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General Assembly of Virginia.
[Extra session.]


Monday, Jan. 14, 1861.
The Senate met at 12 o'clock, Lieut. Gov. Montague in the chair.

Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Minnegerode, of St. Paul's Church.

Resolutions of Inquiry.--The following resolutions of inquiry were appropriately referred: By Mr. August, of incorporating the Virginia Arms Company; by Mr. Isbell, of reporting a bill incorporating a joint stock company to construct a railroad from the town of Winchester, in Frederick county, to the town of Strasburg, in Shenandoah county; by Mr. Carson, of refunding to Henry Cooper, of Franklin county, certain taxes erroneously assessed against him; by Mr. Logan, of refunding to Patrick H. Scott, of the county of Halifax, a sum of money improperly assessed and paid by him for taxes on his ferry; by Mr. Critcher, of reporting a bill to refund the damages to such of the sureties of Jas. R. Courtney, late Sheriff of Westmoreland county, as may have been paid by them on judgements in favor of the Common wealth against said James R. Courtney, less the expenses incurred in collecting said judgments; by Mr. Dickinson, of Grayson, of authorizing the re-assessment of the lands of Daniel S. Dickinson, of Lee county; by Mr. Thompson, of reporting a bill allowing to Thos. W. Scott, Sheriff of Dinwiddie county, the same commission he would have been entitled to by law upon prompt payment of the revenue of said county into the treasury; by Mr. Critcher, of refunding to Albin L. Hardwick a certain sum of money erroneously paid by him into the treasury; by Mr. Gatewood, of releasing Jas. W. Smoots, Deputy Sheriff of J. J. Grandstaff, of Shenandoah county, from the payment of damages, if it shall appear that he has paid the full amount of the debt, interest and costs; by Mr. Dickinson, of Prince Edward, of legalizing the issue of the bonds of the county of Nottoway, by the County Court thereof, for the purpose of arming and equipping the militia and volunteers of the county; by Mr. French, of having the public arms more uniformly distributed in the Western counties of this State; by Mr. Claiborne, of placing vessels owned in the State of Virginia, and navigating James and Appomattox rivers, on the same footing, as regards taxation, as vessels owned out of the State.

Petitions Presented.--By Mr. Hubbard, of Robert Borham, praying that tax erroneously assessed be refunded to him; of Job Bennington and others, citizens of Grayson county, asking for the improvement of the navigation of New river.

Bills Passed.--Mr. Coghill reported from committee a bill allowing persons elected at the last general election as Commissioners of the Revenue, who failed to qualify within the time prescribed by law, to qualify as such, in certain cases. The bill was amended, on motion of Mr. Brannon, by the addition of a section providing that persons who had been elected Commissioners and qualified as such, but not within the time prescribed by law, such qualification shall be deemed as effectual and valid. A bill changing the time of holding the terms of the Circuit Courts of James City, and the city of Williamsburg and the county of Henrico.

The rules having been suspended, the two bills above mentioned were read a third time, passed, and communicated to the House.

Several other bills were passed to their third reading.

A communication was received from the House announcing that body had agreed to the Senate amendments to the House bill providing for electing members of a State Convention and convening the same.

On motion of Mr. Brannon, it was

Resolved, That two thousand copies of the law providing for electing members of the Convention and to convene the same, be printed for the use of the Senate.

On motion of Mr. Wickham,

Resolved, That the Adjutant General be requested to inform this body as to the numerical strength of that portion of the cavalry of the State which is unsupplied with pistols, and the number of pistols now in possession of the State undistributed, and to give any information within his reach as to the practicability of obtaining a further supply of improved pistols.

Mr. Dickinson, of Prince Edward, presented the proceedings of a meeting of the people of Nottoway county, in regard to the proposed State Convention and arming the militia of the county. Appropriately referred.

Mr. Finney presented like proceedings from a meeting held in Northumberland county.--Also referred.

Preservation of the Public Peace.--The report of the Select Committee upon the "Preservation of the Public Peace," was then taken up as the unfinished business of Saturday, read, and the following amendment thereto proposed by Mr. Douglass:

Resolved, That it is the firm and deliberate conviction of this General Assembly that, unless Congress or the non-slaveholding States give speedy indications of a disposition and purpose so to amend the Constitution of the United States as to effectually guard and protect the rights of the States against future invasions by the Federal Government, or the people of any of the States, Virginia should dissolve her connection with the non-slaveholding States, and casting her lot in with the slaveholding States, steadfastly adhere to them, in any future political arrangements that may be dictated by the necessities of their position and calculated to ensure their mutual happiness and safety.

’ The report was laid on the table and ordered to be printed.

Mr. August, from the Joint Committee appointed to receive and confer with the Alabama Commissioners, made the following report:

‘ "The Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Delegates, appointed 'to receive and confer with the Commissioners from the sovereign State of Alabama, and ascertain at what time it will suit their convenience to address the General Assembly,' have performed the duty assigned them, and they respectfully report that the Commissioners have expressed the wish to address the two Houses of the General Assembly on Tuesday, the 15th inst., at 1 o'clock P. M. In order to carry out the arrangement made with the Commissioners, your committee suggest that the addresses be delivered in the Hall of the House of Delegates, in the presence of both Houses, at the time indicated by the Commissioners.

