Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
June 20 1863

Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
June 20, 1863

This day ushers into being the new State of West Virginia, and adds the thirty fifth star to the constellation of the American Union. To-day is the beginning of a new order of things with us here. The old Government goes out and the new one comes in. Today Gov. Pierpont goes out and the new comes in Today Governor Pierpont bids us a formal farewell, as our chief magistrate, and Gov. Boreman will be inaugurated as his successor. With the one the parting cannot be but sad. With the other the greeting cannot but be joyful. Gov. Pierpont goes to his new field of usefulness and labor, followed by the good wishes and benedictions of a grateful people. Governor Boreman comes to uses a worthy successor, the unanimously chosen and honored Chief Magistrate of the new State. While we gratefully remember the one, let us honor and support the other.

To new Commonwealth starts upon its career in the midst of turbulence and danger. Its officers have great difficulties and embarrassments to encounter. They will need the moral support of the whole people, and they are worthy of it. Let us give it to them in unstinted measure.

To-day the Legislature of the new State meets for organization. With the beginning of the week it commences the important labor assigned it, of putting the machinery of the new Government into smooth and successful operation. It has an ardous task before it, but, we believe the task will be creditably done.

The occasion is a peculiarly suggestive one, but we do not propose to indulge a retrospect now. To-day we enter into the reward of the long and toilsome struggle. Two years ago, this day, the people of Western Virginia, in Convention assembled signed the Declaration against the despotic usurpation and conspiracy at Richmond. That declaration embodied the spirit of all this Western Virginia movement, which on this, the second anniversary of that act, stands completed and consummated.- Never may we depart from either the spirit or letter of that Declaration, which declared that "the true purpose of all government is to promote the welfare and provide for the protection and security of the covered," and that the rebellion at Richmond seeks "to subvert the Union founded by Washington and his co-patriots, in the purer days of the Republic, which has conferred unexampled prosperity upon every class of citizens and upon every section of the country."

Let us not forget that our New State, which we inaugurate to-day amid happy auspices, will be destroyed, the liberty it protects overthrown, and the hopes it inspires, will be destroyed, the liberty it protects overthrown, and the hopes it inspires blasted, if the federal government is not able to sustain itself and enforce its authority. Our fate and the fate of our national Union must be the same. We go on together to prosperity, or we go down together to ruin. Even now the enemies of the country threaten to invade our homes, and the citizens soldiery is under arms for their defense. Let us each and all vow to-day, in turning this new leaf of our history, undying hostility to this atrocious rebellion which seeks the destruction of the rights of men, and realty to the government and Union, in and under which alone life, liberty and property are secure. As citizens we are of the State, but as patriots we belong to the whole country.

Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
June 20, 1863

THE INAUGURATION. - This will be a big day in the city of Wheeling. Already the hotels are filled with people who have come to witness the inauguration the Governor of the new State of West Virginia. For the benefit of the public we re-publish the following order of arrangements for the occasion:

1. The Governor elect, members of the Senate and House of Delegates elect, and State officers of the State of West Virginia, and the Governor and State officers of the State of Virginia, are respectfully requested to meet at the McClure House at 9 o'clock, A.M.

2. The 4th and 5th Regiments of West Virginia militia, fully armed and equipped, will parade on Fourth Street, the right of the Fifth resting on Monroe Street, at 8 o'clock A.M. After forming the brigade and receiving the General Assembly and officers of the Government at the McClure House, the Column will march by the following route, viz: Along Market to John street, thence to Main street, thence to Second street, thence to Chapline street, thence to Market street, thence to Union street, thence to Fourth street, thence to John street, thence to Fifth street and thence to the Linsley Institute.

3. In front of the Linsley Institute, Gov Peirpoint will deliver his valedictory, and introduce Hon. Arthur I. Boreman the Governor elect of West Virginia, who will deliver his inaugural address.

4. At the conclusion of his address Gov. Boreman will cause the national flag to be raised over the Linsley Institute, the temporary Capitol of West Virginia, and a national salute of thirty five guns will be simultaneously fired.

5. After the two Houses of the General Assembly shall have retired to their respective chambers, the brigade will move to their parade ground and be there dismissed.

6. Citizens are requested to close their places of business between the hours of 8 A.M. and 1 P.M., and display the national flag.

An order appears elsewhere calling upon the militia to appear at the Court House in pursuance of the above programme.

Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
June 22, 1863

THE INAUGURATION. - As we anticipated, Saturday was a great gala day in the city. There thousands of people here from abroad and the city turned out its entire population. The day was very coquettish. Now all the beauties of the sun were shown and then a cloud chased all away. It threatened to rain several times but nothing but a little shower came; not enough to drive people into their houses or to deter them from coming out. Flags, of all sizes, were as thick in the city almost as the locusts in the suburbs. The display of bunting was most attractive and reflected much credit upon the good taste and patriotism of the people. In accordance with the programme the 4th and 5th regiments of militia assembled at the Court House about 9 o'clock in the morning, where the brigade band discoursed appropriate music. The brigade was formed and the General Assembly and officers of the Government were received at the McLure house. The column then marched along Market Street to John, thence to Chapline, thence to Market, thence to Fourth, thence to Fifth Street and thence to the Linsley Institute. The Institute was already filled with people; the street outside was packed with men, women and children, and the windows, roofs and yards of the surrounding houses were filled with eager faces. A large and commodious platform had been erected in front of the Institute upon which the General Assembly were conducted upon their arrival. Thirty five tastefully attired and beautiful little girls, representing the number of states, were also conducted to the platform and upon the arrival of the new Governor he was greeted with the "Star Spangled Banner," which was well sung by the young ladies in question. The speaking then commenced in the order as reported elsewhere, the ceremonies concluding about half past 12 o'clock. After the inauguration the militia marched to the Court House and were dismissed.

In the evening thousands of people were attracted to the wharf where a fine display of fire-work had been arranged. The pyrotechnics were grand, varied and beautiful, and elicited universal murmurs of admiration.

Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
June 22, 1863

The Inauguration of the New State of West Virginia.

Valedictory of Governor Peirpoint - Inaugural of Governor Boreman - Speech of Ex-Senator Willey.

The imposing ceremonies attending the inauguration of the new State of West Virginia are fully detailed in our local columns to-day. To those details we refer our readers for the particulars attending the outside display. When the military and civil procession had arrived, according to programme, in front of the Lindsley [sic] Institute, the temporary capitol of the New State - and mingled itself with the vast assemblage, that filled every available space within sight or sound of the capacious platform, Senator C. D. Hubbard called the multitude to order by inviting the Rev. J. T. McLure to address the throne of Grace.


Almighty God, who ruleth supreme over the armies of Heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. - Who art the King Eternal - immortal and invisible - who raiseth nations up, and dost cast them down again, and maketh them subservient to Thine own good pleasure. We come before Thee at this time, to acknowledge Thy sovereignty over us; to acknowledge Thy power and Thy right to reign and rule within us, and to reign and rule over this nation. In Thy wise and holy dispensation Thou hast sent Thy judgments abroad in this land, and Thou art clothing families in sack-cloth and in mourning. Thou, Great God, hast done it. But we acknowledge Thee in Thy goodness and in Thy mercy, even in the war that is now devastating the land, and we humbly pray, that, as Thy judgments are abroad in the earth, we and all the inhabitants of this land, may learn righteousness. We adore Thee that Thou art a prayer hearing and a prayer answering God. We have come before Thee day by day, pleading that Thous wouldst grant us a boon we are now, this day, to be put in possession of. While we beseech Thee, at this time that Thou wilt grant Thy rich blessings on the President of the United States, and all the members of the Government, Civil and Military, upon the whole Government of the United States, we pray that Thou wilt, at the same time, grant especial blessings on the new State now to be added to the constellation of our Stars. As this day, in Thy good providence, we come together here to arrange its Government, and to institute all its civil proceedings that are necessary, we pray that the God who rules and reigns supreme above, will acknowledge our acts and will bless us in its administration. And grant, we pray Thee, Almighty God, that this State, born amidst tears and blood, and fire, and desolation, may long be preserved, and from its little beginning may grow to be a might and a power that shall make those who come after us look upon it with joy and gladness and pride of heart. We pray that thou wilt grant this day to be with those of our friends who are patriots in the field. And if, this day, they are engaged in battle and are in the midst of strife and death, will God Almighty fight for them and espouse their cause, and give them victory. Will God Almighty be pleased to crush this unholy rebellion, speedily to accomplish this, our purpose, and give to us peace instead of war, and order instead of confusion.

Pardon our sins! Hear us in our prayers for Jesus sake - Amen.


Gov. Peirpoint advanced to the front of the platform and spoke as follows:

My Fellow Citizens: - According to the act of the Congress of the United States and of the General Assembly of Virginia, West Virginia is to-day numbered one among the United States of America. She now composes one of that glorious constellation of States which makes up our great and glorious nation. By these same acts my official relation with you closed last night at 12 o'clock, and I should do injustice to my feelings, my fellow-citizens, on the present occasion, did I not acknowledge the profound gratefulness of my heart to you and to all the people that are loyal, that compose this State, for the honor and forbearance that I have received at your hands.

Two years ago, lacking two days, in the dark hour of our section's history, when we looked in each other's faces and were ready to ask what would be the next event, to threaten the destruction of this nation and of this section of the State, surrounded by strong arms and brave hearts, you conferred upon me the official relation that I have occupied to you since that time. My fellow-citizens, I confess that then hung over my heart the darkest pall that ever shrouded it. We were entering upon the fearful experiment, unskilled in the government of state or the nation. Providentially, or from circumstances, I suppose, my fellow-citizens acting with me, for the want of a better, placed me in that position. I confess I could not see far ahead, and I saw no person around me that could see far ahead. I resolved on this, that from day to day, and every day, relying on my Great Master for divine protection and direction, I would do my duty, fearless of consequences, and leave the result with God. (Applause.) My fellow citizens, it is not for me to say what that action has been. A part of it is the history of the past. Step by step we have progressed, relying on the Great Author of our existence for protection, and seemingly, without unanimity or counsel. Step by step, as events developed themselves, this New State of West Virginia has been brought into existence, severed from the Old State, and to-day it enters upon its career as a separate and distinct State of this Union. My fellow-citizens, as my last parting word, I desire not on the present occasion to brood over the past, I desire to look forward to the future.

