Fort Fincastle, renamed Fort Henry, was built at what is now Wheeling in 1774; in 1782 it was the scene of one of the last skirmishes of the American Revolution, in which a party of British and Native American attackers was driven off. Wheeling became the western terminus of the National Road in 1818, a port of entry in 1831, and a railhead in 1852. A center of pro-Unionist activity during the Civil War, the town was the site of the Wheeling Conventions (1861–62), which provided a means of forming a new state out of the northern and western counties of Virginia. Wheeling became the first capital of West Virginia in 1863 (see Charleston).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. Political Geography