March 19, 1862
[From the Gazette]
One of the largest meetings ever held in Parkersburg was held at the Court House on Saturday last, in favor of the new Constitution of the new State of West Virginia. The people of the country poured in freely and there seemed to be a perfect unanimity of sentiment. E. Tracewell, Esq., was called to preside, and William Hatcher, Esq. appointed Secretary.
The meeting was first addressed by P.G. Van Winkle, Esq. in one of the most clear and graphic explanations of the various provisions made of the Constitutions that could be made. He is familiar with every word and letter in it. What was not prepared by his hand went through a close revision under his eye. It is admitted on all hands that our talented townsman is the father of that instrument, and to him more than any other are we indebted for one of the best constitutions that has ever been before the people of the country, the national one, prepared by our inspired fathers, only excepted. If we as people are enabled to have a new State under it, in a very few years we shall find it one of our highest treasures and greatest blessings.
W.E. Stevenson, Esq., spoke eloquently and well, with evidences of the clear sound judgment for which he has been noted by those who have known him. He is a progressive man, a true patriot, and a laboring practical man. He became known to many persons here to whom he had been a stranger and all expressed the lightest satisfaction. He, too, was among the most earnest and arduous members of the convention, laboring constantly, speaking rarely; but when he did, with sense and effect.
Resolutions had been neglected until after the commencement of the meeting, and before they could be finished the meeting adjourned.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: March 1862