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Debates and Proceedings
of the
First Constitutional Convention
of West Virginia

November 30, 1861

Prayer by Rev. Gordon Battelle of the M. E. Church (member from Ohio).

Minutes read and approved.

MR. VAN WINKLE. Mr. President, the Committee on Fundamental and General Provisions were not able to get the report they proposed to submit into the hands of the printer in time to lay it before the Convention this morning. I am therefore instructed now to submit it and ask that it be laid on the table and printed.

The report was read as follows:

The Committee on Fundamental and General Provisions respectfully report in part, and recommend that the following provisions be inserted in the Constitution of the proposed new State.

By order of the committee.

P. G. VAN WINKLE, Chairman.


Fundamental and General Provisions.

Section 1. The State of Kanawha shall be and remain one of the United States of America. The Constitution of the United States, and the laws and treaties made in pursuance thereof, shall be the supreme law of the land.

Sec. 2. Writs, commissions, and other publications issued under state authority, shall run in the name of, and official bonds shall be made payable to, The State of Kanawha. Laws shall be enacted in the name of the State of Kanawha. Writs shall conclude "against the peace and dignity of the State of Kanawha."

Sec. 3. The powers of government reside in all the citizens of the State, and can be rightfully exercised only in accordance with their will and appointment.

Sec. 4. The citizens of the State are the citizens of the United States residing therein; but no person in the military, naval or marine service of the United States shall be deemed a resident of this State by reason of being stationed therein.

Sec. 5. Every citizen of the State shall be entitled to equal representation in the government, and in all appointments of representation, equality of numbers of those entitled thereto shall be preserved.

Sec. 6. The white male citizens of the State shall be entitled to vote at all elections held within the election districts in which they respectively reside; but no person who is a minor, or of unsound mind, or a pauper, or who is under conviction of treason or felony, or who has been convicted of bribery in an election, or who has not been a resident of the State for one year, and of the county in which he offers to vote, for six months, next preceding such offer, shall be permitted to vote while such disability continues.

Sec. 7. In all state, county and municipal elections the mode of voting shall be by viva voce.

Sec. 8. No voter during the continuance of an election at which he is entitled to vote, or during the time necessary and convenient for going to and returning from the same, shall be subject to arrest upon civil process; or be liable to attend any court or judicial proceeding as suitor, juror or witness; or to work upon the public roads; or, except in time of war or public danger, to render military service.

Sec. 9. All citizens entitled to vote, and no other persons, may be elected or appointed to any state, county or municipal office, but the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, judges and senators must at the beginning of their terms of service, have respectively attained the age of twenty-five years and have been a citizen of the State for five years next preceding, or at the time of the adoption of this Constitution.

Sec. 10. Every person elected or appointed to any office or trust, civil or military, shall before proceeding to exercise the authority or discharge the duties of the same, make oath or affirmation that he will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State; and every citizen of this State may in time of war, insurrection or danger, be required by law to make the like oath or affirmation, upon pain of suspension of his right of voting and holding office under this Constitution.

Sec. II. In criminal prosecutions, and in suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, trial by jury shall be preserved. Excessive bail shall not be required, or excessive fines imposed, or cruel and unusual punishment inflicted. Warrants to search suspected places shall not be issued except upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation. No citizen shall be arrested or otherwise deprived of his liberty without due process of law and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, except when in time of invasion, insurrection or public danger the public safety may require it. No bill of attainder, or ex post facto law, or any law impairing the obligation of contracts, or abridging freedom of speech or of the press, shall be passed or executed. No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

Sec. 12. The legislative, executive and judicial departments of the government shall be separate and distinct. Neither shall exercise the powers properly belonging to either of the others. No person shall be invested with, or exercise the powers of, more than one of them at the same time.

