West Virginia at the 1893 World's Fair

Acts of the Legislature of West Virginia, at its Twentieth Regular Session, commencing January 14, 1891.


AN ACT to provide for the collection, arrangement and display of the products of the state of West Virginia, at the World's Columbian Exposition of eighteen hundred and ninety-three, and to make an appropriation therefor.

[Passed March 14, 1891]

WHEREAS, The congress of the United States has provided by an act approved April twenty-fifth, eighteen hundred and ninety, for celebrating the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, by holding an international exhibition of arts, industries, manufactures, and the products of the soil, mine and sea, in the city of Chicago, in the state of Illinois, in the year eighteen hundred and ninety-three; and

WHEREAS, It is of great importance that the natural resources, industrial development, and general progress of the state of West Virginia, should be fully and creditably displayed to the world at said exposition; therefore,

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia, as follows:

1. That for the purpose of exhibiting the resources, products and general development of the state of West Virginia at the World's Columbian exposition of eighteen hundred and ninety three, a commission is hereby constituted to be designated the Board of World's Fair Managers of West Virginia, which shall consist of five citizens, two of whom shall be republicans, and two persons with practical knowledge of agriculture, to be organized and discharge its duties as hereinafter provided.

2. The members of said board shall be appointed by the governor within sixty days after the passage of this act.

3. The members of said commission so appointed shall be called together by the governor of this state in the city of Charleston, West Virginia, by notice to the members of the said commission, as soon as convenient after the passage of this act, and within ninety days thereafter. The said commissioners, at said first meeting, shall organize by the election, from among themselves, of a president and treasurer, and shall at the same time appoint as secretary a person experienced and skilled in book-keeping. Said commissioners shall at said first meeting appoint such committees as they may deem expedient.

4. The board shall have power to make rules and bylaws for its government, not inconsistent with the provisions of this act and not in conflict with the regulations adopted under the act of congress for the government of the World's Columbian exposition. Three members of the board of world's fair managers, appointed under this act shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Any member of the board may at any time be removed for cause by the governor. And any vacancy in the membership of the board, resulting from death or resignation, shall be filled by the governor.

5. The president of the board shall, in addition to presiding over its meetings, be authorized and required to assume and exercise, subject to the supervision of said board, all such powers and functions as may benecessary to secure a complete and creditable display of the resources of this state at the World's Columbian exposition of eighteen hundred and ninety-three, and as the president and agent of said board, he shall have personal charge of the solicitation, collection, transportation, arrangement and exhibition of the objects sent under the authority of the state to the World's Columbian exposition of eighteen hundred and ninety-three, and of such objects sent by individual citizens of the state as may be by them placed in his charge. He shall make a report to the board monthly, of his acts under these enumerated powers.

6. The treasurer shall give bond in the penalty of twenty thousand dollars, payable to the state of West Virginia, to be approved by the governor, and conditioned for the faithful performance of his duties and to account for and pay over all moneys that may come into his hands as such treasurer. The duties of the treasurer shall be prescribed by the board of world's fair managers of West Virginia and entered in their journal of proceedings.

7. The secretary of the board shall, in addition to keeping a record of all meetings of the board and of such orders as it may from time to time make and cause to be entered and preserved, open and keep a set of books, showing by itemized entries and under their correct names and headings, the kind, character and amounts of all receipts and disbursements of the board, and its officers, taking care in all cases to show, not under the heading of "sundries," but by their actual names, all proper charges and credits, and shall perform and dischage [sic] any other duties prescribed for him by the board.

8. The members of the board appointed under this act, except the president and treasurer, shall not be entitled to any compensation for their services out of the state treasury, except their actual expenses for transportation and the sum of four dollars per day for subsistence for each day they are necessarily absent from their homes on the business of the said board.

9. The president, secretary and treasurer of said board, in addition to the compensation provided for, in the next preceding section, shall each receive a salary to be fixed by the board and approved by the governor. All of which said salaries and sums of money provided for in this and the next preceding section, shall be paid out of the sum appropriated by this act in aid of said exposition.

10. The said board shall have charge of the interests of the state and its citizens in the preparation and exhibition at the World's Columbian exposition of eighteen hundred and ninety-three of the natural and industrial products of the state, and of objects illustrating its history, progress, moral and material welfare and future development, and in all other matters relating to the said World's Columbian exposition; it shall communicate with the officers of, and obtain and disseminate through the state all necessary information regarding said exposition, and in general have and exercise full authority in relation to the participation of the state of West Virginia and its citizens in the World's Columbian exposition of eighteen hundred and ninety- three.

11. The said board shall make a report of its proceedings and expenditures from time time to the governor, and at any time upon his written request, to be by him transmitted to the legislature, together with such suggestions as he may deem important regarding provisions for a complete and creditable representation of the state at the World's Columbian exposition of eighteen hundred and ninety-three.

12. The commission hereby created shall not exist any longer than until the first day of May, eighteen hundred and ninety-four.

13. Nothing in this act shall be so construed as to create any liability of the state of West Virginia, direct or indirect, for any debt or obligation incurred, nor for any claim for aid or pecuniary assistance from the state, in support or liquidation of any debts or obligation created by said commision [sic] in excess of the appropriation herein made therefor. And all salaries and expenses of said board; and of its members and appointees, herein authorized, shall be paid out of the money hereby appropriated.

14. No member of said commission, whether an officer or otherwise, shall be personally liable for any debt or obligation which may be created or incurred by said commission.

15. The said board shall itself, or by its president, cause a suitable building to be erected on the site selected by the World's Columbian commission for West Virginia's exhibits, but the contract for said building shall not exceed the sum of $20,000, which said building shall be disposed of at the close of the exposition to the best advantage by said commission.

16. All articles, whether procured by the state or furnished or contributed by individuals, companies or corporations, to be placed on exhibition, the transportation charges on which shall have been paid by the state, shall belong to and be the property of the state; and at the close of the exhibition, the same so far as in the opinion of the board should be preserved, shall be by said board shipped to the governor of this state, to be by him cared for and preserved; other articles shall be disposed of by the board to the best advantage, and the proceeds turned into the treasury.

17. To carry out the provisions of this act, the sum of. forty thousand dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated, ten thousand dollars to be paid in the fiscal year of 1891 and the residue of said appropriation, or so much thereof as may be necesessary, [sic] to be paid out of the treasury from time to time, out of the revenues of 1892, on the requisition of said board, signed by its president and secretary, and approved by the governor, and accompanied by estimates of the expenses to the payment of which the money so drawn is to be applied.

(Approved March 16,1891)


The foregoing act takes effect from its passage, two-thirds of the members elected to each house, by a vote taken by yeas and nays, having so directed.