The Civil War News & Views Open Discussion Forum

CHM- Slavery as an issue. West Virginia-- The “B

Most Neo-Yankees, whom I have debated, and the ones who think the war was all about slavery, fail to mention that the present state of West Virginia entered the Union June 20, 1863 as a slave state. In fact most never acknowledge this fact. Two if you have read the US Constitution you know that this document bars the formation of a new states from an existing state--

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1
As this new state was formed, in spite of the Constitution, slavery could have been abolished from day one but it was not. This is the resolution adopted by West Virginia to deal with slavery:
December 14, Gordon Battelle, of Ohio county, offered the following resolution, since generally referred to as the “Battelle Resolution”:

Resolved, That at the same time when the constitution is submitted to the qualified voters of the proposed new state, to be voted for or against, an additional section to Article XI, in the words following: I. No slave shall be brought, or free person of color come within this state for permanent residence, after the Constitution goes into operation.

2. That all children born of slave mothers after 1870 shall be free. the males at the age of twenty-eight and the females at the age of eighteen years. And the children of such females shall be free at birth;—shall be separately submitted to the qualified voters of the new state for their adoption or rejection. On the same day this resolution was tabled without day by a vote of twenty-four yeas and twenty-three nays. Thus the matter remained until February 12, 1862, when John A. Dille, of Preston county, reported the following, which was adopted by a vote of forty-eight yeas to one nay: “No slave shall be brought or free person of color come into the state for permanent residence after this constitution goes into operation.” Thus the question of slavery in \Vest Virginia’s constitution was covered, no further reference being made to it.
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Now if my old welding shop math is still working I estimate under this provision that the last slave in West Virginia would be freed somewhere around 1898.

Here are a coupe of sources worth reading --

West Virginia admitted as a slave state-- https://books.google.com/books?pg=PA353&lpg=PA353&dq=west+virginia+admitted+to+the+union+as+a+slave+state&sig=b0QsI9yJOKOD_DVh3Nekfsx9lbw&ei=OUykU8zxBpSYqAb05oLADg&id=6_cxAQAAMAAJ&ots=0Q4cepRrG_&output=text

West Virginia History -- http://www.wvculture.org/history/journal_wvh/wvh24-4.html

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