Encyclopedia Virginia: Conventions, State and Constitutional http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/img/EV_Logo_sm.gif Encyclopedia Virginia This is the url http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org The first and ultimate online reference work about the Commonwealth /West_Virginia_Creation_of Tue, 08 Aug 2017 17:55:53 EST West Virginia, Creation of http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/West_Virginia_Creation_of West Virginia was recognized by the U.S. government as the thirty-fifth state on June 20, 1863, an event that was the culmination of more than sixty years of heated sectional politics and legislative maneuverings. From the first political rumblings of new-state advocates at the turn of the nineteenth century through the formative sessions of the Wheeling conventions held from 1861 until 1863, the creation of West Virginia was a complex and contentious process that divided the residents, communities, and political leaders of Virginia. Spearheaded by northwestern Virginians, the statehood movement began as an effort to expand western political influence and the region's growing industrial economy. Final approval of West Virginia's statehood was forged amid the chaos and divisiveness of the secession debate and the bloodshed of the American Civil War (1861–1865).
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/African_American_Legislators_in_Virginia_1867-1899 Thu, 17 Nov 2016 15:34:27 EST <![CDATA[African American Legislators in Virginia (1867–1899)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/African_American_Legislators_in_Virginia_1867-1899 Thu, 17 Nov 2016 15:34:27 EST]]> /Toler_Burwell_ca_1822-1880 Wed, 02 Nov 2016 14:47:35 EST <![CDATA[Toler, Burwell (ca. 1822–1880)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Toler_Burwell_ca_1822-1880 Wed, 02 Nov 2016 14:47:35 EST]]> /Virginia_Convention_of_1864 Thu, 08 Sep 2016 17:11:28 EST <![CDATA[Constitutional Convention, Virginia (1864)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Virginia_Convention_of_1864 The Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1864, called by the loyal Restored government meeting in Alexandria during the American Civil War (1861–1865), adopted the Constitution of 1864, which finally accomplished a number of changes that reformers had agitated for since at least the 1820s. It abolished slavery, provided a way of funding primary and free schools, and required voting by paper ballot for state officers and members of the General Assembly. It also put an end to longstanding friction over regional differences by recognizing the creation of West Virginia as a separate state. Members of the convention proclaimed the new constitution in effect, rather than submitting it to voters for approval in a popular referendum. Initially only the areas of northern and eastern Virginia then under Union control recognized the authority of the Constitution of 1864, but after the fall of the Confederacy in May 1865 it became effective for all of Virginia and remained in effect until July 1869.
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/The_Constitution_of_Virginia_1776 Thu, 21 Jul 2016 15:54:32 EST <![CDATA[The Constitution of Virginia (1776)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/The_Constitution_of_Virginia_1776 Thu, 21 Jul 2016 15:54:32 EST]]> /Campbell_Preston_White_1874-1954 Mon, 02 Nov 2015 09:42:53 EST <![CDATA[Campbell, Preston W. (1874–1954)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Campbell_Preston_White_1874-1954 Preston W. Campbell was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1901–1902, commonwealth's attorney for Washington County (1911–1914), a judge of the Twenty-third Circuit (1914–1924), and a judge on the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (1924–1946), serving as the court's chief justice from 1931 until his retirement. Born in Abingdon, Campbell studied law there and practiced in the town for fourteen years. At the Convention of 1901–1902, called in large part to disenfranchise Virginia's blacks and poor whites, he supported the depoliticizing of county school superintendents but spoke little during the proceedings. As a Supreme Court justice he penned 528 opinions, the most memorable of which was his solo dissent in Staples v. Gilmer (1945). Campbell argued that in calling a constitutional convention, the General Assembly could not place limits on what the delegates considered. Campbell retired from the bench in 1946 and died in 1954.
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/Bristow_Joseph_Allen_1838-1903 Mon, 02 Nov 2015 09:11:33 EST <![CDATA[Bristow, Joseph A. (1838–1903)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Bristow_Joseph_Allen_1838-1903 Joseph A. Bristow was a Republican member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1901–1902. The Middlesex County Confederate veteran developed an interest in oyster harvesting and took out a patent for deepwater tongs with an associate. He joined the Republican Party and later supported the Readjusters who wished to reduce the antebellum state debt. Becoming one of Readjuster leader William Mahone's chief local organizers, Bristow remained the most important Republican in the county for more than thirty years. After unsuccessful attempts at being elected a presidential elector and a congressman, he won a seat to the state constitutional convention from the district of Essex and Middlesex counties. One of only a dozen Republicans in the convention and the only one from east of the mountains, he voted against the restrictive voter-registration provisions that the convention adopted and against the adoption of the constitution. Bristow's resolution that naturally occurring oyster beds be held as a public trust did evolve into a section of the new constitution.
