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House of Delegates.

Thursday, March 28, 1861.

The Hous was called to order at 10 o'clock by the Speaker.

The House were informed by a Senate communication that that body had passed, among other acts, House bill authorizing the voluntary enslavement of the free negroes of the Commonwealth, ‘"without compensate on to the State,"’ with amendments which were agreed to by the House. Senate bill exempting the Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company from taxation for a period of six years, was taken up and read twice. Being put on its passage, it was advocated by Messrs.Knotth, Haymond, Anderson, Gibson of H., and Edgington, and opposed by Mr. Collier, of Petersburg. The roll was called at the suggestion of Mr. Knotth, and the bill passed — ayes 81, noes 27.

The following Senate resolution was agreed to:

Resolved, by the General Assembly, That Col. Augus W. McDonald have the exclusive right and privilege of printing and publishing such manuscripts obtained by him from England, and mentioned in his report to the Governor of the Commonwealth, of date of February 15th, 1861, and communicated by the Executive to this General Assembly as he may deem proper; but this resolution may be rescinded, and the authority hereby given revoked, at the pleasure of the General Assembly.

Senate joint resolution, to authorize the Governor to contract for the manufacture and repairs of arms at the Armory, was laid on the table, on motion of Mr.Seddon.

On motion of Mr. Alderson

Resolved, That leave be given to bring in a bill to increase the general compensation of the Commissioners of the Revenue for the counties of Braxton, Nicholas, Fayette, and Logan.

The Speaker announced the following committee: Messrs. Alderson, Witten, Haymond, Fleming, and Lockridge.

Senate bill for the relief of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad Company was taken up, on motion of Mr. Barbour, amended, and, as amended, read a third time and passed — ayes 78, noes 33.

Transit of Arms Through Richmond.--Mr. Robertson, by leave, offered the following resolution:

Whereas, The people of Virginia, in Convention, are now openly considering whether they shall resume the powers delegated by them to the General Government, and are almost unanimous in the opinion that the exercise of such right, in the recent and present state of the country, by any of the States, should not be sought to be controlled or followed by a resort to force, and the failure of the President of the United States fully to explain his intended policy in this respect, gives just cause of mistrust: Be it therefore

Resolved, by the General Assembly of Virginia, That, under existing circumstances, a proper respect to this Commonwealth imperiously demands that no movement of arms, or increase of armament, or troops of the General Government, within its limits, should be authorized or permitted by the said Government, and could not occur without seriously hazarding the public peace.

Resolved, That the Governor communicate the foregoing resolution to the President of the United States.

Mr. Collier moved to substitute as follows:

Resolved, That the Governor of this Commonwealth, after a remonstrance with the Government at Washington, be and is hereby authorized and requested to use all the means at his disposal to prevent the transportation of any arms or munitions of war from the interior of this Commonwealth to the seaboard; and, for that purpose, he be authorized to summon any portion of the volunteer and militia force of the State.

Mr. Baskerville moved to amend the substitute as follows:

Resolved, by the General Assembly of Virginia, That the Governor of this Commonwealth be requested to notify the President of the United States that no arms or ammunition shall be transported by order of the General Government, to any of the fortifications of the United States, over the soil of Virginia.

At the request of members, Mr, Baskerville withdrew his amendment, that the original resolution should be voted on.

Mr. Keen thereupon moved to amend the substitute of Mr. Collier, as follows:

And, whereas the members were elected with special reference to all questions of a Federal character: Therefore, be it

Resolved, That this General Assembly, during the session of the Virginia Convention, will not consider any questions of a Federal character.

The amendment was lost.

The question then recurred on Mr. Collier's substitute, and the hour for recess having arrived.

The chair was vacated.

Evening session.

The House was called to order at 7 ½ o'clock by the Speaker, and proceeded to the consideration of the unfinished business — the resolution offered by Mr. Robertson, of R., on the subject of the transportation of Federal arms and troops across the soil of Virginia, and the amendments offered thereto.--Mr. Collier's substitute was rejected — ayes 59, noes 56. The preamble and resolution offered by Mr. Robertson were then voted on, and the ayes and noes being demanded, resulted, ayes 95, noes 21.

The House were informed through Mr.Lynch of the passage by the Senate of a bill (with amendments) for the relief of defaulting Sheriffs and their securities from the payment of damages.

On motion of Mr. Keen, the House proceeded to consider the order of the day, being a bill to stay executions, &c., for which he offered a substitute, which was read.

Mr. Seddon moved to lay the bill and substitute on the table.

Mr. Duckwall asked that the motion be withdrawn, intending to offer a substitute for Mr. Keen's substitute.

This being agreed to, Mr. Keen addressed the House at some length in favor of his substitute.

Pending which, the House adjourned.

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R. R. Collier (5)
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