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Highland, reported from the committee on the Chesapeake and its tributaries, was read a first time.

Leave of absence was granted Mr. Brady for three days.
The following reports were agreed to:

The committee on Chesapeake and its tributaries have had under consideration the report of auditor showing the number of bushels of oysters shipped from the waters of Virginia from September 1, 1872, to September 1, 1873, to them referred, and respectfully ask that the said report be printed.

The committee on Federal relations have had under consideration a preamble and joint resolutions in relation to a bill before the congress of the United States for the establishment of a national exchequer, and respectfully ask that the same be printed.

The following report was presented :

The committee on roads and internal navigation have had under consideration the reports of the present and late attorney-general in reference to the unsatisfied claims and rights of the Commonwealth against the several railroads of the State, by reason of sales of its interests in the same, and beg leave to report :

That suit has been instituted, and is now pending undetermined, against the Richmond and Danville railroad, embracing the following points :

1st. The exact number of shares of stock sold, or meant to be sold, or transferred, under the act of July 11, 1870—the company claiming that they have bought and paid for 24,000 shares, and the state that it sold and has been paid for only 12,000 shares.

2d. The right of the company to anticipate its payments (having bought on a credit), and to be allowed a rebate of interest. This the company were allowed to do by the board of public works, which, in the opinion of the legislature directing suits, was unauthorized.

This suit will settle the only question that is unsettled between the State and the Orange, Alexandria and Manassas railroad.

There is also a legal question arising out of the sale of the State's interest to the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad, which your committee are of opinion should be made the subject of judicial determination.

The following in brief is the history of the controversy :

The legislature in March, 1867, passed an act authorizing this company to purchase the stock held by the State in said company at the date of the purchase, by transferring to the board of public works bonds of the State, and also to pay in like manner any debt it might owe the State at time of payment on account of loans made to any of the companies which may have consolidated. The State held at this time a bond of the Virginia Central railroad company for fifty-eight thousand six hundred and fifty dollars, dated 15th October, 1853, given for unpaid dividends (it is claimed). This bond the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad company offered to pay in State bonds, and have actually deposited bonds sufficient to pay the same with the treasurer of the State, in whose possession they now are. The board of public works resolved that this dividend bond must be paid in cash. As this is purely a legal question, your committee recommend that a suit be instituted to compel the payment of the said bond, and for this purpose they report a joint resolution.

Messrs. Flood, Longley, Shumate and Henderson stated that had they been present when the vote was taken on the passage of senate bill No. 5, entitled "An act to provide a charter for the city of Petersburg," they would have voted in the affirmative.

Mr. B. W. Lacy stated that he would have voted in the affirmative, but had paired off with Mr. Bohannon.

Messrs. McGonigal, Bickings, Norton and O'Neal stated that they would have voted in the negative.

The speaker laid before the house a communication from the governor, transmitting a communication from the joint committee of the general assembly of Maryland upon the subject of the Potomac fisheries, and with suggestions in respect to the unsettled question of boundary between Maryland and Virginia, which communications were referred to the committee for courts of justice.

The following were presented and referred under rule 37: By Mr. Wharton: A bill to incorporate the Blacksburg railroad company in the county of Montgomery. Referred to committee on roads and internal navigation.

By Mr. Montague : Ă bill to incorporate the Virginia central life insurance company. Referred to the committee on propositions and grievances.

By Mr. Blair: A bill to appropriate one thousand dollars to Roanoke college for education of teachers for public free schools. Referred to committee on schools and colleges.

By Mr. Gilliam : A bill allowing Robert B. Batte & Co. to erect a pier or wharf on the James river. Referred to committee on roads and internal navigation.

By Mr. Brooks : Memorial of the bar of Amelia county in relation to compensation of sheriffs. Referred to committee on finance.

By Mr. Moore:

Resolved, That the committee on agriculture and mining be instructed to inquire into the expediency of establishing a State agricultural and mining burean, and report by bill or otherwise.

By Mr. Blair : Petition of the members of the bar and others of Roanoke county, for increase of compensation of sheriffs. Referred to committee on finance.

By Mr. Magruder :

Resolved, That the committee for courts of justice inquire into the expediency of reporting a bill more clearly defining the fees of clerks of the court of appeals.

By Mr. Graves : Petition of citizens of Bedford and Franklin counties, asking that the charter of the Otter bridge company be repealed. Referred to committee on roads and internal navigation.

By Mr. Williams : Petition of Dr. Tiffany, for compensation for professional services in the matter of the Commonwealth vs. Mrs. Lloyd. Referred to committee on finance.

By Mr. Banks: Petition of the resident members of the bar of Madison county, asking an increase of the compensation of sheriffs. Referred to committee on finance.

By Mr. Crank: Petition of citizens of Albemarle, for restoring former jurisdiction of county courts, &c. Referred to committee for courts of justice.

By Mr. Strother: A bill to destroy the Canada thistle. Referred to committee on agriculture and mining.

By Mr. Jordan : Petition of the members of the bar of Isle of Wight county, in relation to the increase of sheriffs' fees. Referred to committee on finance.

By Mr. Harrison: A bill for protection of crops. Referred to the committee on counties, cities and towns.

The morning hour having expired, special order

No. 105. House bill to amend and re-enact sections 3, 4, 6 and 12 of chapter 154 of the Code of 1873, in relation to the jurisdiction of county courts, came up.

