JOINT RESOLUTIONS inviting the other States to send commissioners to meet commissioners on the part of Virginia, and providing for the appointment of the same. Adopted January 19, 1861.
Whereas, it is the deliberate opinion of the General Assembly of Virginia that unless the unhappy controversy which now divides the States of this confederacy shall be satisfactorily adjusted a permanent dissolution of the Union is inevitable, and the General Assembly, representing the wishes of the people of the Commonwealth, is desirous of employing every reasonable means to avert so dire a calamity, and determined to make a final effort to restore the Union and the Constitution in the spirit in which they were established by the fathers of the Republic: Therefore,
1. Resolved, That no behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia an invitation is hereby extended to all such States, whether slave-holding or non-slave-holding, as are willing to unite with Virginia in an earnest effort to adjust the present unhappy controversies in the spirit in which the Constitution was originally formed and consistently with is principles, so as to afford to the people of the slave-holding States adequate guarantees for the security of their rights, to appoint commissioners to meet on the 4th day of February next, in the city of Washington, similar commissioners appointed by Virginia, to consider and, if practicable, agree upon some suitable adjustment.
2. Resolved, That Ex-President John Tyler, William C. Rives, Judge John W. Brockenbrough, George W. Summers, and James A. Seddon are hereby appointed commissioners, whose duty it shall be to repair to the city of Washington on the day designated in the foregoing resolution, to meet such commissioners as may be appointed by any of the said States, in accordance with the foregoing resolution.
3. Resolved, That if said commissioners, after full and free conference, shall agree upon any plan of adjustment requiring amendments of the Federal Constitution for the further security of the rights of the people of the slave-holding states, they be requested to communicate the proposed amendments to Congress, for the purpose of having the same submitted by that body, according to the forms of the Constitution, to the several States for ratification.
4. Resolved, That if said commissioners cannot agree on such adjustment, or if agreeing, Congress shall refuse to submit for ratification such amendments as may be proposed, then the commissioner of this State shall immediately communicate the result to the Executive of this Commonwealth, to be by him laid before the convention of the people of Virginia and the General Assembly: Provided, That the said commissioners by subject at all times to the control of the General Assembly, or if in session, to that of the State convention.
5. Resolved, That in the opinion of the General Assembly of Virginia the propositions embraced in the resolutions presented to the Senate of the United States by the Hon. John J. Crittenden, so modified as that the first article proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States shall apply to all the territory of the United States now held or hereafter acquired south of latitude 36 degrees and 30 minutes, and provide that slavery of the African race shall be effectually protected as property therein during the continuance of the territorial government, and the fourth article shall secure to the owners of slaves the right of transit with their slaves between and through the non-slave-holding States and Territories,