The Convention was opened with prayer by Rev. Thomas H. Trainer, member from Marshall.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Before the regular business is taken up I would ask the Clerk to read the 35th rule. I do it in no invidious spirit, because I am satisfied many members are ignorant of it.
The Secretary read the rule as follows:
"35. When the Convention is about to rise, every member shall keep his seat until the president shall have announced the adjournment."
MR. WILLEY. Mr. President, I desire to observe the rule under which a member has no right to absent himself from the sittings of the Convention except upon conditions. Circumstances, I think, make it necessary that I should be absent for eight or ten days - unfortunately duties in two different bodies. I wish to go to Washington to-night, sir, to be absent eight or ten days and respectfully ask leave of absence for that length of time.
MR. IRVINE. Mr. President, it is my purpose only to argue one single question. That is whether we would be transcending our powers to extend the boundaries. . .
MR. WILLEY. Will my friend allow the vote to be taken on this motion first? or I may perhaps have to leave the body before it can be acted on.
MR. POMEROY. I move that Mr. Willey have leave of absence for ten days.
The motion was agreed to.
MR. IRVINE. Mr. President, I wish to argue the question before this house, whether we would be transcending our powers to extend the boundaries prescribed by the ordinance passed last August, so as to embrace other counties not represented here; for instance the county of Pendleton and the county of Frederick. To arrive at a clear conclusion upon this subject, first I wish to consider this question, Mr. President, leaving out of view for the present that the legislature may give its consent to the exercise of this power after that power has been exercised. Leaving out of view that question for the present, I wish to argue the question whether or not we are transcending our powers in extending the boundary so as to embrace other counties not represented here.
Now, in order to arrive at a clear and correct conclusion on this subject, Mr. President, it is necessary that we should ascertain from what source we derive our power. It will not be pretended that we derive it from the ordinance of the convention that was passed last August. It seems to me clear that we derive our powers from the people that we represent on this floor. We represent the people of the thirty-nine or forty-two counties. We derive from them the power to make a constitution for them. Where do we get the power to make a constitution for the people who are not represented on this floor? - for the people of Pendleton, Frederick and other counties. Do we possess the power to make a constitution for them? If so, whence do we derive it? I think a gentleman on this floor, on the other side of this question, a few days ago, said we were the embodiment of the people; that we could do what the people could do. Then, I say, can the people within these limits make a constitution for the people of other counties not represented on this floor? Even if we possess all the powers that are possessed by our constituents, do they possess the power to make a constitution for the people of five other counties? If they do, they possess the power to make a Constitution for twenty, thirty or forty other counties, it seems to me.
It is clear to my mind, Mr. President, that they do not possess this power; that it would be an assumption of power on our part. But some allusion has been made to the ordinance of last August, passed by the convention. What effect is that ordinance to have ? We do not derive our powers from the ordinance passed last August; but that ordinance, Mr. President, has the effect to restrict and limit our powers to the boundary prescribed by that ordinance. Can we go beyond that boundary without the consent of the Legislature of Virginia or without the consent of the people occupying the territory beyond the limits of the thirty- nine counties? That convention, Mr. President, represented the State of Virginia. We cannot include one inch of the territory of the State of Virginia without obtaining the consent of the State of Virginia. Can we extend the boundary so as to include the ten other counties without the consent of the State of Virginia, and without the consent of the counties to be included? Have we not as much right to include ten counties beyond the Ohio river?
But then this objection, so far as the consent of the state is concerned, is to be obviated by obtaining the consent of the legislature after the power has been exercised. That is conceding that we at this time do not possess the power. It seems clear to my mind, Mr. President, that we have no authority to include within this boundary any counties beyond the line prescribed by the ordinance of the convention, unless we place it on the ground of absolute necessity. I am in favor of including Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson. I place this upon the ground that it is absolutely necessary that we should have those three counties in addition to the counties of Hampshire and Hardy; because without those three counties, unfavorable legislation on the part of Virginia might mar the prosperity of the new State as well as of the State of Ohio and of some other states. I think then it can be justified on the ground of necessity, and I place it upon the ground of necessity - that we must have these three counties; and I shall vote for the proposition of the gentleman if it is confined to those three counties. But I do not think that the counties of Pendleton and Frederick ought to stand on the same footing. We cannot contend that it is absolutely necessary for the welfare of the new State that the counties of Pendleton and Frederick should be annexed to the new State. I do not think we possess the power to annex them. I think we can make the other three counties an exception to the general principle on the ground of absolute necessity, and upon this ground I shall rest my vote for the introduction of those three counties.
MR. VAN WINKLE. On a certain occasion, sir, in the House of Representatives of the United States, a member from the State of Louisiana got up - in the old times, it was - and made a speech most bitterly denouncing the operations of the tariff. He then came to deal with the subject of sugar, sir, and thought by all means a good heavy duty ought to be laid on sugar. Old John Randolph, who as everybody knows, had some queer ways about him, got up and said he thought the gentleman had made a perfectly suicidal argument, because what he had said against the tariff killed what he had said in favor of the duty on sugar, and what he had said in favor of the duty on sugar killed his argument against the tariff (Laughter). I think, sir, the argument of the gentleman who has just sat down, although it does not come perhaps strictly in that category, is very nearly akin to it. If we can take in these three counties for any reason whatever, then, sir, the power is conceded to take in all we please. Now, sir, the gentleman's opinion is not to govern us here. It is the opinion of the whole of us. The gentleman thinks Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson may properly be admitted. Very well, sir; his opinion ought to be regarded, certainly, and will be regarded by every member. I think Pendleton and Frederick ought to be. Each opinion is entitled to equal consideration. That is the whole amount of it, sir. The gentleman very properly states that we are sent here to represent the people, to make a Constitution. Well, sir, this matter can be narrowed down to a very few words. We are representing the people who desire to have a new State; and it would take a power greater than exists anywhere except in the people to prevent us from making that new State to suit us. When he talks about the limited power of this Convention he must include everything, because this Convention in fact has no power. It may ask for informal meetings to be held in each county, but they can give no such election legal force or effect. It is therefore that we have had to resort to the state authority. When they permit us to hold an election under the sanction of the law, to vote and make returns with the proper officers, it means something. If we had decided upon these meetings, with a legislature in favor of us, the course would have been to call a meeting in each county, and in that meeting to have sent delegates to a Convention, the same as to a political convention and nothing could have hindered us. Then, sir, after we had made the Constitution to suit us, ours is but a proposition. We propose to erect a new State - and is there any harm in it? Cannot we propose what we please? Then, sir, if we wanted to have a vote on the adoption of the Constitution, that must be again done in an informal way. They must ask the people to assemble and express their sentiments pro or con on the subject. Not a thing can we do if the question is to come down to any power that is vested in this Convention. Well, sir, a lapse of four months has transpired since the action of this August convention. Is it not possible that there may have been some change of circumstances in that time? We may have some new light; and it is entirely possible we may be much better able to discuss and fix upon this subject than that convention was, not on account of superior ability but because the difficulties then surrounding some questions have been partially removed. I think every gentleman will admit that we do know some of us who were members of that convention tried to get this territory included. And shall we for a mere technicality - for the mere sake of a county court practice - forego the opportunity presented to us of making this State, by this extension of its limits worth something when it is made? Shall we forego the opportunity of placing within the territory and under the authority of the State we are about to erect and of fostering that great improvement that is so dear to all of us and on which our very prosperity depends? And then, sir, while we propose to take these counties that lie together, if as the gentleman thinks, we may take these three lying on the border, are we to take this little neck of territory and not take the adjoining county of Frederick which binds them together as it were and makes them a continuous territory? Why, sir, it might easily be shown that Frederick is as important to us in connection with these business interests as either of the others. The southern terminus of the Winchester Railroad is in Frederick. It is a branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad - a valuable branch and feeder it will be to it one day. We are interested in having that road maintained by every source of prosperity it can unite to itself; and to say we are to limit ourselves to these three counties through which this road passes, while those immediately adjoining may have as much control over its business as those three through which it runs, will not be wise or statesmanlike. The idea that county lines are anything in a matter like this is a mistaken idea. Counties are a mere subdivision of territory. The question presented to us is not whether this county or that is to come in. The designations of the Convention, although apply to districts, although for convenience counties are named. We consider that a certain scope of territory ought to be added to the new State. As this resolution now stands, sir, it appears to take the vote of a majority of the inhabitants within the district proposed to add, and for greater certainty, on account of the peculiar state of things it is added that there shall be a majority of the counties. That is to insure as far as such things can that there shall be a tolerably full vote - that the vote when got should be an expression not of the inhabitants of the county as such but of the inhabitants of the district. Gentlemen speak of counties unrepresented on this floor. Members on this floor answer for a dozen counties, while we have no sort of evidence that any one of them was elected. Yet we have taken them in. Thirty-nine counties were put in the ordinance by the August convention, though some of those counties were known to be opposed to this movement. Then, sir, we apply to these additional districts the very principle that the convention of August applied to the thirty-nine counties. They put them in one district. They had not even a provision that a majority of all the votes of the counties should accede to it. They said a majority of all the votes cast within the embraced by the thirty-nine counties should bind them all. For what reason, sir, are we now to alter the very principle that they have taught us, and assume another, that every little county may defeat the whole? Sir, you can bring it down to every road precinct. You may say that every incorporated town is to be consulted, and if that town of perhaps five hundred to a thousand population does not accede the votes representing twelve hundred outside of it in the same county are to be rejected. The principle is just as feasible as the other. They are only subdivisions made for the purpose of convenience. It strikes me, sir, it is almost too late in the day to raise this question. The Convention by a three-fourths vote yesterday determined those counties should be admitted. On a previous occasion they have determined, to put in others without giving them the privilege of saying whether they wanted to come in or not. Following the action of the August convention that has been determined by a considerable majority, and it appears to me it is too late to raise the question of authority, when we come to deal with these counties, when the friends of admitting new counties have settled the principle that we will take them in whether they want to come in or not.
The question then recurs on the adoption of the whole, and if any gentleman wishes to make the objection, he has a perfect right to make it. But I think the members of the Convention, or a majority at any rate, must be convinced that if this Convention is to be tied down to the narrow letter of the law as contained in the ordinance, with the interpretation given to it here, had better not have assembled - if it has no power over the only subject that it is entrusted with; and that is, to make this State suitable to the inhabitants who are to live in it. Now we changed the day, we changed the name, we have voted in other counties, on three or four different occasions arising on different subjects. The Convention then by large majorities in each case, voted that they have the power over this subject.
MR. POMEROY. My friend who has just taken his seat appears to be speaking on a different subject, or rather different from what I design offering a few remarks upon. I agree with the position he takes exactly about leaving it to the people; but the amendment that is now before the Convention for discussion, is to bring these people in without leaving it to the people at all - but take in these entire seven counties, nolens volens, without any vote at all. That is the amendment of the gentleman from Doddridge now before the Convention.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I was replying to Mr. Irvine and went as far as I thought he went. I do not consider that that fact affects his argument or my reply to it.
MR. POMEROY. No, sir; I do not know that it does.
MR. IRVINE. I was arguing the question whether we had a right not without the consent of the counties but without consent of the State.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I misconceived the gentleman's argument.
MR. IRVINE. That was the question before the house.
