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West Virginia, state of

A State of the United States formed from Virginia west of the Alleghany Mountains, is of irregular shape, a narrow strip known as the Panhandle extending north between Pennsylvania and Ohio some 70 miles, and Maryland cutting a triangle out of the northeastern portion. It lies between lat. 37° 5′ and 40° 37′ N., and long. 77° 4′ and 82° 40′ W. Its general boundary is Pennsylvania and Maryland on the north, Virginia on the east and south, and Kentucky and Ohio on the west. Area, 24,780 square miles in fifty-four counties. Population, 1890, 762,794; 1900, 958,800. Capital, Charleston.

Harper's Ferry established as a ferry......1748

Baptist church formed at Opequon, Berkeley county, under charge of Rev. John Gerard, from New England......1754

Battle of the Trough, near Moorefield. A small band of settlers pursuing Indians under Kill Buck are hemmed in between mountain and river, and obliged to retreat with loss of half their number......spring of 1756

Massacre of the garrison of Fort Seybert, 12 miles from site of Franklin, by Indians......May, 1758

Romney laid out and named by Lord Fairfax......November, 1762

Capt. William Arbuckle, the first white man to traverse the Kanawha Valley, reaches the site of Point Pleasant.......1764

English exploring expedition under Colonel Crogan descends the Ohio, encamping at West Columbia and Little Guyandotte River......May, 1765

George Washington, on a surveying expedition to the Ohio, passes through Romney......Oct. 9, 1770

Indians attack the crew of a trading canoe from Pittsburg on the Ohio, near Wheeling, killing one man, thus breaking a ten years truce, April 16. The settlers declare war and engage in a battle near the mouth of Captina Creek......April 27, 1774

Fort Union built on site of Lewisburg......1774

Fort Fincastle, afterwards Fort Henry, at Wheeling, built......1774

Battle of Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the Great Kanawha......Oct. 10, 1774

Fort Randolph, at Point Pleasant, begun.......Oct. 10, 1774 [557]

John Harvie and John Nevill, chosen to represent western Virginia in the Virginia convention, are admitted to seats......March 21, 1775

Convention of Virginia frontiersmen west of the Alleghany Mountains at Pittsburg elects John Harvie and George Rodes delegates to Continental Congress......May 16, 1775

Tory insurrection under John Claypole, a resident of Hardy county, suppressed by troops under General Morgan......June, 1775

Captain Foreman and twenty-one men massacred by Indians about 4 miles from Moundsville......Sept. 25, 1777

Fort Henry unsuccessfully besieged by Indians under Simon Girty......Sept. 27-28, 1777

Cornstalk, Shawnee chief, murdered at Point Pleasant......Nov. 10, 1777

Fort Randolph besieged by Indians......May, 1778

Attack by the Indians on Donnally's Fort, 10 miles northwest of Lewisburg......May, 1778

By grant of William Penn in 1681, the western boundary of Pennsylvania is the meridian 5 degrees west of the Delaware. Virginia in ceding to the United States lands beyond the Ohio, in 1784, reserved a strip about 70 miles long upon the Ohio west of Pennsylvania, now known as the Panhandle......March 1, 1784

General Assembly directs the establishment of Morgantown......October, 1785

Wheeling laid out in town lots by Col. Ebenezer Zane......1793

Charleston created by act of legislature......Dec. 19, 1794

Aaron Burr visits Herman Blennerhassett at his island in the Ohio, 2 miles below Parkersburg......1805

First steamboat on the Great Kanawha, the Robert Thompson, ascends the river from Point Pleasant to Red House shoals......1819

John Brown, seeking “to free the slaves,” captures Harper's Ferry......Oct. 16-17, 1859

Petroleum discovered at Burning Springs, on the north bank of the Kanawha......1860

First public Union meeting in West Virginia, declaring against secession, held at Preston......Nov. 12, 1860

Forty-six delegates from what is now West Virginia, vote on the ordinance of secession; 9 for, 29 against; seven are absent, one excused......April 17, 1861

Garrison at Harper's Ferry burn the arsenal and flee into Maryland......April 21, 1861

West Virginia declares for the Union......April 21, 1861

First Wheeling convention on the future of western Virginia meets in Washington Hall, Wheeling......May 13, 1861

First Virginia Federal Infantry mustered in on Wheeling Island by Major Oaks......May 15, 1861

Second Wheeling convention meets at Washington Hall, Wheeling, June 11, 1861; adopts a declaration of rights, June 13; an ordinance to reorganize the State government, June 19; and elects Francis H. Pierpont governor......June 20, 1861

