Saturday, February 12, 1876.
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, February 11, 1876.
The Senate have passed House bills entitled an act to incorporate the Free Will benevolent and cemetery society of Front Royal, in Warren county, No. 38; an act to protect fish in the north branch of Shenandoah river, No. 42; an act to authorize the trustees of the Third street (African) Methodist Episcopal church to borrow money and execute a deed of trust to secure the payment of the same, No. 43; an act to incorporate the Broad creek tollbridge and turnpike road company, No. 94; and an act for the relief of the sureties of J. B. Galliday, of Shenandoah county, No. 151.
They have passed Senate bill entitled an act to amend an act entitled an act approved February 18, 1875, to amend the 9th section
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of the act approved March 27, 1874, entitled an act to prescribe the times of holding the terms of the circuit courts of this commonwealth, and to repeal the 15th section of the 155th chapter of the Code of 1873 , which authorizes the judges of said courts to fix said terms, No. 138′; in which they respectfully request the concurrence of the House of Delegates.
No. 138. Senate bill was read twice, and placed on the calendar, the rule having been suspended, on motion of Mr. Taliaferro of Gloucester, requiring its reference to a committee.
No. 84. Senate bill entitled an act to amend and re-enact section 26, chapter 38 of the Code of 1873, in relation to delinquent lands, was reported from the committee on finance, with amendments.
No. 186. House bill to amend and re-enact the 4th section of an act entitled an act for the protection of sheep in the country of Rockingham, approved March 15, 1875, reported from the committee on agriculture and mining, was read a first time.
The following House bills, reported from the committee for courts of justice, were read a first time:
No. 187. House bill to amend the 15th section of the act approved March 27, 1874, entitled an act to prescribe the times for holding the circuit courts, &c.
No. 188. House bill to amend and re-enact an act approved March 26, 1875m entitled an act to amend and re-enact section 14 of an act to fix the terms of the circuit courts.
No. 189. House bill to amend the charter of the town of Edinburg, reported from the committee on counties, cities and towns, was read a first time.
Mr. Wall offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That when the House adjourns this day, it will adjourn to meet on Monday next, and each day thereafter, at eleven o’clock.
The House refused to refer the resolution to a committee.
The resolution was agreed to—yeas 74; nays 19.
On motion of Mr. Curlett, the vote was recorded as follows:
Yeas—Messrs. Speaker, Allen, Armstrong, Arthur, Bogart, Henry Cox, Richard H. Cox, Craig, Critz, Crockett, Curlett, Dabbs, Dalton, Davidson, Dunn, Dyer, Flood, Gibson, Gray, Greer, Hale, Hamilton, Howard, Hubard, Johnston, , Kerrick, Kindrick, Lamkin, Leech, Letcher, , Lipscomb, Lovell, Massey, McDannald, McElroy, McMullan, Page, Pierson, Powell, Rains, Ruffin, Scruggs, Sheftey, Sibert, Simpson, Henry E. Smith, James W. Smith, William Smith, Stovall, Strayer, Stuart, W. T. Taliaferro, Terrell, Wall, Wallace, Charles U. Williams, P. B. Williams, Witcher, Withers, and Wooldridge—74., Bristow, Broadus, Brooks, Burks, John A. Carter, Peter J. Carter, Cecil, A. I. Clarke, Clay, Coale, ,
Nays—Messrs. Bohannon, Coghill, Comadore, Crump, Davis, Gordon, Hoenniger,, Lemmon, Matthew, Neely, Paul, , Price, Purcell, Scott, Swann, William B. Taliaferro, and Talley—19.
Mr. Curlett moved to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was agreed to; which motion was rejected.
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Mr. Hamilton, under a suspension of the rule, presented a petition of citizens of Richmond, asking that the charter of the Southern association be abrogated; which was referred to the committee on propositions and grievances.
