The Convention was opened with prayer by Rev. R. L. Brooks, member from Upshur.
The minutes were read and approved.
MR. VAN WINKLE. A gentleman - I forget who - some days ago offered a resolution respecting a recess.
THE PRESIDENT. The gentleman from Wayne.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Which, either on my motion or suggestion, was laid on the table. I am about to move that it be taken up and considered. It is a matter of entire indifference to me personally; but I feel I should very much like to know if we are going to adjourn this week, to know at once whether that is going to be the case - not entirely, sir, in regard to private convenience but in regard to the action of the committees with which I am connected. I have understood several gentlemen came here not expecting to remain longer than this time and that they very much desire that there should be a recess. I hope the resolution may be taken up and the matter disposed of now, so that we shall have had notice of what we are to do.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I would suggest to the gentleman to withdraw his motion for a moment. I wish to make an application in behalf of my colleague.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I will withdraw it.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. My colleague has just received news of dangerous illness of his brother, Dr. Ruffner, of Kanawha, and told me he expected he was now dying. He is hastening home to see him and asks leave of absence for ten days. I move the leave of absence be granted.
The motion was agreed to.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Well, sir, I now move that the resolution in reference to an adjournment or recess be taken up. I hope gentlemen will be free to express their wishes on it.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I would suggest to the gentleman from Wood that we have a very thin house this morning, and I know several members of the Convention that are much interested in this matter who are not present. Would it not be better to pass by it this morning and wait until the house is full?
MR. VAN WINKLE. There is over a quorum here now, certainly. I suppose the distant members, those most interested in the matter, are mostly here. I am willing to take any course the Convention may indicate.
THE PRESIDENT. Do you withdraw it?
MR. VAN WINKLE. The Convention can vote whether it will take it up or not.
MR. BRUMFIELD. Mr. President, I would rather it would lie on the table till afternoon. Some gentlemen have gone home and not returned yet, and I think they will be in before noon.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I understand that the Federal court will have to have this room this afternoon, and it is not very probable that we have business before us that will last until afternoon. I will withdraw the motion for the present if gentlemen will give us a few minutes towards the recess time.
THE PRESIDENT. The Chair would remark that they have given us no notice, but the presumption is they will want the room after dinner.
MR. HALL of Marion. It might be withdrawn until such time as will give us time to dispose of it before the adjournment.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Well, I will withdraw it, sir.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. Mr. President, as chairman of the Committee on Printing and Expenditures, I would like with the permission of the Convention to make a brief statement with reference to the publishing of the Debates of the Convention, if it thought proper to do it at this time.
Some time ago, sir, the Convention by resolution authorized the committee to enter into a contract for publishing the Debates of the Convention. The matter was delayed a little longer than probably it should have been for reasons' that it is not necessary to state; but after consulting with a number of members of the Convention the committee thought it better to re-submit the matter to the Convention for their further action. The time probably which the Convention will be in session will be longer than was first anticipated, and of course the Debates will extend over the entire session - at least, to some extent - and that consideration and some others have induced the committee to think it prudent to bring the matter once more before - to your attention. I will state a few simple facts as briefly as I can, so that the Convention can exercise its judgment as to what is best to be done.
In the report which you will find - proposals, rather - in the copies of the Journals spread before you this morning, we have the bids of Messrs. Campbell & McDermott of the Intelligencer of this city, and of Messrs. Trowbridge & Downey. I need not go into details about it. In the first of these bids, that of the Intelligencer, they propose to furnish 500 copies of 250 pages for $970.62, at the rates for composition, printing, paper and so on, you will find in the bid. That is, 500 copies of 250 pages, and 1,000 copies of 250 pages for $1,156.00. But as the committee supposed the Debates would probably run over 250 pages they have received a bid from the same parties for 500 pages, 500 copies being $1,800.00 and 1,000 copies of 500 pages being $1,923.22. The one thousand copies of 500 pages, I may state, would make the book of 500 pages cost $1.92 each - the binding to be in sheepskin. Messrs. Trowbridge & Downey in their bid at the same time propose to do the composition, presswork and find the paper; do the binding of 500 copies of 200 pages at the probable cost of $317.00, and for each additional 100 pages $57.00.
This, I may say does not include the reporting at all. They do not make any bid in this proposal for reporting the Debates but simply for the mechanical work. The setting up, binding, finding the paper, etc.
I will state here again that after we had received these proposals and submitted them to the Convention, and they were published, and after the Convention had authorized the committee to contract for publishing the Debates, we received another bid from Messrs. Trowbridge & Downey which if the Convention thinks it proper to take action on it will be for them to say. It was received after the others were received and acted upon. They propose in that bid to do the printing, folding, stitching and binding of 500 copies of 250 pages for $850.00 and for each additional 100 pages $60.00. That is the substance of the propositions which we have had and the facts as clearly as I can state them.
I will state here that an abstract report of the proceedings such as is published in the press - which I may say is a very excellent report as far as it goes - of course, it does not profess to make a full report of the proceedings - could be got in book form tolerably low. I may state also that Campbell & McDermott have employed or contracted with a gentleman about whose qualifications to make a full verbatim report I suppose there is no question; and they have by that contract the reports of the proceedings from the first day of the Convention up to the present time. That I know is the only complete report in the possession of any of the parties of the proceedings of this Convention.
That is about all the committee wish to state, and they would like the Convention to take some decided action this morning on the matter.
THE PRESIDENT. Is there any motion on the subject?
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. I neglected to state that I believe the bids for the transcribing, for the composition, presswork, paper and binding of the parties is about the same and is very low - as low I believe as it is possible to execute the work.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Suppose the committee make a motion.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. Well if I could make a motion, and I suppose I may, as we have some new matter, to consider the present report of the committee. Or, if you like, I will renew the motion that the Convention take up the matter of publishing the proceedings of this body.
The President stated the motion to be to take up the question of publishing the proceedings of the Convention.
The motion was agreed to.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I understand this committee is hesitating what to do. They were directed and authorized by the Convention to make a contract for publishing the debates, not the proceedings. The proceedings are published in the Journal. There is no question of course, between an accurate and verbatim report and a mere synopsis. The synopsis we do not want. It may be important to have these debates for the justification of every member of this floor. That it may be truly known what ideas he has advocated, what principles, what measures, what propositions or articles or sections of the Constitution he has favored or not and his reasons for so doing. It is also important in another point of view, I think. When this Constitution goes out to these counties that we have determined to give the opportunity if they see it to come into the new State, it is important that they should have a copy of our debates in order that they may know the feeling and views that actuated the Convention and the principles that we have sought to embody in the Constitution. We are getting along pretty well, and if the thing is to be done, I confess something ought to be done at once. The question with the Convention is, do you want a full verbatim report of the debates here on these matters pertaining to the Constitution? It is a question only, I presume of expense. It is certainly usual for every body of this kind to have its debates reported and published. I do not think there is an instance in the United States where a Convention of this kind has ever sat where this has not been done. The debates of 1830 are still extant. The debates of 1850 were lost owing to the failure of the publisher - or something worse than failure.
The question that the committee want the Convention to give them final instructions about is, shall these debates be preserved in book form or shall they not?
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Mr. President, I for one, feel entirely willing to relieve this committee of any more trouble in this matter. I am decidedly opposed to the printing of the speeches of this body. I can see no good result from it at all. Now, the gentleman from Ohio (Wood) seems to think whatever we adopt here has got to be submitted to the people and they ought to have some light on it. Why, if our speeches here are printed in book form, there is not one in a hundred - in two hundred - people will ever want to see it or ever expect to see it. It will throw no light on the subject at all. It is incurring an expense of some two thousand dollars. In the Richmond convention they had their speeches published, paid for publishing them; and I don't suppose there is a member in this body that ever pretended to read many of the speeches made in that body that were published up to the time the convention went into secret session. I have them in the Richmond Enquirer laid away. I never expect to look at them; scarcely ever refer to them myself, and I know if I was to offer them to one of my constituents from their voluminous character he would be able to get nothing out of them that would be of any interest, and would never read them. I think, sir, it is an unnecessary expense; and even if our constituents were to read the speeches made here in order to enlighten them upon the questions they were to pass upon, a vast majority of our speeches were not on the questions which they would really have to pass upon. A great deal of it is a reiteration, and they would take no interest in it. The synopsis that is published by the two papers here in the city of Wheeling gives people some insight into our action and the views and principles of the Convention, and like the gentleman from Ohio (?) I am utterly opposed to publishing them, because it is not a fair report and would place many gentlemen in a wrong light before their constituents.
I simply got up to say that I would vote for relieving this committee from any contract at all, as I do not see any good growing out of it.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I confess this is one of the subjects, so far as the action of this committee is concerned, I feel myself very incompetent to determine. They referred that matter to the committee with a hope that the committee would investigate the matter and with a hope they would inform themselves and do whatever was right; and the only question now that I feel disposed to consider at all is whether we should print or not at all. And I confess, sir, while I should have no objection to having the matters printed, there are considerations on the ground of expense that strike me as serious objections. That the proceedings of this Convention will ever be read by the people, or any considerable portion of them, is not to be expected at all. The members of the Convention who have transacted the business will feel very little interest in ever reading them again and it will be very poor pay for them to attempt it. That it will be a considerable cost is manifest from the report of the committee; and when we consider, too, that this money is to be levied on the state - if I understand the legislature of Virginia must make provision for its payment, and acting as the legislature of the whole state, it would be levying it for the benefit of the few. And I do not believe, I confess, sir, from my experience debates of conventions heretofore, that it will ever pay any who undertake it. I remember in the convention of 1850 there was a paper started for the purpose of publishing the debates, and I tried to read it for a time and did read through a great many long speeches - I am happy to say this - until I broke down and got tired, and I believe the whole community did. I have never yet found a man that ever yet did read them through; and I believe the paper broke down in the middle of Governor Wise's speech. I remember hearing that Mr. Fisher, a lawyer of some note, was trying to find by circulating a paper through the country, a complete set of that paper publishing the debates, and I believe he entirely failed. It seems that there is not a complete number in the commonwealth extant. Well, after so memorable an example as that - it perished so quickly - I think it is hardly worth while for us to preserve the action of this body in that form. The great point is the success and excellency of the Constitution we prepare. After we have done it, I think the debates by which we arrived at it are immaterial and unimportant.
