Daniel Polsley, Lt. Gov., Restored Government of
Virginia, Wheeling, Aug. 16, 1861, on the proposed creation of a new state from counties of western Virginia-
"If they proceeded now to direct a division of
the State before a free expression of the people could be had, they would do a more despotic act than any ever done by the Richmond [Secession] Convention itself". (1)
Mr. Chapman J. Stuart, Wheeling legislator, Dec. 10, 1861, at the
Constitutional Convention -
"Now, Mr. President, to show you, and it needs but to look
at the figures to satisfy the mind of every member, that
even a majority of the people within the district composed
of the thirty-nine counties have never come to the polls
and expressed their sentiments in favor of a new State.
In a voting population of some 40,000 or 50,000 we see a
poll of only 17,627 and even some of them were in the
[Union] army." (2) (3)
(1) Virgil Lewis, How West Virginia Was Made, pg. 230
(2) Charles Ambler, Debates and Proceedings of the First Consitutional
Convention of West Virginia, Vol. 1, pg. 376
(3) The 39 counties had a total of 51,950 voters. Richard O. Curry,
A House Divided, pgs. 149-50
Mr. Sinsel, Wheeling legislator, Jan. 7, 1862, at the Constitutional Convention -
"Anyone can see that what I have stated here is a fact. Who denies that McDowell, Wyoming, Raleigh, Calhoun, Gilmer, Braxton, Clay, Tucker, Randolph, Webster, Nicholas, Boone, Logan, Pocahontas, Roane, Wirt, Monroe and Greenbrier-add to that Barbour and many others-are all dominated by the spirit of rebellion..."
Mr. Van Winkle, Dec. 7, 1861, at the Constitutional Convention, speaking on the central, southern and eastern counties of West Virginia-
"Well, sir, if these counties are inhabited by secessionists, some disposition has got to be made of them. They must be, as some remarks made by gentlemen here seem to point to - they must be exterminated by exile or death, or remain where they are. But in either case, sir, we want the territory. If they are going to remain upon it, still we want it."
Cleveland Morning Leader, May 17, 1861, covering the 1st Wheeling Convention, reported-
"Mr. W.[illey] proceeded to depict all the horrors and desolation which would follow the passage of this ordinance of separation, and begged the Convention, for God's sake, to pause before they brought ruin upon themselves and their country. A military dictatorship would be one result..."
Senator Thaddeus Stevens, National Union Convention, Baltimore, June 7, 1864
"It was proposed to admit her upon the ground that Old Virginia had given her consent, and that new West Virginia should come in with that consent. I expressly said that I hoped nobody would consider me so ignorant as to suppose that Virginia was divided according to the principles of the Constitution ; but that West Virginia, being conquered by our armies, according to the laws of war we had a right to do with the conquered territory just as we pleased [applause] ; and I voted for her admission, disclaiming the idea that the division was according to the forms of the Constitution, but under the laws of war and the laws of conquest."
Bobby Lee Arrington is responsible for the content of this website.
7th generation West Virginian.