Debates and Proceedings
of the
First Constitutional Convention
of West Virginia

November 27, 1861

Prayer by Rev. David E. Hervey, of the Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Hall, the secretary-elect, appeared, took the oath and assumed the duties of his office.

Minutes read and approved.

MR. LAMB: Mr. President, I understand from the Secretary that he was mistaken yesterday in stating to the gentleman from Wood that a copy of the rules could be furnished. Those copies are not forthcoming and I move that we direct one hundred copies to be printed for the use of the Convention. It is necessary also to print rolls for the purpose of taking the ayes and noes and that may as well be ordered at the same time.

Copy of Rules printed under this order:


1. The President of the Convention shall take the chair every day precisely at the hour to which the convention shall have adjourned the day preceding; shall immediately call the members to order, and on the appearance of a quorum, shall cause the journal of the preceding day to be read for correction. He shall preserve order and decorum; may speak to points of order in preference to other members; rising from his seat for that purpose; shall decide questions of order, subject to an appeal to the Convention; shall daily examine and correct the journal before it is read; shall have a general direction of the hall; may call any member to the chair to perform its functions not exceeding one day; shall set apart seats in the hall for the members of the general assembly, and of the executive of this State, for the judges of this State and of the United States; and for such other persons as he may think proper to invite within the hall; for any disturbance of disorder amongst spectators in the hall or gallery, he or the chairman of the committee of the whole, (as the case may be) shall have power to order the same to be cleared; he shall appoint all committees not otherwise ordered; shall promptly call members to order for transgressing the rules; and when two members rise at the same time to address the Chair; shall name the one who is to speak, taking care however always to allow a member who rises and addresses the Chair first, to speak first.

2. No member shall absent himself from the service of the Convention, unless he be sick and unable to attend.

3. A member about to speak or deliver any matter to the Convention, shall rise from his seat, and without advancing, shall, with due respect address, "Mr. President," confining himself strictly to the point in debate, avoiding all personality, and indecent and disrespectful language.

4. No member while addressing the Convention, shall call another member by name.

5. No member shall speak more than twice to the same question without leave, nor more than once, until every other member intending to speak shall have spoken.

6. The rules of parliamentary practice, comprised in Jefferson's Manual, shall govern the Convention in all cases to which they are applicable, and consistent with the rules and orders of the Convention.

7. The Secretary shall draw up the journals of the Convention daily, which, after being examined and corrected by the President, and read to the Convention, shall be printed, and one copy shall be delivered to him and one to each member without delay. He shall not suffer any member, or other person, to take any records or papers from his table, or out of his custody.

8. A question being once determined, must stand as the judgment of the Convention, and shall not again be drawn into debate.

9. While the President is reporting or putting a question, none shall entertain private discourse, read, stand up, walk into, or out of the house; and when a motion to lay on the table is made, there shall be no debate upon that, or any incidental question arising out of it, including as appeal.

10. No member shall vote upon any question touching his own conduct or privilege as a member, nor in any other case, where he was not in the hall, when the question was put, either in the house or committee of the whole.

II. A majority of the members of the Convention shall be necessary to transact business, and every question shall be determined according to the vote of the majority of the members present. Any smaller number shall be sufficient to adjourn, and fifteen to call a house, and send for the absent, and make any order for their censure or discharge.

12. A majority of any committee shall be necessary to transact business.

13. Any person who shall tamper with any witness in respect to his evidence to be given in this Convention, or before any of its committees, or who shall directly or indirectly attempt to deter or hinder any person from appearing, or giving evidence, shall be deemed to have committed a high crime, and shall be punished accordingly.

14. No person shall be taken into custody by the sergeant- at-arms on any complaint of a breach of privilege, until the matter of such complaint shall be examined by a committee and reported to the house.

15. The sergeant's fees shall be as follows: for taking a person into custody two dollars; for every day detained in custody two dollars; for sending a messenger to take any person in custody by warrant from the President, eight cents per mile for going and the same for returning.

