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House of delegates.

Wednesday,Feb. 20, 1861.
The House was called to order at 11 o'clock, by the Speaker.

Prayer by the Rev. Geo. Jacobs, of the Mayo street Hebrew congregation.

A message was received from the Senate announcing the passage of a number of bills, most of which were read by title, and referred to House committees. The following Senate bills were passed: Incorporating the Baltimore and Fredericksburg Steamboat Company; authorizing the issue of preferred stock by the Alexandria, Mount Vernon and Aquotinck Turnpike Company; incorporating the Norfolk County Railway Company.

Bills Reported.--The following bills were reported from committees, viz: Appropriating a sum of money necessary to pay for the publication of the Code; providing for the voluntary enslavement of free negroes without compensation to the Commonwealth; refunding to Wm. H. Martin a sum of money paid on an erroneous assessment of lands.

French's Railroad.--No. 61, a Senate bill, entitled an act to amend and re-enact the 1st and 3rd sections of an act entitled an act to incorporate a company to construct on the plan of James S. French, a railroad between Alexandria and Washington, passed Feb. 27th, 1854, was taken up, on motion of Mr. Myers, amended, and as amended, read a third time and passed. Ordered that the Clerk communicate the same to the Senate and request their concurrence.

Report of Virginia Commissioner to Seceding States.--A message was announced by the Speaker from Gov. Letcher, transmitting a communication received from Hon. John Robertson, Commissioner to visit the seceding States, accompanied by sundry documents, numbered from one to nine, inclusive. The documents embrace the correspondence between the Commissioner and the Governors of South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.--Ordered to be printed, on motion of Mr. Crane.

The communication of Mr. Robertson to the Governor reads as follows:

Mobile, Feb. 10, 1861.
Dear Sir:
I have, from time to time, briefly apprised your Excellency, as well as Ex-President Tyler, of the results of my mission to the States already visited. My expectation was to have returned to Richmond at least as early as the 12th or 15th inst., and then to have laid before you a more satisfactory and connected report of my proceedings, together with the correspondence between the authorities of the States to whom I was commissioned, and myself. Having encountered more delay than I anticipated, and being detained here until to-morrow, I avail myself of the opportunity to transmit the correspondence alluded to, and this report of my further progress. For what passed before leaving Charleston, I refer you to my letter and telegram of the 29th ult., from that city, and a letter of the 3d inst. from Montgomery. Copies of my correspondence with Gov. Pickens, of the 25th and 29th ult., and his reply of the last date, (the original,) are enclosed, (Nos. 1, 2, 3,) together with copies of his message to the General Assembly of South Carolina, and the resolutions unanimously adopted by them, which accompanied his letter to me of the 29th ult., (Nos. 4 and 5.)

Again referring to my letter to you of the 3d inst. for an account of my interview with the Governor of Georgia, I now transmit a copy of my communication to him of the 21st ultimo, (No. 6,) and his reply of the 1st inst., (the original, No. 7)

I also transmit herewith a copy of my letter to the Governor of Alabama, of the 3d inst., (No. 8,) and his reply of the same date, (No. 9.)

The favorable reception given to my mission by the Executive authorities of the two States last mentioned was communicated to Mr. Tyler from Montgomery, both by telegrams and letter. Just previous to my leaving that city, I received from him a telegraphic dispatch, informing me of the return of Col. Hayne to South Carolina, without accomplishing, as I inferred, the object of his mission, and re-urging the importance of securing, if possible, forbearance on the part of that State

from hostile acts. I had an immediate interview accordingly with Messrs. Rhett, Barnwell and Chestnut, then members from South Carolina of the Southern Congress, sitting in Montgomery, and had the pleasure of receiving assurances from them as I had from Col. Memminger a day or two before, satisfying me that the authorities of South Carolina had no intention of initiating hostilities. Col. Memminger is not only a distinguished member of the Southern Congress, but is also one of the Executive Council of South Carolina. Not having it in my power to see him after receiving Mr. Tyler's dispatch, I addressed a short letter to him on the subject of that dispatch, and suggested that it might be perhaps within the power of the Southern Congress to adopt resolutions or recommendations binding, or at least influencing the States therein represented to abstain, during the period contemplated by the resolution of the General Assembly of Virginia, from all hostile measures.

Before leaving Montgomery, finding it would be very inconvenient, it not impracticable, to visit Florida, at least until after I had visited the remaining States to which I was commissioned, I addressed a letter to Governor Perry explaining the object of my mission, and asking a reply to be directed to me under cover to your Excellency.--I hope it has been received by you, and is satisfactory. In taking that course I was much influenced by conversations with Gov. Moore, of Ala., and Gen. Morton, a representative in the Southern Congress from Florida, by both of whom I was informed that there was no reason to expect aggressive measures would be commenced by that State.

I leave Mobile to-morrow for Louisiana and Mississippi, and will write you from there, should the occasion require it.

John Robertson. Very respectfully,

Charter of the City of Richmond.--House bill to amend the charter of the city of Richmond was taken up from the table, on the motion of Mr. Saunders, and the pending question, an amendment thereto, being stated, Mr. Crane moved to again lay it on the table in order to consider bills in their regular order. Mr. McGruder, of Henrico, also expressed his opposition to the bill, and the question of laying on the table being put was determined in the affirmative.

State of Texas.--A communication from the Governor of Texas was received, enclosing joint resolutions of that State relative to coercion, and in opposition thereto, adopted on the 1st inst. Ordered to be printed, on motion of Mr. Johnes, of Gloucester.

Michigan Coercion Resolutions.--A communication from the Governor of Michigan was received and read. It enclosed certain resolutions adopted by the Legislature of that Black Republican State, of a decidedly coercive character against seceding sovereign States.

On motion of Mr. Myers, the House resolved that the same be laid on the table, and not printed.

Petition.--Mr. Ward presented the petition of citizens of Frederick county, praying for the passage of a general law, authorizing the erection of work-houses, which was ordered to be referred to the Committee on Courts of Justice.

Refunding Money paid into the Treasury.--No. 217, a bill refunding a sum of money paid by the county of Middlesex, for a set of weights and measures, was taken up, on motion of Mr. Evans, read a first and second times, and ordered to be engrossed, and read a third time.

Covington and Ohio Railroad.--On motion of Mr. Martin, of Henry, No. 171, ‘"a bill for the partial suspension of the sale of State bonds, and to provide for complying with contracts already made upon the Covington and Ohio Railroad,"’ was taken up and considered.

The pending question thereon was the proposed amendment offered by Mr. McKenzie, which was to strike out the sentence ‘"but no new or additional subscription shall be made to any joint stock company."’

Mr. Martin moved to amend in lien thereof by striking out all the preceding, after the enactment clause, embracing the amendment of Mr. McKenzie.

The amendment of Mr. McKenzie being withdrawn, the question recurred on the proposition of Mr. Henry to strike out.

A long discussion ensued, in which Messrs. Martin of H., Caperton, Chapman, Anderson, and Christian advocated, and Messrs. Kaufman and Yerby opposed striking out.

The question to thus amend was decided in the affirmative — ayes 74, noes 38.

Mr. Martin then moved to further amend by inserting in the 16th line, after the sentence ‘"five hundred thousand dollars,"’ the words ‘"provided that, to the extent of said amount, it shall be in lieu of the appropriation made for the Covington and Ohio Railroad in 1860."’ The amendment was adopted.

After sundry amendments were offered, the bill was ordered to be engrossed, and the House adjourned.

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