Scope and Contents
Papers regarding West Virginia statehood and the history of Wheeling and Ohio County compiled by Judge Gibson L. Cranmer (1826-1903) of Wheeling, West Virginia, who served as secretary of the Wheeling Convention that repudiated Virginia's secession from the United States in 1861.
Series 1. West Virginia Statehood Papers; 1861-1864, undated; box 1. This series includes manuscript narratives and correspondence describing events of the West Virginia statehood movement, written by eyewitnesses at the request of Gibson L. Cranmer. Manuscript authors include John S. Burdett, John S. Carlile, Daniel Frost, Lewis Ruffner, and Benjamin Wilson. 34 items, 76 leaves in box 1. Note that each original item in box 1 (except those in folders 11 and 12) is accompanied by a typescript description. Transcripts for the original items in box 1, folders 1-3, 6-7, and 10-12 are in folder 13.
Series 2. History of Wheeling and Ohio County, West Virginia Papers; 1787-1895, undated; box 2. This series includes Cranmer's handwritten notes, drafts of articles, copies of documents, and letters solicited by him regarding the history of Wheeling and Ohio County, West Virginia.
For additional information on the history of Wheeling and Ohio County, West Virginia, see
History of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and Representative Citizens, edited and compiled by Gibson Lamb Cranmer (Wheeling, WV: Wheeling Genealogy Society, , or Chicago, Ill.: Biographical Publishing Company, 1902). Content from some of the manuscripts in this collection was used in the book.
Majority of material found within 1822-1881
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
No special access restriction applies.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the West Virginia and Regional History Center.
Biographical / Historical
Judge Gibson Lamb Cranmer (20 February 1826-1903) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He went to Wheeling, [West] Virginia at age 17 to study law with his relative, Daniel Lamb, Esq. He then moved to Springfield, Illinois, and practiced law. On 22 May 1849, Cranmer was married to Oella Zane, daughter of Daniel Zane. In 1850, he returned to Wheeling. He served as president of the Antietam National Cemetery Association at the time that the burial ground was turned over to the national government. He was also judge of the Municipal Court of Wheeling for 8 years.
Cranmer was a member of the General Assembly of Virginia from Ohio County during the session of 1855-1856. He was a delegate to and secretary of the First Wheeling Convention. He was made secretary of the First Session of the Second Wheeling Convention, and was clerk of the House of Delegates of the "Restored Government of Virginia." Cranmer was also the custodian of the manuscript proceedings, journals, and other documents of the two Conventions. Cranmer's home on Wheeling Island was flooded in 1884, which likely destroyed all of the manuscripts. It is possible that the Convention proceedings were shipped to Alexandria, Virginia, in the 1860s, but if that is the case, they have been lost. For more information on the proceedings, see How West Virginia was Made, by Virgil A. Lewis, [Charleston, W. Va., News-Mail Company, Public Printer], 1909.
0.4 Linear Feet (5 in. (2 document cases, 2 1/2 in. each))