence readily
available these seventeen years.
They should be abandoned lesi our
county be a laughingstock in the
community of historians.
It is ludicrous enough that our
claim always rested on the wrong
deed anyway. There is no honor in
making false claims.
THE PERQUIMANS WEEKLY
Published Every Thursday
By Advance Publ., Elizabeth City
Jane B. Williams
Pat Mansfield Ken Castelloe
Advertising Manager . Circulation Manager
W PVAVOTS f\VJU)ftV5
TO VjOOVn efcTTEP,
The Oxford Orphanage
One hundred years of Masonic love
(Editor's note: The following article
replaces the column that generally
appears in the space. Because of the
community concern for this project
we feel that Mr. Gregory deserves
this opportunity to "chat" with the
people of Perquimans County. )
By PAUL GREGORY
On October 15, 1983, the Oxford
Orphange Choir will be in
Perquimans County to entertain its
patrons from the 1st Masonic
District. The recital will begin at 7:30
at the Perquimans County High
School Auditorium. Donations are
requested in the amount of $3.00 for
adults and $1.50 for children under 12.
The Oxford Orphanage was opened
in February of 1873 by the Masons of
North Carolina. At that time disease
had claimed the life of a great many
parents and farming became the
predominant means for livlihood.
The era had a surplus of orphans and
the masonic lodges decided to tackle
Opened by Masons. 1873.
with John H. Mills first
need, in plant of Si
Johns College, which
they had operated
Entrance Into the orphanage is
through one of the 390 Masonic
Lodges in North Carolina. The
membership votes as to sponsorship
of a child or children after a thorough
investigation of the homelife has
been made by local Oxford Or
Many of the T3.000 North Carolina
Masons Visit the children every year.
During Christmas holidays and other
vacation times individual families
take these children into their homes.
The orphanage consists of 440
acres with twelve handsome brick
cottages which house between 30 to 34
children each. The campus resem
bles that of a small college since it
was St Jefcn's College prior to Um
But it is probably the education
received by the children which
leaves the most lasting impression on
them. Classes from kindergarten
through grade 12 are conducted five
days a week by certified teachers
with a variety of degrees.
When the children reach high
school level, one half of each day is
alloted to vocational training while
the remainder is spent on scholastic
Contained within the campus are
facilities for electrical training,
printing, carpentry, plumbing and
house painting. There is also a farm
and dairy which is operated by the
children at the orphanage, under the
close supervision of its staff.
Once the students finish the twelfth
grade, the orphange either finds
them a job or sends them to college
for additional education.
The annual budget it over
$2,000,000. This pays (or 72 full-time
staff members, numerours part-time
employees and the general operation
of the orphanage. No state or federal
support is received by the orphanage
for any of the children.
The financial support comes
strictly from endowments and
donations given by Masons and other
All donations received at the
concert on October 15 will be put into
a Foundation Fund for operating the
What is unique is that only the
interest from this Foundation Fund
will be used. The principle amount
will never be spent.
Although the home has retained its
name of Oxford Orphange; not all
children are orphans. In fact, only a
few are without parents. A large
portion of the children are at Oxford
Orphanage while their parents are
trying to "get their life together."
The parents may come at any time
and request their children.
This year, the choir has traveled
from the mountains to the coast. The
entire choir, consisting of fifty
members ages eight through 18, will
come to Perquimans County. They
will be housed by Masonic Families
of Perquimans Masonic Lodge 106 on
Saturday night and return to the
orphanage on Sunday.
Anyone desiring tickets for the
perform ace may contact any of the
following Masons: Paul Gregory,
Max Mercer, Melvin Colson,
Lawrence Spivey, John Long, Bob
Spivey or any other masons of
Perquimans Masonic Lodge 106.
Letter to the editor
THE PERQUIMANS WEEKLY
As the state representative for the
National Tuberous Sclerosis
Association, I am writing as part of
our national effort to locate and
register victims of Tuberous
Tuberous Sclerosis is a gentic
disorder characterized by epileptic
seizures, mental retardation, benign
tumors of the brain and skin lesions.
Our voluntary, non-profit parent
group was formed to offer in
formation and support to families
who previously could learn little
about this disorder.
It is vital to the advancement of
basic and genetic research that
families become registered with
NTSA. The ultimate goal of NTSA is
to find the cause of Tuberous
Sclerosis and hopefully a cure.
In the meantime, NTSA is striving
to provide the best life conditions for
TS individuals and their families.
At the present time, 20 cases have
been identified in North Carolina
with eight cases registered.
However, we know many more
cases exist, as Tuberous Sclerosis is
SB Years Ago
By VIRGINIA WHITE TRANSEAU
OFFICERS ELECTED FOR
MARCHING UNIT: The newly
formed board of director* of the
Perquimans County Marching Unit
met Monday at the Chamber of
Tae board is designed to replace
the previous Chamber committee
which was set up for the purpose of
getting the unit started. Since this
objective has been coordination m
finance, membership, equipment,
purchasing, travel arrangements,
Members of the board incfasde
Henry C. Stokes Jr., Francis Nlaon.
John Biggers, Bob Taylor, Dm
Norman. Mrs John Beoers. Sid
Harmon. Mh torn Brow*. Mrs.
? is Mi? II Mis <Hin imisiiT .
Henry Clay Sullivan, Mrs. Joe
Roger ion and A. L. Aydlett Jr.,
SCOTTISH B|TE CLUB HAS
COOK-OUT: On Wednesday night,
the Perquimans County Scottish Bite
Ctab held a cookout and ladies' night
party at the Hertford Grammar
The food committee, composed of
Dr. A. B. Bonner, Tuck Webb, Toss
White, Matt Spivey Jr., Canon
Spivey Sr., Marvin Caddy, Horace
Webb. C.E. Winslow and ethers, got
thought to occur as often u 1 In
Parents are advised to contact the
Headquarters of the National
Tuberous Sclerosis Association, P. 0.
Box <12, Winfield, Illinois 00190. Or
call the headquarters at (312) 888
Thejr may also contact me by
calling (>19) 236-3243 or writing
Route 2, Box 8, Elm City, North
Plans are underway for a local
parent support group.
Debbie F. Murphy, LPN
NTSA State Representative
The PERQUIMANS WEEKLY
welcomes the opinion of Us
readers. We print letters to the
editor on subjects of local, state,
national and international in
Utters should be limited to M*
350 words and should include th t
name, address and telephone
number of the writer. Only the
name and address will be
published with the letter.
The subject matter should be of
interest to the community, not, a
persona! gripe. Letters may ke
edited by our news staff for
darky and space limitations.
177. Hertford. N,C. 27944. or i
them Off at our offices it C