Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
February 4, 1863

Wheeling Intelligencer
February 5, 1863

Anti-New State Meeting At The Court-House - Mr. Richardson and Mr. Clemens Each "Speak A Piece." - An anti-New State meeting was held last evening at the Court-house. Mr. Richardson, the anti-New State candidate for the Constitutional Convention, was the first speaker. He said that Mr. Ross was a candidate for the Convention, and that Mr. Ross was in favor of emancipating the negroes of the proposed new State. He said Mr. Richardson was also a candidate, and that Mr. Richardson was opposed to that proposition. He spoke of the unauthorized suspension of the writ of habeas corpus - the worthlessness of the Government greenbacks, and the black tide of tyranny that was sweeping over the country. All this was very ingeniously interspersed with frequent allusions to Abolition, which were received by the audience with demonstrations of great joy. Mr. Richardson's piece lasted about an hour. He concluded by urging upon the people the great importance of their at once asserting their manhood.

He was greeted with applause. He stood for a moment, like a member of the Indiana Legislature that we once read of, gasping like an expiring frog, and then leaped to his hind legs and belched forth such a vindictive tirade of abuse against the restored government and the proposed new State as we have never heard equalled. His audience seemed to be amazed at the almost savage ferocity of his denunciations of men and things in general. He said he had had a padlock on his mouth and with that he made a pluck at his face and threw the imaginary padlock at his feet. He said he had had manacles on his wrists and shackles on his legs, and he tore them off and stood up like a defiant freeman. He said he knew all about it, and from the manner in which he conducted himself we really thought for a while that he did. He gave a detailed account of the manner in which the usurped government and the new State movement were inaugurated and the temptations which he had encountered in his pious efforts to keep his virtuous hands clear of the business. He pitched into Governor Peirpoint, Auditor Crane, Senator Willey, Gen. Wheat, A. B. Caldwell and all the principles and practices. He exalted the patriotic Carlile to the skies and denounced Senator Sumner as a cringing hound and a lover of negroes. At least he dropped down from a lofty flight of eloquence upon the name of Ben. Wade, of Ohio.

"Ben Wade,["], said the speaker, with a look of withering scorn, "Ben Wade, who stinks in the night like a rotten mackerel. His feet stinks, his mouth stinks, and his teeth stink. I know this for I have slept with him. Not of my own choice for it was in a sleeping car on a railroad train."

Mr. Clemens announced himself as a Butternut and said that although he had been under a cloud, somewhat, for a long period, he had always been unalterably opposed to the division of Virginia. The audience was quite a large one and all appeared to be very well entertained.

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

West Virginia Archives and History