"Respectfully submitted.

"T. P. August, Chair'n. Senate Com.,
"John Seddon, Ch'n. Com. Ho. Del."
The report was adopted; and,
On motion of Mr. Paxton, the Senate adjourned.

House of Delegates.

Monday, Jan. 14, 1861.
The House was called to order at 12 o'clock M., by Speaker Crutchfield.

The Convention Bill.--The House was informed by message from the Senate of the passage (with amendments) of the bill "to provide for electing members of a Convention and to convene the same." All Senate amendments were agreed to by the House; the latter refusing to reconsider the vote agreeing to Senate amendment striking out the prohibition against the election of members of the present General Assembly. Four thousand copies were ordered to be printed for general distribution.

Bills Reported.--Mr. Christian, from the Committee on Schools and Colleges, reported a bill to re-enact the act passed 9th of February, 1844, authorizing a loan by the Literary Fund to the trustees of West Liberty Academy; Mr. Magruder, from the Committee on Propositions and Grievances, reported a bill to incorporate the Western Virginia Insurance Company; a bill to amend the 2d section of an act entitled "an act incorporating the town of Bethany," passed April 6th, 1853; a bill to incorporate the Copper Springs Company, and a bill to amend an act incorporating the town of Christiansburg and extending the limits of the same. Mr. Chapman, from the Committee of Roads, &c., reported a bill authorizing the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad Co. to construct a branch of their road to some point on the North Carolina line; a bill incorporating the Norfolk County Railway Company; a bill to amend the charter of the Wheeling Creek Turnpike Company; a bill to create an Ordnance Department; a bill to amend an act to increase the capital stock of the Richmond and Danville Railroad Company, and for other purposes; a bill to incorporate the Western Virginia Insurance Company.

Resolutions.--The following resolutions of inquiry into expediency were read and referred; By Mr. Frost, of reporting a bill to amend the charter of the Bank of Ravenswood; by Mr. Christian, of continuing the organization of the Special Court of Appeals, and transferring to such Court for adjudication the criminal docket of the Supreme Court; by Mr. Lucas, of establishing an election precinct at the house of Wilson Bane, in Giles county; by Mr. Phelps, of releasing the securities of E. Tibbe, late Sheriff of Ritchie county, from the payment of damages imposed on them for the failure of said Sheriff to pay the revenue of said county into the treasury within the time prescribed by law; by Mr. Tomlin, of paying to James A. Bond a sum of money due for services rendered the 87th Regiment Virginia Militia; by Mr. Rutherford, of withdrawing Bill 67 of the last session, entitled, "a bill to give effect to the 19th clause of the 4th article of the Constitution;" by Mr. Phelps, of releasing the sureties of H. L. Pickens, late Sheriff of Pleasants county, from the payment of damages, &c.; by Mr. Walker, of refunding to Joseph Kline and others, or their representative, taxes improperly paid; by Mr. Rutherford, of reporting a bill to defray the expenses attending the recent revision and republication of the Code of Virginia; by Mr. Magruder, of providing for defraying the expenses of transporting Gatt's statue of Jefferson from Florence, procuring a pedestal for same, and for properly setting it up; by Mr. Lynn, of granting relief to the sureties of Mr. Fitzhugh, Sheriff of Prince William county; by Mr. Wood, of reporting a bill to amend the 2d section of an act passed January 3d, 1860, to authorize the opening of a turnpike over the Southwest Mountain to the county of Albemarle; by Mr. Harrison, of amending the charter of the Bank of Scottsville; by Mr. Woolfolk, of properly compensating officers conducting elections; by Mr. Maupin, of amending the charter of the town of Guyandotte, in Cabell county.

Petitions, &c.--The following petitions and other documents were presented and referred: By Mr. Ballard, the petition of Wm. Stratton, of the county of Logan, praying to be released from certain flues, &c.; by Mr. Smith, the petition of Jacob Coshorn and others, praying an amendment of the charter of the town of Charlestown; by Mr. Boreman, the proceedings of a Union meeting in Wood co [He remarked that it should have been presented at an earlier day, but it had been mislaid by him.] By Mr. Wallace, the petition of citizens of Preston, Barbour and Monongalia counties, asking the incorporation of a joint stock company to repair and Macadamize the Morgantown and Berkeley Turnpike road; by the same, the petition of citizens of Preston, &c., for repairs to the Morgantown and Berkeley Turnpike road; by the same, the petition of citizens of Monongalia co., praying a repeal of the license tax on breadstuffs; by Mr. Mathews, the petition of sundry citizens of the town of Frankfort, praying for an amendment to the second section of an act passed 27th March, 1858, entitled "an act to incorporate the town of Frankfort, in the county of Greenbrier;" by Mr. Campbell, the petition of Ro. H. Gray, Attorney for the heirs of certain officers and soldiers of the revolutionary war; by Mr. Keen, the petition of the trustees of the Pittsylvania Academy, praying that the same be converted into a military school, and asking an appropriation therefore; by Mr. McGruder, the remonstrance of one hundred and eleven citizens of Henrico county against the proposed extension of the corporation limits of the city of Richmond; by Mr. Witten, the petition of Rowland Fletcher, praying relief as contractor on the Raleigh and Grayson Turnpike road.

