West Virginia. Dept. of Archives and History.

Biennial report of the Department of Archives and History of the State of West Virginia (Volume 2) online

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Fa-e 9, Bineteenth line from top for "S. W." Laidley, read W. S. Laidley.
Page 9, eighteenth line from bottom, for James "M." Brown, road James F.

Page 17 last line at bottom, for "Virgina" read Virginia.

Pa<-e r,4 first and second lines from bottom, for "Bancorder," read Recorder.
Page 70, twenty-second line from top. for "Saunders- read Sanders. Same m

fourth and ninth lines on page 292.
rage 125, last line at bottom right column, for -William P.. Zaue," read William P..

Z 'inn.
Page 135, seventh line from bottom in second column, supply the name -'Smith

after Nehemiah.
Page 162, in tenth line from bottom, for November "20th." read November 20th.
[•age 168, tirst line at top, for "abopt," read a<1<>i>t.
Page it:'., third line from bottom, for "Seators," read Senators.
Page ]S"2. second line from top, for "Thuse," read Thii*.
[>age lb9, seventh line from bottom, for "Mason,'-' read Marion.
Page l'.">. first line at top omit final "s" in Convention.
! .,,, . -■ i; eleventh line from bottom, for "1779," read JS~9.
Page 251, second line from bottom for "Nnxon." read M.ion, and for "James" read

Page 269, thirteenth line from top. for S. "V." Mathews, rend S. W. Mathews.
Page 285, fifth line from top. for "Yirgfinia." read Virginia.
Page 288, twenty-first line from bottom, for "Kerchnal," read Kerchevai.
Page 291, first line at top, omit final "e" in Green.

I | ::is third line from top, for "Piedmont." read Pruntytown.

[age 322, thirteenth line from bottom, after name of "Eustace Gibson," add that
of .James Anthony Hughes.

Second Biennial Report

Of the department of


of the

State of West Virginia.


State Historian and Archivist.

"I cannot but think that he to whom shall be afforded the opportunity
to tell of the progress of West Virginia, when in a few years, half a century
shall have elapsed, will be justified if he characterizes as marvelous the first
fifty years, rivaling as they will, the best in all the glowing records of Ameri-
can Commonwealths.''

George B. Cortelyou.

! Checked
May 1913




State of West Virginia,
Department of Archives and History,
Charleston, October 1, 190S.
To His Excellency,

Honorable W. M. O. Dawson,

Governor of West Virginia.

My Dear Sir: —

By the provisions of Section Three of Chapter LXIV of the Acts
of the Legislature, Session of 1905, the State Historian and Archi-
vist is required to make annually a report to the Governor to be
transmitted by him to the Legislature, which report shall contain
an exhibit of all the State Papers, Public Documents, Books.
Phamplets and other property belonging to the Department o*
Archives and History, together with annual accumulations, and a
statement of the receipts and expenditures thereof; and accom-
panied by such recommendations as he deems best for the State's
interest in the Department. In compliance therewith I now have
the honor to transmit to you herewith the Second Biennial Report
of this Department, for the two fiscal years ending respectively
September 30, 1907, and September 30, 1908. Again thanking
you for the kindly interest and earnestness you have manifested in
the work of the Department. I remain, yours
i Most obediently,

Virgil A. Lewis,
State Historian and Archivist.





