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The Southern States of America
The History of West Virginia - Chapter III

WEST VIRGINIA, 1863-1909.

West Virginia's Part in The War of Secession.

In the war for Southern independence, to which West Virginia owes her existence as a state, the West Virginians, in proportion to their number and wealth, did as much as the people of any other state. That they were not friendly to secession was shown by their vote of ten to one against the Virginia ordinance of secession. That the determined character of this opposition to the action of Virginia was underestimated by the authorities at Richmond was shown by the persistent efforts of Virginia to secure control of her western counties and to collect forces therein for the Confederacy. Not until the failure of the Imboden raid was the true sentiment of West Virginia understood by the Confederates. To the Union army she furnished over 30,000 regular troops, exclusive of the 2,300 Home Guards, consisting of thirty-two companies organized to defend thirty-two home counties from invasion. For the Confederate service she furnished between 7,000 and 10,000, nearly all of whom enlisted before the close of 1861. The importance of West Virginia's contribution to the war cannot be estimated alone by the number of men which she furnished. The failure of the Confederates to hold the territory and to secure the Baltimore and Ohio Railway gave the Union forces a great advantage in the transportation of troops between Ohio and the East.

Politics and Political Issues.

West Virginia entered upon her career as a separate state of the American Union at the most critical period in the War of Secession-two weeks before the battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg in 1863. After the President's proclamation of April 20, the new government was rapidly organized. Arthur I. Boreman for governor, and other state officers, nominated at a convention at Parkersburg early in May, were elected the latter part of the same month. Judges of the supreme court and county officials were elected at the same time. On June 20 the state officers began their duties. On the same day the first legislature (twenty senators and fifty-one delegates) assembled, and on August 4 it elected two United States senators - Waitman T. Willey and Peter G. Van Winkle. Soon thereafter congressmen were elected from each of the three newly formed congressional districts.

The new state government, laying the foundation stones of state institutions and of future order and development, was confronted by many serious difficulties and obstacles-economic, social and political. The people, separated into many detached local groups by precipitous mountains and rugged streams, had not developed unity of action nor social and commercial identity, except, perhaps, in the counties along the Ohio, and along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The most serious immediate political difficulty was the sympathy for the Confederacy exhibited in various parts of the state. Although the Confederates had soon lost control of the larger part of the state, over 7,000 West Virginians had entered the Confederate army early in the war-about one-fourth of the number who enlisted in the Union army-and the Confederate raids and skirmishes into the state, at first to prevent separation from Virginia, were continued until the close of the war.

Counties along the southern border of the new state were partially under the control of the Confederates until near the close of the war, and "were forced to pay heavy taxes to the Richmond government, and to furnish soldiers for the Confederate army." Other counties along the border suffered from irregular "bands of guerrillas and marauders" whom the state troops were unable to manage. In the sad state of disorder, the governor recommended that the citizens should organize to capture and kill the "outlaws" wherever and whenever found, and appealed to the Washington government, which organized the state into a military district under command of General Kelley, who scattered many irregular bands and gradually rendered life and property secure; but in some portions of the state the civil authorities were helpless against lawlessness long after the close of the war.

Under these conditions the administration was seriously embarrassed by lack of funds to meet ordinary expenditures. In 1864 the governor reported that one-half of the counties had paid no taxes and others were in arrears. In fourteen counties there were no sheriffs or other collectors of taxes, "because of the danger incident thereto." The burdens of the counties which paid were necessarily increased. One of the earliest measures of the state government was an act (1863) providing for the forfeiture of property belonging to the enemies of the state, including those who had joined the Confederate army; but such property was seized only in a few instances and the law remained practically a dead letter-because the citizens of the state were usually unwilling to take advantage of the political disabilities of their neighbors.

Though in the election of 1864 there were only a few scattering votes in opposition to the officers of the state administration, there were no means of obtaining an expression of the people in some of the extreme southern counties where the governor reported that, owing to the Confederate incursions and local conditions, it was still impracticable to organize civil authority.

At the close of the war there were still many sources of disorder and friction. The most prominent related to the political status of those who had joined or aided the Confederate cause. The first general election laws of West Virginia, passed in 1863, had provided for election supervisors and inspectors who were authorized to require from all whose eligibility to vote was in doubt an oath to support the constitution of the United States and of West Virginia. Naturally the Unionists considered that those who had supported the Confederate cause could not safely be entrusted with political power immediately after their return from the Confederate armies, and before they had proven their willingness to cooperate in maintaining the established order. This opinion was enforced by conditions and events. In 1865 organized bands of returning Confederates committed several murders and robberies in Upshur, Barbour, Marion and Harrison counties. The legislature, with partisan spirit increased, passed the voter's test act, requiring from all voters an oath that they had neither voluntarily borne arms against the United States, nor aided those who had engaged in armed hostility against the United States. It also proposed an amendment disfranchising those who had given voluntary aid to the Confederates-of course with the intention of removing the disabilities in course of time. This further aroused the spirit of antagonism and insubordination in the minds of the ex-Confederates who were "impatient to repossess themselves of place and power."

