February 25, 1863
By the Governor.
Whereas, by an Ordinance of the Convention which assembled in the city of Wheeling on the 11th of June, 1861, it was declared “that the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, members of the Legislature, and all Officers now in the service of the State, or of any county, city, or town thereof, or hereafter to be elected or appointed for such service, including the Judges and Clerks of the several Courts, Sheriffs, Commissioners of the Revenue, Justices of the Peace, Officers of City and Municipal Corporations, and Officers of Militia, and Officers and Privates of Volunteer Companies of the State, shall each take the following oath or affirmation before proceeding on the discharge of their several duties:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the laws made in pursuance thereof, as the supreme law of the land, anything in the Constitution and laws of the State of Virginia, or in the Ordinances of the Convention which assembled at Richmond on the 13th of February, 1861, to the contrary notwithstanding; and that I will uphold and defend the Government of Virginia as vindicated and restored by the Convention which assembled at Wheeling on the 11th of June, 1861.”
And whereas, by an Act of the General Assembly, passed the 26th day of July, 1861, entitled “An Act to provide for declaring certain offices vacant,” it is provided “that the Governor shall be authorized to issue his proclamation requiring the officers in State service, whether legislative, executive, or judicial, within any county or judicial district, to take, within a certain time to be set forth in said proclamation, the oath or affirmation specified in the ordinance for the reorganization of the State Government,” and file the proper evidence of their having taken the same in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, which proclamation shall be published in some newspaper printed in the city of Wheeling, and in the said county or judicial district, if any there be, and be posted at the front door of the court-house of the county or of the several counties of such judicial district. And the said act further declares, “that if any officer shall fail to take the said oath or affirmation, and file the proper evidence of his having done so within the time set forth in any such proclamation, the Governor shall be authorized to declare the office vacant, and to cause such vacancy to be filled in the manner prescribed in the 5th section of the Ordinance for the reorganization of the State Government; and being desirous to order an election for the counties of Norfolk, York, Warwick, and Princess Anne.
Now, therefore, I, Francis H. Peirpoint, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, on obedience to the said Ordinance and Act of Assembly, do hereby require all the officers mentioned in said Ordinance and Act of Assembly, on or before the 2d day of March, 1863, to take the oath or affirmation specified in the said Ordinance, and to file the proper evidence of their having taken the same, with the Secretary of the Commonwealth as required by said act of Assembly, within ten days after taking said oath or affirmation.
Given under my hand and the Less Seal of this Commonwealth, at the city of Wheeling, this fifth day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in the 87th year of the Commonwealth.
F. H. Peirpoint.
By the Governor:
L. A. Hagans, Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: February 1863