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PETITION OF FREDERICK S. TUKEY,

CONTESTING THE SEAT OF

JAMES C. SOUTHALL.

RICHMOND, VA., December 3d, 1867.

To the President of the Constitutional Convention, now sitting in Richmond, Va.;

Your petitioner, Frederick S. Tukey, respectfully represents to your honorable body, that he was a competitor of Mr. James C. Southall, in the late election for delegates to this Convention for the district composed of Augusta, Albemarle and Louisa counties; and although Southall received the returns as delegate elect, yet your petitioner claims that he is legally elected and entitled to the seat for the following reasons: 1st. Your petitioner alleges that Southall is ineligible, for the reason that he is not a registered voter, he having during the time of registration declined to register, giving as his reasons that he could not conscientiously take the required oath, and that if he did take it, it would preclude him from making such criticisms upon the military bills, through the columns of his paper, as he might desire to. 2nd. Your petitioner alleges that the election in the sixth magisterial district of Augusta county was conducted in an illegal manner ; the ballot-boxes having been opened after the balloting had commenced, the votes taken out and the name of your petitioner erased, another substituted and the ballots then returned to the boxes. 3rd. Your petitioner further alleges that there was also a gross violation of General Orders No. 68, paragraph 12, in the manner of conducting the election in the same district. This paragraph requires that the votes shall be counted immediately on the closing of the polls, and that the boxes shall then be sealed and returned to county headquarters. But, on the contrary, they were not counted until the following day, and were carried to the house of one of the commissioners unsealed, kept over night, and then returned to headquarters still unsealed. 4th. Your petitioner claims that the votes received by T. W. Savage, of Albemarle county, should be transferred to him, for the reason that he (Savage) erased the name of your petitioner from the ballots and substituted his own, he being a commissioner of election at the time, and cousequently ineligible, which proves conclusively that he was conducting the election in his own interest, after having taken the oath of office, and sworn to conduct it in a fair and impartial manner, 5th. Your petitioner further claims that the votes received by Southall, at Porter’s precinct, in Albemarle county should be rejected, for the reason that the registering officer who was superintending the election, conducted it in the interests of Southall, after he had taken the oath of office, which required him to conduct the election in a fair and impartial manner, and boasted of having done so after the election was over, saying that

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he fooled all the negroes by making them believe that the Republican candidates were Democrats, and, if elected, would vote to re-enslave them again.

Finally, your petitioner feels in duty bound, to pray that your honorable body give the above allegations a close investigation, in order that the purity of the ballot-box, which is so important to us all at this time, may be vindicated. All of which is respectfully submitted, ERED ERICK. S. TUKEY.

() () MMUNI () ATION (#ENERAL J. M. SCHOFIELD, TENDERING THANKS.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT,
STATE or VIRGINIA, Richmond, Va., Dec. 6, 1867.

Hon. John C. Underwood, President of Virginia State Convention:

SIR : I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of an official copy of a resolution, this day adopted by the State Convention, extending the privileges of the floor of the house to myself and staff, and to tender the Convention my thanks for the compliment.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
Major-General.

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