Speedily call a convention
Resolutions adopted unanimously at a public meeting in Gilmer County on January 1, 1861, and published in the Philippi Barbour Jeffersonian, ca. January 4, 1861.
A public meeting at the Gilmer County courthouse, on January 1, 1861, listed the reasons why "the Legislature ought, at an early stage of its session, to pass an act for the speedy call of a convention to take into consideration what is best to be done under existing circumstances, and that our Delegate and Senator consider themselves instructed to vote for such an act." Among the complaints that the residents of the Ohio Valley county listed as threatening the rights of white Southerners were Northern Personal Liberty Laws that obstructed enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and made it difficult for owners to recover runaway slaves. Only 1.4 percent of the county's residents were enslaved, but the white men who adopted the resolutions regarded the rights of property owners as having great importance. On February 4, 1861, the voters in the district that included Gilmer, Calhoun, and Wirt Counties elected Currence B. Conrad, who presided at the January meeting in Gilmer County, to represent them in the Virginia Convention. Even though he and his constituents had many grievances against Northerners, he opposed secession.