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Vallandigham

ohio, war, home and returned

VALLANDIGHAM Clement Laird, American politician: b. New Lisbon, Ohio, 29 July 1820; d. Hamilton, Ohio, 17 June 1871. He was educated at Jefferson College, Pa., and was admitted to the bar in 1842. More inclined to a political than legal career, at 25 he became the representative of Columbiana County in the legislature of Ohio. In 1847 he removed to Dayton, Ohio, which he made his permanent home, and took charge of The Empire, a Demo cratic newspaper, which he edited with marked ability for two years. He returned to his pro fession in 1849, but sought political honors, and after two defeats was elected to the House of Representatives in 1856; was re-elected in 1858, and was in Congress at the outbreak of the Civil War. He strenuously opposed the war as being unnecessary and unconstitutional, and his opposition was radical and persistent.

Failing of election to Congress in 1863, he returned to Ohio, and at political meetings op posed and denounced the government and the war policy in such bitter terms, that he became the most prominent leader of the so-called "Copperheads" of the North. His extreme op position to the war led to his arrest in May 1863 at Dayton, by General Burnside, com manding the military department of the Ohio. He was tried by a military commission at Cin cinnati, Ohio, for disloyal utterances and con duct, found guilty and sentenced to close con finement during the war, but President Lincoln commuted the sentence to banishment beyond the Federal lines, and he was sent south through General Rosecrans' camp at Murfreesboro into the Confederate lines. Being unwilling to es

pouse the cause of the Confederacy and dissatis fied with his reception in the South, in a short time he ran the blockade from Wilmington, N. C., and proceeded by sea to Halifax, and later to Windsor, Canada, where he made his home for a time. While at Windsor he was nominated by the Democrats of Ohio for gov ernor, against the Hon. John Brough, and was defeated by over 100,000 majority. In 1864 he returned to his home at Dayton without moles tation, and took an active part in various po litical campaigns in Ohio, becoming a delegate to the National Democratic Convention at Chicago.

His tragic death occurred while he was en gaged as attorney in a murder case. He was illustrating to the jury the manner in which the victim was shot, when by accident he fatally shot himself with the pistol he held in his hands. Vallandigham was an accomplished and forcible speaker. His style was formed from the best models of oratory. His convictions were strong and inflexible, his integrity and courage undoubted. Consult Vallandigham, J. L., 'Life of Clement L. Vallandigham' (1872).