Commemorative issue West Virginia statehood centennial
West Virginia map & state capitol
Five days after Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter, at a state convention in Richmond on April 12, 1861, delegates voted for Virginia to secede from the Union. Delegates to that convention from the northwestern part of the state returned home and set up their own convention at Wheeling on June 11. Declaring the government at Richmond void, the Wheeling convention established a "restored" government of Virginia. In a public referendum on October 24,1861, voters overwhelmingly supported a new state of Kanawha. The following month was a second convention at Wheeling, which changed the name of the state to West Virginia and began to draft a constitution. Voters approved the constitution in April 1862, and a year later President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed West Virginia a state.