Mr. Simpson, under a suspension of the rule, presented a petition of citizens of Alexandria, asking the repeal of the charter of the Southern association for the benefit of the widows and orphans; which was referred to the committee on propositions and grievances.
Leave of absence was granted Messrs. Fiske three days, and Starke five days.
Mr. Williams of Richmond city, stated that on the question of agreeing to the minority report of the committee of privileges and elections, in the contested election case of Murphy against Walker, he would have voted in the affirmative, but had paired off with Mr. Barnes.
The motion entered by Mr. Davis, to reconsider the vote by which the report of the committee of privileges and elections, in the contested election case of Friend against Giddings, was agreed to, came up.
Mr. Davis moved to pass by the motion to reconsider; which was rejected.
The motion to reconsider was rejected.
The report of the committee of privileges and elections, in the contested election case ofagainst Page, from the county of Prince George, came up.
The report of the committee is as follows:
The committee having disagreed as to the proper disposition of this case, the undersigned respectfully submit the following majority report:
The legality of the election is objected to by contestant, because 418 votes at Sherman’s cross-roads, in Bland election district, were not counted, certified and returned by the judges and clerks, as required by law; because they did not ascertain and return the number of votes for each party; and because, as he claims, more than 300 of the 418 votes were for him, and that his majority in the county was at least 144 votes.
He claims that the ballots deposited in the clerk’s office be opened and counted, and the number for each thus ascertained.
Mr. Page, in his answer and notice, denies that the return of the judges and clerks of Bland election district is illegal, and that they could have ascertained the number of votes for each candidate. He denies that 300 of the 418 votes were for contestant, or that he had a majority of 182 votes, or that he had any majority of the whole vote in the county.
He charges that there was no legal election in that district; that John H. Walker, a half-brother of Gilliam, was one of the judges,
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and was not qualified to act as a judge, because he did not then reside in the district, and was not a qualified voter therein. He further charges, that a colored voter was whipped by the voters of his own color at or near the voting place on the day of election, for having failed to get his transfer to vote the republican ticket, and that his bloody person was exhibited to the voters at the voting place, and that gross intimidation and undue influence were exercised to control votes in favor of contestant.
The judges and clerks of election of Bland district certify that the number of electors at the election there was 418.
They do no certify nor return for whom the 418 votes were cast, nor how many of those votes were for Gilliam, and how many were for Page. It was their duty “to proceed to count and ascertain the number of votes cast for each person voted for,” before the ballots were strung. They make this extraordinary certificate: that after counting the ballots, it was ascertained that there was an excess of six ballots; that the ballots were then unstrung and put in the box, and one of the judges blindfolded and the six drawn out; and then, upon a recount, it was found there were four short, and that it was impossible to make any correct return. This certificate was signed by Wm. D. Temple and the two other judges, and by Wm. Taylor, Jr., and, clerks. It does not appear in evidence how this confusion in the count was produced; whether by some manipulation of the ballots, as they were unstrung, or after they were unstrung, or by some legerdemain during the recounts, about which there is an unexplained mystery, or whether it resulted form the haste, negligence, or want of skill of the judges and clerks. But the undersigned cannot concur with those officers that it was impossible for them to ascertain for whom the votes were given, or to make any correct return.
They in effect make no return, except as to the number of votes cast. The county board of canvassers could not count the vote for either candidate, nor have the return amended. There being no return, and those whose duty it was to make the return having officially declared that it was impossible for them to make any correct return, it was idle to summon them to correct the return, or to make a correct return. They could not correct a return without falsifying their own certificate under the oath of office, when their return is that it was impossible for them to make any correct return.
The county board, therefore, could only count the votes of precincts returned to them, and could not count for either party the 418 votes, when they were not informed for whom they were given, and were told by those from whom alone they could get the information, that it was impossible for them to ascertain that fact, or to make any correct return. It does not appear that either party asked to have the judges and clerks summoned either to correct their return or to make a new return. The county board and state board of canvassers could not do otherwise than to give the certificate of election to Mr. Page.
