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Legislative Extracts Relative to Amendment Of The
Constitution of the United States of America

Commonwealth of Virginia
1810 to 1819

Transcribed and Compiled by Suzanne Nevling May, 2000

INDEX to Legislative Extracts
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Journal of the House of Delegates 1810-1811
  Saturday, February 2d, 1811 (Page 91)

Journal of the Senate 1810-1811
  Saturday, February 2d, 1811 (Page 62)
  Monday, February 4th, 1811 (Page 64)
  Thursday, February 14th, 1811 (Page 83)

Journal of the House of Delegates 1811-1812
  Tuesday, December 3d, 1811 (Pages 6 to 12)
  Monday, December 9th, 1811 (Page 20)
  Saturday, December 21st, 1811 (Page 45)
  Thursday, January 23d, 1812 (Page 95)
  Monday, January 27th, 1812 (Page 103)
  Friday, February 7th, 1812 (Pages 120-122)
  Wednesday, February 19th, 1812 (Page 144)

Journal of the Senate 1811-1812
  Tuesday, December 3, 1811 (Pages 5 to 11)
  Friday, January 24, 1812 (Pages 39-40)
  Wednesday, February 12, 1812 (Page 61-62)

Journal of the House of Delegates 1812-1813
  Saturday, February 6th, 1813 (Pages 152-153)

Journal of the House of Delegates 1814-1815
  Saturday, November 26th, 1814 (Page 97)
  Monday, November 28th, 1814 (Page 100)
  Monday, December 26th, 1814 (Page 133)

Journal of the Senate 1814-1815
  Friday, January 6, 1815 (Page 62)

Journal of the Senate 1815-1816
  Tuesday, December 5th, 1815 (Page 8)
  Wednesday, December 6th, 1815 (Page 8)
  Thursday, December 7th, 1815 (Page 9)
  Thursday, February 8, 1816 (Page 50)
  Wednesday, February 14, 1816 (Page 57)
  Friday, February 16, 1816 (Page 61)

Journal of the House of Delegates 1816-1817
  Tuesday, November 12th, 1816 (Page 18)

Journal of the Senate 1817-1818
  Tuesday, December 2d, 1817 (Pages 11-13)
  Wednesday, December 31st, 1817 (Page 26)
  Wednesday, January 28, 1818 (Page 85)

Journal of the House of Delegates 1818-1819
  Monday, March 6, 1819 (Pages 213-214)
  Wednesday, March 10, 1819 (Pages 221-222)
  Friday, March 12, 1819 (Pages 224-228)
  Saturday, March 13, 1819 (Page 228)

Notices Printed in the Richmond Enquirer
  January 2, 1819
  March 12, 1819


Journal of the House of Delegates 1810-1811
beginning on 12/3/1810

Saturday, February 2d, 1811 (Page 91)

    The House, according to the order of the day, resolved itself into a committee of the whole house on the state of the commonwealth, and after some time spent therein, Mr. Speaker resumed the chair, and Mr. Otey reported, that the committee had, according to order, had under consideration a resolution by the congress, proposing an amendment to the constitution of the United States, and adopted a resolution on the subject thereof, which was received and read, and amended at the clerk's table ; the said resolution as amended, having been read a second time, was agreed to by the house in the following words :
    Resolved by the General Assembly of Virginia, That the amendment proposed by the congress to the constitution of the United States, providing that if any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honor, or shall without the consent of congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them, be adopted as a part of the said constitution of the United States.
    Ordered, That the Clerk carry the said resolution to the Senate and request their concurrence therein.


Journal of the Senate 1810-1811
beginning on 12/3/1810

Saturday, February 2d, 1811 (Page 62)

    A communication from the House of Delegates by their clerk.
    The House of Delegates have agreed to the amendments proposed by the Senate to the bill . . .     The last mentioned resolution, being also delivered in and twice read, was, on the question being put thereupon, agreed to by the House.
    Ordered, That the Clerk inform the House of Delegates thereof.


Monday, February 4th, 1811 (Page 64)

     A communication from the House of Delegates by their clerk.
. . .      They have also agreed to a resolution on the subject of an amendment proposed by the Congress to the Constitution of the United States . . . to which bills and resolution they require the concurrence of the Senate.
    Their committee have also examined several other enrolled bills, and found the same enrolled.


Thursday, February 14th, 1811 (Page 83)

    On motion,
    The House proceeded to consider the resolution----proposing the adoption of an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, recommended by Congress, which provides that if any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honor ; or shall, without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any Emperor, King, Prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them or either of them--which, on Monday, the 4th instant, was twice read and laid upon the table.
    And on the question being put thereupon, the said resolution was disagreed to by the House.
    Another communication from the House of Delegates by their clerk.


Journal of the House of Delegates 1811-1812
beginning on 12/2/1811

First page
The said Rules and Orders are as follow : . . .
    4. A question being once determined must stand as the judgment of the House, and cannot again be drawn into debate during the same session. . . .
    8. Each day before the house proceed to try other business, the clerk shall read the orders of the day. . . .
    10. The Clerk of this House shall not suffer any records or papers to be taken from the table, or out of his custody by any member or other person : Provided however, that he shall deliver to any member who may desire it, any bills depending before the House, on taking a receipt for same.


Tuesday, December 3d, 1811 (Pages 6 to 12)

    The Speaker laid before the House a letter from the Lieutenant Governor, referring to sundry accompanying documents, for the consideration of the General Assembly : which letter was read in the following words and figures :

The honorable the Speaker of the House of Delegates

Council Chamber
December 2d, 1811

    SIR--The acceptance by his Excellency James Monroe, of an appointment from the President of the United States, to the Department of State, is so generally known that, were it not a part of my official duty to announce it to the General Assembly, it might, perhaps, be not improperly dispensed with at this time. . . .

