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Proceedings of the
Second Session of the
Second Wheeling Convention

August 7, 1861

The Convention met at three P. M.

Minutes of yesterday were read and approved.

Mr. BROWN, of Preston, from the Committee on Credentials, presented the report of that Committee, stating that George Koontz of Jefferson, Blackwell Jackson of Lewis, Thos. Cather of Taylor, Andrew Flesher of Mason, and James Smith of Jackson, are entitled to seats in the Convention as members of the same.

The Chair stated that such of the gentlemen as were members of the Convention by virtue of their membership in the Legislature, would not need to take the oath, as they had already taken it in qualifying as members of the Legislature.

Messrs. Koontz and Smith then came forward and the oath of office was administered to them by the President.

Mr. FLEMING, of Harrison, offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Committee on Business inquire into the expediency of reporting an Ordinance confiscating the real estate of all persons in this Commonwealth who have left their homes and taken up arms in rebellion against the government of the United States.

Mr. CRANE, of Randolph, said he did not see why they should subject the real estate to confiscation, and not the personal of the parties named. He moved to amend the resolution so as to make it read "real and personal."

Mr. FLEMING accepted the amendment.

The resolution was then adopted.

Mr. CRANE, of Randolph, offered the following:

Resolved, That the Committee on Business inquire into the expediency of allowing the Sheriffs and other collectors of the public revenue, an additional compensation to that now allowed by law for a limited time.


Mr. FARNSWORTH, of Upshur, offered the following.

WHEREAS, The late Legislature refused to give its consent for a division of the State or the formation of a new State; and whereas, we deem it necessary in compliance with the Constitution of the United States to have such consent before the creation of a new State, therefore

Resolved, That we deem it unwise at this time for this Convention to take action for a division of the State, and that when it adjourns on Friday next, it will adjourn sine die.

Mr. WEST moved to lay the resolution on the table. It was calculated to embarrass the prosecution of business, and he did not want to get into another snarl.

Mr. VAN WINKLE moved to amend by referring the resolution to the committee on the subject raised yesterday. He subsequently withdrew the motion.

Mr. HAGANS said he was instructed by Dr. Parsons who was unwell, to have him sent for by the Sergeant-at-Arms, if any test vote should be taken.

Mr. WEST thought the Convention should at once put down everything calculated to impede its business, and of course such a resolution would do it.

Mr. FARNSWORTH demanded the yeas and nays.

Mr. CRANE of Randolph, said it was his impression that, according to the rules adopted for the government of the Convention, the resolution having been objected to, must lie over.

The President said there was no such rule as far as he was aware.

Mr. VAN WINKLE thought the resolution should taken the same direction as the resolutions yesterday. He had made his mo[tion] to amend with that view. If the yeas and nays were to be called he would have to call for a division of the question, for the resolution provides for two distinct objects, an expression of sentiment, as well as an adjournment.

Mr. CRANE, of Randolph, though the preamble might go to a committee, but the latter part could not.

Mr. MARTIN, of Wetzel, wished to say a word or two about the disposition of the resolution.

The President said the question before the Convention was not debatable, and that the first question was on the motion to divide the question.

Mr. WEST had not understood the gentleman from Wood to call for a division of the question. His motion was to refer. If he did so, it was after the yeas and nays were demanded. After a motion to lay upon the table, there was no parliamentary rule that justified the division of the question. The motion to lay on the table carries the whole subject with it.

Mr. FROST had understood the gentleman from Wood to call for a division of the question.


Mr. FROST - He certainly did so before the call was made for the yeas and nays.

The President said it was for the Convention to decide whether they would divide, and whether they would lay the whole resolution on the table, or part of it.

The question, shall the question divided? was put and decided in the negative.

The question recurred on laying the resolution on the table.

On this question the yeas and nays, having been demanded and the demand sustained, were taken and resulted as follow:

YEAS - Messrs. Berkshire, Burley, Brown, Burdett, Broski, Barrick, Crawford, Crane of Preston, Crane of Randolph, Cather, Caldwell, Carskadon, Davidson, Douglas, Foley, Fleming, Hale, Hagans, Hooton, Howard, Jackson, Kramer, Koontz, Lightburn, Love, Martin of Wetzel, Mason, Michael, Myers, Nichols, Smith, (C. W.) Slack, Snider, Swan, Taft, West, Withers, Williamson of Pleasants, and Zinn - 39.

