WV Independence Hall
A National Heritage Area is a part of our country's landscape that has been recognized by the United States Congress for its unique contribution to the American experience.
Born Of War
Wheeling was once part of Virginia, but that all changed with the Civil War. This building became the capital of one state and birthplace of another. West Virginia Independence Hall, originally called the Wheeling Custom House, also served as a post office and courthouse. It was the scene of many heated debates and two constitutional conventions leading to West Virginia's statehood in 1863.
1 A Historic Place
West Virginia Independence Hall, a National Historic Landmark, was built in 1859. Its architecture is historically significant because its internal skeletal structure includes wrought iron "I” beams, box girders and cast iron columns - one of the first known applications of this building technique that would later
2 A State Divided
In April 1861, Virginia voted to secede from the Union, joining the Confederacy. On May 13, 1861, delegates from 27 northwestern Virginia counties met here to discuss whether or not to form a new state. This was the First Wheeling Convention.
3 A Restored Government
Convention decided that the differences between eastern and western Virginia were irreconcilable. Delegates adopted the "Declaration of the Rights of the People of Virginia” and elected Francis H. Pierpont as Governor of the Restored Government (Union) of Virginia. Wheeling became Virginia's capital and this building the center of the new government.
4 A President Ponders
President Lincoln's cabinet was divided on whether to create a new state from Virginia. After agonizing over the issue, on December 31. 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed a bill establishing West Virginia. On June 20. 1863, it entered the Union as the 35th state.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
Location. 40° 3.868′ N, 80° 43.291′ W. Marker is in Wheeling, West Virginia, in Ohio County. Marker is at the intersection of Market Street (West Virginia Route 2) and 16th Street, on the right when traveling north on Market Street. Touch for map
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. To The Defenders of the Union (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Garibaldi (within shouting distance of this marker); Wheeling Custom House (within shouting distance of this marker); Francis H. Pierpont (within shouting distance of this marker); The Athenaeum (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Custom House (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Athenaeum (within shouting distance of this marker); Baltimore and Ohio Passenger Station (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wheeling.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 10, 2021, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 94 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 10, 2021, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.