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Proceedings of the
Second Session of the
Second Wheeling Convention

August 6, 1861

The State Convention, which adjourned on the 25th of June last, re-assembled yesterday pursuant to adjournment, at two P. M. in the United States Court Room in the Custom House of this city.

The President, Arthur I. Boreman, of Wood, resumed the Chair and called the Convention to order.

The sitting was opened with prayer by Rev. Gordon Battelle, of the M. E. Church.

Mr. WEST, of Wetzel, offered the following preamble and resolution, which were adopted.

WHEREAS, The members of this Convention are satisfied that a large majority of the good and loyal citizens of Western Virginia are in favor of a division of the State, yet there seems to exist a difference of opinion as to the proper time, as well as the proper means to be used to effect the object; be it therefore

Resolved, by the Convention, That in order to produce harmony and facilitate action, the President of the Convention appoint a committee consisting of one member from each county represented in this Convention, whose duty it shall be to take the whole subject of a division of this State into consideration, as a basis upon which the Convention may act, and report to this body at the earliest day possible.

Mr. FROST, of Jackson, moved, as several members of the Committee on Credentials were absent, that three additional members be appointed.

The motion was agreed to, and Messrs. Nicholls of Brooke, Caldwell of Marshall, and Jackson of Lewis were appointed.

On motion of Mr. Van Winkle of Wood, it was ordered that the Committee on Credentials have leave to sit during sessions of the Convention.

Mr. FROST presented the Credentials of James Smith of Jackson, as claimant to a seat in the Convention.

The papers were referred to the appropriate Committee.

Mr. FOLEY of Doddridge, offered the following:

Resolved, That the Committee on Business inquire into the expediency of repealing the Stay Law enacted at the late session of the Legislature.

On the question of adopting the resolution, Mr. Foley demanded the yeas and nays.

The demand was not sustained, and the question being taken by ayes and noes, the resolution was lost.

Mr. VAN WINKLE offered the following series of resolutions of inquiry:

1. Resolved, That the Committee on Business inquire into the expediency of abolishing the Board of Public Works and conferring the powers and duties thereof on the Governor and Council.

Mr. VAN WINKLE, said it would be remembered that a bill abolishing this board, passed the Legislature, but as the Constitution requires a three-fifth vote to abolish the Board of Public Works, and the vote by which it was passed, it was thought by some did not meet the requisition, that act might be null. This resolution merely proposed to make good that enactment.

2. That the Committee on Business inquire into the propriety of devolving on the Auditor elected under ordinance of this Convention, the duties of both the first and second auditor, as prescribed by the Constitution and laws.

3. That the Committee on Business inquire into the propriety of defining by ordinance what acts of persons lately holding office, under the Commonwealth, shall be deemed (and taken to be such) as adhering to the Richmond Convention, and late executive so as to vacate their offices under the last clause of the Declaration adopted by this Convention on the 17th day of June last.

4. That the Committee on Business, be directed to inquire into the expediency of providing for the arrest and punishment of such persons as shall exercise or attempt to exercise the powers and authorities, or perform the duties of an office, which shall have been declared vacant under the ordinance of the Convention.

5. That the Committee on Business, report an ordinance, declaring the the ordinances and other acts of the Convention which assembled at Richmond on the 13th of February last are null and void and of no force.

6. That the Committee on Business report an ordinance providing for the publication of the ordinances of this Convention, and the public laws passed or hereafter to be passed by the General Assembly, in one newspaper printed in each county of the Commonwealth, if any there be, to be paid for at the same rates as are allowed for the newspaper publication of the laws of the United States.

The resolutions were adopted and sent to the Committee on Business.

Mr. VAN WINKLE remarked that as the Chairman of that Committee (Mr. Carlile) was at Washington, as the second had not arrived, and the third had been Mr. Peirpoint, now Governor, the fourth on the Committee, Mr. Hagans, of Preston, became the Chairman.

Mr. HAGANS said he would waive the order in favor of the gentleman from Wood, (Mr. Van Winkle.)

Mr. VAN WINKLE hoped the gentleman would not do so, at least not till after calling the committee together. The committee could then make any arrangements they pleased.

Mr. HAGANS consented, and named eight next morning for a meeting of the Committee of Seventeen.>

Mr. FROST moved that when the Convention adjourn, it adjourn till 3, P. M., to-morrow.

The motion was agreed to, and the Convention then adjourned.

August 6
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August 19
August 20
August 21

Chapter Nine: Second Session of the Second Wheeling Convention

A State of Convenience

West Virginia Archives and History