President Lincoln Approves Statehood for West Virginia

April 20, 1863

President Lincoln declares: “Whereas, by the Act of Congress approved the 31st. day of December, last, the State of West Virginia was declared to be one of the United States of America, and was admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever, upon the condition that certain changes should be duly made in the proposed Constitution for that State;

And, whereas, proof of a compliance with that condition as required by the Second Section of the Act aforesaid, has been submitted to me;

Now, therefore, be it known, that I Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do, hereby, in pursuance of the Act of Congress aforesaid, declare and proclaim that the said act shall take effect and be in force, from and after sixty days from the date hereof.

The next day, Attorney General Edward Bates, who disapproves of the action, writes in his diary that the proclamation: “It announces that the People of the new State have complied with the requirements of the act, and therefore the act will go into effect 60 days from the date of the Proclamation!  The end is not yet!  I am convinced that this is but a new complication of our troubles.”

Journalist Noah Brooks writes: “Some of the public spirited gentlemen of Philadelphia have commissioned E. D. Marchant, an artist of that city, to paint a portrait of President Lincoln for Independence Hall.  The picture is about finished and is quite successful as a likeness, though nothing wonderful as a work of art.  The figure is life size, a half length, the subject being in a sitting posture, pen in hand, and with a warmly tinted background.  The President says he had no idea that a painter could make so good a picture out of such excessively poor materials.”

President Lincoln writes to regarding the disposition of a case regarding an old friend from Peoria, Illinois: “Thomas J. Pickett, late agent of the Quarter-Master’s Department for the Island of Rock-Island, has been removed, or suspended from that position, on a charge of having sold timber and stone from the Island for his private benefit. Mr. Pickett is an old acquaintance and friend of mine; and I will thank you if you will set a day or days, and place, on & at which, to take testimony on the point; notify Mr. Pickett, and one J. B. Danforth Jr. (who, as I understand, makes the charge) to be present with their witnesses; take the testimony in writing, offered by both sides, and report it in full to me.”

President Lincoln writes a memo to department heads: “This young man, or boy, rather, asks a Messengership; and I think, by the letters of Gov. Cannon & Hon John W. Houston, he is shown to have peculiar claim to so small a place. I will thank any Head of a Department or Bureau, who can & will find it for him.”

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Published in: on April 20, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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