Richmond Daily Dispatch - 1860-1865
Tuesday, morning...March 21, 1865.
Address of Congress to the people of the Confederate States.
Fellow-Citizens,--The result of the "Peace Commission" is known to the country. The hopes of those who have hitherto believed that an honorable termination might be put to the war by negotiation have been rudely disappointed. The enemy, after drawing us into a conference, abruptly terminated it by insisting upon terms which they well knew we could never accept. Our absolute surrender and submission to the will of the conqueror are the only conditions vouchsafed by our arrogant foe. We are told that if we will lay down our arms, and place our lives, liberty, property and domestic institutions at the fact of President Lincoln, that he will be merciful to us! Upon his clemency we must rely to save us from universal confiscation and extermination! Yes! these are the conditions upon which the people of the sovereign States composing the Confederacy may be allowed to do what? To return into "the Union" from which they solemnly and deliberately withdrew themselves because their interest and their honor required it, and their repugnance to which four years of remorseless and cruel war have served but to intensify! Thanks be to God, who controls and overrules the counsels of men, the haughty insolence of our enemies, which they hoped would intimidate and break the spirit of our people, is producing the very contrary effect! From every part of the country there comes up in response a shout of mingled indignation and defiance!
A noble enthusiasm re-animates our gallant army, who have been battling so long for freedom and independence! Let us all be united now. Let there be no parties or factions among us. Let us rise to the height of the great occasion. Let us all be willing to spend and be spent in the cause of our country. Let us contribute freely all that we have, if need be, to carry on the war until our final triumph is secured. Let us take fraternal counsel together, and calmly consider our condition and prospects. Such a survey, we believe, must tend to re-assure and encourage even the least sanguine. We have, it is true, recently met with serious disasters. Our fortitude is being severely tried. We have suffered much, and must be prepared to suffer more, in the cause for which we are struggling. Is the cause worth the sacrifice? To answer correctly we must constantly keep in mind the end for which we are contending. What is our object in this war? The establishment of our independence, through which alone are to be secured the sovereignty of the States and the right of self-government. What is the alternative? Our subjugation as a people!
Is it possible to over-estimate the horrors of this terrible alternative? Can the imagination over-color the picture which would be presented in the event of our failure? If we fail, not only political degradation, but social humiliation must be our wretched lot. We would not only be political vassals, but social serfs. An enemy that has shown himself destitute of the ordinary sensibilities of human nature, and whose worst passions are embittered and enflamed against us, would assume the absolute control of our political and social destinies. In vain would a proud, though vanquished, people look even for that mercy which the conquered receive from a generous foe. Those "State Rights" which we have been taught to prize so dearly as the greatest bulwarks of Constitutional Liberty, and which, from the earliest period of our history, we have so jealously guarded, would be annihilated.
The Confederate States would be held as conquered provinces by the despotic Government at Washington. They would be kept in subjugation by the stern hand of military power, as Venetian and Lombardy have been held by Austria as Poland is held by the Russian Czar. Not only would we be deprived of every political franchise dear to freemen, but socially we would be degraded to the level of slaves; if, indeed, the refinement of malice in our enemies did not induce them to elevate the negro slave above his former master. Not only would the property and estates of vanquished "rebels" be confiscated, but they would be divided and distributed among our African bondsmen. But why pursue the hideous picture further?--Southern manhood revolts at the bare idea of the spectacle presented. Can you think of it unmoved? Can property can life itself be so dear to you as to allow you to weigh them for one moment against degradation so abject against misery so profound? We do not, and cannot, believe it. If the proud memories and traditions of our first great revolution do not nerve you to eternal resistance to such a consummation nor the example of our forefathers, who wrestled for the independence they bequeathed us during seven long years of suffering greater than we have endured let not the precious blood that has been already shed by our bravest and best in the present struggle cry out to us from our yet reeking soil in vain! Fruitlessly, indeed, have these sons and brothers martyrs of liberty bled and died, if we falter now in the path which they have illumined before us! In the Revolution of '76 our armies and our people suffered far more than we have done. Our cities then were almost all in the hands of the British, and we were entirely cut off from all supplies from abroad, while our facilities for producing them were infinitely less than they now are.
Greene tells us that the battle of Eutaw was won by men who had scarcely shoes to their feet or shirts to their backs. They protected their shoulders from being galled by the bands of their cross-belts, by bunches of moss or tufts of grass. A detachment marching to Greene's assistance passed through a region so swept by both armies that they were compelled to subsist on green peaches as their only diet. There was scarcely any salt for fifteen months, and when obtained, it had to be used sparingly, mixed with hickory ashes. We need but allude to the terrible winter which Washington passed at Valley Forge, with an army unpaid, half starved and half naked, and shoeless, to convince us that much as our own brave soldiers are now enduring, their fathers, for a like cause, endured far more. Washington did not then despair. Lee does not now despair of the final triumph of a righteous cause. Why should we be doubtful much less despondent of our ultimate success?
The extent of our territory the food-producing capacity of our soil the amount and character of our population are elements of strength which, carefully husbanded and wisely employed, are amply sufficient to insure our final triumph. The passage of hostile armies through our country, though productive of cruel suffering to our people and great pecuniary loss, gives the enemy no permanent advantage or foot-hold.
To subjugate a country, its civil government must be suppressed by a continuing military force, or supplanted by another, to which the inhabitants yield a voluntary or enforced obedience. The passage of hostile armies through our territory cannot produce this result.--Permanent garrisons would have to be stationed at a sufficient number of points to strangle all civil government before it could be pretended, even by the United States Government itself, that its authority was extended over these States. How many garrisons would it require? How many hundred thousand soldiers would suffice to suppress the civil governments of all the States of this Confederacy, and to establish over them, even in name and form, the authority of the United States? In a geographical point of view, therefore, it may be asserted that the conquest of these Confederate States is impracticable.
If we consider the food-producing capacity of our soil we need feel no apprehensions as to our ability to feed the people and any army we may put into the field. It is needless to go into detail or adduce statistics in proof of this. It is obvious to every well-informed mind. Although the occupation by the enemy, and his ruthless policy of destroying the harvests, granaries and agricultural implements of our people, wherever he moves, has undoubtedly diminished the amount of our cereals; still, in view of the fact that in every State, without exception, its agricultural labor has been devoted almost exclusively to the raising of breadstuffs, while before the war it was mainly devoted to the production of cotton, tobacco and other exports, it is impossible to doubt that there is an ample supply of food in the country.--It is true that the deportation of our slaves by the enemy, and the barbarous policy of arming them against us,--a policy reprobated by all authorities on ethics or international law,--has considerably diminished our agricultural labor. But when we reflect that, in 1860, our exports almost entirely the products of slave labor amounted to ($250,000,000) two hundred and fifty millions of dollars, it may be safely assumed that our slaves, though reduced in numbers, are fully equal to the task of feeding both the population at home and the army in the field. Our transportation, it is true, is defective and inadequate, but this may be infinitely improved by more energetic efforts and more thorough and systematic organization. We cannot believe, therefore, that on our bountiful soil, so richly blessed by nature, there is any danger of our failing in this great contest for want of food of our being Starved into [ submisssion ] to the hateful yoke of the conqueror!
But if we look to the amount and character of our population, we see especial reason why we should be encouraged to hope for nay, to be assured of our ultimate success. No people of our numbers can be subjugated, unless, false and recreant to themselves, their courage, faith and fortitude fail them.
We have upon our rolls a very large army of veteran soldiers. It is true and it is a sad truth to confess that the number present for duty is terribly disproportion to the entire aggregate. This is too notorious for concealment and we have no desire to conceal anything. We wish to speak frankly and truthfully to you of the actual condition of things. The number of absentees from your armies has been a fruitful cause of disaster. On many a hard fought field the tide of success would have turned overwhelmingly in our favor had a" been present whom duty required to participate in the strife. We will not stop to inquire into the causes of an evil which we have so much reason plore. The remedy is partly in the hands of Congress, and it is our province to apply it. But it is partly, also, in yours; and we appeal to you to use it. Let every good citizen frown down upon, and indignantly discountenance, all evasion of military duty whether temporary or permanent no matter how plausible the pretext or palliating the reason.
No duty, in this crisis of our affairs, can be more imperative than to fight for one's country, family and home. Let no skulker, deserter, or absentee without leave, from the army, be tolerated in any community. Let the reproachful glance of our women, between whose honor and the brutal foe our noble army stands as a flaming sword, drive him back to the field. With proper officers, strict discipline, and an elevated tone of public opinion throughout the country, desertion and absenteeism in the army can be arrested, and all men liable to military duty put into, and kept in, the ranks of our armies. If this be effected, we can maintain in the field a force sufficient to defy subjugation.
But it is in the character of our population, especially, that we find those elements of strength which impress us with the conviction that we never can be conquered. Our people are peculiarly military in their characteristics. Better soldiers than those in our army history has never shown. They have endured extreme hardships and suffering with a fortitude, and fought against constant odds with a gallantry, that has earned the gratitude of their country and extorted the admiration of the world. But, in addition to their military attributes, our people are pre-eminently of a proud and haughty spirit, and deeply imbued with the love of constitutional freedom. It belongs to their race and lineage; and, as Burke long ago remarked, their relation to the servile race in contact with them has intensified the feeling and invested this love of liberty with a sentiment of personal privilege. To suppose that a people with such military, political and social characteristics will ever voluntarily submit to be ruled by any other government than one of their own choice, is too insulting to their pride to be entertained for a moment. And to doubt their capacity to achieve independence and maintain themselves as a separate Power among the nations of the earth, is to close our eyes to all the teachings of history to ignore the proof which our own forefather have stamped upon its pages to believe that human nature has changed, or that we are a degenerate race, unworthy descendants of our revolutionary sires!
The appointment by the President of General Lee as "General-in-Chief" has done much to restore confidence to the country and to reinspire the army. All feel that we may safely repose this weighty trust and responsibility in that great soldier and devoted patriot. All feel that we may lean upon him as our tower of strength. All feel that his calm courage and stead fast purpose, his military skill and wise judgment, will enable him to wield our armies with the maximum efficiency and strength. May God strengthen for the great task to which a confiding people have called him!
To provide means for carrying on the war, Congress has been compelled to impose upon the country a heavy burthen of taxation. But, heavy as it is, it is not too heavy for the country to bear, and not heavier than our wants imperatively demand. It is impossible to maintain the mighty contest in which we are engaged without vast expenditures of money. Money can only be raised by loans or by taxation. Our condition does not enable us to effect the former. We must of necessity, therefore, resort to the latter. We appeal to you with confidence to submit cheerfully to the burthens which the defence of your country, your homes and your liberties renders necessary. To contribute according to his means to that defence is as much an obligation upon the citizen as it is to peril his life upon the battlefield.
Let us, then, fellow countrymen, tread the plain path of duty. No nation that has trod it faithfully and fearlessly ever, in the world's history, has stumbled and fallen. "Nations," says Burke, "never are murdered they commit suicide. "--Let us not be guilty of the folly and the crime of self-destruction. Let us show the fortitude, endurance and courage that belong to our race, and neither the brute force of our enemy's arms, nor the subtle poison of his lips, can extinguish the life of this Confederacy, breathed into it by the sovereign States which created it.
