Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/43

This page has been validated.
The Virginia Convention of 1788.

tion of Virginia Antiquities; of the Board of Public Interests of Richmond, Virginia, of the Virginia Club, and of the Southern Historical Society. In politics he is a Democrat and has been constant in his allegiance to the party.

His pen has not been idle and he has not only contributed to the secular and religious press on timely topics, but has prepared and published a number of works of interest and value, among them being the following: A Trans-Atlantic Steamer, 1900; Reminiscences. Letters and Miscellanies, 1901; History of Henrico Parish, and Old St. John's Church, 1903; From Gotham to Jerusalem, 1906.



At the last annual meeting of our Society a resolution was passed requesting me to prepare a paper to be read at this gathering on the Constitutional Convention of 1788, which assembled in the city of Richmond in June of that year. The Convention held its first sittings in what was known as the Old Capitol, a wooden building situated at the southwest corner of Cary and Fourteenth Streets. This building was erected in 1780 for the temporary use of the government until the building on Capitol Hill was completed. In 1855 the Old Capitol was torn down and the stores known as Pearl Block were erected by Hugh W. Fry on its site. The Convention later held its sessions in the New Academy on Shockoe Hill. This building stood on the square bounded by Broad and Marshall and Twelfth and Thirteenth Street, where Monumental Church now stands. The scope of your resolution, as I understand it, embraced brief mention of some of the distinguished members of the Convention, questions debated, interesting incidents, and some of the characteristics of the personnel of this august body. In my judgment, no more interesting theme could have been selected for the entertainment of those whose forbears helped to achieve the independence of the American Colonies, which culminated in the establishment of this great nation. The part that Virginia sustained in the heroic struggle will ever be a source of pride and congratulation to her sons. I approach the task assigned me with extreme diffidence and with a serious mistrust of my