MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Bordering Hampshire, Morgan and Berkeley counties is Frederick County, Virginia.
On Monday, the West Virginia Senate passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 2, drafted by Judiciary Committee Chairman Charlie Trump IV (R-Morgan). The resolution provides a “standing invitation” to Frederick County, Virginia to join West Virginia.
“I’m sure there will be lawyers all over this thing if the citizens of Frederick County decided they wanted to join (West Virginia). But there is a legal basis for the argument; it has been decided and already approved by Virginia and the Congress of the United States.”
This isn’t the first time Frederick County, Virginia was considered as becoming a part of West Virginia. Most of what are now Berkeley, Morgan, Hampshire, Mineral, Hardy and Grant counties were once part of Frederick County.
In 1862, Virginia’s government met in Wheeling to consider the formation of now-West Virginia. Frederick County was included along with Berkeley and Jefferson to join the new state. Berkeley and Jefferson voted to join, Frederick has not yet done so.
“In addition to the historical connections between Frederick County and the seven counties of our Eastern Panhandle, there are strong bonds and ties of every kind among the citizens – family, business, education, culture, and commerce. We share common values,” Senator Trump said. “Frederick County’s residents have so much in common with West Virginia that our separation has never made sense.”
If Frederick County were to join West Virginia, it would be the state’s second largest county. It would have at least six members in the House of Delegates and two senators in the state Senate. It would also add the historic City of Winchester, Virginia and Shenandoah University to the Mountain State.
“I’ve heard mixed things,” Senator Trump said when asked about the response from Frederick County. “I mean they’ve read it and they’ve said it’s very touching. The resolution is just really an expression of our affection and a recognition of our joint history with Frederick County. So far, no one has taken offense to it at least that they’ve expressed to me.”