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Sic Juvat Transcendere Liberi: How Newspapers Built the Case for West Virginia Statehood
Unformatted Document Text:  devastated parasite. The long and dreary night, after much anxious prayer and watching, gives place to the much coveted and glorious day. The mad folly of our inexorable neighbors has hastened our disenthralment, and we are permitted to take our place in the glorious galaxy of States, sooner by three years, than if Eastern Virginia had not rebelled. Henceforth, out destiny is in our own hands.” 53 The editorial celebrates the foregone conclusion that the west will elect to become independent and ends any notion that the west is connected to eastern Virginia. The “much coveted and glorious day” will be one where the west can celebrate its uniqueness and will work to build its stature and status in the Union government, which will meet its needs. Conclusion Indeed, Richmond would no longer control the fates of the mountain people; the sovereign government in Wheeling would add a West to its name and the thirty-fifth star to the United States flag. The western people, after swearing to cross the mountains, valleys, and rivers, would take a new oath, one indicative of the oppression felt by the people of the west, “Montani Semper Liberi” or “Mountaineers are always free.” Through the press, the people west of the mountains united emotionally and culturally, forming Anderson’s “deep, horizontal comradeship.” The people west of the mountains, though once divided — north and south, and Union and Confederate — joined as united against the common enemy, the oppressive east. Westerners united as a separate people, with common interests economically, geographically, and, eventually, politically. Using the ideas set forth in the press, the western people chose liberty, loyalty, and equality as ideals for their new state. Under the name West Virginia, the West Virginia, 24 53 George W. Tippett, “West Virginia” The Weekly Register, March 19, 1863, 1. In West Virginia State Archives, Charleston, W.Va. (Bound volume).

Authors: Haught, Matthew.
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devastated parasite. The long and dreary night, after much anxious prayer and watching, gives 
place to the much coveted and glorious day. The mad folly of our inexorable neighbors has 
hastened our disenthralment, and we are permitted to take our place in the glorious galaxy of 
States, sooner by three years, than if Eastern Virginia had not rebelled. Henceforth, out destiny is 
in our own hands.” 
 The editorial celebrates the foregone conclusion that the west will elect to 
become independent and ends any notion that the west is connected to eastern Virginia. The 
“much coveted and glorious day” will be one where the west can celebrate its uniqueness and 
will work to build its stature and status in the Union government, which will meet its needs.
Indeed, Richmond would no longer control the fates of the mountain people; the 
sovereign government in Wheeling would add a West to its name and the thirty-fifth star to the 
United States flag. The western people, after swearing to cross the mountains, valleys, and rivers, 
would take a new oath, one indicative of the oppression felt by the people of the west, “Montani 
Semper Liberi” or “Mountaineers are always free.”  Through the press, the people west of the 
mountains united emotionally and culturally, forming Anderson’s “deep, horizontal 
comradeship.” The people west of the mountains, though once divided — north and south, and 
Union and Confederate — joined as united against the common enemy, the oppressive east. 
Westerners united as a separate people, with common interests economically, geographically, 
and, eventually, politically. Using the ideas set forth in the press, the western people chose 
liberty, loyalty, and equality as ideals for their new state. Under the name West Virginia, the 
West Virginia, 24
 George W. Tippett, “West Virginia” The Weekly Register, March 19, 1863, 1. In West Virginia State Archives, 
Charleston, W.Va. (Bound volume).

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