House of Delegates.
Friday. Jan. 11, 1861.
was called to order at 12 o'clock M, by Speaker Crutchfield
, and opened with prayer by Rev.
J. A. Duncan
, of the M. E. Church
--Bills were reported from committees as follows: By Mr. Magruder
, a bill releasing the Commonwealth
's claim to a certain island in Chesapeake Bay
to Edward I. Pouison
; a bill for the relief of Edward McCabe
, of Harper's Ferry
; a bill to amend in act passed March 30, 1860, entitled "an act making regulations concerning licenses;" a bill to amend an act passed April 6th, 1858, entitled "an act to amend and re enact an act entitled an act for regulating foreign life insurance
companies within this Commonwealth, passed March 6th, 1856," by Mr. Chapman
, a bill to incorporate the Arnoldsburg and Sandy Turnpike
Company; a bill to extend the improvement of the Little Kanawha River
to the falls thereof, in the county of Braxton
; and a bill to incorporate the Lynchburg
and North Carolina Railroad Company.
--The following petitions, &c., were
presented and referred: By Mr. Christian
, the petition of B. M. Smith
, of Prince Edward, for relief from the payment of a fine inadvertently incurred; by Mr. Kaufman
, the petition of Col. E. E. Shryock
and others, asking that compensation be paid the drummer and lifer for services rendered to the 51st Regiment of Virginia Militia; by the same, the petition of Capt. James Long
and others, asking that leave be given to Henry Guard to meddle same articles without license; by Mr. Orgain
, the application of Paul A. Farley
, for the refunding of a pedlar's license.
--The Committee on Military Affairs asked to be discharged from the further consideration of the petition of Capt. James Kinney
, of the Rockingham Rifles, the same having been considered and rejected.
The Convention Bill.
, of Pittsylvania
, offered the following amendment to the first section of the bill providing for a call of a State Convention; all pending amendments being withdrawn to enable him to do so:
At the same time, the said Commissioners shall open a separate poll to take the sense of the qualified voters as to whether any action of said Convention dissolving our connection with the Federal Union or changing the organic law of the State
shall be submitted to the people for ratification or rejection; and in order to assertion the sense of the voters upon the question aforesaid the said officers shall cause to be kept a poll, to be head d "Upon the question of referring such action to the people for their decision," which said book shall have two columns, one headed "For referring to the people." and the other "Against referring to the people." and the names of those who vote for the former shall be written under the former head again those who vote for the latter under the latter heading.
When the said officers meet as aforesaid they shall ascertain and make return of the number of persons voting for each of the propositions, and shall forthwith send to the Clerk
of their respective counties or corporations a copy thereof, whose duty it shall be to transmit immediately a copy thereof to the President
of the Convention
, and also to the Governor
of the Commonwealth
and Ball supported the amendment, advocating the policy which it proposed as essential to a strict adherence to the principle of republicanism and popular rights, which is its essence.
offered the following as an amendment to the amendment offered by Mr. Keen
That the vote so taken in each county or election district, respect rely, shall be considered only as declaratory of the popular voice of the electors of such county or election district, and as a popular instruction by the electors of such county or election district to their own delegate or delegates to the Convention
, of Hanover
, advocated prompt action in the matter, and deprecated in a very eloquent manner the hampering of the Convention
with any such restrictions as the proposed amendments would impose, it adopted.
It would be competent for the Convention
itself to do what is here proposed, if they saw fit — and they would be the best judges of the expediency of such a policy, acting in full view of the events which shall present themselves at that time.
He regarded it as decidedly impolitic at this early stage to prescribe any principle of action for that body, when the developments of every succeeding hour may suggest — nay, make necessary, a total change of policy from that which now seems best.
vindicated the fidelity of the Northwest
to the institutions of the South
, and maintained that the people of that section were as ready to stand forth in defence of Southern rights as the East
advocated immediate action, and urged the passage of the bill as reported by the committee.
rose to a point of order; but the Speaker
decided that Mr. Anderson
had the right to proceed, the pending question opening the whole subject to debate.
resumed and concluded his remarks in advocacy of the bill.