MR. POMEROY. The gentleman from Wood is all right only that he was not discussing the amendment. Now I am opposed to the amendment of the gentleman from Doddridge for various reasons: on the ground, first, that the people there have given no expression of a desire to be united with us. I am willing they should have an opportunity to express that desire. It is now proposed to bring in these seven counties without asking them whether they want to come in or not - to just throw the line around them, including even Frederick, and all that portion of the Confederate army there, without asking them anything about it. I am opposed to that because they have not said they want to come in, and I think they ought at least to have another opportunity. And besides, it has been argued here ably and eloquently by these very gentlemen that now take the ground that we may bring them in and regard them another tier, already decided to be thrown out, and that all they wished in the world was to let these people say: they did not want to force them out at all. That was the great argument. All we ask is to say to these people you shall be excluded if you say you desire to come in. But now the same gentlemen that argued this way, want to bring them in without asking them at all. The argument was adduced in the case of Greenbrier, etc., that they could not possibly have an opportunity to express an opinion against the time specified. But the argument on the other hand is that a portion of these counties have already expressed a desire, and the others are so made up of loyal men that they can express a desire. Well, then, why not give them an opportunity? Why endeavor to bring a people in contrary to their wishes, if they have a desire to come in and there is an opportunity for them to express that desire? But another reason: if you take these people in without leave to say whether they desire to come in or not you must either let them vote on the Constitution or else say they shall not vote on it. One of two things must be so. Suppose you do not let them vote, is it a matter of justice to include them contrary to their will and then force a constitution upon them when they have not the privilege of voting? But I suppose the other policy would be pursued, to let them vote. Here you will have seven counties casting a vote of eleven thousand. Not only so, but all that army now numbering at least ten thousand men within these boundaries. These soldiers not only vote once, but vote as they did at Harpers Ferry on the ordinance of secession, two or three times. Where is your provision for purging your polls? The soldiers at Harper's Ferry went up and voted and then came back and voted again. But here, it is a well known fact that this Constitution will not meet with the approval of every voter. There never was a constitution made by man of which I have a knowledge that met with the unanimous consent of the people. Suppose the vote is very close in our counties and we barely succeed in carrying it, are we going to have a new state with this hostile vote against it down there? Well, now you are in favor of a new state. Well, but I am not in favor of voting for a constitution, that these men however talented and wise they may be, will not let us have any hand in making. And they would go to the polls and vote against the Constitution. Gentlemen, there are men in other counties represented on this floor, loyal men, who will vote against a new state. And it is not true that because a man is in favor of the new State he will be in favor of a constitution. Men in my county voted against a new state, yet voted to be represented on this floor - voted to send men here to make a constitution for the new State and yet voted against a new state. Man is not always consistent. And here these men would say, strongly as we are in favor of a new state, we will not go into it subject to the arbitrary power of these men that assembled in Wheeling, threw a line around us and included us contrary to our will. We will not let them tear up all our former plans and submit to these new plans; because the plan already foreshadowed does tear up everything in the old organization of the State. All our system of county affairs will be entirely new if the plan that is foreshadowed be adopted. So in regard to our judiciary and legislative departments. It will be so in regard to everything. It will all be new. And here men say we have to submit to a new thing. Men will say talking like this: I have always been a justice and they are going to throw me out by abolishing county courts. And there is no telling what amount of influences will be brought to bear against this Constitution. There may be counties that will give a majority against it represented on this floor. And are we going to hazard this whole thing by this? And why has such a change come over the views of my friend from Doddridge? He was strongly in favor of just submitting to the people and saying, if you desire to, come in; if not, stay out. And now he turns around and says, you shall come whether you will or not, they are so essential to the life of the State. Well there is some of them I am in favor of bringing in, but I want them to come in accordance with the original plan of the committee, or some other. There may be various plans better than this one. I do not believe in coercion in all cases. The doctrine of coercion may be abused, at any rate, in everything. There is some similarity in this thing - coming in and leaving off the old. It is like a young lady breaking off and leaving her man for life. It will never be a happy relation without the full consent of both parties. But it would be a wonderful stretch of imagination to suppose that Winchester would vote in our favor, if the vote were taken today. All that region of country would vote against us if at all; and what evidence have we that the Confederate army will be gone?
MR. VAN WINKLE. Every information from Frederick county leads me to believe that the people there do wish to unite with us. The last news received from that section of the State show a very numerous majority against the ordinance of secession; and I think I can appeal to the gentleman from Monongalia to show that Frederick is all right.
MR. POMEROY. Well, I have no doubt there is an Union sentiment, and I wish therefore to leave it to the people. I have no doubt the gentleman from Wood could have made a Union speech there at one time and received the plaudits of the people, but I very much doubt whether he could do it now and be very safe. At least if I valued my life I would not like to make a Union speech at Winchester at the present time. Circumstances alter cases. Those people are smothered down. There are as good Union men in New Orleans as any man, but they dare not say they are Union men. But why do we try to include these people when they are so surrounded that they cannot express their desire. By the resolution as amended we have got three stricken off, so that four will now bring the whole seven in. Why then should we endanger our whole new state movement by the amendment now before us? I do hope the gentlemen composing this Convention will look at this matter in the true light, and not endanger the Constitution by running the hazard of these people voting. Because in their present excited and turbulent state of mind, and under the influence of the powers that pretend to be the legally ordained powers at Richmond, and with their present railroad connections, they will not vote. I understand from one of the gentlemen that lives in one of the counties that has partially complied with the rule, that they do not wish to come in, but want the people to have another opportunity to say they desire to be in. But here is an amendment that proposes to make them come in whether they want to come or not. Now, I think, Mr. President, I will not weary the Convention further, unless there is something said that calls for remark.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Mr. President, the gentleman from Hancock says that for various reasons he is opposed to the amendment of the gentleman from Doddridge. The gentleman from Doddridge is friendly to the amendment for various reasons which he will take the liberty of expressing to this Convention in a brief manner. Now, sir, men will differ and there is always a reason for this difference. And now, sir, let us look at -the reason the gentleman from Hancock and the gentleman from Doddridge differ and see what the causes are, and draw our conclusions from those causes. The gentleman from Hancock lives up here in the tail, I believe, of the Panhandle. He has a railroad there; I believe he calls it the Pittsburg Railroad.
MR. POMEROY. Pittsburg and Cleveland.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. It runs through this tail up there. He has been subjected to the unfriendly legislation of eastern Virginia. He has felt the oppression of it. They have opposed his railroad and he wants to cut loose from them. He has got his railroad and everything he wants. He is safe; and that is the reason he is not satisfied with the proposition of the gentleman from Doddridge. Now the gentleman from Doddridge has another railroad and he feels as deeply interested in it as the gentleman from Hancock in his. I believe that is the very reason of the difference between the gentleman from Hancock and the gentleman from Doddridge. He wants to secure the protection and interest of his people. He has accomplished his ends. He does not like to endanger the prospect of securing the interest of his county of Hancock by looking to the interests of the citizens composing my district, the county of Doddridge. I am glad, sir, that I feel a little more charity towards my friend from the county of Hancock than he does towards the citizens of my district. I am willing to look to his interests, the interests of those people. I am willing to take a general survey and look to the interests of the whole of West Virginia. What is that interest? Why is it, I appeal to you, that we are here today forming a Constitution for the State of West Virginia and asking for a division of the State of Virginia? I appeal to this Convention to know why it is? What reason do you assign for it? I understand, sir, it is because we are so located, so situated, and our interests are so diverse to the interests of eastern Virginia that it really becomes necessary for our welfare and happiness that we should be cut loose and have a new state, because our trade and commerce are in a different direction from that which the eastern portion of our State wishes to force us into. Now the legislation of the State has always heretofore been looking to force the trade, travel and commerce of West Virginia into unnatural channels. Well, sirs, we want to cut loose for this reason. We say to the world we have good reasons why we ask to dissever the Old Dominion and set up for ourselves. Well, if we do this and draw our lines and cut ourselves off from the other trade, we want to foster and take care of a line of trade that is vital to the interests of my constituents although it may not be so to those of the gentleman from Hancock; because I believe that his trade, and the trade of the other end of the Panhandle up here, does not look much to the trade and travel over the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. To cut us loose from that or leave it in a position under the care and charge of eastern Virginia and their unfriendly legislation, and they will legislate in such a manner as to preclude the possibility of that company keeping up that road. Thus we cut ourselves loose from all our trade.
Now, it is true as has been remarked here, that we have an outlet down the Ohio and out at the mouth of the Mississippi. We have our western connection now. Every man that is acquainted with the circumstances and situation of the country knows that. Still we cannot compete with the western trade. If we are forced into their market and if we have not the advantage of a nearer market and less freight than the west, we never in the world can compete with them. With the grain growing country along the Ohio we cannot go into their markets; but if they go to ours they have the additional expense of the freights between us. But if we are forced into their market with our produce, we never can compete with them, and it will be the utter prostration of our country. Mr. President, if we are guilty of the folly and hardihood of cutting ourselves loose from these counties proposed to be included by the amendment, the future historian will look back with wonder on our action if we preclude ourselves from this privilege. Shame will attach to us if we put ourselves in a position in which it may be possible we may lose this privilege of traveling the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Now the argument of the gentleman from Marion proved conclusively it was the intention of old Virginia to legislate against this road, that the act of secession revoked the charter of the company and that they have torn up our road and are throwing every obstacle in the way possible. And although eastern Virginia may be chastised and her ordinance of secession may not avail her anything, yet, sir, if we cut loose from her she will always have a feeling towards us to cause her people to legislate against our interests to the utmost of her ability. It is our policy and duty as statesmen, as men, to look to the interests of our new State and our future prosperity and greatness; and place this thing if possible out of the reach of these men who have always legislated against our interests, and embrace our friends who have always stood side by side with us in every conflict. I must be permitted to say, in the Richmond convention last winter the counties we now propose to include stood side by side with the northwestern members, and never flinched, never divided - voted for the Union and against the ordinance of secession. When I left the city of Richmond in order to secure my personal safety, I found these men still advocating the rights of western Virginia.
Well, the gentleman says the resolution without amendment submits this question to these people and they ought to be permitted to decide it. I admit frankly that if this would be an opportunity of fairly expressing their sentiments and coming forward to the polls without any obstruction, I would be willing to leave it to them; because I am satisfied what the result would be. But I have not got that assurance. I understand this Constitution must be submitted to the people of the new State, the consent of the legislature asked, and then submitted to the Congress of the United States, during the present session of Congress. That looks to the termination of this matter between this and the first day of June. And, now, sirs, I am inclined to believe from present circumstances and the surroundings of all this matter, that the people embraced in these counties will not have an opportunity of voting upon this question. A part of Hampshire, and part of Hardy may. Supposing they do; if the other four or five do not get to vote at all, you see, sir, that they are excluded. We do not get them, because the rebel army is there. It is argued by my friend from Hancock that because the army of Jeff. Davis is down there in the county of Frederick, we ought not to include these people. That is the very reason I want to include them; because these people have not had an opportunity of expressing their views, and because they will not have the opportunity of voting; because, sir, it is necessary and vital to our interests that we should include them, and it is necessary and vital to their own interests. We have a community of interest. Theirs is ours and ours is theirs; and why not include them? The gentleman seems to think if we include them they will have a right to vote on this Constitution, and they may possibly vote against it. Now, Mr. President, it will be recollected it was the argument in the August convention that we ought not to include these very counties simply from the fact that if we did they might vote down our proposition for a new state. Well, sir, if it had not been for that argument and reason before the August convention that framed our ordinance under which we are now acting they would have included these people. And now see how widely mistaken they were! And now, gentlemen, let me tell you that you will be woefully and wonderfully mistaken when you oppose including these counties because you are afraid they would vote down the proposition. We found that there was no opposition. We found seventeen thousand votes in favor of the new State, with less than a thousand against it. Then, sir, if we are wise and frame a Constitution and submit it to our people, it will be voted for as unanimously as the proposition for a division of the State was voted for. And we need not fear any difficulty in that respect. We need have no fear of these few counties voting against our Constitution. And, sir, if we frame a constitution that is to be so objectionable that we are to exclude part of them for fear they will vote against it, it is no reason at all why we should not include them. We should look to framing a constitution adapted to their interests as well as our own; and I am inclined to think they will look upon their interests as homogeneous.
Now, Mr. President, I deem it unnecessary to argue the right of this Convention to include these counties because that question I understand as having been settled by the inclusion of Pocahontas, Greenbrier and other counties. It does seem to me after the Convention has settled the question once, and by as large a majority as the vote on that question indicated, it is unnecessary to argue against the opinion thus expressed by the Convention. What is the object of it? Now, if there is a motion made here to reconsider and the question came up fairly, then that question would be up for debate. That motion is not before us, and why are we reiterating and arguing over and over again the question whether this Convention has a right to include certain territory peremptorily or not, after having decided it? It is something I cannot understand. But it is intended to influence the minds of this Convention to vote against the amendment I have proposed.
Mr. President, let me say, then, again that I do not think the August convention had any power to restrict us in this respect; that they are no party to this action. Now the gentleman from Lewis said he was not willing to include certain counties while he was willing to include certain others - that to include them we would have to get the consent of the Legislature of Virginia. Well, now, if we cut loose from every county here but the thirty-nine, will not we have to get the consent of the legislature even to them? We are simply taking the initiatory steps here. We are the first party in this move. We no more doubt what the wishes are of the people who sent us here, than the August convention knew. Now I presume the members will represent the wishes and purposes of their various constituents; that they know what the views and wishes of their constituents are; and if the votes and sentiments of their constituents are opposed to including any more territory in the State of West Virginia, as a matter of course you ought to be governed by it. And I must be permitted to say my constituents are in favor of including that which is absolutely necessary for self-protection and self-preservation. Then, sirs, we know what our constituents want, and the convention in August did not know what our constituents would want, because the question had never been put to our people. The question they had a right to put was, do you want to form a new State of West Virginia? That question was submitted; and the very minute they attempted to draw the lines and mark where the boundary should be and that we should not overstep those lines, that very moment they took power upon themselves they did not possess, because it was the people that had the right to apply this question. And now I ask you if there has ever been the question submitted to the people within the boundaries: Are you opposed to the extension of the boundaries of West Virginia. It has never been put. They have never passed on this question. But I understand we come up here advisedly, understanding what their wishes are who want this new State. And yet you desire to tie our hands and say we shall not carry out the wishes of our constituents because the August convention drew the lines and fixed the boundaries and we cannot go outside of that.
