February 2, 1861
One of the largest meetings ever held in Greenbrier county, convened in the Court House, on Monday, the 28th inst., to consider of our political troubles, and to nominate a candidate for the Convention. R. F. Dennis, Esq., called the meeting to order, and in doing so, incidentally explained its object, expressing the hope, that the people in this emergency, would lay aside their party feelings, and prejudices, and act as became a brave and free people, when their political rights were endangered. He moved that the Hon. Rallard Smith be called to the Chair. Mr. Smith excused himself, upon the ground that he was not very well. Mr. Dennis then moved that Col. Joel McPherson take the Chair. Col. McPherson excused himself upon the ground, that he was the County Court Clerk, and as such would be engaged during the day.—On the motion of Col. J. W. Davis, Robert F. Dennis, Esq., was called to the Chair. Mr. Dennis took the Chair, and further explained the object of the meeting. On motion, D. C. B. Caldwell was requested to act act [sic] as Secretary. Col. Davis then offered the following resolutions, which he supported in a lengthy speech:
1st Resolved. That Virginia will resist the coercion of seceding States by the General Government.
2nd Resolved. That whether secession by Constitutional or not, the General Government has no power to force seceding States back.
3rd Resolved. That existing causes justify Virginia in secession.
4th Resolved. That unless the Republicans propose amendments of the Constitution, through their members of Congress or their State Legislatures, by the time the Virginia Convention meets, it will be the duty of such Convention to dissolve the connection which Virginia maintains with the Northern States.
5th Resolved. That no question as to the Division of Virginia, or about white or mixed basis should be raised in the ensuing Convention.
Dr. J. J. Moorman then addressed the meeting in a strong Union speech, and in conclusion, announced himself a candidate to represent Greenbrier county in the Convention.
Mr. Price then addressed the meeting in a somewhat similar strain, and declared himself also a candidate subject to the action of the Convention. Henry M. Mathews, Esq., and Col. S. S. Thompson made strong secession speeches, in support of Col. Davis’ Resolutions. At the conclusion of Mr. Thompson’s speech, Mr. Price moved that the Resolutions of Col. Davis be laid on the table. The [unreadable] Col. Davis appealed from the decision of the Chair, and called for a count. At this point, there was some disorder and confusion, when Col. D. withdrew his appeal and call. The vote was then taken per capita, whether Dr. Moorman or Mr. Price should be the candidate for the Convention, Mr. M. Bright and John George, Esq., acting as Tellers. Dr. Moorman received 32 votes; Mr. Price received 145, and without finishing the count in his favor, Dr. M. gave it up, and gracefully withdrew from the canvass. The Chairman then announced the result of the vote, and that Mr. Price was selected by [unreadable], as a candidate for the Convention. Mr. Price appeared upon the stand and accepted the nomination, in a few brief and pertinent remarks. Col. Davis then announced that a meeting would at once be held to nominate a candidate upon the platform as offered by him. The meeting then adjourned.
R. F. Dennis, Ch’m.
D. C. B. Caldwell, Sec’y.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: January 1861