First Day of Secret Session
The Convention goes into secret session. The commissioners report on their conversation with President Lincoln: Mr. Randolph urges immediate defense measures, and secession, while Mr. Stuart advises against secession before Virginia has consulted the border states. The Governor communicates the call of the U. S. Secretary of War for Virginia militia. Mr. Preston submits an ordinance of secession. Mr. Scott speaks in favor of resistance, but proposes a referendum on secession. Members from western Virginia discuss the effect of secession on their section of the state. Other members continue the discussion of secession, with most of those speaking opposed to precipitate action.

The Convention went into secret session at a few minutes past 10 o'clock, A. M.; and, after a few unimportant preliminaries, the following resolution, offered by Mr. R. Y. CONRAD, of Frederick, and amended by Mr. WYSOR, of Pulaski, was adopted:

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to inform the Governor of the Commonwealth that this Convention is now in secret session, and to request him to communicate to it, from time to time, such information as may be, in his opinion, important for it to have.

The following committee was appointed under that resolution:


Mr. FORBES, of Buckingham—

I beg leave to offer the following resolution, hoping that it will lead to no discussion:

Resolved, That the President of this Convention be directed to invite and earnestly request the attendance of the Governors of the border slave States, to wit: North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas, at this place, at their earliest convenience, for the purpose of conference and consultation in regard to the present condition of the country.


I desire to say that I offer that resolution with a belief that this Convention will, to-day or to-morrow, or in some short time, pass an ordinance of secession. I think it is highly important that we should have this consultation with these gentlemen.

Mr. PRICE, of Greenbrier—

It will take some time to get these gentlemen here. I do not want to wait until they get here, and I therefore move to lay the resolution on the table.

The motion was agreed to.

Mr. TYLER, of Charles City-I beg leave to offer the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Governor of the Commonwealth be requested to communicate to this body any official despatches which he may have received from Washington, calling upon Virginia for any quota of troops, under the President's recent proclamation.

The resolution was adopted.

Mr. CHAMBLISS, of Greensville—

I will ask what disposition has been made of the reports of the Commissioners to Washington?