You are all acquainted with the circumstances and the history of the past that has brought your New State into existence that has formed you into a distinct community. And my fellow citizens I would to God that I was announcing to you that the rebellion was crushed out and that you could repair to your homes and engage in the peaceful vocations of life, in developing the resources of your New State, in cultivating the arts of peace, and doing that which will be calculated to raise her to her proper position as a proud young republic among the republics of this nation. But my fellow-citizens I can not congratulate you that any such prospect lies before you. The same conspirators who inaugurated this rebellion for the purpose of depriving the workingman of his rights in this nation, for the purpose of carrying out the great idea that the workingman was only on an equality with the slave and ought not to participate in the Government of the whole country, those same conspirators are to-day with their armies on your southern border, even threatening your neighborhood and peaceful city, overrunning, carrying fire and sword, scourging the citizen and his property and appropriating it to their unholy use. You still have to stand forth and bare your breast and face the storm in subduing this rebellion for the purpose of perpetrating the institutions of Washington, of Jefferson, of Adams, of Hamilton, of Madison and of Marshall, won by the strong arm of your worthy revolutionary sires, transmitted to you as a legacy - the legacy of freedom - the freest people - the happiest people on the face of God Almighty's earth.

Now my fellow-citizens, the question arises before every one of you, are we to bow like laggard cowards before these men who have drawn the sword to deprive us of our rights, or are we going to rally round that old time honored flag (applause) these stars and stripes, and swear upon the altar of our fathers' graves that we will defend the stars and the stripes and the institutions of our revolutionary fathers as long as we have breath? Freemen of West Virginia! Take from us that flag, which represents our rights and the rights of the American citizen throughout the nation, tear it down, substitute the bars and stripes which represent slavery as the foundation of their government - that deprivation of the laboring man of his rights, and what has the world left worthy a freeman's ambition. [Cheers.]

My fellow citizens! I should like to continue this strain of remark - but I do not want to weary you. Time admonishes me that I have perhaps detained you too long already (cries of no! no! go on! Go on!) You must pardon me, my birth place - the birth place of my father and mother are all here in West Virginia. All my rights and all my interests and all my associations and all that I have are here with you. God, in his Providence, has called me to another field of action. I go to Virginia, for the purpose of doing what I can do there to suppress this rebellion - to restore law and order - to secure the rights of freemen in that sacred soil. Relying upon His mercy - upon His kindness - I shall do all that I can whether that be much or whether it be little, to encourage my fellow citizens, and suppress this unholy rebellion. I leave with you, my friends, all my relatives, all my property, much or little, for your care and protection. If all these are destroyed in the conflict, they are gone, and let them go, so only that the country is saved. My only exhortation to you is, lose not your sacred liberties! [Applause.] Fight as long as a mountain presents a site for a battery - or a grotto remains to serve as a rifle pit. Never abandon that flag (pointing to the splendid banner that overhung the street.) Never yield the right of a freeman. My prayer now to Almighty God is that he may give you wisdom! That He may give the officers who have been elected by you to conduct the State of West Virginia, wisdom and knowledge and courage to do whatsoever duty demands of them. One consolation I have in leaving you, that you in casting among you have chosen a man earnest, capable, faithful who by your support will guide you better than I have guided you. That is my consolation; and my fellow citizens, I ask you for long forbearance and for a determined support, and under his banner or under your own banner of West Virginia, rally, rally, and never give up the ship. Make your motto like that of the immortal Lawrence, who, when his body was pierced with wounds, with his dying breath cried "Don't give up the ship." In my official capacity I must bid you an affectionate farewell to day, assuring you that my heart and all the sympathies of my nature are with you, and I hope there is in store for you a glorious and a happy future. My desire is to see West Virginia free from all the shackles that shackle man. May she from this small beginning to day grow to be the proudest State in all the glorious galaxy of States that form the nation. I will now introduce to you the Governor elect (leading Mr. Boreman to the front of the stage.) Fellow-citizens, I now have the honor of presenting to you Hon. Arthur I. Boreman, the elected Governor of the State of West Virginia. (Three cheers were given for Governor Boreman) He is a man worthy of your confidence, I have known him from his boyhood. He is in this cause as true as steel. (A voice - "That's the kind we want."] I bespeak for him your ardent support, and ask that God may bless him, and direct him in his administration.

Three cheers were proposed and given for Governor Peirpoint, who, as he retired to his seat, bowed his acknowledgements.