In the elections of 1865 the test oath act was not strictly enforced, and in a few places it was entirely ignored. Many ex-Confederates, claiming that the law was unconstitutional, took a free hand in organizing the local government. In some places they ran for office, and in Greenbrier county two were elected-one to the state senate and the other to the house of delegates. In his message of 1866 Governor Boreman, commenting upon the alacrity with which the ex-Confederates insisted upon participation in politics, advised the legislature to enact a more efficient registration law, to require election officers to take a test oath, and to give the necessary concurrence in the proposed disfranchisement amendment so that it could be submitted to the people. The legislature promptly passed a registration law, authorizing the governor to appoint in each county a registration board consisting of three citizens who were given power to designate the township registrars. It also concurred in the proposed amendment which was promptly ratified by the people on May 24, 1866, by about 7,000 votes, thereby disfranchising between 10,000 and 20,000 persons.

Although there is yet considerable difference of opinion in regard to the wisdom of these measures, it is generally agreed that they were the natural result of conditions which seemed to threaten not only the policies of the administration but also the integrity and independence of the new state. Many of those who were disfranchised hoped to see West Virginia return to the control of Virginia. In Jefferson county a large number of persons, stating that the transfer of the county from Virginia to West Virginia during their absence was irregular and void, refused to acknowledge that they were West Virginians, and attempted to hold an election as a part of the state of Virginia; but they yielded when General Emory was sent to aid the civil officers in maintaining the law. Virginia, too, tried in vain to secure the return of Jefferson and Berkeley counties, first by annulling the act of the Pierpont government which had consented to the transfer, and second (1866) by bringing a suit in the supreme court which, in 1871, was decided in favor of West Virginia. In 1866, while Pierpont was still governor of Virginia, the legislature of that state appointed three commissioners to make overtures to West Virginia for the reunion of the two states, but the legislature of West Virginia rejected the proposition in 1867, stating that the people of the new state were unalterably opposed to reunion. At the same time the condition in some of the southern border counties caused the legislature to enact a more exacting registration law, requiring an applicant for registration not only to take the test oath but also to prove that he was qualified to vote. A state of insubordination existed in three or four counties. In some places no elections had been held in the fall of 1866 because of the fear of violence. The judge of the ninth district, including Greenbrier and Monroe counties, had received anonymous letters threatening his life. In his message the governor stated that the ex-Confederates who caused these troubles were "learned men."

The new registration law, which gave to registrars the power to identify those who had aided the secessionists in any form, increased the antagonism to the administration, and the opposition to the laws. During the campaign of 1868 there was much partisan excitement and friction. Many, unable to take the ironclad oaths which would enable them to vote, and perhaps further irritated by the adoption of the Fourteenth amendment, frequently attempted to intimidate public officials, and threatened violence which in some places prevented elections and in others compelled the governor to appeal for Federal troops to aid in the maintenance of law and order. Force was necessary to aid in the execution of the law in the counties of Monroe, Wayne, Cabell, Logan, Randolph, Tucker, Barbour and Marion. In some counties the restrictions of the registration law were almost entirely disregarded. As might have been expected, in some instances disorders arose from arbitrary refusal to register persons against whom there was no tangible evidence, or from unnecessary and unwise rigidity in administering the law -which of itself was not necessarily unjust nor unwise.

Before the election of 1869 there was a vigorous discussion of the suffrage question in all its phases. A large number of the liberal Republicans considered that a continuance of the test oaths was inexpedient and desired to adopt some policy that would terminate the bitter animosities of years. The legislature of 1870 repealed some of the test oaths. Gov. William E. Stevenson, who had defeated J. N. Camden, the Democratic candidate for governor, by a majority of only 5,000, with vigorous progressive views continued the constructive policy of his predecessor, endeavoring to remove the deeply rooted prejudices against immigration, and earnestly favoring liberal legislation to encourage projects of internal improvement and industrial enterprise which would engage the people of the state in the development of its resources and terminate the quarrels over past issues. He also recommended an amendment to the constitution to restore the privileges of those who had been disfranchised by the amendment of 1866. W. H. H. Flick in the House proposed the amendment which, after acceptance by the legislature of 1870 and 1871, was ratified by a vote of the people by a majority of 17,223, and proclaimed by the governor in April, 1871.

In the meantime, in the election of 1870, the opposition had pushed their claims to registration - often by intimidation of the registrars. In some counties the law was so far disregarded that every male of the required age was registered. This laxity in the enforcement of the more stringent features of the registration law, together with the opposition to negro suffrage, resulted in a victory for the Democrats, who elected John J. Jacobs governor by a majority of over 2,000 votes and secured a working majority in both houses which they retained for a quarter of a century. Although Jacobs' usefulness was somewhat restricted by limited views of statesmanship, he was conservative and moderate in his policies.

