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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disbursments of the contingent fund of his office. In 1891, the
present law relating to the State Law Library was enacted. It
Avas Senate Bill No. 98, ' l A Bill providing for the appointment of
a State Librarian and prescribing his duties, "the author and
patron thereof being Hon. "William G. Worley of Preston county.
From the foregoing it appears that prior to 1867, there was no such
office as State Law Librarian ; that in 1868, the Librarian was ap-
pointed by the Secretary of State ; in 1873, by the Board of Public
AVorks ; and in 1877, and thereafter, by the Governor. The follow-
ing named persons have filled the office of State Law Librarian :

S. A. Heaton, Wood county, from March 4, 1869, to March 3, 1871.

John L. Cole, Kanawha county, from March 4, 1871, to June 1, 1875.

Edward L. Wood, Kanawha county, from June 1, 1875, to March 3, 1877.

Edward L. Wood, Kanawha county, from March 4, 1877, to March 3, 1881.

Edward L. Wood, Kanawha county, from March 4, 1881, to October 1,.

W. F. Butler, Ohio county, from October 1, 1882, to March 3, 1885.

Edward L. Wood, Kanawha county, from March 4, 1885, to February 6,

Benjamin H. Oxley, Lincoln county, from February 6, 1890, to April 1,

Charles L. Hagan, Marion county, from April 1, 1891, to March 3, 1893.

Edward L. Wood, Kanawha county, from March 4, 1893, to March 3, 1907.

Guy T. Scott, Ohio county, from March 5, 1897, to July 14. 1898.

Pleasant S. Shirkey of Kanawha county, from July 15. 1898, to March 3,

Samuel W. Starks, Kanawha county, from March 4, 1901. to March 3,

296 Archives and History. [W. Va.

Samuel "W. Starks, Kanawha county, from March 4, 1905, to April 3,

John C. Gilmer, Kanawha county, from December 1, 1908, to , .

From the foregoing, it appears that from 1877 to 1891, the State
Librarian was an officially burdened official. In the intervening
years of this period in addition to being Librarian he was Superin-
tendent of "Weights and Measures, Quartermaster-General, and Ad-
jutant-General. For six years previously to the date on which
the Librarian was made ex officio Adjutant-General; that is from
February 18 1871, to February 20, 1877, the duties of that office
were made incumbent upon the State Superintendent of Free
Schools, — a curious combination — war and education,— scarcely less
so, when the War Department of the State was attached to the office
of State Librarian. It has been stated frequently that the Adju-
tant-General was, in this period ex officio Librarian. Such was
not the cjisc. The Librarian was ex officio Adjutant-General.
See Section 1. of Act of February 20, 1877.



In pursuance of an act of the Legislature of West Virginia,
entitled "An act to take the sense of the people upon the call of a
convention and for organizing the same," passed 23d of February,
1871, and of the election held in pursuance thereof on the 26th
•day of October, 1871, and of the Governor's proclamation announc-
ing the result of said election, the Convention elected on the last
named day, assembled in the Capitol building, at Charleston, the
seat of government, at 12 o'clock M., on January 16th, 1872. The
sessions were held in the Methodist Episcopal church, known as
Asbury Chapel, which stood on the north-east side of Virginia street,
between Alderson and Summers streets. The members were elect-
ed by Senatorial Districts, Counties, and Delegate Districts, as
follows : —


First Senatorial District — William I
K. Pendleton and A. J. Pannell.

Second Senatorial District — Joseph
"W. Gallaher and Alpheus F. Hay-

Third Senatorial District- — Wait-
man T. Willey, and A. H. Thayer.

Fourth Senatorial District — Ben-
jamin Wilson and Daniel D.

Fifth Senatorial District — Okey
Johnson and David H. Leonard.

Sixth Senatorial District — -Black-
well Jackson and Samuel Woods.

Seventh Senatorial District — Nich-
olas Fitzhugh and Alonzo Cush-

Eighth Senatorial District — Ever-
mont Ward and Isaiah Bee.

Ninth Senatorial District — Samuel
Price and William McCreery.

Tenth Senatorial District — James
D. Armstrong and John T. Peerce.

Eleventh Senatorial District —
Charles J. Faulkner and William
H. Travers.


Archives axd History.

[W. Va.

Barbour County < — Joseph X. B.

