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History Is past Politics and Politics present History. Freeman 





A Study of the War 


Chief Judge of (to Supreme. Bench of Baltimore and Mayor tftMCtiyin mi 

























2. THE FIGHT 47 





7. No REPLY, 58 


6 Contents, 


































Cofdents. 7 




AND OTHERS, . 102 





HAM LINCOLN," BY WARD H. LAMON, PP. 511-526, . . .120 


DRED SCOTT vs. SANFORD (19 How. 407), 138 








8 Contents. 



INDEX, 171 


OF APRIL, 1861, 




I have offcen been solicited by persons of widely opposite 
political opinions to write an account of the events which 
occurred in Baltimore on the 19th of April, 1861, about 
which much that is exaggerated and sensational has been 
circulated; but, for different reasons, I have delayed com- 
plying with the request until this time. 

These events were not isolated facts, but were the natural 
result of causes which had roots deep in the past, and they 
were followed by serious and important consequences. The 
narrative, to be complete, must give some account of both 
cause and consequence, and to do this briefly and with a 
proper regard to historical proportion is no easy task. 

Moreover, it is not pleasant to disturb the ashes of a great 
conflagration, which, although they have grown cold on the 
surface, cover embers still capable of emitting both smoke 
and heat ; and especially is it not pleasant when the disturber 

10 Baltimore and the IWi of April, 1861. 

of the ashes was himself an actor in the scenes which he is 
asked to describe. 

But more than twenty-five years have passed, and with 
them have passed away most of the generation then living ; 
and, as one of the rapidly diminishing survivors, I am admon- 
ished by the lengthening shadows that anything I may have 
to say should be said speedily. The nation has learned many 
lessons of wisdom fi'om its civil war, and not the least 
among them is that every truthful contribution to its annals 
or to its teachings is not without some value. 

I have accordingly undertaken the task, but not without 
reluctance, because it necessarily revives recollections of 
the most trying and painful experiences of my life experi- 
ences which for a long time I have not unwillingly permitted 
to fade in the dim distance. 

There was another 19th of April that of Lexington in 
1775 which has become memorable in history for a battle 
between the Minute Men of Massachusetts and a column of 
British troops, in which the first blood was shed in the war 
of the Revolution. It was the heroic beginning of that 

The fight which occurred in the streets of Baltimore on the 
19th of April, 1861, between the 6th Regiment of Massa- 
chusetts Volunteers*and a mob of citizens, was also memo- 
rable, because then was shed the first blood in a conflict 
between the North and the South; then a step was taken 
which made compromise or retreat almost impossible; then 
passions on both sides were aroused which could not be con- 
trolled. 1 In each case the outbreak was an explosion of 

3 At Fort Sumter, it is true, one week earlier, the first collision of arms 
had taken place ; but strangely, that bombardment was unattended with 
loss of life. And it did not necessarily mean 'war between North and 

The Supposed Plot. 11 

conflicting forces long suppressed, but certain, sooner or later, 
to occur. Here the coincidence ends. The Minute Men of 
Massachusetts were so called because they were prepared to 
rise on a minute's notice. They had anticipated and had 
prepared for the strife. The attack by the mob in Baltimore 
was a sudden uprising of popular fury. The events themselves 
were magnified as the tidings flashed over the whole country, 
and the consequences were immediate. The North became 
wild with astonishment and rage, and the S'outh rose to fever- 
heat from the conviction that Maryland was about to fall into 
line as the advance guard of the Southern Confederacy. 

In February, 1861, when Mr. Lincoln was on his way to 
Washington to prepare for his inauguration as President of 
the United States, an unfortunate incident occurred which had 
a sinister influence on the State of Maryland, and especially 
on the city of Baltimore. Some superserviceable persons, 
carried away, honestly no doubt, by their own frightened 
imaginations, and perhaps in part stimulated by the tempta- 
tion of. getting up a sensation of the first class, succeeded in 
persuading Mr. Lincoln that a formidable conspiracy existed 
to assassinate him on his way through Maryland. 

It was announced publicly that he was to come from Phila- 
delphia, not by the usual route through Wilmington, but by 
a circuitous journey through Harrisburg, and thence by the 
Northern Central Railroad to Baltimore. Misled by this 
statement, I, as Mayor of the city, accompanied by the JPolice 
Commissioners and supported by a strong force of police, was 
at the Calvert-street station on Saturday morning, February 
23d, at half-past eleven o'clock, the appointed time of arrival, 
ready to receive with due respect the incoming President. An 

12 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861. 

open carriage was in "waiting, in which I was to have the honor 
of escorting Mr. Lincoln through the city to the Washington 
station, and of sharing in any danger which he might 
encounter. It is hardly necessary to say that I apprehended 
none. "When the train came it appeared, to my great aston- 
ishment, that Mrs. Lincoln and her three sons had arrived 
safely and without hindrance or molestation of any kind, but 
that Mr. Lincoln could not be found. It was then announced 
that he had passed through the city incognito in the night 
train by the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Rail- 
road, and had reached Washington in safety at the usual 
hour in the morning. For this signal deliverance from an 
imaginary peril, those who devised the ingenious plan of 
escape were of course devoutly thankful, and they accordingly 
took to themselves no little amount of credit for its success. 
If Mr. Lincoln had arrived in Baltimore at the time 
expected, and had spoken a few words to the people who had 
gathered to hear him, expressing the kind feelings which 
were in his heart with the simple eloquence of which he was 
so great a master, he could not have failed to make a very 
different impression from that which was produced not only^ 
by the want of confidence and respect manifested towards the^ 
city of Baltimore by the plan pursued, but still more by the 
mmner iii which it was carried out. On such an occasion 
as this <even trifles are of importance, and this incident was 
not a trifle. The emotional part of human nature is its 
strongest side and soonest leads to action. It was so with the 
people of Baltimore. Fearful accounts of the conspiracy 
flew all <yvser the country, creating a hostile feeling against 
the city, from which it soon afterwards suffered. A single 
specimen of the news thus spread will suffice. A dispatch 

to the New York Tm& 9 

The Supposed Plot 13 

dated February 23d, 8 A. M., says : "Abraham Lincoln, the 
President-elect of the United States, is safe in the capital of 
the nation." Then, after describing the dreadful nature of 
the conspiracy, it adds : " The list of the names of the con- 
spirators presented a most astonishing array of persons high 
in Southern confidence, and some whose fame is not confined 
to this country alone." 

Of course, the list of names was never furnished, and all 
the men in buckram vanished in air. This is all the notice 
which this matter would require except for the extraordinary 
narrative contributed by Mr. Samuel M. Felton, at that time 
President of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore 
Railroad Company, to the volume entitled "A History of 
Massachusetts in the Civil War," published in 1868. 

Early in 1861, Mr. Felton had made, as he supposed, a 
remarkable discovery of " a deep-laid conspiracy to capture 
"Washington and break up the Government." 

Soon afterwards Miss Dix, the philanthropist, opportunely 
came to his office on a Saturday afternoon, stating that she 
had an important communication to make to him personally, 
and then, with closed doors and for more than an hour, she 
poured into his ears a thrilling tale, to which he attentively 
listened. " The sum of all was (I quote the language of Mr. 
Felton) that there was then an extensive and organized 
conspiracy throughout the South to seize upon Washington, 
with its archives and records, and then declare the Southern 
conspirators de facto the Government of the United States. 
The whole was to be a cowp d'&at. At the same time they 
were to cut off all modes of communication between Wash- 
ington and the North, East or West, and thus prevent the 
transportation of troops to wrest the capital from the hands 
of the insurgents* Mr. Lincoln's inauguration was thus to 

14 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861. 

be prevented, or his life was to fall a sacrifice to the attempt 
at inauguration. In fact, troops were then drilling on the 
line of our own road, and the "Washington and Annapolis 
line and other lines." 

It was clear that the knowledge of a treasonable conspiracy 
of such vast proportions, which had already begun its opera- 
tions, ought not to be confined solely to the keeping of Mr, 
Felton and Miss Dix. Mr. N". P. Trist, an officer of the 
road, was accordingly admitted into the secret, and was 
dispatched in haste to Washington, to lay all the facts before 
General Scott, the Commander-in-Chief. The General, how- 
ever, would give no assurances except that he would do all 
he could to bring sufficient troops to Washington to make it 
secure. Matters stood in this unsatisfactory condition fox* 
some time, until a new rumor reached the ears of Mr. Felton. 

A gentleman from Baltimore, he says, came out to Back 
River Bridge, about five miles east of the city, and told the 
bridgekeeper that he had information which had come to his 
knowledge, of vital importance to the road, which he wished 
communicated to Mr. Felton. The nature of this communi- 
cation was that a party was then organized in Baltimore to 
burn the bridges in case Mr. Lincoln came over the road, or 
iu case an attempt was made to carry troops for the defense 
of Washington. The party at tibat time had combustible 
materials prepared to pour over the bridges, and were to dis- 
guise themselves as negroes and be at the bridge just before 
the train in which Mr. Lincoln travelled had arrived. The 
bridge was then to be burned, the train attacked, and Mr. 
Lincoln to be put out of the way. The man appeared several 
times, always, it seems, to the bridgekeeper, and he always 
communicated new information about the conspirators, but 
he would never give his name nor place of abode, and both 

The Supposed Plot. 15 

still remain a mystery. Mr. Felton himself then went to 
Washington, where he succeeded in obtaining from a promi- 
nent gentleman from Baltimore whom he there saw, the judi* 
cious advice to apply to Marshal Kane, the Chief of Police in 
Baltimore, with the assurance that he was a perfectly reliable 
person. Marshal Kane was accordingly seen, but he scouted 
the idea that there was any such thing on foot as a conspiracy 
to burn the bridges and cut off Washington, and said he 
had thoroughly investigated the whole matter, and there was 
not the slightest foundation for such rumors. Mr. Felton 
was not satisfied, but he would have nothing more to do with 
Marshal Kane. He next sent for a celebrated detective in 
the West, whose name is not given, and through this chief 
and his subordinates every nook and corner of the road and 
its vicinity was explored. They reported that they had 
joined the societies of the conspirators in Baltimore and got 
into their secrets, and that the secret working of secession 
and treason was laid bare, with all its midnight plottings and 
daily consultations. The conspiracy being thus proved to 
Mr. Felton's satisfaction, he at once organized and armed a 
force of two hundred men and scattered them along the line 
of the railroad between the Susquehanna and Baltimore, prin- 
cipally at the bridges. But, strange to say, all that was 
accomplished by this formidable body was an enormous job 
of whitewashing. 

The narrative proceeds : " These men were drilled' secretly 
and regularly by drill-masters, and were apparently employed 
in whitewashing the bridges, putting on some six or seven 
coats of whitewash saturated with salt and alum, to make the 
outside of the bridges as nearly fireproof as possible. This 
whitewashing, so extensive in its application, became (con- 
tinues Mr. Felton) the nine days' wonder of the neighbor- 

16 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

hood." And well it might. After the lapse of twenty-five 
years the wonder over this feat of strategy can hardly yet 
have ceased in that rural and peaceful neighborhood. But, 
unfortunately for Mr. Felton ? s peace of mind, the programme 
of Mr. Lincoln's journey was suddenly changed. He had 
selected a different route. He had decided to go to Harris- 
burg from Philadelphia, and thence by day to Baltimore, 
over another and a rival road, known as the Northern Cen- 
tral. Then the chief detective discovered that the attention 
of the conspirators was suddenly turned to the Northern 
Central road. The mysterious unknown gentleman from Bal- 
timore appeared again on the scene and confirmed this state- 
ment. He gave warning that Mr. Lincoln was to be way- 
laid and his life sacrificed on that road, on which no white- 
wash had been used, and where there were no armed men to 
protect him. 

Mr. Felton hurried to Philadelphia, and there, in a hotel, 
joined his chief detective, who was registered under a feigned 
name. Mr, Lincoln, cheered by a dense crowd, was, at that 
moment, passing through the streets of Philadelphia, A 
sub-detective was Sent to brinjj Mr. Judd, Mr. Lincoln's 
intimate friend, to the hotel to hold a consultation. Mr, 
Judd was in the procession with Mr. Lincoln, but the emer- 
gency admitted no delay. The eagerness of the sub-detective 
was so great that he was three times arrested and carried out 
of the crowd by the police before he could reach Mr. Judd, 
The fourth attempt succeeded, and Mr. Judd was at last 
brought to the hotel, where he met .both Mr. Felton and the 
chief detective. The narrative then proceeds in the words of 
Mr. Felton : " We lost no time in making known to him 
(Mr. Judd) all the facts which had come to our knowledge 
in reference to the conspiracy, and I most earnestly advised 

The Midnight Ride to Washington. 17 

sleeping-car. Mr. Judd fully entered into the plan, and said 
he would urge Mr. Lincoln to adopt it. On his communi- 
cating with Mr. Lincoln, after the services of the evening 
were over, he answered that he had engaged to go to Harris- 
burg and speak the next day, and that he would not break 
his engagement, even in the face of such peril, but that after 
he had fulfilled his engagement he would follow such advice 
as we might give him in reference to his journey to "Washing- 
ton." Mr. Lincoln accordingly went to Harrisburg the next 
day and made an address. After that the arrangements for 
the journey were shrouded in the profoundest mystery. It 
was given out that he was to go to Governor Curtin's house 
for the night, but he was, instead, conducted to a point about 
two miles out of Harrisburg, where an extra car and enginfe 
waited to take him to Philadelphia. The telegraph lines east, 
west, north and south from Harrisburg were cut, so that no 
message as to his movements could be sent off in any direc- 
tion. But all this caused a detention, and the night train 
from Philadelphia to Baltimore had to be held back until the 
arrival of Mr. Lincoln at the former place. If, however, the 
delay proved to be considerable, when Mr. Lincoln reached 
Baltimore the connecting train to Washington might leave 
without him. But Mr. Felton was equal to the occasion. 
He devised a plan which was communicated to only three or 
four on the road. A messenger was sent to Baltimore by an 
earlier train to say to the officials of the Washington road 
that a very important package must be delivered in "Washing- 
ton early in the morning, and to request them to wait for the 
night train from Philadelphia. To give color to this state- 
ment, a package of old railroad reports, done tip with great 
care, and with a large seal attached, marked by Mr. Felton's 
own hand, " Very Important," was sent in the train which 

18 Baltimore and the l$th of April, 1861. 

delphia through Maryland and Baltimore to the city of Wash- 
ington. The only remarkable incident of the journey was the 
mysterious behavior of the few officials who were entrusted 
with the portentous secret. 

I do not know how others may be affected by this narra- 
tive, but I confess even now to a feeling of indignation that 
Mr. Lincoln, who was no coward, but proved himself on 
many an occasion to be a brave man, was thus prevented 
from carrying out his original intention of journeying to 
Baltimore in the light of day, in company with his wife and 
children, relying as he always did on the honor and manhood 
of the American people. It is true we have, to our sorrow, 
learned by the manner of hie death, as well as by the fate of 
still another President, that no one occupying so high* a place 
can be absolutely safe, even in this country, from the danger 
of assassination, but it is still true that as a rule the best 
way to meet such danger is boldly to defy it. 

Mr. C. C. Felton, son of Mr. Samuel M. Felton, in an 
article entitled " The Baltimore Plot," published in Decem- 
ber, 1885, in the Harvard Monthly, has attempted to revive 
this absurd story. He repeats the account of whitewashing 
the bridges, and of the astonishment created among the good 
people of the neighborhood. He has faith in " the unknown 
Baltimorean " who visited the bridgekeeper, but would 
never give his name, and in the spies employed, who, he tells 
us, were "the well-known detective Pinker ton and eight 
assistants," and he leaves his readers to infer that Mr. 
Lincoln's life was saved by the extraordinary vigilance 
which had been exercised and the ingenious plan which had 
been devised by his worthy father, but alas! 

" The earth fcafch bubbles as the water has," 
and this was of them. 

The Midnight Ride to Washington. 19 

Colonel Lamon, a close friend of President Lincoln, and the 
only person who accompanied him on his night ride to Wash- 
ington, has written his biography, a very careful and con- 
scientious work, which unfortunately was left unfinished, and 
he of course had the strongest reasons for carefully exam- 
ining the subject. After a full examination of all the docu- 
ments, Colonel Lamon pronounces the conspiracy to be a mere 
fiction, and adds in confirmation the mature opinion of Mr. 
Lincoln himself. 

Colonel Lamon says : l " Mr. Lincoln soon learned to 
regret the midnight ride. His friends reproached him, his 
enemies taunted him. He was convinced that he had com- 
mitted a grave mistake in yielding to the solicitations of a 
professional spy and of friends too easily alarmed. He saw 
that he had fled from a danger purely imaginary, and felt the 
shame and mortification natural to a brave man under such 
circumstances. But he was not disposed to take all the 
responsibility to himself, and frequently upbraided the 
writer for having aided and assisted him to demean himself 
at the very moment in all his life when his behavior should 
have exhibited the utmost dignity and composure." 

As Colonel Lamon's biography, a work of absorbing 
interest, is now out of print, and as his account of the ride 
and of the results of the investigation of the conspiracy is too 
long to be inserted here, it is added in an Appendix. 

The account above given has its appropriateness here, for 
the midnight ride through Baltimore, and the charge that its 
citizens were plotting the President's assassination, helped to 
feed the flame of excitement which, in the stirring events of 
that time, was already burning too high all over the land, 
and especially iji a border city with divided sympathies. 

1 The Life of Abraham Lincoln, p. 526 ; and see Appendix L 



For a period the broad provisions of the Constitution of the 
United States, as expounded by the wise and broad decisions 
of the Supreme Court, had proved to be equal to every emer- 
gency. The thirteeii feeble colonies had grown to be a great 
Bepublic, and no external obstacle threatened its majestic 
progress ; foreign wars had been waged and vast territories 
had been annexed, but every strain on the Constitution only 
served to make it stronger. Yet there was a canker in a vital 
part which nothing could heal, which from day to day became 
more malignant, ajid which those who looked beneath the sur- 
face could perceive was surely leading, and at no distant day, 
to dissolution or war, or perhaps to both. The canker was 
the existence of negro slavery. 

In colonial days, kings, lords spiritual and temporal, and 
commons, all united in favoring the slave trade. In Massa- 
chusetts the Puritan minister might be seen on the Sabbath 
going to meeting in family procession, with his negro slave 
bringing up the rear. Boston was largely engaged in build- 
ing ships and manufacturing rum, and a portion of the ships 
and much of the rum were sent to Africa, the rum to buy 
slaves, and the ships to bring them to a market in America. 
Newport was more largely, and until a more recent time, 
engaged in the same traffic. 

In Maryland, even the Friends were sometimes owners of 

Compromises of the Constitution. 21 

slaves ; and it is charged, and apparently with reason, that 
"Wenlock Christison, the Quaker preacher, after being driven 
from Massachusetts by persecution and coming to Maryland 
by way of Barbadoes, sent or brought in with him a number 
of slaves, who cultivated his plantation until his death. In 
Georgia, the Calvinist Whitefield blessed God for his negro 
plantation, which was generously given to him to establish 
his " Bethesda " as a refuge for orphan children. 

In the Dred Scott case, Chief Justice Taney truly described 
the opinion, which he deplored, prevailing at the time of the 
adoption of the Constitution, as being that the colored man 
had no rights which the white man was bound to respect. 1 

The Constitution had endeavored to settle the question of 
slavery by a compromise. As the difficulty in regard to it 
arose far more from political than moral grounds, so in the 
settlement the former were almost exclusively considered. It 
was, however, the best that could be made at that time. It is 
certain that without such a compromise the Constitution would 
not have been adopted. The existence of slavery in a State 
was left in the discretion of the State itself. If a slave escaped 
to another State, he was to be returned to his master. Laws 
were passed by Congress to carry out this provision, and the 
Supreme Court decided that they were constitutional. 

For a long time the best people at the North stood firmly 
by the compromise. It was a national compact, and must be 
respected. But ideas, and especially moral ideas, cannot be 
forever fettered by a compact, no matter how solemn may be 
its sanctions. The change of opinion at the North was 
first slow, then rapid, and then so powerful as to overwhelm 
all opposition. John Brown, who was executed for raising a 

1 Judge Taney J s utterance on this subject has been frequently and grossly 
misrepresented. In Appendix II. will be found what he really did say. 

22 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

negro insurrection in Virginia, in which men were wounded 
and killed, was reverenced by many at the North as a hero, a 
martyr and a saint. It had long been a fixed fact that no 
fugitive slave could by process of law be returned from the 
North into slavery. With the advent to power of the Repub- 
lican party & party based on opposition to slavery another 
breach in the outworks of the Constitution, as interpreted by 
the Supreme Court, had been made. Sooner or later the 
same hands would capture the citadel. Sooner or later it 
was plain that slavery was doomed. 

In the memorable Senatorial campaign in Illinois between 
Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, the latter, in his 
speech before the Republican State Convention at Springfield, 
June 17, 1858, struck the keynote of his party by the bold 
declaration on the subject of slavery which he then made and 
never recalled. 

This utterance was the more remarkable because on the 
previous day the convention had passed unanimously a res- 
olution declaring that Mr. Lincoln was their first and only 
choice for United States Senator, to fill the vacancy about to 
be created by the expiration of Mr. Douglas's term of office, 
but the convention had done nothing which called for the 
advanced ground on which Mr. Lincoln planted himself in 
that speech. It was carefully prepared. 

The narrative of Colonel Lamon in his biography of 
Lincoln is intensely -interesting and dramatic. 1 

About a dozen gentlemen, he says, were called to meet in 
the library of the State House. After seating them at the 
round table, Mr. Lincoln read his entire speech, dwelling 
slowly on that part which speaks of a divided house, so that 
every man fully understood it. * After he had finished, he 

1 Lamon 's Life of Lincoln, p. 808, 

A Divided House, 23 

asked for the opinion of his friends. All but "William H. 
Herndon, the law partner of Mr. Lincoln, declared that the 
whole speech was too far in advance of the times ; and they 
especially condemned that part which referred to a divided 
house. Mr. Hcrndon sat still while they were giving their 
respective opinions ; then he sprang to his feet and said : 
" Lincoln, deliver it just as it reads. If it is in advance of 
the times, let us you and I, if no one else lift the people 
to the level of this speech now, higher hereafter. The speech 
is true, wise and politic, and will succeed now, or in the 
future. Nay, it will aid you, if it will not make you Presi- 
dent of the United States." .... 

" Mr. Lincoln sat still a short moment, rose from his chair, 
walked backward arid forward in the hall, stopped and said : 
( Friends, I have thought about this matter a great deal, 
have weighed the question well from all corners, and am 
thoroughly convinced the time has come when it should be 
uttered ; and if it must be that I must go down because of 
this speech, then let me go down linked to truth die in the 
advocacy of what is right and just. This nation cannot live 
on injustice. A house divided against itself cannot stand, I 
say again and again.' " 

The opening paragraph of the speech is as follows : " If 
we could first know where we are and whither we are tend- 
ing, we could then better jxidge what to do and how to do it. 
We are now far on into the fifth year since a policy was 
initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of 
putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of 
that policy that agitation has not only not ceased, but is con- 
stantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a 
crisis shall have been reached and passed. A house divided 
against itself cannot stand. I believe this Government can- 

24 Baltimore and the l$th of April, 1861. 

not endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not 
expect the Union to be dissolved. I do not expect the house 
to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will 
become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents 
of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it 
where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the 
course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it 
forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old 
as well as new, North as well as South." 

The blast of the trumpet gave no uncertain sound. The 
far-seeing suggestion of Mr. Herndon came true to the letter. 
I believe this speech made Abraham Lincoln President of the 
United States., 

But the fpunders of the Constitution of the United States 
had built a house which was divided against itself from the 
beginning. They had framed a union of States which was 
part free and part slave, and that union was intended to last 
forever. Here was an irreconcilable conflict between the 
Constitution and the future President of the United States. 

When the Republican Convention assembled at Chicago in 
May, 1860, in the heat of the contest, which soon became 
narrowed down to a choice between Mr. Seward and Mr. 
Lincoln, the latter dispatched a friend to Chicago with a 
message in writing, which was handed either to Judge Davis 
or Judge Logan, both members of the convention, which runs 
as follows : " Lincoln agrees with Seward in his irrepressible- 
conflict idea, and in negro equality; but he is opposed to 
Seward's higher law." But there was no substantial dif- 
ference between the position of the two : Lincoln's " divided 
house" and Seward's u higher law " placed them really in the 
same attitude. 

The seventh resolution in the Chicago platform condemned 

The Broken Compact. 25 

what it described as the " new dogma that the Constitution, 
of its own force, carries slavery into any or all of the Terri- 
tories of the United States." This resolution was a direct 
repudiation by a National Convention of the decision of the 
Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case. 

On the 6th of November, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was 
elected President of the United States. Of the actual votes 
cast there was a majority against him of 930,170. Next 
came Mr. Douglas, who lost the support of the Southern 
Democrats by his advocacy of the doctrine of " squatter 
sovereignty," as it was called, which was in effect, although 
not in form, as hostile to the decision of the Supreme Court 
in the Dred Scott case as the seventh resolution of the 
Chicago Convention itself. Mr. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, 
the candidate of the Southern Democracy, fell very far, and 
Mr. Bell, of Tennessee, the candidate of the Union party, as 
it was called, a short-lived successor of the old "Whig party, 
fell still farther in the rear of the two Northern candidates. 

The great crisis had come at last. The Abolition party 
had become a portion of the victorious Republican party. 
The South, politically, was overwhelmed. Separated now 
from its only ally, the Northern Democracy, it stood at last 

It matters not that Mr. Lincoln, after his election, in sin- 
cerity of heart held out the olive branch to the nation, and 
that during his term of office the South, so far as his influ- 
ence could avail, would have been comparatively safe fiom 
direct aggressions. Mr. Lincoln was not known then as 
he is known now, and, moreover, his term of office would be 
but four years. 

"What course, then, was left to the South if it was determined 
to maintain its rights under the Constitution? What but the 
right of self-defense? 

26 Baltimore and the I3th of April, 1861. 

The house of every man is his castle, and he may defend it 
to the death against all aggressors. When a hostile hand is 
raised to strike a blow, he who is assaulted need not wait 
until the blow falls, but on the instant may protect himself 
as best he can. These are the rights of self-defense known, 
approved and acted on by all freemen. And where constitu- 
tional rights of a people are in jeopardy, a kindred right of 
self-defense belongs to them. Although revolutionary in its 
character, it is not the less a right. 

Wendell Phillips, abolitionist as he was, in a speech made 
at New Bedford on the 9th of April, 1861, three days before 
the bombardment of Fort Sumter, fully recognized this 
right. He said : " Here are a series of States girding the 
Gulf, who think that their peculiar institutions require that 
they should have a separate government. They have a right 
to decide that question without appealing to you or me. A 
large body of the people, sufficient to make a nation, have 
come to the conclusion that they will have a government of 
a certain form. Who denies them the right ? Standing with 
the principles of '76 behind us, who can deny them the 
right ? What is a matter of a few millions of dollars or a 
few forts ? It is a mere drop in the bucket of the great 
national question. fc It is theirs just as much as ours. I 
maintain, on the principles of ; 76, that Abraham Lincoln has 
no right to a soldier in Fort Sumter." 

And such was the honest belief of the people who united 
in establishing the Southern Confederacy. 

Wendell Phillips was not wrong in declaring the princi- 
ples of '76 to be kindred to those of J 61. The men of ; 76 
did not fight to get rid of the petty tax of three pence a pound 
on tea, which was the only tax left to quarrel about. They 
were determined to pay no taxes, large or small, then or 

The Right of Revolution. 27 

thereafter. Whether the tax was lawful or not was a 
doubtful question, about which there was a wide difference 
of opinion, but they did not care for that. Nothing would 
satisfy them but the relinquishment of any claim of right to 
tax the colonies, and this they could not obtain. They main- 
tained that their rights were violated. They were, moreover, 
embittered by a long series of disputes with the mother 
country, and they wanted to be independent and to have a 
country of their own. They thought they were strong 
enough to maintain that position. 

