Harper's Weekly 01/29/1870
Both Houses reassembled after the
holiday recess. In the Senate, the greater part of the
day was consumed in debating the bill for the re-
admission of Virginia. Senator Sumner led the oppo-
sition, and Senator Stewart the party favoring prompt
admission. Senator Ross introduced a bill making it
a misdemeanor in any one to sell war ships to a coun-
try which is at war with another country or colony
with which we are at peace. In the House, bills were
introduced for the repeal of the Bankrupt acts, and to
make a new apportionment of Representatives among
the States. The joint resolution for the admission of
Virginia was introduced, but not acted upon.
In the Senate, a bill was reported from
the Finance Committee by Senator Sherman as a sub-
stitute for all propositions relating to the national
currency, providing that the 3 per cents shall be taken
up, and forty-five millions of national bank circula-
tion be issued in their place, and distributed propor-
tionately among the States which have the smallest
proportion under the existing distribution.
In both Houses, notice was given of
the action of the New York Legislature on the Fif-
teenth Amendment. Senator Summer introduced a
bill to fund the national debt, to extend banking
privileges, and to facilitate a return to specie pay-
In the Senate, a petition from J. Ross
Browne was presented, asking for a reimbursement
of $12,000, for extra expenses while the petitioner was
Minister to China. A joint resolution was reported
favorably from the Committee on Post-Offices and
Post-Roads to aid an American steamship line to the
extent of $500,000 per annum for transporting the
mails. In the House, a bill was passed to prevent
government officials receiving gifts from subordinates
or making them to superiors.
In the Senate, a bill was introduced
for the establishment of the letter-carrier system in
every city of 5000 inhabitants. In the House, the en-
tire session was occupied with the discussion of the
bill for the admission of Virginia, which resulted in
the passage, by a majority of three, of Mr. Bingham's
amendment, providing for the unconditional admis-
sion of the State, as a substitute. The bill, thus
amended, was passed, 142 to 49. It was carried to the
Senate, where, in the evening session, Senator Trum-
bull proposed it as a substitute for the bill before that
body; but no action was taken.
NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATURE.
The Standing Committees in both
Houses were announced. In the Assembly a bill was
introduced to provide for an additional Police Court in
New York. The Railroad Committee was instructed
to inquire into the rates of fare on the New York street
In the Senate, bills were introduced to
abolish the Contracting Board and the existing sys-
tem of repairing the canals by contract; to repeal the
New York City License law, and to light the Central
Park roads with gas. In the Assembly the bill amend-
ing the Conspiracy Act was passed, the clause relat-
ing to trade and commerce being repealed. A resolu-
tion was adopted instructing the Committee on City
Affairs to report a bill “to restore their local govern-
ments and to abolish Commissions.”
In the Senate bills were introduced to
punish homicide by the careless handling of fire-arms;
to amend the New York and Long Island Bridge Com-
pany's charter; to regulate the storage and sale of pe-
troleum in cities and villages; to amend the act for
governing the city of New York; to amend the Bank-
ing act, and to organize the General Terms of the Su-
preme Court in accordance with the new Judiciary ar-
ticle of the amended Constitution.
GENERAL NEWS ITEMS.
The Tennessee Constitutional Convention assem-
bled at Nashville, January 10, sixty-one delegates
present. John C. Brown, formerly a Confederate
general, was chosen President. On the 11th the
members and officers took an oath to support the
Constitution of the United States. Amendments to
the State Constitution were submitted, forbidding
slavery and involuntary servitude.
The Fifteenth Amendment was ratified by the Sen-
ate of the Rhode Island Legislature January 10: by
the Ohio Senate on the 14th; and by the Kansas Sen-
ate on the 13th.
The President on the 11th sent to the Senate his first
veto—that of a bill for the extension of a patent for
improvements in pistols.
Two blocks were burned in Cheyenne, Wyoming
Territory, on the 11th, involving a loss of from
$300,000 to $500,000.
General Reynolds, commanding in Texas, has com-
municated to the War Department the adoption of
the Constitution and the election of E. J. Davis, Gov-
ernor, and the rest of his ticket.
Twelve of the Spanish gun-boats reached Fortress
Monroe in safety on the 12th.