The strong reactionary elements which composed the Democratic party demanded a constitutional convention, and their strength was shown in the legislature of February, 1871, and in the election of August, 1871, which determined the question. In the election of the following October they elected sixty-six of the seventy-eight members of the convention. The twelve Republicans they humorously called "the twelve apostles."

The convention met at Charleston on Jan. 16, 1872, and remained in session for eighty-four days, completing its work on April 9, 1872. The new constitution, ratified by the people by a majority of 4,567 votes, exhibited the marks of the period of partisanship which preceded it.

Strong efforts were made by the most radical reactionaries to keep West Virginia under the influence of the life and institutions of Virginia and the South. After the early sessions of the convention, these efforts were somewhat neutralized by the more liberal or modern Democrats who feared that the ex-Confederate element of the party might force into the constitution provisions which would defeat it before the people.

Although the new constitution made some wise changes-lengthening the term of state executive officers to four years, doubling the terms of members of each house of the legislature, and providing for biennial (instead of annual) legislatures-it contained several restrictions and inhibitions and various antiquated and imperfect provisions which have retarded or prevented the governmental adjustments necessary to meet modern West Virginia conditions. Abolishing the township system, it provided for the return to the old county system-the Virginia idea of government by justices of the peace-which was subsequently changed by amendment (1881). Although other clauses were changed by amendments in 1884 and 1902, still other changes are needed. For instance, in spite of the great need of a secret Australian ballot to prevent traffic in votes, the antiquated clause still provides that "the voter shall be left free to vote by either open, sealed or secret ballot as he may elect." In 1903 Governor White, suggesting the need of a constitutional convention, said: "Our constitution creaks at almost every joint."

The political and constitutional history after 1872 may be briefly summarized. In the election that followed the adoption of the new constitution the Democrats were divided. Camden, who was their regular nominee, was defeated by a majority of 12,363 by Governor Jacobs, the independent candidate, who, after his reelection, devoted much attention to measures relating to the material development of the state.

In the exciting election of 1876 the Democratic state ticket of eight persons, seven of whom had been in the Confederate army, was elected by a majority of from 12,000 to 16,000. H. M. Mathews, who defeated Gen. Nathan Goff, the popular Republican candidate for governor, was a patriotic, broad and liberal-minded Confederate who had fully accepted the results of the war and was well fitted to lead in meeting living issues. His administration has been characterized as an era of good-feeling in which the state began to show new signs of awakening life -especially in industrial development.

Gov. J. B. Jackson, who succeeded Governor Mathews in 1881, was an honest but partisan Democrat of the old school who, in the election of 1880, received a plurality of 16,139 over George C. Sturgiss, the Republican candidate. Jackson favored the enactment of laws that would encourage immigration, manufactures and the development of the material resources of the state. He also attempted to secure reforms in taxation and state finance by directing that all property not exempted by the constitution should be listed for taxation, and by the appointment of a tax commission (1883). During his administration, a period of continued general prosperity and happiness (excepting the calamitous results of the great floods of February, 1884), steps were also taken to revise the laws, some of which were indefinite and inconsistent.

Under Gov. E. Willis Wilson, who was elected in 1884 by a majority of 5,289, there was a continuation of the agitation for the revision of the tax laws in order to secure equality of taxation, and the governor also proposed legislation to reform the election laws, to prohibit oppressive trusts and combinations, and to prevent the distribution of railway passes to officers of the state and delegates to political conventions. The administration waged a fierce and relentless war against the trunk line railroads which, the governor said, had discriminated against the people of West Virginia in freight and passenger rates. To secure regulation of railway rates the governor called a special session of the legislature, which, after heated debates and a close vote of nineteen to nineteen in the House (twenty-seven absent and not voting), dropped the further consideration of the subject and decided to await the result of the operation of the new national interstate-commerce law, which had just passed Congress and was approved by a joint resolution of both houses of the legislature, and which soon proved beneficial to West Virginia shippers.

Gov. A. B. Fleming, who contested the certified returns which gave his opponent (Gen. Nathan Goff) a majority of 110 votes, and received his office only by a strictly party vote (forty-three Democrats to forty Republicans) of the two houses of the legislature, continued the policy of his predecessor, who, as a result of the contest, had continued to act as executive for nearly a year beyond the term for which he was elected. He urged the taxation of the property of the Pullman Company and other foreign car companies, and the business of foreign telegraph companies originating in the state. He also recommended a general policy of legislation to preserve the resources of the state from monopoly, to foster agricultural interests and to diversify the various industries of the state.

Gov. Wm. A. MacCorkle, who defeated Thos. E. Davis, the Republican candidate, by a majority of less than 4,000 in the election of 1892, was a liberal, progressive young man who urged legislation for the adjustment of state taxation, liberal appropriations to support the growing institutions of the state, and proper regulative machinery to meet the changing conditions. He cordially cooperated with the spirit of the Republican legislature in favor of reorganizing the old partisan boards of state institutions and securing needed reforms "to give to the institutions the greatest degree of efficiency, free from the influence of politics."

