Skip Navigation

Reorganized Government
General Assembly of Virginia

July 16, 1861

House of Delegates met at the usual hour.

Prayer by Rev. R. V. Dodge.

A message from the Senate announced the passage of House bill No. 9.

The passage of House bill No. 4 (the military bill) by the Senate was also announced with amendments, of which, conferring upon the Governor the power to appoint officers for volunteer companies, was disagreed to; also the passage of House bill No. 3, providing for the issue of small notes, with an amendment limiting the issue to ten per cent. on the capital of the banks so issuing, which amendment was disagreed to.

MR. PORTER, from the Committee on Finance, to whom was referred a resolution in relation to the gold taken from the Weston branch of the Exchange Bank of Virginia, reported a substitute for the same; also, a bill fixing the compensation of members of the Executive Council, and a bill to amend an ordinance relating to the collection of revenue. The Committee also reported back the resolution referred to them, to inquire into the expediency of allowing Sheriffs a margin of time, in addition to that now allowed, for paying into the Treasury licenses and other monies collected, and a resolution of the Committee on Printing, to inquire into the expediency of printing the Ordinances of the Convention and acts of the General Assembly in the county newspapers, with a resolution that they deem it inexpedient to legislate at this time on the subjects embraced in the resolutions.

The bill to amend an ordinance relating to the collection of the revenue was laid on the table.

The bill fixing the compensation of members of the Executive Council was read a first time and passed to a second reading. It provides that members of the Governor's Council shall receive four dollars a day for each day's attendance in the discharge of the duties of their office.

Mr. SMITH, from the Committee on Courts of Justice, reported a bill to amend the Second and Ninth Sections of the Code; also a bill to regulate the sale of munitions of war; also a bill to amend the 32d Section of Chapter 49 of the Code.

Mr. West called for the reading of the report of the Finance Committee. He moved to disagree with the report of the Committee, in relation to the resolution referred to them allowing additional time to sheriffs to make their returns.


Mr. LOGAN submitted the report of the Special Committee to whom was referred a memorial of the citizens of Wheeling, asking for the consolidation of the first, second and sixth school districts, with the recommendation that it is inexpedient to legislate at the present time on the subject.

The report was tabled.

The order of the day, being the joint resolution authorizing the Treasurer of the Commonwealth to demand from the Treasurer of the United States, so much of the nett proceeds arising from the sales of the public domain, as may accrue to the State of Virginia, was taken up.

Mr. WILSON hoped there would not be a single dissenting vote to the passage of the resolution. The money was in the U. S. Treasury, and would be paid promptly when demanded.

Mr. HOOTON also expressed a hope that the resolution would pass at once. This question had been agitated in his county for a number of years, and the people there were in favor of Virginia receiving this money. He believed all the other States had received their portions, and he could see no reason why Virginia should not receive her's, especially at this stage of the re-organization of the State Government.

Mr. BOREMAN said he believed his people always have been willing for the State to receive this money. Their minds had undergone no change, and he believed they still were in favor of it. Personally, he was so, and would vote for the resolution.

Mr. WEST said this had been long a subject of legislation, and a bone of contention. The proposition to receive this money had often been presented in the Legislature, and as often rejected. For his part, he was prepared to receive the money on certain conditions, that the money should be applied to the literary fund of the State. He thought no better application could be made of it, than for the education of indigent children. He moved to amend the resolution by adding, that the money, when so received, should be made a part and parcel of the literary fund, and be applied to the education of indigent children.

Mr. BOREMAN certainly had no objection to building up the literary fund; he was as anxious for that as any one, but he objected to embarrassing the resolution by such amendments. He hoped the amendment would be withdrawn. After the resolution was adopted and the money obtained, there would be time enough to dispose of the funds thus acquired. If the amendment was persisted in, he should have to vote against it.

Mr. WEST said if the House thought any better application of the money could be made than that set forth in the resolution, they could vote down the amendment, but id did not necessarily embarrass the resolution. He thought the gentleman's reasons for entering his protest very flimsey indeed. He felt that he had performed a duty in offering the amendment, and the House could vote on it as they chose.

