Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
March 3, 1864

The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
March 5, 1864

Mr. J. H. Diss Debar's Emigration Bill, as Passed by the Legislature.

[House Bill No. 37:A Bill for the Encouragement of Foreign Emigration to this State.]

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

1. The Governor is hereby authorized to appoint a responsible and competent person for the purpose of soliciting and organizing foreign emigration to this State. The same to be styled a Commissioner of Emigration for West Virginia.

2. It shall be the duty of such commissioner, so soon as the Governor may direct, to connect himself by correspondence with the principal sources of emigration in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Great Britain, and to do every thing that many be proper and necessary to secure the greatest possible publicity to the political and social condition of our State, the nature of her climate, soil, geographical features and advantages, her agricultural, mineral, and manufacturing resources, her public improvement, and every other local information of interest and utility to the emigrant. To this effect he shall prepare and have translated into one or two of the principal languages of Europe, a pamphlet with a lithographic map of the State, containing not less than 16 pages of text descriptive of our State, and circulate the same in said countries to the amount of 15,000 copies. He shall also connect himself for the furtherance of his mission, with the Superintendents and Commissioners of Emigration that may be established under Acts of Congress and the American consulates and commercial agencies in said countries, and with the various emigrant aid, protection and transportation societies, private and official, therein established as also with the civil authorities and organs of publicity whose action or influence may be available for the promotion of the ends of his mission; and further to secure in every principal centre of emigration and seaport on the routes of emigration, information and receive from him the necessary instructions, for the continuous inducement to foreign immigration to our State.

3. And it shall be the duty of said commissioner to forward the Governor to be by him laid before the Legislature at its next session, a full report his transactions, stating all the means and channels employed by him in the accomplish of the same, the results attained or expected to be attained through his efforts, the statistics of emigration and other kindred information calculated to suggest further necessary legislation on the subject.

4. And the Governor is hereby authorized to prescribe to said commissioner any further duties, in his judgment necessary efficiently to carry out the purpose of this act, including a visit to the sources of emigration in Europe, if the expenses of the same are defrayed by private subscriptions on the part of individuals, associations or corporations, and also including the execution of a bond for the faithful performance of his duties, and the proper use of the funds entrusted to him to defray the expenses of his mission.

5. And the Governor is hereby authorized to make such arrangements with the proper person and authorities at the port of Baltimore, and with the Baltimore and Ohio railroad company, as may be necessary to encourage the transportation of immigrants intending to travel through or locate in this State, in first class emigrant ships direct from the seaport of Europe to the port of Baltimore, and to secure to the immigrant during his passage and upon and after his landing, all the aid, protection and instructions he may need for his guidance and safety upon principles equality beneficial to the immigrant, to the port of landing, the line of transit and the State where he may select his residence.

Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: March 1864

West Virginia Archives and History