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Having the certificate of the secretary of the commonwealth to his election as a member of this House, he has a prima facie right to the seat which he occupies. To overthrow that right, and to oust him from its enjoyment, a superior right in the contestant must be shown. This may be done by proof that the contestant had the majority of the legal votes in the county. It is not enough for him to show that 418, or any number of votes, were cast at the voting place named, and that they were not counted for either party; but the burthen of proof is on him to show how many of those votes were for him, and how many for Mr. Page, and that if they had been returned and counted they would have given him the majority of the votes in the county. The evidence to establish such facts ought to be clear, and not doubtful. It must be admissible, competent, and credible. It should be of such force as to overthrow the legal effect of the certificate of the judges and clerks, the action of the county and state board of canvassers, and the certificate of the secretary of the commonwealth, which invest the incumbent with a right not merely prima facie, but absolute, till successfully disproved.
There can be no doubt that the ballots themselves, if produced, would have been the best evidence of the number of votes for each party. They could only be impeached by proof, direct or circumstantial, that they had been tampered with, or did not agree with the actual count made by the judges and clerks. They were delivered, sealed, to the clerk of the county court of Prince George, and were deposited in the clerk’s office. The clerk was examined by the contestant as to the election districts in the county, the pollbooks from each voting place, including Bland, the returns, &c., all of which he produces, and of which he furnishes copies. This examination commenced on the 16th, and was continued and adjourned till the 18th of November, when he was asked by contestant’s counsel this question:
“Have you now in this room, in your possession and custody, as clerk of the county court of Prince George, the original, genuine, sealed package, containing the ballots cast and deposited at the voting precinct called Sherman’s cross-roads, in Bland magisterial district, at the election November 2d, 1875, in the same shape, form and condition in which said ballots were returned and delivered to you by one of the judges of election form said magisterial district?”
He answers: “I can’t find them where I put them, and don’t know that they are here.”
He proves that the package was delivered to him. He is asked: “Where is that sealed package now?” He answers: “I don’t know.” He is then asked: “Please search your office diligently, now, in the presence of the notary, and find said sealed package, if you can.” [A recess was then allowed for dinner, and to allow the clerk to search his office.] He answers: “I have diligently searched my office, and cannot find the package of ballots referred to.” He
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proves that he has the ballots from all the other voting places, and that he put the missing package with the others, in a wooden safe in his office, and does not know what has become the package, unless taken from his office on court days by some person unknown, and supposes the ballots have been stolen or taken away. A most protracted examination of the clerk was made from the 16th till the 18th of November, without any light being shed upon the fate of the package, or who took it.
At the close of the deposition of John Lane, the clerk, the notary who took it made this memorandum: “The depositions for the contestant are hereby closed.” This follows the signature of the witness, and precedes the formal certificate of the notary. (p.31.)
The notice to Mr. Page is, that on the 16th of November, 1875, at the clerk’s office of Prince George county, contestant will take the depositions of Wm. D. Temple, John H. Walker, J. M. Birchett, Wm. Taylor, Jr., and John Lane and others; and if from any cause, not commenced or concluded on the 16th, will be adjourned and continued from day to day until completed. He failed to take the depositions of any of the judges and clerks of Bland election district, but, if the endorsement of the notary has any significance, it means what it says, that “the depositions for the contestant are hereby closed.”
On the same day (the 18th) the contestee also finished taking depositions on his part, and the notary notes at the end of the depositions, in like manner, “the depositions for the contestee are hereby closed. (p.41.)
Both parties then, within the twenty days allowed by law, finished and closed the taking of their depositions respectively, and it must be inferred, in the absence of proof to the contrary, that they so announced, else, why did the notary thus close them?
Up to this time no witness proves, or is offered to prove, for whom the 418 votes were given, nor who received the majority of those votes.
