Ohio Copperhead Vallandigham & Pugh Cloth Political Banner, 1863
A cotton campaign banner, 69 x 7 in., inscribed Union of States Forever! Vallandigham & Pugh.
Clement Vallandigham (1820-1871) and George Pugh ran for governor and lieutenant-governor of Ohio in the complicated election of 1863. Vallandigham was originally a member of the democratic party but led the Copperheads, a democratic political faction ferociously against the Civil War. He and his party believed that Lincoln should let the Confederacy secede in order to stave off any violence. He voiced his sentiments so loudly that he was arrested in May 1863 and tried for infringing upon General Order No. 38. His running mate, George Pugh, tried to defend him and claimed that his arrest was unlawful, but the court found Vallandigham guilty. Lincoln commuted his sentence from imprisonment to banishment to the Confederacy. Following the president's orders, soldiers transferred him from a prison in Boston to enemy lines in Murfreesboro, TN where he said, "I am a citizen of Ohio, and of the United States. I am here within your lines by force, and against my will. I therefore surrender myself to you as a prisoner of war."
< Despite his banishment, the Ohio democratic party announced at the June 11th convention that he could run as Governor in absentia. Pugh assumed Vallandigham's campaign duties and represented his views on the trail. They ultimately lost the election because victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg convinced many Ohioans to vote for the Union party leader.
Very good with some minor fraying of the margins.