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Reorganized Government
General Assembly of Virginia

July 9, 1861

House of Delegates met at the usual hour, and was opened with prayer.

Reports of committees were called for.

Mr. CROTHERS, from the Committee on Military affairs reported a bill, H. D. No. 3, entitled, An act regulating the Volunteer Military force in the Northwestern Virginia service of the United States, which was read a first time by its title and ordered to be printed.

Mr. RUFFNER, from the Committee on Propositions and Grievances, reported a bill, H. D. No. 4, entitled, An act to prevent crimes against the Commonwealth and provide for the organization of patrols during the war.

The bill was read a first time by its title and ordered to be printed.

Mr. WETZEL from the joint committee on printing, submitted their report, stating they had had before them propositions from Trowbridge, Downey & Taylor, and from Campbell & M'Dermot, and recommending that the former be accepted.

On motion of Mr. Logan, the report was laid on the table and ordered to be printed.

The hour fixed for the joint order of the day, the election of State officers, having arrived,

The clerk read the resolution fixing the order.

Mr. ZINN moved that the House proceed to the election of Secretary of the Commonwealth, Auditor of Public Accounts, and Treasurer. Adopted.

Mr. WEST was appointed to notify the Senate that the House was now ready to proceed to the execution of the joint order of the day.

Mr. STEWART, from the Senate reported a message from that body that the Senate had concurred in the resolution of the House going into the election of State officers.

The Chair stated that the first officer to be elected was a Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Nominations being called for,

Mr. ZINN nominated Lucien A. Hagans, of Preston, present acting Secretary.

Mr. MOSS nominated Geo. Loomis, of Wood.

Mr. DAVIDSON nominated Ellery R. Hall, of Taylor.

Mr. WEST was appointed to inform the Senate of the nominations.

Mr. BURLEY from the Senate, reported a message from that body informing the House that they had made no additional nominations, and were ready to proceed to the election of Secretary.

The roll was called and Mr. Hagans received 24, Loomis 2, and Hall 4.

Messrs. Wilson, Davis and Minor were appointed to wait upon the Senate and ascertain the joint vote.

Committee returned and announced the joint vote for Hagans 21, Loomis 2, Hall 4.

So Mr. Hagans was declared elected Secretary of the Commonwealth.

The House then proceeded to the election of Auditor.

Mr. PARSONS - I rise for the purpose of nominating for Auditor Samuel Crane, of Randolph. My personal knowledge of Mr. Crane is such that I can truthfully recommend him. He is a self-made man, raised by his own exertions, and has probably fought his way through as much opposition as any other man in the world; and last winter in the Legislature of Virginia at Richmond, he stood up unflinchingly for the Union. While many of our bravest men quailed, Samuel Crane came out of the conflict like gold tried by fire. He is now driven from his home, for no other cause than that he is advocating the Union for which our fathers fought, and at this very moment secession forces are encamped on his farm and trampling its soil beneath their feet. If the newspaper reports can be credited the troops are now occupying the farm of Samuel Crane in Randolph county, and appropriating and destroying his property.

Mr. Crane is a poor man. His all was dependant on his practice at law, with the addition of his small farm. He has been deprived of his practice, driven from his home and native county. His property has been confiscated and destroyed, and he himself dare not return. I do think, gentlemen, that Mr. Crane has claims upon the magnanimity of this body, and at the same time, I feel assured that his abilities are such that he would render entire satisfaction.

Mr. LOGAN - I rise for the purpose of nominating the name of N. Wilkinson, of Wheeling. I would just say that the qualifications possessed by this gentleman are not second to those of any man in the State. Several of the members of this body have had some opportunity of knowing the capabilities possessed by this gentleman for this kind of business, and I feel sure that the impression made on their minds has been entirely favorable to him.

To say that he is qualified and capable, is really but tamely expressing the character of this gentleman and his fitness for this kind of work. I might say with justice that for the kind of business involved in the duties of an Auditor, he has really a genius. I have never met with a man who had the industry, energy, and promptness possessed by this gentleman, in this kind of work. His business is always done with dispatch, systematically and with exquisite neatness; and his ingenuity and readiness in the way of arranging accounts is unsurpassed by that of any man whom I have ever met.

