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General Assembly of Virginia.
Senate.

Monday, Feb. 10, 1862.

The Senate was called to order at twelve o'clock, by Lientenant Governor Montagur. Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Peterskin, of St. James's (Episcopal) Church.

The House bill for connecting the Manassas Gap with the Winchester and Potomac Railroad was referred to the appropriate committee and ordered to be printed.


Bills reported.

Mr. Cogrill, from the Committee for Courts of Justice, reported the following bills: To authorize the Courts and Common Concils or Trustees of counties, cities, and towns to provide for the widows and minor children of deceased or disabled soldiers; to authorize the use of the jails and poor-houses of the State, by the Confederate States, for the safe-keeping of free negroes arrested by military authority.

The same committee reported adversely to the resolution to amend the 5th section of chapter 184 of the Code.

Mr. Robertson, by leave, presented a bill amending the 8th section of chapter 186 of the Code, in respect to judgment liens on real estate.


The land office.

Mr. Massie, of Goochland, presented the report of the joint committee appointed to examine the Register's office, which was aid on the table and ordered to be printed. It appears from the report that the number of grants issued for the year 1860 is 822, of which 40 are in the Northern Neck; and for the year 1861 the number is 460, of which 25 are in the Northern Neck. The Register has withhold the grants for lands lying in the disaffected counties, by the direction of the Governor. The committee find upon an examination of the last semi-annual account that the amount of fees received is considerably less than in any former account, which they believe is attributable to a state of war and the condition of the Western counties, to which the business of the office is mainly confined. From an examination of the warrant books, it appears that a large number of warrants remain unappropriated, and therefore many surveys are to be returned to the office in full satisfaction thereof. The committee are of opinion that if an act of sequeseration or confiscation should go into operation, and a suspension of hostilities should occur, the business of the office will be increased. The Register assures the committee that the business now in the office cannot be finished within the next eighteen or twenty-four months with his present clerical force. It is further represented by the report that all the duties required by law of the Register of the Land Office are performed in a prompt, faithful, and efficient manner.


Resolution of inquiry.

On motion of Mr. Christian, of Augusta, the Committee on Finance was instructed to inquire into the expediency of remunerating Rev. R. H. Phillips, of Staunton, for loss and damage to his property, which was taken possession of through military necessity for the use of the State.


Bill passed.

Senate bill refunding to the county of Amherst a license tax paid by Geo. L. Shrader, advanced to him by the County Court of said county — yeas 34, nays none.


The Whiskey Trade.

The bill, presented by Mr. Thomas, to prevent the unnesessary consumption of graid by distilleries, came up on its second reading; and a motion being made to refer it to the Committee on General Laws, a debate ensued, in which a considerable amount of opposition to the bill was indicated.

The bill was finally referred to a select committee of five, consisting of Messrs. Thomas of Henry, Christian of Augusta, Brannon, Dickinson of Prince Edward, and Armstrong.


Secret session.

The Senate then went into secret session for the purpose of considering the military bill.

[We learn that the bill was passed, with amendments, and sent to the House for concurrence]

The following proceedings subsequently transpired:

A message was received from the House of Delegates announcing the passage of a bill to amend and re-enact an ordinance to provide for the enroliment and employment of free negroes in the public service, passed by the Convention July 1, 1861. Referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.

On motion of Mr. Brannon, the Committee for Courts of Justice was instructed to inquire into the expediency of reporting a bill to suspend the operation of the statute of limitations and other like statutes during the war.

On motion of Mr. Heannon, the same committee was instructed to inquire into the expediency of amending the law in relation to bills, notes, and other negotiable paper, in respect to presentation for payment at places occupied by the enemy out of the State.

Mr. Robertson presented the petition of Cora Anderson. Referred to the Committee on Finance.

The Senate adjourned.

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