THE PRESIDENT. What disposition does the Convention propose to make of the question?
MR. BATTELLE. Mr. President, there are a great many books in the world that we do not any of us read clear through, and yet we would find it very difficult to get along without them. It may be a fact that former reports of bodies like this have not been read entirely through but by very few persons. That doesn't interfere at all with other facts that those reports have been read adequately, I may say, by a great many persons. The simple point is of their value as reference. And for one, I may say that I am in favor of this Convention taking such action as will secure the printing in extenso of the debates and proceedings here. I confess that I do not profess to be able to decide at all between the merits of any conflicting propositions and schemes. I should much rather trust the judgment of the committee in that way than to trust myself. But upon the simple point of whether the Convention will print or not I have in my own mind no hesitancy or doubt. And I think that these debates when printed will interest our whole people, will be eagerly sought after and will be very valuable for purposes both in the present and in the future. And I feel assured the Convention will not misinterpret my suggestion, because up to this point I have not been given to very extensive speech-making; but I have been, for one, extremely instructed and gratified by the discussions already had by the gentlemen all round me. I expect to be so still; and judging the people by myself - of whom I profess to be one - 1 suppose they will feel a like interest. In a single word, sir, I think there is no way in which this Convention could expend that amount of money that will be of more real service to our people throughout all the territory of the proposed new State both now and hereafter. There is no topic in which they feel the same interest today as they do in the proceedings of this Convention. I am, therefore, sir, in favor of the proposition to print. As I said before, I have not examined - perhaps I am not capable of examining, at least without much more investigation than I suppose any member is able to give who is not on the committee - I have not examined the merits of these competing claims and I should be disposed to be governed by the judgment of the committee whatever it might be, supposing that they give to the subject faithful and fair inquiry. But our people want light. It is the principal thing they do want; and I think they will sustain this body in taking such action as shall fully put their proceedings before them.
THE PRESIDENT. There is no direct motion. Will some gentleman make a motion?
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. My motion was simply to take the matter up and get an expression of the members. If any gentleman will make a motion to instruct the committee to have the proceedings printed -
MR. STUART of Doddridge. In order to bring the question before the body, I move that the committee be relieved from entering into the contract of publishing the debates; be discharged from further consideration.
THE PRESIDENT. The question is as to the discharge of the committee as to the matter of printing the debates of the Convention.
The motion was agreed to by a vote of ayes 19, noes 15.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I offer the following resolution:
RESOLVED, That the Committee on Printing and Expenditures report an estimate of the sum which will probably be required to pay the members and the officers and defray all other expenses of this Convention, based upon a probable session of sixty-five days, in order that the same may be laid before the legislature for their government.
I apprehend the resolution will explain itself. The legislature is bound to appropriate for the expenses of this Convention, and of course, they ought to know what amount we shall need. I supposed that in the natural course of things there would have been an application from that body to this. I presume they will not take upon themselves to estimate our expenses; and in view of the probable recess and other circumstances connected with it, I have thought, sir, it was better to take this course; that our committee can soon make an estimate, and that can be furnished, under direction of the Convention to the legislature.
MR. LAMB. It is true the estimate ought to be made large enough. No harm in making a large enough estimate; but I hope we have no idea of being here 65 days.
MR. VAN WINKLE. We have been here 21 days. Any gentleman can move to alter that if he chooses. There are five or six standing committees; one week has been occupied by the boundary question; one week might have been said to be occupied partly in preliminary; more than one week has been occupied on a partial report from one committee. Now comes up the report of the Executive Committee, the Judiciary Committee, the report on County Organization, the report on Taxation and Finance, and the schedule. That is six. I apprehend, sir, that less than one week to each of those would not be sufficient. It is that on which I have founded the calculation of 65 days - 44 more days; that is, six weeks and two days. If gentlemen think that time is too long, they can alter it; but if that time will cover it, it may as well stand, because the legislature appropriates for a session of that length and if the money is not required it will simply remain in the treasury. If they appropriate for less than the expense, we might be embarrassed for want of an appropriation if they were not in session to rectify it. I do not think 65 days is going to vary very much from the result; but if it does, it will simply leave the money in the treasury.
MR. LAMB. In that view of the case there is no objection to the 65 days. If it more than coverss the expenses, the money remains in the treasury.
The resolution was adopted.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Well, sir, I suppose we can proceed to the order of the day.
The order of the day was taken up, it being the report of the Committee on Fundamental and General Provisions; but before proceeding to its consideration,
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I would suggest to the gentleman from Wood that he might move to take up the resolution in regard to a recess.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I move, in accordance with the suggestion of the gentleman from Doddridge, to call up the resolution in reference to a recess, and ask the Clerk to read the resolution.
The Secretary reported the resolution as follows:
"RESOLVED, That when this Convention adjourns on Saturday, the 21st of December, that it adjourns to reassemble on the 7th day of January, 1862, in the city of Wheeling."
The motion to take up the resolution was agreed to.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Without indicating anything on the subject I move to alter Saturday, the 21st to Friday the 20th, for the very obvious reason that if we sit until Saturday night none of us can get home until Monday. I hope the mover will accept the amendment.
MR. BRUMFIELD. I accept that amendment.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I hope it may be the pleasure of this Convention that we will take a recess, and I appeal to all the old bachelors in the body, if there should be any, or young bachelors to extend that privilege here. I do not feel like breaking in on our social relations we have always had, and I look forward to the time in a few days when I can mingle with my family with joy and gladness in their faces. Sir, it is one of the pleasant moments of my life, and I hope this Convention will not deny me that privilege. If we stay here, what important action will be taken? But if the Convention decide to do so, I shall remain; because I would not shrink from my duty; but it would be with a sad heart, indeed, that I would go to my room if I know that I am deprived of the privilege of meeting my family during the holidays. I make the remark again, sir, that I hope this Convention will not be disposed to break in on our holiday relations which has become a second nature with us; and I will not hardly be prepared to transact business in this body if I am deprived of that privilege, severing that tie. My mind would always be wandering home to those that are near and dear to me. We will not gain much, sir, because I presume if we remain here that outside doings will carry off a great many of us. It will be a kind of recreation. We will return with renewed vigor of mind and body to engage in our business. I for one when I left my home, did not anticipate that I would be here longer than the time anticipated by the motion contemplated in the resolution. It is so, I presume, with many of the members of this body. In fact it was generally understood that we were to carry our Constitution here and submit it to the people on the 28th of this month. That cannot be reached, and that should not influence the mind of any member of this body. I hope it will be the pleasure of this body to take the recess.
MR. HALL of Marion. I trust, sir, this Convention will take no recess. I, like my friend from Doddridge, came here with a hope - 1 cannot say with a very well defined expectation - that we would be here as long as I apprehend we shall. I did not come here with any expectation that we were to complete our labors within the time prescribed by the former convention - that is, in the time necessary to allow us to submit our action to the people at the time prescribed; but when I consented to come here, I expected that be it long or short I would remain right at the post until we got through. I knew that the people expected it - that they desired no delay; and it is a matter of the utmost importance that we have as much time as possible between the consummation of our work here and the time the people are to vote upon it; and if we are to be circumscribed and controlled by influences and circumstances to submit the action of this Convention to the people for its consideration and action within a fixed time and that period not very far distant, having reference, of course, to the action of Congress, I think it would be a violation of every duty for us to occupy any time. In truth, sir, I would not consent to sit on the Sabbath; but I think there is no other time that we can call our own for purposes of pleasure or anything else. I know that it would be very agreeable - that personally I should desire very much to return home during the holidays, to take this recess. There are many considerations of a personal character that would lead me to take that course; but when I look at the necessity of doing what we are going to do, and having that before the people in order that they may consider it and that they may vote on a matter of so much importance with a knowledge of what they do, I do insist it would be a violation of every duty for us to go tie ourselves up for two weeks and let this whole matter stand still. Of how much importance would that be to the people in considering our action? Now, sir, the gentleman speaks of outside influences. He didn't mean outside pressure. He does not refer to that, I suppose; but that by the surroundings of the holidays we will not be able to accomplish much. Well, I don't think so. I don't think so. I think we can come here and work on every day. We may adjourn and not have a session on Christmas day; but I am ready to come here on that day and every day, Sundays excepted, until we get through. And I think it is very important that we should do it. If there are a few members who have come here expecting to return within a short time from the time of the commencement of our session, and their circumstances are such that they are bound to return, we may go on with our business notwithstanding their absence and in that way progress with our business. But I really trust that as many as can, and that a sufficient number, will remain here and take no recess whatever for any purpose. If we could move the time ahead when this was to be submitted to the people, I should think favorably of it. I should under any other circumstances favor it; but situated as we are, we ought not to do it. And I verily believe, sir, that when we consider our duties to the people we represent and the interest of the cause we profess to serve here, we cannot take a recess. I trust it will be the pleasure of the Convention not to do so - that we will remain here and work every hour and moment until we can accomplish what we are to accomplish in this matter and submit it to the people that they may be thinking on it and acting on it with a knowledge of what they are doing and should do.