Sec. 13. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies giving them aid and comfort. Every attempt to justify and uphold an armed invasion of the State, or an organized insurrection within the limits thereof, by publicly speaking, writing or printing, or the publishing or circulating of any such writing or printing, during the continuance of such invasion or insurrection, shall be punished, according to the character of the acts committed, by the infliction of one or more of the penalties of death, imprisonment, fine, or confiscation of the real and personal property of the offender, as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 14. No lottery shall be authorized by law; and the buying, selling or transferring of tickets or chances in any lottery shall be prohibited.

MR. CALDWELL. I give notice now that I have so much objection to the name of Kanawha that I will ask for a provision in the Constitution that when the Constitution is submitted to the people they will then determine whether the name shall be Western Virginia or Kanawha.

The report was adopted, laid on the table and ordered to be printed.

MR. SINSEL offered the following:

RESOLVED, That voting be by ballot, and that the Secretary of the Commonwealth be required to furnish the tickets for the same, for each county of the Commonwealth.

RESOLVED, That for each county a recorder shall be elected by the voters thereof, who shall hold his office for the term of four years, unless sooner removed. He shall be the treasurer for the county. All persons shall be required to pay their taxes to him, in his office, from the first of June to the first of October. He shall give a list of those who fail to pay, within the specified time, to the sheriff for collection. The sheriff, when collecting such taxes, shall add five per cent, and collect the same. He shall receive for collecting such taxes eight per cent. The treasurer shall receive three per cent, on all moneys received and paid over by him. He shall from the first of July to the first of January, make monthly returns to the auditor of public accounts. His other duties and compensations shall be prescribed by law.

MR. VAN WINKLE. I move that in this and like cases where propositions are offered to be printed they immediately go upon the table for that purpose without motion.

The motion was agreed to.

MR. LAMB, from the Committee on the Legislative Department, submitted the following report:

The Committee on the Legislative Department have been instructed by the Convention to report "a proper mode of apportioning representation in the House of Representatives of the United States."

The Constitution of the United States provides (Art. I, Sec. 2, Clause 3.) that "representation and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons.

As the representation is apportioned to the State according to these rules, it is proper that it should be apportioned according to the same rules among the several Congressional districts.

The existing Constitution of Virginia has, therefore, provided, (Art. 4, Secs. 13 and 14) as follows:

Sec. 13. The whole number of members to which the State may at any time be entitled in the House of Representatives of the United States, shall be apportioned as nearly as may be among the several counties, cities and towns of the State, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons.

Sec. 14. In the apportionment, the State shall be divided into districts corresponding in number with the representatives to which it may be entitled in the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States, which shall be formed respectively of contiguous counties, cities, and towns be compact, and including as nearly as may be, an equal number of the population, upon which is based representation in the House of Representatives of the United States.

The committee recommend that these provisions be inserted in the Constitution for the State of Kanawha.

The Committee on the Legislative Department have also been required to report an apportionment of representation in the House of Representatives of the United States, under the census of 1860. There is difficulty attending this branch of our duty.

1. It is impossible to arrange the Congressional districts until the boundaries of the State are determined. The representative number of the whole State of Virginia is 1,399,670. According to the apportionment made under the census of 1860, by the Secretary of the Interior, she is entitled to eleven representatives in the House of Representatives of the United States. This is one representative for every 127,242 of her representative number. The representative number for the thirty-nine counties included in the proposed new State, by the first section of the ordinance of August 20, 1861, is 277,933, entitling those counties to two representatives, and leaving an unrepresented fraction of 23,449, or less than one-fifth of the number which would entitle those counties to an additional representative. If to these thirty-nine we add Hampshire and Hardy, we obtain a representative number of 300,796, but still the forty-one counties would be entitled to but two representatives, leaving unrepresented a fraction of 46,312 or about one-third of the number which would entitle them to an additional representative.

The number of representatives will, therefore, in either case be two; but the Congressional districts into which the proposed new State should be divided, will be very differently arranged if the new State be confined to thirty-nine counties from what they would if it include the forty-one.

