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Richmond enquirer. [volume] (Richmond, Va.) 1815-1867, April 17, 1829, Image 2

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countability,” I was truly sorry to see the expres
sion,—“if continued,” immediately ulter tire worjj,
11 Courts,” n« it proves,that there are some among
ii* (or their abolition. These Court* I have ever
considered by far t'ne most valuable part of
our whole system ot Jurisprudence; nor ean I
conceive it possible that any thing resembling a
reason could be given for destroying them;—un
less, perhap*, that by substituting other Courts,
*vp might provide places and cert ilu emoluments
f•>* a postion ot our supernumerary I,awycr*. That
some improvement might l>v mado in our counlv
courts,! am ready to admit; 1 should be very im
wdling to see any inateri il clunge made therein.
I-ike the Judgcsof our Sstpciior Courts, the Ju.*
tices, I tliink, should hold their OQices during
good behaviour, and be liable to impeachment
and removal for similar offence* against the com
munity. A in»re specific enumeration of them
might, perliap*, be advantageously made. One of
the best Republicans, and wisest Tolitirians that 1
ever had the good lorlutiu to know,—the venera
ble Col. John Taylor of Caroline, used to say, that
our County Courts, and freehold qualification for
volers were worth alt tho other provisions of our
constitution put together; and the more I have
known and seen of their practical advantages, tho
itroro thoroughly have 1 been convinced of the
correctness ot his opinion. The one affords us
the cheapest,—most ready administration of Jus
tice; while tho other secures the great Roily of
property-holders from having any more of it taken
from them, than the exigencies of Government re
The last rcquo.'t of your Correspondent is of so
general,—so indefinite a nature, that I scarcely
know in what way to comply with it;—restricted
as 1 feci myself by the limits of a letter to be pub
lished in a Newspaper. Tho request is,—that we
would add to our answers to his specific inquiries,
“ whatever rise we may thinfi necessary to enable
the\Frrrhnldcrs to rretcise a sound discretion when
they vote.” Were I to do (his tothe required extent,
l am very sure that both his patience and yours
would be utterly worn out, long before niy topics
and their expositions would bo exhausted. 1
must, therefore, routine, myself to a very few
point*, which ( deem of vital importance. These j
are,dial the voters,—not only in this, but in every!
olhcr District, (for, be it ever remembered that
oyr whole state is deeply concerned in tho issue,) I
should select for the Convention, the men whom
they conscientiously believe to be the best, tho
wisest, the mu*t experienced they can chuse, and
none other: That they should neither ask, nor
wish these men to go to the discharge of llio mo
mentous duties assigned to thorn, “pledged un
changeably to any particular opinion; for, if they
dbmccl thus committed, it is most manifest that
they cannot possibly form such a dispassionate, un
prejudiced, deliberative Cody, as every suchCcn
Constitution. Where (he baneful torch of discord
continues to be so industriously,—-I must say rash
ly brandished by the numerous anonymous wri
ters who have volunteered in this cause; where so
much excitement has been kindled by these, and
other equally injudicious,—equally culpable
-mean*,—rvhero there aro so many jarring, and
apparently hostile intenutr to bo reconciled, the
Members of our Convention must meet in the most |
•amicable passible spiritof compromise, and he pre- :
pared to net under its benign intlucnce in alt their
dftiberations, or nothing but an aggravation of
present animosities, and probably disunion can fol
low. They must ax far as passible, equally avoid
sii(th a tenacious adherence to old usages, ns will
debar them entirely from bencfitling by the light
of experience; and that restless, daring spirit ofin
i,ovation, continually impelling (o untried changes,
with an utter disregard and recklessness of conse
quences to the community at large. The first is
tire disease cf obstinate, dogged imbecility and do-!
tjgc; the latter is too often the resort of unprinci
pled Demagogues, otlice-hunters, and men whose
situations can scarcely be made worse by any
change which can turn up in the chapter ol acci- j
dents. Equally important nnd essential docs it ap- i
pear to me, that the members of our Convention j
should be as exempt as possible from that most de
plorable,—most poisonous party-spirit, which has'
proved the great source of all political evil that has
ever afflicted our otherwise happy country.—
Well has an admirable wilier remarked oi this
spirit, that—“ rV is of its very essence to put the
•understanding in tratnmcls\to pcostrate conscience
to interest',—to destroy independence.; cml to
consign the faculties and principles to the Ty~
remity of others.”
I have thus endeavoured, Mr. Editor, to reply
ao fully and distinctly ns 1 could, within such li
mits, to all the inquiries of your correspondent,
A. B.; and h listing that my answer will be deem
ed sufficiently free, candid, and explicit, l shall
conclude with hoping that they will he received
both by him, and (ho people'ofour District, as the
honest conviction ofa mind long exercised in earn
est endeavours to form a correct judgment of our
Constitution, in relation both to its piinciples
and their practical operation. While die ques
tion was yet before the people, whether we
should have a Convention or not, l was one of
the many thousands opposed to tbs measure:—not
becauso I deemed the Constitution perfect, tilt
becauxo it appeared manifest, that most of the e
vils attributed to it, were remediable by legislation
alone;—while the objections to the theory had
been but little, if at all substantiated by the prac
tice. Another reason with me was,that I fe.tred tho
’‘sign* of the times” augured a greater loss than
gain from tho proposed changes;—so far, at least,
as these could be conjectured from the numerous,
wild, and most extraordinary’ projects which
swarmed forth in our public journals. But now,:
that the Convention is certainty to be held, ! !
min* every memoer ir .snoum oe willing, conn
tfll$, to unite in accomplishing: all the good we can:
—Jo effect which, each individual should have hiJ
mind so open to conviction, as to bo ready to vote
for env chango which he could he fully ft- tho•
ron^hly convinced would prove beneficial.
