The State Convention.
Thursday, Feb. 21, 1861.
The Convention was called to order by the President
, at the usual hour.
Prayer by the Rev. Geo. W. Noleet
, of the M. E. Church
Printing the debates.
The President stated, that in pursuance of the resolution adopted yesterday, he had an interview with the editors of the Richmond Enquirer
, and had received from them a statement in writing.
From want of knowledge of the subject, he felt incompetent to make the contract.
He would therefore submit it to the Convention
, to be referred to a committee, or for such other action as might be deemed proper.
The communication was read by the Clerk
It proposes to publish the matter at the following rates: For composition, per column, $3.25, (the rate allowed by the Convention
of 1850;) for reporting, per column, $7.50, was paid to the Congressional Globe;
) press work, per token, $2 ½ cents; for paper, the same as allowed the Public Printer
It also proposes to furnish copies for mailing at two cents each, and to republish the matter in such convenient form for binding as may be ordered by the Convention
said that the Convention
, by its vote, had determined to publish the proceedings, and had indicated the Enquirer
as the organ of publication.
He moved, by way of relieving the President
from his difficulty, that the Secretary
of the Commonwealth
, who had large experience in such matters, be authorized to execute the contract.
moved as an amendment that the subject be referred to a committee of five.
maintained that any change in the resolution would be out of order.
, rising to a question of order, said the motion of the gentleman from Middlesex
, as well as the amendment of the gentleman from Patrick
, were inconsistent with the resolution adopted by the Convention
In order to entertain such motions the resolution would have to be reconsidered.
After further remarks and suggestions, the President
remarked that he would proceed to execute the contract, as directed by the resolution.
, of Richmond
, said he had voted for the resolution yesterday, and against reconsideration; but he thought there was some conflict between the letter from the editors of the Enquirer
and a resolution adopted some days ago for the employment of a Printer for the Convention
He did not wish to be inconsistent, and therefore he desired to be informed upon the subject.
He had nominated Mr. W. M. Elliott
for Public Printer, and he was elected.
He supposed it was the Printer
's duty to publish the proceedings
of the Convention
, and it appeared from evidences before us that he had proceeded to execute that work.
He understood that the resolution of yesterday referred to the publication of the debates,
while the letter just read proposed to publish the proceedings.
He wished to inquire what was to be published under the resolution adopted yesterday.
The President said the resolution authorized the publication of the debates.
He would make no contract inconsistent with the resolution.
expressed himself as satisfied with the reply.
Committee on compensation.
The President announced the following committee, under a resolution adopted yesterday, to inquire and report upon the compensation for the officers of the Convention
: Messrs. Johnson
of King William, Coffman
, and Sheffey
, of Middlesex
, in the Chair.
Report from the Committee on elections.
, from the Committee
on Elections, submitted a report embodying "a list of the persons who seem to have been elected to the Convention
, and the certificates of such election." The Committee add: John D. Sharp
is elected from the county of Lee
, but his seat in the Convention
is contested by M. B. D. Lane
, of said county of Lee
, and his petition and notice of contest has been referred to the Committee
for examination and decision, which contest has not yet been finally acted upon by the Committee
The Committee therefore report that the said John D. Sharp
, having the official return of election for said county of Lee
, is prima facie
entitled to occupy a seat in the Convention
, until otherwise ordered by the Convention
, on the final decision of said contest.
The report was laid on the table and ordered to be printed.
, from the same committee, offered the following ordinance for adoption:
the General Assembly, on the 14th day of January, 1861, passed an act entitled "an act for electing members of a Convention and to convene the same." and whereas, by the eighth section of said act it is provided that "in the case of a contested election, the same shall be governed in all respects by the existing laws in regard to contested elections in the House of Delegates, unless otherwise ordered by the Convention
;" and whereas, it seems to the Convention
that the said existing laws in regard to contested elections in the House of Delegates are not suitable or proper for the government of the Convention
in cases of contested elections, the Convention
deems it necessary to prescribe proper rules for cases of contested elections for seats therein: It is therefore.