The people of the United States are becoming weary of this war. The foreign material for their armies is beginning to fail them. The mutterings of discontent at the prospect of a further draft upon their home population are beginning to be heard in their great cities.--The prospect of war, indefinitely prolonged, is alarming their capitalists.--Public credit must, sooner or later, collapse under the burthen of expenditures, the magnitude of which the most skillful financier cannot venture to predict. The debt of the United States is already equal to the national debt of England, which has been accumulating since the revolution of 1688. The interest on this debt is six per cent, while the interest on the English debt is only three per cent. It has been composed that the interest on the debt of the United States, together with the amount necessary to carry on its Government (even were the war at an and), would not fall much short of five hundred millions per annum! --a sum affirmed to be greater than the entire annual wealth of the Northern States. While a people, in self-defence, may submit cheerfully to any privations and sufferings to any sacrifices of treasure and of blood there is a limit beyond which a country, waging a war of aggression and conquest, will not go. We cannot stop this war without degradation, ruin, dishonor. Our enemies can have peace at any time by abandoning their wicked attempt at our subjugation, and allowing us to govern ourselves in accordance with those great principles for which their fathers and ours fought side by side.
Considered, therefore, in every point of view, it is impossible to believe that the people of the Confederate States will ever incur subjugation, or accept submission as the result of the great struggle in which we are engaged. Neither is it possible to believe that these States, compelled by long years of unjust and unconstitutional action towards them by the Northern States to withdraw from political union with them, can ever be tempted by any promises, or so- called "guaranties," to again unite themselves with them under a common government. Forced into this revolution by their faithless disregard of the obligations of the constitutional compact, and by the selfish and sectional legislation which they fastened upon us, what, in the course of this war, has occurred to change our opinion as to their character and purposes? The barbarity and unrelenting ferocity which has characterized their conduct of it has excited the indignant wonder of the world. Falsehood, duplicity and mean cunning marked their course in its inauguration and, in its progress, every artifice of low diplomacy and persistent misrepresentation has been resorted to by them to lesson us in the estimation of mankind. Our struggle for the right of self-government which they themselves have always declared to be inalienable has been held up to the world as a contest for the maintenance of African slavery a purely State institution, over which neither the Confederate States Government nor the United States Government has any constitutional control. To prevent foreign nations from according to us that recognition to which we were entitled by public law, and even the very language of existing treaties a recognition which they have themselves accorded to other countries on far more slender grounds they have deliberately falsified accounts of military operations and our capacity and resources for continuing the contest. A war which has been carried on for four years with ever varying fortunes, their Minister of State has again and again assured foreign Powers could not possibly be waged by us for more than two or three months. And, after all their insolent boasts of their power to crush us, they have been compelled to resort to foreign enlistments and the arming of our captured slaves in order to fill up the ranks of their armies. In spite of these practices winked at, if not countenanced, by European Powers they have practically confessed their inability to vanquish us in regular warfare by the inhuman policy of destroying the dwellings, the food and the agricultural implements of our non-combatant population; thus endeavoring, by the starvation of their wives and children, to break the indomitable spirit of our soldiers.
In the invasion of our soil neither private property, nor age, nor sex, has been spared from the rapacity and brutal passions of their mercenary legions.
Wherever they have passed over the surface of our fair land, the blackness of desolation has marked their path; and such barbarous devastation has been their devilish boast. Public records have been destroyed institutions of learning public and private libraries pillaged or burnt, and the temples of God sacrilegiously defiled.
Fellow-countrymen, will you, can you, ever submit to be ruled by such a people? Can you ever join hands with them in fraternal union? Can you, with all these things freshly before you, --daily occurring on your native soil ever return to a political union with these despoilers of your homes these violators of your wives and daughters? Never! A dark crimson stream divides you, which at the skill of legislation can never bridge over. The Southern people have determined to be free and independent, and if their fortitude and courage do not fail them, it is impossible to doubt the issue. But there must be no halting no hesitation in the only path that leads to the goal. We must prove to our enemy, and prove to the world, that we cannot be conquered. We must convince them that, though our soil may be overrun, the faith of our people in the great cause for which they are contending is unbroken their determination unchanged their will invincible. Let us emulate the example of the Russian people when invaded by the grand army of Napoleon. Let us be willing to make any and every sacrifices and consider it but a mote offering on the altar of our country. By the light of the blazing ruin of what had once been a proud palace, Napoleon read this inscription, which Rostopchin had affixed to his gate:
"Frenchmen! I have spent eight years in embellishing this residence. Here I have lived happily in the bosom of my family. The inhabitants of this estate, numbering seventeen hundred and twenty persons, have quitted it at your approach, and I have, with my own hands, fired my beloved home to prevent its pollution by your presence!"
Shall our patriotism be colder and more calculating than that of the subjects of a despotic ruler? Have we less reason to resist less reason to detest the invading armies of the North than the Russians had to oppose and hate the French? Our enemies, with a boastful insolence unparalleled in the history of modern civilized warfare, have threatened not only our subjugation, but some of them have announced their determination, if successful in this struggle, to deport our entire white population and supplant it with a new population drawn from their own territory and from European countries! While such a threat may well excite our ridicule and contempt, the devilish spirit which prompts it must provoke in us an indignation that would render the feeblest people invincible! Think of it!--
That we, the descendants of a brave ancestry, who wrested from a powerful nation, by force of arms, the country which we inhabit bequeathed to us by them, and upon which we have been born and reared that we should be uprooted from it, and an alien population planted in our stead is a thought that should inspire us with undying hostility to an enemy base enough even to have conceived it. Every motive, then, of honor and of self-interest of patriotism and of domestic affection every sentiment of manhood and self- respect unite in nerving us to resist, to the last extremity, our cruel invaders. Success gives us a country and a proud position among the nations of the earth. Failure makes us the vassals of an arrogant people, secretly, if not openly, hated by the most enlightened and elevated portions of mankind. Success records us forever in letters of light upon one of the most glorious pages of history. Failure will compel us to drink the cup of humiliation even to the bitter dregs of having the history of our struggle written by New England historians! Success is within our reach. We have toiled and panted onwards nearly to the goal. We have almost grasped the costly prize of independence never won except through anguish and blood. The crown stands ready to encircle the fair brow of our young Republic. The shades, of our martyred heroes hover over us and beckon us on. The tearful entreaties of our mothers, wives and daughters to save them from nameless horrors urge us forward. Will we pause? Can we falter? Will we allow the weapons which the God of Battles has so often directed to the smiting of the despoilers of our homes now to drop from our nerveless hands? Shall we be discouraged by the superior numbers of the enemy?
"The battle to the strong
Is not given,
While the Judge of Right and Wrong
Sits in Heaven!
The God of David still
Guides the pebble at his will,
There are giants yet to kill!
But the enemy has already put forth his utmost strength. He has made his most gigantic efforts. He has strained his energies to their greatest tension.--He has taxed his resources to their utmost limit. He is almost spent, and breathless with his tremendous exertions. Let us stand firm. Let us be calm and resolute. Let us show that our faith in our cause, and in His guidance, who shapes the destinies of nations, "is fixed and cannot move." --In that faith, and with humble reliance on that guidance, let us hope all things endure all things and when we strike the invaders of our country, let Religion, Patriotism, Love, Honor, noble. Pride,--every sentiment sacred and dear to the heart of man,--nerve our arms and give vigor to the blow! Thus shall we conquer the peace for which we all so ardently yearn! Thus shall we make the memories of our slaughtered sons and brothers glorious and immortal! Thus shall we compel the nations of the earth to receive and to welcome us among them! Thus shall we make the plow and the reaping hook replace the cannon and the sword, and our ravaged fields smile once more with teeming harvests! Thus shall we return our devoted soldiers to their long-abandoned homes, and enable our people once more to sit, each under his own vine and fig tree, with none to make them afraid! Thus shall we make our children, and our childrens' children to the remotest generation, rise up and call us blessed! Thus, and thus only, shall peace and independence--one and inseparable spread their broad wings above us, and plenty, prosperity and happiness reign throughout our native land.
Confederate States of America.
donations to the Treasury.
Patriotic citizens in all parts of the country having expressed a desire to make contributions of money and Government securities in aid of the Treasury; and ladies, animated by the noblest sentiments of attachment to the cause of their suffering country, having offered their plate and jewels, the Congress of the Confederate States adopted on the 13th instant the following resolutions:
No. 162--Joint resolution providing for donations to the Treasury of the Confederate States.
Whereas, many patriotic citizens have expressed their desire to contribute by donations of money, jewels, gold and silver plate, and public securities to the relief of the Treasury; Therefore.
Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he is hereby authorized to receive all such donations, and to publish in the daily papers a list of the donations received and the names [ of of ] the donors.
Section 2. That the said contributions shall consist of certificates of indebtedness, fully issued by Disbursing officers of the Government, and the parties holding the same are willing to give a part but unable to give the whole, it shall be lawful for the Secretary of the Treasury to receive the proportion offered, if not less than one moiety, and to return the other moiety in certificates of indebtedness, receivable in payment of taxes.
Section 3. To render the said public securities so donated available to the Treasury, the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorised to redeem the same before maturity, and of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.
Approved March15, 1865.
The attention of the public is called to these resolutions, and those desirous of making contributions of money and securities or certified claims against the Government, are respectfully informed that they will be received by the Treasurer at Richmond and by the Assistant Treasurers and Pay Depositaries hereinafter enumerated.
Regulations in relation to plate and jewelry have not been adopted yet, and will form the subject of a future notice.
G. A. Trenholm,
Secretary of Treasury.
Treasury Notice in relation to Receipt of six per cent. Certificates of Indebtedness for taxes imposed by act of Congress, approved March11, 1865.
--Notice is hereby given that according to the provisions of the third section of act of Congress of March11, 1865, a copy of which is hereto attached, one moiety of the taxes levied by said act (excepting the tax for the increased pay of soldiers) may be paid in six per cent Certificates of Indebtedness issued under fourteenth section of act of 17thFebruary, 1865.
G. A. Trenholm.
Secretary of Treasury.
Section 3. That the taxes on property for the year eighteen hundred and sixty-five imposed by this act, shall be assessed as on the day of the passage of this act, and be due and collected on the first day of June next, or as soon thereafter as practicable. The additional taxes on profits for the year eighteen hundred and sixty-five shall be assessed and collected according to provisions of existing laws in regard to the assessment and collection of taxes on incomes and all the taxes imposed by this act as well as the taxes on incomes and profits and the specific-taxes and taxes on sales, shall be payable in Confederate Treasury notes of the new issue or in the Certificates of Indebtedness authorized by an act entitled "an act to reduce the currency and to authorize a new issue of notes and bonds, " approved. February17th, 1864, at par, without any allowance for interest; Provided, That at least one-half of said taxes shall be paid in Treasury notes as aforesaid; and provided further, That the tax for the increased pay of soldiers shall be paid in Confederate Treasury notes of the new issue only; and it is hereby enacted that the Certificates of indebtedness authorized by the said act of February17, 1864, may be issued for debts contracted prior to the passage of said act, and the agent of the Treasury for the Trans-Mississippi Department be, and he is hereby authorized to issue under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury the Certificates of Indebtedness provided for in said act of February17, 1864, for debts contracted prior or subsequent to the passage of said act in the Trans-Mississippi Department; and that all the certificates above mentioned shall be received in payment of said taxes in like manner and to the came extent as the certificates originally authorized by the said act of 17th of February, 1864, subject to the proviso above mentioned.
By the Governor of Virginia.--a Proclamation.
--Whereas a vacancy has occurred in the representation of this State in the Congress of the Confederate States, occasioned by the resignation of the Hon. Robert H. Whitfield, late the representative from the district composed of the counties of Norfolk, Princess Anne, Nansemond, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Sussex, Surry and Greensville, and the city of Norfolk, Therefore I, William Smith, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, do hereby proclaim and make know that elections will be held in the said counties and city on Monday, the 10th day of April next, to supply the said vacancy; and the sheriffs of the said counties and the sergeant of the said city are hereby required to cause elections to be held, each in his respective county or city, and officers commanding military encampments and posts are authorized to have such elections held on the said 10th day of April next for a representative to fill the vacancy aforesaid.
