General Assembly of Virginia.
Saturday, Feb. 2, 1861.
Called to order at the usual hour.
Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Saui
, of the Episcopal Church.
A communication from the House
was read, announcing the passage of sundry bills.
The President laid before the Senate a communication from J. M. Bennett
of Public Accounts, in response to the resolution passed by the Senate on the 28th ult., communicating a financial estimate, and his views as to the best measures to be adopted to supply any deficiency which may exist in the Treasury on the 30th September, 1861. The Clerk proceeded to read, but owing to the length of the document the call was withdrawn, the communication laid on the table, and 1,000 copies ordered to be printed.
Several communications from Gov. Letcher
The first transmitted a communication from the Governor
concerning the adoption of a decimal system of weights and measures.
Laid on the table and ordered to be printed.
The second contained a preamble and resolutions concerning the present crisis, adopted by the Legislature of New Jersey
moved to lay on the table.
moved to amend by adding ‘"and be printed."’
The propositions led to a discussion, in which Messrs. Douglas
, and Thomas
The ayes and noes were then demanded on the motion to print — ayes 16, noes 11.
The amendment was then adopted.
--A bill to compensate Ephraim B. Hale
, for services rendered in the Circuit Court of Marion county
for the Commonwealth
; a bill for the relief of Samuel C. Lybrock
of Giles county
; a bill for the relief of M. C. Hale
, late Sheriff
; a bill for the relief of Webb
bill to re-enact the act passed 9th February, 1844, authorizing a loan from the Literary Fund to the trustees of West Liberty Academy.
The Finance Committee were relieved from the further consideration of the following subjects: For paying the officers and soldiers of the 89th brigade for services rendered during the John Brown
raid; to compensate the Hallsboro' Guard for services rendered on the same occasion; to pay the North Fork
Rifle Company for like services; and the petition of J. O. Cox
, to be refunded a certain amount of fees paid to the Register of the Land Office.
Resolutions of Inquiry.
--The following resolutions were adopted and referred: By Mr. Neeson
, for furnishing a copy of Mayo
's Guide to each Coroner
of the State
; by Mr. Penny
-backer, of amending the 4th section of chapter 14 of the Code, so as to allow the first clerk in the Treasurer
's office $1,300; by H. W. Thomas
, for allowing the Banks of the Commonwealth
to issue, to a limited amount, notes of a less denomination than five dollars during the period of suspension of specie payments by the Banks.
The unfinished business of Friday, the bill to amend the charter of the Winchester and Potomac Railroad Company, was next called up, when, on motion of Mr. Carson
, it was laid on the table, with the understanding that its consideration should be resumed at some day when the attendance of Senators
was greater than at present.
called up the resolution offered some time since by the Senator
, (Mr. Stuart
,) relative to the contemplated attack upon the forts in Virginia
and the Federal
On motion of Mr. Isbell
, the resolution was subsequently laid on the table.
offered a resolution for an adjournment of the Senate until next Wednesday, to which various amendments were proposed.
moved that the resolution and amendments be indefinitely postponed, and the ayes and noes were demanded — ayes 11, noes 15.
Refused to postpone.
moved to lay on the table, and again called the ayes and noes — ayes 12, noes 14.
moved to amend, by making it a joint resolution, and providing that when the Senate adjourn to-day, it adjourn to meet again on the 8th of February. Ayes and noes demanded — ayes 12, noes 11--no quorum voting.
After several ineffectual efforts to obtain a vote on the propositions before the Senate, on motion, the Senate adjourned.
House of Delegates.
Saturday, Feb. 2, 1861.
The Speaker called the House
to order at 12 o'clock M., and opened with prayer.
--The following bills were reported, viz: To increase the capital stock of the Richmond and York River Railroad Company; incorporating the Preston
and Augusta Railroad Company; incorporating the Leesburg
and Points of Rocks Turnpike Company; amending and re-enacting the 10th section of chapter 71 of the Code of Virginia
, with regard to abatement of tolls, in certain cases, on turnpikes under the control of the Board of Public Works; incorporating the Leesburg and Aldie Turnpike Company.
Amending the Rules.
gave notice that he would move the following amendment to the rules of the House
: That all questions upon motions to suspend the rules, to lay on the table, and to take up business from the table, shall be decided without debate.
Motion to Adjourn Temporarily.
moved that when the House
adjourns to-day it adjourn to meet next wednesday.-- Objected to by Mr. Haymond
and many others, and withdrawn.
--The following bills were read the requisite number of times and passed, viz: Amending the 107th section of chapter 35 of the Code of Virginia
, and providing for the correction of erroneous assessments of taxes on lands, and amending the charter of the Danville Railroad Company, so as to authorize the said Company to extend its road three miles further than the ten miles already authorized by law.
Sale of State Muskets.