MR. POMEROY. I just differ with the gentleman who has just taken his seat by hoping it will be the pleasure of this Convention to take a recess. I understand that the gentleman is somewhat differently situated from the rest of us, that he has his family here, while we have not (Merriment). I do not know how much influence that has had on the speech he has just made. I was in favor of the original motion but I believe the mover has accepted the amendment and I am still willing to agree to that to accommodate. It would suit me very well to adjourn on Saturday, but the question now before us is to adjourn on Friday and to meet on Tuesday, the 7th day of January, and I am decidedly in favor of that. If we sit during the holidays, we will not accomplish much, and I do not think there is a necessity for this house remaining with any such expectation. I hope, therefore, it will be the pleasure of this Convention to adjourn on the day specified. But I think it is just as well not to make any amendment to the motion now before us to adjourn on Friday to meet on Tuesday, the 7th of January.
MR. SINSEL. For fear this motion may pass, I will offer an amendment to change it to the 31st of this month.
MR. VAN WINKLE. You will take in the other holiday?
MR. SINSEL. O, we never pay any attention to it.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Yes, we do.
MR. MAHON. I was just going to state, sir, that I feel rather opposed to adjourning. Our people, my constituents, who sent me here anticipated, I am very sure, somewhere about this time to have had a completed Constitution, from us. There is no question about that. They anticipated this would be a short matter. They are very anxious to have this thing accomplished so that it may go before Congress; and it does seem to me that to return to our people, having a recess of fifteen days or such a matter, they will think we are very indifferent about this matter, and they will suppose that we do not take that interest that they take in this matter. Therefore I am decidedly in favor of continuing our labors.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. Mr. President, while I confess, sir, that I acknowledge very readily this recess should be taken, at the same time if it is taken I desire at least that it be long enough to let us all go home and get back. The time proposed would occupy me traveling about the whole time. It would be but to look in and look out of home. I came here to work; and as the gentleman last on the floor has stated, we have disappointed the expectations of our people. People have looked on this work of framing a Constitution as a much lighter matter than we really find it, and I doubt very much whether any adjournment will meet the acquiescence of the popular mind. And then a continuance of the session to a much longer period than was contemplated for the Convention to complete its work in the first instance. I am content to stay here and work until it is done. But if the Convention should be of the opinion it is advisable to take this recess, then I trust they will at least put it a day sooner and a few days later when we reassemble. A gentleman suggests if we start on Saturday we would be traveling on Sunday; but if we start on Friday some of us will have to do that, and I propose we start on Thursday if we start at all. In less than three days it would be impossible for me to get home. And then the probabilities are that I may not do it in less than four. So I move to amend now by inserting Thursday instead of Friday.
MR. BRUMFIELD. There is a great many of us have to go home by water, and as the gentleman offers an amendment to adjourn on Thursday, I would suggest that we will have no boat on that day by which we can go. Therefore we will have to lie over until Friday at least. When I started to this Convention, I only made preparation to be from home about three weeks - Didn't know what action we should take on the Constitution; whether we should form a Constitution throughout or modify the old one to some extent, and therefore the preparation I made was to be at home about Christmas, and it may be necessary that I should be there. When Mr. Brown left home, I judge he did not calculate to be home so soon. He is a member of the legislature; and therefore, I hope the amendment will not prevail.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I will state my position on this matter again as I did when I first called it up this morning. Personally it is a matter of indifference to me, but I understand there are several gentlemen here who are in the condition of the gentleman from Wayne. That their calculation was for an absence shorter than it will be; now for myself, sir, I told my constituents that I had not the slightest idea of coming here to make a Constitution in two weeks - that if it could be made in that time, I did not want to have anything to do with it. And I think our experience so far tells us it is impossible to do such a thing. One gentleman who spoke to me on the subject some days ago told me it took him seven days to go home and seven days to come back; and if the Convention does take a recess I hope it will do it with a view to accommodate those who desire it. I suppose, sir, the pay ceases. I do not know how it is with the legislature - whether they will stop their own pay. The pay ceases. We will get nothing for traveling expenses. So it will not increase the expense of the session one dollar to take the adjournment. My impression is in reference to forwarding the business, that if we can get in the reports from committees this week and have them printed so as to get them home with us that we should come back here better prepared to dispatch business than we can be to go on with session, without that opportunity to look into the subject. And perhaps a little talk with the people at home will not be amiss. One thing I am pretty well convinced of - I have seen it tried - and that is that there will be no business done here or in the legislature if they both continue in session during the holiday week. Now, I will put that down as prophecy; that there will be no business done here that week.
Well, then, the question recurs: if we determine to take a recess, we had better accommodate as many of the members as possible; and it strikes me that the days as fixed in the resolution would give sufficient time to almost every one and would not be such a long delay as to delay the final proceedings of the Convention. My own impression is, sir, that if we go the whole 65 days, even then we can take time enough to let this Constitution be well understood by the people before they are called to vote. If it is understood - as it seems, to be; not yet by any official act - that the legislature will hold an adjourned session for the purpose of acting on this Constitution, in reference to the counties lying east of the Alleghanies why, then, sir, the legislature will be in session for all purposes and can act on the Constitution and take the action that will be necessary in reference to those counties at the same time. I apprehend they could fix their extra session for that purpose with some degree of certainty.
As I stated before, if I can ascertain what the views of a majority are, I am willing to accede to them.
MR. RAYMOND. Mr. President, I am opposed to an adjournment. It is true I would like to return home and see my people; but they don't expect it. I am opposed to an adjournment.
MR. SINSEL. My reason for shortening the time is this: there are some of the members live at a distance off the railroad. They do not expect to return home, and they will be left over here all the time at heavy expense. I can go home in four hours, but such is not the case with many who live away out in the interior.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. Is there no boat on Thursday? Then I withdraw the amendment for Thursday.
MR. VAN WINKLE. There is a boat that has for several weeks past gone on Thursday evening at five o'clock - the Bostona.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I withdraw the motion.
The question recurred on the adoption of the amendment of Mr. Sinsel, to adjourn until the 31st inst. instead of the 7th of January.
MR. HAGAR. Mr. President, I have an objection to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Taylor. When at home I live about 300 miles from here. And though I have not been at home for some seven months, it would be a pleasure to me to get to go home to Kanawha, for I would have some chance to hear from home. There are other members here who live about the same distance. They would like to get home if they can. If the amendment is adopted we cannot get to go home and back. It will consume all the time; and I hope the amendment will not be adopted.
The question being taken, the amendment was rejected, and the question recurred on the adoption of the resolution.
MR. HALL of Marion. So far as the amendment was concerned I voted for it, hoping by that means to have the cooperation of others to defeat the whole resolution; and I did it, not desiring if we have an adjournment to have it for the benefit of some without others and with a hope that because some could have it they would help us not to have any. I am satisfied of the statement of the gentleman from Wood that this would not increase the expense of the Convention; that is, that our pay would stop and our traveling expenses would be our own matter. But it is not in that view that I am opposed to this recess. Although that would be an item, I consider that the least of the considerations that should govern and influence us in our action on this matter. Now, sir, we came here with the expectation on the part of many of the people - although I stated my people thought as the gentleman from Wood did that it was all folly to think about making a Constitution and scattering it all over this country, particularly in some parts of it where the condition of affairs is such that some of the delegates have not been home for six months - it was impossible we should make and submit to the people a Constitution worthy of their consideration within the time prescribed. But I beg gentlemen to remember that we are here now and a period is fixed at which I know many gentlemen in this body will be urgent and all will be anxious that our action shall be submitted to the people and that they may act on it within a certain time. Now, I ask, if we are to go upon our short excursion for two weeks, consuming two weeks time when the people should be considering of our action, if any consideration ought to allow us to do so? The gentleman from Wood suggests, as it has been suggested before, if we remained here we might not accomplish much. Now, I do not know just how it is with others. I know, for one, I can work just as many hours and just as efficiently on the day before and the day after, and on Christmas day, and the same on New Years day, as I can any other time if there is a necessity for it. If there was no necessity for it, I would be as willing as any man not to do it; but I do insist and I must urge, that now, when every moment of time is worth so much, that we shall not consult our convenience or pleasure or anything but the great interest of the people. It is said I am not situated as some are because I brought my family with me. I did that for the very purpose that I might remain here. Others had the same privilege, and if they did not choose to do so, let them take the consequences (Laughter). But I propose to move as an amendment to this that members have leave to send for their families and that they shall visit them for two weeks (Laughter). I think in that way we could meet the end without any detriment to the public interest. But I do not speak for the sake of being heard in this matter. It is a matter of great moment; and if gentlemen are ready to take two weeks recess now and want the action by the people to be in a few days after we get through here, I shall ask them to be consistent and take it home to themselves and say that they have made it impossible for the people to act on this matter at the present session of Congress. I have no idea of throwing our action out to the people and saying to them it is no use for them to look over it and that they must take it as we give it to them. I have no such idea at all. The questions are difficult enough for us to settle among ourselves, and, with all proper respect, we must give the people time to see and consider these matters before they act. And I do insist that we have no time to lose at all. We should be up and doing; and we should be hasty - not in the way of being in such haste as not to do it right, but we should lose no time. I should be in favor, sir, if it were not for the fact we are so much engaged in committee labors yet, having night sessions, of occupying more time in Convention; but I trust we will whenever we are so disengaged from the labors on committees as that we can do it. But take now your fifteen days - I believe it is - and what do you lose? You lose more than the fifteen days. Before you get ready to work again you lose as much as you will lose by reason of the holiday times being about us. We all know you cannot pull up your stakes and go home and engage in the Christmas and New Years festivities and come back and go right to work again. I beg gentlemen to remember that we ought not to fritter away time unless we have it to spare; and I maintain we have not a moment to spare. I would be very glad if my friend from Doddridge and other members could be with their families at home. I would rather be with mine at home. But at the same time let us not do what we have no right to do. Let us not do what will vary from the expectation of our people; let us work right along and complete our work and then go home; and if we pass. a special order that throughout the State of West Virginia Christmas shall be two months next year, we might postpone Christmas and New Years this year.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I am like the gentleman from Marion: I seldom speak except when the spirit moves me. I don't speak, sir, for buncombe or effect at all. But I must again appeal to my friend and the members of this Convention who live in the vicinity of Wheeling, who can see their families - I appeal to them to extend to us a generosity that we will receive as a great favor. I will, at least. Now, the gentleman from Marion says it is true he brought his family and all members might do so. I understand the gentleman is not situated as some of us exactly in that respect (Laughter). We could deport our wives around; but that is not the object. I want to see and mingle with my little prattling ones.