There are two, however, in favour of which lam
free to confess, that I have never yet heard any
reason of sufficient power to alter my opinion.— I
menn the abolition of the freehold qualification of
voters, and of the County Courts. To somo ex
tension of the first, and to some few modifications
of tho last, I might consent; hut if both are to be
utterly destroyed, I -houM deplore their extinction
as one of the heaviest political calamities that
could well he fall u«.
Surely,—mast surely, it is hardly possible to an
ticipate any events more deeply interesting loour
eclvcs, ami to our posterity, than tho contempI.it
tu1 changes in our Constitution. It is hardly pos
sible to conceive any State concern requiring a
more full, fair, temperate, and candid discussion.
Can tlds ever ho given to it, if all who differ in
regard to what is best to lie done, shall continue to
pour forth language tho most offensive to each
other, that can well bo uttered? Can ever She
semblance n! an improved Constitution result from
constantly brandishing their weapons in each oth
er’s faces, like implacable enemies just rushing in
to deadly conilic:, instead of fellow-citizens of tho
samo State, who«e great duty it should he to draw
tho bonds of amity and perpetual tiuion still
closer, if possible, Ilian they ever have been.
There H ono measure, Mr. Editor,—if it will
not ho deemed presumptuous in me to sug
gest it,—which would go much firther than any
other thing which could possibly bo done bi
wards suppressing these highly censurable prae-1
ticcs. Let the managers of our I’uhlic Journals,1
ono and nil tini'e in shutting the proves r.gain«t >
ail the Irritating, inflammatory cormnmiicationson '
this Convention subject, that rn«y hereafter be of-1
fered to thcan for puldicalion. 'l here are no twoj
things in nature winch differ more widely, than1
the liberty and the liccrifiouene«9 of the press,— J
no two more easily kept apart;—yet are there few i
thing* more frequently confounded. Editors who
would always firmly and inflexibly distinguish
! ■ tween them, might safely rely on gaining In
rot of'y of prai«c and honor,’ but!
of heneet profit from the reflocting, virtuous and!
*ruty P'ffttotb’- part of the Communitv, than they i
would ever lose by mortifying brainless vanity,or j
dfsappoiming that inentinhle ambition and rcfi.less
Jacobinism, which aje continually seeking their '
s-wn gratification, even ^although the best and
xiesresls interest of society at large should f.dl a
♦ acrifice to their inordinate cupidity.
I» is enough to fill us with the most awful fore,
tilings, when wa seriously consider the rn inner !
• r» whi-h this great question has been and con-i
t-xusci * »Trcslui in in^nv of our r* T>* .* p r,9 •
I hope, theiel'otc, to be pai.loued tn so often rc-j
furring to it. One more remark, and 1 have]
«!one. If it be right to make men drunk with pas- ,
■don in order to brighten their idea*;—if it be best *
1 f»r improving and strengthening their judgments •
to exasperate them against each other to the high-.
est pitch—ahort of coming to blows, then have
many of our political Teachers Sieen perfectly
right in the methods by which they l^ve thought i
proper to prepare the public mind for tire study
and decision of the all-important questions at pre
sent before us;—to the full ar.d dispassionate ex
I animation ol which, every man's attention should
! now he r.iruestly devoted. Hut it the views
< which 1 have ventured to take, are ju«t and cor
I reef. It greatly behooves us alt to disregard such
[counsels as “words without knowledge,"’ or de
I cl.iinations full only of deadly mischief to our fu
1 turn peace ami happiness,
k oi:r obedient servant,
T,t I hr Ei e'h aiders of the JlistiGt composed of
the counties of Caroline, Hanover, King Wil
liam, King and iJut'cn and Essex.
Two pieces in the Enquirer addressed to myself
and others, who have been announced ns suitable
persons to represent you in the state Convention,
which is to assemble in October next, have recent
ly met my eve, and challenge my most respect
ful notice. They solicit us to say to you, whether
ifeleclrd wo willserve; and to what extent we
arc disposed to amend our present l«>nn of Govern- <
rnent l Averse n< l am to ajipear in the public 1
prints, my sensed duty will not permit mo to re
main silent under tb"*c calls *, particularly that
which is made ly “many Freeholders:’’ because,
! recognize the tight of the people or any portion
I thereof to know the sentiments of tlm-e to whose
care it is even contcniplatej to confide their in
terest : because, no case can exist in which the
exercise of that right could be Ic«t questionable
man llio present; ami because, itidi*u»5> from my
own feelings and wishes, as a suifragen, l am *uic
the people desire to know, at least, the gen
eral views and inclination of all those, on whom
this delicate duty can by possibility devolve. It
must be apparent to you that no man can, or oueht
to say in detail, what would bn bis course in the
Convention; and that much injury might result
from exacting from your Delegates pledges which
might exclude them from the benefit ot the wis
dom and patriotism which will shed their light on
the subjects of their deliberation, or so trammel
their judgment, as to prevent their exercising a j
sound discretion on the unforeseen necessities
which might demand its exertion, it should be
recollected that government in its formation is no- j
rossarily a matter of compromise. How strongly j
then do all the circumstances, which have ren
dered necessary a revision of our established form,
require that those to whom tha* delicate task may
I e confided, should bo under tho guidance of a
conc.iia'ory and compromising temper on al! ques
tions no’ involving cardinal ami vital principles.
Under the influence of that spi: it, and with its in-1
eidentn’ reservation, l will now proceed to notice
as briefly an I responsively as 1 van, the various
queries which are propounded in the two pieces
As to the first, I can only say that Ido not re*
cognize a right in any citizen either lo decline or '
seek a service in the Convention. I certainly !
have no', aspired to a station hi that august assem
bly, and was much surprised to sec niv name an
nounced to the public: I am fully sensible af my
inability to render much service, and would glad
ly yield whatever pretension my most partial
li iends may suppose me to possess, to some ir .'.ivid- |
tial better quulitud than myself to discharge its
important duties: 1 f, however, it should he the de
sirc of the District to have my feeble efforts, they
shall bo faithfully applied to their service.