Given under my hand as Governor, and under the seal of the Commonwealth, at Richmond, this 20th day of March, A. 1865, and in the eighty-ninth year of the Commonwealth.
By the Governor: George W. Misford,
Secretary of the Commonwealth.
By the Governor of Virginia. A Proclamation.
--Whereas a vacancy has occurred in the representation of this State in the Congress of the Confederate States, occasioned by the resignation of the Hon. William C. the representative from the District composed of the counties of Albemarle, Campbell, Amherst, Nelson, Fluvanna and Buckingham, and the city of Therefore I, William Smith, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, do hereby proclaim and make known that elections will be held in the said counties and city on Monday, the 10th day of April next, to supply the said vacancy; and the sheriffs of the said counties and the said city are hereby required to cause elections held, each in his respective county or city, and officers commanding military encampments and posts are authorized to have such elections held on the said 10th day of April next for a representative to fill the vacancy aforesaid.
Given under my hand as Governor and under the scale of the Commonwealth, at Richmond, this 20th day of March, 1865, and in the eighty-ninth year of the Commonwealth.
the Governor: George W. Munford,
Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Saturday...december 9, 1865.
The past and the present.
The Richmond Dispatch, which met a temporary suspension of its existence in the expiring names of the recent Confederacy, is this morning restored to life. It is again endowed with the Promethean fire, and speaks to its readers as though it never lost its breath or its voice. Welcome it, "dear reader," with the same kind and genial sensibilities which warm its own heart, and let there be established once more between it and thee the same confidential and affectionate relations which formerly existed, and which blessed, and rewarded all its toil, all its struggles, through the thorny and flinty way of journalism.
These Southern States have passed through an ordeal of trial and suffering seldom the lot of a generation of people. They entered upon a struggle, in which they failed, and in which these trials and sufferings were incurred. Unlike most rebellions, as they are called, especially when they have failed, those who undertook it were not merely a set of malcontents, recklessly resisting the clearly-defined political organisms of the country; they were fortified by a sense of rights under the Constitution and a conscientious conviction of the justice of their position, which had at least the semblance of support in the debates of our ancestors, who framed the Constitution itself under which the Republic was formed. Those truly great men left the question of the relations between the States and the General Government an open one. There were strong parties in the very convention which framed the compact of union upon the questions at issue touching those relations. The very able and patriotic men who figured in that body, after much debate, gave the question the goby; and while they failed to settle it themselves, they appointed no umpire to which it could be referred. They thus left us as a legacy a bitter and disastrous war a war which was fought, and fought bravely, to its final conclusion. The South entered upon it with more unanimity and determination than has been known to characterize the resisting party in any civil war that we read of. It fought through it, under its sense of constitutional right, with a courage and constancy which has challenged the admiration of other nations. But the question thus submitted to the arbitrament of war, was decided against them, and they submitted, like brave men ever submit, to the fates, which all their fortitude and power cannot control. They were overwhelmed by superior numbers and resources, and succumbed after a resistance which vindicated the honesty and sincerity of their intentions. Their heroism has lately received a tribute that is alike honorable to the head and heart of the magnanimous commander-in-chief of the powerful armies they encountered in the field. Such a tribute is the most fitting rebuke the most scathing denunciation of those wretched attempts to dishonor the gallant dead who fell in hecatombs on the field in proof of the truth and sincerity of their devotion to the cause Regarding the result as the the question, those who so nobly perilled their lives in support of the principles they espoused, readily acquiesced, and submitted to the authority of the Federal Government, and order and quiet were instantly restored, in a country where the devastations of war and the exhausting exertions of defence against overwhelming odds, had reduced the people nearly to famine. The subsequent history we need not recount. The steady efforts of all the restore order, and the patient and cheerful manner in which a people reduced from the happiest independence to utter poverty, have undertaken to provide for immediate want and rebuild their fallen fortunes, constitutes one of the noblest examples in the history of mankind.
In this struggle the Dispatch took its part. It was honest and earnest; and does not mean to retreat, or, in the every day parlance, to crawfish from its position. It sympathised with the Confederacy, did all it could to cheer the hearts of the people in the struggle, and continued with it, and, we may say, fell with it in the calamitous fire of the 3d of April. Its voice was heard up to that hour. While the carrier conveyed its communications to the public in one part of the city, its types and presses were melting in the fires of another.
But like the noble people in the midst of whom it was published, and who it now addresses, it, too, accepts the situation and the clear decision of the trial of arms of blood. It means to abide by the oath which its conductors have taken, and sustain the Government under which we now live. It feels, to-day, as though it had never been suspended in fact, its seat at the round table of the fraternity has only been temporarily vacant and it speaks as though only twenty-four hours had passed since its last appearance. It is true there is no war; but that was over, in fact, when it last appeared. It resumes its mission, then, before the war which was to encourage and stimulate the improvement of Richmond and assist in the development of the resources of our dear old mother, Virginia. To these purposes it will bring all the energies of its improved and enlarged means and power; and hopes, in its day, to do some real service in this noble cause.
Renewing our expressions of gratification at once more holding communication with our dear friends of Richmond and Virginia, the Dispatch promises at once to direct all its influence to the promotion of their good. Nothing on this earth would make its conductors as to see our people safely and through that trying transition state in which they are now struggling, and it shall be our most enthusiastic occupation to try to facilitate their passage, dry shod, through this red sea of their difficulties. That our own townsmen and the good people of Virginia--God bless and preserve her!--may pass through their trials successfully, and become, is they deserve to be, prosperous and happy, the devout prayer of the Dispatch.
Rebuilding the city.
There is a great mistake prevailing with many people that all the money employed in rebuilding this city comes from the North, and very doleful prophecies are indulged upon this hypothesis concerning the future. We are sold! We are both bought and sold! and must wind up with general bankruptcy and poverty! Now, there is no use in this no season for all this anticipation of evil. There a better and a truer view of the subject. The money employed in the active enterprise rebuilding this city is not all from the forth. Nearly all the very best buildings in progress of construction in this city are built on with the money of our own enterprising citizens. For, thank God! notwithstanding desolation which swept over the South, especially over this devoted city, some of Wisest and most far-seeing of our people a part of their means, and this they are using in the most enterprising and public-spirited manner. So that we are not entirely dependent on Northern capital very from it. But what should we fear from Northern capitalists? We know that, commercially speaking, under the influence of transportation, by water and rail telegraphs, there is an inevitable concentration of commerce in the great cities and points of the Continent, and that all localities must be subsidiary and tributary to them, So that, do what we will, we cannot escape that subordinate relation. Now, since that is the case, what objection can we have to the drawing of capital from the commercial centre to build up and adorn our recently desolated and forlorn city? Money put in the bricks, in the stores and dwellings and public edifices of Richmond, cannot be easily taken away. At most, the proprietorship of the buildings can only be changed. The money remains in the buildings, and they are permanent permanent places of business, permanent tenements to live comfortably in, permanent ornaments of the city. Not only, therefore, are we fortunate in having this borrowed capital to revive the city; but our good fortune will be increased precisely to the extent of the amount that may be so contributed from abroad to this important object.
There need be no fears on the subject. The more capital that is drawn thither, the greater the interest that will be felt by capitalists abroad in the general prosperity of this city. They would be unwilling to see their investments wholly unproductive, and their influence and means would, if necessary, be surely given for the promotion of that general commercial thrift which would contribute to their individual benefit.
So let us look ahead and be hopeful, assured that every dollar brought here and placed in the houses of Richmond, is a permanent investment, and a guarantee of the confidence felt in the future of the place, as well as an earnest of the disposition to aid in the promotion of its growth and welfare.
The usury laws.
Governor Pierpont, in his annual message, recommends the repeal of the laws against usury. If at any time the wisdom of putting a restriction upon the rate of interest upon money were doubtful, certainly at the present time, it should be generally conceded as entirely impolitic and productive of little else than injury to the interests of commerce and the general business of the country. Our people are striving to "reconstruct" their trade and rebuild their city; and one of the most serious obstacles in their way is the difficulty of obtaining money for their enterprises. They have the best securities; but capitalists will not lend money at the legal rate of interest when they can readily get from seven to ten per cent.; and they are unwilling to loan it at higher rates than the legal interest to persons residing here, where heavy penalties are prescribed for exacting more. This State cannot isolate itself financially and commercially by ignoring the circumstances and the usages which surround it, and which prevail in communities with which its intercourse is constant and rapid. Her true policy is to recognise and conform to them by her legislation. She will thus invite capital and untrammeled the energies of her people.
It is idle to say that our citizens cannot pay the same for the use of money that other people pay; and it is equally idle to expect them to get the use of money unless they do. There are those who will predict the utter ruin of all who pay more than that interest which this State has decided by its laws to be proper. Many of those who entertain these views are free trade men men who contend that there should be no restriction upon trade; that men should buy where they can buy cheapest, and sell where they can sell dearest, and that everything except money is worth what it will bring in the market. And why except money? Is not that as much the subject of the laws of supply and demand as anything else? There is, indeed, nothing more so; nothing whose value is so decidedly and suddenly affected by these causes. Indeed, so inevitable is this, that the most rigid laws cannot prevent it. With all the vigilance and the rigor of our State in its measures to compel the value of money to remain without alteration, (for if that be not the object, there is neither wisdom nor justice in usury laws,) it has changed just as rapidly and as frequently as if no law existed. The effect has been to deprive its citizens of the use of money when it was worth more than six per cent.: or to throw them into the power of a few capitalists, who did not scruple to violate the law, and who, besides the advantage which they had in having the field of shaving to themselves, put on additional charges to indemnify themselves for incurring the perils of the laws against their usury.
The State would be doing a wise thing for its citizens, and for the promotion of its own prosperity, by leaving the transactions in money to determine their own rate of interest. It would increase the capital employed here, and very much diminish the rate of interest which some people, by stress of circumstances, have to pay, by increasing the competition among capitalists for the purchase of good paper.
The Fashions for December are laid before the public by those industrious caterers to variety the books of fashions. They are not pretty in an artistic sense, and so we hope the ladies may think. The dresses are all profusely and vulgarly overloaded with trimming. Elegant and chaste simplicity is now considered slow. Slow, too, in another sense, for not long ago the fashions changed less frequently now it is once a month. If the bonnet and cloak, the dress, the very crinoline itself, is to change in shape every month, where is the purse in this part of the world that can afford to dress a wife and one or two daughters. Where is the young man with the nerve or folly sufficient to brave the hazard of marrying one of the votaries of fashion.
In all the cities of Europe, and in the large cities in the North, the young men have formed clubs and societies, opposing by theory and practice the holy order of matrimony.
The great expense of supporting a wife is the strong argument that they use. Of course, now and then these male vestals fall from grace and get married; but, for all that, the number of old maids is increasing enormously; and, ladies, we fear these clubs will be formed here, too, if the same causes exist.
And, after all, what is this fashion mania? It is simply following the leadership of the Lorette of Paris, who originate them. It is all very well for My Lady Shoddy or the Countess of Petroleum to ape the dress and style of these light and gay Parisiennes; but does it become those noblest of God's creatures the women of Virginia to follow their lead, to obey their mandates, and wear their livery? God forbid!
Let the dress of our ladies be a standing rebuke to this blind following of the styles and modes both of European frivolity and corruption, and the flash imitations of it on this side of the water. Let those ladies who can afford to follow the fashions be the ones to set the example of despising them. Their sweethearts, husbands and brothers will all admire them the more for it.
"The people of Alabama, in convention assembled, have forever prohibited slavery in so doing they have forever established Liberty. Let us boldly, watchfully, and with unfaltering purpose, pursue the grand idea."--Governor Parsons to the Legislature of Alabama.
