June 19, 1861
The Convention assembled at the usual hour, and was opened with prayer by Rev. J. T. M'Lure of this city.
The Minutes of the preceding day, were read and adopted.
The reports of Committees were called for. There being none to offer,
Mr. CALDWELL, of Marshall, suggested that as there were several members present this morning who had been absent at the time the vote was taken on the Declaration of rights, an opportunity be afforded them to record their votes.
The several gentlemen referred to announced their votes without exception in favor of the adoption of the Declaration.
Mr. VANCE, of Harrison, arose to a privileged question. He desired to call the attention of the Convention to the character of the report of yesterday's proceedings of this Convention in the Intelligencer of this morning. The report in some portions was meager and unsatisfactory. If the reporter attempts to report anything here he should report it correctly or not at all. They would find in the report that the remarks made by gentlemen in favor of the motion offered by the gentleman from Upshur, but partially and incorrectly reported. On the other hand, the remarks of the gentlemen who spoke in opposition to the adoption of the motion are reported fully and correctly. The was calculated to leave a wrong impression on the minds of those who read the printed report, and were not present in the Convention. This was a species of partiality which should not be exhibited by any reporter; and if this partiality was to be shown here and in this way the sooner the people know it the better. From the remarks of gentlemen as reported it would seem that the members advocating the resolution were attempting to embarrass the Convention, and the report does not relieve them from that imputation.
I now say to the reporter, that he will either report me correctly or not at all. I do not particularly desire to be reported. I did not come here to make speeches, but for the good of my people; but I do hope hereafter that if he attempts to report anything at all he will report it correctly.
I would just say that the gentleman from Upshur gave many very good reasons in support of his resolution, and they were not noticed at all. Speeches of certain other gentlemen were not noticed at all, while those of others were given almost word for word.
Mr. CARLILE asked that the order of the day be taken up:
The order of the day, being the ordinance for the reorganization of the State government, was then taken up.
Mr. CARLILE wished to amend the third section by striking out in the sentence beginning in the eleventh line, after the word "offices," the word "for," and insert, "from the passage of this ordinance until the end of."
The amendment was concurred in.
Mr. Caldwell moved that the ordinance be taken up and voted on section by section, which was agreed to.
The Secretary read the first section.
Mr. VAN WINKLE moved to amend the section by inserting in the third line, after the word "office," the words "for six months or," and by adding at the end of the section the words "and the General Assembly is hereby required to provide by law for the election of Governor and Lieutenant Governor, by the people, as soon as in their judgment such election can be properly held."
The amendments were concurred in, and the section passed.
The second section was read.
Mr. HOOTON enquired if any provision for the compensation of the members of the Council created by this section, was made. He moved that the word "five" before the word "members," be stricken out in the first line of the section, and the word "three" inserted instead.
Mr. CARLILE, hoped the gentlemen would withdraw that motion. He thought five none too many, and hoped dollars and cents would not be allowed to deprive the governor of assistance so much needed. He continued at some length, to urge the necessity of retaining that number.
Mr. HOOTON consented to withdraw his motion.
Mr. BURDETT, moved that the section be amended by providing "that such council ex officio shall constitute a board of public works." He subsequently withdrew the motion at the request of other members.
The second section was then passed, and the third section read.
Mr. FROST moved to recur to the first section and amend it by inserting the words "Attorney General," after the words Lieutenant Governor. The amendment was agreed to and the section was so amended, also the amendment in which the same words occur.
Mr. VAN WINKLE inquired what would be the effect of adopting these amendments in this manner. Had they not better resolve themselves into a committee of the whole, in order that after all the amendments were adopted, the whole ordinance as such could be adopted.
The Chair stated that if they proceeded to amend each section by general consent, as they were doing, without adopting them separately, the vote could then, when the amendments were completed, be taken on it as a whole.
The Secretary re-read the third section, and there being no amendments proposed it was passed and the fourth was read.
Mr. CRAWFORD, of Hancock, moved to strike out in the 20th line the word "volunteers" and insert the words "officers and privates of volunteer companies."
The amendment was concurred in.
Mr. WEST moved to amend by adding after the word "duties" in the 22d line the words, "provided, however, than any person having voted for the ordinance of secession shall be ineligible to hold any post of office or honor, public or private, civil or military, in the State during the existence of hostilities by the seceding States against the general government of the U. S. of America."
Mr. LAMB objected to the amendment.
A lengthy discussion followed, Mr. West and his colleague Mr. Martin, advocating the proposition, and Messrs. Carlile, Flesher, Pierpoint, Berkshire, Johnson of Preston, Roberts and others opposing.
The previous question was finally called by Mr. Vance.
The main question, being on the adoption of the amendment of Mr. West, having been ordered to be put
Mr. WEST demanded the yeas and nays. The demand was sustained, and the yeas and nays being taken resulted as follow:
YEAS. - Messrs. Brumfield, Close, Douglas, Harrison, Hawkxhurst, Meuben Martin, Mason, C. W. Smith, West, and Jas. W. Williamson - 10.
