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[43] to attempt to force Western Virginia at that time as a separate State into the Union, and trusted that the bill might not pass.

Mr. Willey, Mr. Carlile's colleague under the ‘restored’ government of Virginia at Wheeling, while advocating the bill, stated that he did not believe, much as he regretted to have to say it, that a single county east of the Blue Ridge would acknowledge the authority of the Wheeling government if the United States soldiers were withdrawn.

Mr. Powell, of Kentucky, did not believe that it was ever contemplated by the Constitution that less than one-fourth of the people constituting a State should ‘give their consent to themselves to form a new State within the limits of one of the States of this Union.’ It was ‘inaugurating a principle’ which was, in his judgment, ‘radically destructive of the great principles of the Constitution,’ and to which he could never assent. ‘If,’ said he, ‘the cities of New York and Brooklyn and the counties in which they are, were to get up a little bogus legislature, and say they were the State of New York, and ask to be admitted and cut off from the rest of the State, I would as soon vote for their admission as for the admission of this new State. No Senator pretends to claim that a majority, that even a third of the people of the State of Virginia have ever had anything to do with rendering their assent to the making of this new State within the territorial limits of that ancient Commonwealth.’

In spite of every remonstrance, the bill passed the Senate by a vote of 23 to 17, but the House of Representatives failed to act upon it before the close of the session. Thereupon, the Wheeling Legislature passed a joint resolution expressing ‘the greatest anxiety and interest in the successful issue of the movement,’ and another, rebuking Mr. Carlile for his opposition to it, and alleging such opposition as one of the grounds for requesting his resignation. Meanwhile, as if determined to leave no possible doubt as to their real animus toward the State they assumed to represent, they had already, some time previous to this, initiated measures (happily never consummated) looking to the transfer of the counties of Accomac and Northampton to Maryland. If these facts are fairly considered the conclusion to be drawn from them is clear and unavoidable. Is it credible, is it even conceivable, that the chosen representatives of a proud and ancient commonwealth, whose people, throughout their entire history, have been eminently distinguished for intense State pride and patriotism, should have been thus eager to rend her limb from limb, and to mar at once her territorial completeness and her historic unity?


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