VALLANDIGHAM, Clement Laird, (uncle of John A. McMahon), a Representative from Ohio; born in New Lisbon, Columbiana County, Ohio, July 29, 1820; attended a classical school conducted by his father and Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pa.; moved to Maryland and for two years was a preceptor in Union Academy at Snow Hill; moved to New Lisbon, Ohio, in 1840; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1842 and commenced practice in Dayton, Ohio; member of the State house of representatives in 1845 and 1846; edited the Western Empire 1847-1849; was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1852 to the Thirty-third Congress and in 1854 to the Thirty-fourth Congress; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1856, 1864, and 1868; successfully contested as a Democrat the election of Lewis D. Campbell to the Thirty-fifth Congress; reelected to the Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh Congresses and served from May 25, 1858, to March 3, 1863; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1862 to the Thirty-eighth Congress; arrested by the Union military authorities in 1863 for treasonable utterance and banished to the Confederate States; went from Wilmington, N.C., to Bermuda and thence to Canada, where he remained until June 1864; during his exile was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor of Ohio in 1863; unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate in 1869; died in Lebanon, Ohio, June 17, 1871; interment in Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.
"Vallandigham, Clement Laird," Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774 to Present, http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=V000008.
Though he served only two terms in Congress, his evident political talents and ambition attracted national attention early. He was a delegate to four successive Democratic National Conventions and in 1860 was secretary of the Democratic National Committee and chair of its campaign committee. He frequently had important influence on the party's campaign platforms. During the Civil War, he was the most prominent leader of the "Peace Democrats," who were disparagingly nicknamed "Copperheads." That leadership made him the center of great controversy. His criticism of Lincoln and his administration was relentless and sometimes intemperate. Vallandigham was a fiery orator whose arguments often found very receptive audiences during the early years of the war when the Union army was suffering defeat after defeat and the casualty lists seemed endless.
William G. Andrews, "Vallandigham, Clement Laird," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-01009.html.