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WV Public Broadcasting Staff
West Virginia: The Road to Statehood
"Now, after many long and weary years ... we have the profound satisfaction of proclaiming to those around us that we are a separate state in the Union." -- Arthur Boreman, first governor of West Virginia commemorating the birth of the 35th state, in his inaugural address on June 20, 1863.
Thus ends the new documentary West Virginia: The Road to Statehood which brings to life the issues, differences and disagreements that divided the Commonwealth of Virginia, turning families and neighbors against one another throughout what is now West Virginia. Through interviews with respected state historians, dramatizations, archival letters, sketches and photographs the 40-minute film examines events and philosophies behind West Virginia becoming a state during the Civil War, particularly through the lives of attorney Francis Pierpont (considered the "father of West Virginia"î and former U.S. Congressman Albert Gallatin Jenkins (who defended "Old Virginia")