West Virginia History - the history of West Virginia
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   West Virginia   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   West Virginia History

   
 

West Virginia History



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A History Of West Virginia

By Anna Egan Smucker

Quarrier Press
Paperback (81 pages)

A History Of West Virginia
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The West Virginia story stretches back to the mists of prehistory and forward to the day before yesterday. During those many years, our land has been inhabited by the mysterious Mound Builders, by the Native American who followed them, and by the explorers, pioneers, slaves, and immigrants who contributed to the present population This book, by gifted storyteller Anna Egan Smucker, presents the history of the Mountain State as a lively tale of conflict and triumph, as West Virginians have stood up for themselves and the place they love. The larger-than-life figures John Henry, John Brown, Mother Jones, the Hatfields, Chief Logan and Stonewall Jackson, among others who populate our past are shown here as the rightful forebears of today s generation of Mountaineers. "The history of West Virginia is the story of a place whose hills and hollows are a part of its people, a place where family has always been important," Ms. Smucker writes in her Introduction. "It is the story of people proud to call this beautiful, rugged land home."

WEST VIRGINIA: A HISTORY

By John A. Williams

Brand: West Virginia University Press
Paperback (239 pages)

WEST VIRGINIA: A HISTORY
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John Alexander Williams's West Virginia: A History is widely considered one of the finest books ever written about our state. In his clear, eminently readable style, Williams organizes the tangled strands of West Virginia's past around a few dramatic events-the battle of Point Pleasant, John Brown's insurrection in Harper's Ferry, the Paint Creek labor movement, the Hawk's Nest and Buffalo Creek disasters, and more. Williams uses these pivotal events as introductions to the larger issues of statehood, Civil War, unionism, and industrialization. Along the way, Williams conveys a true feel for the lives of common West Virginians, the personalities of the state's memorable characters, and the powerful influence of the land itself on its own history.

West Virginia: A History

By Otis K. Rice

Brand: The University Press of Kentucky
Hardcover (360 pages)

West Virginia: A History
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" An essential resource for scholars, students, and all lovers of the Mountaineer State. From bloody skirmishes with Indians on the early frontier to the Logan County mine war, the story of West Virginia is punctuated with episodes as colorful and rugged as the mountains that dominate its landscape. In this first modern comprehensive history, Otis Rice and Stephen Brown balance these episodes of mountaineer individualism against the complexities of industrial development and the growth of social institutions, analyzing the events and personalities that have shaped the state. To create this history, the authors weave together many strands from the past and present. Included among these are geological and geographical features; the prehistoric inhabitants; exploration and settlement; relations with the Indians; the land systems and patterns of ownership; the Civil War and the formation of the state from the western counties of Virginia; the legacy of Reconstruction; politics and government; industrial development; labor problems and advances; and cultural aspects such as folkways, education, religion, and national and ethnic influences. For this second edition, the authors have added a new chapter, bringing the original material up to date and carrying the West Virginia story through the presidential election of 1992. Otis K. Rice is professor emeritus of history and Stephen W. Brown is professor of history at West Virginia Institute of Technology.

West Virginia Histories: Unique People, Unusual Events, and the Occasional Ghost (Volume 1)

By Gerald D. Swick

Grave Distractions Publications
Paperback (354 pages)

West Virginia Histories: Unique People, Unusual Events, and the Occasional Ghost (Volume 1)
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“Historical human interest stories.”That’s how a reader described Gerald D. Swick’s column of West Virginia history, “Once, Long Ago,” which appeared each Sunday in the Clarksburg Exponent Telegram for over 16 years. His unique combination of historical research, skillful narrative, a bit of editorializing, a handful of humor, and a pinch of snark led one fan to tell him, “When I read your column I feel like you are sitting in my living room telling me a story.” The columns received a Press Association Lifestyles Writing award for excellence in journalism and contributed to the West Virginia Humanities Council awarding Gerald a Literary Fellowship in Nonfiction Writing. The West Virginia Histories series collects the best of those columns, divided into categories such as Animals, Crime, Civil War, Education, etc. Volume 1 presents samples from each category that will be featured in future volumes. The stories come not just from large communities like Bluefield, Charleston, Clarksburg, Fairmont, Huntington, Morgantown, Wheeling and so on, but from Spencer, Volcano, Wellsburg and other small towns. Gerald decided from the beginning that the columns would be about more than just “dead white guys,” and stories of the state’s women and its diverse ethnic groups get their due. Occasionally, especially at Halloween, he set aside the history books to examine Appalachian folklore, from cures for warts to tales of a headless ghost. Additionally, the 100 stories presented in Volume 1 include some never-before-published articles. If you like a little humor with your history, some fun while learning facts, then open these pages and invite Gerald Swick into your living room to tell you some stories.

