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Reorganized Government
General Assembly of Virginia

July 10, 1861

House of Delegates met at the usual hour.

Prayer by Rev. Gideon Martin.

Mr. PORTER, from the Committee on Finance, reported back the resolution in reference to a separation of the collection of taxes from the sheriffs and providing a collector for each magisterial district, with a resolution that they deemed it inexpedient to legislate on the subject.

He also, from the same committee, reported a bill prescribing the duties and fixing the compensation of the Clerks of the Senate and House.

The bill was read a first time by its title, and ordered to be printed.

Mr. WEST, from the Committee on roads and Internal Navigation, reported a bill for the abolishing of the present Board of Public Works, and conferring its present powers on the Governor and Council.

The rule was suspended, and the bill read a first time.

Mr. CROTHERS offered the following resolutions, and expressed the hope that they would be adopted unanimously:

Resolved, by the General Assembly of Virginia, That our Senators in Congress be instructed, and our Representatives there be requested, to vote whatever amount of men and money may be necessary to enable the Administration to suppress the rebellion in certain portions of the South, and to maintain the integrity of the Union.

Resolved, That they be instructed and requested as aforesaid to oppose any plan of compromise that may be offered unless it be on the basis of an acknowledgment by the seceded States of the supremacy of the Constitution of the United States.

Resolved, That the Governor be requested to communicate the foregoing to our Senators and Representatives in Congress.

Resolved, That the concurrence of the Senate be requested in the foregoing resolutions.

Mr. VANCE moved that the resolutions lie upon the table.

Mr. ZINN hoped the resolutions would not be tabled. He was sorry to hear any objection made to them. He hoped for the good of the country and of the cause that no member in this House would refuse to vote for these resolutions, and that they would pass unanimously.

Mr. VANCE - My object in laying on the table is simply because there is no necessity for any such resolutions, in my opinion. Our delegates in Congress know what their duties are, and can perform them without our instructions how to do so. I see no necessity whatever for passing that resolution instructing them to prosecute the war, for I presume they will do so anyhow; and as to the question of compromise, they might possibly see fit to fix upon something satisfactory to all parties without instructions from us.

[Quite a spicy and lengthy debate followed, in which Messrs. West, Arnold, Smith and Farnsworth participated. We will publish the speeches of these gentlemen and thus supply this omission, at the earliest day practicable - perhaps to-morrow. - EDS.]

Mr. ZINN - I would like to record my vote and I ask for the yeas and nays.

The call was sustained and the question on laying the resolutions on the table being taken, resulted as follows: YEAS - Messrs. Arnold of Lewis, Davis and Vance of Harrison, and Williamson of Wirt - 4; NAYS - Messrs. Boreman, Crothers, Downey, Davidson, Fast, Farnsworth, Hawxhurst, Hooton, Kramer, Logan, Miner, Myers, Michael, Porter, Parsons, Ruffner, Ratcliffe, Swan, Smith, Snyder, Trout, Wetzel, Williamson of Pleasants, West, Wilson, Zinn, Mr. Speaker (Frost) - 27.

So the motion to lay on the table was rejected.

Mr. LOGAN - I believe there is not such a diversity of sentiment among the members of this body as would seem to be indicated by the discussion we have witnessed. My own impression is that this diversity of sentiment arises out of some different interpretations of the resolutions themselves, and I confess I would like to see some little modifications of them. I had prepared a substitute, and, while I heartily favor the spirit of the resolutions and am unutterably opposed to any compromise which does not acknowledge the supremacy of the Constitution of the United States, I think some changes might be made in the phraseology which might remove some of the objections. I rse merely to make the suggestion that the resolution be referred to a committee to report to-morrow.

Mr. WEST - I think a reference is nearly equivalent to laying on the table. I am opposed to any delay whatever on this subject. I do not want it to go to the country that this House hesitated a single moment about taking this action.

Mr. LOGAN - Then I shall feel compelled to offer my substitute.

The gentleman read his substitute which was identical with the resolutions, except that he used the word "government," instead of "Administrations," and "requested" the Senators and Representatives, instead of "instructed."

Mr. CROTHERS - I accept the amendment with the addition of the word "federal" before "government."

Mr. WEST - I feel bound to oppose the amendment for this reason: There is something contained in it that implies distrust. It is true, sir, the government is one thing and the President is another; but at the same time the House will clearly understand that the President is Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy, and that resolution modified as it is does indicate that this General Assembly distrust the President of the U. S. I oppose the substitute.