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/Hunnicutt_James_W_1814-1880 Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:10:40 EST <![CDATA[Hunnicutt, James W. (1814–1880)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Hunnicutt_James_W_1814-1880 James W. Hunnicutt, a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1867–1868, saw his public career shift during the 1860s from a slavery supporter to a prominent Radical Republican to an ally of the Conservative Party. In 1860 Hunnicutt, a minister and newspaper publisher, voiced his concerns that secession would lead to the American Civil War (1861–1865), and would end slavery. He fled Fredericksburg for Philadelphia in 1862, already evolving into an advocate of African American rights. Settling in Richmond after the Civil War, his actions to help organize freedpeople earned him enemies in the white community. He won election to the Convention of 1867–1868 that wrote the state's new constitution but his political power soon declined because of increased scrutiny on his prewar support of white supremacy, disenchantment from blacks outside of Richmond, and estrangement from other party leaders. In 1869 he lost a congressional election as a True Republican, a moderate Republican-Conservative coalition, and retired to Stafford County where he died a decade later.
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/George_Washington_to_Charles_Carter_1787 Wed, 08 Jul 2015 08:56:51 EST <![CDATA[George Washington to Charles Carter (1787)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/George_Washington_to_Charles_Carter_1787 Wed, 08 Jul 2015 08:56:51 EST]]> /Constitutional_Convention_Virginia_1901-1902 Wed, 20 May 2015 10:57:45 EST <![CDATA[Constitutional Convention, Virginia (1901–1902)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Constitutional_Convention_Virginia_1901-1902 The Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1901–1902 produced the Virginia Constitution of 1902 and is an important example of post-Reconstruction efforts to restore white supremacy in the American South by disenfranchising large numbers of blacks and working-class whites. Remaining in effect until July 1, 1971, the constitution did much to shape Virginia politics in the twentieth century—a politics dominated by a conservative Democratic Party that fiercely resisted the New Deal, the New Frontier, the Great Society, the civil rights movement, and, with special fervor, federally mandated public school desegregation. Yet the significance of the 1901–1902 convention extends beyond Virginia in that it demonstrates the irony of how Progressive Era reforms nationwide often resulted in state legislation that was far from progressive.
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/Seaton_George_Lewis_ca_1822-1881 Tue, 12 May 2015 15:39:33 EST <![CDATA[Seaton, George Lewis (ca. 1822–1881)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Seaton_George_Lewis_ca_1822-1881 George Lewis Seaton represented Alexandria for one session in the House of Delegates (1869–1871). Born free, Seaton worked as a carpenter and conducted multiple property transactions. After the American Civil War (1861–1865) he worked to improve the lives of former slaves by constructing two schools for Alexandria's freedpeople and helping to establish a local branch of the Freedman's Savings Bank and Trust Company. Seaton's strong reputation probably played a role in his selection to the grand jury for the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Virginia, likely the first interracial jury in Virginia history. In 1869 he won election to the House of Delegates and voted with the majority to ratify the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution as required by Congress before Virginia could be readmitted to the United States. He lost a bid for reelection in 1871 by fewer than 100 votes, but continued to participate in party politics throughout the decade. He spent his later years supporting public schools and community organizations for African Americans in Alexandria, but had to liquidate assets including his grocery store after the Panic of 1873. He died of paralysis in his home in 1881.
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/Chambers_Edward_R_1795-1872 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:37:57 EST <![CDATA[Chambers, Edward R. (1795–1872)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Chambers_Edward_R_1795-1872 Edward R. Chambers served in the Convention of 1850–1851 and parts of the Convention of 1861. Chambers settled in Mecklenburg County, where he established his law practice. He won election to the Convention of 1850–1851, which created a new constitution that established universal white-male suffrage and provided for a popularly elected governor. During the proceedings he called for a committee to look into the removal of all free people of color from Virginia. This ultimately led to Article IV, Section 19 of the constitution, which continued an 1806 law mandating that freed slaves leave the state within twelve months. In 1861 Mecklenburg County voters elected him to fill an unexpired term in the convention that had already passed the Ordinance of Secession leading to the American Civil War (1861–1865), which he signed. Chambers received his postwar pardon in July 1865. Two months later Governor Francis H. Pierpont appointed him a circuit court judge, but he was removed in 1869 in compliance with a congressional resolution ordering the replacement of Virginia's civil officeholders who had supported the Confederacy. He returned to the practice of law, became a commonwealth attorney, and died in his home at Boydton.
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/Burwell_Nathaniel_1750-1814 Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:37:18 EST <![CDATA[Burwell, Nathaniel (1750–1814)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Burwell_Nathaniel_1750-1814 Nathaniel Burwell was appointed to the James City County Court, served in the county militia, represented James City County in the House of Delegates (1778–1779), and was elected to the Convention of 1788 to consider the proposed constitution of the United States. The son of Carter Burwell, Nathaniel Burwell spent part of his adulthood at Carter's Grove plantation in James City County. He was a major landholder in the region, owning small industrial operations such as an iron forge and two gristmills. Later he built Carter Hall in what became Clarke County.
