Editorial on Election of
Waitman T. Willey and John Carlile
As Senators From Virginia

Wheeling Intelligencer
July 10, 1861

The Election for Senators Yesterday.

Yesterday, at two o'clock, both houses of the Legislature went into an election for U. S. Senators, and the result was, that Hon. John S. Carlile was elected to fill the place of R. M. T. Hunter, and Waitman T. Willey, the place of Jas. M. Mason. Mr. Carlile was unanimously elected. Mr. Willey was elected by a majority of three - the former getting 38 and the latter 22 votes. Mr. Carlile has the long term, running to March 4th, 1865, and Mr. Willey the short one, running to March 4th, 1863. Concerning Mr. Carlile's election, every reader knows our opinion. It was, in our judgment, an honor well bestowed. Concerning Mr. Willey's election, we can only say that we would have preferred either of the other candidates voted for, viz: Messrs. Van Winkle and Lamb. Not because Mr. Willey is not a man of good enough abilities, experience, good character, and all that, but because he is not, never was, nor never will be a leader. He has not the back bone for times like these, as the records of the Richmond Convention, both in secret and public session will amply attest. This we say in all respect and kindness, and without any personal feeling whatever, for as a citizen Mr. Willey is deservedly esteemed. We are in hopes, however, that once in the Senate and unmistakably assured that the government is thoroughly in earnest and the nation thoroughly prepared to put this rebellion down, that he will lend himself to the help of the Union without stint and without any half way provisos.

These two elections yesterday will settle to the world the validity and standing of our State government. Up to this time it has only been recognized by the administration, but now it will be recognized by Congress, and this will put us in formal possession of all the attributes of sovereignty that ever attached to the late government at Richmond.

Chapter Eight: Legislature of the Reorganized Government of Virginia

West Virginia Statehood

West Virginia Archives and History