Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February 5, 1863: One day in Virginia's General Assembly

Major General Sterling Price, C.S.A.

The journal of one day--chosen at random--of Virginia's General Assembly shows a state legislative body considering legislation on negro apprentices, salt production and procurement, speculators, and a visit from Confederate Major General Sterling Price.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1863.

Prayer by Rev. Dr. Read of the Presbyterian church.

The report of the committee of conference, agreed to by the senate and communicated to the house, in relation to the matters of disagreement between the two houses, in regard to house bill No. 51, entitled an act to provide for the discharge from active military service, of persons who have furnished substitutes, was taken up.

On motion of Mr. BURKS,

Resolved (the senate consenting), that the report of the committee of conference, in relation to the disagreement of the two houses, in regard to house bill No. 51, be recommitted to said committee.

Ordered, that Mr. BURKS carry the same to the senate, and request their concurrence.

Subsequently, a message was received from the senate by Mr. ARMSTRONG, who informed the house of delegates that the senate had agreed to the resolution.

A message was also received from the senate by Mr. ARMSTRONG, who informed the house of delegates that the senate requested the return to that body of the report of the committee of conference, in relation to said bill, No. 51, heretofore agreed to by the senate.

The request of the senate was agreed to.

Ordered, that Mr. BURKS carry the report of the committee to the senate.

Mr. RUTHERFOORD, from the committee for courts of justice, presented the following bills:

No. 78. A bill authorizing fiduciaries to invest funds in their hands in certain cases, and for other purposes.

No. 79. A bill authorizing the court of appeals to hold its sessions at other places than Lewisburg, &c.

No. 80. A bill to amend and re-enact the 10th section of chapter 86 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the public health.

Mr. NEWTON, from the committee on confederate relations, presented the following reports:

A report asking that the committee be discharged from the further consideration of the communication from the governor, in relation to rail roads, and to the proposed action of the confederate government as to impressing certain rail road iron possessed by the Virginia Central rail road company, to be used for the purpose of the construction of the Piedmont rail road.

A report asking that the committee be discharged from the further consideration of certain resolutions on the subject of the transportation on rail roads of the freight of private citizens.

Mr. BARBOUR, from the committee on finance, presented the following bill:

No. 81. A bill refunding to Samuel E. Lybrook, sheriff of the county of Giles, a certain sum of money.

Mr. MONTAGUE, from the joint committee on the penitentiary, to whom had been referred a resolution of enquiry into the expediency of employing the able bodied convicts in the penitentiary on the fortifications around Richmond, presented a report asking to be discharged from the further consideration of the resolution.

Mr. KAUFMAN, from the special committee on the subject of free negroes, presented the following bill:

No. 82. A bill regulating the mode of binding out free negro apprentices, and for other purposes; which was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time.

No. 70. A bill for the improvement of the north fork of the Holston river in the county of Smyth, was taken up, on motion of Mr. RICHARDSON, read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time.

A message was received from the senate by Mr. PENNYBACKER, who informed the house of delegates that the senate had passed house bill No. 64, entitled an act to amend and re-enact the first section

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of an act entitled an act to refund money received for exemption from military duty, passed January 19, 1863.

On motion of Mr. NELSON of Louisa,

Resolved, that the committee on military affairs enquire into the expediency of providing for the exemption of one deputy clerk for each county from military service.

On motion of Mr. MALLORY,

Resolved, that the committee for courts of justice enquire into the expediency of amending an act concerning the estate of John Haskins, senior, a lunatic, passed January 24, 1839.

On motion of Mr. CARPENTER,

Resolved, that the committee on military affairs enquire into the expediency of repealing an act passed October 3, 1862, entitled an act to further provide for the public defence.

On motion of Mr. FORBES,

Resolved, that the committee for courts of justice enquire into the expediency of providing by law that in all cases in which, by the terms of any deed of trust or other writing heretofore executed for the conveyance of any land or other property in this commonwealth, an advertisement shall be required to be made in any newspaper, or otherwise, in any place, town or city in this commonwealth, now in the possession of the forces of the federal government, or within their lines, or in any place or city in any of the United States, such advertisement shall be made in some newspaper published in the city of Richmond, and shall be as valid as to all purposes of such deed or writing as though the said advertisement had been published at the place or in the town or city in such deed or other writing mentioned.

On motion of Mr. BASKERVILL,

Resolved, that a special committee be appointed, with instructions to enquire into the expediency of amending and re-enacting the 4th section of an act passed 22d January 1862, entitled an act to authorize the establishment of a military school as a part of the instruction of Randolph Macon college.

A message was received from the senate by Mr. ARMSTRONG, who informed the house of delegates that the senate had agreed to the report of the committee of conference, in relation to the matters of disagreement between the two houses, in relation to house bill No. 51, entitled an act to provide for the discharge from active military service, of persons who have furnished substitutes.

On motion of Mr. FLEMING,

Resolved, that the committee on the salt question be instructed to correspond with the proprietors of the Washington and Smyth county salt works, with reference to a renewal of county contracts when the terms of the contracts already made shall have expired.