The ordinance of August 20th, 1861, under which this Convention has assembled, proposes to form a new State out of the territory described in the 1st Section, which includes only the thirty-nine counties referred to. But the Third Section of the ordinance provides that -

3. The Convention herein provided for may change the boundaries described in the First Section of this ordinance, so as to include within the proposed State the counties of Greenbrier and Pocahontas, or either of them, and also the counties of Hampshire, Hardy, Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson, or either of them, and also such other counties as lie contiguous to the said boundaries or to the counties named in this section, if the said counties, to be added, or either of them, by a majority of the votes given, shall elect delegates to the said Convention, at elections to be held at the time and in the manner herein provided for."

It will be observed that the expression here used is that the Convention may change the boundaries described in the First Section, so as to include the counties of Hampshire, Hardy, &c., in the proposed State; but this is only to be done, if the county to be added, by a majority of the votes given, shall declare its wish to form a part of the proposed State, and shall elect delegates to the said Convention, at elections to be held at the time and in the manner provided for in the ordinance.

The counties of Hampshire and Hardy have elected delegates to this Convention. Have they declared their wish to form a part of the proposed State, according to the intents and spirit of the ordinance? This is a fact to be ascertained and declared by this Convention. If they have done so, then the Convention may change the boundaries so as to include them.

From the returns made to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, it appears that polls were opened on the fourth Thursday of October last, on the question of the formation of a new State as proposed by the ordinance of August 20th, 1861, at two election precincts in Hampshire and two election precincts in Hardy; - the results being as follows:

Hampshire county, Piedmont, for the new State....................16
Hampshire county, Piedmont, against the new State................1
New Creek, for the new State............................................179
New Creek, against the new State........................................17
Hardy county, Mrs. Kitsmiller's, for the new State.................25
Hardy county, against the new State........................................0
Greenland, for the new State...............................................125
Greenland, against the new State.............................................0

At the Presidential election held in November, 1860, Hampshire county gave an aggregate vote of 2,008; and Hardy of 1,323. The whole vote of the two counties on the question of the formation of the new State being 363, is about one-ninth of the number of votes (3,331) which they gave at the Presidential election.

Shall this vote be considered such an indication of the wish of said counties to form part of the proposed State, as the ordinance of August 20, 1861, contemplated?

Though we report the facts as they appear to us, the committee would be distinctly understood as not undertaking to indicate what the decision of the Convention should be upon this question. But its decision, one way or the other, by the Convention is a necessary preliminary, not only in reference to the arrangement of Congressional districts, but also to the apportionment of members of the house of delegates, and the arrangement of senatorial and judicial districts.

With a view then merely to bring the question distinctly before the Convention for its decision, we respectfully report the following resolution:

RESOLVED, That a committee of nine be appointed to ascertain and report to the Convention a proper boundary for the proposed new State.

2. It is proper, however, for the committee to add, that there are, in their opinion, other objections in the way of an apportionment by this Convention of the representation which may be allowed the new State in the House of Representatives of the United States.

When the proposed State shall be admitted into the Union, the number of Representatives to which she will be entitled will be declared in the act or resolution of Congress, providing for her admission. It would seem to be premature to establish Congressional districts, before the number of representatives is declared by the proper authority. The term of the 38th Congress, will commence on the 4th day of March, 1863. The territory included in the new State is now represented in Congress; and before the term of the present members of the House of Representatives expires, proper arrangements can be made by the legislature of Kanawha to have the State represented in the 38th Congress.

The Constitution of the United States provides (Art. I, Sec. 4, first clause), that the time, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the legislature thereof, but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.

When the new State shall be admitted into the Union, its legislature will undoubtedly have authority, subject to such regulations as Congress may have prescribed, to establish the Congressional districts. In view of the clause just cited from the Constitution of the United States, it is doubtful at least whether this authority must not be exercised by the legislature, and not by the Convention.

The committee recommend the passage of the following resolution:

RESOLVED, That the Committee on the Legislative Department be discharged from the further consideration of the subject of apportioning the representation in Congress under the census of 1860.

