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General Assembly of Virginia.
[extra session.]


Tuesday, Feb. 26, 1861
Called to order at 11 o'clock, Lieut. Gov. Montague in the Chair.

Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Peterkin, of St. James' Church.

The resolution proposed by the Committee on Military Affairs, in relation to claims of certain companies for services during the John Brown raid, was read and adopted.

Bills Reported.--Authorizing the Board of Directors on the Penitentiary to make certain regulations in relation to that institution; to incorporate Schiller Lodge, No. 1, of the corrected order of Independent Brethren; to incorporate the Commonwealth Savings Bank of Richmond; for the relief of Francis Hanna, of Prince William county.

Resolutions of Inquiry Adopted.--By Mr. Taliaferro, of amending the 8th section of chapter 184 of the Code, so as to authorize the lawyers practicing in any Court at all times, to inspect the papers and records of such Courts, free of charge: by Mr. Richmond, of amending the charter of the Southwestern Bank of Virginia at Wytheville; by Mr. Quesenberry, of extending the corporate limits of the town of Fredericksburg; by the same, referring so much of the Auditor's report as refers to the claim of T. N. Fitzhugh against the Commonwealth, to the Committee on Finance.

Indefinitely Postponed.--Senate bill to authorize Howell L. Thomas, of Richmond city, to sell and convey all the real estate in said city, of which Bertrand Labourroir died seized and possessed; was indefinitely postponed, the committee to whom it was referred having reported it inexpedient to legislate upon the subject.

Mr. Thomas,of Fairfax, presented a petition of sundry citizens of Fairfax, for a stay law during the suspension of specie payments by the Banks: that no further appropriations be made to internal improvements during the present session: and that no charter be granted to foreign companies to construct rival roads to those made at such heavy cost to the State.

Bills Passed.--Senate bill providing for the voluntary enslavement of George, Shed, Sam and Suckey, persons of color in the county of Buckingham; Senate bill to incorporate the Marion Magnetic Iron Company; Senate bill for the relief of Joseph W. Harper; Senate bill refunding to George Harriston, Sr., a certain sum of money improperly paid by him into the treasury; Senate bill to amend the charter of the Bank of Commerce, at Fredericksburg; Senate bill to incorporate the Little Kanawha Mining and Manufacturing Company.

On motion of Mr. Day, the Senate adjourned.

House of delegates.

Tuesday, February 26th, 1861.

The House met at eleven o'clock, Speaker Critchfield in the Chair.

On motion of Mr. Haymond, farther proceedings on the call of the House, made yesterday, were suspended.

A communication from the Senate announced the passage of a number of bills, some of which were referred, and others passed, as noted elsewhere.

Bills Passed.--To amend and re-enact the second section of an act passed February 8th, 1860, to revive and amend an act passed March 1st, 1853, entitled an act to revive and amend the charter of the Little Kanawha Navigation Company: refunding to Matthew Wamsley, Jr., of Randolph county, a certain amount of money erroneously paid by him; refunding to Rev. J. Packard a sum of money erroneously paid by him; Senate bill to enable the Monticello Bank, or the Bank of the Common wealth, to establish an office of discount and deposit at Monascon, in the county of Lancaster; Senate bill to incorporate the Staffordsville Toll-Bridge Company; granting the Commonwealth's right to the real estate of Jno. Kelly, dec'd, to Owen Shee; amending the charter of the Danville Bank and to authorize branches for the same; for the relief of Joshua H. Staats, late Sheriff of Jackson, and his securities; concerning district free schools in the county of Jefferson.

Bills Reported.--To suspend the levying of taxes by the State on the Belmont and Wheeling Bridge for three years; to prevent the guarantee of notes, bills of exchange, or other evidences, of by Savings Banks and Insurance Companies; authorizing two volunteer companies in Albemarle to form a battalion; for the relief of Samuel Stone, Commissioner of the Revenue for Jefferson county.

Adverse Report.--An adverse report was returned to the resolution inquiring into the expediency of appropriating the Militia fines of Rockingham county to the use of the Volunteer Regiment of said county.

Senate Bills Reported.--For the relief of Enoch Adams, of Giles county; for the relief of M. C. Hall, late Sheriff of Lewis county, and his securities.

Recommitted.--The following Senate bill, reported on the 25th, was, on motion, again recommitted, viz: Providing for the location of the Court-House, Jail, and other public buildings, of the county of McDowell.

Report of Commissioner from the Seceding States.--A message was received from Gov. Letcher, communicating a report and accompanying documents from Hon. John Robertson, Commissioner to visit the seceding States. The documents are: Letter of Mr. Robertson to the Governor of Florida, dated Feb. 4th; letter to the Governor of Mississippi, dated 18th February; letter from do., same date; letter to the Governor of Louisiana, dated February 14th; letter from do., dated February 18th; and letter from Judge Robertson to the Governor. The letter reads as follows:

Richmond, Feb. 25th, 1861.
I have now the gratification of announcing the close of my bumble labors as Commissioner from Virginia to the States lately withdrawn from the Federal Union. My mission has been protracted by circumstances not anticipated: but yet such as, in part, naturally arose from its character; and, in part, are not unusually incident to so long a journey. Its results, without entering into wearisome details, will be found sufficiently disclosed by my letter to your Excellency of the d instant, from Montgomery; the correspondence with the authorities of South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, transmitted on the 18th instant from Mobile, and my notes to the Governors of Florida. Louisiana, and Mississippi, together with the replies of the two latter, accompanying the present communication. No answer has yet been received from the Governor of Florida, owing, most probably, to the irregularity of the mails to and from that State.

The trust confided to me by the General Assembly was cheerfully accepted; and in earnestly endeavoring, to the best of my ability, to accomplish the object desired by them, my judgment and feelings have gone hand in hand with my duty-- Without assuming for these humble endeavors any special merit or influence, it is certain that a peaceful policy has, in point of fact, been maintained up to the present date by the seceded States, including South Carolina, from whose authorities I was not justified in asking a formal pledge, after being informed by ex-President Tyler that nonesuch would be given by President Buchanan. It will be gratifying to the General Assembly to reflect that this policy may have been adopted or pursued in deference to their intercession.

It may not be improper to say, that so far as my opportunities have enabled me to judge, the people and authorities of the Southern Confederacy are resolved, inflexibly, and with unparalleled unanimity, to meet all the consequences of the step they have taken. Judging from the same opportunities, I believe that, at this time, they ardently desire to be re-united with the States whose institutions, interests, rights, and feeling are similar to their own — with these States, and with them only. For Virginia, most especially, they express and manifest the highest respect and deference. They are, to a far greater extent than I had ever conceived, by birth, bone of her bone, and flesh of her flesh. Her ancient fame they regard as their rightful inheritance. Let me add, that the commission with which I have been honored by her, has proved to me, throughout, a passport to kindness and distinction — personally, I know, unmerited, but not, on that account, the less grateful; nay, doubly grateful, because I owe them to the unfeigned estimation in which our brethren of the South hold our old and venerated Commonwealth: and truth and justice impel me to say, by none have these feelings of respect been manifested more than by the people and authorities of South Carolina.

Very respectfully,

John Robertson.
On motion, ordered to be printed.
On motion, adjourned.

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