16. On a call of the house, the doors shall not be shut against any member until his name is once called and noted as an absentee.

17. When any member shall remain in his seat two days after leave of absence, such leave shall be void.

18. No business shall be introduced, taken up, or considered, after 12 o'clock, until the orders of the day shall be disposed of, except that an order of the day commenced may continue from day to day until finished, to the exclusion of other orders.

19. Any member (seven others concurring) shall have a right to demand the ayes and noes upon any question, at any time before it be put, and in such case, the names of the members shall be called by the secretary, and the ayes and noes entered respectively on the journal; and the question decided as a majority of votes shall thereupon appear. But after the ayes and noes are separately taken, and before they are counted and entered on the journal, the Secretary shall read over the names of those who voted in the affirmative, and those who voted in the negative, in order that any mistake in the listing of names and votes may be corrected.

20. The petitioner who contests the election of a member returned to serve in this Convention, shall receive his wages only from the day on which he is declared duly elected.

21. Select committees shall be composed of not less than five nor more than thirteen.

22. In elections, but one vacancy shall be filled at a time, and if, in any election, no person receive a majority of the whole vote upon the first ballot, the person having the smallest number of votes shall not be voted for upon the next ballot, and so on each succeeding ballot, until some person shall have a majority of the whole.

23. In all votes of the house, except by ayes and noes, the President may, and at the instance of any member shall, cause the house to be divided; and if upon the rising of the members in the affirmative, a doubt still exists with the President or any member, on which side the majority is, the members in the affirmative shall first be counted, and then those in the negative, either by the President, or at his request by two members of opposite opinions upon the question.

24. The documents ordered to be printed by the Convention shall be printed on paper of the same size of the journals of the Convention, and a copy shall be bound with each journal, to be furnished to the members at the end of the session; and it shall be the duty of the printer of the house to print one hundred additional copies of each document for the use of the Commonwealth.

25. No committee shall sit during the sessions of the Convention without special leave.

26. If any member, while speaking, transgress the rules of the Convention, the President shall, or any member may, call to order; and the member so called to order shall immediately sit down, unless permitted to explain, and the Convention shall, if appealed to, decide on the case, but without debate. If there be no appeal, the decision of the Chair shall be submitted to; if the decision be in favor of the member, he shall proceed - if against him, he shall not proceed; if any other member object, without leave of the Convention; and if the case require it, he shall be liable to the censure of the Convention.

27. If a member be called to order for words spoken in debate, the member calling him to order, shall repeat the words excepted to, and they shall be taken down in writing by the Secretary; and no member shall be held to answer, or be subject to the censure of the Convention for words spoken in debate, if any other member has spoken, or other business has intervened, before exception to them shall have been taken.

28. While a member is speaking, none shall entertain private discourse, or shall otherwise disturb him, or pass between him and the Chair.

29. Every member shall remain uncovered during the sessions of the Convention; and no member shall remain by the Secretary's table while the ayes and noes are calling, or while the Convention is voting, or the Secretary calling or counting the votes, in any election.

30. Every member who shall be in the house when a question is put shall vote, unless excused; and all motions to excuse, in such cases, shall be made before the house divides, or before the call for the ayes and noes is commenced; and any member requesting to be excused from voting, may make a brief verbal statement of his reasons, and the question shall then be taken without further debate.

31. Every motion shall be reduced to writing, if the speaker or any member desires it.

32. When a question is under debate, no motion shall be received but to adjourn, for the previous question, to lie on the table, to postpone indefinitely, to adjourn the question to a different day to commit, or amend; which several motions shall have precedence in the order in which they are arranged.

33. On a motion or call for the previous question there shall be no debate, but unless sustained by twenty members, indicated by rising, the President shall not put it to the vote, but if so sustained, the previous question shall be put immediately; and all incidental questions of order arising after a motion is made for the previous question, and pending the motion, shall be decided, whether an appeal or otherwise, without debate.

34. Any member may call for the division of a question, and it shall be, thereupon, divided, if it comprehend propositions in substance so distinct that one thing taken away, a substantive proposition shall remain for the decision of the house - but a motion to strike out being lost, shall not preclude a motion to strike out and insert.