By order of the committee.

D. LAMB, Chairman.

The report was laid on the table and ordered to be printed.

MR. LAMB. I move the adoption of the second resolution, for the appointment of a committee to ascertain and report proper boundaries for the proposed new State. The Convention will observe that the apportionment of that committee does not conclude the question one way or the other, but simply that we may have speedy action on the subject; which is absolutely necessary to enable us to act in regard to the questions of apportionment that have been referred to the Committee on the Legislative Department. Until that action is had the questions of apportionment in reference to the senatorial districts, judicial districts, and, in fact, in reference to the house of delegates also, are necessarily postponed for the reason the apportionments must be very different if the boundaries include certain counties from what they would be if they include other counties. I suppose there will be no objection to raising the committee on the subject; and I hope that committee will act as speedily as possible and let us have at least that matter settled.

MR. VAN WINKLE. I concur entirely with the gentleman that this question of boundaries is of the utmost importance. The question what shall be the boundaries of the new State is one that affects almost everything in relation to it. The question whether the original boundaries prescribed by the ordinance are proper; the question whether certain counties lying contiguous should not come in, in order to make a better boundary; the question whether many of these counties have not a disposition to be in, although not directly heard from; these and many other questions will have to be considered and determined in some way. As the gentleman has of course very correctly stated, no apportionment, either of senators, judges, or delegates can be properly made until that question is determined. If after the apportionment is made, any other counties are desirous of coming in, why that will have to be changed to accommodate them. I will, therefore, concur entirely in his recommendation that a committee be raised at once on this subject, and be requested to give all diligent attention to the question.

I wish to say in relation to the other resolution that the Committee on Business in assigning business to the different committees made the apportionment of representation in Congress one of the duties of the Legislative Committee. They did not advert to the fact that the party to make that apportionment is prescribed by the Constitution of the United States. It is the legislature of the State, and of course, of the State of Kanawha when it is constituted, not before.

The resolution to raise the boundary committee was adopted.

MR. HAGAR offered the following:

WHEREAS, Negro slavery is the origin and foundation of our national troubles, and the cause of the terrible rebellion in our midst, that is seeking to overthrow our government; and whereas slavery is incompatible with the Word of God, and detrimental to the interests of a free people, as well as a wrong to the slaves themselves,

RESOLVED, That the Convention inquire into the expediency of making the proposed new State a free state, and that a provision be inserted in the Constitution for the gradual emancipation of all the slaves within the proposed boundary of the new State, to be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection.

MR. LAMB. I move the adoption of the second resolution reported by the Committee on the Legislative Department, discharging the committee from the further consideration of the present apportionment of members of Congress, under the census of 1860.

MR. BROWN of Kanawha. It seems to me the Convention should not hesitate at all to discharge that committee as I think it is very manifest that in accordance with the Constitution of the United States that question devolves on the legislature of he State and not on the Convention; that there is nothing now before this body properly on that subject.

MR. LAMB. The Convention, of course, will note the effect of the motion. The first two clauses reported by the committee fix the principle of the apportionment, to be subject to action hereafter. This motion is simply to discharge the committee from making the actual apportionment under the census of 1860. We were required to make such an apportionment and report it to the Convention; though it seems to be generally conceded now that under the operation of the Constitution of the United States it is not for us to make that apportionment, but for the legislature.

The resolution was adopted.

MR. BROWN of Kanawha offered the following:

RESOLVED, That the State of Kanawha ought to assume a just and equitable proportion of the state debt of Virginia; and in doing so, to discriminate between its friends and foes, by first paying the bonds now held bona fide by her own loyal citizens; next the bonds held bona fide by other loyal citizens of the U. S., not resident in the State of Kanawha, and the excess, if any, to the other bond holders, pro rata.

MR. DILLE, the following:


1st. The judiciary power of this State, both as to matters of law and equity, shall be vested in one Supreme Court of Appeals, and circuit courts. The jurisdiction of these courts respectively, and the judges thereof, except so far as the same is conferred by this Constitution, shall be regulated by law.