Berkeley County — Joseph B. Hoge
and Andrew W. McCleary.

Boone County — William D. Pate.

Braxton County — Homer A. H'olt.

Brooke County — Alexander Camp-

Doddridge County — Jepbtha F.

Fayette County — Hudson M. Dick-

Hampshire County — Alexander Mon-

Hancock County — John H. Atkin-

Harrison County — John Bassel and
Beverley H. Lurty.

Jackson County — Thomas R. Park.

Jefferson County'— Logan Osburn
and William A. Morgan.

Kanawha County — John A. Warth
and Edward B. Knight.

Leicis County — Mathew Edmiston.*

Logan County — M. A. Staton.

Marion County — Fountain Smith
and "Ulysses N. Arnett.

Marshall County — Hanson Criswell
and James M. Pipes.

Mason County — Charles B. Wag-

Merecr County — James Calfee.

Mineral County — John A. Robin-

Monongalia County — John Marshal
Hagans and Joseph Snyder.

Morgan County — Lewis Allen.
Ohio County — James S. Wheat,
George O. Davenport and Wil-
lam W. Miller.

Pendleton County — Charles D.

Preston County — William G-
Brown and Charles Kantner.

Putnam County — John J. Thomp-

Ritchie County — Jacob P. S trickier..

Roane County — Thomas Ferrell.

Taylor County — Benjamin F. Mar-

Tyler County — David F. Pugh.

Upshur County — Daniel D. T.

Wayne County — Charles W. Fergu-

Wetzel County — Septimius Hall.

Wirt County — D. A. Roberts.

Clay-Nicholas Delegate District —
Benjamin W. Byrne.

Cabell-Lincoln Delegate District —
Thomas Thornburg.

Gilmer -Calhoun Delegate District —
Lemuel Stump.

Greenbrier-Monroe-Summers Dele-
gate District — Henry M. Math-
ews, James M. Byrnside and Wil-
liam Haynes.

Hardy-Grant Delegate District —
Thomas Maslin.

Pocahontas-Webster Delegate Dis-
trict — George H. Moffett.

Raleigh - Wyoming-McDowell Dele-
gate District — William Prince.

Randolph-Tucker Delegate District
— J. F. Harding.

Wood - Pleasants Delegate District
— James M. Jackson and W. G. H-

Samuel Price, of Greenbrier County President.

Gibson J. Butcher, of Weston, Lewis County.. Secretary.

Barney A. Galligan, of Ohio County First Assistant Secretary.

Beuhring H. Jones.f of Greenbrier County. .Second Assistant Secretary.

•Mathew Edmiston did not qualify and therefore never occupied his seat in
the Convention.

tBeuhring H. Jones died March ISth. and his death was announced to the Con-
vention by President Price ; whereupon as a testimony of respect for the deceased,
that body adjourned until ten o'clock the next day. His remains were taken in a
hearse from Charleston to Lewisburg, where they were laid to rest in the cemetery
at that place. He has been called the "Poet of Johnson's Island."

1908] The Second Constitutional Convention. 299

John H. "Woods, of Philippi, Barbour County. .Enrolling Clerk.

Jacob B. Cunningham, of Hardy County Serg6ant-at-Arm&.

G. J. Wetzel, of , Doorkeeper.

Henry S. Walker of Harrison County Printer.

George Byi' ne , of Kanawha County Page.

Frank Cox, of Kanawha County Page.

John D. Alderson, of Greenbrier County Page.

Josiah D. Wilson, of Harrison County Page.

This is the most remarkable body of men that ever assembled in
the State. Herein were gathered lawyers, orators and statesmen
— men who had been history-makers in the stirring and thrilling
scenes of the past few years — men, some of whom had followed the
fortunes of the old government of Virginia; others who had as-
sisted in placing a State Line on top of the Alleghenies ; and still
others who had been foremost in the work of creating a Trans-
Allegheny State. Some had worn the Blue and others the Gray.
Now all came together to frame an organic law — a Constitution —
for West Virginia, a land that had given birth to nearly every one
of them. It will never cease to be a matter of greatest regret
that the debates in that body are lost — never printed..