Neither were the Southern men of ? 61 fighting for money. 
And they too were deeply embittered, not against a mother 
country, but against a brother country. The Northern 
people had published invectives of the most exasperating 
character broadcast against the South in their speeches, 
sermons, newspapers and books. The abolitionists had pro- 
ceeded from words to deeds and were unwearied in tampering 
with the slaves and carrying them off. The Southern people, 
on their part, were not less violent in denunciation of the 
North. The slavery question had divided the political 
parties throughout the nation, and on this question the 
South was practically a nnit. They could get no security 
that the provisions of the Constitution would be kept either 
in letter or in spirit, and this they demanded as their right. 

The Southern men thought that they also were strong 
enough to wage successfully a defensive war. Like the men 
of '76, they in great part were of British stock ; they lived in 
a thinly settled country, led simple lives, were accustomed to 
the use of arms, and knew how to protect themselves. Such 
men make good soldiers, and when their armies were enrolled 
the ranks Tp ere filled with men of all classes, the rich as well 
as the poor, the educated as well as the ignorant; 

28 Baltimore and the l$th of April, 1861, 

It is a mistake to suppose that they were inveigled into 
secession by ambitious leaders. On the contrary, it is prob- 
able that they were not as much under the influence of leaders 
as the men of ; 76, and that there were fewer disaffected 
among them. At times the scales trembled in the balance. 
There are always mistakes in war. It is an easy and un- 
grateful task to point them out afterward. We can now 
see that grave errors, both financial and military, were 
made, and that opportunities were thrown away. How far 
these went to settle the contest, we can never certainly know, 
but it does not need great boldness to assert that the belief 
which the Southern people entertained that they were strong 
enough to defend themselves, was not unreasonable. 

The determination of the South to maintain slavery was 
undoubtedly the main cause of secession, but another deep 
and underlying cause was the firm belief of the Southern 
.people in the doctrine of States 3 rights, and their jealousy of 
any attack upon those rights. Devotion to their State first 
of all, a conviction that paramount obligation in case of 
any conflict of allegiance was due not to the Union but to 
the State, had been part of the political creed of very many 
in the South ever since the adoption of the Constitution, An 
ignoble love of slavery was not the general and impelling 
motive. The slaveholders, who were largely in the minority, 
acted as a privileged class always does act. They were de- 
termined to maintain their privileges at all hazards. But 
they, as well as the great mass of the people who had no 
personal interest in slavery, fought the battles of the war 
with the passionate earnestness of men who believed with an 
undoubting conviction. that they were the defenders not onjy 
of home rule and of their firesides, but also of their consti- 
tutional rights. 

The Eight of Revolution. 29 

And behind the money question, the constitutional 
question and the moral question, there was still another of 
the gravest import. "Was it possible for two races nearly 
equal in number, but widely different in character and civil- 
ization, to live together in a republic in peace and equality 
of rights without mingling in blood? The answer of the 
Southern man was, " It is not possible." 




I now come to consider the condition of affairs in Mary- 
land. As yet the Republican party had obtained a very slight 
foothold. Only 2,294 votes had in the whole State been cast 
for Mr. Lincoln. Her sympathies were divided between the 
North and the South, with a decided preponderance on the 
Southern side. For many years her conscience had been 
neither dead nor asleep on the subject of slavery. Families 
had impoverished themselves to free their slaves. In 1860 
there were 83,942 free colored people in Maryland and 87,189 
slaves, the white population being 515,918. Thus there 
were nearly as many free as slaves of the colored race. 
Emancipation, in spite of harsh laws passed to discounte- 
nance it, had rapidly gone on. In the northern part of the 
State and in the city of Baltimore there were but few slave- 
holders, and the slavery was hardly more than nominal. The 
patriarchal institution, as it has been derisively called, had a 
real existence in many a household. Not a few excellent 
people have I known and respected who were born and bred 
in slavery and had been freed by their masters. In 1831 the 
State incorporated the Maryland Colonization Society, which 
founded on the west coast of Africa a successful republican 
colony of colored people, now known as the State of Maryland 

Maryland's Desire for Peace. 31 

in Liberia, and for twenty-six years, and until the war broke 
out, the State contributed $10,000 a year to its support. This 
amount was increased by the contributions of individuals. 
The board, of which Mr. John H. B. Latrobe was for many 
years president, was composed of our best citizens. A code 
of laws for the government of the colony was prepared by the 
excellent and learned lawyer, Hugh Davey Evans. 

"While there was on the part of a large portion of the 
people a deep-rooted and growing dislike to slavery, agitation 
on the subject had not commenced. ,It was in fact sup- 
pressed by reason of the violence of Northern abolitionists 
with whom the friends of emancipation were not able to unite. 

It is not surprising that Maryland was in no mood for 
war, but that her voice was for compromise and peace com- 
promise and peace at any price consistent with honor. 

The period immediately following the election of Mr. Lin- 
coln in November, 1860, was throughout the country one of 
intense agitation and of important events. A large party t at 
the North preferred compromise to war, even at the cost of 
dissolution of the Union. If dissolution began, no one could 
tell where it would stop. South Carolina seceded on the 
17th of December, 1860. Georgia and the five Gulf States 
soon followed. On the 6th of January, 1861, Fernando 
"Wood, mayor of the city of New York, sent a message to 
the common council advising that New York should secede 
and become a free city. 1 

1 John P. Kennedy, of Baltimore, the well-known anthor, who had been 
member of Congress and Secretary of the Navy, published early in 1861 a 
pamphlet entitled "The Border States, Their Power and Duty in the 
Present Disordered Condition of the Country. ' ' His idea was that if concert 
of action could be had between the Border States and concurring States of 
the South which had not seceded, stipulations might be obtained from the 
Free States, with the aid of Congress, and, if necessary, an amendment of 

32 Baltimore <wd the 19th of April, 1861. 

On February the 9th, Jefferson Davis was elected Presi- 
dent of the Southern Confederacy, a Confederacy to which 
other States would perhaps soon be added. But the Border 
States were as yet debatable ground; they might be retained 
by conciliation and compromise or alienated by hostile 
measures, whether directed against them or against the 
seceded States. In Virginia a convention had been called to 
consider the momentous question of union or secession, and 
an overwhelming majority of the delegates chosen were in 
favor of remaining in the Union. Other States were watching 
Virginia's course, in order to decide whether to stay in the 
Union or go*out of it with her. 

On the 12th and IStih of April occurred the memorable 
bombardment and surrender of Fort Suniter. On the 15th 
of April, President Lincoln issued his celebrated proclama- 
tion calling out seventy-five thousand militia, and appealing 
" to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate and aid this effort 
to maintain the honor, the integrity and existence of our 
National Union, and the perpetuity of popular government, 
and to redress wrongs already long enough endured." What 

the Constitution, which would protect the rights of the South ; but if this 
failed, that the Border States and their allies of the South would then be 
forced to consider the Union impracticable and to organize a separate 
confederacy of the Border States, with the association of such of the 
Southern and Free States as might be willing to accede to the proposed 
conditions. He hoped that the Union would thus be " reconstructed by 
the healthy action of the Border States." The necessary result, however, 
would have been that in the meantime three confederacies would have 
been in existence. And yet Mr. Kennedy had always been a Union man* \ 
and when the war broke out was its consistent advocate. 

These proposals, from such different sources as Fernando Wood and 
John P. Kennedy, tend to show the uncertainty and bewilderment which 
had taken possession of the minds of men, and in which few did not share 
to a- greater or less degree. 

Proclamation for Troops. 33 

these wrongs were is not stated. " The first service assigned 
^50 the forces hereby called forth," said the proclamation, 
"will probably be to re-possess the forts, places and property 
which have been seized from the Union." On the same day 
there was issued from the War Department a request ad- 
dressed to the Governors of the different States, announcing 
what the quota of each State would be, and that the troops 
were to serve for three months unless sooner discharged. 
Maryland's quota was four regiments. 

The proclamation was received with exultation at the 
North many dissentient voices being silenced in the general 
acclaim with defiance at the South, and in Maryland with 
mingled feelings in which astonishment, dismay and dis- 
approbation were predominant. On all sides it was agreed 
that the result must be war, or a dissolution of the Union, 
and I may safely say that a large majority of our people then 
preferred the latter. 

An immediate effect of the proclamation was to intensify 
the feeling of hostility in the wavering States, and to drive 
four of them into secession. Virginia acted promptly. On 
April 17th her convention passed an ordinance of secession 
subject to ratification by a vote of the people and Virginia 
became the head and front of the Confederacy. .North Caro- 
lina, Tennessee and Arkansas soon followed her lead. Mean- 
while, and before the formal acts of secession, the Governors 
of Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee sent prompt and 
defiant answers to the requisition, emphatically refusing to 
furnish troops, as did also the Governors of Kentucky and 

The position of Maryland was most critical. This State 
was especially important, because the capital of the natioa 
lay within her borders, and all the roads from the North 

34 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

leading to it passed through her territory. After the Presi- 
dent's proclamation was issued, no doubt a large majority of 
her people sympathized with the South; but even had that 
sentiment been far more preponderating, there was an under- 
lying feeling that by a sort of geographical necessity her lot 
was cast with the North, that the larger and stronger half of 
the nation would not allow its capital to be quietly disin- 
tegrated away by her secession. Delaware and Maryland 
were the only Border States which did not attempt to secede. 
Kentucky at first took the impossible stand of an armed 
neutrality. When this failed, a portion of her people passed 
an ordinance of secession, and a portion of the people of Mis- 
souri passed a similar ordinance. 

It is now proper to give some explanation of the condition 
of affairs in Baltimore, at that time a city of 215,000 inhab- 

Thomas Holliday Hicks, who had been elected by the 
American, or Know-Nothing party, three years before, was 
the Governor of the State. The city authorities, consisting 
of the mayor and city council, had been elected in October, 
1860, a few weeks before the Presidential election, not as rep- 
resentatives of any of the national parties, but as the candi- 
dates of an independent reform party, and in opposition to the 
Know-Nothing party. This party, which then received its 
quietus, had been in power for some years, and had maintained 
itself by methods which made its rule little better than a 
reign of terror. 1 No one acquainted with the history of that 

1 The culmination of this period of misrule was at the election in Novem- 
ber, 1859, when the fraud and violence were so flagrant that the Legislature 
of the State unseated the whole Baltimore delegation -ten members. The 
city being thus without representation, it became necessary, when a special 
session of the Legislature was called in April, 1861, that a new delegation 

City Authorities of Baltimore. 35 

period can doubt that the reform was greatly needed. A large 
number of the best men of the American party united in the 
movement, and with their aid it became triumphantly suc- 
cessful, carrying every ward in the city. The city council was 
composed of men of unusually high character. " Taken as a 
whole" (Scharf s "History of Maryland," Vol. III., p. 284), 
* a better ticket has seldom, if ever, been brought out. In 
the selection of candidates all party tests were discarded, and 
all thought of rewarding partisan services repudiated/' Four 
police commissioners, appointed by the Legislature Charles 
Howard, William H. Gatchell, Charles D. Hinks and John 
W. Davis men of marked ability and worth, had, with the 
mayor, who was esc offido a member of the board, the appoint- 
ment and control of the police force. Mr. S. Teackle Wallis 
\fras the legal adviser of the board. The entire police force 
consisted of 398 men, and had been raised to a high degree of 
discipline and efficiency under the command of Marshal 
Kane. They were armed with revolvers. 

Immediately after the call of the President for troops, 
including four regiments from Maryland, a marked division 
among the people manifested itself. Two large and excited 
crowds, eager for news, and nearly touching each other, stood 
from morning until late at night before two newspaper offices 
on Baltimore street which advocated contrary views and opin- 
ions. Strife was in the air. It was difficult for the police to 
keep the peace. Business was almost suspended. Was there 
indeed to be war between the sections, or could it yet, by some 

from Baltimore should be chosen. It was this same Legislature (elected in 
1859), which took away from the mayor of the city the control of its police, 
and entrusted tha^; force to a board of police commissioners. This change, 
a most fortunate one for the city at that crisis, resulted in the immediate 
establishment of good order, and made possible the reform movement of the 
next autumn. 

36 Baltimore and the IQth of April, 1861. 

unlooked-for interposition, be averted ? Would the Border 
States interfere and demand peace ? There was a deep and 
pervading impression of impending evil. And now an imme- 
diate fear was as to the effect on the citizens of the passage of 
Northern troops through the city. Should they be permitted 
to cross the soil of Maryland, to make war on sister States of 
the South, allied to her by so many ties of affection, as well 
as of kindred institutions ? On the other hand, when the 
capital of the nation was in danger, should not the kindest 
greeting and welcome be extended to those who were first to 
come to the rescue ? Widely different were the answers given 
to these questions. The Palmetto flag had several times been 
raised by some audacious hands in street and harbor, but it 
was soon torn down. The National flag and the flag of the 
State, with its black and orange, the colors of Lord Baltimore^ 
waved unmolested, but not side by side, for they had become 
symbols of different ideas, although the difference was, as yet, 
not clearly defined. 

On the 17th of April, the state of aflairs became so serious 
that I, as mayor, issued a proclamation earnestly invoking all 
good citizens to refrain from every act which could lead to 
outbreak or violence of any kind; to refrain from harshness 
of speech, and to render in all cases prompt and efficient aid> 
as by law they were required to do, to the public authorities, 
whose constant efforts would be exerted to maintain unbroken 
the peace and order of the city, and to administer the laws 
with fidelity and impartiality. I cannot flatter myself that 
this appeal produced much effect. The excitement was too 
great for any words to allay it. 

On the 18th of April, notice was received from Haxrisburg 
that two companies of Uiaited States artillery, commanded by 
Major Pemberton, and also four companies of militify would 

C% Authorities of Baltimore. 37 

arrive by the Northern Central Kailroad at Bolton Station, 
in the northern part of the city, at two o'clock in the after- 
noon. The militia had neither arms nor uniforms. 

Before the troops arrived at the station, where I was waiting 
to receive them, I was suddenly called away by a message 
from Governor Hicks stating that he desired to see me on 
business of urgent importance, and this prevented my having 
personal knowledge of what immediately afterward occurred. 
The facts, however, axe that a large crowd assembled at the 
station and followed the soldiers in their march to the Wash- 
ington station with abuse and threats. The regulars were 
not molested, but the wrath of the mob was directed against 
the militia, and an attack would certainly have been made 
but for the vigilance and determination of the police, under 
the command of Marshal Kane. 

" These proceedings/' says Mr. Scharf, in the third volume 
of his "History of Maryland," page 401, "were an earnest of 
what might be expected on the arrival of other troops, the 
excitement growing in intensity with every hour. Numerous 
outbreaks occurred in the neighborhood of the newspaper 
offices during the day, and in the evening a meeting of the 
States Eights Convention was held in Taylor's building, on 
Fayette street near Calvert, where, it is alleged, very strong 
ground was taken against the passage of any more troops 
through Baltimore, and armed resistance to it threatened. 
On motion of Mr. Ross "Winans, the following resolutions 
were unanimously adopted : 

" Rteolved, That in the opinion of this convention the prosecution of the 
design announced by the President in his late proclamation, of recapturing 
the forts in the seceded States, will inevitably lead to a sanguinary war, 
the dissolution of the Union, and the irreconcilable estrangement of the 
people of the South from the people of the North. 

" Resolved, That we protest in the name of the people of Maryland 

38 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

against the garrisoning of Southern forts by militia drawn from the free 
States ; or the quartering of militia from the free States in any of the towns 
or places of the slaveholding States. 

" Resolved, That in the opinion of this convention the massing of large 
hodies of militia, exclusively from the free States, in the "District of 
Columbia, is uncalled for by any public danger or exigency, is a standing 
menace to the State of Maryland, and an insult to her loyalty and good 
faith, and will, if persisted in, alienate her people from a government 
which thus attempts to overawe them by the presence of armed men and 
treats them with contempt and distrust. 

" Resolved, That the time has arrived when it becomes all good citizens 
to unite in a common effort to obliterate all party lines which have hereto- 
fore unhappily divided us, and to present an unbroken front in the preser- 
vation and defense of our interests, our homes and our firesides, to avert 
the horrors of civil war, and to repel, if need be, any invader who may 
come to establish a military despotism over us. 

"A. C. ROBINSON, Chairman." 


The names of the members who composed this convention 
are not given, but the mover of the resolutions and the officers 
of the meeting were men well known and respected in this 

The bold and threatening character of the resolutions did 
not tend to calm the public mind. They did not, however, 
advocate an attack on the troops. 

In Putnam's "Record of the Rebellion," Volume I, page 
29, the following statement is made of a meeting which was 
held on the morning of the 18th of April: "An excited 
secession meeting was held at Baltimore, Maryland. T. 
Parkin Scott occupied the chair, and speeches denunciatory 
of the Administration and the North were made by Wilson C. 
N. Carr, William Byrne [improperly spelled Burns], Pres- 
ident of the National Volunteer Association, and others." 

Increasing Excitement. 39 

An account of the meeting is before me, written by Mr. 
Carr, lately deceased, a gentleman entirely trustworthy. He 
did not know, he says, of the existence of such an association, 
but on his way down town having seen the notice of a town 
meeting to be held at Taylor's Hall, to take into considera- 
tion the state of affairs, he went to the meeting. Mr. Scott 
was in the chair and was speaking. He was not making an 
excited speech, but, on the contrary, was urging the audience 
to do nothing rashly, but to be moderate and not to interfere 
with any troops that might attempt to pass through the city. 
As soon as he had finished, Mr. Carr was urged to go up to 
the platform and reply to Mr. Scott. I now give Mr. Carr's 
words. " I went up," he says, " but had no intention of say- 
ing anything in opposition to what Mr. Scott had advised 
the people to do. I was not there as an advocate of secession, 
but was anxious to see some way opened for reconciliation 
between the North and South. I did not make an excited 
speech nor did I denounce the Administration. I saw that I 
was disappointing - the crowd. Some expressed their dis- 
approbation pretty plainly and I cut my speech short. As 
soon as I finished speaking the meeting adjourned." 

After the war was over, Mr. Scott was elected Chief Judge 
of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City. He was a strong 
sympathizer with the South, and had the courage of his con- 
victions, but he had been also an opponent of slavery, and I 
have it from his own lips -that years before the war, on a 
Fourth of July, he had persuaded his mother to liberate all 
her slaves, although she depended largely on their services 
for her support. And yet ne lived and died a poor man. 
, On the 16th of April, Marshal Kane addressed a letter to 
William Crawford, the Baltimore agent of the Philadelphia, 
"Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad Company, in the follow- 
ing terms : 

40 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

"Dear JSir : Is it true as stated that' an attempt will be made to pass 
the volunteers from New York intended to war upon the South over your 
road to-day? It is important that we have explicit understanding on the 
subject. Your friend, GEORGE P. KANE." 

This letter was not submitted to me, nor to the board of 
police. If it had been, it would have been couched in very 
different language. Mr. Crawford forwarded it to the Presi- 
dent of the road, who, on the same day, sent it to Simon 
Cameron, the Secretary of War. 

Mr. Cameron, on April 18th, wrote to Governor Hicks, 
giving him notice that there were unlawful combinations of 
citizens of Maryland to impede the transit of United States 
troops across Maryland on their way to the defense of the 
capital, and that the President thought it his duty to make 
it known to the Governor; so that all loyal and patriotic 
citizens might be warned in time, and that he might be pre- 
pared to take immediate and effective measures against it. 

On the afternoon of the 18th, Governor Hicks arrived in 
town. He had prepared a proclamation as Governor of 
the State, and wished me to issue another as mayor of the 
city, which I agreed to do. In it he said, among other things, 
that the unfortunate state of affairs now existing in the country 
had greatly excited the people of Maryland; that the 
emergency was great, and that the consequences of a rash 
step would be fearful. He therefore counselled the people in 
all earnestness to withhold their hands from whatever might 
tend to precipitate us into the gulf of discord and ruin gap- 
ing to receive us. All powers vested in the Governor of the 
State would be strenuously exerted to preserve peace and 
maintain inviolate the honor and integrity of Maryland- 
He assured the people that no troops would be eent from 
Maryland, unless it might be for the defense of the national 

Increasing Excitement. 41 

capital. He concluded by saying that the people of this 
State would in a short time have the opportunity afforded 
them, in a special election for members of Congress, to express 
their devotion to the Union, or their desire to see it broken up. 

This proclamation is of importance in several respects. 
It shows the great excitement of the people and the imminent 
danger of domestic strife. It shows, moreover, that even the 
Governor of the State had then little idea of the course which 
he himself was soon about to pursue. If this was the case 
with the Governor, it could not have been different with 
thousands of the people. Very soon he became a thorough 
and uncompromising upholder of the war. 

In my proclamation I concurred with the Governor in his 
determination to preserve the peace and maintain inviolate- 
the honor and integrity of Maryland, and added that I could 
not withhold my expression of satisfaction at his resolution* 
that no troops should be sent from Maryland to the soil of 
any other State. 

Simultaneously with the passage of the first Northern, 
regiments on their way to Washington, came the news that 
Virginia had seceded. Two days were crowded with stirring 
news a proclamation from the President of the Southern, 
Confederacy offering to issue commissions or letters of marque 
to privateers, President Lincoln's proclamation declaring a 
blockade of Southern ports, the Norfolk Navy Yard aban- 
doned, Harper's Ferry evacuated and the arsenal in the hands- 
of Virginia troops. These events, so exciting in themselves^ 
and coming together with the passage of the first troops*, 
greatly increased ttie danger of an explosion. 






The Sixth Massachusetts Regiment had the honor of being 
the first to march in obedience to the call of the President, 
completely equipped and organized. It had a full band and 
regimental staff. Mustered at Lowell on the morning of the 
16th, the day after the proclamation was issued, four companies 
from Lowell presented themselves, and to these were added 
two from Lawrence, one from Groton, one from Acton, and 
one from Worcester ; and when the regiment reached Boston, 
at one o'clock, an additional company was added from that 
city and another from Stoneham, making eleven in all about 
seven hundred men. 1 It was addressed by the Governor of 
the State in front of the State House. In the city and along 
the line of the railroad, on the 17th, everywhere, ovations 
attended them. In the march down Broadway, in New York, 
<on the 18th, the wildest enthusiasm inspired all classes. 
Similar scenes occurred in the progress through New Jersey 
and through the city of Philadelphia. At midnight on the 
ilSth, reports reached Philadelphia that the passage of the 
regiment through Baltimore would be disputed. 

An unarmed and un-uniformed Pennsylvania regiment, 
under Colonel Small, was added to the train, either in Phila- 

1 Hanson's Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, p. 14. 

The Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, 43 

delphia or when the train reached the Susquehanna it has 
been stated both ways, and I am not sure which account is 
correct and the two regiments made the force about seven- 
teen hundred men. 

The proper course for the Philadelphia, Wilmington and 
Baltimore Railroad Company was to have given immediate 
notice to the mayor or board of police of the number of the 
troops, and the time when they were expected to arrive in 
the city, so that preparation might have been made to receive 
them, but no such notice was given. On the contrary, it was 
purposely withheld, and no information could be obtained 
from the office of the company, although the marshal of police 
repeatedly telegraphed to Philadelphia to learn when the 
troops were to be expected. No news was received until 
from a half hour to an hour of the time at which they were 
to arrive. "Whatever was the reason that no notice of the 
approach of the troops was given, it was not because they 
had no apprehensions of trouble. Mr. Felton, the president 
of the railroad company, says that before the troops left Phila- 
delphia he called the colonel and principal officers into his 
office, and told them of the dangers they would probably 
encounter, and advised that each soldier should load his 
musket before leaving and be ready for any emergency. 
Colonel Jones's official report, which is dated, "Capitol, 
Washington, April 22, 1861," says, "After leaving Phila- 
delphia, I received intimation that the passage through the 
city of Baltimore would be resisted. I caused ammunition 
to be distributed and arms loaded, and went personally 
through the cars, and issued the following order viz. : 

" ' The regiment will march through Baltimore in columns 
of sections, arms at will. You will undoubtedly be in- 
sulted, abused, and perhaps assaulted, to which you must 

44 Baltimore and ike 19th of April, 1861. 

pay no attention whatever, but march with your faces square 
to the front, and pay no attention to the mob, even if they 
throw stones, bricks, or other missiles ; but if you are fired 
upon, and any of you are hit, your officers will order you to 
fire. Do not fire into any promiscuous crowds, but select 
any man whom you may see aiming at you, and be sure you 
drop him.' " 

If due notice had been given, and if this order had been 
carried out, the danger of a serious disturbance would have 
been greatly diminished. The plainest dictates of prudence 
required the Massachusetts and Pennsylvania regiments to 
march through the city in a body. The Massachusetts regi- 
ment was armed with muskets, and could have defended 
itself, and would also have had aid from the police; and 
although the Pennsylvania troops were unarmed, they would 
have been protected by the police just as troops from the 
same State had been protected on the day before. The mayor 
and police commissioners would have been present, adding 
the sanction and authority of their official positions. But 
the plan adopted laid the troops open to be attacked in detail 
when they were least able to defend themselves and were out 
of the reach of assistance from the police. This plan was 
that when the train reached the President-street or Phila- 
delphia station, in the southeastern part of Baltimore, each 
car should, according to custom, be detached from the engine 
and be drawn through the city by four horses for the distance 
of more than a mile to the Camden-street or Washington 
station, in the southwestern part of the city. Some one had 

The train of thirty-five cars arrived at President-street 
Station at about eleven o'clock. . The course which the troops 
had to take was first northerly on President street, four 
fn Pratt, strfifit. a crowded thoroufirh&re leading along 

The Sixth Massachusetts in Baltimore. 45 

the heads of the docks, then along Pratt street west for nearly 
a mile to Howard street, and then south, on Howard street, 
one square to the Camden-street station. 

Drawn by horses across the city at a rapid pace, about 
nine 1 cars, containing seven companies of the Massachusetts 
Sixth, reached the Camden-street station, the first carloads 
being assailed only with jeers and hisses; but the last car, 
containing Company " K " and Major Watson, was delayed on 
its passage according to one account was thrown off the track 
by obstructions, and had to be replaced with the help of a 
passing team ; paving-stones and other missiles were thrown, 
the windows were broken, and some of the soldiers were 
struck. Colonel Jones was in one of the cars which passed 
through. Near Gray street, it happened that a number of 
laborers were at work repaving Pratt street, and had taken 
up the cobble-stones for the purpose of relaying them. As 
the troops kept passing, the crowd of bystanders grew larger, 
the excitement and among many the feeling of indignation 
grew more intense; each new aggressive act was the signal 
and example for further aggression. A. cart coming by with 
a load of sand, the track was blocked by dumping the cart- 
load upon it I have been told that this was the act of some 
merchants and clerks of the neighborhood and then, as a 
more effectual means of obstruction, some anchors lying near 
the head of the Gray-street dock were dragged up to and 
placed across the track. 2 

According to some of the published accounts seven cars got through, 
which would have been one to each coinpan7, but I believe that the num- 
ber of the cars and of the companies did not correspond. Probably the 
larger companies were divided. 

- For participation in placing this obstruction, a wealthy merchant of 
long experience, usually a very peaceful man, was afterward indicted for 
treason by the Grand Jury of the Circuit Court of the United States in 
Baltimore, "but his trial was not pressed. 

46 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

The next car being stopped by these obstructions, the 
driver attached the horses to the rear end of the car and drove 
it back, with the soldiers, to the President-street station, the 
rest of the cars also, of course, having to turn back, or if 
any of them had not yet started to remain where they were 
at the depot. In the cars thus stopped and turned back there 
were four companies, " 0," " D," " I " and L," under Captains 
Follansbee, Hart, Pickering and Dike; also the band, which, 
I believe, did not leave the depot, and which remained there 
with the unarmed Pennsylvania regiment. These four com- 
panies, in all about 220 men, formed on President street, in 
the midst of a dense and angry crowd, which threatened and 
pressed upon the troops, uttering cheers for Jefferson Davis 
and the Southern Confederacy, and groans for Lincoln and 
the North, with much abusive language. As the soldiers 
advanced along President street, the commotion increased; 
one of the band of rioters appeared bearing a Confederate 
flag, and it was carried a considei^able distance before it was 
torn from its staff by citizens. Stones were thrown in great 
numbers, and at the corner of Fawn street two of the soldiers 
were knocked down by stones and seriously injured. In 
crossing Pratt-street bridge, the troops had to pick their way 
over joists and scantling, which by this time had been placed 
on the bridge to obstruct their passage. 

Colonel Jones's official report, from which I have already 
quoted, thus describes what happened after the four com- 
panies left the cars. As Colonel Jones was not present during 
the march, but obtained the particulars from others, it is not 
surprising that his account contains errors. These will be 
pointed out and corrected later : 

" They proceeded to march in accordance with orders, and 
had proceeded but a short distance before they were furiously 

The Fight. 47 

attacked by a shower of missiles, which came faster as they 
advanced. They increased their step to double-quick, which 
seemed to infuriate the mob, as it evidently impressed the 
mob with the idea that the soldiers dared not fire or had no 
am munition, and pistol-shots were numerously fired into the 
ranks, and one soldier fell dead. The order "Fire!" was 
given, and it was executed ; in consequence several of the 
mob fell, and the soldiers again advanced hastily. The 
mayor of Baltimore placed himself at the head of the column 
beside Captain Follansbee, and proceeded with them a short 
distance, assuring him that he would protect them, and 
begging him not to let the men fire. But the mayor's 
patience was soon exhausted, and he seized a musket from 
the hands of one of the men, and killed a man therewith ; 
and a policeman, who was in advance of the column, also 
shot a man with a revolver. They at last reached the cars, 
and they started immediately for "Washington. On going 
through the train I found there were about one hundred and 
thirty missing, including the band and field music. Our 
baggage was seized, and we have not as yet been able to 
recover any of it. I have found it very difficult to get 
reliable information in regard to the killed and wounded, but 
believe there were only three killed. 

" As the men went into the cars " [meaning the men who 
had marched through the city to Camden Station], "I caused 
the blinds to the cars to be closed, and took every precaution 
to prevent any shadow of offense to the people of Baltimore, 
but still the stones flew thick and fast into the train, and it 
was with the utmost difficulty that I could prevent the 
troops from leaving the cars and revenging the death of 
their comrades. After a volley of stones, some one of the 
soldiers fired and killed a Mr, Davis, who, I ascertained by 

48 Baltimore and the IQth of April, 1861. 

reliable witnesses, threw a stone into the car." This is incor- 
rectly stated, as will hereafter appear. 

It is proper that I should now go back and take up the 
narration from my own point of view. 

On the morning of the 19th of April I was at my law office 
in Saint Paul street after ten o'clock, when three members of 
tlje city council came to me with a message from Marshal 
Kane, informing me that he had just received intelligence 
that troops were about to arrive I did not learn how many 
and that he apprehended a disturbance, and requesting me 
to go to the Camden-street station. I immediately hastened 
to the office of the board of police, and found that they had 
received a similar notice. The Counsellor* of the City, Mr. 
George M. Gill, and myself then drove rapidly in a carriage 
to the Camden-street station. The police commissioners fol- 
lowed, and, on reaching the station, we found Marshal Kane 
on the ground and the police coming in in squads. A large 
and angry crowd had assembled, but were restrained by the 
police from committing any serious breach of the peace. 

After considerable delay seven of the eleven companies of 
the Massachusetts regiment arrived at the station, as already 
mentioned, and I saw that the windows of the last car were 
badly broken. If o one to whom I applied could inform me 
whether more troops were expected or not. At this time an 
alarm was given that the mob was about to tear up the rails 
in advance of the train on the Washington road, and Marshal 
Kane ordered some of his men to go out the road as far as 
necessary to protect the track. Soon afterward, and when I 
was about to leave the Camden-street station, supposing all 
danger to be over, news was brought to Police Commissioner 
Davis and myself, who were standing together, that some 
troops had been left behind, and that the/ mob was tearing 

The Fight 49 

up the track on Pratt street, so as to obstruct the progress of 
the cars, which were coming to the Camden-street station. 
Mr. Davis immediately ran to summon the marshal, who was 
at the station with a body of police, to be sent to the point of 
danger, while I hastened alone in the same direction. On 
arriving at about Smith's Wharf, foot of Gay street, I found 
that anchors had been placed on the track, and that Sergeant 
McComas and four policemen who were with him were not 
allowed by a group of rioters to remove the obstruction. I 
at once ordered the anchors to be removed, and my authority 
was not resisted. I hurried on, and, approaching Pratt- 
street bridge, I saw a battalion, which proved to be four 
companies of the Massachusetts regiment which had crossed 
the bridge, coming towards me in double-quick time. 

They were firing wildly, sometimes backward, over their 
shoulders. So rapid was the march that they could not stop 
to take aim. The mob, which was not very large, as it seemed 
to me, was pursuing with shouts and stones, and, I think, an 
occasional pistol-shot. The uproar was furious. I ran at 
once to the head of the column, some persons in the crowd 
shouting, " Here comes the mayor." I shook hands with the 
officer in command, Captain Follansbee, saying as I did so, 
" I am the mayor of Baltimore." The captain greeted me 
cordially. I at once objected to the double-quick, which was 
immediately stopped. I placed myself by his side, and 
marched with him. He said, "We have been attacked with- 
out provocation," or words to that effect. I replied, " You 
must defend yourselves." I expected that he would face his 
men to the rear, and, after giving warning, would fire if 
necessary. But I said no more, for I immediately felt that, 
as mayor of the city, it was not my province to volunteer 
such advice. Once before in my life I had taken part in 

50 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

opposing a formidable riot, and had learned by experience 
that the safest and most humane manner of quelling a mob 
is to meet it at the beginning with armed resistance. 

The column continued its march. There was neither con- 
cert of action nor organization among the rioters. They were 
armed only with such stones or missiles as they could pick 
up, and a few pistols. My presence for a short time had 
some effect, but very soon the attack was renewed with 
greater violence. The mob grew bolder. Stones flew thick 
and fast. Eioters rushed at the soldiers and attempted 
to snatch their muskets, and at least on two occasions suc- 
ceeded. With one of these muskets a soldier was killed. 
Men fell on both sides. A young lawyer, then and now known 
as a quiet citizen, seized a flag of one of the companies and 
nearly tore it from its staff. He was shot through the thigh, 
and was carried home apparently a dying man, but he sur- 
vived to enter the army of the Confederacy, where he rose to 
the rank of captain, and he afterward returned to Baltimore, 
where he still lives. The soldiers fired at will. There was 
no firing by platoons, and I heard no order given to fire, I 
remember that at the corner of South street several citizens 
standing in a group fell, either killed or wounded. It was 
impossible for the troops to discriminate between the rioters 
and the by-standers, but the latter seemed to suffer most, 
because, as the main attack was from the mob pursuing the 
soldiers from the rear, they, in their march, could not easily 
face backward to fire, but could shoot at those whom they passed 
on the street. Near the corner of Light street a soldier was 
severely wounded, who afterward died, and a boy on a vessel 
lying in the dock was killed, and about the same place three 
soldiers at the head of the column leveled their muskets and 
fired into a group standing on the sidewalk, who, as far as I 

The Fight. 51 

could see, were taking no active part. The shots took effect, 
bnt I cannot say how many fell. I cried out, waving my 
umbrella to emphasize my words, " For God's sake don't 
shoot I" but it was too late. The statement that I begged 
Captain Follansbee not to let the men fire is incorrect, 
although on this occasion I did say, " Don't shoot/' It then 
seemed to me that I was in the wrong place, for my presence 
did not avail to protect either the soldiers or the citizens, and 
I stepped out from the column. Just at this moment a boy 
ran forward and handed to me a discharged musket which 
had fallen from one of the soldiers. I took it from him and 
hastened into the nearest shop, asking the person in charge to 
keep it safely, and returned immediately to the street. This 
boy was far from being alone in his sympathy for the troops, 
but their friends were powerless, except to care for the wounded 
and remove the dead. The statement in Colonel Jones's 
report that I seized a musket and killed one of the rioters is 
entirely incorrect. The smoking musket seen in my hands 
was no doubt the foundation for it. There is no foundation 
for the other statement that one of the police shot a man with 
a revolver. At the moment when I returned to the street, 
Marshal Kane, with about fifty policemen (as I then supposed, 
but I have since ascertained that in fact there were not so 
many), came at a run from the direction of the Camden-street 
station, and throwing themselves in the rear of the troops, 
they formed a line in front of the mob, and with drawn 
revolvers kept it back. This was between Light and Charles 
streets. Marshal Kane's voice shouted, "Keep back, men, 
or I shoot 1" This movement, which I saw myself, was gal- 
lantly executed, and was perfectly successful. The mob 
recoiled like water from a rock. One of the leading rioters, 
then a young man, now a peaceful merchant, tried, as he has 

52 Baltimore and the \th of April, 1861, 

himself told me, to pass the line, but the marshal seized him 
and vowed he would shoot if the attempt was made. This 
nearly ended the fight, and the column passed on under the 
protection of the police, without serious molestation, to Cam- 
den Station. 1 I had accompanied the troops for more than 
a third of a mile, and regarded the danger as now over. At 
Camden-street Station there was rioting and confusion. Com- 
missioner Davis assisted in placing the soldiers in the cars 
for Washington. Some muskets were pointed out of the 
windows by the soldiers. To this he earnestly objected, as 
likely to bring on a renewal of the fight, and he advised the 
blinds to be closed. The muskets were then withdrawn and 
the blinds closed, by military order, as stated by Colonel 

At last, about a quarter before one o'clock, the train, con- 
sisting of thirteen cars filled with troops, moved out of 
Camden Station amid the hisses and groans of the multitude, 
and passed safely on to Washington. At the outskirts of 
the city, half a mile or more beyond the station, occurred the 
unfortunate incident of the killing of Robert W. Davis. 
This gentleman, a well-known dry-goods merchant, was 
standing on a vacant lot near the track with two friends, and 
as the train went by they raised a cheer for Jefferson Davis 
and the South, when he was immediately shot dead by one of 
the soldiers from a car-window, several firing at once. 
There were no rioters near them, and they did not know that 
the troops had been attacked on their march through the city. 
There was no " volley of stones" thrown just before Mr. 
Da, vis was killed, nor did he or his friends throw any. 2 This 

1 The accounts in some of our newspapers describe serious fighting at a 
point beyond this, but I ana satisfied they are incorrect 

2 Testimony of witnesses at the coroner's inquest. 

Departure for Washington. 53 

was the last of the casualties of the day, and was by far the 
most serious and unfortunate in its consequences, for it was 
not unnaturally made the most of to inflame the minds of the 
people against the Northern troops. Had it not been for this 
incident, there would perhaps have been among many of our 
people a keener sense of blame attaching to themselves as the 
aggressors. Four of the Massachusetts regiment were killed 
and thirty-six wounded. Twelve citizens were killed, includ- 
ing Mr. Davis. The number of wounded among the latter 
has never been ascertained. As the fighting was at close 
quarters, the small number of casualties shows that it was 
not so severe as has generally been supposed. 

But peace even for the day had not come. The unarmed 
Pennsylvanians and the band of the Massachusetts regiment 
were still at the President-street station, where a mob had 
assembled, and the police at that point were not sufficient to 
protect them. Stones were thrown, and some few of the 
Pennsylvania troops were hurt, not seriously, I believe. A 
good many of them were, not unnaturally, seized with a 
panic, and scattered through the city in different directions. 
Marshal Kane again appeared on the scene with an adequate 
force, and an arrangement was made with the railroad com- 
pany by which the troops were sent back in the direction of 
Philadelphia. Daring the afternoon and night a number of 
stragglers sought the aid of the police and were cared for at 
one of the station-houses. 

The following card of Captain Dike, who commanded 
Company " C " of .the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, ap- 
peared in the Boston Courier : 

"BALTIMORE, April 25, 1861. 

'* It is but an act of justice that induces me to say to my friends who 
may feel any interest, and to the community generally, that in the affair 

54 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

which occurred in this city on Friday, the 19th instant, the mayor and 
city authorities should be exonerated from blame or censure, as they did 
all in their power, as far as my knowledge extends, to quell tho riot, and 
Mayor Brown attested the sincerity of his desire to preserve the peace, and 
pass our regiment safely through the city, by marching at the head of its 
column, and remaining there at the risk of his life. Candor could not 
permit me to say less, and a desire to place the conduct of the authorities 
here on the occasion in a right position, as well as to allay feelings, urges 
me to this sheer act of justice. JOHN H. DIKE, 

" Captain Company ' C,' Seventh Regiment, 

attached to Sixth Regiment Massachusetts V. M" 

In a letter to Marshal Kane, Colonel Jones wrote as 
follows : 


" WASHINGTON, D. 0., April 28, 1861. 
" Marshal Kane, Baltimore, Maryland. 

" Please deliver the bodies of the deceased soldiers belonging to my 
regiment to Murrill S. Wright, Esq., who is authorized to receive them, 
and take charge of them through to Boston, and thereby add one more to 
the many favors for which, in connection with this matter, I am, with 
my command, much indebted to you. Many, many thanks for the Chris- 
tian conduct of the authorities of Baltimore in this truly unfortunate 
"lam, with much respect, your obedient servant, 

" Colonel Sixth Regiment M. V. M" 

The following correspondence with the Governor of Massa- 
chusetts seems to be entitled to a place in this paper. Gov. 
Andrew's first telegram cannot be found. The second, which 
was sent by me in reply, is as follows : 

" BALTIMORE, April 20, 1861. 
" To the Honorable John A. Andrew, Governor of Massachusetts. 

" JSir : No one deplores the sad events of yesterday in this city more 
deeply than myself, but they were inevitable. Our people viewed the 
passage of armed troops to another State through the streets as an invasion 

Correspondence with Governor Andrew. 55 

of our soil, and could not be restrained. The authorities exerted them- 
selves to the best of their ability, but with only partial success. Governor 
Hicks was present, and concurs in all my views as to the proceedings now 
necessary for our protection. When are these scenes to cease ? Are we 
to have a war of sections? God forbid ! The bodies of the Massachu- 
setts soldiers could not be sent out to Boston, as you requested, all com- 
munication between this city and Philadelphia by railroad and with Boston 
by steamer having ceased, but they have been placed in cemented coffins, 
and will be placed with proper funeral ceremonies in the mausoleum of 
Greenmount Cemetery, where they shall be retained until further direc- 
tions are received from you. The wounded are tenderly cared for. I 
appreciate your offer, but Baltimore will claim it as her right to pay all 
expenses incurred." 

" Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


"Mayor of Baltimore." 

To this the following reply was returned by the Governor : 

" To His Honor George W. Brown, Mayor of Baltimore. 

" Dear Sir : I appreciate your kind attention to our wounded and our 
dead, and trust that at the earliest moment the remains of our fallen will 
return to us. I am overwhelmed with surprise that a peaceful march of 
American citizens over the highway to the defense of our common capital 
should be deemed aggressive to Baltimoreans. Through New York the 
march was triumphal. JOHN A. ANDREW, 

'* Governor of MassacTwsetfa." 

This correspondence carries the narrative beyond the 
nineteenth of April, and I now return to the remaining 
events of that day. 

After the news spread through the city of the fight in the 
streets, and especially of the killing of Mr. Davis, the excite- 
ment became intense. It was manifest that no more troops, 
while the excitement lasted, could pass through without a 
bloody conflict. All citizens, no matter what were their 
political opinions, appeared to agree in this the strongest 

56 Baltimore cmd the 19th of April, 1861. 

friends of the Union as well as its foes. However such a 
conflict might terminate, the result would be disastrous. In 
each case it might bring down the vengeance of the North 
upon the cit) r . If the mob succeeded, it would probably 
precipitate the city, and perhaps the State, into a temporary 
secession. Such an event all who had not lost their reason 
deprecated. The immediate and pressing necessity was that 
no more troops should arrive. 

Governor Hicks called out the military for the preserva- 
tion of the .peace and the protection of the city. 

An immense public meeting assembled in Monument 
Square. Governor Hicks, the mayor, Mr. S. Teackle Wallis, 
and others, addressed it. 

In my speech I insisted on the maintenance of peace and 
order in the city. I denied that the right of a State to 
secede from the Union was granted by the Constitution. 
This was received with groans and shouts of disapproval by 
a part of the crowd, but I maintained my ground. I depre- 
cated war on the- seceding States, and strongly expressed the 
opinion that the South could not be conquered. I approved 
of Governor Hicks's determination to send no troops from 
Maryland to invade the South. I further endeavored to 
calm the people by informing them of the efforts made by 
Governor Hicks and myself to prevent the passage of more 
troops through the city. 

Governor Hicks said : " I coincide in the sentiment of 
your worthy mayor. After three conferences we have agreed, 
and I bow in submission to the people. I am a Mary- 
lander ; I love my State and I love the Union, but I will 
suffer my right arm to be torn from my body before I will 
raise it to strike a sister State." 

A dispatch had previously been sent by Governor Hicks 

Teleffram to the President. 57 

and myself to the President of the United States as follows : 
" A collision between the citizens and the Northern troops 
has taken place in Baltimore, and the excitement is fearful. 
Send no troops here. We will endeavor to prevent all 
bloodshed. A public meeting of citizens has been called, 
and the troops of. the State have been called out to preserve 
the peace. They will be enough. " 

Immediately afterward, Messrs, H. Lennox Bond, a 
Republican, then Judge of the Criminal Court of Baltimore, 
and now Judge of the Circuit Court of the United States ; 
George W. Dobbin, an eminent lawyer, and John C. Brune, 
President of the Board of Trade, went to Washington at my 
request, bearing the following letter to the President : 

'* MAYOR'S OFFICE, BALTIMORE, April 19, 1861. 

" Sir : This will be presented to you by the Hon. H. Lennox Bond, and 
George W. Dobbin, and John C. Brune, Esqs., who will proceed to Wash- 
ington by an express train at my request, in order to explain fully the 
fearful condition of affairs in this city. The people are exasperated to the 
highest degree by the passage of troops, and the citizens are universally 
decided in the opinion that no more should be ordered to come. The 
authorities of the city did their best to-day to protect both strangers and 
citizens and to prevent a collision, but in vain, and, but for their great 
efforts, a fearful slaughter would have occurred. Under these circum- 
stances it is my solemn duty to inform you that it is not possible for more 
soldiers to pass through Baltimore unless they fight their way at every 
step. I therefore hope and trust and most earnestly request that no more 
troops be permitted or ordered by the Government to pass through the 
city. If they should attempt it, the responsibility for the blood shed will 
not rest upon me. 

" With great respect, your obedient servant, 

" GEO. WM. BBOWW, Mayor. 
" To His Excellency Abraham Lincoln, President United States." 

To this Governor Hicks added : " I have been in Baltimore 
City since Tuesday evening last, and cooperated with Mayor 

58 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

G. "W. Brown in his untiring efforts to allay and prevent the 
excitement and suppress the fearful outbreak as indicated 
above ; and I fully concur in all that is said by him in the 
above communication." 

No reply came from Washington. The city authorities 
were left to act on their own responsibility. Late at night 
reports came of troops being on their way both from Harris- 
burg and Philadelphia. It was impossible that they could 
pass through the city without fighting and bloodshed. In this 
emergency, the board of police, including the mayor, im- 
mediately assembled for consultation, and came to the con- 
clusion that it was necessary to burn or disable the bridges 
on both railroads so far as was required to prevent the in- 
gress of troops. This was accordingly done at once, some of 
the police and a detachment of the Maryland Guard being 
sent out to do the work. Governor Hicks was first consulted 
and urged to give his consent, for we desired that he should 
share with us the responsibility of taking this grave step. 
This consent he distinctly gave in my presence and in the 
presence of several others, and although there was an attempt 
afterward to deny the fact that he so consented, there can be 
no doubt whatever about the matter. He was in my house 
at the time, where, on my invitation, he had taken refuge, 
thinking that he was in some personal danger at the hotel 
where he was staying. Early the next morning the Governor 
returned to Annapolis, and after this the city authorities had 
to bear alone the responsibilities which the anomalous state 
of things in Baltimore had brought upon them. 

On the Philadelphia Eailroad the detachment sent out by 
special train for the purpose of burning the bridges went as 
far as the Bush Biver, and the long bridge there, and the 
still longer one over the wide estuary of the Gunpowder, a 

Burning of the Bridges. 59 

few miles nearer Baltimore, were partially burned. It is an 
interesting fact that just as this party arrived at the Bush 
Kiver bridge, a volunteer party of five gentlemen from Balti- 
more reached the same place on the same errand. They had 
ridden on horseback by night to the river, and had then 
gone by boat to the bridge for the purpose of burning it, and 
in fact they stayed at the bridge and continued the work of 
burning until the afternoon. 









On Saturday morning, the 20th, the excitement and alarm 
had greatly increased. Up to this time no answer had been 
received from Washington. The silence became unbearable. 
Were more troops to be forced through the city at any cost ? 
If so, how were they to come, by land or water? Were the 
guns of Fort McHenry to be turned upon the inhabitants ? 
Was Baltimore to be compelled at once to determine whether 
she would side with the North or with the South? Or was 
she temporarily to isolate herself and wait until the frenzy 
had in some measure spent its force and reason had begun to 
resume its sway? In any case it was plain that the author- 
ities must have the power placed in their hands of controlling 
any outbreak which might occur. This was the general 
opinion. Union men and disunion men appeared on the 
streets with arms in their hands. A time like that predicted 
in Scripture seemed to have come, when he who had no sword 
would sell his garment to buy one. 

About ten A. M. the city council assembled and immedi- 
ately appropriated $500,000, to be expended under my direction 

Correspondence with Governor and President. 61 

as mayor, for the purpose of putting the city in a complete state 
of defense against any description of danger arising or which 
might arise out of the present crisis. The banks of the city 
promptly held a meeting, and a few hours afterward a com- 
mittee appointed by them, consisting of three bank presi- 
dents, Johns Hopkins, John Clark and Columbus O'Donnell, 
all wealthy Union men, placed the whole sum in advance at 
my disposal. Mr. Scharf, in his "History of Maryland/' 
Volume 3, page 416, says, in a footnote, that this action of 
the city authorities was endorsed by the editors of the Sun, 
American, Exchange, German Correspondent, Clipper, South, 
etc. Other considerable sums were contributed by indi- 
viduals and firms without respect to party. 

On the same morning I received a dispatch from Messrs. 
Bond, Dobbin and Brune, the committee who had gone to 
Washington, which said: "We have seen the President and 
General Scott. We have from the former a letter to the 
mayor and Governor declaring that no troops shall be 
brought to Baltimore, if, in a military point of view and 
without interruption from opposition, they can be marched 
around Baltimore." 

As the Governor had left Baltimore for Annapolis early 
in the morning, I telegraphed him as follows : 

" BALTIMOBE, April 20, 1861. 
" To Governor Jfficfo. 

" Letter from President and General Scott. No troops to pass through 
Baltimore it as a military force they can march around. I will answer 
that every effort will be made to prevent parties leaving the city to molest 
them, but cannot guarantee against acts of individuals not organized. 
Do you approve ? GKO. WM. BBOWK." 

This telegram was based on that from Messrs. Bond, 
Dobbin and Brune. The letter referred to had not been 

62 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861. 

received wlien my telegram to Governor Hicks was dis- 
patched. I was mistaken in supposing that General Scott 
had signed the letter as well as the President. 
President Lincoln's letter was as follows : 

" WASHINGTON, April 20, 1861. 
" Governor Sides and Mayor Brown. 

" Gentlemen : Your letter by Messrs. Bond, Dobbin and Brune is 
received. I tender you both my sincere thanks for your efforts to keep 
the peace in the trying situation in which you are placed. For the future 
troops must be brought here, but I make no point of bringing them 
through Baltimore. 

" Without any military knowledge myself, of course I must leave details 
to General Scott. He hastily said this morning, in presence of these 
gentlemen, ' March them around Baltimore, and not through it.' 

"I sincerely hope the General, on fuller reflection, will consider this 
practical and proper, and that you will not object to it. 

" By this, a collision of the people of Baltimore with the troops will be 
avoided unless they go out of their way to seek it. I hope you will exert 
your influence to prevent this. 

" Now and ever I shall do all in my power for peace consistently with 
the maintenance of government. 

' * Your obedient servant, A. LINCOLN. ' ' 

Governor Hicks replied as follows to my telegram : 

"ANNAPOLIS, April 20, 1861. 
" To the Mayor of Baltimore. 

"Your dispatch received. I hoped they would send no more troops 
through Maryland, but as we have no right to demand that, I am glad 
no more are to be sent through Baltimore. I know you will do all in your 
power to preserve the peace. THOS. H. HICKS." 

I tihen telegraphed to the President as follows : 

"BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, April 20, 1861. 
' ' To President lAncoln. 

" Every effort will be made to prevent parties leaving the city to molest 
troops marching to Washington. Baltimore seeks only to protect herself. 
Governor Hicks has gone to Annapolis, but I have telegraphed to him. 
" GEO. WM. BROWN, Mayor of Baltimore. > ' 

Defense of the City. 63 

After the receipt of the dispatch from Messrs, Bond, Dob- 
bin and Brune, another committee was sent to Washington, 
consisting of Messrs. Anthony Kennedy, Senator of the 
United States, and J. Morrison Harris, member of the House 
of Representatives, both Union men, who sent a dispatch to 
me saying that they " had seen the President, Secretaries of 
State, Treasury and War, and also General Scott. The result 
is the transmission of orders that will stop the passage of 
troops through or around the city." 

Preparations for the defense of the city were nevertheless 
continued. With this object I issued a notice in which I said : 
"All citizens having arms suitable for the defense of the city, 
and which they are willing to contribute for the purpose, are 
requested to deposit them at the office of the marshal of 

The board of police enrolled temporarily a considerable 
number of men and placed them under the command of 
Colonel Isaac B. Trimble. He informs me that the number 
amounted to more than fifteen thousand, about three-fourths 
armed with muskets, shotguns and pistols. 

This gentleman was afterward a Major-General in the Con- 
federate Ajmy, where he distinguished himself. He lost a 
leg at Gettysburg. 

By this means not only was the inadequate number of tfie 
police supplemented, but many who would otherwise have 
been the disturbers of the peace became its defenders. And, 
indeed, not a few of the men enrolled, who thought and hoped 
that their enrollment meant wax, were disappointed to find 
that the prevention of war was the object of the city author- 
ities, and afterwards found their way into the Confederacy, 

For some days it looked very much as if Baltimore had 
taken her stand decisively with the South ; at all events, the 

64 Baltimore and tJie 19ft of April, 1861. 

outward expressions of Southern feeling were very emphatic, 
and the Union sentiment temporarily disappeared. 

