An author and professor of history will examine the formation of the Restored Government of Virginia in Wheeling during the Civil War and how it led to the creation of West Virginia beginning at 2 p.m. June 4 at the historic West Virginia Independence Hall (WVIH) in Wheeling.

West Liberty State University Professor Emeritus David Javersak will discuss the unique circumstances that allowed these events to occur during a discussion titled “A Species of Legal Fiction: The Wheeling Conventions of 1861.”

This presentation will be the third in a series of sesquicentennial programs, Virginia Secedes! The Beginnings of West Virginia Statehood. The event, followed by a reception, is free, and the public is invited to attend.

Javersak is professor emeritus of history at West Liberty State University and a former dean emeritus. He has written a number of articles and books, including “History of Weirton, West Virginia” and “West Liberty: From Academy to University, A History.”

For more information about “A Species of Legal Fiction: The Wheeling Conventions of 1861” and other Sesquicentennial programs, contact Travis Henline, site manager at WVIH, at (304) 238-1300.

West Virginia Independence Hall, originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with the exception of major holidays. The museum is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.