Mr. President, just one moment, let me say to the members of this Convention, if by our action here this day we place it in the power of these counties to cut loose from us, or if we take action by which they may happen by circumstances by which they are surrounded to be lost to us, we will look back with sorrow and shame upon our act, just as sure as we stand here this day. Just as certain. Now, why? If we go on and form our Constitution and submit it to the people in these proposed boundaries and those counties are deprived of the opportunity of voting, our Constitution is submitted to the State of Virginia for their consent and then to Congress, and we are received into the Union as a state, with the boundary as marked out not including these counties, then, sir, no future action of this Convention, no future action of the Congress of the United States, no future action of the people of West Virginia can ever include this territory without the consent of the state legislature of old Virginia, and for one moment have you the assurance or most distant hope that the legislature of old Virginia will ever consent to give you one foot of her territory? Never in this world. Let me predict the fact here now this day that if we do not now include this territory old Virginia will never consent to us receiving one foot more territory from her and we will lose that in all time to come. And you will find that she will legislate adversely to the interests of our great improvement which we are interested in more than any other in western Virginia and which identifies us and fixes our interest and trade and commerce different from that of east Virginia, and authorizes us to say our necessities compel us to take this step. We will lose the very object and purpose we have had in view and all our labor will be worth nothing. I would not give one cent, sir, for the State and deny to my people the very right to travel over the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Our every interest and hope of future prosperity are connected with it.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. Mr. President, after listening very attentively to the speech of the gentleman from Hancock and that of my friend from Doddridge, I am more impressed than ever with the truth of that couplet which says:
there's a difference you see
Twixt tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee!"
I think that is all the difference there is between the gentlemen on this question. I agree with both the gentlemen, as the Convention is already aware, from what I said yesterday in regard to the importance of possessing these counties through which this road passes, if it can be done in accordance with the spirit of the resolutions as originally proposed by the Chairman of the Committee. Indeed I would be so far willing to modify this, and so voted yesterday, as suggested by the amendment of the gentleman from Ohio or as was proposed, I think but not offered by the gentleman from Monongalia. Either of these modifications it seems to me, would put the resolution in a better shape for the people who inhabit these counties when the time comes that they can have an opportunity of voting upon this question. But, sir, from what I have heard and been able to discover myself in investigating this amendment it does seem to me it is not judicious to attach it to the resolutions as a condition of their passage. In the first place, I think it will weaken the probabilities of their passage before the Convention. In the next place, I think it is founded on a principle that it seems to me is wrong in itself. But that there has been a great deal said and I do not intend to trespass on the time of the Convention in making any further remarks in reference to it and in reference to this whole question of the right of the Convention to exercise the authority which is proposed here, I design to say nothing. It has been fully and elaborately discussed here by many members of the Convention. But I will take it for granted we have this extreme right of taking in these counties against the wish of their people. Now, admitting that, sir, for the sake of argument - because I do not deem the principle is a very correct one - would it be judicious and politic to exercise that right in the case of these counties? And now, sir, I have only one thought upon that. It has occurred to me in looking over the tables presented in the auditor's report and in the figures which accompany the report of this committee gentlemen will discover in looking over the list of votes on the new State proposition that has been furnished by the secretary of the commonwealth that the counties of Calhoun, Fayette, Logan, Nicholas, Wyoming and Webster have not voted in reference to these matters, or at least there is no return of their vote. Well, now, sir, these counties that have made no return, have taken no action in reference either to the election of delegates or the vote on this new State proposition, are supposed to be identified in feeling and interest with the secession movement - or at least the sentiment of the people is against the establishment of this new State. That seems to have been the idea conveyed in the discussions here on this question and I suppose it to be the correct one. Now in these counties not represented, we have a population of some 22,000 persons. Now, sir, in this district over which we extended our boundary, and which it was pretty generally conceded, but had not a majority at least there was a very strong element of an unsound character, opposed both to the new State and to the general government - I mean the counties of McDowell, Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Monroe, and Mercer which have a population of 31,000. Now we propose to add Jefferson, Morgan, Hampshire, Hardy, Frederick and Pendleton with a population of 65,000. I am speaking of the white population exclusively. Now, sir, I suppose there is not a doubt entertained by any member of this Convention that there is a large proportion if not a majority of the people in all these counties who are hostile to this new State and that have neither feeling nor sympathy with the objects of this Convention or the establishment of this new State. We have here a population of 118,000 in the counties which I have mentioned which were not included in the thirty-nine but which we propose to take in now. If I understand the character of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Doddridge, if it is carried it will give the persons in these additional counties through which the road passes the right to vote with these others which I have mentioned on the Constitution which is to be submitted to them by this Convention. Now, sir, that makes it a question of policy, of expediency, leaving the justice or right of the question entirely out of the debate. Would it be expedient to introduce an unsound element bearing so large a proportion to the Union element and new State element within this new State as that? Would it not endanger the passage of this Constitution? Now, sir, the fact was adverted to, and I suppose it will not be denied by any one, that no matter how good a constitution you may make, how much caution or discretion or wisdom may be exercised by this Convention in making a constitution, it is not to be supposed we can get any constitution that will command the entire vote of the people within the limits of this new State - not within the limits of the thirty-nine counties, much less within the limits which have already been taken and which we propose to take in.
Now, sir, in this district which we propose to take in now, and in the district of Pocahontas, etc., which we took in the other day, and in the other counties where no vote appears to have been taken if there was a vote at all, that vote and the polls at which it is held must be entirely and absolutely in the control of persons, or nearly so, who are opposed to this whole movement. I do not believe myself that the secessionists within the limits of these counties or within the original thirty-nine, intend always to maintain their position of not voting. If they discover that they can get any considerable element from the loyal or Union portion of our citizens to vote against the Constitution which we adopt I think it highly probable large numbers of them will turn in and vote with them; and sir, if they should do it, and it is a strong probability in my mind, they may defeat the very Constitution which we make here. Now, sir, look at the difference between the population. We have only something like 172,000 in the thirty-nine counties. You must take from that number the 22,000 in the counties not represented here.
MR. LAMB. Two hundred and seventy-two thousand in the thirty-nine counties.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. Yes, sir; that is correct, I believe. But in taking this 22,000 from it - which you must in making this argument you only make 250,000, in round numbers. So that you have 118,000 against that in counties in which the polls are almost certain to be under the control of men opposed to this whole movement and opposed to the Constitution. Take the number of votes that may be cast then and the number that may be manufactured - for they have wonderful facility for manufacturing votes - add that to the Union vote which may be cast against this Constitution - I hope it will be small - and I ask if it will not endanger the whole movement. Now that is a very practical question; and these figures strike me with much force. I think we cannot accomplish the purpose of acquiring these counties without the adoption of the principle incorporated in this amendment which might jeopardize the whole movement. I am just as anxious to include the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as any man in this Convention can be; and yet I would not be willing to run even the risk of sacrificing this whole movement after what we have done for the sake of getting either these counties or that part of the railroad which runs through them.
MR. HALL of Marion. I am at a loss to comprehend how the gentleman from Wood contemplates that it is possible we can include these counties by leaving it to the vote of the people if there is an element there that is in danger of swallowing up all the rest of the Union element in the thirty-nine counties. I say if they have the power to do with us as they may see fit; and they are inclined to turn upon us in this movement how can we expect to include them by their voluntary vote? I have not followed any of the minutia of the figuring and calculation of the gentleman from Wood because I maintain it is upon a basis that is not and will not be found to be true - practically, I mean. But if it were, I for one would not be willing to shape my course of action to avoid the evil or difficulty that he says we will necessarily encounter by the votes that may be cast by those opposed to us in every matter, the secessionists. I stated on this floor once before that we represent the loyal element, and I believe there is no contradiction of that position. If we believe the disloyal part of those within the proposed boundaries ought not to oppose us because they are disloyal - because they wish to be part and parcel of the Southern Confederacy - that they will combine with those who would be dissatisfied with the Constitution; and by that means create a power by which we would be overthrown - I say if we will quietly submit to anything of that sort we deserve to be overpowered. I want to know who have a right to vote and on what terms and conditions they may vote. We have this question up about what should disqualify a man from voting. I trust that in revolutionary times that we are not to stand still with our hands tied with full liberty for those we know to be our enemies in every effort. And I should look in that direction for protection against a combination of those in rebellion against the country, who would turn upon us and upon every project of the loyal citizens. Now for one I beg to say this, that the premises taken by the gentleman from Wood that we are to count all these counties that have not returned a vote here as unfriendly to us are not true practically. While it may be a fact there now that there may be no considerable portion of the people in those counties that are ready to vote for this movement at present let me tell you what will necessarily be the effect. Whenever the people throughout this country find that it is a fixed fact that we are to have a West Virginia and find another thing which will very soon be demonstrated, I trust and believe, that we are not to have a Southern Confederacy - I say then in lieu of finding these men rising up and combining to overthrow or thwart or retard our plans and purposes, you will find them denying that they ever opposed us; and you will find them coming right up to the work and voting. I have no idea there is going to be any voting to any considerable extent in opposition to this Constitution by secessionists. There would be if they could see an advance power that would make them believe it was possible for them to establish a Southern Confederacy and extend the jurisdiction of such a power over this country. Now I ask how many sane men can be found who will even harbor a hope that if there were to be a Southern Confederacy we would be any part of it? I know you will find persons to maintain it, not because they believe it, but out of a feeling of spitefulness growing out of disappointment. I don't believe it. I don't believe that a man tells me the truth when he professes to believe it if he is a man of sense. Well now, if that be so we are not going to have votes cast against the Constitution in this country. Men are not inclined to pursue a thing that they must see at once impracticable and where the support of it can do no good but must inevitably do them an injury. Well, there is another thing about it. Why have we no vote from these counties? Why is it we have had the number of secessionists we have in all these counties. I ask you where, by whom and how was this element of secession sown broadcast all over this country? Well, in this manner. The places, the offices, the funds, every element and power of the government, have been thrown into certain channels and distributed to hired agents all over the country, who have for their pay inculcated these sentiments and who have hoped to be paid still further if they were able to work out and return to the government a good account of their labors for which they were hired. You will find every office, every position, I do not care how low, they have endeavored to make respectable by attaching to it pay, and you have hired persons all over this country; and all the whole United States, the Government has had them employed to sow these seeds of poison; and by their plausibilities they have led along a class of persons that have been. but too confiding and inclined to look to others to lead, and have confided in their integrity. Because an honest man is very likely to believe everybody else is honest. They have followed these men until they have been led into the matter and this thing has been brought upon them in a moment of excitement and their prejudices have been appealed to. What is the condition now? These hirelings of the government have gone down to see Mr. Davis and others. You are rid of them; and, my word for it, you are rid of them for all time. Now I take it the same causes produce the same or like effects everywhere, and I judge of this thing by what I see and know in the vicinity where I live. Can these men who have been misled be influenced longer or again by these same persons? No, sir; those very persons who would have followed those leaders if it cost them their lives, would now if they should come back shoot them down like dogs. And what is the fact? These people will not vote - did not vote to any considerable extent - and why? They say we have suffered ourselves to be led along; we have voted wrong once, and we want to think of this matter deliberately, fully and calmly. We want to know just what we are doing before we do anything again. They are absolutely undecided. Thus it is a great many votes were not given. But because of this thing now we are to conclude they are lying back ready to rise against us. It is not so. Well, now here, again, I believe it was the gentleman from Wood, or perhaps my friend from Hancock or both, who argued that if you take in these counties, Frederick, Hampshire and these railroad counties, as they are termed, they will be an element that will vote against your Constitution. Suppose they did; and then supposed there is a possibility that the votes of the people of the thirty-nine or forty-four counties may be so nearly equal that it may give the balance of power to these other counties, and they may defeat our Constitution. Well, suppose they do? What is the effect? It does not destroy the State; but it delays the matter I confess and puts us to the trouble of going to work and making a constitution that would be acceptable. I would not like to place ourselves in that predicament. But that would be the effect of it. You are either to take in or leave out these counties. If you take them in we are told the people there may have the balance of power and vote down your Constitution. If you don't take them in you call upon my people, you call upon all this region of country out here to vote against it. Why? Because you are placing us in the position to use the figure in my mind of being wedged between the devil and the deep sea, and we cannot get out. Now would not that be the position? Would we not be bound and constrained to vote against it? Why? Because you are cutting us off from Maryland; you are destroying this great artery that contributes more than any other to our prosperity and the very means by which our industrial interests and resources are made valuable to us; and we are constrained to vote against it. And by excluding those counties you kill it within the thirty-nine counties, and have no need to go outside for an element to destroy it. My colleague said the other day his people sent him here to make a constitution for the thirty-nine counties. My people did not send me here to do that. I take it upon myself to say what I know that in Marion they would have voted this thing down but for the belief and assurance that it would be part and parcel of the duty of this Convention to change those boundaries. I tell you take the boundary of the thirty-nine and Marion will not vote for it. She is not to be put up air-tight in a jug and sealed up. She wants to work and have an opportunity to do something. It is known I opposed that boundary in the other convention. I came here expressly, sent for that purpose to aid those opposed to the boundary, and I did aid it to the extent I could, but I accomplished nothing. That thing was known to my people. My people endorsed me by sending me back by a vote that was nearly unanimous - scarcely one hundred less than the whole cast on the division of the state. I take it therefore they have said to me that my position heretofore was right, to oppose this boundary as proposed by the June convention. I said to them I am opposed to that boundary, and that convention ought to and would change it. And they said to me by their votes, go back and do that thing. Therefore I say Marion county did not send me here to make a constitution for the 39 counties only. Now I take it that is the fact elsewhere throughout the country. So far as the expression of the people as to the right and propriety of going into this question of boundary is concerned, I state this much in refutation of positions that have been taken as to our power. And while I would be disposed like the gentleman from Wood, to pass over this thing as a settled question, yet because I find and believe it will have an influence on the minds of members who believe they are restricted in their action by the action of the June convention I wish to impress and insist on one or two points that I believe are conclusive arguments against that position. That is this. It was very well argued by the gentleman from Lewis that in order to know what our powers are, their scope and extent, what we may do and ought not to do, we must enquire from whence we derive that authority. He very justly and properly said we did not derive that from the June convention. That is evident. Then his next position was that we derived it from the people of the forty-one counties. Well now, is that a fact? Now, I beg that members will remember the argument of the gentleman from Wood. He tells us how we are acting for a district without reference to county lines. It is a fact. I ask you this, if we are to be trammeled by county lines how can you act with any propriety in any case of necessity like this? Why, sir, that is the very germ of secessionism. It is to talk about the county rights. We have then to talk about town rights and individual rights. It runs to that point. We draw a line here and we describe it by county lines for convenience sake. And thus it was that in the former convention I felt there was eminent propriety in drawing our lines to the extreme point and that the vote of that whole district should determine the question whether we would or would not have a new State. Now we are proposing here to extend these lines, beyond the representation on this floor; and the gentleman from Hancock says it is utterly impossible at least in the ordinary course of events and we need not expect that these people in Frederick can possibly vote freely upon this question at the time proposed. Well now, I think that is possible; and therefore I am in favor of the amendment. I can tell you how it may be. I trust the rebel forces will be driven beyond that point; but there is this thing to be considered. When that is done, it will take some little time before you can get that people to act on a thing of that sort. And they are necessary. And I think while my friend from Lewis says under the authority of the salus populi he is in favor of taking these railroad counties and none others. I maintain under that rule it is necessary to take in everyone of these counties embraced in this section. They are so connected with us that if we take part we must take all. I think I am right in this; and if I am not the gentleman from Hampshire will correct me. The representative from Hampshire says he does not want to come in unless his people have an opportunity to speak on this question again. I understood him to say they did not want to come in here as an isolated part. They wanted the adjoining counties with whom they are identified in every interest; that they must necessarily have those other counties taken if they are taken into this boundary. That I think was the statement, and that I think is very reasonable and right.
