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Civil War: Sen. Carlile turns against W.Va.

July 31, 2012
By DAVE McKAIN , Parkersburg News and Sentinel

We reported in May the new West Virginia Constitution had been proudly sent to Washington for approval. It was expected the Reformed Virginia Government Congressional representatives would usher the new constitution through the committees for passage through the House and Senate. Those representatives in the Senate were John Carlile of Harrison County and Waitman T. Willey of Monongalia County. In the House, it was Jacob Beeson Blair from Wood County, Kellian B. Whaley from Wayne County and William G. Brown of Preston County. It became obvious there were problems that had to be overcome, the main one being the constitution did not include a free slave provision. Under the circumstances of the war, Congress was in no mood to accept a slave state into the Union. Further, the president was also not inclined to accept such. The new constitution lacked such a provision because the western Virginia Constitutional Convention feared it could not get a favorable vote in the legislature or by the people if it included a free slave provision.



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