Early on the morning of Saturday, the 20th, a large Con- 
federate flag floated from the headquarters of a States Eights 
club on Fayette street near Calvert, and on the afternoon of 
the same day the Minute Men, a Union club, whose head- 
quarters were on Baltimore street, gave a most significant 
indication of the strength of the wave of feeling which swept 
over our people by hauling down the National colors and 
running up in their stead the State flag of Maryland, amid 
the cheers of the crowd. 1 Everywhere on the streets men 
and boys were wearing badges which displayed miniature 
Confederate flags, and were cheering the Southern cause. 
Military companies began to arrive from the (bounties. On 
Saturday, first came a company of seventy men from Fred- 
erick, under Captain Bradley T. Johnson, afterward General 
in the Southern Army, and next two cavalry companies 
from Baltimore County, and one from Anne Arundel County. 
These last, the Patapsco Dragoons, some thirty men, a sturdy- 
looking body of yeomanry, rode straight to the City Hall 
and drew up, expecting to be received with a speech of wel- 
come from the mayor. I made them a very brief address, 
and informed them that dispatches received from Washington 
had postponed the necessity for their services, whereupon they 
started homeward amid cheers, their bugler striking up 
" Dixie/' which was the first time I heard that tune. A few 
days after, they came into Baltimore again. On Sunday came 
in the Howard Couniy Dragoons, and by steamboat that 
morning two companies from Talbot County, and soon it was 
reported that from Harford, Cecil, Carroll and Prince George's, 
companies were on their way. All the city companies of 

1 Baltimore American, April 28. 

Defense of the City. 65 

uniformed militia were, of course, under arms. Three bat- 
teries of light artillery were in the streets, among them the 
light field-pieces belonging to the military school at Catons- 
ville, but these the reverend rector of the school, a strong 
Union man, had thoughtfully spiked. 

The United States arsenal at Pikesville, at the time unoc- 
cupied, was taken possession of by some Baltimore County 

From the local columns of the American of the 22d, a 
paper which was strongly on the Union side, I take the follow- 
ing paragraph : 


" The war spirit raged throughout the city and among all 
classes during Saturday with an ardor which seemed to gather 
fresh force each hour. . . All were united in a determina- 
tion to resist at every hazard the passage of troops through Bal- 
timore. . . Armed men were marching through the streets, 
and the military were moving about in every direction, and 
it is evident that Baltimore is to be the battlefield of the 
Southern revolution." 

And from the American of Tuesday, 23d : 

"At the works of the Messrs. "Winans their entire force is 
engaged in the making of pikes, and in casting balls of every 
description for cannon, the steam gun, 1 rifles, muskets, etc., 
which they are turning out very rapidly." 

And a very significant paragraph from the Sun of iihe same 
day : 

" Yesterday morning between 300 and 400 of our most 
respectable colored residents made a tender of their services 

1 Winans's steam gun, a recently invented, and, it was supposed, very 
formidable engine, was much talked about at this time. It was not very 
long afterwards seized and confiscated by the military authorities. 

66 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

to the city authorities. The mayor thanked them for their 

offer, and informed them that their services will be called for 
if they can be made in any way available." 

Officers from Maryland in the United States Army were 
sending in their resignations. Colonel (afterward General) 
Huger, of South Carolina, who had recently resigned, and 
was in Baltimore at the time, was made Colonel of the 
Fifty-third Eegiment, composed of the Independent Greys 
and the six companies of the Maryland Guard. 

On Monday morning, the 22d, I issued an order directing 
that all the drinking-saloons should be closed that day, and 
the order was enforced. 

On Saturday, April 20th, Captain John C. Robinson, now 
Major-General, then in command at Fort McHenry, which 
stands at the entrance of the harbor, wrote to Colonel L. 
Thomas, Adjutant-General of the United States Army, that 
he would probably be attacked that night, but he believed he 
could hold the fort. 

In the September number, for the year 1885, of AmeriGan 
History there is an article written by General Robinson, 
entitled "Baltimore in 1861," in which he speaks of the 
apprehended attack on the fort, and of the conduct of the 
Baltimore authorities. 

He says that about nine o'clock on the evening of the 20th, 
Police Commissioner Davis called at the fort, bringing a let- 
ter, .dated eight o'clock P. M. of the same evening, from 
Charles Howard, the president of the board, which he quotes 
at length, and which states that, from rumors that had reached 
the board, they were apprehensive that the commander of the 
fort might be annoyed by lawless and disorderly characters 
approaching the walls of the fort, and they proposed to send 
a guard of perhaps two hundred men to station themselves 

Fort McHenry. 67 

on Whetstone Point, of course beyond the outer limits of 
the fort, with orders to arrest and hand over to the civil 
authorities any evil-disposed and disorderly persons who 
might approach the fort. The letter further stated that this 
duty would have been confided to the police force, but their 
services were so imperatively required elsewhere that it would 
be impossible to detail a sufficient number, and this duty had 
therefore been entrusted to a detachment of the regular organ- 
ized militia of the State, then called out pursuant to law, and 
actually in the service of the State. It was added that the com- 
manding officer of the detachment would be ordered to commu- 
nicate with Captain Kobinson. The letter closed with repeating 
the assurance verbally given to Captain Eobinson in the 
morning that no disturbance at or near the post should be 
made with the sanction of any of the constituted authorities 
of the city of Baltimore ; but, on the contrary, all their 
powers should be exerted to prevent anything of the kind by 
any parties. A postscript stated that there might perhaps be 
a troop of volunteer cavalry with the detachment. 
General Robinson continues : 

" I did not question the good faith, of Mr. Howard, but Commissioner 
Davis verbally stated that they proposed to send the Maryland Guards to 
help protect the fort. Having made the acquaintance of some of the offi- 
cers of that organization, and heard them freely express their opinions, I 
declined the offered support, and then the following conversation occurred : 

" Commandant. I am aware, sir, that we are to be attacked to-night. 
I received notice of it before sundown. If you will go outside with me 
you will see we are prepared for it. You will find the guns loaded, and 
men standing by them. As for the Maryland Guards, they cannot come 
here. I am acquainted with some of those gentlemen, and know what 
their sentiments are. 

" Commissioner. Dams. Why, Captain, we are anxious to avoid a col- 

" Commandant. So am I, sir. If you wish to avoid a collision, place 

68 Baltimore and the l$th of April, 1861. 

your city military anywhere between the city and that chapel on the road, 
but if they come this side of it, I shall fire on them. 

" Commissioner Davis. Would you fire into the city of Baltimore ? 

" Commandant. I should be sorry to do it, sir, but if it becomes neces- 
sary in order to hold this fort, I shall not hesitate for one moment. 

" Commissioner Davis (excitedly). I assure yon, Captain Robinson, if 
there is a woman or child killed in that city, there will not be one of you 
left alive here, sir, 

" Commandant. Very well, sir, I will take the chances. Now, I assure 
you, Mr. Davis, if your Baltimore mob comes down here to-night, you will 
not have another mob in Baltimore for ten years to come, sir." 

Mr. Davis is a well-known and respected citizen of Balti- 
more, who has filled various important public offices with 
credit, and at present holds a high position in the Baltimore 
and Ohio Railroad Company. According to his recollection, 
the interview was more courteous and less dramatic than would 
be supposed from the account given by General Robinson. 
Mr. Davis says that the people of Baltimore were acquainted 
with the defenseless condition of the fort, and that in the 
excited state of the public mind this fact probably led to the 
apprehension and consequent rumor that an attempt would 
be made to capture it. The police authorities believed, and, 
as it turned out, correctly, that the rumor was without founda- 
tion ; yet, to avoid the danger of any disturbance whatever, 
the precautions were taken which are described in the letter 
of Mr. Howard, and Mr. Davis went in person to deliver it 
to Captain Robinson. 

His interview was not, however, confined to Captain Robin- 
son, but included also other officers of the fort, and Mr. 
Davis was hospitably received. A conversation ensued in 
regard to the threatened attack, and, with one exception, was 
conducted without asperity. A junior officer threatened, in case 
of an attack, to direct the fire of a cannon on the Washing- 
ton Monument, which stands in the heart of the city, and to 

Fort MoHenry. 69 

this threat Mr. Davis replied with heat, " If you do that, 
and if a woman or child is killed, there will be nothing left 
of you but your brass buttons to tell who you were." 

The commandant insisted that the military sent by the 
board should not approach the fort nearer than the Roman 
Catholic chapel, a demand to which Mr. Davis readily 
assented, as that situation commanded the only approach 
from the city to the fort. In the midst of the conversation 
the long roll was sounded, arid the whole garrison rushed to 
arms. For a long time, and until the alarm was over, Mr. 
Davis was left alone. 

General Robinson was mistaken in his conjecture, "when 
it seemed to him that for hours of the night mounted men 
from the country were crossing the bridges of the Patapsco." 
There was but one bridge over the Patapsco, known as the 
Long Bridge, from which any sound of passing horsemen or 
vehicles of any description could possibly have been heard at 
the fort. The sounds which did reach the fort from the Long 
Bridge during the hours of the night were probably the 
market wagons of Anne Arundel County passing to and 
from the city on their usual errand, and the one or two com- 
panies from that county, which came to Baltimore during the 
period of disturbance, no doubt rode in over the Long 
Bridge by daylight. 

General Robinson, after describing in his paper the riot of 
the 19th of April and the unfortunate event of the killing of 
Mr. Davis, adds: "It is impossible to describe the intense 
excitement that now prevailed. Only those who saw and 
felt it can understand or conceive any adequate idea of its 
extent"; and in this connection he mentions the fact that 
Marshal Kane, chief of the police force, on the evening of 
the 19th of April, telegraphed to Bradley T. Johnson, at 

70 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

Frederick, as follows : " Streets red with Maryland blood ; 
send expresses over the mountains of Maryland and Virginia 
for the riflemen to come without delay. Fresh hordes will be 
down on us to-morrow. We will fight them and whip them, 
or die." 

The sending of this dispatch was indeed a startling event, 
creating a new complication and embarrassing in the highest 
degree to the city authorities. The marshal of police, who 
had gallantly and successfully protected the national troops 
on the 18th and 19th, was so carried away by the frenzy of 
the hour that he had thus on his own responsibility sum- 
moned volunteers from Virginia and Maryland to contest the 
passage of national troops through the city. Different views 
were taken by members of the board of police. It was con- 
sidered, on the one hand, that the services of Colonel Kane were, 
in that crisis, indispensable, because no one could control as he 
could the secession element of the city, which was then in the 
ascendant and might get control of the city, and, on the other, 
that his usefulness had ceased, because not only had the gravest 
offense been given to the Union sentiment of the city by 
this dispatch, but the authorities in "Washington, while he was 
at the head of the police, could no longer have any confidence 
in the police, or perhaps in the board itself. The former 
consideration prevailed. 

It is due to Marshal Kane to say that subsequently, and 
while he remained in office, he performed his duty to the 
satisfaction of the Board. Some years after the war was over 
he was elected sheriff, and still later mayor of the city, and in 
both capacities he enjoyed the respect and regard of the 

It may with propriety be added that the conservative position 
and action of the police board were so unsatisfectory to many 

Interview with the President. 71 

of the more heated Southern partisans, that a scheme was 
at one time seriously entertained by them to suppress the 
board, and transfer the control of the police force to other 
hands. Happily for all parties, better counsels prevailed. 

On Sunday, the 21st of April, with three prominent citizens 
of Baltimore, I went to Washington, and we there had an 
interview with the President and Cabinet and General Scott. 
This interview was of so much importance, that a statement 
of what occurred was prepared on the same day and was 
immediately published. It is here given at length : 

BALTIMOBE, April 21. 

Mayor Brown received a dispatch, from the President of the United 
States at three o'clock A. M. (this morning), directed to himself and Gov- 
ernor Hicks, requesting them to go to Washington by special train, in 
order to consult with Mr. Lincoln for the preservation of the peace of 
Maryland. The mayor replied that Governor Hicks was not in the city, and 
inquired if he should go alone. Receiving an answer by telegraph in the 
affirmative, his Honor, accompanied by George W. Bobbin, John 0. Brune 
andS. T. Wailis, Esqs., whom he had summoned to attend him, proceeded 
at once to the station. After a series of delays they were enabled to procure 
a special train about half -past seven o'clock, in which they arrived at 
Washington about ten. 

They repaired at once to the President's house, where they were admitted 
to an immediate interview, to which the Cabinet and General Scott were 
summoned. A long conversation and discussion ensued. The President, 
upon his part, recognized the good faith of the city and State authorities, 
and insisted upon his own. He admitted the excited state of feeling in 
Baltimore, and his desire and duty to avoid the fatal consequences of a 
collision with the people. He urged, on the other hand, the absolute, 
irresistible necessity of having a transit through the State for such troops 
as might be necessary for the protection of the Federal capital. The pro- 
tection of Washington, he asserted with great earnestness, was the sole 
object of concentrating troops there, and he protested that none of the 
troops brought through Maryland were intended for any purposes hostile to 
the State, or aggressive as against the Southern States. Being now unable 
to bring them up the Potomac in security, the President must either bring 
them through Maryland or abandon the capital. 

72 Baltimore and the IQth of April, 1861. 

He called on General Scott for his opinion, which the General gave at 
length, to the effect that troops might be brought through Maryland with- 
out going through Baltimore, by either carrying them from Perryville to 
Annapolis, and thence by rail to Washington, or by bringing them to 
the Relay House on the Northern Central Railroad [about seven miles 
north of the city], and marching them to the Relay House on the Wash- 
ington Railroad [about seven miles south-west of the city], and thence by 
rail to the capital. If the people would permit them to go by either of 
these routes uninterruptedly, the necessity of their passing through Balti- 
more would be avoided. If the people would not permit them a transit 
thus remote from the city, they must select their own best route, and, if 
need be, fight their own way through Baltimore a result which the 
General earnestly deprecated. 

The President expressed his hearty concurrence in the desire to avoid a 
collision, and said that no more troops should be ordered through Balti- 
more if they were permitted to go uninterrupted by either of the other 
routes suggested. In this disposition the Secretary of War expressed his 

Mayor Brown assured the President that the city authorities would use 
all lawful means to prevent their citizens from leaving Baltimore to attack 
the troops in passing at a distance ; but he urged, at the same time, the 
impossibility of their being able to promise anything more than their best 
efforts in that direction. The excitement was great, he told the President, 
the people of all classes were fully aroused, and it was impossible for any one 
to answer for the consequences of the presence of Northern troops any where 
within our borders. He reminded the President also that the jurisdiction of 
the city authorities was confined to their own population, and that he could 
give no promises for the people elsewhere, because he would be unable to keep 
them if given. The President frankly acknowledged this difficulty, and 
said that the Government would only ask the city authorities to use their 
best efforts with respect to those under their jurisdiction. 

The interview terminated with, the distinct assurance on the part of the 
President that no more troops would be sent through Baltimore, unless 
obstructed in their transit in other directions, and with the understanding 
that the city authorities should do their best to restrain their own people. 

The Mayor and his companions availed themselves of the President's 
full discussion of the day to urge upon him respectfully, but in the most 
earnest manner, a course of policy which would give peace to the country, 
and especially the withdrawal of all orders contemplating the passage of 
troops through any part of Maryland. 

Interview with the President. 73 

On returning to the cars, and when just about to leave, about 2 P. M., 
the Mayor received a dispatch from Mr. Garrett (the President of the Balti- 
more and Ohio Railroad) announcing the approach of troops to Cockeys- 
ville [about fourteen miles from Baltimore on the Northern Central Bail- 
road], and the excitement consequent upon it in the city. Mr. Brown and 
his companions returned at once to the President and asked an immediate 
audience, which was promptly given. The Mayor exhibited Mr. Garrett '3 
dispatch, which gave the President great surprise. He immediately sum- 
moned the Secretary of War and General Scott, who soon appeared with 
other members of the Cabinet. The dispatch was submitted. The Presi- 
dent at once, in the most decided way, urged the recall of the troops, saying 
he had no idea they would be there. Lest there should be the slightest sus- 
picion of bad faith on his part in summoning the Mayor to Washington; 
and allowing troops to march on the city during his absence, he desired 
that the troops should, if it were practicable, be sent back at once to York 
or Harrisburg. General Scott adopted the President's views warmly, and 
an order was accordingly prepared by the Lieutenant-General to that 
effect, and forwarded by Major Belger, of the Army, who also accompanied 
the Mayor to this city. The troops at Cockeysville, the Mayor was 
assured, were not brought there for transit through the city, but were 
intended to be marched to the Relay House on the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad. They will proceed to Harrisburg, from there to Philadelphia, 
and thence by the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal or by Perryville, as 
Major-General Patterson may direct. 

This statement is made by the authority of the Mayor and Messrs. George 
W. Dobbin, John C. Brune and S. T. Wallis, who accompanied Mr. 
Brown, and who concurred with him in all particulars in the course adopted 
by him in the two interviews with Mr. Lincoln. 

GEO. WM. BROWN, Mayor,. 

This statement was written by Mj^jpFallis, at the request 
of his associates, on the train, and w v given to the public 
immediately on their return to the city. 

In the course of the first conversation MX. Simon Cameron 
called my attention to the fact that an iron bridge on the 
Northern Central Railway, which, he remarked, belonged to 
the city of Baltimore, had been disabled by a skilled person 
so as to inflict little injury on the bridge, and he desired to 

74 Baltimore amd the l$th of April, 1861. 

know by what authority this had been done. Up to this time 
nothing had been said about the disabling of the bridges. In 
reply I addressed myself to the President, and said, with 
much earnestness, that the disabling of this bridge, and of the 
other bridges, had been done by authority, as the reader has 
already been told, and that it was a measure of protection on 
a sudden emergency, designed to prevent bloodshed in the 
city of Baltimore, and not an act of hostility towards the 
General Government; that the people of Maryland had 
always been deeply attached to the Union, which had been 
shown on all occasions, but that they, including the citizens 
of Baltimore, regarded the proclamation calling for 75,000 
troops as an act of war on the South, and a violation of its 
constitutional rights, and that it was not surprising that a 
high-spirited people, holding such opinions, should resent 
the passage of Northern troops through their city for such a 

Mr. Lincoln was greatly moved, and, springing up from 
his chair, walked backward and forward through the apart- 
ment. He said, with great feeling, " Mr. Brown, I am not 
a learned man! I am not a learned man!" that his pro- 
clamation had not been correctly understood ; that he had no 
intention of bringing on war, but that his purpose was to 
defend the capital, which was in danger of being bombarded 
from the heights across the Potomac. 

I am giving here w|y a part of a frank and full conversa- 
tion, in which others present participated. 

The telegram of Mr. Garrett to me referred to in the pre- 
ceding statement is in the following words : " Three thousand 
Northern troops are reported to be at Cockeysville. Intense 
excitement prevails. Churches have been dismissed and the 
people are arming in mass. To prevent terrific bloodshed, 
tiae result of your interview and arrangement is awaited." 

Interview with the President. 75 

To this the following reply to Mr. Garrett was made by me : 
"Your telegram received on our return from an interview 
with the President, Cabinet and General Scott. Be calm and 
do nothing until you hear from me again. I return to see 
the President at once and will telegraph again. Wallis, 
Brune and Dobbin are with me." 

Accordingly, after the second interview, the following dis- 
patch was sent by me to Mr. Garrett : "We have again seen 
the President, General Scott, Secretary of "War and other 
members of the Cabinet, and the troops are ordered to return 
forthwith to Harrisburg. A messenger goes with us from 
General Scott. We return immediately." 

Mr. Garrett's telegram was not exaggerated. It was a 
fearful day in Baltimore. Women and children, and men, 
too, were wild with excitement. A certainty of a fight in 
the streets if Northern troops should enter was the pressing 
danger. Those who were arming in hot haste to resist the 
passage of Northern troops little recked of the fearful risk to 
which they were exposing themselves and all they held dear. 
It was well for the city and State that the President had 
decided as he did. When the President gave his deliberate 
decision that the troops should pass around Baltimore and 
not through it, General Scott, stern soldier as he sometimes 
was, said with emotion, " Mr. President, I thank you for 
this, and God will bless you for it." 

From the depth of our hearts my colleagues and myself 
thanked both the General and the President. 

The troops on the line of the Northern Central Railway 
some 2400 men, about half of them armed did not receive 
their orders to return to Pennsylvania until after several 
days. As they had expected to make the journey to Wash- 
ington by rail, they were naturally not well equipped or 

76 Baltimore and tJie 19th of April, 1861. 

supplied for camp life. I take the following from the Sun 
of April 23d : " By order of Marshal Kane, several wagon- 
loads of bread and meat were sent to the camp of the Penn- 
sylvania troops, it being understood that a number were sick 
and suffering for proper food and nourishment. . . . One of 
the Pennsylvanians died on Sunday and was buried within 
the encampment. Two more died yesterday and a number 
of others were on the sick list. The troops were deficient in 
food, having nothing but crackers to feed upon." 

The Eighth Massachusetts Kegiment, under command of-.. 
General Butler, was the next which passed through Maryland. 
It reached Perry ville, on the Susquehanna, by rail on the 20th, 
and there embarked on the steamboat Maryland, arriving at 
Annapolis early on the morning of the 21st. Governor Hicks 
addressed the General a note advising that he should not land 
his men, on account of the great excitement there, and stated 
that he had telegraphed to that effect to the Secretary of War. 

The Governor also wrote to the President, advising him 
to order elsewhere the troops then off Atmapolis, and to send 
no more through Maryland, and added the surprising sug- 
gestion that Lord Lyons, the British Minister, be requested 
to act as mediator between the contending parties of the 

The troops, however, were landed without opposition. 
The railway from Annapolis leading to the Washington road 
had, in some places, been torn up, but it was promptly repaired 
by the soldiers, and by the 25th an unobstructed route was 
opened through Annapolis to Washington. 

Horace Greeley, in his book called " The American Conflict," 
denounces with characteristic vehemence and severity of lan- 
guage the proceedings of the city authorities. He scouts 
"the demands" of the Mayor and his associates, whom he 

Armed Neutrality. 77 

designates as " Messrs. Brown & Co." He insists that prac- 
tically on the morning of the 20th of April Maryland was a 
member of the Southern Confederacy, and that her Governor 
spoke and acted the bidding of a cabal of the ablest and most 
envenomed traitors. 

It is true that the city then, and for days afterwards, was in 
an anomalous condition, which may be best described as one of 
" armed neutrality " ; but it is not true that in any sense it 
was, on the 20th of April, or at any other time, a member of 
the Southern Confederacy. On the contrary, while many, 
especially among the young and reckless, were doing their 
utmost to place it in that position, regardless of consequences, 
and would, if they could, have forced the hands of the city 
authorities, it was their conduct which prevented such a 
catastrophe. Temporizing and delay were necessary. As 
soon as passions had time to cool, a strong reaction set in and 
the people rapidly divided into two parties one on the side of 
the North, and the other on the side of the South; but what- 
ever might be their personal or political sympathies, it was 
clear to all who had not lost their reason that Maryland, 
which lay open from the North by both land and sea, would 
be kept in the Union for the sake of the national capital, even 
if it required the united power of the nation to accomplish 
the object. The telegraph wires on the lines leading to the 
North had been cut, and ibr some days the city was without 
regular telegraphic connection. For a longer time the mails 
were interrupted and travel was stopped. The buoys in 
the harbor were temporarily removed. The business in- 
terests of the city of course suffered under these interrup- 
tions, and would be paralyzed if such isolation were to con- 
tinue, and the merchants soon began to demand that the 
channels of trade should be reopened to the north and east. 

78 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

The immediate duty of the city authorities was to keep the 
peace and protect the city, and, without going into details or 
discussing the conduct of individuals, I shall leave others to 
speak of the manner in which it was performed. 

Colonel Scharf, in his " History of Maryland," Volume III, 
p. 415, sums up the matter as follows : "In such a period of 
intense excitement, many foolish and unnecessary acts were 
undoubtedly done by persons in* the employment of the city, 
as well as by private individuals, but it is undoubtedly true 
that the Mayor and board of police commissioners were in- 
flexibly determined to resist all attempts to force the city 
into secession or into acts of hostility to the Federal GoyX 
eminent, and that they successfully accomplished their purpose. 
If they had been otherwise disposed, they could easily have 
effected their object." 



On the 22d of April, Governor Hicks convened the Gen- 
eral Assembly of the State, to meet in special session at 
Annapolis on the 26th, to deliberate and consider of the con- 
dition of the State, and to take such measures as in their 
wisdom they might deem fit to maintain peace and order and 
security within its limits. 

On the 24th of April, " in consequence of the extraordinary 
state of affairs/' Governor Hicks changed the meeting of 
the Assembly to Frederick. The candidates for the House 
of Delegates for the city of Baltimore, who had been returned 
as elected to the General Assembly in 1859, had been refused 
their seats, as previously stated, and a new election in the 
city had therefore become necessary to fill the vacancy. 

A special election for that purpose was accordingly held in 
the city on the 24th instant. Only a States Eights ticket was 
presented, for which nine thousand two hundred and forty- 
four votes were cast. The candidates elected were : John C. 
Brune, Ross Winans, Henry M. "Warfield, J. Hanson 
Thomas, T. Parkin Scott, H. M. Mbrfit, S. Teackle Wallis, 

80 Baltimore and the 19tfi of April, 1861. 

Charles H. Pitts, William G. Harrison and Lawrence Bangs- 
ton, well-known and respected citizens, and the majority of 
them nominated because of their known conservatism and 
declared opposition to violent measures. 

This General Assembly, which contained men of unusual 
weight and force of character, will ever remain memorable in 
Maryland for the courage and ability with which it main- 
tained the constitutional rights of the State. 

On the 3d of May, the board of police made a report of its 
proceedings to the Legislature of the State, signed by Charles 
Howard, President. After speaking of the disabling of the 
railroads, it concludes as follows : 

" The absolute necessity of the measures thus determined upon by the 
Governor, Mayor and Police Board, is fully illustrated by the fact that 
early on Sunday morning reliable information reached the city of the 
presence of a large body of Pennsylvania troops, amounting to about twenty- 
four hundred men, who had reached Ashland, near Cockeysville, by the 
way of the Northern Central Railroad, and was stopped in their progress 
towards Baltimore by the partial destruction of the Ashland bridge. 
Every intelligent citizen at all acquainted with the state of fee] ing then 
existing, must be satisfied that if these troops had attempted to march 
through the city, an immense loss of life would have ensued in the conflict 
which would necessarily have taken place. The bitter feelings already 
engendered would have been intensely increased by such a conflict ; all 
attempts at conciliation would have been vain, and terrible destruction 
would have been the consequence, if, as is certain, other bodies of troops 
had insisted on. forcing their way through the city. 

" The tone of the whole Northern press and the mass of the population 
was violent in the extreme. Incursions upon our city were daily threatened , 
not only by troops in the service of the Federal Government, but by the 
vilest and most reckless desperadoes, acting independently, and, as they 
threatened, in despite of the Government, backed by well-known influential 
citizens, and sworn to the commission of all kinds of excesses. In short, every 
possible effort was made to alarm this community. In this condition of things 
the Board felt it to be their solemn duty to continue the organization which 
had already been commenced, for the purpose of assuring the people of 

Report of the Police Board. 81 

Baltimore that no effort would be spared to protect all within its borders, to 
the extent of their ability. All the means employed were devoted to this 
end, and with no view of producing a collision with the General Govern- 
ment, which the Board were particularly anxious to avoid, and an arrange- 
ment was happily effected by the Mayor with the General Government that 
no troops should be passed through the city. As an evidence of the 
determination of the Board to prevent such collision, a sufficient guard 
was sent in the neighborhood of Fort McHenry several nights to arrest all 
parties who might be engaged in a threatened attack upon it, and a steam- 
tug was employed, properly manned, to prevent any hostile demonstration 
upon the receiving-ship AllegJiany, lying at anchor in the harbor, of all 
which the United States officers in command were duly notified. 

" Property of various descriptions belonging to the Government and 
individuals was taken possession of by the police force with a view to its 
security. The best care has been taken of it. Every effort has been made 
to discover the rightful owners, and a portion of it has already been for- 
warded to order. Arrangements have been made with the Government 
agents satisfactory to them for the portion belonging to it, and the balance 
is held subject to the order of its owners. 

" Amidst all the excitement and confusion which has since prevailed, 
the Board take great pleasure in stating that the good order and peace of 
the city have been preserved to an extraordinary degree. Indeed, to 
judge from the accounts given by the press of other cities of what has been 
the state of things in their own communities, Baltimore, during the whole 
of the past week and up to this date, will compare favorably, as to the 
protection which persons and property have enjoyed, with any other large 
city in the United States." 

