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[42]

The Constitution thus adopted and ratified was then submitted to Congress. The same clause of the Federal Constitution, however, which requires the consent of that body to the erection of a new State within the jurisdiction of any member of the Union, requires not less clearly the consent of the Legislature of the latter also. The two provisions are contained in the same sentence, and expressed in the same words, are equally obligatory, and must stand or fall together. Nevertheless, the assembled ‘ambassadors of the States,’ to use the apt phraseology of a distinguished Massachusetts statesman in reference to the Senate, specially designed, in the complex plan of the government, to guard their rights and uphold their dignity, on the 14th of July, 1862, passed the bill of admission.

But, strong as was the disposition of the Senate at this time to regard the instrument, to which it owed its existence as ‘mere filigree, pretty to look at, but too brittle to bear the slightest pressure,’ such a breach of one of its plainest provisions did not pass without strenuous protest. John S. Carlile, holding a seat as Senator from Virginia, under the Wheeling government, called attention to the fact that eleven of the counties included in the proposed State had never been represented at all, ‘either in the convention that authorized a vote of the people to be taken upon the question of a new State, or in the Legislature of the State, or in the convention that formed the constitution of the State,’ that three others had only been represented by a Senator, ‘never having a single member of the House of Delegates in the General Assembly,’ and that among the counties having nominal representation there was one polling from 800 to 1,000 votes, the delegate to the Convention from which had received only 76, and another polling from 1,200 to 1,500 votes, the delegate from which had received less than 400. He affirmed that these were not the only instances of a like character that could be adduced in justification of his opposition to the bill, and closed by declaring it to be his sincere belief that if the disposition to interfere with the rights of the States exhibited by that Congress was persisted in, the Constitutional Union formed by the ‘fathers’ would be lost forever.

Mr. Wilkinson, of Minnesota, said that if Mr. Carlile's argument had been addressed to the Committee on Territories, of which they were both members, he would never have assented to the admission of West Virginia.

Mr. Trumbull, of Illinois, thought it in every point of view inopportune


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