When the Virginia Convention voted on April 17, 1861, to pass the Ordinance of Secession, mass meetings were held in opposition to secession in northwestern Virginia. Francis H. Pierpont took an active part in these meetings and in the Wheeling Convention on May 13, 1861, in which he represented Marion County. The convention voted to defy the Secession Convention. The Second Wheeling Convention met on June 11, 1861, and on June 20, 1861, Pierpont was unanimously elected governor of the Restored government of Virginia, which was recognized by President Abraham Lincoln.
As governor of the Restored government of Virginia at Wheeling, Pierpont concentrated on raising regiments and commissioning officers for the Union cause. Meanwhile, continued calls for a new state to be created from the existing state of Virginia resulted in "An Ordinance to Provide for the Formation of a New State out of a Portion of the Territory of this State" at the Second Wheeling Convention. A special session of the Assembly adjourned on May 15, 1862, and Congress was presented with the constitution and proposal for the new state of West Virginia. The Senate passed the bill admitting West Virginia on July 14, 1862, and the House of Representatives on December 10, 1862. With prodding by Pierpont, President Lincoln signed the bill creating the state. West Virginia did not officially enter into the Union until June 20, 1863. Arthur I. Boreman became the first governor of the new state and Pierpont continued as governor of the state of Virginia (which consisted of the counties of Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun, Accomack, Northampton, and Norfolk) in the new capital at Alexandria.
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Pierpont, Francis Harrison
Virginia Governor (1861-1865: Pierpont)
Virginia History Civil War
Virginia Politics and government, 1861-1865
Ambler, Charles Henry. Francis H. Pierpont, Union War Governor of Virginia and Father of West Virginia. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1937.
Hearne, Julian G. Some Unknown Facts of American History: The Saga of Governor Pierpont. Parsons, W.Va.: McClain Print Co., 1987.
Hubbard, Leonard Cecil. "Francis H. Pierpont and the Restored Government of Virginia." Master's thesis, University of Richmond, 1918.
Virginia. General Assembly. Senate. Restored Government of Virginia Senate Records, 1861–1865. Accession 35153.
Records, 1861–1865, of the Restored government of the Virginia Senate consisting of a calendar of bills, 12 December 1864–6 March 1865, which includes the number and title of bills, remarks, and dates when bills were read, introduced, referred to committee, reported from committee and passed or rejected; a ledger, 18 July 1861–7 March 1865, which includes the names of senators and senate employees for General Assembly sessions, dates of attendance, payment for attendance, number of miles traveled, and traveling expenses allowed; and a journal, 1 July 1861–15 May 1862, which includes senate procedures and legislative business conducted each day.
Virginia. Governor's Office. Executive Letter Book of Governor Francis H. Pierpont, 1861–1864. Accession 37226.
Executive letter book, 1861–1864, of Governor Francis H. Pierpont (1814–1899) containing the outgoing correspondence of Governor Pierpont between 1861 and 1864 with the majority of material documenting the year 1862. Pierpont corresponded with a variety of individuals regarding numerous issues including supplies for Virginia Volunteers, misconduct of officers, and certificates of passport for transport of companies of soldiers.
Virginia. Governor's Office. Executive Papers of Governor Francis H. Pierpont, 1861–1865. Accession 36928. Miscellaneous Microfilm Reel 5827–5856.
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Executive papers, 1861–1865, of Governor Francis H. Pierpont (1814–1899) are organized into two series: Chronological files and Subject files. The first series documents the daily work of the governor, consisting primarily of incoming correspondence. The majority of the correspondence relates to requests to raise troops and also requests for commissions in the Virginia Volunteers. Individuals wrote Pierpont recommending others for positions in the Restored government or the army. Pierpont received various letters of application and issued commissions for these positions. Letters supporting Pierpont and the Union cause are also present. Other correspondence to Pierpont regards requests for arms and equipment and protection against rebel forces. The second series contains Subject files related to indictments for treason and other legal documents relating to the prosecution of individuals for treason against the Constitution of the United States between 1861 and 1862.
Virginia. Governor's Office. Records of Governor Francis H. Pierpont, 1861–1883 [microform]. Accession 41008. Miscellaneous Microfilm Reel 4377.
Records, 1861–1883, of Governor Francis H. Pierpont (1814–1899) containing correspondence with the United States government, proclamations, military passes, drafts of legislation, and an autobiographical sketch composed in the 1880s. Correspondents include his attorney general James S. Wheat and U.S. Secretary of War Simon Cameron. Correspondence in this collection spans Pierpont's terms as Governor of the Restored government at Wheeling (1861–1863), Governor of the Restored Government at Alexandria (1863–1865), and as Provisional Governor of Virginia from 1865 to 1868.