It may not be improper to inform you that I was I
decidedly opposed to the call ot a Convention,as long j
as l deemed opposition proper and efficient. It was, \
however,yielded as soon as i discovered that a ma
jority ot even the f reeholders of the state were in j
favor ot the measure; for I can never advocate i
nor practice the doctrine that the people may not
do as they please with their own government, i
recognize to the full extent both their right ami
their capacity to govern themselves.— I: is a safe
political maxim that titty “can do no wrong.”
II ho is to adjudicate their crime?—Who pronounce \
their sentence of condemnation?—Who enforce it?
—It is quite needles?, now to state the reasons
which actuated me in opposing a call of Conven
tion. Suffice it to say, that I still think them
sound and irrefragable, and that none of them
were based on a belief that if we should go in’o
Convention, our present Constitution might not he
much altered and improved. That question-!«
now settled., and it devolves on the people to select
from amongst themselves a body of citizens, whose '•
riutv it will be to suggest to them, such changes i
m their established government asniav be deemed I
conducive to their welfare. What they will, or1
should be.belongs not to the wisdom of any one man '
to prejudge.
* most decidedly think, that the three great and
many ot the minor departments r.( the govern
ment, may be much improved hy defining more
accurately the power?, prescribing more distinctly
the daises, and ensuring the responsibility of their
respective administrator?. The number compos
ing the Mouse of Delegates might, I think.be
ealely and advantageously lessened. This regu-.j
lation alone would, in my judgment, hive an im
mediate tendency to enlighten tho body, to expe
dite and improve their legislation, to render the
representatives more responsible to their electors
than they now are, and to save, the treasure of the
Commonwealth. I am inclined to the opinion,
that t’ne responsibility of the Senators might he
increased by curtailing their present term of ser
vice : and also, that their power of control over
tun acts of the popular branch of the Legislature,
might bo safely abridged. It is a power which
would be rendered the less necessary, by a reduc
tion of (lint branch, whereby its liability to com
mit acts of hasty and careless legislation, would
be certainly diminished. I think that most sub
jects, purely local, pi i vate, and municipal in their
character, might be ndvimtageously withdrawn
trom the legislative jurisdiction, and transferred to
other tribunals, more competent and better suited
to their due management. ’
1 would not, as now advi«ed, disturb the present
mode of e lecting a Governor, nor change his trn
urn of olhcc or term of service.—I would not
oboli*h Hie Executive Council, because I ain in
disposed to confer power, however small, in the
hands of a single man; and because, 1 think 1 see
insuperable objections to the scheme of making
the ministerial, fiduciary agents ot the Govern
ment, virtute officii, the adviser of the Governor.
Salutary changes may, I think, bo made in (he or
ganization of this body, hy reducing their number,
Hireling their term of service and tenure ol office,
enlarging their duties, defining their powers, and
increasing their responsibility.
I would not give to the Executive branch of the
Government, however it may be'constilnted, one
itoin more power than they now posses*; except so
rar as an extension of their itutim might necessa
rily produce that effect. Virginia has heretofore
bad perhaps the most pmvcr/ul Legislative and the
feeblest Executive Hodies in the world. She has
already passed safely and triumphantly through
Ihn three trying stages of war, invasion and insnr
ion, and on no of.c.t-iori has her omnipotent le
gi slat urn found it necessary to enact any law so
•nergetic, that her feebio Executive could not
promptly, en*ily, and tranquilly enforce. Wliv,
then, should it be desired to confer on this De
partment more power? Is it not known-docs no’
nil history shew, that unnecessary power in that
her?"? ttliovernn,ent 11 mo*1 dangerous toll
,n'® ‘lenity with which some are de
sirou to clothe, perhaps enrobe the Governor, I
can only say that I am utterly opposed »o all the
i?«um#d an . spurious dignity whi'-h ie borrowed
rom oflice, or thrived trom power. The man
*ho possesses virtue and wisdom, will always
possess trim dignity, and rooter it on whatever
>lhc« ho fills : above all. I despise ,lie ,n0Pk (jj_ ..
y, and dread (ho corrupting influence of what n
•ailed ratronagr. I would have as little of it as
Miavo long thought our system of juri'pru •
*One. of them i» made by " A. JH.” who avow*
limself a Freeholder in his (Jflih rear of age._
rhe other, I am infoftnrd, .‘s *>■ :■ •■■it i: i ■ .
irn» I ' '•
deuce defective., ui.d bat. be'lievQ, that it* chief
eril is to be found in the undefined mid unlimited
tenure by which the Judges hold their office, l'
am swaro that the judiciary is the most delicate,!
as well as most important member of every body!
politic. I think, however, that even this tender;
organ may be safely routided to tho chastening
wisdom of a Virginia Convention. I certainly \
do not feel the same sensitive awe at touching it.'
which some gentlemen manifest. 1 yield to no ‘
man in my desire, that our Judges should be, in •
the full and true sense of tho term, independent—
that in the administration of justice they sliould be
above fear, above hope, and above reward; but
cannot believe, that in order to attain this desira
ble end, it is necessary that they should be above <
'.be Coverniiicnt, above the I’coplo.—in a word,
be irresponsible. I would have them to be, am!
to feel, that they were the Servants of the IVople.
I he pn],r star of my politics,on all such subject*,
i«. that no man shall draw money from the Public,
Treasury, but iu consideration ol public services.
Several plans ot remedy for this grievance, hare
been suggested. I have not formed an opinion as.
to liio be-t. Surely, however, some ruodc may
be adopted, whereby our Jud-cs can be rendered
more u<elu! and more responsible than they now
are, without so impairing their independence as
to weaken the cum nt or corrupt the fountains of
justice. I certainly would not subject their ap
pointment or tenure of office to the caprice or pop
ular elections.
