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[503] way of argument: “Because those compound names are what they are, and were originated, as everybody knows, to perpetuate in each case the united surnames of two persons, therefore the compound name Newport's News is orthographically incorrect, and is but a corruption of what I assert is the true and original name, i. e. Newport Newce.”

I hardly ever saw an argument or an attempted argument that exhibited a more striking illustration than this one does of what is termed in logic a non sequitur. It is based wholly on an assumption; for neither the records nor tradition give any countenance to the idea that the name Newport's News was originally Newport-Newce.

The orthography of the name Newport's News we find to be Newport's News in the earliest official records; we know that it so stood and was handed down, undisputed in any quarter, through more than two centuries, viz: from 1621 to about 1828. Some one at that late day (1828), not being able to discover the reason why a common noun should have been combined with Captain Newport's surname to form an appellation for a certain point of land, and knowing that on the early settlement of Virginia there were two prominent men in the Colony bearing the name Newce, but not knowing that Newport was even acquainted with either of them, invents the theory without one single fact of history to sustain him, that the name was in its origin Newport-Newce. Others from time to time follow on his track. Some others take opposing views. “Hinc illae lacrymae,” vel potius, illi torrentes atramenti,” which have been shed in the contest of half a century. If it may be mine, “tantas lites componere,” I shall feel that I have not written on the subject in vain.

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