10. A Bill for the Annual Appointment of Delegates to Congress, and of a Member for the Committee of the States
Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that at the first session of every General Assembly there shall be chosen by joint ballot of both Houses, seven persons to act as Delegates for this commonwealth in General Congress, from the first Monday in November next ensuing, the said election for the term of one year.
Four of the said Delegates at the least, shall be always at Congress during its sessions, the majority of those present shall give the vote of this commonwealth, provided there be present three at the least; otherwise they shall give no vote. If they shall not by agreement among themselves, to be stated in writing, otherwise settle the portions of the year during which each member shall attend, so as to keep up a constant attendance of four at the least, then they shall serve as follows, to wit:
The first member in the nomination shall serve during the months of November, December, January, February, June, July and August.
The second, during the months of January, February, March, April, May, September and October.
The third, during the months of November, December, March, April, May, September and October.
The fourth, during the months of November, December, January, February, June, July and August.
The fifth, during the months of February, March, April, July, August, September and October.
The sixth, during the months of November, December, January, May, June, July and August.
And the seventh, during the months of March, April, May, June, September and October.
No member shall be capable of being a Delegate for more than three years in any term of six years.1
So soon as it shall be decided on the ballot, who are to be Delegates for the ensuing year, the two Houses, shall proceed to chuse, in like manner, by joint ballot, one of the said Delegates, to be a member of the committee of the states for this commonwealth during the same year, who shall reside during the recess of Congress wherever they shall have appointed the said committee to sit.2
Any of the said Delegates, or the said member of the committee of the states, shall be subject to be removed at any time within the year, by the joint vote of both Houses, and thereon, or in case of the death, resignation, or refusal to act, of any such Delegate, or member, they shall proceed to chuse another, to serve in his stead, and during his term.3
The reasonable expences for sustenance and travelling, of the said Delegates and member of the committee of states, and of their wives, and children accompanying them, shall be paid or advanced by the Treasurer, at whatever place Congress or the said committee shall be sitting, the account thereof to be made up of general heads only, to be proved to the Auditors, by the oath of the member, or by other vouchers at his election; or any such member preferring the same, may be entitled to receive, in like manner, and in lieu thereof, from the Treasurer, the sum of dollars for every day he shall be at Congress, or the said committee, and half a dollar for every mile travelling to, or returning from the same with his ferriages.4
If any person holding any office under the laws of this commonwealth, Legislative, Executive, or Judiciary, be appointed a Delegate to Congress, or member of the committee of the states, such office shall not thereby be vacated.5
The Delegates to Congress to be chosen during the present session of Assembly in lieu of those who have resigned, or shall resign, together with those remaining in office, shall be continued until the first Monday in November next, and shall be subject to the same rules of voting, and entitled to the same allowances as are before stated, in case of the members to be annually chosen.
Report description begins Report of the Committee of Revisors Appointed by the General Assembly of Virginia in MDCCLXXVI, Richmond, 1784 description ends , p. 9–10. No MS of this Bill, other than its predecessor of 1777 which was unquestionably drawn by TJ, has been found, but his authorship may be safely assumed from the following facts: (1) he introduced it; (2) he had drawn up a resolution while in Congress respecting qualifications of delegates (q.v., ca. 1 July 1776); (3) he drew the controversial Bill for Regulating the Appointment of Delegates to the Continental Congress (q.v., 12 May 1777; Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends ix, 299).
On 17 May 1779 TJ presented the Bill; it was read the second time and amended by the House 18 May; on 25 May the Senate amended the Bill further and, after a conference, the House agreed to the Senate amendments (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , May 1779, 1827 edn., p. 9, 11, 13, 20–2; Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends x, 74–5; see also Fleming to TJ, 10–11 May 1779). Bill agrees with the Act of May 1779 except as noted below. This Bill was also introduced in the House by Madison on 31 Oct. 1785 but was superseded by another which was adopted under the title “An act to provide for the appointment of delegates … until the first Monday in November next” (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, 34, 35, 36, 37, 39; Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends xii, 26–7).
1. The Act adds at this point: “taking into account as well the past as future time.”
2. This paragraph does not appear in the Act, probably having been deleted by amendment.
3. The Act adds at this point: “and each of the said delegates shall receive from the treasurer the sum of forty dollars for every day he shall be at congress, or for attending the committee of the states, and a dollar for every mile travelling to, or returning from either, with his ferriages.” The Act, however, omits the words “or the said member of the committee of the states” and “or member” as given in the above paragraph of Bill No. 10, deletions which necessarily followed from that indicated above in note 2.
4. This paragraph is omitted from the Act. However, at the Oct. 1779 session an Act was passed stating that the Act of the preceding session had been “found inconvenient and not to answer the end proposed”; this Act reduced the number of delegates from seven to five; made it possible for one person to cast the state’s vote or a majority if more than one delegate were in attendance; allowed delegates “the expense for such part of their families as they may severally incline to keep with them, provisions for necessary servants and horses, not exceeding three servants and four horses for each; pay for house-rent and fuel, and also the farther sum of twenty dollars to each delegate for every day they shall be in congress”; in providing for family expenses in line with the above section of Bill No. 10, though differing considerably from it, the Act of Oct. 1779 enjoined delegates always to “keep in remembrance that œconomy is expected from them by their country” and required in consequence an accounting for housekeeping expenses (Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends x, 163–4).
5. The Act of Oct. 1779 repealed that part of this paragraph which permitted a delegate to hold state office, declaring that such office-holder could not remain in a state office during his term in Congress. In May 1783, however, the legislature specifically declared that appointment to Congress would vacate a seat held in the General Assembly by the appointee (same, xi, 249–50).