Mount Vernon News
 
 

By Mount Vernon News
April 12, 2013 8:55 am EDT

 

Clement Vallandigham was coming to Mount Vernon. It had been clear for some time that Vallandigham was Democratic Banner Publisher Lecky Harper’s choice for governor of Ohio, so it probably wasn’t surprising for readers to open the April 11, 1863, Democratic Banner and see, in the space where the lead editorial would normally run, the announcement, with headline in extra-large type, of a “GRAND RALLY OF THE DEMOCRACY of Knox County, at Mount Vernon!”

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The announcement played up the invitation extended to some of the “peace” Democrats in the state to appear.

“FELLOW-DEMOCRATS! — Sound it along the lines — announce it in every village and hamlet in the county, that there will be a great and glorious rally of the Union Democracy, at Mount Vernon, Friday, May 1st, 1863, commencing at 11 o’clock a.m.

“The following distinguished and eloquent Democratic Patriots and Statesmen, have been invited, and it is confidently believed that they will be with us, to address the assembled multitude:”

The list includes Vallandigham, Samuel Sullivan “Sunset” Cox of Columbus, Samuel Medary, G.H. Pendleton, G. W. Belden, John O’Neill and D.W. Voorhies of Indiana.

“Let every Democrat and Conservative in the county, old and young, who wish to see the Union restored, the Constitution maintained and the Laws enforced, and who think more of the freedom of the White Man than that of the Negro, come in to our great meeting.”

Vallandigham has become the poster boy for the term “Copperhead,” although that oversimplifies his position.

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