(Page 10)     In the accompanying documents (No. 10, 20, 21 and 22) will be seen the resolutions of the Legislatures of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky, respectively, agreeing to the amendment proposed by Congress to the Constitution of the United States, to incapacitate to be a citizen of the United States, or to hold any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them, any person, who shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honor, or who shall, without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever from any Emperor, King, Prince or foreign power. . . .
I have the honor to be, Sir,
With great respect,
Your most obedient and humble servant,
GEO. Wm. SMITH.


Monday, December 9th, 1811 (Page 20)

    A petition was presented and read of Samuel Pleasants of the City of Richmond, representing the necessity of a new edition of the 1st and 2nd volumes of the Revised Code of Laws, and of the Acts of a public and generally interesting nature, passed since the session of 1807 ; that the petition, at great expense, has commenced the printing of such an edition, with considerable improvements ; and is willing to furnish for the use of the Commonwealth, any number of copies which the Legislature may be disposed to take, on certain terms proposed in the said petition.

    Ordered, That the said petition be referred in the Committee appointed to bring in a bill, on the subject of supplying the Magistrates and other public officers with the laws of this Commonwealth ; and that Mr. Jackson be added to that Committee.


Saturday, December 21st, 1811 (Page 45)

    A communication from the Governor, dated the 20th instant, was received and read, as follows :

Council Chamber, 20th December, 1811

SIR,
    I have the honor now to enclose, for the information of the House of Delegates, copies of certain communications made to the Executive with a view to have them submitted to the General Assembly, to wit :
    A communication from the Executive of the state of Maryland, accompanied by as authenticated copy of an act of the General Assembly of that state, ratifying the amendment proposed by the Congress of the United States, to incapacitate to hold any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them, any citizen of the United States who shall accept, claim, or retain any title of nobility or honor, or who shall, without the previous consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatsoever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power.--Also,
    A communication from the executive of the state of Tennessee, accompanied by authenticated copies of the following resolutions, adopted by the General Assembly of that state, to wit :
    A resolution of disapprobation of, and dissent from the amendment to the Constitution of the United States, proposed by the Legislature of the State of Massachusetts, June 19th, 1809, "That no law shall be enacted for laying an embargo, or for prohibiting commerce for a longer period than until the expiration of thirty days, from the commencement of the session of Congress next succeeding that session in which such law shall have been enacted :"
    A resolution of disapprobation of, and dissent from the amendment to the constitution of the United States, proposed by the Legislature of the State of Virginia on the 13th of January, 1808, "That the Senators in the Congress of the United States, may be removed from office, by the vote of a majority of the whole number of members of the respective State Legislatures, which the said senators have been or may be elected :"
    A resolution of disapprobation of, and dissent from the amendment to the Constitution of the United States, proposed by the Legislature of the State of Pennsylvania, April the 3d, 1809, "That an impartial tribunal may be established to determine disputes between the general and the state government"--And,
    A resolution approving of, and agreeing to the amendment to the Constitution of the United States, proposed by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States, "That if any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honor, or shall, without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatsoever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them or either of them."
I am, with great respect,

Sir, your most obedient servant;
GEO. WM. SMITH.
The Hon. the Speaker of the House of Delegates.

On motion, Ordered, That the said communication, with the accompanying documents, be laid upon the table.


Thursday, January 23d, 1812 (Page 95)

    A communication from the Governor (with sundry documents enclosed) was received, and read, as follows :

Council Chamber, January 21st, 1812     SIR,
. . .
    I avail myself of this communication to transmit a letter from the Governor of North Carolina, with an act of the Legislature of that State, agreeing to an amendment of the Constitution of the United States, heretofore proposed by the Congress--Also an extract of a letter from the hon. John Dawson, a representative of this State in the Congress of the United States, upon a subject entirely out of the legitimate sphere of this department, and entirely appertaining to the Legislature, and already laid before them at the commencement of the present Session.

I am, with sentiments of high respect,
Your fellow citizen,
JS. BARBOUR.

    On motion, the said communication (with the documents inclosed) was ordered to be laid upon the table.


Monday, January 27th, 1812 (Page 103)

    The house, according to the order of the day, resolved itself into a committee of the whole house on the state of the commonwealth, Mr. Ball in the chair ; and after some time spent therein, Mr. Speaker resumed the chair, and Mr. Ball reported that the committee of the whole house had, according to order, had under consideration a preamble and resolutions on the subject of the right of the State Legislatures to instruct their Senators in Congress ; and had directed him to report the same with an amendment to the second resolution.
    The said second resolution was as follows :
    " Resolved, That the said Richard Brent and William B. Giles did, on that occasion, cease to be the true and legitimate representatives of this State."
    The amendment proposed was to strike out the word "legitimate," and substitute "faithful:"
    And the same being twice read, was agreed to by the house.
    On motion of Mr. Stanard, (of Spottsylvania)
    Ordered, That the said preamble and resolutions, as amended, be laid upon the table.
. . .
    Mr. Seawell, from the committee to whom was recommitted a bill "Making further provision for furnishing the public officers of this commonwealth with the laws thereof"--
And,
    Mr. Winston, from the committee to whom was re-committed a bill " To amend an act entitled an act to amend the several acts prescribing the mode of ascertaining the taxable property within the commonwealth, and for collecting the public revenue, and for other purposes, passed Feb. 9th, 1808;"
    Severally reported the said bills, with amendments, which were received and laid upon the table.


Friday, February 7th, 1812 (Pages 120-122)

    An engrossed bill " Making further provision for furnishing the public officers of this commonwealth with the laws thereof," which lay on the table, was taken up, on Mr. Wooding's motion, and several blanks therein were filled :
    Resolved, That the bill do pass, and that the title be, " An act making further provision for furnishing the public officers of this commonwealth with the laws thereof."     Ordered, That the Clerk communicate the said bill to the Senate, and request their concurrence. . . .
    A communication from the Governor was received, with sundry documents inclosed, and read, as follows :

Council Chamber, February 6th, 1812
    SIR -- I communicate herewith a letter from the Chief Magistrate of the State of Georgia, covering a copy of a resolution of the legislature of that state agreeing to the amendment to the constitution of the United States, heretofore proposed by Congress.

