Clement Vallandigham was a prominent Ohio lawyer back in the day. And that day was Civil War era eastern Ohio. But in the great tradition upheld by so many in the legal profession, he courted controversy. “Vallandigham was arrested and imprisoned in 1863 for publicly making derogatory comments about Lincoln and his war policies. He favored peace with Confederacy, even if it meant preserving slavery. Lincoln later commuted Vallandigham’s sentence and instead banished him to the Confederacy.” And the city of Lisbon has been wrestling with his legacy ever since. Why just this week, Lisbon’s elders voted down a proposal to erect a statue in his honor . . .

Bowing to public opposition, Village Council rescinded its previous decision to allow a proposed statue of the controversial Lisbon native and Civil War-era figure to be placed in the town square.

The vote at Tuesday’s meeting was 4-1, with council members Roger Gallo, Jeff Snyder, Steve Defilippo and Mary Ann Gray in favor, and Joe Morenz casting the lone dissenting vote.

The newest councilman, Tom Darcy, who was sworn in prior to the meeting, abstained from the vote since he was not involved in the original decision granting the Lisbon Landmark Foundation permission to place the bronze statue in the town square near the Civil War cannon.

But even more than for his exile, Vallandigham is perhaps better known for his gun-handling, um, prowess. After the war, he returned to Ohio and resumed his law practice. As As morningjouralnews.com tells it,

Vallandigham’s death came in 1871 after he accidentally shot himself while handling a pistol he believed to be unloaded during a trial in which he was serving as defense attorney.

urbantitan.com goes into a little more detail:

Vallandigham wanted to prove to the jury that there was a possibility that the deceased had actually accidentally shot himself. To do this he put a pistol in his pocket and recreated the man’s movements in the fight. He proved his point a bit too well, as the gun went off and killed him. His client was acquitted.

Another one of those guns that just “went off.” In any case, even after 142 years, Valladingham’s mad pistol skillz are more than worthy of a posthumous IGOTD award. Some of the more churlish among our Armed Intelligentsia would probably thank the Ohioan for making his exit, calling any attorney offing himself in open court a good start. We couldn’t possibly comment, other than to remind them to be sure to except a few of our own like Chris, Ralph and Joe Grine. Case closed.

65 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Clement Vallandigham

  1. A man who stood up against the evil tyrant Lincoln. Seeing as how it was probably a cap and ball, I can easily see him thinking the firearm was safe without a percussion cap on it.

    • Yea effing Lincoln he should have let Slavery stand it wasn’t any of his business who the confederacy wanted to enslave or not. Darn federalist tyrant.

      • That must be why Lincoln ended slavery in the states of Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri and West Virginia. Y’know, those Union slave states. Oh that’s right he didn’t. The Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to those. It also did not apply to any state in rebellion that returned to the Union within 100 days.

        • Well, Lincoln did push for that whole 13th Amendment thing. Gotta say he deserves a bit of credit for that.

        • Except he did it only to screw over the South for daring to stand up to him. Slavery was already dying out just fine on it’s own, it didn’t require an act of tyranny and the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans to end it.

      • Lincoln was very pro-slavery and was on the record many times in stating that his opposition to slavery was purely as a means to harm the South.

        If you actually dig into the history instead of just remember the propaganda you were fed as a child, you’ll see that the circumstances of the war were VERY different than you were lead to believe.

        • It’s good to see some people actually dig into the past instead of accepting the BS fed to them in public schools. I was half expecting tdiinva to drop in and spout his “neo-Confederate revisionism” rant.

          The times leading up to the civil war are much like the problems we see today. Substitute urban areas with the north, the same tax model, and political despotism and you begin to see the truth. The structure of the progressive areas is collapsing in on themselves, and the rest of us are forced to funnel in tax dollars to prop it up. Eventually, the same cycle will happen.

          Deep seeded hate, for having to pay into a system that we have no need of, will boil over. Either the voters will right the ship, or the gov will let us run aground.

          If you think the casualties per capita in the civil war was terrible, imagine one started today. We have become so efficient at killing, thanks to the military industrial complex’s perpetual state of conflict/war, that there may be no more US left. Invasion will likely occur, and we won’t have the numbers to stop them.

          Hmm, how many nations do we owe a debt to?

