to render effective the collection of the taxes already imposed, and the utmost economy and prudence in their expenditure. Under the circumstances of our people, no increase of taxation should, I think, be attempted. The suspension of specie payments by the banks of the State has been already legalized by the Legislature. Under present exigencies the measure was, I think, unexceptionable. If specie payments were continued among us during the existence of civil war in our midst, the coin would soon find its way into the hands of those who would hoard it up. The banks would be deterred from using their own notes by constant demands upon them for coin, while the coin would be concealed and laid away, thus ceasing to answer the purposes of circulation. The banks, too, would have to press collections from their debtors, without discounting any; and the result would, therefore, be a general oppression of the debtor class of the community, and a scarcity of currency of any kind. I would recommend you to authorize the banks to issue notes of a less denomination than five dollars, but not less than one dollar. There must be some medium of change. I would not limit them, however, for the present, in the amount of small notes, further than the limitations already imposed by law upon their total circulation. The denominations of the notes to be issued, not less than one dollar, may be properly left to their discretion. The demands of business will regulate the matter; and if it be found they are abusing the privilege, proper regulations can readily be adopted to correct such abuse. There is a great aversion among business men to stay laws. It may be admitted that, under ordinary circumstances, they are unwise. But at this period, the mass of debtors in this State are from necessity otherwise engaged than in making money to pay their debts ; and none of the debts now contracted were made with a knowledge, of the present state of affairs. Rigidly to enforce the collection of them would ruin thousands of worthy men. But, I recommend especial caution in reference to any law you may adopt on this subject. It often happens that such laws are so, framed as to furnish a strong inducement to the creditor to prosecute suits, and costs are accumulated so that both creditor and debtor are the losers, and nobody benefited but the officers of the law. The Board of Public Works should, I think, at once be abolished, and its powers conferred on the Executive. Our pecuniary difficulties commenced with its organization. I wish they would end with its abolition. There is nothing in the Constitution to prevent the abolition of the Board. You have met, gentlemen, in the midst of civil war, but I truest you may yet be assembled under happier auspices, when the strife shall be over, and peace and prosperity be restored to this once happy country. All which is respectfully submitted.
Documents accompanying the Governors; message.
Commonwealth of Virginia, Executive Department, Wheeling, June 21, 1861.sir:--Reliable information has been received at this department from various parts of the State, that large numbers of evil-minded persons have banded together in military organizations with intent to overthrow the Government of the State, and for that purpose have called to their aid like-minded persons from other States, who, in pursuance of such call, have invaded this commonwealth. They are now making war on the loyal people of the State. They are pressing citizens against their consent into their military organization, and seizing and appropriating their property to aid in the rebellion. I have not at my command sufficient military force to suppress this rebellion and violence. The Legislature cannot be convened in time to act in the premises; it, therefore, becomes my duty as Governor of this Commonwealth, to call on the Government of the United States for aid to repress such rebellion and violence. I, therefore, earnestly request that you will furnish a military force to aid in suppressing the rebellion, and to protect the good people of this Commonwealth from domestic violence. I have the honor to be, with great respect, Your obedient servant,
To His Excellency the President of the United States:
To His Excellency the President of the United States:
F. H. Pierpont, Governor.
war Department, Washington, June 25, 1861.sir:--In reply to your application of the 21st instant, for the aid of the Federal Government to repel from Virginia the lawless invaders now perpetrating every species of outrage upon persons and property, throughout a large portion of the State, the President directs me to say that a large additional force will soon be sent to your relief. The full extent of the conspiracy against popular rights, which has culminated in the atrocities to which you refer, was not known when its outbreak took place at Charleston. It now appears that it was matured for many years by secret organizations throughout the country, especially in the slave States. By this means, when the President called upon Virginia, in April, for its quota of troops then deemed necessary to put it down in the States in which it had shown itself in arms, the call was responded to by an order from the chief confederate in Virginia to his earned followers, to seize the navy yard at Gosport; and the authorities of the State, who had till then shown repugnance to the plot, found themselves stripped of all actual power, and afterwards were manifestly permitted to retain the empty forms of office only because they consented to use then at the bidding of the invaders. The President, however, never supposed that a brave and free people, though surprised and