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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"Wheeling Convention, should be delegates therein. On the first
day a Committee on Credentials was appointed, Andrew Flesher,
a delegate from Jackson county, being Chairman thereof. At three
o'clock this Committee reported duly accredited delegates from the
counties of Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marion, Monongalia, Harrison,
Preston, Wood, Ritchie, Lewis, Upshur. Gilmer, Wirt. Jackson,
Mason, Wetzel, Pleasants, Barbour, Hampshire, Berkeley, Taylor,.
Tyler, Doddridge, Roane, Frederick', and Marshall — twenty six in
all. The total vote by counties for President ;it the last election
was made the basis of representation.

On the motion of Campbell Tarr of Brooke county, the President
appointed a committee on State and Federal Relations consisting of
one member from each county. The membership was as follows:

Campbell Tarr, of Brooke county; Waitman T. Willey, of Mon-
ongalia county; John S. Carlile, of Harrison county; General John
J. Jackson, of Wood county; Charles Ilooton. of Preston county;
Daniel Lamb, of Ohio county; George McC. Porter, of Hancock
county; Joseph S. Machir, of Mason county; Daniel D. Johnson, of
Tyler county; James Scott, of Jackson county; George W. Bier r
of Wetzel county; R. C. Holliday, of Marshall county; Alexander
Scott Withers,* of Lewis county; E. T. Graham, of Wirt county;
Francis II. Pierpont, of Marion county ; Spencer Dayton, of Bar-
bour county; George S. Senseney. of Frederick county; John S.
Burdett, of Taylor county; A. R. McQuillan, of Berkeley county;
Friend Cochran, of Pleasants county; J. E. Stump, of Roane coun-
ty; S. Martin, of Gilmer county; C. B. Rohrbaugh, of Upshur
county ; Ownen D. Downey, of Hampshire county ; and James A.
Foley, of Doddridge county.

Resolutions of the Convention : — For three days and running
far into the night, there was heated debate as to the best plan of

* Author of "Chronicles of Border Warfare."

1C8 Archives and History. [W. Va.

immediate action. Some were determined to at once abopt a Con-
stitution, form a government for the counties represented and fill
the offices by temporary appointment. Others regarded this plan
as one of spasmodic disruption, and stood rather for legalized
resistance. Discussion Was interrupted late on the night of the
third day by the Committee on State and Federal Relations beg-
ging permission to report through its chairman, Campbell Tarr.
This was a skillful blending of all opinions. It was as follows :

1. RESOLVED, That in our deliberate judgment the ordinance passed by the
•Convention of Virginia, on the 17th day of April, 1861, known as the ordinance of
secession, by which said Convention undertook in the name of the State of Vir-
ginia, to repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United States by this
State, and to resume all the rights and powers granted under said Constitution, is
unconstitutional null and void.

2. RESOLVED, That the schedule attached to the ordinance of secession, sus-
pending and prohibiting the election of members of Congress for this State, is a
manifest usurpation of power, to which we ought not to submit.

3. RESOLVED, That the agreement of the 24th of April, 18C1. between the
Commissioners of the Confederate States and this State, and the ordinance of the
25th of April, 1861, approving and ratifying said agreement by which the whole
military force and military operations, offensive and defensive of this Common-
wealth, are placed under the chief control and direction of the President of the
Confederate States, upon the same principles, basis and footing as if the Common-
wealth were now a member of said Confederacy, and all the acts of the executive
officers of our State in pursuance of said agreement and ordinance, are plain and
palpable violations of the Constitution of the United States, and are utterly sub-
versive of the rights and liberties of the people of Virginia.

4. RESOLVED, That we earnestly urge and entreat the citizens of the State
every where, but more especially in the Western section to be prompt at the polls
on the 23rd instant : and to impress upon every voter the duty of voting in con-
demnation of the Ordinance of Secession, in the hope that we may not be involved
in the ruin to be occasioned by its adoption, and with the view to demonstrate
the position of the West on the question of secession.

5. RESOLVED. That we earnestly recommend to the citizens of Western Vir-
ginia to vote for members of the Congress of the United States, in their several
districts, in the exercise of the right secured to us by the Constitution of the
United States and the State of Virginia.

6. RESOLVED, That we also recommend to the citizens of the several coun-
ties to vote at said election for such persons as entertain the opinions expressed
in the foregoing resolutions, for members of the Senate and House of Delegates
of our State.