    Also a letter from the Chief Magistrate of the state of Ohio, communicating a resolution of that state expressing their sympathy for the late melancholy catastrophe which occurred in this city.

    I am, with sentiments of high respect,
    Your fellow citizen,
    JS. BARBOUR.

The honorable the Speaker of the House of Delegates.

Executive Department, Georgia, Milledgeville, 4th January, 1812

    SIR,
    In compliance with a resolution of the General Assembly of this state, I have the honor to transmit you a copy of a resolution passed by them at their last session, ratifying and confirming an amendment proposed by Congress to the Constitution of the United States.
I am, Sir,
    With high consideration and respect,
    Your very obedient servant,
    D. B. MITCHELL.
His Excellency the Governor of Virginia

STATE OF GEORGIA,
In Senate, 22d November, 1811.
    Whereas his excellency the Governor of this state has laid before this General Assembly, a resolution passed by the Congress of the United States in the words following, to wit :
    " Resolved by the senate and House of Representatives, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both houses concurring, that the following section be submitted to the legislatures of the several States, which, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the states shall be valid and binding as a part of the Constitution of the United States."
    " If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honor, or shall without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them or either of them."
    Be it unanimously resolved by the General Assembly of the state of Georgia, that the foregoing amendment proposed by Congress to the Constitution of the United States be, and the same is hereby, on the part of this state, agreed to, ratified and confirmed.
    And be it further resolved, That his excellency the Governor, be requested to transmit copies of the foregoing resolution to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House Representatives of the United States, and to each of our Senators and Representatives in Congress, and to each of the Governors of the several states.
    Read and agreed to unanimously,
MATHEW TALBOT,
President of the Senate.
    Attest, WILLIAM ROBERTSON, Sec'ry
    In the House of Representatives--Read and concurred in.
ROBERT IVERSON, Speaker
    Attest, HINES HOLT, Clerk
    Executive Department, Georgia--Approved 13th Dec. 1811.
DAVID B. MITCHELL, Governor
    Attest, ANTHONY PORTER, Secretary

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE,
Milledgeville, Georgia, 4th January, 1812
    I certify that the aforegoing [sic] resolution is truly copied from the original now on file in this office, with the great seal of the state affixed thereto.
A. HAMMON, Secretary.
    A Copy--Attest' JOHN A. RUSSELL, Cop. Clk. Cl

Zancaville, (Ohio,) January 10, 1811     In compliance with a request of the General Assembly of the state of Ohio, I convey to you the enveloped resolution, and tender my individual sympathy for the afflictive loss of the city of Richmond, and the citizens of Virginia.
I have the honor to be, respectfully,
Your most obedient servant,
RETURN JONATHON MEIGS, junr.
. . .     On motion, Ordered, That the said communication and documents be laid upon the table.


Wednesday, February 19th, 1812 (Page 144)

    On motion, the preamble and resolutions, heretofore submitted by Mr. Tyler, on the subject of the right of the State Legislatures to instruct their Senators in Congress, were taken up ; together with the amendments (by way of substitute) severally proposed by Mr. Leigh (of Dinwiddie) and Mr. Mercer. [ text of Mr. Mercer's substitute proposal goes from page 145 to page 154 ]
    Resolved, therefore, that is the opinion of this Assembly that no State Legislature has a right to instruct a Senator of the United States ; and that if instructed, no Senator is bound to obey such instruction.
    The question being put upon adopting the said substitute, for the substitute originally offered, was determined in the negative.---Ayes 13---Noes 103.
    On motion of Mr. Noland, second by Mr. Leigh (of Dinwiddie)
    Ordered that the Ayes and Noes on the said question be inserted in the journal.
[ Ayes Names ]
[ Noes Names ]
    The question recurred on agreeing to the substitute proposed by Mr. Leigh (of Dinwiddie) in lieu of the preamble and resolutions proposed by Mr. Tyler:
    The said resolution was as follows:
[ text of Mr. Leigh's substitute proposal goes from page 155 to page 159. These three resolutions are last part of proposal ]
    1. Resolved, therefore, that this Assembly doth highly and equally disapprove the conduct of both the Senators of this state in Congress, in relation to the bank of the U. States, and to the instructions concerning the same, given to the said senators, by the General Assembly at the last session.
[ Vote on this resolution --- Ayes--97 ; Noes--20 ]
    2. Resolved, That it is the indubitable right of the state legislatures to instruct their Senators in Congress, on all points, either constitutional or political, whenever the magnitude of the occasion shall require interference; and that by consequence, it is the bounden duty of the senators to obey such instructions ; provided the instructions to be given and obeyed require not the senator to commit a violation of the constitution or an act of moral turpitude.
[ Vote on this resolution --- Ayes--94 ; Noes--10 ]
    3. Resolved, That after this solemn expression of the General Assembly, on the right of instruction and the duty of obedience thereto, no man ought henceforth to accept the appointment of a Senator of the United States from Virginia, who doth not hold himself bound to obey such instruction.
[ Vote on this resolution --- Ayes--93 ; Noes--8 ]


Journal of the Senate 1811-1812
beginning on 12/2/1811

First page
RULES AND ORDERS OF THE SENATE
4th rule
    That a question being once determined, must stand as the judgment of the house, and cannot again be drawn into debate in the same session, except where it may be judged proper to recede from any determination, in consequence of a conference with the House of Delegates.

8th rule
    That all bills shall be read and dispatched in order of priority and in order of time, as they shall be sent by the House of Delegates, unless the House shall direct otherwise in particular cases. . . .


Tuesday, December 3, 1811 (Pages 5 to 11)

    The Speaker laid before the House a letter from the Lieutenant-Governor, with sundry public documents accompanying the same, for the information of the House ; which letter, being read, was, with the documents accompanying it, on motion, ordered to lie upon the table.
    On motion ;
    Ordered, That the said letter be inserted in the Journal as follows :

Council Chamber, December 2, 1811
    SIR,
    The acceptance by his Excellency James Monroe, of an appointment from the President of the United States, to the Department of State, is so generally known that, were it not a part of my official duty to announce it to the General Assembly, it might, perhaps, be not improperly dispensed with at this time. . . .

