At a meeting of the citizens of Hampshire County, held pursuant to a call, on the 13th of January, 1866, DAVID GIBSON, Esq., was called to the Chair, and WM. C. CLAYTON and ROBT. W. PARKER, were appointed Secretaries. The Chairman stated briefly the object of the meeting, and then, on motion, a Committee of five, consisting of Messrs. Robert White, James D. Armstrong, Elijah Rinehart, Alexander Monroe, and Joseph C. Pancake, were appointed to prepare business for the meeting. In the absence of the Committee, WM. PERRY, Esq., Commonwealth's Attorney for this County, addressed the meeting, explaining the operation of the new system of laws under which we live, and with which the people are not yet familiarized.
The Committee, through their Chairman, ROBT. WHITE, Esq., reported the following Preamble and Resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:
"Whereas the geographical position of this county and of the counties of Hardy, Pendleton and Morgan, inasmuch as they lie eastward of the Alleghany Range of Mountains, allies them much more closely in interest with the counties of the Valley District of Virginia, than with the counties of West Virginia lying westward of that Range: And, whereas, the Convention which framed the Constitution of West Virginia did provide that these counties should be included within the limits of this State only with the consent of the people of these counties, expressed by a majority of them voting therefor; and, whereas, the election held in pursuance of this proviso, owing to the disturbed state of the country at that time, to the uncertainty then prevailing in the minds of the people, and to the want of information among them, failed utterly in drawing out any proper and fair expression of the popular will in regard thereof, only two of the voting places (out of 18) being opened at all, and those two but six miles apart in the one corner of the county, and only about forty votes having been polled, while there are about two thousand votes in the county, so that this question, so vitally affecting the interests of this county, was decided by about one fiftieth part of the voters thereof; therefore be it
"1. Resolved, That in the opinion of this meeting, all obstacles to an expression of the popular will through the ballot-box having now been removed, it is in accordance with the views of the framers of the Constitution of our State, and with the spirit of our American Institutions, that an opportunity should now be afforded to the people of this and the other counties of this Senatorial District, of expressing their desires and wishes upon this question which so greatly affects their dearest interests; - that this is only what right and justice require, and that the intention of the West Virginia Convention would otherwise be thwarted, and their provisions in favor of these counties entirely nullified.
2. Resolved, therefore, That a Committee of eight members be appointed by the Chairman of this meeting, whose duty it shall be to present a notice **illegible** West Virginia, asking the passage of a law directing a vote upon this question, at some suitable time, by all persons who are entitled to vote by the Constitution of this State, in all the counties of this Senatorial District, to procure signatures to such petition, to present the same to the Legislature, at such time as they may deem expedient, and if such act shall be passed by the Legislature of West Virginia, for their assent thereto, and that said Committee be empowered to adopt such other means as they may think expedient for the promotion of these ends.
The following Resolution was, also unanimously adopted:
"Be it resolved, by the people of Hampshire County in general meeting assembled, that whilst we recognize the Government of the State of West Virginia over us, and whilst it is our bounden duty peaceable to obey the laws in force, we believe it to be our right - nay more, our duty as good citizens, solemnly to protest against such laws as are found upon the Statute Books of this State which deprive a vast majority of our people of the political and legal rights of American freemen, and we do hereby declare that, in our judgment, such laws are against the spirit of a free government and unwholesome, ungenerous and unjust, that they tend to discord and confusion, and in a great degree to retard the advancement and true interests of the State, and to prevent those feelings of mutual respect and harmony which should pervade all communities.
On motion, it was also Resolved, That the Secretary of this meeting communicate a copy of the foregoing preamble and resolutions to each of our Representatives in the Legislature of West Virginia, with the request that they will lay the same before the Legislature, and use their best endeavors to attain our object.
By appointment of the Chair, the Committee provided for by the 2nd Resolution, consists of the following gentlemen: Jas. D. Armstrong, Jos C. Pancake, Alexander Monroe, Sydnor McDonald, David Pugh, Elijah Rinehart, Newton B. Guthrie, and Robert White; and, on motion, the Chairman of the meeting was also added to the Committee.
It was also Resolved, That the Secretary furnish a copy of the proceedings of this meeting for publication in the South Branch Intelligencer.'
On motion, it was Resolved, That copies of the proceedings of this meeting be sent by the Secretary to the Chairman of the House of Delegates, and to the President of the Senate of Virginia, with the request that they be laid before those bodies respectively.
And, on motion, the meeting adjourned.
DAVID GIBSON, President
WM. C. CLAYTON
R. W. PANCAKE Secretaries