United States Constitution

October 24, 1861: Voters Approve State of West Virginia

Oct 24, 2019
Many western Virginia residents had few options because the U.S. Constitution forbids any state to be carved from another state without the original state’s approval.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / 1872, Western Virgnia, Reorganized Government of Virginia

On October 24, 1861, voters formally approved the formation of West Virginia. Many western Virginia residents had been frustrated with the Virginia state government for years. But, they had few options at their disposal because the U.S. Constitution forbids any state to be carved from another state without the original state’s approval.

The Virginia state government in Richmond would not have willingly given away one-third of its territory. But, when Virginia left the Union at the beginning of the Civil War, western Virginia politicians seized their window of opportunity.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House Judiciary Committee held a public hearing Saturday for three bills that, if passed, could send a number of West Virginia delegates to Washington, D.C. to try and amend the constitution on budget related charges.