The Final Act Placing Virginia in the Union.
January 29, 1870
Virginia's first representatives are finally sworn in to the national legislature.
The final act which places Virginia beyond the power and further coercion of the so-called statesmen of the Radical persuasion in Congress-the Drakes et id genus omne-was consummated to-day when Senator Johnston was sworn and took his seat in the Senate of the United States, his colleague (Senator Lewis) having qualified and taken his seat yesterday. The State is now in the practical and constitutional enjoyment of her equal suffrage in the Senate. No mere act of Congress can deprive her of her voice in either branch of the National Legislature, and she now is henceforth upon an equal footing with the most favored States. At the opening of the Senate Mr. Willey arose and announced the presence of Mr. J. W. Johnston, senator elect from Virginia, stating that his disabilities had been removed, and that he desired to be sworn in. Mr. Edmunds suggested that there might be some further legislation necessary. He had been informed that the disabilities of this gentleman had not been removed. He understood that the disabilities of a Mr. Johnson had been removed, but whether it was this Mr. John W. Johnston he was not certain, and the identity, of course, ought to be established. Mr. Willey read from one of the acts removing political disabilities where the name of John W. Johnston, of Washington county, occurred, and this was the gentleman that was here present. Mr. Sumner said there would be no objection, of course, if this was the fact. The senator elect then advanced, and the oath was administered to him. The House bill allowing such Virginia officials as are unable from conscience sake to take an oath to make affirmation on assuming the duties of their offices was passed. In the House, shortly after the reading of the Journal, Hon. J. D. Gibson, of the eighth district of Virginia, appeared, was sworn, and took his seat as a representative from that State. The Committee on Elections are waiting for the printed briefs and statements in the cases of Booker, McKenzie, and Segar. The case will be reported upon early next week.
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“The Final Act Placing Virginia in the Union.,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed September 19, 2018, http://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1584.