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General Assembly of Virginia.
[extra session.]


Wednesday, Jan. 23d, 1861.

The Senate was called to order at 12 o'clock.

Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Read, of the Presbyterian Church.

A communication was received from the House announcing the passage of sundry bills, and requesting the concurrence of the Senate.

Reports of Committees.--A bill to amend the charter of the Bank of Phillippi; a bill to amend the charter of the Bank of the Commonwealth; a bill amending an act incorporating the Princess Anne Savings Bank, in Princess Anne county, passed Feb. 27, 1860.

Resolutions of Inquiry, &c.--The following resolutions of inquiry, &c., were adopted and referred: By Mr. Pate, of reporting a bill incorporating the Ambler Oil and Coal Company; by the same, of reporting a bill incorporating the Hughes Creek Oil and Coal Company; by the same, of reporting a bill incorporating the Fayette Oil and Coal Company; by Mr. Gatewood, petition of Fanny Mathews, for leave to enslave herself and child to Gabriel Jordan, of Page county; by Mr. Nash, of amending the 47th section of chapter 58 of the Code of Virginia; by Mr. Douglass, of compensating John Critcher for services in prosecuting one Samuel Hubbard, charged with murder, in the Circuit Court of Westmoreland county; by Mr. McKenny, of reporting a bill providing for the payment of 2 1-2 per centum upon the invoice value of all goods imported by steamers from Europe to any port of Virginia; by Mr. Dickinson, of Grayson, of reporting House bill No. 456, for making railroad companies liable for damages in certain cases; by Mr. Isbell, of amending the 20th section of chapter 26 of the Code so as to authorize volunteer companies in contiguous counties to form themselves into regiments, as now provided by said 20th section for the formation of such regiments in single counties; by Mr. Paxton, of withdrawing bill No.--from the files of the Senate, providing that railroad companies shall only use in the construction, repairs and operations of their roads, machinery, materials, and other supplies manufactured in the State, and that the same be referred to the Committee on Roads; by Mr. August, of changing the law regulating the granting of appeals from decisions of the Circuit Courts; by Mr. Thompson, of organizing a volunteer reserve corps of white males over 45 years of age; by Mr. Armstrong, of amending the act incorporating the town of Bath, in Morgan county, so as to give to one or more of the officers of said town the powers of a justice of the peace; by Mr. Brannon, of making a further appropriation to the Huttonsville and Huntersville Road, or of surrendering the same to the control of the County Courts of the counties through which it passes; by Mr. Paxton, of inquiring into the causes which have led to the frequent failures of the trains on the Orange and Alexandria and Central Railroads to connect at Gordonsville, and to report such measures as may be necessary to remove the grievance, and to cause the more certain and speedy transportation of the mails and passengers on those roads.

Bills Passed.--When the bill for the relief of the executor of Holden, late Sheriff of Harrison county, came up on its passage, Mr. Brannon supported it, and read a statement from the Auditor of Public Accounts admitting the justice of the claim.

Mr. Dickinson, of Prince Edward, opposed the passage of the bill, and argued it impolitic to release by legislation the revenue officers, their sureties, or personal representatives, from liabilities incurred in the discharge, or failure to discharge their duties. The revenue officers are clothed by law with full power to enforce the collection of the public revenue, and are amply compensated for such service, and every consideration of duty and safety demands that they should be held to a strict account. The amount involved in this bill did not constitute, with him, the chief objection to it. The precedent established is much more to be apprehended. He was unalterably opposed to the inauguration or countenance of a system of relief for defaulting officers.--During his services in another branch of the General Assembly he had vainly endeavored to arrest it. He thought then, and so predicted, that the legislation of last session, by which about forty bills had passed releasing Sheriffs' securities from damages awarded against them, would be regarded as an invitation to default, with the expectation of relief here. To avoid that state of things, we required the Auditor of Public Accounts to advertise semi-annual lists of defaulting officers. At the expiration of the first six months such published list embraced some forty or fifty defaulting Sheriffs. The Enquirer of this morning gives the Auditor's list of 35 delinquent Sheriffs since 1st July, 1860, 125 delinquent clerks, and almost as many delinquent notaries public. It seemed that since we had been dispensing public charity to defaulting public officers, their defaults are rapidly growing upon us. What was prophecy last session was history this.--Let us beware, lest the errors of to-day become the controlling precedents of to-morrow. At the last session we released sureties, at this we are asked to release the principal and damages; at the next we may be asked to release the debt.

The bill was finally passed.

Also, an act to amend the 25th section of an act entitled an act imposing taxes for the support of the Government, passed March 31, 1860; and an act to amend the 4th section of an act incorporating the Jefferson Insurance Company.