Yet, on the 20th of November, 1875, two days after the depositions were thus closed by both parties, a notice was served by Gilliam on Page to take depositions of E. D. Bland and others, in the city of Richmond, on the 22d day of November, 1875.
E. D. Bland was one of the clerks at Bland, was a resident of Prince George, and went to Richmond to give his deposition. It was there taken on the 22d of November. (pp. 14 to 19.)
Is the deposition not taken in the county of Prince George, where parties and witness resided; and where it could have been taken under the notice?
Why did he go from Prince George to Richmond to testify?
Why was the last day upon which depositions could be taken, fixed at a place when and where it was impossible to take testimony to impeach or contradict him?
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The record furnishes no reason for, or explanation of this extraordinary course of proceeding.
The closing of the testimony, the failure to take the deposition so that the contestee might attend and take countervailing evidence, the impossibility of disproving or rebutting the evidence, and the insufficiency of the notice, well warrant the conclusion that the deposition is inadmissible. It is, therefore, excluded.
If admitted, what weight is it entitled to?
The witness is not impeached as to character; nor could it be when so taken, away from where he lived and was known, and at a time when no more evidence could be taken by law. What does he prove? In substance that he kept a tally—that his count did not tally with the judges’ and other clerks’ count—that William Taylor, Jr., also kept a count and tally, but he does not know how it corresponded with his—that William D. Temple also kept a tally, which differed from his as to the number of ballots, but he don’t know exactly how much, he thought it was three or four, and knows it was not as much as twenty—and that by his tally Gilliam had 320 and Page 106 ballots.
If this be true, why did he sign the certificate? Why did contestant’s half-brother Walker, appointed judge at his request; and why did William Taylor, Jr., and E. D. Temple, who also kept a tally, according to this statement, sign such a certificate? He is confronted by his own certificate, and that of all the judges, as well as the other clerk, that it was impossible for them to make any correct return. His deposition, moreover, fully contradicts the figures and the facts so deposed to by him as to the number of votes for each, showing that Gilliam got much the largest number of votes, to wit, a majority of 176, when contestant only claims 144 of a majority in the county. He repeats in his deposition, facts stated in the certificate as to counts, re-counts and mis-counts of the ballots, and ten says upon his oath, “thus making it impossible for us to tell who it was that got the highest number of votes.” If it was impossible for them to tell on the day of the election who it was that got the highest number of votes, how was it possible for him to tell twenty days afterwards who it was that got the highest number of votes, and especially to state, with the semblance of mathematical precision, the numbers within a few votes, got by each, and the precise numbers got by each, according to his tally. His evidence is invalidated by his certificate, by his own contradictory statements, and by the certificates of all the judges, and of the other clerk.
Without his evidence is received and credited, and invested with force to overthrow the official statement of three judges and two clerks, himself being one of the clerks, and to overthrow the prima facie right of the contestee, as well as the presumption of law that official acts are correct, until proved to be erroneous, we have no evidence whatever to justify the assumption that Gilliam was prejudiced, and that Page was benefitted, by the exclusion of the votes of Bland, or by the larceny or loss of the ballots from that district.
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The contestant imputes the suppression of these ballots to Mr. Page’s friends. Of this there is no proof whatever. There is no more evidence that the package was taken and suppressed by one party than the other, nor does it appear how or by whom it was abstracted. The last time the clerk saw it, was on the day the commissioners of election met in his office. It cannot be presumed that the clerk acted in the interest of the conservative party, and connived at the abstraction of the ballots, for it is proved by his deputy (p. 40), that he was elected in May last as a republican. Nor can the deputy be supposed to have been in complicity with either party, for his says on oath “I do not belong to either party.” Nor can it be inferred from the action of the judges and clerks of election at Bland, that they gave the certificate in the interest of Mr. Page, and to the prejudice of the contestant, for Walker was the half-brother of Gilliam, appointed at his instance as judge, and E. D. Bland, one of the clerks and the witness, on cross-examination by counsel for contestee, says, “I belong to the republican radical party.”
