November 23, 1863
Meeting For The Relief Of The Families Of Soldiers -- $10,000 Needed. – On Saturday evening an adjourned meeting of citizens was held at the Court House for the purpose of adopting measures to afford relief during the winter to the destitute families of soldiers now in the field.
The President, Dr. Todd, called for the report of the various ward committees appointed at the last meeting.
Mr. W. W. Holliday, from the 1st ward, reported fourteen families in that ward needing relief. The committee, so far, had collected $53. Many of the people of the ward are poor and could not afford to give much. There were also many secessionists and secession sympathizers who refused to render any aid at all. One family, whose head is in Richmond prison, is utterly destitute.
Mr. J. L. Rtifel, from the 2d ward, reported that the committee had collected $183.50 – had not time to ascertain the number of families in need. Much more money could be collected in the ward.
Mr. I. H. Williams, from the 3d ward, said the committee had collected $13,88,80. Dr. Hupp, from the same ward, reported fourteen families in need, in all of which there were eighty – three persons, including infant children. There are two more families, the heads of which belonged to the 1st West Virginia Infantry, but who have been killed in battle. These families reside in Bridgeport and are destitute. The committee thought proper to report these families as entitled to the same relief as if residing in the city.
Mr. Jacob G. Bier, from the 4th Ward, reported forty-two families in which there are one hundred and sixty persons. The committee had already relieved some of these families, as their wants would not admit of delay. The amount collected in about $200.
Mr. Robert Pratt, from the 5th ward reported twenty-one families. Between two and three hundred dollars had been collected.
Mr. A. G. Robinson, from the 6th ward, reported twenty-eight families who will require assistance during the winter.
Mr. John F. Hopkins, from the 7th ward, reported $105.50 collected – two destitute families only. There are other families, but none in want.
Mr. James Paull inquired if the families reported were entirely dependent upon the fund proposed to be collected. If so the amount already subscribed would not supply them with one dollar per week. This should be fully understood that we might increase our contributions.
Dr. Todd stated that from the best information he could gather only about one-third of the families reported were in want. Mr. James Wilson offered a resolution proposing to appoint a committee of seven, one from each ward, to memorialize the city council to make an appropriation of – dollars for the relief of the destitute families and soldiers.
Mr. Wilson said there were a certain class of persons who could not be reached by the system of voluntary contributions. – Soldiers had protected our property, and it was property that ought to afford relief.
Attorney General Caldwell seconded the resolution. He thought it pointed out the best way to accomplish the object aimed at.
The blank was filled with $5,000, the resolution was adopted and the following gentlemen appointed as the committee – 1st Ward, Elijah Day; 2nd Ward, Capt. Richard Crawford; 3rd Ward, Dr. J. C. Hupp; 4th Ward, Edward Ried; 5th Ward, C. D. Hubbard; 6th Ward, James Wilson; 7th Ward, Jacob Berger.
Mr. C. D. Hubbard moved that the Committee appointed to collect contributions be requested to work as diligently as possible and keep an accurate account of the amount received from each individual and that each person so contributing be assured of a re-imbursement by county levy.
Mr. Hubbard, in support of his resolution, said we should need money before we could get it from the City Council. – The Council would object to making the appropriation in consequence of being limited by its charter. Besides $500 was not enough money. We must have a county levy. Let us elect a Board of Supervisors who will make the necessary levy. Let us elect them upon that issue. One dollar out of every hundred of the receipts this year of the business community would make up the amount now needed for the relief of these families. This community was never so able to subscribe money as now. A million of money would not cover our receipts during the year and the net profits of our business people are not less than half a million. There is half a million more money deposited in our banks than ever before. We ought to have $10,000 by next Saturday night. The children of the fallen soldier are the children of the State. He had in his mind a brave soldier and a Christian man who had left a profitable situation and went to the rescue of his country for three dollars a week, because he conceived it to be his duty. – That man now fills a soldiers grave and his wife is left with five helpless children. It will be an everlasting burning shame if we allow them to come to want.
The resolution was adopted.
Some other resolutions were then offered and adopted, one by Mr. A. G. Robinson requesting the Legislature to authorize the Board of Supervisors to make a levy; another by Mr. James Wilson, proposing the appointment of a committee, one from each ward, to mature a plan by which the money collected shall be disbursed; and another by Dr. J. C. Hupp, requiring the committee for the collection of money to make monthly reports to subscribers and citizens.
Attorney General Caldwell then offered a resolution for the appointment of a Committee of five to devise some feasible plan to raise an adequate fund by county levy or otherwise and report at the meeting to be held on Saturday evening next.
Mr. A. W. Campbell seconded the resolution, and stated that the Committee proposed to be appointed could take the whole subject under consideration. It was the best way to arrive at something practicable. They could procure legislation necessary to enable the Board of Supervisors to make an adequate levy that permanent relief may be afforded, not only here by elsewhere in the State. These demands would be constantly pressing upon us, and we should at once endeavor to get at the bottom of the subject.
The resolution was adopted and Messrs. A. B. Caldwell, A. W. Campbell, Robert Pratt, J. W. Paxton and Robert Crangle, were appointed as the Committee.
James W. Paxton was then appointed receiver and treasurer, Dr. Todd permanent president and A. G. Robinson secretary of the Relief Association.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: November 1863