Ordained by the Convention.
That the existing laws in regard to contested elections in the House of Delegates shall not be applied to, or govern in, cases of contested elections for seats in this Convention.
It is further Ordained by the Convention,
That any person contesting the election of another as a member of this Convention, shall, within a reasonable time after the day on which the election was had, give to the other notice thereof in writing, and a list of the votes he disputes, with the objections to each, and of the votes improperly rejected, for which he will contend.
If he object to the legality of the election, or eligibility of the person elected, the notice shall set forth the objections; and the person whose election is contested shall, within a reasonable time after receiving such notice, deliver to his adversary a like list of the votes which he disputes, with his objections, if any he has, to the eligibility of the contesting party.
Each party shall append to the list of votes he intends to dispute or claim, an oath to the following effect: ‘"I do swear that I have reason to believe the persons whose names are above mentioned, are not legally qualified (or are qualified, as the case may be,) to vote in the county of--, (or corporation or district of--)."’
The contesting party and the person whose right is contested shall respectfully begin to take depositions within a reasonable time after the delivery of the notice aforesaid by the contesting party and they shall finish taking the same in a reasonable time after the delivery of such notice.
The word reasonable, as used in this ordinance, shall be construed with reference to the circumstances attending each case, the condition of the parties, and the fact that this ordinance has not been adopted until now, so as to prevent, as far as practicable, surprise to the parties.
This ordinance shall apply to contests now pending, as well as those which may hereafter be commenced.
The ordinance was adopted.
Committee on Federal Relations.
, of Frederick
, from the Committee
on Federal Relations, stated that the Committee
had been in constant session every morning, yet owing to the difficulty and magnitude of the subjects before it, had made but little progress.
He was therefore instructed to offer the following resolution:
That the Committee
on Federal Relations have leave to sit during the sessions of this Convention, until further ordered.
The resolution was adopted.
rose to a personal explanation, and proceeded to correct some remarks of his on the previous day, which he said were erroneously reported in the Richmond Enquirer
He merely wished to put himself right — not to find fault with the reporter.
The National difficulties.
, of Barbour
, submitted the following resolutions:
That the allegiance which the citizens of Virginia
owe to the Federal Government
of the United States of America
, is subordinate to that due to Virginia
, and may therefore be lawfully withdrawn by her whenever she may deem it her duty to do so.
2. That in case the State of Virginia
should exercise this authority, her citizens would be in duty bound to render allegiance and obedience to her alone.
3. That Virginia
recognizes no authority in any Government, State or Federal, to coerce her,
or any of her citizens, to render allegiance to the Government
of the United States
, after she may, in the exercise of her sovereign power, have withdrawn from it; and that she will regard any attempt at coercion as equivalent to a declaration of war against her, to be resisted at ‘"every hazard and to the last extremity."’
4. That the States of South Carolina
, and Texas
, having severally and formally withdrawn the allegiance of their respective people from the United States of America
, a faithful, earnest desire to avert civil war, and the sound conservative sentiment of the country, alike indicate to the Government
of the United States
and policy of acknowledging their independence.
In speaking upon his resolutions, Mr. Woods
alluded in eloquent terms to the services and sacrifices of Virginia
in forming and maintaining the Government
, and to the allegiance of the people he represented.
Finding that, through the aggressions of the North
, the Southern States
had been driven to the necessity of secession, and desiring that the evils of civil war might be averted, he believed it was the sentiment of the sound and conservative people throughout the United States
that it was the duty of the Government
to recognize them as sovereign and independent.
alluded to his struggles ten years ago, at this capital, to secure for the Western
men the right of equal representation.
this struggle was going on, he alone, of all others, was reproached with giving away the protection of the slave property of the East
He could not now resist the gush of his feelings which prompted him to acknowledge the patriotic sentiments just uttered by a representative of the West
The sign indicated that his former efforts were not misdirected.
also returned to the gentleman from Barbour
his sincere thanks, in the name of the people he represented, for his patriotic and eloquent remarks.