MR. CARSKADON. We would rather our county had a chance to vote on it.
MR. HALL of Marion. And so would I. I would prefer that there should be no single man but what would have the right to vote; but I would not sacrifice the interests of the masses for the sake of the few. And if there is any doubt about having an opportunity for a fair expression of opinion there then I would look to the interests of all and act under the salus populi; and take them nolens volens. It is our duty and right. We know we do no detriment to that people. Their interests are with us and whenever they are relieved from the oppression and power under which they are now groaning, they will be with us. Their interests and inclinations are with us, and every consideration will lead them with us. And they will be bound when ever they can act, to vote for this very thing because if they do not that road is necessarily destroyed. They would be a mere outskirt of another State that would deal to them unfriendly legislation. In another way they would be driven to this thing. Necessity would drive them to it. I objected yesterday to the presumption that they were not represented here because they were not inclined to be; and I am not making the declaration that they would be represented if they could and would be in favor of this thing; but when we look at the necessity, I ask what must be the position of that people? That is the only way we can judge and the way we must come at this thing. And I therefore must urge we consider this fact. We do not derive the right from a particular county. It is only a method by which we determine upon a regular representation. We do not come here with county rights, but as a section; and we are governed by these considerations, and not trammeled by county lines. And then when we remember this further consideration that, as suggested by the gentleman from Wood, all we can do amounts only to what? Only to a recommendation - a suggestion - to the legislature, which has a right to act independently of and in spite of anything we can do as a convention, or that the June convention or any other, has done or may do. No, sir; they have the power, they have the right, to act. We can do nothing that amounts to anything more than a recommendation or suggestion. And it may be asked, then why are you spending so much time in the Convention? But it does amount to something, because the members of the legislature will consider that we are a body more immediately from the people and will therefore reflect more certainly the sentiments of the people than they do; and will feel themselves almost bound to be governed by what this Convention will do. Therefore there is a propriety in our consuming the time and doing what ought to be done. But whatever doubts gentlemen may have with reference to our right, when they remember it only amounts to a recommendation, and that the legislature is a legislature of the whole state, Richmond included, and that they have all power in the premises, and that they are the power to whom is delegated authority to act irrespective of us - therefore we ought to say what we believe the necessities and interest, require at our hands. And then it goes to the legislature; and when they act on that thing, if there is any change of the condition of affairs that ought to influence them, they will see it; they will act upon it and give it such weight as it should have, and they will do just what they think right to do all the time. Then they will act under the circumstances and do what they believe the necessities of these people require.
But I must insist, as stated by the gentleman from Wood county that we are not sent here for a specific and prescribed purpose - that there never was a body of men who had the right to limit us, and that any pretense to do so was arrogating to themselves powers they did not possess and has no force or validity - as we have expressed ourselves by setting aside this, that or the other. Because, if that is the truth then you are bound to close the Convention and submit - whatever you have got that looks like a Convention - you must submit to the people before you are going to adjourn. Now, if you are going to obey them, do so. You cannot do it. You see a necessity they did not foresee. Well now, they did not and could not foresee and tell what would be the condition of affairs now. And thus it is there is eminent propriety in our acting in this matter. And when we remember that it all means merely a recommendation, why we urge upon the consideration of the power that has the whole control of this thing, we have a right to include them absolutely as part of this section and that we ought to do it.
I am in favor of the amendment because if you allow the matter to be submitted to a vote there, with all the contingencies, it is only trammeling the legislature in its action with reference to the matter. And if we include them it is perfectly competent, if not the reason may be apparent when they act for them to exclude them. If there are any facts, any circumstances, they may have that we have not, it will be for them to act on them and exclude them afterwards. But I do insist there is an impropriety in fixing an election to be held if we believe the circumstances will be such they cannot hold an election. I think there are more chances there in most of those counties than in the district with reference to which we took this same action a few days ago. But still there are chances that we may not have their action in time, and therefore I am for taking them in absolutely. It does not amount to coercion, really. We have no power to take them in; but that does not make the matter obligatory on them until the legislature has acted. But if the legislature sees any good reason why they would change it as they have a right to do. I trust we will not feel ourselves tied up, but will act upon this matter looking to the great good of the people with respect to their absolute necessity and that we will not be so tender about a supposed objection over there. It will be time enough to look to that when we know it. And we will do what we conceive ought to be done; and when we do that, we do really what our people sent us here to do.
MR. WILLEY. Mr. President, I think we are ready to take the vote, sir, and I do not rise to make a speech again. It is interesting to hear members repeat the arguments which we have repeated a half dozen times; but, then, I do not know, sir, that it will amount to anything in the result of our deliberations. As I remarked yesterday I am inclined to concede the right, and was willing to proceed on the principle as established by the Convention. This Convention has established the right to include them without submitting to the vote, as I think arbitrarily. But I do not rise to repeat the argument which I made in opposition to this principle the other day. Perhaps gentlemen may have accomplished something by reiterating the same argument. Continued dropping wears the stone after while it is said. I confess, sir, however, that I am only the more strongly and fixedly convinced that if this amendment passes it will violate a fundamental principle more important and more valuable than any advantage we can derive from adding these counties to us - although I am willing to admit the force of the arguments of gentlemen in that respect in their full latitude and extent.
I rise simply, sir, to say this much that I may be placed right on the record, not to repeat the argument: there is one of the arguments of the gentleman from Marion which is new, and therefore I choose to attempt to answer it. That the action of this body is recommendatory - that is not new; but moreover, that it accomplishes nothing. Why, sir, we have been spending a great deal of time then to accomplish nothing. Sir, it is designed to accomplish a violation of the very fundamental principle to which I alluded. It is true we can only recommend, but our recommendation is designed to have some influence; and supposing that the legislature should coincide with the gentleman from Marion in his views and assent to a division of the state including these counties under consideration, and Congress should also give its assent, and these counties should thus be included what would be the result as to them? It is true, I suppose, that the Constitution which we prepare will be submitted to them for their adoption or rejection; but gentleman say it is not at all probable many of them, that these counties can vote upon the Constitution. It is not at all probable. It is alleged that they will be in a condition which will enable them to express their opinion for or against the Constitution which we may ordain, and therefore they argue we had better include them at once. Why, sir, we are placing these counties in a very awkward position. We are adding to their misfortunes, multiplying the grievances you wish to impose on them. We are taking their destinies entirely into our own hands. According to that argument they may not have even an opportunity to vote on the Constitution which they had no voice in framing. That is to say we may absolutely take it upon ourselves to frame a Constitution without consulting them, and practically to impose it on them without them having an opportunity to give their assent or dissent. It is this grievance to which I allude, and the grand fundamental principle which prevents me from voting for the amendment. Although they may have an opportunity of voting on the Constitution, as I hope they will have if included, they have no opportunity of being heard here on this floor in the formation and ordination of the fundamental law under which they are to live. I shall not repeat the arguments. As between the amendment and the original proposition, the original proposition does not meet my approbation, but the amendment makes it worse; and therefore I shall have to go against the amendment, reserving my judgment for the original proposition if the amendment is defeated. I shall perhaps offer an amendment to the original proposition if this amendment should be defeated.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Does the gentleman intend to offer the amendment he indicated yesterday?
MR. WILLEY. I do, sir.
MR. VAN WINKLE. It might be properly offered, I think as a substitute for the present one. While I have no doubt of the right, as I have two or three times stated, of this Convention to adopt this amendment and put things on the basis where this would leave them, I still think that possibly it might be injudicious. It is very possible, indeed, that the people living in those counties, remote from us, not having such immediate connection with us as those in the other boundaries, being populous, wealthy and intelligent counties, might infer if they were not consulted about this matter it was something in derogation of them, and upon that premise they might be induced to vote against their connection with us, while otherwise they would choose to come in. I make this suggestion to the friends of the present movement, because, it has been weighing on my mind ever since it was proposed in the Convention; and I have that kind of doubt about the propriety of it, arising not from the mere question of right, but arising from its practical operation, that it might offend those whom we should desire to conciliate. They might think they were not treated as well as they ought to be. The amendment of the gentleman from Monongalia, with some modification would seem to be a judicious one; if this is voted down, and I should like to have heard a comparison between the two - I think the amendment of the gentleman from Monongalia - the one that has been talked of - if it included certain counties as a district which should be dependent on one another, and if a majority of the district were favorable, and then left the operation with the other counties, in the way he had drawn it up, it would accomplish the views of every member who wishes to see these counties connected with us, and they would receive it as more like a courtesy than voting them in without consulting them.
MR. WILLEY. I had understood the gentleman as desiring to offer some modification to my proposition; and I supposed if I offered it as an amendment to the amendment it would exhaust the privilege; I therefore thought I had better let the vote be taken on this clause by the Convention first.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I must say, sir, we have come here to perform the high duty of forming a state; and in doing that the high consideration should be that course which would redound to the prosperity of that state. It seems to me that when we have considered that which really is necessary and proper, which constitutes the great object of our assemblage, that if we should find ourselves trammeled or annoyed by the ordinance that assembles us, as wise men, assembled to effectuate a broad and great object, we should free ourselves from that trammel. The gentleman from Lewis found himself very much troubled. While he recognized the importance - the almost necessity - of taking the step that was proposed, he still bowed in deference without the means of accomplishment. And he seemed to range himself on the side of the ordinance against the right, while I find myself compelled to range myself on the side of the right, and defend the rights of the people, whether the ordinance should be in the way or not. The view I have taken of this subject heretofore I have expressed to this house - that I could feel the ordinance was no trammel, was never intended to be; and that we do not here derive our power from that ordinance. I, like the gentleman, hold my authority to act here is derived immediately from the people; and that the authority is delegated to accomplish the high end of the formation of a constitution and state - not to defeat that very object by following the letter of an instruction that has shown itself to be utterly impossible to attain the end; that we have to violate it at every step or go home without accomplishing that for which we were sent.
