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Proceedings of the
Second Session of the
Second Wheeling Convention

August 12, 1861

The Convention met at the regular hour, and was opened with prayer by Rev. Gideon Martin, of the M. E. Church.

Minutes read and approved.

Mr. LAMB, from the Committee on Credentials, reported that George C. Boyers, a member of the House of Delegates from Putnam county, was entitled as such to a seat in the Convention.

Mr. POLSLEY called attention to the fact that the delegates from that county were present, and moved that they be qualified and take their seats.

The three gentlemen then came forward and the oath was administered to them by the President.

Mr. VAN WINKLE, from the Committee on Business, reported on the following resolutions of inquiry, referred to that Committee, that they deemed it inexpedient to legislate upon them at this time.

The resolution offered by Mr. Farnsworth, relative to appointing collectors of toll on the Clarksburg, Buckhannon and French creek turnpike and the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike, and the repairing of the same.

The resolution offered by Mr. Johnson, relative to repairing State arms.

That offered by Mr. West, relative to so changing the constitution as to allow counties to be organized with a less area than now allowed.

That offered by Mr. Fleming relative to the confiscation of the real and personal estate of parties engaged in the rebellion.

The Chairman said it was not deemed expedient at this time to act upon this resolution because the act of the United States was not before the Committee, not but that something might hereafter be necessary to be done on this subject.

That offered by Mr. Fast, relative to changing the name of Wise county.

The reports on Mr. Farnsworth's, Mr. Johnson's, Mr. Fleming's and Mr. Fast's resolutions were considered in.

That on Mr. West's was laid upon the table.

The ordinances reported from the Committee on Business coming up for consideration, the ordinance in relation to the collection of public revenue was, after considerable discussion, adopted as follows:


The People of Virginia, by the Delegates assembled in Convention at Wheeling, do ordain as follows:

1. There shall be allowed to every Sheriff and Collector, for collecting the revenue levied in the year 1861, in addition to that now allowed by law, a commission of two and on-half per centum on the amount of taxes with which he is chargeable, and if the Sheriff or Collector of any county or Corporation, where the amount of taxes with which he is chargeable does not exceed the sum of ten thousand dollars, shall pay the same, or any part thereof, into the Treasury within the time now required by law, he shall be allowed a further additional commission of two and one-half per centum on the amount so paid.

2. This Ordinance shall be in force from its passage and may be altered or repealed by the General Assembly.

The second ordinance under consideration being "An ordinance ascertaining and declaring in what cases offices are vacated under the act of June 17, 1864," was taken up and subjected to a very lengthy and critical discussion.

It was finally recommitted to the Committee on Business, and the Convention took a recess till three o'clock.


The Convention re-assembled at three P. M.

The following ordinance was taken up and after considerable discussion, was passed.


The people of Virginia, by their delegates assembled in Convention, at Wheeling, do ordain as follows:

1. Every former incumbent of an office which has been, or shall be declared vacant by any Declaration or Ordinance of this Convention, or any Act of the General Assembly, who shall exercise, or attempt to exercise, the functions of such officer, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, and imprisonment in the County Jail not exceeding one year.

2. The office of any person who has heretofore taken and subscribed, or shall hereafter take and subscribe, the oath or affirmation prescribed by the Ordinance of this Convention; entitled "An Ordinance for the Re-organization of the State Government," and who after taking and subscribing such oath or affirmation, shall by any overt act, or by publicly writing or speaking, support and uphold, or attempt to support and uphold the usurped government at Richmond, or the pretended government of the so-called Confederate States, is hereby declared vacant, and the Governor, if satisfactory evidence be produced thereof, upon due notice of the charge to the party to be effected thereby, shall proceed to fill such vacancy, or cause the same to be filled in the mode prescribed by the fifth section of the above cited Ordinance. But nothing herein contained shall prevent the indictment and punishment of such persons for the crime of perjury.

3. This Ordinance shall be in force from its passage, and may be altered or repealed by the General Assembly.

MR. CRANE offered the following resolution which was adopted:

Resolved, That the Committee on Business inquire into the expediency of providing, by ordinance, for the punishment of all the citizens of this Commonwealth who are known to be in, or who still hereafter enter the Confederate army either as citizens or soldiers and all persons who shall hereafter give money, property or counsel to the Confederate army.

Mr. VAN WINKLE offered the following, which was adopted:

Resolved, That all the Ordinances reported by the Committee on Business at the present session, or which have been or may hereafter be passed by the Convention, shall be recommitted to the said committee for revision before being reported.

The Convention then adjourned.

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August 21

Chapter Nine: Second Session of the Second Wheeling Convention

A State of Convenience

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