House of Delegates.
Tuesday, Jan. 22d, 1861.
called the House
to order at 12 o'clock M. Prayer by Rev.
J. B. Jeter
, of the Third Baptist Church.
--Bills were reported from standing committee, as follows: Authorizing the trustees of Easter's Meeting-House, in Morgan county
, to sell and convey the same; incorporating the Richmond and Liverpool Packet Company; amending and re-enacting the charter of the town of Guyandotte
, in Cabell county
; for the relief of the administrator of John W. Moore
, late Sheriff
of Jefferson county
; for the relief of Richard H. Horner
, of Fauquier county
; amending the 39th chapter of the Code, concerning taxes on Bank dividends, collateral inheritances and taxes on suits and seals; for the relief of the securities of Wm. Parris
, late Sheriff
of the county of Appomattox
; releasing Oscar H. Tate
from the payment of a fine imposed by the judgment of the Circuit Court of Harrison county
; incorporating the Meadville Manufacturing Company; changing the names of the Lunatic Asylums
— that at Williamsburg
to the Eastern Lunatic Asylum
, that at Staunton
to the Central Lunatic Asylum
, and that at Weston
to the Northwestern Lunatic Asylum
Coercion Resolutions of the Ohio Legislature.
The Speaker laid before the House
the following communication from Gov. Letcher
, which was accompanied by a letter from the Governor
, transmitting certain coercion resolutions adopted on the 12th inst, by the Black Republican Legislature
of that State.
Being read by the Clerk
, they were afterwards, on motion, laid on the table by a vote of 59 to 57. Gov. Letcher
's message reads as follows:
January 21, 1861.
Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Delegates:
I have received from His Excellency
, Wm. Dennison
of the State of Ohio
, a communication enclosing resolutions passed by the General Assembly of that State on the 12th inst.
These resolutions express a desire for the preservation of the Union
To give effect to this patriotic desire, they tender to the President
of the United States
‘"the entire power and resources of the State of Ohio
,"’ to be employed in the coercion and subjugation of the seceding States, as they express it, in ‘"the maintenance of the Constitution
and laws of the General Government
, by whomsoever administered."’ Such a policy can never accomplish the object desired.
Such resolutions, sent to the slaveholding States, can have no other effect than to excite resentment and to inflame prejudice, to increase existing difficulties, and to embarrass, if not defeat, all the efforts now being made to adjust the controversy.
The General Assembly of Virginia
having expressed their opinion on the doctrine of coercion with the most gratifying unanimity, such resolutions as are now communicated can be regarded in no other light than a threat against all those States which recognize the doctrine of secession.
I am happy to assure you, however, that in this instance no serious apprehensions need be entertained, as Governor Dennison
states, in his last annual message, (of date Jan. 7, 1861,) that ‘"the organized militia of the State numbers at present a little less than twelve hundred men.
They are uniformed, armed and equipped, and are, for the most part, in a commendable state of discipline.
"’ As to arms, he says, ‘"it appears that the State
has received 34,962 muskets and rifles, and has but about 6,000 at her present command.
Of 11,632 cavalry pistols, but 722 remain.
Of 272 sables, about forty are supposed to be recoverable.
Of 46 brass cannon, more than three-fourths were useless, or dangerous for service, from neglect or bad usage, until the Quartermaster General
restored them to serviceable condition."’
The fifth resolution declares ‘"that it is the will and purpose of the people of Ohio
to fulfill, in good faith, all their obligations under the Constitution of the United States
, according to the spirit and intent thereof."’ This is a just sentiment, and the purpose expressed cannot be too highly commended.
It would, however, have been more strongly appreciated if the General Assembly had rebuked the Governor
for his refusal to surrender Owen Brown
and Francis J. Merriam
, when demanded by the authorities of this Commonwealth, as fugitives from justice.
I would suggest the propriety of such a rebuke from the General Assembly of the State of Ohio
at its present session.
Such a rebuke would furnish a proper sequel to this resolution.
I would further suggest that as ‘"no enactment of the State of Ohio has clothed the Governor with authority to surrender to another State fugitives from its justice,"’
seeking refuge in Ohio
, it would be well to enact such laws, and thus ‘"fulfill, in good faith, all their obligations under the Constitution of the United States
, according to the spirit and intent thereof."’ Virginia
has good ground for complaint against the present authorities of the State of Ohio
on this score, and I earnestly hope they will carry out their declaration, as expressed in this resolution, at the earliest practicable moment.
I hope the General Assembly of Ohio
will ‘"show their faith by their works."’
You will make such disposition of these resolutions as in your wisdom shall be deemed best.
--The following resolution was offered by Mr. Woolpolk
, and adopted:
That the select committee appointed on Free Negroes, be instructed to inquire into the expediency of reporting a bill amending the 3d, 7th and 8th sections of chapter 53d of the Code of Virginia
, so as to allow any free negro, over the age of, 18, years, (upon the terms and conditions provided for in the 3d, 4th, 5th and 6th sections of the same chapter 7 who may wish to promote his or her position in society and happiness, by becoming a slave, to choose his or her master, without requiring the person thus chosen to pay, as now required by the 7th section, one-half or any portion of the valuation of the said negro.
And, with a view of encouraging the degraded page, to select a better and happier condition, that the said bill shall provide that no negro thus becoming a slave, shall be sold for any present or future-debts of the person thus chosen, for a period of not less than twenty years after he or she becomes a slave.
--Amending the 4th section of an act incorporating £88 Jefferson
Insurance Company of Albemarle
; providing for taking the sense of the people of Henrico
upon giving authority to the County Court
to raise by loan $2,500 for arming the county: authorizing the payment of forfeited commissions and damages to the executor of Charles Holden
, dec'd, late Sheriff
of Harrison county
; amending an act concerning colporteurs.
--The following resolutions were read and referred: By Mr. Wilson
, of amending chapter 198 of the Code of Virginia
, so as the more effectually to prevent the circulation of abolition and incendiary publications; by Mr. Magruder
, of amending the 8th section, chapter 200, of the new edition of the Code; by Mr. Alderson
, of making an appropriation on the two and three-fifths principle to construct a bridge across the Little Kanawha, in Braxton county
Petitions, &c., Presented and Referred.
--By Mr. McGruder
, the remonstrance of certain citizens of Henrico
against the extension of the corporate limits of Richmond
; by Mr. Bassel
, the petition of citizens of Randolph
and upshur, praying an appropriation for the construction of a road on State account; by Mr. McKenzie
, the petition of citizens of Alexandria
in favor of repealing that portion of the tax law which makes vessels retailing wood take out a license.
--The Committee on Finance reported adversely to the petition of Robert Alexander
and others, to release John Ray
of a fine.
The Committee on Schools and Colleges, adversely on the resolution for paying to J. T. Irving
, a sum of money out of the school fund.
The Committee on Military Affairs asked to be discharged from the consideration of a resolution asking them to inquire into the expediency of allowing compensation to James Carskadon
and Wm. F. Davis
, for services rendered the 77th Regiment Virginia Militia.