Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kanawha and A Landlocked Virginia

This is a great 'strange map' and an interesting story. I'm sure Mr. Jefferson would not have approved of this. When Virginia seceeded from the Union, West Virginia seceeded from Virginia. This map represents a potential change in state boundaries and was created some time in 1861.

West Virginia is the state that seceded where others failed. When in 1861 the South broke away from the US to form the Confederacy, the Mountain State in its turn left Virginia to remain within the Union. The electoral process by which it did this was highly irregular, and its accession to the Union could be considered illegal and unconstitutional. But in wartime, legal niceties count for less than tactical advantage, and West Virginia became a full-fledged member of the United States in 1863. The wrangling about West Virginia’s secession stopped only in 1939, when it paid the final installment of its share of the pre-Civil War state debt to Virginia.

In this map Virginia is just a narrow strip along the Blue Ridge Mountains. Read the whole story at Strange Maps.


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