, of Monroe
, obtained the floor, but gave way to Mr. Keen
, who desired to make a personal explanation.
concluded his personal explanation, by some remarks in opposition to the amendment to his amendment, offered by Mr. Duckwall
, and gave way to Mr. Caperton
said, the friends of the amendment argued as if the people were dependent on the Legislature for the privilege of expressing their will.
The Legislature had no power to control the action of a sovereign body.
All it can do is to furnish a mode, a convenient mode, for making known their wishes.
If this was the only mode by which their will could be communicated, it would be important to confer.
But they could make known their will in a variety of modes.
The people could communicate their wishes to their Delegates.
The difference is only as to the convenience of the mode proposed and the other modes suggested.
The mode contemplated in the amendment is most convenient, but are the advantages sufficient to compensate for the injurious effects which such a provision would have?
He appeals to those who will unite with him in an honest and persevering effort to save the Union
, to say whether the effect may not be far better than proposed, which ought to be to impress upon the Northern
mind that, in the contingency of a refusal to accord such guarantees as we think important to our safety Virginia
intended, and has prepared to sever her connection from them.
The inference from this amendment, should it be adopted, would be, that Virginia
was not prepared to say even that in any contingency would she dissolve the Union
said the discussion had taken a very wide range, embracing the Constitution
, Union, and other miscellaneous topics.
He had heard a great deal of the "Union;" but had heard but little of the Constitution
, and our rights under it, in connection therewith.
He offered, in the way of argument, a proposition that when the people came to vote on the question of a Convention, they should indicate whether they were willing or not to stay in the Union
, of Middlesex
, said enough time had been consumed already in discussion, and he would, therefore, call the previous question.
The call being sustained, the Speaker
stated the main question, which was on the adoption of Mr. Duckwall
's amendment to the amendment or Mr. Keen
. It was defeated.
The question recurring on the adoption of Mr. Keen
's amendment, he called the yeas and nays, which were ordered, with the following result:
, Arnold Ball
, Bentley Bisbie
, Christian Coleman
, Edgington Ferinson
, Fleming. D. Gibson
, C. H. Gilmer
, Goodycon's Hanly, Harrison
, Rockley, Hoffman
, Holdway, Hopkins
, Keen, Knotts
, Leitwhlli, Locke
, Marauder, J. G. Martin
Martin Wm. Martin
, M. Kinney
, Phelps Porter
, Pretiow, Randolph
, Reid Richardson
, Rivers, Saunders
, Setar, Sherrard Sibert, James K. Smith
, Isaac N. Smith
, A. Watson
, Ballard. Barbour
, Baskerville. Bass.
, Chapman Childs
, Friend Garrett
J. T. Gibson
, J. Gilmer
, Dunter James
, C. H. Jones
, Warner T. Jones
, Lina, Mallory
, Meddey, Miles, J. R. Miller
, Mong, Montague
, Orlain, R. K. Robinson
, H Smith Thomas Temlis
, Witten, Woolfolk
and Mr. Speaker
After being debated pro
it was withdrawn by the mover.
offered and advocated a motion to recommit the whole bill to the committee, but withdrew the same prior to a vote.
moved to reconsider the vote adopting the amendment offered by Mr. Keen
. He did so with a view of again submitting Mr. Collier
's amendment, heretofore defeated.
said he heard it asserted in the House
that the newspapers, politicians and Delegates were far behind the sentiment of the people.
It was very strange, if that was the fact.
It looks still stranger that the members were so afraid to let the question be submitted to the people.
called the previous question.
The eyes and noes being demanded, it was sustained.
The Clerk then called the eyes and noes, and Mr. Haymond
's proposition was defeated by a tie vote — ayes 68, noes 68.
Pending the further consideration of the bill, the House