previous next

[50] admitting West Virginia, did not include these counties within its limits. In addition to this, and as evidence that Mr. Peirpoint was not sustained in his position even by the most extreme class of Unionists (so-called)1 in Virginia, it should be noted that the convention which met in Alexandria, on the 13th of February, 1864, consisting of, and representing, that class alone, entirely ignored his proclamation announcing the transfer of Berkeley and Jefferson to West Virginia, and recognized these counties in every possible manner as integral parts of the old State.

On the removal of the Alexandria government to Richmond, at the close of the war, the first General Assembly which met there, reconstituted and transformed by the addition of members from the the counties——an overwhelming majority——which had adhered to the Richmond authorities, lost no time in appealing to the people of West Virginia to co-operate with them in the ‘restoration of the ancient Commonwealth of Virginia, with all her people, and up to her former boundaries.’ Indeed, the effect of this infusion of new blood, the difference between a real and a mock representation of the people, had made itself sensibly felt at a still earlier period. Previous to the effort now made towards a complete reunion of the divided Commonwealth, the Assembly had passed resolutions declaring that the conditions prescribed in the several acts intended to give consent to the transfer of Berkeley and Jefferson had not been complied with; that, as the consent of Congress had not yet been given to the transfer, the proceedings being still inchoate, the State's consent might properly be withdrawn, and that it was thereby withdrawn.

In the teeth of these measures on the part of a body recognized by themselves as the lawful Legislature of Virginia—recognized, too, in the most solemn of all possible modes by inviting and accepting its ratification of an amendment to the Federal Constitution—the two Houses of Congress adopted a joint resolution consenting to the transfer of these counties to West Virginia.

To test the question of jurisdiction a suit was brought in 1867 by

1 With regard to this assumption of the name of ‘Unionists’ by those whose whole course tended constantly to the destruction of the real Union framed by the founders of the government, the following sentence from Mr. Calhoun's last great speech in the Senate will be found strikingly just and appropriate: ‘But surely, that can with no propriety of language be called a Union, when the only means by which the weaker is held connected with the stronger portion, is force.’

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.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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.
Unionists (2)
Jefferson (2)
Berkeley (2)
Peirpoint (1)
John C. Calhoun (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.
1867 AD (1)
February 13th, 1864 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: