|West Virginia is having a birthday.|
Writer and former Roane resident Dr. Ed Lance said he would have likely been among the subversive and "disorderly" bunch that brought about the creation of the Mountain State:
Jefferson Davis in his memoirs wrote, with considerable bitterness, on the
creation of West Virginia:
When the state convention at Richmond passed an ordinance of secession,
which was subsequently ratified by a 60,000 majority, it was as valid an act
for the people of Virginia as was ever passed by a representative body.
legally expressed decision of the majority was the true voice of the state.
When, therefore, disorderly persons in the northwest counties assembled and
declared the ordinance of secession "to be null and void," they rose up
against the authority of the state...
The subsequent organization of the
state of West Virginia and its separation from the state of Virginia were
acts of secession.
Thus we have, in their movements, insurrection,
revolution and secession...
To admit a state under such a government is
entirely unauthorized, revolutionary, subversive of the constitution and
destructive of the Union of States.
Even President Lincoln had doubts about the legality of admitting West
Virginia to the Union:
We can scarcely dispense with the aid of West Virginia in this struggle,
much less can we afford to have her against us, in Congress and in the
Her brave and good men regard her admission into the union as a
matter of life and death. They have been true to the union under many severe
The division of a state is dreaded as a precedent but a measure
expedient by a war is no precedent for times of peace.
It is said that the admission of West Virginia is secession, and tolerated
only because it is our secession.
Well, if we call it by that name, there is
still difference enough between secession against the constitution and
secession in favor of the constitution.
I believe the admission of West
Virginia into the union is expedient.