CEREMONIES IN STATUARY HALL
Exercises held in Statuary Hall, in the Capitol, Washington, D. C, April 30, 1910, at 10 o'clock a. m., on the unveiling and presentation of the statue of Francis Harrison Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], by the State of West Virginia, Hon. Harry Chapman Woodyard presiding.
Mr. Woodyard. I have been requested to preside on this occasion by the commission created by an act of the legislature of West Virginia to have prepared and placed in this hall a statue of a distinguished and honored son of that State.
The Chaplain of the House of Representatives, Rev. Henry N. Couden, D. D., will invoke the divine blessing.
Invocation by Reverend Henry N. Couden
God of the ages, our father's God and our God, whose omniscient and omnipotent love has shaped and guided the destiny of men and of nations.
And step by step, since time began,
We see the steady gain of man.
From savagery to barbarism, from barbarism to a civilization which found its fullest fruition in the genius of our great Republic, "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
We thank Thee from our heart of hearts for the great men who "conceived, resolved, and maintained; " long may it live a blessing to mankind and an honor to Thy holy name. We are assembled here under the Dome of its Capitol, in this Hall of Fame, to add to the immortal group a scholar, a statesman, a Christian patriot whose life and deeds add luster to the pages of American history. Long may these statues in mute eloquence proclaim to the world liberty, justice, equal rights, and inspire coming generations to honest toil, patriotic fervor, and Godly lives. Let Thy blessing attend these sacred ceremonies and be with those who shall pay their tribute of love and respect to the memory of a distinguished fellow-citizen whose spotless character and illustrious deeds are woven into the warp and woof of his State and Nation.
And Thine be the praise through Jesus Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray:
Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
MR. WOODYARD. The statue prepared and here placed by the commission will be tendered on behalf of the commission by Hon. Thomas C. Miller, secretary, to the State of West Virginia, in final discharge of the duties imposed upon it by the legislature of West Virginia.
Address of Honorable Thomas C. Miller
The civil war in the United States, beginning in 1861, was not as has been so generally thought the primal cause of the formation of West Virginia; it was only the occasion that made such a procedure possible. For many years there had been discontent in the western part of Virginia, growing out of unequal representation and discrimination in taxation coupled with the then ever-present question of human slavery. While no direct movement looking to the division of the State had been attempted, nevertheless there was a spirit of unrest in the trans-Allegheny region, and it had been emphatically declared many times by the western leaders of both the Whig and the Democratic parties that, unless the tide water and Piedmont region of Virginia became more liberal in dealing with the western sections of the State, separation would inevitably follow sooner or later.
Students of American history will recall that previous to the adoption of the Constitution in 1787 there had been no fewer than seven plans proposed looking to the organization of new States west of the Alleghenies. Some of these movements had taken definite form, as will be recalled in the effort to establish Vandalia, Westsylvania, and the State of Franklin, and it is a remarkable fact that no fewer than five of these proposed plans included in their boundary the whole or a part of what is now West Virginia. The Ohio River, Pennsylvania, and Maryland boundaries of West Virginia are identical with those of two of the projected new States.
Geographic influences also had much effect on the material, political, and social conditions of the two sections. The main ridge of the Allegheny Mountains, with its northeast and southwest trend, formed a barrier through the center of the State which, before the days of modern engineering, had seemed almost insurmountable. The trade of the western section was largely down the Ohio or to Baltimore and the East. There was considerable traffic down the Monongahela to Pittsburg, and Philadelphia and New York could be more easily reached from Wheeling than could Richmond and Norfolk, and so commercial relations did not do much to assist in making a bond of unity. Furthermore, the settlers of the two regions differed widely in nationality, manners, and customs as well as in political sentiment, and there was not that community of interest which, even without legal enactment, oftentimes binds a people together. The tide water and the eastern part of the State had been settled largely by the cavalier element, while the Ohio Valley and the western interior had been peopled mainly by those who had migrated from the colonies farther north, especially the Scotch-Irish from eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut. These pioneers wended their way across the mountains over roads which had first been blazed through the woods by the troops under Braddock, Washington, and Forbes. Coming to the headwaters of the tributaries of the upper Ohio they made themselves homes in the valleys and hill lands of western Virginia, and became the ancestors of as brave and patriotic a people as this country has produced. Speaking of the influence of the Scotch-Irish element in our national life, John Fiske, the historian, says:
Once planted in the Allegheny region they spread rapidly and in large numbers toward the southwest along the mountain country through the Shenandoah Valley and into the Carolinas. At a later time they formed almost the entire population of western Virginia, and they were the men who chiefly built up the Commonwealths of Kentucky and Tennessee. * * * When our civil war came these men were a great power on both sides, but the influence of the chief mass of them was exerted on the side of the Union; it held Kentucky and a large part of Tennessee, and broke Virginia in twain.
The one whom we honor here to-day and whose great work in the formation of the State we commemorate in this beautiful statue was a descendant of one of these hardy pioneers who settled in what is now Monongalia County previous to the Revolutionary war.
The above well-known historical facts have been referred to briefly in an effort to correct the widespread misapprehension among the younger generation as to the initiative of the movement which led to the dismemberment of Virginia. West Virginia was not formed merely as the outgrowth of a feeling engendered and embittered by the civil war, but was the logical culmination of a diverse political sentiment that had manifested itself through a period of nearly three quarters of a century. These things are not presented here to-day in any offensive sense, but to call attention to some of the errors which have crept into our histories and that have misled many of the youth of our country.
When the ordinance of secession was passed by the Virginia convention in 1861, it was by no means by a unanimous vote. The record shows that only 88 members voted for the passage of the measure and 55 against it. Of the 55 men who voted against the ordinance 33 lived west of the Alleghenies, and at once they became the target of severe criticism and vituperation in Richmond and the east, even the lives of some being threatened. Returning to their homes, loyal to the Old Flag, we do not wonder that a spirit of patriotic zeal was soon manifest all through the western part of the State. We are not surprised, either, to find the same men who had left the Richmond convention, some of whom had been expelled and others whose seats had been declared vacant, among the leaders who assembled as the representatives of the people in the Wheeling conventions in May and June following.
In passing it may be remarked that no more practical demonstration of the principle enunciated in Lincoln's famous utterance at Gettysburg, "government of the people, by the people, for the people," has ever been seen than in this loyal uprising in western Virginia in 1861. It resembled the Roman Republic in the brightest period of its history, when the populace met in the Forum, chose their rulers, dictated policies, and determined future action.
When the delegates assembled at Wheeling in May, 1861, in obedience to what seemed to be an instinctive command of the people, there was a very strong sentiment in favor of immediate statehood for the trans-Allegheny section of Virginia. Indeed some who had been advocating a new Commonwealth claimed that this was the long desired opportunity, and that if action were not taken at this time the occasion would be lost forever. The wiser and more conservative element of the convention was, for a time, subjected to a good deal of adverse criticism, because it opposed such precipitate action, and it was only by an earnest appeal to their patriotism and under a solemn promise that as soon as it could be done in accordance with the Constitution of the United States, steps would be taken looking to the formation of a new State, that a compromise was reached and conciliatory measures agreed upon. And here it was that the wise foresight and eminent ability of Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] [sic Peirpoint] manifested itself. I have heard him tell where he was and of his exultation when the thought occurred to him that the way had opened up and that a new State could be legally organized if proper methods were pursued. The ancient alchemist is said to have exclaimed, "Eureka! Eureka!" but a generally accepted tradition, now confirmed by the family record, says that Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]'s exclamation was even more emphatic, "I have it! I have it!" Perplexed and almost bewildered on account of the situation, he had sat down to read the Constitution of the United States through, section by section, and when he came to section 4 of Article IV it seemed to have a new meaning to him, and to apply very definitely to the condition of affairs then existing. The section to which I have alluded and which opened the way to meet the great crisis of 1861 in western Virginia, reads as follows:
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion, and on application of the legislature, or of the executive when the legislature cannot be convened, against domestic violence.
As already stated, a large majority of the delegates in the May convention were in favor of immediate action looking to the formation of a new State, so Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]'s [sic Peirpoint’s] suggestion for the organization of the restored government of Virginia and an appeal to the General Government at Washington for recognition was at first not well received. However, he ably presented his view of the crisis and was cordially supported by Waitman T. Willey, John J. Jackson, Daniel Lamb, and other conservative leaders who had great influence among the delegates, and finally his plan was adopted and put into effect. He was chosen provisional governor, an appeal was made to President Lincoln, who immediately recognized the new government; Wheeling was established as the temporary capital, and a call was made for volunteers to assist in suppressing the rebellion. This seemingly anomolous situation has scarcely had a parallel in history. A State in rebellion against the General Government and a portion of that State in revolt against the same state authorities and claiming to be the rightfully constituted state government, and out of all this confusion a new Commonwealth formed and the thirty-fifth star added to the galaxy in our flag.
Writing on this subject some years ago, Honorable A. W. Campbell, for a long time editor of the Wheeling Intelligencer, a strong advocate of the new-state movement, and one of Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]'s [sic Peirpoint’s] most ardent and efficient supporters, said:
The great fact patent and well known to you is that West Virginia was loyal to the Union and that her loyalty enabled you at once to push forward your lines to the Allegheny Mountains. History will dwell on this fact and will more fully explain it than I have done and will pay it the tribute it so well deserves. History will also reveal other facts, many of them personal in their character, that entered into the great movement for the Union in West Virginia in 1861. I will allude to only one of them. Here in our presence to-day is an old man who was then in his prime, who is the repository of as much of the unpublished history of West Virginia in the war as any man in the State. All his life before the war the voice of this man was heard in the mountains as of one crying in the wilderness, warning the people of the beguilements of those who were luring them into espousals and indorsements of doctrine that would commit them to secession, rebellion, and war, and when the evil day at last came and Virginia threw off her allegiance to the Union he grasped, among the very first, the idea of the loyal people assuming and taking on and carrying forward her indestructible stateship and of organizing a provisional government under which and around which all the loyal people of Virginia, of which State we were then a part, could rally. It was the first case of the kind in American history and forms a precedent fully confirmed and ratified by the United States. It was all regular and simply based upon the theory that when sovereignty lapses by reason of treasonable alliance on the part of existing state authority it reverts ipso facto to the loyal people of the Commonwealth and by them can be at once embodied in a provisional government. The conception and formation of this idea belongs as much, if not more, to the man to whom I am alluding, ex-Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], of Marion County, than to any other man in West Virginia.
Man is prone to speculate on what might have happened had conditions been different. For instance, if Napoleon had been informed as to the sunken road near Waterloo, or had Blucher arrived earlier, the map of Europe might not be as it is to-day. Students of military history have for years asked what would have resulted if Lee had vigorously attacked Burnside at Fredericksburg before the Union Army reached the other side of the Rappahannock, and much speculation has been indulged in as to the outcome of the battle of Gettysburg if Meade had renewed the contest on July 4, 1863. This, you say, is mere speculation; but we are told that history is philosophy teaching by experience and example, and if this be true we may better interpret some things of the past as well as discern the future by the light of this experience and observation.
If you will look at the map of the United States, you will see that it is only a short distance from the northern Panhandle of West Virginia to Lake Erie. Had not the western part of Virginia adhered to the Union, this narrow strip of 80 miles would have been the only connecting link between the East and the West. What might have resulted had the Government not been able to maintain a line of communication between the Atlantic coast and the Mississippi Valley by means of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and through the Kanawha Valley, no one can tell. The estimate that President Lincoln placed upon the action of the loyal people of the mountains is indicated in the statement he made with reference to the admission of West Virginia into the Union, and which you find on the programme which is in your hands today.
Should I be asked to characterize the patriotic work of Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] in one brief statement, it would be that he was the conservative leader who made it possible by legal methods to constitute the State of West Virginia. I have said he was conservative, and so he was; but when his duty was made plain then he became the aggressive, earnest, capable leader, brave and daring, fearing only not to do right. No more patriotic citizen ever lived in the Commonwealth over whose affairs he had control for nearly eight years. I refer, of course, to the State of Virginia, because he was never governor of West Virginia. He was known, however, as one of the war governors and assisted in putting into the field more than 40,000 troops in the support of the Union cause. He was intimately associated with John A. Andrew, Oliver P. Morton, John A. Dix, and others of that notable group of men who loyally supported President Lincoln throughout the civil conflict and who rendered such efficient aid toward the suppression of the rebellion.
To others has been allotted the pleasing task of speaking more fully of the life and character of the one whom we honor here today. I cannot forbear, however, from saying a word in this connection. Graduating from Allegheny College, at Meadville, Pennsylvania, Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] had as classmates and tutors such men as Gordon Battelle, Bishop Mathew Simpson, Bishop Kingsley, Homer Clark, and others, among whom existed a friendship that was severed only by death. Implicitly accepting the faith of his fathers, he became an active Christian worker, and whether as Sunday-school teacher and superintendent, or as president of the highest ecclesiastical organization of his denomination, the Methodist Protestant Church, his ability, his zeal, and broad humanitarianism were always manifest.
In beautiful Woodlawn Cemetery, near the town which was his home for nearly three quarters of a century, lie the remains of the noble character whose pure life and whose lofty patriotism we commemorate at this hour. On his tomb is chiseled the phrase, "Father of West Virginia," and just below, with even a higher meaning and in loftier strain, we read, "Patriot, Statesman, Christian."
The first suggestion that the statue of Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] should be one of West Virginia's contributions to this Hall was in a resolution adopted by the Society of the Army of West Virginia at Fairmont in 1900. At the next session of the legislature a bill was introduced providing for such a statue, and after careful consideration the measure was passed by a unanimous vote and a commission constituted to carry out the provisions of the act. The members of the commission were as follows: Albert B. White, governor; Anthony Smith, president of the senate; William G. Wilson, speaker of the house; and James F. Brown, Clarence L. Smith, John Frew, and Thomas C. Miller. Shortly afterwards the commission organized and after considerable correspondence with artists and sculptors and frequent conferences with the family of Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], a contract for the execution of the work was awarded to Mr. Franklin Simmons, a prominent American sculptor then residing at Rome, Italy. Work on the model and the statue progressed satisfactorily, and it was completed and placed where it now stands in December, 1904. It is with sadness that we record the death of two members of the commission before the work was finished—Honorable John Frew, of Wheeling, and General Clarence L. Smith, of Fairmont. Both were lifelong friends of Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], and they would have rejoiced with us to-day in the completion of this fitting testimonial to the life and character of their old friend and associate.
For various reasons the presentation of the statue has been delayed till this hour. The principal cause has been the inability of the governor's only daughter, Mrs. W. H. Siviter, on account of feeble health, earlier to attend the ceremonies which she to-day witnesses with gratitude and thanks to all who have had any part in thus honoring her father. This large body of West Virginians, testifying to the debt of gratitude they owe one of her leading citizens, shows that Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] is not forgotten, but that his memory is held in loving remembrance by the people of the State which he had such a prominent part in making.
To me it is a peculiar pleasure to have a part in these ceremonies, tinged even as they are by sadness. It is my fondest memory that Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] was my father's lifelong friend; he was my boyhood ideal, the counselor of my early manhood and the inspiration of my best efforts, and I am glad to know that his prototype is to stand in this Hall among those who have made the world better by their high ideals, their lofty patriotism, their unblemished character, and their sublime devotion to duty.
And now, Governor Glasscock, on behalf of the commission constituted by the legislature of West Virginia, and authorized to procure a statue in marble of Francis Harrison Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], I have the honor of presenting to you, West Virginia's chief executive, the statue provided by the commission. It stands here amidst this group of great Americans as the symbol of a life that was singularly devoted to the public service in the highest patriotic endeavor and as a type of noble manhood worthy the emulation of all the youth of our land.
MR. WOODYARD: The statue will be unveiled by Miss Frances Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] Siviter, a granddaughter of Governor Francis Harrison Peirpoint.
[The statue was then unveiled amid great applause.]
MR. WOODYARD: I have very great pleasure in introducing to you Honorable William E. Glasscock, governor of West Virginia, who will accept the statue on behalf of the State.
Address of Governor William E. Glasscock.
Ladies And Gentlemen: Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], whose statue in marble I thus have the honor to present on behalf of the State of West Virginia to the American Congress, was the third son of Francis and Catharine (Weaver) Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], and was born January 25, 1814, in Monongalia County, Virginia, on the farm settled by his grandfather, John Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]. In 1814, Francis Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], the father of the subject, moved from the old homestead to land purchased by him about 2 miles from Fairmont, now Marion—then Harrison—County, West Virginia. In 1827 he made his residence in Middletown, now Fairmont, where he conducted a tannery in connection with his farm. His young son Francis H., the subject, assisted his father in his several occupations until manhood. His educational opportunities were, in the meantime, limited. In June, 1835, he entered Allegheny College, at Meadville, Pennsylvania, from which he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in September, 1839. He taught school until 1841, when he removed to Mississippi, where he continued teaching; but the following year he returned home because of the failing health of his father. Having studied law in the leisure intervals of his career as a teacher, he was now admitted to the bar. From 1848 for a period of eight years he served as local counsel of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company for the counties of Marion and Taylor. In 1853 he engaged in the mining and shipping of coal by rail, and soon after in the manufacture of fire bricks. In December, 1854, he married Julia A., daughter of Reverend Samuel Robinson, a Presbyterian minister of New York. In religious faith he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He now confined himself to the law, and was engaged in its practice at Fairmont when the terrible storm of civil strife swept over the land. Nowhere else did it rage so fiercely as in Virginia, which then extended from the Chesapeake to the Ohio. The year 1860 found this grand "Old Dominion" in a state of the wildest commotion, a condition unexampled in history, unless it be France in the early days of the French Revolution. Her people hesitated long, but at length the time for final action arrived, and Governor John Letcher, influenced by the pressure of the time, issued a proclamation convening the general assembly in extraordinary session on January 7, 1861, and some days later an act was passed providing for a convention of the people of Virginia to meet February 4, 1861. It was a remarkable body of men. Among them were ex-President John Tyler, Honorable Henry A. Wise, ex-governor of the Commonwealth, and many others who had held high positions in the councils of the State and Nation.