7. RESOLVED, That in view of the geographical, social, commercial and in-
dustrial interests of Northwestern Virginia, this Convention is constrained in giv-
ing expression to the opinion of their constituents to declare that the Virginia Con-
vention in assuming to change the relation of the State of Virginia to the Federal
Government, have not only acted unwisely and unconstitutionally, but have adopted
a policy utterly ruinous to all the material interests of our section, severing all
our social ties, and drving up all the channels of our trade and prosperity.

8. RESOLVED, That in the event of the Ordinance of Secession being ratified
t>y a vote, we recommend to the people of the Counties here represented, and all
others disposed to co-operate with us. to appoint on the 4th day of June, 1861, del-
egates to a General Convention, to meet on the 11th of that month, at such place
as may he designated by the Committee hereinafter provided, to devise such mea-
sures and take such action as the safety and welfare of the people they represent
may demand. — each County to appoint a number of Representatives to said Con-
vention equal to double the number to which it will be entitled in the next House of
Delegates; and the Senators and Delegates to be elected on the 23d inst., by the
counties referred to. to the next General Assembly of Virginia, and who concur in
the views of this Convention, to be entitled to seats in the said Convention as mem-
bers thereof.

0. RESOLVED. That inasmuch as it is a conceded political axiom, that gov-
ernment is founded on the consent of the governed and is instituted for their good,
and it cannot be denied that the course pursued by the ruling power in the State,
is utterly subversive and destructive of our interests, we believe we may rightfully
and successfully appeal to the proper authorities of Virginia, to permit us peace-
fully and lawfully to separate from the residue of the State, and form ourselves
into a government to give effect to the wishes, views and interests of our constitu-

10. RESOLVED, That the public authorities be assured that the people of the
North West will exert their utmost power to preserve the peace, which they feel
satisfied they can do, until an opportunity is afforded to see if our present diffi-
culties cannot receiive a peaceful solution ; and we express the earnest hope that no

1908] The Restored Government of Virginia. 169

troops of the Confederate States be introduced among us, as we believe it would
"be eminently calculated to produce civil war.

11. RESOLVED, That in the language of Washington in his letter of the 17th
of September, 1787, to the President of Congress, "in all our deliberations on this
subject we have kept steadily in view that which appears to us the greatest interest
of every true American, the consolidation of our Union, in which is involved our
prosperity, felicity, safety and perhaps our national existence." And therefore we
will maintain and defend the Constitution of the United States and the laws made
in the pursuance thereof, and all officers acting thereunder in the lawful discharge
of their respective duties.

12. RESOLVED, That John S. Carlile, James S. Wheat, C. D. Hubbard, F.
II. Pierpont. Campbell Tarr, George R. Latham, Andrew Wilson, S. H. Woodward
and James W. Paxton be a Central Committee to attend to all the matters con-
nected with the objects of this Convention ; and that they have power to assemble
this Convention at any time they may think necessary.

13. RESOLVED, That in accordance with the last resolution, a Central Com-
mittee of five be appointed to attend to all matters connected with the objects of
this Convention, and that they have power to assemble this Convention at any time
they may think necessary.

14. RESOLVED, That the Central Committee be Instructed to prepare an
address to the people of Virginia in conformity with the foregoing resolutions, and
cause the same to be published and circulated as extensively as possible.

By order of the Convention.

John W. Moss, President.

G. L. Cranmek,
M. M. Dent,
C. B. Waggenek,


There was but little discussion, and the report was adopted, but
two dissenting voices being heard. Then the Convention sang
"The Star Spangled Banner," and adjourned sine die. These
Resolutions became the basis of all future action leading to the
formation of West Virginia.


Convened June 11, 1861, and continued in session until June 25th
ensuing; adjourned to reassemble August 6, 1861; in session until
August 21st ensuing, when it adjourned sine die. The membership
was as follows:


Doddridge and Tyler — Chapman J.
Stuart, senator, William J. Bore-
man, member House of Delegates,
and Daniel D. Johnson, and

Alexandria County — Henry S. Mar-
tin, and James T. Close, delegates.

Barbour County — Nathan H. Taft,
and D. M. Myers, members of the
House of Delegates, and John H.
Shuttleworth and Spencer Day-
ton, delegates.

Brooke County — Joseph Gist, Sena-
tor, H. W. Crothers, member
House of Delegates, and John D.
Nicholls and Campbell Tarr, del-

Cabell County — Albert Laidley,*
member House of Delegates.

James A. Foley, delegates.
Fairfax County — John Hawxhurst

and Et>en E. Mason, delegates.
Gilmer County — Henry W. Withers,

Hampshire County — James R. Cars-

kadon, senator, and Owen D.

