Notes Concerning the Author
Clement Laird Vallandigham (July 29, 1820 – June 17, 1871) was a practicing attorney in Dayton, Ohio. After serving a term in the Ohio Legislature, Clement was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served from May 25, 1858, to March 3, 1863. Vallandigham was labeled a “Copperhead” by Republicans and their sympathetic and supportive allies in the media because the popular orator and critic was an outspoken proponent of the rule of law and a defender of the Constitution and liberty.
With the primary goals of seizing and arresting Vallandigham, on May 5, 1863, the U.S. Army conducted a raid on Dayton, Ohio. The Federal troops were successful. For “treasonable utterance,” as his Congressional biography terms the charges, the hapless solicitor was subsequently tried by a military commission and exiled from the United States.
J. Walter and Company’s opening “Publishers’ Notice” addresses the scope of the volume by stating that Vallandigham’s principal speeches are reproduced within and supplemented by extracts from other addresses and explanatory facts. The first transcribed oratory included was delivered at a Democratic Party meeting held in Dayton, Ohio, on October 29, 1855. The last selection was articulated at a meeting on March 21, 1863, in Hamilton, Ohio. Readers will note that, with the exception of the content relating to the matters pertaining to racial slavery, many of the divisive issues of that era remain unresolved and are essentially the root causes of political discord and divisiveness within contemporary American society.
Availablity of this Book
The original J. Walter and Company edition is no longer widely available. Reprints are available through the Confederate Reprint Company of Dahlonega, Georgia.