This is the judgment of all who have been connected with him in business in this city and elsewhere. As a financier he also stands deservedly high. I apprehend that the qualities to which I have alluded are not only desirable in this officer but necessary. The relations of this gentleman as a financier, and in other respects, have been such as to make him really a desirable acquisition to the new State Government. The members of this body will agree with me that particularly in the organization of this State Government it is necessary that we should have able men to fill the positions of the State. We want the right men in the right place, especially at the beginning; and if I understand the duties of Auditor aright they rank in importance not below even those of the governor himself. I deem it especially important that at the opening of the books of the State and the arrangement of its accounts and the adoption of a system on which so much will depend in the future welfare and good conduct of its business, we should have the best man we can secure. I would not speak this positively and earnestly did I not realize the importance of getting a good man to fill this position. Personally there is no reason why I should prefer Mr. Wilkinson to Mr. Crane. It is simply a question of the fitness of things, and the idea of getting the right man in the right place that I make this appeal before this body.

Mr. WEST followed at some length in support of Mr. Crane and appealing to the sympathies of the House on his behalf. He was succeeded by Mr. Moss who eulogized Mr. Crane for his qualifications and strongly urged his election.

Mr. KRAMER was appointed to notify the Senate of the nominations.

A message from the Senate announced that they were now ready to proceed to the election of Auditor, and had made no additional nominations.

The roll was then called, and resulted, Crane, 25; Wilkinson, 5.

Messrs. Ruffner, Moss and Farnsworth were appointed to act in conjunction with the committee of the Senate, and report the joint vote to the House.

Committee returned and reported the joint vote:

Crane, 33; Wilkinson, 5.

So Mr. Crane was declared elected Auditor of Public Accounts for the State of Virginia.

FONTAIN SMITH was appointed to inform the Senate that the House was prepared to proceed to the election of Treasurer.

Mr. SMITH, on his return, nominated Campbell Tarr, of Brooke, and supported the nomination in some remarks.

Mr. TROUT nominated S. P. Hildreth, of Wheeling.

Mr. HOOTON was appointed to inform the Senate of the nominations.

A message from the Senate announced that that body had made no additional nominations, and were ready to proceed to the election.

The roll was called, and resulted, Tarr, 24; Hildreth, 4.

Messrs. Wetzel, Logan and Vance were appointed to act in conjunction with the committee of the Senate, and ascertain and report the joint vote.

Committee returned and reported, on joint ballot Tarr 34, and Hildreth 4.

So Campbell Tarr, of Brooke, was declared elected Treasurer of the State of Virginia.

Mr. PORTER moved that Bill H. D. No. 1, entitled an act making an appropriation for the civil contingent fund, be taken up.

The bill was read a second time and ordered to its engrossment.

Having been already engrossed by the Clerk, the bill was taken up and put upon its passage, read a third time and passed.

A message from the Senate announced that that body had appointed Trowbridge, Downey & Taylor public printers, and request the concurrence of the House.

Mr. PORTER moved that the passage of the bill be communicated to the Senate, and was appointed for that purpose.

Mr. KRAMER offered the following resolution which was adopted:

Resolved, That the Committee on Finance inquire into the expediency of reporting a bill amending section 13 of chapter 14 of the Code of Virginia.

Mr. ZINN the following, which was ordered to lie over:

Resolved, That a committee of seven be appointed to take into consideration the propriety of a division of the State, and that they have leave to report by bill or otherwise.

Mr. Moss the following which was adopted:

Resolved, That the Committee on Courts of Justice be instructed to inquire into the expediency of re- arranging the judicial circuits of the Commonwealth.

House then took a recess till two o'clock P. M.


The House of Delegates re-assembled at two o'clock.

Mr. WILSON moved that the House proceed to the election of two United States Senators, and that the Senate be notified.

Mr. VANCE was appointed to notify the Senate of the adoption of the motion.

The CHAIR stated that nominations for U. S. Senator in place of R. M. T. Hunter, was now in order.

Mr. VANCE nominated Hon. John S. Carlile. He deemed it unnecessary for him to add anything, as Mr. Carlile was well known to all the members of this body.

