ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
October 24, 1861
West Virginia Secedes from Virginia to Form a New State
On this day in 1861, the state of Virginia split into two separate states due to differences in whether or not
to secede from the Union near the beginning of the Civil War.
In In April of that year, the 49 delegates from the area that would come to be known as West Virginia, voted on the
issue of secession from the Union. The vote came in at 17 in favor and 30 against. Initially, many in the west
wanted to immediately split off and form their own state bus since the state of Virginia had not formally seceded
yet, they felt spliting at that time would constitute revolution against the United States.
The Pacific Telegraph from New York to San Francisco is Completed
On this day in 1861, the Pacific Telegraph was completed between New York on the East coast and San Francisco on
the West coast. The first message to travel the route from East to West was from Steven J. Field, Chief Justice of
California to Abraham Lincoln.
Before the East and West sections were joined in Salt Lake City, Utah, several messages were sent between Salt Lake
City and San Francisco, one of which was the announcement to H.W. Carpenter, the president of the Overland
Telegraph Company that Union Col. E.D. Baker was killed in battle.