The world knows the story of the action of that convention. On the 17th of April, 1861, it adopted an ordinance of secession. This action was popular in eastern Virginia, where from the mountains to sea all was enthusiasm, but it met with fierce opposition in the northwestern part of the old Commonwealth. There for weeks public meetings of citizens had been held in many of the counties, in all of which there was not only an expression of the disapproval of secession, but a determined effort to resist it. Thus far all had been individual action on the part of the several counties, but now (April 22, 1861) the first call for united action went out from Clarksburg in Harrison County, the birthplace of "Stonewall" Jackson. There, but five days after the adoption of the ordinance of secession, nearly twelve hundred citizens convened in compliance with a call issued forty-eight hours before. The convention was organized by the election of John Hursey chairman and John W. Harris secretary. There were eminent speakers present, and much enthusiasm was manifested. Before adjournment a preamble and series of resolutions were adopted without a dissenting voice. One of the latter was as follows:
Be it resolved, That it be and is hereby recommended to the people in each and all of the counties composing northwestern Virginia to appoint delegates, not less than five in number, of their wisest, best, and most discreet men, to meet in convention on the 13th day of May next, to consult and determine upon such action as the people of northwestern Virginia should take in the present fearful emergency.
A succeeding resolution named ten of the foremost men present to represent Harrison County in the proposed convention.
That evening, Mr. C. E. Ringler, editor and proprietor of the Western Virginia Guard, published at Clarksburg, issued an extra edition of his paper in which was printed an "Address of the convention to the people of northwestern Virginia." In this the foregoing preamble and resolutions were embodied. Messengers mounted on horseback bore copies of the Guard to Weston, Kingwood, and Morgantown, and to adjoining and adjacent counties. Other copies were distributed along the lines of railroad westward to Wheeling and Parkersburg, eastward to Martinsburg, and even to the lower Potomac. The time was short, the emergency great, and from Hancock County to Wayne and from Wood to Berkeley the people hastened to comply with the request of the Clarksburg convention. Public meetings were held in counties, in cities, in towns, at churches, schoolhouses, and crossroads, and delegates appointed to the proposed convention at Wheeling. Days seemed weeks, but time passed and brought the eventful 13th day of May, 1861.
THE FIRST CONVENTION OF THE PEOPLE OF NORTHWESTERN
The morning of the 13th day of May, 1861, witnessed a gathering in the city of Wheeling of the most determined men that ever assembled on the banks of the Ohio. The convention convened at 11 o'clock in Washington Hall. It was but ten days before the vote on the ordinance of secession. The body was called to order by Honorable Chester D. Hubbard, on whose motion William B. Zinn, of Preston County, was made temporary president; and George R. Latham, of Taylor County, was chosen temporary secretary. The report of the committee on credentials showed that 436 duly accredited delegates were in attendance. The committee on permanent organization reported as follows: For president, John W. Moss, of Wood County; for secretaries, Charles B. Waggener, of Mason County, Marshall M. Dent, of Monongalia County, and J. Chandler, of Ohio County. A committee was appointed on state and federal relations, consisting of one member from each of the twenty-eight counties represented. The real work of the convention now began. A very excited controversy sprang up on the plan to be adopted for immediate action. There were those—many of them—who came to the convention determined to vote for an immediate and unqualified division of the State, however violent or revolutionary it might appear. Some delegations, indeed, came to Wheeling with a banner flying at their head indorsed, "New Virginia, now or never." Their plan was to immediately adopt a constitution and form of government for the counties represented and proceed to fill all offices by temporary appointment. But there was another party, respectable both as to members and intelligence, who felt and saw the irreparable mischief that would follow in the true point of distinction between spasmodic disruption and authorized resistance. Foremost among these was Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], one of the delegates from Marion County. He and those who acted with him argued that the delegates had not been appointed with this end in view, nor empowered to act with such extreme vigor; that the convention had not been legally convened, and its action could not, therefore, bind the people to acquiescence either in law or reason or by any known rule or precedent; that no vote had yet been taken on the ordinance of secession, and hence the State of Virginia still had a government, under the Constitution of the United States, at Richmond; and that the Federal Government would not recognize a State created thus, because it was not in compliance with the mode prescribed by the Constitution of the United States. Thus the first and second days were consumed in acrimonious debates. The partisans of both views maintained their ground with unrelenting hostility, and great dissatisfaction prevailed on all sides. Debate was renewed on the morning of the third day, but in a milder spirit; the voice of better counsels was beginning to prevail, and all felt the imperative necessity of some action that should be, as far as possible, harmonious in its character. I^ate at night the discussions were interrupted by the committee on state and federal relations begging leave to report through its chairman, Campbell Tarr. The report consisted of a series of thirteen resolutions, and it was a skillful blending of all opinions. The recent action of the Richmond convention was reviewed and the course to be pursued by the people of northwestern Virginia outlined in the event of the ratification of the ordinance of secession by the people of Virginia on the ensuing 23rd day of May, eight days hence. This report elicited but little discussion and was adopted with but two dissentient voices. Then a single voice was heard amid the silent multitude; it was that of earnest prayer beseeching the blessings of Heaven upon the work prepared. This ended, a thousand voices united in singing the Star-Spangled Banner, and the first convention of the people of northwestern Virginia, that usually referred to as the first Wheeling convention, adjourned sine die.
THE SECOND CONVENTION OF THE PEOPLE OF NORTHWESTERN
The report of the committee on state and federal relations adopted by the first convention provided for a second convention should the people ratify the ordnance of secession. This was done in the eighth resolution as follows:
8. Be it resolved, That in the event of the ordinance of secession being ratified by a vote, we recommend to the people of the counties here represented, and all others disposed to cooperate with us, to appoint on the 4th day of June, 1861, delegates to a general convention, to meet on the 4th of that month, at such place as may be designated by the committee hereinafter provided, to devise such measures and take such action as the safety and welfare of the people they represent may demand; each county to appoint a number of representatives to said convention equal to double the number to which it will be entitled in the next house of delegates, and the senators and delegates to be elected on the 23d instant, by the counties referred to, to the next general assembly of Virginia, and who concur in the views of this convention, to be entitled to seats in the said convention as members thereof.
The report further provided for a central committee, together with its duties set forth in the twelfth and thirteenth resolutions, as follows:
12. Be it resolved, That John S. Carlile, James S. Wheat, Chester D. Hubbard, Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], Campbell Tarr, George R. Latham, Andrew Wilson, S. H. Woodward, and James W. Paxton be a central committee to attend to all the matters connected with the objects of this convention, and that they have power to assemble this convention at any time they may think necessary.
13. Be it resolved, That the central committee be instructed to prepare an address to the people of Virginia in conformity with the foregoing resolutions and cause the same to be published and circulated as extensively as possible.
Speedily this central committee, of which Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] was a member, prepared and sent out broadcast "An address to the people of northwestern Virginia," which contained more than two thousand words and was one of the most stirring appeals ever made to any people.
The ordinance of secession was ratified by the people of Virginia May 23, 1861, and this, of course, paved the way for a second Wheeling convention of the people of northwestern Virginia, as provided for in the foregoing resolution of the first convention. Accordingly delegates were appointed on the 4th day of June ensuing, and the convention assembled in Washington Hall, Wheeling, six days later, June 10. One hundred and six members were in attendance, one of whom was Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], a delegate from Marion County. On his motion Dennis B. Dorsey was elected as temporary chairman, and Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] was then made chairman of the committee on permanent organization, on the recommendation of which Arthur I. Boreman, of Wood County, who afterwards became the first governor of West Virginia, was made permanent president; Gibson Lamb Cranmer, of Ohio County, permanent secretary, and Thomas Hornbrook, of Ohio County, sergeant-at-arms. The convention then proceeded to appoint a committee on order of business, otherwise known as the committee of seventeen. Of this committee Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] was a member. On the third day of the session, this committee reported "A declaration of the people of Virginia, represented in convention at Wheeling, Thursday, June 13, 1861." It was a most remarkable state paper, possessing much historical interest for the people of both the Virginias. This was adopted, and on the same day the committee of seventeen reported "An ordinance for the reorganization of the state government." It provided for the appointment of a governor, lieutenant-governor, and attorney-general for the State of Virginia by the convention, together with an executive council, to consist of five members, and prescribed an oath or affirmation to be taken or made by all state and county officers under the reorganized government. On the sixth day of the session Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] made the greatest speech of his life in advocacy of the adoption of this ordinance. On the eighth day it was adopted. That evening there was a caucus of the members to agree upon nominees for the several offices.
BEGINNING OF THE RESTORED GOVERNMENT—ITS CONTINUANCE AT WHEELING.
On June 20, 1861, the chairman announced that the first business before the convention was the election of a governor, lieutenant-governor, attorney-general, and council. Then Daniel Lamb, of Ohio County, arose and said:
I desire, Mr. President, to present to the convention for the office of governor the name of Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], of Marion County. Mr. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] needs no eulogium at my hands. He is known to all of us. He is known throughout this country as having been one of the ablest, the most decided, and indefatigable advocates of our cause from the very start. We all know that heart and soul he is with us.
No other nominations were made. A vote was taken, and every member present voted for Mr. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]. Daniel Polsley, of Mason County, was then elected to the office of lieutenant-governor and James S. Wheat, of Ohio County, was chosen attorney-general; Peter G. Van Winkle, of Wood County, Daniel Lamb and James W. Paxton, of Ohio County, William A. Harrison, of Harrison County, and William Lazier, of Monongalia County, were elected members of the executive council, or council of state. Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] then delivered a brief inaugural address and took the oath of office, it being administered by Andrew Wilson, a justice of the peace for Ohio County. Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] acted with great promptness. Early on the morning of the next day he appointed Lucian A. Hagans, of Preston County, secretary of the Commonwealth. An hour later he wrote President Lincoln, informing him that an insurrection existed in Virginia which he was unable to suppress, and therefore called upon the Government of the United States to furnish a military force to aid in its suppression and to protect the good people of the Commonwealth from domestic violence. Four days later Simon Cameron, Secretary of War, made reply, promising assistance and directing his letter to "Honorable Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Wheeling, Virginia." Five days later Caleb B. Smith, Secretary of the Interior, certified "To His Excellency Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia," the basis of representation in Congress, as determined by the Eighth Census, and that there under the Commonwealth of Virginia was entitled to Ii members in the House of Representatives for the Thirty-eighth Congress. Thus, within five days after Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]'s election by the convention, he had secured the recognition of the restored government by the National Government. This convention having completely restored the government of the Commonwealth adjourned on the 25th of June to reassemble on the 6th of August ensuing.
Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] issued a proclamation, convening the general assembly in extraordinary session at Wheeling, July 1, 1861. In this body there were present 10 senators and 49 members of the House of Delegates. Daniel Frost, of Jackson County, was elected speaker, and Gibson Lamb Cranmer, of Ohio County, clerk. Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]'s message to that body is one of the most remarkable state papers connected with the restored government. Having dwelt upon the conditions of existing civil war, he said:
We are passing through a period of gloom and darkness in our country's history, but we need not despair; there is a just God who rides upon the whirlwind and directs the storm. Let us lock to Him with abiding confidence.
On the ninth day of the session the assembly elected the following state officers, viz, Samuel Crane, of Tucker County, auditor of public accounts; Campbell Tarr, of Brooke County, treasurer of the Commonwealth; and Lucian A. Hagans, of Preston County, secretary of the Commonwealth. On the same day, the assembly elected John S. Carlile, of Harrison County, a United States Senator, to succeed R. M. T. Hunter, who had resigned his seat in that body. Then followed an election of the successor to James N. Mason, who, like Hunter, had resigned his seat after Virginia adopted the ordinance of secession; and Waitman T. Willey, of Monongalia County, was elected to this position. Carlile and Willey proceeded at once to Washington, where they were admitted to seats in the Congress which had assembled in extraordinary session on the 4th day of July. Having finished its business, the assembly adjourned July 26. The second Wheeling convention reassembled on the 6th day of August and continued in session until the 21st day of that month. Its chief work was that of providing for the division of the State, and the formation of the new State of West Virginia within the limits of the old Commonwealth. The assembly held its regular session, beginning December 2, 1861, and ending February 13, 1862. By an act passed January 7, it provided that on the 2 2d of the ensuing May an election by the people should be held to choose officials for the unexpired term of governor, lieutenant-governor, and attorney-general. This was done on the date fixed, when Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] received 14,924 votes for governor, Daniel Polsley 14,328 votes for lieutenant-governor, and James S. Wheat 13,441 votes for attorney general—all elected without opposition—for the unexpired term of Governor Letcher and the lieutenant-governor and attorney general serving with him.
The restored government continued at Wheeling exactly two years, i. e., until June 20, 1863. This last-named day was a remarkable one in the history of the Virginias. In Wheeling a vast multitude thronged the streets. Thousands of flags fluttered in the breeze; the display of bunting was the most attractive even seen in the "Western Metropolis." A procession marched through the principal streets and then halted in front of Linsley Institute. It was filled with people; the streets were filled with men, women, and children, and the yards, windows, and roofs were filled with eager faces. A large platform had been erected in front of the institute, and thither the officers— officials of two state governments—were conducted as they arrived. Honorable Chester D. Hubbard called the multitude to order. Thirty-five tastefully attired and beautiful little girls, representing the American States, sang the Star Spangled Banner. Reverend J. T. McLure addressed the Throne of Grace. Then came two governors—Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], the head of the restored government, and Arthur I. Boreman, chief executive of a State just beginning to be. The first delivered a valedictory, the second an inaugural address. The sovereignty of the restored government of Virginia was terminated on the soil of West Virginia. Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] retired with the restored government to Alexandria. Three cheers were given for West Virginia; the little girls sang F Pluribus Unum; the band played the Star-Spangled Banner, and thus terminated the ceremonies of the inauguration of West Virginia as a free and independent State—made possible by the existence of the restored government.
THE RESTORED GOVERNMENT AT ALEXANDRIA.
By an act of the 5th of February, 1863, it was provided that whenever the governor should deem it expedient to remove the seat of the restored government to Alexandria, or to any other place in the Commonwealth outside of the city of Wheeling, he should make proclamation thereof; and he was further authorized to convene the general assembly at such place as he should select for the seat of government. Before doing this, he visited Washington City July 11, 1863, and was in Alexandria five days later. He resolved to make this the capital of the restored government. It was the old Belhaven of colonial days, first military headquarters of Colonel Washington in 1754; the scene of the landing of Braddock's ill-fated army of 1755; and was long a commercial emporium of Virginia. Here Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] occupied as a capital building that building that was formerly used by the Farmers Bank of Virginia, and herein were fixed all the executive offices. From here, on the 27th August, Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] issued a proclamation or address to the people of Virginia. In this he said:
In establishing a seat of government at Alexandria, I hope to be brought into near contact with the people; to give personal attention, as far as possible, to the rights of the citizens; to assure all of my sincere determination to restore harmony and good will, as far as I can, between the civil and military authorities. In those portions of the State occupied by the military and in which civil government has not been established under the authority of the reorganized government of Virginia, the people will have to endure military rule, and to submit to the orders of the generals commanding the military departments. In sections in which the restored government has been organized by the election of the various civil officers required by the laws of the State, it is expected that the said officers will discharge the duties of their respective offices in conformity with said laws. * * * I most earnestly invite the cooperation of all right-minded men and women in my ardent desire to secure peace and security to each county and neighborhood in the Commonwealth, assuring all that I have no other object in view than the present welfare and future prosperity of my native State.
At this time the civil list of the restored government was as follows: Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], governor; Leopold P. C. Cowper, lieutenant-governor; Lucian A. Hagans, secretary of state; G. T. Smith, treasurer; Lewis W. Webb, auditor; Frederick E. Foster, adjutant-general; and Thomas R. Bowden, attorney-general. On the 23d day of May preceding (1863) Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] had been reelected governor of Virginia for the full term of four years, beginning January 1, 1864. At the same time Leopold P. C. Cowper was elected lieutenant-governor and Thomas R. Bowden, attorney-general, for a similar term. Likewise the members of the general assembly—the second under the restored government—were chosen. These consisted of 6 senators and 13 members of the House of Delegates. It convened in the City Hall, December 7, 1863, when the counties of Accomac, Northampton, Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudon, Norfolk, Princess Anne, and Norfolk City and Hampton district were represented in the senate; and the counties of Accomac, Northampton, Prince William, Norfolk, Alexandria, Loudon, Elizabeth City, Fairfax, and Norfolk city and Portsmouth city in the House of Delegates. The 5th of February, 1864, this body elected Lucian A. Hagans secretary of state, Lewis W. Webb auditor of public accounts, and John J. Henshaw treasurer of the Commonwealth. At the opening of this session both branches received the message of Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]. In this he reviewed the history of the restored government while Wheeling was its capital city. Among other recommendations he strongly urged the calling of a convention to frame a new constitution for the Commonwealth. A bill known as the "Convention bill No. 9" was accordingly prepared and enacted into law. In compliance therewith a constitutional convention assembled at Alexandria February 13, 1864, and adjourned sine die April n ensuing. The body consisted of 17 members, representing the counties of Accomac, Northampton, Alexandria, Fairfax, Elizabeth city, Loudon, Norfolk, Norfolk city, Princess Anne, Warwick, Charles city, New Kent; and the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Williamsburg. On the 7th of April a constitution was adopted by the convention, but it was not ratified by the people—was never submitted to them for ratification. The general assembly convened in extraordinary session December 5, 1864; adjourned March 7, 1865. In his message to the body at this session Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] said:
The condition of the Commonwealth, as far as I can learn, is deplorable indeed. The fires of civil war have lighted nearly every neighborhood in three-fourths of it.
Then he proceeded to detail the difficulty of reorganizing the counties then under federal control, because of the hostility of General Benjamin F. Butler, commandant of the Military District of Virginia and North Carolina.
A year had now passed away and the legislature proceeded to the election of an auditor, treasurer, and secretary of state. For the first, Lewis W. Webb was reelected; for the second, Warren W. Wing was chosen; and Lucian A. Hagans having resigned, Charles H. Lewis was elected to the office of secretary of state.
