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Gilmer was returned by the county of Albemarle to the State House of Delegates. This period, which witnessed the birth of the great Whig and Democratic parties, was one of convulsive throe to the Nation; the political cauldron seethed with mad passions of party spirit. Mr. Gilmer was placed on the important committee of Courts of Justice, and, at the end of two weeks, he is recorded as moving to add to the standing committees one on Revolutionary Claims. It was formed with himself as chairman. He studied the subject fully, and by active research established, in his exhaustive report, unsatisfied claims of Virginia on the Federal Government which had been overlooked or neglected in former settlements. He moved resolutions of instruction to the Virginia Senators in Congress in relation to the bounty lands for the Virginia State and Continental Lines, which drew attention to the matter, and resulted in an advantageous change of the former provisions in favor of the officers and men of the Virginia State Line. During the Legislative session an effort was made to renew the charters of the State banks, though it would be three years before they expired. This measure was ably and successfully opposed by Mr. Gilmer. At the spring election of 1830, Mr. Gilmer received the verdict of approval of his course in a re-election to the House of Delegates with an increased majority; and when, after the adoption of the amended constitution, new elections were held, his popularity was further vindicated by a vote nearly double of that of any other candidate for local suffrage of his county. When the General Assembly met in December, o Mr. Gilmer was nominated for Speaker of the House of Delegates by William M. Rives, of Campbell County, who said in his nominating speech: “Mr. Gilmer has left the traces of his genius upon the memory of the members of the last session, and the proofs of his ability on the journal.” The former Speaker, Linn Banks, was, however, elected. This session of the Legislature was one of the most important ever convened in Richmond. Upon it devolved the task of remodeling the Statute Laws in accordance with the amended constitution. The ablest men in the State had been summoned to this duty in the House of Delegates. Among them may be named: Benjamin Watkins Leigh, James Barbour, Richard Morris, Archibald Bryce, Vincent Witcher, Thomas S. Gholson, William H. Brodnax, George W. Summers, George C. Dromgoole, and John Thompson Brown. The debates were marked by great ability, learning, and eloquence. Mr. Gilmer took an active part in all of the leading questions of the session, and won laurels from the ablest champions in this brilliant arena. In the winter of 1830–1, Mr. Gilmer was induced, by the solicitations of his friends, to undertake the editorial conduction of a political newspaper to be published at Richmond. He accordingly published a prospectus in the Enquirer of April 12, 1831, }. to issue, on the 1st of July, a

newspaper to be called the Times, but the scheme was abandoned in consequence of his being appointed, by Governor John Floyd, Commissioner of the State to prosecute the Revolutionary Claims of Virginia on the United States. {. Floyd, in his annual message, in speaking of this appointment, says of Mr. Gilmer: “If zeal, talent, and assiduity furnish any augury of success, we may confidently indulge the most pleasing anticipations of it.” Mr. Gilmer spent the greater part of the summer, autumn, and winter of the year 1831 in Washington City, collecting the materials and preparing the evidence for asserting the claims of Virginia before Congress, and thus escaped the excitement, during the legislative session of 1831–2, on the slavery uestion. In the spring of 1832 he was again elected a member of the ouse of Delegates. Mr. Gilmer was also a delegate from Albemarle County to the Convention held in Charlottesville, June 12, 1832, to nominate a candidate for Vice-President on the ticket with General Jackson, and of which James Barbour was the choice; but the previous nomination, by the Baltimore Convention, of Martin Van Buren, negatived their action. In 1832, Littleton Waller Tazewell having resigned his seat in the United States Senate, William Cabell Rives, who had just returned from his mission to France, was nominated by Mr. Gilmer, in the Virginia Legislature, to fill the vacancy, and was elected without opposition. Though Mr. Gilmer, by his absence as Commissioner at Washington, had fortunately escaped the excitement of the discussion of the slavery question, he had now to bear his part in the fury of the storm which rose about nullification and appalled the hearts of the stoutest patriots with the menacing thunders of civil war. On the 10th of December, 1832, General Jackson issued his proclamation, which, together with the ordinance of nullification and the other proceedings of the Convention of South Carolina, was made the subject of a special message to the General Assembly by Governor Floyd. It was referred to a special committee, of which Mr. Gilmer was a member. General W. * Brodnax, the chairman of the committee, reported a series of resolutions disapproving the ordinance of nullification as passed by South Carolina, and requesting that State to suspend it until after the adjournment of Congress; but also condemning in strong terms the heresies of the proclamation of General Jackson, and reiterating the right of secession as the proper remedy when all peaceful opposition to unconstitutional legislation by the Federal Government had failed. An interesting debate occurred on this report, in which Mr. Gilmer participated in a speech of great ability. He announced the essence .." State Rights to be the right of a State to judge for itself of infractions of the Constitution, and of the modes and measures of redress. The crisis was a fearful one, and Virginia met it nobly. She stood upon the troubled waters and lulled them into Wow". rebuking, on the one hand, the evil and mad spirit of arbitrary power which produced the proclamation,

REV. MILES SELDEN, Last Colonial Rector of St. John's Church, in 1773.