Gov. Boreman then, the tumult of cheering having subsided, spoke as follows:


Fellow Citizens:

To be permitted to participate in the most humble capacity in the organization of the State of West Virginia would be an honor; but, to be called by the unanimous voice of her people to accept the highest office in their gift, and to the performance of its duties, at a time of so much difficulty and danger as the present, excites in my heart the profoundest gratitude toward them for the confidence thus reposed in me. And if I shall be permitted to live, I hope in after years to recur to the ceremonies of this day with pride and pleasure, not only for the part that I have taken in them, but as celebrating the most auspicious event in the history of this people.

Yet, I trust, that, in taking upon myself the solemn obligation which I am about to do, I am not unaware of the great responsibility that it imposes on me. In time of peace, and under the most favorable circumstances, the organization of a new State and its introduction into the family of the Union, is a matter of no ordinary moment; but, when fierce civil war rages all around us and in our very midst, one whose experience is as limited as that of him who now addresses you, may well claim, in advance, the indulgence of a generous constituency.

West Virginia should long since have had a separate State existence. The East has always looked upon that portion of the State west of the mountains, as a sort of outside appendage - a territory in a state of pupilage. The unfairness and inequality of legislation is manifest on every page of the statute book; they had an unjust majority in the Legislature by the original Constitution of the State, and have clung to it with the utmost tenacity ever since; they have collected heavy taxes from us, and have spent large sums in the construction of railroads and canals in the East, but have withheld appropriations from the West; they have refused to make any of the modern improvements by which trade and travel could be carried on from the one section to the other, thus treating us as strangers; our people could not get to the Capital of their State by any of the usual modes of traveling, without going through the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia. The East and the West have always been two peoples. There has been little intercourse between them, either social or commercial. Our people seldom visit the East for pleasure. The farmers do not take their stock, grain, wool and other agricultural products there to sell; the merchants do not go there to sell or buy; the manufacturers have no market there; indeed, we have had nothing to do with the Eastern people, except that our Senators and Delegates have gone to Richmond to sit in the Legislature and our Sheriffs have gone there to pay in the revenue as an annual tribute from this section of the State for the inequality and unfairness with which we have always been treated by them. Our markets, our trade and our travel are North and West of Virginia, through natural channels, or those constructed through the enterprise of our own people, or such means as they could procure. The mountains intervene between us, the rivers rise in the mountains and run towards the Northwest; and, as if to make the separation more complete, Eastern Virginia adopted the fatal doctrine of secession, while the West spurned and rejected it as false and dangerous in the extreme. Thus nature, our commerce, travel, habits, associations, and interests, all - all say that West Virginia should be severed from the East. And now, to-day after many long and weary years of insult and injustice, culminating on the part of the East, in an attempt to destroy the Government, we have the proud satisfaction of proclaiming to those around us that we are a separate State in the Union.

Our State is the child of the rebellion; yet our peace, prosperity and happiness, and, not only ours, but that of the whole country, depends on the speedy suppression of this attempt to overthrow the Government of our fathers; and it is my duty, as soon as these ceremonies are closed, to proceed at once to aid the Federal authorities in their efforts to stay its destructive hand. I do no intend to insult your loyalty or intelligence by discussing before you to-day the dogma of secession. Its bitter fruits are to be seen all around us. It is like the poisonous Upas tree that blights and withers everything that comes within its influence. We have seen and felt enough of it to know that it is fraught with evil, and that continually. The politicians of many of the Southern States, having an inordinate desire for place and power, and it becoming apparent that the great North-West was improving and increasing in population so rapidly that the controlling influence of the Government was soon surely to be with the free States, and that the South must surrender power which they had so long exerted to a majority of the people according to the principles of our Government, they became desperate, and determined if they could no longer control, they would destroy the Government. By fraud and falsehood, and by incendiary speeches, they influenced the public mind in the South and induced them to believe that they were suffering great injury from the General Government; that the rights of the South were not only disregarded, but trampled under foot; that Mr. Lincoln was a sectional President, and that his election was the crowning act of insult and injustice; that if they submitted to it they were reduced to a state of degradation worse than slavery itself; and, fearing that the people still had some reverence and respect for the constitution, they insidiously taught the faithless doctrine that peaceable secession was in consonance with the Constitution, and absolved them from all their obligations to support the Government. All this and much more of a like character they taught until they succeeded in prevailing on the authorities in many of the States to embrace their doctrine and attempt to carry it into execution, and thus they inaugurated a war of rebellion, and have prosecuted it for over two years with a zeal and energy worthy of a better cause. It has assumed fearful proportions, and it demands all the energies of the Government authorities and of the loyal people to defeat its ruinous purposes.

