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Chapter Twelve
Reorganized Government of Virginia
Approves Separation

According to Article IV, Section III, of the United States Constitution, "New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress."

West Virginia statehood leaders had to obtain permission from Virginia in order to satisfy this constitutional restriction. The creation of the Reorganized Government of Virginia allowed them to seek consent from this pro-Union body instead of the Confederate Virginia government in Richmond.

Governor Francis Pierpont
Governor Francis Pierpont
On May 6, 1862, the General Assembly of the Reorganized Government of Virginia was convened by Governor Francis Pierpont. One week later, the General Assembly passed an act granting permission for creation of the new state. The Reorganized Government of Virginia continued to function as the Union government of Virginia until 1868.

Primary Documents:

Governor Pierpont's Address to the Reorganized Government of Virginia, 6 May 1862
Act of the Reorganized Government of Virginia Granting Permission for Creation of New State

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