May 14, 1862
Weston, May 10, 1862.
At a large and enthusiastic meeting of the citizens of Lewis county, held at the Court house at Weston last evening, Mr. H. Doroughty was called to the chair, and Mr. E. M. Tunstell was appointed Secretary.
The following gentlemen were appointed a committee for the purpose of drafting resolutions expressing the preferences of the people of this county for Governor, Lieut. Governor, and Attorney General: Dr. Jos. A. Hall, Minter Baily, A Simpson, J. T. Osborn, and T. S. Morris. Dr. Hall on behalf of the committee presented the following preamble and resolutions, which were unanimously adopted.
Whereas, By an act passed by the Legislature of Virginia, an election has been ordered for Governor, Lieut. Governor and Attorney General, to be held on the fourth Thursday of May. Therefore be it
Resolved, That as loyal citizens of Lewis county, recognizing in his excellency F. H. Peirpoint, our present executive, an able and efficient officer, and one who amid the trying scenes by which he has been surrounded, has honorably discharged the duties of his important trust, and has been a prominent mover in the reorganization of the State Government, which has resulted in the redemption of our once proud and beloved commonwealth from anarchy and despotism, we therefore pledge ourselves to use all our influence to secure his re-election to that important office for the ensuing term.
Resolved, That we also endorse and approve the efficient services of Lieut. Governor D. Polsley. We regard him as worthy the office, and that we pledge ourselves to do all in our power to re-elect him to his present office.
Resolved, That in our Attorney General, Jas. S. Wheat, we recognize a true and faithful officer, and we will cheerfully support him in his re-election.
Resolved, That we concur in the views expressed by our Executive in regard to the new State project.
Resolved, That we wholly disapprove of the course pursued by our delegate elect to the House of Representatives, in failing to go to the called session, now assembled in Wheeling. We hold that our delegate should have gone and thereby had our county represented, or that he should have resigned in time, that his place might be filled by a new election. We feel that our delegate in thus failing to attend the present session, has treated his constituents in a manner unbecoming a representative of a loyal constituency.
Resolved, That the Secretary be requested to forward immediately to the Speaker of the House of Representatives a copy of these resolutions. Also a copy of the proceedings of this meeting to the editors of the Wheeling Intelligencer, and that all papers in Western Virginia be requested to publish the same.
On motion of Mr. Osborne, a meeting of the citizens of the county was called to be held on Monday evening next, to express their opinion in regard to the return of persons (once citizens) to this county, who have been engaged in the attempt to destroy the Government.
The meeting then adjourned.
H. Doroughty, Pres’t.
E. M. Tunstell, Sec’y.
May 17, 1862
At an adjourned meeting of Friday, the 9th inst., which was assembled to-day, Monday, 12th, by order of the President, Henry Daugherty, Esq., at an early hour the house was filled to overflowing by the friends of the Union, from every section of our county. The first business transacted was, in absence of Secretary, on motion, William L. Pennington was appointed Secretary pro tem.
On motion of Dr. J. A. Hall, the previous Committee of three, who were appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the loyal citizens of Lewis county, in regard to our present state of affairs, was increased to ten, consisting of the following named persons: F. M. Chalfant, Doct. J. A. Hall, P. M. Hale, Esais Felty, Richard Hall, Jesse Bonse, Aaron F. Peterson, B. Hawks, John Lyttle and Luke Murray. The Committee retired, and during their absence, Dr. J. A. Hall entertained the audience with a speech, replete with eloquence and patriotism, which was received by the large assembly with frequent bursts of applause.
The Committee returned and submitted the following preamble and resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:
Whereas, our government is now engaged in putting down one of the most stupendous rebellions that ever cursed a nation—a rebellion forced upon the people of the South, without their wish or consent, by a class of corrupt and designing politicians, whose loss of power and place being imminent they with their fall willingly dragged the nation into the vortex of ruin; thereby causing distress and the wail of mourning to enter the threshold of almost every home in our once happy country: and whereas it behoves [sic] every loyal section of our country to assist both in word and action, the Government in its endeavors to restore peace and tranquility to our now distracted country: and whereas through the blessings of kind Providence success is crowning the arms of the nation and this unholy rebellion is rapidly on the wane, and bids fair soon to succumb to the strong arm of the Republic, which demands nothing more than obedience to the laws in accordance to the Constitution, as framed by our forefathers, under which we have grown and prospered as no other nation has prospered, and stand to-day in our infancy among the first nations of the world.
Therefore, we, the people of Lewis county, met this day in mass, to devise means for the better maintenance of law and order, and to guard ourselves from the influence of that damnable heresy, “secession,” which still lurks in our midst; and further to take into consideration the best method of dealing with those traitors who, finding their cause a sinking one, are daily returning among us.
To this end, we adopt the following resolutions, as our guide for the future, and pledge ourselves to stand by and defend them from any infringement.
1.Resolved, That those persons in our midst whose acts and sympathies have been with this unholy rebellion, who have never left their homes to take any part in this war against the best government in world, and who desire to live in our midst, professing loyalty, and in many instances have confirmed the same with an oath, must prove their faith by works, and if they refuse to act with the friends of law and order, when the emergency requires, recognizing the Constitution of the United States, and the laws made in pursuance thereof, as the supreme law of the land, they will be regarded as traitors to the government, and dealt with accordingly.
2. That we politely suggest to those persons now voluntary exiles from home, and who have been regarded as leaders in this damnable heresy, secession, to remain where there are, being convinced from daily observation that many who have been released on parole, or otherwise, have added nothing to the loyal status of our government, but on the contrary have rendered themselves obnoxious by their continued opposition to our government. Not desiring to experiment with any others of this sort, we most solemnly enter our protest against any of the leaders returning with the expectation of remaining permanently in our midst.
3. The rank and file of our secession neighbors, who return to their loyalty in good faith, and give evidence of a hearty adhesion to our government, both National and State, are entitled to and shall receive our warmest sympathy, and we extend to them a fraternal welcome.
4. That it is our unalterable determination to support for office no man whatever who has aided by word, deed, or sympatyh [sic] the doctrine of secession. And further, that milk and cider Union men in our midst we justly regard with an eye of suspicion, as unworthy of our confidence and support, and we look upon them as the worst enemies of our cause.
5. That we pledge ourselves to use our utmost endeavors, consistent with law and order, to prevent any leader in this unholy rebellion from returning to our midst for the purpose of remaining among us, and that we pledge ourselves to withstand any attempt on their part from so doing.
6. That we pledge ourselves to sign no petition whatever for the release of any leader engaged in the rebellion, that may propose to return for the purpose of remaining among us.
F. M. Chalfant,
P. M. Hale,
R. B. Hall,
J. A. Hall
On motion it was ordered that a vote of thanks be returned to the committee, for the able manner in which they discharged their duties.
It was also ordered, on motion, that the proceedings of this meeting be sent to the Wheeling Intelligencer for publication, with a request that the loyal papers of West Virginia copy.
On motion the meeting adjourned.
Henry Daugherty, Pres’t.
Wm. L. Pennington, Sec’y pro tem.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: May 1862