35. When the Convention is about to rise, every member shall keep his seat until the President shall have announced the adjournment.

The following resolutions were adopted by the Convention on the 26th day of November, 1861, and are added to the foregoing for the convenience of the members:

RESOLVED, That all resolutions and propositions containing, or relating to, provisions to be inserted in the Constitution shall be referred to the appropriate standing committee without debate, and be printed for the use of the Convention.

RESOLVED, That every report made by a standing committee shall, in its turn, be considered, and be open to amendment, section by section, but the vote on the passage of any section or clause shall not be final. The question shall recur on the passage or adoption of the whole report as amended, and motions to strike out and to insert shall be in order.

E. R. HALL, Secretary.

The motion was agreed to.

MR. VAN WINKLE from the Committee to Report on Order of Business, presented the following:

The committee appointed "to report the best method of bringing before the Convention such provisions to be inserted in the Constitution as may be proposed," respectfully recommend the adoption of the following resolutions:

RESOLVED, That the President appoint the following standing committees, each of which shall choose its own chairman:

1. A Committee on Fundamental and General Provisions, to consist of nine members, who shall consider and report suitable provisions to be inserted in the Constitution, to give the government it creates a free and republican character; to protect minorities, and to secure popular rights, including provisions, relating to suffrage and the basis of representation.

2. A Committee on County Organization, to consist of seven members, who shall consider and report suitable provisions for the administration of the local affairs of the several counties, the proper officers for each, their terms of service, and the mode and time of their election and appointment.

3. A Committee on the Legislative Department, to consist of seven members, who shall consider and report the proper numbers of representatives in each branch of the general assembly, the principles on which representation shall be apportioned, and a present apportionment thereof, and such other provisions as are necessary to constitute the said department; and also a proper mode of apportioning representation in the House of Representatives of the United States, and an apportionment of the same under the census of 1860.

4. A Committee on the Executive Department, to consist of seven members, who shall consider and report such provisions as are necessary to constitute the said department.

5. A Committee on the Judiciary Department, to consist of seven members, who shall consider and report such provisions as are necessary to constitute the said department, including those relating to the judicial powers and jurisdiction of justices of the peace.

6. A Committee on Taxation and Finance, to consist of seven members, who shall consider and report suitable provisions on those subjects, and in reference to the assumption by the proposed new State of an equitable proportion of the debt of the State of Virginia, and what provision can and should be made for the payment of such proportion.

7. A Committee on Education, to consist of seven members, who shall consider and report suitable provisions in relation to that subject.

8. A Committee, to consist of seven members, to prepare a schedule to accompany the Constitution, providing for putting the same in operation, and containing such other suitable provisions as circumstances may require.

RESOLVED, That all resolutions and propositions containing, or relating to, provisions to be inserted in the Constitution, shall be referred to the appropriate standing committee without debate, and be printed for the use of the Convention.

RESOLVED, That every report made by a standing committee shall, in its turn, be considered and be open to amendment, section by section, but the vote on the passage of any section or clause shall not be final. The question shall recur on the passage or adoption of the whole report as amended, and motions to strike out and to insert shall be in order.

By order of the committee.

P. G. VAN WINKLE, Chairman.

MR. VAN WINKLE. Under ordinary circumstances, the motion would be, I suppose, to lay on the table and print; but when the Convention consider that until a report is had from one of these committees there can be no profitable business done here, instead of moving that this report be laid on the table and printed; I move that it now be considered, section by section. I think that members can thus distinctly understand each proposition; and they can move such amendments as they may see fit. It will be observed, of course, that this committee does not undertake to indicate what shall be in the Constitution in any instance whatever. It indicated the subjects which are absolutely necessary to be considered and fixed in that instrument. It has named some other subjects. It is, however, open to amendment if any gentleman sees fit to do so.

I move therefore, sir, that the report be taken up and considered, section by section.

