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First West Virginia Legislature

Biographical Sketches: James J. Barrick


Wheeling Intelligencer
July 17, 1863

The First West Va. Legislature.

HOUSE OF DELEGATES.

Sketches Personal, Political and Biographical.

James. J. Barrick, from Hampshire.

JAMES J. BARRICK, delegate from Hampshire, is next to the youngest member in the House. He was born in New Creek valley, in the county he now represents, on February 1st, 1833, and is therefore now a little rising of thirty years of age. His ancestry was German; his father a native of Virginia, and a blacksmith; and the son wrought of the forge seven years—as long as Jacob served for Rachel.

Mr. Barrick was married at the age of twenty two, and has since been engaged in the business of merchant. When the ___ forces began in ’61 and people began to take sides, he took a decided stand as the friend and advocate of the Union. He belonged to a volunteer company, which was under rebel management and was largely instrumental in breaking it up. – The company was ordered to report at Romney preparatory to marching to Harper’s Ferry, but three days of drumming only brought out seventeen men. The greater part of the company afterwards entered the Union army. He voted against the ordinance of secession and was active in his opposition to this and other acts of rebel usurpation. When the Western Virginia movement began in the spring of ’61, he united his fortunes with it, and was a member of the Convention which reorganized the State Government. Subsequently he was commissioned by Gov. Peirpoint to recruit’s company, but owing to a difference between the views of the people of Hampshire and the military authorities as to the kind of service to be engaged in.—the _ _ _ the regular service—he did not succeed.

In politics Mr. Barrick has always been an old __ Whig. He voted for Bell for President in 1860. He is not and never has been anti-slavery in his views, in fact entertains ____ decided or strenuous opinions or feelings on the subject. Has never owned slaves himself and does not want to, and has no liking for the institution but was always willing for those who wanted to won slaves to exercise what he regarded their undoubted right to do so, and is opposed to freeing the negroes unless they are removed from the country.

In religion Mr. Barrick is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, or was before the rebellion broke out, since which time the churches have been broken up in his country.

In person he is six feet and rather slenderly built, has dark hair and dark brown eyes, side whiskers and moustache; features regular and rather handsome; face pale and somewhat thoughtful in cast. – Dresses well and is upon the whole good looking; and would probably be a favorite with the ladies, if unmarried. In manner he is inclined to be reserved except among intimate acquaintances. His demeanor modest and quiet, he has been a silent member thus far, and is not likely to become very noisy should the session last ever so long.


Biographies of the First West Virginia Legislature

West Virginia Archives and History