The city of Wheeling was the capital of the Restored Government
of Virginia although never declared to be such. The first and sec-
ond Conventions of the People of Northwestern Virginia, assembled,
the former on May 13th, 1861, and the latter on June 11th en-
suing, in Washington Hall, in that city. The General Assembly
under that Government held four sessions— one regular and three
extra. Of these the first and, 1 fourth sessions, sat in the United
States Court Room in the Custom House; while the second and
third sessions convened in the Linsly Institute building.

The Convention which assembled November 26th, 1861, and fram-
ed the first Constitution of West Virginia, held its sessions in the
United State Court Room in the Custom House. Mention has been
made of the Linsly Institute Building and its history is of interest
to all West Virginians for it was the capitol of the State from
June 20, 1863, to April 1, 1870. Noah Linsly from whom it de-
rives its name and owes its existence, was an early attorney of
Wheeling, coming thither from Bradford, Connecticut. His family
were of English descent, the imigrant ancestor being John Linsly
who emigrated from London, England in 1664, and settled near
New Haven. Noah, the subject, and who came to Wheeling was
the third son of Josiah and Mary (Fowler) Linsly. He pre-
pared for College at East Gifford, and then spent five years at
Yale, being graduated therefrom in 1791. He then engaged in
teaching; studied law; attended the law school at Litchfield, and
was admitted to the bar. He came to Morgantown, West Virginia
in 1797, where he spent two years and then removed to Wheeling,
where he practiced his profession successfully for several years.
a portion of which time he was Commonwealth's Attorney. He








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3 908] Capitals and Capitols of "West Virginia. 301

died unmarried, of hemorrahage of the lungs in 1814, having pro-
vided in his will for the establishment and maintenance of a school
on what was known as the " Lancasterian System." Samuel Sprigg
and Noah Zane were named as executors of the will, and they
applied to the Virginia Assembly for an Act of incorporation
or charter for the school. Such an Act incorporating the "Trus-
tees of the Wheeling Lancasterian Academy, ' ' was passed November
29, 1814, the following persons being named therein as trustees;
viz: William Irwin, Daniel Smith, Archibald Woods, Samuel
Sprigg, John Good, George Knox, Noah Zane, Alexander Cald-
well, James Hervey, Salathiel Curtis, William Chapline, Jr., Josiah
Updegraff, Joseph Caldwell, Jesse Edgington and James H. Ralph.
The Trustees had power to fill vacancies in their own body. (See
Acts of 1814-15, pp. 123,124.)

A lot on the line of Alley 11, between Market and Chapline
Streets was purchased, and thereon was erected a three-story
building which was in use until 1858, when this property was sold
and a lot purchased on the corner of Eoff and Fifteenth Streets,
where in that year, the present structure then and now known as
the Linsly Institute, was erected. It was this building that be-
came the first Capitol or State House of West Virginia.

It was on a large platform erected in front of this building, that
Governor Arthur I Boreman, the first Governor of West Virginia,
stood when delivering his inaugural address, — June 20, 1863 — and
within it, convened at 12 :30 p. m. on that day, the first Legislature
of West Virginia. The first official reference to, or mention of a
Capital and Capitol for the New State is to be found in the first
message of Governor Boreman, which he sent to the Legislature
that evening. In it he said: —

"I recommend that you take speedy action for the establishment of a
permanent seat of government. I know it is said by some, that it would
be best to wait until the war is ended, but I fear if the question is not
settled by the present Legislature, it will, in a short time, enter into con-
tests for office throughout the State, and thus become a mattter of con-
tention for years to come; and until it is settled, the Legislature will not
be justified in expending the money necessary to prepare the accommo-
dations for themselves, and the other officers, which are demanded, not
only as a matter of comfort and convenience, but for the reasonable dis-
patch of the public business. When the location is made and the public
grounds selected in such manner as you may provide, you will then be
warranted in making appropriations for the public buildings, and they
may soon be in process of construction." (See Governor's Message, Sen-
ate Journal Session of 1863, pp. 12, 13.)

302 Archives and History. [W. Va.

But the Legislature did not act favorably upon the recommenda-
tion of the Governor in this matter. Instead of this, that body,
on the 9th of December, 1863, by Joint Resolution, authorized him
to secure the Linsly Institute Building for a State Capitol, the
resolution being as follows: —


"Resolved, by the Legislature of West Virginia, That the Governor be
authorized, whenever he may deem it expedient to do so, to cause the
Executive Offices, or any of them, to be removed to the Linsly Insti-
tute Building, and to designate what room, or rooms, in the said build-
ing, shall be occupied for any office so removed."