On the 14th of April President Lincoln was assassinated. The next day Major-General C. C. Augur, commanding the Department of Washington, offered a reward of $10,000 for the arrest of the assassin. April 21 Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, offered an additional reward of $100,000. On the same day Governor Curtin, of Pennsylvania, offered a reward of $10,000, and on the 23d Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] added to the foregoing a reward of $2,000 for the arrest of J. Wilkes Booth or any of his accomplices. Intense excitement prevailed at Alexandria, as elsewhere throughout the country; and there, on the 18th of April, that on which the deceased President was buried, all the bells in the old city tolled from 12 until 5 o'clock p. m.
THE RESTORED GOVERNMENT AT RICHMOND.
Richmond had fallen, and much of it lay in ashes. The old confederate states government had ceased to exist. At a cabinet meeting, on the 24th of April, it was decided that the restored government, whose capital was at Alexandria, on the Potomac, should be removed to Richmond. In accordance with this decision President Johnson issued an executive order to Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], directing a change in the place of the restored government. With its removal its personnel was again almost entirely changed. As before stated, Lucian A. Hagans, secretary of the Commonwealth, had resigned and returned to his home in Preston County, West Virginia, and his successor was Charles H. Lewis, from Rockingham County, Virginia, a brother of John F. Lewis, afterwards United States Senator from that State. The auditor of public accounts, Lewis W. Webb, had been succeeded by William F. Taylor, and Francis J. Smith was now treasurer of the Commonwealth instead of Warren W. Wing, who had served in that capacity in the preceding year at Alexandria. David H. Strother, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, author of the Virginia Cannon, and who has arisen to the rank of brigadier general in the Federal Army, was adjutant-general.
On the morning of May 25 Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], with the government officials, left Alexandria on the United States mail steamer Diamond for Richmond, but on account of accidents did not arrive at its destination until the following day. Upon his arrival in Richmond he was met by a reception committee with Charles Palmer at its head, who greeted the executive as follows:
Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], it affords me pleasure, as the organ of my fellow citizens, to offer you their cordial welcome upon your arrival as our chief magistrate to the capital of this ancient Commonwealth, the Mother of States and Statesmen, and to assure you that your coming is greeted with pleasure and hope, believing that you will still continue your efforts, in connection with our national authorities, to restore Virginia to that quiet and peace in the sisterhood of States of our glorious Union, which she now so earnestly desires, after the evils of a cruel war just terminated. Let me, in their name, ask your attention to the importance of at once taking such means as will revive their industrial interest and by a speedy restoration of civil law restore the long-wished-for period of quiet and peace, and let us all, both people and rulers, in a spirit of mutual forgiveness and forbearance toward each other, wipe out all asperities of the past, and with united hearts and hands emulate each other in the effort to replace Virginia in that bright galaxy of States first and foremost.
Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] responded briefly and appropriately. Then he and his suite were conducted to the carriages in waiting for them. The procession moved to the governor's mansion. Thousands lined the route and a battery on Capitol Square fired 15 guns as the cortege approached. The executive mansion was occupied by many invited guests. Ladies and gentlemen entered the portal and were cordially greeted. Some one proposed three cheers for Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] and these were lustily given. Then Francis J. Smith, of the city of Richmond, stepped forward and delivered an eloquent address. He said, in part:
A little more than four years ago the bonds of friendship, the social and commercial relations between the North and the South were ruthlessly severed—consequences are familiar to us all. If I were to attempt to draw a picture of them the colors would be red and black; red, as typical of the blood spilled, as the black would be of the mourning consequent thereto; but I turn away from the gloomy retrospect, not with sadness, to look to the future, which is full of hope * * * If we cannot forget, let us endeavor to forgive, that angry passions may be pushed into silence. At early morn behold the Stars and Stripes gracefully waving from the capitol of this ancient Commonwealth; that banner upheld, the enjoyment of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will ever be secure. * * * Let me speak now for the ladies. They are ready to greet you. They all join us in extending to you a hearty and cordial welcome.
Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] delivered a splendid response. In part he said:
Mr. Smith And Gentlemen: I should not do justice to my own feelings were I to say that I was not moved by the remarks you have just made and by the circumstances with which we are surrounded. * * * As far as I am personally concerned, the position I have occupied for the past four years has been one entirely unsought by me. At the beginning I had no more idea of occupying the position I now do than I had of doing any other strange thing which I never expected to do. Providential circumstances have combined to place me in this position. Thousands of times I have felt that I would rather be in any other position than this. But as my fellow-citizens asked me to serve them, I could not do otherwise than accept the trust. But I have acted sincerely with a view to the future. * * * Our Nation has been divided, contending with the most powerful armies in the South, and yet we are able to point out to the nations and say, Keep your positions, or you shall keep them, and to-day we present the greatest nation, the most magnificent people known among the nations of the earth. I come among you pledging all the efforts and energies of my heart and mind to the building up of this great State, founded by those great statesmen to whom you have referred.
Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] hastened to make good his promise and immediately entered upon a policy of conciliation and restoration, which made his name a prominent one in the annals of Virginia. He at once called around him the foremost men of the old Commonwealth—men who had followed her fortunes through the civil war. Among these were such as John B. Baldwin, Hugh W. Sheffey, M. W. Harmon, and William M. Tate. Thus he learned of conditions throughout Virginia. Destruction and desolation were everywhere in evidence and a large part of the capital city was lying in ashes. He was told of the destitution in the hospitals for the insane at Williamsburg and Staunton, and of the nakedness and almost starvation present in the schools for the deaf, the blind, and the dumb at the latter places.
The treasurer of the restored government had taken with him to Richmond the sum of $98,000, and Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] now sent his adjutant-general, David H. Strother, in person, to all the counties that had been represented in the general assembly at Alexandria and summoned the representatives to Richmond. They came—5 senators and 11 delegates—and they met in the governor's reception room. There he explained to them the conditions existing throughout the old Commonwealth, and that they alone could change them by legislation; and that if they would do this he would convene them in extraordinary session. They assembled, and the session began Monday, June 19, 1865, and ended Friday—the 23d—ensuing, covering a period of but five days. This body in this period removed the disability to vote, and by resolution the next general assembly was given continued authority to remove the disqualifications to hold office. With the funds appropriated Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] rehabilitated the western lunatic asylum, the institution for the deaf, dumb, and blind, and the eastern lunatic asylum, all of which institutions were in extreme destitution.
Doctor R. A. Brock, the distinguished historian of Virginia, himself an ex-confederate soldier, writing in 1882 of the administration of Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] at Richmond, says:
Another example is now presented of an honorable and successful career attendant upon probity and persistent purpose. He also found, upon his arrival in Richmond, the United States marshal busy libeling the property of the late confederates for confiscation. A few days afterwards President Johnson issued a proclamation confiscating the estates of certain classes unless pardoned. It was stipulated that all petitions should be recommended by the governor. He soon perceived that the President was temporizing, and was led to apprehend that the "pardon mill" was a farce at least if no worse. He accordingly determined to recommend all petitions offered him. He next protested to the Attorney-General against the further iniquity of libeling property which it was never designed to confiscate, and which only entailed grievous expense on the owners. His protest was effective. He next interposed for the suppression of the class of pardon-broker harpies who obstructed the due course of the executive clemency as provided. He refused to recommend any petition which would pass into the hands of a broker, and this disarmed these rapacious thieves. He next interposed for the relief of citizens who were under civil indictment for offenses which were within the province of military authority and recommended leniency and conciliation to the courts.
He also appointed, upon the recommendation of those duly interested, efficient regents for the University of Virginia and for the Virginia Military Institute without reference to party affiliation. He had been the chief executive—governor of Virginia—seven years, six months, and twenty-six days; two years at Wheeling; one year, nine months, and ten days at Alexandria; and three years, nine months, and sixteen days at Richmond.
Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] was too earnest and single minded to give himself to self-seeking. He was never a politician. He accepted the post as the head of the restored government and the duties thereto attaching, surrounded with danger, and rather shunned than sought by his contemporaries; and having served the public ends in this most difficult position, in a most trying time, without trying to promote his own personal fortunes, he went back when his task was finished to his modest home at Fairmont, West Virginia, by the Monongahela, and sat down again to earn his living as a practicing attorney. There he lived to a ripe old age, dying in his eighty-fifth year, and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery at that place. He continued in office as governor beyond the expiration of his term—January i, 1868— serving until April 16 ensuing, when he was succeeded by General Henry H. Wells, appointed provisional governor by General John M. Schofield, commanding the Military Department of Virginia.
The most remarkable chapter in the history of the government of the individual American States is that which treats in detail of the restored government of Virginia from 1861 to 1868. It has been called a "reorganized government" and a "provisional government," but it was neither. The people of northwestern Virginia foreswore their allegiance to the old Virginia state government, but upon its ruins, as it were, they restored the exact form, giving a strict adherence to its constitutional and statutory forms of law. There was reorganization, but not change. They abstained from the introduction of any new elements of revolution, and they avoided as far as possible all new and original theories of government. It was an adherence to the old constitutional standard of principle, and to the traditional habits and thoughts of the people—a strict adherence "to the old model"—the Virginia government of former days. Hence it was a restoration of a governmental form well known to the people—a "restored government"—one designed for the whole State, and not for a part of it. Its existence made possible the formation of the State of West Virginia.
And right here will you permit me to repeat the words of James G. Blaine, one of the greatest and best statesmen this country has ever produced:
West Virginia indeed got only what was equitably due and what she was entitled to claim by the natural right of self-government. The war brought good fortune to her as conspicuously as it brought ill fortune to the older State from which she was wrenched. West Virginia is to be congratulated, and her creditable career and untiring enterprise since she assumed the responsibility of self-government show how well she deserved the boon.
It was the boast of Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] down to the end of his life that the restored government adhered strictly to the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia throughout all the period of its existence, save in one instance, that of reducing the quorum in the general assembly, which was done at Wheeling in July, 1861. He was a benefactor of Virginia, assisting her, as he did, to rise, phoenix-like, from her own ashes. Had there been no restored government, there would have been no State of West Virginia. From both States he merits the highest honor, and in recognition of this fact West Virginia has placed his statue in Statuary Hall of the National Capitol, that he may be represented among those who have acted wisest and best for their respective States.
It may be said of him as was said of another great American citizen:
He was a man of simple and child-like nature, as all really great men are, and of warm and generous sympathies. * * * There was nothing cramped or small about the man. He was great in the broadest, best, and completest sense of the word—a full, well-balanced, well-rounded character, a nobleman of nature, and a nobleman of education, reason, and action.
The quality in him which should be held up for the admiration and example of this and future generations is his complete and entire devotion to duty.
MR. WOODYARD: By request, Miss Siviter will recite a poem appropriate to this occasion—Miss Siviter.
Miss Siviter recited the following poem:
You are standing midst the mighty in the Great White Hall of Fame;
On the Nation's list of heroes they have written high your name;
And the powers and princes pass you and they give you meed of praise,
But 'twas Freedom you were wooing, and not Fame, in those dark days.
Filled with manhood's high ideals, by a slave-block you stood near;
Watched the virgin crouching on it, saw her trembling, felt her fear;
And your spirit rose within you, as one lead the maid away,
And you gave yourself to Freedom—life and soul and strength—that day.
When the loud alarm of battle flung a challenge to the North,
Home and childish hands clung to you, but your country called you forth
On the strong God lays the burden when He makes a people free,
And on hearts that are most tender doth He write His stern decree.
In the shout and din of battle, she was born, the brave, free State;
Humble men stood sponsor for her, but their every deed was great—
West Virginia, child of Freedom, lift your happy head on high;
Truth and Justice are your birthright; you were born to Liberty.
But it must be, up in heaven, that the holy angels know
Of the struggles and the triumphs of those toiling here below;
And men's hearts were moved to action; so they placed you, Statesman, there
That the world might know and fear it, what is wrought by work and prayer.
Mr. Woodyard. Honorable John W. Mason, of Fairmont, West Virginia, judge of the circuit court of the fourteenth circuit of West Virginia, and long a neighbor and warm friend of Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], had accepted an invitation to deliver an historical and personal address on this occasion, but sudden and dangerous illness confines him to his home.
We are fortunate in having with us Honorable Alston Gordon Dayton, judge of the district court of the United States for the northern district of West Virginia, of Philippi, long an esteemed and intimate friend of the man whose memory we honor this day, who will speak upon the public services and the life and character of Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint].
Address of Honorable Alston Gordon Dayton
The primary purpose of this Statuary Hall is to perpetuate the memory of those two men in each State who had most to do in her creation or earlier upbuilding. How true West Virginia has been to this purpose in presenting this statue here to-day, as also upon how firm a foundation rests the right of Francis Harrison Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]'s name and memory to this preeminent recognition, needs but a just and impartial review of those stirring times, when amid the thunders of war and carnage, West Virginia was added to the sisterhood of States.
After the lapse of forty-seven years since her admission, when the mistake of seeking to divide this nation has been universally recognized; when all men now know that we could not have lived and prospered "half slave and half free;" when another war fought in behalf of humanity and freedom has welded together our people and made us one in deed and truth as well as name, we can review this war-time birth of West Virginia without passion and without prejudice. It is but simple justice to the State, and to the memory of her patriots who risked their lives and all that she might become a State, that the widespread impressions entertained that her entrance into the Union was a trick of political manipulation, to be condoned by some as a political necessity, but nevertheless a proceeding that was of doubtful legality, should be dissipated by a truer knowledge of the facts. It is my purpose to-day, as briefly as I may, and in no spirit of controversy, to establish two propositions by a simple recital of facts.
First. That no State in the Union had a clearer title resting upon the Constitution and laws of the United States than had West Virginia with which to come and seek her right to be recognized as a State. Mark, I say legal right and clear title. Touching the Nation's reserved right of discretion to admit or refuse and the wisdom of its favorable exercise thereof at the time, there can now be no longer question. Therefore, remembering the dangers, the losses of life and property endured, the sublime self-sacrifices made, and the loyalty and patriotism displayed, by the fathers who achieved our independent statehood, I go a step farther and say no State has a prouder history, and no brighter star appears in the azure field of our Nation's flag than the one placed there to mark the birth of the war-born child.
Second. With a profound admiration for each of those hundreds of men, who, in the storm and whirlwind of secession stood forth like giant rocks to breast and break its force; a body of men that, for courage and patriotic devotion to the cause they espoused, could not be excelled in the world's history, the Willeys, Campbells, Boremans, Lambs, Carliles, McGrews, Hubbards, Stuarts, Tarrs, Browns, Jacksons, Patricks, Halls, Dents, Goffs, Harrisons, Stevensons, Daytons, Melvins, Marshalls, Atkinsons, Davises, Flemings, Bowens, Shuttleworths, Withers, Lightburns, Polsleys, Boughners, Garrisons, Fitches, Vandervorts, Caldwells, McClures, Logans, Wheats, Nortons, Hornbrooks, McPorters, Hagans, Johnsons, Vroomans, Bukeys, Mosses—how many, many more—who could not, would not live under any other flag but Old Glory—I say with profound admiration, yes, a deep veneration for them all, it seems to me that among them must stand out and be recognized as preeminent Francis Harrison Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], and this because in the darkest hour and gloom, when others were ready to despair, he thought out the right, the true, the legal way to save Virginia west of the Alleghenies to the Union, and at the same time give that territory independent statehood.
She had never been either just or generous. Her dominating civilization centered itself in the lands draining to the sea and not those flowing to the Gulf. This eastern civilization, springing from the cavalier class of England, living in broad plantations along the sea and its contributory waters, maintained by slave labor and educated to refinement and luxury, had little sympathy for, or patience with, those plain, hardy, middle-class people who came from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other Eastern and Western States into the wilderness and mountain fastnesses to hew out homes with their own hands, for they were too poor to buy slaves and too thrifty to tolerate them. It was only when the troublesome question of providing revenue came up, or when the lust to hold vast boundaries of land for future speculative purpose (a lust bred in the bone of these English Raleighs) was especially indulged, that they turned their minds to the wilderness in the West; and then they were prepared to act in accord with their own enlightened interest. One of the results was the establishment of a land office, where these lands west of the Alleghenies were sold at 2 cents an acre. Anyone could buy as much as he pleased and where he pleased within the territory. All he had to do was to survey a line or two, mark a few trees, and lay down by protraction on a map as many thousand acres as his means would allow him to pay for into the treasury of the State, present this "survey," and secure a patent. The State would not undertake to warrant and protect its titles. Everyone could take as many as he cared to pay for, but he must take at the peril of one or of forty having taken up the same land before. Thus revenue was obtained, to the relief of the planters, and their lust for land was gratified at the same time. How deplorable this policy was has been demonstrated, not only by the vast litigation produced; not alone by the great hardships incurred by the settlers themselves in these mountains who could never feel secure in their homes because they knew not what day an older title would oust them, but by the greater fact that by this policy lands, timbers, oils, gas, and other mineral resources were dissipated which, if conserved, would have been sufficient to have paid all the expenses of the State for a thousand years. Another result came whereby the slaves of the eastern planter were by law assessed and taxed upon one basis, while the cattle and other personal property of the western mountaineer were assessed and taxed upon another and several times greater one. Still another result was, that in order to vest control of the State for all time in the slaveholding planters, the basis of legislative representation was fixed, not alone upon the free white voting population, but that of the slave one as well.
This kind of legislation did not pass without protest. Such protest began as early as 1816; became emphatic in the Staunton convention of 1825; was carried by Philip Doddridge, aided by Chief Justice Marshall, into the convention of 1829-30, and, failing there, came down to the convention of 1850-51, where some concessions were obtained only under threat on the part of the western members to withdraw.
Was it to be wondered at that, after this treatment of a half century, when it was then proposed to, and demanded of, these mountaineers that they should join these seaside planters in recreancy to the State, its memories, its traditions, its Washingtons, Jeffersons, Marshalls, Monroes; should tear down the flag; rend in twain the Constitution and make naught the Union fought and died for by their fathers—that these sturdy, brave, loyal sons of the hills should determine that at last had come the hour when they must write for themselves a new and effective declaration of independence?
