York officials sought reimbursement for providing protection services
April 2008 political rally in York, Pennsylvania, for Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY). York Daily Record – Jason Plotkin
York, Pennsylvania, received some national publicity for its efforts last year to recover city funds from the failed Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy as reimbursement for police and protective services when she was downtown for a political rally and speech on a public street.
However, this was certainly not the first time that York officials had pursued getting money back for civic expenditures caused by outside visitors to the town.
Back in 1863, another famous nationally known figure paid a visit to York. Not as politically ambitious as Senator Clinton, Confederate Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early brought his own gun-toting entourage with him, a group far larger (and more dangerous) that Clinton’s bodyguards and the York police that provided crowd control and security. Whereas Clinton’s visit was in peace, Early’s was to ransom the town for money and supplies (he collected $28,610 in tribute money collected by door-to-door solicitation). Early theatened to burn down the town’s railroad station and associated rail yard structures, as well as nearby privately owned factories that manufactured rail cars and other supplies to the industry.
In March 1865, the city fathers took matters into their own hands in an effort to refill the coffers, sending a delegation down to Baltimore, Maryland, to meet with the Board of Directors for the Northern Central Railway Company. They asked for the exorbitant sum of $40,000 to cover expenses said to have been incurred by the town in protecting railroad property during the Gettysburg Campaign in 1863 (Early was not thwarted by anything the town provided in the way of protective services, but rather by his concern that a railroad fire might spread to the greater part of the town).
York received $2,500 from the Northern Central.
General Early’s percentage of getting what he wanted from York was far higher than York’s subsequent percentage from the railroad.
Baltimore Sun, March 23, 1865. Courtesy of NewsInHistory.com