February 1, 1861
At a meeting of a portion of the citizens of Hardy county, held on the 24th ult., for the purpose of nominating a suitable person to represent said county in a convention of the State of Virginia, to convene in Richmond on the 13th of February, Felix B. Welton, Esq., was called to the chair, and A. A. Welton, J. V. Williams and I. B. KeKeever [sic] appointed Secretaries.
On motion, a committee was appointed to draft resolutions, composed of Garrett Cunningham, A. Sommerville, H. W. Frye, A. A. Welton, Edward Williams, Samuel Harper and John Michael, who reported the following resolutions, which were adopted:
Whereas, in view of the present difficult and dangerous complications of our National affairs, and in view of the great interests involved, it becomes the duty, as well as the privilege, of the citizens of each and every portion of our country, to set forth and define their position, in relation to the important questions which now so alarmingly agitate us, therefore,
Resolved, That as citizen[s] of the State of Virginia, ardently attached to her honored and noble institutions, we deeply deplore the present alarming situation of our National affairs, and the aggressions of the anti-slavery States of the Confederacy, which are fatal, alike to the national union and to the rights and interests of the Southern States.
Resolved, That we deem it of the utmost importance, that Virginia’s action, while marked with a spirit of forbearance, should be firm and decided, and only to assert her high prerogative as a soverign [sic] and independent State, and to dissolve her connection with the Federal Union, when a full recognition of those rights by our brethren of the North, and to place them forever beyond the reach of northern fanaticism and aggression has failed.
Resolved, That while we deprecate the hasty and precipitate action of our sister Southern States which has led to a partial disruption of the Union and have only served to strengthen our enemies and render our affairs still more hopelessly complicated, believing as we do that co-operation and unanimity of action, in all of the Southern States, to be of the first importance, when forced to the final act of secession, we emphatically deny the right of the coercion of a seceding State by the General Government.
Resolved, That the Constitution of the United States confers upon the citizens of all the States in the confederacy, equal rights in all its Territories and that the Federal Government is bound to protect the citizens of said territories in the possession and enjoyment of their slaves, or whatever else is recognized as property by the laws of any one of the States.
Resolved, That we will accept of Mr. Crittenden’s proposition as a basis of compromise for the satisfactory adjustment of the perplexing difficulties in which we are involved, and avail ourselves of this opportunity to express our high admiration of the noble patriotism and our confidence in his unfaltering devotion to the best interests of the whole country, which have so justly distinguished the patriotic efforts of that venerable Senator to re-unite and cement the bonds of [unreadable] Union.
Resolved, That under the Federal Constitution the citizens of the slave states are entitled to the peaceable and constitutional enjoyment of their own domestic institutions, and the faithful execution of the fugitive Slave Law and the right of transit through the free States with Slaves.
Resolved, That we are utterly opposed to the introduction into the proposed State convention of any question foreign to the present crisis and that will tend to alienate the different sections.
On motion, Thos. Maslin, Wm. S. Cunningham & F. B. Welton, Esqrs. Were put in nomination to represent the County of Hardy in Convention, when Thomas Maslin, Esq., was unanimously selected.
Resolved, That the proceedings be published in the South Branch Intelligencer and Virginia Advertiser.
F. B. Welton, Ch’n.
A. A. Welton, J. V. Williams, I. B. McKeever, Secretaries.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: January 1861