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SharePrint Media File

Type: Video

Series Title West Virginia: A Film History

Filmmaker Mark Samels

Company West Virginia Humanities Council

Format DVD


Narrator: In response to complaints from western leaders, Virginia called a convention in 1829 to review its constitution.

Representing Brooke County in northwestern Virginia was Alexander Campbell, an energetic Irish preacher who had formed his own dissident church, The Disciples of Christ.

Campbell argued against basing suffrage on wealth. Why not use strength, intellect or artistic talent as a standard, he asked.

“It is not the increase of population in the west which you ought to fear, it is the energy which the mountain breeze and western habits impart to these immigrants.

The Old Dominion has long been celebrated for producing men that can split hairs in all questions of political economy but when they return from Congress they have Negroes to fan them to sleep.

A western Virginia statesman, though far inferior in rhetoric, has this advantage – that when he returns home he takes off his coat and takes hold of the plow. This preserves his Republican principles, pure and uncontaminated." Alexander Campbell

Narrator: Campbell proposed giving the vote to all white males but eastern delegates rejected the idea.

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