August 1, 1861
Public Meeting at Morgantown
In accordance with previous notice, a large and respectable meeting of the citizens of Monongalia county was held in the Court House in Morgantown on Friday evening, July 26th, 1861.
On motion, Mr. Wagner was called to the chair, and Dr. I. Scott appointed Secretary.
On motion, H. Dering, R. L. Berkshire and Dr. Wm. Dent were appoint a Committee to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting in reference to a new State.
During the retirement of the Committee, Hon. Wm. G. Brown addressed the meeting in his usual plain and forcible style, in which he demonstrated to the fullest satisfaction of all present that now is the most propitious time we have ever had or ever will have to get a new State, and if we let this opportunity pass we may never have another one so favorable.
The Committee having returned reported the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:
Resolved, That the Legislature recently assembled in the city of Wheeling has not met the expectations of the people of this county in relation to a division of the State.
Resolved, That we most earnestly desire the formation of a new State out of Northwestern Virginia. We have borne with the unfriendly legislation and policy of the State, until we have witnessed all our material interests dwarfed, and now, to complete our ruin, Eastern Virginia proposes to drag us, against our will, from the government of the United States – the government framed by our fathers – the government under which we were born and raised – the government we have ever loved, and to whose fostering care we are indebted for whatever prosperity and happiness we have heretofore enjoyed – and to attach to us an untried government – an organization designed, as we verily believe for a despotism, suited to the tastes and interests alone of the slave, rice, cotton and sugar growing States of the South, against all which we for our posterity do solemnly protest, and do most earnestly ask of the people of Eastern Virginia, and especially of our brethren of the Valley, to permit us to separate in peace, and to conduct our own policy and destiny, in such a way as will promote our own interests and happiness, and as we trust be beneficial to both sections of the State.
Resolved, That we look with deep interest to the action of the Convention which is to re-assembled [sic] in Wheeling, in August next, and hope that they may be able to devise some mode of delivering us from the double allegiance now claimed of us; and in our deliberate judgment, this can be done, peacefully, by a speedy division of the State, and allowing the North West to unite her destiny with the Government of her choice; and we hope and trust that the Convention soon to assemble, will lose no time in inaugurating measures to bring about speedily this most desirable result.
Resolved, That the course pursued by our Senators and Representatives in the Congress of the United States, in voting men and money to carry on the war, meets with our most hearty approval.
R. L. Berkshire, Esq., addressed the meeting, pledging his hearty support to the new State.
On motion, it was ordered that the proceedings of this meeting be published in the papers of this district.
On motion, adjourned.
W. WAGNER, Pres’t.
J. SCOTT, Sec’t.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: July 1861