Lincoln sought advice from his six-man Cabinet on whether or not creation of the new state was constitutional, and came up with a 3-3 tie.
"Lincoln was the tie-breaker," Holzer said. "He didn't have the kind of counseling that today's presidents have. And there was no polling to see whether Congress or the public was good with the idea of West Virginia statehood."
There was some political capital to be gained by favoring statehood, Holzer said.
"He realized that the prospect of having another state with two more Republican senators would help him pass a Constitutional amendment on slavery and get the appropriations needed to pursue the war," he said. "A little political calculus was involved."
The West Virginia Humanities Council is sponsoring Holzer's Charleston appearance. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelham...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5169.