Oi our whole system of jurisprudence, the
county courts is tho last portion with which I
would part. They arc domiciliary tribunals,dis
pensing law frequently and speedily, according to
the obvious principles of justice and the plain dic
tates ot common sense. Such tribunals are in
dispensably necessary to the local police and fire
side happiness of the Community. Soino valuta- ,
• y changes may, 1 think, he made in their organi-•
/.aiion, touching their mode of appointment, term
ot office, powers, duties, Rtc. &e. i
A'i rrgnMs Me ivtgbt ol Suffrage, I inu®t say, in
(Tift language of the Constitution, I wish it to “re- i
main as exercised at present.”—Universal Suf
frice exists no where. In all governments,!
some restraint has been imposed on tho exercise
of that inestimable privilege No principle, then,
can he involved in deciding the character or de
gree ot its limitation. It is a question of expe
diency and policy, about which men may well and '
fairly differ. 1 grant that under the present reg- !
elation, many are kept from the jiolls, who are i
more competent to vote than some who enjoy the
privilege. Jlut, it should bo recollected, that ca
se® ol individual hardship and injury, are necessa
rily incident to all general rules; and that, on this
subject, no regulation, short of Universal Suffrage,
can he made, which would not exclude some who^
are worthy, ntul embrace many who are unworthy
ot this important power, To shew that no aristo- '
cratic principle (for such epithet has been applied,)>
is interwoven in my preferenceof theFreehold
Suffrage, I have no hesitation in saying, that nu
der other circumstances, than those which do,
and must continue to characterize our State, I
should be :n laror of some other restriction on its
enjoymen*. If, for instance, I was called on to
say what should limit its exercise in 6omcof the
commercial and manufacturing States of tile North
and Last, where the population is all white, free
and dense to oversowing, and land scarce and
dear, I think our freehold principle would be the |
last I would adopt. In the formation and ar- i
rangcincnt of Government, we must consult the
Sltuationof the country, and the character, habits
and pursuits of tho people to be governed. Vir- j
"info is and must continue to be, in spite of all'
governmental •*regulation of her labour," an;
'igricullural State. Infested as she is with a pop
ulation, which is a source of perpetual danger to
her tranquillity, and an irremediable drawback to'
her growth and prosperity, I cannot but recog
nize a peculiar propriety in identifying with her
government the land of the country- I know of
nothing else which so completely fills the mea
sure of the excellent rule laid down on this sub
ject in the Hill of Rights, and furnishes «l »he
same time, “ evidence of a permanent, common in
terest with, and attachment to, the Community.”
With a view, however, of harmonising public
opinion, I could have no objection to some modifi
cation of the present rule, whereby, not losing
sight of the principle involved, many might be
embraced who are now excluded by its operation.
Of all subjects likely to engage the notice of
the Convention, that of representation is‘he most
important, and at the same time the most delicate
and perplexing. The different and conflicting in
terests which prevail in the Western and Eastern
divisions of the Slate, growing out of the unequal
distribution between them of taxable property,—
renders it one of peruiiar difficulty. I am bouud
to sav, that I have not yet formed a satisfactory
opinion on tho connected question. It requires
more deliberation and more information than I am
yet able to apply to it. I am inclined though, to
the opinion, that however theoretical piopriety
would seem to indicate, that representation should
be based on white population; we of the East can
not, consistently with duty,safety, and the implied
obligations of our original compact, concede the
inffencc which our hlncjcs should have in graduat
ing the scale of representation. This is a question
of vital imparlance, ar.d will, no doubt, receive all
the attention it merits, and such decision as the
gom1 of the whole require*.
» wci.uru i 11 avc now umiiuicu aw me question*
pave one, presented by tho two Querist* in the '
Enquirer. One. propounded by “ Many Free
holders,’' is in these words : “ did you or did yon
not receive your Fight of Suffrage in the last
Presidential Flection?”-—I must suppose there w
some error (most probable typographical.) in the
diction of this query : I presume it was intended
to ask tno, whether l exercised that right on that
occasion. \\ iihout perceiving or recognizing the
relevancy of the enquiry, I can have no objection
to answering it under either construction. I en
joyed the Fight of Suffrage lone prior to that ini- 1
portant contest, and exercised it last November,
in aid of expelling from power an administration,
whose principles and conduct were ohjectioable. )
In conclusion, permit n>e to say, that many of
the ideas which I have now hastily thrown out, |
cannot he yet said to have gained the strength of
opinions. They are frankly given, in their undi
ges'ed form, in the full confidence, that they will
not he received a* binding pledge? of my future
opinions. They will be retained by me, subject to
Jurh modification and improvement, as further
deliberation and new lights may suggest. Tho?o
who compose the Convention will, as your agents,
he under the control of your future and matured
instruction : and their work, when finished, will
be submitted to your revision and final ratification,
i ho ordy Pledge, which I can now freely and
•afvly give, is never to abandon the principle.'< of
Liberty and Republican Government, or the in
crest of the Commonwealth ok Vihoivi v.
W\f. II. hoane.