It is to be deprecated that such issues should be alluded to, even in an election contest. It is only alluded to here as a part of the facts, to repel a grave charge, affecting it may be, if not repelled, the character of a reputable member of this House, more vitally than an ordinary legal contest for a seat in it would involve.
There is no charge by either part of any fraud or corruption on the part of the officers of election in awarding the seat to Mann Page; but it is insisted that the certificate on its face shows fraud, or neglect of official duty on the part of the judges and clerks of Bland election district, so gross as to destroy the integrity of their returns. If that be so, the effect is to exclude that poll.
The rule is, that the power to reject an entire poll is a dangerous power, but “it belongs to whatever tribunal has jurisdiction to pass upon the merits of a contested election case.” It should be exercised only in “a case where it is impossible to ascertain with reasonable certainty the true vote.” How is it possible to ascertain now, with reasonable certainty, the true vote at Bland district? The judges do not ascertain it; the evidence, admissible and credible, does not ascertain it. McCrary, S. 302.
Again, it is laid down as a rule, that while a mere irregularity which does not affect the result will not vitiate the return, yet where the provisions of the election law have been entirely disregarded by the election officers, and their conduct has been such as to render their returns utterly unworthy of credit, the entire poll must be rejected. “It does not follow that the legal votes cast at such poll must be lost. They may be proven by secondary evidence, (the return being, until impeached, the primary evidence,) and when thus proven, may be counted.” McCrary, S. 302. In this case they are not proven, and cannot therefore be counted, even if the return be held to prove nothing.
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Again, the rule is stated thus, (Sec. 305 of McCrary): “Although the fact that the officers of an election were not sworn, will not of itself, and in the absence of fraud, render the election null and void, yet if fraud be proven, or it appear that such officers have willfully disobeyed the law or disregarded their duty, the fact that they were not sworn may become an important fact in determining whether or not the poll shall be entirely rejected.”
In this case, the judges and clerks were not sworn; one of the judges, Walker, was not qualified, resided in another district, was brought there by Gilliam, or came there, and illegally voted there, and in flagrant violation of law was appointed by one judge at the request of Gilliam, to act as a judge; and whilst neither one nor all of these violations of law may be sufficient to annul the vote at that precint, they may have much weight where the poll of that precinct has in effect been rejected, in sustaining that result. What effect this appointment of an important judge may have had upon the number of ballots in the box, and upon the number for each party, or upon the confusion in the count, or what motives on either side may have impelled any man to take and suppress the ballots, may never come to light. If there were frauds, as charged, they may pollute the vote at that precinct, but should not affect the fair elections at other precincts.
If fraud and force both prevailed at this precinct, it is not likely that the ballots were free from taint, or that the election there was altogether legal. When a colored voter was held and cruelly lashed by three colored voters for not being qualified by transfer to vote with them, and when the facts were known, and the lacerated back and bloody clothes of the person beaten, were exhibited publicly in that mixed crowd of 418 voters, how free were they to vote as freemen or as freedmen? It was a brutal outrage, calculated to intimidate voters, to deter them from voting their choice, and to prevent a free and fair election. The bloody shirt was the red flag of this banner precinct, which is so to commend it to the favorable consideration of this House as to seat its supposed favorite, by virtue of the imputed fraud of its judges, and to defeat the choice of all the other voting districts, to whose judges and people no fraud or outrage is imputed, but who have freely, fairly and legally elected and returned the sitting member.
Such a result does not seem to be just, and in our view of the law and the facts, the contestant has failed to establish a right to the seat occupied by the contestee.
We recommend the adoption of the following resolution:
Resolved, That Mann Page, the sitting member, is entitled to the seat occupied by him in the House of Delegates.
James W. Sheffey, Chairman.