What a thrilling, significant fact it was that, on that memorable 17th of June, 1861, when, in convention assembled, their representatives, without dissenting voice, passed their declaration to restore the government of Virginia under the Union and the Union's flag, that Carlile could spring to his feet and say:
We have 56 votes recorded in favor of our declaration, and we may remember that there were just 56 signers to the Declaration of Independence.
It is said that then these strong men wept as only strong men can. But I anticipate a little. Webster, so far back as 1851, had plainly warned Virginia that in the very day in which she should make the attempt of secession her western counties would arise in their strength and throw off her authority and form an independent State. The wise men of Virginia never doubted the fulfillment of this prophesy, nor did they doubt, if the clash of arms did come, that it would be upon Virginia soil. Men like Lee and Jackson were at heart bitterly opposed to disunion; the majority of sentiment in the State was opposed to it. So clearly is this true that we need but call attention to the fact that the State in the election of 1860 had reversed its policy, refused to follow the lead of Democracy, and voted with Kentucky and Tennessee for Bell, the candidate of the conservative union or American Party. But when, on December 17, 1860, South Carolina declared to secede and other Southern States followed her lead, John Letcher, governor of Virginia, became a conspicuous illustration of how dangerous a thing it is to have a weak man in place where a strong man is needed. Letcher at heart did not want secession. On the contrary, he hoped that the States would get together somehow in convention and adjust things, either by recognizing the necessity of slavery or by repealing the restrictive laws against its extension and thus allow the sore still to fester. He wanted to wait and hope against hope. At the same time there existed already in Virginia a body of as determined, united, and, I may say, of as brilliant and talented men as seldom ever before banded together in a bad cause. They persuaded Letcher that he ought not to bear responsibility alone; that the legislature, representing the people, was always the body that should share responsibility with the executive, and that it was for these representatives to determine Virginia's course of action. Letcher yielded and called an extra session of the legislature. This body was also in reality opposed to secession. This did not for a moment daunt this determined band of conspirators, who knew each other, had but one purpose and but one fixed and predetermined plan of action. After a week's stormy session they had cajoled, browbeaten, persuaded, and terrorized this legislative body into the idea of shirking responsibility too under the specious plea that its representation was not broad enough of the people; that a convention should be called fresh from the people for the express purpose of dealing with the problems.
Never before had a convention in Virginia been called to deal with the organic law but by express vote of the people beforehand obtained. That mattered not to these determined men. They knew conventions could be overawed, driven, controlled. The people could not. To proceed regularly and submit to a vote the calling of a convention meant the rock upon which their revolutionary scheme would go to pieces. The convention met and still it was a Union one, but its Union majority was divided, leaderless, and many attached conditions to their loyalty. On the other hand, the minority had but one object, one purpose, one plan, and a leader in the person of Henry A. Wise, as adroit, ready, brilliant, and daring as ever led a mob. This minority hypocritically, but plausibly, plead for fairness and full consideration of the claims for union and for secession. It secured a hearing for three of the ablest and most eloquent representatives of the confederacy, with which it was in constant communication the while and with which it was in full accord. These men pictured the coming glory of the new republic of the South; of its future capture of the manufacturing industries of New England for the South, where cotton would be king; of the commercial prosperity that would come to the South's Atlantic seaboard from over the seas. In brief, it was the old temptation. The convention was taken to the top of the high mountain and shown the wealth and gold of the world, and all was promised if Virginia would yield and bow down. But still she would not. Then more drastic measures were resorted to, such as taunts and insults. The Union members were called submissionists, poltroons, and cowards, for, steadily and continuously but quietly, in accord with a well conceived and executed plan, the hotheads, determined on secession, were being drawn into Richmond; mobs were forming; incendiary addresses were being indulged, while conservative, law-abiding people stayed at home. It is the old story of conspiracy. When strong enough, it threw off the mask; the shot on Sumter was fired; Lincoln's call for troops came; and the ordinance of secession, in the fearful excitement following, when the streets of Richmond were filled with mobs, was reported one day and passed behind barred doors the next by a vote of 88 yeas to 55 nays. The counties west of the Alleghenies furnished 11 votes for and 32 against it. Then a scene seldom equaled was enacted. The Stars and Stripes were hauled down, tied to a horse's tail, and dragged through the streets amid the derisive shouts of thousands. The delegates from the west who had voted against the ordinance had speedily to flee for their lives. This was particularly so of Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] and Waitman T. Willey, who had "cried out and spared not" in the convention in opposition to the dire heresy and wrong. When they brought back the news to the mountains the people stood and listened dumbfounded. They had not dreamed of such an outcome as this. What did it mean? They gathered in knots on the streets and corners in the towns and villages, at the country stores and crossroads, independent statehood.
To demonstrate these two propositions we must not forget that Virginia's treatment of her people west of the Alleghenies and with bated breaths whispered to each other, "What does it mean, what does it mean?" By the log fires the old men sat and trembled, seeking to foretell the future. Young men began to get down the old guns; mothers went into quiet corners alone to weep. Everywhere talk of war commenced—war in the mountains, war at their very doors. Gloom and dread and a sense of impending parting and death universally prevailed. But not long did these men whom God, "by the touch of the mountain sod," had made hardy and strong, brave and true, remain in helpless impotency. The reaction came. Instead of asking "What does it mean?" they began to ask each other why they had been so betrayed, why they should be swept into disunion and dishonor against their wills? Why should they tear down the flag they loved, be treacherous to the Union for which every heart throb beat true? Their mountain homes were humble, but they held their altars and their household gods, and why should they be menaced, devastated, destroyed because the seashore planters willed it so? And the tide of righteous wrath and indignation rose higher daily as they saw the arrogant acts and heard the insolent taunts of the minority around them who approved the southern cause to the effect that they were helpless, had been trapped, and must go with the State and not the Nation. They saw Confederate companies forming to draw them farther and farther into the maelstrom. Their anger rose to fever heat. They would not bear it—they would stand by their faith; they would protest; they would have another convention that should repudiate the ordinance; they would secede from the seceding Virginia, form a new State of their own, to be named after the pure waters of the Kanawha, and for this State in the Union, loyal to the Stars and Stripes, they would fight and die if necessity required it. This movement for a new State originated in a mass convention that came together, almost without notice, in Clarksburg, the home of the Goffs, the Harrisons, the Davises, and of Carlile. This meeting issued the call for the first Wheeling convention. This call was promptly responded to, and immediate steps were taken to see that representatives from all the counties should be present. The Intelligencer, edited and controlled by A. W. Campbell— as strong, brave, true, and patriotic as any man living at the time—was trumpeting the call everywhere, and the mountaineers were burning to answer it. It is absolutely impossible for anyone who did not live through it all to conceive how fiercely, in this battle between the forces, the contest was waged for the upper hand.
It was a sad rending in thousands of homes of the most sacred ties. Fathers and brothers divided in opinion and took sides against each other. It sent Stonewall Jackson to the southern camp to die, and it sent his sister as a ministering angel to the Union wounded and dying.
The world will never know under what conditions some of those delegates to that convention were elected and what dangers they incurred in attending. As a single instance, it is unrecorded history that at Philippi, where the first battle of the war was to be fought, a confederate company had already been formed and a Confederate flag floated from the court-house cupola. It was the open threat that no Union meeting should be held there and no man should go from there to that convention. A meeting was held by five men in a shop at midnight, by a lantern's light behind blinded doors and windows, a delegate was selected who, when came the time to go, mounted his horse at midnight and at full speed thundered through the guarded bridge determined to go or die. When he returned some days after it was only to flee for his life, with a price placed upon his head.
That was a short but memorable convention that met in Wheeling on Monday, May 13, 1861. It was composed of 422 of the strongest men the counties west of the Alleghenies could produce, men whose names borne to-day by their sons are household words in West Virginia, the symbols of successful and honorable lives, examples of virile manhood in the best sense of the word. And a more loyal, patriotic body of men never gathered together on American soil. They lost no time in jumping into the midst of things. They had three sessions for the first two days and four upon the last one. It was an hour big in destiny for the mountains; at the same time, it was an hour of eminent peril. These men, strong, brave, and patriotic as they were, were also restless, impatient. The fire of indignation raged fiercely within them and the desire for immediate decisive action was almost irresistible. They knew exactly what they wanted to do. They knew that nothing short of making known their undying loyalty to the Union and at the same time securing a separation from the eastern planters would satisfy.
They knew well the work to be done, but they did not then know the orderly way, the right way, the legal way to do it; the procedure that could meet the requirements of the Constitution and laws of the United States, secure the approval of Congress, and satisfy the logical analysis of time and history. It did not take long to demonstrate that Carlile was the popular leader. He, in many respects, was the counterpart of Henry A. Wise. Brilliant, dashing, magnetic, eloquent, but erratic, he was for action, action at once, now! He wanted to form a State there and then by sheer revolutionary methods, and he made a speech in favor of his plan that swept all before it. The emotion in the hearts of those strong men burst forth; they shouted, they wept, and apparently there was but one sentiment, one conclusion, and one result—the adoption of Carlile's plan. It was the crisis. Had Carlile's plan been adopted West Virginia would not be a State to-day. It required brave hearts and clear heads, however, to stem the tide! God be praised, they were there. Out from the ranks onto the platform came first Waitman T. Willey and then Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]. Like the giants in intellect, in wisdom, in eloquence that they were, they spoke as few men in such circumstances could have spoken, for self-control, for patience, for orderly procedure, for legal methods, and they prevailed. The storm ceased. Carlile withdrew his resolution, the convention adopted a series of thirteen "resolves" declaring the ordinance of secession void; the schedule attached thereto suspending election of Members to the National Congress an usurpation of power not to be submitted to; the agreement and ordinance of the Richmond convention turning over to the confederacy the military forces of the State to be subversive of the rights of the people; calling on the people to vote against the ordinance of secession; to vote for Members of the National Congress in their districts; for loyal men for state senators and delegates; condemning the action of the Richmond convention in turning over the State to the confederacy as unconstitutional and against her material interests; providing, in case the ordinance of secession should be ratified by vote, for a general convention to meet on June 11 following, fixing the methods of its selection and basis of representation, and for a committee to attend to the details thereof; declaring for peaceable separation from eastern Virginia; their determination to support the Constitution and laws of the United States, and directing its central committee to prepare an address to the people of the State. This central committee consisted of John S. Carlile, James S. Wheat, Chester D. Hubbard, Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], Campbell Tarr, George R. Latham, Andrew Wilson, S. H. Woodyard, and James W. Paxton. The men of this day engaged in this struggle did not have time to think of their future reputations and cared little or nothing for historical credit for their writings or deeds; therefore we do not know which one of these men wrote the address to the people which followed, but we do know that it stands as a model of its kind. And we do know that Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], as a member of this committee, of this convention, who had been expelled from the Richmond one because he was loyal and true, went home to think out, find out the right, the true, the legal way to solve the problem of how Virginia should be saved to the Union and West Virginia should be formed and admitted to statehood. It is related by so good an authority as A. W. Campbell that, to do this, he took the Constitution of the United States and sat himself down to study it line for line, word for word; that when he came to section 4 of Article IV providing—
The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic violence.
like a flash the whole solution was his, and he sprang to his feet and fairly shouted, "I have it, I have it."
And how simple the solution was! How fully that greatest instrument of organic law, promulgated under the name of Virginia's deputy, and the Nation's father, George Washington, on the 17th day of September, 1787, had provided for this crisis when some of Virginia's sons, like Washington in the time agone, burned to save the Nation, while other of her sons were seeking to destroy it!
The right of secession could not be recognized for a moment. The fallacy of that logic had been thrashed out and exposed by years of previous debate. The Federal Constitution was the supreme law of the land. The Union was not a league, not a confederation, but a Nation. Virginia was an integral part of it, and as such was entitled to maintain its state government and enforce its state laws under national protection. If part of Virginia's citizens desired to embark in rebellion and lawless conflict with the supreme law of the land, those who stood for law and the Constitution surely did not have to follow. They had but to stand fast, and the Federal Government was bound to afford them protection. If the officers of the State, "clothed with a little brief authority," should abandon their posts of duty and refuse to act, refuse to enforce the laws, the laws provided that the vacancies thereby created should be filled and government should not fail. It was all as clear as the noonday sun. Carlile had simply begun at the wrong end first, had the cart before the horse. Virginia was still in the Union, only her officers had abandoned their trust, and, more, Virginia was entitled to her Representatives in Congress, to elect her legislative agents, to enact laws for her, and see to their enforcement, and, if a legislature of Virginia thus elected under the law saw fit to grant permission to the counties west of the Alleghenies to form a new State, then the requirement of the Federal Constitution would be fully and legally met. If the counties east of the Alleghenies did not want this permission given, let them quit their rebellion, their foolish design to secede, elect their accredited membership to the legislatures, and vote the proposition down. They might be sure if they sulked and stayed away that the other counties would vote its adoption, but such result would be solely their fault. Time will not permit more than a mere mention of succeeding events. It was plain sailing after Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] had found the way. The members of this first Wheeling convention went home to speak, vote, and work against the ratification of the ordinance of secession. In the last hour of its session Willey, racked with physical pain, was called upon and spoke burning words of cheer and encouragement. With clear voice and flashing eye he proclaimed:
God has blessed this country. God has blessed all the men who have loved this Union. His hand has been manifested in all our history. He stood by Washington, its great founder and defender. He stood by our forefathers in the establishment of this Government, and by working out our glorious destiny thus far in the space of less than three-quarters of a century. God has made the American people the greatest on the earth; and I firmly believe in the hidden councils of His mysterious providence there is a glorious destiny awaiting a united American people still.
And further on, when exhorting them to go home and defeat the ordinance of secession, "pile up our glorious hills upon it; bury it deep, so that it will never make its appearance among us again," the memory of Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]'s indomitable, fearless, tireless energy must have flashed through his mind, for he said that for himself he wanted to go into Marion County, wanted to
Help Hall a little. Want to take Frank Pibrpont along over there, too. They have threatened to hang him out there, and I am sure if he gets strung up first he will break the rope and I will escape.
What a true touch, humorous though it be, of appreciation of the character, sincerity, and bravery of Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]! He never tired, he never stopped thinking, writing, speaking against secession and for the Union from this time on until the struggle ended. He campaigned for Lincoln in 1864 in several States. At times he faced cheering thousands, at times frenzied mobs. It mattered not. The old Puritan blood that coursed in his veins was up. He minced not his words, he spared not! Threatened to hang him? Yes, a hundred times, and a hundred times they would have hanged him if they could, and he—well, if he could have broken the ropes and got his breath again he would have finished the speech he was at the time making for the Union.
He heeded not reviling tones
Nor sold his heart to idle moans,
Though cursed and scorn'd and bruised with stones.
He seemed to hear a Heavenly Friend
And thro' thick veils to apprehend
A labor working to an end.
The ratification of the ordinance of secession, no matter how hard the mountaineers might strive to defeat it, was a foregone conclusion. Wise and his coadjutors had seen to that by having the convention turn over to the confederacy the military forces and the election machinery and virtually the state government. The vote was a useless form. It did not fail, however, to show that the counties west were overwhelmingly opposed to it. Then came the second Wheeling convention, the carrying out of Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]'s plan to restore the government of Virginia, his unanimous selection by the convention, and subsequently by vote of the people, to its head as governor and its full recognition as legal by the National Government, the election of Representatives in Congress and of a Virginia legislature that duly and legally enacted the law granting permission for the formation of West Virginia, which the Constitution of the Union required; the removal of the capitol of this restored and legal government of Virginia from Wheeling to Alexandria and finally back to Richmond; the convention that met and framed the constitution of West Virginia; its ratification by the people; the long struggle in Congress where Willey, representing the restored government, fought so strongly against such odds, so valiantly and so successfully as to make his name immortal in our hearts. And, too, in passing, remember how dear bluff old Ben Wade, of Ohio, helped. And then Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]'s telegram dictated to and sent by Campbell that persuaded Lincoln to sign the bill whereby West Virginia became a State bearing the motto "Montani semper liberi."
