A traveling exhibit about the state’s origins will make a stop at the Downtown
Library’s Rockefeller Gallery from Nov. 6-Dec. 4.
“Born of Rebellion: West Virginia Statehood and the Civil War”
is the new flagship history exhibit from the West Virginia Humanities Council, the
state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the creators
of the West Virginia Encyclopedia.
“Born of Rebellion: West Virginia Statehood and the Civil War” at the Downtown Library’s Rockefeller Gallery.
“This is a complete revitalization of an exhibit the Council first released in
2005, and toured again during the Sesquicentennial,” the Council’s Program Officer
Kyle Warmack said. “The original was fantastic, but focused narrowly on the legal
question of statehood. This time, we widen the lens to include a kaleidoscope
of West Virginia perspectives. 2024 is the 50th anniversary of the Council’s
founding, so it felt appropriate to return all the way to the state’s roots.”
One way to do that was by digging into the stories of individuals around the state.
The exhibit’s section titles are drawn from the diary of Upshur County teenager
Sirene Bunten, who was only 16 when West Virginia achieved statehood in 1863.
"This is a complete revitalization of an exhibit the Council first released in 2005, and toured again during the Sesquicentennial." Kyle Warmack
“The original diary is part of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s collections,” Warmack
said. “Experiencing this history feels different when reading the inner observations
of a young girl who loses two brothers to the war.” Other quotes and experiences
were drawn from the recollections of soldiers and civilians across the state.
Born of Rebellion was made possible with funding from American Water and the NEH’s “A More Perfect Union” initiative, as well as support from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History.