The convolutions that some people go through to prove unprovable points never ceases to amaze me.

In your article you quoted Lincoln’s Attorney General Edward Bates to this effect: “I observe, in the first place, that the Congress can admit new States into this Union, but cannot form States: Congress has no creative power, in that respect; and cannot admit into this Union, any territory, district or other political entity, less than a State. And such State must exist, as a separate independent body politic, before it can be admitted, under that clause of the Constitution — and there is no other clause.” (5)

In point of fact, Congress did NOT form a state from a portion of Virginia. On the contrary, the region now known as West Virginia HAD seceded from Virginia at the Second Wheeling Convention on May 15, 1861 during which tje dissenting counties that did not agree with the decision to leave the UNION decided instead to leave Virginia. West Virginia voted to secede from Virginia. There was no federal statute forbidding a portion of a state from seceding from the rest of the state nor did Virginia have any such law. Therefore, when West Virginia applied for admission to the United States as a separate state, they were entirely within their rights to do so, and the United States had an unimpeded right to accept the new state into the Union.

Since West Virginia did in fact exist as a separate state. Bates was using the term “state” as a synonym for “nation” in precisely the same manner that the Articles of Confederation used the term to represent a nation rather than a subdivision of a nation.

Alan is a poet, journalist, short story writer, editor, website developer, and political activist. He is the executive editor of