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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Wheeling in Ohio County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

Independence Hall

Beginning of Statehood

 

— The First Campaign —

 
Independence Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, July 27, 2010
1. Independence Hall Marker
Inscription.  
This building, erected as a Federal customs house in 1859, is known as West Virginia Independence Hall. Considered the birthplace of West Virginia, it is the site of a series of events that led to the state’s creation in 1863.

In spring and summer 1861, this building was the home of the Second Wheeling Convention, at which delegates formed a pro-Union government of Virginia. The custom house was the capitol for this government until June 1863, and it was the meeting place of a constitutional convention for West Virginia in the fall of 1861.

The separation of West Virginia from Virginia was the only change in the map of the United States brought about by the Civil War. Events that took place at the custom house during the war raised constitutional and political issues still debated today.

Union victories of the First Campaign in June and July of 1861 pushed Confederate forces back across the Allegheny Mountains allowing the West Virginia statehood movement to proceed amid the relative safety of Wheeling.

The restored National Historic Landmark now houses period rooms and exhibitions that interpret
Independence Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, July 27, 2010
2. Independence Hall Marker
View looking west along the south side of Independence Hall (the Old Custom House), which faces 16th Street. The featured historical marker is in the foreground with the "First Campaign" marker beside it and the "Old Custom House" marker in the background on the street corner.
Click or scan to see
this page online
the site’s historic and architectural significance.

Fifty-seven delegates attended the Second Wheeling Convention, which convened on June 11, 1861. On June 20, 1861, the Restored Government of Virginia was established in Wheeling. Francis H. Pierpont was elected governor.

 
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the National Historic Landmarks, and the West Virginia Civil War Trails series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1859.
 
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 40° 3.842′ N, 80° 43.298′ W. Marker was in Wheeling, West Virginia, in Ohio County. Marker was on 16th Street (West Virginia Route 2) east of Market Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Wheeling WV 26003, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Wheeling Custom House (here, next to this marker); Old Garibaldi (here, next to this marker); The Athenaeum (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Athenaeum (a few steps from this marker); Francis H. Pierpont (a few steps from this
Independence Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, July 27, 2010
3. Independence Hall Marker
View of the southeast corner of Independence Hall (the Old Custom House) with the featured historical marker being located just in front of the orange construction lift.
marker); Old Custom House (within shouting distance of this marker); Baltimore and Ohio Passenger Station (within shouting distance of this marker); B & O Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wheeling.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has replaced the linked marker.
 
Also see . . .
1. West Virginia Independence Hall. West Virginia Division of Culture and History website entry (Submitted on August 21, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 

2. West Virginia Independence Hall - National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History website entry (Submitted on February 1, 2022, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 

3. Wheeling Convention. Wikipedia entry (Submitted on August 21, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 
 
Independence Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, July 27, 2010
4. Independence Hall Marker
View of the National Historic Landmark plaque that is affixed to the outside west wall of Independence Hall (the Old Custom House), near the southwest corner of the building.
Independence Hall Museum image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, July 27, 2010
5. Independence Hall Museum
View of the museum sign, located at the entrance to Independence Hall (the Old Custom House), proclaiming the significance of this building to West Virginia during the Civil War years.
Independence Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
6. Independence Hall Marker
Lying on the ground behind Independence Hall, This marker has been taken down while a new iron fence is constructed.
The Custom House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
7. The Custom House
The custom house was also used as a post office, federal courthouse, telegraph station and for federal protection from confederate operations.
Close-up of image on marker
Independence Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By TeamOHE, July 3, 2021
8. Independence Hall Marker
Harper's Weekly -- The Union Must and Shall Be Preserved image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
9. Harper's Weekly -- The Union Must and Shall Be Preserved
"Constituent Convention of Virginia, assembled in the Custom-House at Wheeling Ohio Co. June 1861 -- sketched by Jasper Green, Esq."
image on display in Independence Hall (it also appears on this marker)
June 20, 1861 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
10. June 20, 1861
Banner on the wall of the art store next door to WVA Independence Hall
West Virginia Independence Hall image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
11. West Virginia Independence Hall
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 24, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 18, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,310 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 19, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   5. submitted on August 21, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   6, 7. submitted on January 4, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   8. submitted on July 7, 2021, by TeamOHE of Napoleon, Ohio.   9, 10, 11. submitted on January 4, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 30, 2022