Mr. WEST arose, not for the purpose of opposing the election of Hon. John S. Carlile, but merely to express a few views on that subject, before they proceeded to vote. He said Mr. Carlile was now a member of Congress, and never before did the exigencies of the country more demand an able man in that position. Certainly they were all ready to confer upon him any position or honor in their gift; but it had occurred to him that perhaps it would be well to reflect a moment before they acted. The times were critical, and if Mr. Carlile were to be elected to the Senate a vacancy in the House of Representatives would have to be filled. He thought it probably that an undisturbed election could not be held in the district now represented by that gentleman. Besides, they needed Mr. Carlile's services as much in the House of Representatives as in the Senate of the United States, and he believed the position was worth as much in cash. He felt disposed to confer upon Mr. Carlile anything in his power for his extra services rendered in this mighty struggle. He believed the position was due to him, and had no doubt it would be awarded in proper season, and that a proper compensation of the honors and emoluments of country would be conferred upon him; but it did seem to him that at this time it would be right for this body to look around and see whether it might not be better for this body

A Message from the Senate announced that that body was ready to proceed to the election of U. S. Senator, and had nominated Mr. Carlile.

Mr. WEST, resuming, said it was, perhaps, unnecessary for him to continue his remarks. It seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Mr. Carlile was to be elected. Nevertheless, he thought it might have been better to elect some other man for this short term, and let Mr. Carlile serve us in the positioin he is now in; and whenever the proper time should come if they did not all lose their heads before then, this Legislature would have the honor of electing Senators again, and, no doubt, one would be conferred upon Mr. Carlile, and to no one would it then afford greater pleasure than to himself.

Mr. LOGAN wished to make one suggestion. He had been informed that some other gentlemen from the same district had been named in connection with the Senatorship. He desired to say that if it was the intention of their friends to nominate these gentlemen, he would prefer they should be nominated to fill the vacancy now before the House. He thought it would be but an act of justice to gentlemen who had been named from this district. He thought they should not both be taken from one district. He hoped if any other nominations were to be made from Mr. Carlile's district, they would be made on the present ballot to fill the place of Hunter.

Mr. RUFFNER said it was true it had been his intention to name another gentleman from that district to fill one of the vacancies, but he had not intended to propose him in opposition to Mr. Carlile. It seemed to have been almost settled down upon, that Mr. Carlile was to be elected to that position. He thought it would not be right that they should be called upon to name another gentleman to oppose him, but if the other vacancy should come up, he should feel it his duty to make another nomination.

Mr. LOGAN had no desire to see another name brought up in opposition to Mr. Carlile, and such was not his object in making the suggestion. He desired to see some gentleman from this district elected to the next position, and he did not want to see any measures adopted that would compromise or embar[r]ass the accomplishment of that result - a result to which he thought, in all justice, they in this district were entitled. There seemed to be but two districts to choose from and if the people in Mr. Carlile's district were satisfied with him, he had not a word to say; but he was not willing that they should place his claims paramount to those of every other man in either district, and then come in with a second man to fill the next vacancy and throw everybody else aside to accomplish their purposes. He was willing to give Mr. Carlile all the credit to which he was entitled - and he is entitled to a great deal - for what he has accomplished in this movement. He was not willing however, - and he would speak candidly and independently - to say that that gentleman is entitled to more credit than is due to several gentlemen who have been connected with this movement from the beginning. There were other gentlemen from his own district who had done more work in Committees - whose labor both physical and mental would show more upon the records of the Conventions held in this city, than could be produced as the labors of Mr. Carlile. He was satisfied of this, and if members would investigate for themselves they would be assured of it.

As had already been said, Mr. Carlile's position is honorable and profitable, and one in which he would have an opportunity of representing his people, and supporting and advancing their interests just as much or even more than he would in the Senate. Taking all these things into consideration, he repeated the suggestion that if other nominations were to be made from that district they be made on this ballot, and not be brought up on the second.

Mr. FARNSWORTH was appointed to notify the Senate that no additional nominations had been made.

The clerk proceeded to call the roll, and Mr. Carlile received the unanimous vote of the House.