Much has heen said in regard to the suppression of the 
national flag in Baltimore during the disturbances, and it is 
proper that the fects should here be stated. 

General Bobinson, in his description of the occurrences 
which took place after the 19th of April, says that meetings 
were held under the flag of the State of Maryland, at which 
the speeches were inflammatory secession harangues, and that 
the national flag disappeared, and no man dared to display 
it. Whether or not this statement exactly represents the 

S2 Baltimore and tlie 19ft of April, 1861. 

condition of things, it at least approximates it, and on the 
26th of April, an order was issued by the board of police 
reciting that the peace of the city was likely to be disturbed 
by the display of various flags, and directing that no flag of 
any description should be raised or carried through the 
streets. On April 29th, the city council passed an ordinance, 
signed by the Mayor, authorizing him, when in his opinion 
the peace of the city required it, to prohibit by proclamation 
for a limited period, to be designated by him, the public dis- 
play of all flags or banners in the city of Baltimore, except 
on buildings or vessels occupied or employed by the Govern- 
ment of the United States. On the same day I, in pursu- 
ance of the ordinance, issued a proclamation prohibiting the 
display of flags for thirty days, with the exception stated in 
the ordinance, and on the 10th of May, when I was satisfied 
that all danger was over, I issued a proclamation Removing 
the prohibition. The only violation of the order which came 
tinder my notice during the period of suppression was on the 
part of a military company which had the Maryland flag fly- 
ing at its headquarters, on Lexington street near the City Hall. 
On my directing this flag to be taken down, the request 
was at once complied with. 

General Robinson says that "the first demonstration of 
returning loyalty was on the 28th day of April, when a sail- 
ing vessel came down the river crowded with men, and 
covered from stem to stern with national flags. She sailed 
past the fort, cheered and saluted our flag, which was dipped 
in return, after which she returned to the city." He then 
adds : " The tide had turned. Union men avowed themselves, 
the stars and stripes were again unfurled, and order was 
restored. Although after this time arrests were made of per- 
sons conspicuous for disloyalty, the return to reason was 

General Butler. 83 

almost as sudden as the outbreak of rebellion. The railroads 
were repaired, trains ran regularly, and troops poured into 
"Washington without hindrance or opposition of any sort. 
Thousands of men volunteered for the Union Army. Four 
regiments of Maryland troops afterwards served with me, 
and constituted the Third Brigade of my division. They 
fought gallantly the battles of the Union, and no braver 
soldiers ever marched under the flag." 

The tide indeed soon turned, but not quite so rapidly as 
this statement seems to indicate. On the 5th of May, General 
Butler, with two regiments and a battery of artillery, came 
from Washington and took possession of the Belay House on 
the Baltimore and Ohio Eailroad at the junction of the 
Washington branch, about seven miles from Baltimore, and 
fortified the position. One of his first proceedings was highly 
characteristic. He issued a special order declaring that he 
had found well-authenticated evidence that one of his soldiers 
had " been poisoned by means of strychnine administered in 
the food brought into the camp," and he warned the people of 
Maryland that he could "put an agent, with a word, into 
every household armed with this terrible weapon." This 
statement sent a thrill of horror through the North, and the 
accompanying threat of course excited the indignation and 
disgust of our people. The case was carefully examined by the 
city physician, and it turned out that the man had an ordi- 
nary attack of cholera morbus, the consequence of imprudent 
diet and camp life, but the General never thought, proper to 
correct the slander. 

On the evening of the llth of May, General Butler being 
then at Annapolis, I received a note from Edward G. Parker, 
his aide-de-camp, stating that he had received intimations 
from many sources that an attack by the Baltimore roughs 

84 Baltimore and tiie 19th of April, 1861. 

was intended that night ; that these rumors had been con- 
firmed by a gentleman from Baltimore, who gave his name 
and residence ; that the attack would be made by more than 
a thousand men, every one sworn to kill a man } that they 
were coming in wagons, on horses and on foot, and that a 
considerable force from the west, probably the Point of 
Bocks in Maryland, was also expected, and I was requested 
to guard every avenue from the city, so as to prevent the 
Baltimore rioters from leaving town. 

Out of respect to the source from which the application 
came, I immediately sent for the marshal of police, and 
requested him to throw out bodies of his men so as to guard 
every avenue leading to the Relay House. No enemy, how- 
ever, appeared. The threatened attack proved to be merely 
a groundless alarm, as I knew from the beginning it was. 

On the night of the 13th of May, when the city was as 
peaceful as it is to-day, General Butler, in the midst of a 
thunderstorm of unusual violence, entered Baltimore and 
took possession of Federal Hill, which overlooks the harbor 
and commands the city, and which he immediately proceeded 
to fortify. There was nobody to oppose him, and nobody 
thought of doing so; but, for this exploit, which he regarded 
as the capture of Baltimore, he was made a Major-General. 
He immediately issued a proclamation, as if he were in a 
conquered city subject to military law. 

Meantime, on the 26th of April, the General Assembly of 
the State had met at Frederick. "As soon as the General 
Assembly met" (Schaxf's History of Maryland, Vol. Ill, 
p. 444), "the Hon. James M. Mason, formerly United States 
Senator from Virginia, waited on it as commissioner from that 
State, authorized to negotiate a treaty of alliance offensive 
and defensive with Maryland on her behalf." This proposi- 

Attitude of the General Assembly. 85 

tion met "with no acceptance. On the 27th, the Senate, by 
a unanimous vote, issued an address for the purpose of allay- 
ing the apprehensions of the people, declaring that it had no 
constitutional authority to take any action leading to seces- 
sion, and on the next day the House of Delegates, by a vote 
of 53 to 12, made a similar declaration. Early in May, the 
General Assembly, by a vote in the House of 43 to 12, and 
in the Senate of 11 to 3, passed a series of resolutions pro- 
claiming its position in the existing crisis. 

The resolutions protested against the war as unjust and 
unconstitutional, and announced a determination to take no 
part in its prosecution. They expressed a desire for the im- 
mediate recognition of the Confederate States; and while 
they protested against the military occupation of the State, 
and the arbitrary restrictions and illegalities with which it 
was attended, they called on all good citizens to abstain from 
violent and unlawful interference with the troops, and 
patiently and peacefully to leave to time and reason the 
ultimate and certain re-establishment and vindication of the 
right; and they declared it to be at that time inexpedient to 
call a Sovereign Convention of the State, or to take any 
measures for the immediate organization or arming of the 

After it became plain that no movement would be made 
towards secession, a large number of young men, including 
not a few of the flower of the State, and representing largely 
the more wealthy and prominent families, escaped across the 
border and entered the ranks of the Confederacy. The 
number has been estimated at as many as twenty thousand, 
but this, perhaps, is too large a figure, and there are no 
means of ascertaining the truth. The muster-rolls have 
perished with the Confederacy. The great body of those 

86 Baltimore and ffie 19$, of April, 1861. 

who sympathized with the South had no disposition to take 
arms against the Union so long as Maryland remained a 
member of it. This was subsequently proved by their 
failure to enlist in the Southern armies on the different 
occasions in 1862, 1863 and 1864 when they crossed the 
Potomac and transferred the seat of war to Maryland and 
Pennsylvania, under the command twice of General Lee and 
once of General Early. 

The first of these campaigns ended in the bloody battle of 
Antietam. The Maryland men, as a tribute to their good 
conduct, were placed at the head of the army, and crossed the 
river with enthusiasm, the band playing and the soldiers 
singing "My Maryland." Great was their disappointment 
that the recruits did not even suffice to fill the gaps in their 
shattered ranks. 



The suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, by order of 
the President, without the sanction of an Act of Congress, 
which had not then been given, was one of the memorable 
events of the war. 

On the 4th of May, 1861, Judge Giles, of the United States 
District Court of Maryland, issued a writ of habeas corpus to 
Major Morris, then in command of Fort McHenry, to dis- 
charge a soldier who was under age. Major Morris refused 
to obey the writ. 

On the 14th of May the General Assembly adjourned, and 
Mr. Ross Winans, of Baltimore, a member of the House of 
Delegates, while returning to his home, was arrested by 
General Butler on a charge of high treason. He was con- 
veyed to Annapolis, and subsequently to Fort McHenry, and 
was soon afterwards released. 

A case of the highest importance next followed. On the 
25th of May, Mr. John Merryman, of Baltimore County, was 
arrested by order of General Keim, of Pennsylvania, and con- 
fined in Fort McHenry. The next day (Sunday, May 26th) 
his counsel, Messrs. George M. Gill and George H. Williams, 
presented a petition for the writ of habeas corpus to Chief 
Justice Taney, who issued the writ immediately, directed 

88 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

to General Cadwallader, then in command in Maryland, 
ordering him to produce the body of Merryman in. court on 
the following day (Monday, May 27th). On that day Colonel 
Lee, his aide-de-camp, came into court with a letter from 
General Cadwallader, directed to the Chief Justice, stating 
that Mr. Merryman had been arrested on charges of high 
treason, and that he (the General) was authorized by the 
President of the United States in such cases to suspend the 
writ of habeas corpus for the public safety. Judge Taney 
asked Colonel Lee if he had brought with him the body of 
John Merryman. Colonel Lee replied that he had no instruc- 
tions except to deliver the letter. 

Chief Justice. The commanding officer, then, declines to obey the writ ? 

Colonel Lee. After making that communication my duty is ended, and 
I have no further power (rising and retiring). 

Chief Justice. The Court orders an attachment to issue against George 
Cadwallader for disobedience to the high writ of the Court, returnable at 
twelve o'clock to-morrow. 

The order was accordingly issued as directed. 

A startling issue was thus presented. The venerable Chief 
Justice had come from Washington to Baltimore for the pur- 
pose of issuing a writ of habeas corpus, and the President had 
thereupon authorized the commander of the fort to hold the 
prisoner and disregard the writ. 

A more important occasion could hardly have occurred. 
Where did the President of the United States acquire such a 
power ? Was it true that a citizen held his liberty subject 
to the arbitrary will of any man? In what part of the 
Constitution could sueh a power be found? Why had it 
never been discovered before? What precedent existed for 
such an act ? 

Judge Taney was greatly venerated in Baltimore, where 

Chief Justice Taney. 89 

he had formerly lived. The case created a profound sensa- 

On the next morning the Chief Justice, leaning on the arm 
of his grandson, walked slowly through the crowd which had 
gathered in front of the court-house, and the crowd silently 
and with lifted hats opened the way for him to pass. 

Eoger B. Taney was one of the most self-controlled and 
courageous of judges. He took his seat with his usual quiet 
dignity. He called the case of John Merryman and asked 
the marshal for his return to the writ of attachment. The 
return stated that he had gone to Fort McHenry for the pur- 
pose of serving the writ on General Cadwallader ; that he 
had sent in his name at the outer gate; that the messenger- 
had returned with the reply that there was no answer to send ;. 
that he was not permitted to enter the gate, and, therefore, 
could not serve the writ, as he was commanded to do. 

The Chief Justice then read from his manuscripts follows i. 

I ordered the attachment of yesterday because upon the face of the 
return the detention of the prisoner was unlawful upon two grounds: 

1st. The President, under the Constitution and laws of the United States, 
cannot suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, nor authorize 
any military officer to do so. 

3d. A military officer has no right to arrest and detain a person not 
subject to the rules and articles of war, for an offense against the laws of 
the United States, except in aid of the judicial authority and subject to its 
control ; and if the party is arrested by the military, it is the duty of the 
officer to deliver him over immediately to the civil authority, to be dealt 
with according to law. 

I forbore yesterday to state the provisions of the Constitution of the- 
United States which make these principles the fundamental law of the 
Union, because an oral statement might be misunderstood in some portions, 
of it, and I shall therefore put my opinion in writing, and file it in the* 
office of the clerk of this courti in the course of this week. 

The Chief Justice then orally remarked: 

90 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

la relation to the present return, it is proper to say that of course the 
marshal has legally the power to summon the posse comiiatus to seize and 
bring into court the party named in the attachment ; but it is apparent he 
will he resisted in the discharge of that duty by a force notoriously superior 
to the jposse, and, this being the case, such a proceeding can result in no 
good, and is useless. I will not, therefore, require the marshal to perform 
this duty. If, however, General Cadwallader were before me, I should 
impose on him the punishment which it is my province to inflict that of 
fine and imprisonment. I shall merely say, to-day, that-I shall reduce to 
writing the reasons under which 1 have acted, and which have led me to 
the conclusions expressed in my opinion, and shall direct the clerk to for- 
ward them with these proceedings to the President, so that he may dis- 
charge his constitutional duty "to take care that the laws are faithfully 

It is due to my readers that they should have an opportu- 
nity of reading this opinion, and it is accordingly inserted in 
an Appendix. 

After the court had adjourned, -I went up to the bench and 
thanked Judge Taney for thus upholding, in its integrity, 
the writ of habeas corpus. He replied, " Mr. Brown, I am 
an old man, a very old man " (he had completed his eighty- 
fourth year), " but perhaps I was preserved for this occasion." 
I replied, "Sir, I thank God that you were." 

He then told me that he knew that his own imprisonment 
had been a matter of consultation, but that the danger had 
passed, and he warned me, from information he had received, 
that my time would come. 

The charges against Merryman were discovered to be un- 
founded and he was soon discharged by military authority. 

The nation is now tired of war, and rests in the enjoyment 
of a harmony which has not been equalled since the days of 
James Monroe. "When Judge Taney rendered this decision 
the Constitution was only seventy-two years old twelve years 
younger than himself. It is now less than one hundred years 

Chief Justice Taney. 91 

old a short period in a nation's life and yet during that 
period there have been serious commotions two foreign 
wars and a civil war. In the future, as in the past, offenses 
will come, and hostile parties and factions will arise, and the 
men who wield power will, if they dare, shut up in fort or 
prison, without reach of relief, those whom they regard as 
dangerous enemies. When that period arrives, then will 
those who wisely love their country thank the great Chief 
Justice, as I did, for his unflinching defense of habeas corpus, 
the supreme writ of right, and the corner-stone of personal 
liberty among all English-speaking people. 

In the Life of Benjamin R. Curtis, Vol. I, p. 240, his 
biographer says, speaking of Chief Justice Taney, with refer- 
ence to the case of Merryman, " If he had never done anything 
else that was high, heroic* and important, his noble vindica- 
tion of the writ of habeas corpus and the dignity and authority 
of his office against a rash minister of State, who, in the pride 
of a fancied executive power, came near to the commission of 
a great crime, will command the admiration and gratitude of 
every lover of constitutional liberty so long as our institutions 
shall endure." The crime referred to was the intended im- 
prisonment of the Chief Justice. 

Although this crime was not committed, a criminal prece- 
dent had been set and was ruthlessly followed. "My lord/' 
said Mr. Seward to Lord Lyons, "I can touch a bell on my 
right hand and order the imprisonment of a citizen of Ohio ; 
I can touch a bell again and order the imprisonment of a 
citizen of New York; and no power on earth, except that of 
the President, can release them. Can the Queen of England 
do so much V 9 When such a power is wielded by any man, 
or set of men, nothing is left to protect the liberty of the 

92 Baltimore and the 19$ of April, 1861. 

On the 24th of May, a Union Convention, consisting of 
fourteen counties of the State, including the city of Baltimore, 
and leaving eight unrepresented, met in the city. The 
counties not represented were Washington, Montgomery, 
Prince George, Charles, St. Mary's, Dorchester, Somerset, 
and Worcester. The number of members does not appear to 
have been large, but it included the names of gentlemen 
well known and highly respected. The Convention adopted 
Resolutions which declared, among other things, that the 
revolution on the part of eleven States was without excuse or 
palliation, and that the redress of actual or supposed wrongs 
in connection with the slavery question formed no part of 
their views or purposes ; that the people of this State were 
unalterably determined to defend the Government of the 
United States, and would support the Government in all 
legal and constitutional measures which might be necessary 
to resist the revolutionists ; that the intimations made by the 
H&ajority of the Legislature at its late session that the people 
were humiliated or subjugated by the action of the Govern- 
ment were gratuitous insults to that people ; that the dignity 
of the State of Maryland, involved in a precise, persistent 
and effective recognition of all her rights, privileges and 
immunities under the Constitution of the United States, will 
be vindicated at all times and under all circumstances by 
those of her sons who are sincere in their fealty to her and 
the Government of the Union of which she is part, and to 
popular constitutional liberty; that while they concurred 
with the present Executive of the United States that the 
unity and integrity of the National Union must be preserved, 
their view of the nature and true principles of the Constitu- 
tion, of the powers which it confers, and of the duties which 
it enjoins, and the rights which it secures, as it relates to and 

Suspension of Habeas Corpus. 93 

affects the question of slavery in many of the essential bear- 
ings, is directly opposed to the views of the Executive ', that 
they are fixed in their conviction, amongst others, that a just 
comprehension of the true principles of the Constitution 
forbid utterly the formation of political parties on the foun- 
dation of the slavery question, and that the Union men will 
oppose to the utmost of their ability all attempts of the 
Federal Executive to commingle in any manner its peculiar 
views on the slavery question with that of maintaining the 
just powers of the Government. 

These resolutions axe important as showing the stand 
taken by a large portion of the Union party of the State in 
regard to any interference, as the result of the war or other- 
wise, by the General Government with the provisions of the 
Constitution with regard to slavery. 

After the writ of habeas corpus had been thus suspended, 
martial law, as a consequence, rapidly became all-powerful, 
and it continued in force during the war. That law is by 
Judge Black, in his argument before the Supreme Court in 
the case of ex parte Milligan, 1 shown to be simply the rule of 
irresponsible force. Law becomes helpless before it. Inter 
arma silent leges. 

On May 25, 1862, Judge Carmichael, an honored magistrate, 
while sitting in his court in Easton, was, by the provost 
marshal and his deputies, assisted by a body of military sent 
from Baltimore, beaten, and dragged bleeding from the bench, 
and then imprisoned, because he had on a previous occasion 
delivered a charge to the grand jury directing them to inquire 
into certain illegal acts and to indict the offenders. His 
imprisonment in Forts McHenry, Lafayette, and Delaware, 
lasted more than six months. On December 4, 1862, he was 

1 4 Wallace Sup. Court B. 2. 

94 Baltimore and the 19& of April, 1861. 

unconditionally released, no trial having been granted him, 
nor any charges made against him. On June 28, 1862, Judge 
Bartol, of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, was arrested 
and confined in Fort McHenry. He was released after a few 
days, without any charge being preferred against him, or any 
explanation given. 

-Spies and informers abounded. A rigid supervision was 
established. Disloyalty, so called, of any kind was a punish- 
able offense. Eebel colors, the red and white, were pro- 
hibited. They were not allowed to appear in shop-windows 
or on children's garments, or anywhere that might offend the 
Union sentiment. If a newspaper promulgated disloyal senti- 
ments, the paper was suppressed and the editor imprisoned. 
If a clergyman was disloyal in prayer or sermon, or if he 
failed to utter a prescribed prayer, he was liable to be treated 
in the same manner, and was sometimes so treated. A learned 
and eloquent Lutheran clergyman came to me for advice 
because he had been summoned before the provost marshal 
for saying that a nation which incurred a heavy debt in the 
prosecution of war laid violent hands on the harvests of the 
future ; but his offense was condoned, because it appeared that 
he had referred to the " Thirty Years' War " and had made no 
direct reference to the debt of the United States, and perhaps 
for a better reason that he had strong Eepublican friends 
among his congregation. 

If horses and fodder, fences and timber, or houses and land, 
were taken for the use of the Army, the owner was not en- 
titled to compensation unless he could prove that he was a 
loyal man ; and the proof was required to be furnished through 
some well-known loyal* person, who, of course, was usually 
paid for his services. Very soon no one was allowed to vote 
unless he was a loyal man, and soldiers at the polls assisted 
in settling the question of loyalty. 

Incidents of the War. 95 

Nearly all who approved of the war regarded these things 
as an inevitable military necessity ; but those who disapproved 
deeply resented them as unwarrantable violations of sacred 
constitutional rights. The consequence was that friendships 
were dissolved, the ties of blood severed, and an invisible but 
well-understood line divided the people. The bitterness and 
even the common mention of these acts have long since 
ceased, but the tradition survives and still continues to be a 
factor, silent, but not without influence, in the politics of the 

History repeats itself. There were deeds done on both 
sides which bring to mind the wars of England and Scotland 
and the border strife between those countries. There were 
Sittings to and fro, and adventures and hairbreadth escapes 
innumerable. Soldiers returned to visit their homes at the 
risk of their necks. Contraband of every description, and 
letters and newspapers, found their way across the border. 
The military lines were long and tortuous, and vulnerable 
points were not hard to find, and trusty carriers were ready 
to go anywhere for the love of adventure or the love of gain. 

The women were as deeply interested as the men, and 
were less apprehensive of personal consequences. In dif- 
ferent parts of the city, not excepting its stateliest square, 
where stands the marble column from which the fether of 
his country looked down, sadly as it were, on a divided 
people, there might have been found, by the initiated, 
groups of women who, with swift and skillful fingers, were 
fashioning and making garments strangely various in shape 
and kind some for Northern prisons where captives were 
confined, some for destitute homes beyond the Southern 
border, in which only women and children were left, and 
some for Southern camps where ragged soldiers were waiting 

96 Baltimore and the l$th of April, 1861. 

to be clad. The work was carried on not without its risks ; 
but little cared the workers for that. Perhaps the sensation 
of danger itself, and a spirit of resistance to an authority 
which they refused to recognize, gave zest to their toil ; nor 
did they always think it necessary to inform the good man 
of the house in which they were assembled either of their 
presence or of what was going on beneath his roof. 

The women who stood by the cause of the Union were not 
compelled to hide their charitable deeds from the light of day. 
No need for them to feed and clothe the soldiers of the Union, 
whose wants were amply supplied by a bountiful Govern- 
ment ; but with untiring zeal they visited the military hospi- 
tals on missions of mercy, and when the bloody fields of 
Antietam and Gettysburg were fought, both they and their 
Southern sisters hastened, though not with a common pur- 
pose, to the aid of the wounded and dying, the victims of 
civil strife and children of a common country. 








On the 10th of June, 1861, Major-General Nathaniel P. 
Banks, of Massachusetts, was appointed in the place of 
General Cadwallader to the command of the Department of 
Annapolis, with headquarters at Baltimore. On the 27th of 
June, General Banks arrested Marshal Kane and confined 
him in Fort McHenry. He then issued a proclamation 
announcing that he had superseded Marshal Kane and the 
commissioners of police, and that he had appointed Colonel 
John R. Kenly, of the First Regiment of Maryland Volun- 
teers, provost marshal, with the aid and assistance of the 
subordinate officers of the police department. 

The police commissioners, including the mayor, offered no 
resistance, but adopted and published a resolution declaring 
that, in the opinion of the board, the forcible suspension of 
their functions suspended at the same time the active opera- 
tion of the police law and put the officers and men off duty 
for the present, leaving them subject, however, to the rules 
and regulations of the service as to their personal conduct 
and deportment, and to the orders which the board might see 

98 Baltimore and the \Wi of April, 1861. 

fit thereafter to issue, when the present illegal suspension of 
their functions should be removed. 

The Legislature of Maryland, at its adjourned session 
on the 22d of June, passed a series of resolutions declaring 
that the unconstitutional and arbitrary proceedings of the 
Federal Executive had not been confined to the violation of 
the personal rights and liberties of the citizens of Mary- 
land, but had been so extended that the property of no 
man was safe, the sanctity of no dwelling was respected, 
and that the sacredness of private correspondence no longer 
existed; that the Senate and House of Delegates of Mary- 
land felt it due to her dignity and independence that 
history should not record the overthrow of public freedom 
for an instant within her borders, without recording likewise 
the indignant expression of her resentment and remonstrance, 
and they accordingly protested against the oppressive and 
tyrannical assertion and exercise of military jurisdiction 
within the limits of Maryland over the persons and property 
of her citizens by the Government of the United States, and 
solemnly declared the same to be subversive of the most 
sacred guarantees of the Constitution, and in flagrant violation 
of the fundamental and most cherished principles of American 
free government. 

On the first of July, the police commissioners were arrested 
and imprisoned by order of General Banks, on the ground, 
as he alleged in a proclamation, that the commissioners had 
refused to obey his decrees, or to recognize his appointees, and 
that they continued to hold the police force for some purpose 
not known to the Government. 

General Banks does not say what authority he had to 
make decrees, or what the decrees were which the commis- 
sioners had refused to obey; and as on the 27th of June he 

Marshal Kane Arrested. 99 

had imprisoned the marshal of police, and had put a provost 
marshal in his place, retaining only the subordinate officers 
of the police department, and had appointed instead of the 
men another body of police, all under the control of the 
provost marshal ; and as the commissioners had no right to 
discharge the police force established by a law of the State, 
and were left with no duties in relation to the police which 
they could perform, it is very plain that, whatever motive 
General Banks may have had for the arrest and imprisonment 
of the commissioners, it is not stated in his proclamation. 

One of the commissioners, Charles D. Hinks, was soon 
released in consequence of failing health. 

On the day of the arrest of the police commissioners the 
city was occupied by troops, who in large detachments, 
infantry and artillery, took up positions in Monument 
Square, Exchange Place, at Camden-street Station and other 
points, and they mounted guard and bivouacked in the streets 
for more than a week. 

On July 18th, the police commissioners presented to Con- 
gress a memorial in which they protested very vigorously 
against their unlawful arrest and imprisonment. 

On the 23d day of July, 1861, the mayor and city council 
of Baltimore addressed a memorial to the Senate and House 
of Representatives of the United States, in which, after 
describing the condition of affairs in Baltimore, they respect- 
fully, yet most earnestly, demanded, as matter of right, that 
their city might be governed according to the Constitution and 
laws of the United States and of the State of Maryland, that 
the citizens might be secure in their persons, houses, papers 
and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures; that 
they should not be deprived of life, liberty or property 
without due process of law; that the military should render 

100 Baltimore and the I9th of April, 1861. 

obedience to the civil authority; that the municipal laws 
should be respected, the officers released from imprisonment 
and restored to the lawful exercise of their functions, and 
that the police government established by law should be no 
longer impeded by armed force to the injury of peace and 
order. It is perhaps needless to add that the memorial met 
with no favor. 

On the 7th of August, 1861, the Legislature of the State, 
in a series of resolutions, denounced these proceedings in all 
their parts, pronouncing them, so far as they affected individ- 
uals, a gross and unconstitutional abuse of power which 
nothing could palliate or excuse, and, in their bearing upon 
the authority and constitutional powers and privileges of 
the State herself, a revolutionary subversion of the Federal 

The Legislature then adjourned, to meet on the 17th of 

On the 24th of July, 1861, General Dix had been placed 
in command of the Department, with his headquarters in 
Baltimore. On that day he wrote from Fort McHenry to the 
Assistant Adjutant-General for re-enforcement of the troops 
under his command. He said that there ought to be ten 
thousand men at Baltimore and Annapolis, and that he could 
not venture to respond for the quietude of the .Department 
with a smaller number. At Fort McHenry, as told by his 
biographer, he exhibited to some ladies of secession pro- 
clivities an immense colunabiad, and informed them that it 
was pointed to Monument Square, and if there was an up- 
rising that this piece would be the first he would fire. But 
the guns of Fort McHenry were not sufficient. He built on 
the east of the city a very strong work, which he called Fort 
Marshall, and he strengthened the earthwork on Federal 

Fort Federal HiU. 101 

Hill, in the southern part, so that the city lay under the 
guns of three powerful forts, with several smaller ones. 
Not satisfied with this, on the 15th of September, 1862, 
General Dix, after he had been transferred to another 
department, wrote to Major-General Halleck, then Com- 
mander-in-Chief, advising that the ground on which the 
earthwork on Federal Hill had been erected should be pur- 
chased at a cost of one hundred thousand dollars, and that it 
should be permanently fortified at an additional expense of 
$250,000. He was of opinion that although the great body of 
the people were, as he described them, eminently distinguished 
for their moral virtues, Baltimore had always contained a 
mass of inflammable material, which would ignite on the 
slightest provocation. He added that "Fort Federal Hill 
completely commanded the city, and is capable, from its 
proximity to the principal business quarters, of assailing any 
one without injury to the others. The hill seems to have 
been placed there by Nature as a site for a permanent citadel, 
and I beg to suggest whether a neglect to appropriate it to 
its obvious design would not be an unpardonable dereliction 
of duty." 