The State Department of Archives and History is located on the
third floor of the Capitol Annex Building where it occupies eight
thousand five hundred square feet of floor space, exclusive of the
office of the State Historian and Archivist, and other private rooms.
The ceiling (metal) is fifteen feet high, thus giving a wall surface
of more than five thousand square feet for book-shelving, portraits,
maps, etc. The entire surface of floor, walls and ceiling is painted
in tints, thus giving to the whole a pleasing effect. It is lighted
by day by thirty-two large windows, and four sky-lights, the lat-
ter being 9x12 feet. At night it is rendered brilliant by one hun-
dred and fourteen gas jets and one hundred and twenty-six electric
lights, each of the latter being of sixteen candle power. Steam
heat is supplied from twenty radiators connected with a central
plant. The elevator service is by the tower in the center encased
with glass on all sides. On the floors, in offices under reading tables,
and in aisles, there are three hundred yards of carpet ; there are
thirty-eight bookcases, which together with that on the walls, ag-
gregate three thousand, eight hundred and seventy-three feet of
shelving; sixty-two show cases; thirty-two tables: twenty-four
chairs; and thirteen miscellaneous filing cases and other pieces of
furniture. Among this are many pieces to which attach historic.
interest. Three of the walnut cases stood in the West Virginia
Building at the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia, in 1.S76;
seven pieces were used for the State exhibits in the various Exhibit
Buildings at the Worlds Columbian Exposition at Chicago, in
1893; four pieces were used in the State Exhibit at the Louisiana
Purchase Exposition at St. Louis, in 1903 ; and fourteen of the best
show-cases in the rooms were used for the State History Exhibit
at the Jamestown, Ter-Centennial Exposition on Hampton Roads,
Virginia, in 1 007.




The Library of the Department has some interesting historic
details connected with its beginning and growth. Some mention oi"
these will not be improper here.

The Old Virginia State Library at Lewisburg: — By an Act of.
the General Assembly of Virginia passed April 8, 1831, the Supreme
Court of Appeals was required to sit at Lewisburg in Greenbrier
County, now West Virginia, ninety days annually, beginning on
the first Monday in August for the hearing and determining of
all causes which were appealed from counties now in West Virginia,
except those of Berkley, Jefferson, Hampshire, Morgan and Hardy.
An Act of March 20, 1832, provided that the "Statutes at Large"
of Virginia, Session Acts since the revisal of the Code in 1819, the
Supreme Court Reports and all other books of which there were
duplicates in the Law Library, should be sent to Lewisburg, where
John A North, clerk of the Court of Appeals, was made ex officio
Librarian. By another Act, passed December 13, 1833, the sum of
$1,200.00 was appropriated to provide a library for the Court of
Appeals at Lewisburg and the Librarian at Richmond was re-
quired to transmit to Lewisburg duplicates of all books then consti-
tuting the Library in that city, or that should thereafter come into
it. Thus was a State Library established at Lewisburg. Years
passed away and many valuable miscellaneous volumes were added
to it. Then came the years of the Civil War and State division,
when many of the books were scattered and lost. The New State of
West Virginia laid claim to all public property within its limits, the
library at Lewisburg included. In 1866, Sylvanus W. Hall of Mar-
ion County, then Clerk of the new West Virginia Court of Appeals,
went to Lewisburg where he found the library of the old ( Virginia ^
Court of Appeals, in the custody of a young lawyer — Henry Mason
Mathews — afterward Governor of the State. He turned all over
to Mr. Hall and assisted in boxing and packing when all were taken
in wagons to Allegheny Station on, the old Covington and Ohio
Railroad and shipped by way of Washington to Wheeling. There-
after they, together with the books in the West Virginia Law
Library, were shipped back and forth between Wheeling and Char-
leston, as the Seat of State Government was changed here and there

G Abchives and History. [W. Va.

until 1885, when they were brought to Charleston to be taken awaj
no more.

The West Virginia Historical and Antiquarian Society :-
This Society was organized in the Senate Chamber of the State
House at Charleston January 30, 1890, and received from the
Secretary of State, a charter of incorporation on the 11th of
February. 1890. The Board of Public Works granted, it the use
of a room on the first lioor of the State House- — one now used by the
State Superintendent of Schools — and in this it deposited its first

The Historical Society Made the Custodian of the State's
Miscellaneous Books: — On the 19th of February, 1891, Dr. M.
S. Bryte, a member of the House of Delegates, who had been active
in the organization of the State Historical Society, reported Joint
Resolution No. 10, in a Preamble to which it was set forth that :

Whereas, there are many Volumes, Documents and Papers in
possession of the State Librarian which are of no value to the
Law Library, but of great value for Historical, Biographical ami
Scientific research, investigation and reference and

Whereas, Such Books, Documents and papers are being con-
tinually received by said Law Library,

Therefore be it Resolved, That the State Librarian, with the con-
sent and approval of the Supreme Court of Appeals of this State
be, and is hereby authorized to turn over to the "West Virginia,
Historical and Antiquarian Society" such books, documents and
papers, other than those belonging exclusively to the "Law Libra-
ry" as are now in the possession of the State Librarian, or which
may hereafter come into his possession, and which may be deenn d
of special importance and interest to the said Society, both as col-
lections and reference in publishing and preserving historical, bio-
graphical, scientific, and other information relating to the Stat'.