The Million Appropriation.--When the Senate adjourned yesterday, the bill appropriating one million of dollars for the defence of the Commonwealth was under consideration. The bill was taken up again, when Mr. Paxton withdrew the amendment proposed by him on yesterday, and offered a substitute for the first clause, as follows:

Be it enacted, by the General Assembly. That the Colonel of Ordinance be and is hereby authorized and required, under the direction of the Governor, to procure such arms, equipments and munitions of war, as may be necessary for the defence of the State. The said officer is also authorized to contract, under the direction of the Governor, for the manufacture, in this State, of equipments and munitions of war, and may buy materials to be used in the manufacture of the same, and may contract with parties for altering and improving, in this State, cannon and small arms, or may, in his discretion, purchase machinery and materials for such purpose, it the same cannot be done by contract upon as favorable terms. Provided, That not more than $800,000 shall be expended for such purposes, which is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.

Mr. Newlon moved the following amendment:

‘ The arms to be purchased shall be so distributed that the militia of the State along and near the border of the non-slaveholding States, and along the borders of the Chesapeake Bay and the navigable streams tributary thereto, shall be put on equal footing, in the supply of arms, with the militia of any other part of the Commonwealth.

’ Adopted.

The following, by Mr. Paxton, was also adopted:

Provided, however, That the said Engineer shall first submit his plans, with the cost of executing the same, to the Governor for his approval, and it such plans be approved by him the same shall be executed.

’ The bill, as amended, was adopted unanimously.

Adjournment Proposed.--Mr. Thomas, of Henry, proposed the following joint resolution, which was laid over under the rules:

Resolved, (the House of Delegates consenting,) That when the Senate adjourn on Monday next, it will be to the 18th of February, 1861

’ On motion, the Senate adjourned.

House of delegates.

Wednesday, Jan. 23d, 1861.

The House was called to order at 12 o'clock M., by Speaker Crutchfield.

Prayer by Rev. Mr. Willis, of the Baptist Church.

A message from the Senate was read announcing the passage of sundry bills, some of which were taken up, read the requisite number of times, and passed, among them acts amending and re- enacting the act entitled an act to incorporate the Jackson Orphan Asylum of Norfolk, passed February 26, 1856; changing the time of holding the terms of the Circuit Courts of the counties of Hardy and Page: for the relief of Benjamin and Isaac Deford, of Morgan county; for the relief of Hugh Crolly and Patrick McCune; for the relief of Patrick H. Scott, of Halifax county; incorporating the Virginia Arms Manufacturing Company; allowing the Northwestern Bank of Virginia and any of its branches to establish an agency in the city of Richmond for the redemption of its circulating notes.

Bills Referred.--For the relief of R. Y. Overby, of Mecklenburg, and J. W. G. Smith, of Rockingham, to Committee on Finance; authorizing the Board of Public Works to confirm the sale of the Marysville Plank-Road to the county of Charlotte, to the Committee on Roads; incorporating the Merchants' Bank of Richmond, to the Committee on Banks; amending the act incorporating the Virginia Life Insurance Company, to the Committee on Propositions and Grievances.

Stay Law.--Mr. Keen offered a resolution that a special committee be appointed to report a bill for a stay law. It was amended by Mr. Hopkins, with a proposition that the Committee on Courts of Justice be instructed so to do. Laid on the table till to-morrow in order that a test vote may be taken on the subject.

Petitions.--By Mr. Carpenter, the petition of C. M. McCormack, to have refunded a fine imposed by the County Court of Alleghany county.

Resolutions.--The following resolutions of inquiry were read and referred; By Mr. Evans, of amending or repealing the law restricting the catching of fish in certain rivers and bays; by Mr. Witten, of providing for the payment of $162.70 to Witten Cecil and T. G. Perry, for law damages, assessed by a jury of Tazewell county; by Mr. Cowan, of legalizing a conveyance from Andrew Oliphant, guardian, &c., to David Simpson; by Mr. Carpenter, of amending 14th section of chapter 61 of the Code; by Mr. Watts, of refunding to Richard Cox and D. Griffith a sum of money assessed against them.

Direct Trade.--Mr. Bisbie, of Norfolk, offered a resolution to the effect that the General Assembly had learned with satisfaction that Periere & Freres, Bankers, of Paris, France, contemplated putting on a line of steamers between the United States and France, and that France intended to subscribe thereto $900,000 per annum; and that Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Maryland, had fostered schemes of internal improvement materially dependent upon direct trade: Therefore,

  1. 1st. Resolved, That it is the duty of the State of Virginia, and the duty of those other States referred to, to welcome and encourage M. Periere & Freres with their proposed line of steamers to the waters of Virginia.
  2. 2d. That it behooves internal improvement companies and cities of Virginia to employ their best efforts jointly in securing the line of steamers to Norfolk, or some other terminal point on the waters of the Chesapeake.
  3. 3d. That these resolutions shall be sent to the respective Legislatures of North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Maryland, and their respectful consideration of the same asked, and also to the house of M. Periere & Freres, Bankers, Paris, France.
On motion, laid on the table.


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