West Virginia Independence Hall, Wheeling, WV

21 10 2016

After my talk on Tuesday at the Ohio County Public Library and after a nice lunch on the river in North Wheeling, my son and I stopped in at the West Virginia Independence Hall, a museum downtown very near the library. This is one neat little museum, inside the 1859 Federal custom house. In brief, the first floor houses displays on the state’s people’s breaking of the tyrannical shackles that bound them to the slaveocracy of Virginia (how’s that for priming the pump?), along with the post-office which was housed there. The second floor has a few period-decorated offices and a great West Virginia battle flag collection. And the third floor has a beautifully restored courtroom. In this building were held the constitutional conventions that led to West Virginia’s 1863 statehood. Below are some photos of the exhibits there. The museum is free, and photography allowed (though no flash is permitted in the flag exhibit). Click the images for larger ones.



First floor:


Second floor (many flags, few good photos):


Third floor:



My son channels Gov. Pierpont



2 responses

1 11 2016
Ed Steers

You might enjoy my article, “Montani Semper Liberi” in the Vol. 3, No. 2 (January 2000) issue of North & South magazine. It is available through the N & S website. I spent a good deal of time researching the Supreme Court cases relevant to the formation of WV – in particular Luther v. Borden, 17 Howard 1 (1849), which is especialy important to the story.


1 11 2016
Harry Smeltzer

Thanks Ed – I think I have that one here, and will re-read it. BTW, have you visited the museum recently?


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