Congressional Proceedings.

January 19, 1870


More senators seem to be leaning towards the admission of Virginia and the cessation of filibustering.


The Senate galleries and floor were again to-day crowded with spectators interested in the decision of the Virginia bill and anxious to be present at the taking of the final vote; but again they were disappointed, for nearly the whole session was consumed in speech-making, and in the midst of an effort by Senator Norton the Senate adjourned until to-morrow. The probability is that a final vote will not be had before Thursday, for Senators Sumner, Edmunds, Howard, and others, give indications of lengthy speeches tomorrow. The vote upon the passage of the House bill, from present appearances, is to be a very close one, with a probability of its passage; but, nevertheless, it is possible that the Edmunds-Willey amendment may be attached to the bill, which will throw it into the House again. The proceedings this afternoon were not marked by any extraordinary incident, and except two or three small tilts between senators there were no lively occurrences. Governor Walker and General Sherman were seated together upon a sofa. Members of the House were in full attendance, and Porter, member elect from Virginia, turned up again to-day, and was seated at the opposite side of the hall from Governor Walker. Ben Butler was around for awhile, but soon tired of the dullness and left. Senator Thayer resumed his speech, half concluded at adjournment yesterday. He evidently thinks he has made a great oratorical effort; and fearing that others here might not appreciate it as highly as does himself, he made a special request of the reporter of the Associated Press to spread him out well in the Congressional proceedings. Senator Nye made a very conclusive argument, showing that the new Constitution of Virginia was adopted by the Republicans, and including every voter save a little over nine thousand of them. He was not afraid, of Virginia cheating Congress; and if she did, her people would have to answer to a higher tribunal than Congress --namely, the enlightened and intelligent people of the whole world. Drake followed, and repeated himself. Stewart pitched into the Missouri oracle, who has taken upon himself the pleasant office of reading out of the Republican party senators and others who differ with him; and he inquired if Drake proposed to read out the Administration and General Grant because they were in favor of the unconditional and immediate admission of Virginia. SUMNER "ROARS AND BELLOWS"-"THAT MAN WALKER NOT FIT TO BE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA." Sumner read from newspaper scraps and straggling reports to prove that "that man Walker," as he called him, "is not fit to be Governor of Virginia, and to hold the position often filled by most honorable men and the highest in the land." Stewart defended Governor Walker, and explained his proposition, and for that purpose quoted Mr. Farnsworth's speech in the House, read a recent editorial in the Chicago Tribune, and a letter from the new Governor of Utah, who says: "To my certain knowledge Walker is and always has been a loyal man." Thereat Sumner again roared and bellowed. "The State of Virginia cannot be trusted in the hands of such a man. His defence amounts to nothing;" and he added, pathetically, "it is hard that it must be made by a senator." Here was the most sensational scene of the dull day. Whilst getting off his invective, Sumner turned squarely face towards Walker, and threateningly pointed his senatorial first digit at the man in whose hands Virginia cannot be trusted; and the man in whom the suspicious senator cannot confide smiled in response, and so did the auditors, whose eyes were sympathetically turned towards the Governor.
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Charles Simmonds




“Congressional Proceedings.,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed November 28, 2022,