Chincoteague’s Capt. Chandler Grave Site Vandalized

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Capt. Joshua Chandler’s grave site on Chincoteague was one of several locations where vandalism was reported during the weekend of Oct. 10-11. Submitted photo.

By Carol Vaughn —

Vandalism of a sea captain’s grave site on Chincoteague apparently done over the weekend included anti-Biden, pro-Trump slogans, including an expletive.
Chincoteague Police Chief R. K. Fisher said the police department received two reports of vandalism in the form of spray painting over the weekend.
In addition to the graffiti at Capt. Chandler’s grave site, which was found by a police officer on patrol, a second instance of vandalism was reported on South Main Street, Fisher said.
“I have heard from several people that other political signs have been vandalized or stolen in the past few weeks but most have not been reported to us to my knowledge,” he said in an email.

A campaign sign near the entrance to Chincoteague was vandalized several weeks ago, with the letters WLM painted in black over a Biden-Harris sign. Police are investigating vandalism of the Capt. Joshua Chandler grave site on the island over the weekend of Oct. 10-11. Submitted photo.

The police department is investigating the cases reported to them and working to identify several individuals who may be suspects, according to Fisher.
Captain Joshua Chandler’s grave is well known to Chincoteague residents and is a stop on local history tours of the island. There is a tradition that it is lucky to leave a penny there.
According to a history given on the Facebook page of Chincoteague Step Through Time Tours, Chandler was born in Delaware and had several other jobs before he went to sea.
In about 1872, Chandler and his family moved to Chincoteague.
Joshua’s eldest son, William James, worked for the U.S. Life Saving Service on Assateague.
Captain Joshua Chandler by then owned his own boat and worked as a watermen, along with two younger sons.
On Oct. 21, 1877, Chandler and his sons took the boat out. A storm arose and lightning struck Chandler and the mast, killing him instantly.
Chincoteague council member Denise Bowden made this statement Monday about the vandalism, which she asked be printed in its entirety:
“As a citizen and town council member what has taken place on Chincoteague Island with the vandalism has sickened me. It has no business here. Hate has no business here. We all can and should acknowledge that people have different political views; that doesn’t mean you sink so low as to destroy property and intimidate.
“Try educating yourself on the whys and why nots of different political beliefs.To hide under the cover of darkness to try and get your point across makes you a coward, it doesn’t make you a big man or woman. It makes you look petty and childish.
“I’m a painter by trade; I’ve got plenty of work for you to do if you have that much desire to spray paint up the town. Stop the hate and educate.
“It’s all about being able to have different viewpoints without resulting to violence or property damage.
“I don’t know what it’s going to take for this country to open their eyes and see that we are all one. I don’t like everything the right does, I don’t like everything the left does but I respect each other enough to try and understand.
“That’s where the problem is, there is no respect anymore. These days some people don’t even respect themselves, let alone others.
“Hate is taught. Racism is taught. Bottom line. And no government on any level can regulate someone’s heart. It starts in the home and it has to stop in the home.”