September 16, 1864
Tomorrow a County Union Convention will be held at the Court House to nominate a State Senator, three members of the House of Delegates, and a Prosecuting Attorney. Primary meetings to send delegates will be held at various places in the city tonight.
On Saturday night a grand ratification meeting will be held at the Campaign Club room, corner of Market and Quincy. The full and complete arrangement of details as regards the club and it connection with the campaign on either side of us in Pennsylvania and Ohio, will be settled upon as far as possible at the meeting. It is also expected that we will have some interesting speeches. It is desirable that every Union man in the city should try and attend the meeting Saturday night for the purpose of having himself enrolled in the club, if for nothing else. It will be a glorious institution before the campaign is over.
September 19, 1864
Meeting at the Union Campaign Club Rooms. – A meeting was held on Saturday evening at the Union Campaign Club Rooms, corner of Market and Quincy streets. A. W. Campbell, president called the Club to order, and in doing so took occasion to remark that the apparent indifference of the Union people was in some degree accounted for by the fact that we had no enemy to fight. Our enemies are embarrassed; they have no electoral organization in this State, and it appears as if they intended to allow the election to go by default. But we should be on our guard. We may be surprised at the polls as we have been before. We should act as if we had a well recognized foe to fight and poll just as large a vote as possible. We have already lost ground by our neglect to turn out and poll our full vote. When we pull a small vote our enemies conclude that we are demoralized. The political status of a county or congressional district is no idle matter at a time like this. We have a party in the country that is building its hopes upon a probable disaster to the Union arms, and it is just as important that men should go into political organizations for the preservation of the Union as it is that men should go to the front. We must not allow the moral supplies of the army to be cut off. The speaker hoped that there would be an exhibition of interest in the in the Club that would make it a rallying point for the whole State. Daniel Peck, Esq., the Union candidate for State Senator was called upon. He said there was a lack of interest among the Union people. It is necessary if we expect to succeed to meet hereafter and consult together for the common good. We want vigor and industry among the people in order to save our new State and her institutions, and in order to acquire and exercise these qualities, we must have organization. Mr. Peck said he had long had his eye upon the new State of West Virginia, and as soon as Father Abraham pronounced it a State he came into it. He felt, however, like an old citizen, as he had walked into this city forty years ago a poor mechanic and had lived here several years working at his trade. He recommended to every member of the Club to talk to his neighbor and bring out every vote. There may be no necessity for it, but it’s a good policy and ought to be encouraged. We should all leave off money making for a while and attend to our public as well as private duties. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
The speaker said he was a candidate for the Senate much against his will. He came here to make a quiet living and never had any political aspirations in his life, but as he had been nominated he supposed he would have to stand it.
Mr. Theodore Gorrell, one of the candidates for a Legislature, was called upon. He said he was no orator, and in saying a few words upon the great questions of the day he could only do so as they present themselves to the mind of an humble citizen. He thought the present war was a struggle between republicanism and despotism – between democracy and aristocracy. The subject of slavery lies at the root of the contest, and it is now a question whether slave or free labor shall prevail in the country. Those who declare that this rebellion was inaugurated by Abraham Lincoln are falsifiers of the written history of the country or they are fools. Mr. Gorrell then proceeded to discuss the issues of the day at some length, making out a strong case in favor of Lincoln and Johnson and the cause they represent. If elected to the Legislature he promised to perform the duties of the position to the best of his ability.
J. G. Chandler, Esq. was called upon and responded in a patriotic and appropriate speech which was well received.
G. L. Cranmer, Esq., being loudly called for followed Mr. Chandler, announcing himself as heartily in favor of Lincoln and Johnson, as he believed they would more fully carry out the principles for which he thought he was contending when he voted for Bell and Everett. After assigning various reasons why he should vote for Lincoln, Mr. C. said if he had no other reason the fact of the Presidents having signed the bill admitting West Virginia into the Union would of itself be sufficient.
The following resolution was offered by Mr. Davenport and unanimously adopted:
Resolved, That the Central Union Club not only heartily endorse the National Union nomination of Lincoln and Johnson and the Union State nominations for West Virginia but do now ratify the County ticket this day nominated by the Convention for Ohio County and do pledge its members that they will devote their time and energy to secure the triumphant election of the whole ticket at the coming election.
The Club then adjourned till Saturday evening next.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: September 1864