The motion to consider the report was concurred in, and the Secretary proceeded with the reading. The sections were adopted seriatim to the eighth, inclusive; and the ninth was read.

MR. PAXTON. I would move to amend that by striking out the words "without debate." The Convention, of course, will have nothing before it until some of these committees are prepared to report; and I cannot see, therefore, why any proposition should not be open to discussion in the meantime. It occurs to me the amendment would be judicious.

MR. VAN WINKLE. Mr. President, the effect of the gentleman's motion, if carried, will be to have two debates on every subject that comes up. This is to facilitate business, and prevent unnecessary debate. A gentleman is desirous to have some sort of provision in the Constitution. He offers that provision; it is printed and distributed among the members, and referred to the committee having the subject in charge. The committee consider it, and if they approve it they will embody it in their report; if they do not approve it, the original proposer or any other gentleman may move its insertion. Then is the proper time for debate upon it. But if instead of that whenever a gentleman offers a proposition here, there is to be debate, it can only be on the question of reference. You cannot pass isolated propositions. This report, if adopted, signifies the mode in which business shall be done. The whole business in reference to the Constitution will be distributed to the committees. What question else could you make of it except to refer? Will a gentleman get up here and make a proposition and move that it shall be inserted in the Constitution without reference to any other proposition? As I said in the beginning it will anticipate two debates upon every proposition that comes up. Let for example, the legislative department be perfected by the committee and come up. If they have not inserted such propositions as any gentleman thinks ought to be, he can move their insertion; and that brings on the debate at the proper time. Certainly that is a more natural order of business, and will certainly save a good deal of time.

I trust the amendment will not prevail.

MR. WILLEY. I hope the remarks of the gentleman from Wood will prove entirely satisfactory to the Convention. If we get up rambling debate without reference to final action, we will go very far beyond the limits which the convention seem to have assigned to the session of this body, and will have accomplished nothing by it in the end. Because these identical questions will have to be discussed again when they come up for final action. It has been deemed very material that we should consummate our work with as much expedition as possible. Now, sir, we will not get away for two months unless some such proposition as this is adopted. If we are to discuss questions which have to be discussed again, we shall not get away for two months. Besides, I would suggest to my friend from the county of Ohio, in answer to his remark that this body will have nothing to do till the committees report, that this body consists of about forty members; that there are seven committees, one composed of nine and all the rest of seven each; and that to constitute these committees, we will have to detail all the members; and that every member will be engaged until some report comes in for our action.

MR. PAXTON. I withdraw the amendment, after the explanation.

The section was adopted.

The Secretary reported the tenth and last.

MR. VAN WINKLE. I wish to explain that the committee had in consideration two modes of doing business. One was that of going into committee of the whole, to which there is serious objection. It produces delay. The convention that met here in June did not go into committee of the whole, but had a provision something like this introduced here. The objection to the committee of the whole is that where a long article is to be passed and an amendment is made to a section of it, it necessitates going back and making an amendment in the preceding part of it. This proposes to have all the benefits of the committee of the whole without its inconveniences and disadvantages. Say the committee on the legislative department makes its report. It will of course constitute an article in the Constitution and be divided into convenient sections according to the subjects. They will be taken up; each section will (be) considered and amended until it is, to use a common expression, amended into shape. A second will then be taken up and proceeded with in the same way, and so on till the article is completed. Then we may find that the adoption of certain amendments in the latter part necessitate some change in the first, and this can be made before the article is adopted as a whole. Also it gives this advantage: that even the opponents of a section will be willing that the friends of its adoption should perfect it by amending in such way as they may think best. Then, when the whole article has been gone over this way, and the question comes up, shall the whole pass? any gentleman is at liberty, as he would not have been before, to move to strike out any section or clause, or move to insert any, that he may think ought to be in. In that way, sir, I think every advantage that is derived from a committee of the whole will be realized; that it will be a sufficiently deliberate way; that it will expediate the business and enable us to express the sense of the Convention without difficulty or misunderstanding.

The report was adopted.