, of Wetzel
, thanked both gentlemen for their complimentary allusions to the Northwest
; but he was afraid the Northwest
was not so sound as they thought.
He came from a Northwestern county, near the Ohio river
, and he would say that he was the only man in that region who was able to get a position in this body, upon the Crittenden compromise even.
They pronounced him a disunionist, per se,
for defending that proposition.
They will hear of no compromise or compact that recognizes the right to dissolve the Union
He would say to the gentleman from Princess Anne that his oft-repeated sentiment of fighting in the Union
was received by his people with a thrill of joy. They were, however, sound on the question of State-Rights; but their locality did not favor the owning of slave property.
The terminus of the underground railroad was opposite his county, and he had heard a man boasting that he was one of the engineers, and that he had liberated many slaves.
H.) was in favor of presenting an ultimatum to the North
, to last until the 1st of July, when, if it were refused, let the State
go out, and take the Constitution
regretted that his sentiment of fighting in the Union
had been the cause of making any in the Northwest
willing to submit to the wrongs which they now suffer.--He went on to show, from the Constitution of the United States
, that his position of fighting in the Union
When this State is ready to declare that she is in such imminent danger of invasion as will admit of no delay, then she has the power to make war herself; and he would say to the gentleman from Wetzel
, that if his people preferred to unite with our enemies, he would bare his bosom to their spear.
, of Monongalia, wished to correct a serious misapprehension of the public sentiment of the Northwest
He was willing to listen in silence when such expressions came from the East
alone; but when he heard views from Western members going to confirm the idea that there was any want of loyalty to the State
and all her institutions, he felt it to be his duty to disabuse any mind that may have been poisoned by such insinuations.
No people were more loyal than those of the Northwest
; none more ready to fight, if necessary.
He spoke for his own people, and he believed such was the sentiment of the whole Trans-Allegheny region.
He alluded, in eloquent terms, to their record of the past, and said if it was a fault to love the Union
, they had learned it from the great men who laid the foundation of the Government
W. quoted with much effect, in enlarging upon this point, from Washington
's Farewell Address
, and from the words of Clay
after the passage of the Compromise measures of 1850.
, of Mecklenburg
, made some remarks, in which he also dwelt upon the glories of the past; but said that his constituents, smarting under the wrongs of the Black
Republican party, were prepared to resist.
' resolutions were then referred to the Committee
on Federal Relations.
said that as the Committee
on Federal Relations would not probably be prepared to report before Monday, previous to which there was not much necessity for debate; and to-morrow being the 22d of February, when, he presumed, some of us would like to have an opportunity to read the Farewell Address
of the Father
of his Country, he would offer the following resolution:
That when this Convention adjourn, it adjourn to meet again on Monday next.
moved to amend by inserting ‘"Saturday"’ in the place of Monday.
, of Wetzel
, was opposed to adjourning over at all. It was rumored that the Peace Conference was about to conclude its labors, and he thought no time should be lost, in view of that fact.
If the gentleman from Harrison
) wanted to hear Washington
's Farewell Address
, he would agree to go to his room and read it to him.
explained why he should vote against adjourning over to Monday.
A resolution was laid on the table yesterday in consideration of the absence of the gentleman from Jefferson
, who would probably be in his seat on Saturday, when the resolution could be called up.
The amendment was adopted, and the resolution, as amended, passed.
A letter was read from Messrs. Ettenger
& Edmond, inviting the members of the Convention
to witness a trial of a steam fire-engine, of their manufacture, at 4 o'clock P. M.
On motion of Mr. Hallm
, of Wetzel
, the Convention
adjourned, to meet again on Saturday at 12 o'clock.