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Thomas Jefferson's Election to a Second Term as Governor; an excerpt from the Journal of the House of Delegates (June 2, 1780)

In this excerpt from the Journal of the House of Delegates from June 2, 1780, the House reelects Thomas Jefferson governor.

Transcription from Original

FRIDAY, June 2, 1780

Mr. Braxton reported, from the committee of Privileges and Elections, that the committee had, according to order, had under their consideration the petition of William Harvey, to them referred, complaining of an undue election and return of Mr. Thomas Moore, to serve as a delegate in this present General Assembly, for the county of Middlesex, and had agreed upon a report, and come to several resolutions thereupon, which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the clerk's table where the same were again twice read, and agreed to by the House, as followeth:

It appears to your committee, from the deposition of Simon Fraser, that some time before the last election, a conversation passed between the said Thomas Moore, (then a candidate to represent the said county in Assembly,) and the deponent, when the said Moore mentioned an intention of taking up his residence in the county, and spending most of his time there; and further, said something to the deponent about his board, to which the deponent replied, that he was always welcome to such fare as his house afforded; and that he believes the said Moore to have been in the county for fourteen days preceding the election.

It also appears to your committee, from the deposition of Robert Curtis, that the said Thomas Moore resided with him for a fortnight, or more, before the election; and that the said Moore told the deponent it was his intention to reside in the county.

Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, That a delegate ought, by law, to be a resident in the county for which he is elected, at the time of such election.

Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, That the said Thomas Moore was not a resident in the said county of Middlesex, at the time of his being elected a delegate to represent the same in this present General Assembly.

Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, That the said Thomas Moore was unduly elected a delegate for the said county of Middlesex.

A petition of sundry inhabitants of the county of Botetourt, whose names are thereunto subscribed, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, that from their remote situation, the promulgation of the laws has been greatly delayed; whereby, and from various other causes, they cannot comply with some, and are aggrieved by the operation of other laws; and praying relief.

Ordered, That the said petition be referred to the committee of Propositions and Grievances; that they do examine the matter thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the House.

The House, according to the order of the day, proceeded by joint ballot with the Senate, to the choice of a Governor or Chief Magistrate of the Commonwealth for the ensuing year; and the members having prepared tickets with the name of the person to be appointed, and put the same into the ballot glasses, Messrs. Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Mason, and Page, were nominated a committee to meet a committee from the Senate, and jointly with them, to examine the ballot glasses, and report to the House on whom a majority of votes should fall.

Ordered, That Mr. Henry do acquaint the Senate therewith.

The committee then withdrew; and after some time returned into the House, and reported, that they had according to order, met a committee from the Senate in the conference chamber, and jointly with them examined the ballot glasses, and found a majority of votes in favor of Thomas Jefferson, Esq.

Resolved, That Thomas Jefferson, Esq. be appointed Governor or Chief Magistrate of this Commonwealth for one year; he having been elected to that office by joint ballot of both Houses of Assembly.

Ordered, That Mr. Henry do carry the resolution to the Senate, and desire their concurrence.

Mr. Lee reported, from the committee of Trade, that the committee had, according to order, had under their consideration the petition of John Newman, to them referred, and had agreed upon a report and come to a resolution thereupon, which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the clerk's table, where the same were again read and agreed to by the House, as followeth:

It appears to your committee, that in the year 1776, the said John Newman was an inhabitant of this State, and enlisted under Captain John Mosley as a solider, in the second Georgia battalion, which has since been put upon the continental establishment.

It also appears to your committee, that the said John Newman in the year 1778, when the town of Savannah was attacked by your enemy, lost his right arm, which has rendered him incapable of procuring a livelihood by labor.

Whereupon, your committee came to the following resolution:

Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, That the petition of the said John Newman, praying that an allowance may be made him for the loss of his arm, is reasonable; and that the petitioner ought to be allowed the sum of 150l. for his present relief; and also, the half pay of a soldier, from the 29th of December, 1778, during life, to be charged to the continent in account with this Commonwealth.

Ordered, That Mr. Lee do carry the resolution to the Senate, and desire their concurrence.

A message from the Senate by Mr. Stevens:

Mr. Speaker,―The Senate have agreed to the resolution for appointing Thomas Jefferson, Esq. Governor or Chief Magistrate of the Commonwealth for one year. And then he withdrew.

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to notify to Mr. Jefferson his appointment to be Governor or Chief Magistrate of the Commonwealth for another year; and that Messrs. Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Mason and Page, be of the said committee.

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Ordered, That Mr. Henry do acquaint the Senate therewith.

A message from the Senate by Mr. Christian:

Mr. Speaker,―The Senate have agreed to the resolution to empower the Governor to take the direction of the public foundery at Westham. They have also agreed to the resolution, for appointing the general and field officers, to command the militia for the relief of South Carolina. And then he withdrew.

