Daily Mail columnist Dave Peyton forwarded this "ancient document" found in his files:

The Wealth of this state is immense.

The development of this wealth will earn vast private fortunes far beyond the dreams of a modern Croesus; the question is, whether this vast wealth shall belong to persons who live here, and who are permanently identified with the future of West Virginia, or whether it shall pass into the hands of persons who do not live here and who care nothing for our state except to pocket its treasures which lie buried in our hills.

If the people of West Virginia can be roused to an appreciation of the situation, we ourselves will gather this harvest now ripe on the land inherited from our ancestors; on the other hand if people are not roused to an understanding of the situation in less than ten years, the vast wealth will have passed from our population into the hands of non-residents and West Virginia will be almost like Ireland and her history will be like that of Poland."

- J.M. Mason, E.A. Bennett and Joseph Bell, from the West Virginia Tax Commission's Second Report, State Development, Nov. 22, 1884.

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