Report in the Parkersburg News of May 2, 1861, reprinted in Lynchburg Daily Virginian, May 11, 1861.
A May 2, 1861, article in the Parkersburg News condemned the western statehood movement that had just begun and boasted that the people in the Ohio Valley city could defend themselves "against Northern aggression." The author of the article was in the minority. In February 1861 the county's voters overwhelmingly elected John Jay Jackson to represent them in the Virginia Convention. Jackson voted against secession on April 4, when it failed, and again on April 17, when it passed. The convention later expelled him for taking part in the conventions in Wheeling that led to the creation of West Virginia. Unofficial estimates of the May 23, 1861, referendum on secession in Wood County are that 257 men voted to ratify the Ordinance of Secession and 1,995 men voted against.