This Resolution was speedily adopted by the Legislature and the
writer well remembers the condition in which these miscellaneous
books were found — piled in heaps on the floors, and against rough
unplastered walls in the uppermost parts of the attic of the State;
House — and covered with the accumulated dust of years. He knows
too. how these books — hundreds of volumes — were cleaned and car-
ried down three flights of stairs to the first floor where, for the
time they were deposited in the room assigned by the Board o p
Public Works for the use of the Society. From here its collec-

1908] Additions to the Department Libbary. 7

tions were moved to the second floor and later to the third floor,
where they remained in the room now used as an Armory, nntil
purchased by the Department of Archives and History, after which
they were removed to the third floor of the new Capitol Annex
Building where they are now deposited. Among these were some
of the" volumes from the old Lewisburg Library.


Annually for sixteen years, the Legislature made small appro-
priations of money to aid the Historical Society in its work, and
with a portion of this — beyond contingent expenses — a few books-
volumes of much value — were purchased each year. But the chief
sources from which accessions came to the Library, were those ot
liberal spirited persons who made contributions of books, documents,
papers, etc., to its collection. These constitute its most important
foundations; chief of which has been the following:—

Its First Donation: — "Within a few weeks after the State His-
torical Society was organized, it received from the generous and
scholarly General J. Watts DePeyster of New York City, a box of
valuable books — in all nearly a hundred volumes — some of which he
was the author himself. He had heard of the inauguration of the
movement to preserve the history of the State and to lay the foun-
dation of a State historical and miscellaneous library, and he de-
sired to encourage it to the extent of his donation.

The Summers Donation: — This was made in 189-4, by Lewis
Summers, Esq., of Charleston, West Virginia, a son of Judge George
W. Summers, he and his brother, Judge Lewis Summers, being long
prominent residents of the Great Kanawha Valley, and active in the
official life of Virginia before the Civil War. It was from their
Library that the donation came, and it consisted largely of Federal
Publications now most valuable, both because of age and the sub-
jects of which they treat.

The Brown Donation: — In 1895, Hon. James H. Brown, of
Charleston, who had been one of the first Judges of the Supreme
Court of Appeals of West Virginia, donated to the Historical
Society a large collection of Federal Publications for the years of
the Civil War. Because of the time at which they were issued
they possess much historic interest.

The Broun Donation : — About the year 1896, Major Thomas L.
Broun contributed to the Society a number of bound volumes of the
"Reports and Proceedings of the Board of Public Works" of Vir-

8 Archives axd History. [W. Va

ginia, together with other volumes of the Reports and Transactions
of the old James River and Kanawha Canal Company. It was
this donation that became the foundation of the present unexcelled
collection of the Public Documents of Virginia now in the Depart-
ment of Archives and History.

The Hale Donation: — In 1902, Dr. John P. Hale of Charleston.
by will, bequeathed to the Historical Society his private library of
nearly four hundred volumes of rare works treating of history, art.
science and general literature. This collection is one of great
value, and consequently attracts much interest on the part of schol-
ars and of general readers as well.