          Tread lightly statists, this has the potential to undo everything.

      • Yea… Except Lincoln was pro slavery. The only thing he cared about was his image and what he would go down in history for. He didn’t want to be the guy who was in term when the country divided. Thus he thought it prudent to unlawfully attack his own country and the sovereign states with complete legitimacy to secede.

      • I would suggest that even a cursory study of the military geography of the United States with the understanding that the South didn’t in fact want to leave peacefully might mitigate Lincoln’s transgressions. The South was an aggressive, militaristic, expansionist state that was behaving as a vindictive ex-spouse towards the North. They wanted a fight and they started it. Had the North lost the war the country would have disintegrated into multiple statelets (the hostile South in control of the major river network) and likely engulfed by territorial wars for the next century.

        • Same here. Nice speculation however – creative – especially the vindictive ex-spouse part.

        • Anon – Sorry, but did the South not initiate the war by attacking Fort Sumter in April of 1861? I’m not even being glib here… is there a legitimate alternate theory?

        • With the exception of Sumter, Jefferson Davis and the southern leadership decided to take the moral high ground and fight a defensive war. This is the primary reason the South lost.

          Allegations of southern aggression are manure. The atrocities committed by Grant and Sherman are numerous and well documented. As well, Grant was a vicious anti-semite, and Sherman didn’t give one care about the slaves. He was concerned with destroying the south, utterly.

        • Sorry, I didn’t know that footnotes were required. The facts are these:
          1) By the time of the split there was real hatred. It was decades in the making. You read it in the diaries and newspapers of the time. This is not surprising is it? I lived in the Deep South in the 1960s and the bitterness was still evident then.
          2) The South started creating a 100,000 man army at a time when the US Army was 16,000 men. The North didn’t start creating a large army in response until after Sumter. Rather militaristic and aggressive wouldn’t you say?
          3) Simple geography put a big Southern toll booth on the interstate of the day, the great river system. It took a great deal of will to bind the west to east to create a transcontinental nation and the first transcontinental railroads were chartered in response to the war specifically for that purpose.
          4) The South invaded New Mexico with the intent of eventually getting control of both Colorado and California by military conquest. Sounds expansionist to me.

        • Cursory research indicates that Lurker is correct. Furthermore, slavery was in no way, shape or form going to die on it’s own anytime soon. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: the events that directly lead to the war were the culmination of 40 years of expansion of slavery, compromises regarding the Western Territories and the rules regarding fugitive slaves that made it to the North (see the Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Law of the same year).

          Furthermore – the Southern economy relied almost exclusively on slavery – large cities and manufacturing was far rarer than in the north, the natural birth and immigration rates were lower and 70% of the population were sustenance farmers. Why would they allow their economic base to just die?

          It’s well document that there were massive Northern abuses during reconstruction, and that poor whites bore the brunt of these abuses. That said, it seems these were mostly due to opportunistic people in Congress, not the necessarily the new president and certainly not Lincoln as he was busy being dead.

          As a Libertarian I understand why Lincoln is unattractive to those that share my political philosophy. He set many precedents that had negative effects for years to come – the suspension of habeus corpus, the expansion of Federal Powers, his advocacy of keeping blacks a subjugate race despite their apparent freedom, but it doesn’t make any sense to single him out specifically when many of the 15 that came before him were responsible for many of the same or similar abuses. Hell, it took Washington how long to institute the first tax and employ an army to enforce it?

          Like most historical figures the truth is generally more complex than anyone acknowledges, but the truth is that Lincoln’s actions lead to the end of slavery. While there are negatives, they took place 180 years ago, and it makes more sense to try and fix the problems of today than to focus on the wrongs of the distant past.

      • Lincoln wrote, and his supporter Thomas Corwin, Representative from Ohio introduced a proposed 13th Amendment before the Southern states succeeded, with the following text
        “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.”
        It passed congress, and is still awaiting approval from the states, as it had no time limit.
        Lincoln stated his willingness for the continuation of slavery in his first Inaugural Address
        And the primary reason most in state such as Illinois were opposed to slavery wasn’t concern for the slaves. They simply wanted keep blacks totally out of their state

    • Just another Democrat Copperhead. Stands alongside Hanoi Jane, Diane Feinstein, and the others who would as soon trash the Constitution for their own private agenda.