There is something surpassingly tasteful, as well as suggestive, in this short sentence. The Governor is evidently a man of brilliant imagination, and knows how to express his conceptions. "Liberty" is here described, first, as a fixed and immovable monument, deep- rooted in the earth, and rearing its head toward the clouds. A man of dull fancy would have been satisfied with advising a sharp lookout upon this inappreciable treasure, if there can be any necessity for watching an object which is of itself eternally stationary, and therefore runs no risk of taking wings unto itself and fleeing away. But the genius of the Governor had no sooner planted Liberty than it uprooted her, and put her in motion, with the whole people of Alabama in full cry at her heels, like a pack of hounds. This beats any metamorphosis in Ovid in the suddenness and startling character of the change. The Governor, we venture to suggest, has mistaken his calling. He is a post, not a politician. We like that hint about the "grand idea. " It is historical, almost classical. Many peoples and communities have "pursued" it before, from which we should infer that it is not quite so immortal as the Governor would have us believe. It was, for instance, a monomania with the Athenians, who illustrated it in their own way. For example, when they suspected their allies of the island of Melos of a design to pursue the same "grand idea," they massacred every man, woman and child of them, leaving not one to tell the tale. The terms which they offered are still extant, and may be read by anybody, who chooses to take the trouble, in Thucydides. They beautifully illustrate the "grand idea." They amount to this: that the Athenians were the strongest, and were determined to exercise the "largest liberty" in the premises or, in other words, that "Might made Right."
The Romans pursued this "grand idea" "bodily, watchfully, and with unfaltering purpose," for eight hundred years, during the course of which they conquered and enslaved all the countries that lie between Cadiz and the Indus. That great asserter of liberty, Julius Caesar, in the innumerable battles which be fought with the Gaul, besides slaughtering a million of them, made as many more prisoners of war, all of whom, according to the custom of those times, were sold into slavery. He was, indeed, a perfect monomaniac upon the subject. He loved liberty so well that he did not suffer anybody else to have a particle of it. He monopolized it completely.
The French "pursued the grand idea" in their great revolution more effectually than any people of modern times. The Guillotine was to them the type, the emblem, the sensible and tangible embodiment of that idea, and they illustrated it in fine style. Robespierre guillotined eighty a day, Sundays included, in the city of Paris alone, for nine months before his fall all in pursuit of "the grand idea. " In the course of five years, they established five different constitutions. In each of these constitutions "slavery was forever prohibited," and, as a necessary consequence, "liberty forever established."
Among existing "pursuers" of the "grand idea" we take the Emperor Alexander II. to be the most striking example. He is himself the owner of all the liberty extant in his dominions. Like Julius CΓsar, he is a monopolist. None other than himself is allowed to deal in the article. He knows its value too well to trust it to others. He would as soon trust the great Pitt Diamond, which is the most costly jewel in his crown. He keeps a standing army, a million strong, to preserve it; and everybody knows how essential a standing army is to the "grand idea."
We once heard a man say that locust posts would last forever, assigning, as a proof, the fact of his having himself tried them three times! We think of the man and his posts whenever we hear eternal duration ascribed to anything of mere mortal conception.
--This monthly, for December, is handed us by Messrs. A. H. Christian & Co. It is a rival journal of fashions and light literature (very light) to the great Leslie, (great humbug,) and is typographically very neat, and conducted with much enterprise. We regret to say that it will in no wise affect injuriously any of these journals to describe their merits accurately. In this age the epithet "humbug" is a recommendation, and to emphasise strongly the words "light literature" is to excite the deepest anxiety in the bosoms of some of the sweetest creatures on earth to read it. So fair readers, Demorest gives you the very latest fashions and a considerable amount of light reading into the bargain. Buy it.
--In due time, we shall have our usual correspondence from points of interest. It will take a little time to arrange our news department upon the plan we have projected.
General Assembly of Virginia.
The representative body of Virginia as she is, since her dismemberment by the withdrawal from her authority of the main part of her western territory, met in the capitol, in this city, on Monday last. We present a brief outline of its most important proceedings to the present time, in order that the Dispatch file may give a full history of the doings of the body. It has some most important subjects for deliberation, and its action upon them is regarded with very great anxiety.
Monday, December 4.
--In the Senate, upon the calling of the roll by Mr. R. F. Walker, Clerk of the last session, it appeared that there were twenty-four Senators present; absent, nine. In the absence of Lieutenant-Governor Leopold P. C. Cowper, on motion of Mr. Mercier, of Loudoun, Mr. Robinson, of Norfolk, was chosen Speaker pro tempore.
Shelton C. Davis, for many years Clerk of the Senate, was again elected unanimously to that position upon his nomination by Mr. Gilmer, of this city.
Wm. Wirt Harrison, of this city, was elected Sergeant-at-Arms over several competitors, including Messrs. Alexander Thompson and J. A. Jordan, who formerly held the office.
Mr. August Rosen, of this city, was elected Doorkeeper.
Mr. James E. Goode was elected Public Printer over Mr. J. W. Lewellen. [Mr. Goode has been printer to the Senate since the death of the late John Warrock until the last session.]
After interchanging with the House messages of readiness to proceed to business and informing the Governor of the organization of the Assembly, the annual message of the Executive was received by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and, being read, was ordered to be printed.
On motion of Mr. Coleman, of Louisa, a resolution was adopted inquiring into the expediency of authorizing the Central railroad to borrow money to repair its roadway, etc.
The Senate transacted no other business.
Monday, December4.--In the House of Delegates, there was a full meeting of members--ninety (nine-tenths of the body) answering to their names.
Mr. John Bell Bigger, of this city, was elected Clerk of the House by a vote of forty-eight to forty-four, over Mr. Gordon, the former clerk.
Mr. JohnB. Baldwin, of Augusta, was elected Speaker by a vote of 49 to 42 over F. N. Watkins, of Prince Edward.
On taking the chair, Mr. Baldwin delivered an address, which is remarkable for its pith and brevity and the wide contrast between it and all addresses from the Chair heretofore. In this brief resume of the doings of the Legislature we find room for it bodily. Mr. Baldwin said:
"Gentlemen,--The best evidence I can give you of the appreciation of the honor conferred upon me is to enter at once upon the earnest and honest discharge of its duties. The House will come to order."
Mr. R. W. Burke, of Augusta, was elected Sergeant-at-Arms; and Messrs. Keblinger, of Albemarle, and George Wilson, Jr., were elected First and Second Doorkeepers.
The Executive Message was received and ordered to be printed.
Mr. Grattan introduced a bill to amend the third article of the Alexandria Constitution (under which we now live), as authorized by the people by their recent vote.
The subject of amending the vagrant laws so as to suit the present condition of things was introduced by Mr. Garnett, of Essex, and referred.
Petitions were presented touching the case of Berkeley and Jefferson counties, now claimed by the Governor, Boreman, of West Virginia as belonging to that State, but which protest that they are a part of Old Virginia. The subject was referred to the Judiciary Committee by a proposition from Mr. Woodson, of Rockingham, for repealing the law ceding those counties to West Virginia. No other business was transacted.
--In the Senate, a bill was introduced amending the third article of the Constitution the same as that introduced by Mr. Grattan, in the House, Monday. Mr. Robinson reported a bill to incorporate the Norfolk City railroad. A bill was unanimously passed rescinding the acts of 13th of May, 1862, and 31st of January, 1863, consenting to the transfer from this State to the State of West Virginia of the counties of Jefferson and Berkeley, and the said counties were declared a part of this State and under its authority. This act had previously passed the House with the same unanimity. On motion of Mr. Galt, a committee was ordered to consider the subject of immigration, and how it may be encouraged.
In the House, the act, above referred to, relating to Jefferson and Berkeley counties was passed. On motion of Mr. Grattan a writ of election was ordered to supply the vacancy in the House of Delegates from this city occasioned by the death of L. Tazewell. On motion of Mr. Dickinson, inquiry was ordered as to the expediency of amending the stay law so as to obviate the necessity of giving notice, and to allow only interest, with one-fourth of the principal, to be collected per annum; and a further inquiry was ordered, on motion of Mr. Braxton, into the expediency of suspending all legal proceedings for the collection of debts for a limited period. On motion of Mr. Grattan, ordered that inquiry be made as to the expediency of amending the charter of the city of Richmond; also, as to allowing the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Company to borrow money for repairs; also, for incorporating a new insurance company--J. Alfred Jones, Wellington Goddin, Thomas, W. McCance and others, corporators. Mr. Daniel, of Prince George, got leave to bring in a bill incorporating the Petersburg Iron Company. The Governor's Message was properly referred, and the House adjourned.
Wednesday, December 6.--In the Senate, a number of resolutions of inquiry as to the expediency of a great many propositions were agreed to. We notice a few of special interest, viz: By Mr. Gilmer--For incorporating the National Express and Transportation Company; for increasing the capital stock of the Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad Company; for authorising the Board of Public Works to revise the tariff of fares on railroads and canals. By Mr. Cabell--For enacting a vagrant law, and for more effectually preventing burglary and larceny. By Mr. Bolling, of Petersburg For funding the interest on the public debt, and permitting the conversion of registered bonds into coupon bounds. By Mr. McRae--For authorizing the trustees of the town of Manchester to construct a bridge across James river at Richmond.
Mr. Dulaney, of Fairfax, offered a resolution for a joint committee to consider what action is proper to express the sense of the Legislature as to the release of Mr. Davis, President of the late Confederacy, and for the restoration of the writ of habeas corpus, &c. The resolution, under the rule, was laid over for one day.
In the course of the day the Senate took two recesses; appointed G. A. Jordon (former Sergeant-at-Arms) Second Doorkeeper, and adjourned over till Friday, to observe the day of thanksgiving, ordered by President Johnson.
In the House, on Wednesday, the bill from the Senate amending the third article of the Constitution was taken up for consideration, and Mr. Graves, of Madison, offered a substitute for it, which, after some discussion, was, together with the bill itself, referred to the Committee of Courts of Justice.
The House was then deluged, as is the custom in the first days of the sessions of our Virginia Assembly, with resolutions. Under the practice of the Legislature, these resolutions always inquire into the expediency of measures proposed, and are referred to the proper committees. Among them were the following: For an enabling act to legalize the proceedings of courts of justice during the war; for repealing the act of 14th and 15thMay, 1862, prescribing oaths in certain cases. By Mr. Stearns--For carrying out the recommendation of the Governor relative to schools and colleges. By Mr. Garett --For the assumption by Virginia of the debt due by the people of the State under the act of Congress of May, 1861. By Mr. Wood --For incorporating the National Express Company. By Mr. Scott --For organizing a military force for police duty in the counties. By Mr. Bentley--For reducing the tax on merchants' license. By Mr. Martin--For some relief to the citizens who have lost all they possessed (save their lands) in the war, and who are involved in debts they cannot pay.
On motion of Mr. Kelley, a special committee was ordered to inquire into the amount of property of private citizens of this Commonwealth taken or destroyed by the armies of the late Confederacy and the United States respectively. [Rather a heavy job. For what good at this time, it is hard to see.]
Mr. Ellis, of Norfolk, introduced a bill ratifying the amendment of the Constitution proposed by Congress for the abolition of slavery.
The House adjourned over to Friday, under the order of President Johnson making Thursday a day of thanksgiving, &c.
During the day the standing committees of the House were announced.
Friday, December8, ? 1865 ? .
The Senate met at the usual hour, Lieutenant-Governor Cowper in the chair. Prayer by Dr. Price.
A message was received from the House of Delegates, asking concurrence in joint resolution to appoint a joint committee to consider that part of the Governor's message which relates to a public printer.
The proposed rules of the Senate were taken up and read by the Clerk and adopted.
Mr. Lee, of Orange, offered a joint resolution to appoint a joint committee of five on the part of the Senate, and ten on the part of the House, to confer with the Superintendent of the Freedmen's Bureau in reference to the restoration of domestic tranquillity and the withdrawal of United States troops. Passed. Committee appointed and House informed of action by the Senate.
The Chair read his appointment of the standing committees.
The proposed amendment to the third article of the Constitution of Virginia was returned from the House of Delegates amended by striking out section first, article third: No person shall hold any office under this Constitution who has held any office under the Confederate Government or State while in rebellion. Section second, inserting: The General Assembly retains to itself the power to alter all provisions in said third article.
The amendment of the House, after a long debate, was adopted--fourteen to thirteen.
A message from the House of Delegates, to the effect that, with the concurrence of the Senate, they will, on Tuesday next, proceed to the election of Secretary of the Commonwealth, First Auditor, Second Auditor and Treasurer. The Senate amended by fixing the day at Thursday, 21st instant.
A joint resolution was adopted appointing three Senators to confer with three members of the House, in joint committee, to consider what encouragement it is proper for the State to give to immigration.
Mr. Gilmer, of Richmond, offered a bill to increase the capital stock of the Richmond and Fredericksburg railroad. Referred to Committee on Roads.
Mr. Trout, of Pendleton, offered a petition from Pendleton county to be restored to Virginia.
A message from the House, asking concurrence in a bill in reference to the Richmond and Petersburg railroad, was referred to the appropriate committee.
A message from the House of Delegates, asking the appointment of a joint committee of three on the part of the Senate and seven on the part of the House, to consider that part of the Governor's message concerning oysters and the oyster trade, was amended by the Senate making the committee six on the part of the Senate and twelve on the part of the House.
On motion, the Senate adjourned.
House of Delegates.
Prayer by Rev. Mr. Price, of the Third Presbyterian Church.
Third article of the Constitution.
Mr. Joynes, from the Committee on Courts of Justice, reported back Senate bill to amend the third article of the Constitution, with the following amendment;
Strike out all after the preamble and insert in lieu thereof the following:
1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia, That the first section of the said third article of the Constitution be amended by striking therefrom the following words: "No person shall hold any office under this Constitution who shall not have taken and subscribed to the oath aforesaid. But no person shall vote or hold office under this Constitution who has held office under the so-called Confederate Government, or under any State Legislature in rebellion against the authority of the United States, excepting there from county officers."
2. The General Assembly retains to itself the power to alter or amend all other provisions of the said third article.
3. This shall be in force from its passage.
The amendment was adopted, and the bill, as amended, read a third time and passed, and ordered to be sent to the Senate.
E. M. T. Hunter Pardons.
The select committee to whom had been referred the resolution relative to the pardon of Mr. R. M. T. Hunter reported the following:
Whereas the people of Virginia are invited by the President of the United States to unite at this time in giving thanks to Almighty God for the return of peace and the restoration of the ancient relations between the Government of the United States and themselves relations which it is desirable should be universal and without exception of individuals; and whereas observation and experience have impressed the members of this General Assembly with the conviction that the more liberal exercise of executive clemency is the surest and speediest means of overcoming estrangements and re-awakening those sentiments of attachment and devotion in which a government based on the consent of the governed will always find its best support and strongest defence; and whereas in the stricken and prostrate condition of this Commonwealth, it is of vital importance that all of her citizens who, from experience in public offices, and from the influence they command, are capable of aiding in her resuscitation, should be relieved from such disabilities as impair their capacity for usefulness;
And whereas we recognize among such citizens Mr. R. M. T. Hunter and Robert D. Montague, whose purpose to conform faithfully to the requirements of the Government, and to give a sincere support to those who direct its affairs and administer its laws, we have entire confidence; therefore be it.
Resolved by the General Assembly of Virginia. That His Excellency Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, be earnestly and respectfully requested to grant to Mr. Hunter and Mr. Montague a full and free pardon, restoring them, to all the rights and privileges of citizens of the United States; and that His Excellency Governor Peirpoint communicate these proceedings to the President of the United States.
Mr. Graham, of Rockbridge, moved to insert the names of Messrs. Smith and Letcher.
After discussion the following amendment was offered by Mr. Gibboney, of Wythe, and agreed to; and, as amended, the joint resolution was passed:
Strike out all in the preamble having reference to Messrs. Hunter and Montague, and all after "resolved," and insert, "That the President be earnestly requested to grant a general pardon to all citizens of Virginia requiring Executive clemency under existing laws of the United States."
Mr. Hurst, of Norfolk county, offered the following, which was laid upon the table:
Whereas it is currently reported and generally believed that the celebrated Hudibrastic General B. F. Butler is about to take charge of this military department, with powers extraordinary; therefore.
Resolved, That whatever money may remain in the State Treasury be immediately divided among the widows and orphans of deceased soldiers, and couriers be dispatched to the various counties, requesting the people to secrete or bury their plate.
Mr. Clarke, of Campbell, offered a resolution, which was agreed to, that the Committee on Courts of Justice be instructed to inquire into the expediency of restricting the right of suffrage to a property qualification.
Mr. Grattan, of Richmond, offered a resolution, which was agreed to, that the resolution adopted on the 5th instant, directing the Speaker of the House to issue a writ of election to supply the vacancy occasioned by the death of Littleton Tazewell, a delegate elect from the city of Richmond, and fixing Tuesday, the 12th instant, as the day of election, be rescinded; and that the Speaker be directed to issue a writ of election for the purpose aforesaid.
By Mr. Clark, of Campbell A resolution of inquiry into the expediency of establishing negro poor-houses in each county of the State, and levying a capitation tax on the negroes to support the paupers in the county wherein they reside. Agreed to
By Mr. Clark--A resolution that the Committee on Courts of Justice be instructed to inquire into the expediency of abolishing the Board of Public Works.
By Mr. Smith, of Williamsburg A resolution that the Committee of Grievances inquire into the expediency of removing all the negroes now located in the counties of Williamsburg and York, Warwick and Elizabeth city, that did not live there before the war, back to the cities and counties of the State where they belonged originally. Agreed to.
By Mr. Holmes, of Southampton A resolution of inquiry in relation to an order by the Legislature for a re-assessment of the land of the State. Agreed to.
By Mr. Straughan, of Northumberland A resolution calling on the Auditor of Public Accounts for a tabular statement of the taxes of the State for 1860 in real estate, slaves, &c., and a similar statement showing the amount of taxes assessed and collected in the several counties and towns now constituting West Virginia. Agreed to.
Mr. Watkins, of Prince Edward, offered a resolution that, the Senate concurring, the General Assembly will proceed to elect a Secretary of the Commonwealth, a First Auditor and a Second Auditor and Treasurer of the Commonwealth on Tuesday next.
Motions by Mr. Pendleton, of Giles, to amend by inserting "and Public Printer," and by Mr. Kilby, to change the day to Thursday, were rejected and the resolution agreed to.
By Mr. Davis, of Louisa A resolution that the Committee on Courts of Justice consider the expediency of authorizing the county courts to appoint a sufficient police, with power to preserve order, suppress improper assemblages for mischievous purposes and prevent vagrancy, and report at an early day. Agreed to.
By Mr. Teeter, of Washington A resolution of inquiry relative to providing a more efficient common school system.
By Mr. Garnett, of Essex A resolution referring to the Committee of Finance so much of the Governor's message as refers to settlement of accounts between the Commonwealth of Virginia and West Virginia.
The bill to incorporate the Petersburg Iron Company was taken up, considered, and, the rule being suspended, passed.
By Mr. Clark--A resolution that the Committee on Internal Improvements inquire in to the expediency of authorizing the Richmond and Danville Railroad Company to issue their bonds to an amount not exceeding $500,000, for the purpose of improving their road. Agreed to.
On motion of Mr. Geattan, the House bill authorizing the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Company to issue their coupon bonds for an amount not exceeding $175,000, for rebuilding their road, &c., was taken up, and the rules being suspended, was passed.
Senate joint resolution for the appointment of a joint committee to confer with the Superintendent of the Freedmen's Bureau was taken up and passed.
Notice of a number of resolutions of inquiry, memorials, &c., which must be acted on by the committees to which they are referred to acquire importance, is omitted.
On motion by Mr. White, the House, at half-past 2 o'clock P. M., adjourned.
[by the Associated Press.]
Later from Europe.
New York, December6.
--The steamship Asia, from Liverpool on 25th ultimo, viaQueenstown 25th, has arrived. The following is a summary of the latest news by this arrival:
London,November25.--The Paris correspondent of the Globe says that the Spanish Ministry has decided to back out of the Chilian affair. The Spanish Admiral has been ordered to suspend operations.
Stephens, the Fenlan Head Centre, had not yet been re-captured.
Liverpool, November24 P. M.
--Cotton.--The sales to-day were seven, thousand bales; market closing unchanged.
Provisions Breadstuffs unchanged.
London,November 24,P. M.--Consols closed at 89Β½@89ΒΎ Five-twenties, 64ΒΌ@64Β½.
Senators Hahn and Cutter, &c.
New Orleans, December8.
--The House of Representatives has concurred in the resolution of the Senate protesting against the recognition of Messrs. Hahn and Cutter as the Senators from Louisiana.
Gale, who offered a reward for the assassination of Lincoln, has given bond at Montgomery to appear when called for.
[by Johnson's Independent news Agency.
--The official correspondence between our Government and England and France is being prepared for publication. That with England is very voluminous, as it covers the whole question of belligerent rights. Only that portion of the correspondence with France relative to Mexican affairs will be published, as it is not deemed expedient to make it all public at present.
It is announced in official circles that President Johnson is very urgent for the admission of the Tennessee delegates. In seems settled that there will be an exception in their case. The Republican Senatorial caucus was considerably divided on the question. Congress is not disposed to make an issue with the President if it can be avoided.
The resignation of General B. F. Butler, which was tendered to the War Department a few days since, was promptly accepted to-day. This announcement creates much sensation here.
The Speaker has been exceedingly busy since the adjournment on Wednesday in making up his committees. They are nearly The only controversy is on the of the Committee of Ways and Means., new committees raised by the last If Thaddeus Stevens is at the head Ways and Means, it is not unlikely Banks will be the chairman of branch of the reconstruction committee .
The Illinois members fix the sum voted to Lincoln at $100,000. The select committee on the subject will probably recommend this sum.
The Louisiana Legislature.
New Orleans, December6.
--The LouisianaHouse of Representatives passed the Senate resolution against the recognition of Hayne and Cutter as United States Senators. Special committee reported a bill against the Constitution of 1864, and presented a bill for the calling of a convention on the fourth of January. Governor Wells sent a message that he would be inaugurated at three o'clock this afternoon. He failed to attend on account of indisposition.
Randall Hunt was elected United States Senator. The other Senator will be elected on Friday.
Mr. Haler, a permanent lawyer, and personally acquainted with the state of affairs on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, has arrived in this city. He is of opinion that the liberal coalition is a failure.
The receipts of cotton at Shreveport are falling off in consequence of the scarcity of the staple.
The Alabama Legislature.
The Alabama Legislature has passed the constitutional amendment abolishing slavery, with a proviso against a radical interpretation of the act.
The Mississippi Legislature.
Has passed the stay law over the Governor's vote.
The Houston Telegraph of the 1st instant reports the arrest of Mr. Elmore, late. Treasurer of the Confederate States, on the charge of using dogs to catch a freedman and of falsely imprisoning him. He was released on giving bail.
At Jefferson, Texas, there are twelve thousand bales of cotton on hand and about twenty thousand bales to come in.
The MatamorasRanchero of the 19th ultimo congratulates the citizens of that place on their bravery during the late siege, and announces the complete defeat of the besiegers. It also says that several leading Liberals had accepted Maximilian's amnesty.