And what of Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]? He remained faithful to his post as governor of Virginia until his term expired, until the Union was no longer in danger, then came back to the West Virginia hills, to his old home at Fairmont, to become the honored and esteemed private citizen, the pride of his family and neighbors, the friend of the friendless and poor, to build a church, to superintend and teach in its Sunday school for more than thirty years, to live a pure and stainless life filled with good deeds. He never sought office or honors, but at the same time he never failed to take a deep and always intelligent, helpful interest in all things tending to the upbuilding of his community, his State, and his Nation. His trust in God and his faith in the future of our country grew stronger as the years of life advanced, and those closing years were full of peace and happiness. May I tell why I personally know this to be true? At the close of the political campaign of 1896 Judge Warren B. Hooker, of New York, then in Congress, and others were billed to address meetings on one day at Morgantown, on the next day at Fairmont. The Morgantown meeting was one of the largest gatherings ever held in that section of the State. It was an outpouring of the masses, and when the morning parade was over and the afternoon hour for speaking arrived, near, if not quite, ten thousand men and women faced the speaker's platform erected in the court-house square. As a token of appreciation of the presence of this throng, our governor, William E. Glasscock; our Congressman, George C. Sturgiss; E. M. Grant, Doctor Fitch, and others put their heads together and planned a surprise for us. When the time came Governor Glasscock stepped forward, resigned the honor of presiding, and introduced as chairman in his stead—Waitman T. Willey! No man can truly describe the scene that followed. The old Senator, trembling under the weight of his 85 years of life that had been filled with toil and conflict, with great sacrifices and noble deeds, was going to make his last platform speech! With difficulty he arose to his feet, in fact had to be assisted, and in feeble tones he started, "My neighbors and friends," then stopped, and stood looking off with tear-dimmed eyes into space, his whole frame convulsed with emotion. His was always a commanding presence—it was peculiarly so at this time; smooth faced, a giant's frame of more than six feet in height and not a surplus ounce of flesh clothing it, his wonderfully expressive face, his dark, flashing, but sunken, eyes, gave him almost a supernatural appearance. Controlling himself, in sweet and simple words that brought tears to thousands of eyes, he referred to the long years he had spent in Monongalia and among her people; declared that if it were possible he would gladly call back twenty-five years to continue his associations and labors; but that was not possible, and the time had come when he must depart and the ties of affection, so long existing, must be broken. His voice grew stronger as he touched the problems confronting our State, and every sentence was fraught with an earnest, abiding solicitude for her future prosperity and upbuilding. Still stronger came the words as he advanced to the national issues. He referred to the crisis of '61, to his witnessing the tearing down of the old flag in Richmond and the indignation that surged through his soul at the sight. "But," said he, as by magic his frame straightened itself to its full height, the old fire came into his eyes, the long, bony arms shot forth, and his voice rang out like a trumpet, "my neighbors, I fear a greater crisis than that of '61 now confronts us, and much as I love my country's flag, much as I am attached to you, I say to you, standing as I am with one foot in time and the other in eternity, I would rather see you, my neighbors, my friends, haul down this flag that so proudly floats over us here to-day, attach it to the horse's tail, and, amid derisive shouts, drag it through the streets of my beloved Morgantown than have you vote for national repudiation and dishonor." And then came such an appeal for country and national integrity as will never be forgotten by those who heard it. When that meeting was over people generally declared that it could not be equaled, and that Senator Willey's speech, for dramatic power and effect, would stand alone and unapproached, at least within the memory of those who heard it. John W. Mason, now Judge Mason, who but for sickness would be now addressing you far better than I am able to do, and other party leaders at Fairmont thought the meeting could be fully duplicated. Judge Hooker and his associates were entirely skeptical; in fact, they declared it an impossibility. When the day at Fairmont was over they admitted they were wrong. The crowd present was as large as that at Morgantown, and Mason filled his place as chairman only long enough to introduce in a few touching words West Virginia's Grand Old Man and Virginia's loyal old governor, Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], to preside in his stead and make his last platform speech. He, too, was tottering under the weight of more than the fourscore years which by reason of strength are allotted to man, and those years, too, had been filled with dangers, sacrifices, and noble deeds. He, too, had to be assisted to his feet and stood for a while supporting himself upon the shoulder of another. And his voice trembled at the start, but not long. Those present will not soon forget how that dear old kindly face soon flushed with enthusiasm, how the old eyes sparkled, and the voice rang out, and the trembling limbs straightened themselves, and he stood forth strong and jubilant as in the olden time. Willey's voice had been a trumpet, sounding forth a warning call to vigilance and the duty of meeting impending danger. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]'s was the joyous note of the clear-toned bell, sounding forth the glad summons to thanksgiving and praise for a victory that a clear insight into the future, and an abiding faith in the honor and integrity of the masses, made him sure would come. As we looked on his venerable form, into his placid, kindly face, heard the old burning thoughts, clothed in his wonted eloquent language, spring to his lips, listened to his joyous words outlining the sure and glorious future of our Nation and State, he appeared as one inspired. He seemed to be piercing the veil between the present and the future, and as we hung on his words foretelling the future of the State for which he had done so much and had loved so well—
His voice sounded like a prophet's word,
And in its glad tones were beard
The shouts of millions yet to be.
The final summons came to him soon after in Pittsburg, where he had gone to live with his children and his grandchild in the home of his devoted daughter and son-in-law. He was all ready to go. His faith was sure and steadfast and reached the beyond. And on that Sabbath day when his friends there came to look upon him for the last time they found him enveloped in the old, soiled, time-worn flag with paper stars pasted on the azure field that had a history. May I recall it?
In May, 1861, it was reported at Fairmont that a company of confederate cavalry was on its way to destroy the railroad bridge there. The news caused great joy to those whose sympathies were with the South, and this joy was expressed by the display of many confederate flags. Messengers to the Union forces went swiftly, and soon the news came that a company was on its way to the defense. This made glad the hearts of those who loved the Union, but there was one cause of regret; they had no flag with which to greet these soldiers when they came. Then it was that the devoted wife of Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] gathered some of her neighboring women together and in hot haste made a flag. They did not have other material suitable to make the stars, so they cut them out of paper and pasted them on the blue field. Then Mrs. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] led a shouting band of hundreds to the bridge that was to have been destroyed, and proudly planted her flag there to encourage the boys in blue and tell them when they arrived that some hearts there were loyal and true.
Yes; they enfolded him in the flag that his loved one who had left him years ago had made, and thus they bore him up the Monongahela to the mountains again, back to the old home; and the old companion in his struggles who had been educated at the same college, loved the same church, lived a like blameless life filled with heroic deeds, Senator Willey, came up those waters also that day and stood by the open grave and spoke his last words of tribute, how tender and affecting, to his friend, his copatriot, and then went back himself to die and be with him at rest.
Lord God of Sabaoth, the God of Battle, and the God of Peace, train us, sons and daughters of men like these, with their loyalty and devotion, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same, so that we may be worthy of the heritage of the "mountains lying west of the Alleghenies."
MR. WOODYARD: The exercises will be concluded by the benediction, by Reverend U. G. B. Pierce, D. D., Chaplain of the Senate.
Benediction by Reverend Ulysses G. B. Pierce, D. D.
And now as God was with our sires, so may He be with their sons and with our children henceforth and forever. The blessing of God, our Father, be and remain with you all. Amen.
PROCEEDINGS IN THE SENATE.
March 8, 1910.
MR. SCOTT. I submit a concurrent resolution, and ask that it lie on the table subject to call.
The concurrent resolution (S. C. Res. 24) was read and ordered to lie on the table, as follows:
Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That the statue of Francis H. Pierpont, presented by the State of West Virginia to be placed in Statuary Hall, is accepted in the name of the United States, and that the thanks of Congress be tendered to the State for the contribution of the statue of one of its most eminent citizens, illustrous for the purity of his life and his distinguished services to the State and Nation.
Second. That a copy of these resolutions, suitably engrossed and duly authenticated, be transmitted to the governor of the State of West Virginia.
April 4, 1910.
Mr. Scott submitted the following resolution (S. Res. 209), which was considered by unanimous consent, and agreed to:
Resolved, That exercises appropriate to the reception and acceptance from the State of West Virginia of the statue of Francis H. Pierpont, erected in Statuary Hall in the Capitol, be made the special order for Saturday, April 30, 1910, after the conclusion of the routine morning business.
April 30, 1910.
The Chaplain, Rev. Ulysses G. B. Pierce, D. D., offered the following prayer:
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we thank Thee for the great love wherewith Thou hast loved us and that Thou hast not left Thyself without witness. As much as we adore the beauty and the power of Thine hand in the outer world, as clearly as we trace Thy providence in history, we thank Thee even more, O heavenly Father, for Thy revelation in Thy children. We thank Thee for the life and for the service of him whose life we are to recall this day. Grant that the memory of such may never fade from our minds and that the example of such may kindle anew in our hearts the ardor of holy and patriotic devotion. And unto Thee, our Father and our God, will we render all praise, now and forever more. Amen.
MR. SCOTT. Mr. President, I ask that the concurrent resolution submitted by me on March 8 be read by the Secretary.
THE VICE-PRESIDENT. The Secretary will read the concurrent resolution as requested.
The Secretary read as follows:
Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That the statue of Francis H. Pierpont, presented to the State of West Virginia to be placed in Statuary Hall, is accepted in the name of the United States, and that the thanks of Congress be tendered to the State for the contribution of the statue of one of its most eminent citizens, illustrious for the purity of his life and his distinguished services to the State and Nation.
Second. That a copy of these resolutions, suitably engrossed and duly authenticated, be transmitted to the governor of the State of West Virginia.
MR. SCOTT. Mr. President, I send to the desk a letter from the governor of West Virginia, which I ask may be read.
THE VICE-PRESIDENT. The Secretary will read the letter from the governor of West Virginia as requested.
The Secretary read as follows:
Charleston, W. Va., April 30, 1910.
To the Senate and House of Representatives, Washington, D. C:
Pursuant to action of the legislature of West Virginia, there has been erected in the Capitol of the United States a marble statue of the late Franc1s H. P1erpont, of West Virginia. In behalf of the people of this State I have the honor and the pleasure of presenting to the Government and the people of the United States this statue of one of the most famous sons of West Virginia. Governor P1erpont is known in our history as the great war governor of the restored government of Virginia, and by the people of West Virginia he is held in high and affectionate esteem for the great aid he gave them in their effort to attain statehood. A man of simple and strenuous life, of great heart and mind, of strong conviction and superb courage, of high ideals and lofty character, and of devotion to duty as he saw it; a man careful to discharge every obligation of the citizen, a patriot in whom there was no guile, and a public officer who knew and acted upon the knowledge that public office is created for the benefit of the people and not for the benefit of the officeholder, Governor P1erpont will ever stand out in our country's history as a heroic character in the throes attendant upon the second birth of the great Republic—a time that tried men's souls.
Wm. E. Glasscock,
Governor of West Virginia
Address of Mr. Elkins, of West Virginia
Mr. President: To-day West Virginia honors the memory and deeds of Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], one of her most illustrious sons, by tendering to the Nation his statue in marble to be placed in Statuary Hall.
The credit of having formed the new State of West Virginia, now a great Commonwealth, with nearly a million and a half of happy, prosperous, and contented people, and destined to hold within her borders one of the densest populations in the Union, must ever remain with Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] and his associates.
Before the Revolutionary war the question of dividing the Colony of Virginia and giving a separate government in some form to the people of the mountain portion was agitated.
A certain amount of friction and jealousy always existed between the people of the mountain region of Virginia and those of the agricultural lands extending back from the ocean to the Allegheny Mountains. The people of the lowlands, aristocratic in their tendencies, were wealthy, and generally owners of plantations and slaves, while the people inhabiting the mountainous portion of the State, who always loved liberty, were poor and compelled to battle with nature and the elements for a livelihood.
Following the Revolutionary war for independence and for thirty or forty years preceding the late civil war the question of separation or division of the State was again raised and, off and on, became acute.
In a speech made a short time before his death, October 24, 1852, at the laying of the corner stone of a monument in the city of Richmond, Daniel Webster warned the people that in case of secession or the dissolution of the Union, Virginia would be divided into two States.
Old Virginia, which had given to the Nation so many great statesmen and great Presidents, with her proud history, her glorious and hallowed memories, and splendid traditions, chose, in an hour of passion, the way of secession—going out of the orbit of the Nation's life. This false step and the civil war that followed furnished the way to West Virginia being made a State in the Union.
The loyal and liberty-loving mountaineers of what is now West Virginia seized this opportunity and realized the fruition of the hopes cherished in the hearts of their ancestors for more than a century.
The ordinance of secession was passed by the State of Virginia on May 23, 1861, and ratified by the majority of the people on June n, 1861. Following the passage of the ordinance, and even before its ratification, the people of northwestern Virginia, residing principally in the mountains and the valley of the Ohio River, and occupying that portion of the Commonwealth now embracing West Virginia, who were in the main loyal to the Union, called a convention to protest against the act of secession and to take steps to reorganize and restore the state government.
The first convention assembled, with this end in view, on May 13, 1861, and after a session of three days adjourned on May 16. It adopted a series of resolutions, the ninth of which is as follows:
Resolved, That inasmuch as it is a conceded political axiom that government is founded on the consent of the governed, and is instituted for their good, and it cannot be denied that the course pursued by the ruling power in the State is utterly subversive and destructive of our interests, we believe we may rightfully and successfully appeal to the proper authorities of Virginia to permit us peacefully and lawfully to separate from the residue of the State and form ourselves into a government to give effect to the wishes, views, and interests of our constituents.
This was a direct appeal to Virginia by the citizens opposed to secession, founded on good reasons, to consent to the formation of a new State.
The second convention assembled June 11 and remained in session until August 21.
It proceeded at once to form a government, calling it the reorganized government of Virginia. The proceedings of this, as well as succeeding conventions, which perfected the machinery of the restored government, were attended by many prominent citizens of West Virginia now living and highly honored.
Arthur I. Boreman was president of the first convention and afterwards became the first governor of the State of West Virginia. In this convention "A declaration of the people of Virginia represented in convention at Wheeling protesting against secession" and declaring vacant the offices of all who favored the same was adopted, which is as follows:
Viewing with great concern the deplorable condition to which this once happy Commonwealth must be reduced unless some regular adequate remedy is speedily adopted, and appealing to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for the rectitude of our intentions, do hereby, in the name and on behalf of the good people of Virginia, solemnly declare that the preservation of their dearest rights and liberties and their security in person and property imperatively demand the reorganization of the government of the Commonwealth, and that all acts of the said convention and executive tending to separate this Commonwealth from the United States, or to levy and carry on war against them, are without authority and void; and the offices of all who adhere to the said convention and executive, whether legislative, executive, or judicial, are vacated.
On the 20th of June, 1861, the reorganized State of Virginia elected state officials, Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] being named governor.
There was a regular session of the general assembly, convened December 2, 1861, which adjourned February 13, 1862. In his message to the legislature Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] said:
I regret that I cannot congratulate you upon the termination of the great civil war with which it has pleased Divine Providence to chasten the pride of the American people. It still rages in our midst and around our very homes. But a year ago no nation was more prosperous than this. Peace, happiness, and prosperity prevailed throughout the land. Now the elements of civil society have been broken up. Brothers are arrayed against brothers and father against son, and rapine and murder are desolating the land.
The following extract is taken from the governor's message to the third session of the general assembly, which convened December 4, 1862, and adjourned February 6, 1863:
Gentlemen, it is our fortune to live in these times of fearful responsibilities and duties. We are making history to be read by and exert its influence upon coming generations. With a deep sense of our responsibilities and with an earnest supplication to the Great Source of all strength for assistance in the discharge of our respective duties during this momentous crisis, let us enter upon the work before us.
These messages give a vivid picture of the horrors and results of civil war and show what manner of man Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] was; they also show the great difficulties against which he and his associates contended under most trying conditions and the tremendous responsibilities resting upon them. How true and how prophetic it was that he and his associates were making history to be read by future generations, and what glorious history it is. This history should be read and studied by our children from generation to generation. No better understanding of our Constitution and the structure of our Government could be gained than by studying the causes leading up to the great civil war and the consequences that followed.
On the 5th of February, 1863, the restored government was removed to Alexandria and made the seat of government for the State of Virginia. Simultaneous with the organization and establishment of the restored government of Virginia, steps were taken to form the State of West Virginia from a part of the old State.
By reorganizing the State of Virginia and giving it a legal existence, Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] placed it within the power of the State to give its consent to the formation of the new State, thus complying with the Constitution of the United States, which says:
No new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State without the consent of the legislature of the State concerned.
This provision of the Constitution made it necessary to secure the consent of the State of Virginia to the division of the State, and accordingly the general assembly of the reorganized government of the State of Virginia, under proclamation of Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], dated April 18, 1862, was convened in extra session at Wheeling, May 12 following. On the second day of the session, May 13, an act giving the consent of the legislature of the State of Virginia for the formation and erection of the new State within the jurisdiction of Virginia was passed.
In this way the consent of the State of Virginia to the formation of a new State was obtained, and the new State of West Virginia was formed, a constitution adopted, and application made for admission into the Union.
The Thirty-seventh Congress was then in session. The restored government of Virginia had five Members of the House of Representatives and two Senators. The movement to have the State admitted at that session did not succeed, because of the failure to make certain provisions in the constitution respecting slavery.
A constitutional convention was assembled February 12, 1863, which made the necessary changes in the constitution regarding slavery, and as amended it was again submitted to Congress, when the ordinance to admit West Virginia as a new State in the Union was passed, and on the 20th of April President Lincoln issued a proclamation declaring sixty days after the date thereof the State of West Virginia should be admitted into the Union as a new State.
On the 20th of June, 1913, the State will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary as a State in the Union. Steps have been taken to this end. There will be thanksgivings and rejoicings by all the people within her borders for the great blessings, happiness, and prosperity the State has enjoyed from the beginning and the splendid outlook the future promises. That day should be observed and celebrated in a way to impress our people and instill in the minds of our children loyalty and affection for the State and Nation. The state and national flags should float together from every school, court-house, hall, and public place in the State. There should be expressions of joy everywhere, music, patriotic airs, processions, and every demonstration of respect made and gratitude shown to the founders of the State.
Speeches should be made wherever speakers can be found to tell the story again and again of the deeds done, obstacles overcome, and sacrifices made to give to us and the unborn millions who come after us a great and rich Commonwealth. The 20th of June should be the independence day of West Virginia and legalized as a holiday for all the years to come.
President Lincoln favored the creation and admission of the State of West Virginia into the Union because he believed it was right and in accordance with law. He favored it for another reason. Looking at the map of the Union which he was trying to preserve, he saw the success of the confederacy or the secession movement meant dividing the Northern States in twain, because the northern limit of Virginia was only about 100 miles from the Lakes. This would have added to the unnumbered woes and disasters following the dissolution of the Union.
Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] had good blood in his veins. He was related to the distinguished family bearing his name in New York, from which State his grandfather moved, in 1770, to old Virginia, locating near Morgantown, where he built a blockhouse or protection against the Indians, and where his father and he were born.
After attending the country schools at his home he went to Allegheny College at Meadville, Pennsylvania, and was graduated in the year 1839. He then studied and became a lawyer, being successful both in his profession and in business.
As time goes on and the clouds of the great civil war are lifted, his deeds and great achievements will be seen with clearer vision, better understood, and he will rank in history as one of the great men of his time.
His triumph will be sung,
By some yet unmolded tongue
Far on in summers that we shall not see—
and unborn poets and orators will rise up to do justice to his deeds and memory. We are too close to the great events, we are still too near the shadow of the great mountain, to trace its outline and know its height and grandeur.
While he was the life of the movement to restore the government of old Virginia, he was, at the same time, the soul of the greater movement to form the new State of West Virginia.
