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Governments have perished, and the inhabitants exhibit a state of decrepitude and wretchedness, which is frightful to those who visit them.
On the subject of order, and the method of proceeding, I need not say any thing to this Assembly. The importance of the call, and the manner of election, give ample assurance that no danger need be apprehended on that subject. Our fellow-citizens, in the elections they have made, have looked to the great cause at issue, and selected those whom they thought most competent to its duties. They have not devoted themselves to individuals, but have regarded principle, and sought to secure it. In this I see strong ground to confide in the stability and success of our system. It inspires me with equal confidence that the result of your labors will correspond with their most sanguine hopes.
Mr. Gordon then moved that the Convention proceed to the election of a Clerk, and nominated Mr. Spottswood Garland of Nelson, as suitable candidate.
Mr. B. W. Leigh proposed the name of Mr. George W. Munford of this City, Clerk of the House of Delegates.
Mr. Doddridge, that of Erasmus Stribbling of Augusta.
Mr. Green, that of David J. Briggs; and
Mr. Stanard, that of Thomas B. Barton.
These nominations were accompanied with recommendatory remarks, and in some cases with documentary testimony in favor of the respective candidates.
The Convention then proceeded to ballot; and a Committee, consisting of the gentlemen who had nominated the candidates, having been appointed to count the votes, Mr. Gordon of that Committee, reported them as follows:
For Mr. Munford,
The entire number of ballots put into the box having been 86, and consequently 44 being requisite to a choice, it appeared that neither of the candidates had been elected.
Mr. Doddridge observed, that according to the rule of the House of Delegates, the lowest on the ballot is dropped on the next ballot.
The result of a second ballot was as follows:
For Mr. Munford,
89 ballots were given in, and 45 being necessary to a choice, Mr. George W. Munford was declared to be duly elected, having received that number precisely.
Mr. Doddridge now stated that at a former Convention, the rules of the House of Delegates had been adopted, so far as they would apply, to regulate the proceedings: in conformity with that precedent, he then proposed the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Rules of the late House of Delegates be adopted by this Convention, as rules to govern its proceedings and deliberations, so far as they apply.
The resolution was adopted.
On motion of Mr. M'Coy, the Convention then proceeded to elect a Serjeant at Arms.
Mr. Powell nominated as a suitable person for that situation Mr. William Randolph of Frederick county.
Mr. Cabell nominated Col. James Sawyers of Pittsylvania.
Mr. Samuel Taylor proposed Mr. Wade Mosby of Powhatan.
For William Randolph,
66 James Sawyers,
David M. Randolph,
Samuel J. Winston,
Mr. Garnett nominated Mr. David Meade Randolph.
Mr. Morris nominated Mr. Samuel Jordan Winston; and
Mr. Campbell proposed the name of Peter Francisco.
The ballot being taken, the result was reported by Mr. Powell, from the Committee appointed to examine the ballots, as follows:
The entire number of ballots having been 89, and 45 requisite for a choice, there was of course, no election by this ballot.
A second trial was equally unsuccessful, the votes standing as follows:
For William Randolph,
David M. Randolph, Samuel J. Winston, "Peter Francisco,
A third ballot being taken, the issue was as follows:
For William Randolph,
66 James Sawyers,
District of Amelia, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Nottoway, Powhatan, and Town of Petersburg,
Samuel J. Winston,
So William Randolph was duly elected Serjeant at Arms.
On motion of Mr. Clopton, the following resolution was then adopted:
Resolved, That the Reporters for the Newspapers in the town of Richmond, be admitted to seats for the purpose of taking notes of the proceedings of the Con
The Roll of the House was called, and the following was the result:
A LIST OF DELEGATES TO THE CONVENTION.
District of the City of Williamsburg,
William H. Brodnax, of Dinwiddie,
District of Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Lu- George C. Dromgoole, of Brunswick,
District of Sussex, Surry, Southampton,
(John W. Jones, of Chesterfield,
Peachy Harrison, of Rockingham,
District of Shenandoah and Rockingham, William Anderson, of Shenandoah,
District of Spottsylvania, Louisa,
(J. Marshall, (C. J. U. S.) of Richmond City,
[Briscoe G. Baldwin, of Augusta,
District of Augusta, Rockbridge and Pen-) Chapman Johnson, of Augusta,
Andrew Beirne, of Monroe,
District of Monroe, Greenbrier, Bath, Bo-
James Trezvant, of Southampton,
John Randolph, of Charlotte,
District of Charlotte, Halifax and Prince William Leigh, of Halifax,
Richard N. Venable, of Prince Edward.
