The 1861 Wheeling Convention was a chain of two conventions called to revoke an Ordinance of Secession from America, which had been approved all through the Virginia State in a referendum. This meeting thus professed to set up a Restored government of Virginia that allowed the counties that were organized the meeting to structure a fresh state, called West Virginia. The convention was held at what turned out to be recognized as the West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling. The reinstated administration was acknowledged by the United States as the lawful government of the Commonwealth of Virginia, with Wheeling as its provisional capital, and its authorized capital was in the Richmond City. The 1861Wheeling Convention has shown the way to a Constitutional Convention for the novel state of West Virginia.
First Wheeling Convention
The initial Wheeling Convention was conducted on the 13th of May 1861 up to 15th of May 1861. The convention was represented by the 27 counties of West Virginia. Among the 429 delegates who took part in the convention, more than 1/3rd third of the delegates were from the region around Wheeling. Most delegates had been selected at public meetings, whereas others took part of their own proposal. Immediately a dispute developed over which delegates must be permitted to partake in the Convention. The delegate from the Wood County, Gen. John Jay Jackson suggested seating all delegates from the northwestern part of Virginia, but John S. Carlile, another delegate claimed that only participants who had been legally appointed by their respective constituencies be permitted to participate. The Ohio County delegate, Chester D. Hubbard, put an end to the dispute by suggesting the formation of a board with representation and everlasting organization.
Some people, including Gen. John Jay Jackson, argued that preventative action in opposition to the Ordinance of Secession earlier than it was approved was foolish. The Ordinance had not yet been submitted to the inhabitants of Virginia for a ballot, and would not be pending 23rd of May. Other people, including John S. Carlile, insisted on instant action to show the faithfulness to Virginia and the country, and on the 14th of May, he demanded a resolution for forming a New Virginian state. Waitman Thomas Willey, an American politician and attorney from Morgantown, responded to the plan of John S. Carlile. The motion of Carlile was condemned as innovative, and most people at the Convention rather supported the resolutions provided by the Committee on State and central resolutions, which suggested that West Virginians will choose delegates to a Second Wheeling Convention to commence on the 11th of June if the citizens of Virginia accepted the Ordinance of Secession.
Charles B. Waggener of Mason County, the Judge Gibson Lamb Cranmer of Ohio County, and Marshall M. Dent of Monongalia County recorded the events of the First Wheeling Convention. Judge Cranmer was as well, the Second Wheeling Convention’s secretary and caretaker of the document proceedings, periodicals, and other manuscripts of the Convention. The records of Judge Cranmer for the convention were misplaced during the 1884 flood of the Wheeling Island. Duplicates of the records were hunted in Richmond and Alexandria, but no such copies were discovered. A State Historian of West Virginia, Virgil A. Lewis, had reconstructed the records of these Conventions from everyday records, published in the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer. Lewis published them and demonstrated the way West Virginia was formed in 1909.