Mr. BOREMAN said that it was very common in parliamentary debates for members when opposed to a measure to so load it down with amendments as to finally kill it off; not that he believed the gentleman from Wetzel had any intention of the kind, but the amendment was calculated to embarrass the resolution. He repeated that after the resolution was adopted they could make any disposition of the money the House might see fit.

Mr. WEST said that he had no desire to embarrass or kill off the resolution. He intended to vote for it whether his resolution was voted down or not.

The CHAIR said that according to parliamentary law the amendment of the gentleman from Wetzel was out of order, inasmuch as it contemplated two distinct objects - first, the reception of the money, and second, the appropriation of it.

The CHAIR read the clause of the Constitution which provides that now law shall embrace more than one object. The gentleman could appeal from the decision if he wished to test the sense of the House.

Mr. WEST did not desire to so appeal. In all his legislative experience he had never appealed from a decision by the Chair. It was true that a resolution could not embrace two propositions, but could not a resolution be amended? He only proposed to amend the resolution, and he presumed it had not passed that stage.

Mr. LOGAN made a point of order that the member from Wetzel was discussing his right to introduce an amendment to the resolution, which amendment the Chair had decided to be out of order.

Mr. WEST appealed from the decision of the Chair and proceeded with some further remarks in support of his position, when

The CHAIR decided that the gentleman was again out of order in discussing the decision without the appeal having been put.

Mr. WEST appealed from the decision of the Chair on this last point.

The question on the appeal was put and decision of the Chair sustained.

The other appeal was not pressed, and the amendment having been ruled out,

The question was taken on the adoption of the resolution, and decided in the affirmative.

Mr. CROTHERS was appointed to communicate its passage to the Senate.

Mr. PORTER moved to take up the Senate resolution and the substitute relating to the disposition of the money obtained from the branch of the Exchange Bank at Weston. The resolution provides that the $27,000 so obtained shall be held inviolate for the purpose for which it was originally appropriate, (the building of a Lunatic Asylum at Weston,) and subject to the order of the Superintendent of said institution, who may be hereafter appointed.

The substitute provides that the $27,000 (in gold) shall be sold for currency, and the premium (between two and three thousand dollars) paid to the branch of the Exchange Bank at Weston; that out of the currency so obtained, there should be placed in the hands of the Superintendent $5,316, for the payment of services already rendered, and for putting the building in such a condition as to preserve the work already done and the material on the grounds, $2,000 for this purpose, and $3,316 for services due on the 1st of July, 1861.

Mr. ARNOLD moved to amend the substitute by striking out in the substitute, "$5,316," and insert instead, "13,316."

Quite a lengthy discussion followed, in which Messrs. Porter, Downey, Zinn, Hooton, and others, opposed, and Mr. Arnold advocated the proposed amendment.

The House, without arriving at any conclusion, took a recess till 2 o'clock, P. M.


The unfinished business pending at the time of adjournment was passed by for the present.

Mr. WILLIAMSON, of Wirt, moved to suspend the rule for the purpose of having Mr. Arnold, of Lewis, appointed on the Committee on a Division of the State. The rule was suspended, and on motion that gentleman placed upon the committee.

A message from the Governor was received, informing the House that he had appointed Gen. Kelley Brig. Gen. Of the 1st Brigade of Virginia Volunteers, that the appointment would be valid until the House should appoint a successor; that the Second Brigade would shortly be full, and suggesting the election of a second Brigadier General for that Brigade.

The order of the day, it being the election of Brigadier General, was then taken up.

Mr. LOGAN nominated General B. F. Kelley.

After a good deal of rambling discussion as to the mode of procedure,

Mr. VANCE desired to nominate Col. David Hughes, but the nomination not being offered until the Senate had been notified that there was but one nomination and had transmitted a message to the House stating that they had voted on it, the Chair decided that the nomination of the gentleman from Harrison was too late to be in order.