MR. STEVENSON of Wood. I desire to offer the following resolution :

RESOLVED, That a Committee on Printing and Expenditures, to consist of three members, be appointed, who shall arrange for all printing directed by the Convention, at rates not greater than those authorized by the general assembly at their late session, and shall audit all claims and bills against the Convention and certify the same for payment.

The resolution was adopted.

MR. VAN WINKLE. Tomorrow is a thanksgiving day, appointed by the authority of the State, and no doubt every member would wish to observe it. I would therefore move that when this Convention adjourn today it will adjourn to meet again on Friday morning at the usual hour.

The motion was agreed to.

MR. VAN WINKLE. I made that motion, sir, preparatory to making the remark that it will require some time for the President to appoint these committees and he will perhaps need the assistance of some of the members in doing it. I was going to move, then, that the Convention should take a recess until afternoon to give the President an opportunity of making up these committees. And I would say that I believe it is considered entirely proper for any member of the Convention who wishes to be appointed on a certain committee to indicate that fact to the President.

I will, therefore, move that we take a recess until five o'clock.

MR. STEVENSON of Wood. I would suggest that I think four o'clock would suit the members better. I do not know how it is with the others, some of us take supper at half-past five. I am willing to forego mine, though, if the rest are.

MR. VAN WINKLE. I will accept the amendment for the sake of the gentleman's supper (Laughter).

MR. LAMB. It is a serious task, and the President ought to have plenty of time.

MR. STEVENSON of Wood. It would probably suit the gentleman from Wood better at seven and then we can both get our suppers (Laughter).

MR. VAN WINKLE. I protest that I am entirely serious with regard to gentlemen getting their suppers - and my own too. I will alter the motion to make it half-past four.

The motion was agreed to.


The President announced the following standing committees raised under the resolution hitherto adopted:

Committee on Fundamental and General Provisions: - Peter G. Van Winkle, Gordon Battelle, James H. Brown, Waitman T. Willey, Chapman J. Stuart, Robert Irvine, W. W. Brumfield, Abijah Dolly, James S. Cassady.

Committee on County Organization: - Joseph S. Pomeroy, John A. Dille, A. D. Soper, Thos. W. Harrison, E. S. Mahon, Dudley S. Montague, Peter G. Van Winkle.

Committee on the Legislative Department: - Daniel Lamb, Harmon Sinsel, James H. Brown, H. D. Chapman, Chapman J. Stuart, J. J. Brown, Josiah Simmons.

Committee on the Executive Department: - E. H. Caldwell, H. Dering, Wm. E. Stevenson, Lewis Ruffner, G. F. Taylor, S. N. Hansley, E. J. O'Brien.

Committee on the Judiciary Department: - Waitman T. Willey, James H. Brown, Ephraim B. Hall, Robert Irvine, C. J. Stuart, John A. Dille, B. F. Stewart.

Committee on Finance and Taxation: - James W. Paxton, J. J. Brown, R. L. Brooks, H. Dering, H. Raymond, James Hervey, John M. Powell.

Committee on Education: - Gordon Battelle, William E. Stevenson, Robert Hagar, Thomas H. Trainer, J. W. Parsons, William Walker, George Sheets.

Committee on Schedule to the Constitution: - Ephraim B. Hall, R. W. Lauck, Grenville Parker, W. W. Warder, A. J. Wilson, T. W. Harrison, Joseph Hubbs.

Committee on Printing and Expenditures: - William E. Stevenson, James W. Paxton, A. D. Soper.

MR. VAN WINKLE. It is understood, I presume, that the gentlemen first named on these committees will act as chairmen, until they meet and choose chairmen themselves, according to the provisions of the resolution.

THE PRESIDENT. That was the understanding and intention of the Chair.

MR. VAN WINKLE. I would then ask my committee to meet on Friday morning at nine o'clock in the room in the northwest corner of the building. I apprehend that committee could make a partial report Friday. At all events it will be necessary for some matters to be acted on by it to be settled before the other committees can progress very far. Perhaps by that time the sergeant- at-arms will be able to procure suitable rooms for all the committees. That committee will precede in its business some of the others and it had better meet at once.