Under these circumstances what course should the loyal people of West Virginia pursue? But before I state what we should do, I will state that it seems to me that the position of our people in the beginning of the troubles, and their condition since, have not been understood by our friends around us. In the commencement of these difficulties we were part of a Southern State, whose convention passed an ordinance of secession, and this fact inclined many to sympathize with the South without reflecting whether it was right or wrong. We were situated between the South and the North, and in case of a collision it must necessarily result that ours would be contested territory; that if we adhered to the Union the South would deal with us much more severely than if we were a part of a Northern State, or of one that had not attempted to secede; and that we would be, what we have since been so truthfully called by many, the great "breakwater" between the North and those in rebellion in the South. All these matters were weighed and considered by us, but we determined, with a full belief of what would occur, and what has since occurred, that the Government was too good to be lost, and that the rights and immunities which we knew we were enjoying were too precious to be surrendered on the uncertainty of the results of experiments in the future. We thus took our position with our eyes open; knowing what civil war had been, and what it could only be again if once commenced; and we have not been deceived. Our State has been invaded by traitors in arms against the best government that a kind and beneficent God ever inspired man to make; they have applied the torch to public and private property; they have murdered our friends; they have robbed and plundered our people; our country is laid waste, and, to-day, gaunt hunger stares many families of helpless women and children in the face. This picture is not overdrawn. It is a simple statement of facts. Yet, notwithstanding all this, the Union men of West Virginia have not looked to the right or the left, but through all these difficulties and dangers they have stood by the Government. And I now repeat the question which I asked awhile ago: Under these circumstances what course should the loyal people of West Virginia now pursue? Shall we coincide with those who carp and cavil at everything that is done by the administration at Washington to put down this rebellion? Shall we object to the suspension of the habeas corpus and thereby attempt to prevent some traitor from receiving his just deserts? Shall we object that slavery is destroyed as the result of the acts of those in rebellion, if the Union is thereby saved? But there are those who say that we should stop the war and make peace. If we stop the war on our part will that make peace, unless we submit to be ruled by the rebels, or to a separation of the Union? If we could not consent to give up our Government in the beginning and thus save ourselves the war, but determined to fight it out to the bitter end, shall we now submit to the humiliation and disgrace of permitting the success of the rebellion and the loss of our Government? In behalf of the loyal people of West Virginia I respond to all these interrogatories with an emphatic no - no - never! We want no compromise: we want no peace, except upon the terms that those in rebellion will lay down their arms and submit to the regularly constituted authorities of the Government of the United States. Then, and not till then, will the people of West Virginia agree to peace. We have done much and suffered much already, but we will do more, and suffer on for years, if need be, rather than consent to a dissolution of the Union, which would be nothing less than a surrender of the last hope of human liberty on the face of the earth.

Fellow-citizens, I now come to what is more particularly the purpose of this address: and that is, to state to you those rules of action by which I shall be governed during my term of office:

I shall co-operate with the Federal authorities in all those measures deemed necessary for the suppression of the rebellion. While the war continues I must necessarily be engaged in attending to military matters, and to the defence of the State, and it may not, therefore, be expected that I shall give much time at present to the internal civil policy of the State; but even amidst surrounding difficulties and dangers they shall not be entirely forgotten.

I shall do whatever may be in my power during my term of office to advance the agricultural, mining, manufacturing and commercial interests of the State. And it shall be my especial pride and pleasure to assist in the establishment of a system of education throughout the State that may give to every child among us, whether rich or poor, an education that may fit them for respectable positions in society. And to you gentlemen of the Senate and House of Delegates, I shall look for aid and assistance and for the exercise of a liberal policy in these times of trial; and I feel assured from your known intelligence and patriotism, that I shall receive your cordial co-operation and support in the discharge of the duties of my office.

Fellow-Citizens, we are about to part with him, who has for two years exercised the office of Governor of Virginia in our midst. And I here express how highly are appreciated, not only by myself, but by the whole loyal population of the State, his purity and fidelity, and the ability with which he has discharged the arduous and responsible duties of his office. We regret that he is to leave us, but we have the satisfaction of knowing that he is going to a new and important field where his ability and patriotism are still to be devoted to the good of his country.

If I shall only be able to discharge the duties of my office with as much satisfaction to the people and honor to myself as my predecessor, I shall expect the approbation of a generous public. I shall, no doubt, often do wrong, this is the lot of man; and while I shall always do that which honesty of purpose and my opinion of the good of the country dictates, I shall expect you to exercise that indulgence which is due to a public officer under the surrounding circumstances. After the conclusion of Gov. Boreman's inaugural, calls were made for Ex-Senator Willey, who sat in a conspicuous position near the front, in response to which he was led forward by Gov. Peirpoint, who introduced him saying: Fellow Citizens: - I did not see it on the programme at all, that I was to address you. And I certainly appreciate the fact that you have been upon your feet a long time and must be wearied, and I shall respect that fact. Nevertheless, since you have not only the Willey amendment, but Willey also before you, I will undertake to make a suggestion or two - not in the regular line of succession, for I am a kind of outsider, and you being all outsiders, it will be all in place, I reckon, [laughter.] Holding no office in the world - being free and independent - I shall expect to express myself just as I think proper on the present occasion. [Laughter.] Now, Fellow-Citizens, what we have longed for and labored for and prayed for, is a fixed fact. West Virginia is a fixed fact! She is one of the Union of these States. [Good, somebody said.] I don't know whether the State has been placed on the new banner or not, (A voice - Yes,) but when it shall have been placed there, I feel in my heart to appeal to my fellow-citizens, and especially you who carry arms, to swear beneath the broad heavens to day and beneath the old flag, that it shall never be struck therefrom. [Tumultuous cheering.] In mingling with the people - in circulating abroad - I have sometimes momentarily caught the fatal feeling of despondency - but it was only for a moment. And I have been pained, at times, that others were under like influences. But, fellow citizens, where is the cause for despondency this day? It was said when we commenced this enterprise in regard to the New State, "You will never succeed." But we did succeed, and we are in a new State to-day. Some, perhaps thorough Union men, looking at the dark clouds that lower over our political horizon, think sometimes that it is doubtful if we succeed in restoring peace and unity. But we shall succeed. My heart was touched when those beautiful little girls (pointing to the 35 little Misses representing the different States of the Union) sang our national hymn:

