November 30, 2005

As a complement to Ace's excellent preceeding post...
— Tanker

A Democrat to make Nancy Pelosi proud!

Clement Laird Vallandigham - Copperhead

Although the Democratic party had broken apart in 1860, during the secession crisis Democrats in the North were generally more conciliatory toward the South than were Republicans. They called themselves Peace Democrats; their opponents called them Copperheads because some wore copper pennies as identifying badges. A majority of Peace Democrats supported war to save the Union, but a strong and active minority asserted that the Republicans had provoked the South into secession; that the Republicans were waging the war in order to establish their own domination, suppress civil and states rights, and impose "racial equality"; and that military means had failed and would never restore the Union.

Sound familiar?

The most prominent Copperhead leader was Clement L. Valladigham a former Ohio Congressman from Dayton, Ohio. He was also a notorious, thinly-veiled, Southern sympathizer who made speeches, to anyone who would listen, calling the war, "wicked and cruel," and which was quite obvious to all. Then however, Vallandigham strayed beyond the realm of reality and suggested that the Republicans only wanted to end slavery to further their quest for a dictatorship.

But here is the part which makes me love Lincoln so much!

On May 5, 1863, a Company of the 115th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, dispatched to Dayton, Ohio by special train, broke into Vallandigham's house at 3:00 A.M. and arrested him. The former Congressman was taken from his home in a nightshirt and quickly transported to Cincinnati where he would be tried by a military commission the following day on charges of "treasonable utterances." Riots broke out in Dayton in response to the arrest, with fires destroying an entire city block. Troops from Columbus and and Cincinnati were brought in and martial law declared. Vallandigham was soon convicted of aiding the Confederates, and on May 19, 1863 President Lincoln ordered Secretary of War Stanton to see to it that Vallandigham was banished to "beyond the military lines of the United States and not be permitted to return, under threat of arrest."

Federal troops in Tennessee turned Vallandigham over to the Confederate Army on May 25, 1863. In June, President Davis of the Confederate States, having no use for Vallandigham, orders him to Wilmington, North Carolina to be guarded as an "alien enemy." That same month. Peace Democrats in Ohio nominate the the exiled and incarcerated Vallandigham for Governor. A committee of the Democratic convention demanded that President Lincoln reverse his ordered exile of Vallandigham. Lincoln refused. "Must I," Lincoln lamented, "shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who deserts, while I must not touch a hair of a wiley agitator who induces him to desert?" In October, Vallandigham, now exiled by the Confederate States to Canada, would be defeated for the Ohio Governorship by Democrat John Brough from Marietta. On June 14, 1864, one year after being exiled, Clement Vallandigham slips back into the country and arrives in Ohio wearing a feeble disguise that fails to deceive the Federal agents watching him.

There is a happy ending though!

In June of 1871, Clement Vallandigham, defending an Ohio man charged with murder, requested a change of venue to Warren County, Ohio. There, in his hotel room at the Golden Lamb Inn at Lebanon, Ohio, Vallandigham was rehearsing his final arguments to the jury. He would suggest that his client was innocent and that the victim had actually killed himself accidentally. To demonstrate the freak accident he proposed, Vallandigham planned to pull a similar pistol from his trouser pocket to demonstrate how it might accidentally fire. While practicing his arguments in his room at the Golden Lamb, Vallandigham pulled the pistol and, ironically, it fired, sending a bullet into his abdomen at point blank range. Clement Vallandigham, the notorious Southern-sympathizer from Ohio, once banished from the Union by President Lincoln, died the next morning at the age of fifty-one.

Posted by: Tanker at 04:21 PM | Comments (18)
Post contains 663 words, total size 5 kb.

1 I hope I speak for all Ohioans when I say: the traitor reaped his just reward.

Posted by: Guy T. at November 30, 2005 04:27 PM (e1Zez)

This really p*sses me off, but not for the obvious reason:

I'm from Dayton, and -- back in the day -- we had an Ohio hosity requirement for high school graduation.

We learned about The Cox family, and the Great dayton Flood, but not one word of this. I feel that a piece of *my* history was stolen from me.

And oh, yeah, dittos to Guy T.

Posted by: speedster1 at November 30, 2005 04:50 PM (HMufy)

3 Some lawyers will go to any length to prove their case.

Let this be an example to many many others.

