West Virginia, the Mountain State

By Charles H. Ambler; Festus P. Summers | Go to book overview

Chapter XIX
Admission of the New State

CONGRESS APPROVES

FOLLOWING APPROVAL of the formation of West Virginia by the general assembly of the Reorganized Government of Virginia, those interested in completing the process turned to the Thirty-seventeenth Congress. The commissioners in charge presented a memorial from the proposed state, which asked for her admission to separate statehood in the Union. As this request was in due form and accompanied by documents indicating that all the necessary steps in such a procedure had been taken, Senator Willey presented, on May 29, 1862, the memorial to the Senate, which was referred to its committee on territories, of which Benjamin F. Wade, of Ohio, was chairman. Five days later, William G. Brown, of Virginia, presented copies of the memorial and accompanying documents to the House, where they, too, were referred to its committee on territories.

As Carlile, a new-state enthusiast from the outset of the movement, was then a member of the Senate Committee on Territories, everyone looked to him to draft the bill for the admission of West Virginia, but, according to Willey, his colleague, Carlile, became so engrossed in preparation of the statehood bill as to delay it unduly. It was not ready until June 23, following, and, when introduced at the time by Senator Wade as "Senate Bill No. 365," was a shock both to the friends and the foes of the proposed new state. Among other things, fifteen additional counties, Berkeley, Jefferson, Clark, Frederick, Warren, Page, Shenandoah, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Bath, Rockbridge, Botetourt, Craig, and Alleghany, only

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