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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
January 25, 1863


Wheeling Intelligencer
January 29, 1863

Meeting of the People of Monongalia County – The Resolution Passed by Them.

At a large meeting of the citizens of Monongalia county, held at the Court-House, in Morgantown, on Monday the 25th of January, 1863.

On motion, John B, Lough, Esq., was appointed President, and W. A. Hanway, Secretary.

Col. James Evans moved that a Committee of five be appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting.

The Chair accordingly appointed Dr. J. V. Boughner, Chas. H. Burgess, Egan B. Tygard, Geo. M. Reay, Esq., and Col. F. R. Sinclair.

After the Committee had retired, Col. Henry Dering being called for, responded in a brief speech condemning the Legislature for protracting their sessions long beyond what was necessary for transacting the legitimate business for which it was convened. Mr. D. took strong ground in favor of the New State, setting forth the vast resources of “Western Virginia,” and the immense advantages which would accrue to us by a separation. He said that any one opposing the New State, was disloyal to the Government.

Capt. Wm. Lazier made a few remarks condemnatory of the Legislature. He also took ground in favor of the New State.

The Committee reported the following preamble and resolutions: Whereas it is a fundamental maxim of our Republican system of Government, that the representative is but the servant of the constituency he represents; and whereas, at a public meeting, consisting of a very large assemblage of the loyal voters and taxpayers of Monongalia, held at December Court last, the principal measures of the present session of the Legislature were unanimously repudiated; and whereas, developments since made in the daily driveling and farcical proceedings of that illustrious body, shows that the executive act of convening the Legislature at this time was unnecessary and uncalled for by any present or prospective exigency: and that no result can follow the mock attempt at legislation now going on at Wheeling but the depletion and robbery of the treasury of about thirty thousand dollars, the hard earnings of an honest, earnest and patriotic people; and as evidence that these deductions are correct, we point to the extra official report of Auditor Crane, apprising the needy and in too many instances, unscrupulous members of the Legislature, that there was over one hundred thousand dollars in the treasury, thus presenting an inviting object of legislative spoliation and plunder; and on the heels of this extra official expose, the introduction of propositions to increase the salaries of the Governor, the redoubtable Auditor, and other members of the Executive Government, and the pay of that delectable body, the Legislature, under the modest soubriquet of “mileage.” In view of these facts,

Resolved, 1st. That it is the deliberate opinion of this meeting that no sufficient reasons or considerations of public policy existed for convening the Legislature this winter, and if such were avowed they were a ruse to mislead a confiding people, and we believe that the primary purpose of such convocation was to secure an increase of salaries of the Governor and other executive officers and members of the Legislature, propositions at this time not only impolitic but flagitious.

Resolved, That the only legitimate business that might require legislative action was to provide for turning over any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, and paid into the treasury by the counties within West Virginia to the new State.

Resolved, That, judging by its daily acts, we believe a majority of the present Legislature are governed solely by personal aims, and practically ignore the nobler and higher considerations of the general good, and that we have lost any confidence we may have hitherto entertained in its intentions or ability to promote the public good, and hence we believe the wisest and most popular act of the session would be its immediate adjournment, and thus leave the business of legislation to their successors who, we hope, will be better qualified for that responsible task.

After discussion by Dr. Boughner, Col. Evans, Capt. Lazier, Col. Dering and others, all of whom endorsed the resolutions in the main, some objecting to the phraseology, the question being called, the resolutions were adopted by a large majority.

On motion the proceedings were ordered to be printed in the Wheeling Intelligencer and Wheeling Press.

John B. Lough, Pres’t.
W. A. Hanway, Sec’y.


Wheeling Intelligencer
February 5, 1863

The Morgantown Meeting.

Editors Intelligencer:

In your paper of the 29th ult., I see published the proceedings of a meeting held at Morgantown on the 25th of January, 1863. That the sentiments expressed by the proceedings of this meeting are the sentiments of any considerable portion of the citizens of this county, I deny, and that the getters up of this meeting and the principal portion of the individuals who participated in its proceedings are, and have been dissatisfied and disappointed by the independent action of our worthy Governor, none, who are at all conversant with the circumstances, will gainsay. There is something very strange in the fact that no other counties, I believe, than this and Preston, have manifested any disposition to cast odium upon the Legsi

The Kingwood, or Preston county meeting, was proven to be a worse than abortion before it was a week old, and I think the Morgantown meeting or Kingwood meeting No. 2, will, if any thng, prove still more offensive in the nostrils of the people, as it is more developed, than even its illustrious predecessor, held at Kingwood. It was proven that the meeting at Kingwood, all told, amounted to thirty-eight, with the majority of those living in town. It is asserted by truthful gentlemen that the Morgantown meeting could not possibly exceed 30, and that the committee appointed to draft resolutions did not agree, at least one-half of them dissented from the report. It is also reported by gentlemen who were present, that not more than 18 or 20 of those present voted at all, and that nearly as many voted against the resolutions as there were for them. Be that as it may, agree for the sake of argument, that the resolutions were adopted by a "large majority," we have not more than 15 persons, who voted for the report, five of whom are known to be personally inimical to the Governor, leaving ten to express the sentiments of the people of Monongalia.

No, gentlemen, I contend that the phraseology used in the expression of the sentiment of this meeting is ludicrous, unbecoming and untrue, and disgraceful to any loyal people, and that the inuendoes thrown out and insinuations made against the officers of State, are alone becoming the man who concocted them and brought them before the people.

I will say here that it is due Col. Dering to say, that I have heard him say repeatedly since the meeting, that he did not concur in the resolutions, and that he made a speech against them and voted against them, yet he is represented as advocating and voting for them. Does any thing look more like "misleading a confiding people?"

I cannot give you a more graphic description than the one given by a certain "redoubtable" in this vicinity. He said he believed it was the "rotten end of the Union party trying to affiliate with the Butternuts."

In the third resolution you will find a recommendation to the present Legislature to adjourn, and leave thebusiness for a future Legislature, which they "hope will be better qualified for that responsible task," having no reference to themselves of course. They have no aspirations for such offices. They are perfectly disinterested patriots, and only desire that the people's money shall not be squandered by the yahoos now in Wheeling.

Respectfully,
Jim Crack.


Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: January 1863

West Virginia Archives and History