He was a man of high ideals, firm and just in his convictions, and fixed in his purposes. He was virile, forceful, insistent, and dominating. A devout member of the great Methodist Church, he was a religious man and always had within him the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom. He was made of such stuff as builders of states and empires are made.
He founded a State whose people will love and bless his memory as the suns roll on.
He loved liberty, law, order, and justice, and devoted his life to promoting all these things and helping his fellow-man.
He chained his name to undying fame and then joined the dead who never die. [Applause on the floor and in the galleries.]
Address of Mr. Dolliver, of Iowa
Mr. President: The distinguished Senators from West Virginia have done me the honor to invite me to participate in the reception of the statue of Governor Pierpont. I sincerely appreciate the compliment they pay me, and I have a genuine interest in this occasion, because I was born among the West Virginia hills, and this man, whose career we are celebrating and whose figure we are setting up in our Hall of Fame, was one of the legendary heroes of my boyhood. A great name; so near that we saw him and knew him and felt that high influence which his personality exercised on everybody coming in contact with him.
He seemed particularly near to us because my good old father was a Methodist preacher, and this man's house was a hospitable place for his entertainment during all the years of his itinerant ministry among the mountains of West Virginia. So this occasion has to me a little more than a historic interest, because I find it associated with all the enthusiasms of my boyhood and my young manhood, and because it recalls some of the happiest, freest years of my life.
I think we ought to say, among other things, that the artist who made this figure of Governor Pierpont has won a very rare success in the most difficult art that has ever been practiced among men. I believe it was Mr. Emerson who said there is a certain absurdity in a statue, a certain necessary failure to produce any illusion of the imagination by the mere chiseling of marble or the mere casting of metal. Whether that is true or not I do not know. All I know about statues is that very few of them have ever made any impression upon me, either as images of the men typified or as impressive figures for any purpose.
Our own Statuary Hall bears a pathetic witness to the fact that this art is not a very common one, either among our own countrymen or anywhere in the world; and yet this artist has succeeded in producing a figure of Governor Pierpont very lifelike, a figure so natural that those who remember the kindly and benignant face of the old governor pause reverently before it; because there is in it a suggestion of truth which does not occur very often to one who inspects the statuary in this Capitol. And so, to start with, I desire to pay a passing tribute to the genius in whose mind this figure was formed before it took shape in the marble.
There is another thing that has impressed me as I have thought of this statue. Many men have come to me to ask, "Who was Governor Pierpont? What did he do? Why should his statue stand with Washington and the famous statesmen of other generations?" A very narrow question, because as I look at it it is not the business of the sculptor to perpetuate a man's fame. The greatest fame in the world is made ridiculous by an effort to perpetuate it by the chiseling of stone or the modeling of clay.
Washington needs no statue here or anywhere. The monument which we have builded is in some sense a barbarism, a theft from pagan ages. It is a curiosity, exciting merely the interest of travelers and tourists. The fame of Washington has not been helped by it at all, because his achievements and his career are beyond all that, and his monument lies in the recorded history of the world rather than in any feeble attempts of his countrymen to perpetuate the memory of his deeds.
The same thing is true of Lincoln. There have been several attempts in recent years to provide a fitting statue of Mr. Lincoln for this city. I doubt very much whether it had better be pursued. The Republic itself while it endures among men will be a memorial to him; and of all leaders of past generations he least of all needs the poor tribute either of the genius of our artists or of the resources of our Treasury. [Applause in the galleries.]
Nobody thinks of such a thing as building a monument to the Man of Nazareth, because the sort of service He rendered to the world, the change His ministry wrought in the movements of history, make such a thing superfluous; and men turn away from the desecration and look to the word that spoke, and as never man spoke, the thing that was done, and to the miracle that was wrought in the midst of the ages, as a complete memorial of a ministry like that.
I believe that in presenting this monument and writing upon it the name of the war governor of Virginia the State has been guided by a very intelligent sort of enthusiasm for one of its early heroes. Governor Pierpont's fame did need this tribute. Otherwise the things which he did and the celebrity he had among men might easily have slipped out of the memory of contemporaries and successors and the riches which he added to the history of his times been lost to the youth of the country which he served. The State did wisely to select him, because he engaged in an enterprise so essential to the welfare of the Republic that unless it be understood, unless the motives of the men who did the work are known and kept alive among our people, incalculable loss will occur to our institutions.
I do not think he was a great man in the sense in which Napoleon or Csesar or the mighty captains of the past were great men. In fact, the more I see of all kinds of men, the less interest I take in those writings which undertake to point out the characteristics of great men. I do not know whether Napoleon was a great man or not. I know that he waged great wars, won great victories, lost great battles, and ended somewhat ambiguously on a desert island; but I have read somewhere that he left no trace of his career in Europe that can be found to-day except his grave.
What was done in the mountains of West Virginia during the civil war left the only trace on the map of the United States that is to be found now at the end of fifty years after that conflict was ended. Not a foot of the territory of the United States was disturbed, not a line of the national boundaries was interfered with; the map went back exactly as it was, with this exception—that in a corner of Virginia there was written, now nearly fifty years ago, the name of a new State, and that State itself is more permanent than all our monuments. The object which I think the people of West Virginia have had in view is to connect with the origin of the State the name of one of the men of heroic mold, though very humble position in the world, who helped to lay its foundations.
A great man is a man who fears God, keeps His commandments, and, with an ordinary good sense, has the fortune to stand in some angle of the fight where the history of the world is being made. He becomes great because he has the opportunity of doing great things, though before the deed he may not have been lifted up among his fellow-men, and though after the deed he may fall into such obscurity as to raise questions within fifty years as to what he did and what manner of man he was. This monument is really to the State of West Virginia. It is a monument to times that we hardly yet understand. It is a sort of a memorial of our heroic age.
In the last few years I have become interested in studying original historical documents. I bought an old history of England, now out of print for more than one hundred and forty years, the history which contains the original documentary story of the progress of parliamentary government in England, a book I think Macaulay had read, because I notice that what he has paraphrased into captivating English prose this good Frenchman, M. Rapin, had written down in extenso the documents just as they were filed, the debates just as they were spoken. And the thing about the old records that impressed me was that there is a certain rugged simplicity about every one of them. The controversy between the barons and King John is put down in language that everybody can understand. King John understood it thoroughly and acted accordingly; and it reads now not particularly like a high forum of debate, but like a dead level of dead earnest conversation with important business on hand. The speeches and letters of Oliver Cromwell have a singular simplicity of manner about them. One would hardly call them learned or eloquent, and they certainly were not long, as we sometimes have speeches these days, but they went to the root of the matter. Every convention in which he participated got impressed instantly with the ideas that were in his head.
The routine of the convention that declared our independence is a very crude thing, looked at from the standpoint of learned parliamentary discussion, and even our constitutional convention seems to have been composed of men with certain definite ideas in their minds and a certain quietness of speech rather impressive in these days of learning and eloquence and remarks without end.
But I have compared the proceedings of these mountain people of my native State with the parliamentary debates around which English liberty has been organized in all centuries, and I am not exaggerating anything when I say that the men who rode on horseback into Wheeling from the mountains and tied their horses behind the old hotel, with which my boyhood was familiar, and inquired of a policeman where the convention was meeting—these men created a literature as lofty, as pure, as patriotic, as interpretative of the spirit of freedom as was ever made either in England or America in all the struggles which have been fought out in the progress of civil liberty.
I knew all these names; they were all household words. I do not want to be invidious about them. I would not mention any of them without the approval of the governor of West Virginia. But I picked out in my boyhood the men who in my imagination had made the State of West Virginia. I picked out one of them, possibly, because he was the brother of my grandfather, an old-time Virginia lawyer, as sturdy a character as ever entered the House of Representatives. He was in that old House before the war, during the war, and long afterwards. He belonged to a generation that was past and gone even when I knew him—William G. Brown, of Preston County.
He was a member of the Richmond convention. He voted against the ordinance of secession, and he used to interest me when I was a child by telling me that he saddled his own horse in the night and started back for Preston County because he could not sleep. I said, "Uncle William, why could you not sleep?" He said, "There were a large number of people walking up and down under my window with a rope suggesting in a loud tone of voice, 'Hang William G. Brown!'" So the old gentleman could not sleep, and having delivered his message against the ordinance of secession in a speech almost prophetic of what afterwards happened, he saddled his horse and went back to Preston County. I put him among the giants of those days, entitled to the memory of all patriotic students of American history.
Then there was Waitman T. Willey, a name I am afraid not very familiar to our times, and yet those of us who knew him and studied law with him and had the daily contact and inspiration of his great presence will never forget him, and will never forget the mark he made upon the national life.
By the side of these two was Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]. The Senator from West Virginia [Mr. Elkins] said that he had a college education. I suppose that is true, and yet he did not use that very much in the rough business of the life which he lived among that people. Here is his speech in that convention. I find in it no classical allusions of any sort, no ornaments of learning, but a straight, relentless statement of the situation of the mountain counties of Virginia. His idea was that when people were about to be hung it was important to get together and hang the people who were conspiring against the safety and comfort of the population. It was on that theory and in that spirit that he joined the first convention in West Virginia.
I say that he was a great man only in this, that he had the intuitive perception to realize the character of the crisis. He had that unfailing common sense which is the greatest faculty of the human mind, whatever men may say, to do the thing that was wise and needed at the time to master the situation and administer it for the welfare of the people.
There is something interesting about the childlike simplicity of the old man, shrinking from any responsibility except the responsibility of doing what ought to be done. He did not want to be governor; he did not want to be Senator.
The position of governor of the reorganized State of Virginia was not a position for which there were many candidates, for the reason that the State of Virginia had retired from the Union and had joined by a treaty of peace and concord and amity a foreign power, according to the official documents, and had every arrangement made to greatly diminish the number and the activities of such persons within her borders as were discontented with that situation. So an office that usually would have had a good many candidates for it did not present a field of very active rivalry; but by common consent they passed over the orators and lawyers and statesmen who thronged the convention, and they said, "Mr. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], will you do this work?" It was in vain he said that there were others better calculated for it than he was. They said, "We want you to do this work; everybody has confidence in you." And he did the work without any fear, except the fear of God.
I have here a letter which he wrote to his wife within an hour after the convention had selected him as the governor of the State of Virginia. I intend to read it, because under such circumstances it becomes an authentic interpretation of the man's life. Here are his words, which no eye was to see except the woman whose fortunes were bound up in his:
The convention to-day unanimously conferred on me the position of governor of Virginia. In this revolution divine Providence only knows what will be the result of this step. I have sincerely asked for His guidance and protection. The way has been opened through my instrumentality to assume the shape it has. It may be a good God has in His Providence placed me in this position for wise purposes of His own. Though all around seem to look on it as the hour of my triumph, yet to me it was the most trying day of my life. I earnestly pray for wisdom from on high.
A sentiment like that puts this man among the saints of God of all ages. And it is an interesting fact that no step was ever taken in the progress of liberty among men that did not leave in the literature of the situation evidence of this sublime faith in the providence of God.
But it is said that the convention at Richmond had the same faith in God's providence. That is true. We are living in a very strange world. The old Psalmist, King of Israel, understood this world probably better than any other man who ever lived in it. Sometimes he throws into a single sentence explanations of the mysteries that surround us. How do men pray to God for victory in causes that are opposed to each other? What does the old Psalmist say ?—
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.
Would the good Lord pity people who were striving in the light of day for worthy objects directly in line with His will? Not at all. The fact that the good Lord looks with pity upon his children is at least a suggestion that our blunders, our mistakes, our shortcomings excite not vengeance, but only divine compassion; pity that we are dust, pity that our frame is so frail. So all efforts of men to serve Him, all the heathenisms of other ages, all the errors and heresies of faith in all centuries—these are not things for strife, because God, knowing our frame, looking with sympathy upon His children, has an eye of pity even for our blunders and for our misfortunes.
It cannot be denied that the purposes of Providence lay with Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] at Wheeling rather than with Governor Letcher at Richmond. No man fathoms these mighty upheavals of nations, and yet now, at the end of fifty years, it is no offense to say, and as a filial descendant of the Commonwealth I do not hesitate to say, that the counsel at Richmond was a counsel of blindness and confusion and that this counsel in the mountains of West Virginia, where men on horseback undertook to restate the civil rights of the community, was a counsel almost inspired in its insight into plans of Providence. Long since all the bitterness of strife has been forgotten, but it is a dull mind which cannot see that those mountaineers understood the increasing purpose which runs through the ages a good deal better than it was understood at Richmond, and that what they did has had not only the sanction of history, but the sanction which is exemplified in the uninterrupted blessing and favor of Almighty God.
The formation of the State of West Virginia was not a sudden agitation. The debate at Wheeling indicates that for a generation the mountaineers had been trying to get away from Richmond. They complained that the wealth of the State and the power of the State was on the east side of the mountains. They complained that they could not reach the capital except on horseback. They complained that their commerce was with the Ohio River and with Pittsburg rather than with the James and with Norfolk. For a generation there had been unrest and uncertainty of the future in the minds of those mountaineers. Besides that there was little or no slavery in the mountains; not that those people were better than other people in Virginia, but because slavery was not profitable in the mountains, and so it had made no foothold there; and seeing the institution of slavery afar off, those mountaineers had not lost the prejudice against it which Washington and Jefferson had, and which was universal in the States in still later times.
And so they claimed, on account of unequal tax levies, that they were not getting as much out of Virginia as they were putting in. They had one-third of the territory and one-third of the population, but they did not have any canals or public works. The only visible evidence of the bounty of Virginia on the west side of the mountains was the insane asylum at Weston, since developed into a very great institution. But with that exception, the century of taxpaying into the treasury at Richmond produced no tangible evidences of their connection with the public funds of the State of Virginia.
And so those mountaineers were grumbling, and occasional public meetings had been held for twenty-five or thirty years looking toward a partition of the State, in order that that portion of it which was commercially connected with the Ohio River might not be under bondage to a state government the influence and bounty of which seldom extended beyond the Allegheny Mountains. And so, in a certain sense, they were ripe for the new agitation.
Now, I do not intend to debate the constitutional law that is involved in the creation of the State of West Virginia. When I was a boy it was a very common subject of debate and a very bitter subject. I have more than once been engaged in debate down there in West Virginia that resulted in the crude and unattractive form of argument known as fist fighting. Such were the passions that were alive even when I was a boy, and those passions are still alive when we stir them up now, and for that reason I do not intend to debate it. It was a very debatable question.
Here were thirty-four counties in Virginia. Virginia seceded from the Union, threw off the Constitution, and declared it void and no longer applicable to them; allied itself with a foreign power; and here are these thirty-four counties calling a popular convention to reorganize the State. Well, they kept pretty close to the ancient precepts and landmarks of civil liberty. They had the Bill of Rights of Virginia in one hand and a few additions on their own account in the other when they held that convention.
After they got Virginia reorganized, they elected members of Congress, my uncle, William G. Brown, one of them, with Waitman T. Willey and John S. Carlile in the Senate.
Now, when the Senate and House received those gentlemen as representatives from the State of Virginia the folks down in the foothills thought that was a pretty good endorsement of the claim that they were the State of Virginia. But they had no sooner got their men seated here than the legislature, acting for the thirty-four counties claiming to be the State of Virginia, passed a simple little resolution giving the consent of the State of Virginia to the erection, within certain boundaries, of a new State to be called West Virginia. They started out to call it Kanawha, but they feared the people would not generally be able to pronounce that, and for fear it might be taken as a sort of desire to get away from the memories and history of the Old Dominion, they wrote it down West Virginia. As soon as they had given the consent of Virginia to the erection of the northwestern counties into the State of West Virginia, they prepared a constitution and came down here and offered themselves for admission into the Union, and it produced about as interesting a constitutional controversy as ever occurred in the history of any country.
It bothered Abraham Lincoln a good deal. He had a great Cabinet, but from what I can find out, reading biographies of those of them that left literary remains, it was not an altogether harmonious body. Nevertheless, when the question of signing the bill and admitting the State of West Virginia into the Union came up, Mr. Lincoln thought he should go to the bottom of it, and so he wrote to each member of his Cabinet to let him know his views about the law and about the expediency of signing the bill; and each one of them replied in writing. I wish that practice could be perpetuated and the replies printed occasionally so that we might know better than we do now what is going on in the executive departments.
This book, which I regard as the greatest biography that has ever appeared in any language of the world—Abraham Lincoln: A History, by Nicolay and Hay, two men who knew him better than anybody else—contains the answer of each one of the members of the Cabinet.
I do not intend to read them, but I intend to print them just the same as if I had read them.
The Cabinet divided equally on the question. Mr. Seward says, "Yes; the thing is perfectly constitutional and absolutely right and expedient." Mr. Chase said, "Yes; nobody can question the constitutionality of it, and, so far as its expediency is concerned, the only thing wrong about it is it was a little slow in coming." Mr. Stanton, a great Democrat, the man who wrote to Buchanan the day after the battle of Bull Run that the Government was gone to pieces simply because Lincoln had not sense enough to administer it, made his report, and I believe I will read that, because one would naturally expect, if anybody would be opposed to it, Stanton would be the man. Mr. Stanton made a very brief statement of his views. He says:
The Constitution expressly authorizes a new State to be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of another State. The act of Congress is in pursuance of that authority. The measure is sanctioned by the legislature of the State within whose jurisdiction the new State is formed. When the new State is formed, its consent can be given, and then all the requirements of the Constitution are complied with. I have been unable to perceive any point on which the act of Congress conflicts with the Constitution. By the erection of the new State the geographical boundary heretofore existing between the free and slave States will be broken, and the advantage of this upon every point of consideration surpasses all objections which have occurred to me on the question of expediency.
So he thinks it was not only constitutional, but absolutely right and expedient.