MR. HALL of Marion. I dispersed mine around among my neighbors before I came (Laughter).
MR. STUART of Doddridge. The gentleman was peculiarly situated last winter even in the Richmond Convention. He took his family down there. Very convenient. Why, he remained there with John Letcher and Wise up to the time of adjournment. I suppose if they had not adjourned until today, he would be there yet, because he was accommodated in every respect, due to having his family there (Laughter). I think we should look to some members who came here with no expectation of having to remain over the holidays. We ought to consult their convenience in that respect. I am not willing to break down and break asunder our social relations in this matter. I appeal again to those gentlemen who are situated as my friend from Marion, even if they have got their wives here or can go home in two hours and back again. We are not so situated. You gentlemen who are closely situated do not know the inconvenience we labor under. I recollect that in all legislative bodies heretofore they have taken this recess. I have been at home and condemned them. But, sir, when it is brought home to me, I can appreciate it (Laughter). I can see the thing in its true light. I want to get home to see my little family; and we will do nothing, as remarked by my friend from Wood. We will do nothing here; and I think we will hasten the business by taking these reports home and considering them. We will come back better prepared to act on them. I am not so situated as my friend from Marion, and need deliberation. And it is necessary that we should take deliberation - at least, my friend requires it. Now, if I was like the gentleman in that respect, I might be willing to pitch in here and go through night and day; but, sir, I would not be satisfied with the result of my own acts. I think, sir, proper deliberation in this matter is required at our hands; and we have nothing to lose by the recess proposed.
We do it without any expense to the state; and if the gentleman has to go back to Marion and take his wife, I am willing to pass a resolution that the Convention will compensate him and providing that no unnecessary travel on him be put (Laughter).
MR. CASSADY. The gentleman from Doddridge in his first speech appealed to the old bachelors to vote with him. I for one intend doing so; but in his second speech he finds he has to take the other class (Laughter). I for one, sir, have intended if you do not take the recess, to ask for a continuance. When I left, I left for about thirty days. When I thought I would return to my business at Charleston; but since I find the session will be prolonged I shall certainly vote to have a continuation or recess. I cannot bring my family here. It is most too large a one, and some might be opposed to that move. I therefore will vote for a recess.
MR. HALL of Marion. I call for the yeas and nays.
MR. LAMB. I will ask to be excused from voting on this question. Though I would much prefer the Convention would go on with its work and get through at the shortest possible day, yet I am perfectly willing to leave the decision of the question with the parties who are more interested in it than I am.
The motion to excuse Mr. Lamb was agreed to.
The Secretary reported the resolution as follows:
"RESOLVED, That when this Convention adjourns on Friday, it will adjourn to reassemble on the 7th day of January, 1862, in the city of Wheeling."
The resolution was adopted by the following vote:
YEAS - Messrs. John Hall (President), Brooks, Brumfield, Battelle, Carskadon, Cassady, Dering, Dolly, Hansley, Hubbs, Hagar, Montague, Powell, Parker, Paxton, Pomeroy, Stevenson of Wood, Stewart of Wirt, Sheets, Soper, Stuart of Doddridge, Taylor, Van Winkle, Walker, Wilson - 25.
NAYS - Messrs. Brown of Preston, Brown of Kanawha, Chapman, Dille, Hall of Marion, Raymond, Harrison, Irvine, Mahon, O'Brien, Parsons, Sinsel, Simmons, Warder - 14.
The order of the day, the report of the Committee on Fundamental and General Provisions, was taken up.
THE PRESIDENT. When the Convention adjourned it had under consideration the 13th section of the report and the amendment, which was to strike out the second clause.
MR. HAYMOND. Mr. President, would it be in order to move a reconsideration of the first clause in section 13?
THE PRESIDENT. The gentleman might move to strike out the first clause.
MR. VAN WINKLE. The question is on striking out the whole. The question was made on striking out the whole on the ground that treason was not punishable by the state, and that motion was lost and the gentleman, who voted against it, now moves to reconsider it.
THE PRESIDENT. The gentleman from Marion moves, then, to reconsider the vote by which the striking out of the whole section was rejected.
MR. HAYMOND. Yes, sir.
MR. LAMB. The motion was my motion to strike out; was not made upon that ground at all, but upon the ground that the Constitution would be better without the provision than with it, that any constitutional provision on the subject of treason was entirely unnecessary. I made that motion, and so far as I have any opinion on the subject which has been debated, it is that there is treason against the state and that the state may punish it. I merely wish to explain the ground on which the motion was made.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I did not intend to do the gentleman from Ohio any injustice. I stated the ground of his motion as it was impressed on my mind. I suppose the question is now understood.
MR. PARKER. I think the gentleman from Marion who makes the motion to reconsider voted against. It must be some one, if I understand the rule that votes in favor. The motion was to strike out the section. The motion to reconsider that was rejected. That motion to reconsider should come from some one who voted in favor.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I desire to inquire if it is in order to move to reconsider when we have the other proposition before us to strike out the second clause.
MR. VAN WINKLE. That is the question submitted to the Convention: whether the Convention are willing to reconsider now. That is the very thing. Because if you strike out the whole any further debate on this clause must cease.
THE PRESIDENT. It struck the Chair there might be some question about that but he thinks it is the shortest mode to forward the business.
In answer to the gentleman from Cabell, the question was put on striking out the whole section. That was lost. A party who voted for striking out then could not move a reconsideration. But the reconsideration must come from a party who voted against striking out. The Chair understood the gentleman from Marion as having so voted. Was that correct?
MR. HAYMOND. Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT. The question is on the motion to reconsider; is the Convention ready for the question?
MR. HAYMOND. I am one of those, Mr. President, that believe that we have but one government and that government is the Federal Government, to which we are all bound to look for aid in case of rebellion in any part of the country. I believe the states forming this government are the mere wheels of this government, each one performing its duty to the government; and that to commit treason in any State is treason against the United States Government; and should there be rebellion in any state of this union it would be the duty of the said state to immediately inform the President of the United States of the existence of such rebellion that he may aid him, if necessary, in putting it down. Sir, when I look around my country and see the condition she is in at this time I cannot but think it would be well for us all to believe and to teach to the people that we have but one government. Sir, it has been the idea in Virginia and South Carolina for many years that they were independent states. In fact, Virginia has almost thought herself the Supreme Government of the United States. She has seldom ever permitted Congress to pass any important laws without first giving her instructions. Now, sir, I cannot believe in anything of this kind. I believe the government of the United States is the supreme government of the whole country. I do not believe, sir, that there is any such thing as treason against a state, but wherever there is treason committed it is against the government of the United States and not a part; and if necessary the whole power of this government must be employed in putting it down.
Mr. President, if we expect to succeed in obtaining a new State we must not apply to Congress to be admitted with powers we do not possess. I, therefore, ask this Convention to pause in their onward march for fear we may defeat the darling scheme of this new State.
These are my views, Mr. President; and I hope reconsideration will be adopted.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. If the doctrine of the gentleman who has just taken his seat be the true doctrine, it seems to me the gentleman must feel himself in a very awkward position in being here attempting to construct a government for a state. If we are to have but one government in the United States, and that the Federal Government, our labors here are really idle. And, sir, should ever that doctrine prevail with the most people of this country, I must say that I honestly believe from that hour freedom will take its flight from this land; that the only guardians and bulwarks of American liberty are the state governments and the general government is only that superintending power that keeps those planets in their orbits and protects them against foreign invasion; that the liberties of the people are emphatically in the hands of the states; and it is the state governments only that come directly in immediate contact with the people that control a government and secure our rights and that determine all our relations between individuals. And it will be a dangerous doctrine to be promulgated, indeed, whenever that shall become common. I, therefore, must oppose, as I opposed before, for the same reasons, this motion to reconsider.
MR. IRVINE. I voted against the proposition to strike out the 13th section. I have changed my views on that subject. Not for the reasons that I think treason cannot be committed against a state and be punished by a state, but for other and different reasons. What is the effect of the offenses described in the second sentence? The second sentence applies to the last clause of the first sentence. The first sentence is divided into two clauses, the last clause being, "Or adhering to its enemies, giving them aid or comfort." Now what is the effect of the second sentence? Is the second sentence to have the legal effect and operation to enlarge or restrict the second clause of the first sentence? I suppose that it was not the intention that the second sentence should have the legal effect to restrict or enlarge the operation of the second clause of the first sentence. But I suppose the intent was to so far explain the second clause as to include within the operation of the second clause the offences described in the second sentence now, the second clause is this: "Or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort." The terms "aid and comfort" have been elaborately argued and construed by the best jurists in England. Those words have a very comprehensive meaning - the terms aid and comfort, giving aid and comfort. We can easily understand what is the meaning of the term "giving aid." That is very comprehensive; but it is easier understood than the expression "comfort." This is a very comprehensive word. Then the second clause of the first sentence has a very comprehensive meaning. Now, what is the effect which the second sentence has upon the second clause of the first sentence? "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 deemed an adhering to the enemies of the State." Now, was it the intention of this second sentence to confine the meaning of the second clause of the first sentence exclusively to this mode of upholding and supporting a rebellion or insurrection? These two terms, "giving aid and comfort," adhering to the enemies by giving "aid and comfort," are much more comprehensive in their meaning than the second sentence; but according to all rules of construction, doesn't the second sentence have the legal effect and operation to limit the second clause of the first sentence to the offences described in the second sentence? If it has that effect, I am decidedly in favor of striking out the whole section. You can not shape this section so as to make it answer, I presume, the purpose that we intended to make this 13th section answer; because if you strike out the second sentence altogether, it may be doubtful whether the offences contained in the second sentence are comprehended by the second clause of the first sentence. The author of this, no doubt, entertains doubts himself whether the offences described in the second sentence was comprehended in the last clause of the first sentence. To remove all doubts about that they are expressly included. Now, if you strike out the second sentence - modify the 13th section by striking out this second sentence, then it remains doubtful whether the offences described in the second sentence are comprehended by the last clause of the first sentence. If you retain the second sentence - the whole clause without any modification - then it will be contended that the last clause of the first sentence is limited to the offences contained in the second sentence - that the legal effect and operation of the second sentence is to limit the last clause of the first sentence to the offences described in the second sentence. So that for these reasons, I am in favor of striking out the whole section.
