As the election of 1863 approached, Lecky Harper and the Democratic Banner did their best to convince readers there was an overwhelming surge of support for Clement Vallandigham for governor.
On Sept. 12, Harper published a list of rallies and the attendance he claimed they were attracting. He claimed that at 26 locations Democrats attracted 600,000.
Then, on Wednesday, Sept. 23, another big Democratic rally took place in downtown Mount Vernon. The Banner’s headline proclaimed that between 40,000 and 50,000 people attended this rally, “the largest meeting ever held in Mount Vernon.”
Much has been made of the size of the May 1 rally, which included the speech that got Clement Vallandigham arrested. Estimates of that crowd are generally from 10,000 to 15,000 people and the lower number is considered more likely.
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