The other three took the very opposite opinion. Mr. Welles, the Secretary of the Navy, said it was all wrong; that it was a scandalous advantage taken of revolutionary conditions to misrepresent the situation. The Attorney-General, Mr. Bates—■ I do not know much about him, either for or against, but this book, the proceedings of the West Virginia convention, indicates that he had what would now be called the typewriter habit; that he was writing down there and telling them what to do, and, curiously enough, he wrote one thing to one fellow and when that letter was read another fellow got up and said that he also had heard from him, and read another letter, apparently the very opposite. So I do not put much confidence in his constitutional views. He was satisfied that it was a fraudulent transaction and would scandalize everybody concerned with it. A similar view was taken by Mr. Blair. I will print them all, partly for the purpose of preserving the history of this transaction and partly for the purpose of showing how much wiser a man sat at the head of that Cabinet than any or all of them put together that surrounded his table.
On the 23d of December, 1862, the President addressed the following note to his constitutional advisers: "A bill for an act entitled 'An act for the admission of the State of "West Virginia" into the Union, and for other purposes,' has passed the House of Representatives and the Senate and has been duly presented to me for my action. I respectfully ask of each of you an opinion, in writing, on the following questions, to wit: First. Is the said act constitutional? Second. Is the said act expedient?" Six members of the Cabinet answered this request with written opinions; the Secretary of the Interior, Caleb B. Smith, the seventh member, had recently retired from the Cabinet, having been appointed to a judgeship in Indiana and his successor had not yet been named. Three members— Seward, Chase, and Stanton—answered the questions in the affirmative, the other three—Welles, Blair, and Hates—in the negative.
Upon the constitutional point Mr. Seward's argument, in part, ran thus:
"It seems to me that the political body which has given consent in this case is really and incontestably the State of Virginia. So long as the United States do not recognize the secession, departure, or separation of one of the States, that State must be deemed as existing and having a constitutional place within the Union, whatever may be at any moment exactly its revolutionary condition. A State thus situated can not be deemed to be divided into two or more States merely by any revolutionary proceeding which may have occurred, because there can not be, constitutionally, two or more States of Virginia.
"The newly organized State of Virginia is therefore at this moment, by the express consent of the United States, invested with all the rights of the State of Virginia and charged with all the powers, privileges, and dignity of that State. If the United States allow to that organization any of these rights, powers, and privileges, it must be allowed to possess and enjoy them all. If it be a State competent to be represented in Congress and bound to pay taxes, it is a State competent to give the required consent of the State to the formation and erection of the new State of West Virginia within the jurisdiction of Virginia."
"Upon the question of expediency," wrote Mr. Seward, "I am determined by two considerations: First. The people of Western Virginia will be safer from molestation for their loyalty, because better able to protect and defend themselves as a new and separate State, than they would be ii left to demoralizing uncertainty upon the question whether, in the progress of the war, they may not be again reabsorbed in the State of Virginia and subjected to severities as a punishment for their present devotion to the Union. The first duty of the United States is protection to loyalty wherever it is found. Second. I am of opinion that the harmony and peace of the Union will be promoted by allowing the new State to be formed and erected, which will assume jurisdiction over that part of the valley of the Ohio which lies on the south side of the Ohio River, displacing, in a constitutional and lawful manner, the jurisdiction heretofore exercised there by a political power concentrated at the head of the James River."
On the question of constitutionality Mr. Chase argued, in part:
"In every case of insurrection involving the persons exercising the powers of state government, when a large body of the people remain faithful, that body, so far as the Union is concerned, must be taken to constitute the State. It would have been as absurd as it would have been impolitic to deny to the large loyal population of Virginia the powers of a state government, because men whom they had clothed with executive or legislative or judicial powers had betrayed their trusts and joined in rebellion against their country. It does not admit of doubt, therefore, as it seems to me, that the legislature which gave its consent to the formation and erection of the State of West Virginia was the true and only lawful legislature of the State of Virginia. The Madison Papers clearly show that the consent of the legislature of the original State was the only consent required to the erection and formation of a new State within its jurisdiction. That consent having been given, the consent of the new State, if required, is proved by her application for admission. Nothing required by the Constitution to the formation and admission of West Virginia into the United States is therefore wanting, and the act of admission must necessarily be constitutional. Nor is this conclusion technical, as some may think. The legislature of Virginia, it may be admitted, did not contain many members from the eastern counties. It contained, however, representatives from all counties whose inhabitants were not either rebels themselves or dominated by greater numbers of rebels. It was the only legislature of the State known to the Union.
"If its consent was not valid, no consent could be. If its consent was not valid, the Constitution, as to the people of West Virginia, has been so suspended by the rebellion that a most important right under it is utterly lost."
With regard to the question of expediency, he writes:
"The act is almost universally regarded as of vital importance to their welfare by the loyal people most immediately interested, and it has received the sanction of large majorities in both Houses of Congress. These facts afford strong presumptions of expediency. It may be said, indeed, that the admission of West Virginia will draw after it the necessity of admitting other States under the consent of extemporized legislatures assuming to act for whole States, though really representing no important part of their territory. I think this necessity imaginary. There is no such legislature, nor is there likely to be. No such legislature, if extemporized, is likely to receive the recognition of Congress or the Executive. The case of West Virginia will form no evil precedent. Far otherwise. It will encourage the loyal by the assurance it will give of national recognition and support, but it will inspire no hopes that the National Government will countenance needless and unreasonable attempts to break up or impair the integrity of States. If a case parallel to that of West Virginia shall present itself, it will doubtless be entitled to like consideration; but the contingency of such a case is surely too remote to countervail all the considerations of expediency which sustain the act."
The answer of Mr. Stanton accords with his habitual positiveness of opinion and brevity of statement:
"The Constitution expressly authorizes a new State to be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of another State. The act of Congress is in pursuance of that authority. The measure is sanctioned by the legislature of the State within whose jurisdiction the new State is formed. When the new State is formed its consent can be given, and then all the requirements of the Constitution are complied with. I have been unable to perceive any point on which the act of Congress conflicts with the Constitution. By the erection of the new State the geographical boundary heretofore existing between the free and slave States will be broken, and the advantage of this, upon every point of consideration, surpasses all objections which have occurred to me on the question of expediency.
"Many prophetic dangers and evils might be specified, but it is safe to suppose that those who come after us will be as wise as ourselves, and if what we deem evils be really such, they will be avoided. The present good is real and substantial; the future may safely be left in the care of those whose duty and interest may be involved in any possible future measures of legislation."
One or two extracts from the opinion of Mr. Welles will indicate the course of his argument in the negative:
"Under existing necessities an organization of the loyal citizens, or of a portion of them, has been recognized and its Senators and Representatives admitted to seats in Congress. Yet we can not close our eyes to the fact that the fragment of the Slate which in the revolutionary tumult has instituted the new organization is not possessed of the records, archives, symbols, and traditions or capital of the Commonwealth. Though calling itself the State of Virginia, it does not assume the debts and obligations contracted prior to the existing difficulties. Is this organization, then, really and in point of fact anything else than a provisional government for the State? It is composed almost entirely of those loyal citizens who reside beyond the mountains and within the prescribed limits of the proposed new State. In this revolutionary period, there being no contestants, we are compelled to recognize the organization as Virginia. Whether that would be the case, and how the question would be met and disposed of were the insurrection this day abandoned, need not now be discussed. Were Virginia or those parts of it not included in the proposed new State invaded and held in temporary subjection by a foreign enemy instead of the insurgents, the fragment of territory and population which should successfully repel the enemy and adhere to the Union would doubtless during such temporary subjection be recognized, and properly recognized, as Virginia.
"When, however, this loyal fragment goes further and not only declares itself to be Virginia, but proceeds by its own act to detach itself permanently and forever from the Commonwealth and to erect itself into a new State within the jurisdiction of the State of Virginia, the question arises whether this proceeding is regular, legal, right, and, in honest good faith, conformable to and within the letter and spirit of the Constitution. Congress may admit new States into the Union, but any attempt to dismember or divide a State by any force or unauthorized assumption would be an inexpedient exercise of doubtful power, to the injury of such State. Were there no question of doubtful constitutionality in the movement the time selected for the division of the State is most inopportune. It is a period of civil commotion, when unity and concerted action on the part of all loyal citizens and authorities should be directed to a restoration of the Union and all tendencies toward disintegration and demoralization avoided."
Mr. Blair's argument, also in the negative, was in part as follows:
"The question is only whether the State of Virginia has consented to the partition of her territory and the formation of that part of it called western Virginia into a separate State. In point of fact, it will not be contended that this has been done, for it is well known that the elections by which the movement has been made did not take place in more than a third of the counties of the State, and the votes on the constitution did not exceed 20,000. The argument for the fulfillment of the constitutional provisions applicable to this case rests altogether on the fact that the government organized at Wheeling (in which a portion of the district in which it is proposed to create a new State is represented with a few of the eastern counties) has been recognized as the government of the State of Virginia for certain purposes by the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government, and it is contended that by these acts the Federal Government is estopped from denying that the consent given by this government of Virginia to the creation of the new State is a sufficient consent within the meaning of the Constitution. It seems to me to be a sufficient answer to this argument to say:
"First, that it is confessedly merely technical, and assumes, unwarrantably, that the qualified recognition which has been given to the government at Wheeling for certain temporary purposes precludes the Federal Government from taking notice of the fact that the Wheeling government represents much less than half the people of Virginia when it attempts to dismember the State permanently. Or, second, that the present demand of itself proves the previous recognitions relied on to enforce it to be erroneous, for, unquestionably, the fourth article of the Constitution prohibits the formation of a new State within the jurisdiction of an old one without the actual consent of the old State; and if it be true that we have so dealt with a third part of the people of Virginia as that to be consistent we should now permit that minority to divide the State, it does not follow that we should persist, but, on the contrary, it demonstrates that we have heretofore been wrong; and if consistency is insisted on and is deemed necessary, we should recede from the positions heretofore taken. As to the expediency of the measure, I do not think it either necessary to recede from those positions or proper to take the new step insisted on now. There is no positive prohibition in the Constitution against the action taken by the Senate and House of Representatives in relation to the recognition of the Wheeling government or in relation to the action taken by the Executive, and all that can be said, if we reject the claim of the Wheeling government to represent the people of Virginia for the purpose now under consideration, will be that it admits our previous action to have been irregular.
"The answer to this is that, if not regular, it was substantially just, and the circumstances of the case excuse the irregularity. For it was proper that the loyal people and the State of Virginia should be represented in Congress, and the representation allowed was not greater than their numbers entitled them to. But whilst it was just to the people of western Virginia, whose country was not overrun by the rebel armies, to allow this representation, and for this purpose and for the purposes of local government to recognize the state government instituted by them, it would be very unjust to the loyal people in the greater part of the State, who are now held in subjection by rebel armies, and who far exceed in number the 20,000 who have voted on the constitution for western Virginia, to permit the dismemberment of their State without their consent."
The opinion of Attorney-General Bates was long and elaborate, and only a small part of it can be quoted here to show the course and spirit of his argument in the negative:
"We all know—everybody knows—that the government of Virginia recognized by Congress and the President is a government of necessity, formed by that power which lies dormant in every people, which, though known and recognized, is never regulated by law, because its exact uses and the occasions for its use cannot be foreknown, and it is called into exercise by the great emergency which, overturning the regular government, necessitates its action without waiting for the details and forms which all regular governments have.
"It is intended only to counteract the treacherous perversion of the ordained powers of the State, and stands only as a political nucleus around which the shattered elements of the old Commonwealth may meet and combine, in all its original proportions, and be restored to its legitimate place in the Union. It is a provisional government, proper and necessary for the legitimate object for which it was made and recognized. That object was not to divide and destroy the State, but to rehabilitate and restore it. That government of Virginia, so formed and so recognized, does not and never did, in fact, represent and govern more than a small fraction of the State—perhaps a fourth part. And the legislature which pretends to give the consent of Virginia to her own dismemberment is (as I am credibly informed) composed chiefly, if not entirely, of men who represent those forty-eight counties which constitute the new State of West Virginia. The act of consent is less in the nature of a law than of a contract. It is a grant of power, an agreement to be divided. And who made the agreement, and with whom? The representatives of the forty-eight counties with themselves! Is that fair dealing? Is that honest legislation? Is that a legitimate exercise of a constitutional power by the legislature of Virginia? It seems to me that it is a mere abuse, nothing less than attempted secession, hardly veiled under the flimsy forms of law."
Between the conflicting and evenly balanced counsel the deciding opinion of President Lincoln becomes doubly interesting. The complete document reads as follows. Mr. Lincoln made a memorandum when he signed it, and it is worth listening to. He wrote:
The consent of the legislature of Virginia is constitutionally necessary to the bill for the admission of West Virginia becoming a law. A body claiming to be such legislature has given its consent. We cannot well deny that it is such, unless we do so upon the outside knowledge that the body was chosen at elections in which a majority of the qualified voters of Virginia did not participate. But it is a universal practice in the popular elections in all these States to give no legal consideration whatever to those who do not choose to vote as against the effect of the votes of those who do choose to vote. Hence it is not the qualified voters, but the qualified voters who choose to vote, that constitute the political power of the State.
A very profound observation, applicable to many aspects of our contemporaneous politics of today. A man who does not vote is not in a position to complain about anything that has been done on a subject.
Much less than to nonvoters should any consideration be given to those who did not vote in this case, because it is also a matter of outside knowledge that they were not merely neglectful of their rights under and duty to this Government, but were also engaged in open rebellion against it. Doubtless among these nonvoters were some Union men whose voices were smothered by the more numerous secessionists, but we know too little of their number to assign them any appreciable value. Can this Government stand if it indulges constitutional constructions by which men in open rebellion against it are to be accounted, man for man, the equals of those who maintain their loyalty to it?
There was a habit of Abraham Lincoln's mind that no other mind except possibly that of the old Greek, Socrates, has exhibited—the art, by a simple question, of reaching the heart of a controversy. Now, listen to what he said:
Are they to be accounted even better citizens and more worthy of consideration than those who merely neglect to vote? If so, their treason against the Constitution enhances their constitutional value. Without braving these absurd conclusions we cannot deny that the body which consents to the admission of West Virginia is the legislature of Virginia. I do not think the plural form of the words "legislatures" and "States" in the phrase of the Constitution "without the consent of the legislatures of the States concerned," etc., has any reference to the new State concerned. That plural form sprang from the contemplation of two or more old States contributing to form a new one. The idea that the new State was in danger of being admitted without its own consent was not provided against, because it was not thought of as I conceive. It is said the devil takes care of his own. Much more should a good spirit—the spirit of the Constitution and the Union—take care of its own. I think we cannot do less than live.
But is the admission into the Union of West Virginia expedient? This, in my general view, is more a question for Congress than for the Executive. Still I do not evade it. More than on anything else, it depends on whether the admission or rejection of the new State would, under all the circumstances, tend the more strongly to the restoration of the national authority throughout the Union. That which helps most in this direction is the most expedient at this time. Doubtless those in remaining Virginia would return to the Union, so to speak, less reluctantly without the division of the old State than with it, but I think we could not save as much in this quarter by rejecting the new State as we should lose by it in West Virginia. 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 field. 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 very severe trials. We have so acted as to justify their hopes, and we can not fully retain their confidence and cooperation if we seem to break faith with them. In fact, they could not do so much for us, if they would. Again, the admission of the new State turns that much slave soil to free, and thus is a certain and irrevocable encroachment upon the cause of the rebellion. The division of a State is dreaded as a precedent. But a measure made 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.
When you celebrate your fiftieth anniversary you can exhibit the handwriting of the man who has had more to do with the progress of modern civilization than any other man who has lived in the world in these latter centuries.
So the old State of Virginia has lost a good deal, and yet not so much as it expected to lose. State lines are now less important as to our commerce than they were then. It makes very little difference in the commerce of a community where the state line is. I said once, when I was younger, and I have never had a good opportunity to take it back until now, that a state line is not nearly so important in a practical sense as is a line fence in the United States. I have very little interest in state rights, although I find myself acquiring a very large interest in state duties and state opportunities to serve the community. The old State lost a good deal. One thing they lost, and that was the hardiest and bravest and finest little community in the world. They were a choice lot, these hardy Scotch-Irish men of the mountains and valleys of old Virginia. They loved the old Commonwealth. One of the old farmers said in the convention that it broke his heart to think of not including Mount Vernon in the new State. He said he did not think that he could live in this world with the grave of Washington outside of the boundaries of the State in which he had been born. They had a love for the old traditions as tender as the love of a woman; yet they had their grievances, and they made up their minds to defend their rights.
History sometimes reads almost like a satire on human affairs. It has been said that He who sitteth in the heavens sometimes laughs at what is going on here in the world. If that is so, what a jocose aspect this drama of the secession of the States from the Union must have had. The Union of these States was not made by constitutions or by laws. God made this nation when He made this continent, and it is no more possible to destroy it than it was possible to turn the rivers in it back on their sources or cut our mountain ranges in two. That is the reason that love for the Union was so common all over Virginia, whatever the vote was on the subject of secession; that is the reason why men cast their lot with the old State, with tears running down their cheeks; that is the reason why clear down to Louisiana there were whole parishes and communities of men who were willing to fight for the Union; that is the reason why the mountaineers of Kentucky and Tennessee and Virginia, rising up as one man, prevented the dissolution of the Union. Those men were mad who undertook to turn aside the purpose of God to make one nation on this continent. I do not impeach their motives; it is not necessary, and it is not becoming to do so. Men do not take their lives in their hands without good motives; but they were mad; they were unable to see the direction of the world's greatest affairs.
The nation is not a political institution, but it is a moral personality, exactly as a person is, and you might just as well undertake to take apart the arms and legs and vital organs of a man, in order to get a better situation for him in this world, as to undertake to divide this moral personality which constitutes the life of our institutions on this continent.
When the State of West Virginia left the old State, her people did not know it at the time, but they took with them not only one-third of the population, but a storehouse of natural wealth and resources unknown anywhere else in the world. This population of hardy farmers, digging a little coal to burn, who, out of their love for the Union, established a new Commonwealth, have seen in the last fifty years grow up in West Virginia an industrial civilization that is the pride and the glory not only for the young Commonwealth, but of all the sister States of the Union. Her population has increased; her system of education has been enlarged; schools and newspapers and all the instrumentalities of civilization have flourished among that people, and to-day the young Commonwealth rivals the older States of the Union in the prospects of its material advancement and prosperity.