West Virginia and the Civil War: Mountaineers Are Always Free (Civil War Series)

By Mark A. Snell

Brand: The History Press
Released: 2011-08-05
Paperback (256 pages)

West Virginia and the Civil War: Mountaineers Are Always Free (Civil War Series)
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The only state born as a result of the Civil War, West Virginia was the most divided state in the nation. About forty thousand of its residents served in the combatant forces about twenty thousand on each side. The Mountain State also saw its fair share of battles, skirmishes, raids and guerrilla warfare, with places like Harpers Ferry, Philippi and Rich Mountain becoming household names in 1861. When the Commonwealth of Virginia seceded from the Union on April 17, 1861, leaders primarily from the northwestern region of the state began the political process that eventually led to the creation of West Virginia on June 20, 1863. Renowned Civil War historian Mark A. Snell has written the first thorough history of these West Virginians and their civil war in more than fifty years.

The West Virginia Coal Wars: The History of the 20th Century Conflict Between Coal Companies and Miners

By Charles River Editors

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (58 pages)

The West Virginia Coal Wars: The History of the 20th Century Conflict Between Coal Companies and Miners
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*Includes pictures *Includes accounts of the coal wars from Mother Jones and other important participants *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents “I'm not a humanitarian, I'm a hell-raiser.” – Mother Jones America is famous around the world for being the land of opportunity, and in many respects it has been for the nearly 400 years since its colonization. However, that opportunity has always come at some sort of price. In the times of wooden sailing vessels, men and women risked life and limb to sail across the Atlantic on small, creaking ships, but later, transportation became safer and easier with the invention of the coal powered steam engine. Over time, coal came to be used to power other advances in industry and technology, such as plants that produced steel and electricity. By the dawn of the 20th century, it seemed that there was nothing that the country could not accomplish, and that the future was brighter than ever. But then, as always, there was the price. The vast majority of people burning coal to heat their farms and homes, and those watching skyscrapers rise over the city’s landscape, likely never stopped to think about the price thousands of miners across the country were paying for these and other conveniences. Many never knew that coal had to be dug from the ground, typically in dark mines where dust poisoned miners’ lungs, and that these men barely made enough to feed and clothe their families despite their hard days of toil. The people using the coal wanted it to be cheap, the miners wanted to earn enough money to survive, and the companies wanted to turn a profit. In some ways, it seems safe to say that conflict was inevitable, but while there were numerous labor disputes during the early decades of the 20th century, few were as violent as the one that erupted in the hills of West Virginia in 1912. In fact, this conflict, which lasted about a decade, has rightly been called a war because men and women killed and were killed on its battlefields, culminating with the largest domestic insurrection since the Civil War in 1921. The coal companies’ army was a hired force, professional gunfighters brought in to stop miners. But while they had the best training and the best weapons, they did not have Mother Jones - Mary Harris Jones - perhaps the most inspirational union organizer in United States history. With the help of Frank Keeney and other miners like him, Jones successfully brought the owners to their knees and won the right to unionize for miners who had only dreamed it might be possible. Now that a century has passed and mining is at least somewhat safer than it was, those working today can thank Jones and Keeney, not to mention the ones who died at the hand of hired guns, for what freedom they do have to fight for a living wage. The West Virginia Coal Wars: The History of the 20th Century Conflict Between Coal Companies and Miners looks at the tumultuous fight on both sides of the lines. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the West Virginia mine wars like never before, in no time at all.

It Happened in West Virginia (It Happened In Series)

By Rick Steelhammer

Steelhammer Rick
Paperback (176 pages)

It Happened in West Virginia (It Happened In Series)
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It Happened in West Virginia takes readers on a rollicking, behind-the-scenes look at some of the characters and episodes from the Mountain State's storied past.  Including both famous tales, and famous names--and little-known heroes, heroines, and happenings.