It has been stated that during the existence of the State Histor-
ical Society, the Legislature made small appropriations annually,
to aid in its work. These appropriations were usually accom-
panied with the provision that books, relics, etc., collected and pur-
chased with the money thus appropriated, should be and remain the
property of the State, to be held in trust by the said Society for
the said State. By an- Act of the Legislature passed February 18,
1905, the State Department of Archives and History was created,
with an official known as the State Historian and Archivist at its
head; its management being under the control of the Board oi!
Public Works. One of the provisions of this Act was. that tin?
Department should take into its keeping all property of whatever
character, which had been purchased with the State's money and
held in trust for the State by the West Virginia Historical Society,
this to be made a part of the collection of the Department of Ar-
chives and History. When the officials of the Historical Society—
a private corporation — learned of this provision, they proposed to
the Board of Public Works, to sell its entire collection to the De-
partment of Archives and History ; an agreement was reached — May
25, 1905 — by which they were paid the sum of $580.00, and their
entire collection — Library and all— has been transferred to this
Department, where it is being classified, and labeled, as required by


Some very valuable contributions have been made to the Library
since it became the property of the State Department of Archives
and History.

1908] Accessions by Purchase. 9

The Howard Donation: — In 1907, Hon. Hiram R. Howard ot
Point Pleasant, West Virginia, donated a most valuable collection of
West Virginia Public Documents — Journals of the Senate and
House of Delegates — of the early years of the State, now long out
of print and very difficult to obtain.

The Burdett Donation:— In the summer of 1907, Mrs. Abbie
Ann (Johnson) Burdette, wife of the late Hon. John S. Burdette, an
early Treasurer of the State, gave to the Department a number of
volumes, among them being Documents relating to the history of
the State in the years of war, when it came into being.

The Faulkner Donation: — In 1908, ex-United States Senator
Hon. Charles J. Faulkner, Jr., of Martirisburg, West Virginia,
donated to the Department a most valuable collection of Public
Documents of Virginia; covering as they do the years from 1830
to 1850 #nd collected by his father, Hon. Charles James Faulkner,
Sr., who was long connected with the old Virginia State Govern-
ment, and a United States Minister to the Court of France during
the administration of James Buchannon.

The Laidley Donation : — Judge S. W. Laidley in 1908, gave to
the Department a number of Federal Documents which aided very
materially in filling out broken sets of these publications.

The Brown Donation : — This was a donation made to this De-
partment in 1908, by James M. Brown of Charleston, a son of Judge
James F. Brown Avhose contribution to the Library of the Historical
Society has been noticed. This may therefore be called "The
Second Brown Donation." It consisted of a large number of vol-
umes of much value.

collections purchased.

Several collections of books have been purchased by the Depart-
ment. In 1906, a number of volumes were purchased from the
estate of Colonel J. B. Peyton who was clerk of the House of Dele-
gates for many years. A valuable collection of the Public Docu-
ments of Virginia were purchased from Judge James M. Mason of
Charles Town the present year; and nearly six hundred volumes
were bought from the estate of the late Judge George W. Sum-
mers of Kanawha County. Such in brief are the Library Founda-
tions and accessions. Thus it is that, both by purchase and dona-
tion, the Library continues to grow. This data will be more valuable
in the future than now — that is, when the Library will have grown
to larger proportions.

10 Archives and History. [W. Va.


The following figures in general itemized form, show the Li-
brary as it is. It now contains, of

History and Miscellaneous Literature. .. .12,414 Volumes and Pamphlets.

Federal Publications 11,228 Volumes and Pamphlets.

State Publications 7,724 Volumes and Pamphlets.

A total of 31,366 Volumes and Pamphlets.

Of these Volumes and Pamphlets —

There are bound in Leather 11,188

There are bound in Cloth 8,400

There are bound in Paper 1,999

Books and Pamphlets in Paper, Boards or

Leatherette 9,419

Total Volumes and Pamphlets in Library

September 30, 1908, is 31,366

Total Volumes and Pamphlets in Library

September 30, 1906, was 23,162

A gain in the biennial period of 8,204

The Historical and Miscellaneous Section: — The books and
pamphlets in this Section cover a wide range in Literature, — so wide
indeed that this can only be determined by a Catalogue or Finding-
List. History, biography, science, art, religion, and many other
subjects far too numerous to mention here arc widely covered. By
far the most important part of this Section is the Virginian His-
tory — History of the Virginias — which it contains.

