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Almost Heaven: The History of West Virginia

West Virginia is one of two American states formed during the American Civil War (1861 - 1865), along with Nevada, and is the only state to form by seceding from a Confederate state. 

West VirginiaIt is originally part of the British Virginia Colony (1607 - 1776) and the western part of the state of Virginia (1776 - 1863), whose population becomes sharply divided over the issue of secession from the Union and in the separation from Virginia, formalizes by admittance to the Union as a new state in 1863.  West Virginia is one of the Civil War Border states.

West Virginia's history is profoundly affected by its mountainous terrain, spectacular river valleys, and rich natural resources.  These were all factors driving its economy and the lifestyles of residents, as well as drawing visitors to the "Mountain State" in the early 21st century.

Chapters

  • 1 Prehistory

  • 2 Protohistory

  • 2 European exploration and settlement

    • 2.1 Early River traffic

  • 3 Trans-Allegheny Virginia, 1776-1861

    • 3.1 John Brown at Harpers Ferry, 1859

  • 4 Civil War and split

    • 4.1 Separation

    • 4.2 Legality

    • 4.3 Civil War

    • 4.4 Enduring disputes

  • 5 Hidden resources

    • 5.1 Salt

    • 5.2 Coal

      • 5.2.1 Accidents in Coal Mines

    • 5.3 Early railroads, shipping to East Coast and Great Lakes

    • 5.4 New competitor helps open "Billion Dollar Coalfield"

    • 5.5 Labor, ecology issues

  • 6 20th century

    • 6.1 State hatcheries and tourism industry

    • 6.2 World War II

    • 6.3 School integration

    • 6.4 Vietnam War

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