Messrs. Davidson, Hooton and West were appointed to act in conjunction with the committee of the Senate to ascertain and report the joint vote.

The Committee returned and reported that Mr. Carlile received the entire votes of both Houses on joint ballot.

So Hon. John S. Carlile was declared elected U. S. Senator from Virginia, in place of R. M. T. Hunter.

The CHAIR stated the next business to be the election of United States Senator to fill the place of James M. Mason.

Mr. RUFFNER moved that the further execution of the joint order be postponed until the last day of the session.

He said there had appeared to be a propriety in electing one Senator, but he thought there was no immediate necessity for more. Gentlemen must continue to feel that they came here to re-establish so far as they could, a Government for the whole State of Virginia. "Our enemies," said Mr. R., "have possession of a large portion of the State, and are using all manner of oppression and violence upon the good people of this Commonwealth. Until those people are relieved from that oppression it is impossible for them to co-operate with us in the re-establishment of this government. I think it is but fair, inasmuch as a process which we trust will be effective, is now being carried on by which that portion of our State shall be freed from this oppression, that we should leave at last this one position for such of our friends in that part of the State as may come here and unite with us. I do not see any evil that will result from the postponement. Indeed I do not see any necessity for an election at all at this time. The existing session of Congress is only temporary. The regular session will come off in December. The business for which they were called, can be disposed of without an additional representative, and the one we have elected will secure our recognition as much as two could." He trusted it would be the pleasure of the House to postpone the election. He therefore made the motion.

Mr. LOGAN hoped the motion would be voted down.

The question was taken, and the motion rejected.

Mr. CROTHERS nominated Daniel Lamb, of Wheeling.

Mr. RUFFNER nominated Hon. P. G. Van Winkle, of Wood.

Mr. KRAMER nominated Waitman T. Willey, of Monongalia.

FONTAIN SMITH rose for the purpose of endorsing the last nomination. He said under ordinary circumstances it would be unnecessary for him to say anything in relation to Mr. Willey, but he felt constrained to meet certain objections in relation to that gentleman's position. From frequent conversations he had had with Mr. Willey, and from correspondence with him since he had been here, he felt it his duty to exonerate him from these charges. He knew there was an impression abroad that Mr. Willey was unsound on the great question that had called them together. He would not say that advantage had been taken of the gentleman while he was absent performing a most melancholy duty, for he believed honorable gentlemen incapable of such things, but he would say that measures had been employed, whether intentionally or not - he believed unintentionally - which had had a very great effect to lessen Mr. Willey in the estimation of the community in respect to his position.

"I am aware sir," said Mr. S. "that it has been said that his course heretofore has been too conservative; and his speeches in the Convention at Richmond have been pointed to as evidence of that conservatism, as also certain flings at the Administration, certain 'ifs' and 'ands,' and certain recommendations in relation to a compromise. Let me say what I believe is almost unnecessary for me to say, and what every gentleman present must know, that a speech adapted to a Wheeling audience or this body, would be ill adapted to a convention at Richmond. He had, sir, when there to temporize his arguments. He had to address his auditory in accordance with their prejudices; and hence he may not have come out so fully as we would have desired at that time. He adopted the language of the illustrious Apostle: 'Babes will not endure meat; they must be fed on weak diet.' The arguments we advance here would not suit the people at Richmond. I have had some experience in this matter, for I unfortunately represent a constituency in which there is a large secession element; and I know the arguments I could use in Ohio or Monongalia counties would not suit my constituency in Marion. I had to temper my argument so as to meet the approbation of that people; but upon the leading points of policy, upon the great questions that have agitated the public mind, I do not presume any man who knows me would doubt my soundness. Excuse this personal reference.

Just so with Mr. Willey. He engaged in that species of argumentation for the purpose of winning and captivating and carrying along with him that people. He erred in judgment, I know, sir, but not in motive. For they did not desire reason or argument, or anything but rebellion and they were going into that headlong, in spite of logic and everything else.