The Democratic majority, which had reached its highest point in 1880, had steadily declined after that date until it became the minority at the close of MacCorkle's administration. In the election of 1896 the entire Republican state ticket was elected. George W. Atkinson defeated Cornelius C. Watts for governor by a plurality of 12,070 votes. The legislature had already elected one Republican senator (S. B. Elkins) in 1895, and in 1899 it proceeded to elect another (N. B. Scott). Governor Atkinson advocated policies for the improvement of the public schools, the improvement of roads by some system of permanent road building, the improvement of conditions of labor by state regulations, a radical amendment of the election laws, the encouragement of immigration, and other measures to meet the new and phenomenal industrial expansion in the state which continued to influence political problems and policies in subsequent administrations.

In the election of 1900 Albert B. White, Republican, defeated John Homer Holt for governor by a plurality of 19,516. In 1904 Wm. M. O. Dawson, Republican, defeated J. J. Cornwall by a plurality of 9,083. At the same time the Republican plurality for President was nearly 32,000, and for state officers was nearly 25,000. Under both White and Dawson the extension of state regulation and the reform of the tax laws furnished the largest questions in politics.

For a quarter of a century, although the constitution provided that taxation should be equal and uniform throughout the state, there has been much complaint of the inequalities and injustice of the tax laws. A tax commission created by the legislature of 1883 had scathingly criticised and condemned the laws, but without practical results. Though in 1885 the legislature, which had never before exercised its power under the constitution of 1872 to tax privileges and franchises, finally enacted a law taxing corporations, little was realized from it. Though in 1887 it provided for an inheritance tax (of 2 1/2 per cent.), a defect in the law rendered it of little value. The first substantial reform in the old laws was made by the legislature of 1901, which largely increased the revenue from license taxes in charters of corporations (regulating the rate according to the amount of authorized capital), and creating a tax commission to submit plans for further reforms. In 1904 the legislature, at a special session, created the office of state tax commissioner and enacted a system of twenty-one tax laws, which greatly lessened inequalities and practically provided for the extinguishment of direct taxes for the support of the state government after 1906. Though these reforms have been strongly opposed, it is generally recognized that with some modifications the reform policy will be sustained and continued.

The Republicans have steadily increased in number and influence with the great industrial development of the state, which has been accompanied by a rather large and continuous immigration from the north and northwest, the fading of old traditions and the rise of new issues. In the face of their increasing strength, however, they endangered their prospect of success at the polls in 1908 by party dissensions, which resulted in two opposing state organizations of the party and two gubernatorial tickets. On the other hand, it was stated that the Democratic state convention on July 30, 1908, weakened the chances of the Democratic state ticket by committing the party (by a vote of 712 against 411) to negro disfranchisement and "Jim Crow" cars.

Within a month of the election, the Republicans, by agreeing to the withdrawal of rival gubernatorial candidates and the selection of a new head for their ticket, succeeded in electing their candidate for governor, W. E. Glasscock, and their entire state ticket.

Industrial Progress.

The vast resources of West Virginia, whose development was so long delayed and retarded by lack of transportation, have recently furnished the incentive for many new enterprises which have greatly changed the life of the state. The recent industrial development of West Virginia had its origin largely in the increasing demand for timber, coal, oil and gas, and to the resulting inducements for the construction of railroads and the establishment of certain manufactures such as glass, iron and steel, for which the state furnishes a clean, cheap fuel.

The development of agriculture, as a skilled business in West Virginia, was greatly retarded by the habits of the people resulting from frontier conditions and long-continued lack of transportation facilities. There had been little concentrated or cooperative action for improvement of agriculture before the war. Except in a few counties the people were satisfied with production for bare subsistence, and gave little attention to production for exportation. There were few dealers in farm implements even at the close of the war, and the steam thresher did not come into use until about 1880, after which there was a rapid introduction of all kinds of improved implements and machinery. Since 1891 considerable advance has been made through the influence of farmers' institutes, better communications and various associations.

Lumbering (the lineal descendant of the earlier cutting and rafting of tanbark, hoop-poles and logs), although it had developed little before 1865, ranked second among the industries of the state in 1900, and first in 1905.

At the close of the war an awakened interest in the latent mineral resources of the state indicated the beginning of a new era of development. Coal mining companies were formed and coal mining operations were begun in Putnam, Boone, Wayne, Mason and Monongalia counties by 1869, and in Sewall mountain on New River in 1873. Operations were extensive in four other counties (Marion, Fayette, Harrison and Ohio) by 1880, and at the same time embryo operations were begun in the coke industry which steadily increased after 1880, and especially after 1890, when machines were introduced for mining. In 1903 there were 530 mines inspected, and the total production was 24,000,000 long tons, of which nearly 19,500,000 tons were shipped to market.

