CHARLESTON - The beginning of West Virginia courts and laws came back into discussion in the state Supreme Court Chambers, as a lecture on the early state government was presented.

"Rebels, Radicals and Red Men," was presented May 31 by state Supreme Court Clerk Rory L. Perry II and Joshua Lynn, an historical intern and Yeager Scholar from Marshall University.

More than 40 peers took in the lecture, which focused on three aspects of the West Virginia Supreme Court. Lynn said the lecture was a result of hours of study by Perry, who has been going through the West Virginia records.

This lecture was the first of its kind, which Lynn said he hopes will turn into an annual event, with the intern helping to research the topics and present the material.

"I hope this becomes a yearly internship, which will hopefully become competitive," he said.

The lectures focused on Reconstruction restrictions upon former Confederates, which included test case oaths; martial law, military tribunals and suppression of dissent; and efforts to criminalize secret societies, such as the Red Men's Act.

Lynn said the topics covered were some that had never been focused on before in history, and which required a good amount of work to find.

"We had to flesh out the legal appeal of the cases," Lynn said.

During a question-and-answer session at the end, Perry said he hopes to examine related threads more closely for a lecture next year.

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