New State Meeting.
February 28, 1863
New State Meeting.
Pursuant to notice, a New State meeting was convened at Asbury Chapel, Woods’ Run, February 23d, 1863, at two o’clock P. M.
The meeting was organized by calling to the chair John E. Sisson. M. L. Hill was chosen Secretary.
Dr. A. A. Allison stated the object of the meeting, and introduced Rev. Moses Titchnael, of Marion county, who then made a lengthy and able speech in favor of the New State.
He stated the manner in which the attempt was made to force Virginia out of the Union. How some of the Western members had betrayed the West and left their constituents unrepresented by reason of their apostacy; that they were fit subjects for the highest pinnacle of blackest infamy, and would receive the execrations of the wise, the great, and the good of all ages, and should be remembered only for the wrongs they have done us. He followed their history down to the Convention of May, ’61, showing the importance and necessity of a reorganization of the Government in Western Virginia. He handled the constitutionality of every act since the formation of the first Convention till the present time with consummate skill and ability.
He next took up the subject of “Congressional dictation,” referring to numerous States, as precedents, where Congress had exercised its discretionary power of imposing conditions on States previous to being admitted. He spoke of the finances of our new State as being in a flourishing condition; out of debt – have paid many extraordinary expenses, and have two hundred thousand dollars in the Treasury. With the taxes we have been paying to the East we can, in two years, build all the public buildings.
While our Legislature has decreased our State tax twenty-five per cent, the Legislature of the East has increased their fifty per cent. He also offered arguments on the expediency of adopting the New State Constitution upon its merits.
Dr. Allison then took the stand and observed he did not appear here as the opponent of the new State; but some of the positions assumed and arguments advanced by his friend from Marion county, were such that he could not endorse. While he was well pleased with, and could subscribe to the gentleman’s doctrine and argument in the main, he was utterly opposed to Congress interfering with a constitution regularly made by the people and in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, as in the case of West Virginia.
The doctor took issue with Mr. Tichnael on one or two other issues, and discussed them at length.
The “Old man Eloquent” replied, and gave some humorous illustrations, and read extracts from numerous documents in proof of his position.
A goodly number were present, and from indications made were highly entertained and interested during the discussion.
John E. Sisson, Pres.
M. L. Hill, Sec’y.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: February 1863