May 13, 1861: Western Virginia — Convention begins at Wheeling

Slaves, percent of total population VA 1860

Western Virginians met in a convention in Wheeling on May 13, 1861, in an action that would ultimately result in West Virginia’s secession from the seceding state of Virginia. From the New York Times:


The delegates to the Convention of Western and North-Western Virginia, called to deliberate upon the best means of opposing the policy of Secession adopted by the late Convention at Richmond, assembled yesterday at Wheeling, and proceeded to business. A committee of one from each county was appointed, to whom was referred the subject of representation, and the duty of reporting officers for a permanent organization, when a short recess was taken. The subsequent proceedings consisted mainly of discussions as to the proper course to be pursued. The greatest enthusiasm prevailed, not only in the Convention, but outside.

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