THE PRESIDENT. The question is on the reconsideration.
MR. IRVINE. I presume to urge no argument on the reconsideration. That would not apply as an objection to the whole section. I am urging an argument now that would apply as an objection to the whole section; and if I cannot urge in support of a reconsideration arguments that would apply to the whole section in favor of striking out the whole section, I do not see that I can use any argument in favor of reconsideration.
THE PRESIDENT. The Chair did not desire to restrict the gentleman; but he got the impression -
MR. DILLE. I would suggest as a point of order whether the motion to reconsider brings up the original proposition. It seems to me to be out of order.
MR. IRVINE. I think that has been decided by all deliberative bodies - frequently elaborately argued, but finally decided - that in making a motion for reconsideration of a question, you can discuss the merits of the question. If you cannot discuss the merits you can hardly make any argument in favor of a reconsideration. What argument would you make in support of a reconsideration if you could not urge arguments touching the merits of the question?
THE PRESIDENT. Does the gentleman make a point of order?
MR. DILLE. I raised the question merely to understand the rule. I have not proposed to debate the subject. I merely make the inquiry.
THE PRESIDENT. Without some latitude allowed in debate it would be hard to show good grounds for a reconsideration; and yet, as a general policy it would be better to reserve lengthy arguments for the discussion upon the passage after the reconsideration. But the Chair is disposed to give latitude to the gentleman from Lewis without instructions from the Convention on the subject of reconsideration. Perhaps it is well to pursue the most liberal course on the question of reconsideration and allow some extent to the discussion on the merits of the question. If an appeal was taken from that, it would test the sense of the Convention.
MR. IRVINE. My reason for not waiting to urge those arguments after the vote had been taken on the question of reconsidering, is that I might not have an opportunity of urging them. I have an opportunity of urging them now on a motion for reconsideration and I urge them as reasons for reconsidering. If I wait until the vote is taken, the question may be lost and I may never have an opportunity of urging them. If there are any reasons for reconsidering, the same reasons would apply on the merits; and if I have any reasons to urge that are entitled to any weight, it is right and proper that the house should be in possession of those reasons. These are the reasons I have stated that will govern me.
As I was interrupted in my argument - though I ascribe no blame to any person - it will be necessary, perhaps, that I should recapitulate a little in order to present my views clearly before the house.
If it is a matter of any importance that the offences contained in the second sentence should be made treason, that might be effected by adding to the first sentence. It seems to me that if we adopt this 13th section in the form in which it now exists it will be contended that the second clause of the first sentence is restricted and limited to the class of offences described in the second sentence; that it will be contended that nothing constitutes an adhering to its enemies, giving aid and comfort, except the offences contained in the second sentence; that the second sentence has the legal effect and operation to restrict and limit the meaning of this last clause of the first sentence to the offences described in the second sentence. The members of the legal profession are well acquainted with the rules that would be applied for the purpose of restricting the meaning of the last clause of the first sentence to the offences described in the second sentence. Now if it has that effect, nothing can be punished as adhering to the enemies, giving them aid and comfort, but what is described in the second sentence. These words which are very comprehensive - which have been construed by the ablest judges that England ever produced - would be restricted and limited in their meaning to what is contained in the second sentence, when, in fact, they have a much more comprehensive meaning. Upon the ground that the "Expressio unius est exclusio alterius," - I believe that is the old maxim - the expression of what is contained in this second sentence would exclude the application of the last clause in the first sentence to anything but what is contained in the second sentence.
These are some of my reasons for voting to exclude it. Well then, if you strike out the second sentence of this section, you leave it still in doubt whether the offences contained in the second sentence are comprehended under the last clause of the first sentence and then you cannot punish them at all. If it is decided that the offences contained in the second sentence are not included in the first sentence, you cannot punish those offences as treason for the reason that the statute says nothing else shall constitute treason. The legislature may think proper to enact the first sentence, and in addition to that enact a law corresponding with the second sentence so as to make everything contained in this 13th section punishable as treason.
These are my reasons, as I have stated, for my opposition to the section.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I do not propose to argue the question at all, but it seems to me the gentleman's reasons can be met by voting to strike out the second clause. And that was the question that was before the house. If the offences embraced in the second clause of the first sentence are interpreted down here, why, his voting upon the motion to strike out the second clause will meet his object.
MR. IRVINE. I thought the motion was to strike out the whole section.
MR. VAN WINKLE. The motion that it is proposed to reconsider was a motion to strike out the whole.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Yes, sir; but the gentleman offers as a reason to induce the Convention to reconsider, that he takes exceptions to the second section in the resolution; and by voting to strike out that second section - which was the motion before the body - he could meet his objections and leave the first clause as it has been interpreted by the courts heretofore. But I said I was not going to argue the question. It seems to me the committee who drafted this resolution considered that this question had been settled by the courts, but that certain offences here named had been, perhaps, a mooted question, and they desired to include it. I cannot see any other reason; because I presume our law of treason in the Constitution of the United States has been settled by the courts of England and, perhaps, to some extent, by the courts of the United States. But making this "Publicly speaking, writing or printing, or the publishing or circulating of such writing or printing" during the continuance of an invasion or insurrection, an "Adhering to the enemies of the State," is I apprehend - or must have been a mooted question which the committee desired to include as one of the offences defined as adhering to the enemy and giving aid in the Constitution of the United States.
MR. VAN WINKLE. The committee merely meant to make it certain that such speaking and writing as alluded to there should be deemed an adhering to the enemy. It did not exclude anything else that the courts did decide to be an adhering. It simply meant to make it certain that such acts as are mentioned in the second sentence should be deemed an adhering to the enemy.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. That was my idea - that the offences here embraced in the second section (?) were perhaps mooted questions and had not been decided by the courts or had been decided adversely to making this an adhering and giving aid to the enemy. Now, the section reads that "every attempt to justify and uphold an armed invasion of the State, or an organized insurrection within the limits thereof, by publicly speaking etc." This first proposes that there is an armed invasion or an insurrection. Then, sir, if there is such, I presume no man here will contend that printing, speaking, or publishing documents supporting that would be justifiable, and it ought to be made treason. I see no objection to it at all.
MR. LAMB. Mr. President, with the decision which the Convention made on the motion to strike out this section I certainly was disposed to acquiesce; and no act or suggestion of mine would have brought the question before the Convention for discussion, though I am very much obliged to the gentlemen who have moved the reconsideration on their own motion. I would wish to clear that question of one thing that seems to be connected with it in the views of members of the Convention, very unnecessarily. I do not want it understood at all that the members of the Convention who voted for striking out that clause hold to the doctrine that treason could not be committed against a state. That is not my opinion, so far as I have any opinion on the subject; and there is one view of the matter which, independent of authority, is conclusive to me on the subject; and that is, that if a government exists, whether it be state or United States Government, it follows as a matter of course that that government has the right of self defense. Self-defence is the great law of nature not only in reference to individuals but with reference to governments. And if a government has a right to sustain and uphold itself, it necessarily has the right to define and punish treason. The reason why I made the motion to strike out was, that the Constitution would be better, gentlemen, without the provision than with it. The government will have the same authority to punish treason without that provision in it that it will have with it. If you intend to limit the power of the legislature - the power of the state government - on the subject of treason, it is necessary then to put in something there for that purpose. But unless there is a limitation imposed in the Constitution, the government will have as full power as you can wish to give it. It is properly a matter of legislation not of constitutional enactment. It is a crime - a great crime - which stands at the head of the list in the criminal code. But why, in a constitution, where you are necessarily confined to a few brief general clauses - why undertake to define crimes and prescribe their punishment? Will not the legislature be as capable of acting wisely on that subject as we are? They can descend to all the details which is necessary to give precision to their enactment. They can prescribe the penalties in proportion to the offences; they can grade the severity of the punishment according to the magnitude of the crime. If you attempt to do anything of that, gentlemen, in the Constitution, you must insert a criminal code there.
