History Alive is a program of first-person portrayals of historical figures by presenters who have conducted scholarly research on their character. Often called the “Father of West Virginia,” Pierpont, the great-grandson of Morgantown’s founder, spent much of his early life in Fairmont. As the Civil War broke out in 1861, he spoke frequently and ardently against secession. When loyal Unionists voted to create a new state government in defiance of Virginia’s secession that year, he was unanimously elected as its governor—a post at which he served tirelessly until the war’s end in 1865. Pierpont’s statue stands in Statuary Hall in the Capitol Building in Washington D.C., one of two West Virginians so recognized.