Srntvn (Iarde.x, Hanover, April 11.
iVnJwithstanding the idea we have seen ad
vanced, that tlm opinions of thn member* of the
•ropnsed Conronl on ought not to he enquired in- '
o, but that they should he left entirely ttneommit
ed, and to the tree and deliberate exercise of their •
>wn judgments, when they enter upon the duties]
unsigned them, in order that they may he enabled j
<» ava J themselves of all the ligh(9 that can he af- (
ouled by leflcclion, rrtd the reciprocal interchange *
>t vii ws ami sentiment* among themselves, t
which is a doctrine, by the way, to which we
•annot co very well subscribe, in a government
ikeours, where every thing is intended lo he rp-1
erred to the will of the people,) we are still
s ell aware that a great proportion of the voters in ,
his co.inly, and wo suspect, in other parts of the
Iistrict also, will prefer raying tuch attention to j i
heir own interest*, as will induce them, to learn i
leforebsnd somewhat of the opinions of those, on
.vlioni their suffrages shat! be bestowed, on ?om<*
inportant points at least, which it is expected wilt
>e involved in any plan or project, which may ‘
suggested for reform in '.he cxis'ir>g,goveinm«"nt
sor can t/a believe that the rreople svill bo salts- i
icd to give their suffrage! in favour of any person 11
person ■, who may he iiomiriafed nr proposed to |;
hem, however great their reputed talents and' i
irtues may be, unless such imormation is nrcvi« J t
'irsly afforded them, ] i
The propriety of tlm right Jo enquire into (he'I
'Pmions and qualifications of those who aro re-1 I
munended tor pubi c stations is certainly too ob- • I
t on* to admit of di mu'*, and between nmstifnen'
in Uitr lent indecorous; as upon the slightest coo
•ideration of the nature of this relation, it is at once
clearly perceived, that nothing can be more desi
rable, than a perfect congeniality. If poeaible, in
all their sontiment*, views and opinions, as being
most likely to produce successful and perfect rep
I he utility of this previous acquaintance with
the opinions of those nominated as suitable persons
to represent us in Convention, is more striking n
this than perhaps it would he in any other case.—
It is known that gicat discontent has prevailed for
a considerable time, with a large portion of th
people, in relation to defects sod abuses supposed
to exist in tho present form of Government, and
[ that it is after no small degree of unpleasaut ex
citrioont, trouble, and expenditure of public
'roasure, that things have been brought to their
present crisis. And the great desideratum certain
ly now i«,to endeavour to make such alterations and
amcmliiifiib in the prrsent form of Govern*
menf; as shall moot the views and wishes of |}m
people—and thereby bring about a much desired
state of peace and contentment among them.—li
the result should be otherwise, discontent and ex
citement will again inevitably arise with an un
known limit of increase—The whole drama will
he acted over again with double or morn than dou
ble the expenditure of public treasure.
If. however, the opinions of the persons nomi
nated for members, on the most material and im
portant points he previously madeLknown to the
voters, and they are there electeo^ilh that know
ledge, the best guarantee will be thereby afforded
that whatever may be effsetod by such represen
tatives, will be most likely to meet the views and
wishes of (he people, and of course he attended
with the most happy result*.
With these prefatory remarks it is hoped that
the following persons, to wit: Hugh Nelson,
W nn C. Rives, in. K. Gordon, Robert Rives,
Darid S. Garland, John Tiinhertake, jr. James
Pleasant*, Landon Cabell, and Dr. Thomas Mas
sie, all of whomjiave been nominated for the dis
trict, of which this county is a part,will not impute
to us a wish to catechise t Ijern unnecessarily or
indecorously on the subject of their opinions,but that
they will duly appreciate our motives for respect
fully requesting that they will, distinctly, explicit
ly, and publicly make known their sentiments on
the following points, viz :
*•_ As to the cxtoiuion of the right or suffrage
to Non-Freeholders, with a reasonable qualifies
2. As to tlio reduction of the present number
of the Mouse of Delegates, with a view to econo
my, of time and money.
8. As to an equal representation throughout
the State, apportioned according to white popula
4. As to a new organization of the executive
branch of the government, and for dispensing with
the council in pait, or in the whole.
5. As to a change in the tenure of office in the
Judiciary Department, so as to increase the res
ponsibility of the Judges, or to facilitate their
amotion from office for sufficient cause.
Many Freeholders of Fluvanna.
To the Freeholders of the District, composed of
the counties of Prince William, Stafford,
King Georifc, Westmoreland, Richmond,
Northumberland and I vincas ter.
Ouo or you takes the liberty of nominating Wil
liarn H. litzhugh, William Young Sturman,
Kob't \V. Carter, am! Fleming Uates, as fit persons
to represent you in Convention in October next.
And to the persons now nominated, a* well as to
the lion. W. A. fi. Dade and John Taliaferro,
with Ellyson Currie and Robert Murphy, Ksqrs.
who have been heretofore recommended by a
delegation from the counties comprising the Dis
trict, these questions are addressed:
1st. Are you willing to represent the District in
2nd. What are your opinions in relation to the
changes necessary to be made in the present
[Constitution of Virginia?
i . k are quest, cs which every man has a
right to ask, as well as the subscriber,
A Freeholder of the District.
tTpTlio Editors of the “ Virginia Herald” ami
j “ Political Arena” will render a favor, by giving
I the above an insertion in their respective papers.
The important political revolution, which seems
about to take place in Virginia, requires that eve
ry citizen should be on the alert, who has the in
terest of his privileges as an individual, as well aa
the community, at heart. The Convention ia a
subject of vital importanco to non-Frecholders aa
well as Freeholders: The District composed of the
following counties—viz: Nottoway, Amelia, Pow
hatan, Cumberland, and the Corporation of Pe
tersburg, in which many nominations have been
made to represent us; I would be glad that you
would insert in your paper Mr. Dabney Miller of
Amelia county, as a candidate to represent this
District in the ensuing Convention. A conviction
o! his political integrity; his extensive political in
formation, commencing almost from the origin of
our government; his firm patriotism; bis devotion
to our republican simplicity and private worth, en
title him to our confidence and tiust.
,. A Freeholder.
rsoltoway, April 13th,882&.
At a meeting held at Southampton Courthouse,
on the 10(h <lay of April, 1{<29, by the deputies
from the Senatorial District, composed of the
counties of Sussex, Southampton, Surry, Prince
(Icorgo, t.'recnsvillo and Isle of Wight, the fol
lowing delegates appeared: From the county of
.Sussex, John M. Banister, William P. Wyche,
and William Harrison; from the county of South
ampton, James Trezvant, Jeromiah Cobh, Carr
Bowers nnd Wm. II. t.’oodwin; from Greonsville,
Merjtvealber B. Broadnax, Edward P. Sc.Mt, and
A. T. B. Merit; and from isle of Wight, Kobert
Butler and laham Jordan.