Downey, George W. Broski, James

H. Trout and James J. Barracks,


♦Albert Laidley did not remain at Wheeling. He went to Richmond where
he occupied a seat in the General Assembly, session beginning December 2, 186 J, as
•the delegate from Cabell County.


Abchives and History.

[W. Va-

Hancock County — George McC. Por-
ter, member House of Delegates,
John H. Atkinson and William L.
Crawford, delegates.

Hardy County — John Michaej, dele-

Harrison County — John J. Davis,
and John C. Vance, members
House of Delegates, and John S.
Carlile, Solomon S. Fleming, Lot
Bowen,* Benjamin F. Shuttle-
worth, and Charles S. Lewis, dele-

Jackson County — Daniel Frost,
member House of Delegates, and
James F. Scott and Andrew
Flesher, delegates.

Jefferson County — George Koontz,

Kanawha County — -Lewis Ruffner,
member House of Delegates, and
Greenbury Slack, delegate.

Leivis County — Blackwell Jackson,
senator, Perry M. Hale, and J.
A. J. Lightburn. delegates.

MaHon County — Richard Fast and
Fountain Smith, members House
of Delegates, and Francis H.
Pierpont.t Ephraim B. Hall,
John S. Barns, A. F. Ritchie,
and James O. Watson, delegates.

Marshall Comity — • Remembrance
Swan, member House of Dele-
gates, and E. H. Caldwell and
Robert Morris, delegates.

Mason County — Lewis Wetzel, mem-
ber House of Delegates, and
Charles B. Waggener, James
Smith, and Daniel Polsley, dele-

Monongalia County — Leroy Kra-
mer and Joseph Snyder, members
House of Delegates, and Ralph L.
Berkshire, William Price, James
Evans and Dennis B. Dorsey, del-

Ohio County — Thomas H. Logan
and Andrew Wilson, members of
House of Delegates, and Daniel
Lamb, James W. Paxton, George
Harrison, and Chester D. Hub-
bard, delegates.

Pleasants and Ritchie — James W.
Williamson, member House of
Delegates, and C. W. Smith and
William Douglas, delegates.

Preston County — Charles Hooten
and William B. Zinn, members
House of Delegates, and William
B. Crane, John Howard, Harrison
Hagans, and John J. Brown, del-

Putnam County — George C. Bowyer,
number House of Delegates, and
Dudley S. Montague, ft delegate.

Randolph and Tucker — -Solomon
Parsons, member House of Del-
egates, and Samuel Crane, dele-

Roane County — T. A. Roberts, del-

Taylor County — Thomas Cather,
senator, Lemuel E. Davidson,
member House of Delegates,
John S. Burdett and Samuel
Todd, delegates.

Upshur Count*/ — -Daniel D. T. Farns-
worth, member House of Dele-
gates, John L. Smith and John
Love, delegates.

Wayne County — William RatclilT.
member House of Delegates, and
William W. Brumneld, and Wil-
liam Copley, delegates.

Wetzel County — James G. West,
member House of Delegates, and
Reuben Martin, and James P.
Ferrell, delegates.

Wirt County — James A. William-
son, member House of Delegates,
and Henry Newman, and E. T.
Graham, delegates.

with (lie

1861, because of a


August 19,

♦Lot r.owen resigned August 1
Army, and was succeeded the following day by Charles S. Lewis

tFrancis II. Pierpont, having been elected Governor, resigned
186J. and was succeeded by Ephraim B. Hall.

-ftAnother delegate from Putnam County qualified and took his scat. August
12, 1861, but his name has not been ascertained. — V. A. L.


The Restored Government of Virginia.


Wood County — John W. Moss,
member House of Delegates, and

Arthur I. Boreman, and Peter G.
Van Winkle, delegates.

the temporary and permanent organization.

Dennis B. Dorsey of Monongalia County Temporary President.

Gibson Lamb Cranmer of Ohio County Temporary Secretary.

Arthur I. Boreman of Wood County Permanent President.

Gibson Lamb Cranmer* of Ohio County Permanent Secretary.

Thomas Hornbrook* of Ohio County Sergeant-at-Arms.

