The 6th Most Embarrassing Moment of Ohio History is
6. Traitor Runs for Governor
Canada (1863). Clement Vallandingham, a Congressman from Dayton, opposed the Civil War. He was voted out in 1862, but continued to make speeches calling for the end of the war on the basis that secession was acceptable and slavery was Constitutional. In 1863 Vallandingham was arrested for declaring sympathies for the enemy, tried by a military court and sent to the Confederacy. He escaped to Canada, declared himself a candidate for Ohio governor, and ran his campaign from a hotel. Ohioans might have been getting war weary in 1863, but they still believed in the Union cause. They also seemed to prefer a governor who could legally enter the country. John Brough, a Union supporter, beat Vallandigham easily.
Further Reading: Ohio History Central: Clement Vallandingham Klement, Frank L. The Limits of Dissent: Clement L. Vallandigham & the Civil War. New York, NY: Fordham University Press, 1998. Knepper, George. Ohio and Its People. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 2003.
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