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/Chilton_Samuel_1805-1867 Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:10:40 EST <![CDATA[Chilton, Samuel (1805–1867)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Chilton_Samuel_1805-1867 Samuel Chilton was a lawyer, a member of the House of Representatives (1843–1845), and a member of the Convention of 1850–1851, the purpose of which was the revision of the Virginia constitution. He is best known for sitting on a committee appointed during the convention to report on the apportionment of the General Assembly. Chilton supported calculating legislative representation on the basis of population and property holding, but proposed a key compromise with western delegates who held opposing views. His plan for apportionment passed, and on July 31, 1851, Chilton voted with the majority in favor of the final version of the state constitution. Chilton moved to Washington, D.C., by 1853, when he joined the American (Know Nothing) Party. In 1859 he and Hiram Griswold represented John Brown for the final two days of the treason trial that followed Brown's 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry. Though Chilton tried to appeal the guilty verdict, he was unsuccessful, and ultimately was forced to testify before a Senate committee about the circumstances surrounding his hiring and subsequent payment. After the trial, Chilton reportedly was offered and refused a position on Abraham Lincoln's administration. He died in Warrenton on January 7, 1867.
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/The_Constitution_of_the_United_States_1787-1992 Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:00:07 EST <![CDATA[The Constitution of the United States (1787–1992)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/The_Constitution_of_the_United_States_1787-1992 Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:00:07 EST]]> /Virginia_Constitutional_Convention_of_1861 Fri, 20 Jun 2014 13:10:39 EST <![CDATA[Virginia Convention of 1861]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Virginia_Constitutional_Convention_of_1861 The Virginia Convention of 1861, also known later as the Secession Convention, convened on February 13, 1861, on the eve of the American Civil War (1861–1865), to consider whether Virginia should secede from the United States. Its 152 delegates, a majority of whom were Unionist, had been elected at the behest of the Virginia General Assembly, which also directed that their decision be ratified by a statewide referendum. Several states in the Deep South, beginning with South Carolina, had already left the Union in response to the election in November 1860 of Abraham Lincoln as United States president. Virginia, however, hesitated, and debate raged on for months. On April 4, secessionists badly lost a vote but prepared for the possibility of war nevertheless. Former Virginia governor Henry A. Wise worked behind the scenes and outside the legal process to secure the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry by military means, a move that prompted a furious objection from Unionist delegate John Baldwin of Staunton. After the fall of Fort Sumter on April 13 and Lincoln's call for 75,000 volunteers on April 15, the momentum turned toward secession, and the convention voted on April 17 to leave the Union. Virginians expressed their agreement at the polls on May 23. The state had joined the Confederacy.
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/Floyd_John_B_1806-1863 Tue, 27 May 2014 09:19:47 EST <![CDATA[Floyd, John B. (1806–1863)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Floyd_John_B_1806-1863 John B. Floyd was governor of Virginia (1849–1852), secretary of war in the administration of United States president James Buchanan (1857–1860), and a Confederate general during the American Civil War (1861–1865). As governor, he helped usher in the apportionment and suffrage reforms proposed by the constitutional convention of 1850–1851, but at Buchanan's War Department his reputation plunged because of various corruption scandals. His good name would never recover. At Fort Donelson, Tennessee, in February 1862, he held off the forces of Union brigadier general Ulysses S. Grant for two days. Rather than personally surrender, however, he and his Virginia soldiers fled by steamboat in the middle of the night, leaving the duty to his third in command. Floyd was relieved of his command a month later.
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/Braxton_A_Caperton_1862-1914 Thu, 15 May 2014 14:58:15 EST <![CDATA[Braxton, A. Caperton (1862–1914)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Braxton_A_Caperton_1862-1914 A. Caperton Braxton was a lawyer, president of the Virginia State Bar Association, and a member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1901–1902, representing Staunton and Augusta County. Braxton supported the convention's aggressive and largely successful efforts at rolling back the reforms of Reconstruction (1865–1877) and eliminating the African American franchise in Virginia, as well as the votes of poor and uneducated whites. As the chair of the convention's Committee on Corporations, he drafted Article XII of the Constitution of 1902, creating the State Corporation Commission, a progressive reform designed to regulate corporations in the public interest. A conservative Democrat, Braxton was named as a possible U.S. vice presidential candidate in 1904, but never ran for public office in Virginia. He died of Bright's disease in Staunton in 1914.
