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 Clement Laird Vallandigham

Clement Laird Vallandigham

Birth
Lisbon, Columbiana County, Ohio, USA
Death 17 Jun 1871 (aged 50)
Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio, USA
Burial Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, USA
Memorial ID 2526 · View Source
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U.S. Congressman. A native of New Lisbon, Ohio, he graduated from Jefferson College (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) in 1840. After a period as an instructor at the Union Academy in Maryland, he returned to Ohio, was admitted to the bar, and practiced as an attorney in Dayton. He became a member of the Ohio House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1845 and 1846. He then became the editor of the Dayton Empire, a weekly Democratic newspaper. He was appointed as Brigadier General of a company of Ohio Militia in 1857. He was also an unsuccessful candidate for Congress during three consecutive elections, and contested the vote in 1856 with an appeal. More than two years later, the vote was eventually reversed in Vallandigham's favor, and he was seated in the United States House of Representatives on the penultimate day of the term. Representing Ohio's 3rd Congressional District, he was reelected in 1858 and 1860, and was defeated for reelection in 1862 because of his unpopular views as a Southern sympathizer. He was an ardent supporter of states' rights and believed that the government should not be able to interfere with the institution of slavery. He further believed that the Confederacy had the right to secede and that it was unconstitutional to challenge the secessionists with military force. He is best remembered as the acknowledged leader of the Copperheads, a faction of Northern Democrats opposed to the Civil War and the military policies of President Abraham Lincoln. He frequently referred to the president as "King Lincoln". He was arrested in 1863 for violating General Order Number 38 (a military order declaring that sympathy to the southern cause was illegal). He was tried by a military court, found guilty, and sentenced to two years' confinement in prison. Nine months later, his sentence was commuted by Lincoln, and he was released across lines to the Confederacy in Tennessee. Vallandigham traveled on a blockade runner to Canada and declared himself a candidate for Governor of Ohio. He campaigned from Windsor, Ontario in absentia and was defeated in the election by John Brough. He returned to Ohio after the war, unsuccessfully tried to attain a political platform, and resumed his practice as an attorney. Representing the defendant during a murder trial in Lebanon, Ohio, he accidentally shot himself while attempting to prove that the victim had committed suicide. He died the following day. He is the uncle of U.S. Congressman John A. McMahon.

Bio by: K Guy



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2526
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Clement Laird Vallandigham (29 Jul 1820–17 Jun 1871), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2526, citing Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .