Clark County, Ohio

History and Genealogy



War Politics


From 20th Century History of Springfield and Clark County, Ohio by Hon. William A. Rockel
Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co., 1908


Possibly in no state in the Union was there a hotter time politically during the war than in Ohio. Chase and Stanton, both former Democrats, had become members of Lincoln's Cabinet. Vallandingham, while exercising what he claimed as "the right of free speech," was arrested and deported to Canada; his cause was then taken up by the Democracy and he was nominated, in his absence, for governor. The Republicans nominated John H. Brough, and the nature of the canvass was such as would naturally cause a high spirit and feeling to prevail. Brough was elected by the unheard-of plurality at that time of 101,000. Previous to the Brough campaign a notable canvass was made for Congress between S. S. Cox and Samuel Shellabarger. Cox was an exceedingly bright and witty public speaker residing at Columbus. Shellabarger was an able lawyer of Springfield. Both had previously served in Congress. By the re-districting made in 1861 they were both thrown in the same Congressional district and were named by their respective parties as candidates again for Congress.

A notable meeting was held in this campaign near Bowlusville in the northern part of this county, one of its features being an immense barbecue. The Democrats of that and the surrounding vicinities contributed liberally of their means to make it a great suceess. It was the intention to feed those present. Tables were set and ropes put around with the purpose of permitting the women to go inside the ropes and serve the dinner to those outside. This arrangement did not suit the crowd and the ropes were broken down and each one helped himself to whatever he could get.

Thomas A. Hendricks of Indiana, S. S. Cox, Daniel Vorhees, and a number of other distinguished Democrats were present. It was estimated that 65,000 people were there, but like most estimations of the sort this is doubtless an extreme. Mr. Cox always attributed his election to the success of this meeting.

In the Brough-Vallandingham campaign the Democrats of Grerman Township formed an eighty-six horse wagon team to attend a political meeting. Each horse had a rider who was dressed in some patriotic costume. Upon the wagon were women representing the Goddess of Liberty, and various matters of that kind. The Republicans were not behind the Democrats in party demonstration and political meetings.







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