THE STATE CONVENTION.
Nominations of State and Presidential Tickets – Harmonious Proceedings – Congressional Matters, &c.
August 6, 1864
THE STATE CONVENTION.
Nominations of State and Presidential Tickets – Harmonious Proceedings – Congressional Matters, &c.
Grafton, Wednesday, 11 P.M.,
August 3, 1864.
The Convention to nominate State officers and a Presidential Electoral ticket has been here, done its business and gone – some to bed, and some in the direction of their homes; and having sent you over the wires a brief statement of results, I sit down to give you a more detailed account, to take its little niche in the history of our State assigned to the proceedings of such bodies.
The Convention was a large one. Some 230 delegates were present, and nearly all, if not quite all, the counties without the lines of the rebel army were represented. Many came in by the trains yesterday, but the trains to-day from Parkersburg and Wheeling brought the great bulk of them; while that from the east brought down delegations from Preston, Hampshire and Hardy. The special train from Wheeling go in here about half past ten. The Ohio county delegation immediately held a meeting at the Grafton House, and organized by appointing Wm. Tallant Chairman and John r. Hubbard Secretary. The delegates all seemed to feel a good deal of interest in the results of the Convention, were in a fine flow of spirits, (not ardent, however,) and nearly all busy as beavers in setting forth the claims and expatiating on the merits of their favorite candidates. Even the exciting news from the four quarters of the military world lost its accustomed interest in this new excitement. – The Grafton House and the Valley House were full, running over, with delegates, and every train that arrived only made it more so; while the platforms and such other level places out of doors as could be found swarmed, in spite of the rain that drizzled down till noon to-day. (I may say parenthetically that this region has been blessed with copious rains since Monday evening; and I hope, as the family letter always says, “that you may be enjoying the same blessing.”)
The Convention met at one o’clock in the M.E. Church, which is a plain wooden structure some three streets above the railroad, and an indefinite number up the hill, from this point, (the Grafton House.) The Church had been tastefully decorated by the Committee of Arrangements, but was rather small to hold so “large and enthusiastic” a Convention as this one. But they all got in, and those who couldn’t get sitting room did the next best thing they could under the circumstances – they stood up.
The reporters, of whom there were not a great number, came pretty near a practical exclusion on account of the scarcity of the usual facilities for writing. There was no table, no paper, no pens, no ink – no nothing, except a very ardent desire for the aforesaid articles. Numerous anxious inquiries about a table elicited the information that “there was none to be had.” It was promptly proposed to telegraph to Wheeling for one, and get Mr. Ford to send it out by a “lightening train;” but before this could be done it was reported that one had been discovered. The report was confirmed and the table brought in. It was a very clever table, though I trust it will grow a little before it has to accommodate so many writers at another Convention.
The Convention was called to order by James Carroll, Esq., of Preston County, who nominated Gen. Thomas Cather, of Taylor, for temporary Chairman. Gen. Cather acknowledged the compliment in appropriate terms.
Daniel Doneboo, of Hancock, was made temporary Secretary, and G. D. Hall, of Harrison, Assistant.
A call of the counties was next had and some 230 members were reported present. I do not copy the list here because a resolution of the Convention requests you to publish an official report which will embrace it; and you will receive that report very nearly as soon as this. So your readers can look to that for the names of the delegates.
Mr. Wharton, of the Parkersburg Gazette, moved for a Committee on permanent organization, and the following gentlemen were appointed:
Messrs. J. E. Wharton, of Wood; Henry Crangle, of Ohio; G. Slack, of Kanawha; W. B. Zinn, of Preston, and D.J. Kenney, of Jackson.
Mr. Boyd, of the Fairmont National, moved for a Committee on resolutions. Agreed to, and the following gentlemen appointed:
Messrs. John N. Boyd, of Marion; Hon. Andres Flesher, of Jackson; Hon. John H. Atkinson, of Hancock; R. M. Fitzgerald, of Mason, and Harmon Sinsel, of Taylor.
Mr. Sinsel had Col. Latham added, and thereupon Mr. Boyd had Col. Snyder added also, inasmuch as he thought that if it would be well to have one Congressional aspirant on the Committee, it might be better to have two.
Motions were made to add Mr. Hubbard, but he good humoredly declined.
Mr. Boyd, from the Committee on resolutions, submitted their report: heartly endorsing the Baltimore platform and cordially ratifying the nominations of Lincoln and Johnson and pledging the Convention to their support; recognizing as “true and reliable Union men those who cheerfully and heartily support the present administration in all its efforts to maintain the integrity of the Union by force of arms;” and demanding of our state officials “the utmost vigilance in ferreting out and punishing the enemies of our National and State governments, till all open and secret foes are subdued and all enemies of the State and nation compelled to submit to the constituted authorities, or banished the country.”
The report was received with decided favor and unanimously adopted.
Mr. Wharton, of Wood, moved for the appointment of a county or assistant elector for each county, and the following were appointed, each delegation naming its own:
Barbour – Spencer Dayton.
Brook – Charles F. Scott.
Doddridge – J. H. Diss Debar.
Hampshire – Wright Welton.
Hancock – Daniel Donahoo.
Hardy – Aaron Baker.
Harrison – Dr. A. F. Barns.
Jackson – Ulysses W. Flesher.
Lewis – Dr. Jas. A. Hall.
Kanawha – Dr. Spencer Patrick.
Marion – Jno. S. Barns.
Marshall – Anson Crisswell.
Mason – Hon. J. M. Phelps.
Monongalia – Col. Henry Dering.
Ohio – Theodore Gorrett.
Pocahontas – Samuel Young.
Preston – Capt. Jno. Bowyer.
Randolph – Willis j. Drummond.
