Cumberland Times-News

Letters

June 24, 2013

If any of the following sounds familiar, it probably should

Following is an excerpt from remarks delivered by a prominent local politician.

“The east has always looked upon that portion of the state west of the mountains as sort of an outside appendage — a territory in a state of pupilage. The unfairness and inequality of legislation is manifest on every page of the statute book; they had an unjust majority in the Legislature by the original constitution of the state, and have clung to it with the utmost tenacity ever since; they have collected heavy taxes from us, and have spent large sums in the construction of railroads and canals to the east, but have withheld appropriations from the west; they have refused to make any of the modern improvements by which trade and travel could be carried on from the one section to the other, thus treating us as strangers. The east and the west have always been two peoples.

Surprisingly, the politician was not referring to the relationship between Western Maryland and Annapolis. The speech was delivered by West Virginia’s first governor, Arthur I. Boreman, on June 20, 1863. It marked the day on which West Virginia became the 35th state of the United States.

It lists the reasons that citizens of the western part of Virginia felt it necessary to break away from Richmond and form their own state.

 Bill Feeney

Cumberland

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