Triumph we must,
For our cause it is just;
And this be our motto:
In God is our trust."

Fellow Citizens: - If God is for us, as I believe He is, the artifices, the power and schemes of our adversaries shall be brought to nought. But, as in the fate of the human race, who all come into existence through pain and travail, so history shows that states and new political organizations, from the time of the organization of society until now, come into existence through convulsions - through revolutions - through blood and through fire. The history of our own existence as a nation versifies this fact. We may expect it. And, fellow-citizens, we look over our barren fields - we look abroad on the parched pastures, and upon the withering verdure now - but the clouds are gathering behind us. God, in his good providence, is collecting, in his store-house, the rich treasures of rain which, ere long, shall be shed abroad over our fields, and that which looks like desolation now will bloom and grow green again; and when the thunders cease and the showers are over, we shall have fruits and a rich harvest, and our hearts shall rejoice again. Many times, fellow-citizens, when oppressed with the atmosphere, the thunder-clouds come to relieve us; the voice of God speaks in the tempest; the tempest prostrates our buildings, and spreads desolation in its track, but it leaves a purified atmosphere behind.

So, when this political shower shall have passed away, a bright and glorious political sky shall shine out again over us, and on the blue-field of our country's banner we will see the little star of West Virginia beaming out to glad our hearts and guide our destinies forever. (Cheers.) Why should we despond? Is not our cause just? Are we not a people who appreciate the truth? Are we not fighting in the cause of freedom and human liberty? Fellow-citizens, where have we any cause for despondency? Who are our adversaries? With a bad cause, with a country already partially depopulated, with their resources about gone, who are they that we have to contend with? Six millions of men - brave men I know they are, because they are bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh - but they are misguided by malicious men. And in addition to the fact that their cause is unjust - that the truth is on our side, look at our resources. Why should we despond? Six millions against us, partially overcome, already giving evidence of their desperation. What have we to offer to them? Twenty odd millions - with resources twenty odd times greater than the South. Are we not as brave men as they? As intelligent as they? Have we not a hundred fold their resources? Why should we despond? With a righteous cause - ten men to one - with tenfold resources - with God for us and our own strong arms to aid us, what is the reason we should have even a moment's temporary despondency? There is no cause for it. We shall triumph at last.

Fellow-citizens I will not detain you any longer - (voice - go on - all day if you want to.) Well my dear friends I could not talk to you all day. I am nearly broken down. I have been skedadling lately. [Laughter.] I hope you will give to your retiring Governor - I know you have given - your parting respects. I know you will follow him with your prayers and sympathies. It is not a new field to which he goes. It is a part of the same old field he has been cultivating. It was too big and it has been divided, and it is just having two Western Virginia Governors instead of one - one in the East and one in the West. Your new Governor, give him the aid of your honest hearts - your warm sympathies. Stand by him, support and encourage him.

Fellow-citizens, I have been in the habit of talking sometimes against our armies and generals in the field and against, our national administration. I quit it about two weeks ago (laughter) and I don't intend to renew it until the war is over. [Applause.] Our Union is at stake, our liberties are imperiled. The national fabric is on fire, and craven is he who at this hour instead of rushing to the rescue stops to quarrel about whether they are pouring the water on right or wrong. Let us put the fire out, no matter who does it or how. We must sustain the administration. We cannot get along if we are to quarrel amongst ourselves. Let these difficulties be settled after the war is over. Now is the time to help. Fellow-citizens I thank you for your flattering attention. I say God bless you; God bless our old Governor; God bless our new Governor, and especially God bless the State of West Virginia [Cheers]

Gov. Peirpoint coming forward said:

Fellow Citizens: - I think it is fitting on the present occasion that I should propose to you to give three cheers for West Virginia.

Three cheers were given with a will.

Gov. Peirpoint (resuming): Now I propose three cheers for the United States of America.

These three were given with the most vociferous enthusiasm.

The singing of "E Pluribus Unum" by the little misses and the playing of the Star Spangled Banner by the band, concluded the ceremonies of the inauguration of West Virginia into the Union as a new, free and independent State.

