During his inaugural address, he had promised a public education system for all children in the state. He followed through, as a public school system was established during his time in office. Later in his term, on Feb. 7, 1867, West Virginia University was created.
In 1865, he encouraged legislation denying anyone who couldn't prove loyalty to the union the right to vote, to hold political office, to practice law, to teach or to sue. The legislation disenfranchised Confederates living in West Virginia and assured a governing majority for Republicans.
In 1869, Boreman resigned from office to join the U.S. Senate just six days before the end of his term.
In the Senate, Boreman supported the ratification of the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of race.
Upon receiving word of the amendment's ratification, he telegrammed Robert W. Simmons, the leader of the black community in Parkersburg, and a celebration was staged there in 1870, according to an article written by longtime Parkersburg historian Bernie Allen for The West Virginia Encylopedia.
Boreman served one six-year term in the Senate before returning to Parkersburg to practice law.
A story that appeared in The State Journal (Parkersburg) on April 23, 1896 offered some details of the life and death of Boreman.
It says that April 19, 1896 was a bright and sunny day and that "Judge Arthur I. Boreman died peacefully at 9:20 o'clock surrounded by his sorrowing family. The end came quietly; there was no suffering. The eyes of the beloved man closed as though he were dropping off into a sleep and he was no more."
He died on a Sunday, leaving behind a wife, two daughters, and two stepsons. The article calls his death "an incalculable loss to them and to the entire state."
The story says he had not been well for several months. "The cause of his death was a total collapse of the energies and a general breaking down," the article states.
He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a good speaker who could exercise analysis in debate, a hard worker, and a man of principle.
Go to state culture site to read the entire 1896 article about him.
Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at charlo...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1246.
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