Ritchie – Wm. Douglass.
Taylor – L. E. Dawson.
Tucker – Adam H. Bowman.
Upshur – Nathan H. Taft.
Tyler – W. I. Boreman.
Wayne and Cabell – James H. Furgeson.
Wood – Enoch Rector.
The same gentleman moved for the appointment of a State Central Committee of thirteen, the majority of them to be in the city of Wheeling or within easy reach of it.
Mr. Boyd moved an amendment reducing the number to three and giving one to each Congressional district. The amendment was agreed to, and Mr. Boyd appointed for the second district.
Mr. Wharton, J. R. Hubbard and A. B. Caldwell, of Wheeling, Jas. L. Freeman, of Hancock, and C.D. Hubbard, of Wheeling, were severally named for the first district and severally declined.
Mr. Boyd said it was the first time in the history of our Conventions he had ever known a delegate from the first district to decline a nomination for anything.
It was understood that their reason for declining was a belief that by so reducing the committee in numbers and scattering it over the State it was rendered practically worthless.
Mr. Freeman, of Hancock, nominated A. W. Campbell, Esq., of the Wheeling Intelligencer. He said Mr. Campbell was not present and could not decline, and therefore he was sure his nomination would stick, besides they wanted him on the committee to keep Mr. Boyd straight.
Mr. Boyd thought it much more likely he would be needed to keep Mr. C. straight, inasmuch as the National “hewed close the line,” and the chips sometimes flew over and hit the Intelligencer and made it fractious.
Mr. Campbell was chosen.
Mr. Phelps of Mason, was chosen for the third district, on motion of Mr. Fitzgerald.
A resolution moved by Mr. Leonard of Wood, was adopted directing the Secretary to furnish to the Wheeling Intelligencer an official report of the proceedings, and requesting that journal to publish it, and the other loyal papers of the State to copy.
A committee of three was appointed to inform the nominees of the Convention of their nomination, as follows:
Col. Geo. R. Latham, of Taylor; Henry K. List, Esq., of Wheeling, and James E. Wharton, of the Parkersburg Gazette.
The Convention then, on motion of Mr. Flesher of Jackson, dissolved, having done between the hours of one and ten o’clock, all the work assigned to it, and as all here agree having in the main done it well.
A meeting of the delegates from the first Congressional district was called immediately upon the adjournment, in the church, and a meeting of those from the second held in the school house a few steps distant to take into consideration matters relating to nominations for congressmen.
The delegates from the first district unanimously agreed to recommend to the people of the district C. D. Hubbard, Esq., of your city. Those from the second fixed upon the 22d of September for holding a district convention at this place. The delegates from the third district held no meeting.
We had a report here during the afternoon that there was a force of 200 rebels under Bill Jackson at Weston, and other (numbers unknown) at Glenville; but later reports contradict it.
For want of time to do it better, I’ve written a very imperfect letter. It is getting to be very near Thanksgiving morning; and unless I stop soon I shall be in the dilemma of the chap who, having set up late with his sweetheart, and being surprised on consulting his watch to find it past midnight, declared it was to-morrow and bid her a hasty good night. Besides to-morrow is the national Sabbath and I desire to respect the proclamation of our worthy Executive, and as a still better reason I’m tired and sleepy, and haven’t anything more to say at this present writing anyhow. So here goes – to bed –
“To sleep, perchance to dream
Ah, there’s the” –
Place where I think Mr. Hamlet was slightly mistaken; for if there is any “rub” there I can’t see it. H.
August 4, 1864
The nominees of the State Convention yesterday were as follows:
For Governor – Arthur L. Boreman, of Wood county – renominated.
Secretary of State – Granville D. Hall, of Harrison county.
Auditor of State – J. M. McWhorter, of Roane county.
Treasurer. – Campbell Tarr, of Brooke county – renominated.
Attorney General – Ephriam B. Hall, of Marion county.
Of the first member of the above ticket it is needless for us to speak. The unanimity with which he has been chosen is his just meade of praise.
Mr. Hall, the Second member of the ticket, was for several years connected with this paper and was recently the Clerk of the House of Delegates. He is a capable and energetic man, ardent and earnest in all that he does and of spotless personal character. He will make an excellent officer.
With Mr. McWhorter, the candidate for Auditor, we have a bare personal acquaintance, and hence cannot speak of his qualifications. He was before the war, Clerk of the Circuit Court in Roane county, and has served one term in our new State Legislature. We believe he made a favorable impression there.
Mr. Tarr, the present Treasurer, is again the nominee for that position. His social manner together with his original and unwavering Unionism have made him generally popular.
It was the general expectation that the present Attorney General, A. B. Caldwell, Esq., would be renominated and we are sure that most of our people will be directly disappointed that he was not. His successful competitor, Mr. Hall, is a leading member of the Fairmont bar, was one of the two representatives from Marion county, in the Richmond Convention, voted against the ordinance of secession, and has since taken a considerable part in the Union and New State movement. He was one of the Commissioners in company with J. W. Paxton and E. H. Caldwell appointed by the November Convention of 1862, to go to Washington and urge the admittance of the new State before the proper Committee of the two houses of Congress. We doubt not that Mr. Hall will make an acceptable Attorney General.
The Electoral ticket nominated by the Convention is a good one – all that we could have asked. With Mr. Brown, from the third district, we have no personal acquaintance – but Messrs. Atkinson, Bunker, Hall and Stevenson, we know well, and they are among our very best men.
No nominations were made for Congress at the time our dispatches closed, and it is not likely that any will be made. This arises we presume, from the fact that the suggestion was made at a late day and that therefore but few of the Counties came to the Convention prepared for such nominations.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: August 1864