"Resolved, further, That the Governor have the authority to rent any
portion of said Building not required for the use of the Legislature,
or for Executive Offices as aforesaid, to such person and on such terms
as he may deem expedient; Provided, that no part of the Building shall
be occupied or rented for schools during any session of the Legislature."
— (See Acts of 1863, p. 273.)

This, Governor Boreman appears to have done, for the Legisla-
ture continued to make annual appropriations from 1863 to 1870,
to pay rent on this building. In his message to the Legislature,
Januarjr 16, 1866, under the caption of "Permanent Capitol," he
says : —

"It may be proper for me to state that the lease on the building now
occupied as the State Capitol expires in 18G8. With this statement I
submit the question of the propriety of early action with a view to
the permanent location of the Capitol without making any recommenda-
tion whatever on the subject.

Still the Legislature took no action in the matter. It was not
even discussed in that body. A year passed away and Governor
Boreman renewed the recommendation more fully than before.
In his annual Message to that body under date of January 15,
1867, he said:—

"The subject of the permanent location of the capital of the State will,
no doubt, be considered by you at the present session; and I have no
hesitation in saying that, in my opinion, the interests of the State re-
quire definite and final action thereon before you adjourn. It has hith-
erto been a source of much controversy and irritation between different
sections of the State, and will probably continue to be until it is set-
tled. It is also referred to by the enemies of the State as an evidence
of a want of confidence in its permanent existence, which, although
wholly without foundation, nevertheless has its influence on some who
are not advised on the subject, and who, otherwise, contemplated making

1908] Capitals and Capitols of West Virginia. 303

their homes among us. It should be settled also, with a view to the loca-
tion of other public buildings that are needed, the construction of which
should be entered upon as soon as practicable. It may also, in time, if
left open, have an undue effect on other subjects of legislation, and
will, probably, until finally disposed of, occupy the attention of suc-
ceeding sessions of the Legislature to the prejudice of other matters en-
titled to consideration."

One more entire session of the Legislature passed away and no
action taken with reference to a permanent seat of government for
the State. But Governor Boreman, although seemingly a little
impatient because of the failure of that body to take action on what
■seemed to him of such importance, again renewed his recommenda-
tion of previous years. In his message to the Legislature, dated,
January 21, 1868, we find the following:—

"The permanent location of the capital of the State is a subject which
will, no doubt, be considered by you at the present session. In my mes-
sage to the first Legislature of the State, in 1863, I recommended imme-
ate action on this question, and my opinion ever since has been, as ex-
pressed in subsequent messages, that its settlement would tend to the
liarmony and prosperity of the State. I refer to what I have hereto-
fore said, and have nothing to add on this subject."

Still the subject was deferred by the Legislature ; but Governor
Boreman was not discouraged. He, however, saw that the continued
delay was beginning to exert an influence upon legislation, and for
the fourth time in succession, he referred to the subject. In his
last message to the Legislature, dated January 19, 1869, under the
head of "State Capital", he gave expression to the following: —

"I think it my duty to again call your attention to the subject of
permanently locating the capital of the State. I am aware that this
is regarded by some as a matter of little consequence. With such, of
course, I differ, but do not propose to trouble you with any extended
discussion of the subject. It is my opinion, however, that the omis-
sion to settle this question has, in some degree at least, retarded the im-
provement and prosperity of the State; and I submit to the more ex-
perienced members of your body, whether it has had an influence on
the legislation of the State. I trust you may find it compatible with
your better judgment to put an end to this existing controversy before
the close of the present session."

Charleston Made the Capital of West Virginia: — At last the
Legislature looked with favor upon the continued recommenda-
tions of Boreman. On the 20th of January, 1869, Andrew Mann,
.-a member of the House of Deleerates from the Greenbrier-Monroe

304 Archives and History. [W. Va.

Delegate District, offered the following Preamble and Joint Resolu-
tion, No. 2: —

"Whereas, The location of the State Capital -has been deferred from
time to time without any good reason for such delay; and whereas the
failure to locate the State Capital has created great dissatisfaction on
the part of the people, deterring enterprising parties abroad from locat-
ing in the State, rendering ourselves an unsettled people in the estima-
tion of the public. Therefore

Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That we use our utmost endeavors to locate the State Capital during
the present session of the Legislature, by such concessions and defer-
ences to the different desires of mebers of the Legislature, and the peo-
ple we represent, as will finally settle this vexed question harmoniously,
placing the Capital where it will develop the natural resources of the
State the most, and accommodate the largest number of inhabitants."