Mr. Starke reported, from the committee to whom was referred the petition of the inspectors of tobacco at Falmouth warehouses, that the committee had, according to order, had the same under their consideration, and had come to a resolution thereupon, which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the clerk's table, where the same were again twice read, and agreed to by the House, as followeth:

Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, That so much of the petition of the inspectors of tobacco at Falmouth warehouses, as prays that compensation may be made them for selling thirty-eight hogsheads of tobacco, and paying the money arising from the sale thereof into the public treasury, be rejected.

Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, That such other part of the said petition as prays an augmentation of their salaries, is reasonable.

Ordered, That the 2d resolution do lie on the table.

Mr. Carey reported, from the committee of Propositions and Grievances, that the committee had, according to order, had under their consideration, the petition of divers inhabitants of the county of Northumberland to them referred, and had come to a resolution thereupon, which be read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the clerk's table, where the same was again read, and is as followeth:

Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, That the petition of the said inhabitants of the county of Northumberland, praying that the loss of tobacco sustained by the burning of Wicomico warehouses, in the month of June last, may be made good to the owners thereof, is reasonable.

And the said resolution being read a second time, was ordered to be recommitted to the same committee.

Ordered, That Messrs. Rose and Mosley, be added to the committee appointed to prepare and bring in a bill "to amend the act 'to revive several public warehouses for the inspection of tobacco.[']"

Ordered, That Mr. Randolph have leave to be absent from the service of this House, until Saturday se'nnight; and Mssrs. Cocke and West, until Monday se'nnight.

Mr. Braxton reported, from the committee of Privileges and Elections, that the committee had, according to order, examined the certificates of the elections of delegates to serve in this present General Assembly, compared the same with the form prescribed by law, and had come to several resolutions thereupon, which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the clerk's table, where the same were again read, and are as followeth:

Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, That the certificates of the election of delegates to serve in this present General Assembly, for the counties of Accomac, Amelia, Amherst, Augusta, Berkeley, Brunswick, Buckingham, Caroline, Charles City, Charlotte, Chesterfield, Culpeper, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Elizabeth City, Essex, Fairfax, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Frederick, Gloucester, Goochland, Greenbrier, Hanover, Henry, Henrico, James City, Isle of Wight, Lancaster, Louisa, Lunenburg, Loudoun, Mecklenburg, Middlesex, Montgomery, Nansemond, New-Kent, Norfolk, Northampton, Northumberland, Orange, Pittsylvania, Powhatan, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, Prince George, Prince William, Richmond, Rockbridge, Spottsylvania, Stafford, Surry, Southampton, Warwick, Westmoreland, York, and of a delegate for the borough of Norfolk, and city of Williamsburg, are made in the form prescribed by law.

Resolved, that it is the opinion of the committee, That the certificates of the election of delegates to serve in this present General Assembly, for the counties of Albemarle, Bedford, Botetourt, Halifax, King George, King William, King and Queen, Monongalia, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Washington, are not made in the form prescribed by law.

The 1st resolution was read a second time, and agreed to by the House.

The 2nd resolution was read a second time, and ordered to be recommitted to the same committee.

Ordered, That a writ issue for the election of a delegate to serve in this present Assembly, for the county of Middlesex, in the room of Thomas Moore, Esq. who was unduly elected.

The House being informed, that Mr. Wilson Miles Cary, a delegate returned to serve in this present General Assembly, for the county of Elizabeth City; and Mr. James Chew, a delegate returned to serve in this present General Assembly, for the county of Monongalia, were non-residents at the time of their election;

Ordered, That the committee of Privileges and Elections, do inquire into the matter thereof, and report the same, with their opinion thereupon, to the House.

A message from the Senate by Mr. Harrison:

Mr. Speaker,―The Senate have agreed to the bill, entitled "an act, to empower the sheriff of the county in which the General Court may sit, to summon a grand jury, and to explain and amend the several acts, 'for fixing the allowance of the members of the General Assembly,[']" with an amendment; to which they desire the concurrence of this House. And then he withdrew.

The House proceeded to consider the said amendment, and the same being read, was disagreed to.

Ordered, That Mr. Mason do acquaint the Senate therewith.

A message from the Senate by Mr. Jones:

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Mr. Speaker,―The Senate have agreed to the resolution, for paying a small sum of money to Alexander Wiley. And then he withdrew.

An engrossed bill, "for regulating the fees of the register of the land office," was read the third time, and the blanks therein filled up.

Resolved, That the bill do pass, and that the title be "an act, for regulating the fees of the register of the land office, and for other purposes."

Ordered, That Mr. Mason do carry the bill to the Senate, and desire their concurrence.

Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a bill, "for giving permanent salaries to the Judges of the Superior Courts;" and that Messrs. Tazewell, Strother, and Richard Henry Lee, do prepare and bring in the same.

The orders of the day, for the House to resolve itself into a committee of the whole House on the state of the Commonwealth; and also, on the bill, "for giving further time to obtain warrants upon certificates for pre-emption rights, and returning certain surveys to the land office," being read,

Ordered, That the same be put off till tomorrow.

The order of the day, for the House to resolve into a committee of the whole House on the bill, "for the more equal distribution of intestates estates," being read,

Ordered, That the same be put off till Monday next.

And then the House adjourned till to-morrow morning, 10 o'clock.