The meeting being called to order by Colonel
1 rezvant, U illiam B. (roodwin was requested to
act as Chairman, and William Harrison appointed
Secretary—when the following resolutions wero
oirered and adopted:
Resolved. That this delegation voto by coun
ties, each county giving one vole.
Whereas the counties of Surry and Prince
f.eorgo have not sent delegates to this meeting,
and as the delegation from the county of Isle of
" 1*4* protested against the principle of nomi
Resolved,therefore. That it is inexpedient to
proceed to any nomination of persons to represent
this Senatorial District in the contemplated Con
vention in October next.
Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting
be signed by the Chairman, and a copy forwarded
to the Editors ol the Richmond Enquirer and Pe
tersburg Intelligencer, with a request that each of
liiom Will publish the same in their respective
Resolved, That this meeting do now adjourn.
Wm, IIAHiusorv,Sec’ry.
V. M.U. GOODWIN, Chm’n.
Lovi*A,4lh April, 1SW.
Sir: We arc freeholders, who have it much at
icartto vote a* judiciously as possible at the Hcrti
>n of Delegates to Cite Convention in May next.
S our name having been prominently presented to
be people of this Convention district for their suf
** *iol having it in our power, by a person
il interview, to learn your sentiments, we hope
hat you will not deem us obtrusive in desiring yon
o give us an outline of the principal amendments,
which, in yotir opinion, the Constitution of VJrgi
iia requires. We will observe, that (he heads of
•©formation which interest us the most deeply, are,
The basis of representation,
'I he right of suffrage,
Tho tenure of judicial office, hr.
1 he mode of choosing an organization cf the !
Executive Department.
V, ii.)-! we avow the direction of our own votes 1
rs our primary motives to tho irnjuir/ we make of!
on, wo do not conceal, that it is our design al«o ;
o communicate the knowledge which wo may
htis attain of your sentiments, to some, perhaps to
nany, of our fellow-citizens. Possibly, wc may
>e disposed to publish your reply in the newspa
iers ; tho,’in this we would be guided entirely
>y your wishes.
W e are P r, w'th perfect rerpeet
" allfr Holladav, Esq.
Spottsylvania, Ct. House.
SroTT«Ti.YAWtA, April 12th, 1329.
Lentieinen : Your letter of tbo 4th roqu eating
me •• to give to you an outline of the principal
amendment*, which, in my opinion, the Constitu
tion of Virginia requires,”) have this day received
Before answering yoor inquiries, I deem it pro
per to state, that in April 1323, I voted against a
Convention, because I apprehended, that the new
Constitution when made, might not be as good in
the main, as the one which we now have. 1 was
aware that the latter was not free from defects_
Yet to me, it seemed to be, in some measure, con
secrated by time, and by the venerable names of
Ihose who formed It; and I was of opinion, that un
der h wo had enjoyed a« much trsnquillity and
happiness, as had ever fallen to the lot of any peo
ple under the Sun. If occasionally we liad expe
rienced temporary distress, that distress, as I
thought, had not been produced by the form of our
Satisfied with good practical results, a continu
ance of which the experience of fifty years had
taught us to expect, I was unwilling to put them
to tozard, for any theories untried by us, however
strongly urged upon the attention of the public,
by men of acknowledged patriotism and talent.
Having made these preliminary remarks, 1 will
proceed to state as concisely as possible, such site
rations in the Constitution of our state, as, accord
ing to my present views, would meet my appro
1. I would be willing to extend the right of
suffrage to persons holding leases for terms of
years, to such as own less than twenty-five acres
of land, having a hou/c of fixed value upon it, and
possibly to reversioners; tho* candour requires
me to idatc, I had rather it should remain “ as ex
ercised at present.”
2. I would be willing fo lessen the number of
members of the H. cf Ri-prescnta:ives, so that
they shall not exceed 150.
8. I would be willing to increase the number of
the members of the Senate, so that they shall not
exceed 30.
4. I would be willing to give to the Senate the
power of originating all bills, except money bills.
C. Two-thirds of the members of each House
should be required, as 1 think, to constitute a quo
6. I would we witling to equalize the repre
sentation in both Houses of the General Assembly,
so far as it may be practicable to do so, making
white population and taxation combined, the basis
of representation.
7. I would be in favour of making; the Judge?
more responsible than they are at present; yet
caro should he taken not to make them too much
so. This, perhaps, may be effected, by requiring
their removal on the resolution of 2-$ds of the
members of both Mouses of the General Assem
bly, each House acting on the subject in its sepa
rate and distinct character.
__ The Governor of the State, under the existing
Constitution, is little more than an instrument in
the hands of the Executive Council. Sufficient
responsibility does not rest on him. I have, there
fore. inclined to the opinion, that some alteration
ought to be made in the organization of this De
partment oi our Government; tho’ I have not
been able to satisfy my own mind, what that alter
ation should be.
Before I conclude, I deem it proper to remark,
that no member of the Convention, as I think,
should be strictly bound to any particular plan of
Coining from different parts of the Common
wealth, and representing different and apparently
opposite interests, the Delegates may be expected
to entertain different and opposite views In such
a state of things, without mutual concession, no
compromise could be m.'de.
Each member, therefore, should be at liberty to
depart from his own favourite system of reform,
so far as (on full consideration, and profiting from
the lights afforded by the Convention,) the great
interests and the permanent prosperity of the
whole Commonwealth of Virginia may seein to him
to require.
Aware of the delay of the post, I have written
this answer in haste, tliaf I may send it to-morrow
morning, by private conveyance, to Louisa Court
You have my permission to make what use you
please of it. Very respectfully, I am
Your Ob't Serv’t
Messrs. Jos.. Wr. Pendleton, William Overton,
Launcelot Minor, Sr. E. Pendleton, Lacian
Mino% and Nelson S. Harris, Louisa.