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/Mason_George_1725-1792 Thu, 06 Mar 2014 08:32:00 EST <![CDATA[Mason, George (1725–1792)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Mason_George_1725-1792 George Mason was a wealthy planter and an influential lawmaker who served as a member of the Fairfax County Court (1747–1752; 1764–1789), the Truro Parish vestry (1749–1785), the House of Burgesses (1758–1761), and the House of Delegates (1776–1780). In 1769, he helped organize a nonimportation movement to protest British imperial policies, and he later wrote the Fairfax Resolves (1774), challenging Parliament's authority over the American colonies. In 1775, Mason was elected to the Fairfax County committees of public safety and correspondence. He represented Fairfax County in Virginia's third revolutionary convention (1775) and in the fifth convention (1776), where he drafted Virginia's first state constitution and its Declaration of Rights, which is widely considered his greatest accomplishment. As a member of the House of Delegates, he advocated sound money policies and the separation of church and state. Mason represented Virginia at the Mount Vernon Conference (1785) on Potomac River navigation and at the federal Constitutional Convention (1787). Although Mason initially supported constitutional reform, he ultimately refused to sign the Constitution, and he led the Anti-Federalist bloc in the Virginia convention (1788) called to consider ratification of the Constitution. After Virginia approved it, Mason retired to his elegant home, Gunston Hall, on the Northern Neck, where he died in 1792.
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/Pollard_John_Garland_1871-1937 Tue, 07 Jan 2014 12:40:56 EST <![CDATA[Pollard, John Garland (1871–1937)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Pollard_John_Garland_1871-1937 John Garland Pollard was a progressive Democrat who served as delegate to the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1901–1902, attorney general of Virginia (1914–1918), and governor (1930–1934). Handpicked by Harry F. Byrd Sr. to be his gubernatorial successor, Pollard left a legacy as governor that was clouded by the fact that he took office on the eve of the Great Depression. While independent-minded, Pollard was never able to get fully out from under the thumb of Byrd (supposedly he would remark while patting his belly that he had become so rotund by "swallowing the Byrd machine"). Byrd's control over Pollard and Virginia's political environment was particularly evident in the initiative to legalize alcohol when Byrd went around Pollard to senator William M. Tuck to gather the General Assembly together in order to push through a state referendum to repeal Prohibition and establish the state-run Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Outside of politics, Pollard was an educator and member of several public and philanthropic commissions and organizations. As a practicing attorney, he wrote Pollard's Code of Virginia, which became an often-consulted reference work on the laws of Virginia. He also served briefly as a professor of constitutional law and history at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg. In 1936 Pollard helped to found the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, the first state art museum in the United States, and served as president of the museum's board of directors.
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/Carr_David_Green_1809-1883 Tue, 13 Aug 2013 11:15:10 EST <![CDATA[Carr, David Green (1809–1883)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Carr_David_Green_1809-1883 David Green Carr served as a member of the Convention of 1867–1868 and the Senate of Virginia (1869–1871). He was born in Otsego County, New York, in 1809 and purchased a Dinwiddie County farm in 1853. He became active in Virginia's Republican Party after the American Civil War, and in 1867 Dinwiddie and Prince George county voters elected him as one of their two representatives to the state constitutional convention. He voted in favor of the new constitution, which included such reforms as universal manhood suffrage and the establishment of a public school system. In 1869 Carr, a member of the party's radical faction, won a seat in the state senate. He became Petersburg's collector of customs in 1870. He left the position by 1874, but he reacquired the job in 1877 and held it until his death in 1883.
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/Lewis_Burwell_d_by_1779 Wed, 31 Jul 2013 15:27:35 EST <![CDATA[Burwell, Lewis (d. by 1779)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Lewis_Burwell_d_by_1779 Wed, 31 Jul 2013 15:27:35 EST]]> /Members_of_the_Continental_Congress_from_Virginia Mon, 17 Sep 2012 10:20:21 EST <![CDATA[Members of the Continental Congress from Virginia]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Members_of_the_Continental_Congress_from_Virginia Mon, 17 Sep 2012 10:20:21 EST]]> /Willey_Waitman_Speech_of_at_the_Constitutional_Convention_of_1861_on_April_2 Wed, 01 Aug 2012 13:07:06 EST <![CDATA[Willey, Waitman, Speech of at the Constitutional Convention of 1861 on April 2]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Willey_Waitman_Speech_of_at_the_Constitutional_Convention_of_1861_on_April_2 Waitman Willey, a delegate to the Secession Convention from Monongalia County (now part of West Virginia), argues for equal taxation of all property in Virginia.
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/Virginia_Delegates_to_the_Constitutional_Convention_of_1787 Tue, 17 Apr 2012 13:19:06 EST <![CDATA[Virginia Delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Virginia_Delegates_to_the_Constitutional_Convention_of_1787 Tue, 17 Apr 2012 13:19:06 EST]]>