Posted by: dougf at November 30, 2005 04:51 PM (STFua)

hosity = history.

See, I *told* ya I was p*ssed off.

Posted by: speedster1 at November 30, 2005 04:51 PM (HMufy)

5 so, Tanker, did he get the guy off or not? He seems to have proved his theory.

Posted by: ace at November 30, 2005 05:09 PM (UxtY9)

6 I like beef

Posted by: uhh at November 30, 2005 05:39 PM (6krEN)

7 I had dinner at the Golden Lamb a couple of weeks ago. Next time I'm going to have to ask in which room this idiot shot himself, as a matter of ghoulish curiosity.

Posted by: Kerry at November 30, 2005 05:43 PM (Lkywa)

8 Beef. It's what's for dinner.

Posted by: uhh at November 30, 2005 05:52 PM (6krEN)

9 tonight

Posted by: uhh at November 30, 2005 05:53 PM (6krEN)

10 He was also decorated war hero in Vietnam.

Posted by: Dennis at November 30, 2005 06:12 PM (QDNVv)

11 He was also decorated war hero in Vietnam.

Abraham Lincoln was? Now that's impressive.

Posted by: sandy burger at November 30, 2005 06:22 PM (iGWFT)

12 Just another guy from Dayton checking in. Sure seems to be a lot of us. What's with that Ace?

Haven't made it to the Golden Lamb yet. Heard Bruce Williams talking about it a few years ago.

Posted by: Dale at November 30, 2005 06:27 PM (VE3QR)

13 Excellent, Tanker.

Four people came to mind while I read the quotes; Dennis Kucinich, Al Sharpton, Michael Moore, and George Galloway.

Posted by: Bart at November 30, 2005 07:01 PM (Vlmwk)

14 Hey, I actually knew this story!

Heard about it at a local cemetery tour in central Ohio. One of the prominent figures buried there was a huge supporter of this guy, and with it being a cemetery tour and all, Vallandigham's death made a great story, even if he wasn't buried there himself.

The cemetery's also home to another guy who died at the Golden Lamb - Charles Sherman, father of William T.

It's an awesome cemetery, considering its modest size and its modest location. And really, that's why I'm here, to brag about my hometown even when it has absolutely no relevence or entertainment value.

I also love the Golden Lamb. Just had to say that. So historic and wonderful. (hey, remember the famous Bush photo?)

Posted by: mary at November 30, 2005 07:27 PM (Vyldg)

15 Thanks for posting this, Tanker. Stories like this (and "Gangs of New York", in book form anyway) let us know how the War Between the States and Reconstruction went down in the "Republican" north.

As speedster points out, northern states treat this as secret history. Racism is only found south of Dixie and the reason blacks don't live in the nice parts of town is because of the cold, yadda yadda.

The Republicans were strong in New England, upstate NY and PA, and in select cities (notably Peoria). They were mud in the Irish parts of New York City and in much of the Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois countryside.

There were free blacks living in these Northern Democrat areas but they were very much the minority and often lived in fear. Following the faltering of Reconstruction in the mid-to-late 1870s and particularly after Garfield's assassination in 1881, those regions which had voted Dem during the late 1850s expelled their blacks in an orgy of pogroms, and then kept them out with a variety of semi-secret ordinances and a wink-nudge attitude toward private vigilantism. Thus was born the Sundown Town and for that matter the inner-city ghetto. (c.f. Sundown Towns, James Loewen)

This explains creatures like Vallandigham, and for that matter Wallace's popularity in Indiana.

Posted by: David Ross at December 01, 2005 04:34 AM (Mi7Wp)

16 Alternately it could be that those agents who kept tabs on George Galloway Vallandigham saw his little rehearsal as an opportunity to nudge the hand of fate just a bit to one side by visiting him in his hotel room and popping him in the stomache with his own pistol, thereby simultaneously bringing their tiresome watch to an end as well as removing a traitor in rather poetic fashion.

Posted by: Scott at December 01, 2005 07:11 AM (f8958)

17 Seems like strikethrough works in the preview pane but is dropped when the post goes live... :=]

Posted by: Scott at December 01, 2005 07:12 AM (f8958)

18 So the Union kicked him out to the Confederacy, and the Confederacy kicked him out to Canada, and Canada let him stay. Pretty low standards in Canada, eh?

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at December 01, 2005 09:39 AM (eZ0vq)

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