Ordnance Department.--The following bill, entitled "a bill to create an Ordnance Department," was reported, and on motion of Mr. Kemper, was referred to the Committee on Military affairs.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That an Ordnance Department be, and is hereby created, to consist of one Colonel of Ordnance, to be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and such subordinate officers, not exceeding six in number, to be appointed in like manner; the said subordinates to hold such rank as may be prescribed by the Governor, with the consent of the Senate. The pay and allowance of all commissioned officers of the Ordnance Department shall be the same allowed to officers of the same rank and services in the United States Army, on the first day of January, 1850.

The duties of the said department shall be the duties performed by the Ordnance. Quartermaster and Subsistence Departments of the United States Army, and such other duties as may be prescribed by the Colonel of Ordnance, with the consent of the Governor.

The officers of said department shall be governed by the articles of war, which are in force at this time for the government of the troops of the United States.

Reinforcing United States Arsenals, Forts, &c., in Virginia. --Mr. Smith, of Amherst, offered the following resolution, which, after being slightly modified by amendments, was, on motion, referred to the House Committee on Federal Relations:

Resolved, by the General Assembly of Virginia, That the further strengthening of the forts of Virginia, and the removal of arms and munitions of war from the arsenals within her limits by the General Government, will be looked upon as a menace or threat of war by her, and that we pledge her faith to restore the forts, dock yards and arsenals intact, if they shall be entrusted to her keeping, in the event of a peaceful restoration of affairs, and in the event of dissolution to account for them in an equitable division of the public property.

State and Federal Relations.--The Joint Committee on State and Federal Relations presented the following report, which, on motion of Mr. Caperton, was laid on the table and ordered to be printed:

Whereas, it is the deliberate opinion of the General Assembly of Virginia, that unless the unhappy controversy, which now divides the States of this Confederacy, shall be satisfactorily adjusted, a dissolution of the Union is inevitable; and the General Assembly, representing the wishes of the people of the Commonwealth, is desirous of employing every reasonable means to avert so dire a calamity, and determined to make a final effort to restore the Union and the Constitution, in the spirit in which they were established by the fathers of the Republic: Therefore,

Resolved, That on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, an invitation is hereby extended to all such States, whether slaveholding or non slaveholding, as are willing to unite with Virginia in an earnest effort to adjust the present unhappy controversies, in the spirit in which the Constitution was originally formed, and consistently with its principles, so as to afford to the people of the slaveholding States adequate guarantees for the security of their rights, to appoint Commissioners to meet on the 4th day of February next, in the city of Washington, similar Commissioners appointed by Virginia, to consider, and, if practicable, agree upon some suitable adjustment.

Resolved, That five Commissioners be appointed by the General Assembly, whose duty it shall be to repair to the city of Washington, on the day designated in the foregoing resolution, to meet such Commissioners as may be appointed by any of the States, in accordance with the foregoing invitation.

Resolved, That if said Commissioners, after full and free conference, shall agree upon any plan of adjustment requiring amendments of the Federal Constitution, for the further security of the rights of the people of the slaveholding States, they be requested to communicate the proposed amendments to Congress, for the purpose of having the same submitted by that body, according to the forms of the Constitution, to the several States for ratification.

Resolved, That if said Commissioners cannot agree on such adjustment, or, if agreeing, Congress shall refuse to submit for ratification such amendments as may be proposed, then the Commissioners of this State shall immediately communicate the result to the Executive of this Commonwealth, to be by him laid before the Convention of the people of Virginia and the General Assembly.

Resolved, That in the opinion of the General Assembly of Virginia, the propositions embraced in the resolutions presented to the Senate of the United States by the Hon. John J. Crittenden, constitute the basis of such an adjustment as would be accepted by the people of this Commonwealth.

Resolved, That copies of the foregoing resolutions be forthwith telegraphed to the Executives of the several States.

The Alabama Commissioners.--The Special Committee appointed to wait on the Alabama Commissioners--Messrs. Arthur F. Hopkins and F. M. Gilmer, Jr. --who were appointed by their State to visit, consult, and advise with the authorities of Virginia as to the best mode of protecting their mutual interest in the present crisis, reported that the Commissioners would be pleased to address the General Assembly on the subject of their mission, at 1 o'clock on Tuesday, in the Hall of the House of Delegates. The report was received and adopted.

Unfinished Business.--The Speaker said that the resolutions adopted by a meeting of citizens of Botetourt, on Southern rights, (understood to be drawn by Judge John J. Allen, of the Supreme Court,) came up in regular order as unfinished business. After a long discussion, they were laid on the table and ordered to be printed.

James City Circuit Court, &c.--The House was informed by a message from the Senate, (through Mr. Wickham,) of the passage of the bill changing the time of holding the Circuit Courts of James City, Williamsburg, and Henrico counties.

Adjourned at 2 o'clock.

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