    In the accompanying documents (No. 10, 20, 21 and 22) will be seen the resolutions of the Legislatures of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky, respectively, agreeing to the Amendment proposed by Congress to the Constitution of the U.S. to incapacitate to be a Citizen of the U.S. or to hold any office of Trust or Profit under them or either of them, any person, who shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honor, or who and , without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any Emperor, King, prince or foreign power.
. . .

    I have the honor to be, sir,
    With great respect,
    Your most obedient
    Humble servant,
    GEORGE Wm. SMITH.


Friday, January 24, 1812 (Pages 39-40)
. . .
    The Speaker laid before the House a letter from the Governor enclosing several documents relative to the claim of the representatives of Col. Robert H. Harrison, dec. ; the ratification by the Legislature of North Carolina, of an amendment proposed by Congress to the Constitution of the U.S. respecting titles of nobility, or honor, presents, pensions, offices or emoluments accepted, by a citizen from any foreign power ; and an enquiry made by John Dawson, Esq. whether this commonwealth has any public lands for sale and on what terms ;-- which letter being read, was on motion and the question being put thereupon, ordered, with the documents accompanying the same, to lie upon the table.
    On motion.
    [Text of Resolutions about worsening relations with Great Britain and pending declaration of war, and votes on same.]


Wednesday, February 12, 1812 (Page 61-62)

    A Communication from the House of Delegates by their Clerk.
    The House of Delegates have agreed to the amendments proposed by the Senate to the bills entitled " an act making further provision for furnishing the public officers of this commonwealth with the laws thereof"---
. . .
    The Speaker laid before the House a letter from the Governor, communicating a letter from the Governor of the state of Georgia, enclosing a copy of a resolution of the legislature of that state, agreeing to an amendment to the constitution of the U.S. heretofore proposed by Congress; also a letter from the Governor of the state of Ohio, enclosing a resolution of the legislature of that state, expressing their sympathy for the late melancholy catastrophe, which occurred in the city of Richmond; which letter from the Governor of this state, being read, was on motion and the question being put thereupon, ordered, together with the documents accompanying the same, to lie upon the table. . . . (Page 79)
    A message from the House of Delegates by Mr. Leigh.
    Mr. Speaker,
    The House of Delegates have agreed to a preamble and resolutions, asserting the right of the State legislatures to instruct their Senators in the Congress of the United States ; and disapproving the conduct of the Senators from this State in Congress, in relation to the instructions given them at the last session on the subject of the bank of the U. States -- in which they request the concurrence of the Senate. -- And having delivered in the said preamble and resolutions, he withdrew.
    On motion and the question being put thereupon,
    Ordered, That the said preamble and resolutions lie upon the table. . . . (Page 82)
    On motion,
    The House proceeded to consider the Preamble and Resolutions, asserting the right of the State Legislatures to instruct their Senators in the Congress of the U.States, and disapproving the conduct of the Senators from this State in Congress in relation to the instructions given them at the last session on the subject of the bank of the U. States--- which were yesterday laid upon the table :
    And on the question being put thereupon, the same were agreed to by the House as follows :
    The General Assembly of Virginia, having at the last session, after mature deliberation on the subject, and under a solemn conviction the institution of the Bank of the U. States was unconstitutional, instructed the Senators of this state in Congress, to oppose the renewal of the charter of that Bank, it has since seen, with mingled regret and displeasure, the authority of its instruction denied by one Senator and disobeyed by the other.
. . .
    [Commentary on this topic continues to page 89]
. . .
(Pages 89-90)
    The Ayes and Noes, being also required on the last mentioned question, were as follows ;
    Ayes-- Robert Taylor (Speaker), Matthew Cheatham, James Harrison, William Chamberlayne, William G. Poindexter, Chapman Johnson, Joseph Wyatt, Houlder Hudgins, George Washington, John H. Upshaw and Joseph C. Cabell.---11.
    Noes--Lewis Wolfe and Littleton Upshur.---2.
    Ordered, That Mr. Wolfe inform the House of Delegates of the agreement of this House to the said preamble and resolutions.
. . .     A message from the House of Delegate by Mr. Tyler.
    Mr. Speaker,
    The House of Delegates have agreed to a resolution requesting the Executive to transmit, to each of the Senators from this state in Congress and to each of the state Executives in the U. S. a copy of the Preamble and Resolutions asserting the right of the State Legislatures to instruct their Senators in Congress, and disapproving the conduct of the Senators from this state in relation to the instructions given them at the last session on the subject of the bank of the U. S.--- in which resolutions they request the concurrence of the Senate.---And having delivered in the said resolution, he withdrew.
    The said resolution, being twice read, was on the question being put thereupon, agreed to by the House.
    Ordered, That the Clerk inform the House of Delegates thereof.


Journal of the House of Delegates 1812-1813
beginning on 11/30/1812

Saturday, February 6th, 1813 (Pages 152-153)

    The following bills were read the second time, and ordered to be engrossed and read a third time ; viz.
. . .     A bill " to amend the act," authorizing William Walter Henning to publish an edition of certain laws of this commonwealth, and for other purposes ;" --- and
. . .


Journal of the House of Delegates 1814-1815
beginning on 10/10/1814

The said Rules and Orders are as follow : . . .
    4. A question being once determined must stand as the judgment of the House, and cannot again be drawn into debate during the same session.
    8. Each day before the House proceed to try other business, the Clerk shall read the orders of the day.
    9. All bills shall be read and dispatched according to the order in which they are brought in, unless the House shall direct otherwise in particular cases.
    10. The clerk of this house shall not suffer any records or papers to be taken from the table or out of his custody by any member or other person. Provided however, that he shall deliver to any member who may desire it, any bills depending before the house, on taking a receipt for same.


Saturday, November 26th, 1814 (Page 97)

    On motion of Mr. Stevenson of Spottsylvania,
    Resolved that the Executive be requested to lay before the House the resolution of the state of Tennessee, proposing an amendment to the constitution of the United States, communicated at the last session of the General Assembly.


