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House of Delegates.

Tuesday, March 19, 1861.

Speaker Critchfield called the House to order at 11 o'clock A. M.

The passage by the Senate of a number of bills was communicated to the House, the following of which were passed: Authorizing the Petersburg Railroad Company to increase their capital stock; authorizing the Treasurer of the State to destroy certain Bank notes now on deposit in his office, and such as may be received in future.

The House was notified that the Senate had agreed to the amendment proposed by the House to Senate bill to amend the 23d section of the 61st chapter of the Code, entitled "of works of internal improvement."

Senate bill establishing an inspection of leather for the county of Hampshire, was laid on the table.

The Finance Committee of the House reported in favor of Senate bill refunding to Elizabeth C. Richardson, of Henrico county, a sum of money paid by her on an erroneous assessment of land, and for correcting said assessment.

Mr. Collier offered a resolution for a final adjournment on the 25th inst., with the consent of the Senate. Laid on the table.

On motion of Mr. Christian, the House proceeded to the consideration of Senate bill "incorporating the Southern Express Company." Mr. Myers proposed an amendment striking out $50,000 and inserting $100,000. --Opposed by Mr. Magruder. The House refused to strike out. The bill passed.

The order of the day, the bill extending the charter of the Bank of Virginia, was taken up and ordered to its engrossment. Bills extending the charters of the Exchange, Valley, Northwestern, Merchants' and Mechanics' Bank of Wheeling, and Central Banks, were also taken up and ordered to be engrossed.

Mr. Collier presented the petition of citizens of Petersburg, praying a lien law for the benefit of persons furnishing building materials, which was referred to the Committee of Courts of Justice.

The Speaker laid before the House a communication from the Governor, enclosing a letter from the Governor of Indiana, transmitting a joint resolution adopted by the General Assembly of that State in reference to a call of a Convention to amend the Constitution of the United States; which was read, laid on the table, and ordered to be printed.

The Speaker also laid before the House a communication from the President of the United States, (Abraham Lincoln,) enclosing a resolution adopted by Congress in relation to an amendment of the Constitution; which was read, laid on the table, and ordered to be printed.

The House passed the bill amending the charter of the Bank of Charleston.

The State Penitentiary.--The following report was returned and ordered to be printed:

The Joint Committee on the part of the Senate and House of Delegates, to examine the Penitentiary, having discharged that duty, ask leave to submit the following report:

The Committee, in discharge of their duty, visited the Penitentiary and examined into the condition of the manufacturing department, cells, convicts, &c., all of which they found in good order and condition.

There being a large number of convicts employed in the shoe department, your Committee think that these prisoners ought to be separated into two divisions. This can be done at but little expense. Most of the convicts in this department, we find, are idle at this time. The reason of this, we are informed by the Superintendent, is for want of material to work upon. This is a matter which, we think, demands the serious attention of the Legislature.

Your Committee are of opinion that the number of cells is quite too small for the number of convicts. There were on the 1st of Oct. last, as per statement of the Superintendent, 367 prisoners, for the confinement of whom there are only 168 cells. It will thus be seen that in many of the cells there must necessarily be placed two or more prisoners.

From the statement of the Superintendent, it appears that the health of the prisoners is materially impaired by the dampness of the cells, and the Committee recommend that the Board of Directors be instructed to have the cells warmed in such a manner, and to such extent, as will conduce to the health of the prisoners.

In relation to the financial condition of the Institution, reference may be had to the statement of the General Agent which shows a balance due by him of $15,100.78, and a stock on hand amounting to $16,217.29, and to the general statement of the Superintendent, which shows a balance against the Penitentiary of $3,569.76. But, as the matter of the finances is now in the hands of the Finance Committee of the House, your Committee ask to be discharged from its further consideration. N. B. French,Senate.

W. W. Fleming,House.


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