Skip Navigation

Proceedings of the
Second Wheeling Convention

June 24, 1861

The Convention met at 2 P. M.

Prayer by Rev. R. V. Dodge.

The minutes of Friday last were read and adopted.

Mr. LAMB, from the Committee on Credentials, reported Lewis Ruffner, member of the House of Delegates from Kanawha and part of Boone, Greenbury Slack, from Kanawha, and Dudley S. Montague and John Hall, of Putnam, as duly accredited members of this Convention. Messrs. Ruffner and Slack being present came forward and took the official oath.

Mr. CLOSE offered the following resolution, which was appropriately referred.


Resolved, As the sense of this Convention, that the Convention now sitting at Richmond, has long since forfeited all right to act in behalf of the people of this Commonwealth, upon whom they have brought war and desolation.

Inasmuch, as without provocation, aside from the promptings of unhallowed ambition, they have invited the rebel soldiery of revolted States to invade our territory, and convert our fields into another Belgium to become the bloody battle grounds of our kindred and fellow countrymen.

These foreign and domestic traitors have driven many peaceable and Union loving citizens from their houses and possessions by threats of injury and death, for no crime but fidelity to the Constitution of our fathers and in utter disregard to that palladium of a freeman's inheritance - the unbiased exercise of the right of suffrage - they have surrounded the polls with cannon and bayonets, excluding thousands of rightful voters and admitting other thousands without a shadow of right.

They have attempted to set aside the supreme law of the land, which gives us a representation in the Congress of the United States of America by ordering that the election for this end should be ______.

They are now daily eating out the sustenance of the people ___________ common robbery, and are plundering us as they have already plundered the nation.

Owing our highest allegiance to the government of the United States of America, in this our extremity we appeal to it for protection against those armed invaders and ask for that all which is guaranteed by our Constitution to secure to us the continuance of our Republican government.

Mr. CARLILE, from the Committee of seventeen to whom was referred the consideration of a proper military system, reported that they had had the same under consideration and come to the conclusion that the present military system is as efficient ____as can be devised, and all that is necessary is to put it in operation. The committee, therefore, make no report but this.

But while I am up, said Mr. C., I will take occasion to say that I think no greater service could be rendered to the people of our State or to the people of the Union, than for each and every member of this convention when it takes a recess, on his return home to take the stump, and by all other means in his power to urge upon our citizens to enlist in the service of the U. S. with the understanding that they have had. It would relieve our State government from a very heavy expense and ____ as an efficient and well disciplined military force for the State and Federal defence. The officers of the Federal government now in our midst are instructed to and will whenever a company is raised anywhere in the State, send an army officer regularly to muster it into the service of the U. S., and it will be taken to convenient places of rendezvous, where a comfortable camp will be provided, provisions furnished, and they will be armed, equipped and paid at the expense of the Federal Government. By the present militia system any number of volunteer companies can be raised and used for home guards, and they can be composed of men who cannot be got to enlist in the service of the U. S., and will aid in the execution of a process and the enforcement of the laws in their respective counties.

Mr. VAN WINKLE, on behalf of the Committee of Seventeen, reported an address to the people of Virginia, in explanation and justification of the action of the Convention.

On motion of Mr. West, the address was laid on the table and ordered to be printed.

Mr. FROST offered the following, which was adopted:

Resolved, That when this Convention adjourns to-morrow, it adjourn to meet again on the first Tuesday in August next, at 2 o'clock, P. M., unless sooner convened by the Governor, with the advice of the Council.

Mr. HAWXHURST obtained leave to read the proceedings of a meeting of the citizens of Eastern Virginia, including an address to the Convention.

The document was ordered to lie on the table.

The Convention then adjourned.

June 11
June 12
June 13
June 14
June 15
June 17
June 18
June 19
June 20
June 21
June 24
June 25

Chapter Seven: First Session of the Second Wheeling Convention

A State of Convenience

West Virginia Archives and History