Table of Contents:
Virginia State Convention.Thursday, Feb. 14, 1861. The Convention assembled, at the Mechanics' Institute, at 12 o'clock. Long previous to this hour, every place allotted to spectators was densely crowded. Hundreds of ladies occupied the gallery prepared for their accommodation, which, however, was found insufficient for the purpose, and a large number were provided with ‘"privileged seats"’ on the floor, in the windows, and on the gallery steps, while many more were disappointed, and compelled to return home. The Convention was called to order by President Janney. Prayer was offered by the Rev. Jas. A. Duncan, of the Broad Street M. E. Church. The President stated that the first business in order was the election of A Sergeant-at-arms. Mr. Macfarland, of Richmond, said he had a proposition to make in reference to the appointment of the officers necessary to complete the organization, which would greatly facilitate the business. With this view, he submitted a resolution, devolving their appointment upon the President of the Convention. The President hoped the resolution would be withdrawn, as he was unprepared to make suitable selections. Mr. Montague, of Middlesex, moved, as an amendment to the resolution, that a committee of fifteen be appointed for the purpose of selecting the officers named. On motion of Mr. Patrick, of Kanawha, the resolution and amendment were laid on the table. The Convention then proceeded to the election of Sergeant-at-Arms. Mr. Niglett, of Lurenburg, nominated Wm. C. Snead, of that county. Mr. Johnston, of Lee, nominated Charles E. Crosby, of Washington. Mr. Willey, of Monongalia, nominated Josiah W. Rives, of Barbour. Mr. Mallory, of Elizabeth City, nominated Robert H. Vaughan, of that county. Mr. Morris, of Caroline, nominated Dan'l Atwell, of Caroline. Mr. Dorman, of Rockbridge, nominated N. A. Thompson, of Hanover. Mr. Macfarland nominated John G. Moss, of Richmond city. Mr. Coffman, of Rockingham, nominated J. J. Farish, of Albemarle. Mr. Dulaney, of Fairfax, nominated John E. Scruggs, of Fauquier. Mr. Garland, of Amherst, nominated John H. Fuqua, of that county. Mr. Conrad, of Frederick, nominated Thos. B. P. Ingram, of Richmond city. Mr. Borst, of Page, nominated Charles McL. Johnson, of Fauquier. Mr. Rives, of Prince George, nominated James G. Sener, of Fredericksburg. The merits and qualifications of the various candidates were expatiated upon by several gentlemen. Mr. Chambliss, of Greensville, moved that all nominations be referred to a committee of five, instructed to make a selection therefrom. The President said this would be a violation of the rule adopted by the Convention. Mr. Chambliss moved a suspension of the rule for the reception of his resolution, when, on motion, the subject was laid on the table. The Clerk then proceeded to call the roll, and the vote resulted as follows: Farish 14, Rives 26, Thompson 37, all others 65. There being no election, Mr. Marr, of Fauquier, moved a suspension of the rules to allow him to introduce a resolution, for the withdrawal of all but the three highest candidates. The motion to suspend the rules was carried — Ayes 72, noes not counted. Mr. Marr then introduced a resolution to drop all but the three highest candidates, which was adopted. The names of the three candidates were announced by the Secretary, as follows: Josiah W. Rives, N. A. Thompson and J. J. Farish, and the Convention proceeded to vote, with the following result: Thompson 84, Farish 37, Rives 22. Necessary to a choice 72. So Mr. N. A. Thompson was declared elected Sergant-at-Arms. Mr. Nelson, of Clarke, offered a resolution for the appointment of a committee to take into consideration the rules of the House of Delegates, and report such as are applicable to this body. Rejected. The Convention then proceeded to the election of First Doorkeeper. Mr. Mallory, of Brunswick, nominated C. Drumright, of Mecklenburg. Mr. Hall, of Lancaster, nominated Richard Rains, of Richmond city. Mr. French, of Mercer, nominated Benjamin R. Linkous, of Raleigh. Mr. Critcher, of Richmond county, nominated James R. Fisher, of Richmond city. Mr. Johnson, of Richmond, nominated Samuel H. Jeter, of that city. Mr. Carlile, of Harrison, nominated Chas. Lewis, of that county. Mr. Flournoy, of Halifax, nominated Chas. Kent, of Pittsylvania. Mr. Morton nominated Mr. Routt, of Greene. Mr. Scott, of Powhatan, nominated John F. Simpson, of that county. Mr. Bouldin nominated Wm. D. Wills, of Charlotte. Mr. Wickham nominated Francis P. Sutton, of Henrico. No other nominations being made, the vote was taken with the following result: Linkous, 45; Lewis, 29; Jeter, 26. All others 35. There being no election, the rules were suspended, on motion, and a resolution was adopted to drop all but the three highest candidates. The names of the three highest were then announced: Samuel H. Jeter, Chas. Lewis and Benj. R. Linkous — and the second ballot resulted: Linkous, 60; Jeter, 39; Lewis, 26.