MR. STEVENSON of Wood. I would suggest to the Committee on Printing to meet me here a few moments after the Convention adjourns.

MR. SINSEL. I have prepared a little work here; which I wish referred to the appropriate committee.

Mr. Sinsel presented the following paper which was read by the Secretary and referred:


1. There shall be a Supreme Court of Appeals, circuit courts, and magisterial courts. The jurisdiction of these tribunals, and of the judges and magistrates thereof, except so far as the same is conferred by this Constitution, shall be regulated by law.


2. The State shall be divided into three divisions and eight circuits and each county shall be divided into at least four, and not more than eight magisterial districts.


3. For each division a judge shall be elected by the voters thereof, who shall hold his office for the term of twelve years, unless sooner removed in the manner prescribed by this Constitution. He shall, at the time of his election, be at least thirty and not over fifty-six years of age, and during his continuance in office shall reside in the division for which he was elected. Of those first elected, one, to be designated by lot, shall remain in office for four years only, and one other, to be designated in like manner, shall remain in office for eight years only.

4. The Supreme Court of Appeals shall consist of three judges so elected, any two of whom may hold a court. It shall hold three sessions annually of three months each, unless the business is sooner disposed of. One session shall be at the seat of government, one at the city of Wheeling, and one at Charleston. It shall have appellate jurisdiction only, except in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus and prohibition. It shall not have jurisdiction in civil cases when the matter in controversy is less than one thousand dollars, except in controversies concerning the title or boundaries of land, the probate of a will, the appointment or qualification of a personal representative, guardian, committee or curator, or the right of a corporation or county to levy tolls or taxes, and except in cases involving freedom, or the constitutionality of a law.

5. When a judgment or decree is reversed or affirmed by the Supreme Court of Appeals, the reasons therefor shall be stated in writing and preserved with the record of the case.

6. The officers of the Supreme Court of Appeals shall be appointed by said court, or by the judges thereof in vacation. Their duties, compensation and tenure of office shall be prescribed by law.


7. For each circuit a judge shall be elected by the voters thereof, who shall hold his office for the term of eight years, unless sooner removed in the manner prescribed by this Constitution. He shall, at the time of his election be at least twenty-five and not over fifty-six years of age, and during his continuance in office shall reside in the circuit of which he is judge.

8. A circuit court shall be held at least four times a year by the judge of each circuit, in every county of this Commonwealth wherein a circuit court is now or may hereafter be established. Judges may exchange circuits with each other for one or two terms. Each term of a circuit court shall commence on Monday, and remain in session for at least two weeks, unless the business is sooner disposed of.

9. The voters of each county shall elect a clerk of the circuit court for said county, whose term of office shall be four years. His duties and compensations shall be prescribed by law.


10. For each district a magistrate shall be elected by the voters thereof, who shall hold his office for the term of four years, unless sooner removed. He shall, ex-officio, be the overseer of the poor for his district. He shall hold a court at least once in each month, in his district, and at the same place each time, and have jurisdiction of all sums where the matter in controversy, exclusive of interest and costs, does not exceed one hundred dollars in value. He shall keep a record of all his proceedings, and be allowed to charge the parties the same fees that clerks of the circuit courts shall be allowed to charge for like services. He shall reside in the district for which he was elected.

11. The parties, if they desire it, shall have the benefit of legal counsel, and the right of appeal to the circuit court. If the matter in controversy exceeds twenty dollars in value, exclusive of costs, the defendant, upon giving security for costs, may have the case certified to the circuit court for trial.

12. They shall meet semi-annually at the court house of their county, and adjust and audit all claims against the same, keeping the claims for the benefit of the poor in a separate book. They shall do their own clerking, and certify the claims so allowed by them to the circuit court of the county, which court, at its spring term, shall order a levy for the same.