Since I spoke before on this subject, I have made a further examination of American state constitutions in reference to the matter. There are four states out of 34 in whose constitutions I have found a provision on the subject of treason, identical with that - neither more nor less, any of them - identical with that which is found in the Constitution of the United States. But have the thirty states in whose Constitutions I have been able to find any provision on this subject - have they any treason laws? The gentleman from Cabell, the other day, cited you to the law of the State of Massachusetts and of the State of New York, as defining and punishing treason. You may find it on the statute book of every state, I believe, throughout the Union. Not in consequence of any provisions in their constitutions but because the omission of such provision from the constitution does not interfere at all with the proper definition or punishment of this offence. If, then, we are to take the example of our sister states in reference to this matter, we find that a very large majority of them deemed that the constitution would be better without this provision than with it. How is it in reference to your own constitution, gentleman? The Constitution of the State of Virginia, under which we are now acting, except so far as it has been altered by the ordinance for the reorganization of this government? Have you any constitutional provision there on the subject of treason? None whatever. Has Virginia, then, held the doctrine that there can be no treason against a state? Certainly not. From 1776, when I believe our treason act was first passed, by the legislature, down to the present time we have had a law defining and punishing treason upon our statute book without anything in the constitution in reference to it. It is said - and this is the only advantage I have heard suggested for putting the matter into the Constitution - that it may tend to give information to the people as to what is treason; that it might tend to warn them against the commission of certain acts. Gentlemen, are you not more likely to mislead them? They find one particular offence specified here as constituting treason - one particular case defined. May they not conclude that this thing of adhering to the enemies and giving them aid extends no further? I do not see after all the numerous cases which have been brought before the courts for the purpose of defining the meaning of those words "adhering" to enemies and "giving them aid and comfort," that the courts have rendered the words any plainer than they are. They are plain words. Any man can understand what adhering to the enemies of his country and giving them aid and comfort means. You cannot express it in plainer terms; and the terms, after all, mean just what a common man would take them to mean. If I support the rebellion and give it aid, it is treason. If I adhere to the enemies and give them aid, it is treason, whether I enlist in their armies; whether I furnish those armies with munitions of war; whether I supply them with provisions; or whether I aid them in any way. When the fact that a war is levied exists what plainer language could you use to give information to the people as to acts that are prohibited than to say, you shall not adhere to that rebellion and give it aid? It strikes me that your attempts at definition, at warning people, unless you see proper to go through all the details, which are spread over the law-books on this subject and specify each particular act which shall be deemed giving aid to an enemy, you had better leave it upon the plain terms which already give us the law of treason and to which any man applying his own good sense to the meaning of common language can give a reasonable construction.
The question was then taken on the motion to reconsider, and it was agreed to upon a rising vote by Ayes - 18, Noes - 17.
THE PRESIDENT. The question is on striking out the section.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. Would it be in order to amend the motion to strike out the section? I move to amend by striking out all after the words in the second line "aid and comfort."
THE PRESIDENT. The Chair has no doubt about the amendment being in order; but if the proposition to strike out the whole section prevails, the amendment of the gentleman from Kanawha will be effected.
MR. HALL of Marion. While the question is pending to strike out the whole, have not the friends of the resolution as it stands a right to place it in the best position possible so as not to have it stricken out? I think any amendment is in order.
MR. VAN WINKLE. The effect of a vote to reconsider is to bring the house back to precisely where it was when this section was first taken up, and, of course, any motion whatever to amend it would then be in order. I mean we are where we were when the motion was made to strike out the whole. That motion is amendable in the first place and the motion of the gentleman from Kanawha is entirely in order. I find that a motion to reconsider takes precedence of any other motion except a motion for adjournment, and consequently the motion that was pending this morning to strike out the second section ( ?) is overtopped by the reconsideration.
MR. LAMB. Mr. President, the gentleman from Kanawha wants his amendment to be by a separate motion.
MR. VAN WINKLE. He made a motion to strike out the whole after certain words.
MR. LAMB. I would withdraw the motion to strike out just for that purpose. That will perhaps place the matter in a better position for the Convention to decide.
MR. HALL of Marion. Make it less complicated.
MR. VAN WINKLE. That does not make it any less complicated at all.
THE PRESIDENT. Does the gentleman from Kanawha make the motion to amend?
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. Yes, sir.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. Would it be in order to make an amendment to insert? Well, I have no objections. I give notice, however, that I intend to offer an amendment to come in after the first clause in the 13th section.
"No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act or upon confession in open court."
If it is not strictly in order, will not offer it now.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. At the suggestion of a friend, I will withdraw my motion and offer another as an amendment, to strike out all after the word "aid and comfort" and insert, "but no person shall be convicted of treason except upon the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act or by confession in open court."
MR. VAN WINKLE. I would state, sir, that those words were intended to be inserted by the committee, but were overlooked.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. That is just the proposition I offered on the subject and it was ruled out of order.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I do not wish to appropriate the gentleman's motion.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. I like to have the credit of my own amendments - that is all.
THE PRESIDENT. The Chair would, however, suggest that it would be much better for the members to content themselves with the motion to strike out.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I only wanted to get rid of a difficulty. To strike out and insert there can be no objection. I have no wish in the world to appropriate the honor of the views of the gentleman.
MR. PARKER. I will inquire, Mr. President, whether the gentleman from Kanawha intends to strike out the whole section after the word "comfort" or merely as far down as "treason," leaving the last clause? To strike out the second clause of the sentence?
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I make that motion. I have not abandoned my preference for the resolution as it stood before; but I apprehend from the gentlemen of the Convention that there is a very strong probability of striking out all after "comfort" and therefore I desire to secure the first clause in the proposition; that treason shall consist only in levying war against the State and in adhering to its enemies giving them aid and comfort, with the addition of the words taken from the Constitution of the United States "But no person shall be convicted of treason except on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act or by confession in open court." And if gentlemen desire to test the sense of the Convention on the other clause, they can move it as an independent amendment.
MR. PARKER. I would move, then, as an amendment to the amendment, that the section be stricken out after the words "aid and comfort" as far as "treason" - that is, the second clause of the sentence, leaving the last clause, graduating the punishment of treason to suit the particular acts, still in.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Mr. President, I do not know what we are doing. We are getting here motion on motion and motions withdrawn, until we are back precisely where we were this morning, with the exception of the case suggested by my colleague. The gentleman from Ohio should not have withdrawn his motion. If they decide to retain this we are brought back to the second clause. After we have passed upon the second, we will go to the third, and then a motion to make an addition to it would be very properly in order. The dinner hour is very rapidly approaching, and we do not certainly want to spend another day on this section.
MR. LAMB. I suggest to the gentleman from Cabell to withdraw his motion and to allow the Convention to act on the motion of the gentleman from Kanawha. The motion of the gentleman from Cabell can be moved after it is decided and much better than at present. If that motion of the gentleman from Kanawha is adopted, it will be perfectly competent for the gentleman from Cabell to move his amendment then.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. After the motion of the gentleman from Kanawha is stricken out?
MR. VAN WINKLE. The motion of the gentleman from Ohio was withdrawn without the leave of the house, and therefore is not withdrawn. I think if we were going on in strict order we proceed upon the motion of the gentleman from Ohio, and that was to strike out the whole. If the Convention decide to do that, then it is in order to make a motion to strike out any other part; and then it is in order to move to insert. I suggest now as the best way to get out of the complication we are in - for I don't think the Clerk can now state what is before the house - that we go back to where we were when we voted the reconsideration and let the question now be put whether the Convention is in favor of striking out the whole or not simply by itself. If that is carried one way or the other, we know precisely what to do and keep out of confusion.
MR. BROWN of Kanawha. I have no objection to that. I will withdraw the motion.
MR. VAN WINKLE. If that is the sense of the Convention, we need bother no more about the clause.
The question on striking out the whole section was then taken by Ayes and Noes, and the motion to strike out was lost.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Now, sir, we get back in order to the motion that was pending this morning, to strike out the second clause. The motion to reconsider has been disposed of, and that is the motion that was pending.
THE PRESIDENT. The question is on striking out the second clause.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. I was only going to suggest that I would not offer this amendment at any time if the committee would so modify their report as to consider it a part of it; but I will do anything with it at present.
MR. STUART. The hour of recess will soon arrive.
MR. VAN WINKLE. We will have to adjourn. The court is to sit here this afternoon.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Some of the members have to trot up here and then go to another establishment.
I am opposed to striking out, and desire to offer some reasons why I was opposed to it; but I do not want to intrude upon this Convention at all.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I move an adjournment. I suppose, sir, there is no other news on the subject of the court. This is the day appointed for holding it.
THE PRESIDENT. It was stated that other provisions had been made for the court. If it came here at all, it would only come here to adjourn to another house.
MR. VAN WINKLE. If that is the case, then we can hold an afternoon session. I will let it go as a recess and not move an adjournment as I proposed.
THE PRESIDENT. The hour having arrived for a recess, the Chair will be vacated until half-past three o'clock.
The Convention reassembled at the appointed hour, the President in the chair.
THE PRESIDENT. When the Convention took a recess the question under consideration was the amendment of the gentleman from Ohio to the 13th section of the report from the Committee on Fundamental and General Provisions.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. I would like to hear the amendment read.
The Secretary reported it to be the motion made by Mr. Paxton to strike out the second sentence.
On that motion the question was then taken by Ayes and Noes and it was agreed to by: Ayes - 15; Noes - 11.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. If it be in order now, Mr. President, I would offer this amendment. It has been suggested that it had better be put on the third clause. I have no objections to that, though I thought this would be proper now.
Well, then, I would offer this amendment, Mr. President, to come in at the end of the first sentence.
"No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act or confession in open court."
MR. VAN WINKLE. I stated in the morning session, I believe, that that was intended to be put in by the committee, but it was overlooked at the right time.
The amendment was adopted.
MR. VAN WINKLE. The question is, now, I believe, on the adoption of the section as amended. There was no understanding about considering it in clauses. Any gentleman can move to strike oujt if he doesn't like it.
MR. PARKER. I understand that the second clause is stricken out - that the amendment of the gentleman from Wood is adopted. I would now move to add the last clause as an amendment to the section: "Treason shall be punished according to the character of the acts committed, etc."
MR. VAN WINKLE. If no motion is made to strike it out it will remain.
MR. PARKER. Very well.
The question was then taken on the section as amended, and it was adopted.
The 14th section was taken up and reported by the Secretary as follows:
"Sec. 14. No lottery shall be authorized by law; and the buying, selling or transferring of tickets or chances in any lottery ahall be prohibited."
The question -was taken on this section and it was adopted.
