Two Faces of Southern Unionism: John S. Carlile, Waitman T. Willey, and the Competing Ideologies of the West Virginia Statehood Movement

Sunshine, Daniel, History - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Varon, Elizabeth, History, University of Virginia

This paper considers the antebellum conflict in Virginia that resulted in the creation of West Virginia during the American Civil War. It argues that the architects of West Virginia presented a united front before the war, but splintered over wartime pressure from the Lincoln administration and Congress that insisted the new state emancipate their enslaved population. The paper tells the story of Waitman T. Willey and John S. Carlile as foils for the ideological split. It concludes that Willey's reformist ideology prevailed over Carlile's conservative ideology in shaping the state, yet failed to create a lasting consensus among the citizens of West Virginia.

MA (Master of Arts)
Civil War, West Virginia, Emancipation
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