NAYS. - Messrs. Atkinson, W. I. Boreman, Bowen, Barnes, Berkshire, Brown, Burdett, Broski, Barrick, Crothers, Crawford, Carlile, W. B. Crane, S. Crane, Caldwell, Carskadon, Copley, Dorsey, Davidson, Downey, Evans, Ferrel, Farnsworth, Flesher, Fast, Frost, Fleming, Graham, Hale, Hubbard, Hagans, Hooton, Howard, Johnson, Kramer, Logan, Lamb, Lightburn, Love, R. S. Martin, Moss, Morris, Nichols, Newman, Porter, Pierpoint, Polsley, Price, Paxton, Parsons, Ritchie, Roberts, F. Smith, J. H. Shutteworth, Scott, Snider, Swan, B. F. Shuttlesworth, Tarr, Trout, Vance, Van Winkle, Withers, Wetzel, Wilson, Waggener, Zinn, Mr. President, (A. I. Boreman) - 68.
ABSENT. - Messrs. Davis, Foley, Gist, Laidley, Michael, Ratcliffe, J. L. Smith, Stewart, Taft, Todd, Watson, and Jas. A. Williamson.
So the amendment was rejected.
Mr. CALDWELL made a proposition to amend the 20th line of the same section, but afterwards withdrew it.
The 5th section was read.
Mr. BOREMAN, of Tyler, proposed to insert, in the 30th line, after the word "do." the words "or adhere to the Convention assembled at Richmond on the 13th of February, 1861, by the former executive of this commonwealth." He, however, after an extended discussion, in which a strong opposition was elicited, withdrew the amendment.
The question upon the adoption of the entire ordinance, as amended, was then ordered.
Mr. LAMB called for the ayes and nays, but afterwards withdrew the call.
Mr. CRANE, of Tucker, wished to inquire if it had been ascertained that the Federal Government would sustain the action the Convention was taking. He did not propose to shrink from his part, but merely wished to suggest the inquiry.
After a good deal of general discussion as to the propriety of taking the vote before an adjournment, and as to filling the blank in the ordinance naming the time at which the Legislature should be convened, the chair having stated that the vote could be taken and the blank filled afterwards, the question on the adoption of the ordinance as a whole was taken by yeas and nays, and resulted as follows:
YEAS. - Messrs. Atkinson, Boreman, Bowen, Barnes, Berkshire, Brown, Burdett, Brumfield, Broski, Barrick, Crothers, Crawford, Carlile, W. B. Crane, S. Crane, Close, Caldwell, Carskadon, Copley, Dorsey, Douglas, Davidson, Downey, Evans, Ferrel, Farnsworth, Fast, Flesher, Fleming, Frost, Graham, Hale, Harrison, Hagans, Hooton, Howard, Hawkxhurst, Johnson, Kramer, Lamb, Lightburn, Love, Henry S. Martin, Reuben Martin, Logan, Moss, Mason, Morris, Nichols, Newman, Porter, Pierpoint, Polsley, Price, Paxton, Parsons, Ritchie, Roberts, Fontain Smith, C. W. Smith, J. H. Shuttlesworth, Scott, Snider, Swan, B. F. Shuttlesworth, Tarr, Trout, Van Winkle, West, Withers, Wetzel, Jas. W. Williamson, Wilson, Waggener, Zinn, Mr. President, (A. I. Boreman.) - 76
NAYS. - None.
ABSENT. - Messrs. Davis, Foley, Gist, Hubbard, Laidley, Michael, Ratcliffe, J. L. Smith, Stewart, Taft, Todd, Vances, Watson and Jas. A. Williamson - 14.
The chair stated that those now absent could have an opportunity of recording their vote at any time when they might come in.
The Convention then took a recess until 3 o'clock, P. M.
The Convention reassembled at three.
Mr. MOSS asked to have his name recorded in favor of the Ordinance adopted in the morning session.
Mr. VANCE moved to proceed at once to the election of Governor, the Convention being now authorized to take that step.
Mr. CARLILE suggested that the blank in the Ordinance should first be filled. He proposed to fill it by inserting the "1st day of July next," which was agreed to.
Mr. VANCE renewed his motion, and supported it with some remarks.
Mr. CARLILE suggested to-morrow at eleven o'clock as affording a little time for considering so important a matter.
Mr. EVANS reminded him that to-morrow at that hour was the time set apart for the signing of the Declaration of Rights. He moved to amend by substituting to-morrow at 2 o'clock, which was finally agreed to.
MR. PORTER offered the following:
Resolved, That we recommend the immediate organization of volunteer companies in every county represented in the Convention, to support the State government as organized by this Convention.
The resolution was, after some discussion, put upon its passage, and was adopted.
On motion of Mr. Carlile, the second ordinance, to authorize the apprehending of suspicious person, &c., was taken up, and the first, second, third, fourth and fifth sections passed, after correcting a few typographical errors.
