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Message of Governor Letcher.

At the opening of the session of the Legislature yesterday the message of the Governor was read. It is characterized by that excellent sense and clear judgment which all of the State papers emanating, from him have evinced, and we regret that the reduced size of our papers will not permit us to give it in full. As to do that is impossible we give a synopsis of its contents. He commences with an eloquent allusion to the victories which have been achieved by our arms during the past year.


In after times, the origin, progress, and results of this revolution will furnish a theme for curious speculation and inquiry. It will be a matter of amazement that a Government great and noble as ours was, should have been sacrificed to the fell spirit of a wild and reckless fanaticism; that a large portion of the people should have been thought and so wicked as to make war upon the institutions of a minority, and drive them into revolution for their defence and preservation. But however this may be, it is certain that the Union is dissolved; and it is equally certain that we can again be reunited; and the man who preaches the doctrine of reconstruction is a traitor, and deserve's traitor's doom.

The Federal division of the State.

The admission of the forty-five counties of Virginia as an independent State, by the Federal Congress, clearly indicates that that Government has no longer a hope of accomplishing the subjugation of the South; and they are looking to boundary in the adjustment of the controversy which they have provoked. They have overrun much of our State, and this new State thus formed embraces counties both sides of the Blue Ridge. If in any adjustment the portion of our territory embraced by their counties is to be regarded as part of the Northern Government, it requires no prophet to decide what the future of so much as remains is to be. It is bound necessarily to be free territory. I cannot suppose in any treaty of peace that may be agreed upon Virginia will ever recognize this division of her territory, or ever assent to a treaty that will strip her of any portion of her domain. Nor can I think that the Confederate Government will ever assent to such an arrangement. Whenever a settlement shall be made some when it may Virginia is to be regarded as a whole, her territory is to be preserved intact, and she is to take her place in the Southern Confederacy as she separated from the old Government. Her proportions are not to be diminished. Virginia is to be in the future as Virginia was in the past. She is to be as she has been, "the Old Dominion," full and perfect in all respects. We cannot give up a foot of the Northwest nor of the Middle West--not a foot on the Potomac borders, not a foot on the peninsula, nor on the bay, nor on the James river. It is better that this war should continue for an indefinite period of time than that Virginia shall be even partially dismembered. Let every Virginian, then kneeling at the altar, swear that the old Commonwealth shall remain one and indivisible, and that he will never assent to an adjustment which will take from her one square foot of her territory.

Finances of the State.

The balance in the Treasury on the 1st of October, 1861, was $138,214.84 and the amount received from October 1, 1861 to September 30, 1862. was 954 12, making $9,093,047.96. The amount of warrants issued upon the Treasury from October 1, 1861, to September 30, 1862, was $8,658, $46.45, leaving a balance in the Treasury October 1, 1862 of $4 4,201.51. This balance, with the estimated receipts up to September 30, 1863. which are estimated at $17,324,446.63 will make $17,758,618.14 From this deduct the estimated expenditures for 1861, $17,691,763.49, and there will be a the Treasury on September 30, 1863. of $66,884.65

Of interest hearing Treasury notes there were in circulation December, 1862. $1,493.340. The of these notes in 1861 reached $5,025,960 and $5,510,620 have been redeemed. Of non-interest bearing Treasury notes there are $3,045,147 now in circulation.

Expenses of the War.

The total amount paid through the Auditor's of for the war, is $7,337,118.50, of which sum $1,314,951.29 is chargeable to the Virginia State Lice. It is cause for congratulation, that although be pecuniary burden upon Virginia has been heavy from the commencement of the war, she has sustained it with a spirit and courage worthy of her revolutionary fame. All the demands upon her that have been presented, have been promptly paid so soon as audited. No creditor has been compelled to wait longer than was necessary to adjust his accounts, and ascertain the amount to which he or she was entitled.

The Salt question.

The Governor says that after the passage of the Salt bill by the Legislature, he visited Saltville for the purpose of executing the law, and found his duty very embarrassing. The owners of the works, after the Legislature had refused to buy them out, had made contracts to supply several States, and also to supply the Confederate Government with 22,000 bushels of salt per month. In view of there facts, and the many obstacles and difficulties which would necessarily have attended operating the works after they were seized, he determined to buy salt, which has been done and the salt properly distributed.

The Penitentiary.

On the 9th of December last there were in the State prison 301 convicts — of which 240 were white males, 3 white flimsies, 32 free negroes and 26 slaves. The total number of convict employed in mechanical pursuit was 298. There are 107 free and slave convicts hired out. The report of the institution for the year ending the 29th of September, 1862 the Governor frankly confesses he can not understand. It appears from the figures that the profits on manufactures in the several wards have amounted for the year to upwards of $35,000, and yet the balance against the institution for the same time is upwards of $10,000. In other words "I do not see how profits should have been made upon every branch of manufactures, and yet the institution should not have been able to pay its expenses, and at the same time yield something very handsome to the State Treasury."