This was adopted by the House and at once reported by Mr.
Mann to the Senate which body referred it to its Judiciary Com-
mittee with instructions to report a Bill in relation to locating the
Capital. But the House did not wait for this. January 21, James
T. McClaskey, a delegate from Monongalia county, offered House
Bill No. 4, entitled "A Bill permanently locating the seat of Gov-
ernment of this State.'' This passed the House February 17th,
by a vote of 29 yeas to 23 nays. It passed the Senate February 26,
the vote standing yeas 17, and nays 4. This Act was to take
effect April 1, 1870 — more than thirteen months after its passage.
Section 1, provided that, "The permanent seat of Government
for this State is hereby located at the town of Charleston, in the
county of Kanawha."

There was great rejoicing at Charleston, where the people hast-
ened to prepare for the coming of the State Government. Public
meetings were held soon after the passage cf the Act and various
plans were suggested and considered as to the best method of
providing accommodations for the officers, records and archives of
the State ; and finally, on the 27th of May 1869, a few enterprising
citizens resolved to take subscriptions to a joint stock company for
the erection of a building to answer the temporary purposes of
the law locating the Capital here. This plan seemed to succeed
well, and when $16,500.00 had been subscribed, and $1,650.00 paid
in, the subscribers were incorporated under the name of "The
State-House Company," the charter bearing date August 25. 1869,
was to expire June 1, 1889. The Capital stock might be increased
to $100,000.00. The original stock-holders were as follows :


Capitals and Capitols of West Virginia.


George Jeffries, two shares.
L. L. Comstock, two shares.
John Claypool, one share.
William A. Quarrier, one share.
Greenbury Slack, two shares.
Henry C. McWhorter, one share.
Nicholas Fitzhugh, one share.
Samuel A. Miller, one share
Edward B. Knight, one share.
Henry Chappell, one share.
Benjamin H. Smith, two shares.
Moses Frankenberger, one share.
Hill & Laidley, one share.
William T. Thayer & Samuel Chris-
tey, one share.

Job E. Thayer, one share.
John Slack, Sr., two shares.
Hedgeman Slack, one share.
Thomas B. Swann, two shares.
James H. Brown, one share.
John Dryden, one share
Albert M. Doyle, one share.
Jfehn P. Hale, one share.
Henry C. McWhorter, Agent for

Charleston Extension Company,

one share.
David Eagan, one share.
Duice R. Laidley, one share.
Gilliland & Anderson, one share.
William H. Edwards, one share.

A meeting of the stock-holders was held at the Kanawha county
Court house, September 24, 1869, for the purpose of organization.
Benjamin H. Smith was elected President; Alexander T. Laidley,
Secretary; John Slack, Sr. Treasurer; and George Jeffries, Will-
iam A. Quarier, Greenbury Slack, S. S. Comstock, Thomas B.
Swann, Edward B. Knight, Henry C. McWhorter and John Slack,
Sr., Directors.

Plans, drawings and specification with estimates of cost of a
building thought to be adequate to the wants of the State authori-
ties, were obtained from competent architects of Cincinnati; then
after published notice for bids, the contract for the erection of the
building, was let to Dr. John P. Hale, of Charleston. Laborers
were immediately employed in cutting stone at the quarry on Coxe 's
Hill in the rear of town ; lumber and other material placed upon
the grounds preparatory to the erection of work-shops thereon;
Monday the 20th of September, the ground was laid off, and the
next day excavation for the foundation was begun. The first stone
was laid off at the south-west corner of the building under the
direction of Mr. Phillips, the master-workman, on Monday. Sep-
tember 29th, and on the 3d of November ensuing the corner-stone
was laid by the Masonic Fraternity. Work was prosecuted as rapid-
ly as possible, but the building could not be completed by April
' 1. 1870. the time fixed by law for the removal of the seat of govern-
ment. But other arrangements were made for its accommodation,
and the citizens of Charleston chartered the steamer "Mountain

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 33 of 35)