Executive Papers, Governor John Letcher, Box 8
Archival Collections, The Library of Virginia
In regard to the movement of troops and arms within the limits of the Commonwealth by the General Government.
Agreed to April 1st 1861.
Whereas the people of Virginia in Convention assembled, are now deliberating as to their future relations with the Government at Washington D.C. and the non slaveholding States of the Confederacy known as the United States of North America: And whereas the General Assembly of Virginia at present sitting and the Governor of this Commonwealth have declared their opposition to the exercise of force against the slaveholding seceding States and to the organization in, or marching through our Territory of Military expeditions for that purpose: and whereas in the present unsettled condition of our interstate and federal relations it is the highest obligation of duty in all public functionaries to watch vigilantly and prevent or thwart every hostile movement either against the seceded states, or those that may be supposed to sympathize with them: And whereas it has come to the knowledge of this Legislature that a large number of heavy guns manufactured at Bellona Foundry near the Capitol of Virginia under an order of the Ordnance Department at Washington D.C. have been ordered to Fortress Monroe when they can only be needed for the purpose of intimidation and Menace to Virginia at present, and of actual hostilities, in a certain contingency that may change her future relations to the Federal Government, and the Anti Slavery Sentiment it represents.
Be it Resolved by the General Assembly
That the Governor of this Commonwealth be authorized and he is hereby directed in case of the actual attempt of the Federal Authorities to transport said guns over the soil of Virginia to seize and detain said guns for the use of this Commonwealth, and to that end to order out the public guard to arrest the contemplated removal of the guns beyond the reach and control of the Government of this State.
Resolved further, That the Governor be, and is hereby authorized and required, out of the money appropriated for the purchase of Arms, at the present session of the General Assembly, by an Act passed on the 29th day of January 1861 entitled "An Act Appropriating One Million of Dollars for the defence of the Commonwealth" to pay Dr. Junius L. Archer the amount due him viz Seven Thousand Eight hundred and seventy two dollars and forty seven cents on his contract for the manufacture of said guns and to the Government at Washington the sum of thirteen thousand and twenty four dollars, which said Government has paid to said Archer on account of his said contract and the Governor shall require the Superintendent of the Armory at Richmond to take possession of said guns, and deposit them therein for safe keeping.
A Copy from the Rolls
J.W.S. Rady apt. Clk.
For W. F. Gordon C.H. Del
and Keeper Rolls of Va.