Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 33


The first group was admitted with the exception
of Buchanan and Wise. The third and fourth were
rejected because of close ties to eastern Virginia and
the presence of slavery.
the Potomac River to Harpers Ferry and eventually to Wheeling. It
helped fuel industrial growth in
northwest Virginia, which again
divided the region from the rest of
Virginia. Just as the V&T had bound
southwest Virginia tighter to Richmond, the B&O tied northwest Virginia to Maryland and points north.
The northwest Virginians "were
beginning to see their interests as
much more tied - for good reason,
given the Ohio River and B&O railroad - to Pennsylvania and Ohio
than they were to the government
in Richmond and the south generally," Fones-Wolf says.

The War Comes To
Virginia
When war and secession came
in 1861, regional differences came
to a head. Once the die was cast,
however, northwest Virginia leaders moved quickly. They initially
viewed themselves as the leaders of
Virginia's loyalist government, but
that quickly evolved into forming
an entirely new state.
Several names were considered
- Kanawha, Western Virginia, Alleghany and Augusta all were in the
running - before delegates at a constitutional convention chose West
Virginia. The question of where to
draw boundaries was a bit stickier.
Thirty-nine counties in northwest Virginia clearly would be part
of the new state. The convention's
boundary committee, however -
chaired by Chapman Stuart of Doddridge County, who previously had
tried to stop the state split - recommended an additional 32 counties
for inclusion. Much of the consid-

eration boiled down to delegates
contemplating West Virginia's economic future.
"They were looking at parts of the
state that have valuable resources,"
says Fones-Wolf. "My guess is they
would have loved to push over and
take the [Shenandoah] Valley, but
there was very little or no sentiment
for the Union there. They pushed
probably as far as they thought that
they could get away with, and further than they could actually control. South of the Kanawha River
was all pro-Confederate, but the
statehood founders recognized there
were important resources there as
well. They knew already there was
coal and natural gas and so on, to
say nothing of timber, which is the
first resource that gets extracted."

sliCing and diCing
The additional 32 counties fell
into four groups (see accompanying map):
1. Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Monroe, Mercer, McDowell, Buchanan
and Wise counties, all of which
were approved except Buchanan
and Wise. (Dickenson County and
Summers County were established
after the war from portions of the
counties in this group.)
2. The upper Shenandoah and
Lower Potomac counties of Jefferson, Berkeley, Frederick, Morgan,
Hampshire, Hardy and Pendleton.
3. Craig, Giles, Bland, Tazewell,
Russell, Scott and Lee, all southwest Virginia counties rejected because of their close ties to eastern
Virginia through the V&T railroad.
4. Clarke, Warren, Shenandoah,
Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Rock-

bridge, Botetourt, Alleghany, Bath
and Highland counties, which
made up the Shenandoah Valley
and Alleghany Highlands.
The first group of counties was
admitted with the exception of Buchanan and Wise. The second was
included because of its position
along the B&O Railroad, a crucial
linkage for the new state. The third
and fourth groups were rejected
because of close ties to eastern Virginia and the presence of slavery.
The Alleghany Highlands were
considered to round out West Virginia, and for the C&O Railroad,
which eventually linked the Ohio
River to Virginia. But after Granville
Parker of Cabell County pointed
out its inclusion would cost West
Virginia more than $4 million in
debt due to recent investments by
Virginia to build the railroad and
James River and Kanawha Canal,
they were quickly dropped, according to historians Charles Ambler
and Festus Summers, "like so many
hot potatoes."
Ironically, the inclusion of proConfederacy counties ended up influencing politics in West Virginia
for years to come.
"The right to vote for those who
had fought for the Confederacy
was restored by 1870, 1871," says
Fones-Wolf. "At that point the
Democrats take over control of
the state. West Virginia is a state
that doesn't have to go through
the same cumbersome reconstruction period that Virginia has to
go through. I think people down
there more or less accommodated
themselves to that and were able to
regain control fairly early." 
July/August 2015 33



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015

Sweet Summer Weekends & Overnights in 7 States
The Great Divorce: Virginia-West Virginia
Swimming Holes for Summer: The Photoessay
Grand Hotel Comebacks of Western Virginia
SUP in the Mountains?
Northern Shenandoah Weekend
A Home in, on and from the Mountains
Far Beyond Sweet Tea: Great Restaurants of Upcountry South Carolina
From the Editor / Worth a Click
Mill Creek Stories
The Hike
Creature Feature
Great Home Buys in the Mountains
Festivals & Events
Country Roads
Mountian Garden
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - From the Editor / Worth a Click
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Mill Creek Stories
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Great Home Buys in the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Sweet Summer Weekends & Overnights in 7 States
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - The Great Divorce: Virginia-West Virginia
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Swimming Holes for Summer: The Photoessay
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Grand Hotel Comebacks of Western Virginia
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - SUP in the Mountains?
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Northern Shenandoah Weekend
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - A Home in, on and from the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Far Beyond Sweet Tea: Great Restaurants of Upcountry South Carolina
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Mountian Garden
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover4
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