The Moundsville Meeting.
September 7, 1864
The Moundsville Meeting.
Yesterday the two aspirants for Congress met in joint discussion at Moundsville. The forenoon was consumed by business of the Circuit Court, which was in session. At 12 o’clock the Court adjourned, and by courtesy of the Judge two hours in the afternoon, from one to two o’clock, was allotted to the Speakers, who, by arrangement between themselves, were to occupy one hour each. Mr. Hubbard opened the discussion, with the privilege of occupying any unexpired portion of his hour in response to Mr. Crane. At the hour appointed, Mr. Hubbard took the stand and proceeded to state the circumstances under which he became a candidate. He said that more than one year ago friends had urged him to become a candidate for the position, but as he then occupied the position of State Senator, he felt that he could not, consistently with is duties, occupy the time which belonged to the people in conducting the canvass necessary to a Congressional election. This year his friends had again urged him to become a candidate, assuring him that it would meet the approbation of a majority of the Union men of the District. Under these circumstances, he had permitted his name to go before the Grafton convention. A majority of the delegates to that convention, composed the best men of the State, were instructed to go into a nomination for Congress. A few, however, were not to go into a regular nomination, but all unanimously joined in recommending him as the candidate, which was considered equivalent to a nomination. Thus he came before the people for their support. He invited attention to his past record, to his section and votes in the Richmond Convention, where he opposed secession until the Ordinance was passed, when he left and came home to his constituents, whom he immediately called together and urged them to prepare to resist the coming dangers; through this appeal the people rallied for their defence, and eight hundred true men enrolled themselves in organized companies and by this means saved us from the threatened dangers. He claimed that he had ever been the faithful and earnest friend of the new State, that he had given freely of his time and means to secure it. He then referred to the course pursued by his competitor, who would not say whether or not he would support the Administration; who would not say whether he stood on the Baltimore or Chicago platform. He also read the resolutions voted for in the Richmond Legislators by Mr. Crane, which declared against the right of the General Government to coerce a State; he next refered to a speech made by Mr. Crane in Randolph county, in which he had been charged as addressing favorably armed secessionists; also to the fact that he had drawn from the Treasury, as salary, more than he was entitled to. He closed by declaring that he approved the Baltimore platform, and that he would favor the prosecution of the war until every armed rebel yielded obedience to the laws of the land.
Mr. Crane opened by saying that he could exclaim with the Apostle Paul, when arraigned before King Agrippa, that he was glad to have this opportunity to speak in his defense. He then proceeded to give a history of his efforts in the Legislature of Virginia against secession, declaring that he had constantly labored for the preservation of the Union. He was human and may have erred, as to the resolutions read Mr. Hubbard. We understood him as regretting that he had voted for them, but that he had been persuaded to do so by members of the Legislature, who assured him that they were intended to prevent a dissolution of the Union.
He nevertheless proceeded to defend the resolutions and declared against the right of the Government to coerce a sovereign state. As to the charge of drawing pay to which he was not entitled he plead not guilty. What he had drawn he believed was justly his, that Mr. Lamb, Judge Brown and Judge Berkshire had so advised him, that the Legislature had dealt unfairly with him, had acted as witness, judge and jury, and gave him no opportunity for defense. That they were not wiser than others, that in fact when Mr. Lamb had withdrew and went a fishing, there was not brains enough left to carry on the business of the Legislature, and that they had to pass a resolution requesting his return. He said that his efforts for the new state were second to none unless it was J. S. Carlisle, and that if it had not been for Carlisle we never would have got the new state. (He might also have added that if he could have prevented it we would never have got it.) He spoke one hour and a half, the time mainly occupied with personal matters, for which we are unable to find space.
At the conclusion of his remarks the hour grown so late that Mr. Hubbard occupied but five minutes in his rejoinder saying he would leave the people to decide between them.
The discussion between the candidates seems to be tending tone of purely a personal character, which we think is not in keeping with the character of the high office to which the gentlemen aspire.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: September 1864