These views were perhaps extreme even for a major-general 
commanding in Baltimore, especially as by this time the dis- 
orderly element which infests all cities had gone over to the 
stronger side, and was engaged in the pious work of per- 
secuting rebels. General Halleck, even after this solemn 
warning, left Federal Hill to the protection of its earthwork. 

The opinion which General Dix had of Baltimore ex- 
tended, though in a less degree, to a large portion of the 
State, and was shared, in part at least, not only by the other 
military commanders, but by the Government at Washington. 

On the Hth of September, 1861, Simon Cameron, Secre- 

102 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861. 

tary of War, wrote the following letter to Major-General 
Banks, who was at this time in command of a division in 
Maryland : 

" WAR DEPARTMENT, September 11, 18C1. 

*' General : The passage of any act of secession by the Legislature of 
Maryland must be prevented. If necessary, all or any part of the mem- 
bers must be arrested. Eaercise your own judgment as to the time and 
manner, but do the work effectively." 

On the 12th of September, Major-General McClellan, 
Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Potomac, wrote a 
confidential letter to General Banks reciting that " after full 
consultation with the President, Secretary of State, War, etc., 
it has been decided to effect the operation proposed for the 
17th." The 17th was the day fixed for the meeting of the 
General Assembly, and the operation to be performed was 
the arrest of some thirty members of that body, and other 
persons besides. Arrangements had been made to have a 
Government steamer at Annapolis to receive the prisoners 
and convey them to their destination. The plan was to be 
arranged with General Dix and Governor Seward, and the 
letter closes with leaving this exceedingly important affair to 
the tact and discretion of General Banks, and impressing on 
him the absolute necessity of secrecy and success. 

Accordingly, a number of the most prominent members of 
the Legislature, myself, as mayor of Baltimore, and editors 
of newspapers, and other citizens, were arrested at midnight. 
I was arrested at my country home, near the Relay House 
on the Baltimore and Ohio Eailroad, by four policemen and 
a guard of soldiers. The soldiers were placed in both front 
and rear of the house, while the police rapped violently on 
the front door. I had gone to bed, but was still awake, for. 
I had some apprehension of danger. I immediately arose, 

Arrest of the Mayor and Offiers. 103 

and opening my bed-room window, asked the intruders what 
they wanted. They replied that they wanted Mayor Brown. 
I asked who wanted him, and they answered, the Government 
of the United States. I then inquired for their warrant, but 
they had none. After a short time spent in preparation I 
took leave of my wife and children, and closely guarded, 
walked down the high hill on which the house stands to the 
foot, where a carriage was waiting for me. The soldiers went 
no farther, but I was driven in charge of the police seven 
miles to Baltimore and through the city to Fort McHenry, 
where to my surprise I found myself a fellow-prisoner in a 
company of friends and well-known citizens. We were im- 
prisoned for one night in Fort McHenry, next in Fort 
Monroe for about two weeks, next in Fort Lafayette for about 
six weeks, and finally in Fort TParren. Henry May, mem- 
ber of Congress from Baltimore, was arrested at the same 
time, but was soon released. 

Col. Scharf, in his "History of Maryland/' Volume III, 
says : " It was originally intended that they (the prisoners) 
should be confined in the fort at the Dry Tortugas, but as 
there was no fit steamer in Hampton Roads to make the 
voyage, the programme was changed." 1 

The apprehension that the Legislature intended to pass an 
act of secession, as intimated by Secretary Cameron, was, in 
view of the position in which the State was placed, and the 
whole condition of afiairs, so absurd that it is difficult to 
believe that he seriously entertained it. The blow was no 
doubt, however, intended to strike with terror the opponents 
of the war, and was one of the effective means resorted to 
by the Government to obtain, as it soon did, entire control 
of the State. 

1 See also the " Chronicles of Baltimore " by the same author. 

104 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

As the events of the 19th of April had occurred nearly five 
months previously, and I was endeavoring to perform my 
duties as mayor, in obedience to law, without giving offense 
to either the civil or military authorities of the Government, 
the only apparent reason for my arrest grew out of a difficulty 
in regard to the payment of the police appointed by General 
Banks. In July a law had been passed by Congress appro- 
priating one hundred thousand dollars for the purpose of 
such payment, but it was plain that a similar expenditure 
would not long be tolerated by Congress. In this emergency 
an intimation came to me indirectly from Secretary Seward, 
through a common acquaintance, that I was expected to pay 
the Government police out of the funds appropriated by law 
for the city police. I replied that any such payment would 
be illegal and was not within my power. 

Soon afterwards I received the following letter from Gen- 
eral Dix, which I insert, together with the correspondence 
which followed : 


" BALTIMORE, MD., September 3, 1861. 
" To Hon. GEO. WM. BROWN, Mayor of tJie City of Baltimore. 

" fSir : Reasons of state, "which I deem imperative, demand that the 
payment of compensation to the members of the old city police, who were, 
by a resolution of the Board of Police Commissioners, dated the 27th of 
June last, declared * off duty,' and whose places were filled in pursuance 
of an order of MaJor-General Banks of the same date, should cease. I 
therefore direct, by virtue of the authority vested in me as commanding 
officer of the military forces of the Fnited States in Baltimore and its 
vicinity, that no further payment be made to them* 

** Independently of all other considerations, the continued compensation 
of a body of men who have been suspended iu their functions by the order 
of the Government, is calculated to bring its authority into disrespect ; 
and the extraction from the citizens of Baltimore by taxation, in a time of 
general depression and embarrassment, of a sum amounting to several 
hundred thousand dollars a year for the payment of nominal officials who 

Correspondence with General Dix. 105 

render it no service, cannot fail by creating widespread dissatisfaction to 
disturb the quietude of the city, which I am most anxious to preserve. 

* ' I feel assured that the payment would have been voluntarily discontinued 
by yourself, as a violation of the principle on which all compensation is 
bestowed as a remuneration for an equivalent service actually performed 
had you not considered yourself bound by existing laws to make it. 

"This order will relieve you from the embarrassment, and I do not 
doubt that it will be complied with. 

" I am, very respectfully, 

" Your obedient servant, 

" JOHN A. Dix, 
" Major-General Commandwig. 9 * 


" BALTIMORE, September 5, 1861. 
" Major-General JOHN A. Dix, Baltimore, Md. 

"Sir: I was not in town yesterday, and did not receive until this 
morning your letter of the 3d inst. ordering that no further payment be 
made to the members of the city police. 

*' The payments have been made heretofore in pursuance of the laws of 
the State, under the advice of the City Counsellor, by the Register, the 
Comptroller and myself. 

" Without entering into a discussion of the considerations which you 
have deemed sufficient to justify this proceeding, I feel it to be my duty 
to enter my protest against this interference, by military authority, with 
the exercise of powers lawfully committed by the State of Maryland to the 
officers of the city corporation ; but it is nevertheless not the intention of 
the city authorities to offer resistance to the order which you have issued, 
and I shall therefore give public notice to the officers and men of the city 
police that no further payments may be expected by them. 

" There is an arrearage of pay of two weeks due to the force, and the 
men have by the law and rules of the board been prevented from engag- 
ing in any other business or occupation. Most of them have families, who 
are entirely dependent for support on the pay received. 

" I do not understand your order as meaning to prohibit the payment of 
this arrearage, and shall therefore proceed to make it, unless prevented 
by your further order. 

" I am, very respectfully, 

" Your obedient servant, 

" Gteo. WM. BBOWIT, 
" Mayor of Baltimore." 

106 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 


" BALTIMORE, MD., September 9, 1861. 
" Hon. GEO. WM. BROWN, Mayor of the City of Baltimore. 

Sfa : Your letter of the 5th. inst. was duly received. I cannot, 
without acquiescing in the violation of a principle, assent to the payment 
of an arrearage to the members of the old city police, as suggested in the 
closing paragraph of your letter. 

" It was the intention of my letter to prohibit any payment to them sub- 
sequently to the Say on which it was written. 

"You will please, therefore, to consider this as the 'further order* 
referred to by you. 

** I am, very respectfully, 

" Your obedient servant, 


"Major-General Commanding." 


" BALTIMORE, September 11, 1861. 
" Major-General JOHN A. Dix, Baltimore. 

" Sir ;- I did not come to town yesterday until the afternoon, and then 
ascertained that my letters had been sent out to my country residence, 
where, on my return last evening, I found yours of the 9th, in reply to 
mine of the 5th instant, awaiting me. It had been left at the mayor's 
office yesterday morning. 

" Before leaving the mayor's office, about three o'clock P. M. on the 
9th instant, and not having received any reply from you, I had signed a 
check- for the payment of arrears due the police, and the money was on 
the same day drawn out of the bank and handed over to the proper officers, 
and nearly the entire amount was by them paid to the police force before 
the receipt of your letter. 

f * The suggestion in your letter as to the ' violation of a principle ' requires 
me to add that I recognize in the action of the Government of the United 
States in the matter in question nothing but the assertion of superior force. 
"Out of regard to the great interests committed to my charge as chief 
magistrate of the city, I have yielded to that force, and do not feel it neces- 
sary to enter into any discussion of the principles upon which the Govern- 
ment sees fit to exercise it. , 
" Very respectfully, 

" Your obedient servant, 



General Dix. 107 

The reasons which General Dix assigned for prohibiting 
me from paying the arrearages due the police present a 
curious combination. First, there were reasons of State; 
next, the respect due to the Government; third, his concern 
for the taxpayers of Baltimore; fourth, the danger to the 
quiet of the city which he apprehended might arise from the 
payment ; and, finally, there was a principle which he must 
protect from violation, but what that principle was he did 
not state. 

A striking commentary on these reasons was furnished on 
the llth of December, 1863, by a decision of the Court of 
Appeals of Maryland in the case of the Mayor, etc., of Balti- 
more vs. Charles Howard and others, reported in 20th Mary- 
land Rep., p. 335. The question was whether the interfer- 
ence by the Government of the United States with the Board 
of Police and police force established by law in the city of 
Baltimore was without authority of law and did in any 
manner affect or impair the rights or invalidate the acts of 
the board. The court held that, though the board was dis- 
placed by a force to which they yielded and could not resist, 
their power and rights under their organization were still 
preserved, and that they were amenable for any dereliction 
of official duty, except in so far as they were excused by un- 
controllable events. And the court decided that Mr. Hinks, 
one of the police commissioners, whose case was alone before- 
the court, was entitled to his salary, which had accrued after 
the board was so displaced. 

Subsequently, after the close of the war, the Legislature 
of the State passed an act for the payment of all arrearages 
due to the men of the police subsequent to their displacement 
by the Government of the United States and until their dis- 
charge by the Government of the State. 

108 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

It will be perceived that General Dix delayed replying to 
my letter of the 5th of September until the 9th ; that his 
reply was not left at the mayor's office until the tenth, and 
that in the meantime, on the afternoon of the 9th, after wait- 
ing for his reply for four days, I paid the arrears due the 
police, as I had good reason to suppose he intended I should. 

A friend of mine, a lawyer of Baltimore, and a pronounced 
Union man, has, since then, informed me that General Dix 
showed him my letter of the 5th before my arrest ; that my 
Mend asked him whether he had replied to it, and the General 
replied he had not. My friend answered that he thought 
a reply was due to me. From all this it does not seem 
uncharitable to believe that the purpose of General Dix 
was to put me in the false position of appearing to disobey 
his order and thus to furnish an excuse for my imprison- 
ment. This lasted until the 27th of November, 1862, a short 
time after my term of office had expired, when there was a 
sudden and unexpected release of all the State prisoners in 
Fort Warren, where we were then confined. 

On the 26th of November, 1862, Colonel Justin Dimick, 
commanding at Fort Warren, received the following tele- 
graphic order from the Adjutant-General's Office, Washing- 
ton : " The Secretary of War directs that you release all the 
Maryland State prisoners, also any other State prisoners that 
may be in your custody, and report to this office." 

In pursuance of this order, Colonel Dimick on the follow- 
ing day released from Fort Warren the following State 
prisoners, without imposing any condition upon them what- 
ever : Severn Teackle Wallis, Henry M. Warfield, William 
G. Harrison, T. Parkin Scott, ex-members of the Maryland 
Legislature from Baltimore; George William Brown, ex- 
Mayor of Baltimore; Charles Howard and William H* 

Release of Prisoners. 109 

Gatchefl, ex-Police Commissioners; George P. Kane, ex- 
Marshal of Police ; Frank Key Howard, one of the editors 
of the Baltimore Exchange; Thomas W. Hall, editor of the 
Baltimore South; Robert Hull, merchant, of Baltimore ; Dr. 
Charles Macgill, of Hagerstown; William H. Winder, of 
Philadelphia ; and B. L. Cutter, of Massachusetts. 

General Wool, then in command in Baltimore, issued an 
order declaring that thereafter no person should be arrested 
within the limits of the Department except by his order, and 
in all such cases the charges against the accused party were 
to be sworn to before a justice of the peace. 

As it was intimated that these gentlemen had entered into 
some engagement as the condition of their release, Mr. 
Wallis, while in New York on his return home, took occa- 
sion to address a letter on the subject to the editor of the 
New York World, in which he said : "No condition what- 
ever was sought to be imposed, and none would have been 
accepted, as the Secretary of War well knew. Speaking of 
my fellow-prisoners from Maryland, I have a right to say 
that they maintained to the last the principle which they' 
asserted from the first namely, that, if charged with crime, 
they were entitled to be charged, held and tried in due form 
of law and not otherwise ; and thai, in the absence of lawful 
accusation and process, it was their right to be discharged 
without terms or conditions of any sort, and they would 
submit to none." 

Many of our fellow-prisoners were from necessity not able 
to take this stand. There were no charges against them, but 
there weare imperative duties which required their presence 
at home, and when the Government at Washington adopted 
the policy of offering liberty to those who would consent to 
take an oath of allegiance prepared for the occasion, they had 
been compelled to accept it. 

110 Baltimore and the 19$, of April, 1861. 

Before this, in December, 1861, the Government at Wash- 
ington, on application of friends, had granted me a parole for 
thirty days, that I might attend to some important private 
business, and for that time I stayed with kind relatives, 
tinder the terms of the parole, in Boston. 

The following correspondence, which then took place, will 
show the position which I maintained: 

" BOSTON, January 4, 1862. 
" Marshal KEYS, Boston. 

" Sir :I called twice to see you during this week, and in your absence 
had an understanding with your deputy that I was to surrender myself to 
you this morning, on the expiration of my parole, in time to be conveyed 
to Fort Warren, and I have accordingly done so. 

" As you have not received any instructions from "Washington in regard 
to the course to be pursued with me, I shall consider myself in your custody 
until you have had ample time to write to Washington and obtain a reply. 

" I desire it, however, to be expressly understood that no further ex- 
tension of my parole is asked for, or would be accepted at this time. 

" It is my right and my wish to return to Baltimore, to resume the per- 
formance of my official and private duties. Respectfully, 



" WASHINGTON, January 6, 1862. 
"JOHN S. KEYS, Esq., TJ. S. Marshal, Boston. 

*' Sir : Your letter of the 4th inst, relative to George W. Brown, has 
been received. 

" In reply, I have to inform you that, if he desires it, you may extend 
his parole to the period of thirty days. If not, you will please recommit 
him to Fort Warren and report to this Department. 
*' I am, sir, very respectfully, 

" Your obedient servant, 

" F. W. SEWAED, 
" Acting Secretary of State." 

*' BOSTON, January 10, 1862. 
" Marshal KEYS, Boston. 

" Sir ; In my note to you of the 4th mat. I stated that I did not desire 

Colonel Dimick. Ill 

a renewal of my parole, but that it was my right and wish to return to 
Baltimore, to resume the performance of my private and official duties. 

" My note was, in substance, as you informed me, forwarded to Hon. 
W. H. Seward, Secretary of State, in a letter from you to him. 

" In reply to your communication, F. "W. Seward, Acting Secretary of 
State, wrote to you under date of the 6th inst, that * you may extend the 
parole of George W. Brown if he desires it, but if not, you are directed to 
recommit him to Fort Warren.' 

" It was hardly necessary to give me the option of an extension of parole 
which I had previously declined, but the offer renders it proper for me to 
say that the parole was applied for by my friends, to enable me to attend 
to important private business, affecting the interests of others as well as 
myself ; that the necessities growing out of this particular matter of busi- 
ness no longer exist, and that I cannot consistently with my ideas of pro- 
priety, by accepting a renewal of the parole, place myself in the position 
of seeming to acquiesce in a prolonged and illegal banishment from my 
home and duties. Respectfully, 


On the llth of January, 1862, 1 returned to Fort Warren, 
and on the 14th an offer was made to renew and extend my 
parole to ninety days upon condition that I would not pass 
south of Hudson Kiver. This offer I declined. My term of 
office expired on the 12th of November, 1862, and soon 
afterwards I was released, as I have just stated. 

It is not my purpose to enter into an account of the trials 
and hardships of prison-life in the crowded forts in which we 
were successively confined under strict and sometimes very 
harsh military rule, but it is due to the memory of the com- 
mander at Fort Warren, Colonel Justin Dimick, that I 
should leave on record the warm feelings of respect and 
friendship with which he was regarded by the prisoners who 
knew him best, for the unvarying kindness and humanity 
with which he performed the difficult and painful duties of 
his office. As far as he was permitted to do so, he promoted 
the comfort and convenience of all, and after the war was 

112 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

over and he had been advanced to the rank of General, he 
came to Baltimore as the honored guest of one of his former 
prisoners^ and while there received the warm and hearty 
greeting of others of his prisoners who still survived. 



I have now completed my task; but perhaps it will be 
expected that I should clearly define my own position. I 
have no objection to do so. 

Both from feeling and on principle I had always been 
opposed to slavery the result in part of the teaching and 
example of my parents, and confirmed by my own reading 
and observation. In early manhood I became prominent in 
defending the rights of the free colored people of Maryland. 
In the year 1846 I was associated with a small number of 
persons, of whom the Rev. William 3T. Brand, author of the 
"Life of Bishop Whittingham," and myself, are the only 
survivors. The other members of the association were Dr. 
Richard S. Steuart, for many years President of the Maryland 
Hospital for the Insane, and himself a slaveholder ; Gallo- 
way Cheston, a merchant and afterwards President of the 
Board of Trustees of the Johns Hopkins University; 
Frederick W. Brune, my brother-in-law and law-partner ; 
and Ramsay McHenry, planter. We were preparing to initiate 
a movement tending to a gradual emancipation within the 
State, but the growing hostility between the North and the 
South rendered the plan wholly impracticable, and it was 

My opinions, however, did not lead me into sympathy with 
the abolition party. I knew that slavery had existed almost 
everywhere in the world, and still existed in some places, 

114 Baltimore ami the 19th of April, 1861. 

and that, whatever might be its character elsewhere, it was 
not in the Southern States " the sum of all villainy." On 
the contrary, it had assisted materially in the development 
of the race. Nowhere else, I believe, had negro slaves been 
so well treated, on the whole, and had advanced so far in 
civilization. They had learned the necessity, as well as the 
habit, of labor ; the importance to some extent at least of 
thrift; the essential distinctions between right and wrong, and 
the inevitable difference to the individual between right-doing 
and wrong-doing ; the duty of obedience to law ; and not least 
some conception, dim though it might be, of the inspiring 
teachings of the Christian religion. They had learned also 
to cherish a feeling of respect and good will towards the best 
portion of the white race, to whom they looked up, and whom 
they imitated. 

I refused to enlist in a crusade against slavery, not only 
on constitutional grounds, but for other reasons. If the 
slaves were freed and clothed with the right of sufirage, they 
would be incapable of using it properly. If the suffrage were 
withheld, they would be subjected to the oppression of the 
white race without the protection afforded by their masters. 
Thus I could see no prospect of maintaining harmony with- 
out a disastrous change in our form of government such as 
prevailed after the war, in what is called the period of recon- 
struction. If there were entire equality, and an interming- 
ling of the two races, it would not, as it seemed to me, be for 
the benefit of either. I knew how strong are race preju- 
dices, especially when stimulated by competition and interest ; 
how cruelly the foreigners, as they were called, had been 
treated by the people in California, and the Indians by our 
people everywhere; ajid how, in my own city, citizens were 
for years ruthlessly deprived by the Know-Nothing party 

A Pwsonal Chapter. 115 

of the right of suffrage, some because they were of foreign 
birth, and some because they were Catholics. The prob- 
lem of slavery was to me a Gordian knot which I knew 
not how to untie, and which I dared not attempt to cut with 
the sword. Such a severance involved the horrors of civil 
war, with the wickedness and demoralization which were 
sure to follow. 

I was deeply attached to the Union from a feeling imbibed 
in early childhood and constantly strengthened by knowledge 
and personal experience* I did not believe in secession as a 
constitutional right, and in Maryland there was no sufficient 
ground for revolution. It was clearly for her interest to 
remain in the Union and to free her slaves. An attempt to 
secede or to revolt would have been an act of folly which I 
deprecated, although I did believe that she, in common with 
the rest of the South, had constitutional rights in regard to 
slavery which the North was not willing to respect. 

It was my opinion that the Confederacy would prove to be 
a rope of sand. I thought that the seceding States should have 
been allowed to depart in peace, as General Scott advised, and 
I believed that afterwards the necessities of the situation and 
their own interest would induce them to return, severally, per- 
haps, to the old Union, but with slavery peacefully abolished; 
for, in the nature of things, I knew that slavery could not 
last forever. 

Whether or not my opinions were sound and iny hopes well 
founded, is now a matter of little importance, even to myself, 
but they were at least sincere and were not concealed. 

There can be no true union in a Republic unless the parts 
are held together by a feeling of common interest, and also of 
mutual respect. 

That there is a common interest no reasonable person can 

116 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

doubt ; but this is not sufficient ; and, happily, there is a solid 
basis for mutual respect also. 

I have already stated the grounds on which, from their 
point of view, the Southern people were justified in their 
revolt, and even in the midst of the war I recognized what 
the South is gradually coming to recognize that the grounds 
on which the Northern people waged war love of the Union 
and hatred of slavery were also entitled to respect. 

I believe that the results achieved namely, the preserva- 
tion of the Union and the abolition of slavery are worth all 
they have cost. 

And yet I feel that I am living in a different land from 
that in which I was born, and under a different Constitution, 
and that new perils have arisen sufficient to cause great 
anxiety. Some of these are the consequences of the war, and 
some are due to other- causes. But every generation must 
encounter its own trials, and should extract benefit from them 
if it can. The grave problems growing out of emancipation 
seem to have found a solution in an improving education of 
the whole people. Perhaps education is the true means of 
escape from the other perils to which I have alluded. 

Let me state them as they appear to me to exist. 

Vast fortunes, which astonish the world, have suddenly 
been acquired, very many by methods of more than doubtful 
honesty, while the fortunes themselves are so used as to benefit 
neither the possessors nor the country. 

Eepublican simplicity has ceased to be a reality, except 
where it exists as a survival in rural districts, and is hardly 
now mentioned even as a phrase. It has been superseded by 
republican luxury and ostentation. The mass of the people, 
who cannot afford to indulge in either, are sorely tempted to 
covet both. 

A Personal Chapter. 117 

The individual man does not rely, as he formerly did, on 
his own strength and manhood. Organization for a common 
purpose is resorted to wherever organization is possible. 
Combinations of capital or of labor, ruled by a few individ- 
uals, bestride the land with immense power both for good and 
evil. In these combinations the individual counts for little, 
and is but little concerned about his own moral responsibility. 

"When De Tocqueville, in 1838, wrote his remarkable 
book on Democracy in America, he expressed his surprise to 
observe how every public question was submitted to the 
decision of the people, and that, when the people had decided, 
the question was settled. Now politicians care little about 
the opinions of the people, because the people care little about 
opinions. Bosses have come into existence to ply their vile 
trade of office-brokerage. Rings are formed in which the 
bosses are masters and the voters their henchmen. Formerly 
decent people could not be bought either with money or offices. 
Political parties have always some honest foundation, but 
rings are factions like those of Eome in her decline, having 
no foundation but public plunder. 

Communism, socialism, and labor strikes have taken the 
place of slavery agitation. Many people have come to believe 
that this is a paternal Government from which they have a 
right to ask for favors, and not a Republic in which all are 
equal. Hence States, cities, corporations, individuals, and 
especially certain favored classes, have no scruple in getting 
money somehow or other, directly or indirectly, out of the 
purse of the Nation, as if the Nation had either purse or 
property which does not belong to the people, for the benefit 
of the whole people, without favor or partiality towards any. 

In many ways there is a dangerous tendency towards the 
centralization of power in the National Government, with 
little opposition on the part of the people. 

118 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

Paper money is held by the Supreme Court to be a lawful 
substitute for gold and silver coin, partly on the ground that 
this is the prerogative of European governments. 1 This is 
strange constitutional doctrine to those who were brought up 
in the school of Marshall, Story, and Chancellor Kent. 

The administration of cities has grown more and more 
extravagant and corrupt, thus leading to the creation of 
immense debts which oppress the people and threaten to 
become unmanageable. 

The national Congress, instead of faithfully administering 
its trust, has become reckless and wasteful of the public money. 

But, notwithstanding all this, I rejoice to believe that there 
is a reserve of power in the American people which has never 
yet failed to redress great wrongs when they have come to be 
fully recognized and understood. 

A striking instance of this is to be found in the temper- 
ance movement, which, extreme as it may be in some respects, 
shows that the conscience of the entire country is aroused on 
a subject of vast difficulty and importance. 

And other auspicious signs exist, the chief of which I think 
are that a new zeal is manifested in the cause of education ; 
bhat people of all creeds come together as they never did 
before to help in good works ; that an independent press, 
>ent on enlightening, not deceiving, the people, is making 
tself heard and respected ; and that younger men, who rep- 
i esent the best hopes and aspirations of the time, are pressing 
brward to take the k place of the politicians of a different 
chool, who represent chiefly their own selfish interests, or else 
period of hate and discord which has passed away forever. 

These considerations give me hope and confidence in the 
Duntry as it exists to-day. 

1 Legal Tender Case, Vol. 110 U. S. Reports, p. 421. 

A Personal Chapter. 119 

Baltimore is the place of raj birth, of my home, and of my 
affections. No one could be bound to his native city by ties 
stronger than mine. Perhaps, in view of the incidents of the 
past, as detailed in this volume, I may be permitted to 
express to the good people of Baltimore my sincere and pro- 
found gratitude for the generous and unsolicited confidence 
which, on different occasions, they have reposed in me, and 
for their good will and kind feeling, which have never been 
withdrawn during the years, now not a few, which I have 
spent in their service. 


