MOUNT VERNON — The historical marker at the corner of West High Street and Public Square says that on May 1, 1863, Clement L. Vallandigham, a leader of the Peace Democrats in Ohio, spoke to 10,000 people from that spot.
Lecky Harper’s Democratic Banner published each Saturday and May 1 was a Friday. Harper, instead of trying to rush something into the May 2 edition, printed it early, going to press on Thursday afternoon “in order that all hands may have an opportunity to attend our great meeting. The indications now are that we shall have the largest meeting ever assembled in Mount Vernon. In next week’s paper we shall have a full account of the proceedings.”
The trouble is, Harper’s account in the May 9 paper describes at length how people streamed into the city all morning and formed a great parade through the town, how the crowds were patriotic and enthusiastic for the Democratic cause and how additional platforms had to be set up for speakers because the crowd was so big. But there is one thing missing — he doesn’t say a word about what Vallandigham said.
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