March 24, 1862
She Comes Bravely up to the Work, and “Talks Right out in Meetin’” –Patriotic Resolutions.
(For the Intelligencer.)
Pursuant to previous notice there was a grand turnout of the people of Upshur county, at Buckhannon, their county seat, on Monday the 17th of March, 1862, (that being the first day of the quarterly court,) to take into consideration what should be their action in regard to the adoption of the Constitution, recently adopted by the convention at Wheeling, for the new State of West Virginia. At noon, the court having taken a recess, the people assembled at the Court House. Whereupon, on motion of F. Berlin Esq., Dr. David S. Pinnell, was unanimously elected President of the meeting, who upon taking the chair delivered an able address to the meeting, and urged the people to speak out fully and freely their sentiments upon all subjects under consideration, either pro or con, without fear or favor of affection. On motion C.P. Rohrbaugh Esq., was unanimously elected Secretary. D.D.T. Farnsworth Esq., moved a committee of twelve consisting of three from each magesterial[sic] district be appointed by the chair to report business for the meeting, which motion was adopted. Whereupon the President appointed the following gentlemen on said committee, namely:
1st District – R. Fretwell, N.B. Warmsly and Lair. Dean.
2nd District – C.B. Loudin, Lewis Karickhoff, and Job Hinkle.
3rd District – F. Berlin, D.D.T. Farnsworth and N.C. Loudin.
4th District – Samuel Wilson, C.S. Haynes and Ashley Gould.
The committee then retired to perform its duties, and during its absence Spencer Dayton, Esq., of Barbour county entertained the meeting with an able address upon the various topics under consideration.
The committee after having been absent some time returned and reported the following preamble and resolutions.
WHEREAS, It is the desire of the people of West Virginia to organize themselves into a new State as a loyal State of this Union, with a view of securing to themselves the largest amount of liberty and prosperity. And whereas it is the further desire of the people to aid the General Government in suppressing the present iniquitous rebellion in the Southern States of this Union, therefore,
1st Resolved, That we do most heartily endorse the policy adopted and pursued by the Administration at Washington, to sup- suppress and crush out the present unrighteous and wicked rebellion, and to restore our national Union.
2d. That we, the citizens of Upshur county, do endorse and accept the policy recommended by the present Chief Magistrate of the United States, (Abraham Lincoln,) in his message of the 6th of March, 1862, to Congress, in regard to the emancipation of slaves of the Border States, as the policy that should be adopted by the people of West Virginia; and we do now pledge ourselves to advocate, defend and carry out the said policy, as most promotive of our liberty, safety and prosperity in the Union.
3d. That we had hoped and expected that the late Convention to frame a Constitution for the new State, would have given the people a chance to express their sentiments upon the subject of slavery in the proposed new State. And believing as we do, that a decided majority of the people are in favor of gradual emancipation, we therefore regard the action of the said Convention as not reflecting the will of the people.
4th. That we will open a separate poll book for this country, in order to enable the people to express their preferences for or against slavery within the proposed new State, when called upon to vote upon the proposed Constitution: and we earnestly invite our fellow citizens throughout the proposed new State to open poll books for a like purpose.
5th. That we deprecate and detest the insulting efforts of those who are now striving to intimidate our purpose by denouncing as abolitionists those who, to promote the prosperity of West Virginia and develop its natural resources, advocate the exclusion of the institution of slavery from the proposed new State.
6th. That we regret the course of some of our newspapers that are daily agitating the question of slavery with as much zeal as do the rebel papers of the South, or the extreme abolition papers of the North. And this, too, by a set of cowardly newspaper writers and editors, who would not risk the hair of their heads in defense of the Union.
The resolutions were then read to the meeting and were unanimously adopted with the greatest enthusiasm.
On motion of R. Fretwell, Esq., it was
Resolved, That the President and Secretary sign the proceedings of this meeting, and that the newspapers of Wheeling, Parkersburg, Clarksburg, Fairmont, and the National Intelligencer be requested to publish the same.
After the adoption of the forgoing resolutions, D.D.T. Farnsworth, Esq, being loudly called for, appeared upon the stand and delivered a most able and telling speech upon the various topics before the meeting, which was cheered by a hearty roar of applause from the entire house, and produced the greatest enthusiasm among the people.
D.S. PINNELL, President.
C.P. ROHRBAUGH, Secretary.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: March 1862