I know, too, sir, it has been charged upon Mr. Willey that he did not stand up to Mr. Lincoln when he issued his proclamation, after the fall of Sumpter. But who among us did not at that moment waver? Not in relation to the constitutionality of such a course; but I put the question to gentlemen whether they did not at that moment doubt the propriety of it. Did they not believe, if that proclamation had not been precipitated upon us that we could have fixed up some sort of a compromise, which would have been honorable to us, and would have restored harmony in the South. I confess I was weak at that time. I now see, sir, that the Administration was right, and that I was wrong.

But, sir, Mr. Willey has recently placed himself fairly on the record. On the 4th of July last, in address, he used language like this: 'I once believed that a compromise could be effected, and I arduously sought to effect this compromise, by amendments to our organic law, but the time for compromise and argument has passed. The traitors have selected the arbitrament of the sword, and there is now no alternative left for every patriot but to sustain the administration in its efforts, until rebellion shall have ceased to raise its hydra-head in the land.' That is the position he occupies now. I know, too, it has been said he ought to have been here during the sitting of the late Convention to advise with us and give us his counsel. I solicited him to be with us, and with that melancholy pathos peculiar to him he said, 'I will be by your side if the painful duties I owe to my old father will permit!' Be it remembered that whilst we were sitting here in Convention he buried a venerable mother and father. He performed the last sad attentions to two venerable parents, at a time, too, when his own health was very feeble, and he was tottering about on his cane; I put the question if that would not be ample apology for his absence from this place, what in the name of common sense would?

The day before I started to the Convention I met with Mr. Willey in Fairmont, and he said, 'What are you doing here? I thought you would have been in Wheeling.' 'But, Mr. Willey,' I said, 'why are not you there?' Said he, 'my feelings are there, my heart is there, but duty requires me to stay at home.' We entered into an interchange of sentiment, and in the course of the conversation he said, speaking of the great work in which we are engaged, 'Sir, go on in your course. It is right and you must be successful. It is the only constitutional and legal course.' Since I have been in this body I have written to him in relation to the course we have pursued, and in a document which I now hold in my hand, he says we are proceeding in the only constitutional way, following the very line of policy which he indicated when here in the first convention. He has been written to by another gentleman in relation to another matter, and in reply he urges the propriety of the course suggested by the gentleman from Kanawha in relation to the election of Senators. He says let us wait a while before we enter into this election. For himself he does not wish to be pushed upon the Legislature. He does not desire the position of Senator; but I will say for him, that he would accept it if his friends deem it desirable and if the election is to take place. But he urges the propriety of postponing it until we have a wider area to select from.

A single word further. Mr. Willey will carry to the Senate of the United States not only a clear mind - not only a patriotic heart - not only a train of burning and lofty eloquence - but sir, he will carry with him the graces and elegancies of a christian gentleman. I know of no man - without disparagement to others - I know of but few in the State anywhere, in this part of the State, or among my people at least - friend or foe, secessionist, conservative or Union man - that will inspire the same confidence as Mr. Willey. I talked with men who had been our bitter enemies in this strife, and sir, I could see an indication of reconciliation upon their countenances when I talked of sending Mr. Willey there. I talked with deep toned Union men and they expressed the same confidence. Even our enemies themselves have such confidence in him as to be willing to trust their cause in his hands. There is no man in my acquaintance who inspires so much confidence in the minds of the entire people. His election would give satisfaction throughout the entire country. It will strengthen our cause and strengthen it in Eastern Virginia. It will have a tendency to strengthen us in Washington. It will command respect everywhere; and when he shall have returned to you after having discharged the duties of his office, I feel assured you can say to him "well done thou good and faithful servant."

Mr. LOGAN was appointed to notify the Senate of the nominations.

A message from the Senate reported that body ready to go into the election of Senator in place of Mason, and had made no other nominations.

The roll was called and resulted, Willy 18, Van Winkle 8, Lamb 4.

Messr. Fast, Williamson, of Wirt, and Snyder were appointed to act in conjunction with the committee of the Senate, and ascertain the vote on joint ballot, and report to the House.

Committee reported on joint ballot, Willey 22; Lamb 8; Van Winkle 8.

Mr. Willey having a majority of the whole vote cast, was declared elected Senator in place of James M. Mason.

The House then adjourned.

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Chapter Eight: Legislature of the Reorganized Government of Virginia

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