NAYS - Messers. Atkinson, Boreman of Tyler, Burns, Brumfield, Downey, Farnsworth, Flesher, Fast, Frost, Graham, Harrison, Hubbard, Johnson, Logan, Porter, Ritchie, Smith (Fontain), Scott, Stewart, Trout, Todd, Van Winkle, Wilson, Watson and Boreman of Wood (President.) - 25.

Remainder of members absent.

So the motion prevailed, and the resolution went to the table.

The PRESIDENT said the gentleman from Doddridge (Mr. Foley) yesterday offered a resolution of inquiry in regard to a repeal of the Stay Law, and asked for the yeas and nays upon it. The Chair decided at the time that there was not a sufficient number up to sustain the demand. In that he had been mistaken; not having read the rule since he left the Chair at the close of the other session. The rule requires seven besides the mover. He had confounded it with the rule requiring twenty to second a call for the previous question. The gentleman was entitled to the yeas and nays on his resolution.

The resolution was read by the Clerk as follows:

Resolved, That the Committee on Business inquire into the expediency of repealing the stay law passed during the late session of the Legislature.

Mr. STEWART said it was a mere resolution of inquiry, and he hoped the house would grant the gentleman the favor.>

The President said the gentleman from Doddridge had a right to demand the yeas and nays, and he would now against put the question, is the demand for the yeas and nays sustained?

A sufficient number rose, and the question on the adoption of the resolution was put. The roll was called and resulted yeas, 24; nays, 41.

So the resolution was rejected.

The President then announced the following gentleman as the Committee appointed under the resolution of the gentleman from Wetzel, (Mr. West.)


Messrs. West of Wetzel, Crawford of Hancock, Nichols of Brooke, Wilson of Ohio, Burley of Marshall, Johnson of Tyler, Stewart of Doddridge, Williamson of Pleasants, Douglas of Ritchie, Van Winkle of Wood, Flesher of Jackson, Wetzel of Mason, Brumfield of Wayne, Kramer of Monongalia, Burns of Marion, Cather of Taylor, Zinn of Preston, Parsons of Tucker, Crane of Randolph, Myers of Barbour, Smith of Upshur, Lightburn of Lewis, Withers of Gilmer, Davis of Harrison, Graham of Wirt, Slack of Kanawha, Trout of Hampshire, Hawxhurst of Fairfax, and Miner of Alexandria.

Mr. FLESHER offered the following resolutions:

1. Resolved, That the Committee on a Division of the State be requested to inquire into the expediency of taking the sense of the people in all the counties lying west of a line from the northeast corner of Tennessee and running to the top of the Allegheny mountains to the State of Maryland, on the question of a division of the State.

2. That the sense so required shall be taken by a vote in the usual forms at the several places of holding elections in the said counties, on a day fixed by this Convention in the month of October next.

3. That if a majority of the voters shall cast their votes on that day in favor of a division of the State, the Legislature shall be requested and empowered to pass a law calling a Convention to assemble at the Capital at Wheeling at as early a day as may be, for the purpose of forming a constitution, and doing all other things necessary to be done for the proper organizing of Western Virginia into a State to be called the State of New Virginia.

The resolutions were referred to the Committee on a Division of the State.

Mr. TODD, of Taylor, offered the following:

Whereas, the Legislature of this Commonwealth, which met in Wheeling during the month of July, 1861, did refuse to give her consent for a division of the State, therefore

Resolved, That this Convention deem it inexpedient at this time to further legislate on the subject.

Referred to Committee on a Division of the State.

Mr. VAN Winkle reported from that Committee, ordinances with the following titles:

An Ordinance declaring null and void the proceedings of the Richmond Convention of 1861.

An Ordinance providing for the discharge of the duties of the office of Second Auditor.

An Ordinance providing for the publication in newspapers of the Ordinances of this Convention and the laws passed by the General Assembly.

An Ordinance providing for the discharge of the duties of the Board of Public Works.

The ordinances thus reported were laid on the table, and ordered to be printed.

Mr. STEWART moved to suspend the rule for the purpose of reconsidering the vote referring the resolution offered by the gentleman from Taylor (Mr. Todd).


Mr. VAN WINKLE moved that the Convention, when it adjourn, adjourn to meet at 11 o'clock next morning. The Committees need more time than the Convention, and this would give them sometime to prepare business.

The motion was agreed to.

The Convention then adjourned.

August 6
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August 15
August 16
August 17
August 19
August 20
August 21

Chapter Nine: Second Session of the Second Wheeling Convention

A State of Convenience

West Virginia Archives and History