The commander of the Union forces in south-central PA reported on his investigation that York’s residents welcomed Confederate invaders.
York County’s Democratic congressman, Joseph Bailey, voted against recruiting black soldiers. He later supported President Lincoln’s war efforts.
The leading newspaper in York PA strongly supported the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law and chastised the governor for obstructing it after the Christiana Riot.
The controversial 1842 Supreme Court decision in the Prigg vs. Pennsylvania legal case was a spark on the path to civil war. It had York County roots.
York’s chief burgess, Democrat David Small, endorsed famed Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin as a possible candidate for PA governor in 1863. It was not to be.
A doctor at York’s army hospital lost his job because of corruption. Also, a pair of civilians were imprisoned for harboring deserters from the hospital.
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.