2nd. The State shall be divided into eight judicial circuits and three districts, until otherwise regulated by law.

3rd. The counties of shall constitute the first circuit, etc., etc.

4th. The first and second circuits shall constitute the first district, etc., etc.

The general assembly may, at the end of five years after the adoption of this Constitution, and thereafter at intervals of ten years, re-arrange the said circuits and districts, and increase or diminish the number of circuits; but there shall not be less than two in any one district, and the number of districts shall not be increased or diminished.


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 40 years of age, and during his continuance in office, shall reside in the circuit of which he is judge; but judges of the circuit court shall not be eligible to the same office for the next succeeding term.

A circuit court shall be held at least four times a year, by the judge of each circuit, in every county, wherein a circuit court is now or may hereafter be established. But the judges in adjoining circuits, may be required or authorized by law to hold a court in any other circuit.


For each district, a judge shall be elected by the voters thereof, who shall hold his office for twelve years, unless sooner removed in the manner prescribed by this Constitution. He shall, at the time of his election, be at least 45 years of age, and during his continuance in office, reside in the district for which he is elected.

The Supreme Court of Appeals shall consist of three judges so elected, any two of whom may hold a court, and shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be co-extensive with the limits of the State, under such restrictions and regulations, not repugnant to this Constitution, as may from time to time be prescribed by law.

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 records of the case. Judges shall be commissioned by the governor, and shall receive fixed and adequate salaries, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office. The salary of a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals, shall not exceed two thousand dollars, and that of a judge of a circuit court, fifteen hundred dollars per annum, and each shall receive a reasonable allowance for necessary travel, to be prescribed by law.

No judge, during his term of service, shall hold any other office, appointment, or public trust, and the acceptance thereof, shall vacate his, judicial office; nor shall he, during such term, be eligible to any political office.

No election of judge shall be held within sixty days of the time of holding any election of electors of President and Vice- President of the U. S., of members of Congress or of the legislature.

Judges may be removed from office by the concurrent vote of both houses of the legislature; but a majority of all the members elected to each house, must concur in such vote, and the cause or causes of removal shall be entered on the journal of each house. The judge against whom the legislature may be about to proceed, shall receive notice thereof, accompanied by a copy of the causes alleged for his removal, at least thirty days before the day on which either house of the legislature shall act thereupon.

The officers of the Supreme Court of Appeals, shall be appointed by the court, or by the judges thereof, in vacation. Their duties, compensation and term of office, shall be prescribed by law. The voters of each county in which a circuit court is held, shall elect a clerk of such court, whose term of office shall be six years. The attorney for the Commonwealth, elected for the county, shall be the attorney for the Commonwealth for the circuit court. The duties and compensation of these officers, and the mode of removing them from office, shall be prescribed by law.

When a vacancy shall occur in the office of clerk of any court, such court may appoint a clerk pro tempore, who shall discharge the duties of the office until the vacancy is filled.

Judges, and all other officers, whether elected or appointed, shall continue to discharge the duties, of their respective offices, after their term of service has expired, until their successors are qualified.

A competent number of justices of the peace, shall be elected by the qualified voters of each district in the several counties, and shall continue in office four years, if they shall so long behave well, whose powers and duties shall, from time to time, be regulated and defined by law.


MR. STEVENSON of Wood, the following:

ARTICLE .............

Section 1. The State may contract debts to supply casual deficits or failures in revenues, or to meet expenses not otherwise provided for, but the aggregate amount of such debts, direct and contingent, whether contracted by virtue of one or more acts of the general assembly, or at different periods of time, shall never exceed three hundred thousand dollars, and the money arising from the creation of such debts, shall be applied to the purposes for which it was obtained, or to repay the debts so contracted, and to no other purpose whatever.

