And the presumption is that Northern banks, along with European financiers, held Virginia's debt as it survived the Civil War despite the complete bankruptcy of Virginia's financial institutions, underwritten by worthless confederate currency, and the near total destruction of the funded infrastructure.
Also in support of this theory is the very fact that West Virginia included the funding mechanism in her Constitution -- something that members of Congress from Northern states more than likely insisted upon for voting in favor of statehood as a partial guarantee to their constituents' presumed interests.
West Virginians may well have benefited, too, as many of the state's banks and wealthier citizens likely held financial interests and the nascent state would have to have good standing going forward to secure future financing.
What is certain, though, is that, after decades of legal wrangling, it would not be until 1939 that West Virginia would finally pay off the bonds issued for the court-ordered $12,393,929.50 settlement with Virginia, plus 5 percent annual interest.
So, in a sense, West Virginia's founders agreed to pay a future price for statehood and Virginia eventually agreed to that price by accepting payment, dropping any future claim to repatriation and formally recognizing the Great State of West Virginia.
Lincoln stated, "It is said that the admission of West Virginia is secession and tolerated only because it is our secession. Well, if we call it by that name, there is still difference enough between secession against the Constitution and secession in favor of the Constitution."
Swint is a commercial property broker and political activist in Charleston.