Mr. LOGAN - The objection urged by the gentleman has no foundation whatever, so far as my motives in offering the substitute are concerned. I ___adopted the term "government" because I liked it better; it seemed to me a better word. I am a government man from first to last. Whether I am an Administration man depends on circumstances.

Mr. WEST said he must apologize to the gentleman. He had not meant to impugn his motives at all. He believed the mover of the substitute as sound a Union man as any body. He was opposed to the phraseology, but did not in the least wish to question the gentleman's honesty of purpose or goodness of heart. He thought the original was the plainest and best.

The question being taken on the substitute and original, the substitute was adopted.

Mr. VANCE moved to reconsider for the purpose of obtaining the yeas and nays. - Rejected.

Mr. VANCE - I rise to a question of privilege. When I advocated the laying of that resolution on the table I did not indicate any opposition to the resolution itself. And having voted to lay the measure on the table, but having been overruled and compelled to vote upon it, as a matter of course I want to vote, and put myself on the record, in favor of that resolution. That was my reason for desiring that the yeas and nays should be taken.

Mr. ZINN moved that the vote be reconsidered for the purpose of taking the yeas and nays.

Mr. PORTER said that the substitute as adopted merely "requests" the Senators, &ampc. Instead of instructing as is usual in such cases. He would like to see this amended.

Mr. LOGAN favored__________.

__________moved a suspension of the vote.

The vote was then on motion reconsidered.

Mr. PORTER then moved his amendment to insert "instructed" instead of "requested," which was adopted, and the substitute as thus amended was then adopted.

Mr. CROTHERS was appointed to notify the Senate.

Mr. LOGAN then moved to take up the Senate resolution reported yesterday, offered by Mr. Stewart some days since in that body, to the effect that the $27,000 obtained at Weston be held inviolate, and subject to the order of the Superintendent of the Western Virginia Lunatic Asylum, (who may be hereafter appointed,) to be applied to the continuance of the work on that institution when the condition of the country will permit.

Referred to Committee on Finance.

House then took a recess until 2 o'clock.


House of Delegates reassembled at two.

CHAIR presented communication from the Sergeant-at-arms relative to desks. Laid on the table.

Mr. SWAN offered the following which was adopted:

Resolved, That the Committee on Propositions and Grievances be instructed to inquire into the expediency of reporting a bill for the protection of sheep, in the county of Marshall, against dogs.

Mr. SMITH, the following which was also adopted.

Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs enquire into the expediency of increasing the pay of privates in the actual service of the State, to the sum of sixteen dollars per month.

Mr. KRAMER, the following.

Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs enquire into the expediency of reporting a bill amending Section 27 of Chapter 33 of the Code of Virginia.

The resolution from the Senate appointing Messrs. Trowbridge & Downey public printers, was taken up and after some discussion laid on the table to await further investigation.

Mr. WILSON moved to suspend the rule to allow House bill No. 3, entitled an act to authorize the issue of notes of less denomination than five dollars, to be read a second time.

The bill was taken up, read a second time and ordered to its engrossment.

Mr. RUFFNER moved a suspension of the rule to allow House bill No. 5, entitled an act to prevent offences against the Commonwealth and provide for the organization of a patrol during the war, to be taken up and read a second time.

The bill was then taken up, read a second time, and after various amendments ordered to be engrossed.

Mr. ZINN called up his resolution raising a committee of seven on a division of the State, and it was adopted.

Messrs. Zinn, Ruffner, Wilson, Porter, Miner, Downey, and Davis, were named the committee. The Chair added Mr. Arnold, of Lewis, to the Committee on Banks, and Mr. Michael, of Hardy, to the Committee on Propositions and Grievances.

Mr. ARNOLD offered the following resolution, which was adopted:

Resolved, That the Committee on Banks inquire into the expediency of authorizing the stockholders of the exchange bank of Virginia at Weston, to elect four directors for their bank, and regulate the salaries of its officers.

Mr. VANCE offered the following:

WHEREAS, A resolution has been offered in the Congress of the United States, having for its object the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law, therefore be it

Resolved, That our Senators in Congress be instructed, and our Representatives be requested, to vote against said resolution, or any other having a like object.

Mr. PORTER moved that the resolution lie over under the rules.

Mr. WILLIAMSON of Wirt, said he had not been present when the substitute for the resolutions of the gentleman from Brooke was adopted. He wished to record his vote against it. He voted no.

The House then adjourned.

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Chapter Eight: Legislature of the Reorganized Government of Virginia

West Virginia Archives and History