Sec. 2. In addition to the above limited power, the State may contract debts to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, defend the State in war, or to redeem the present outstanding indebtedness of the State, but money arising from the contracting of such debts shall be applied to the purpose for which it was raised, or to repay such debts, and to no other purpose whatever.

Sec. 3. Except the debts above specified in sections one and two of this article, no debts whatever shall be created by or on behalf of the State.

Sec. 4. The credit of the Commonwealth shall not, in any manner or event, be pledged or loaned to any individual, company, corporation or association, nor shall the Commonwealth hereafter become a joint owner or stockholder in any company, association, or corporation.

MR. O'BRIEN, the following:

RESOLVED, That no pauper, insane person, or any one that has been found guilty of an infamous crime, or any one that may be drunk when he offers to vote for any candidate to fill an office in either the legislative, executive or judicial departments of this Commonwealth, shall be entitled to exercise the rights of suffrage during such limited or final inability.

MR. HARRISON, the following:


RESOLVED, That a Declaration of Rights shall be prefixed to, and be a part of the Constitution to be framed by this Convention; that said Bill of Rights be the same as that prefixed to the Constitution of this state, omitting the 14th declaration.

MR. POWELL, the following:

RESOLVED, That taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the Commonwealth; and all property shall be taxed in proportion to its value, which shall be ascertained in such manner as may be prescribed by law.

MR. HERVEY, the following:

RESOLVED, That "Kanawha," in the eighth line of "An Ordinance to provide for the formation of a new State out of a portion of the territory" of the State of Virginia, passed August 20, 1861, be stricken out, and "New Virginia," inserted in its place.

MR. STEVENSON of Wood. The legislature, sir, meets on Monday, and I am informed by the sergeant-at-arms that the desks occupied here now belong to members of that body; and when they are removed the members will have neither tables nor desks except this one (the reporters') to write on. The same officer informs me that he can obtain small tables some twenty inches or two feet square on the top for $2 apiece and that he can obtain desks of this style for $2.50 apiece. It is very important, sir, - I believe absolutely necessary - to have something to write on; and to bring the matter before the Convention I move, that the sergeant-at- arms be authorized to contract for one desk for each member of the Convention of this kind, at a price not exceeding $2.50 apiece. I will say in connection with that, that he says he can have them furnished for the Convention by Wednesday or Thursday.

MR. VAN WINKLE. Cannot they be hired?

The sergeant-at-arms said he had not been able to find any that could be.

MR. WILLEY. I would ask my friend from Wood (Mr. Stevenson) if we get a desk for every member, where are we going to put them? Certainly not in this hall. It seems to me in looking over it, there is small room to get in with our chairs, let alone a chair and desk. We can get as many desks as we can find room for. It seems to me a few common sized pine tables would be better than desks. Certainly we cannot have forty or fifty desks and have any room.

MR. LAMB. What I was going to suggest was that a dozen desks would certainly be sufficient. Any member sitting at a desk will of course cheerfully give it up to another who has any writing to do. We can accommodate each other in that way. A desk for each member certainly could not be got inside of this hall, and if they could it would be an unnecessary number. I would suggest that the sergeant-at-arms be authorized to procure twelve desks which I think would be an abundance.

MR. VAN WINKLE. There is another consideration, sir, connected with this matter, which has caused me some reflection in reference to other matters. This is a Convention sitting at the expense of the State of Virginia, but for a partial purpose. The convention of June which represented the whole commonwealth authorized this Convention, and consequently authorizes all its necessary expenses. I suppose that follows; but I think, sir, we should be a little careful about what expenses we incur. No appropriation has been made by the legislature to pay one dollar of our expenses yet. I have no doubt that body will appropriate for all necessary expenses. But the question is in my mind whether seeing that this furnishing of these desks is not one that the legislature has not yet incurred for itself - for if I understand it, these desks are private property - whether we would not be going a little too far. I suggest this for the consideration of the Convention; or whether it would not be as well to wait till the legislature assembles on Monday and to get some instructions from them on the subject. So far as I know the time and place, I would consider them necessary; for a good deal of writing has necessarily to be done in the Convention; but action to the extent of the resolution as originally offered I do not think should be taken at this time. The modification of twelve desks comes nearer to, but I am not sure whether that even is not going further than we ought. I throw out these hints for the consideration of other members.