Haunted West Virginia: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Mountain State (Haunted Series)

By Patty A. Wilson

Patty A Wilson
Released: 2007-07-10
Paperback (144 pages)

Haunted West Virginia: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Mountain State (Haunted Series)
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  • Haunted West Virginia Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Mountain State
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Thrilling stories of supernatural occurences in West Virginia, including the restless spirits of Harpers Ferry, the legendary Mothman of Point Pleasant, the ghosts of Twistabout Ridge, the phantom hitchhikers on the West Virginia Turnpike, and many more.

West Virginia: The Illegal State

By Jeremy T.K. Farley

Ingramcontent
Paperback (220 pages)

West Virginia: The Illegal State
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  • West Virginia The Illegal State
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Written by Mingo County native Jeremy T.K. Farley, founder of Appalachian Magazine and descendant of a Confederate prisoner of war from Logan County, Farley not only lays out a very clear case as to why West Virginia was created illegally, but also links the state's unconstitutional beginning to many of the woes that have plagued the Mountain State throughout its entire existence. Championing the cause of Southern West Virginia, this book asserts that much of the Mountain State’s disproportionate level of poverty, political suppression and historic labor wars – especially in the southern region – can be directly attributed to the illegal creation of West Virginia and the subsequent neglect following the West Virginia Statehood Act – America’s coup d’état. Though the state’s motto may boldly proclaim that “Mountaineers are Always Free,” in reality, thanks in large part to the unlawful precedence set by the 1861 assembly, West Virginia’s mountaineers have historically been the most oppressed people in the nation. Perhaps the most heartbreaking element regarding the creation of the State of West Virginia is this: While the rest of the nation was casting off the evil chains of slavery in the closing days of the nineteenth century, the groundwork was being laid in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia for a new people to be enchained. In the century ahead, the plantations and cotton fields of Georgia gave way to the mines and company towns of Matewan and Paint Creek. The slave owners were replaced with distant industrial corporations profiteering on the backs of America’s once independent mountaineers. Taskmasters were exchanged for notorious mercenaries and terrorists such as the Baldwin-Felts Detectives, whose acts of brutality are unrivaled by even the most demonic slave owners. It is both heartbreaking and frightening to witness how quickly the mountain people of southern West Virginia went from being known as the free spirited Scotch-Irish to impoverished miners living in coal camps begging for just a temporary respite – all of which can be traced to the illegal and ill-advised creation of West Virginia.

West Virginia Histories: Days of Slavery, Civil War and Aftermath, Statehood and Beyond (Volume 2)

By Gerald D. Swick

Grave Distractions Publications
Paperback (352 pages)

West Virginia Histories: Days of Slavery, Civil War and Aftermath, Statehood and Beyond (Volume 2)
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The State of West Virginia was born by cesarean section, its survival chances precarious, its legitimacy in question. The last slaveholding state admitted to the Union, it is the only state that owes its existence to America’s Civil War. In Virginia’s counties west of the Shenandoah Valley grievances against the Richmond government had long threatened to rend the state in two, and when Virginia decided to secede from the Union the fissure opened. A convention of Westerners voted to break away and seek independent statehood for their section, a dangerous and potentially unconstitutional path. The 100 articles that comprise Volume 2 of the West Virginia Histories series explore: • Aspects of slavery in Virginia’s western mountains and its role in East-West tensions • Civil War battles, raids and other stories, including history’s first military raid on an oil field • The region’s tumultuous road to becoming the 35th state of the Union. Most of the articles originally appeared as a weekly column, “Once, Long Ago,” published in the Sunday Clarksburg Exponent Telegram between 1998 and 2014. Others were written expressly for this collection, including an updating of one authored for the June 2011 issue of Wonderful West Virginia magazine. Gerald D. Swick is the author of Historic Photos of West Virginia. He has written for the West Virginia Encyclopedia, America’s Civil War, American History, and other publications. His work has been recognized with a literary fellowship in nonfiction writing, and his “Once, Long Ago” column, with its unique voice and conversational style, received an Associated Press Lifestyles Writing award for excellence in journalism.


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