A large number of tho citizens of Nottoway
county assembled at their Courthouse, on Thurs
day, the 2d day of April, 1829, for the purpose of
selecting four suitable persons to be voted for as
Representatives for their Senatorial District in the
Convention, which is to meet in Octoher next, to
amend the present Constitution of this State:—
Whereupon, Edward Bland, Esq. was called to
the Chair, aud Major //. It. Anderson appointed
Ou motion of Colonel B. P. Todd. Jtesolved,
That William IJ. Giles, Benjamin W. Leigh, John
W. Jones, and W’jn. S. Archer, are suitable per
sons to represent this district in the Convention,
and this meeting respectfully recommend them to
their fellow citizens of (he district,to be voted for,
for that purpose.
Hesolvcd. That the Editors of newspapers in
Petersburg and Richmond be requested to publish
these proceedings.
H. R. Asoerso.v, Secretary.
From the Petersburg Old Dominion.
At a meeting of the citizen* of Green»ville
county, at (he Courthouse, on the 5th April, 1829,
hohlcn for the purpose of taking into consideration
the propriety ol appointing a committee, to con
sult with the delegates appointed by the other
counties in the District, to meet in Jerusalem on
the 10th inst. to recommend candidates for the ap
proaching Convention:—Edmunds Mason, Esn.
was called to the Chair, aud Capt. Henry Wycbe
was appointed Secretary.
The object of tho niee»ing having been explain
ed by the rhair, on motion, Itesolred, that a com
mittee he appointed to draft a preamble and resolu
tions declaratory of those object*, which commit
tee, consisting ol M.B. Broadnax, Lewis Dupree,
1 homa* Spenser, Doctor A. T. H. Meritt, and Dr.
K P. Scott, after retiring for a short time, made
the following report, which was unanimously re
Whereas we arc fully impressed with a sense
of the importance of the approaching convention,
which ia to meet in the city of Hichmond, on the
first Monday in October next, for revising, alter
ing or ameuding our present state Constitution,
and look forward with lh» mo»t anxious solicitude
and lively and intense interest to it* proceedings,
which must have an extensive and con (routing in
fluence in oftr happiness, prosperity, interests *nd
destinies, as a state,—we, therefore, acknowledge
it to be a sacred duly to ourselves and our poste
rity, to disregard at much as we can, personal con
sideration* and sectional feeling* and apirit.-and to
call into our aervice the mo*t prudent, discreet,
wise talented, experienced and unsuspected patri
ots of our district, who are acquainted with our
inlereat* and |wishes, and capable of affording an
cffirient support and tutillage to our right* and li
lleserving, however, with caution, any mea
sure, which may *eem to reatrsin the free exei
ci*e of the. right of choosing our representatives,
ol all descriptions, and entertaining a just objer
[ lion to any proceedings, by which we should
oblige ourselves to vote for such persons as may
be selected by the joint delegation, however ob
noxious, we disclaim the ides of vesting in our del
egates, powers to bind n« to that extent.
But not apprehending any such attempt, and
protesting against any such power, we are ail do- '
airotia of manifesting duo respect to the example
of the other counties of the district and most cor
dially unite with them in our wishes for the
beneficial results, expected from the general del
And believing that a meeting of persons from
different psrts of the district, will afford the best
''.c-r« »o or.epiv^ ccrwuliiny the tr «hej of
(he other, and (o the whole of ascertaining
feeling, sentiment* and opinion* of tboee who
may be presented for our suffrages;—
Therefore Resolved, That to rosNlt, eoncen*
Irate ami ascertain the opinion* end eiditi of the
citizens of the different counties of this senatorial
district, we will proceed to choose- deputies
to represent this county,in the contemplated meet*
ing at Jerusalem, on the 10th in*t.
The blank in the above resolution having, on
motio», been fiiied with the number three, M. B.
Broadnaz, Doct. K P. Scott and Doet. A. T. B.
; Merritt, were appointed the seid committee.
ra”’'on. Resolved, that the Editors of the
Obi Domiuioo and the Richmond Enquirer, be
requested to give theee proceeding* an ineertien
in their papers. And the meeting adjourned,
„ E. MASON. President.
Hikby TV rent, Secretary.
Communicated for the Pa. Herald.
At the last Madison Court, notice was given
mst at 3 o’clock a meeting would be held at the
Courthouse to support the election of L. Bank*
and Waller Holladay as members of the Conveo*
tion, and accordingly a numerous meeting astern*
bled and was orgaulzed—Capt. C. Gibb* wts cell,
ed to the Chair, and C. R. Gibbs appointed Secre
L. Bank* and W. Holladay were nominated, & af.
ter some discussion the name of L. Banks was drop
ped, &. that of W\ iJolla ]ay ir. opposition to R. Stan*
ard warmly supported; when Messrs. Wm. S. Field
aod Doct. J. Somerville ably sustained the nomi*
nation a* Orjnge Courthouse.*—Among other rea*
sons for sustaining that nomination, the importance
m •enuring the ablest repreteo*
tton within the range of their selection, was for
«Uly urged, and a just tribute or respect was pa: |
to the private worth and splendid talents of Mr.
s.; and the reason ur—d by soma speaker lor with*
hoblmg their support from Mr. S.. beeause he did
net reside within the district, was combatted with
great force and effect—it was stated that Spotsjd*
vanis was the place of his nativity, that there he
spent his childhood and many years of his man
hood, and still held |K>««e->stonj of great magnitude;
that lii» feelings, interest and fame were identified
with the district, and concluded with offering a
substitute to the resolution—riz: that the people
of Madison having the most implicit confidence
in the opinions, talents and integrity of Messrs'.