From a miniature in the possession of the family.


and, on the other, calming and soothing the excited feelings of her too intemperate sister. Mr. Leigh was sent to bear a message of counsel and peace to South Carolina. Henry Clay, on the 12th of February, offered in the United States Senate his Compromise Bill, which was adopted; and when the Convention of South Carolina reassembled in March the ordinance of nullification was repealed. In the spring of 1833 Mr. Gilmer was again re-elected to the House of Delegates. When the Assembly met in December the subject of the removal of the public deposits from the Bank of the United States was warmly discussed, and resolutions were adopted in the House of Delegates condemning the course of General Jackson as an arbitrary assumption of power, and instructing the Virginia Senators to vote for restoring the deposits to the United States Bank. Senator William C. Rives resigned his seat rather than obey the instructions, and Benjamin Watkins Leigh was elected in his place. In the spring of 1835 Mr. Gilmer was again elected to the House of Delegates. e session of 1835–6 was perhaps the stormiest ever held in the State. The recently amalgamated political parties of heterogeneous and diverse elements were in an embryo state, and every man distrustful of his next neighbor in politics. The discussions on the recently developed designs of the abolition o which was rearing its hydra head, were fierce in the extreme. he question of the Presidential succession, with all the issues of the o administration involved, was a prolific factor of ferment. A re-brand was thrown into the House by the Expunging Resolutions introduced by Colonel Joseph S. Watkins, of {...}. County. This measure of party servility was adopted, and Senator John Tyler, as has been narrated in a preceding sketch, refused to obey the instructions, o resigned his seat, which was filled by the election of William C. Wes. In the Presidential election of 1836 Mr. Gilmer voted for Hugh Lawson White, of Tennessee, in opposition to Mr. Van Buren. Both Judge White and General Harrison were voted for by the Whigs of Virginia. The shattered condition of the health of Mr. Gilmer induced him to spend the latter part of the winter of 1837–8 in the South, and at the solicitation of ol. in Virginia he extended his journey as far as Texas, as agent for them in the selection of lands. This trip made Mr. Gilmer cognizant of the resources of the infant republic of Texas, and enabled him to form a just estimate of its value to the United States, and he was henceforth an ardent and fast friend of its annexation to our Union. Whilst in Texas he was appointed by the government as joint commissioner with Mr. A. G. Burnley, to negotiate a loan of ten millions of dollars for the State. On receiving the appointment he hastened by home, on his way to the Northern cities, to effect the loan; but his negotiations were broken off by the unfavorable turn of the money affairs of the country, which soon resulted in the suspension of specie payments by the banks. He was compensated, however, by the government of Texas, with $5000 in the bonds of the republic, for his services. Mr. Gilmer was again elected to the House op Delegates of Virginia in 1838. Whilst engaged in legislative service Mr. Gilmer was a frequent contributor to the newspaper press, and in 1834 he published in the Richmond Whig a series of articles on the “Right of Instruction” and other subjects; and whilst in the North, endeavoring to effect a loan for Texas, he contributed to the Pennsylvanian some very interesting articles on the history of the Texan Revolution, which were extensively copied by the press. In the summer of 1835 he wrote letters weekly from the watering-places of Virginia to the Whig, in which he graphically described the scenery of the country and portrayed the characters and manners of those with whom he was thrown. ebruary 22, 1837, he delivered an address before the Virginia Historical Society, at its annual meeting, which was published in the current number of the iterary Messenger.

When the Legislature met in 1838, Mr. Gilmer was elected Speaker of the House of Delegates by acclaim, his being the only nomination. He was re-elected Speaker o the House of Delegates met again, in December, 1839. February 14, 1840, he was elected Governor of Virinia, to succeed David Campbell on the expiration of his term on the 1st of March. He entered zealously upon his duties. He was or of ficio President of the Board of Public Works, and, not being satisfied with the means of information at the command of the Board, he made a careful personal examination of nearly all the important public works of the State. This tour, in the summer of 1840, was at his own private expense. The information thus obtained enabled him to prepare a very able and valuable message to the Assembly, lucidly presenting the public and material interests of the State. #. also reopened with Governor Seward, of New York, a controversy for the surrender of Peter Johnson, Edward Smith, and Isaac Gransey, charged with slavestealing in Virginia, and who were fugitives from justice. Their rendition was ably demanded. Seward, after a delay of six months, replied, refusing to surrender the fugitives. The exasperated Assemby of Virginia, on the 13th of March, 1841, enacted in retaliation a law which subjected all vessels trading from any port in New York to Virginia to a search for stolen slaves. It was, however, made prospective, to allow New York another opportunity to redress the grievance complained of; and the Governor was authorized to suspend the operation of the law when the demand of the State should be complied with, and the law of New York extending the right of trial by jury should be repealed. On the 16th of March, three days after the passage of the retaliatory law, a demand was made by Governor Seward on the Executive of Virginia for the surrender of R. F. Emry, charged with felony in New

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