Now, sir, it seems to me that some of these counties are so essential, that there are such high considerations and reasons for their inclusion as renders it necessary that this Convention should take definite action. The only difficulty in my mind has been the inclusion of some others that do not seem to stand in that category. The county of Frederick or Pendleton does not stand upon the high ground or have the same claims upon us that the other counties along the railroad do. But this Convention has determined in its wisdom and power that Pendleton shall not be stricken out; therefore the question results whether we shall abandon the railroad and all its benefits to the State or abandon the county of Pendleton. The question that troubles the gentleman last on the floor so much is that we are here proposing to take action on this question without consulting the wishes of these people. I confess this does not trouble me. We have asked already in the case of these other counties, and acted as I understand on this high policy of state necessity - the security and safety and prosperity of not only those people but all the rest of the people in the State. We have acted on the principle that while we cannot have extended to them the privilege and opportunity of expressing their sentiments and being with us while circumstances are such as in all human probability will entirely prevent them from having such an opportunity if extended; and therefore we have come up to the high consideration, it seems to me, of determining the question as men and not trifling with it as children. But if the same reasons apply to the counties in this category, I do not see how we should shrink from the same action, that is, to extend to the people who will have no opportunity to vote the same benefits as to ourselves, which they can have no hand in at the time, and this Convention has decided that they will not permit the legislature to extend the time as circumstances may determine and the necessities may develope - that it shall take place on the day prescribed. I say, then, if when that time arrives these contingencies are such that you will take no vote, then we fail to get them and settle the case definitely. You not only endanger the success of the whole concern by dallying to please these counties that may fail or may not fail as the case may be. I go upon the ground of necessity and interests of these people as well as our own, but that these people are like ourselves actuated by their own interests, and that they have shown heretofore an allegiance as clear and distinct as that of any other people. That it cannot be supposed if they vote at all they would seek to vote themselves with us unless you do violence to every instinct of human nature by supposing they will vote against their own interests. Hence, what are your hopes of securing the efficiency of that road. It is that every interest that induced them to vote for the Union when their brethren were going into the Confederacy would influence them to vote to come into the new State. Why was it the Union men of Augusta and Staunton were more emphatically Union than any people in the State of Virginia, and where there was as strong and deeply imbedded sentiment in behalf of the Union as in any county in the State; and by their election in February they showed, and by their delegates in the Convention, and by all the past history of the county they have shown it. But with the Covington and Ohio Railroad passing right through them and terminating in Richmond, with the assurance of their delegates that the Confederacy was a fixed fact and they would be compelled to be a part of it with all their interests connected with the Confederacy, we find them abandoning their love of the Union and yielding at last to the seductive influences brought round them. They took the railroad to the Southern Confederacy; and for the very same reason, actuated by the very same motives, of self interest, influenced by the same reasons which impel men to follow their interests you find the people along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, knowing that whatever fate may befall the Confederacy their destinies were inseparably united with Baltimore, and that was in the Union; and so there they are found all for the Union. It is the interests of these people that have induced these differences of opinion. It is the main reason. But I say these very interests now operate to induce them as well as us to stick together and stand by the Union. I can see no reason why they would vote against still continuing the securities and guaranties of that road which secures their interests. That is the very object we are now proposing in this action. We are two peoples in the State of Virginia. One half of the state are calling us traitors; and we, the other half, are calling them rebels. We are divided in sentiment, in interest; we are divided in feeling, and divided now, sir, in the directions in which we look for future security and prosperity. These people live in our part; their interests are with us; their lines of communication run with us; and the very reason we are proposing to take them is, because our interests are dependent, in a very great degree, on their safety and security. Everything, therefore, almost, induces them, whenever an opportunity to speak is afforded them to speak on our side. And the question is shall we secure them that opportunity by now defining the boundaries, at once fixing and prescribing them as we have done in the case of these other counties, knowing what they will do whenever they get an opportunity, or permit the want of an opportunity to defeat the whole concern by extending them the privilege they would never have the opportunity of exercising. These are the motives that induce me to vote for this amendment. And the only difficulty I find in my mind in the subject at all is the addition of other counties that were not in the precise necessity in my mind that this Convention has determined must go along with them.
MR. CARSKADON. I desire to be fully understood in the vote which I intend to give on this question; and I wish the Convention to understand that I am decidely in favor of the county of Hampshire coming in, as I stated the other day, with the adjoining counties. And I am in favor of her and the rest of the counties named in section 5 (now I believe 7). I am in favor of their having an opportunity to vote or give some intimation of their desire to come in. If they are to be included arbitrarily, I think it wise and proper that this Convention give them a chance first to vote; and if that action, is to be had, let it be had or taken by the legislature. They will know exactly the position in which the counties stand; and if we make some provision by which if the obstacles are removed they may vote we will not injure the cause in the least, because the legislature will then have the whole thing before them and they can fix the boundary as seems best. Therefore I think it, as the gentleman from Wood has said, wise and judicious to give them an opportunity, to extend this courtesy to them, that they may if the circumstances permit, vote upon the question. These being my views, as I before stated, I consider it a violation of a fundamental principle, as the gentleman from Monongalia has said, to arbitrarily include them, without a chance to vote, on the organic law. Therefore, I am opposed to taking them in arbitrarily in violation of that principle; and I would be compelled to vote against the amendment on that account at any rate. But another and stronger reason is, because I think we have not exhausted the means which are in our power to give these people a chance to vote. It is time enough as I before stated to let the legislature have the ultimatum of including them arbitrarily if they must. Therefore I feel constrained to vote against the amendment of the gentleman from Doddridge.
MR. LAMB. Mr. President, I have no doubt that the Convention is anxious to decide the question and I shall detain them but a moment. I may remark that I trust the Convention, notwithstanding the vote which was taken yesterday will be disposed to adopt any feasible measure for the purposes of insuring to the people of these counties a vote on this subject. We may very properly have disapproved of the amendment which was proposed yesterday; but before we adjourn I do trust that the right of these people to vote on this question will not be confined to a particular day, and that the whole measure of including these counties in the new State will not be defeated if upon that particular day it is impracticable to exercise this right. With this view, that the Convention before it adjourns, - before in finally adjourns - will adopt such measures as will insure to the people of this district the right of deciding this question for themselves, I must say that I cannot vote for the amendment of the gentleman from Doddridge. It is well known that upon the question of power, I have entertained no difficulty; but I do think without attempting to argue the question, that to say to these people "You shall come in," is not the most judicious mode of accomplishing our object of getting them in. The considerations which were urged by the gentleman from Wood, have great influence with me on this subject. I believe we can get them in, we can have them part of us, with their consent. We can have them included within our boundaries within a reasonable time with their consent, if proper measures are adopted for that purpose; and though I have no doubt on the question of power, for our whole action is but recommendatory, our whole action is to be submitted to the people of the State for their ratification. I would have that consent where it is practicable to obtain it within a reasonable time, and I do think that by saying to these people, "You shall come in, whether you consent or not" you are degrading really the whole measure.
Without detaining the Convention, I will beg leave to make a further remark in explanation of this ordinance so often referred to. That ordinance provided that this Convention might include the counties of Hampshire, Hardy, Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson, and such counties as lie contiguous to them, if the counties to be added by a majority of the votes given, should declare their wish to form part of the proposed state. It is true that convention required the vote to be taken on a particular day, but that particular day is not the substance, not the substantial part, of this provision. The Convention did intend that these counties should have an opportunity of deciding that question for themselves - for all these seven counties are strictly included in the language here used. They did intend these and with them those contiguous should become part and parcel of the new State if they were willing to do so. It is but carrying out in substance the action of that convention. It is not violating it substantially; for certainly that convention did not intend that the particular day on which the vote should be given should be entirely conclusive and final in regard to so important a matter. That Convention acted, as I have before stated, undoubtedly on the supposition that this vote should be taken on the 4th Thursday of October; but they were mistaken in it, and the question comes before us under circumstances which they did not anticipate and provide for.
MR. HAYMOND. I desire to say to you, sir, and this Convention that I am opposed to the motion of the gentleman from Doddridge. I never can vote for it. And in the next place I desire to say to my distinguished friend from Monongalia if he offers his amendment I shall vote for it with the greatest pleasure. Sir, I am not afraid of this Baltimore and. Ohio Railroad being cut off. I shall vote for the amendment, I say, of the gentleman from Monongalia. And I beg to say whilst I am up that my colleague says he is representing the people of Marion - that they want him to hunt up territory. Sirs, I know something of that people. I tell my colleague, sirs, the very last man I saw was a distinguished friend and he told me, says he, "I know how you stand on these principles, and I want you to stand by them and not jeopardize the State." I said to him, sirs, I was coming down here for a new state; and by the gods I would stand by it (Merriment). Sirs, the gentleman says that a majority of the people of Marion are for extending the territory. I have never seen a single man in the county of Marion except my colleague who wants the territory extended. I have seen about thirty since I have been here, and they have all told me to stand by the boundary. I told them I intended to do it.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I call for the yeas and nays.
The yeas and nays were ordered, on the motion made yesterday by Mr. Stuart of Doddridge to amend the third resolution by striking out thereof all after "State" in the twenty-second line, and being taken resulted:
YEAS - Messrs. Hall of Mason (President), Brown of Kanawha, Chapman, Dolly, Hall of Marion, Ruffner, Sheets, Soper, Stuart of Doddridge - 9.
NAYS - Messrs. Brown of Preston, Brooks, Brumfield, Battelle, Caldwell, Carskadon, Gassaday, Dering, Dille, Hansley, Haymond, Harrison, Hubbs, Hervey, Hagar, Irvine, Lamb, Lauck, Montague, Mahon, O'Brien, Parsons, Powell, Parker, Paxton, Pomeroy, Sinsel, Simmons, Stevenson of Wood, Stewart of Wirt, Taylor, Trainer, Van Winkle, Willey, Walker, Warder, Wilson - 37.
So the amendment was rejected.
MR. WILLEY. I do not know whether I shall be able to meet with the Convention this evening. I therefore avail myself of this opportunity to offer the amendments to the resolution indicated a while ago.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Will the gentleman be kind enough, as he is going to leave us, to occupy one or two minutes in explaining the spirit and force of them.
MR. WILLEY. I will read them. I will state before doing so my object is to begin with the territory that is contiguous to us and take it in as it may come in so as to keep each part voting in contiguous and adjacent until we run against a county that sees proper to vote itself out. That is take each county as follows:
"That the counties of Pendleton, Hardy and Hampshire ought to be included in the proposed State of West Virginia, provided, a majority of the votes cast in the said county of Pendleton, and also in the said county of Hardy, and also in the said county of Hampshire, at elections to be held therein, on the day of , 1862, is in favor of the adoption of the Constitution to be submitted by this Convention.
RESOLVED, That the county of Morgan, ought to be included in the said State provided a majority of the votes cast therein, on the day aforesaid, is in favor of the adoption of said Constitution, and provided, further, that the said counties of Pendleton, Hardy and Hampshire shall be included therein, as aforesaid."
You will perceive if these counties vote themselves in and the county of Morgan also votes to come, she may come in; but if the other counties of Hardy, Pendleton and Hampshire voted not to come in, then the county of Morgan could not come in. I wish to take territory, as they say, "Ranging" - as it comes.
Then I have a third resolution as follows:
"RESOLVED, That the county of Berkeley ought to be included in the said State, provided a majority of the votes cast therein on the day aforesaid, is in favor of said Constitution; and provided, further, that the said counties of Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire, and Morgan shall be included as aforesaid."
I have for resolution four:
"RESOLVED, That the county of Jefferson ought to be included in the said State, provided a majority of the votes cast therein on the day aforesaid, is in favor of the adoption of said Constitution; and provided, further, that the counties of Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire, Morgan and Berkeley shall be included in said State as aforesaid."
Then I have the last resolution:
"RESOLVED, That the county of Frederick ought to be included in the said State, provided, a majority of the votes cast therein on the day aforesaid, is in favor of the adoption of said Constitution, and provided, further, that the counties of Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire, Morgan and Berkeley, shall be included in the said State in manner and form aforesaid."
I do not care if Jefferson does not come in because Frederick would make proper and contiguous territory although Jefferson might not come in. I have not time to explain the resolution further. They explain themselves however.
(Mr. Willey's motion, as recorded by the Secretary, though not made directly, was to strike out all the third resolution of the report of the Committee on Boundary after "Resolved" and to insert the five resolutions read by him.)
The hour of twelve o'clock, M„ having arrived, the Convention took a recess.
The Convention reassembled.
MR. BATTELLE. Mr. President, I have a resolution which I wish to offer.
It was reported by the Secretary as follows:
"RESOLVED, That the debate shall cease and the vote be taken, on the report of the Committee on Boundary, this evening at 4:30 o'clock, provided that nothing herein shall be construed to prevent members from offering amendments to the report."
MR. BATTELLE. I do not wish to discuss the resolution, and I certainly do not wish to abridge debate improperly. I would remark, however, what is known to everybody, that we have been nearly two weeks on this one chapter and unless we come to a close at some time there is no prospect of getting through our business in reasonable season. There must of course be no limit to the offering of resolutions - supposing that what may yet be unsaid can be so adjusted as to come within the time suggested.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I would like to hear the resolution read again; I could not hear it.
The Secretary again read the resolution.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I move to amend that the debate shall cease on the division of the question.
MR. BATTELLE. If I understand it, we are discussing the report of the Committee on Boundaries.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Well, let the debate cease on that report. I would like to hear the resolution read again.
The Secretary again reported the resolution.
MR. HALL of Marion. I have done considerable talking on this question and I admit we have consumed a good deal of time; and I have no disposition to prolong the discussion beyond what may be absolutely necessary; but if there is anything of importance in the whole matter of our duties here, it is on this very question. And as remarked by the gentleman who has just taken his seat we have a series of resolutions as it were submitted by the gentleman from Monongalia and we have not an hour to act upon this thing; and it is a matter as I conceive of too much importance to cut it off in this style. I think we may profit by considering it well and carefully; and I am opposed to circumscribing or fixing a rule of this sort that may effect materially so important a part of our duties here in this body. I will trust we can trust ourselves.
THE PRESIDENT. I would remind the gentleman from Marion the question is now on the amendment.
MR. HALL of Marion. The question as I understand it is on the amendment of the resolution proposed by the gentleman from Doddridge. I do not apprehend that amendment exactly. The amendment is to be a limit to five minutes debate after half past four, is it?
