Spirit of Jefferson
September 26, 1882
We place at the head of our paper to day as the Democratic nominee for Congress in the 2d West Virginia District, the name of William L. Wilson, Esq., of this place, now President of the West Virginia University. To our readers here in the county of his birth and raising, and who know him best, it is unnecessary for us to speak in his praise. We may mention, however, that, after honorable service on the Southern side in the late war, he entered and became a graduate of Columbian University, Washington, D.C., afterwards served as Professor of Greek and Latin therein, and then removed to Charlestown, his old home, where he became an able and prominent practitioner at the bar. A few weeks ago, without solicitation on his part, he was chosen by the Board of Regents to the Presidency of the West Virginia University, and had but fairly got settled in his seat at Morgantown, when again, without effort on his part, he was unanimously chosen to harmonize the Democratic party of this district, and lead them to a final and glorious victory. His nomination meets with the most hearty approval throughout the entire district, and of his election by a rousing majority there is not the slightest doubt. Le the Democrats of Jefferson pull solidly together to give him the largest vote ever yet polled for any man in this county. It can, and should be done.
A Wilson pole was raised at this place on Saturday afternoon last. The affair was attended with some difficulty and much labor, but by the untiring efforts of Gen. John T. Colston and his able corps of assistants, it was raised before sunset, and upon a beautiful hickory, standing one hundred feet above ground, floated to the breeze two streamers bearing the names of Wilson, Melvin, Fouke and Rider. The fruition of the labors of the large assemblage present was hailed with prolonged and joyous shouts, and above all floated the strains of sweet music, furnished by the "Clipper Brass Band," of Middleway, a handsomely uniformed organization, which did itself and the town it represented much credit on the occasion.
It having leaked out from a private telegram sent his family, that the Hon. Wm. L. Wilson would reach home from Morgantown that evening, the speaking was postponed until after nightfall. After supper our citizens, with a large number from the country who had remained, repaired to the B & O depot, and as the Winchester Accommodation train moved in the "Clipper Band" awoke the echoes with sweet music, and as Mr. Wilson stepped from the cars, such cheers were given as made the welkin ring. He was escorted to a hack by Hon. W. H. Travers and Capt. Geo. Baylor, and taken to the Court-House, where there was speedily assembled (notwithstanding the lateness of the hour, 9 « o'clock) a very large and appreciative audience. Judge Green, of the Court of Appeals was called to preside, and Mr. Wilson being called for, came forward, very much embarrassed. Although usually one of the most polished, ready and fluent speakers, the reception given him at his old home, by the friends who had known him from his earliest infancy, and all so sudden and unexpected, was such as to almost overcome him with the emotions which it stirred within his breast- He returned most hearty thanks, however, for the honor conferred, and promised to make good use of the few remaining days of the campaign in combating his opponent at every point. In Jefferson, he conceded, it was useless for him to waste his time, as her vote, as was evidenced by this demonstration, would be given him as largely if not larger than over for any Democratic candidate. He would, therefore, after spending Sunday at home, strike for Hampshire county, and take the stump at once. Mr. Wilson was followed by the Hon. W. H. Travers, in a brief but eloquent address, speaking in the highest terms of the nominee for Congress, and urging the best efforts of the Democracy in bringing out the full vote of the party on this, the "off-year" as it is called, in elections. Isaac Fouke, Esq., Capt. George Baylor and Judge T. C. Green each followed in short addresses, after which adjourned one of the most enthusiastic and pleasant political meetings over held in Jefferson county.
The 2d District Democratic Congressional Convention met at Piedmont, pursuant to call, September 20th.
The convention was called to order by Col. Baylor, of the State Committee, and he named as temporary Chairman Col. James Evans, of Monongahela, who on taking the chair made a long speech.
All the Democratic editors of this district were made Secretaries.
On motion of A. B. Pugh, the Committees on Order of Business, Permanent Organization, Credentials, Basis of Representation; Resolutions and Committee on Executive Committee were appointed.
The Committees then retired for business, and the Convention took a recess until 1 o'clock.
On reassembling the reports of the committees were adopted. J. F. Harding, of Randolph, was made permanent chairman, and Geo. P. Sargent permanent Secretary.
The usual number of vice presidents were appointed.
Maj. Harding was escorted to the chair amid great applause, and amid a brief speech urging harmony.
The Committee on Resolutions reported as follows:
Resolved, By the Democracy of the Second Congressional District of West Virginia, in Convention assembled:
1st. That we hail with pleasure the indications of a revival of the Jeffersonian Conservative Democracy, with its abhorrence to the original principles of civil liberty as established by our fore-fathers.
2d. We demand a strict construction of Constitution of the United States, economy in the expenditures of the government thereof, simplicity and fidelity in officials and responsibility of monopolies and corporations to and their regulation by the legislative authority, and we arraign the Republican party for its many and flagrant violations of these principles in its disregard of the Constitution, in its assumption of powers belonging to the States, and its reckless extravagance in the expenditure of the public money.
3d. That we view with alarm, and do heartily condemn the practice of political assessments, inaugurated and carried out by the Republican party for the purpose of influencing elections at the polls.
4th. That we pledge our united and hearty support to any gentleman who may be the nominee of this Convention.
The Executive Congressional Committee was reported as follows: Barbour county, D. W. Gall; Berkeley, Archibald Oden; Grant, Berndam Baker; Hamshire, C. C. White; Hardy, Joseph Van Meter; Jefferson, Geo. M. Beltzhoover; Marion, L. P. Watson; Mineral, C. W. Daley; Morgan, Geo. W. Sheppard; Pendleton, Frank Anderson; Preston, R. W. Monroe; Randolph, J. T. Harding; Taylor, James M. Surgiss; Tucker, L. S. Anvill; Monongalia, D. M. Camp.
Archibald Oden, of Berkeley was made Chairman.
When the counties were called Berkeley placed C. J. Faulkner, Jr., in nomination.
In a brief and pointed speech Judge Haymond was put in nomination by Mr. Maxwell, of Tucker.
Mr. McGraw, of Taylor, made the speech of the day in nominating Mr. Wilson. He paid a beautiful tribute to his mental and moral worth, referred to his gallant and efficient service as a campaigner in the last Presidential campaign, and predicted that Mr. Wilson, if nominated, would carry a victorious banner through the district. He conceded the nomination to an eastern man. His speech was frequently interrupted by applause. Barbour was first called, and cast eleven votes for Haymond, and one for Wilson. Berkeley cast seventeen for Faulkner. Hampshire responded with her fifteen votes solid for Wilson. Hardy eleven for Wilson; Mineral too for Wilson; then the others rapidly changed, the other candidates were withdrawn, and Wilson's nomination was made unanimous in the midst of continual applause, waving of hats and general congratulations.
Government and Politics