The Inauguration

As we anticipated, Saturday was a great gala day in the city. There were thousands of people here from abroad and the city turned out its entire population. The day was very coquettish. Now all the beauties of the sun were shown and then a cloud chased all away. It threatened to rain several times but nothing but a little shower came; not enough to drive people into their houses or to deter them from coming out. Flags, of all sizes, were as thick in the city almost as the locusts in the suburbs. The display of bunting was most attractive and reflected much credit upon the good taste and patriotism of the people. In accordance with the programme the 4th and 5th regiments of militia assembled at the Court House about 9 o'clock in the morning, where the brigade band discoursed appropriate music. The brigade was formed and the General assembly and officers of the Government were received at the McLure House. The column then marched along Market street to John, thence to Chapline, thence to Market, thence to Fourth, thence to Fifth street and thence to the Linsley Institute. The Institute was already filled with people; the street outside was packed with men, women and children, and the windows, roofs and yards of the surrounding houses were filled with eager faces. A large and commodious platform had been erected in front of the Institute upon which the General Assembly and officers of the Government were conducted upon their arrival. Thirty five tastefully attired and beautiful little girls, representing the number of States, were also conducted to the platform and upon the arrival of the new Governor he was greeted with the "Star Spangled Banner," which was well sung by the young ladies in question. The speaking then commenced in the order as reported elsewhere, the ceremonies concluding about half past 12 o'clock. After the inauguration the militia marched to the Court House and were dismissed.

In the evening thousands of people were attracted to the wharf where a fine display of fire-works had been arranged. The pyrotechnics were grand, varied and beautiful, and elicited universal murmurs of admiration.

Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
June 22, 1863



Saturday, June 20

Immediately after the inauguration the Senate met and adjourned till 2'oclock.


On motion of Mr. Slack, Mr. Hubbard of Ohio was appointed temporary clerk, and the members were sworn by Esquire Jeffers to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of West Virginia. The following members were sworn: Chester D. Hubbard, John H. Atkinson, Edward C. Bunker, John I. Brown, Daniel Haymond, Edwin Maxwell, William E. Stephenson, E.S. Mahon, D.D.T. Farnsworth, W.D. Rollyson, Greenberry Slack, John M. Philips, John B. Bowen, James Carskadon, Aaron Becktral, Jas. Burley and Aaron Hawkins.

On motion of Mr. Phelps, T.R. McCann of Greenbrier, and Samuel Young of Pocahontas, were sworn in, and took their seats.

On motion the Senate proceeded to the election of permanent clerk of the Senate.

Mr. Brown nominated Ellery R. Hall, of Marion.

There being no other nomination Mr. Hall was declared unanimously elected.

Mr. Hall was accordingly informed of his election and proceeded to the performance of his duties.

Mr. Maxwell offered a resolution that in the election for officers of the Senate the vote shall be by ballot. Adopted.

On motion of Mr. Rollyson the Senate proceeded to the election of permanent President.

No nominations were made. The first ballot stood: J.M. Phelps 7, C.D. Hubbard 6, Daniel Haymond 1, J.H. Atkinson 1, William E. Stephenson, Greenberry Slack 1.

Messers. Atkinson, Slack, Hubbard and Stephenson, declined.

The second ballot stood: Phelps 9, Hubbard 7, Stephenson 3, Brown 1, Burley 1.

Still no election, ten votes being necessary to a choice.

The third ballot Stood: Phelps 10, Hubbard 4, Stephenson 3, Brown 1, Burley 1.

Mr. Phelps was accordingly declared elected.

Messrs. Burley and Haymond were appointed to conduct the President to the chair.

The President made a brief address thanked the members for the honor conferred upon him and asked the forbearance for the Senate.

On motion of Mr. Carskadon, the Senate proceeded to the election of Sergeant at Arms.

Mr. Bollyson nominated Mr. Edward Kyle.

Mr. Brown nominated James W. Parsons.

The first ballot stood - Kyle 11, Parsons 4, scattering 3.

Mr. Kyle having received a majority of the votes was declared elected Sergeant-at-Arms. On motion of Mr. Maxwell the Senate proceeded to the election of Door Keeper.

Mr. Atkinson nominated Thomas Bonsall of Hancock County.

Mr. Farnsworth nominated Wm. Hoge, of this city.

Mr. Burley nominated D.V. Tharp, the former Door Keeper.

The first ballot stood - Tharp 5, Bonsall 4, Dunnington 5. No election.

Second Ballot - Hoge 5, Tharp 1, Bonsall 4, Dunnington 8. Still no election.

Third Ballot - Dunnington 15, Bonsol 8.

Mr. Dunnington was declared elected.

On motion of Mr. Maxwell, the President was authorized to appoint two pages for the Senate.

Mr. Farnsworth offered a resolution authorizing the Sergeant at Arms to purchase stationery for the use of the Senate. Adopted.

Mr. Hubbard offered a resolution that a committee be appointed for the purpose that a committee be appointed for the purchase of agreeing upon certain rules for the government of the Senate. Adopted.

Mr Brown offered a resolution that the President be requested to invite the Ministers of the city to open the sessions of the Senate with prayer.

Mr. Slack moved an amendment that this body select a Chaplain for the Senate.

After some discussion, the subject was laid upon the table.

