U.S. acquires vast tracts of Mexican territory in wake of Mexican War including California and New Mexico.
Abraham Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation, declaring slaves in Confederate states to be free.
West Virginia was given statehood status with the "agreement" the citizens would phase out slavery. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln approved the Statehood Bill for West Virginia. West Virginia was proclaimed a state on April 20, 1863, with the bill becoming effective 60 days later, June 20, 1863. When West Virginia first entered statehood in 1863, there were only 46 counties. That same year, four other counties voted themselves into West Virginia. Today, there are 55 counties in the Mountain State. The oldest county in the state is Hamsphire County formed in 1754 as part of Virginia. The youngest county is Mingo formed in 1895. The smallest county is Hancock located in the northern panhandle of the state with Randolph being the largest. When the Legislature convened for its first session, there were only 47 members of the House of Delegates and 18 members of the State Senate. Through the years, the number has increased to 100 members of the House of Delegates and 34 members of the State Senate.
1 German: from Middle High German kellaere ‘cellarman’, ‘cellar master’ (Latin cellarius, denoting the keeper of the cella ‘store chamber’, ‘pantry’). Hence an occupational name for the overseer of the stores, accounts, or household in general in, for example, a monastery or castle. Kellers were important as trusted stewards in a great household, and in some cases were promoted to ministerial rank. The surname is widespread throughout central Europe.2 English: either an occupational name for a maker of caps or cauls, from Middle English kellere, or an occupational name for an executioner, from Old English cwellere.3 Irish: reduced form of Kelleher .