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General Assembly of Virginia.
[Extra session.]

Saturday, March 23, 1861.

The Senate met at the usual hour--Lt. Gov. Montagu in the Chair.

Bill Reported.--A bill to amend the charter of the Southwestern Bank of Virginia.

Tax Bill.--On motion, the bill imposing taxes for the support of government was laid on the table.

Communication from the Auditor — Increased Taxes recommended. --The President laid before the Senate a communication from the Auditor of Public Accounts, in response to a resolution adopted on the 22d, requesting him to inform the Senate what increase, if any, will be necessary to defray the expense of the government, and discharge the present and prospective liabilities of the State. The concluding portion of the report is as follows:

‘ "Of the $7,563,993.24 appropriations on the 1st of January, about $500,000 have been since that time funded, and doubtless the remainder will, in a short time, assume the same relation to the Treasury. When funded the annual charge on that account upon the Treasury will be $529,474.52, from which deduct the annual surplus of $225,884.57, estimated heretofore, and I find an annual, augmenting deficiency of $303,589.95, to be discharged by taxation. To this deficiency must be added the appropriation, if any, to the Covington and Ohio Railroad, and all the money released and refunded, by the acts and bills pending, (a list of which accompanies the communication.)-- if it be the policy of the General Assembly to pay the appropriations of the present session, including the appropriation for the defence of the State, and including also one-fifth of the appropiration to the Covington and Ohio Railroad out of the present year's taxes, the rate should be increased the present year to a sum at least equal to 60 cents on every hundred dollars value of property, and on every other subject in the same proportion. It should be observed, however, that the appropriations heretofore made cannot, and will not, be funded at once, and to that fact we may look for a temporary respite from increased taxation, but this fact cannot allow of a less rate than indicated. That the taxes must in the end be increased, no one can doubt who will refer to our past history, and judge the future by reference to it. After the extraordinary expenses of the government before referred to shall have been discharged, the rate of taxation may be reduced to 45 or 46 cents on every hundred dollars' value. The rate here indicated will be necessary to meet the annual charges upon the public Treasury after all the appropriations heretofore made shall have been funded, and those for State defence and in aid of the Covington and Ohio Railroad shall have been discharged."

’ On motion, the communication was laid on the table, and 500 extra copies ordered to be printed.

Laid on the Table.--The bill to incorporate the Parkersburg Bridge Company was taken from the table, and after various amendments had been adopted, and some time consumed in consideration of the subject, on motion of Mr. Neal, it was laid on the table.

Covington and Ohio Railroad.--The 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 from the table on motion of Mr. Douglass, and made the order of the day for Wednesday next, at 11 o'clock.

Voluntary Enslavement.--The bill providing for the voluntary enslavement of free negroes, was made the order of the day for Monday next.

Bank Bills.--The various bills on the table providing for rechartering the Banks, &c., was made the order for Monday.

Joint Resolutions.--The following joint resolutions were laid over under the rules:

By Mr. August,

  1. 1. Resolved, by the General Assembly of Virginia, That, in the opinion of the General Assembly, it is unnecessary and inexpedient for the General Government, whilst the Convention of this Commonwealth is deliberating upon the question whether Virginia shall resume the powers delegated by her to the General Government or not, to make any addition to the military forces in any of the forts, arsenals, or navy stations in Virginia, and that any such increase can only be regarded as a menace and threat to this Commonwealth.
  2. 2. Resolved, That the Governor be requested to adopt immediate measures for obtaining information as to the purpose of the Executive of the General Government with respect to strengthening the military force in the arsenals, docks and fortifications within the limits of this Commonwealth.
  3. 3. Resolved, That the Governor of this Commonwealth communicate the foregoing resolutions to the President of the United States.
By Mr. Brannon,

Resolved, by the General Assembly, That the Governor, in order more effectually to carry out the provisions of an act passed the 21st day of January, 1860, entitled an act making appropriations for the purchase and manufacture of arms and munitions of war, be and he is hereby authorized to contract with one or more persons for the manufacture and repair of arms at the Armory, it, in his opinion, it will best promote the interest of the Commonwealth; and if such contract should be so made by him, the same shall be subject to the ratification or rejection of the General Assembly.

By Mr. Coghill,

Resolved, by the General Assembly of Virginia, That the appropriations to works of internal improvement, other than the Covington and Ohio Railroad, whether in the form of loans or subscriptions to the stock of companies made at the present or preceding sessions of the General Assembly, and not advanced or actually subscribed in the mode prescribed by law, be, and the same are hereby suspended until the General Assembly shall otherwise order.

Bills Passed.--House bill to incorporate the Virginia Lumber Company, in the counties of Augusta and Rockbridge; House bill amending and re-enacting the charter of the town of Guyandotte, in the county of Cabell; Senate bill establishing an inspection of leather in the county of Hampshire, with an amendment from the House; Senate bill releasing the State's claim to the fine imposed on the schr. Virginia, for an alleged violation of the inspection laws; Senate bill to amend the first section of chapter 149 of the Code of Virginia, relative to the limitation of suits, so as to limit the right to make an entry, or bring an action to recover land west of the Allegheny mountains; Senate bill for the relief of Thos. M. Hundley, Commissioner of the Revenue for Matthews county; House bill amending certain laws respecting the military of the Commonwealth, so as to render them more efficient.

On motion of Mr. Early, the Senate adjourned.

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