Compensation of Clears.

I transmit here with the proceedings of a meeting of the clerks of the several departments of the Government of the State, asking for an increase of compensation, upon the principles of the bill passed by Congress at the last session. It is absolutely necessary that some action shall be immediately taken up on this subject or we will lose all our most valuable and officiant clerks. Already several of our best clerks have resigned and entered the service of the Confederate Government, where the pay is better.

Recusant Justices of the Peace.

I have received information that several of the Justices of the Peace in Mercer county have taken an oath of allegiance to the Federal Government. The first question that pressured itself was, whether their offices thereby become vacant. This question was presented to the Attorney General for his opinion, and I regret to say that this experienced office can find "no law vacating their offices ipse facts" As there are doubtless many cases like kind in the State, I earnestly invoke your attention, so the adoption of the necessary legislation to relieve the State from all such unworthy, officers. The cause can be reached by investing the county Courts with authority where the fact is established to declare the offices vacant.

The Lunatic Asylums.

Shortly after the capture of Williamsburg, Dr. Galt the superintendent of the Asylum there, and his assistant physician, died, and their places were supplied by two physicians from the North who are now performing the duties. The Governor heard, from two discharged patient's who made their way to Richmond a few weeks since that the medical attendants were faith of and attentive, and they believed were well qualified for their positions. The supplies were ample for their support, but were badly prepared, owing to the difficulty of controlling the servants. They further stated that when their orders of discharge were delivered, they were informed that neither money nor provisions could be furnished, and they must make their way to Richmond as best they could. The Governor some months ago sent two gentlemen to Williamsburg under flag of truce, to examine into the condition of the patients there, but the Federals refused to allow them to enter their lines.

The Virginia military Institute.

There are new over 250 cad at this institution. The institute has furnished 8 Brigadier Generals, 58 Colonels, 30 Lieut. Colonels, 38 Majors, 110 Captains 116 Lieutenants, 12 Aid Camp, 26 Adjutants of Regiments, and 34 Adjutant Generals Surgeons, Quartermasters and Commissaries--making a total of 240. Of these 57 have been killed and 72 wounded in battle, and 8 died in service, making a total of 138--more than one half.

The crime of extortion.

The crime of extortion is denounced in the most southing terms. The Governor gives a single example of a cotton manufacturing company that has already divided 75 per cent, of profits and will divide 25 per cent more at the cross of the year — making a clear profit in twelve months of 100 per of upon the capital stock. The conscription bill, in its operation takes possession of individuals and puts them in service in our armies without their consent If the persons of men can be taken for the service of the country, why can not property and the enormous profits of the extortion or be taken possession of in the same summary mode, to all the country's cause?

The prisoners captured by the State line.

One hundred and eighteen of the prisoners captured by the State line in the brilliant affairs at Prestonsburg and Pikesville, in Kentucky, arrived here on the morning of the 27th of last mouth. I have had preparations made for their safe-keeping, and I have announced to the President of the United States the terms upon which exchanges can alone be made. In the meantime I have placed in the penitentiary and put at hard work Captain Gramm and Lieut. Wade, who are to remain at hard work as hostages for Capt. Duskey and Lieut. Vannor now in confinement in the District penitentiary at Washington city.

I have also placed in solitary confinement Capt. Thos Damron and Lieut. Wilson Damron, and privates John W. Howe, Isaac Goble, David V. Auxier, Samuel Pace, and Wm. S. Dille, who are held as host ages for the gallant Zarvona, who has been in confinement since July 1861 and who has been treated (if the half I hear is true) with a brutality unparalleled in the history of civilized warfare. Five others deserters from the Confederate service, have been turned over for trial. The other prisoners are confined and treated as prisoners of war, not to be released (with my consent) until some general rule shall be adopted in regard to prisoners and private citizens, which shall be just and honorable to the people of Virginia, and which will preserve their rights in future.

Free Negroes in the overrun counties.

The Governor thinks it would be wise to enact a law requiring all free negroes now resident in those portions of the State which have been over run by the enemy to be removed and put to work upon the fortification. I advise therefore, that you pass a law authorizing Confederate commanders to arrest the free negroes, list them, and deliver them over to the prodder officer of the Confederate Government for this or any other service in which is required. They will received good wages and be provided with rations. When the danger passes by the, can return to their homes.


May the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, who have watched ever us with such benignant care, dispensed blessings with no liberal and generous a hand, crowned our arms with fush brilliant success and preserved us from the horrors of subjugation still protect and defend us against the wiles and machinations of our unscrupulous enemies and in His own good time, establish our independence!

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