Five days after the shooting upon Fort Sumter, a convention was held at Richmond, Virginia to decide whether to join the Civil War with the Confederacy or on the Union's side. The farmers and businessmen of western Virginia held with the North on the slavery question while eastern Virginia held with the South. On May 31, 1861 the first Wheeling Convention took place where delegates from western Virginia decided to await the outcome of the statewide vote. The state approved of Virginia's secession. It was proposed that delegates from western counties be elected to have a convention to decide the matter for themselves. The convention established a Reorganized Government of Virginia and Francis H. Pierpont was elected governor.
A month later, the state name was changed to West Virginia, a state constitution was drafted and approved later by voters. A year later, President Lincoln proclaimed West Virginia a state. West Virginia was admitted to the Union as a state 60 days later and became the 35th state on June 20, 1863.
...Desiree, Kristina, and Jessie Joy: 8th grade, MJHS