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March 1863: The Fight for W.Va.’s Constitutional Statehood Is Won

March 10, 2013

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an occasional series on the Civil War sesquicentennial provided by members of the Wheeling Civil War 150 Committe....

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Mar-11-13 3:30 PM

9 of the 48 counties gave no vote on the constitution. Wayne gave only 87, Hampshire 84, Fayette 30, Boone 57, from almost 6000 voters altogether. Opponents of statehood were threated with death, there was no open and free election. Pierpont protested the draft and tried to get an exemption, Boreman had to pay for soldiers. Wheeling legislator J. Chapman Stewart said in 1861 that the vote on statehood was a failure, and Pierpont told Lincoln in 1862 that West Virginia Unionists opposed the Union because of the new state. The telegram is in the Library of Congress. This article is not the true history of WV.

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Mar-10-13 8:40 PM

I really enjoy the articles about early Wheeling and the founding of WV. Like many I was taught the PC version of history in college and I did, as I was supposed to, feel bad about slavery and dutifully accepted New Age revisionist history that finds it necessary to not credit the northern states, WV, or abolitionists with any positive motive to end slavery. Apparently, PC academics feel that its not enough that the South embraced slavery but also we must deny that free states were not anti slavery, or that even Lincoln was as well. The writings of that era, the letters from Union soldiers, the newspaper accounts indicate that good men DID oppose slavery. That should be credited to the nation's history instead of the baloney that is part of liberal history. Legions of good men died to end slavery, its wrong to make light of that sacrifice for modern PC goals. Right prevailed by the blood of good men. To demean that is simply wrong.

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Mar-10-13 11:30 AM

A wonderful article by Professor Laker.Great details that bring the piece alive:you are there.

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