July 20, 1861
The Old Government Declared Abdicated and the New one Cordially Endorsed and Ratified. On Monday night last [July 15, 1861] one of the largest meetings ever held in Parkersburg, assembled to ratify the proceedings of the late Wheeling Convention and of the establishment of the new government. The Cincinnati Gazette’s correspondent says it was a meeting larger than he ever saw in a city of that size. He also states that the reason for calling this meeting was a double one : 1st. to ratify the doings of the Wheeling Convention : 2d. to come to a conclusion in regard to officers who refuse to take the oath which makes them subject to the new Government.
Mr. George W. Henderson, an old citizen of Parkersburg, presided, and M. P. Amos, Esq. acted as Secretary. Vigorous Union speeches were made, and finally the follow [sic] resolutions unanimously adopted.
Whereas, A convention assembled at the city of Richmond, on the 13th of February, 1861, in pursuance of an unconstitutional act of Assembly, by its ordinances, attempted to dissolve the union existing between the State of Virginia and the United States, and to annex this State to a pretended Government styled the Confederate States of America, and have invited and brought into the State large bodies of armed troops from other States of the Union, with the avowed purpose of resisting the authority and execution of the laws of the United States, and have done many other odious and objectionable acts, all of which we regard as rebellious against the Government of the United States, unconstitutional and void, and therefore not binding on the people of Virginia.
And whereas, John Letcher, late Executive of the State, by his acts of usurpation and rebellion against the Government of the United States and his adherence to another pretended Government aforesaid, abdicated the Government, and left us without a Government loyal to the Constitution and laws of the United States.
And whereas, The people of Virginia, by their delegates, who assembled at Wheeling on the 11th of June, 1861, have re-organized and restored the Government of Virginia, and the officers elected by the last mentioned convention to fill the vacancies in the Executive of the State, have entered upon the discharge of the duties appertaining to their respective positions; and whereas there are amonst [sic] us, some of whom claim to be Union men, who oppose and by their course of conduct attempt to bring into contempt the Government of Virginia, as so re-organized and restored;
Now, therefore, we the People of Wood county, in mass meeting assembled, do resolve as follows:
1. That the acts and doings of the convention which assembled at Richmond on the 13th of February, 1861, are not binding on the people of this Commonwealth; and that the late Executive of this State by his acts of usurpation and rebellion, and his adherence to the pretended Government aforesaid, styled the Confederate States of America, abdicated the Government and left the people of Virginia without any loyal and constitutional Executive.
2. That we hail with lively satisfaction the reorganization and restoration of the Government of the Commonwealth, by the Convention, which assembled at the city of Wheeling on the 11th day of June, 1861; and we hereby ratify and endorse and pledge ourselves to uphold and defend the Government thus reorganized and restored.
3. That it is the duty of every good citizen to support the Government of the United States, in the maintenance of the Constitution and the Union against the rebellion, which is now attempting its over-throw; and that it has come to that point in the contest now going on in our country, when men cannot hold a position of neutrality—they must be either for the Union or against it. He must sustain the Government of the United States or the rebellion. “He that is not for us, is against us.” And that those in our midst, whether they claim to be Union men or not, and who approve, and by their course of conduct attempt to bring into contempt the Government of Virginia as reorganized and restored by the Wheeling Convention of the 11th of June, 1861, ought not, and will not be regarded by us as friends of the Union.
4. That it is the duty of every person holding office in this Commonwealth, to take the oath prescribed in the ordinance passed by the Wheeling Convention, entitled, “An Ordinance for the Reorganization of the State Government”--and that we will not, now or hereafter, support any such person for office, who refuses to take said oath.
No true Union man in Western Virginia can help feeling better after the reading of these manly and straightforward resolutions. They have the right ring in them, and carry glad tidings of joy to patriotic hearts, evincing, as they do, that our glorious cause and glorious movement is spreading far and wide through the people. They are but the forerunners of other resolutions and other meetings that will be held in every county in Western Virginia, as fast as it is freed from the despotism of secession.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: July 1861