Mr. McCann moved that the Senate meet hereafter at 10 o'clock, A.M. Adopted.

Wheeling Intelligencer
June 22, 1863

House of Delegates

The House assembled at half past two.

P.G. Van Winkle, of Wood, was chosen temporary Speaker, and Le Roy Kramer temporary Clerk.

The roll was called by counties and 44 members responded to their names, and were qualified.

Their names and counties are as follows:

Barbour, James Teters; Boone, Robert Hagar' Braxton, Felix Sutton' Brooke, H. W. Crothers; Clay and Gilmer, W.T. Wilant; Doddridge, Ephraim Bee; Greenbrier, A.W. Mann; Hancock, Wm. L. Crawford; Harrison, Nathan Goff; Hampshire, Geo. W. Sheets; Hardy, John Michael; Jackson, D.J. Keeny; Kanawha, Lewis, P.M. Hale; Logan, James H. Hinchman; Mason, Lewis Ruffner and Spicer Patrick; Marshall, Joseph Turner and Miefiael Dunn; Marion, Isaac Holman and John L. Barnal; Monongalia, Le Roy Kramer and John B. Lough; Morgan, Joseph S. Wheat; Monroe, Lewis Ballard; Nicholas and Clay, Anthony Rader; Ohio, Daniel Lamb and Andrew F. Ross; Pendleton, John Boss; Putnam, George C. Bowyers; Preston, Wm. B. Zinn and Jas. C. McGrew; Pocahontas and Webster, Benoai Griffin; Roane, Joseph McWhorter; Randolph and Tucker, Cyrus Kettle; Taylor, L.E. Davidson; Tyler, Daniel Sweeney; Upshur, Jacob Teters; Wood and Pleasants, P.G. Van Winkle and N. Crooks; Wetzel, Samuel I Robinson; Wirt, Albert Foster; Wyoming, McDowell and Raleigh, William S. Dunbar.

The absentees known to be elected were: Cabell county, Edward D. Wright; Harrison, S.S. Fleming; Hampshire, James I. Barrick; Ohio, W.W. Shriver; Ritchie, Samuel R. Dawson; Wayne, Thomas Copley.

Mr. Kramer nominated for Speaker Dr. Spicer Patrick of Kanawha, and there being no opposition that gentleman was unanimously elected, and conducted to the chair by Messrs. Lamb and Kramer. The Speaker returned his thanks for in a few well turned and appropriated remarks.

Mr. Ruffner nominated for Clerk, Gibson L. Cranmer, Esq. of Wheeling.

Mr. Kettle nominated for the same position Granville D. Hall, of Harrison County.

The vote was taken by ballot, and Mr. Cranmer received nine votes and Mr. Hall thirty five; so the latter was declared to be elected.

Mr. Kramer nominated for Sergeant-at-Arms, Sanford G.W. Morrison, Esq., of Wheeling, who was chosen without opposition.

Mr. Lamb nominated successively, for Doorkeeper, Wm. Holliday Esq., and for Janitor, John Charneck, Esq., both of Wheeling; both of whom were chosen without opposition.

All these officers subsequently appeared and were qualified.

The Speaker having been authorized by resolution to appoint two Pages to the House, appointed Master J.R. Bullard, of Wheeling, and J.K. Duncan, of Morgantown.

The following gentlemen were appointed a Committee on Privilege and Elections: Messrs Ruffner, Barnes, Keeney, Crothers and Crooks.

Mr. Lamb, then, on behalf, of the Executive committee of the late Constitutional Convention, presented their report, announcing the election, of officers for the New State, and accompanied by the returns and other papers relating to the business transacted by the Committee. The report was ordered to be entered in the Journal, and the accompanying documents preserved as a part of the records of the New State.

On Mr. Ruffner's motion, the rules of the last House of Delegates of Virginia were adopted for the present and the Clerk directed to have printed 100 copies for use members, and a committee of five on permanent rules ordered to be raised. (The committee was not announced.)

On Mr. Lamb's motion a joint committee of three from each House to examine election returns was ordered to be raised. Messrs. Lamb, Goff, and Bowyer were appointed on the part of the House.

On Mr. Ruffner's motion the speaker was directed to invite the clergy of the city to open the sessions of the House with prayer.

A message from the Senate announced concurrence in the proposition for a joint committee to count the vote - another announced the organization of that body.

Mr. Lamb from the joint committee subsequently reported a resolution which was adopted, declaring the election of State officers and Judges.

Mr. Zinn offered a resolution informing the Governor of the readiness of the House to receive any communication that he might have to make, but after a brief explanation from another member permitted to go upon the table till Monday.

Mr. Lamb announced that the Governor elect of the New State was present, and ready to take the oath of office, and on his motion, the Senate was invited to be present. The Senate having appeared, in response to the invitation, Gov. Boreman came forward to the Speaker's Stand, and the oath was administered to him by Samuel P. Hildreth, Esq., a Notary Public.

The House then adjourned to ten o'clock Monday morning, to meet each subsequent day at the same hour till otherwise ordered.

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

West Virginia Archives and History