The telegraph lines were soon to be extended from Guanajara to Tampico and Matamoras.
Returned Confederates and negroes Butchered.
--The New York Tribune this morning says that East Tennessee Unionists have been permitted by a weak and worthless Union General Commanding, and a reverend blackguard styled Governor, to butcher not less than one hundred rebels and negroes in and around Knoxville since June last. Greeley says Tennessee has many staunch Unionists, but, nevertheless, is a pandemonium of passion and crime, and no more fit to self-government than Dahomey.
Thanksgiving in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia, December8, ? 1865.
--The different churches were well attended yesterday; sermons all political, the freedmen the general theme. Rev. John Chambers, one of our most brilliant and eloquent preachers, and a great apostle of temperance and republicanism, startled his congregation and community by enunciating the doctrine that the negro is not equal to the white man. I send you a few extracts from his sermon, as printed in Forney's Press this morning:
"We have at present thrown upon the world about four millions of human beings, who never had any care or anxiety about the future; and what is being done to better their condition? I admit there is any quantity of sympathy, but that neither shelters, feeds on clothes the unfortunate creatures who are without friends or homes. They hundreds and thousands, these very unfortunate negroes who have been cruelly and unkindly treated in the way in which they have been thrown upon the world. If slavery was to be got rid of in this country, if the people had wished it, it should have been done gradually. Their condition is deplorable in the extreme and the hot breath pestilence is sweeping over them like the Sirocco of the desert. It is the duty of those who brought them to this condition to provide for them, for they are mostly that portion of American people whose ancestry were chiefly concerned in bringing slaves to this country, and who reaped immense for tunes thereby. The inhabitants of Massachusetts and Rhode Island should take care of these people now. I do not they injured the negro by bringing them here. I have an entirely different view of the subject. In their native Africa they were merely animals, but here their minds were raised from darkness and degradation, and exposed to the consoling influence of civilization and Christianity. Was that doing him a wrong? I have always been friend of the negro, and would have still treated him with kindness and Christian settlements in his place, when that great privilege that of which England and America boast that great right of the habeas corpus was take away, and you were left at the mercy of any body and every body. We were just on the very brink of having our civil rights cut off from us. When you come to that point which the trial by jury shall be assumed by any military power on earth outside of more military arrangements in the army, "you are in danger, and frightful danger" Let the American citizen be thankful for what he had escaped. All right-thinking men must feel that, as a nation, our condition is a deplorable one, because we have departed from old land marks, and are attempting to amalgamate discordant elements which God never intended should be united. This is what we are endeavoring to do. We are a nation of white men our nationality is the part of the man, and let us keep it so, or die. Let us live. We cannot mix oil and water. We cannot amalgamate that which God made so distinct.
The citizens of this country know the rights, and they will have them. Our prospects for the future are gloomy in the extreme. The whole political heavens are over hung with clouds uncharged with rain. What can we do? How are we to ward off the impending ruin? There are Congressmen asking that the whole negro population of the South may have the right to the elective franchise and to give it to every colored man in the District of Columbia. I have no hostility to the negro, but he must not be put on an equality with white men--God does not mean it. The moment you admit him to citizenship he is eligible to a seat in the White House, and you cannot help putting him there if the majority say so. If you bring him into your drawing-room and give him a seat on your crimsoned cushioned sofa, by the side of your beautiful daughter, holding her hand, and telling him that the hand shall be his if he ask it, I will respect your consistency. There is a difference in the condition of life which always existed, and always will exist. There must be no outrage on the community. These things done, we can go back to the truth, virtue and intelligence and the sublime principles of the Christian religion. We must do it to exist as a Republic, or else emulate the fate of Rome and Greece. When the military triumphed over the civil law, our knell was almost ready to sound; but all is over now, and we can draw a deep, long breath of exultation with peace, unity and prosperity. Then we will have the perpetuity of the American Union, one and indivisible, until God's judgment morning shall dawn and things have ceased to be."
Nothing emanated from the pulpit has ever caused more comment in this city than the remarkable sermon of Mr. Chambers. Some of his congregation say that he spoke directly from his heart, with the Constitution as his text, while others denounce him as a violent secessionist on the rampage.
New York Markets.
New York, December8.
--Cotton dull at 52 cents for middling. Flour dull sales of 7,000 barrels at $7.10 @$8.35 for State, $8.40@$10.50 for Ohio, $8.80@$15 for Southern, $8 for Canadian. Wheat dull sales of 20,000 bushels at $1.60 for Chicago spring, $2.40 for. Amber State. Corn dull sales 35,000 bushels at 24@25 cents. Beef quiet. Pork firm at $28.75@$29 for mess. Lard dull. Whisky dull.
is our mis to this dire necessity on any of the re-appearance of the Dispatch. Owing to the invariable difficulties attending the putting in to operation of new machinery, and innumerable other obstacles in the starting of the economy of an entirely new establishment, the issue of to-day was delayed many hours, and a part of it not at all creditable for its typography. This, too, notwithstanding the materials are of the very best, and the presses employed superior to any in the world. Nevertheless, this is but the misfortune of a day. In a day or two the Dispatch will appear in a manner and style that will entirely vindicate the excellence of the material with which it is printed.
Owing to this unexpected and annoying delay, we intend to give to advertisers an extra insertion in an issue that will be out betimes.
--A called meeting of the City Council was held yesterday evening. The following members were present: Mr. Grattan (President), and Messrs. Burr, Scott, Epps, Lee, Smith, Clopton, Lancaster, Tardy, Crutchfield and Glazebrook.
A communication was received from the Mayor, nominating the chief and other officers of the police. Thereupon the Council proceeded to elect a chief, and John H. Claiborne was unanimously elected.
The next business in order was the election of the first police officer, and Messrs. Seal, Chalkley and Kelley were put in nomination. Mr. Reuben T. Seal received nine votes: Mr. Chalkley, 3; Mr. Kelley. 1. Mr. Seal was therefore declared elected.
Mr. Scott and Mr. Clopton addressed the Council in favor of Mr. Callahan.
The result of the election was: Charles H. Epps, 10: D. Callahan, 3. Therefore Mr. Epps was declared elected the second officer.
Mr. Scott nominated Mr. Charles H. Brown for the third officer. Mr. Lee nominated Mr. E. H. Chalkley. The result was; Chalkley, 13: Brown, 1.
For the fourth officer, Messrs. William N. Bibb, William N. Kelley and Thomas B. White were put in nomination. The result was: Kelley, 10: Bibb. 2: White, 1.
For the fifth officer, Caleb Crone was nominated. Also G. A. F. Adams, T. C. Bassett and J. L. Bray. Crone received 5; Adams, 5; Bassett, 3; Bray, 1.
On the second ballot there was no election.
On the third ballot Mr. Crone received eight votes, and was declared elected.
For the sixth officer, G. A. F. Adams, William J. Jenkins, Thomas J. Green, AugustusSnooks were put in nomi received nine votes and dams was declared elected police officer, C. H. Moore, Perrin, George W. FreemanJenkins. Mr. Freeman received nine votes, and was declared elected
A report from the Committee on Claims was received and adopted.
An ordinance fixing the salaries of the various officers of the city was presented and laid on the table. The salary of the Mayor is set down at $3,000; the Judge of the Hustings Court at $3,000; the Chamberlain's at $2,000; the Auditor's at $1,800; the Clerk of the Hustings Court at $1,200; the Messenger of the Council at $800. The ordinance was passed.
An ordinance was then presented providing rules and regulations for the government of the officers and employees of the Alms-House. The salary of the Superintendent was fixed at $1,000, and the Committee on the Alms-House were directed to report monthly the number of orphans soliciting a home within its limits.
A petition was received from William E. Granger, requesting permission to erect a building on land to be rented from the city. The lot named in the petition is on Fourteenth, between Grace and Franklin streets. The petition was laid upon the table.
Mr. Scott offered a resolution for the purchase of a lot for the erection of an engine-house, and a house for the accommodation of the Hook and Ladder Company. Referred to the Committee on the Fire Department.
Mr. Scott also offered a resolution inquiring into the expediency of employing persons other than the city police in lighting the city lamps. Referred to the Committee on Light.
Mr. Scott also offered a resolution, authorizing the Committee on Fuel to purchase an amount of wood, not to exceed one thousand cords, for the poor of the city. Referred to the Committee on Fuel.
After some other business the Council adjourned.
Court of Conciliation.
--The following eases were disposed of in this Court yesterday:
T. G. Austin & Co. against J. Proskhouer. The Court ordered that the defendant pay to the plain tiff the sum of $2,985.25, with legal interest on $21,061.50 from the 21st of November, 1865, and on $818.75 from the 1st of December till paid.
Redwood & Keach against Hanes & Co. The Court ordered that the defendants pay to the plaintiffs $498, with legal interest on $166 from April 1st, 1864, and on $166 from the 1st of July, ? 1865 ? , and on $166 from the 1st day of October, 1865.
Robert Turner & Co. against Campbell & Co. The Court ordered that the defendants pay to the plaintiffs the sum of $101.30, with legal interest thereon from the 1st of October.
Martin S. Taylor against C. F. Winch. The defendant was ordered to pay to the plaintiff the sum of $114.72. with legal interest from the 25th of August until paid.
Robert S. Pollard against E. T. Pilkinton. Defendant ordered to pay the plaintiff $102 with interest and costs.
--In the case of R. T. Foster & Co. against Heinrich, Stellings & Co., Judge Meredith yesterday rendered the following decision:
The Court orders that the defendants and Thomas U. Dudley, Sergeant of the Court of Conciliation, and all other civil officers of said Court, be enjoined and restrained from enforcing the judgment of the said Court of Conciliation in the bill mentioned until the further order of this Court. But the plaintiff is not to have the benefit of this order until he, or some one for him, shall enter into bond, with sufficient security, in the penalty of $2,500, conditioned to pay the amount of said judgments and all such costs as may be awarded, and all such damages as shall be incurred in case this injunction be dissolved.
--Mayor Saunders held his court yesterday morning, at the court-room, in the City Hall building. A very brief docket was brought to his notice, which we sum up as follows:
Joseph Brown was charged with assaulting a negro girl. In this case the Mayor declined to receive negro testimony, and sent the parties back to Lieutenant-Colonel McEntee, the Provost Judge of the city.
D. D. Mott was charged with stealing a watch from Marshal Ames. In consequence of the absence of witnesses, the case was continued until to-day.
--The day of National Thanksgiving, appointed by a proclamation of President Johnson, for having been relieved from "the scourge of civil war." and permitted to enjoy the blessings attendant thereupon, was generally observed in this city. Almost every kind of business was suspended, and the several churches were open for divine worship. The sentiments of the sermons delivered were highly acceptable to the congregations, which, indeed, were not so numerous as they should have been. Many hunting parties left the city at an early Hour to create havoc among the wild game in the country adjacent. The truth is, a thanksgiving day is generally given over to frolic and fun, like Christmas, which, though a sacred festival, is most always made an occasion of uproarious mirth, with the usual accompaniments of egg nogg and pop crackers.
--On Thursday last, Edward Lewellen and a young man by the name of Willis were proceeding from the city on a hunting excursion, when Mr. Lewellen leaped from the wagon in which they were riding to shoot a bird, and his gun accidentally catching in his clothing, he was shot severely in the wrist. The wound is merely in the flesh, but suite painful. We learn, however, that there is no necessity for an amputation of the limb.
--The time of starting of the Old Bay Line of steamers from Baltimore to Richmond has been changed. A steamer leaves the former city each afternoon at half-past 4 o'clock, instead of six o'clock, as heretofore.
The burnt District.
