previous next
[11] at Wheeling, June 11th, and the members before proceeding to business joined in an oath of supreme allegiance to the United States. On June 13th a bill of rights was adopted, repudiating all allegiance to the Confederate States, to which Virginia was now united by ordinance ratified by popular vote; the offices of governor of Virginia, etc., were declared vacant, a provisional government was provided for, all officers were required to take the oath of national allegiance, and on the 19th a declaration of independence from Virginia was unanimously adopted. The main argument in justification of this declaration, was that under the bill of rights the legislature had no right to call a convention to alter the constitution and the relations of the commonwealth, without the previously expressed consent of the majority, and that therefore usurpation had occurred which would inevitably lead to military despotism.

During the session of this convention, Governor Letcher issued a proclamation June 14th, to the people of northwestern Virginia, pointing out that the sovereign people of Virginia by a majority of nearly 100,000 votes, had exercised the right claimed by the fathers, to institute a new government, and had united the commonwealth with the Confederate States. He declared that the people had all had an opportunity to vote. ‘You, as well as the rest of the State, have cast your vote fairly, and the majority is against you. It is the duty of good citizens to yield to the will of the State.’ He quoted the bill of rights, ‘that the people have a right to uniform government; and therefore that no government separate from and independent of the government of Virginia ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof,’ and therefore, he said, ‘the majority have a right to govern.’ ‘But notwithstanding, this right, thus exercised, has been regarded by the people of all sections of the United States as undoubted and sacred, yet the government at Washington now utterly denies ’

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (4)
Wheeling, W. Va. (West Virginia, United States) (1)
Virginia (Virginia, United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Letcher (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 14th (1)
June 13th (1)
June 11th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: