Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
January 19, 1861

Wheeling Intelligencer
January 24, 1861

The Union Men of Harrison County

The strongest resolutions which we have seen yet passed by any Union meeting in Western Virginia were those passed by the Convention which was held at Clarksburg, on Saturday last, the 19th inst. We find them reported in the Guard of that place. Both Messrs. Carlisle and Lewis, prominent gentlemen in the meeting, have been members of Congress.

Without further introduction, we submit the following from the published proceedings:

Meeting at the Court House on Saturday, 19th.

On Saturday, a portion of the people of Harrison county assembled at the Court House, for the purpose of recommending two suitable persons to be voted for by the friends of the Union for members of the Convention, which is to assemble on the 13th of February, 1861.

Upon motion, Maj. Charles Lewis was called to the Chair; and upon motion of Wm. A. Harrison, Esq., Dr. David Davisson was appointed Secretary.

The Chairman in a few appropriate remarks explained the object of the meeting.

Wm. A. Harrison, Esq., then addressed the meeting, taking a bold and decided stand in favor of the Union as formed by the revolutionary fathers, and against secession.

Mr. Harrison then read the proceedings of an enthusiastic Union meeting held on Friday evening at Shinnston, in which members of all political parties participated, declaring their devotion to the Union and their opposition to secession.

Jno. J. Davis., Esq., then offered the following resolutions as a basis for the action of the meeting.

Resolved, That we will support no man as a delegate to the convention to be held in Richmond, on the 13th day of February next, who is not unequivocally opposed to secession, and will not so pledge himself.

Revolved, That we will support no man who will not pledge himself to oppose and vote against the appointment of persons to represent this State in any convention, having for its object the establishment of a provisional or other government, or of persons to any body convened for the purpose of forming a Southern Confederacy or government.

Resolved, That we will support no man who will not pledge himself to vote against any ordinance, resolution, or motion that has for its object the withdrawal of the State from the Federal Union.

Resolved, That we will support no man who will not pledge himself to vote against any resolution to be laid down as an ultimatum, and the refusal of which, by the other States, to be considered just cause for seceding from the Union.

Resolved, That we will not support any man who believes that the Convention to assemble at Richmond, on the 13th of February, 1861, or any other State authority, can absolve the citizens of this State from their allegiance to the General Government; and that we will support no man who does not believe that the Federal Government has the right of self-preservation.

Resolved, That we will support no man who will not oppose all deliberation and discussion by the members of said Convention in secret secession [sic].

The above resolutions were adopted unanimously.

John J. Davis, Esq., suggested W. P. Goff, Esq., J. W. Janes, Esq., suggested Hon. Jno. S. Carlise [sic], B. F. Shuttlsworth, Esq., suggested Hon. C. S. Lewis, as suitable persons to recommend to the Voters of this county to represent them in said convention.

The gentlemen whose names had been suggested came forward and subscribed to Mr. Davis's resolutions. Mr. Goff declaring that he subscribed to the said resolutions as truisms, but that if they intended to convey the idea that it was expedient on the part of the General Government to use force, at this time, he thought it inexpedient.

Whereupon, the meeting proceeded to vote when J. S. Carelise [sic] received 85[?] votes, C. S. Lewis 57, W. P. Goff 34. The Chair declared that Jno. S. Carlise [sic] and C. S. Lewis were the two persons whom the meeting recommended to the friends of the Union in Harrison county, for their support.

The candidates made eloquent and patriotic speeches, which were received with great applause.

When men are in earnest the above is the way they talk. When they mean Union they express it in that way. Nobody misunderstands them, and nobody reads it one way while his neighbor is reading it some other way. Such resolutions stand out like beacon lights on a bleak, black coast these times, and when all this storm of night and danger shall have passed away, the resolutions of the patriotic men of Harrison county will deserve to stand upon the page of our National history in illuminated letters.

Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: January 1861

West Virginia Archives and History