--Enterprise in Richmond.--The 3d of April, 1865, will long be remembered by the people of Richmond. The Confederate having evacuated this city, lied to buildings containing to magazines, arsenals so rapid was the spread of total destruction of Richmond threatened. As it was, the best and arrest portion of the city, including many elegant stores, private residences, mills, warehouses and public buildings, became the prey of the fire, and Richmond presented a scene of desolation and ruin to which no description can do justice. From the old State Armory, on the west, down Cary street to a point below Fourteenth, and down Main nearly to Fifteenth on the south side, and to Thirteenth on the north; up Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth, destroying every building on Bank street from Ninth to Twelfth, except the Custom-House; burning the Mechanics Institute building, the United Presbyterian Church, Goddin's Hall, the State Court- House, the American Hotel, the Petersburg Railroad buildings and bridge, the Danville depot and bridge, and Mayo's bridge; sweeping away that immense structure known as the Gallego Mills, leaving all this extended area scarcely a building, and in rendering hundreds of persons houseless. Such is a brief description of the ravages of the terrible fire on the 3d of April last. But the destruction did not stop here. The torch was also applied to Dibrell's warehouse, on Cary, between Twenty-first and Twenty-second streets, consuming that and the County Court-House adjacent. Several hundred buildings were thus destroyed. To add to the excitement of the scene, from early morning until long after midday the air resounded with the rapid explosions of bomb-shells, of which there were a great number in the laboratories of the Confederate Government. By the active exertions of the Federal troops, who entered the city while the conflagration was at its height, the progress of the flames was stayed, and the sun went down upon smoking ruins, naked chimneys and tottering walls, which along marked the places where a few hours before stood many a stately edifice.
[All these sad details are well known to our city readers; but the Dispatch has never before noticed them; and in bridging over the space of time between that dark day, when it, too, sunk amidst the ruins, and this bright morning of its re-appearance, it deems it proper to make this hurried sketch.]
For some days the streets over which the fire swept were almost impassable. The debris obstructed the thoroughfares, while the smouldering ruins continued to send up volumes of smoke, and citizens and visitors gazed upon the scene with a sort of strange interest. Naturally, a disaster of such formidable character paralyzed, to some extent, the energies of our people. But not many months elapsed before a change was visible; and we record it as an instance of enterprise almost miraculous, that in nine months after the occurrence of this terrible fire Richmond has sprung up to new life, and renewed her energies with all the vigor of youth. The hammer and the trowel are heard on every hand; many fine buildings, occupying the sites of those destroyed, are now approaching completion; some are already occupied, and numbers more either commenced or contracted for.
On Main street, a noticeable difference between the houses being erected and the old ones is, that while the latter, in most instances, were so constructed as to be used for private residences, the new ones are to be used for business purposes exclusively. A brief notice of some of the more prominent buildings in progress of construction or completed may not be out of place, as illustrating more fully the enterprise of our people. Mr. Lewis D. Crenshaw is putting up a very fine four-story brick building on the south side of main street, between Ninth and Tenth. Opposite, on the north side of Main, Mr. S. C. Robinson has commenced the construction of a five-story double brick tenement, with iron front all the way up, which, it is said, will be among the finest buildings in the city. Lowes down, on the same square, stands the elegant music establishment of J. W. Davies & Sons. On the south side of Main, between Tenth and Eleventh streets, the foundation for a four-story brick house has been laid for Mr. Benjamin Hart, of New York. Adjoining this, and immediately on the site of the old Farmers' Bank of Virginia, Mr. Franklin Stearns is commencing the construction of a splendid four-story building, iron front, to contain four tenements. On part of the spot formerly occupied by the American Hotel, the Virginia Fire and Marine Insurance Company are about erecting a handsome four-story brick building, with iron front. On the opposite side of Main street, below the post-office, a fine building is in course of construction for the National Bank of Virginia, and, immediately adjoining, one for Mr. John Wickham. On the corner of Thirteenth and Main streets stands the magnificent four-story double tenement, with brownstone front, erected by C. W. Purcell--one tenement for himself and one for Messrs. Purcell, Ladd & Co. The rear tenement of this building is now occupied as the publication office of the Dispatch. On the southeast corner of Twelfth and Main streets, Mr. John GrΓ¦me has a fine four-story building, of four spacious tenements, rapidly approaching completion. On the same square is the new three-story building owned and occupied by Messrs. Steenbock & Co. These are but few of the evidences of enterprise and improvement visible on Main street. Eleven stores have been completed on this street, thirty- five are in course of construction, many of which are nearly completed, and forty-five vacant lots remain to be improved.
On Cary street, nine buildings are completed, six are nearly finished, seventeen more have been commenced, and there are sixty-seven vacant lots. Among the most prominent of the buildings are those of Habliston & Brother, Asa Snyder, (foundry,) Dunlop, Moncure & Co., Major Beckham, Harvey & Williams, F. Brauer, and P. B. Borst. The last named is one of the finest in the whole city, comprising four tenements of four stories high, elegant brick, with ornamental cast-iron fronts. Near Cary street, and fronting on the basin, the foundations have been laid for the rebuilding of the Gallego Mills, which will be one of the most extensive and complete establishments of the kind, in the world. The corn mill has been rebuilt and is in operation.
On Fourteenth street, south of Main, several fine buildings are progressing to completion, conspicuous among which are those of Mr. B. Becher and Mr. James H. Gardner; and on the south side of Cary street, between Thirteenth and Fourteenth streets, Messrs. William B. Jones and Alfred Moses are building two spacious stores upon the site formerly occupied by five tenements.
Surveying the whole burnt district, we think it is not an extravagant anticipation that it will be entirely rebuilt by the fall of 1866. In alluding to the buildings in progress, it is next to impossible to state all of their renters, and the naming of some is not intended to be invidious it is rather accidental. To give a more accurate idea of what is done and doing, we state that, on the principal streets in the burnt district, there are about one hundred and twenty buildings either completed or in progress.
These remarkable evidences of enterprise and energy reflect the highest credit upon the people of this city. They show a vitality under years of war, and the crowning disaster of fire, which speaks well for the future commercial prosperity of Richmond.
The young men's Christian Association.
--This association has been one of the best safeguards to our young men, in furnishing them with a proper place of resort for instruction and improvement of which our city could boast. Its library was destroyed by the great fire of April last. To enable the society to procure new books, and to re-engage in those works of charity which have made its name a household word in many a sorrowing family, a course of lectures will be delivered this season, the proceeds of which will be applied to those objects. The first of the series is announced in our advertising columns this morning; and its subject is one which will attract the attention of all who admire a Christian hero. The fame of General Jackson is well shown in the admiration which his name excites among Northern as well as Southern men. The last time we were in a book store, an officer of the United States army entered and purchased a likeness of "Stonewall Jackson."
A few dollars can be laid out in no more praiseworthy manner than in patronizing this institution.
Lectures to young men.
--On Sundayevening last, the Rev. Dr. Burrows, pastor of the First Baptist Church, commenced a series of lectures on the "Evidences of Christianity and the Divine Inspiration of the Bible." The audience was numerous, and it is almost needless to say that all were highly interested. The second lecture of the series will be delivered to-morrow (Sunday) night, and we bespeak a full attendance. The lectures are full of moral instruction, and will mark an era in the religious literature of our city.
--After a lapse of over eight months, the Dispatch once more greets its old patrons and beloved city, Richmond, with the hope that it may never live to be interrupted by any such events as have passed since its last appearance. We can scarcely realize the situation as we look around us, so great has been the change in four years, and so thoroughly have our people adapted themselves to it. We seem to have dreamed that we have lived through four years of desperate struggle that old Richmond was once the seat of government of a Confederacy, and that our citizens have passed through the sickening scenes of a fire, which swept the most beautiful portion of their city. This last is proved to be more than a dream alas! by the blackened walls and desolate scene presented to the spectator in those thoroughfares once crowded with trade.
We miss from our midst many familiar faces and forms, which have passed away, some mid the strife of battle, and others after wasting and languishing with disease, contracted from a life of exposure and hardship. We miss the pale, wan faces of the men in grey, as they passed amongst us with bandaged limbs, limping on crutches, or bent with sickness. We no longer hear the boom of guns in our front, nor the shrieks of pain from wounded sufferers in passing ambulances.
We no longer await with eagerness the news of a coming battle; and thanks to Heaven, our columns no longer teem with sad lists of killed and wounded, to strike grief to the hearts of anxious mothers, sisters and orphans.
Now are our streets crowded with strangers, seeking homes and fortunes with us, and here and there we recognize an old friend busily engaged rebuilding upon the ruins of what was once his all. Our war-worn and crippled Confederates have laid down their arms and returned to their homes to pursue their peaceful avocations; and their places are filled by the soldiers of the old government. Our columns now display signs of the rapid reconstruction which the country is undergoing, and the promotion of peace is now our object.
God, in His justice, has seen fit to scourge our Sunny South with four years of war and desolation; may He, in his goodness, bless our bleeding land with future quiet and prosperity.
--On Wednesdaynight, about eleven o'clock, the musical instrument store of Bonner & Sapper, on Main street, between Seventh and Eighth, was set on fire, and the most of the stock and the interior of the store were destroyed. It appeared from a subsequent examination of the premises that the fastening of a shutter on the rear porch of the tenement had been removed and four bottles, which had contained spirits of turpentine, were found on the floor inside, showing that the fire was caused by a deliberate act of incendiarism. The stock, consisting of pianofortes and other musical instruments and merchandise, was almost completely destroyed.--It was valued at about $14,000, and was insured for $12,000 in the following companies: The Merchants' and Mechanics' and the Maryland Fire Insurance Company of Baltimore, and the PhΕnix of Hartford, Connecticut. The tenement was also considerably damaged. it belongs to Mrs. Myers, and was insured in the Mutual office of this city.
--On Tuesdayevening last, a gentleman called at the St. Joseph's Asylum, on Marshall street, and requested the Sisters of Charity to receive a young child he had with him. Owing to the rules of the institution, the Sisters declined to receive the little bantling, but a kind- hearted lady in the neighborhood agreed to take charge of it until Wednesdaymorning, at which time the gentleman was to call and receive it. It is almost unnecessary to say that he has not since made his appearance. A card attached to the clothing of the child is marked with the name of Edward Custar Randolph. The foundling has since been sent to the poor-house.
The German Protestants.
--The congregation of St. John's Church, (German Protestants,) on Fifth street, beyond Leigh, held a meeting a short time ago, and elected the Rev. Mr. Schwartz, of Maryland, as the pastor of the church. This gentleman preached his initiatory sermon on Sunday last, and gave great satisfaction to the congregation. He also preached on Thursday (thanksgiving day,) with no less success. We may state that Mr. Schwartz's election was confirmed by a meeting of the congregation held subsequent to the first.
Improvement on the Danville Railroad.
--Two elegant new cars for the Richmond and Danville railroad have been received from the North within the past day or two by way of the Central railroad. We also observe that several schooners have arrived at Rocketts since Saturday last, laden with cars and iron for the same road. It gives us pleasure to notice these evidences of improvement, which not only speak in favor of the present and future prosperity of the road, but give a voice for the success of our commercial enterprises generally.
Our commercial Marine.
--The number of steamers running to this port has been lately increased by the addition of a magnificent vessel, the Niagara, connected with the New York and Virginia Steamship Company's line. We have now not only that popular line, but the Powhatan and the People's, (to Baltimore,) and several other steamers running to New York, Baltimore and Norfolk. Besides this, as our marine reports show, the number of sail vessels daily arriving and departing is very large.
Concert of the Baptist Sunday schools.
--On Sundayafternoon (to-morrow) a meeting of all the Baptist Sunday schools in Richmond and Manchester will be held at the First Baptist Church, when several interesting addresses will be delivered. Not among the least entertaining features of these monthly concerts are the statistics of the attendance of teachers and scholars for the month; and doubtless full reports will be made from all the schools mentioned above.
