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House of Delegates.

Saturday, Feb.16, 1861.

The House was called to order, at 11 A. M., by Mr. Tomlin, of King William, and opened with prayer.

A message was received from the Senate, announcing the passage of certain Senate and House bills by that body; the former of which were read and appropriately referred.

Bills Reported.--Bills were reported for amending an act concerning the voluntary enslavement of free negroes, and providing for the purchase of books of instruction for the military officers of the State.

Petitions, &c.--The following petitions were presented and referred: By Mr. Christian, the petition of the Central Bank for the renewal of its charter; by Mr. Hoffman, the petition of citizens of Harrison, for the amendment of the laws relative to ferries; by Mr. Ballard, the petition of Joel Eddins, praying to be released from a fine; by the same, the petition of John Hale, Commissioner of the Revenue for Logan county, for additional compensation; by Mr. Brown, the petition of Joseph Hagan, of Scott county, praying to be relieved from an erroneous assessment of his lands.

Adverse Reports.--Adverse reports were returned from the committees to the proposition for the formation of a Rifle volunteer company in Green county, with less than the minimum number prescribed by law, and to the petition of Maj. Richard Chapman for relief.

Resolutions of Inquiry into Expediency.--By Mr. Gibson, of Hampshire, of repealing so much of the law as requires the publication of the annual tabular statement of the Banks of the Commonwealth; by Mr. Alderson, of relieving the securities of Wm. Abbott, late Sheriff of Raleigh county; by Mr. Evans, of refunding to the county of Middlesex, the amount of money paid by said county for a set of weights and measures, which were not received by said county; by Mr. Porter, of amending the charter of the Hollidays Gove Railroad Company; by Mr. Magruder, of amending the 15th sec. of chap. 191 of the Code; by Mr. Preston, of amending the law authorizing a Branch Bank at Abingdon; by Mr. McKenzie, of providing that all free negroes, sold or enslaved for crime hereafter, shall not be paid for out of the Treasury; by Mr. Lock, of allowing to Jno. Avis, late Sheriff of Jefferson county, a sum of money for board furnished a guard during the John Brown raid; by Mr. Keen, of suspending for a time the law requiring one-fifth of coin to be held in the Banks; by Mr. Christian, of readjusting the tax on livery stables; by Mr. Wingfield, of amending the 3d sec, of chap. 170 of the Code; by Mr. Holliday, of relieving Jos. Hagan from an erroneous assessment; by Mr. Pritchard, of relieving James Rix of an erroneous assessment.

The Stay Law.--The Senate bill providing for the stay of all executions of trust deeds in cases where Bank notes will not be taken for debt, came upon its third reading.

Mr. Keen said he wished to offer a substitute, of which he had heretofore given notice. He offered his proposed substitute, and moved that the bill and substitute be laid on the table, with the understanding that he would call them upon next Wednesday.

Mr. Wilson was opposed to the motion.--The bill came to the House with the unanimous endorsation of the Senate, and coming here, had been referred to a committee, by whom it had been attentively considered and reported on. The House had had the subject before them for three weeks past, and they were prepared to act on it now, if ever.

Mr. Keen sustained his motion. No matter what gentlemen might think, certainly they could not deny that the subject of a stay law was exciting a deep interest with a large portion of the Commonwealth. The bill presented was really of no avail. There was not a human being that he knew of that would not be glad to receive the notes of Banks of this Commonwealth in payment of debts. The difficulty was to get them.

The motion of Mr. Keen prevailed, and the bill and substitute were made the order of the day for Wednesday next.

Senate Bills Passed.--The following Senate bills were passed, viz: Incorporating the Amherst and Nelson Manufacturing Company; incorporating the Manchester Savings Bank in the town of Manchester; incorporating the Independence Male and Female College, in Grayson county; authorizing the Governor to pardon Tom, slave of George W. Cliff, and return him to his master; amending the charter of the Merchants' Bank of Virginia, incorporating the Southern Manufacturing Company.

Liberty Branch Bank.--The bill to establish a Branch Bank at Liberty, Bedford county, having been reported back from the House Committee on Banks with an adverse recommendation, Mr. McKenzie moved that the same be not concurred in. Mr. Wingfield opposed Mr. McKenzie's motion, which was finally defeated.

Washington and Alexandria Railroad.--House bill amending an act incorporating a company to construct a railroad from Alexandria to Washington on the plan of James S. French being on its second reading, was debated on its merits in favor of by Messrs. Tomlin and Segar, and in opposition to by Messrs. Myers and McKenzie, and, on motion, was finally laid on the table.

Proposed Change of Hour of Meeting, &c.--Mr. Keen asked the indulgence of the House to read a resolution which he proposed to offer, granting the use of the Hall to the members of the State Convention till the hour of 4 o'clock each day, and which proposed that at the hour named the House should assemble for the transaction of business until otherwise ordered. Mr. K. urged as the chief motive for the adoption of the resolution that those members of the Convention who were also members of the House, were desirous of attending the sessions of both bodies, but could not do so under the existing arrangement.

The resolution having been read by the Clerk, Mr. Keen submitted a motion that the rules be suspended in order to adopt or reject the same at once.

The vote being taken, the House, by a decided majority, refused to reconsider. The usual notice was thereupon given.

On motion, the House adjourned.

Note.--We are requested to state that R. B. Steinrod, Esq., of Hampshire county, is detained from his seat in the House of Delegates on account of the illness of a member of his family.

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