The following account of the alleged conspiracy to assassi- 
nate Abraham Lincoln on his journey to Baltimore is taken 
from the " Life of Abraham Lincoln," by Ward H. Lamon, 
pp. 511-526 : 

"Whilst Mr. Lincoln, in the midst of his suite and 
attendants, was being borne in triumph through the streets 
of Philadelphia, and a countless multitude of people were 
shouting themselves hoarse, and jostling and crushing each 
other around his carriage-wheels, Mr. Felton, the President 
of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railway, was 
engaged with a private detective discussing the details of an 
alleged conspiracy to murder him at Baltimore. Some 
months before, Mr. Felton, apprehending danger to the 
bridges along his line, had taken this man into his pay and 
sent him to Baltimore to spy out and report any plot that 
might be found for their destruction. Taking with him a 
couple of other men and a woman, the detective went about 
his business with the zeal which necessarily marks his 
peculiar profession. He set up as a stock-broker, under an 
assumed name, opened an office, and became a vehement 
secessionist. His agents were instructed to act with the 
duplicity which such men generally use; to be rabid on the 
subject of ' Southern Rights '; to suggest all manner of crimes 
in vindication of them ; and if, by these arts, corresponding 
sentiments should be elicited from their victims, the 'job' 
might be considered as prospering. Of course they readily 

Lamon's Account of the Alleged Conspiracy. 121 

found out what everybody else knew that Maryland was in 
a state of great alarm; that her people were forming military 
associations, and that Governor Hicks was doing his utmost 
to furnish them with arms, on condition that the arms, in 
case of need, should be turned against the Federal Govern- 
ment. Whether they detected any plan to burn bridges or 
not, the chief detective does not relate ; but it appears that 
he soon deserted that inquiry and got, or pretended to get, 
upon a scent that promised a heavier reward. Being in- 
tensely ambitious to shine in the professional way, and some- 
thing of a politician besides, it struck him that it would be a 
particularly fine thing to discover a dreadful plot to assassinate 
the President-elect, and he discovered it accordingly. It 
was easy to get that far; to furnish tangible proofs of an 
imaginary conspiracy was a more difficult matter. But 
Baltimore was seething with political excitement ; numerous 
strangers from the fer South crowded its hotels and boarding- 
houses ; great numbers of mechanics and laborers out of 
employment encumbered its streets; and everywhere poli- 
ticians, merchants, mechanics, laborers and loafers were 
engaged in heated discussions about the anticipated war, and 
the probability of Northern troops being marched through 
Maryland to slaughter and pillage beyond the Potomac. It 
would seem like an easy thing to beguile a few individuals of 
this angry and excited multitude into the expression of some 
criminal desire; and the opportunity was not wholly lost, 
although the limited success of the detective under such 
favorable circumstances is absolutely wonderful. He put his 
* shadows 9 upon several persons whom it suited his pleasure 
to suspect, and the ' shadows ' pursued their work with the 
keen zest and the cool treachery of their kind. They reported 
daily to their chief in writing, as he reported in turn to his 

122 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

employer. These documents are neither edifying nor useful : 
they prove nothing but the baseness of the vocation which 
gave them existence. They were furnished to Mr. Herndon 
in full, under the impression that partisan feeling had ex- 
tinguished in him the love of truth and the obligations of 
candor, as it had in many writers who preceded him on the 
same subject-matter. They have been carefully and thoroughly 
read, analyzed, examined and compared, with an earnest and 
conscientious desire to discover the truth, if, perchance, any 
trace of truth might be in them. The process of investigation 
began with a strong bias in favor of the conclusion at which 
the detective had arrived. For ten years the author im- 
plicitly believed in the reality of the atrocious plot which 
these spies were supposed to have detected and thwarted; 
and for ten years he had pleased himself with the reflection 
that he also had done something to defeat the bloody purpose 
of the assassins. It was a conviction which could scarcely 
have been overthrown by evidence less powerful than the 
detective's weak and contradictory account of his own case. 
In that account there is literally nothing to sustain the 
accusation, and much to rebut it. It is perfectly manifest 
that there was no conspiracy no conspiracy of a hundred, of 
fifty, of twenty, of three no definite purpose in the heart 
of even one man to murder Mr. Lincoln at Baltimore. 

" The reports are all in the form of personal narratives, 
and for the most relate when the spies went to bed, when 
they rose, where they ate, what saloons and brothels they 
visited, and what blackguards they met and ' drinked ; with. 
One of them shadowed a loud-mouthed drinking fellow 
named Luckett, and another, a poor scapegrace and brag- 
gart named Hilliard. These wretches ' drinked ' and talked 
a great deal, hung about bars, haunted disreputable houses, 

Lamon's Account of the Alleged Conspiracy. 123 

were constantly half drunk, and easily excited to use big and 
threatening words by the faithless protestations and cunning 
management of the spies. Thus Hilliard was made to say 
that he thought a man who should act the part of Brutus in 
these times would deserve well of his country ; and Luckett 
was induced to declare that he knew a man who would kill 
Lincoln. At length the great arch-conspirator the Brutus, 
the Orsini of the New "World, to whom Luckett and Hilliard, 
the ' national volunteers/ and all such, were as mere puppets 
condescended to reveal himself in the most obliging and 
confiding manner. He made no mystery of his cruel and 
desperate scheme. He did not guard it as a dangerous 
secret, or choose his confidants with the circumspection which 
political criminals, and especially assassins, have generally 
thought proper to observe. Very many persons knew what 
he was about, and levied on their friends for small sums 
five, ten and twenty dollars to further the Captain's plan. 
Even Luckett was deep enough in the awful plot to raise 
money for it ; and when he took one of the spies to a public 
bar-room and introduced him to the ' Captain/ the latter sat 
down and talked it all over without the slightest reserve. 
When was there ever before such a loud-mouthed conspirator, 
such a trustful and innocent assassin! TTis name was Fer- 
randini, his occupation that of a barber, his place of business 
beneath Barnum's Hotel, where the sign of the bloodthirsty 
villain still invites the unsuspecting public to come in for a 

" * Mr. Luckett/ so the spy relates, ' said that he was not 
going home this evening; and if I would meet him at Barr^s 
saloon, on South street, he would introduce me to Ferrandini. 
This was unexpected to me; but I determined to take the 
chances, and agreed to meet Mr. Luckett at the place named 

124 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

at 7 P. M. Mr. Luckett left about 2.30 P. M., and I went 
to dinner. 

" ' I was at the office in the afternoon in hopes that Mr. 
Felton might call, but he did not ; and at 6.15 P. M. I went 
to supper. After supper I went to Barr's saloon, and found 
Mr. Luckett and several other gentlemen there. He asked 
me to drink, and introduced me to Captain Ferrandini and 
Captain Turner. He eulogized me very highly as a neighbor 
of his, and told Ferrandini that I was the gentleman who 
had given the twenty-five dollars he (Luckett) had given to 

"* The conversation at once got into politics; and Ferran- 
dini, who is a fine-looking, intelligent-appearing person, be- 
came very excited. He shows the Italian in, I think, a very 
marked degree ; and, although excited, yet was cooler than 
what I had believed was the general characteristic of Italians. 
He has lived South for many years, and is thoroughly imbued 
with the idea that the South must rule ; that they (Southern- 
ers) have been outraged in their rights by the election of 
Lincoln, and freely justified resorting to any means to prevent 
Lincoln from taking his seat; and, as he spoke, his eyes 
fairly glared and glistened, and his whole frame quivered ; 
but he was fdlly conscious of all he was doing. He is a man 
well calculated for controlling and directing the ardent- 
minded ; he is an enthusiast, and believes that, to use his 
own words, "murder of any kind is justifiable and right to 
save the rights of the Southern people." In all his views he 
was ably seconded by Captain Turner. 

" ' Captain Turner is an American ; but although very 
much of a gentleman, and possessing warm Southern feelings, 
he is not by any means so dangerous a man as Ferrandini, as 
his ability for exciting others is less powerful ; but that he is 

Lamon's Account of ffie Alleged Conspiracy. 125 

a bold and proud man there is no doubt, as also that he is 
entirely under the control of Ferrandini. In feet, he could 
not be otherwise, for even I myself felt the influence of this 
man's strange power ; and, wrong though I knew him to be, 
I felt strangely unable to keep my mind balanced against 

" < Ferrandini said, " Never, never, shall Lincoln be Presi- 
dent !" His life (Ferrandini's) was of no consequence ; he 
was willing to give it up for Lincoln's ; he would sell it for 
that abolitionist's ; and as Orsini had given his life for Italy, 
so was he (Ferrandini) ready to die for his country and the 
rights of the South; and said Ferrandini, turning to Captain 
Turner, " "We shall all die together : we shall show the North 
that we fear them not. Every man, Captain," said he, " will 
on that day prove himself a hero. The first shot fired, the 
main traitor (Lincoln) dead, and all Maryland will be with 
us, and the South shall be free ; and the North must then be 
ours. Mr. Hutchins," said Ferrandini, "if I alone must do 
it, I shall : Lincoln shall die in this city." 

" 'Whilst we were thus talking, we (Mr. Luckett, Turner, 
Ferrandini and myself) were alone in one corner of the bar- 
room, and, while talking, two strangers had got pretty near 
us. Mr. Luckett called Ferrandini's attention to this, and 
intimated that they were listening ; and we went up to the bar, 
drinked again at my expense, and again retired to another 
part of the room, at Ferrandini's request, to see if the 
strangers would again follow us. Whether by accident or 
design, they again got near us ; but of course we were not 
talking of any matter of consequence. Ferrandini said he 
suspected they were spies, and suggested that he had to 
attend a secret meeting, and was apprehensive that the two 
strangers might follow him ; and, at Mr. Luckettfs request, 

126 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

I remained with him (Luckett) to watch the movements of 
the strangers. I assured Ferrandini that if they would 
attempt to follow him, we would whip them. 

" < Ferrandini and Turner left to attend the meeting, and, 
anxious as I was to follow them myself, I was obliged to 
remain with Mr. Luckett to watch the strangers, which we 
did for about fifteen minutes, when Mr. Luckett said that he 
should go to a friend's to stay over night, and I left for my 
hotel, arriving there at about 9 P. M., and soon retired/ 

" It is in a secret communication between hireling spies and 
paid informers that these ferocious sentiments are attributed 
to the poor knight of the soap-pot. No disinterested person 
would believe the story upon such evidence; and it will 
appear hereafter that even the detective felt that it was too 
weak to mention among his strong points, at that decisive 
moment when he revealed all he knew to the President and 
his friends. It is probably a mere fiction. If it had had 
any foundation in fact, we are inclined to believe that the 
sprightly and eloquent barber would have dangled at a rope's 
end long since. He would hardly have been left to shave and 
plot in peace, while the members of the Legislature, the 
Police Marshal, and numerous private gentlemen, were 
locked up in Federal prisons. When Mr. Lincoln was 
actually slain, four years later, and the cupidity of the 
detectives was excited by enormous rewards, Ferrandini was 
totally unmolested. But even if Ferrandini really said all 
that is here imputed to him, he did no more than many 
others around him were doing at the same time. He drank 
and talked, and made swelling speeches ; but he never took, 
nor seriously thought of taking, the first step toward the 
frightful tragedy he is said to have contemplated. 

" The detectives are cautious not to' include in the supposed 

Lamon's Account of the Alleged Conspiracy. 127 

plot to murder any person of eminence, power, or influence. 
Their game is all of the smaller sort, and, as they conceived, 
easily taken witless vagabonds like Hilliard and Luckett, 
and a barber, whose calling indicates his character and asso- 
ciations. 1 They had no fault to find with the Governor of 
the State ; he was rather a lively trimmer, to be sure, and 
very anxious to turn up at last on the winning side ; but it 
was manifestly impossible that one in such an exalted station 
could meditate murder. Yet, if they had pushed their 
inquiries with an honest desire to get at the truth, they 
might have found much stronger evidence against the Gover- 
nor than that which they pretend to have found against the 
barber. In the Governor's case the evidence is documentary, 
written, authentic over his own hand, clear and conclusive 
as pen and ink could make it. As early as the previous 
November, Governor Hicks had written the following letter ; 
and, notwithstanding its treasonable and murderous import, 
the writer became conspicuously loyal before spring, and 
lived to reap splendid rewards and high honors, under the 
auspices of the Federal Government, as the most patriotic 
and devoted Union man in Maryland. The person to whom 
the letter was addressed was equally fortunate ; and, instead 
of drawing out his comrades in the field to 'kill Lincoln 
and his men/ he was sent to Congress by power exerted 
from Washington at a time when the administration selected 
the representatives of Maryland, and performed all his duties 
right loyally and acceptably. Shall one be taken and another 
left? Shall Hicks go to the Senate and Webster to Congress, 

1 Mr. Ferrandini, now in advanced years, still lives in Baltimore, and 
declares the charge of conspiracy to be wholly absurd and fictitious, and 
those who know him will, I think, believe that he is an unlikely person 
to be engaged in such a plot. 

128 Baltimore and the I$th of April, 1861. 

while the poor barber is held to the silly words which he is 
alleged to have sputtered out between drinks in a low grog- 
gery, under the blandishments and encouragements of an 
eager spy, itching for his reward ? 



" ' ANNAPOLIS, November 9, 1860. 
" * Hon. B. H. WEBSTER. 

" * My Dear Sir : I hare pleasure in acknowledging receipt of your favor 
introducing a very clever gentleman to my acquaintance (though a Demo'). 
I regret to say that we have, at this time, no arms on hand to distribute, but 
assure you at the earliest possible moment your company shall have arms ; 
they have complied with all required on their part. We have some 
delay, in consequence of contracts with Georgia and Alabama ahead of 
us. We expect at an early day an additional supply, and of first received 
your people shall be furnished. Will they be good men to send out to kill 
Lincoln and his men ? If not, suppose the arms would be better sent South. 

" ' How does late election sit with you ? 'Tis too bad. Harf ord nothing to 

reproach herself for. 

" ' Your obedient servant, 


" With the Presidential party was Hon. Norman B. Judd ; 
he was supposed to exercise unbounded influence over the new 
President; and with him, therefore, the detective opened 
communications. At various places along the route Mr, 
Judd was given vague hints of the impending danger, accom- 
panied by the usual assurances of the skill and activity of 
the patriots who were perilling their lives in a rebel city to 
save that of the Chief Magistrate. When he reached New 
York, he was met by the woman who had originally gone 
with the other spies to Baltimore. She had urgent messages 
from her chief messages that disturbed Mr. Judd exceed- 
ingly. The detective was anxious to meet Mr. Judd and the 
President, and a meeting was accordingly arranged to take 
place at Philadelphia. 

Lamon's Account of the Alleged Conspiracy. 129 

" Mr. Lincoln reached Philadelphia on the afternoon of the 
21st. The detective had arrived in the morning, and im- 
proved the interval to impress and enlist Mr* Felton. In 
the evening he got Mr. Judd and Mr. Felton into his room 
at the St. Louis Hotel, and told them all he had learned. 
He dwelt at large on the fierce temper of the Baltimore 
secessionists; on the loose talk he had heard ahout ' fire- 
balls or hand^renades ' ; on a * privateer ? said to be 
moored somewhere in the bay; on the organization called 
National Volunteers; on the feet that, eavesdropping at 
Barnum's Hotel, he had overheard Marshal Kane intimate 
that he would not supply a police force on some undefined 
occasion, but what the occasion was he did not know. He 
made .much of his miserable victim, Hilliard, whom he held 
up as a perfect type of the class from which danger was to be 
apprehended ; but concerning " Captain " Ferrandini and 
his threats, he said, according to his own account, not a single 
word. He had opened his case, his whole case, and stated it 
as strongly as he could. Mr. Judd was very much startled, 
and was sure that it would be extremely imprudent for Mr. 
Lincoln to pass through Baltimore in open daylight, accord- 
ing to the published programme. But he thought the 
detective ought to see the President himself; and, as it was 
wearing toward nine o'clock, there was no time to lose. It 
was agreed that the part taken by the detective and Mr. 
Felton should be kept secret from every one but the Presi- 
dent. Mr. Sanford, President of the American Telegraph 
Company, had also been co-operating in the business, and 
the same stipulation was made with regard to him. 

"Mr. Judd went to his own room at the Continental, and 
the detective followed. The crowd in the hotel was very 
dense, and it took some time to get a message to Mr. Lincoln. 

130 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

But it finally reacted him, and he responded in person. Mr. 
Judd introduced the detective, and the latter told his story 
over again, with a single variation : this time he mentioned 
the name of Ferrandini along with Hilliard's, but gave no 
more prominence to one than to the other. 

" Mr. Judd and the detective wanted Lincoln to leave for 
Washington that night. This he flatly refused to do. He 
had engagements with the people, he said, to raise a flag over 
Independence Hall in the morning, and to exhibit himself at 
Harrisburg in the afternoon, and these engagements he 
would not break in any event. But he would raise the flag, 
go to Harrisburg, 'get away quietly' in the evening, and 
permit himself to be carried to Washington in the way they 
thought best. Even this, however, he conceded with great 
reluctance. He condescended to cross-examine the detective 
on some parts of his narrative, but at no time did he seem in 
the least degree alarmed. He was earnestly requested not to 
communicate the change of plan to any member of his party 
except Mr. Judd, nor permit even a suspicion of it to cross 
the mind of another. To this he replied that he would be 
compelled to tell Mrs. Lincoln/ and he thought it likely that 
she would insist upon W. H. Lamon going with him ; but, 
aside from that, no one should know. 3 

"In the meantime, Mr. Seward had also discovered the con- 
spiracy. He dispatched his son to Philadelphia to warn the 
President-elect of the terrible plot into whose meshes he was 
about to run. Mr. Lincoln turned him over to Judd, and 
Judd told him they already knew all about it. He went 
away with just enough information to enable his father to 
anticipate the exact moment of Mr. Lincoln's surreptitious 
arrival in Washington. 

" Early on the morning of the 22d, Mr. Lincoln raised the 

Lamon's Account of the Atteged Conspiracy. 131 

flag over Independence Hall, and departed for Harrisburg. 
On the way Mr. Judd ( gave him a foil and precise detail of 
the arrangements that had been made ' the previous night. 
After the conference with the detective, Mr. Sanford, Colonel 
Scott, Mr. Felton, railroad and telegraph officials, had been 
sent for, and came to Mr. Judd's room. They occupied nearly 
the whole of the night in perfecting the plan. It was finally 
understood that about six o'clock the next evening Mr. 
Lincoln should slip away from the Jones Hotel, at Harris- 
burg, in company with a single member of his party. A 
special car and engine would be provided for him on the track 
outside the depot. All other trains on the road would be 
e side-tracked ' until this one had passed. Mr. Sanford 
would forward skilled ' telegraph-climbers/ and see that 
all the wires leading out of Harrisburg were cut at six 
o'clock, and kept down until it was known that Mr. Lincoln 
had reached Washington in safety. The detective would 
meet Mr. Lincoln at the West Philadelphia Depot with a 
carriage, and conduct him by a circuitous route to the Phila- 
delphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Depot. Berths for four 
would be pre-engaged in the sleeping-cax attached to the 
regular midnight train for Baltimore. This train Mr. Felton 
would cause to be detained until the conductor should receive 
a package, containing important ' Government dispatches,' 
addressed to <E. J. Allen, Willard's Hotel, Washington.' 
This package was made up of old newspapers, carefully 
wrapped and sealed, and delivered to the detective to be used 
as soon as Mr. Lincoln was lodged in the car. Mr. Lincoln 
approved of the plan, and signified his readiness to acquiesce. 
Then Mr. Judd, forgetting the secrecy which the spy had so 
impressively enjoined, told Mr. Lincoln that the step he was 
about to take was one of such transcendent importance that 

132 Baltimore cmd the 19th of April, 1861. 

he thought 'it should be communicated to the other gentle- 
men of the party.' Mr. Lincoln said, ' You can do as you 
like about that. 3 Mr. Judd now changed his seat; and Mr. 
Meolay, whose suspicions seem to have been aroused by this 
mysterious conference, sat down beside him and said : ' Judd, 
there is something up. What is it, if it is proper that I 
should know?' ' George/ answered Judd, ' there is no 
necessity for your knowing it. One man can keep a matter 
better than two/ 

"Arrived at Harrisburg, and the public ceremonies and 
speechmaking over, Mr. Lincoln retired to a private parlor 
in the Jones House, and Mr. Judd summoned to meet him 
Judge Davis, Colonel Lamon, Colonel Sumner, Major Hunter 
and Captain Pope. The three latter were officers of the 
regular army, and had joined the party after it had left 
Springfield. Judd began the conference by stating the 
alleged fact of the Baltimore conspiracy, how it was detected, 
and how it was proposed to thwart it by a midnight expe- 
dition to Washington by way of Philadelphia. It was a 
great surprise to most of those assembled. Colonel Sumner 
was the first to break silence. ' That proceeding/ said he, 
'will be a damned piece of cowardice/ Mr, Judd con- 
sidered this a ' pointed hit/ but replied that 'that view of 
the case had already been presented to Mr. Lincoln.' Then 
there was a general interchange of opinions, which Sumner 
interrupted by saying, * Fll get a squad of cavalry, sir, and 
cut our way to Washington, sir!' 'Probably before that 
day comes/ said Mr. Judd, e the inauguration-day will have 
passed. It is important that Mr. Lincoln should be in 
Washington that day.' Thus far Judge Davis had expressed 
no opinion, but ' had put various questions to test the truth- 
fulness of the story.' He now turned to Mr. Lincoln and 

Lamon's Account of the Alleged Conspiracy. 133 

said, 'You personally heard the detective's story. You 
have heard this discussion. "What is your judgment in the 
matter ? 7 C T have listened/ answered Mr. Lincoln, < to this 
discussion with interest. I see no reason, no good reason, 
to change the programme, and I am for carrying it out 
as arranged by Judd. 7 There was no longer any dissent as 
to the plan itself; but one question still remained to be dis- 
posed of. Who should accompany the President on his 
perilous ride ? Mr. Judd again took the lead, declaring that 
he and Mr. Lincoln had previously determined that but one 
man ought to go, and that Colonel Lamon had been selected 
as the proper person. To this Sumner violently demurred. 
'I have undertaken/ he exclaimed, f to see Mr. Lincoln to 
"Washington. 7 

" Mr. Lincoln was hastily dining when a close carriage was 
brought to the side door of the hotel. He was called, hurried 
to his room, changed his coat and hat, and passed rapidly 
through the hall and out of the door. As he was stepping 
into the carriage, it became manifest that Simmer was 
determined to get in also. ' Hurry with him/ whispered 
Judd to Lamon, and at the same time, placing his hand on 
Sumner's shoulder, said aloud, 'One m6ment, Colonel! 7 
Sumner turned around, and in that moment the carriage 
drove rapidly away. 'A madder man/ says Mr. Judd, ' you 
never saw. 7 

" Mr. Lincoln and Colonel Lamon got on board the car 
without discovery or mishap. Besides themselves, there was 
no one in or about the car but Mr. Lewis, General Super- 
intendent of the Pennsylvania Central Eailroad, and Mr. 
Franciscus, superintendent of the division over which they 
were about to pass. As Mr. Lincoln 7 s dress on this occasion 
has been much discussed, it may be as well to state that he 

134 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861. 

wore a soft, light felt hat, drawn down over his face when it 
seemed necessary or convenient, and a shawl thrown over his 
shoulders, and pulled up to assist in disguising his features 
when passing to and from the carriage. This was all there 
was of the c Scotch cap and cloak/ so widely celebrated in 
the political literature of the day. 

"At ten o'clock they reached Philadelphia, and were met by 
the detective and one Mr. Kinney, an under official of the 
Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad. Lewis 
and Franciscus bade Mr. Lincoln adieu. Mr. Lincoln, 
Colonel Lamon and the detective seated themselves in a 
carriage which stood in waiting, and Mr. Kinney got upon 
the box with the driver. It was a full hour and a half 
before the Baltimore train was to start, and Mr. Kinney 
found it necessary c to consume the time by driving north- 
ward in search of some imaginary person.' 

"On the way through Philadelphia, Mr. Lincoln told his 
companions about the message he had received from Mr. 
Seward. This new discovery was infinitely more appalling 
than the other. Mr. Seward had been informed 'that about 
fifteen thousand men were organized to prevent his (Lincoln's) 
passage through Baltimore, and that arrangements were made 
by these parties to blow wp the railroad track, fire the train,' 
etc. In view of these unpleasant circumstances, Mr. Seward 
recommended a change of route. Here was a plot big enough 
to swallow up the little one, which we are to regard as the 
peculiar property of Mr. Felton's detective. Hilliaxd, Fer- 
randini and Luckett disappear among the ' fifteen thousand/ 
and their maudlin and impotent twaddle about the ' abolition 
tyrant ' looks very insignificant beside the bloody massacre, 
conflagration and explosion now foreshadowed. 

"As the moment for the departure of the Baltimore train 

Lamon's Account of the Alleged Conspiracy. 135 

drew near, the carriage paused in the dark shadows of the 
depot building. It was not considered prudent to approach 
the entrance. The spy passed in first and was followed by 
Mr. Lincoln and Colonel Lamon. An agent of the former 
directed them to the sleeping-car, which they entered by the 
rear door* Mr. Kinney ran forward and delivered to the 
conductor the important package prepared for the purpose ; 
and in three minutes the train was in motion. The tickets 
for the whole party had been procured beforehand. Their 
berths were ready, but had only been preserved from invasion 
by the statement that they were retained for a sick man and 
his attendants. The business had been managed very adroitly 
by the female spy, who had accompanied her employer from 
Baltimore to Philadelphia to assist him in this, the most 
delicate and important aflair of his life. Mr. Lincoln got 
into his bed immediately, and the curtains were drawn to- 
gether. When the conductor came around, the detective 
handed him the 'sick man's' ticket, and the rest of the 
party lay down also. None of * our . party appeared to be 
sleepy/ says the detective, 'but we all lay quiet, and 
nothing of importance transpired/ .... During the night 
Mr. Lincoln indulged in a joke or two in an undertone; 
but, with that exception, the two sections occupied by them 
were perfectly silent. The detective said he had men sta- 
tioned at various places along the road to let him know 'if 
all was right/ and he rose and went to the platform occasion- 
ally to observe their signals, but returned each time with a 
favorable report. 

"At thirty minutes after three the train reached Baltimore. 
One of the spy's assistants came on board and informed him 
in a whisper that all was right. The woman [the female 
detective} got out of the car. Mr. Lincoln lay dose in his 

136 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

berth, and in a few moments the car was being slowly drawn 
through the quiet streets of the city toward the Washington 
Depot. There again there was another pause, but no sound 
more alarming than the noise of shifting cars and engines. 
The passengers, tucked away on their narrow shelves, dozed 
on as peacefully as if Mr. Lincoln had never been bom. . . . 
" In due time the train sped out of the suburbs of Baltimore, 
and the apprehensions of the President and his friends 
diminished with each welcome revolution of the wheels. At 
six o'clock the dome of the Capitol came in sight, and a 
moment later they rolled into the long, unsightly building 
which forms the Washington Depot. They passed out of the 
car unobstructed, and pushed along with the living stream 
of men and women towards the outer door. One man alone 
in the great crowd seemed to watch Mr. Lincoln with special 
attention. Standing a little on one side, he c looked very 
sharp at him/ and, as he passed, seized hold of his hand and 
said in a loud tone of voice, 'Abe, you can't play that on 
me/ The detective and Col. Lamon were instantly alarmed. 
One of them raised his fist to strike the stranger ; but Mr. 
Lincoln caught his arm and said, e Don't strike him ! don't 
strike him ! It is Washburne. Don't you know him ? ' Mr. 
Seward had given to Mr. Washburne a hint of the informa- 
tion received through his son, and Mr. Washburne knew its 
value as well as another. For the present the detective 
admonished him to keep quiet, and they passed on together. 
Taking a hack, they drove towards Willard's Hotel. Mr. 
Lincoln, Mr. Washburne and the detective got out into the 
street and approached the ladies' entrance, while Col. Lamon 
drove on to the main entrance, and sent the proprietor to 
meet his distinguished guest at the side door. A few 
minutes later Mr. Seward arrived, and was introduced to the 

Lamon's Account of ffie Alleged Conspiracy. 137 

company by Mr. Washburne. He spoke in very strong 
terms of the great- danger which Mr. Lincoln had so nar- 
rowly escaped, and most heartily applauded the wisdom of 
the 'secret passage.' 'I informed Gov. Seward of the 
nature of the information I had/ says the detective, 'and 
that I had no information of any large organization in Balti- 
more; but the Governor reiterated that he had conclusive 
evidence of this/ .... 