MR. WILLEY. It seems to me, sir, if we had two or three large tables that would cost two or three dollars apiece, in convenient positions in this hall we would accommodate all the members that would want to write at the same time, while the remainder of us would occupy our seats. In that way we shall incur no unnecessary expense and at the same time afford reasonably good accommodations to all the members of this body. I do not want the accommodation to be too great and thereby increase the expenses more than the desks would, perhaps. I concur in the suggestions of the gentleman from Wood (Mr. Van Winkle). At the same time, I think we ought to have reasonable accommodations; and think they would be amply afforded by two or three or four pine tables placed in the hall.

MR. STEVENSON of Wood. In bringing this matter before the Convention my only object was to direct their attention to the necessity of having some provision for this accommodation. As to the mode of providing that I have of course no particular choice of my own. I supposed that when the committees began to report nearly all the members would wish to offer some amendments in writing and I could not see how they possibly could be accommodated unless they had something to write upon. However, I am willing to modify the motion in any way that suits the Convention. In regard to the proposition by the gentleman from Monongalia, it seems to me it would be more difficult to dispose of these large pine tables after the Convention adjourns than either the small tables or desks. Now you can sell those desks or small tables at probably one-half at least of the original cost; but if you have these mammoth tables strewed over the room here, you cannot then make any disposition of them at all that I know of. I think it would be better probably to have either the small tables or the desks. I would prefer the large tables myself, if they could be disposed of or the cost would not be too great.

MR. WILLEY. I do not propose to have mammoth tables, at all.

MR. LAMB. The expenses of this Convention will be not less than two hundred dollars a day. If by having the proper facilities for doing the business we can get through a single day sooner it will be just seven times the cost of twelve desks saved. I doubt very much whether in the matter of economy we should not have all proper facilities for expediting business. I would like to have a desk because I want some place to keep the papers I may find it necessary to bring or keep with me. The twelve desks would cost $30. I think the chance of expediting business a little would render it rather a matter of economy in the end, than of injudicious expenditure, particularly if after the Convention adjourns, we can sell those desks for two dollars apiece. It would reduce the expenditure to about six dollars. That six or even thirty dollars would not amount to much more than the time we have already spent talking about the matter.

THE PRESIDENT. The Chair did not understand the gentleman from Monongalia as making a motion?

MR. WILLEY. Only a suggestion.

MR. STUART of Doddridge. Not for a matter of economy but for a matter of convenience, I am offering an amendment to an amendment to embrace the proposition of the gentleman from Monongalia. I will say a couple or three plain tables, situated where the members can go to them when they want to write. But get these desks, some members would appropriate them to their own use and no one would like to disturb them. But they can go to the tables without interrupting any one. The expense will be nothing, and be much more convenient than the desks, and I offer the amendment.

MR. BROWN of Kanawha. What was the original proposition ?

MR. STEVENSON of Wood. To get twelve desks.

MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I confess I rather concur with the remarks of the gentleman last on the floor, that unless you purchase desks for all that would invariably be the case, and we would always feel a delicacy in asking other gentlemen to vacate their seats. But a common table would always leave a vacancy for any one to occupy that might choose. I think however the sergeant- at-arms might be able to hire desks enough to accommodate us all, without going to the expense of purchasing. I prefer the amendment of the gentleman from Doddridge.

MR. CALDWELL. I suggest to my friend from Wood that he change his proposition so as to have a committee raised. Now, sir, I am not satisfied, after the remarks of my friend from Monongalia, that there is room for even one table; and I think, sir, an investigation and examination had better be had through the investigation of a committee whether there is room for twelve desks, or for one, two, three or four tables, and let that committee make a report together with expense attending the furnishing of them here. I suggest that that would be better - to have the action of a committee on the subject.

