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West Virginia split from Post War Supreme Court of the US decisions regarding secession

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by MHB1862, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. 63rdOVI

    63rdOVI Corporal

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    Let's not forget that one of the main reasons behind keeping Western Virginia in Union hands was the protection of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
     
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  3. 63rdOVI

    63rdOVI Corporal

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    Well, we West Virginians will try and help out...!
     
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  4. 63rdOVI

    63rdOVI Corporal

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    This is true. My own 4th great grandfather Samuel Sparr, a veteran of the War of 1812 and a Fayette County justice of the peace for over thirty years, was rounded up in 1861 at the age of 72 and sent to imprisonment at Camp Chase because he caned some Union soldiers who were stealing his chickens. I have a copy of his letter, and a letter from his neighbors, written to Maj. Gen. Rosecrans seeking his release, which was finally granted some four months after his capture.
     
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  5. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    ...... and this proves W. Va. statehood was result of Union imperialism ?
     
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  6. 63rdOVI

    63rdOVI Corporal

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    Not at all. I highlighted the part in the quote 16thVA was speaking about.
     
  7. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    Not really. It certainly was an important factor in occupying that area. But that main reason for Statehood.

    W. Va. became a state because of the political realities of secession of Va.(and the rest of the south). In fact, if Lincoln had been able to enforce his will on the W. Va., loyalists, the new capital of the State of Va.
     
  8. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    Please read the above as.

    W. Va. became a state because of the political realities of secession of Va.(and the rest of the South). In fact, if Lincoln had been able to enforce his will on the W. Va., Loyalists, the new capital of the state of Va., would have been located in the Western counties loyal to the Union.
     
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  9. 63rdOVI

    63rdOVI Corporal

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    Please note that I said "one" of the main reasons.

    Whatever reason was ultimately behind statehood, it is certainly true that many residents wanted to stay in the Union and just as many wanted to leave. There were many contributing factors.
     
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  10. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    Yet, After all the above. West Virginia is a state and not a part of va.
     
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  11. 63rdOVI

    63rdOVI Corporal

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    And as a West By God Virginian, I know that and appreciate that fact. I am proud of my home state. Most of my West Virginia ancestors fought for the Union, but many fought for the Confederacy. It's a subject we didn't broach at the dinner table.
     
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  12. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    But, what has this to do with the question of whether the formation of W. Va. was an illegal secession, during an illegal war?


    P.S. I think, many citizens of many southern states maintained their loyalty and fought for the Union, what does that say, exactly, about the legality of their states existence?
     
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  13. 16thVA

    16thVA First Sergeant

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    Of course it does. Rigged elections, the imprisonment of thousands of civilians, an unelected government (a junta) held in power by an invading army, disfranchisement after the war to maintain that junta in power. Hawaii is another example of a state created by imperialism, though the circumstances were very different.

    This has nothing to do with the legality of the state, but with the fact that the Wheeling government was not supported by most West Virginians.
     
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  14. 63rdOVI

    63rdOVI Corporal

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    Not a thing. My initial comment on the post was that protection of the B&O Railroad as one of the main reasons for the Union "occupation" of Western Virginia. My other comment was in agreement to 16thVA's statement that many Virginians from Western Virginia had indeed been imprisoned as civilian prisoners at Camp Chase. Somehow you read those as supporting the supposition that West Virginia is a "result of Union imperialism." Not my point at all.
     
  15. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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  16. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    So none of your comments has anything to do with the legality of W. Va., statehood?
     
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  17. Eagle eye

    Eagle eye First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    Can you supply references to support your views or are these just your opinions?
     
  18. trice

    trice Major

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    The western counties of Virginia were very different from the counties in the Piedmont and the Tidewater. There were many reasons for that (political dominance by the easterners, economic and geographic differences, etc.) One problem was the dominance of eastern counties because of the 3/5ths slave rule on voting (same as the US rule, but applied to state voting). The western counties had fought for decades to try to be treated fairly by the easterners, finally getting some satisfaction with the new Constitution of 1851 and the gradual implementation of equality on many issues -- but those were still in progress in 1861 when the war came.

    Here are a few paragraphs on the time from https://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/414
    =====
    In the early 19th century, sectionalism began to appear in Virginia. The Blue Ridge and later the Allegheny Front marked a divide between eastern and western parts of the state. Differences between Virginians grew out of their cultural backgrounds, their divergent economic interests, and the overwhelming political influence of Tidewater and Piedmont planters. Friction between the sections intensified over such political issues as expanding the vote, representation in the legislature, and popular election of state and county officials. Ironically, the Virginia constitution of 1776, crafted by leaders who proclaimed devotion to democracy, had a granite-like quality that assured the unassailability of eastern supremacy in state affairs.

