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  • "Action for Western Virginia"
On May 13, 1861, when a second convention of northwestern Virginia men met in Wheeling, the editor of the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer called for bold action and for a man "who has the nerve and the genius to lead this great movement."
Related Biographies:
  • Archibald W. Campbell (1833–1899). Photograph in Granville Davisson Hall, <em>The Rending of Virginia</em> (1902).
    Archibald W. Campbell
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"Action for Western Virginia"

Editorial in the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, May 13, 1861.

On May 13, 1861, when a second convention of northwestern Virginia men met in Wheeling, Archibald W. Campbell, the editor of the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, wrote that it was a time for bold action. He asked, "Now is there a man from all the Northwest who has the nerve and the genius to lead this great movement? Is there one who can concentrate the scattered elements and bring their chaotic fragments into form. Such a one is wanted, and wanted just now. We shall see whether we have such a one among us. The man who can do it will be a hero—a hero in the cause of humanity and liberty, and fame is waiting even now to write down his name and imperishable deeds." As if to answer Campbell's question, a news item on the same page of his newspaper recorded the triumphant reception of John Snyder Carlile, of Clarksburg, and Francis H. Pierpont, of Monongalia County, into the city.

Editorial in the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, May 13, 1861.

The Convention.
TO-DAY the Convention called to deliberate upon action for Western Virginia, meets in this city. It is the first body of the kind ever assembled in this part of the State, and is composed of the very best men in point of ability, character and social standing in this section of Virginia.
The meeting of this convention is an unusual move, and by some few is regarded an extraordinary, and even treasonable one, as it is, measured by the standard of the edicts of that secret council of despots at Richmond, who have decreed it treason to say anything unfavorable to them or their machinations.
On one point, we presume, there is but little difference of opinion, and that is, that some action must be taken for the protection of the Northwest. We all acknowledge and appreciate the fact that some sort of efficient measures must be taken, as the only barrier between us and destruction. It only now remains to ascertain what they shall be. The necessity is unrelenting. We must do something, or, by doing nothing, do worse—either with bold and decisive action win the day by one sweep of prestige, or, by weakness and vacillation, sink down willing and helpless slaves, and receive with lamb-like meekness, the manacles Jeff. Davis has already forged for us. The time is opportune; the people are ready, ripe, eager for the action that will give them a something around which they may rally—a something to give their adherence and allegiance to, and which will sustain itself and them in supporting it. Such a one we may have, if the leaders are capable as the people are ready.
Now is there a man from all the Northwest who has the nerve and the genius to lead this great movement? Is there one who can concentrate the scattered elements and bring their chaotic fragments into form. Such a one is wanted, and wanted just now. We shall see whether we have such a one among us. The man who can do it will be a hero—a hero in the cause of humanity and liberty, and fame is waiting even now to write down his name and imperishable deeds.