THE PRESIDENT. The Chair would have doubts as to his right to modify or amend while the proposition of the gentleman from Doddridge is pending.

MR. DILLE. I am heartily in favor of these tables - one, two, three, four or five - how many did you say?

MR. STUART of Doddridge. I think three would do.

MR. WILLEY. Three.

MR. STUART of Doddridge. Let them be placed around here as general tables that any member may be permitted to go to at pleasure. The proposition has this additional advantage, that it leaves the matter open, and any member of the Convention is at liberty to buy a table or desk at his expense; and I am very much in favor of his having that privilege (Merriment).

MR. LAMB. I move as a substitute that the Committee on Printing and Expenditures provide the necessary accommodations to facilitate the business of this Convention, on as economical a scale as possible.

MR. PAXTON. I am sorry I cannot agree with the gentleman who has just taken his seat. The Convention now have the matter before them and I think ought to dispose of it, and not put it on the printing committee. Whether they will have desks or tables is for the Convention to determine, and they would just as well do it now as to put it on the committee - putting on them the responsibility of satisfying gentlemen here who it seems cannot satisfy themselves. I concur entirely in the suggestion to have tables. I think they will afford ample accommodations to all gentlemen who will need to write. I hope the matter will not be referred to the Committee on Printing, and that the Convention will dispose of it.

MR. STEVENSON of Wood. I agree with the gentleman from Ohio in his last remark and hope the Convention will settle the matter at once. It is a small matter; and it is hardly worth while to put it on the shoulders of the committee. I will remark, sir, in addition to that, that I feel myself rather in favor of the amendment for getting tables particularly since my friend from Doddridge said they would be got for nothing (Merriment). That is decidedly cheaper than the others. I will therefore accept his amendment, if it is in order, sir, as a modification of the motion.

MR. STUART of Doddridge. What is the substitute?

THE PRESIDENT. To refer the whole matter to the Committee on Printing.

MR. LAMB. There appears to be no objection to the substitute except from the members of the committee themselves, and I certainly do not see how or to whom it could better be referred than to the gentlemen composing that committee.

The substitute was rejected.

MR. STUART of Doddridge. I will now modify my amendment by making it, two plain pine board tables.

MR. VAN WINKLE. I was only going to express my surprise, sir, that the gentlemen who were in favor of the tables, after hearing the members of the committee express themselves in favor of the tables, did not vote for the motion (Laughter).

The motion as amended by the member from Doddridge was agreed to.

MR. BROWN of Kanawha offered the following proposition:

RESOLVED, That it is unwise and impolitic to introduce the discussion of the slavery question into the deliberations of this Convention.

MR. CALDWELL moved the following and it was adopted:

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of the Commonwealth be requested to furnish the Convention at an early day, with the vote of the several counties for and against the new State, showing also the aggregate vote for and against said State.

MR. HARRISON. I would inquire whether any copies of the Rules have been furnished. I have not seen anything of the kind and do not know how to proceed.

THE PRESIDENT. The rules are printing. The Chair is informed that they are already printed.

MR. HARRISON. I have not had an opportunity to look over them. I am not aware whether it is required that all resolutions shall be handed in to the Secretary in writing or not. I wish to submit a resolution to the proper committee as a suitable article for the Constitution. The whole thing is printed. It is the second article of the Constitution of Virginia, headed "Division of Power."

MR. VAN WINKLE. I believe the committee has already reported on that subject, and the report will be before the Convention for action on Monday.

MR. HERVEY offered the following, which was adopted:

RESOLVED, That the auditor of the state be requested to furnish the Convention with the aggregate amount of the state debt on the first day of June, 1861.

MR. PAXTON. Mr. President, if we have nothing further before us, I move we now adjourn.

The motion was agreed to, and the Convention adjourned.

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Chapter Eleven: First Constitutional Convention of West Virginia

A State of Convenience

West Virginia Archives and History