Mr. Hubbard, of Ohio, asked to have his vote recorded in favor of the adoption of the first ordinance, having been absent at the time the vote was taken.
The sixth section was read.
Mr. Harrison, of Ohio, moved to recur to the fifth section, and amend by inserting in the 18th line, after the word "same," the words, "or refusing to acknowledge the acts of this Convention as legal."
The proposition provoked a good deal of discussion, and the question being taken on it, it was rejected.
Mr. DORSEY then moved to amend the sixth section by adding the words "and if such person be an officer of this Commonwealth, his office shall be declared vacant, and shall be filled according to the law in that case made and provided."
The proposition was discussed at considerable length; the question was taken on its adoption, and it was rejected.
Mr. VANWINKLE offered the following amendment to the same section, and it was agreed to: To insert in the 34th line, after the word "secure," the words "for trial as for misdemeanor."
Mr. JOHNSON, of Wetzel, moved that the same words be inserted in the first line of the first section after the word 'secured,' but afterwards withdrew the motion.
Mr. CARLILE with the concurrence of the committee proposed this additional section which was adopted:
SEC. 7. "That the powers vested in the Governor by this ordinance shall only be exercised upon satisfactory evidence and with the concurrence of a majority of his council."
The question having been called on the adoption of the entire ordinance,
Mr. VANCE denied the power of the Convention to pass such an ordinance. He did not want to make such a star chamber of this Convention as had been done at Richmond. It was a matter that belonged entirely to the Legislature, and should be left for its action. If this Convention was to do all the legislating for the State there was no need of a Legislature at all.
Mr. LAMB said, in reply to the objections of the gentleman from Harrison, that by the action of the May Convention, the people had authorized this Convention "to devise such measures and take such action" as the safety and welfare of the people they represent might demand. That was their authority, and they all knew that the exigencies of the times did demand that they should take this action.
Mr. BURDETT remarked that in revolutionary times like these, they could not and must not be bound down to the strict letter of laws and constitutions. For his part, he meant to take his part of the responsibility.
The yeas and nays having been demanded, the question on the adoption of the ordinance was then taken, and resulted as follows:
YEAS. - Messrs. Atkinson, W. I. Boreman, Bowen, Barnes, Berkshire, Brown, Burdett, Broski, Barrick, Brumfield, Crawford, Carlile, W. B. Crane, S. Crane, Close, Caldwell, Carskadon, Copley, Dorsey, Davidson, Douglas, Downey, Evnas, Ferrell, Farnsworth, Flesher, Fast, Fleming, Frost, Gist, Graham, Hale, Harrison, Hubbard, Hagans, Hooton, Howard, Hawkxhurst, Johnson, Kramer, Logan, Lamb, Lightburn, Love, R. Martin, H. S. Martin, Moss, Mason, Morris, Newman, Porter, Pierpoint, Polsley, Price, Paxton, Ritchie, Roberts, F. Smith, C. W. Smith, J. H. Shuttlesworth, Scott, Snider, J. L. Smith, Swan, Stewart, B. F. Shuttesworth, Trout, Van Winkle, Withers, West, Wetzel, Wilson, Waggener, and Zinn. - 74.
NAYS. - Messrs. Vance, J. W. Williamson, Mr. President (A. I. Boreman.) - 3.
ABSENT. - Messrs. Crothers, Davis, Foley, Michael, Nichols, Parsons, Ratcliffe, Taft, Tarr, Todd, and Watson. - 11.
Mr. POLSLEY moved to reconsider the vote by which the first ordinance had been adopted, for the purpose of offering a substitute for the fourth section, which substitute he read as follows:
"All officers except members of the Legislature, elected on the 23d of May, 1861, now in the service of the State, or of any county, city, or town thereof, including the Judges and Clerks of the several courts, Sheriffs, Commissioners of the Revenue, Justices of the Peace, Constables, officers of city and municipal corporations, and the officers of the militia volunteer companies of the State not mustered into the service of the United States shall be vacated on or after the _____day of _____, or so soon thereafter as their successors shall be elected or appointed, and qualified; and the Governor, Lieut. Governor, Attorney General and members of the Legislature, and all the aforesaid officers, and all other officers civil or military, hereafter to be elected or appointed, as well as privates of volunteer companies, shall each take the following oath or affirmation, before proceeding to the discharge of their several duties."
This motion was opposed strongly by Messrs. Carlile, Pierpoint, Lightburn and others, and after a good deal of debate, Mr. Polsley withdrew it.
At the suggestion of Mr. Carlile the name of Albert Laidley and James D. Williamson were stricken from the roll. The former having declined to take the oath and returned home for instructions, and the latter not having made his appearance, and hence as Mr. Carlile explained, neither being at present members of the Convention or properly on the list of names.
On motion the Convention adjourned.
Chapter Seven: First Session of the Second Wheeling Convention