--No election. Mr. Montague moved that the Convention adjourn, but withdrew the motion. Mr. Jackson, of Wood, moved that the rules be suspended, in order to allow gentlemen to change their votes on the last ballot for Doorkeeper. The motion was carried, and seven members, who had voted for other candidates, recorded their votes for Mr. Benjamin R. Linkous, who was then declared to have received a majority, and was therefore elected First Doorkeeper. Mr. Tredway moved that Samuel H. Jeter be appointed Second Doorkeeper. Mr. Speed thought such a course would not be entirely just to other applicants. He desired to nominate Mr. Josiah Leake, of Goochland. Mr. Tredway withdrew his motion. Mr. Cox nominated Wm. Welsh, of Chesterfield. The motion to adjourn was renewed, and again withdrawn. Commissioners from other States. The President submitted the following communication from the Governor of the Commonwealth: ‘ Executive Department, Feb. 14, 1861. Gentlemen of the Convention: I have the honor to communicate herewith the credentials of the Hon. John S. Preston, a Commissioner duly appointed by the Convention recently held in South Carolina, and who is charged with the duty of communicating ‘"to the people of Virginia the causes which have impelled the people of South Carolina to withdraw from the United States and resume the power hitherto granted by them to the Government of the United States of America."’ I communicate, also, herewith the credentials of the Hon. Fulton Anderson, a Commissioner duly appointed by the Governor of Mississippi, and charged with the duty of informing the people of this Commonwealth that the Legislature of the State of Mississippi has passed an act calling a Convention of the people of the State, to consider the present threatening relations of the Northern and Southern sections of the United States--aggravated by the recent election of a President upon principles of hostility to the States of the South--and to express the earnest hope of the State of Mississippi that Virginia will co-operate with her in the adoption of efficient measures for the common defence and safety of the South. Respectfully, John Letcher. The credentials of the Hon. H. L. Benning, Commissioner from Georgia, were also presented and read. ’ Mr. Wm. B. Preston offered the following resolution: ‘ Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed by the President, to wait upon the Hon. John S. Preston, Commissioner from South Carolina, Hon. H. L. Benning, Commissioner from Georgia, and Hon. Fulton Anderson, Commissioner from Mississippi, to inform them that this Convention of the people of Virginia respectfully invites them to seats in this Hall, and will receive, at such time and in such mode as they may severally prefer, any message they may have to deliver. The resolution was unanimously adopted, and the President appointed the following Committee: ‘ Messrs. Preston, Harvie, Macfarland, R. Y. Conrad, and Montague. ’ The President informed the Convention that he had received about 23 applications for the office of Page, but as he was not authorized to make the appointments, he desired the Convention to take such action thereupon as might be necessary. Mr. Haymond then offered a resolution authorizing the President to appoint four Pages, which was adopted. Mr. Haymond offered a resolution giving the members the right to occupy any seats they might prefer, without regard to any previous selections. Rejected. Mr. Montague said that the rules which had been adopted required a complete organization of the Convention before the transaction of any other business. There was another Doorkeeper to elect, and he hoped the rules would be adhered to. On motion of Mr. Morris, the Convention adjourned to meet again on Friday, at 12 o'clock. ’
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