The Ordinance of Secession was ratified by the people of Vir-
ginia, May 23, 1861, and this gave rise to the Second Convention
of the people of Northwestern Virginia, On that date, State Sena-
tors and Members of the House of Delegates were elected through-
out Virginia, and by the provisions of the eighth Resolution < f
the First Convention, all those who would attend were made mem-
bers of the Second Convention. In a further compliance with that
resolution, the counties so disposed, were to appoint, on the 4th of
June, a number of delegates equal to twice their representation in
the General Assembly. This was done in many counties as is
shown by the membership, and what is known as the Second Wheel-
ing Convention assembled in Washington Hall, that city, June 11,

First Steps in the Reorganization of a Restored Government.
An organization was effected and the President, Arthur I Boreman.
appointed a Committee on Order of -Business, the members thereof
being John S. Carlile, of Harrison county; Daniel Lamb, of Ohio
county; Francis H. Pierpont. of Marion county; Harrison Hagans,
of Preston county; Peter G. Van Winkle, of Wood county; Ralph
L. Berkshire, of Monongalia county; Daniel Polsley, of Mason
county; W. I. Boreman, of Tyler county; E. IT. Caldwell, of
Marshall county; Daniel Frost, of Jackson county; George McC.
Porter, of Hancock county; Daniel D. T. Farnsworth, of Upshur
county; and William Copley, of Wayne county. On the third day
John S. Carlile, the chairman, reported from this Committee "A
Declaration of the People of Virginia Represented in Convention at
Wheeling." In this it was said:

"Viewing with great concern, the deplorable condition to which this once
happy Commonwealth must be reduced, unless some regular adeauate remedy is
speedily adopted: and appealing 1o the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for the
rectitude of our intentions, do hereby, in the name, and on behalf of the good
people of Virginia, solemnly declare that the preservation of their dearest rights
and liberties and their security in person and property imperatively demand the
reorganization of the Government of the Commonwealth, and that all Acts of the
said Convention and Executive, tending to separate this Commonwealth from the
United States, or to levy and carry on war against them, are without authority,
and void: and the offices of all who adhere tothe said Convention and Executive,
whether Legislative. Executive, or Judicial, are vacated."

♦Cranmer and Hornbrook were authorized to appoint their own :issistants.

172 Archives and History. [W. Va.

On Friday the 14th — the third day of the Session — this Com-
mittee reported "An ordinance for the Reorganization of the State
Government." It declared as follows:

"The People of the State of Virginia by their Delegates assem-
bled in Convention at Wheeling, do ordain as follows:"

1. A Governor and Lieutenant-Governor for the State of Virginia shall be
appointed by this Convention to discharge the duties and exercise the powers which
pertain to their respective offices by the existing laws of the State, and to continue
in office for six months, or until their successors be elected and qualified.

2. A Council of five members, shall be appointed by this Convention, to con-
sult and advise with the Governor respecting such matters pertaining to his official
duties as he shall submit for consideration.

3. The Delegates elected to the General Assembly on the twenty-third of May
last, and the Senators entitled under existing laws to seats in the next General
Assembly, together with such Delegates and Senators as may be duly elected under
the Ordinance of this Convention or existing laws, to fill vacancies, who shall
qualify themselves by taking the oath or affirmation hereafter set forth, shall con-
stitute the Legislature of the State, to discharge the duties and exercise the powers
pertaining to the General Assembly.

4. The Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Attorney-General, members of the
Legislature, and all officers now in the service of the State, or of any county, city,
or town thereof, or hereafter to be appointed to such service * * * shall take
the following oath or affirmation :

"I solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the
United States, and the laws made in pursuance thereof, as the supreme law of the
land, anything in the Constitution and the iaws of Virginia, or in the Ordinance of
the Convention which assembled at Richmond on the thirteenth of February, 1861, to
the contrary notwithstanding: and that I will uphold and defend the government
of Virginia as vindicated and restored by the Convention which assembled at
Wheeling on the eleventh day of June 1861."

June 18th the Convention proceeded to consider the matter of
Seals (Greater and Lesser) for the Reorganized Government, and
it was resolved to use those of the old Commonwealth with the
addition of the words "Liberty and Union" added upon the ob-
verse and reverse discs of each. The same day salaries were fixed
as follows : that is to say : Governor, $3,000.00 ; Auditor, $2,000.00 ;
Treasurer, $1,500.00; Secretary of the Commonwealth, $1,500.00;
President and Secretary of the Convention. President of the Sen
ate, and Speaker of the House, $8.00 per day each ; Members of the
Convention and of the General Assembly, $4.00 per day ; Sergeant-
at-arms of the Convention and the Assembly, $4.00 per day ; Door-
keeper, $2.00 per day and Pages $1.00.