Petroleum, first obtained in large quantities in 1860 on the Little Kanawha near Parkersburg, developed a thriving business, which, although ruined by the Confederates in 1863, was revived in 1865 and greatly extended by operations in Wirt, Wood and Pleasants counties. From 1876 to 1889 there was little extension of productive area. The yearly production steadily declined during this period, but it rapidly increased from 544,000 barrels in 1889, to 16,000,000 barrels in 1900, surpassing both Pennsylvania and New York. By means of a series of pumping stations this product is forced through pipe lines over the mountains to the seaboard cities.

After 1882, by the opening of new gas wells and the discovery of new gas fields, the practical use of gas became a large factor in the industrial and social development of the state, furnishing the inducement for the location of many manufacturing establishments seeking cheap fuel and attracting immigrants desiring a clean and convenient fuel for their homes.

Industrial progress has been greatly influenced by corresponding development of means of transportation. The state began its existence with few facilities for communication in the larger portion of the state. Of the few turnpikes the most important were the Staunton and Parkersburg, and the Winchester and Parkersburg ("Northwestern"). South of the Great Kanawha, roads of any kind were few and in very bad condition. Steamboat navigation within the state was confined to a very few streams. There was but one railroad, the Baltimore and Ohio, whose influence affected only a narrow strip across the northern part of the state. The new government promptly took steps to secure the improvement of the Great Kanawha and the Little Kanawha, and encouraged the construction of railroads. Of the many proposed railways chartered after 1864, several were completed by 1885. In 1871 the Baltimore and Ohio railroad purchased the old Hempfield railroad, in operation between Wheeling and Washington, Pennsylvania, and completed it to Pittsburg. In January, 1873, the Chesapeake and Ohio was completed westward from Sulphur Springs to Huntington. In the same year Congress made small appropriations for sluice and wing dam improvement on the Great Kanawha, and two years later began appropriations for permanent lock and dam improvements which, after a quarter of a century, were completed to Montgomery above Charleston at a cost of over $4,000,000. In 1887 beacon lights were established on the Ohio, and soon thereafter on the Great Kanawha. By that time Congress had begun the appropriations by which slack water improvements have been extended up the Monongahela to Fairmont. In the meantime new railway lines had been in progress of construction. In 1884 the Kanawha and Michigan (continuation of the Ohio Central) was opened from the Ohio River to Charleston. In 1885 a line, designed to connect the north-central part of the state with Pittsburg, was completed from Fairmont to Morgantown, from whence it was later extended to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, where it connected with a main line of the Baltimore and Ohio from Cumberland to Pittsburg. The Ohio River railway was completed from Wheeling to Parkersburg in 1885, to Point Pleasant in 1886, and to Huntington in 1888. Other lines were soon begun. In 1892 the Norfolk and Western was opened to the Ohio, and in 1893 the Charleston, Clendennin and Sutton was put in operation up the Elk River from Charleston to Sutton, from which a line has since been extended to Elkins. From 1896 to 1902, the most active period of railway construction in the state, sixteen roads or branches were built ; and in 1904, railroads penetrated fifty-one of the fifty-five counties.

The rapid development of productive industries and of transportation facilities has been accompanied by great changes in every phase of life, industrial, social, political and educational. It has caused a phenomenal growth of many towns, and great improvement in the conditions of life.

Population and Material Wealth.

The character of the population has greatly changed since the War of Secession. The original settlers, whose ancestors were generally English or Scotch-Irish, or perhaps Pennsylvania German, were contented with a life of rural simplicity and hospitality whose economy was usually mere subsistence. Their descendants usually lived amiably with their neighbors, maintained their urbanity and self-possession in the presence of strangers, and, beyond the efforts necessary to secure the necessaries of life, were usually disposed to leave the improvement of things to time and chance. Always possessing intellect and sagacity capable of high development under favorable conditions, they have gradually responded to the progressive spirit of enterprise and of the strenuous life which received its greatest impulse from immigration from other states and the increased opportunities for communication and intermingling of the people.

The population almost trebled in the forty years from 1860 to 1900. It increased from 376,688 in 1860 to 442,014 in 1870, to 618,457 in 1880, to 762,794 in 1890 and to 958,800 (499,242 males and 459,558 females) in 1900. The estimated population in 1908, based upon the ratio of increase for the decade from 1890 to 1900, is about 1,156,000. In 1869 and early in 1870 erroneous reports represented that the population and wealth of the state were decreasing. The census of 1870 showed that while there was a general increase of population of over 20 per cent. in the state, there was a slight decrease in a few counties. There was a decrease of 794 in Greenbrier, 752 in Hampshire and Hardy combined, 615 in Marion, 169 in Nicholas and 30 in Brooke. All the other counties showed an increase, and every county since 1870 has shown an increase for each decade. In the decade from 1890 to 1900, the counties in which the population increased most rapidly were McDowell (156.8 per cent.), Tucker (108 per cent.), Webster (85 per cent.), Clay (77 per cent.), Marion (56.5 per cent.), Fayette (55.7 per cent.), Tyler (52.6 per cent.), and Randolph (51.9 per cent.). The counties in which the population increased most slowly were Jefferson (2.5 per cent.), Hampshire (3.4 per cent.), Berkeley (4.1 per cent.), Hancock (4.3 per cent.), Pendleton (5.2 per cent.), Monroe (5.6 per cent.), Mason (5.6 per cent.), Mineral (6.6 per cent.), Lewis (6.8 per cent.), and Grant (7 per cent.).