Monday, November 28th, 1814 (Page 100)

    The order of the day on the state of the commonwealth was, on motion, postponed until tomorrow.
    The Speaker laid before the House a letter from the Governor, which was read as follows: --

COUNCIL CHAMBER, November 25th, 1814
Fellow-Citizens of the House of Delegates,

    YOUR Resolution of the 26th has been presented to the Executive, respecting the transmission of the resolution of the Legislature of Tennessee, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In reply thereto, I beg leave to inform you, that the document requested was transmitted, during the last session, and has not been returned to this department.

    JS. BARBOUR

    On motion, ordered that the said letter be laid upon the table.


Monday, December 26th, 1814 (Page 133)

    The House, according to the order of the day, resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House on the state of the Commonwealth ; Mr. Thompson in the Chair ; and after some time spent therein, the Speaker resumed in the Chair ; and Mr. Thompson reported the Committee of the whole House had, according to the order, had under their consideration a Resolution of the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, proposing an amendment to the constitution of the United States, reducing the term of Senators in Congress from six to four years ; also a resolution of the Legislature of Vermont disapproving of the said amendment ; and had agreed to a resolution thereupon, which he delivered in at the clerk's table.
    The said resolution is in the following words ;
    Resolved by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, that the Senators from this State in the Congress of the United States be instructed and the Representatives be requested to use their best endeavors to obtain an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, reducing the term of service of Senators in the Congress of the United States from six to four years.
    On motion of Mr. Mercer.
    Ordered that the said resolution be laid upon the table.


Journal of the Senate 1814-1815
beginning on 10/10/1814

First page
RULES AND ORDERS OF THE SENATE
4th rule
    That a question being once determined, must stand as the judgment of the house, and cannot again be drawn into debate in the same session, except where it may be judged proper to recede from any determination, in consequence of a conference with the House of Delegates.


Friday, January 6, 1815 (Page 62)

    Mr. Johnson reported, from the committee to whom was committed the preamble and resolution concerning the enrolment of part of the laws at the present session, that the committee had, according to order, taken the said preamble and resolution under their consideration, and made an amendment thereto, which he delivered in with the same.
    The said amendment, being twice read, was, on the question being put thereupon, agreed to by the House.
    And, on the question being put upon the said preamble and resolution, as amended, the same were agreed to by the House, as follows:
    Whereas it appears doubtful whether the quantity of parchment, laid in for the purpose of enrolling the acts of the present session of the General Assembly, will be entirely sufficient for that purpose ; and a supply of that article now on the way from Baltimore to the City of Richmond, may not be received in time :
    Be it therefore resolved by the General Assembly, That if there shall happen to be a deficiency of parchment, the enrollment of the laws, which may be passed during the residue of the present session, shall be made on paper : Provided, That the acts so enrolled shall be examined and authenticated in the same manner as those enrolled on parchment ; and that it shall be the duty of the Clerk of the House of Delegates to have true copies thereof enrolled on parchment, as soon as a supply can be obtained ; and to lay such copies before the Legislature at their next meeting, in order that they may be duly authenticated.
    Ordered, That the Clerk inform the House of Delegates of the agreement of this House to the said preamble and resolution, and request their concurrence in the amendment.


Journal of the Senate 1815-1816
beginning on 12/4/1815

Page 7
RULES AND ORDERS OF THE SENATE
4th rule
    That a question being once determined, must stand as the judgment of the house, and cannot again be drawn into debate in the same session, except where it may be judged proper to recede from any determination, in consequence of a conference with the House of Delegates.

8th rule
    That all bills shall be read and dispatched in order of priority and in order of time, as they shall be sent by the House of Delegates, unless the shall direct otherwise in particular cases.

9th rule
    That the Clerk of this House shall not suffer any records or papers to be taken from the table, or out of his custody, by any member or other person, except a chairman of any committee : Provided however, That he may deliver any bill or papers to any other member, or to the printer of this House, where the same shall be directed to be printed, on taking his receipt for the same.

24th rule
    The vote of the Speaker shall be counted on all questions ; and, whenever the number of votes shall be equal, the question shall be considered as decided in the negative.


Tuesday, December 5th, 1815 (Page 8)

    The Speaker laid before the House a letter from the Governor relative to certain communications, received from the Governors of several States, of the proceedings of those States with respect to certain amendments proposed to the Constitution of the United States.
    The letter, being read, was, on motion of Mr. Pryor, with the documents accompanying it, ordered to be laid upon the table.


Wednesday, December 6th, 1815 (Page 8)

    On motion of Mr. Pryor,
    The documents accompanying the Governor's letter, which were laid upon the table yesterday, were taken up and read, and, on motion of Mr. Cabell, again laid upon the table.
    On motion of Mr. Chapman,
    The House then adjourned till tomorrow twelve o'clock.


Thursday, December 7th, 1815 (Page 9)
. . .
    The House also proceeded, pursuant to the Resolution agreed to on Tuesday last, by joint ballot with the House of Delegates, to the election of a Printer to the Commonwealth for one year : and the members having prepared tickets for the purpose and deposited them in the ballot box. Messrs. Gibson, Pryor, Cargill, Hill and Ball were appointed a Committee to meet a Committee from the House of Delegates in the Conference Chamber, jointly with them to examine the ballots and report to the House on whom a majority of votes had fallen.
    The Committee withdrew, and some time after returning into the House, Mr. Gibson reported that the Committee had, according to order, met a Committee from the House of Delegates in the Conference Chamber : and, having jointly with them examined the ballots, found a majority of votes in favor of Thomas Ritchie. Esq. who was thereupon declared by the Speaker Printer to the Commonwealth for one year.