--We have now in Richmond several first-class hotels, where the weary and hungry traveler may sojourn and enjoy all the usual comforts of life. The Spotswood was the first to open after the evacuation: then the Powhatan, the Monumental, the Ballard, the Exchange and the St. Charles. Either of these houses will compare favorably in point of fare and price with any hotel in the country.
A horse killed.
--On yesterday, a horse, attached to a cart, was proceeding down Twelfth street, from Franklin, when, reaching the ruins of Peterson & Co.'s drug store, corner of Main and Twelfth streets, the animal fell into the cellar, and from thence into an ice-house filled with water, and was drowned. In his descent the horse knocked a good many bricks out of the partially finished foundation, and was an object of interest to many passers-by for the remainder of the day.
--There was an alarm of fire about half-past 7 o'clock last night, originating from a burning chimney on the corner of Main and Twenty-third streets.
The firemen turned out in large numbers, and had a long run to no purpose but to prove their alacrity at every alarm.
Appointments by the Governor.
--The following appointments have been made by the Governor within the past two days: C. B. Haydon, Notary Public for Isle of Wight county; Walter Weir, Notary Public for Loudoun and Fairfax, and John N. Davis, Notary Public for the city of Richmond and the county of Henrico.
We return thanks to J. M. Duesberry, of the National Express and Transportation Company, for Petersburg papers.
Official from Mexico.
--We learn that late information received by Senor Romero, the Mexican Minister at Washington, states that a decree has been issued by the Liberal Government to the effect that, owing to the French invasion, it is impossible to hold an election for President; therefore the present incumbent, Juarez, is continued in office until such time as the difficulties in the way of a choice can be removed.--Chronicle.
Reported resignation of Major-General Butler.
--It was rumored yesterday in usually well-informed circles that Major-General Benjamin F. Butler had sent in his resignation to the President, and that it had been accepted.-- National Intelligencer of Thursday.
California and Oregon.
--The constitutional amendment prohibiting slavery within the United States has been ratified by the Senate of California and the Senate of Oregon.
General William Mahone has been unanimously elected President of the Southside Railroad Company.
In New York, on Wednesdayafternoon, the party wall of the buildings Nos. 14 and 16 Front street gave way, and the two structures fell to the ground with a crash, burying under the ruins two men, who were both badly injured.
--This day was generally, if not universally, observed throughout the country. The Northern city papers are full of sermons generally political preached on the occasion.
Saturday...december 9, 1865.
United States Congress.
It is necessary that we should go back a few days in the history of this body, in order for a connected narrative of its proceedings for the Dispatch.
Both Houses were organized on Monday. In the Senate (Mr. Foster, President pro tem.), a number of bills were introduced for securing a "republican form" of government for the Southern States, and for extending the right of suffrage to negroes, and otherwise expanding and protecting their immunities. Messrs. Sumner, Wilson and Wade were very industrious in piling up the budget of these measures. One bill, offered by Mr. Wilson, proposes a fine not less than $500 nor more than $10,000, and imprisonment not less than six months nor more than five years, as the punishment for any man who shall institute a distinction of civil rights between the white and black races by enforcing laws heretofore prevailing on the subject this bill repealing all such laws.
In the House, the first thing that came up was the question of admitting the delegates from the Southern States. Mr. McPherson, the Clerk, declined to call the names of any delegates from the Southern States, including even Tennessee. Mr. Maynard, from that State endeavored to get a hearing, but was choked down. [If there is a man, North or South, who was entitled to a hearing in the Federal House of Representatives, that man was Mr. Maynard; but he was put down.] Mr. James Brooks, of New York, essayed to present the claims of the Southern delegates to admission; but he fared little better than Mr. Maynard. He did succeed in uttering a few words sufficient to characterize the course of the House as despotic and tyrannical; and did propound a question to that amiable and merciful gentleman, Mr. Thaddeus Stevens, of Pennsylvania, as to what time the claims of those delegates were to be considered and to which question the said Mr. Stevens obligingly responded "at the proper time." [Applause from the majority.] But beyond this Mr. Brooks had no success. The previous question closed all openings for debate, and Mr. Colfax (Schuyler) and Mr. Brooks being in nomination for the Speaker, (Mr. Brooks nominated by the Democrats,) the former was elected by a vote of 139 to 35.
The usual messages and communication between the Houses and the Executive having taken place, the House soon adjourned. Before it adjourned Mr. Stevens introduced a resolution relative to the rights of the Southern States to representation; which resolution, under the operation of the previous question, was forced through--133 to 36. This resolution appoints a committee of fifteen--six from the Senate and nine from the House to inquire into the condition of the "States which formed the so-called Confederate States," and report whether they, or any of them, are entitled to representation in either House of Congress.
Notice was given of measures to give rights of all sorts to blacks in the District of Columbia, and to apportion representation in Congress according to the number of legal voters in each district.
On Tuesday little was done in either House besides reading the annual message of the Executive. In the Senate, the credentials of Messrs. Alcorn and Sharkey, from Mississippi, were ordered to lie on the table for further action. In the House, a resolution was nearly unanimously adopted declaring that the public debt, with interest, should be promptly paid, and a committee of one from each State was ordered to prepare resolutions of Congressional respect for the late President.
Wednesday, December 6.--In the Senate, the standing committees were announced. The chairmen of the principal are as follows:--Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sumner; Finance, Mr. Fessenden; Commerce, Mr. Chandler; Military Affairs, Mr. Wilson; Naval Affairs, Mr. Grimes; Judiciary, Mr. Trumbull; Territories, Mr. Wade. [If Mr. Sumner would confine himself to foreign affairs, a deal of trouble to the nation would be avoided.] Mr. Sumner, taking both foreign and domestic affairs under his care, introduced a bill to regulate commerce among the States (something touching the negro, of course)! He wanted to know if there were not some persons in office who had not taken the oath; but his motion was laid over. A committee was appointed to confer with the House touching action in honor of the late President Lincoln.
On Wednesday, in the House,Mr. Stevens proposed a bill to pay Mrs. Lincoln$25,000, which would have accrued to her husband had he not been assassinated. Mr. Wentworth objected, and suggested that he had a bill for the same object in another form, which he afterwards introduced.
Mr. Hooper introduced a proposition to reimburse to "loyal States" the expenditure they incurred in "putting down the rebellion."
Mr. Bingham touched upon the negro, and other things combined, by a proposition for amending the Constitution so as to allow export duties, prohibit the payment of the "rebel debt," and secure everybody liberty and life. Referred.
The "freedmen's aid commission" was granted the use of the hall.
Mr. Farnsworth proposed that colored soldiers should have all the rights and privileges of citizens.
Both Houses adjourned to Monday.
The feeling in Washington.
--Mr. Forney writes to his paper, The Press, that "there is a conscious and visible improvement in the political prospect this fine winter morning." (December 6th). "Many things will conspire to increase and extend this feeling. First comes the happy accord between the President and Congress, if not as to all the remedies, at least in the absolute duty and necessity of a permanent adjustment of national equalities. But equal even to this essential element of future peace and harmony is the good temper among the heretofore complaining Southerners. The determination of Congress and the thoroughness of the President have evidently convinced them that their only true course is to agree to all the enumerated conditions."
Per contra, the Washington correspondent of the New York News telegraphs as follows:
"The leading Republicans here are getting somewhat alarmed at the recent precipitate action of the House in choking down Mr. Maynard, of Tennessee--a thoroughly loyal man and a strong personal friend of the President. It is understood that Mr. Johnson has declared that he will not confer the offices at his disposal upon those who oppose his policy of reconstruction, nor will he appoint the friends of those opposing him in this policy.
"The Republican leaders are therefore comforted with the loss of all Executive patronage, and it staggers them prodigiously, as there is scarcely a member who has not some favors to ask for his political friends. Already many of the members begin to manifest a change, and desire to be considered in any other attitude than that of hostility to the President."
The constitutional amendment adopted.
Alabama has adopted the constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. This is the twenty-seventh State which has ratified it, and thus we have the requisite number of three-fourths to give it effect. The following are the States concurring: Illinois, Rhode Island, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Maine, Ohio, Kansas, Minnesota, Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Vermont, Tennessee, Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, (one house,) New Hampshire, South Carolina and North Carolina. The Legislatures of the following States have rejected it: Delaware, Kentucky and New Jersey. But New Jersey, it is anticipated, will concur in the amendment at the coming session of its Legislature.
Illness of General Hooker.
--General Hooker, Commander of the Department of the East, is dangerously sick at his home, in New York city. He has for a few days been in a doubtful condition, though his symptoms are now more favorable. His disease is erysipelas in the head. He has no visitors, and no business is allowed to trouble him.
A bill has been introduced into the United StatesHouse of Representatives to revive the grade of general in the United States Army--being one step higher than lieutenant-general. It is supposed to be intended for General Grant's benefit, and was proposed by a member from his State.
The Boston Journal learns that ex-President Franklin Pierce was baptized and confirmed in St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Concord, N. H., last Sabbath, by Rev. Dr. J. H. Eames, the rector.
Mr. Bingham has prepared the draft of an important amendment to the Constitution, repealing the fifth section of that instrument, which prohibits a tax on exports.
The Episcopal churches in Alabama are still closed.
A Telegraph around the world.
[from the London Cosmopolitan.]
We have received intelligence from St. Petersburg in regard to the progress and condition of the Western Union Telegraph Company, which we have great satisfaction in laying before our readers. An enterprise like this, one of the grandest conceptions and most difficult undertakings the world has ever witnessed, well merits consideration in the columns of The Cosmopolitan, as it compels universal admiration.
The following stipulations have just been agreed to by the Telegraph Department of the Russian Government and Representatives of the Western Union Telegraph Company in America:
First. Exclusive right is granted to the Company for thirty-three years, and perpetual right of way and the right of material, land, etc.
Second. The Russian Government agree to construct that part of the line between the mouth of Amoor river and St. Petersburg, a distance of about seven thousand miles.
Third. The Government of Russia, in order to encourage the undertaking, grants to the Company an allowance of forty per cent. on the net proceeds of dispatches transmitted by the Russian Telegraph Line to and from America.
The Russian Government have already completed of their part of the line about four thousand and five hundred miles, from St. Petersburg to Klacta, and have all the materials purchased and contracts made for their distribution early in the coming year. Three steamers are to be employed on the Russian part of the line, two to run on the Amoor river, and one to assist in laying the cable at Behring's Straits in August next. "The Western Union Telegraph Company" have already in working order the line from New York to a point on Fraser's river, above four hundred miles north of British Columbia, on the American side of the Pacific. They have now employed on the work fifteen hundred men, two steamers and four sailing vessels on the Pacific. The Company have recently purchased seven hundred and fifty tons of wire and five hundred and twenty-five miles of iron armored cable. Three hundred and seventy-five tons of the who are now being put on board the Mohawk, bound to Vancouver's island the cable to be delivered on the 15th day of January next. This includes the purchase of all the wire, cable and materials for the completion of the whole line from New York, viaBehring's Straits, to St. Petersburg.
The Company expect to complete their half of the line during the year 1867. The Russian half will probably be completed at an earlier date, as that part of the line is constructed with less difficulty. The cost of the American half is estimated at six millions of dollars, and the Russian half at two millions four hundred thousand dollars. We are most happy to be able to state that not only are the requisite funds ready an aggregate of eight millions and four hundred thousand dollars--but there is a surplus of four millions of dollars in hand, and the stock is selling at thirty per cent. premium. The Emperor of Russia is writing the most brilliant page in the history of his reign, and of his empire, by the interest he has taken and the aid he has rendered in the organization of this stupendous enterprise.
This page last updated August 1, 2008.