MR. VAN WINKLE. The Convention has now gone through the report as far as made. I must, therefore, move, sir, as chairman of the committee, that the report as amended lie on the table for the present, with a view that when the residue of the report comes in the question will then be taken on the whole report.
MR. PARKER. Mr. President, two sections were passed over on Saturday, I think.
MR. VAN WINKLE. They were passed by for the action of the committee. The gentleman from Cabell will pardon me, they were passed by, both of them, at the request of the committee. I believe sir, that instead of moving to lie on the table, I will move that it be recommitted as amended, and then we can bring the balance and this all in at once.
The motion to recommit was agreed to.
MR. SHEETS. If there is nothing before the Convention, I move that the vote we had this morning on the printing be reconsidered. There are a number of gentlemen not present this morning who are here now, and they desire it reconsidered.
The President stated the question.
MR. POMEROY. I can only say that I hope it will be the pleasure of the Convention to reconsider. There was quite a number absent and quite a number of those in the house did not vote. But I hope those who voted against the motion will be kind enough to vote to reconsider and let the matter come up before the Convention.
The motion to reconsider was agreed to.
The Secretary reported the resolution:
"RESOLVED, That the Committee on Printing and Expenditures be discharged from further consideration of the subject of publishing the debates."
MR. VAN WINKLE. Well, sir, by a previous vote of the Convention the committee were authorized to contract for reporting and printing of the debates in book form; and now that the order made this morning has been reconsidered that is the standing order of the house on the subject. The committee, however, as I understood the chairman this morning, were desirous of having an expression of the Convention on the subject, and the motion that was passed this morning and has now been reconsidered is pending. That is, that the motion is now that the committee be discharged from further consideration of the subject. If that motion prevails, of course there will be no printing of the debates. If that resolution is lost, then the committee, I apprehend, will act on their former instructions.
I do not know that I can add anything to what I have already said on this subject. I am very anxious these debates should be preserved. I am very sure it is not because I have any personal object in it, in longing to see myself in print. I have seen myself there very often. But it strikes me this first solemn act towards the erection of a new State - the first action it has taken on its own behalf; because the act of the convention providing for this body was an act of the old state - ought to be recorded. We are in what we have already done here, repassing, as it were, certain grave fundamental principles of government which have more or less received the sanction of a great portion of the people of the United States. Many of them are engrafted in our National Constitution, and of course we all uphold them, sir. It has been necessary, of course, to make some slight deviations from them, in some cases where the language has been slightly changed in order to cover cases formerly unforeseen; but we are speedily coming to those things which will make a total change in the organization in the counties if not of the State itself. There will be more changes, I apprehend, when we get the reports from the other standing committees, changes that are rendered inevitably necessary by the change in our condition. We propose to separate from the old State of Virginia because, as we allege, its institutions are not adapted to our condition and wants. I do not allude to the "peculiar institution," at all in making that remark, but that their community is a different one from ours. There is not so much practical equality among the citizens; their wants are different from ours. They are occupying a comparatively old and settled country; we are occupying a new and unimproved country. Our commercial interests lie in one direction; their's in another. All these things will render important changes necessary from the old Constitution and organization of the State. Now, sir, every member must feel that he would like not only his constituents who sent him here - those who will be at the polls to vote on this Constitution, but those who are to succeed them as the voters of this State, to know what reasons they have been that governed us in making these changes which we must make. It will also, sir, be important for the governor, and the legislature themselves, when they come to put this new Constitution into execution, that they should have something to refer to by which they would understand what it was that actuated the members of this Convention in making the Constitution now proposed. Well, sir, if our opinions are to be canvassed not only by the people of this State but throughout the United States - if they meet with any discussion at all - we would certainly like - and every member here has that interest in it; for although there are some members who do not take an active part, yet by giving their votes they assent to what is said; if a question comes up here and is advocated on certain grounds or opposed on the other, the gentleman who votes for one or the other assents to a certain extent, to the reasons that have been given in debate as the foundation of the vote he gives himself, and therefore he has as much interest that the thing should be properly reported as those who enter more actively into the debates. I think, sir, also, as this thing has been customary with all conventions of which I have any knowledge whatever, as in fact a considerable amount of information will necessarily be produced before this Convention - as members are aware a great deal has already by the researches of individual members; every member has had matters brought to his attention which he is glad to learn; it is the great characteristic of every deliberative body that it makes the knowledge of every individual member, which might not be very much in each individual case but which is considerable when it comes to be aggregated - it makes his knowledge the knowledge of the whole convention. And, sir, we learn nothing in this world, we make no progress in knowledge of any kind except from our own experience or that of others. What we know, what we see, what we experience, of course becomes our own. The information or experience of others we can only get from their lips or writings; and, sir, humbly as we may think of ourselves, I think that those who are to succeed us in the management of this State - or who will be the managers of this State, to succeed us in carrying on the government of this State, would like such a publication to refer to as a sort of manual, in order that the principles that governed the Convention, and which if the Constitution is adopted will be the principles of the Constitution - in order that they may be familiar with those principles. Their practical operation, no doubt, will be detailed by members who have occasion to statute them elsewhere; and much information of that kind will be embodied which will be valuable.
I have spoken in favor of this two or three times. I have been forced by the position I have occupied as chairman of two or three committees to occupy this floor considerable; but when that is through I hope to subside; and the charge might as well be brought against me as against any other member that I want to see myself in print; but such charges do not move me, and I hope will have no effect on any other member. The cost of this is not great. It is true a thousand dollars or twelve hundred dollars is a large sum when looked at merely as a sum of money; but when you consider what will be the whole expense of this Convention - what we are necessarily paying for printing which will be of an ephemeral character, you will find it is a small sum; and if you take the whole sum and compute it with the benefits which I apprehend from it, I apprehend, sir, no one - not even our economical legislature - could justly find fault with us for going into any extravagant expense. Our sufficient answer to any charges of that kind that may be brought against us - our sufficient justification is that in all bodies of the kind the debates are preserved in this way.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I do not know that I would want to say anything at all, if this was a proposition to publish these debates and send them broadcast over the country so that the people would get to see them, and have light on the subject they are called to pass on in a few days when we submit our Constitution to them. There would then be a propriety in it; but, sir, this is simply a resolution here for the purpose of publishing these debates and for pressing them and putting them up in book form for the special benefit of this Convention and a few of their friends. Now, I do not say that any person has such a motive, but that is the effect of it. The people at large will not see these debates. They will not buy this book for the purpose. We will get it and a few just about you. Well, sir, what light will the community get upon the subjects discussed here in that way, I would ask? Now, sirs, it has been the habit of former conventions in our state to publish their debates. Those debates have been published in the Journals of the day and scattered broadcast over the commonwealth for every man to see and read. Well, that is not the proposition here at all. If the members desire, sir, to see these debates and read them in after times let them get them published and pay for them, but do not ask the state to pay for these things that is to be an exclusive benefit for the few. Now, the debates of the convention of 1850 were published in the journals of Richmond, two of them, I believe, and spread broadcast. Well, for a while, sir, the community took some interest in it. Well, they got tired of it; did not read them and after a while they became so voluminous that the presses broke down.
MR. VAN WINKLE. They were published in a sheet and furnished to every newspaper in the state and circulated as supplements with those papers. But independent of them there was a publication that had advanced to some sixty or seventy pages when I left there, in book form, and that was what was intended for preservation. I myself gave a gentleman who wanted to make up a complete list of the newspaper publication numbers of mine thinking I would have my copies, of the book when it came; but owing to the failure or rascality of the publisher we never got them. While I am up I will state the distribution of these. Each member will probably have two copies, one sent to the Clerk's office; they will be deposited in public libraries, if there are such things, and would be where they are accessible for those who wanted to see them. The argument the gentleman has used would apply to every publication of the kind. Why, Congress orders 30,000 of a publication, and because it is not equal to the entire population of the country it is of no use!
MR. STUART of Doddridge. Well, sir, the gentleman's recollection of the debates of '50 is exactly my own. These papers were paid for, to be distributed over the country; and when they saw the voluminous character of these books, and the large amount the state would have to pay for them -
MR. VAN WINKLE. Walters - or Waters - got the money and put it into his pocket.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. He retained them until I got tired of them. But that is not so objectionable as our present resolution. That was, Mr. President, buying these papers for giving information to the people. But as it is to be peculiarly for the benefit of this body, if we desire to see our debate published in book form, and want the book, we ought to buy it and pay for it just as other citizens will have to do if they want it. We may send one out and stick it up in the Clerk's office of the various counties. Why, it is not the citizen can go in there and examine that thing - never expect to? It may be a benefit to a few of the lawyers and these men who desire this information ought to pay for it. I don't want the reporters to put me on paper with regard to this matter. My friend from Marion might charge me with buncombe. I have become wearied and tired of these debates in former Conventions. I have never had occasion to refer to them. I think it is an unnecessary expense. I am honest in my opinion, and desire that the resolution would pass.
MR. POMEROY. One reason that operates on my mind and influences me to favor this motion is one that I have not heard mentioned, and that is: These are troublesome times and peculiar times. There are many if not all the members on this floor that are very likely to be misrepresented by a class of men that live in their neighborhood, in the immediate vicinity of their own residence; and I think for this reason alone, we ought to have these debates printed in book form and bound up and preserved, not only for our own benefit and the benefit of our constituents but as it has been very well said by the gentleman from Wood for those that are to come after. And I think the cost will be very trifling when compared with the value and, in fact, so far as I recollect, unless it is in the case referred to by the gentlemen of the Convention in the convention of 1850, it has been customary in all the states. I know in Pennsylvania the debates in the convention that amended their constitution in '37-8 make a number of volumes that are printed and found in all the libraries of the state. In the colleges and institutions of learning they have got a copy of this work and have preserved it. And as has been said, if there is a copy placed in the Clerk's office that is a place of public resort. The Clerk's office is generally open and men come in there when they have leisure and they will read; and when men are misrepresented in regard to the position they occupied on this floor, they can set themselves right by referring to the debate and reading for themselves and learning the position that men occupied. And in fact, we derive no knowledge but what we have to pay for - but what costs us money, more or less. But I cannot for the life of me see why my friend from Doddridge should be opposed to this thing. I think if the Convention looked upon it in its true light, they would be favorable to this motion. The legislature has it in their power to take the responsibility of refusing the small amount that it would, require. The responsibility would be there. But I think we would act unwisely if we would not be in favor of publishing these debates.
