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General Assembly of Virginia.

Thursday, January 22, 1863.

Senate--The Senate was called to order at 12 o'clock M., by Lieutenant Governor Montague, and opened with prayer by Rev. C. H. Read.

The Senate were notified of the revival by the House of the Joint Committee on Sat, appointed at the last session.

A resolution offered by Mr. Douglas, declaring that since the 13th of April, 1861, Lieutenant E. S. Gay be regarded as Commandant of the Public Guard, and receive the pay and allowances provided by section 4, chapter 33, of the Code, so long as he may act under his present orders was agreed to, and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.

The bill authorizing Sarah J. Thornton to remove certain slaves from the Commonwealth of Virginia to North Carolina was passed.

The following resolution of inquiry into expediency was offered by Mr. Christian, of Middlesex: Of amending the act passed October 3d, 1862, entitled "An act to further provide for the public defence," so as to authorize the Governor, in his discretion, to exempt certain counties from the operation of said act in relation to the impressment of slaves.

Mr. Collier asked and obtained leave to introduce "A bill to provide for filling the offices of Delegates and Senators which are deemed and declared vacant by reason of the presence of the public enemy." Read, ordered to be printed, and referred to committee.

On motion of Mr. Spitter, the Senate adjourned.

House of Delegates.--The House met at 12 o'clock M. Prayer by Rev. Mr. Peterkin.

On motion of Mr. Boaldin the rules were suspended and the bill limiting the production of tobacco, &c., was taken up from its second reading, passed, and communicated to the Senate for the concurrence of that body.

The bill authorizing the Exchange Bank of Virginia to declare a dividend was taken up and passed.

The Senate bill changing the time of holding the general elections in Virginia from the second Thursday in May to the second Thursday in November, 1863, was, on motion, indefinitely postponed.

The bill incorporating the Petersburg Southern Female College was passed.

Mr. Newton, from the Committee on Confederate Relations, to whom was referred the subject of impressments by the General Government submitted the following report, which was laid on the table and ordered to be printed:

  1. 1st. That the power of impressments, to the extent necessary to the support and operation of our armies, is possessed by the Confederate and State Governments, in a state of war, but should be regulated by law.
  2. 2d. That, except in the extremely exigencies, it should not be executed so as to deprive the citizen of that reasonable amount of his provision, forage, labor, or other property, which may be requisite for the support or use of his family.
  3. 3d. That it is desirable that all property needed for public uses should be purchased at agreed prices, and that prices proposed to be given by Government should be promulgated as extensively as possible.
  4. 4th. That the arbitrary and final fixing by the Government and its agents of the prices of commodities and labor needed for public use, would place the interest of the citizen at the mercy of the Government, and is in derogation of his most sacred rights.
  5. 5th. That a like unrestrained right of fixing the prices of their commodities, or other property, by the citizen, would place the Government at the mercy of the individual, and would involve the most serious losses, if not risk — indeed, public bankruptcy.
  6. 6th. Therefore an independent party to protect the Government against extortion, and the citizen against oppression, should be interfaced; and we recommend Congress to consider whether the County Courts might not be constituted a fit tribunal to guard alike public and private interests and whether authority should not be given them to that end, to certify the value, at the place where taken in their respective counties, of property, not taken at agreed prices, on receipts to be given therefore by impressing officers.
Mr. Prince moved to take, up the bill legalizing Confederate currency, made the special order for to-day at one o'clock. After some discussion and various amendments, and in view of the absence of members feeling an interest in the bill, it was laid on the table for the present.

Resolutions of Inquiry.--By Mr. Bigger, into the expediency of appropriating a sum of money for the relief of those soldiers now in the public service who come from sections of country held by the enemy; by Mr. Lockridge, of repealing an act relative to free negroes in the Penitentiary; by Mr. Magruder, of repeating certain sections of the Code of Virginia relative to aliens holding and disposing of land.

Mr. Harrison submitted the following resolution, which was agreed to:

Resolved, That the Committee on Confederate Relations take into consideration the power claimed or exercised by Provost Marshals, in arresting and imprisoning, citizens of the Commonwealth, and that they inquire into the expediency of passing some law restraining these officials within the bounds of their proper duties.

Several petitions were presented and appropriately referred, among them one by Mr. Hopkins, from citizens of Rockingham, asking that that county be exempt from furnishing slaves to work upon fortifications.

On motion of Mr. Prince, the House adjourned.

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