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                                               Today@VOA 
                                                     No.798

"On October 24, 1861, during the U.S. Civil War, 39 counties in Virginia start the process to secede to form their own state, West Virginia."
        "8 Things You May Not Know About West Virginia-HISTORY"
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List of cities and counties in Virginia-Wikipedia"West Virginia-Wikipedia"                        (The 110-20-line-photo-attached/442.05KB/22.1KB/Line)   

On This Day in American History
On October 24, 1861, during the U.S. Civil War, 39 counties in Virginia start the process to secede to form their own state, West Virginia. It is the only state created by breaking away from a Confederate state to form a Union state.

1. West Virginia was born out of sectional differences during the Civil War.
The schism that split the United States in two during the Civil War did the same to Virginia. From the state’s earliest days, slave-holding plantation owners in the eastern part of Virginia dominated the state’s economy and politics, leaving the self-sufficient farmers who lived in the rugged western counties, where slavery was far less prevalent, feeling ignored. Although Virginia joined the Confederacy in April 1861, the western part of the state remained loyal to the Union and began the process of separation.

2. Kanawha was originally proposed as the state’s name.
In the wake of Virginia’s secession, a convention of delegates from western Virginia met in Wheeling in 1861 for the purpose of forming the “State of Kanawha,” which incorporated 39 counties. The name honored a Native American tribe and a major state river of the same name. When the constitution for the proposed state was finalized in 1862, however, the name had changed to the more generic West Virginia.

3. Wheeling was West Virginia’s original capital.
The delegates from the western counties seeking statehood gathered in Wheeling to begin the process of joining the Union. After West Virginia achieved statehood, the capital remained in the city. In 1870, the capital shifted to Charleston, but it returned to Wheeling in 1875. The capital’s location was ultimately put to a statewide vote in 1877, but Wheeling was not among the choices. Voters selected Charleston over Martinsburg and Clarksburg, and the capital finally moved to its permanent home in 1885.

7. George Washington’s brothers built estates that still stand in West Virginia.
George Washington wasn’t the only member of the family to have a town named in his honor. His youngest brother Charles moved to western Virginia and in 1780 built an estate called Happy Retreat, out of which he set aside 80 acres for the creation of Charles Town, which was founded in 1786 and named in his honor. Another Washington brother, Samuel, constructed another nearby estate, Harewood, which was the location of James and Dolley Madison’s 1794 wedding. (George Washington himself surveyed the lands of western Virginia as a youth and purchased land along the Bullskin Run in present-day Berkeley County.)

8. West Virginia claims to be the birthplace of Mother’s Day.
Two years after Grafton, West Virginia, native Ann Jarvis passed away in 1905, her daughter Anna invited several friends to her home to commemorate her mother’s life. There she announced her idea to establish a national day of honor for all mothers. On May 10, 1908, Grafton’s Andrews Methodist Church, where Ann Jarvis taught Sunday School for two decades, hosted the first official Mother’s Day service. West Virginia issued the first Mother’s Day proclamation in 1910, four years before a joint resolution in the U.S. Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. The church is now home to the International Mother’s Day Shrine.


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