Union Meeting at Martinsburg.
October 6, 1864
Union Meeting at Martinsburg.
At a mass convention of the unconditional Union men of Berk[e]ley county West Va., on Saturday, October 1st 1864, the following resolutions were read and unanimously adopted.
Resolved, That this convention declares as the sentiment of the loyal people of Berk[e]ley county, that the Union must and shall be preserved, and the Federal government restored to its full power, vigor and authority.
Resolved, That it is our duty as loyal American citizens by every honorable means in our power to aid the government in the enforcement of the constitution and the laws of the land, and to bring traitors and rebels against its authority to their just and merited punishment.
Resolved, That we denounce secession as false in theory and revolutionary in fact, and clearly unwarranted either by the letter or spirit of the constitution of the United States.
Resolved, That as American citizens we owe paramount allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, anything in any State constitution, law, or ordinance thereof to the contrary notwithstanding.
Resolved, That the present unhappy and wicked rebellion was instigated by a few disappointed partizan [sic] leaders and long pampered recipients of office and power, and as they have ignored all constitutional means of redress, and have appealed to the arbitrament of the sword, and as the Government has accepted the tender, we heartily approve of its determination to now repel force by force, and to offer no terms of compromise or peace to armed rebels, except on the basis of an unconditional surrender and return to the Union.
Resolved, That we recognize the Government of West Virginia as a Government de facto, and as citizens of such (State) owe it our full State allegiance.
Resolved, That the late existence of slavery in our midst was an evil per se, socially, politically and morally, and a serious check and drawback upon the growth and prosperity of the State, and that it is our highest interest and duty as citizens to see that its removal is effectual, and its establishment in our midst forever hereafter impossible.
Resolved, That we heartily endorse the Administration of Abraham Lincoln, and approve the plain practical common sense with which he has discharged the duties of the Presidential office; and that we especially approve of the Emancipation Proclamation, the confiscation of the property of incorrigible rebels, and the arming of persons formerly held in slavery, as wise and efficient war measures, fully sanctioned by the emergency of the occasion, and by the law of self-preservation, which, as the first law of nature, applies as well to nations and governments as to individuals; and we further declare it to be our duty to give him our support by ballot for the coming four years as the only truly unconditional and trustworthy Union candidate before the American people.
Resolved, That it is the desire of this convention that our worthg [sic] Governor, (A. I. Boreman,) issue a proclamation ordering an election looking to our organization under the constitution of West Va., for the fourth Thursday in October, 1864.
Resolved, That we meet in convention on the 15th instant, to make suitable nominations to fill the various offices belonging to the county and state.
Resolved, That a coyy [sic] of these resolutions be published in the Wheeling Intelligencer and Baltimore American.
Committee on Resolutions - J. T. Hoke, Wm. Smith, Elias Pitzer, Benjamin Busey, and J. Rufus Smith.
Col. Latham, candidate for Congress in the 2d Congressional district, being present was invited to address the meeting, which he did, defining his position upon the political questions of the day. His remarks were listened to with interest and fully coincided with the sentiments expressed in the resolutions.
J. T. Hoke, Esq., of Berk[e]ley county, also addressed the meeting in a patriotic and well directed discourse.
On motion of C. F. Laise, the meeting adjourned.
B. M. Kitchen, Ch’n.
James W. Robinson, Sec’y.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: October 1864