Of the population in 1900, the colored numbered 43,567 (including 56 Chinese and 12 Indians). The negroes were located principally in Berkeley, Cabell, Fayette, Greenbrier, Harrison, Jefferson, Kanawha, McDowell, Mineral, Ohio and Summers. Of the 247,970 males of voting age, only 14,786 were negroes. Of the illiterate voters 23,577 (11 per cent.); were white, and 5,583 (38 per cent.) were black. The foreign born numbered 22,451 (principally German, Irish, Italian, English and Scotch), located principally in Marion, Marshall, Ohio, Tucker and Wood counties. Excluding foreigners, the larger number of immigrants came from Virginia (61,508), Ohio (40,301), and Pennsylvania (28,927).

Since 1900 the immigration has greatly increased, especially in the mining and manufacturing regions of the northern and southern parts of the state. The rapidity of the growth of towns may be illustrated by the growth of Morgantown, whose population increased from less than 2,000 in 1900 to over 12,000 in 1908.

The census of 1900 showed a remarkable development of material wealth, which apparently has continued to increase each year thereafter. From 1870 to 1900 the value of farm property increased from $120,000,000 to nearly $204,000,000, and the value of farm products from $23,000,000 to nearly $45,000,0.00. For the same period the value of manufactured products increased from $24,000,000 to $74,000,000. The amount of capital invested in manufacturing, an industry which is still in its infancy, increased from $28,113,000 in 1890 to nearly $55,720,000 in 1900. For the same period the value of manufactured products increased from $38,702,000 to over $74,000,000 (91.7 per cent.). From 1870 to 1900 the value of timber products increased from about $364,000 to over $10,000,000. The coal production increased from 1,568,000 tons in 1880 to 22,647,000 tons in 1900, and to 25,760,000 tons in 1903. The value of the products of coke manufacture, a rapidly developing industry, increased from $1,130,762 in 1890 to $3,529,241 in 1900 (an increase of over 212 per cent.). The value of oil produced in 1902 was $25,000,000, and of gas over $5,000,000. In 1903 the total taxable value of the 3,643 miles of steam railways (including 931 miles of siding) in the state was $26,527,999. In 1903 the total resources of the sixty-eight national banks located in the state were $37,623,000, and of the 148 state banks $53,481,750. The deposits were $23,349,827 and $38,908,768 respectively.


In 1863 West Virginia had no common school system, no normal schools and no university. Before 1863 the few schools which were maintained at public expense were primarily for indigent children. The people who had so long agitated the question of free schools for all, in 1863 inserted a clause in their constitution providing for their establishment, and promptly secured from their first legislature a free school law. In 1865 the state superintendent reported that there were 431 schools and 387 teachers in the state. In 1866 and 1867 provision was made for colored schools where the number of colored children was sufficient. The constitution provided that white and colored children should not be educated in the same schools.

The new school system encountered many obstacles. The law was opposed by many of the ultraconservatives, who urged the people to disregard it and refused to cooperate with the authorities. In some thinly settled counties of the interior, and along the southern border, the people were not able to build school houses. In several counties the superintendents were too ignorant to examine the incompetent teachers. In order to supply the great need for trained teachers the legislature, in 1867, established normal schools at Huntington, at Fairmont and at West Liberty. Three additional normal schools were established, in 1872, at Shepherdstown, Athens and Glenville. By 1869 the school system was better organized; but as late as 1872 over half of the county superintendents failed to submit reports, and the state superintendent reported that in many districts there had been no schools for two years. In many instances progress was hindered by misuse of funds by the school boards, who voted themselves a liberal compensation for their services. The sheriff often postponed the payment of the salary of teachers until they were compelled to sell their orders at great sacrifice to the curbstone broker, often a confederate of the sheriff. In spite of laws to prevent, this abuse continued for more than a quarter of a century. Examinations in many counties continued to be conducted so loosely and so dishonestly that incompetent teachers found little difficulty in securing certificates until, finally, the widespread jobbery in teachers' certificates was almost terminated in 1903 by the adoption of the uniform examination system. Supervision of schools by the county superintendent in many counties remained a fraud and a farce for decades. An effort to secure more efficient supervision was made in 1901 by forbidding the county superintendent to teach, and in 1907 by increasing the salary, of the office.