The hour having arrived for the consideration of the order of the day, the substitute heretofore reported from the committee on extortion, to house bill No. 27, entitled an act to suppress extortion, being the order of the day, was taken up; and the question being on the motion submitted by Mr. HUNTER to strike out the 10th section of the substitute, Mr. HUNTER, by leave of the house, modified his motion, so that it would be to strike out the 10th section, and insert the following:

"1. Be it enacted by the general assembly, that from and after the passage of this act, any person who may deal or speculate in clothing, or materials of clothing, boots, shoes, leather, raw hides, meat, grain, flour, meal, fish, groceries of any kind, butter, lard, eggs, poultry, vegetables, fruits, salt, saltpetre, horses, mules, cattle, sheep and hogs, or any other commodity or article of merchandise, who, during the continuance of the existing war, shall, by acts of engrossing, regrating or forestalling, as said offences are defined in the common law, done by him, or in which he may have participated, or by any other unjust and wicked devices so done or participated in, which tend to enhance the prices of such commodities or articles of merchandise, become enabled to sell or dispose of, and shall sell or dispose of any of the said articles at exorbitant or unreasonable rates or prices (the circumstances of each case being duly considered), or who shall, with the like unjust and wicked intent, refuse to sell or dispose of any such commodity or article of merchandise at fair and reasonable rates or prices for cash, whenever applied to, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor; and on conviction thereof in any of the courts of this commonwealth, shall be fined in a sum not less than dollars nor more than dollars, and be imprisoned in the county jail not more than twelve months, at the discretion of the jury; one-half of the fine in each case to be for the benefit of the informer; and the informer shall be a competent witness for the commonwealth in every such prosecution.

2. Corporations by their corporate names shall be liable to prosecution and punishment in like manner, under the first section of this act, except that for imprisonment, as applied to individuals, shall be substituted forfeiture of charter of such corporation, at the discretion of the court; and proof of acts done or devices practiced by any of the corporators or agents of the corporation, which, if acting individually, would bring them under the purview of this act, shall be sufficient to maintain the prosecution against such corporation.

3. This act shall be in force from and after the passage thereof."

And the question being on agreeing thereto, Mr. BURKS demanded a division of the question; which was agreed to by the house; and the question being on agreeing to strike out the 10th section, was put, and decided in the negative--Ayes 44, noes 51.

On motion of Mr. LYNN, the vote was recorded as follows:

AYES--Messrs. Sheffey (speaker), Bailey, Baskervill, Bouldin, Bradford, Burks, Cazenove, Clarke, Coffman, Coleman, Davis, Edmunds, Evans, Forbes, Fry, Fulton, Gilmer, Grattan, Green, Harrison, J. H. Hopkins, Hunter, Jones, Jordan, Lundy, Magruder, Marye, A. W. McDonald, R. E. Nelson, W. G. T. Nelson, Newton, Orgain, Prince, Robertson, Rutherfoord, P. Saunders, R. C. Saunders, Shannon, Thrash, Tomlin, Ward, Williams, J. L. Wilson and S. M. Wilson--44.

NOES--Messrs. Ambers, J. T. Anderson, F. T. Anderson, Barbour, Bass, Bayse, Bigger, Carpenter, Crockett, Daniel, Dunn, Eggleston, Ewing, Fleming, Fletcher, Flood, Franklin, Gatewood, George, H. L. Hopkins, Huntt, James, Johnson, Kaufman, Kyle, Laidley. Lively, Lockridge, Lynn, Mallory, Mathews, Mayo, McCamant, I. E. McDonald, McLaughlin, Montague, Pitman, Powell, Reid, Richardson, Riddick, Rives, Rowan, Sherrard, Staples, R. F. Taylor, Tredway, Vermillion, Walker, West and Worsham--51.

Mr. BASS moved to strike out the 11th section of the substitute; and the question being on agreeing thereto, was put, and decided in the affirmative.

The 12th section was then amended, on motion of Mr. HOPKINS of Petersburg.

Mr. BURKS moved to strike out the 13th section of the substitute; and the question being on agreeing thereto, was put, and decided in the affirmative.

Mr. ANDERSON of Rockbridge moved to strike out from the substitute, as amended, from the 5th section, inclusive, to the end thereof, and to insert a substitute therefor, submitted by himself; which was read; and the question being on striking out and inserting as aforesaid,

On motion of Mr. TOMLIN,

Resolved, that the bill, the substitute thereto, reported from the committee on extortion, and the substitute to the substitute, submitted by Mr. ANDERSON of Rockbridge, be laid on the table, and the substitute of the committee, as amended by the house, and the amendment thereto, submitted by Mr. ANDERSON of Rockbridge, be printed.

On motion of Mr. MCDONALD of Hampshire,

Resolved, that the amendment heretofore submitted by Mr. HUNTER be printed.

Mr. MALLORY gave notice of his intention to submit a substitute to the report of the committee, as amended by the house; which, on motion of Mr. TOMLIN, was ordered to be printed.

On motion of Mr. ROBERTSON,

Resolved, that the SPEAKER be requested to invite General Sterling Price to a seat upon the floor of the house of delegates.

In compliance with the invitation, General Price appeared in the hall; and having been received by the SPEAKER, returned his acknowledgments for the honor conferred upon him, and thereupon took the seat assigned to him.

Mr. BOULDIN, from the committee of conference, to whom had been recommitted the matters of disagreement between the two houses, in relation to house bill No. 51, entitled an act to provide for the discharge from active military service, of persons who have furnished substitutes, presented a report; which was concurred in.

Ordered, that the clerk inform the senate thereof.

On motion of Mr. JONES, the house adjourned until to-morrow, 12 o'clock.

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