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Chapter Nine
Second Session of the
Second Wheeling Convention

August 6-21, 1861

On August 6, the delegates of the Second Wheeling Convention reassembled. Delegates passed a number of resolutions, including an ordinance that nullified the proceedings of the Richmond Convention and declared all actions of the convention "illegal, inoperative, null, void, and without force or effect."

Custom House, Wheeling
Custom House, Wheeling
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, August 10, 1861
The convention formed a Committee on a Division of the State and, after a week of deliberations, this group formulated and presented to the convention a dismemberment ordinance on August 13. Delegates debated the boundaries of the proposed state for five days, and then referred the question to a committee. On August 20, this committee proposed that the new state, which was to be named Kanawha, would consist of thirty-nine counties. Seven other counties (Berkeley, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Morgan and Pocahontas) were to be added if the majority of voters in those counties approved. The convention adopted the committee's recommendations by a vote of fifty to twenty-eight. The voters in the counties of the proposed state were to have their say on October 24.

"You have taken the initiative in the creation of a new State," convention president Arthur Boreman remarked in adjourning the convention. "This is a step of vital importance. I hope, and I pray God it may be successful; that it may not engender strife in our midst, nor bring upon us difficulties from abroad, but that its most ardent advocates may realize their fondest hopes of its complete success. So far as I am personally concerned, I am content with the action of this Convention; I bow with submission to what you have done upon this subject."

Primary Documents:

Delegates to the Second Wheeling Convention
Proceedings of the Second Session of the Second Wheeling Convention

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