MR. STUART of Doddridge. The object of my amendment is this: That a person who offers an amendment should have five minutes to explain his amendment, and any person have five minutes to reply to it.
MR. HALL of Marion. That would lead necessarily to the introduction of amendments merely for the sake of debating the other question. I have seen these things done. And it occurs to me really that the resolution will be in the way and either do one of two things: it will either cut us off from a proper consideration of action on this; matter - or it will lead to doing indirectly what we do not do directly. If it is the sense of the body as I am satisfied it is; that we ought to close debate as rapidly as possible; but I do not see that any good can result but great evil may from circumscribing our action in this particular.
MR. BATTELLE. Mr. President, if the Convention are disposed to take up an hour or two in discussing the resolution, I had better withdraw it perhaps. I wish to say lest I be misunderstood that I have been as much entertained and I will say instructed and gratified by the debate that has gone before as any gentleman; and I do not mean either directly or by implication to cast any, even the slightest, reflection on the very able discussions gentlemen have conducted here. But it must be apparent, as I before said, that we have spent, I think I might say, an enormous amount of time in this single question; and if we are not instructed by this time the point is, when are we likely to be? We have been nearly two weeks -
A MEMBER. One week.
MR. BATTELLE. Nearly two weeks. We met two weeks ago last Tuesday; and nearly all the time has been spent on this single debate.
SEVERAL MEMBERS. A week.
MR. BATTELLE. A week, is it? Well, I stand corrected, then on that point. Well, it seems to me a long time; and the resolution, I would say was not offered with a view of cutting off any gentleman who may wish to speak. I am on principle opposed to anything like what may be called a gag rule. It is merely for the purpose of indicating a time at which we will take the vote and with the hope that the discussions before voting will adjust themselves to that time. If it be the pleasure of the Convention, however, to take a different view of the subject, I shall very submissively bow to their will and sit it out as patiently as any of them.
MR. HERVEY. There is another table of eight or ten counties to be taken up not yet before the Convention.
THE PRESIDENT. Do I understand the gentleman as withdrawing his resolution?
MR. BATTELLE. By no means. I said I had better do it, if the discussion on it was continued much longer.
The vote was then taken on the amendment offered by Mr. Stuart of Doddridge, and it was rejected.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Mr. President, I feel under the necessity of making a statement to this Convention before we vote on that resolution. We have a very complicated amendment now before us, that I have not had time to read. There is another resolution to be offered in regard to this boundary. There are members here now from the counties of Loudoun and Fairfax that insist that they shall be made into a district and have the privilege of voting whether they will come into the State or not; and this will raise a question, here. There is no doubt that those gentlemen, in the other house, representing those counties, want to be here.
MR. BATTELLE. Allow me to make a suggestion. The resolution now before us contemplates simply the report from the committee of which the gentleman from Doddridge is chairman. It contemplates no other aspect of the boundary question, no future contingency that may arise - simply what is contained in your report. I suppose of course, the admission or rejection of delegates from Fairfax cannot enter into this report.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. It comes up as a motion for an amendment to this report. And I may be under the necessity of offering an amendment. It is treating these gentlemen with great neglect, it appears to me. Their rights in this matter ought to be heard, and their reasons. I will be under the necessity, although I want to curtail debate - under the circumstances, I will have to vote against the resolution.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I move to amend the resolution by confining its operation to the third resolution of the report and any amendments thereto. I apprehend that will reconcile it all round.
THE PRESIDENT. Will the gentleman from Ohio accept the amendment?
MR. BATTELLE. Yes, sir.
The question was then put and Mr. Battelle's resolution was rejected.
MR. WILLEY. Since we have got off the regular line of business I wish to make a motion. The Committee on the Judiciary have not completed their report. A most difficult and material part of that is arranging the circuits. I will be absent as indicated this morning and move that Mr. Harrison of Harrison, be added to the Committee on the Judiciary.
MR. HALL of Marion. I second the motion. The question was put and the motion agreed to.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Mr. President, I would like to have the amendment of the gentleman from Monongalia reported.
The Secretary reported it as follows:
Strike out all after the word "Resolved," and insert -
"That the counties of Pendleton, Hardy and Hampshire ought to be included in the proposed State of West Virginia, provided, a majority of the votes cast in the said county of Pendleton, and also in the said county of Hardy, and also in the said county of Hampshire, at elections to be held therein, on the day of 1862, is in favor of the adoption of the Constitution to be submitted by this Convention.
RESOLVED, That the county of Morgan, ought to be included in the said State, provided, a majority of the votes cast therein, on the day aforesaid, is in favor of the adoption of said Constitution, and provided, further, that the said counties of Pendleton, Hardy and Hampshire shall be included therein as aforesaid.
RESOLVED, That the county of Berkeley ought to be included in the said State, provided, a majority of the votes cast therein on the day aforesaid, is in favor of said Constitution; and provided, further, that the said counties of Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire and Morgan shall be included therein as aforesaid.
RESOLVED, That the county of Jefferson ought to be included in the said State, provided, a majority of the votes cast therein on the day aforesaid, is in favor of said Constitution; and provided, further, that the said counties of Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire, Morgan and Berkeley shall be included therein as aforesaid.
RESOLVED, That the county of Frederick ought to be included in the said State, provided, a majority of the votes cast therein on the day aforesaid, is in favor of the adoption of said Constitution, and provided, further, that the counties of Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire, Morgan and Berkeley, shall be included in the said State in manner and form aforesaid."
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Mr. President, I must be permitted to say that the amendment offered by the gentleman from Monongalia does appear to me to be one of the most unfair amendments that has yet been offered in this body, and the most antirepublican. I had thought that -
THE PRESIDENT. The Chair would suggest to the gentleman from Doddridge that the rules restrict us to deny the right to use unkind language.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. My friend knows that I would not say anything that would be offensive in the least.
MR. WILLEY. I have the best evidence in the world that my friend from Doddridge did not design anything of the kind. And inasmuch as I have to leave will he allow me just a moment to explain what I think and understand to be the operation of the resolution, and then I will give him a fair field and a free fight. I have about ten minutes.
I certainly did not offer it as any unfair, partial or antirepublican proposition. If I could have the pleasure of remaining here to hear the argument of my friend on that subject, I do not think he would be able to show that it was so. My object was, sir, to avoid the infraction of what I conceive would be a fundamental republican principle. We are directly at issue on that point. I have all along, in opposition to my friend contended that we have no power to include peremptorily and arbitrarily any counties outside of the limits, upon the ground, as I have repeatedly alleged, that we ought not to impose on any people a constitution in the formation of which they had not equal representation, a full and fair opportunity of being heard. My resolutions are introduced with a view of avoiding that infraction as far as possible. For instance, I start with the counties of Pendleton and Hardy. I had some hesitation whether I would include the county of Hampshire; but in looking upon the map and consulting what I conceived to be the best interests of the whole project, I thought it was best to include that county also. Well, sir, if they vote in favor of coming in the road is open to take the county next adjoining in the tier of counties which we seem all to desire to include. I acknowledge if they vote to stay out, the matter is at an end, and you can include none. But then I think we have the assurance, Mr. President, that if any of those counties are disposed to come in it will be the counties of Pendleton, Hardy and Hampshire - that in point of fact, practically, we lose nothing by risking the contingency that they may decline to come in, because I believe they are more ready to come in than any of those below. They voting to come in, the way is open for the process which I propose to make our request to the next, the county of Morgan through which this railroad passes for a considerable distance. If Morgan comes in the way is open for Berkeley and Jefferson, and then we have the entire railroad included within the new State. And my impression is that there can be no difficulty on the question whether either of these counties will come in, because I believe if a fair opportunity is afforded, which I hope may be given to them by some arrangement of this Convention in the schedule, or otherwise either at the time indicated in the resolution or at some other time later, in the wisdom of the legislature - I have no doubt when the opportunity is fairly offered to them and they have a free opportunity of expressing their opinions on the subject that all these counties will come in. Well, sir, to make a good territory - to make a good form we ought to have also the county of Frederick. But if it does not want to come in, it does not make any difference about getting the counties which include the railroad, because according to the provisions of the resolution they would have been included. I suppose there is more doubt about Frederick than in respect to any of the other counties. It is the last in the category. All the others may come in although it does not. I believe the others will come in and then we will have included the railroad at any rate.
Now, sir, I have not time to go at large into the reasons why I think this is the better proposition. I said I would speak briefly and hurriedly of the operation of the proposed amendment and I have to leave it in the hands of the Convention. I hope they will consider it kindly and investigate it thoroughly.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Mr. President, I have not yet changed my opinion that this is the most unfair amendment that has yet been offered and the one that will operate the most partially; and I think it will take a very few words to prove this to this Convention. I will promise my friend from Ohio that I will be very brief. I have no doubt we are all tired of this discussion. Still, sir, the amendment offered by the gentleman from Monongalia impels me to say a few words, occupying the position I do in regard to this movement - not because I like it at all, because I have not a very good use of language, and it is difficult for me to express even what I know or think.
I had during the process of the discussion here come to the conclusion that the gentleman from Monongalia really desired and wanted these railroad counties - Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley, Jefferson, and the other, Frederick. But, sir, I am compelled, looking at this amendment offered by the gentleman to come to the conclusion that he does not want this territory. And I will be compelled to draw that conclusion towards every member of this Convention who votes for this amendment in its present form; and for reasons, sir, that are so apparent that they cannot help but be seen.
The first resolution starts out:
"RESOLVED, That the counties of Pendleton, Hardy, and Hampshire ought to be included in the proposed State of West Virginia, provided, a majority of the votes cast in the said county of Pen- dieton, and also in the said county of Hardy, and also in the said county of Hampshire, at elections to be held therein on the day of , 1862, is in favor of the adoption of the Constitution to be submitted by this Convention."
Now, sirs, take up this map; look at the location of that country - Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson - you will find a territory there embracing a hundred miles or more. And according to the recommendation of this resolution you say to the little county of Pendleton with some three or perhaps four thousand of a white population, stuck up away off there in the southwest portion of that territory, you have a right with your population of three or four thousand whites to control the entire action of the entire boundary embraced in the resolution - you little county of Pendleton have a right to rise and survey this field and say you are lord of all you survey. If you cast twenty votes in the county of Pendleton against the adoption of this Constitution, although the counties of Hampshire, Hardy, Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson - the entire five or six remaining counties - vote with an overwhelming majority in favor of the Constitution - yet under the provisions of this Constitution you say to the county of Pendleton although you cast but ten votes against it, you defeat the will and pleasure and wish of the entire district. Now, gentlemen, is not that anti-republican? Is not that unfair? Am I borne out in the assertion that this was the most unfair amendment and was really anti-republican, because you place it in the power of some three or four thousand to control the action and influence and conduct and destiny of some 20,000 or 30,000 people - some 40,000 - some 50,000? Look at the census of the county of Pendleton. It is one of the remote counties, off to one end of the district, not lying bordering upon Jefferson, Berkeley or Morgan, but up adjoining the county, I believe of Hardy. Now I think that I am not mistaken in the fact that this county has not a population exceeding perhaps 4,000. And this little county, as I remarked, you give the authority to control the destinies, as I remarked, of a population of people of some 50,000. If that is not the correct reading and interpretation and understanding of this resolution, I admit, sir, that I must be mistaken.
"RESOLVED, That the counties of Pendleton, Hardy and Hampshire ought to be included in the proposed State of West Virginia, provided, a majority of the votes cast in the said county of Pendleton, and also in the said county of Hardy, and also in the said county of Hampshire" -
And then it goes on and takes up the county of Morgan, which ought to be included.
" - provided, a majority of the votes cast therein on the day aforesaid is in favor of the adoption of said Constitution, and provided, further, that the said counties of Pendleton, Hardy and Hampshire shall be included therein as aforesaid."
And so it goes on down till you come to Jefferson. Still take the whole connection of the resolutions as offered, and the county of Pendleton can defeat the whole action of this class of counties embraced in this resolution.
I am now in favor of adopting if possible the resolution of the committee as now amended; and that is, to let these counties remain in the district and let the majority of the votes cast there decide the question. If a majority be in favor of the Constitution, and a majority of counties be in favor of it, then, sirs, let them come in. I believe that is the best we can now do. I do hope this body will not vote to adopt this resolution and say to Pendleton - because the secessionists will have nothing in the world to do but to rally the little county of Pendleton and vote against your new Constitution, to defeat the rest. They are about as sharp as most people. They will look at this thing. They will cast around them and see how they are going to defeat you getting this district of country taking in this railroad. Mind they want to check you off of that and they will cast round. And as I have said, they are pretty sharp. They will see where to strike. All their efforts will be at the smallest county; and they will rally to this county and vote against the Constitution and defeat the very object you have in view.
MR. HALL of Marion. I wish only to say, sir, upon the vote being taken on this and its rejection, I hope, by the body. I shall move to reconsider the vote rejecting the proposition of the gentleman from Ohio voted on yesterday. I voted against that yesterday; and it would be competent to reconsider it. I name that now as the proposition. I shall move to reconsideration of that, that upon the rejection of this, provision may be made as contemplated by the proposed amendment of the gentleman from Ohio yesterday. I voted against it yesterday because I preferred another matter, the other resolution to which it was a proposed amendment. I trust this may be voted down and the other adopted.