13. Judges and magistrates shall be commissioned by the governor, and during their term of service shall not hold any other office or appointment, or public trust, and the acceptance thereof shall vacate his judicial office. The salary of the judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals shall be two thousand dollars per annum, and that of a circuit judge shall be seventeen hundred dollars per annum. They shall not receive any other allowance from the State.

14. Judges, magistrates, attorneys for the Commonwealth, surveyors, clerks of courts, sheriffs, commissioners of the revenue and constables may be removed from office, by indictment and conviction thereof, for malfeasance, misfeasance or gross neglect of official duty. When an indictment is found against a judge of a circuit court, the clerk of the court where the indictment was found shall issue a summons to a judge of an adjoining circuit to attend at the next term of the court and preside during the trial, and if found guilty of either of the above named offenses, in addition to the penalty prescribed by law for such offenses, he shall declare his office of judge vacant. The clerk shall immediately, if no appeal be taken, transmit a copy of said indictment and judgment of the court to the governor of the State, who 'shall immediately issue a writ of election, to fill the unexpired term of such judge.

15. Judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals shall be indicted in the circuit courts, with the right of appeal, and upon the trial of the appeal, a circuit judge or judges shall preside with the other judge or judges of the court of appeals, so that three judges shall hold the court: and if found guilty of either of the above named offenses, his punishment shall be the same as circuit judges, and his office declared vacant and filled in like manner. When the office of judge is declared vacant by the court of appeals, the clerk of said court shall certify a copy of the indictment, appeal and judgment to the governor of the State, who shall issue a writ of election to fill the unexpired term of judge.

16. For each county an attorney for the Commonwealth shall be elected by the voters thereof, who shall hold his office for the term of four years. He shall, in addition to his other duties, be counsel for the overseers of the poor of his county. He shall receive from the State a salary, where the population does not exceed five thousand, two hundred dollars; if the population is five thousand and not over ten thousand, two hundred and fifty dollars; if over ten thousand, he shall receive three hundred dollars per annum. He may receive a fee of the persons convicted by him, to be ascertained by law.

17. For each county a surveyor shall be elected by the voters thereof, who shall hold his office for the term of six years. His duties and compensations shall be prescribed by law. For each county a sheriff shall be elected by the voters thereof, who shall hold his office for the term of two years, and he shall not be eligible a third time unless all of the public due shall have been first collected and paid by him to the proper persons. His duties and compensations shall be prescribed by law. The voters of each district shall elect a constable for the same, whose duty and compensation shall be prescribed by law.

18. Judges and all other officers, whether elected or appointed, shall continue to discharge the duties of their respective offices after their terms of service have expired, until their successors are qualified. When a vacancy shall occur in the office of clerk of the circuit court, such court may appoint a clerk pro tempore, who shall discharge the duties of the office until the vacancy is filled.

19. Writs shall run in the name of the Commonwealth of Western Virginia, and be attested by the clerks of the several courts. Indictments shall conclude: against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth.

20. The legislature shall provide for the compensation of jurors.

MR. VAN WINKLE. I wish to offer the following:

RESOLVED, That the Committee on Printing, &c. enquire and report as to the propriety of employing a proper person to report, officially, the debates of the Convention, and the probable expense thereof, and of printing the same in book form.

MR. BROWN of Preston. I have a resolution to offer, Mr. President:

It was reported as follows and referred:

RESOLVED, That every white male citizen of the Commonwealth, who shall have attained the age of 21 years, and who shall have resided therein one year, and who shall have resided in the county in which he offers to vote ten days previous to his offering to vote, and who shall have previously paid the state or county tax with which he was assessed the previous year, shall be entitled to the right of suffrage in this Commonwealth.

MR. LAMB. It is very desirable that any propositions which members may have to submit to the different committees should be handed in at the earliest moment possible in order that they may receive consideration. If any gentlemen have propositions prepared I hope they will produce them this evening.

MR. STEVENSON of Wood. We are at a stand still for want of business, I move we adjourn.

The motion was agreed to, and the Convention adjourned till Friday at the usual hour.

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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

A State of Convenience

West Virginia Archives and History