Virginia State Convention.
Fifth day.--[Second session.]
Richmond June 18, 1861.
In the absence of Mr. President Janney
, Mr. Southall
called the Convention
to order at the usual hour.
The session was opened with prayer by the Rev. Mr. Peterkin
, the same reverend gentleman who officiated so acceptably on yesterday.
[It certainly is not out of place here to inquire why Bishop Matill
, of the Catholic Church, has not been invited, in turn, to open the sessions with prayer.
He certainly is as truly Southern, and so are all his clergy, as any man or set of men South of the Potomac
Such discriminations are, of course, unintentional, but they may coefate mischievously.]
, of Richmond
, (who, we presume, from his frequent calls on the Chair and large budget of documents, is the custos peen
of our Commonwealth,) submitted a resolution authorizing any Banks
in the State
which may be menaced by an invading foe to stampede instanter,
with bag and baggage, (which, of course, means gold
,) to any other place of safety, carrying with them all their legal acquisitions, and authorizing them to transact business hic pro illic.
[This is a very good move, but, we submit, a leefle
superfinous: for we have yet to hear of the first bank in all our experience that, in all cases of public emergency, did not take care of itself first, its stockholders and creditors afterwards.
But Mr. Macfarland
is a lawyer, and we are proud to add, of our own knowledge, an eminent one, and, of course, he will hang by the precedents.
Can't he find out some precedent authorizing the State
to interpose the shield of protection in behalf of private citizens whose property is plundered, whose families are driven from their homes, and who are now here fugitives and moneyless by the mercenary cut-throats of Lincoln
Come, Mr. Macfarland
, enlarge your beneficent views and give us all the benefit of your liberal suggestion.]
Quite an interesting debate sprung up on a motion made by the chairman of the Committee
on Elections to be discharged from the further consideration of an ordinance referred to it in reference to the number of vacancies, the cause of the absence of members, and the proper mode to reach them either by the law or the halter.
sprung upon this motion like a tiger on a dead buffalo.
He was prepared, he said, to give names of members of this Convention who were traitors — who are ‘"aiding and comforting"’ the enemy; yet the chairman of the committee asks to be discharged from the further consideration of the subject without calling a single witness, or notifying himself as the mover of the resolution.
He could give the names of several who ought to be hung as high as Haman
came to the rescue of the committee, but Mr. Ambler
's energetic protest against the reports from chairmen of committees who have not consulted the members thereof, quickly recommitted the subject to the same committee, with instructions to ‘"enlarge their record."’
reported an ordinance adopting, in the name of Virginia
, the Constitution
of the Confederate States
. Mr. Bowyer
submitted a minority report.
Both were referred.
The regular business of the day was the ordinance authorizing the Convention
to advance a subsidy of $125,000 in aid of a railroad between Strasburg
This gave rise to the principal discussion of the day. It was participated in by Messrs. Conrad
, Jas. Barsour
, (who desired a secret session — but the intimation was generally scouted throughout the hall,) Borst
, and others.
A motion to lay upon the table was lost — yeas 34, nays 56.
was now evidently triumphant, and the discomfited forces were driven to a rally for the decisive fight.
Amendments and substitutes were offered — affecting speeches were made.
, of Frederick
held his ground manfully, and finally the rdinance was passed in the following form, as submitted by Mr. Slaughter
Be it ordained,
That the Manassas Gap Railroad Company be and are hereby authorised to extend their road from some point at or near Strasburg
to connect with the railroad at or near Winchester
If the Major General
in command of the Confederate forces in this Commonwealth regards the construction of this road at this time necessary for the military defence of the State
, the Governor
of the Commonwealth
is hereby authorized to loan said company, out of the funds appropriated for the defence of the State
, a sum not exceeding the sum of $125,000, including the sum already advanced by the State
, to pay the duties on the iron purchased by said road, taking a mortgage on said road for the repayment of the sum so loaned.
, of Fauquier
, submitted a resolution providing that the Committee
on Military Affairs inquire into the propriety of vacating all commissions of militia officers in the Commonwealth
He based his resolution on his own personal knowledge of the total incapacity of several such officers, and their inefficiency should they ever be compelled to undergo the ‘"trial by battle"’ Carried.
Several communications were received from Governor Letcher
in response to resolutions of inquiry, but containing nothing of interest.
One of these covered a communication from Asa Rogers
, of Londoun, informing the Governor
that a Black Republican, named Downey
, was elected in his Magisterial District a Justice of the Peace; that he ought not to be commissioned, and that if he were he, Rogers
, would emigrate to Hayti before he would sit on the bench with him. The communications, with their enclosures, were ordered to be printed.
Pursnant to a resolution authorizing the Governor
to institute the inquiry, a letter from Secretary Mallory
of the Confederate Navy was read, giving the names of officers in the Provisional Navy
who were either undergraded or not appointed in the Confederate Navy.
We believe this communication should have been reserved for a secret session.
And therefore refrain from copying the list.
This communication was referred to James Barbour's Committee on Confederate Relations.
On motion of Wm. P. Cecil
, the name of Scott county
was ordered to be changed to Davis county
, and Buchanan county
to Stephens county
The motion, however, was not finally acted upon, but was ordered to be printed.
When it comes up it will go through like a breeze.
submitted a resolution, which was appropriately referred, exempting persons employed in the mines of the Commonwealth
from military duty.
, in view of the invasion of the State
and the actual hostilities now forced upon us, favored an adjournment from next Monday till December, and delivered a patriotic and eloquent speech in favor of his motion.
It was amended so as to make the adjournment sine die;
but, on motion of R. E. Scott
, of Fauquier
, the whole subject was laid on the table.
A resolution was, on motion of Mr. Woods
, referred to a select committee of five, canceling all debts, bonds, &c., of traitors to Virginia
, though Mr.
L. S. Hall
thought that hemp would be a more proper remedy for such flagrant treason as the resolution comprehended.
, of Bedford
, called up an ordinance authorizing County Courts to provide for the families of volunteers — to supply uniform and arms; which was adopted after undergoing several amendments, the principal of which was that the Banks of the State
are authorized to purchase such bonds as said courts may issue, or have heretofore issued for this purpose.
Mr. James Barbour
moved that the injunction of secrecy be removed from an ordinance adopted yesterday in secret session.
Be it ordained,
That the Governor
may cause to be apprehended and secured, or may compel to depart from this State, all suspicious subjects or citizens of any foreign State or power, at war with the Confederate States of America
, or from which hostile designs against the Confederate States of America
are apprehended by the President
thereof; and the Governor
may send for the person or papers of any foreigner within this State, in order to obtain information to enable him to act in such cases.
On motion, the Convention
adjourned to 10 o'clock to-morrow.
P. S.--We omitted, in our report of the proceedings at the Spotswood House
, published in our issue of yesterday, to tender our acknowledgments to Col. Thompson
, Sergeant-at-Arms of the Convention
, for his kindness and courtesy in affording us every facility in his power in giving the only report of the interesting ceremonies of that occasion published in any of our city papers.
is a highly popular officer, and deservedly so. Can't we induce him to accept a position in Governor Floyd
's Brigade, and meet us ‘"at Phillippi