MR. LAMB. Mr. President, I am sincerely favorable to including the counties contemplated by the third resolution of the report of the Committee on Boundary. I think it must be apparent from the explanation given by the gentleman from Doddridge that to pass this amendment would defeat that object. That is all I have to say. Under such circumstances, I shall have to vote against the amendment.
MR. RUFFNER. Mr. President, is it to be understood, sir, that all these various propositions are to be voted on at once as a single proposition?
THE PRESIDENT. I so understand it - that the substitute or amendment goes altogether. Does any person call for a division?
MR. LAMB. There is no use dividing the question, because if the first proposition is rejected the last propositions are impossible and unless the first is adopted you cannot adopt the other amendments. They necessarily go in a body.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I was going to say that I believed I should have to put myself in the same list with the gentleman from Ohio and vote against this amendment. I was anxious this morning to give the gentleman from Monongalia an opportunity to get his amendment before the house and explain it. I thought it was at least worthy of consideration and I have endeavored to give it that consideration; and I have come to the conclusion, with the gentlemen who have spoken, that it will to some extent operate unfairly. I think, sir, that the effect of it will be injurious to our prospects, at least, when one county finds that its vote however cast is to be decided by the vote of another county in that way, there will be less exertion. For instance a report may spread in one county that another county upon which it is dependent, is going to vote against it, and they will give themselves no more trouble. I am therefore afraid of the operation of it. My great solicitude to have these counties cast in their lot with us, induces me to give to everything that is proposed to further that object as much consideration as I can; and my mind has come to the conclusion, sir, in reference to the proposed amendment, that it is not so likely to do it.
In connection with that I have even more maturely considered the resolution as it stands, and I believe it is upon the whole the fairest proposition that can be made. It is so fair, sir, an extension of courtesy, that it goes beyond what might seem absolutely to be required. Upon the principle alluded to this morning that we are taking these people in by districts, a majority of the votes in the whole district would seem to be sufficient. But owing to the circumstances in which those counties are placed and our want of full and accurate information concerning them, in order to counteract if possible the effect of merely partial voting in any county, we have had the provision that a majority of the counties shall vote affirmatively. Then it certainly requires that a majority of the counties - say six out of ten - if there are so many - four out of seven - must positively give an affirmative vote in favor of being connected with us. And then the affirmative vote given in those counties and in the rest of the district must be a heavier vote than is cast in all the counties against it. This is giving them a competent ratio by which the fact of their adherence to the new State is to be determined. And I think gentlemen will find that it is going about as far as it is possible to go - considering always that we wish them to come in if a full majority of their people, if that could be ascertained - are in favor of it. While we have given up the idea of compelling them to come in, and are to leave them free to decide it for themselves, as I have more than once observed, the mode first reported by the committee originally is the fairest mode that can be propounded, to them. Those are my present sentiments, after a good deal of reflection. The amendment that has been indicated by the gentleman from Marion does not reflect against what I said. I am speaking of the general features in reference to the mode of voting, and what amount of it shall determine the question. I repeat again that proposed by the resolution is as fair as we can possibly make it.
MR. DILLE. I do not rise for the purpose of making any extended remarks upon the amendment presented by my friend from Monongalia; but I desire to say in reply to my friend from Doddridge that if we should vote against this amendment and in favor of the original proposition as it stands without amending, we will have more trouble on his Baltimore connection than he imagines. Personally, it may be known to you all, or the greater proportion of the members of this Convention, that I have warm sympathies and feelings in connection with this batch of counties, situated as I am, as I have been, and as I expect to be, their connection with the people among whom I live is so intimate that we feel a deep interest in reference to these counties. But I would call gentlemen's attention to this fact, that as the resolution now stands, if we pass upon it, have a disconnected state. We may have a state with no connection whatever. I understand - and if gentlemen will look upon the map they will see - that there are seven counties now embraced in this resolution, and the purport of the resolution is this: "that if a majority of the votes cast within said district" - that is the first provision - "on the third Thursday of April, in the year 1862, and a majority of the said counties, are in favor of the adoption of this Constitution" - now, sir, to show you this state of things may exist, you have only to look at your map and see that it is at least possible and I think highly probable that this state of things may exist. Suppose for instance, the counties of Jefferson, Berkeley, Frederick and Morgan, four out of the seven, cast a majority of their votes in favor of the present Constitution, then they are a majority of the entire seven counties having cast their votes in that way, they will be disconnected entirely from the residue of the State already taken in by our previous action. Gentlemen may say that this is not possible, but I think it is not only possible but highly probable. Suppose the armies should be removed from the county of Jefferson, Berkeley, Morgan and Frederick before this time, and it should not be removed from the other counties, then the armies being removed they may cast their vote and desire to come in and be a part of the territory. But supposing then that you pursue a different course and say that the majority comes in the other way, why you embrace counties then entirely against their will. But in the other connection and in compliance with the resolutions of the gentleman from Monongalia if you take in one of these counties you take them all. In fact you may embrace every county within this region of country; and it is my conviction upon that subject that if we embrace a portion of these counties then we ought to embrace them all. They are connected and identified with us. They really belong to us so far as their interests are concerned. It may be that I am under a misapprehension and really after a little reflection I am inclined to believe that I may be under a misapprehension. Suppose four of these counties decided against it. Why then we lose them all. Supposing a majority of these votes cast against it, we lose the whole batch, and we lose them because of a certain contingency. Suppose, Jefferson or Berkeley, Morgan or Frederick decided the other way, why, sir, then we lose our railroad connection and the whole batch is lost. And then we have no connection whatever. But take the resolutions now before the Convention as a substitute for these resolutions, you take in these three counties that are immediately connected with us, who are lying right by our side, and having connected them it becomes a continued chain, and we embrace the whole.
MR. HALL of Marion. Mr. President, let me correct the idea the gentleman from Preston has taken of this. If I understand him he says that under that resolution if we take in a part of the counties that vote in favor of coming in and the others should not then we would have these counties in without having any connection with them. I understand this resolution is either to take them in whole or part of them.
MR. DILLE. Suppose these four counties vote the other way, then you get no part of them.
MR. HALL of Marion. No part of them. That I understand to be the effect.
The question on the adoption of the substitute offered by Mr. Willey was put and it was rejected.
MR. SINSEL. If it would be in order, I move the previous question.
MR. HALL of Marion. I trust the gentleman, after the announcement I made, will not move the previous question until I have an opportunity of moving reconsideration.
MR. SINSEL. That is the very thing I want to move it for. I will withdraw it.
MR. HALL of Marion. I now wish, Mr. President, to move to reconsider the amendment offered by the gentleman from Ohio on yesterday; and upon the question I shall only say this.
MR. VAN WINKLE. State the substance of it.
MR. HERVEY. I call the gentleman's attention to the eighth rule.
MR. HALL of Marion. The eighth rule saying that a question being once determined must stand as the judgment of the Convention and shall not again be drawn into debate. That does not interfere at all with what I propose. It is always in order to reconsider.
The Secretary reported the amendment as follows: By inserting in the third resolution, after the words, "third Thursday in April, in the year 1862" the words, "or such other day as the legislature of Virginia may appoint," in the twenty- fourth line.
MR. HALL of Marion. I voted against this yesterday because I preferred the original resolution to which this was an amendment. The Convention having by a tie vote rejected the resolution which I was anxious should have been adopted, it occurs to me then it is eminently proper whilst we provide for taking the vote of these people that we provide against a contingency which all admit may arise or exist when the vote of these people may be taken, if not upon that specific day, upon such other day as the legislature in its wisdom and under circumstances all of which will be known to them, may determine. It occurs to me, when we propose to give them the privilege we ought to provide the way and means to give them an opportunity to vote on it. I do not desire to occupy any time with the discussion of the question.
MR. PARKER. Mr. President, as I remarked yesterday it seems to me that this, as was well remarked by the gentleman from Wood, peculiarly a question which should be deferred for the present. As I remarked yesterday for the Convention here to now transfer to make over to the legislature, the power of fixing it when -
THE PRESIDENT. I would remind the gentleman that the question is on the reconsideration.
MR. PARKER. Not upon its merits. I wish to speak upon its merits.
MR. HAGAR. I have objection to the amendment, provided in the wisdom of the legislature they change the election for the whole State. If it is in reference to the whole State - if the legislature may change the day for holding the election, not in that particular district but for the whole State, I am opposed to the amendment.
MR. PARKER. I am, Mr. President, against the reconsideration. The question was fully argued yesterday, as I understand, by several parties and deliberately settled. It seems to me we have enough ahead to get along with without going back, where the thing has been well argued and settled, without going back and going over it again. The motion suggested by the gentleman from Ohio indicated a short time ago of limiting discussion on this boundary question on which we have been spending so much time, I was in favor of. I was certainly desirous of getting through with this question as soon as possible and do justice to it. I must therefore for the reason that it was thoroughly argued and settled yesterday, object to this reconsideration.
MR. HERVEY. I would desire the explanation of the Chair upon the eighth rule. It stares me, sir, in the face, and I really cannot get over it: "A question being once determined must stand as the judgment of the Convention and shall not again be drawn into debate." Now was not this matter decided last night?
THE PRESIDENT. The Chair would remind the gentleman from Brooke that that rule does not apply to questions of reconsideration. The motion to reconsider is ruled by the Chair to be in order.
MR. POMEROY. I would suggest to my friend from Marion to withdraw that and let us get through and vote on the question of boundary. If that is reconsidered it will open a lengthy discussion on that very question. I would just suggest to him to withdraw it for the time and let it come up again.
MR. HALL of Marion. I would withdraw it with a great deal of pleasure, and never introduce it, if it is to be the subject of so much discussion, if it were not for the fact that it is a part and parcel of the very terms and conditions on which we are to admit this very question of boundary; and for that reason it is necessary that it should be acted on now. It is a part of this thing. I cannot disconnect it. I would accommodate my friend if I could do so.
MR. CARSKADON. I hope it may be the pleasure of this Convention to reconsider the amendment that was voted down yesterday. I think it will give us a greater advantage in having a chance to vote; and therefore I think it an advantage to the counties named, and I do not think there is any need of much discussion on the subject as it was fully discussed yesterday; and I think there being different circumstances today, that they might change and no doubt will as they have changed the mind of the gentleman from Marion, the vote on this question if it is put upon its passage again.
The motion to reconsider was agreed to; and the question on the amendment offered yesterday by Mr. Lamb, which was to amend the third resolution of the report of the Committee on Boundary by inserting after the words "third Thursday in April, in the year 1862," in the twenty-fourth line, the words, "or such other day as the legislature of Virginia may appoint."
MR. VAN WINKLE. That brings up the amendment of the gentleman from Ohio. I want to move to amend that amendment by inserting after "or," in the words thereby proposed to be inserted, these words: "if from any cause such elections are not held on that day, then on," so that the legislature may provide for holding them on a later day. It does not leave the whole subject open to the legislature. But if on the day appointed, the elections are not held from any cause whatever, the legislature may then appoint a later day for holding it.
MR. LAMB. I accept the amendment; that is the intention of the resolution.
MR. PARKER. Mr. President, I wish to say a word on the merits. Under this resolution, as I understand this question is to be submitted to the vote of these counties. If anything happens that on the third Thursday of April, 1862 - anything in the judgment of the legislature - that the vote cannot then be taken, then it must afterwards be submitted to all the counties, every one of them, before our proceedings in getting the new State can go any further. If anything between this and the 19th of April should transpire that in the judgment of the legislature, it would not be practical to submit it and get the vote of all these counties, then the whole matter is postponed - postponed nobody can tell how long. Now between this and the 19th of April nobody can tell what will be the condition and feelings of our present legislature. I suppose it is competent for other counties, as far as the seaboard counties, to elect any time they choose to send their delegates to our legislature. Things may change in a week. The enemy may be swept away from the whole of eastern Virginia, Richmond reclaimed by the Federal forces and the whole of eastern Virginia may be represented in our legislature. So far as our legislature is now composed I have as much confidence in that body as in any other; but there is an uncertainty there; but if we conferred upon a legislature liable to be changed - even if I believed we possess the power to so delegate that power it would be unsafe and unwise to commit a matter of that importance to such a contingency. Suppose this should take place and an unfriendly legislature should come here and they postpone it and postpone it, and the whole thing is gone. That is inevitable. But I hold we have no power to delegate it. It is not a matter of delegation. We have the power; we can recommend and ask the legislature to do certain things. We can ask them to change these boundaries; but our Convention is competent to fix when the votes are to be taken. If we ask them to change the bounds on certain conditions, when the time comes to prepare the schedule, we can fix the conditions on which or the time when the vote shall be taken. We shall probably be here a month; some say six weeks. Well, we can tell better at the end of that time than we can now what will be needful and can fix it in the schedule. Why do it now? It can be done at any time before the Convention adjourns sine die. I hold so far as I am concerned that this power is. committed to me alone. I have no discretion over it. It is confided to us as a matter of trust and we have no right to delegate it to another. No principle of law or equity is better settled than where a personal trust is given it cannot be delegated. Can I transfer the little powers conferred on me here by my constituents and put somebody in my place? No, Mr. President; it is a breach of trust. The delegates cannot without the consent of their constituency transfer so important a matter - a power to postpone it forever and perfectly frustrate the whole object and the new State from the beginning. In the last six months the reorganized government has spent hundreds and thousands of dollars to get up a new State and now we go and place the whole of it in the power of a legislature of whom in four months may be three-fourths will be against us. And they will postpone it till the day of judgment. I am against it.