The roll was called, and Mr. Kelley received all the votes of the House, except Mr. Snyder, of Monongalia, who voted for Mr. Hughes.

Committee to ascertain the joint vote reported Kelly 36, Hughes 1, the Senate voting unanimously for Gen. Kelly.

Messrs. Crothers, Vance and Wetzel were appointed to act in conjunction with a like committee of the Senate to inform Gen. Kelly of his election.

Mr. VANCE offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That the House, with the consent of the Senate, will now proceed to the election of a Brigadier General for the Second Brigade of Virginia Volunteers.

Mr. VANCE subsequently withdrew the resolution at the suggestion of Mr. Ruffner, who thought it was not proper to go into the election at this time, as the second brigade was not yet made up, and the election should be postponed until a larger scope of territory could be represented in the election, as a matter of courtesy to the rest of the State.

On motion of Mr. Zinn the rule was suspended, and Mr. Farnsworth placed upon the Committee on a Division of the State.

The unfinished business of the morning session, being the substitute for the Senate resolution in relation to the disposition of the State funds taken from the Exchange Bank at Weston, was taken up.

Mr. ARNOLD withdrew the amendment he had offered in the morning session, and moved to amend the substitute by striking out $5,316 and inserting $27,000, as the sum to be allowed to the Weston Lunatic Asylum to pay for services rendered, and to preserve the work already done. The amendment was rejected.

The question being taken on the adoption of the substitute it was decided in the affirmative by yeas 29, nays 2.

A message from the Senate announced the passage of Senate bill No. 4.

The following resolutions were offered and adopted:

By Mr. Crothers,

Resolved, That the Committee on Finance consider the expediency of reporting a bill refunding to the Sheriff of Brooke county the amount of taxes overpaid by him to the Auditor's office in 1860.

Resolved, That the Committee on Banks inquire into the expediency of changing the charter of the Bank of Wheeling as to place said bank under the provisions of the 59th Chapter of the Code.

By Mr. Smith.

Resolved, That the Committee on Roads inquire into the expediency of converting the Smithfield and Ohio turnpike, in the county of Marion, into a county road.

By Mr. Snyder:

Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs inquire into the expediency of reporting a bill exempting volunteer companies from mustering with the militia.

Mr. VANCE moved that the resolution providing for the adjournment of the House sine die on Thursday next, offered by himself some days ago, and which was tabled, be now taken up. Rejected.

Mr. LOGAN moved to take up the substitute for Senate bill No. 1, relating to a stay law.

The substitute was taken up and after a very lengthy discussion of its provisions the House without taking action adjourned.


The House bill fixing the compensation of printer to the Senate, was passed.

On motion of Mr. Stewart, an act re-arranging the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st Judicial Circuits, was taken up and passed.

House bill No. 6, prescribing the duties and fixing the compensation of clerks to the Senate and House of Delegates, was referred to the Committee on Finance and Claims.

House bill No. 7, an act providing for abolishing the present Board of Public Works, and conferring the said powers and duties upon the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Council, was taken up.

Mr. STEWART moved to amend by striking out the Lieutenant Governor and Council and inserting Secretary, Auditor and Treasurer.

The question on the adoption of the amendment was decided in the negative.

The bill was read a third time and passed by its title.

The resolution authorizing the Treasurer of the Commonwealth to demand and receive from the Treasury of the U. S., Virginia's portion of the proceeds of the public lands, was adopted.

The Senate proceeded to the joint order of the day - the election of a Brigadier General for the First Brigade. Col. Benj. F. Kelly having been put in nomination by the House, the vote in his favor by the Senate was unanimous.

The Senate adjourned.

July 1
July 2
July 3
July 5
July 6
July 8
July 9
July 10
July 11
July 12
July 13
July 15
July 16
July 17
July 18
July 19
July 20
July 22
July 23
July 25
July 26

Chapter Eight: Legislature of the Reorganized Government of Virginia

West Virginia Archives and History