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The minority report is as follows:
In the contested election case of Gilliam vs. Page, for the seat a delegate from the county of Prince George, the undersigned, members of the committee of privileges and elections, feel constrained to dissent from the report of the majority of said committee.
From the record in the case, it appears that the whole vote cast in the county of Prince George at the election held November 2d, 1875, for a delegate to represent that county in the general assembly, was—
At the only precinct in Templeton district, 254
” ” ” Rives’ ” 299
” ” ” Blackwater ” 175
” ” ” Brandon ” 253
” ” ” Bland ” 418
Total vote, 1399
There is no question as to the vote in any of these precincts, except the last.
The aggregate vote of the first four, was 981
Of which Mann Page received 509
William Gilliam received 471
L. L. Lee received 1
The case turns, therefore, upon the action of the House in reference to the vote at Sherman’s Cross-roads, Bland district.
At this precinct it appears that 418 votes were cast, but does not appear with certainty whether the whole or any part of that number were for the contestant or contestee. It is true that it is attempted to be shown by the deposition of E. D. Bland that the contestant received 320 of the 418; but whether the said deposition be excluded from the consideration of the House upon the ground that the same was not taken upon reasonable notice, or whether it be disbelieved, the correctness of our opinion that the record does not disclose with certainty for whom said votes were cast will be sustained. If that deposition be not excluded, and evidence be given thereto, then the contestant has proved that he received a large majority of the votes of the county.
The omission in the record, above alluded to, is the result of the malfeasance or misfeasance of the officers of the commonwealth, whereby nearly one-third of the voters of the county were disfranchised, so far as they were concerned, in that election.
The judges and clerks of the precinct in question, certify the whole number of votes cast to have been 418; that after opening
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and counting the ballots it was ascertained that there was an excess of six; that the ballots were then unstrung and put in the box, and one of the judges blindfolded and the six drawn out; that then, upon a recount, it was found there were four short. Upon this, they say, it was impossible to make any correct return. After the election the poll-book and ballots were sent to the clerk of the county, as the law directs, for safe keeping; but so negligent was he of his duty in that behalf, that some unknown party took the ballots of this precinct away, and they have not as yet been found, while the ballots from the other precincts fo the county, which were deposited in the same place with them, were not disturbed.
In our opinion this is not a mere question between the contestant and contestee, but involves the right of the people of Prince George to representation, and it is important to enquire whether the gross irregularities upon the part of public officers at this precinct, is to be allowed to disfranchise for the time nearly one third of the voters of the county, or whether another opportunity shall be given the people for the expression of their will. If this House will show its condemnation in a decided manner, all efforts by whosoever made to destroy or impair the purity of elections, and will send back every case such as this for a new election, to be held at the expense of the county, the people will see to it in a short time that such evils are corrected.
We recommend as a substitute for the resolution reported by the majority of the committee, the adoption of the following:
Resolved, That there was no valid election held in the county of Prince George on the 2d of November, 1875, for a delegate to represent that county in this House; that Mann Page is not entitled to his seat in this House as a delegate from said county; and that the Speaker issue a writ for an election to be held in said county, upon the day of February, 1876, for a delegate to represent said county in the House of Delegates of Virginia.
Chas. U. Williams,
John T. Lovell,
Wm. F. Gordon.
On motion of Mr. Matthew, the resolution contained in the minority report was amended by striking out “and that the Speaker issue a writ for an election, to be held in said county in the House of Delegates of Virginia.”
The question being on agreeing to the minority report, was put, and decided in the negative—yeas 29; nays 63.
On motion of Mr. Ruffin, the vote was recorded as follows:
Yeas—Messrs. Allen, Branch, Bristow, Peter J. Carter, Coghill, Connor, Henry Cox, Curlett, Dabbs, Dooley, Flood, Gordon, Hamilton, Johnston, Jones, Lamkin, Lemmon,
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Lipscomb, Lovell, Massey, Pierson, Poindexter, Scott, Scruggs, Stovall, Stuart, William B. Taliaferro, Whitaker, and Charles U. Williams—29.