    • And went the extra mile to acquit his client! Yeah… Lincoln: orator, megalomaniac, despot, despoiler of the Constitution…

    • Let’s cut through this neo- Confederate Bull $hit. The Southern states quit the Union because their guy lost the 1860 election and saw the demographic handwriting on the wall. Slavery was doomed and they didn’t like it. They took their bat and ball and went home.

      The Civil War did not change the relationship between the States and the central government. How else do you think the South was able to impose Jim Crow for 90 years?

  2. A courtroom where a loaded firearm can be introduced as evidence. Proof, as if we needed it, that incomptenence is not restricted to modern times. The diferrence between then and now is if that gun had gone off today in an Ohio courtroom we Californians would have the news immediately.

    • The headline would be sure to make it sound like the gun was at fault not the attorney.
      I wonder what happened to the true victim, the gun?

  3. He proved his point a bit too well, as the gun went off and killed him.

    It could never happen today. We now have junior associates for that.

    • And income partners and of counsel. I would recoil in horror if an equity partner attempted to hand me a gun.

  4. He was a Senator of the USA that was deported by the President.

    For speaking out against Tyrannical actions of the POTUS at the time.

    • I’m waiting for Obama (who likes to proclaim himself the Second Coming of Lincoln) to do the same.

  5. imprisoned for making derogatory comments about the Prez? Even 142 years ago, the Bill of Rights was under assault.

      • I’m not saying I disagree with the 13th Amendment, quite the contrary, it was an important and essential milestone in our history. It was codifying what the Declaration of Independence had already stated, that all men are created equal. That doesn’t mean imprisonment for exercising the first amendment was the right call.

        • I totally agree… I just meant the Constitution was under assault before the ink on it was dry.

  6. Lincoln was responsible for the butchery of half a million Americans in war supposedly fought for a cause for which was tertiary at best to the primary cause, which was that of federal oppression of the states.

    Note, the emancipation proclamation was not made until neutral border states were either subdued or had gone federal.

    As to slavery, everyone knew it was on the way out, even those in the south, It was only a matter of time. But Lincoln chose the butchery of half a million instead, as well as the wanton destruction of the south, and the southern people. His successor then kicked off a hundred years of socio-economic oppression of the south (poorly named “reconstruction”).

    And supposedly, the question of states rights was settled for all time.

    We shall see if that holds.

    • Oh dear God! Where is BlinkyPete when we need him?

      What history books did you read? Fort Sumpter, the South’s secession, etc. I guess Lincoln did all of that by himself. It was a vast left wing conspiracy, right, so they could suppress the happy peaceful South and kill half a million people (and probably all designed to lead up to Barak Obama becoming president).

      Oh, I forgot the whole faked moon landing thing. Let’s throw that in as well.

      • Try Shelby Foote’s 3 volume on the subject for starters.
        Then go study up on the Morrill tarriff. A 47% tax. The south made up 30% of the population, but paid 80% of the tax.

        The North would have suffered greatly economically, so Lincoln decided to collect the tax at gunpoint.

        And lastly, the South Seceded. It did so quite legally. Then it failed to evacuate Sumter forcing the South to act militarily to eject the federal troops.

        Southern incursions into the north were primarily limited to actions by Lee to take pressure off of Richmond.

        At the outset 6% of Southerners owned slaves. The other 94% (at least) fought for liberty.

        • That sounds like an interesting read, and I’ll have to give it a look as I’m always open to new interpretations of historical events backed up by analysis and evidence. That said, this ignores a few important points.

          The first is that the South had had highly favorable tariff structures enacted by Democrats in 1846, and then lowered even more substantially in 1857. The second is that the Morrill Tariff was enacted on March 2, 1861, after the South had already seceded (and two days before Lincoln was sworn in). Third and finally, it appears that this tax (and it’s successors) applied to all imports, and was in line with Lincoln’s none-abolishment related policies of strengthening the US’s industrial base by taxing imports. That’s not a policy I’d support, but I fail to see how it would be tantamount to holding a gun to the confederacy’s head.

        • I love it when I write long replies and they get disappeared.

          In short, that sounds like an interesting read and I’ll have to give it a look, but it seems to be ignoring 3 important points:

          1. Southern democrats instituted tariffs that favored the south in the 1840s, then cut them again in 1857
          2. The Morrill Tariff wasn’t implemented until after the South seceded, and two days before Lincoln took office.
          3. The Tariff seems to have been in line with Lincoln’s policy of taxing imports to favor US industry. Certainly not a policy I support, but I don’t see how it’s tantamount to holding a gun to the confederacy’s head either.

    • Fuck tertiary easy enough for you to say, might not have been tertiary to the slaves or today’s Americans that are descendants of slaves. Or maybe we should have just waited for it to die out on its own as previously suggested, he’ll they might have gotten around to freeing my ass by now.

    • Lincoln did not start the war and whether it was ‘on the way out’ is up for debate. Had it not been banned it could have continued in smaller numbers indefinitely given the 3 million people already enslaved giving birth to future generations of slaves. Or do you really think slave owners would have said one day it no longer made sense so let’s let them all go?

        • Which supports my point that slavery wasn’t just going to die out. If it could hang on that far north with almost no economic incentive then it probably wasn’t going away in cotton and tobacco country.

          Hell, Connecticut is my home state and only ended slavery in 1848. Part of the earlier compromise to end slavery essentially guaranteed blacks couldn’t vote.

  7. I have a slightly different take on the whole states right thing. I live in California. If my state is not allowing me to exercise my constitutional rights, and California isn’t, then where do I turn to for relief? The feds. As I’ve stated many times before, I’m an American. My rights are not dependent on my zip code. And no. I shouldn’t have to move, uproot and traumatize my family or even split them up to exercise my constitutional rights.

    America was not a free nation while slavery was tolerated and America is still not a free nation so long as we all cannot exercise all our rights. There are no free states so long as there are slave states. As we’ve seen with Colorado, Californias slavery is spreading.

    • +1, and while I was thinking about it, if the bill to make you register your 10/22 passes, heck with it, I will register it. There has to be several million of these just within this state. I bet they will get a 6 year backlog of paper work. In a bankrupt state like this I bet it will collapse under its own weight. Then I get to laugh.

    • Well at least you admit you want an all powerful Federal government to rule with an iron fist. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

      As for “where do you have to turn” if you live in an anti-freedom state? Any of the dozens of free states that you could easily move to. The problem is that you suffer from Stockholm Syndrome and like the oppression, which is why you choose to stay and get angry at anyone who points out that you have plenty of options for a better life.

      • I have a better life here Tote. How is pointing out that I want all the freedoms that an American should have an admission of anything, including Stockhom Syndrome?

        Your response to my statement and your talk of slavery and Lincoln is pretty telling. You wish for people to become refugees in their own country and run from the fight. Very french like attitude.

        And your defense of slavery and the south is very matt like. Tells me all i need to know about you.

        • You refuse to leave one of the most anti-freedom states in the country – that’s Stockholm Syndrome for you.

          Ah yes, you refuse to read history books and keep spouting the lie that the Civil War had anything to do with slavery. It’s nice to know that we’re not dealing with an educated person here. With that, I bid you good day, because there is no point in having a discussion with someone allergic to facts.

        • Oh good. No more Tote Temper Tantrums. No more being labeled because I want to enjoy the rights that all Americans have. No more judgemental calls by Totenglock on my lack of education. No more ad hominem attacks because i don’t toe his party line. What a fvcking relief.

      • Easier said than done.

        Leave your job, friends, family and home to move to someplace new? And all that assumes this new place won’t have new gun laws any time in the future? That’s not even taking into account the incredible cost.

        It’s not possible for me either, so I’m stuck obeying an idiotic law and supporting groups looking to overturn said law.

        • I’ve done it. Getting ready to do it again.
          If you value physical comfort, and supposed security over freedom, don’t whine about the loss of freedom.

        • Way to miss the point, Mac. We are all Americans. No one should have to bbecome a refugee in America to exercise our constitutional rights. But you go on. Keep running.

  8. It’s arguments like this that caused me to have to go to support operations in Bosnia/Croatia/Serbia.

    Hold a fucking grudge for several hundred years, then attack your neighbors and fellow citizens, hold mass rapes and murders, and blame it all on what triple-Great-Uncle Goat-fucker did to neighbor’s quadruple-Great-Aunt Brothel-girl all in the name of Ghod.

    Screw all that shit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *