Thomas Jefferson Papers
Documents filtered by: Author="Committee of the Virginia Assembly"
sorted by: date (ascending)

1. A Bill to Arrange the Counties into Senatorial Districts, 18 June 1779

1. A Bill to Arrange the Counties into Senatorial Districts

Be it enacted by the General Assembly that the districts, for which Senators are to be chosen to serve in General Assembly, shall be those which are herein after described, that is to say, the counties of Accomack and Northampton, one district; the counties of Princess Ann, Norfolk, and Nansemond, one other district; the counties of Isle-of-wight, Surry, and Prince George, one other district; the counties of Dinwiddie, Southampton, and Sussex, one other district; the counties of Brunswick, Lunenburg, and Mecklenburg, one other district; the counties of Charlotte, Halifax, and Prince Edward, one other district; the counties of Chesterfield, Amelia, Cumberland, and Powhatan, one other district; the counties of Buckingham, Albemarle, Amherst, and Fluvanna, one other district; the counties of Pittsylvania, Bedford, and Henry, one other district; the counties of Botetourt, Montgomery, Washington, and Kentucky, one other district; the counties of Elizabeth City, Warwick, and York, one other district; the counties of Charles City, James City, and New Kent, one other district; the counties of Henrico, Goochland, and Louisa, one other district; the counties of Hanover, and Caroline, one other district; the counties of Ohio, Yohogania, Monongalia, and Shenando, one other district; the counties of Gloucester, and Middlesex, one other district; the counties of Essex, King William, and King and Queen, one other district; the counties of Lancaster, Richmond, and Northumberland, one other district; the counties of Westmoreland, Stafford, and King George, one other district; the counties of Spotsylvania, Orange, and Culpeper, one other district; the counties of Prince William, and Fairfax, one other district; the counties of Loudoun, and Fauquier, one other district; the counties of Frederick, Berkeley, and Hampshire, one other district; and the counties of Augusta, Rockingham, Greenbrier, and Rockbridge, one other district.

Report description begins Report of the Committee of Revisors Appointed by the General Assembly of Virginia in MDCCLXXVI, Richmond, 1784 description ends , p. 1. MS (ViU); clerk’s copy.

It is strange that this Bill was not adopted, since it was merely a revision of the ordinance of 1776 that divided the sixty-two counties into twenty-four districts (Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends ix, 128–30). This Bill omits Fincastle, East Augusta, and West Augusta and includes the following that were not in the ordinance of 1776: Powhatan, Fluvanna, Henry, Montgomery, Washington, Kentucky, Ohio, Yohogania, Monongalia, Shenandoah, Augusta, Rockingham, Greenbrier, and Rockbridge. Presumably the arrangement of the counties in districts met with objection in the Senate, for, after the Bill was introduced on 31 Oct. 1785 and passed by the House, it was referred to the Senate and no further action was taken on it (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , Oct. 1785, 1828 edn., p. 12–15, 40, 47). The Chancellors’ Revisal description begins A Collection of all Such Public Acts of the General Assembly, and Ordinances of the Conventions of Virginia, Passed since the Year 1768, as Are Now in Force‥‥ Published under Inspection of the Judges of the High Court of Chancery, Richmond, 1785 description ends of 1785 repeats the ordinance of 1776 as enacted, including the names of obsolete counties and omitting those that had been erected since 1776. It was not until the passage of the Act of 1792 that the twenty-four districts required by the Constitution of 1776 were redefined so as to account for all of the existing counties (Shepherd, description begins Samuel Shepherd, The Statutes at Large of Virginia, from October Session 1792, to December Session 1806, Inclusive … (New Series,) Being a Continuation of Hening description ends i, 7–8).

Index Entries