James Madison, (Ex-P.) of Orange,
District of Loudoun and Fairfax,
District of Frederick and fferson,
William Naylor, of Hampshire,
District of Hampshire, Hardy, Berkeley William Donaldson, of Hampshire,
District of King William, King and
John B. George, of Tazewell,
District of Washington, Lee, Scott, Rus- Andrew M Millan, of Lee,
District of Kanawha, Mason, Cabell,
District of Ohio, Tyler, Brooke, Monongalia and Preston,
James Monroe, (Ex-P.) of Loudoun,
Gordon Cloyd, of Montgomery,
District of Wythe, Montgomery, Grayson Henley Chapman, of Gilles,
John P. Mathews, of Wythe,
District of Fauquier and Culpeper,
John R. Cooke, of Frederick,
District of Norfolk, Princess Anne, Nansemond and Borough of Norfolk,
(John Roane, of King William,
District of King George, Westmoreland,
Edwin S. Duncan, of Harrison,
Philip Doddridge, of Brooke,
John S. Barbour, of Culpeper,
Littleton W. Tazewell, of Norfolk Borough,
William Campbell, of Bedford,
District of Campbell, Buckingham and Samuel Claytor, of Campbell,
George Townes, of
District of Franklin, Patrick, Henry and Benj. W. S. Cabell, of Pittsylvania,
James Pleasants, of Goochland,
District of Albemarle, Amherst, Nelson, William F. Gordon, of Albemarle,
William A. G. Dade, of Prince William,
District of Matthews, Middleser, Acco-
Thomas R. Joynes, of Accomack,
All the above members were present, and answered to their names, with the following exceptions:
Absentees-William B. Giles, from the First District; David Watson, from the Ninth District, who has notified the Executive of his inability to serve; Callohill Mennis, from the Twentieth District; William A. G. Dade, from the Twenty-third District, (and who, it is believed, will resign, in consequence of indisposition); Ellyson Currie, from the Twenty-third District, dead; and Calvin H. Read, from the Twentyfourth District (sick.)
Mr. Doddridge then offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Secretary of this Convention, be authorised and required to provide the same with stationery, and that he do also contract for, and superintend all such public printing as shall be ordered by this Convention, on the most beneficial terms for the Commonwealth in his power.
In advocating the adoption of this resolution, Mr. Doddridge observed, that he had been induced to offer it to the Convention, by a desire to avoid the occurrence of any thing like strife or party collisions, so apt to be excited whenever the public printing of deliberative bodies was given by resolution or election to a particular individual. He understood that the public printing of Congress had, for many years, been confided to the management of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, and if he had been rightly informed, it was done as well, and as much to the satisfaction of the members, as it had been since the mode had been changed and a public printer appointed. He feared, if the Convention should proceed to the election of a printer, its members would be thrown into parties, and an unpleasant contest ensue. This he earnestly wished to avoid: he believed the resolution he had had the honour to propose was calculated to avoid it, and he thought it would be acknowledged to be practical, reasonable and fair in its character.
Mr. Nicholas was opposed to the resolution. He most fully agreed with the member, who had proposed it in deprecating the introduction of party spirit and party collisions into this body. But he did not see why such consequences must follow the election of a printer to the Convention, any more than the election of any other offi He presumed that all the members would vote, in such an election, from the same regard to the public good and the same conviction of the fitness of the candidate proposed, as they would in any other, or as they had in the ballots just taken. He could perceive no necessity whatever of putting out the small amount of printing required by this body to be contracted for. The appointment of a public printer was the standing, permanent usage of this State. There had always been such a printer appointed by her Legislature, as well in the Senate as in the House of Delegates. He could see no motive for a change of that usage in the present case. The public work ought to be done by an officer responsible immediately to the House itself: where was the necessity for any intermediate agency? He was aware of the very respectable character of the Secretary, with whom the resolution proposed to place this trust, nor was it any objection to that officer which induced him to object to the measure; but he wished to avoid any subordinate agency as unnecessary and improper. Let the printer be appointed by the House itself: let him be responsible directly to the House which appointed him. As to the stationery, he took it for granted, that had already been furnished by the Clerk of the House of Delegates: if so, he saw no need of any farther provision on that subject. He was, however, uninformed on this point, being now for the first time a member of a deliberative body. Seeing no good end to be accom. plished by the resolution which had been presented, he was opposed to its adoption: he hoped the House would reject it, and then proceed to appoint such person to execute its printing, as it should deem most fit and competent to that duty.