Nays—Messrs. Speaker, Armstrong, Arthur, Barham, Bogart, Bohannon, Broaddus, Brooks, Burks, Carpenter, John A. Carter, A. I. Clarke, George T. Clarke, Clay, Coale, Richard H. Cox, Craig, Critz, Crockett, Crump, Dalton, Davidson, Davis, Dunn, Dyer, Gibson, Gilman, Greer, Hale, Hoenniger, Howard, Hubard, Jordan, Kerrick, Kindrick, Lacy, Leech, Letcher, Lewis, Matthew, McCaull, McDannald, McElroy, McMullan, Paul, Powell, Purcell, Rains, Ruffin, Sheffey, Sibert, Henry E. Smith, James W. Smith, William Smith, Strayer, Swann, W. T. Taliaferro, Talley, Wall, P. B. Williams, Witcher, Withers, and Wooldridge—68.
Mr. Matthew moved to reconsider the vote by which the minority report was rejected; which motion was rejected.
The question being on agreeing to the report of the committee, was put, and decided in the affirmative.
Mr. Carter of Northampton , moved to reconsider the vote by which the report of the committee was agreed to; which motion was rejected.
The following report was presented:
The committee on enrolled bills have the honor to report the following bills, approved by the governor February 12, 1876:
An act to amend and re-enact section 16, chapter 128, Code of 1873, as amended by an act approved April 28, 1874.
An act to incorporate the Charlottesville and Rapidan railroad.
An act to amend and re-enact section 30, chapter 190, of the Code of Virginia, edition of 1873, in relation to obstructing justice by threats or force.
An act to incorporate the chamber of commerce of Richmond.
An act to incorporate the Woodland cemetery company.
An act to amend chapter 13, section 23, Code of Virginia, edition of 1873, allowing commission to general agent and storekeeper of the penitentiary.
An act to incorporate the trustees of the Lone Star Lodge No. 1340 of the Grand United Order of Odd-Fellows of the city of Richmond.
An act to incorporate the Aged home association.
An act to authorize the qualified voters of the county of Chesterfield, to vote on the question of removal of the county courthouse.
An act to amend and re-enact section 1 of chapter 96 of the Code of 1873, and to amend and re-enact section 1 of an act in reference to obstructions to highways and hindrances to travelers, approved February 17, 1874.
An act to authorize the recordation, by the register of the land office, of copies of papers recorded in clerks’ offices of the commonwealth.
Sam’l A. Swann,
Chairman House Committee
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The following was presented and referred under rule 37:
By Mr. Williams of Richmond city:
Resolved, That the committee on finance be instructed to enquire into the expediency of relieving and releasing the Richmond male orphan society, the Female humane association of the city of Richmond, and St. Paul’s church home of the the city of Richmond, from the payment of the collateral inheritance tax on legacies received under the will of William Barrett and others.
The hour of 1 o’clock P. M. having arrived, special order,
No. 51. House bill providing for the extension of the James river and Kanawha canal to a point at or near Clifton Forge, came up.
On motion of Mr. Powell, the special order was postponed until Tuesday next.
Special order, No. 62. House engrossed bill to appropriate a certain sum annually to the University of Virginia , came up.
On motion of Mr. Dunn, the special order was postponed until Wednesday next.
Special order, No. 58. House bill to create a special court of appeals, came up.
On motion of Mr. Powell, the special order was postponed until Monday next.
Special order, Senate joint resolutions agreeing to amendments to the constitution of Virginia, in reference to the elective franchise and qualifications for office, and concerning the legislative department, came up.
Mr. Curlett moved to postpone the special order until Thursday next.
On motion of Mr. Powell, the House adjourned until Monday morning next at 11 o’clock A. M.