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General Assembly of Virginia.

[extra session.]
Senate. Friday, Jan. 11th.
The Senate was called to order at 12 o'clock by the President.

Prayer by Rev. Dr. J. L. Burrows, of the Baptist Church.

The National Crisis.--A communication from the House of Delegates was read, informing the Senate of the passage of the following resolutions:

  1. 1. Resolved by the General Assembly of Virginia. that in view of the imminent danger of civil war, this Assembly, in behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, ask respectfully, on the one hand, of the President of the United States, and, on the other of the authorities of each of the Southern States to the end that, if possible, peace may yet be preserved, that they will reciprocally communicate assurances in response hereto to the General Assembly of Virginia, now in session, and that the status quo of all movements tending to occasion collision, and concerning the forts and arsenals of the nation, shall, on either hand, be strictly maintained for the present, except to repel any actua aggressive attempts.
  2. 2. that the Governor of the Commonwealth be requested to communicate these resolutions by telegraph immediately, to the President of the United States, and to each of the Governors of the Southern States.
Mr. Paxton moved to commit the resolutions to the Committee on Federal Relations.

Mr. Johnson hoped that the resolutions would be acted upon speedily and promptly. He called for the yeas and nays on Mr. Paxton's motion.

Mr. Stuart briefly advocated prompt action. The proposed reference would be equivalent to a vote of rejection. The nature of the case demands that there should not be an hour's delay.

Mr. Paxton presented his objections to the resolutions. He understood them to signify that the seceding States should allow the forts and arsenals within their limits to remain in the possession of the Federal Government.

Mr. Dickinson, of Prince Edward, said he would give the resolutions his cordial support. They do not compromise the interest or honor of Virginia Surely, in an hour like this, it becomes every patriot and every Christian, before he commits his country to the horrors of civil war, to exhaust all honor able means for preventing it. There was everything to gain and nothing to lose by the adoption of the resolutions. As brave and magnanimous men — let us endeavor to avoid strife, by all honorable means. His continents, though ready for war, desired peace. Mr. D. Appealed to the Senate to adopt the resolutions unanimously.

Mr. Paxton reiterated his objections to the resolutions.

Mr. Coghill said that no possible good could result from the adoption of the resolutions. The Southern States may be lulled into a false security. Let us take time for reflection and deliberation.

Mr. Wickham remarked, that it seemed as if certain Senators were only willing for delay when propositions were introduced for peace. He argued in favor of prompt action. Called attention to the fact that Lt. Talbot had proceeded to Washington for orders, and that if this Senate desired that these orders should be of a pacific character, it is important that Virginia should step forward, and request the President to stay his hand.

Mr. Coghill again addressed the Senate in opposition to the resolutions.

Mr. Claiborne read a substitute, which he proposed to offer at the proper time, following the language of the pending resolutions, except the appeal by Virginia to her sister States of the South. They had committed no act of aggression, nor could commit any. South Carolina, though sinned against in the extreme, has acted with forbearance. Mr. C. Avowed himself in favor of preserving the peace, and the Union, if possible.

Mr. August declared that no man desired more earnestly than himself to preserve the peace and to see the national banner wave in unimpaired brilliancy and equality; but he desired neither peace nor a continuance of the Union, if done at the expense of the honor of Virginia. This Legislature has already, by the resolutions adopted on Tuesday, sent a request to the Federal Government to stay, its hand. Could any message be more productive of peace than that?

Mr. August commented on the clause, "for the present," as indefinite, and indicated other objections to the adoption of the resolutions, until, at least, they were considered by a Committee.

Mr. Nash expressed the belief that the pending resolutions were not only inconsistent with, but antagonistic to those adopted on Tuesday, against coercion. It was, therefore, unbecoming the prestige and dignity of Virginia to adopt them. If he could understand them as a proposition for peace, he would be recreant to his constituents in failing to vote for them; but, believing that their adoption would embolden the Federal Government, he felt bound to vote for the motion to commit.

the debate was further continued by Messrs. Thomas of H., and Rives, in favor of the resolutions, and Mr. Isbell against them.

the vote was then taken with the following result:

yeas.--Messrs. August, Brannon Bruce, Carson, Claiborne, Coghill, Dav, Douglass, Early, Finney, Gatewood, Isbell, Layne, Logan, Lynch Nash, Paxton, Penny backer, Richmond, Thompson--20.

nays.--Messrs. Armstrong. Caldwell Carraway, Jr., Carter. Crichter, Dickinson of Pr. Edward, French, Greever, Hubbard, Johnson, Marshall, Messrs, McKenney, Neal Neeson, Newton, Newman, Pate Rives, Stuart, Thomas of Fairfax, Thomas of Henry, Townes, Urquhart, and Wickham--5.

Mr. Claiborne then offered his substitute, as follows:

  1. 1st. That the General Assembly of Virginia ask of he President of the United States, in view of the imminent danger of civil war, an assurance of the absolute preservation of the status quo for 60 days except to repel hostile aggressions on all questions of difference between the General Government and the seceding States.
  2. 2d. That the Governor be requested to telegraph, immediately, this resolution to the President of the United States.
The substitute was adopted by the following vote:

Yeas.--Messrs. August, Brannon, BruceCarson, Claiborne, Coghill, Day, Douglass, Early, Finney, Garewood, Greever, Isbell, Layne, Longan, Lynch, Nash Neeson, Newman, Pate, Paxton, Pennybacker, Richmond and Thompson 24.

Nays.--Messrs. Armstrong, Cadwell, Carraway, Carter, Critcher, French, Hubbard, Johnson, Marshall, Messrs, McKenney, Neal, Newson, Rives Stuart, Thomas of F, Thomas of H., Townes, Urquhart and Wickham--20.

Mr. Thomas asked what is to become of us after the sixty days have expired. He infinitely preferred that no resolution should be adopted but that of Mr. Claiborne.

The subject was finally referred to a select committee, consisting of Messrs. Armstrong, Brannon, Newman, Paxton, Thomas of F., Thompson and Lynch.

Bills Reported.--Mr. Coghill reported a bill changing the times for holding the Circuit Courts of the city of Williamsburg and county of Henrico.

Mr. August reported a bill to authorize the County Courts to arm the militia of their respective counties and provide means therefore.

Mr. Thomas, of Henry, presented a substitute for the Convention bill reported yesterday by a special committee.

On motion of Mr. Dickinson, of Prince Edward, the bill providing for the call of a Convention was made the order of the day for tomorrow, (12th inst.,) at half-past 12 o'clock.

Galt's Jefferson.--A communication from Mr. Galt, inviting the members of the Legislature to attend an exhibition of his Statue of Jefferson, was read, and the invitation accepted.

Resolutions of Inquiry.--The appropriate committees were instructed to inquire into the expediency of sending propositions, viz: By Mr. Coghill, of providing for the deposit of the revenue in some one of the Banks in the different divisions of the State; by the same, of repealing the law requiring the branch Banks to redeem their notes at the parent Banks, etc.; by Mr. Isbell, of authorizing the Governor to deposit muskets and ammunition at certain places, and under certain restrictions, etc., (designated in the resolutions;) by Mr. French, of a general stay law; by Mr. Neeson, of reporting bill 428 of last session; by Mr. Marshall, of providing for the voluntary enslavement of Clara and her children, in the county of Rappahannock; by Mr. Lynch, of creating a magazine or arsenal at or near Lynchburg; by Mr. August, of extending the boundaries of the city of Richmond. --Several resolutions to inquire into the expediency of refunding taxes were adopted, memorials, etc., presented, after which.

On motion of Mr. Thomas, the Senate adjourned.

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