Mr. M'Coy said, that he also was opposed to the resolution which had been read. He had had some experience on this subject as a member of Congress, and he knew that so long as the public printing of that body had been put out on contract, it had been very badly executed. Constant complaints had arisen, and so greatly had the House of Representatives been dissatisfied, that it had been driven to resort to another mode, and had consequently employed a public printer appointed by law. As to the idea thrown out by his friend on the left (Mr. Doddridge) that the election of such an officer must necessarily excite party feeling, he could not for his part very well imagine why the election of a printer should produce this effect any more than the election of a door-keeper. Mr. M'Coy said, he did not exactly know what was the practice of the State Legislature on the subject of stationery, as it was now many years since he had held a seat there, but he believed it used formerly to be procured by the Clerk. His experience, however, was of long standing, and he did not know what might be the
present practice in the matter; but he hoped what stationery they needed might be procured in the ordinary way.
Mr. Chapman Johnson said, that as there appeared to be some difference of opinion in relation to the resolution before the House, and its further discussion at this time might delay the full organization of the body, he would move that, for the present, it lie upon the table; and he made that motion accordingly.
Mr. Doddridge expressing his assent, the motion was agreed to nem. con.
Mr. Johnson then moved that the Convention proceed to elect two door-keepers; which being agreed to, the following persons were put in nomination: by Mr. Nicholas, Littleberry Allen; by Mr. Pleasants, Ellis Puryear; by Mr. Morris, Anselm Baily and Samuel Ford; by Mr. Tyler, John S. Stubblefield and Henry H. Southall; by Mr. Clopton, Pleasant Pomfrey, Ritchie Ayres, William W. Gray, Julius Martin, Christopher S. Roane, and Thomas Underwood.
The House having ballotted for the appointment of one of its two door-keepers, no choice was made: after a second ballot, Mr. Nicholas, from the Committee appointed to examine the votes, reported that they stood as follows:
For Littleberry Allen,
Christopher S. Roane,
So Littleberry Allen was declared duly elected.
Two ballots were also taken for a second door-keeper, on the ballot of which John S. Stubblefield had 20 votes, and William W. Gray, 55; 42 being the requisite majority, William W. Gray was declared to have been duly elected.
Mr. Wilson then offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Convention will proceed to-morrow, to the election of a Chaplain. In introducing this resolution, Mr. Wilson said, that apart from all higher considerations which belong to the subject, he thought that a decent respect for themselves, as well as for the opinions and feelings of the community, requires of the members the adoption of a resolution of this kind.
Mr. Powell said, that he was by no means opposed to the object of the resolution just read: very far from it: it had, on the contrary, his most hearty approbation: he was, however, opposed to the mode in which the object was proposed to be attained. He thought a better course would be, to request the President of the Convention to present to the Clergy officiating statedly in Richmond, an invitation to serve in rotation as Chaplains to this House. This would obviate all imputation of invidious distinctions as implied in the election of a particular individual. Under this impression, Mr. Powell said he would move that the resolution lie for the present upon the table. He accordingly made the motion, and it was agreed to without opposition.
On motion of Mr. Johnson, the House then adjourned to meet to-morrow at 12 o'clock.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1829.
The President took the chair at a little after 12 o'clock.
Mr. William B. Giles, a Delegate from the First, and Mr. Mennis, a Delegate from the Twentieth Senatorial Districts, appeared and took their seats.
Mr. Doddridge of Brooke county, moved to take up the resolution he had yesterday offered on the subject of the public printing, with a view to its withdrawal. Mr. Doddridge said he was induced to take this course by a fear that his resolution, if pressed, might possibly lead to the very evil (the excitement of party spirit) which he had wished to avoid by its presentation.
The motion prevailing, the resolution was accordingly withdrawn.
Mr. Doddridge then submitted the following resolutions, not, he said, with any view to their being taken up at this time, but hoping that they might be permitted to lie on the table, as, probably, other gentlemen might have prepared resolutions on the same subject, more acceptable to the House.