MR. HARRISON. I should very much desire, sir, that the proceedings of this Convention should be printed, and probably in book form; and perhaps our constituents would like to have the same course pursued, but there are other considerations, sir, which at this time that induce me to believe we ought not to have them published. As the gentleman from Hancock has said, these are peculiar times. We may be misrepresented. There are men living near us who will avail themselves of their opportunity to misrepresent us. That all may be true enough. But, sir, when we consider the expenses that the new State will necessarily incur in getting into operation; when we consider the fact that this matter is an expensive one to us; and when we recollect that some of the counties in the southern portion of the new State have been devastated by war and by conflicts till the people there are absolutely in want; when the people, sir, of this community are called on to contribute from their private purses to aid in supporting the families of our soldiers and such of them also as may be sick; the direct taxes also to be paid to the United States Government; the large debt which may fall upon us as our portion of the state debt of Virginia; and the fact that the people who sent us here, as I believe, had no idea that we would consume anything like the time this Convention has consumed, thereby increasing the expenses largely above what was estimated - I think when these considerations are brought to our minds that perhaps we ought not to go to the expense of printing these debates. It strikes me in setting out with this new State of ours there is no better rule we can adopt than one of economy. It is true it has been the custom of all similar bodies to print their debates, publish and preserve them; but I believe nearly all the debates that we have access to now that are printed are those of conventions which have been sitting in old, well established states. I do not know whether we have the debates of all the conventions that sat in Virginia or not. The last one it seems were lost; the debates of 1830 are preserved; and as some one remarked yesterday, no one ever read them.
I think, sir, these considerations should influence this Convention not to take on themselves the responsibility of ordering the printing of these debates. It might be left to the legislature to take the responsibility. They will have to appropriate anyhow to meet our bills.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. I wish to add, Mr. Chairman, one argument that it seems to me a good one in favor of preserving in an official way the proceedings of this Convention, particularly the debates, that has not been alluded to by any of the gentlemen who have spoken. And that is this: that if we succeed in establishing this new State, as I hope we will, in the course of a few years - fifteen or twenty, or probably less - it will be necessary to modify or change this Constitution on which we debate now. Such has been the history of all the other states. They have all changed or modified in some way the constitutions which they first adopted, without any or with very few exceptions if there are any. And it seems to me that for a convention assembling some ten or fifteen or twenty years from this time to make a constitution, to frame an organic law for this State as it will be then, may find some difficulty if they have no official record of the proceedings of the first Convention which made the first Constitution for the State. If they should desire anything of that kind, then they probably cannot get it. If we should desire it at the end of a year from this time, the probability is that we could not get a report of our proceedings. It seems to me it would be very important - very useful at least to the members and to any subsequent constitutional convention if they could have a reference to an official record of the sayings and doings of this Convention on all the questions and on all the provisions that they incorporated in this first Constitution. That has not been alluded to, and it seems to be in my mind the strongest consideration I could urge in favor of an official record of our proceedings.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I would like to call the gentleman's attention to the fact that they appear to entirely overlook that we have a Journal of our proceedings, which gives every bill, every vote, and that is furnished to us anyhow, so that you cannot be misconstrued or misplaced.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. It doesn't give the facts that are stated in reference to these debates. It is simply a record of business.
The question was taken and resulted: Ayes - 19, Noes - 18.
So the motion to discharge the committee was agreed to.
Though before an announcement was made by the Chair.
MR. DERING. I rose in the first place, not understanding the proposition. I sat down -
MR. VAN WINKLE. I move the gentleman have an opportunity to change his vote.
A member called for the yeas and nays.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I trust we will not mistake again. There is a motion pending to discharge the committee from the further consideration of the subject. If that resolution passes, then there will be no debates printed. If that resolution fails, then the committee will go on and contract for the reporting and printing of the debates.
The question was taken by yeas and nays and resulted:
YEAS - Messrs. John Hall (President), Brooks, Brumfield, Chapman, Cassady, Dille, Dolly, Hall of Marion, Harrison, Hagar, Irvine, Lamb, Montague, Mahon, O'Brien, Parsons, Powell, Parker, Simmons, Stuart of Doddridge, Taylor, Walker, Wilson - 23.
NAYS - Messrs. Battelle, Carskadon, Dering, Hansley, Haymond, Hubbs, Hervey, Paxton, Pomeroy, Sinsel, Stevenson of Wood, Stuart of Wirt, Sheets, Soper, Van Winkle, Warder - 16.
So the resolution was adopted and the committee discharged.
MR. LAMB. There are, Mr. President, two resolutions reported by the legislative committee if the Convention has nothing else under consideration would now come up in order - resolutions in regard to the Congressional apportionment. I ask that they be read and would simply remark that they are the same provisions which exist in our present constitution on that subject.
The Secretary reported them 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 include, 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."
MR. LAMB. I move to strike out the words "cities and towns" in both resolutions as unnecessary.
THE PRESIDENT. Does the gentleman consider the resolutions now up? Or do they not require a resolution to take them up?
MR. LAMB. Reports are considered in the order in which they are made. It is a mere verbal correction to strike out the words "cities and towns" in both resolutions. The Convention are aware that they have in the east cities and towns as political divisions of the state. We have nothing of the kind in the west. Our representation here is altogether by counties. The words are unnecessary in either resolution.
The motion to strike out was agreed to.
MR. LAMB. I move the adoption of the first resolution.
MR. HERVEY. I apprehend that some of the members do not know what the resolution is.
The Secretary again reported section 13, and the question being taken on it, it was adopted.
MR. LAMB. I move the adoption of the next resolution. The Secretary reported section 14.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I would like to inquire how it is we come down to section 13 of the report.
MR. LAMB. That is a mere reference to the present constitution the numbering has nothing to do with our report. It is a mere reference to the present Constitution of the State of Virginia.
MR. VAN WINKLE. As I understand it, the Convention are now adopting provisions that are to go into the Constitution. We have already adopted one. This one follows it. That will also go into the new Constitution. They are precisely the same as are in the present constitution of the state and are the only way in which Congressional apportionment can be made under United States laws. We cannot change it, the legislature is the body that apportions representation.
MR. DILLE. I simply desire to make one inquiry: whether it is necessary that there should be a provision here for the apportionment?
MR. LAMB. The reapportiomnent is, of course, regulated by Congress under the act of Congress, the reapportionment would have to be made for the State of Virginia between this time and the fourth of March, 1863. But it is none of our business. The Convention but executes the expression of Congress in making that apportionment. All the Convention can do is to describe the certain principles on which the legislature may make that reapportionment when the new State is in existence.
The question was taken and section 14 adopted.
MR. VAN WINKLE. I understand the only thing now before the Convention for action is the report of the Executive Committee. The chairman of that committee is absent and I do not know whether he has left any other word with any member of the committee, but he told me on Saturday he did not wish it to be considered in his absence. It is not necessary to explain the reason why and as there is nothing before the Convention, sir, I will avail myself of the opportunity to ask the Committee on County Organization to meet this evening at half past six if it is convenient to them at our room, and then move the adjournment.
MR. LAMB. Before the question is put on the motion to adjourn, I beg leave to say that the Committee on the Legislative Department are to meet at their room this evening at half past six.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. In the absence of the chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary Department -
MR. HALL of Marion. I desire the Committee on the Schedule to meet tonight at some of the committee rooms provided across the street at seven o'clock.
MR. LAMB. I move, Mr. Chairman, that when this Convention adjourns, it adjourn to meet tomorrow at eleven. As long as the preparation of reports is the main business it would be better that the Convention meet at eleven o'clock instead of ten so as to allow committees meeting in the morning instead of evening. It is necessary for some of the committees to meet at one time and some at another.
MR. STUART of Doddridge. I hope the motion will prevail because really the committees have not time to act. We get down here at nine o'clock, and against we get into committee, it is Convention hour and we are unable to act. It would be much better.
MR. VAN WINKLE. Probably the committees may have their final meeting tonight on some reports. Or at any rate, we will be ready to report to the Convention by tomorrow; and if those committees sit till bed-time, and the chairmen have the additional hour in the morning they can come in here tomorrow and then they will have to be printed. It will take a day, of course. If the report of the Committee on the Executive Department is ready tomorrow, we shall have something to do, and if it doesn't we will not. So the probability is we shall have to adjourn at an early hour. I think the motion as stated will save time rather than waste it.
The motion made by Mr. Lamb was agreed to.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. Mr. President, I am going to say, as we have a vacant hour that there was some of the officers employed by the present Convention whose salary is not fixed by any resolution of this body - pages, door-keepers and probably some others. I think it might be well to make a motion that the salaries of those officers and any others not fixed, should be the same of those of the last Convention. I make that motion for the purpose of bringing the matter before the Convention.
Several members inquired what was the pay of the last Convention.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. I do not know, sir, what it is.
MR. VAN WINKLE. It is only one or two officers and the boys. And it would not make much difference if they got twice as much as they ought to get.
The motion was agreed to.
MR. STEVENSON of Wood. Well, sir, I move we adjourn, if we have nothing else to do.
The motion prevailed and the Convention adjourned.
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January 18, 1862
January 20, 1862
January 21, 1862
January 22, 1862
January 23, 1862
January 24, 1862
January 25, 1862
January 27, 1862
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