Federal Publications Section : — This is a rare collection of the
Documents of the National Government, rare because many of these
date far back toward the beginning of the Republic — even to the
days of the Continental "Congress. Here too, with them are pub-
lications of the Smithsonian Institution and of the National Mus-
eum, as well. It is said that the Government Printing Office is the
largest Publishing House in the World, and nearly twelve thousand
of its publications — Volumes and Phamplets — are in this Depart-
ment, where they are now received as published, the Department
having been designated as a Depository for them.

State Publications Section : — This is known in many libraries
as the "Legislative Section" because it is here that Members of the
Legislature and all other State officials, have access to all the

1908 J Public Documents of Virginia. 11

publications of other States, thereby seeing what they have done,
and are doing along every line of State Government work. Section
four of the Act creating this Department makes it the duty of the
Secretary of State to deliver to it at least sixty copies of all West
Virginia Public Documents for exchange for similar Documents
with other States. This he has done, and the Department now has
on its "Exchange List" the libraries of all the States and Terri-
tories of the Union. Nearly eight thousand volumes of these Docu-
ments of other States are now on its shelves.


For two hundred and fifty years West Virginia was a part of
Virginia and throughout this long period all Public Documents per-
taining in any manner to West Virginia are to be found among
those of Virginia ; and if we are to have a complete collection of our
own, we must secure it by making a complete collection of those of
Virginia. To do this, the Department has made a special effort,
and from the Ohio to the Chesapeake, and even far beyond the limits
of both States, these Public Documents and State Papers of Vir-
ginia, while the two States were one, have been collected. The
result of this eniest is that we now have on the shelves the Journals
of the House of Burgesses of the Colonial Period from 1754 to
1776 ; while for the time since the Revolution- — that of the Com-
monwealth — of Messages of the Governors, Journals of the Senate
and House of Delegates, Codes, Statutes at Large, Session Acts of
the Assembly. Reports of Executive Officers, Boards controlling
State Institutions and other Special and Miscellaneous Public Docu-
ments, the Department has in all about five hundred volumes. This
is probably the best collection of the printed documents of Virginia
now extant, and among them as stated, are those pertaining to We^t
Virginia while it was a part of Virginia.



The most remarkable, the most memorable event in the historv
of any American State is that in the annals of the Virginias — a
Period when there w T ere two Governments in Virginia — the old
State Government at Richmond and the Restored Government of
Virginia at Wheeling— a Period when there were three State Gov-
ernments on the soil of Virginia - the old State Government at

12 Arciiivpjs axd History. [W. Va.

Richmond, the Restored Government at Alexandria, and a mew State
Government — that of* West Virginia, at Wheeling. A strange re-
cital in history, one that tells how the old State Government at
Richmond passed out of existence and gave place to the Restored
Government removed thither from Alexandria; and how the Re-
stored Government had made possible the existence of the new
State of West Virginia, in the Trans- Allegheny Region of the old
Commonwealth. Because of the deep interest manifested by stud-
ents of history, collectors have made a specialty of buying all docu-
ments which in any manner relate to the Restored Government.
West Virginia was late in beginning to collect and preserve these,
no effort being put forth until it was done by the Department of
Archives and History. In it have been gathered the following: — ■

1. Journal and Documents of the Richmond Convention, which adopt-

ed the Ordinance of Secession 1SG1.

2. Speech of Waitman T. Willey on Federal Relations in Richmond

Convention — 1861.

3. Proceedings of the Clarksburg Convention of April 23, 1861.

4. Proceedings and Resolutions of the First Convention of the People

of Northwestern Virginia, at Wheeling, May 13, 1861.

5. The Address of the First Wheeling Convention to the People of

Northwestern Virginia, May 15, 1861.

6. Proceedings of the Second Convention of the People of North-

wester Virginia, assembled at Wheeling June 11, 1861.

7. An Address of the First Wheeling Convention (May 15, 1861)

to the People of Northwestern Virginia.

Online LibraryWest Virginia. Dept. of Archives and HistoryBiennial report of the Department of Archives and History of the State of West Virginia (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 35)