Frederick County, Virginia, has once again spurned West Virginia's advances.
During the Civil War nearly 160 years ago, the western portion of Virginia seceded from the newfound Confederacy, becoming the Mountaineer State we know as West Virginia. Now a state senator from West Virginia is reminding Frederick County, Virginia—which sticks out like a sore thumb into West Virginia geographic territory—that there's a standing invitation to cross over to the other side.
The West Virginia State Senate adopted a resolution to re-extend a long-standing invitation to Frederick County: Unite with your neighboring counties in the north and join West Virginia. This bill was brought to the floor by Morgan County Senator Charles Trump, whose district is just north of Frederick County. Despite the fact that Frederick County borders West Virginia itself, it is still much closer to Virginia’s capital, Richmond, than West Virginia’s capital, Charleston (138 miles to 268 miles, to be exact).
It is important to note that when the whole of West Virginia seceded from the Confederacy, neighboring Virginia counties were given the chance to join the Union with West Virginia:
"... And if the same shall be so included, and a majority of the votes cast at the said election or elections, in the district composed of the counties of Berkeley, Jefferson and Frederick shall be in favor of the adoption of this Constitution, then the three last mentioned counties shall also be included in, and form part of, the State of West Virginia," Article I of the West Virginia Constitution states.
While Berkeley and Jefferson counties took the opportunity to jump ship, supposedly Frederick County residents never voted on the matter and, thus, stayed with the rest of Virginia.
Courtesy of virginiaplaces.org
On the West Virginia Senate floor last week, that was all Senator Trump wanted to remind them of—that the 158-year-old invitation is still there.
So will Frederick County say yes?
It became clear that West Virginia’s advances had been rejected when Chuck DeHaven, a Frederick County board chairman, told a Maryland newspaper that the county is not interested in switching states. I mean, obviously.
I don't know about you, but it sounds to us like the West Virginia state legislators need some bigger fish to fry.