Pennsylvania’s heated gubernatorial election of 1863 led to sharp words, acts of vandalism, and gunfire on the streets of York.
Scott E. Rosenau will speak on Nov. 14, 2018, at the York Civil War Round Table. His topic is “Lincoln and the Founders: Completing the Unfinished Work.”
York County normally voted Democratic in presidential elections throughout the 19th century. 1864 was no exception, when President Abraham Lincoln garnered less than 45% of the vote.
York County, PA, bordering slave state Maryland, had many residents that expressed pro-Southern sentiments during the Civil War, including at the polls. Sometimes, that support was more blatant.
Pro-Lincoln newspapers across the North pilloried York’s “copperhead” citizens and their chief burgess, David Small, for surrendering York to the Rebels in 1863. It remains a controversial decision to this day.