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Reorganized Government
General Assembly of Virginia

July 12, 1861

House of Delegates met at ten A. M., and was opened with prayer by Rev. G. Battele.

Mr. WEST was called to the Chair as Speaker pro tem.

Bills on the first reading were taken up.

House bill No. 7, was read a second time and ordered to be engrossed.

House bill No. 7, abolishing the Board of Public Works and conferring its powers on the Governor and Council, was also read and ordered to its engrossment.

Engrossed bills were taken up.

House bill No. 4, regulating the volunteer force - not mustered into the service of the United States was read a third time.

The yeas and nays were demanded by Mr. Arnold of Lewis, and the question being taken resulted yeas 27, nays 1 - Mr. Arnold alone voting in the negative.

So the bill was passed.

Mr. PORTER from the Committee on Finance reported a bill altering the compensation to be paid to the public printer, and the printer to the Senate. Also a joint resolution lessening the number of documents to be furnished by the public printer. The bill was read a first time and ordered to be printed.

The resolution was adopted.

Mr. HOOTON was appointed to notify the Senate of the passage of the Military bill.

A message from the Senate announced the passage of the House bill authorizing appropriate monies for the public defense, with a slight amendment, in which they requested concurrence, and which was concurred in.

Mr. ZINN offered the following, which was adopted:

Resolved, That the Committee on Finance inquire into the expediency of amending the Second Section of Chapter Fourteen of the Code of Virginia (1860) as to reduce the salaries of the clerks in the Auditor's office, also the Fourth Section of the same Chapter and Code, so as to reduce the salaries of the clerks in the Treasurer's office.

Mr. SNYDER offered the following, which were adopted:

Resolved, That the Committee on a Division of the State inquire into the expediency of reporting a bill authorizing the Convention which is to re-assemble in this city on the first Tuesday of August next, to frame a Constitution for Northwestern Virginia, and provide for submitting the same for ratification or rejection to the legal voters in such counties as may be designated by this body, and of which it shall be proposed to compose the new State; and that a vote be taken at the same time for or against the division of the State.

Mr. VANCE called up the resolution that he offered yesterday, in reference to an adjournment, fixing the time for Thursday next.

Mr. BOREMAN opposed the adoption of the resolution. He did not think they had sufficiently matured their business to know when they could adjourn.

Mr. SMITH hoped the resolution would not prevail. He was as desirous as any one of getting through with the business and going home, but he thought it would be impossible to get through by the time mentioned.

Mr. VANCE said he offered the resolution for the purpose of hurrying up business by fixing a time by which it should be completed. If they stayed there so long they would be likely to do a good deal more legislating than was necessary or desirable. He thought they should do as little legislating as possible, or as would meet the requirements of the times.

The resolution was rejected.

Mr. ARNOLD called up the resolution offered on Wednesday by the gentleman from Harrison, instructing our representatives and Senators to vote against the resolution offered in the House of Representatives by Mr. Lovejoy, of Ill., favoring the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law, and against all others of like object.

[A lengthy and spiring discussion followed, in which Messrs. Boreman, Vance, Arnold, Ruffner, Miner, Porter, Smith, Logan and Farnsworth participated. We will publish this debate at the earliest day practicable. - EDS.]

The question on the adoption of the resolution having been demanded, Mr. Vance called for the yeas and nays, and being taken, they resulted as follow:

Yeas - Messrs. Arnold, Davis, Myers, Vance, Wetzel, and Williamson of Wirt - 6.

Nays - Messrs. Boreman, Crother, Downey, Davidson, Fast, Farnsworth, Hawxhurst, Hooton, Kramer, Logan, Miner, Michael, Porter, Parsons, Ruffner, Ratcliffe, Swan, Smith, Snyder, Trout, Williamson of Pleasants, West, Wilson and Zinn - 24.

Absent - Messrs. Moss and Frost.

So the House refused to adopt the resolution.

Mr. ZINN offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Committee on Finance be instructed to determine how many clerks shall be employed by the Auditor, Treasurer and Secretary of the Commonwealth, respectively, and report by bill, or otherwise.


The House then took a recess until two o'clock P. M.


House met at two P. M., Mr. WEST presiding.

A communication from the Senate announced that that body had concurred in the action of the House fixing on 2 o'clock for the election of public printer with the provision that the same prices as those reported by the joint committee be fixed on public printing.

On the question of concurring, Mr. Porter moved to lay the communication on the table. Adopted.

The CHAIR stated that the motion to lay on the table carried with it the whole subject.

Mr. Arnold moved to take up the bill on

FONTAIN SMITH moved to postpone the election of public printer until Tuesday next at 2 o'clock P. M.

Mr. CROTHERS suggested Thursday, which amendment was accepted.

The Chair said the question before the House was on the motion of the gentleman from Lewis to take up the bill on public printing.

Mr. ARNOLD withdrew the motion.

Mr. PORTER suggested to the gentleman from Lewis, that he move to take up the joint resolution reported with the bill, diminishing the number of public documents to be printed for the different departments.

The resolution was taken up and adopted.

On motion of Mr. Porter the House proceeded to the consideration of bills on the calendar.

House bill No. 1, making appropriation of $20,000 for the civil contingent fund was taken up.

A communication from the Senate announced that that that body had passed the bill after substituting $10,000 for $20,000.

On motion of Mr. Crothers the House disagreed to the amendment, and the bill was ordered back to the Senate with the refusal to concur.

House bill No. 5, to prevent offences against the Commonwealth, and provide for a patrol during the war, having been been engrossed and put upon its third reading, was taken up.

Mr. BOREMAN offered a substitute, and on motion of Mr. Porter the bill and substitute were laid upon the table and the substitute ordered to be printed.

House Bill No. 7, abolishing the Board of Public Works, &ampc., on its third reading, was taken up, read a third time, and passed.

House bill No. 8, amending the code, was also taken up, read a third time, and passed.

Mr. LOGAN offered the following, which was adopted:

Resolved, That the ordinance relating to the collection of the revenues, passed by the Convention which assembled in the city of Wheeling, on the 11th of June, 1861, be referred to the Committee on Finance to inquire whether any amendments are necessary to that ordinance, in order to enable the sheriffs to make the collections therein provided for, without interfering with the revenues of the County Courts and School Commissioners of their respective counties.

The House then adjourned.

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July 26

Chapter Eight: Legislature of the Reorganized Government of Virginia

West Virginia Archives and History