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 President Lincoln acceded to these proceedings after they had been placed under the direction of the military commander, General Steele. The election was held, the constitution received twelve thousand votes, and the state officers were declared to be elected. Then Arkansas came forth a so-called republican state, ‘instituted’ by military authority, and, of course, received the benefit of the constitutional provision which declares that ‘the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government.’ It should be added that Arkansas, thus ‘instituted’ a state, was regarded by the government of the United States as competent to give as valid a vote as New York, Massachusetts, or any other Northern state, for the ratification of Article XIII, as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, prohibiting the existence of slavery in the United States. The vote was thus given; it was counted, and served to make up the exact number deemed by the managers to be necessary. Thus was fraud and falsehood triumphant over popular rights and fundamental law. The perversion of true republican principles was greater in Virginia than in any other state, through the cooperation of the government of the United States. In the winter of 1860-‘61 a special session of the legislature of the state convened at Richmond and passed an act directing the people to elect delegates to a state convention to be held on February 14, 1861. The convention assembled, and was occupied with the subject of Federal relations and the adjustment of difficulties until the call for troops by President Lincoln was made, when an ordinance of secession was passed. The contiguity of the northwestern counties of the state of Ohio and Pennsylvania led to the manifestation of much opposition to the withdrawal of the state from the Union, and the determination to reorganize that portion into a separate state. This resulted in the assembling of a so-called convention of delegates at Wheeling on June 11th. One of its first acts was to provide for a reorganization of the state government of Virginia by declaring its offices vacant, and the appointment of new officers throughout. This new organization assumed to be the true representative of the state of Virginia, and after various fortunes was recognized as such by President Lincoln, as will be presently seen. The next act of the convention was ‘to provide for the formation of a new State out of a portion of the territory of this State.’ Under this act delegates were elected to a so-called constitutional convention which framed a so-called constitution for the new state of West Virginia, which was submitted to a vote of the people in April, 1862, and carried by a large majority of that section. Meantime the governor
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