On the 20th of August 1861 a vote was held on the official name for the new state that had been carved out of Virginia. There were some discussions on what the name of the new state should be, a transcript can be found HERE, and it was finally decided that a vote would be taken by the 44 members of the Convention.
The results were as follows:
West Virginia – 30 votes
Kanawha – 9 votes
Western Virginia – 2 votes
Allegheny – 2 votes
Augusta – 1 vote
Columbia - no votes
New Virginia - no votes
Many wanted to keep some ties to their Virginian heritage so West Virginia become the popular choice. For those that wanted to have an entirely new name Kanawha was popular, despite the argument that since it was also the name of one of the more prominent counties in the state that there would be some confusion.
If I had been one of the members of the Convention I probably would have chosen Kanawha. The point of their get-together was to secede from Virginia, I would think you would want a new name. Then again I didn’t live in the 19th century, and I’m also not a Virginian.
What name would you have picked for the new State?
http://www.wvculture.org/history/statehood/statename.html (Accessed 20 August 2009)