--The Committee on Military Affairs, in pursuance of a resolution of inquiry referred to them by the House of Delegates, having had under consideration so much of the report of the Commissioners
, appointed by the Governor
under the act of Assembly, passed January 21st, 1860, as refers to the sale of public arms to Joseph R. Anderson
& Co., under an agreement made the 23d day of August, 1860, between the said Commissioners and the said Joseph R. Anderson
& Co.; and approving the action of the said Commissioners in the premises, made the following report which was received:
That the sale of old muskets by the Executive
to Messrs. Joseph R. Anderson
& Co. is approved, and the Governor
is hereby authorized and directed to deliver them to the said Joseph R. Anderson
& Co., as they shall make requisition for them, excepting the reservation of ten thousand muskets as stipulated in their contract: Provided, however,
That for any muskets delivered in advance of estimates for work done, to said Joseph R. Anderson
& Co., as voluntarily proposed by them, they shall be required to deposit with the Treasurer
as security an amount of State bonds rated at par, equal to the value of the muskets so issued in advance, estimated at the contract price.
[Note.--The State owns about 53,000 flint-lock muskets.]
--Resolutions of inquiry into expediency were offered as follows: By Mr. Christian
, of amending the law of ‘"general elections,"’ so as to authorize the Commissioners
conducting elections, at a precinct where the house prescribed by existing law for holding the polls is inaccessible, or inconvenient, to open the polls at such convenient house as the Commissioners
may select; by Mr. Edgington
, of providing by law for the erection of a fort, or other suitable military defences, at the city of Wheeling
Decimal Currency — Weights and Measures
A letter was read from the Governor
, in which he said: ‘"I transmit herewith a communication from His Excellency
, Israel Washburne, Jr.
of the State of Maine
, and sundry resolutions, in relation to an uniform decimal system of weights, measures and currencies." ’
The preamble states that there now exists throughout the civilized world divers unequal, incongruous, and inconvenient systems of weights, measures, and currencies, without a proper basis, or any uniform ratio of divisions and multiples, subjecting all people to difficulty in computation and trade, and that a reform in these inequalities and irregularities is demanded by the highest interests of education and commerce.
The resolutions instruct the Maine Senators
and Representatives to use their influence to have that body consider the proposed subject, and establish an uniform decimal system of weights, measures, and currencies.
Recommends the appointment of an international commission for the purpose of producing an uniform system of metrology throughout the world.
Recommends, also, that Congress offer a premium for the best system.
On motion of Mr. Haymond
, referred to the Committee
on Agriculture and Commerce.
New Jersey and the Union.
--The Speaker laid before the House
a Message from Gov. Letcher
, transmitting a communication from Charles S. Olden
, Chief Magistrate
of the State of New Jersey
, accompanied by certain resolutions, adopted on the 29th day of January, 1861, by the Legislature of that State, ‘"in relation to the Union of the States."’
A synopsis of the preamble exhibits the fact that the people of New Jersey
, for reasons set forth, have an enlarged idea ‘"of the immense value of the National Union to their individual happiness,"’ and believe it the ‘"palladium of their political safety and prosperity!"’ Wherefore, they
That it is everybody's duty ‘"to stand by and sustain the Union
, as transmitted by our fathers;"’ that the Constitution
was adopted in a spirit of mutual compromise and concession, ‘"and can only be preserved by the recognition of that spirit;"’ ‘"that however undoubted may be the right of the General Government
to maintain its authority and enforce its laws over all parts of the country, it is equally certain that forbearance and compromise are indispensable, at this crisis, to the perpetuity of the Union
, and that it is the dictate of reason, wisdom and patriotism, peacefully to adjust whatever differences exist between the different sections of our country."’
That the resolutions and propositions submitted by J. J. Crittenden
, in the Senate of the United States, for compromising the questions in dispute, will be acceptable to the people of New Jersey
as a permanent basis of settlement.
That the Union of the States is in imminent danger unless remedial efforts are put in motion, and, as a last resort, New Jersey
makes a constitutional demand for a Convention of the several States to propose amendments to the Constitution
That States having in force laws tending to nullify the constitutional rights of citizens of other States, either in regard to persons or property, are earnestly urged and requested, ‘"For the sake of peace and the Union
, to repeal all such laws."’
Appoints nine Commissioners to confer ‘"with Congress and our sister States"’ to urge the importance of carrying out the spirit of the foregoing resolutions.
Empowering said Commissioners, in addition to their other powers, to meet the Commissioners
appointed by Virginia
to visit Washington
Laid on the table and ordered to be printed.
--The bill incorporating the Berkeley Border Guards, (military company,) was read the requisite number of times and ordered to its engrossment.
--Sundry House bills, on their first and second reading, were advanced on the calendar.
On motion, the House