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Preliminary proceedings on the part of the General Assembly.

In the Senate of Virginia, December 7, 1889, Senator T. W. Harrison, of Winchester, offered the following concurrent resolution:

Resolved (the House of Delegates concurring), That the Hon. John W. Daniel be invited to deliver an address upon the life and character and services of the late Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, in the hall of the House of Delegates, at such time during the present session of the Legislature as he may designate, and that a committee of two on the part of the Senate and three on the part of the House be appointed to wait upon the Hon. John W. Daniel and extend him this invitation and make all necessary arrangements.

Agreed to by Senate December 7, 1889.
J. D. Pendleton, Clerk of Senate. Agreed to by House of Delegates December 7, 1889.
J. Bell Bigger, Clerk of House of Delegates.

The following joint committee was appointed on the part of the Senate and House of Delegates, respectively:

Committee on the part of the Senate:

T. W. Harrison, of Winchester.

Taylor Berry, of Amherst.

Committee on the part of the House of Delegates:

J. Owens Berry, of Fairfax.

P. C. Cabell, of Amherst.

James M. Stubbs, of Gloucester.


In the House of Delegates, December 12, 1889, the Hon. Walter T. Booth, of Richmond, offered the following concurrent resolution:

Resolved (the Senate concurring), That the committee having in charge the arrangements for the delivery of the address of Hon. John W. Daniel on the character and life of Hon. Jefferson Davis be and is hereby authorized and instructed to select for the occasion some other and larger hall than that of the House of Delegates.

Agreed to by the General Assembly of Virginia January 22, 1890.

J. Bell Bigger, Clerk House of Delegates and Keeper of Rolls of Virginia.

The following extract is taken from the report of the special committee made January 22, 1890:

They have discharged the pleasant duty of tendering the said invitation, and are gratified to report that Hon. John W. Daniel has accepted the invitation, and has designated Saturday January 25, 1890, at 8 o'clock P. M., as the time for the delivery of the same at the Mozart Academy of Music.

J. Bell Bigger, Clerk House of Delegates and Keeper of Rolls of Virginia.

At 8 P. M. on the 25th day of January, 1890, the Hon. R. H. Cardwell, Speaker of the House of Delegates, called the vast assemblage to order, and delivered the following introductory address:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is the pleasing part of my duties to welcome you on this occasion—especially pleasing because the presence of this magnificent audience demonstrates that when the present General Assembly of Virginia invited one of her favorite sons, and her most gifted orator to deliver in this, the capital city of the late Confederate States of America, an oration on the life and character of the lamented Jefferson Davis, they but voiced the wishes of the people whom they have the honor to represent. In 1865, nearing the close of the Confederacy's short life, the General Assembly of Virginia addressed an open letter to President Davis, in which it declared ‘its desire in this critical period of affairs, by such suggestions as occur to them and by the dedication, if need be, of the entire resources of the Commonwealth [115] to the common cause, to strengthen our hands, and to give success to our struggle for liberty and independence.’

In reply, President Davis said: ‘Your assurance is to me a source of the highest gratification; and while conveying to you my thanks for the expression of confidence of the General Assembly in my sincere devotion to my country and its sacred cause, I must beg permission in return to bear witness to the uncalculating, unhesitating spirit with which Virginia has, from the moment when she first drew the sword, consecrated the blood of her children and all her material resources to the achievement of the object of our struggle.’

Our ‘sacred cause’ was lost, and, after long years of vicarious suffering, through all of which he was true to us and to our dead, our chieftain has passed away, but the love for the principles for which we contended, and the memory of him who contributed so much to make our record in that struggle glorious, will live forever in the hearts of all true men and women throughout our Southland. It is our purpose on this occasion to review the brilliant life and spotless character of Mr. Davis, and in selecting as the orator, that fearless son of Virginia whose eloquent words, as enduring as marble, have held up for review by coming generations the life and character of other of our great leaders who have ‘crossed over the river,’ we again have your approval, and his name is so indelibly written in our affections, that your reception of him here to-night will further demonstrate that it is a needless task for me to more formally introduce to a Virginia audience—John W. Daniel.

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