Although progress was slow for so many years, it has been more rapid in recent years. High schools have increased in number and improved in character. The normal schools, whose work has been largely that of the high school, have begun to give more attention to the purpose for which they were founded. A state board of education, created by the revised school law of 1908, is empowered to prepare a course of study for the public schools of the state, and to unify and increase the efficiency of the school system by defining the relations of the different kinds of schools, and by securing better articulation of the school work.

West Virginia University, since its foundation in 1867, has exerted a gradually increasing influence in the development of the education and other activities of the state. For many years the growth of the new institution was very slow and uncertain. This retarded growth was due to many causes. Among these causes may be enumerated the partially local foundation, the sectional questions which had divided Virginia long before the war, the new sectional jealousies, the post-bellum political questions and partisanship, the lack of a satisfactory system of secondary schools, the divided responsibility and laissez faire policy, and the lack of means of communication with Morgantown, the seat of the institution. Gradually the power and importance of these causes were reduced by changing conditions. Industrial progress has been a prominent factor in the transformation of the earlier school into a real college or university. Women were admitted to the collegiate department in 1889 and to all departments in 1897.

The growth of the university has been greatly aided by the development of better secondary schools. The normal schools have partially solved the problem of suitable preparatory schools. A preparatory school at Montgomery, opened January, 1897, was established by an act of Feb. 16, 1895. Another was established at Keyser by an act of 1901.

To supply the demand for state institutions where colored people could receive special or more advanced academic training, the colored institute at Farm (Kanawha county) was established in 1891, and the Bluefield colored institute (in Mercer county) was established in 1895.

Interstate Relations.

Between West Virginia and her neighbors, since 1863, there have arisen several interstate questions, two of the oldest and most prominent of which are still pending in the United States Supreme Court.

Among those of minor importance were: (1) the boundary question with Pennsylvania, which was settled by a joint boundary commission in 1885-86; (2) the trouble along the Big Sandy boundary between West Virginia and Kentucky, resulting from the Hatfield-McCoy feuds which, after periodically disturbing the peace for several years, were terminated by the wise action of Governor Fleming in withdrawing the rewards which had been offered by West Virginia for the arrest of some of the McCoys; and (3), the question of transferring from Virginia to West Virginia the records of original grants of land in West Virginia-a question which was satisfactorily settled by negotiations of Governor Fleming.

More important was the contest between Virginia and West Virginia for jurisdiction over Jefferson and Berkeley counties, settled by the United States Supreme Court in 1871, and the Maryland boundary and the Virginia debt questions still pending.

The boundary question with Maryland was an old one in regard to the meaning of the "first fountain of the Potomac," which, in Lord Baltimore's charter, was mentioned as the southern point of the boundary between Maryland and Virginia, and which had been marked by the Fairfax stone at the head of the North Branch in accordance with the decision of the king in council in 1745, after a careful survey by a boundary commission. The North Branch had practically been accepted as the boundary several years before the Revolution, and again in 1785, and even later when Maryland claimed that her western boundary should be located about a mile west of the Fairfax stone. Though in 1852 Maryland finally accepted the Fairfax stone as the southern point of her western boundary, in 1859 she secured a new survey of the meridian line northward, which terminated at the Pennsylvania boundary about three-fourths of a mile west of the old line (which had been surveyed in 1788), thus laying the basis of the later controversy with West Virginia in regard to conflicting land claims and jurisdiction in the triangular strip between the two lines -some of which culminated in personal encounters and breaches of the peace, which each state treated as a crime within its jurisdiction and attempted to punish. Though West Virginia, wearied with the resulting "border war," in 1887 was willing to yield her claim to jurisdiction, Maryland ignored the terms of the proposition and three years later authorized a boundary suit before the Supreme Court, into which the attorney-general of Maryland injected the old claim to the South Branch as the farthest source of the Potomac-a claim which, if sustained, would extend the southwest corner of Maryland southward to the southern border of Pendleton county, thus completely dividing West Virginia into two non-contiguous parts. Governor Fleming, with the sanction of the legislature, employed counsel to defend the interests of the state against the claims of Maryland for territory which had been embraced within the limits of Virginia since 1863, and which had been in the undisturbed and exclusive possession of West Virginia, and under her jurisdiction and control since 1863. After the suit was brought, Maryland proposed arbitration, but West Virginia has preferred to leave the settlement to the court.

The Virginia debt question arose with the formation of West Virginia, and has been a prominent factor or issue in state politics at various times. At the time of the separation, it was agreed that the new state would assume a just proportion of the public debt of Virginia prior to 1861, "to be ascertained by charging to it all the expenditures within the limits thereof and a just proportion of the ordinary expenses of the state government, since any part of said debt was contracted, and deducting therefrom all moneys paid into the treasury of the commonwealth from the counties included within the said new state, during the same period."