Madison. Barbour, Stnnard and Watson, will zeal*
ou-ly support their nomination as members of the
Convention, from this district. The question wee
put from the Chair end carried—four persons, only
voting in the negative. A SPECTATOR.
To the Editor of the Va. Herald.
Permit me through the medium ofyourpsper, to
nominate Col. Robert W Carter.of Richmond Coun
ty, one of the members to represent thle District in
the convention. I know of no man more eminently
qualified to discharge the solemn and responsible
duties that will pertain to that high trust.—Col. C.
lias a sound, discriminative tnind, highly cultiva
ted—exten-ivc and useful information, and mudh
political experience—firm aod decided in his prin
ciples—his character, public and private, stands
above suspicion; and with feeling* and interest
entirely identfiedT with tho*e of the district, he
might he expected to carry into its servire, all the
z. al, fidelity and activity which so responsible a
station would require.
Freeholder of JFestmoreland.
^ew \ ork, April 11.—Our French papers to
March 3dby the Nile, contain no positive political
intelligence of interest. 1
A private letter of Feb. 9. from the frontiers of
■Moldavia, says—“ Since yesterday it has been
rumored that on the 22d of January, a serious ac
tion took place under Varna, in which (he Turks
lost 15,000 men and 100 pieces of cannon (this is
without doubt greatly exaggerated,) and that on
the 27th the Russians made themselves masters of
Tournoul a fortress opposite Nicopolis,where 2000
Turk-, were killed, and 30 pieces of cannon were
by the Russians.
It Is stated from Rome, that the candidates for
tho Papal throne, are)cardinals Galeffi, Nazelli
Castigtione and JustUni.
A corps of 6000 French troops is to remain in
the Morea.
The Portuguese squadron, was taking on board
troops at Lisbon, to reinforce the garrison of Ma
The Augsburg Gazette of tho 23d February,
gives tho following protocol, without date:
The Plenipotentiary of France, announced that
the military expedition agreed upon by the protocut
of July 19, 1828, had fulfilled its immediate ob
lect, by putting an end to all hostilities in the Mo
rea, and causing its complete evacuation by the
Turco-Egyptian troops. He afterwards aubmitted
to the Conference several projects, specified iu a
memorandum, of which (bo object is to place the
countries thus pacified by the Alliance, beyond the
risk of a now invasion, at the moment of the
Irench troops leaving them. The Plenipotentia
ries of Great Britain and Russia, after examining
these projects, signified by separate memoirs the
project which appeared to each of them the pre
(crable one. It was then agreed between the
Plenipotentiaries, that the French Government
shall be loftto judge how far, in evacuating the
peninsula of Grecce.it may be expedient to leave
there for a time some troops; that the Morea and
neighbouring islands, and those called Cyclades,
shall be placed under the provisional guarantee of
(Im three Courts, Until tho fate of that country
can, m concert with the Porte, be settled; with
out, however, in the mean time, prejudging any
thing respecting the final limits of Greece; this
being a question to be determined in the course
of the negotiations with Turkey; which negotia
tions that power shall he anew invited to enter up
on immediately. It was furlher agreed, that the
allied courts would immediately communicate to
the Ottoman Porte,thro’ the Minister of the Nether
lands, now at Constantinople, that they take fhe
Morea, the adjoining Islands, and the Cyclades, un»
der their provisional guarantee.
(Signod) Abirdkkw—Policrso-Licvex.
St Petersburg, Feb. 9.—Yesterday, 8th Feb- ‘
ruary, a solemn Te Drum was colebrated at the
,n(er Palace, in presence of the Emperor and
r. inprcss, on account of the capturo by assault of
the fortress of Kala, on the 25th Jan. by the Rus
s. an troops. The membors of the Council of the
ministers, senators, and generals the Court aud
the. Iliplomatic corps all assembled at the ceremony,
. -yew/rom the Arm,,.—Field Marshal Count
witgen«tein, reports, that the Turkish fortress of
Kala, on the west hank ol the Danube, opposite
iVtcopoli, and near Tamo, was carried by assault
by the troops of the 5th division of infantry, un
ilcr the orders of Gen. Maliovsky. Thirty-two
pieces of cannon, five stand irds, end about 400
prisoners have fallen into our hands; among the
latter, Ibrahim, a pacha of two tails, who formerly
rommamled at Silistris.
wuring: the assault of Kala,eur troops also at
facke.) Hi.; atihurb* of Hie fortress of Tumo, an-l
carried them, after driving Ihe enemy back inio
the eilodcl. Our lose, a* well at Kalla aa at Tur
»o, amounts to about 400 killed and wounded—
among the latter i« Colonel Oisipoff, commanding
the I.adogo regiment, and I.t. Col. Tchaikovsky,
commanding that of Nclilu-armbiirg.
1 he fortress ol Kala. separated by the Danube
from Nicopolis, it alum-t under Ihe fire of Turno.
Ita fortifications were found in the beat condition.
j ** t.K*Torr ,A pril 8.— I he Pilot boa! Friends,
oil our liar on the Gih inst. boarded the British
■loop boat Favorite. 6 days from Nassau, and took
from her Capt. R Soule, Ids officer* and crew,of
Ihf ship Coliseum, of lloaton, and Captain T.
Taylor, hm officer* and rrew. oi the schr. Sally,
ot Ha Umore, and three Spanish gentlemen,passen
gers in the Sally. 1
By Ihe Favorite, we received our file* of (ho
r>»a*sau Royal Oaselte, lo the 29th March, in
J he ship Coliseum, Richard Soule matter, from
Ihi-don hound lor Havana, was wrecked the l":h
of March, on the Gingerbread Otoond, Bahama
Hank. vessel lost, part of the cargo was saved and
rarrled into Nassau, where it wu sold. It wl'l
!'Crecollected that the Coliseum was one of the
vessels missing at our last dates from Havana.
»nd great fear was entertained that she had fallen
c’othe htHiJj of soar® jurat**. Melancholy 0.

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