MR. LAMB. I merely wish to say in reference to the amendment, the Convention will perceive that it can only operate in a single case - that these elections cannot be held on the day designated. It is not proposed to postpone the day at all.
MR. PARKER. May I ask a question. Suppose it be found in the course of events which we cannot anticipate that it is impossible to hold the elections on that day.
MR. LAMB. In such case it provides that the elections may be held at the earliest moment they can be. I trust I appreciate properly the character of this Convention; yet I am very far from supposing that all wisdom or propriety will be extinct when this Convention shall have finally adjourned, or that there is no other body of men delegated by the same people Who are entitled to the confidence of the people of West Virginia. I take it that the legislature which assembles here, representing virtually the people of West Virginia, elected really by the same constituents that sent us here, are just as anxious as any of us can be to go on and perfect the organization of the new State and that they will do nothing any more than ourselves that would be inconsistent with our great objects. But why talk of delegating power to the legislature? Why this argument urged on this Convention? Why, gentlemen, that legislature may do just what they please in regard to this matter. They do not ask you to delegate any power to them. All you can do is to recommend to that same legislature to direct the election to be held. Your recommendation may have great weight; but so far from your delegating power to them it is merely a proposition to them, carrying with it, it is true, the weight which would justly attach to it under the circumstances; but having no legal force. Our whole proceedings are mere recommendation to the legislature and the people - to the legislature in order that they may adopt such measures as will tend to secure the people a free expression of opinion upon the result of our labors - a recommendation to the people that they may be pleased to ratify what we shall have to submit to them.
MR. POMEROY. Will the gentleman from Ohio explain this point: If the legislature find elections cannot be held on the day appointed at what time in the opinion of the gentleman will they designate the day of election? And provided that three out of seven counties vote on the day specified, and the other counties do not vote, and give a large number in favor, and upon another day the other counties vote and give a much larger vote against, will that not defeat the whole seven counties coming in? I submit that to the gentlemen who are so urgent for all these counties to come in. I just wish to add, might not the single county of Frederick poll a vote that would overbalance the other six counties if they knew just exactly what vote they would have to poll? How will the legislature know that the way is not clear until the day passes? And then how long in the future is that day to be specified? Can it possibly be more than forty days - later than the first of June - if we want to get this matter before the present session? And will it not give the one county the power to overbalance all the other six counties?
MR. LAMB. I thought in the remarks I made yesterday I had fully explained what I think will be the operation of this resolution. If it be impossible to take a vote in these counties, with communications by railroad and telegraph, that matter will be known to the legislature within two days at farthest; and they can immediately take such action as may tend to facilitate as far as possible, if it be possible. It may be the legislature would be satisfied it would be impossible to accomplish the object. All such questions must necessarily be left to the action of that body, who will have then much more light on this subject than we have now and will be able to meet every contingency and difficulty I have no doubt, with as much propriety as we can meet it. As to the difficulty the gentleman raises in regard to the vote in one county, the legislature will provide properly for that, no doubt, if any proper provision is practicable under the circumstances. The whole object of this motion is simply to get these counties in, if it be possible, and whenever it can be found that upon a fair expression of the sentiment of this district of territory the people there desire to come in.
MR. PARKER. One moment. I cannot agree with the gentleman that it is a recommendation; but suppose it is. What is the necessity of our making that recommendation now, this early? We can make it any time before we adjourn. There is no necessity for its being made now. Why tie our hands up now? Even in the form he wishes the recommendation will have no weight until we get through - before we adjourn. We shall get a good deal of light doubtless, as he remarks, before that time expires. Shall we tie our hands up now and conclude ourselves for always, or shall we wait until the time arrives when we are obliged to dissolve the Convention? Then perhaps the condition of the country will be so that we can fix to a certainty. We can say to the legislature, we wish you to appoint such a day and take the sense of these people. Or then we can qualify it. If it happens it cannot be taken on that day, then within forty days, thirty or twenty. We can put some limit; not give them forever. That is my objection.
MR. POWELL. It seems to me that by adopting this amendment we shall cause considerable delay in getting our Constitution before Congress. Yesterday without properly reflecting on the subject I voted for the amendment. I shall necessarily have to vote against it today, taking this view of the subject as I do.
MR. LAMB. I wish to make just one remark -
MR. HERVEY. One moment. We will have no legislature at the time indicated in the motion. We disclaim, of course, any disposition to distrust the legislature. There is nothing of that kind involved on our part; but the term of the session will have expired fully one month before this proposition can reach them. Now it will involve a delay of near a whole year, not four or five months. The legislature will not assemble and cannot act on this proposition for one year from this date, or nearly so.
A MEMBER. Two years.
MR. HERVEY. Now to make the action of the legislature certain we must presuppose there will be an extra session. We have no knowledge there will be such; and consequently I cannot vote for this. I think it will be an indefinite postponement.
MR. LAMB. I am certainly somewhat surprised at the objections urged to this resolution; and in reply to the remark of the gentleman from Brooke, I would say that all of our proceedings contemplate that the legislature must be in session here as soon as this Constitution is ratified by the people and give their consent and send on the Constitution to Congress at the very earliest moment. Therefore if you want their action - if it be found impossible to take the vote at the time appointed, they are here in session - necessarily so. In regard to the idea that it will postpone the action of Congress I take it for granted we may leave that to the legislature. If the legislature, which will then be in session, consent to the formation of the new State, we know that if they find that ordering any vote will delay action, cannot we trust them on that question?
MR. POWELL. Mr. President, I call for the yeas and nays.
The yeas and nays were ordered. The vote was taken and resulted:
YEAS - Messrs. John Hall (President), Brown of Kanawha, Battelle, Chapman, Caldwell, Carskadon, Cassady, Dering, Dille, Dolly, E. B. Hall, Hubbs, Lamb, Lauck, O'Brien, Ruffner, Sinsel, Simmons, Stevenson of Wood, Stewart of Wirt, Sheets, Soper, Stuart of Doddridge, Van Winkle, Warder - 25.
NAYS - Messrs. Brown of Preston, Brooks, Brumfield, Hansley, Haymond, Harrison, Hervey, Hagar, Irvine, Montague, Mahon, Parsons, Powell, Parker, Paxton, Pomeroy, Taylor, Trainer, Wilson - 19.
So the amendment was agreed to.
The question recurred on the resolution.
MR. PAXTON. It appears to me there is one amendment that might be adopted with propriety before proceeding to a vote. I refer to the clause here fixing the day at which the vote should be taken. I presume it is the intention that the counties named in the resolution shall vote at the same time as the others in the bounds of the State. Such being the case, if we adopt the resolution, as here, which reads: "provided a majority of the votes cast within the said district, at elections to be held for the purpose on the third Thursday of April, 1862, or, if from any cause such elections are not held on that day, then on such other day as the legislature of Virginia may appoint," we fix a time for the vote to be taken on this Constitution.
THE PRESIDENT. I would remark to the gentleman from Ohio that the impression of the Chair is that the whole work will have to be reviewed, and that so far as these dates are concerned it is very uncertain what they may be.
MR. PAXTON. I thank the Chair; but still I do not see why we should now do anything that we may have to undo hereafter. I was going to suggest to strike out "on the third Thursday of April, 1862;" and that the blank be left to be filled when we have agreed on some day, as we must, in the future for submitting this to the counties. The suggestion occurred to me; and I move - unless I am mistaken in my view of the case - to amend by striking out the date and leaving the blank to be filled hereafter when we will have agreed upon a date at which the Constitution itself will be submitted to the people for ratification.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I must be permitted to say a word or two. The committee in fixing that time took into consideration the fact that we desired to submit this Constitution to the people and to the legislature in ample time to get it before Congress; and that the committee desired to extend the time as far as possible in order to accommodate these people who are laboring under the disadvantage of being overrun by the rebel army. We thought the later we could put it in order to suit our views and not to hinder our Constitution going before Congress the better it would be for our people. It strikes me the time is as near right as we can fix it. It may be before we can finish our labors here, it will be necessary to change it. It is unnecessary to strike out now. It can be stricken out when it comes up for final consideration.
MR. VAN WINKLE. It does not necessarily follow that the time in the forty-four counties will be the same. When we reach that point in the Constitution, it will be provided for. As the gentleman says the time was considered; and in inquiring when Congress would probably adjourn, it was considered that that was as long a time as could be given. That is the reason why the day is fixed. But I think it had better remain.
MR. PAXTON. I am not disposed to be at all pertinacious about this matter; but I cannot see what propriety there is in naming a day when it is to be changed if we intend the vote to be taken there at the same time as in the other counties. Why not leave it blank? We have to fix the day when this shall be submitted and this vote taken. Why determine that now? Why do a thing now that we shall have to do hereafter? Why not leave this blank and let the blank be filled when we determine, as we must do, the day for submitting to all the counties?
The question upon Mr. Paxton's motion being put, there was a tie vote. The President voted in the negative; so the motion was not agreed to.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Mr. President, I now move we have a vote on the passage of the resolution, and I desire the ayes and nays, and hope we shall adopt it.
The Secretary reported the amended resolution as follows:
RESOLVED, That the district comprising the counties of Jefferson, Berkeley, Morgan, Hampshire, Hardy, Pendleton, and Frederick, shall also be included in, and constitute part of, the proposed new State - provided a majority of the votes cast within the said district, at elections to be held for the purpose on the third Thursday in April, in the year 1862, or, if from any cause such elections are not held on that day, then on such other day as the legislature of Virginia may appoint, and a majority of the said counties, are in favor of the adoption of the Constitution to be submitted by this Convention.
The yeas and nays were ordered, the vote was taken and resulted :
YEAS - Messrs. John Hall (President), Brown of Kanawha, Brooks, Battelle, Chapman, Caldwell, Carskadon, Cassady, Dering, Dolly, Hall of Marion, Haymond, Hubbs, Hervey, Hagar, Lamb, Lauck, Montague, Mahon, O'Brien, Ruffner, Sinsel, Simmons, Stevenson of Wood, Stewart of Wirt, Sheets, Soper, Stuart of Doddridge, Taylor, Trainer, Van Winkle, Warder, Wilson - 33.
NAYS - Messrs. Brown of Preston, Brumfield, Dille, Hansley, Harrison, Irvine, Parsons, Powell, Parker, Paxton, Pomeroy - 11. So the resolution was adopted.
MR. STUART of Doddridge rose.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. If the gentleman will give way, was merely going to state that I would offer a resolution now before any business came up - one that would not excite any discussion.
MR. STEVENSON sent his resolution to the Secretary who reported it as follows;
RESOLVED, That a committee be appointed, to be called the Committee on Revision and Engrossment, and to be composed of the chairmen of the several standing committees on the Constitution, whose duty it shall be to revise the language, and arrangement of the several articles, sections and clauses of the Constitution, and to report the same, with the alterations they propose for the final action of the Convention.
The resolution was adopted.
The President stated that the question recurred on the fourth resolution of the report of the Committee on Boundary, which was reported by the Secretary as follows:
RESOLVED, That the district comprising the counties of Clarke, Warren, Shenandoah, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Rockbridge, and Botetourt, shall also be included in, and constitute part of, the proposed new State - provided a majority of the votes cast within the said district, at elections to be held for the purpose on the third Thursday in April, in the year 1862, and a majority of the said counties, are in favor of the adoption of the Constitution to be submitted by this Convention.
The question on this resolution was put, and it was rejected.
The question recurring upon the fifth and last resolution of the report, it was reported by the Secretary as follows:
RESOLVED, That this Convention respectfully requests the general assembly to make suitable provision for holding the elections mentioned in the preceding resolutions.
The resolution was adopted.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha and MR. VAN WINKLE rose.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. In looking at that resolution, it refers -
MR. VAN WINKLE. I believe I was first on the floor. I was merely going to observe, sir, that the question would now recur on the adoption of the whole report; and that therefore as that might excite some debate, I was disposed to favor an adjournment.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. The resolution asks the legislature to make suitable provision for holding the elections mentioned in the preceding sections and the preceding sections refer only to taking a vote in these counties to come in or not and no provision for taking the vote in the counties within the fixed boundaries.
MR. VAN WINKLE. That is for the schedule.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I move that the Convention now adjourn.
The motion was agreed to and the Convention adjourned.
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January 28, 1862
January 29, 1862
January 30, 1862
January 31, 1862
February 1, 1862
|February 3, 1862
February 4, 1862
February 5, 1862
February 6, 1862
February 7, 1862
February 8, 1862
February 10, 1862
February 11, 1862
February 12, 1862
February 13, 1862
February 14, 1862
February 15, 1862
February 17, 1862
February 18, 1862
February 12, 1863
February 13, 1863
February 14, 1863
February 16, 1863
February 17, 1863
February 18, 1863
February 19, 1863
February 20, 1863
Chapter Eleven: First Constitutional Convention of West Virginia