On motions (severally made) the special order was postponed, and the following house bills were taken up out of their order on the calendar, read a second time, and ordered to be engrossed to be read a third time : No. 116. House bill incorporating Pamplin city, Virginia.

No. 215. House_bill to authorize the vestry of Grace Protestant Episcopal Church, Lexington, to borrow money.

No. 223. House bill to amend first section of an act approved March 29, 1871, concerning the town of Columbia, Fluvanna county.

No. 227. House bill to amend the first, third and fourth sections of the charter of the town of Ashland.

No. 103. House engrossed joint resolution asking the government of the United States for public lands, to be devoted to public free schools, was,

On motion of Mr. Williams, taken up out of its order on the calendar. The joint resolution was read a third time and agreed to.

Mr. Williams moved a reconsideration of the vote by which the joint resolution was agreed to, which was rejected.

The hour of one o'clock P. M. having arrived, special orderNo. 61. House bill in relation to the interest on money, came up.

On motion of Mr. Neeley, the special order (house bill No. 61) was postponed until to-morrow.

Special order

No. 105. House bill to amend and re-enact sections 3, 4, 6 and 12 of chapter 154 of the Code of 1873, in relation to the jurisdiction of county courts, again came up.

On motion of Mr. Morris, the house adjourned until to-morrow at 11 o'clock A. M.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4, 1874.

Mr. Marshall Hanger, speaker, in the chair.
Prayer by Rev. Dr. C. H. Read, of the Presbyterian church.
The journal was read by the clerk.
A communication from the senate, by their clerk, was read as follows:

In Senate, March 3, 1874. The senate have rejected house bill entitled An act incorporating the Virginia relief association ; No. 35. And they have passed a bill entitled

An act to provide for a general registration of the voters of the city of Petersburg; No. 6.

In which bill they respectfully request the concurrence of the house of delegates.

No. 6. Senate bill, was read twice and referred to the committee on privileges and elections.

The following senate bills were reported from the committee on finance :

No. 128. Senate bill entitled an act for the relief of the sureties of W. R. Millan, late sheriff of Fairfax county.

No. 66. Senate bill entitled an act for the relief of George W. Eldridge, R. C. Motley and George W. Johnston, securities of John A. Graves, late collector of Giles township, in the county of Amelia.

No. 127. Senate bill entitled an act for the relief of the sureties of Charles Short, late sheriff of Culpeper county.

The following senate bills were reported from the committee on schools and colleges :

No. 181. Senate bill entitled an act to provide for aiding in the erection of additional buildings for the Virginia agricultural and mechanical college.

No. 138. Senate bill entitled an act to amend the charter of Randolph Macon college, with an amendment in the nature of a substitute.

No. 99. Senate bill entitled an act to authorize the school trustees of Stonewall township, in the county of Richmond, out of the dog tax of 1872, to build one or more school houses in said township, with an amendment.

No. 253. House bill to amend and re-enact the 13th and 59th sections of chapter 78 of the Code of 1873, in relation to public free schools, reported from the committee on schools and colleges, with a recommendation that it do not pass, was read a first time.

No. 254. House bill for the preservation of oysters, and to obtain revenue for the privilege of taking them within the waters of the Commonwealth, reported from the committee on Chesapeake and its tributaries, was read a first time.

No. 255. House bill to destroy the Canada thistle, reported from the committee on agriculture and mining, with a recommendation that it do not pass, was read a first time,

No. 256. House bill to amend and re-enact the 9th section of chapter 40 of the Code of 1873, relative to service of executions in cases for the Commonwealth, reported from the committee for courts of justice, was read a first time.

No. 257. House bill for the relief of the township collector of Caroline county, reported from the committee on finance, was read a first time.

The following reports were agreed to :

The committee on schools and colleges have had under consideration a resolution as to the expediency of instructing our representatives in congress to urge the passage of a bill now pending before congress “to establish an educational fund, and to apply the proceeds of the public lands to the education of the people," and report that substantially the object of the resolution has been attained by joint resolution No. 103, which has passed the house, and they therefore ask to be discharged from its further consideration.

The committee on finance having under consideration petitions from citizens of Fauquier, Culpeper, Amelia, Roanoke, Isle of Wight, Montgomery, Page, Floyd and Madison counties, praying for an increase of the fees of sheriffs, report that it is inexpedient to grant the prayer of the petitioners, and ask to be relieved from their further consideration.

Leave of absence was granted Messrs. Foster and Stovall three days each.

Mr. Graves offered the following resolution :

Resolved, That on and after Monday next the chair be vacated at half-past two o'clock P. M., and resumed again at half-past seven o'clock P. M.

Which was rejected.
Mr. Massey offered the following resolution :

Resolved, That no new business shall be introduced into the house of delegates after the 15th of the present month.

The house referred the resolution to the committee on rules.
Mr. McMullan offered the following joint resolution:

Resolved (the senate concurring), That the joint investigating committee on the late defalcation be instructed to inquire and report what amounts, and kind of bonds, issued under the provisions of an act to provide for the funding and payment of the public debt, approved March 30, 1871, have been exchanged for each other, and what disposition has been made of the bonds for which others, if any, have been issued in exchange, and whether or ņot said bonds and coupons attached (if any are coupon bonds) have been so defaced or cancelled as to protect the State against fraud in any event.

The house refused to refer the joint resolution to a committee.
The joint resolution was agreed to.

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