Election" of Officials of the Commonwealth.
The 20th day of June was the day fixed for the election of officers.
For Governor: Daniel Lamb of Ohio county, nominated Francis
H. Pierpont* of Marion county, and he was elected without opposi-
tion. For Lieutenant-Governor: Dr. John W. Moss, of Wood
county, nominated Daniel Polsley,f of Mason county, and he too,
was elected without opposition. The next business was the election
of a Governor's Council, or Council of State, consisting of five
members, and Peter G. Van Winkle, of Wood county ; William A.

*fSee these references en page 174.

1908] The Restored Government of Virginia. 173

Harrison of Harrison county ; William Lazier of Monongalia county,
and Daniel Lamb and James W. Paxton of Ohio county, were elect-
ed. Lamb and John S. Carlile were appointed to inform Gover-
nor Pierpont of his election ; he returned with them to the Conven-
tion Hall where he delivered a short inaugural address, and then
took the oath of office, it being administered to him by Andrew
Wilson, a Justice of the Peace, of Ohio county. Thus Francis H.
Pierpont became the Governor of Virginia. At five o'clock
o'clock that evening the Convention passed over to Wheeling Island
to -witness a salute fired by the soldiers stationed thereon in honor
of the election of a Governor. On the 21st of June, James S.
Wheat,! of Ohio county, was elected Attorney-General of the Com-
monwealth; and an Ordinance was adopted providing that the
General Assembly as soon as organized at Wheeling, elect by joint
ballot, an Auditor of Public Accounts, and a Treasurer, and Secre-
tary of the Commonwealth. The amount of the bond of the Treas-
urer was fixed at $20,000.00; that of the Auditor, at $20,000.00;
and that of the Secretary at $5,000.00. All State Funds paid into
the State Treasury were required to be deposited in the Merchant's
and Mechanics' Bank at Wheeling, or one of its branches at Point
Pleasant, Clarksburg and Morgantown; or in the Northwestern
Bank of Virginia, at Wheeling, or one of its branches at Parkers-
burg and Wellsburg. But if any of such funds were collected
east of the Blue Ridge, they were to be deposited in the Bank of
the Old Dominion at Alexandria.

Having been in session twelve days; having elected one half of
the State officers — Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, and Attorney-
General — and having provided that the General Assembly should
elect the other three — Auditor, Treasurer and Secretary — and hav-
ing published an "Address of the Convention now in session at
Wheeling to the People of Virginia, ' ' the Convention took a recess,
June 25th, until 2:00 p. m. on the first Tuesday — the sixth — in
August ensuing, unless otherwise ordered by the Governor with the
advice of his Council. On the date fixed it again assembled and
continued in Session until August 20th when having completely re-
organized the Restored Government, it adjourned sine die.

On the 19th of June, the Convention had provided by an ordin-
ance, that the delegates elected to the General Assembly on the 23d
of May preceding, and the seators entitled to seats therein, to-
gether with such delegates and senators as might be elected under
the ordinances of the Convention, should assemble in the city of

JSec this reference on page 174.

174 Archives and History. [w. Va.

Wheeling on the first day of the succeeding July, and proceed to
organize themselves under existing laws in their respective branches.
In compliance with this Governor Pierpont issued a proclamation,
June 23d — the third day after his inauguration — convening the
Assembly in Extra Session on the date fixed by the Convention —
July 1st, 1861.

♦Francis H. Pierpont. third son of Francis and Catherine (Weaver) Pierpont,
was born January 25. 1814, in Monongalia County, Virginia, four miles east of
Morgantown, on the farm settled by his grand-father, John Pierpont, a native of
New York, in 1770, rhen in the "District of West Augusta," who erected a dwelling
and a block-house also, for protection against the Indians. In the last mentioned year
was opened the first land office in Northwestern Virginia. John Pierpont married a
daughter of Colonel Zackwell Morgan, the founder of Morgantown, who had emigrated
thither from Eastern Virginia. Joseph Weaver, the maternal grandfather of the sub-
ject of this notice, was a native of Central Pennsylvania, who settled on a farm near
Morgantown about 1785. In 1814, Francis Pierpont, the father of the subject,
moved from the old homestead to land purchased by him about two miles from
Fairmont, now Marion — then Harrison — county, West Virginia. In 1827, he made
his residence in Middletown, now Fairmont, where he conducted a tannery in con-
nection with his farm. His young son Francis, the subject, assisted his father
in his several occupations until manhood. His educational opportunities were, in

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 17 of 35)