WHEELING, W.Va. – Author Randall S. Gooden will present “The Governor and the Judge: Francis H. Pierpont, George W. Thompson, and the Restoration of Virginia” at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 17, at West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling. The program is free and open to the public.

Heroic figures snatched parts of Virginia out of the jaws of secession in 1861 and put the western counties on the road to West Virginia statehood, but not everyone in western Virginia saw men like Francis H. Pierpont and Arthur I. Boreman as heroes. Ohio County Circuit Court Judge George W. Thompson was among them. An opponent of secession, Thompson nonetheless questioned the constitutionality of the Restored Government of Virginia and the creation of West Virginia. As a result, Pierpont removed Thompson from the bench and engineered his imprisonment. Learn about these events and the federal court case that followed Gooden. author of “The Governor’s Pawns: Hostages and Hostage-Taking in Civil War West Virginia.

A native of West Virginia, Gooden’s pursuit of history grew from early interests in family history and genealogy. His undergraduate and graduate education at West Virginia University combined primary work in both academic history and public history with minor work in political science. Eclectic part-time job experiences in teaching, historic preservation and site interpretation, oral history, and archives took him into full-time work as assistant curator at the West Virginia and regional History Collection at West Virginia University, and to a position as head of the archives/library at Ohio Historical Society’s Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, and then as executive director of Geauga County (Ohio) Historical Society. He came to Clayton State in 2005 and worked concurrently for his first three years as circuit ride archivist for the Georgia Archives. His years at Clayton State have been highlighted by his six years on the faculty senate, including two years as senate chair, and his designation in 2016 as a university professor.  Gooden is the author of “The Governor’s Pawns: Hostages and Hostage-Taking in Civil War West Virginia,” which will be released by Kent State University Press on June 6. The book includes discussions of Virginia sectionalism, the restoration of Virginia in 1861, and the statehood movement.

For more information on the event, contact Debbie Jones, WVIH site manager, at (304) 238-1300 or Deborah.J.Jones@wv.gov.