    Western dissatisfaction led to several attempts to reform the state constitution. The Staunton conventions of 1816 and 1825 and the Constitutional Convention of 1829–30 failed to meet western demands. Some western leaders favored separation from Virginia. The convention of 1850–51 made changes that addressed the political sources of western discontent. Under the new constitution a westerner, Joseph Johnson of Bridgeport, became the first popularly elected governor of Virginia. These successes, however, were overshadowed by economic inequities. The new constitution shifted the tax burden to the west by requiring that all property, except slaves, be taxed at its actual value, and it contained provisions that dealt severe blows to internal improvements favored by the west. Old rivalries between east and west were soon renewed.

    In the three decades before the Civil War, slavery was increasingly an issue in the United States. Two prominent Western Virginians took a strong stand on slavery. Henry Ruffner, a Kanawha Countian who served as president of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), published the Ruffner Pamphlet in which he attacked slavery as an evil that kept immigrants out of Virginia, slowed economic development, and hampered education. He urged gradual emancipation of all slaves west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Alexander Campbell, a founder of the Disciples of Christ and president of Bethany College, contended, however, that the North should accept slavery in the South. He supported the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 but believed that runaway slaves should be provided the necessities of food, shelter, and clothing. As tensions over slavery mounted, several churches divided over the issue. The Methodists, who split in 1844, included most of Western Virginia in their northern branch.

    =====
    Even without the Civil War there were very real differences between the Virginia of the Piedmont and Tidewater and those westerners. Many of them were about simple equality in taxation and representation in the legislature, where the westerners had suffered for decades. Even the 1851 constitution reinforced the inequity in taxes in western eyes by exempting slaves.

    Economically, a lot of western Virginia life went to the Ohio River, to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh -- not east over the Blue Ridge to Richmond. Coal mining had little in common with plantations, and the further west you went the more heavy traffic moved on steamboats via the rivers to the Ohio, not over the Blue Ridge by foot and wagon. There was support in western counties for the Morrill Tariff, largely because small farmers thought like the small farmers of "the North" that the wool tariff would benefit those who raised sheep and western Virginia miners felt much the same as Ohio and Pennsylvania coal miners about being protected from British steel imports.
     
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  19. 16thVA

    16thVA First Sergeant

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    Correct. It is a non-issue to me.

    It is not opinion, but mere fact. There were 79,515 voters in the 50 counties, 8 counties never "voted" in any of Wheeling's referenda. The 3 votes that created the state from 1861 t0 1863 drew about 18,500, 18,500, and 28,500, and that last number includes all the soldier votes.
    In Doddridge County, a safe "Union county in norther WV, 1 in 20 voters ended up in Federal prison. Joseph Holt, the US Judge-Advocate, complained to Seward in 1863 that Pierpont's arrests of West Virginians was so extensive that he was interferring with the Federal exchange program.

    [​IMG]

    In my signature is a link to my website which gives lists of prison records I've been researching. There are many duplicate names but I have about 2,000 so far, and haven't even gotten to the prison records for Wheeling's Atheneum prison.

    Even Wheeling's own Lt. Gov. Daniel Polsley was against dividing the state, though he eventually went along with it.

    [​IMG]

    In my signature is a link to my website, where a lot of my information is available.

    POSTSCRIPT> Trice, your information is historically true, but not the whole truth, Wheeling's business did NOT go to its competitor Pittsburgh, it went heavily south down the Ohio. West Virginians were Virginians first and foremost, despite inequities, and they defended Virginia institutions. The views I've expressed in this thread are the future of West Virginia's Civil War history. that is the direction in which it is going. In Mark Snell's recent book on West Virginia he called the statehood votes a "fiasco". You are only concerned with the motivations of the people who won, I am concerned with the people who lost, the majority of West Virginians who did not support Wheeling, and who in 1872 destroyed the Wheeling constitution. Your view is basically from the 1950's and was crafted after the fact by Charles Ambler in order to justify what happened in WV.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
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  20. Eagle eye

    Eagle eye First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    Your website is your references? I saw a link to a you-tube video but I haven't watched it. You list your references on the video?
     
  21. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Captain

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    So your argument is that the majority of West Virginans supported the Confederacy? Didn't thousands of men from Western Virginia join the Union Army and thousands more become Unionist homeguards? If the West Virginians were so upset about the brak- up of their states why didn't they try to unite post civil war?
    Not to argue that all people from West Virginia wanted to break up with Virginia.
    Also what right does a state that declares secession have if the federal government takes a slice? Has another poster pointed out one can not dam the constitution and then claim protection by the constitution.
    Leftyhunter
     
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