General Rosecrans defeats Confederates under Gen. R. S. Garnett, in the battle of Rich Mountain......July 11, 1861

Battle of Carnifex Ferry; Confederates under Gen. H. A. Wise attacked by Federals under Rosecrans......Sept. 10, 1861

General Reynolds repulses Confederates under Lee in battle at Cheat Mountain......Sept. 12-14, 1861

Convention at Wheeling passes an ordinance to form a new State in western Virginia called Kanawha, Aug. 20, 1861; ordinance ratified by popular vote of 18,408 to 781......Oct. 24, 1861

Federals burn Guyandotte......Nov. 11, 1861

Constitution for a new State, named West Virginia, framed by convention which meets at Wheeling, Nov. 26, 1861, and completes its labors, Feb. 18; constitution ratified by popular vote of 18,862 to 514......April, 1862

General Assembly of reorganized Virginia at Wheeling assents to the erection of the new State of West Virginia......May 12, 1862

Harper's Ferry surrendered by Gen. Dixon H. Miles to Confederates under “StonewallJackson......Sept. 15, 1862

Gen. J. A. J. Lightburn retreats through the Kanawha Valley, pursued by Confederates under General Loring......1862

Congress admits West Virginia into the Union from June 20, 1863......Dec. 31, 1862 [558]

Confederates under General Jones burn 100,000 barrels of petroleum at Burning Springs......May 9, 1863

Inauguration of new State government takes place at Wheeling......June 20, 1863

Supreme Court of Appeals organized at Wheeling......July 9, 1863

Gen. W. W. Averill defeats Maj. John Echols in battle of Droop Mountain......Nov. 6, 1863

Transfer of the counties of Berkeley (Aug. 5, 1863) and Jefferson (Nov. 2, 1863) from the State of Virginia to West Virginia is recognized by joint resolution of Congress......March 10, 1866

Amendments to State constitution ratified, excluding from citizenship all who had, subsequent to June, 1861, given voluntary aid to the Southern Confederacy......May 24, 1866

Legislature ratifies the Fourteenth Amendment......Jan. 16, 1867

West Virginia University at Morgantown opened......June 17, 1867

Legislature ratifies the Fifteenth Amendment......March 3, 1869

Charleston chosen as seat of government by legislature, Feb. 20, 1869, from......April 30, 1870

Amendment to article III., section 1 of the State constitution, rehabilitating citizens disfranchised, ratified by the people......April 27, 1871

Constitution framed by a convention which meets at Charleston, Jan. 16, 1872, and completes its labors, April 9, 1872; ratified by the people......Aug. 22, 1872

Legislature meets at Wheeling as temporary seat of government by act of Feb. 20, 1875......Nov. 10, 1875

Strike on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad begun at Martinsburg......July 16, 1877

At election held by act of Feb. 21, 1877, to locate the State capital after May 1, 1885, Charleston has 41,288 votes, Clarksburg, 30,812; Martinsburg, 8,049......Aug. 7, 1877

Nathan Goff, Jr., appointed Secretary of the Navy......Jan. 6, 1881

Act striking the word “white” out of the Woods jury law of 1872-73......1881

Act passed establishing a State board of health......June 11, 1881

West Virginia normal and classical academy at Buckhannon opened......1882

West Virginia Immigration and Development Association organized at Wheeling......Feb. 29, 1888

Returns of election for governor in November, 1888, were: Nathan Goff, Republican, 78,714; A. B. Fleming, Democrat, 78,604. Fleming contests for fraudulent returns, and is declared elected by a party vote of the legislature, 43 to 40......Feb. 4, 1890

Hatfield-McCoy feud ended by a marriage......March 21, 1891

First State board of agriculture meets at Charleston......May 4, 1891

Stephen B. Elkins qualifies as United States Secretary of War......Dec. 24, 1891

Coal miners went on strike July 2, 1897

[Ended by compromise, Sept. 11.]

Ex-Senator W. T. Willey dies at Morgantown......May 2, 1900

Ex-Postmaster-General William L. Wilson dies at Lexington, Va......Oct. 17, 1900


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Wheeling, W. Va. (West Virginia, United States) (12)
West Virginia (West Virginia, United States) (12)
Point Pleasant (West Virginia, United States) (4)
Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania, United States) (4)
Harper's Ferry (West Virginia, United States) (4)
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Romney (West Virginia, United States) (2)
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Guyandotte (West Virginia, United States) (1)
Droop Mountain (West Virginia, United States) (1)
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