Thursday, February 8, 1816 (Page 50)

    The Speaker laid before the House a letter from the Governor, referring to the annual report of the Visitors of the Penitentiary, transmitted therewith.
    The letter was read, and with the report accompanying it, on motion of Mr. Chapman, ordered to be laid upon the table.
    The Speaker also laid before the House another letter from the Governor, referring to a resolution of the legislature of North Carolina, disapproving an amendment to the Constitution of the United States proposed by the Legislature of Georgia, to reduce the term of senators from six to four years : Also a resolution of the Legislature of the same State, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, prescribing an uniform method of choosing the electors of President and Vice President and Representatives to Congress throughout the Union : and Resolutions of the Legislature of the same State, and of the Legislatures of the States of Vermont, Ohio Tennessee, disapproving sundry amendments to the Constitution of the United States proposed by the Legislatures of the States of Massachusetts and Connecticut, transmitted therewith.
    The letter and resolutions were read, and, on motion of Mr. Chapman, ordered to be laid upon the table.


Wednesday, February 14, 1816 (Page 57)
. . .
    The resolutions on the subject of the amendment proposed to the constitution of the United States by the Legislatures of the States of Connecticut and Massachusetts, being also delivered in and twice read, on motion, were ordered to be committed to Messrs. Johnson, Green, Robertson, Cabell and Chapman.
    The resolutions on the subject of the amendment proposed to the Constitution of the United States by the Legislature of the State of North Carolina, being also delivered in and twice read, on motion, were ordered to be committed to the same committee.


Friday, February 16, 1816 (Page 61)
. . .
    Mr. Johnson, from the committee to whom were committed the resolutions on the subject of the amendments proposed to the Constitution of the United States by the Legislatures of the States of Connecticut and Massachusetts, reported that the committee had, according to order, taken the said resolutions under consideration, and made no amendment thereto.
    And, on the question put upon the said resolutions they were agreed to by House as follows :
    The legislatures of Connecticut and Massachusetts, having proposed the following as amendments to the constitution of the United States ;
    1. Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers of free persons, including those bound to serve for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, and all other persons.
    2. No new State shall be admitted into the Union by Congress in virtue of the power granted by the Constitution without the concurrence of both Houses.
    3. Congress shall not have power to lay any embargo on the ships or vessels of the United States. in the ports or harbors thereof, for more than sixty days.
    4. Congress shall not have power, without the concurrence of two thirds of both houses, to interdict the commercial intercourse between the United States and any foreign nation, or the dependencies thereof.
    5. Congress shall not make or declare war, or authorize acts of hostility against any foreign nation, without the concurrence of two thirds of both Houses, except such acts of hostility in defence of the territories of the United States when actually invaded.
    Resolved also, That the Governor be, and he is hereby requested to transmit copies of the aforesaid resolutions to each of the Senators and Representatives of this State in Congress and to the Executive of each State of the United States, with a request that the same be laid before their respective legislatures.
    Ordered, That the Clerk inform the House of Delegates of the agreement of this House to the said resolutions.


Journal of the House of Delegates 1816-1817
beginning on 11/11/1816

Tuesday, November 12th, 1816 (Page 18)

    Ordered, That a Committee be appointed to examine the Enrolled Bills :---and a Committee was appointed of Messrs. Williams, Groves, Gregg, Inghram, Eustace and Daniel. . . .
    [A motion was made by Mr. Sexton, that the House agree to the following as an addition to the standing Rules thereof ; viz.
    It shall be the duty of the Public Printer, regularly, as he prints the Journals of this House, to send to each County within this Commonwealth, by Mail, four copies of the Journals of this House, to be sent to such places as the members of the County shall previously direct, and one other Copy to the Clerk of each Court of Law or Equity within this Commonwealth, to be by the said Clerk, preserved for the use of the Court, and for the information of the good people of the Commonwealth. The expense of postage shall be paid out by the Contingent Fund.]
    The proposed Rule being read, a motion was made by Mr. Lane that the following be adopted as a substitute therefore ;---viz.
    Resolved, That one Copy of the Journal of the House of Delegates be annually transmitted with the Laws of this Commonwealth to the Clerk of each County, to be kept by him, subject to the inspection of the inhabitants of his County.
    On motion of Mr. Giles,
    Ordered, That the proposed Rule and Statute be laid upon the table.
    On motion of Mr. Maury,
    Resolved, That Thomas Ritchie, Editor of the Richmond Enquirer be admitted to a seat, to be assigned by the Speaker, within the Bar of this House, for the purpose of taking notes of the Debates thereof.


Journal of the Senate 1817-1818
beginning on 12/1/1817

Tuesday, December 2d, 1817 (Pages 11-13)

    The Speaker laid before the House a letter from the Revisors of the Laws appointed by the act of last session, which was read as follows :

To the honorable the
      Speaker of the Senate

      Sir,

      In obedience to an act of the last session of the General Assembly, entitled, " an act concerning a new edition of the Laws of this Commonwealth," we have the honor to inform you, that we have performed the duties required of us by that act. A report of our proceedings has been printed, and will, in a few days, be transmitted to both branches of the Legislature.
      This report embraces a list of such laws and parts of laws, of a general concern, as ought, in our judgment, to remain in force at the end of the present session of the General Assembly, and be published in a general compilation of the laws ; draughts of bills upon the subject of such laws, as from their multiplicity, ought to be reduced into single acts : a list of such laws as are unfit to be continued in force, and which ought, therefore, to be repealed ; a report of the titles of such laws as are proper to be omitted in a general compilation of the laws ; and such notes of reference and explanation as appeared to us to be proper.
      In performing this duty, we have to regret the shortness of the time allowed us for the purpose ; and this inconvenience was also unavoidably increased, by the conflicting public duties of most of our members. As, however, the work is considered to be on of pressing public importance and a report is called for, at this time, by the act aforesaid, we have not delayed to make one.
      In draughting the bills now submitted, we have endeavoured to throw off all useless and superfluous matter. Some of them, however, may nevertheless, appear to be prolix. We might have reduced still more the bulk of these bills; but, by varying their phraseology in a greater degree, the public would have lost the benefit of many judicial decisions, which have been founded upon the actual wording of the laws, as they now exist. These bills refer, in every section, to the respective acts from which they were taken. We have also taken the liberty to suggest a few alterations in the acts : but, considering that it was the wish of the Legislature to have a simplified and now a new code of the laws submitted to them, (a construction which results as well from the terms of the law under which we act, as from the resolution of the House of Delegates, in 1791, on the same subject,) the proposed alterations are not numerous, and are confined to cases which are believed to be clear and palpable. All our notes (except those of reference to the antecedent laws) are in manuscript, and are annexed to a few, only, of the copies of the report. Time did not admit, (if it had been, otherwise, proper and necessary,) that they should be also carried into print.
      In deciding upon such acts as are not proper to be published in a general compilation of the laws, while it is an important object to avoid swelling the Code as much as possible, it is also of great importance that all the acts of the Legislature should be published in permanent and convenient volumes, and that they should not exist in the fugitive sheets, only, of the acts of the several sessions. We therefore recommend in the strongest manner, that provision may be made for bringing up the Statutes at large to the present time, and for continu-ing the system in future. This work has been commenced by Mr. Hening, under the patronage of the Legislature, but has, from some cause, stopped. We also recommend that several acts omitted in Mr. Hening's volumes (except their titles) may be supplied in an appendix. If all the laws of the land shall exist in this form, with a good index, and be deposited in the several clerks' offices, and in the hands of such citizens as may chuse [sic] to buy them; while it will afford a great facility to our people in relation to many of their important rights, it wil also form an apology for not bringing many of those laws into the general code, which, perhaps ought otherwise to be found therein. If, however, the Legislature should not think proper to bring up the Statutes at large, we should be of opinion that certain classes of acts, (such as those for improving our rivers and roads, and relating to the Mutual Assurance Society against fire, &c.) ought also to be published in the General Code. If such should be the will of the Legislature, we shall hold ourselves ready to make the selection.
      It is presumed that the Legislature will postpone the operation of the draughted bills till a future day, within which the code may be published and promulgated : under that idea, we have left the days blank for the commencement of all the acts of this character ; and we take the liberty of recommending that their operation should commence on the same day.

With great respect, we are, Sir,
  Your obedient servants,

  SPENCER ROANE,
  JNO. COALTER,
  ROBT. WHITE,
  WM. BROCKENBROUGH,
  B. W. LEIGH.

On motion of Mr. Green,
Ordered, That the said letter be laid upon the table.


Wednesday, December 31st, 1817 (Page 26)

      The report of the revisors of the laws, which, on the second day of this month, was laid upon the table, on motion of Mr. Parker, was taken up and read again.


Wednesday, January 28, 1818 (Page 85)

      Mr. Johnson, from the Committee appointed yesterday, made the following report relative to the revised bills, which was read : The Committee appointed to enquire and report "What in their opinion, would be the most prudent course, to be pursued by the Senate, in relation to the revised bills," beg leave to submit the following result of their enquiry:--- The Committee acknowledge their incompetency to scan, with critical accuracy, the work, which has been reported to the General Assembly, by the Committee of Revisors, appointed by an act of the last session of the Legislature---They cannot, however, be insensible of the great value of that work, and of the very great labour which it has cost; and the defects which they think they perceive in it, can be attributed only to that want of time, and want of power in the revisors, of which they themselves make mention in their report. They believe that defects do exist, and that they are such as forbid the Legislature, until they are remedied, to give the compilation to the public, as containing the code of our laws. The defects which appear to your Committee, are of the following description---
      First---Defects in the arrangement; which may be reduced to these heads, viz:--
      1. In putting into one act, what belongs to another.
      2. In not putting together in their proper order, the different provisions in the same act, which are connected with each other;
      3. In not compiling new bills, formed of the provisions on the same subjects, to be found in various acts, as for example---A bill to regulate proceedings in civil actions at Common Law, to apply to all the courts of law:---A bill to regulate proceedings in Chancery, to apply to the Superior and Inferior Courts of Equity;---A bill regulating costs, to apply to all Courts;---A bill for the limitations of civil actions;---A bill for the recovery of small debts, &c.
      4. In not classing the bills themselves, and placing them together, in the order prescribed, by the analogy which they bear to each other---Thus the bills concerning the several Courts of Justice, and proceedings in Courts, with other connected with them, might form one class, and be placed together in their proper order.
      Secondly---Defects of omission.---Instances of which, may be found in the omission to compile into one act, the several acts formerly made to prevent the circulation of private banks notes, and the act lately passed to prevent the circulation of the notes of unchartered banks---and the omission to compile, or to note for publication, some important laws, generally denominated land laws, on which they depend the titles of much of the real property in this Commonwealth.
      And thirdly---Defects of amendment.---These defects the Committee believe are very numerous, and may be classed under the following heads:---
      1. In not reforming the language of the revised bills, so as to make it suitable to the present state of the law----it frequently happening that the language of a law enacted some time since, has now become either improper, or inadequate, in consequence of subsequent amendments.
      2. In not making the various provisions of laws, enacted at different times, and now brought together in one bill, consistent with each other.
      3. In not suggesting such amendments, as are necessary to remedy the defects of the present system of laws, without changing the essential principles thereof.
      How to remedy these defects, is a question on which your Committee will offer some reflections to the House:---
      They believe it is out of the power of the present Legislature to apply the remedy.
      It is obvious that much time, and much deliberate and critical examination of the subject, would be necessary to the proper discharge of this duty. This, it seems to your Committee, cannot now be bestowed, with the prospect of any useful result.
      Upwards of ninety revised bills have been reported to the General Assembly; more than forty of them have passed the House of Delegates, and of them, twenty have passed the Senate. The session must now have arrived within a few weeks of the ordinary period of adjournment; and it is believed that there is enough of other business before the Legislature, to employ the remnant of the session. No hope therefore remains, that the whole code can be gone through; and it is not believed, that with due deliberation, and with proper attention to the other subjects of legislation, any material progress could now be made, with the revised bills. There are some considerations, which would embarrass the proceedings of the Senate upon this subject. Several of the revised bills which have passed, both branches of the Legislature, are intimately connected with others which remain to be acted upon. Some of the bills, which are now before the Senate, are probably as intimately connected with others, which have not yet passed, and may not during the session, pass the House of Delegates. And to act advisedly upon this subject, it appears to your Committee, that all bills intimately connected with each other, should be under consideration of the same committee, at the same time---
      Again, To facilitate the examination of the revised bills, the books which were used by the revisors, with their marginal notes and references, were deposited with the Clerk of the House of Delegates.---
      Your committee are informed that these books, which would in your opinion, afford great facility in examining this subject, cannot be procured for the use of committees of the Senate. In addition, it may be remarked, that the Senate cannot apply the remedy to some of the defects above enumerated; they have not the power to compile new bills.
      The committee are of opinion that a subsequent session of the Legislature would be much more competent to the task of acting judiciously upon this subject. They hope and believe that the revisal would be re-committed to the same gentlemen who have reported it, and that their powers would be enlarged so as to enable them to propose such changes in the present system of laws, as may be necessary to arrest its obvious defects, without materially changing its essential principles. That they should be required to class and methodise and simplify the system ; that they should be required to cause two sets of their books, with marginal notes and references, to be preserved, the one for the use of the House of Delegates, the other for the Senate; and that they should be allowed time to perform the work with care and deliberation.
      The great advantages which such a course would afford to a subsequent Legislature, in acting upon this subject, need not be enumerated. The classification of the bills, itself, besides the public benefit arising from it, would compensate for the whole expense of the revision, in the time it would save the Legislature in acting upon them.
      But if the revisal should not be re-committed to the revisors, yet your Committee think, that a subsequent Legislature would act upon this subject with much greater advantages than the present. The experience of the present, will point out to the future session, the most judicious course to be pursued. In addition to that, the volume at present reported, will be in the hands of the future members for many months before the commencement of the session, and will not be before the public.
      For these reasons amongst others, which might be urged, your Committee would recommend to the Senate the adoption of the following resolution:---
      Resolved, That the several Committees to whom revised bills have been referred, ought to be discharged from considering them, and that the further consideration of the said bills, ought to be postponed until the first Monday in December next.