I congratulate the State that in picking out somebody for honor and everlasting fame in this Capitol they have chosen a man so representative of the life that is lived in those mountains—a humble sort of man, hardly to be called great, as that word is used by historians and novelists, but great in the large sense that he had the heart and the brain to interpret the events of his own time and to lead his people in the direction of happiness, safety, and prosperity. [Applause on the floor and in the
Address of Mr. Heybum, of Idaho
Mr. President: The tribute that has been paid to the State of West Virginia and to the man who more than any other stands for the State as its sponsor has been so eloquent, so full of history and of wise conclusions drawn from it, that I am embarrassed to know just what may be added to those remarks.
Statues of marble are not carved as monuments to the deeds of men or their accomplishments; they are carved to perpetuate the personal figure of the man responsible for the deed. It is difficult, in selecting from among the men who have been identified with the life of a nation, a community, or an epoch, to determine who shall best stand for the great conditions to be represented. We have in this carved marble the personal appearance, the image of Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]; but there are monuments to Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] that stand beyond the walls of this Capitol that will in all time, even after the marble figure has crumbled or been broken, pay an immortal tribute to that man's actions.
The geographical lines that mark the State of West Virginia upon the face of the earth are an enduring monument that will not fade while this Government lives. The civilization that marks the State of West Virginia and distinguishes it among the States of the Union is the real monument to the memory of Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint].
I recall no man in history who undertook a greater, a more difficult, and more uncertain duty than was undertaken by Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] in the hour in which he wrote that beautiful letter to his wife. Impressed as he was in that hour by the responsibility that he had assumed, his first thought went out to the sharer of his responsibilities as well as the joys of his life. That letter, in the minds of men, is a monument to the character of the man than which no better or greater monument will ever be erected.
To assume the duties of governor of the State of Virginia in that hour was an heroic deed that is unsurpassed in the history of this or any other country. To undertake to maintain a state government that should be true and loyal to the Union in that hour within its borders required more courage than was possessed by the soldiers who went there from without its borders to defend it. Not only the duties, but the responsibilities undertaken by Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] when he assumed his duties as governor of Virginia—the whole State of Virginia—were almost beyond possible comprehension in this hour.
It must be borne in mind that when he was appointed governor the boundaries of Virginia included West Virginia. His home was in that portion of Virginia that is now West Virginia. He went out from that home into the very camp of the enemy of his State and of his country; set up a state government in the little town of Alexandria, and he maintained it there on the very firing line of the rebellion during all the years of that war. When peace came he dared to take the capital of the State into the old capital of the rebellion; he held it there; and maintained there the government of the State of Virginia for three years after the war. That was as heroic a deed as any man ever did in the history of a nation. While peace had been compelled, yet the sentiment of the war and the sentiment of opposition to the Union was there in Richmond, Va., when this hero steadily maintained the duties and the dignities of a State.
I can not understand why men should stammer in identifying Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] with those great events. After I had been requested to participate in these ceremonies I took up the history of that hour as it was written in the journals of that day, and I found there written articles denouncing this man around his home and his official place of business that are as startling as anything in the history of this country. There had been no reconciliation in that city of Richmond during those times until the officers of the United States went down there in their capacity as military commanders to support him in his efforts. It was a trying situation and his life was daily in jeopardy.
This is the man to whom to-day we do honor. We place his image in the Capitol as a reminder so long as it may stay there as an index to true patriotism, and no man will hereafter pass through that hall and gaze upon that statue without either remembering or inquiring who Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] was. That is the highest function that this statue will perform. It matters but little to the individual whether or not his statue or his image shall stand in a prominent place when he is, as was Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], absorbed in the performance of a high duty without hope of reward.
When West Virginia became one of the States of the Union he did not enter the political field in contest for office; he retired to his home and, with two exceptions, did not leave it except for his own pleasure.
He was appointed to high position by the President of the United States, and filled the office to the satisfaction of the people. Then he returned to the home of his early selection, and there, until a very few years ago, he resided. He died in the city of Pittsburg, where he was temporarily visiting with his daughter, but his body was carried back to the soil of the State that owed its existence, in a large measure, to his patriotism, his intelligence, and his endeavor, there to rest, I trust, under such a monument as will make it impossible for the people of that State ever at all to be led to inquire who was this man whose grave is thus marked.
It is proper that the eulogies pronounced upon this occasion should come rather from those who have been identified with the State. The Senator from Iowa [Mr. Dolliver], who was born within the State, has paid a tribute so beautiful and so impressive as to convince us that he has not forgotten the lessons that he gathered from the surroundings of his childhood. The senior Senator from West Virginia [Mr. Elkins], in glowing terms has told us of the endearment in which the people of West Virginia hold this man's memory. He occupies the relation to that State that was occupied by the founders of this Nation, and I know that it needs not the ceremonies of this hour to impress it upon the minds of the people not only of West Virginia, but of all the country, that the man to whose memory we pay this tribute to-day is worthy of it, as worthy as was ever any man whose memory was thus recognized and commemorated.
Address of Mr. Oliver, of Pennsylvania
The story of the formation of West Virginia is one of the romances of American history. The ordinance of secession was passed in the Virginia convention, despite the almost unanimous protest of the delegates from the transmountain counties, on the 17th day of April, 1861. Only five days later twelve hundred citizens of Harrison County met in mass convention at Clarksburg and issued a call to the people of the counties of northwestern Virginia to appoint delegates of "their wisest, best, and most discreet men," to assemble in convention at Wheeling on the 13th day of May ensuing, "to consult and determine upon such action as the people of northwestern Virginia should take in the fearful emergency." The convention which assembled in response to this call contained representatives from twenty-six counties. It remained in session three days and adopted a series of resolutions nullifying the ordinance of secession and calling upon the people, in the event of its ratification, to appoint delegates to a general convention, to meet at Wheeling on the nth of June, "to devise such measures and take such action as the safety of the people they represent may demand." This second convention met on the day appointed. It contained ninety-nine delegates, representing thirty-one counties. Within three days of assembling it declared all acts of the convention and executive, tending to separate the Commonwealth of Virginia from the United States, to be without authority and void, and the offices of all who adhered to the said convention and executive, whether legislative, executive, or judicial, to be vacated. It promptly adopted an ordinance for the reorganization of the state government, and by a unanimous vote chose Francis Harrison Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], one of its own members, as governor of Virginia, with a full corps of state officers, to serve for six months, or until their successors should be elected and qualified. On the 2 2d of May following, Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] was elected by the people for the unexpired term of Governor Letcher, and in May, 1863, at an election held in those counties of eastern Virginia occupied by the Federal Army, for the full term of four years, from January 1, 1864.
From a strictly legal standpoint it is hard to justify the movement by which the Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] government was set up, although able arguments to the contrary were presented to the convention. It was revolution, pure and simple, and it required success to make it even respectable; it was justified by the dire emergency which confronted the loyal people of West Virginia and by that alone. It met with that measure of success which made it not only respectable, but illustrious, and it is a curious fact that the present government of the Old Dominion traces its title through the usurper Pierpont [sic Peirpoint], and not through the legitimist Letcher.
The government headed by Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] called itself the restored government of Virginia, and under his able guidance gave its full support to the administration of President Lincoln and to the movement to erect a new State out of the transmountain counties. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] himself was the logical man for governor of the new Commonwealth and would doubtless have been chosen for that place had he so desired; but it seemed to him that his duty pointed toward the maintenance of at least the semblance of a loyal government for old Virginia, now wholly given over to the rebellion, except where her soil was occupied by the federal troops. He therefore, upon the establishment of the new State, moved his capital to Alexandria, and, after the Union forces occupied Richmond, to that city, where he served until superseded by the military governor, General H. H. Wells, in the spring of 1868.
It was in his administration of the government of Virginia after the fall of Richmond that the full strength of Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]'s character came out. He found himself, in the midst of a hostile population, governor of a Commonwealth of which he was no longer even a citizen. The United States marshal was instituting proceedings looking to the confiscation of the property of all participants in the rebellion. Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] protested vigorously against all such proceedings and set his face resolutely in the direction of conciliation and pacification. He recommended for pardon all who applied to him. With the meager funds at his disposal he rehabilitated as best he could the charitable institutions of the State, which were destitute, and for three years governed with a wisdom and moderation beyond praise. After surrendering his office in 1868 he returned to his old home at Fairmont, where he spent the remaining thirty years of his life in dignified and honorable retirement.
Mr. President, West Virginia does well to honor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint]. He was born within her borders. With the exception of the five years spent as governor—first at Alexandria, and then at Richmond—he lived there all his long life. His body lies buried beneath her soil. It is somewhat of an anomaly that, although he is rightly called the Father of West Virginia, he never held office under her government, except to serve one term as a member of the legislature. His Americanism was not merely typical; it was ideal. He was not a brilliant man as that phrase is usually accepted, but he possessed that "saving grace of common sense" which, in the crises of men and of nations, is better far than genius. He had that serene poise which fits men for any emergency, no matter how grave; and above all and beyond all, he had a high and unflinching integrity, personal and political, which flattery could not cajole and no temptation could seduce. He would neither do wrong himself nor tolerate it in those around him. In his later years it was his proud boast that in his three years' administration at Richmond he restored stable government to Virginia without a whisper of scandal or even a suspicion of that corruption which unfortunately stained the annals of so many Southern States during that trying period. West Virginia does well, indeed, to place him among the immortals; and of all that silent but illustrious company amongst whom his image stands for all time as the tribute of a grateful Commonwealth, some there are, doubtless, who in life surpassed him in the splendor of their achievements, but not one excelled him in the strength and vigor of his integrity or has left to his children a more stainless name.
Address of Mr. Scott, of West Virginia
All students of history are familiar with the memorable events which led to the admission into the Union of the aggregation of counties west of the Allegheny Mountains in Virginia as a separate State. During the stirring times from April 19, 1861, when the Old Dominion withdrew from the Union, until December 31, 1862, when President Lincoln ratified the action of Congress admitting West Virginia to the sisterhood of States, none took a more prominent part and none labored more zealously and with more patriotic ardor for the Union than did Francis H. Pierpont, governor of the restored government of Virginia, and one of the fathers of the mountain State of West Virginia.
Governor Pierpont was born in Monongalia County, Virginia, now a part of West Virginia, June 25, 1814. His early life was spent on a farm; but at the age of 22 he entered Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, and in June, 1840, he graduated from that institution. He afterwards taught school in Mississippi, studying law in his spare moments, and was admitted to practice in Fairmont, Marion County, at which place he built up a lucrative law practice. Though he left there temporarily at different times, Fairmont remained his home thereafter. He died, however, in Pittsburgh, at the home of his only daughter, in March, 1899.
Having been educated in the North, where he was closely associated with northern people and imbued with northern deas, Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] was naturally opposed to human slavery, and his convictions, intense and deep-rooted, found voice on every occasion when the opportunity presented. Ever alive to the questions of the day, Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] took an active part in the discussion of all public issues. He commenced his career as a public speaker in the college halls, and at one time there were few platform speakers his equal in the State. Concerning his ability as a speaker and as a man, the Intelligencer, of Wheeling, West Virginia, a strong advocate of the Union, published the following May 6, 1861:
PRANK PIERPONT'S SPEECH.
Frank Pierpont is one of those men well fitted for the stormy and revolutionary times that are upon us. He has the moral, physical, and mental power of a leader. A truer man to the cause of the Union, in our opinion, does not live; and he has that vigor of apprehension, that incisiveness of speech, and that indomitable will and courage that carries the people with him. His speech on Saturday, although by no means illustrative of his capacity, suffering, as he was, from cold and hoarseness, was very strong and impressive, and was eagerly listened to throughout its entire length by the people.
He is doing a glorious work in the mountain counties, and is worthy to be the colleague of such men as Carlisle, Dent, Burdett, Brown, the editors of the Grafton Virginian, the Clarksburg Guard, and others of the noble army that are rescuing western Virginia from the hands of the traitorous spoilers. Western Virginia, when she comes to be a State by herself, as we most devoutly hope she may ere long, will owe a debt of gratitude to these men not easily repaid.
Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] was really the father of the idea of forming West Virginia, and it is perhaps not giving him too much credit to say that had it not been for his foresight there might not have been a West Virginia.
Nothing is more interesting at this time than an article written by Noah S. Reader in the Wellsburg Record. This graphically describes the situation in the western part of Virginia, and tells of Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] having been in four of the principal counties and everywhere he had been asking what the Union people could do. He expected advice himself, but instead found that the Unionists were coming to him for advice. He simply said, "Hold on to the Union." Mr. Reader then describes how in this depressed state of mind he went to his office and took down the Constitution of the United States. Audibly he said: "Old Constitution, I will give you one more reading." He does not know why he had not done it before, but he commenced at the preamble, carefully reading article by article and section by section until he came to the section which provides that—
The Government of the United States shall guarantee a republican form of government to each State in the Union, repel invasion, and suppress insurrection and rebellion when called on by the legislature or by the governor if the legislature cannot be convened in time.
When he got through the section he sprang to his feet, threw the book with force on the table, and exclaimed, "I have got you!" He walked the floor for a few minutes in brisk step, and in less than a minute the whole proceedings of the convention, its representation, the declaring of all offices held by secessionists vacant, representation in Congress, and division of the State passed before him like a panorama. He went into his house and told his wife that it was clear. He met one of his neighbors on the street and remarked to him, "It will all come out right." He knew at that stage that success could only be had by secrecy.
This was prior to the meeting held at Wheeling on the nth of May, and it was at this meeting that Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] presented his resolution for calling a delegate convention to meet in Wheeling on the 13th day of June and to appoint a committee of safety, whose duty it was to direct the manner of electing these members to attend and such other affairs as they deemed necessary for the Union cause. And it was after these resolutions had been adopted and the committee of safety appointed that he was asked for his plan of action and explained it as follows:
On principle the loyal people of the State are entitled to the protection of the laws of the States and United States. When our convention assembles I have no doubt we will know that the governor of the State has joined the southern confederacy. The convention will pass resolutions declaring, in the language of the Declaration of Independence, that "he has abdicated his office by joining a foreign state," and that it is the right of this convention to appoint a governor and lieutenant-governor and pass such other ordinances as are necessary to turn out of office all disloyal men and to fill them by loyal men, and do anything else that may be necessary. Our actions must go to the whole State. We will call the legislature together immediately, if necessary. You observe the convention is composed of double the number of delegates of the lower house. It may be we will need a legislature and convention both at once. We will elect Senators to fill the places made vacant by resignation of Hunter and Mason. We will commission our members elected and send them to Congress. The governor will call upon the President for military aid to suppress the rebellion. In the meantime we will get the United States Army to occupy the Monongahela and Kanawha valleys, drive the rebels beyond the mountains, and we will organize below. Now, if we carry out this programme, we will represent the State of Virginia and divide the State by the consent of Congress and the consent of the legislature of Virginia.
His programme was, in the main, carried out. Delegates attended that convention from forty counties lying west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He was the representative from Marion County. Recognizing his sterling qualities as a man, a lawyer, a statesman, and a loyal citizen, the convention of June Ii, 1861, unanimously elected him provisional governor of the reorganized State of Virginia, and Daniel Polsley, of Mason County, was elected lieutenant-governor. Within a year Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] was elected by the people governor of Virginia under the "restored government." Two years later he was reelected governor for a term of four years, having undisputed sovereignty over the people in the territory west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Meanwhile he gave his powerful aid to the movement for the creation of a new State, and after the admission of West Virginia into the Union in 1863 he removed the seat of government of Virginia to Alexandria. Following the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox, Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] transferred his headquarters to Richmond, being most cordially greeted there by many of his fellow-citizens who four years before had cast their fortunes with the South. Within a few months he completely restored the functions of the state government, and it is worthy to be noted that there was never a suspicion of dishonesty or misdeed attaching to his administration. No man, it was said, could ever be appointed to office under Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] who did not possess the moral and intellectual qualifications for the position. Nearly the entire judiciary was changed, and it was said by the men and newspapers of that day that he gave Virginia the best judiciary the Commonwealth ever had. He was the first governor of Virginia, it is also stated, whoever issued a Thanksgiving proclamation. As the war governor of Virginia he was the steadfast friend of President Lincoln, who recognized him as a valuable and able supporter of his administration.
Although active in politics and a man of power and influence, Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] held public position but seldom. At the expiration of his term as governor of Virginia he returned to his home in Fairmont, where naturally he found a large amount of business that had been long neglected. He lived thereafter comparatively a quiet life. He served a term in the legislature at the earnest solicitation of his friends, was a delegate to a national convention of his party, and President Garfield appointed him collector of internal revenue. He served a term as president of the general conference of the Methodist Protestant Church, up to that time the only layman ever chosen to this position.
Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] was a large-hearted, true man, and a just one. His love of country was of the intense order, and to the support of his views he brought a fine logic which but few could combat. He was possessed of a wonderfully retentive memory, and was splendidly equipped legally. There is, perhaps, no one within the confines of the State which Governor Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] helped to create who does not acknowledge the versatility and clear-headed legal acumen he manifested in the presence of the serious problems he so successfully solved as a leader in the troublesome times just before and during the civil war. History may do but scant justice to this man; his fame may be perpetuated by the marble statue unveiled to-day, but there is a monument which bears his name indelibly, and that is found in the hearts of his countrymen; there Francis H. Pierpont [sic Peirpoint] will live while the lifeblood flows.
The Vice-president. The question is on agreeing to the concurrent resolution.
The concurrent resolution was unanimously agreed to.
Mr. Scott. Mr. President, as a further mark of respect, I move that the Senate adjourn.
The motion was unanimously agreed to, and (at 3 o'clock and 7 minutes p. m.) the Senate adjourned until Monday, May 2, 1910, at 12 o'clock meridian.galleries.]
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