LAIRD (1820-71). An American politician, born at New Lisbon. Ohio. After a year in Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, in 1S37-3S, he taught for two years in Maryland; was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1S42: was elected to the Ohio Legislature in 1845; edited the Dayton Empire in 1847-40: and from 1837 until 1863 was a member of the National House of Repre sentatives. In politics he was an extnmo States-rights Democrat. Be violently attacked the Lincoln Administration both in and out of Congres., and his conduct led to a resolution for an inquiry into his loyalty, while numerous petitions for 16: expulsion were presented. After his term in Congress expired, lie continued to make incendiary speeches against the Government. As a result lie was arrested in Slay, 1863, by order of General Ambrose E. lIurnside (q.v.) ; was tried by court martial; and was sentenced to be imprisoned in Fo•t Warren.
President Lincoln, however, changed the sentence to deportation into the Confederate lines. Thence vallondigham made Ins way to the Bermudas, and thence to Canada. In the same year lie was nominated by his party for the Governorship of Ohio, but was defeated by the overwhelming ma jority of 100,000 votes. Ile was allowed to re turn in the following .lone; became supreme commander of the 'Sons of Liberty' (sec KNIGHTS OF TILE GOLDEN CIRCLE) ; and took an active part in the Democratic convention of 1864. In June, 1871, while acting as counsel in a murder trial, lie attempted to illustrate his theory of how the shooting had been done, and was killed by the accidental discharge of the pistol. Consult J. L. Vallandigham, Life of Clement L. Vallandigham (Baltimore, 1872).