      The Resolution at the conclusion of the said report, being twice read, was on the question put thereupon, agreed to by the House.


Journal of the House of Delegates 1818-1819
beginning on 12/7/1818

Monday, March 6, 1819 (Pages 213-214)

    Mr. Magill, from the Committee on the subject of the Revisal of the Laws, presented a bill, "concerning the publication of the Statutes at large," which was read the first, and on his motion, the second time, and ordered to be committed to the committee that brought it in.


Wednesday, March 10, 1819 (Pages 221-222)

    An engrossed bill, "concerning the publication of the Statutes at large," was read a third time, and the question being put upon the passage thereof, was determined in the affirmative.---Ayes 65---Noes 52.
    Ordered, That the ayes and noes upon the said question be inserted in the Journal.
[ Note 6 ]
    Resolved, That the bill do pass, and that the title be, "an act concerning the publication of the Statutes at large."
. . .     Mr. Magill, from the Committee on the subject of the Revisal of the Laws, to which was committed a bill "concerning the laws of this Commonwealth," reported the same without amendments.     Ordered, That the said bill be engrossed and read a third time. . . .     An engrossed bill, "concerning the laws of this Commonwealth," was read a third time ;
    Resolved, That the bill do pass, and that the title be, "an act concerning the laws of this Commonwealth.
    Ordered, That Mr. Magill carry the said bills to the Senate and request their concurrence.


Friday, March 12, 1819 (Pages 224-228)

    A communication from the Senate, by their Clerk.
    IN SENATE, March 10, 1819.

    The Senate have passed the bills, entitled,
    "An act concerning the publication of the Statutes at Large."
. . .
    "An act concerning the laws of this Commonwealth."
. . .
    And the committee, appointed to examine the enrolled bills, have examined several other enrolled bills ; which, being found truly enrolled, have been signed by their Speaker.
. . .
    A message from the Senate by Mr. Mallory :
Mr. Speaker,
    The Senate have passed the bills, entitled,
. . .
(at page 228)
    An act " concerning the publication of the Statutes at Large."
. . .
    A message from the Senate by Mr. Johnson :
    Mr. Speaker,
    The Senate have passed the bills, entitled, " an act concerning Edward C. Davis ;" and
    " An act authorizing the payment of claims for services heretofore rendered in summoning witnesses to attend on courts martial."
    And they have passed the bill, " providing for the re-publication of the laws of this Commonwealth," with amendments, in which they request the concurrence of the House of Delegates. And then he withdrew.
    The said amendments, being twice read, were, on questions severally put thereupon, agreed to by the House.
    Ordered, That the Clerk inform the Senate thereof.


Saturday, March 13, 1819 (Page 228)

    A communication from the Senate by their Clerk.

    IN SENATE, March 12, 1819.
    The Committee of the Senate have examined several other Enrolled Bills ; which, being found truly enrolled, have been signed by their Speaker.
    On motion, the Speaker signed the following Enrolled Bills ;
. . . An act, "providing for the re-publication of the laws of this Commonwealth."


Notices Printed in the Richmond Enquirer

January 2, 1819

    No business of any importance was transacted yesterday in the House of Delegates---The revision of the laws is advancing rapidly.
    John Burfoot was re-elected Auditor of Public Accounts---and Thomas Ritchie Printer to the Commonwealth.

March 12, 1819

    The General Assembly will possibly adjourn this day, after a long and laborious session of 97 days--the great object of the revision of the laws being thoroughly completed. The people will no longer be sent to hunt through various sessions acts for the law of the land; but it will be laid before them in one compact, compiled publication--For their perseverance in this arduous work, the thanks of the people are due to their representatives.

    280. An act, " providing for the republication of the laws of this commonwealth." The Revision, to be edited by Mr. B. W. Leigh, and printed by T. Ritchie, (Public Printer) in two volumes 8vo. on good paper, bound in calf. &c. The State takes 4000 copies for the use of her officers, judges, magistrates, &c. at $6 per copy.



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