New State Meeting in Lewis County.
March 14, 1863
New State Meeting in Lewis County.
A Union mass meeting composed of citizens from all portions of the county, was held at the Court hosue of Lewis county on the 9th day of March, 1863, that being court day.
The meeting was called to order by the appointment of Henry Daugherty to the chair, and Charles E. Anderson, secretary. The object of the meeting was explained by Robert Irvine. On motion, a committee of twelve was appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the wish of this mass meeting in regard to the new State and other matters pertaining to the interest of the Union party of Lewis county; whereupon the following gentlemen were appointed on said committee:
Geo. Simpson, L. S. Ward, Major M. Bailey, Esais Fetty, Henry Stienback, A. D. Peterson, Richard Hall, Stphen Heros, Thomas Hardman, James Hayden, Christian Swecker and James Shea.
Whilst the committee were preparing the resolutions, Robert Irvine spoke about half an hour, showing the many advantages of the new State, and urged every voter to come out on the 26th inst. and vote for the ratification. At the conclusion of his remarks, the committee reported the following resolutions which were unanimously adopted:
In all Governments it is fit and proper for those who are subject to the laws to critically scan and closely observe the conduct and opinions of the individual to whom the power of making these laws has been entrusted.
This leads to the speedy detection of abuses, and the timely application of other requisite correctives. In a government such as ours “vigilance is the price of liberty,” and when in the exercise of this vigilance, we see in the conduct of our representatives a zealous advocacy of and rigid adherence to such measures as conduce to the general welfare and happiness of the people. It becomes, emphatically a duty to express our approbation of such conduct, as well to reward fidelity as to prompt to like action on the part of others.
With these objects in view we profess to have observed the conduct of our Senators and Representatives in the late Congress, as well in regard to measures affecting the nation at large, as to those of immediate and vital interest to this section of Virginia, and while charity induces us to leave the acts of one of those Senators to the criticism of his own conscience, we cheerfully – nay we gladly accord to the other and to our Representatives the full praise of “well done good and faithful servants.”
Resolved, That we tender to W. T. Willey our aforesaid Senator and Jacob B. Blair, our representative the thanks of this meeting for the zeal, consistency and ability displayed by them in support of all such measures as were calculated to promote the maintainance [sic] of the Union, the suppression of the rebellion, and the formation of a New State in North Western Virginia.
Resolved, That in Robert Irvine, our delegate to the late Convention at Wheeling, we recognize an able statesman, a consistent politician, a firm friend of the Union, and of West Virginia, and the faithful representative of the will of his constituents.
Resolved, That we heartily approve the course of P. M. Hale our late delegate in the late Legislature of Virginia, as well in his officials acts as in his zeal for the interest of the loyal citizens of this county, as exemplified by his letter to Major General Cox; and while we applaud his assiduity and attention to public duties, we willingly testify to his honor and integrity in private life, and
Whereas, The rebellion existing in our land, as well in its incipiency as in every stage of its progress, has been marked by an utter disregard of the rights of private Union citizens, and characterized by plunder, robberies and murder, we cannot do otherwise than commend to those in authority a course of rigid retaliation, man for man, and dollar for dollar – returning to their own lips the poisoned chalice which they have drugged for us.
Resolved, therefore, That we endorse the action of Capt. Larkin Peirpoint, commandant of the post at this place, in levying contributions on rebel sympathisers in order to reimburse Union citizens for robberies committed by rebel bandits and thieves; and while we applaud his firmness and efficiency as an officer, we cannot but admire his gentlemanly deportment and courteous bearing as a man.
Resolved, That we heartily endorse all of the war measures of the President of the United States to put down this wicked rebellion.
Col. John McWhorter, aged 79 years, being called for, arose amidst great applause and made a most pathetic speech in advocacy of the new State. He said it was an object he had desired for the last 30 years, and was proud he had lived to see it consummated.
Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be forwarded to the Wheeling Intelligencer for publication, with a request that all papers in West Virginia copy the same.
Henry Daugherty, Pres’t.
C. E. Anderson, Sec’y.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: March 1863