In 1866 Virginia appointed commissioners who, in case of failure to secure reunion of West Virginia to Virginia, were authorized to negotiate for the adjustment of the public debt and a fair division of the public property. The West Virginia legislature, expressing a willingness for a prompt and equitable settlement, authorized the governor to appoint three commissioners to consider the adjustment of the debt question after the announcement of the decision of the Supreme Court in the case brought by Virginia for the recovery of Berkeley and Jefferson counties. In February, 1870, Virginia appointed a commission which went to Wheeling and induced the West Virginia legislature to appoint a similar commission to treat for the purpose of adjusting the question. The West Virginia commission, without any appropriation for expenses, failed to act; and, a year later when an appropriation was made by the succeeding legislature of 1871, Virginia, having changed her policy on the mode of adjustment, proposed arbitration by commissioners who should not be citizens of either state-a proposal which West Virginia declined.

The West Virginia commission, acting alone, went to Richmond, examined such documents as were accessible, and reported that of the $31,778,867.62, which had been spent on internal improvements, $2,784,329.29 had been spent in West Virginia. To the latter was added an additional $559,600 from other sources, and from the sum was subtracted a credit of $2,390,369.06, exclusive of taxes paid to the Virginia government, leaving a remainder of $953,360.23 in favor of Virginia. On the ground that the commission had been unable to secure complete data, and for other reasons, the legislature did not accept the conclusions.

In 1873 the subject was considered by the finance committee of the Senate. On December 22 the chairman, J. M. Bennett, who had been auditor of Virginia for eight years, submitted a report showing that from 1822 to 1861 the state expenditures in counties in West Virginia was $3,366,929.29, that the counties of West Virginia had paid into the treasury of Virginia at least $3,892,000, besides an equitable portion of the ordinary expenses of the government, and that after subtracting from this sum the amount expended for internal improvements in West Virginia there was a remainder of over $525,000 in favor of West Virginia. This view was adopted by the people of West Virginia, who, believing that they owed no debt, urged the basis of settlement which was persistently refused by Virginia.

In the meantime, in 1871, Virginia passed a funding bill, giving in exchange for the old bonds, new bonds for two-thirds the amount surrendered and certificates for the remaining third. These certificates identified the holders of the unfunded part of the debt, and were to be paid only as should be provided in accordance with the future settlement between Virginia and West Virginia. Thus Virginia became liable for these certificates as soon as she settled with West Virginia. In the later certificates of 1879, 1882 and 1892, however, there was a clause releasing Virginia from all liability. These Virginia certificates, thrown on the market under the misleading name of "West Virginia certificates," greatly injured the financial standing of West Virginia and prevented immigration and investment of capital at a time when they were much needed.

In March, 1894, after Virginia had compromised and settled with her creditors and had been released from all liability, the legislature of Virginia adopted a resolution providing for the appointment of a commission of seven members to negotiate with West Virginia for the payment of the certificates, and on the basis that Virginia was bound for only two-thirds of the old debt. In 1895 and in 1896, when the negotiations were proposed, West Virginia refused to accept the condition that Virginia should be held liable for only two-thirds of the old debt. Again in 1900, Virginia, as trustee of the certificate holders, tried to secure an adjustment, but again on conditions which West Virginia could not accept. She then instituted a suit to secure an accounting and settlement under the supervision and direction of the United States Supreme Court. On various grounds, including lack of authority of the attorney-general to bring the suit, the plaintiff's action as trustee for private individuals, lack of jurisdiction by the court, and lack of power to render or enforce any final judgment or decree in the case, the attorneys for West Virginia entered a demurrer which the court, in March, 1907, through chief justice Fuller, overruled "without prejudice to any question." The court appointed a master of accounts under whom the representatives of both parties to the suit are collecting data for presentation to the court in October, 1908. This data was not ready to be submitted to the court when it convened.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. - Acts of the West Virginia Legislature; Ambler: Disfranchisement in West Virginia (in Yale Review of May and August, 1905); Callahan: West Virginia, in University Studies in West Virginia History; Census Reports (1860-1900); Fast and Maxwell: History and Government of West Virginia (1901). (Bibliography on pp. 496-503); Governors' Messages and Public Documents of West Virginia (18631907); Hagans: Formation of West Virginia (West Virginia Supreme Court Reports, Vol. I.); Journals of the House and Senate of West Virginia (1863-1907); Journal of the Constitutional Convention of 1863; Journal of the Constitutional Convention of 1872; Lewis: History and Government of West Virginia (1896), History of West Virginia (1889), Handbook of West Virginia (1904); Maxwell: Histories of Tucker, Randolph, and Hampshire Counties (1884-97); Reports of West Virginia Geological Survey; Willey: Formation of West Virginia (1901); Wheeling Daily Intelligencer. A full bibliography of the various state publications of West Virginia has been compiled for publication under the editorial direction of R. R. Bowker of the Publishers' Weekly, New York.

Professor of History and Political Science, West Virginia University.

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