" That same day Mr. Lincoln's family and suite passed 
through Baltimore on the special train intended for him. 
They saw no sign of any disposition to burn them alive, or 
to blow them up with gunpowder, but went their way unmo- 
lested and very happy. 

"Mr. Lincoln soon learned to regret the midnight ride. 
His friends reproached him ; his enemies taunted him. He 
was convinced that he had committed a grave mistake in 
yielding to the solicitations of a professional spy and of 
friends too easily alarmed. He saw that he had fled from a 
danger purely imaginary, and felt the shame and mortifica- 
tion natural to a brave man under such circumstances. But 
he was not disposed to take all the responsibility to himself,, 
and frequently upbraided the writer for having aided and 
assisted him to demean himself at the very moment in all his- 
life when his behavior should have exhibited the utmost 
dignity and composure. 

"The news of his surreptitious entry into Washington 
occasioned much and varied comment throughout the country ; 
but important events followed it in such rapid succession 
that its real significance was soon lost sight of; enough that 
Mr. Lincoln was safely at the Capital, and in a few days 
would in all probability assume the power confided to his 



" It is difficult at this day to realize the state of public 
opinion in relation to that unfortunate race " (the African) 
" which prevailed in the civilized and enlightened portions of 
the world at the time of the Declaration of Independence, and 
when the Constitution of the United States was framed and 

" But the public history of every European nation displays 
it in a manner too plain to be mistaken. 

ce They had for more than a century before been regarded as 
beings of an inferior order 5 and altogether unfit to associate 
with the white race, either in social or political relations; 
and so jfar inferior, that they had no rights which the white 
man was bound to respect ; and that the negro might justly 
and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit." 





Ex parte 1 Before the Chief Justice of the Supreme 

JOHN MERRYMAN. j Court of the United States, at Chambers. 

The application in this case for a writ of habeas corpus is 
made to me under the fourteenth section of the Judiciary Act 
of 1789, which renders effectual for the citizen the constitu- 
tional privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. That act gives 
to the courts of the United States, as well as to each justice 
of the Supreme Court and to every district judge, power to 
grant writs of habeas corpus for the purpose of an inquiry into 
the cause of commitment. The petition was presented to me 
at Washington, under the impression that I would order the 
prisoner to be brought before me there ; but as he was confined 
in Fort McHenry, in the city of Baltimore, which is in my 
circuit, I resolved to hear it in the latter city, as obedience to 
the writ under such circumstances would not withdraw 
General Cadwallader, who had him in charge, from the limits 
of his military command. 

The petition presents the following case : 
. The petitioner resides in Maryland, in Baltimore County. 
While peaceably in his own house, with his family, it was, at 
two o'clock on the morning of the 25th of May, 1861, entered 
by an armed force professing to act under military orders. 

140 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861. 

He was then compelled to rise from his bed, taken into 
custody and conveyed to Fort McHenry, where he is im- 
prisoned by the commanding officer, without warrant from, 
any lawful authority. 

The commander of the fort, General George Cadwallader, 
by whom he is detained in confinement, in his return to the 
writ, does not deny any of the facts alleged in the petition. 
He states that the prisoner was arrested by order of General 
Keim, of Pennsylvania, and conducted as aforesaid to Fort 
McHenry by his order, and placed in his (General Cadwal- 
lader's) custody, to be there detained by him as a prisoner. 

A copy of the warrant or order under which the prisoner 
was arrested was demanded by his counsel and refused. And 
it is not alleged in the return that any specific act, consti- 
tuting any offense against the laws of the United States, has 
been charged against him upon oath ; but he appears to have 
been arrested upon general charges of treason and rebellion, 
without proof, and without giving the names of the witnesses, 
or specifying the acts which, in the judgment of the military 
officer, constituted these crimes. Having the prisoner thus 
in custody upon these vague and unsupported accusations, he 
refuses to obey the writ of habeas corpus, upon the ground 
that he is duly authorized by the President to suspend it. 

The case, then, is simply this : A military officer, residing 
in Pennsylvania, issues an order to arrest a citizen of Mary- 
land upon vague and indefinite charges, without any proof, 
so far as appears. Under this order his house is entered in 
the night, he is seized as a prisoner and conveyed to Fort 
McHenry, and there kept in close confinement. And w*hen 
a habeas corpus is served on the commanding officer, requir- 
ing him to produce the prisoner before a justice of the 
Supreme Court, in order that he may examine into the 

Habeas Corpus. 141 

legality of the imprisonment, the answer of the officer is 
that he is authorized by the President to suspend the writ of 
habeas corpus at his discretion, and, in the exercise of that 
discretion, suspends it in this case, and on that ground 
refuses obedience to the writ. 

As the case comes before me, therefore, I understand that 
the President not only claims the right to suspend the writ 
of habeas corpus himself at his discretion, but to delegate that 
discretionary power to a military officer, and to leave it to 
him to determine whether he will or will not obey judicial 
process that may be served upon him. 

No official notice has been given to the courts of justice, 
or to the public, by proclamation or otherwise, that the 
President claimed this power, and had exercised it in the 
manner stated in the return. And I certainly listened to it 
with some surprise ; for I had supposed it to be one of those 
points of constitutional law upon which there was no differ- 
ence of opinion, and that it was admitted on all hands that 
the privilege of the writ could not be suspended except by 
act of Congress. 

When the conspiracy of which Aaron Burr was the head 
became so formidable and was so extensively ramified as to 
justify, in Mr. Jefierson's opinion, the suspension of the writ, 
he claimed on his part no power to suspend it, but communi- 
cated his opinion to Congress, with all the proofe in his 
possession, in order that Congress might exercise its discre- 
tion upon the subject, and determine whether the public 
safety required it. And in the debate which took place upon 
the subject, no one suggested that Mr. Jefferson might exer- 
cise the power himself, if, in his opinion, the public safety 
demanded it. 

Having therefore regarded the question as too plain and too 

142 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

well settled to be open to dispute, if the commanding officer 
had stated that upon his own responsibility, and in the exer- 
cise of his own discretion, he refused obedience to the writ, I 
should have contented myself with referring to the clause in 
the Constitution, and to the construction it received from 
every jurist and statesman of that day, when the case of Burr 
was before them. But being thus officially notified that the 
privilege of the writ has been suspended under the orders 
and by the authority of the President, and believing, as I do, 
that the President has exercised a power which he does not 
possess under the Constitution, a proper respect for the high 
office he fills requires me to state plainly and fully the 
grounds of my opinion, in order to show that I have not 
ventured to question the legality of his act without a careful 
and deliberate examination of the whole subject. 

The clause of the Constitution which authorizes the sus- 
pension of the privilege of the writ ofliabeas corpus is in the 
ninth section of the first article. 

This article is devoted to the legislative department of the 
United States, and has not the slightest reference to the 
Executive Department. It begins by providing "that all 
legislative powers therein granted shall be vested in a Con- 
gress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate 
and House of Representatives"; and after prescribing the 
manner in which these two branches of the legislative depart- 
ment shall be chosen, it proceeds to enumerate specifically 
the legislative powers which it thereby grants, and at the 
conclusion of this specification a clause is inserted giving 
Congress " the power to make all laws which shall be neces-r 
sary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing 
powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in 
the Government of the United States, or in any department 
or office thereof." 

Habeas Corpus. 143 

The power of legislation granted by this latter clause is 
by its words carefully confined to the specific objects before 
enumerated. But as this limitation was unavoidably some- 
what indefinite, it was deemed necessary to guard more 
effectually certain great cardinal principles essential to the 
liberty of the citizen, and to the rights and equality of the 
States, by denying to Congress, in express terms, any power 
of legislation over them. It was apprehended, it seems, that 
such legislation might be attempted under the pretext that it 
was necessary and proper to carry into execution the powers 
granted ; and it was determined that there should be no room 
to doubt, where rights of such vital importance were concerned, 
and accordingly this clause is immediately followed by an 
enumeration of certain subjects to which the powers of legis- 
lation shall not extend. The great importance which the 
framers of the Constitution attached to the privilege of the 
writ of habeas corpus to protect the liberty of the citizen, is 
proved by the fact that its suspension, except in cases of in- 
vasion or rebellion, is first in the list of prohibited powers 
and even in these cases the power is denied and its exercise 
prohibited, unless the public safety shall require it. It is 
true that in the cases mentioned, Congress is of necessity the 
judge of whether the public safety does, or does not, require 
it ; and its judgment is conclusive. But the introduction of 
these words is a standing admonition to the legislative body 
of the danger of suspending it, and of the extreme caution 
they should exercise before they give the Government of the 
United States such power over the liberty of a citizen. 

It is the -second article of the Constitution that provides 
for the organization of the Executive Department, and 
enumerates the powers conferred on it, and prescribes its 
duties. And if the high power over the liberty of the citizen 

144 Baltimore and the 19tt, of April, 1861. 

now claimed was intended to be conferred on the President, 
it would undoubtedly be found in plain words in this article. 
But there is not a word in it that can furnish the slightest 
ground to justify the exercise of the power. 

The article begins by declaring that the executive power 
shall be vested in a President of the United States of America, 
to hold his office during the term of four years, and then pro- 
ceeds to prescribe the mode of election, and to specify in 
precise and plain words the powers delegated to him, and the 
duties imposed upon him. The short term for which he is 
elected, and the narrow limits to which his power is confined, 
show the jealousy and apprehensions of future danger which 
the framers of the Constitution felt in relation to that depart- 
ment of the Government, and how carefully they withheld 
from it many of the powers belonging to the Executive 
Branch of the English Government which were considered as 
dangerous to the liberty of the subject, and conferred (and 
that in clear and specific terms) those powers only which 
were deemed essential to secure the successful operation of 
the Government. 

He is elected, as I have already said, for the brief term of 
four years, and is made personally responsible by impeach- 
ment for malfeasance in office. He is from necessity and the 
nature of his duties the Commander-in-Chief of the Army 
and Navy, and of the militia when called into actual service. 
But no appropriation for the support of the Army can be 
made by Congress for a longer term than -two years, so 
that it is in the power of the succeeding House of Repre- 
sentatives to withhold the appropriation for its support, 
and thus disband it, if, in their judgment, the President 
used or designed to use it for improper purposes. And 
although the militia, when in actual service, is under his 

Habeas Corpus. 145 

command, yet the appointment of the officers is reserved to 
the States, as a security against the use of the military power 
for purposes dangerous to the liberties of the people or the 
rights, of the States. 

So, too, his powers in relation to the civil duties and 
authority necessarily conferred on him are carefully restricted, 
as well as those belonging to his military character. He 
cannot appoint the ordinary officers of Government, nor 
make a treaty with a foreign nation or Indian tribe, without 
the advice and consent of the Senate, and cannot appoint 
even inferior officers unless he is authorized by an Act of 
Congress to do so. He is not empowered to arrest any one 
charged with an offense against the United States, and whom 
he may, from the evidence before him, believe to be guilty; 
nor can he authorize any officer, civil or military, to exercise 
this power; for the fifth article of the Amendments to the 
Constitution expressly provides that no person "shall be 
deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of 
la W "that is, judicial process. Even if the privilege of the 
writ of habeas corpus were suspended by Act of Congress, and 
a party not subject to the rules and articles of war were after- 
wards arrested and imprisoned by regular judicial process, 
he could not be detained in prison or brought to trial 
before a military tribunal ; for the article in the Amendments 
to the Constitution immediately following the one above 
referred to that is, the sixth article provides that "in all 
criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a 
speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the State and 
district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which 
district shall have been previously ascertained by law ; and to 
be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation ; ix> be 
confronted with the witnesses against him; to have com- 

146 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

pulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to 
have the assistance of counsel for his defense." 

The only power, therefore, which the President possesses, 
where the "life, liberty, or property" of a private citizen is 
concerned, is the power and duty prescribed in the third sec- 
tion of the second article, which requires " that he shall take 
care that the laws be faithfully executed." He is not author- 
ized to execute them himself, or through agents or officers, 
civil or military, appointed by himself, but he is to take care 
that they be faithfully carried into execution as they are 
expounded and adjudged by the co-ordinate branch of the 
Government to which that duty is assigned by the Constitu- 
tion. It is thus made his duty to come in aid of the judicial 
authority, if it shall be resisted by a force too strong to be 
overcome without the assistance of the executive arm. But 
in exercising this power he acts in subordination to judicial 
authority, assisting it to execute its process and enforce its 

With such provisions in the Constitution, expressed in 
language too clear to be misunderstood by any one, I can see 
no ground whatever for supposing that the President, in any 
emergency or in any state of things, can authorize the suspen- 
sion of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, or the arrest 
of a citizen, except in aid of the judicial power* He certainly 
does not faithfully execute the laws if he takes upon himself 
legislative power by suspending the writ of habeas corpus, 
and the judicial power also, by arresting and imprisoning a 
person without due process of law. Nor can any argument 
be drawn from the nature of sovereignty, or the necessity of 
Government for self-defense in times of tumult and danger. 
The Government of the United States is one of delegated 
and limited powers. It derives its existence and authority 

Habeas Corpus. 147 

altogether from the Constitution, and neither of its branches, 
executive, legislative or judicial, can exercise any of the 
powers of Government .beyond those specified and granted. 
For the tenth article of the Amendments to the Constitution 
in express terms provides that "the powers not delegated to 
the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to 
the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the 

Indeed, the security against imprisonment by executive 
authority, provided for in the fifth article of the Amendments 
to the Constitution, which I have before quoted, is nothing 
more than a copy of a like provision in the English Constitu- 
tion, which had been firmly established before the Declara-* 
tion of Independence. 

Blackstone states it in the following words : 

" To make imprisonment lawful, it must be either by proc- 
ess of law from the courts of judicature or by warrant from 
some legal officer having authority to commit to prison" 
(1 EL Com. 137). 

The people of the United Colonies, who had themselves 
lived under its protection while they were British subjects, 
were well aware of the necessity of this safeguard for their 
personal liberty. And no one can believe that, in framing a 
government intended to guard still more efficiently the rights 
and liberties of the citizen against executive encroachments 
and oppression, they would have conferred on the President 
a power which the history of England had proved to be dan- 
gerous and oppressive in the hands of the Crown, and which 
the people of England had compelled it to surrender after a 
long and obstinate struggle on the part of the English Exec- 
utive to usurp and retain it. 

The right of the subject to the benefit of the writ of habeas 

148 Baltimore and ffie I9th of April, 1861. 

corpus, it must be recollected, was one of the great points in 
controversy during the long struggle in England between 
arbitrary government and free institutions, and must there- 
fore have strongly attracted the attention of the statesmen 
engaged in framing a new, and, as they supposed, a freer 
government than the one which they had thrown off by the 
Revolution. From the earliest history of the common law, 
if a person were imprisoned, no matter by what authority, 
he had a right to the writ of habeas corpus to bring his 'case 
before the King's Bench; if no specific offense were charged 
against him in the warrant of commitment, he was entitled to 
be forthwith discharged; and if an offense were charged 
which was bailable in its character, the Court was bound to 
set him at liberty on bail. The most exciting contests 
between the Crown and the people of England from the time 
of Magna Charta were in relation to the privilege of this 
writ, and they continued until the passage of the statute of 
31st Charles II, commonly known as the Great Habeas Corpus 
Act. This statute put an end to the struggle, and finally and 
firmly secured the liberty of the subject against the usurpa- 
tion and oppression of the executive branch of the Govern- 
ment. It nevertheless conferred no new right upon the sub- 
ject, but only secured a right already existing. For, although 
the right could not justly be denied, there was often no 
effectual remedy against its violation. Until the statute of 
13 William III, the judges held their offices at the pleasure 
of the King, and the influence which he exercised over timid, 
time-serving and partisan judges often induced them, upon 
some pretext or other, to refuse to discharge the party, 
although entitled by law to his discharge, or delayed their 
decision from time to time, so as to prolong the imprison- 
ment of persons who were obnoxious to the King for their 

Habeas Corpus. 149 

political opinions, or had incurred his resentment in any 
other way. 

The great and inestimable value of the habeas corpus act of 
the 31st Charles II. is that it contains provisions which com- 
pel courts and judges, and all parties concerned, to perform 
their duties promptly in the manner specified in the statute. 
A passage in Blackstone's Commentaries, showing the 
ancient state of the law on this subject, and the abuses which 
were practised through the power and influence of the Crown, 
and a short extract from Hallam's " Constitutional History," 
stating the circumstances which gave rise to the passage of 
this statute, explain briefly, but fully, all that is material to 
this subject. 

Blackstone says : " To assert an absolute exemption from 
imprisonment in all cases is inconsistent with every idea of 
law and political society, and, in the end, would destroy all 
civil liberty by rendering its protection impossible. 

" But the glory of the English law consists in clearly 
defining the times, the causes and the extent, when, wherefore 
and to what degree the imprisonment of the subject may be 
lawful. This it is which induces the absolute necessity of 
expressing upon every commitment the reason for which it is 
made, that the court upon a habeas corpus may examine into 
its validity, and, according to the circumstances of the case, 
may discharge, admit to bail, or remand the prisoner. 

" And yet, early in the reign of Charles I, the Court of 
King's Bench, relying on some arbitrary precedents (and those, 
perhaps, misunderstood), determined that they would not, 
upon a habeas corpus, either bail or deliver a prisoner, though 
committed without any cause assigned, in case he was com- 
mitted by the special command of the King, or by the Lords 
of the Privy Council. This drew on a Parliamentary inquiry 

150 Baltimore and the Wth of April, 1861. 

and produced the Petition of Right 3 Charles I. which 
recites this illegal judgment, and enacts that no freeman here- 
after shall be so imprisoned or detained. But when, in the 
following year, Mr. Selden and others were committed by the 
Lords of the Council, in pursuance of His Majesty's special 
command, under a general charge of ' notable contempts, and 
stirring up sedition against the King and the Government/ 
the judges delayed for two terms (including also the long 
vacation) to deliver an opinion how fiir such a charge was 
bailable. And when at length they agreed that it was, they, 
however, annexed a condition of finding sureties for their 
good behavior, which still protracted their imprisonment, the 
Chief Justice, Sir Nicholas Hyde, at the same time declaring 
that ' if they were again remanded for that cause, perhaps 
the court would not afterwards grant a habeas corpus, being 
already made acquainted with the cause of the imprisonment/ 
But this was heard with indignation and astonishment by 
every lawyer present, according to Mr. Selden's own account 
of the matter, whose resentment was not cooled at the distance 
of four-and-twenty years" (3 Bl. Com. 133, 134). 

It is worthy of remark that the offenses charged against 
the prisoner in this case, and relied on as a justification for 
his arrest and imprisonment, in their nature and character, 
and in the loose and vague manner in which they are stated, 
bear a striking resemblance to those assigned in the warrant 
for the arrest of Mr. Selden. And yet, even at that day, the 
warrant was regarded as such a flagrant violation of the rights 
of the subject, that the delay of the time-serving judges to set 
Trim at liberty upon the habeas corpus issued in his behalf 
excited universal indignation of the bar. The extract from 
Hallam's " Constitutional History" is equally impressive and 
equally in point-: 

Habeas Corpus. 151 

" It is a very common mistake, and that not only among 
foreigners, but many from wliom some knowledge of our 
constitutional laws might be expected, to suppose that this 
statute of Charles IE. enlarged in a great degree our liber- 
ties, and forms a sort of epoch in their history. But though 
a very beneficial enactment, and eminently remedial in many 
cases of illegal imprisonment, it introduced no new principle, 
nor conferred any right upon the subject. From the earliest 
records of the English law, no freeman could be detained 
in prison, except upon a criminal charge, or conviction, or 
for a civil debt. In the former case it was always in his 
power to demand of the Court of King's Bench a writ of 
habeas corpus ad subjitiendum, directed to the person detain- 
ing him in custody, by which he was enjoined to bring up 
the body of the prisoner with the warrant of commitment, 
that the court might judge of its sufficiency, and remand 
the party, admit him to bail, or discharge him, according 
to the nature of the charge. This writ issued of right, and 
could not be refused by the court. It was not to bestow 
an immunity from arbitrary Imprisonment which is abun- 
dantly provided for in JUagna Oharta (if, indeed, it is not 
more ancient) that the statute of Charles H. was enacted, 
but to cut off the abuses by which the Government's lust 
of power, and the servile subtlety of the Crown lawyers, 
had impaired so fundamental a privilege " (3 Hallam's 
" Const. Hist./' 19), 

While the value set upon this writ in England has been so 
great that the removal of the abuses which embarrassed its 
employment has been looked upon as almost a new grant of 
liberty to the subject, it is not to be wondered at that iihe 
continuance of the writ thus made effective should have been 
the object of the most jealous care. Accordingly, no power 

152 Baltimore and flu ISth of April, 1861. 

in England short of that of Parliament can suspend or 
authorize the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. I 
quote again from Blackstone (1 Bl. Com. 136).: "But the 
happiness of our Constitution is that it is not left to the 
executive power to determine when the danger of the State 
is so great as to render this measure expedient. It is the 
Parliament only, or legislative power, that, whenever it sees 
proper, can 'authorize the Crown, hy suspending the habeas 
corpus for a short and limited time, to imprison suspected 
persons without giving any reason for so doing." If the 
President of the United States may suspend the writ, then 
the Constitution of the United States has conferred upon 
him more regal and absolute power over the liberty of the 
citizen than the people of England have thought it safe to 
entrust to the Crown a power which the Queen of England 
cannot exercise at this day, and which could not have been 
lawfully exercised by the sovereign even in the reign of 
Charles I. 

But I am not left to form my judgment upon this great 
question from analogies between the English Government 
and our own, or the commentaries of English jurists, or the 
decisions of English courts, although upon this subject they 
are entitled to the highest respect, and are justly regarded 
and received as authoritative by our courts of justice. To 
guide me to a right conclusion, I have the Commentaries on 
the Constitution of the United States of the late Mr. Justice 
Story, not only one of the most eminent jurists of the age, but 
for a long time one of the brightest ornaments of the Supreme 
Court of the United States, and also the clear and authorita- 
tive decision of that court itself, given more than half a cen- 
tury since, and conclusively establishing the principles I have 
above stated. 

Habeas Corpus. 153 

Mr. Justice Story, speaking in his Commentaries of the 
habeas corpus clause in the Constitution, says : " It Is obvious 
that cases of a peculiar emergency may arise which may 
justify, nay, even require, the temporary suspension of any 
right to the writ. But as it has frequently happened in 
foreign countries, and even in England, that the writ has, 
upon various pretexts and occasions, been suspended, whereby 
persons apprehended upon suspicion have suffered a long im- 
prisonment, sometimes from design, and sometimes because 
they were forgotten, the right to suspend it is expressly con- 
fined to cases of rebellion or invasion, where the public safety 
may require it. A very just and wholesome restraint, which 
cuts down at a blow a fruitful means of oppression, capable 
of being abused in bad times to the worst of purposes. 
Hitherto no suspension of the writ has ever been authorized 
by Congress since the establishment of the Constitution. It 
would seem, as the power is given to Congress to suspend the 
writ of habeas corpus in cases of rebellion or invasion, that the 
right to judge whether the exigency had arisen must exclu- 
sively belong to that body " (3 Story's Com. on the Con- 
stitution, Section 1836). 

And Chief Justice Marshall, in delivering the opinion of 
the Supreme Court in the case of ex parte Bollman and Swart- 
wout, uses this decisive language in 4 Cranch 95 : " It 
may be worthy of remark that this Act (speaking of the one 
under which I am proceeding) was passed by the first Con- 
gress of the United States, sitting under a Constitution which 
had declared ' that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus 
should not be suspended unless when, in cases of rebellion 
or invasion, the public safety might require it.* Acting 
under the immediate influence of this injunction, they mast 
have felt with peculiar force the obligation of providing; 

154 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

efficient means by which this great constitutional privilege 
should receive life and activity ; for if the means be not in 
existence, the privilege itself would be lost, although no law 
for its suspension should be enacted. Under the impression 
of this obligation, they give to all the courts the power of 
awarding writs of habeas corpus" 

And again, on page 101 : " If at any time the public safety 
should require the suspension of the powers vested by this 
Act in the courts of the United States, it is for the Legis- 
lature to say so. That question depends on political con- 
siderations, on which the Legislature is to decide. Until 
the legislative will be expressed, this court can only see its 
duty, and must obey the laws." 

I can add nothing to these clear and emphatic words of 
my great predecessor. But the documents before me show 
that the military authority in this case has gone far beyond 
the mere suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas 
corpus. It has, by force of arms, thrust aside the judicial 
authorities and officers to whom the Constitution has con- 
fided the power and duty of interpreting and administering 
the laws, and substituted a military government in its place, 
to be administered and executed by military officers. For, 
at the time these proceedings were had against John Merry- 
man, the district judge of Maryland, the commissioner ap- 
pointed under the Act of Congress, the district attorney and 
the marshal, all resided in the city of Baltimore, a few miles 
only from the home of the prisoner. Up to that time there 
had never been the slightest resistance or obstruction to the 
process of any court or judicial officer of the United States 
in Maryland, except by the military authority. And if a 
military officer, or any other person, had reason to believe 
that the prisoner had committed any offense against the laws 

Habeas Corpus. 155 

of the United States, it was his duty to give information of the 
fact, and the evidence to support it, to the district attorney ; 
it would then have become the duty of that officer to bring 
the matter before the district judge or commissioner, and if 
there was sufficient legal evidence to justify his arrest, the 
judge or commissioner would have issued his warrant to the 
marshal to arrest him, and upon the hearing of the case 
would have held him to bail, or committed him for trial, 
according to the character of the offense as it appeared in the 
testimony, or would have discharged him immediately, if 
there was not sufficient evidence to support the accusation. 
There was no danger of any obstruction or resistance to the 
action of the civil authorities, and therefore no reason what- 
ever for the interposition of the military. Yet, under these 
circumstances, a military officer stationed in Pennsylvania, 
without giving any information to the district attorney, and 
without any application to the judicial authorities, assumes 
to himself the judicial power in the District of Maryland; 
undertakes to decide what constitutes the crime of treason or 
rebellion; what evidence (if, indeed, he required any) is 
sufficient to support the accusation and justify the commit- 
ment; and commits the party without a hearing, even before 
himself, to close custody in a strongly garrisoned fort, to be 
.there held, it would seem, during the pleasure of those who 
committed him. 

The Constitution provides, as I Lave before said, that "no 
person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without 
due process of law." It declares that "the right of the 
people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and 
effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not 
be violated, and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable 
cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly 

156 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things 
to be seized." It provides that the party accused shall be 
entitled to a speedy trial in a court of justice. 

These great and fundamental laws, which Congress itself 
could not suspend, have been disregarded and suspended, 
like the writ of habeas corpus, by a military order, sup- 
ported by force of arms. Such is the case now before me, 
and I can only say that if the authority which the Con- 
stitution has confided to the judiciary department and judicial 
officers may thus upon any pretext or under any circum- 
stances be usurped by the military power at its discretion, 
the people of the United States are no longer living under a 
government of laws, but every citizen holds life, liberty and 
property at the will and pleasure of the army officer in 
whose military district he may happen to be found. 

In such a case my duty was too plain to be mistaken. I 
have exercised all the power which the Constitution and laws 
confer upon me, but that power has been resisted by a force 
too strong for me to overcome. It is possible that the officer 
who has incurred this grave responsibility may have misun- 
derstood his instructions and exceeded the authority intended 
to be given him. I shall therefore order all the proceed- 
ings in this case, with my opinion, to be filed and recorded 
in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of 
Maryland, and direct the clerk to transmit a copy, under 
seal, to the President of the United States. It will then 
remain for that high officer, in fulfilment of his constitutional 
obligation, to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed," 
to determine what measures he will take to cause the civil 
process of the United States to be respected and enforced. 

Chief Justice oftJie Supreme Court 

of the United States. 


On the 12th of July, 1861, 1 sent a message to the First 
and Second Branches of the City Council referring to the 
events of the 19th of April and those which followed. The 
first paragraph and the concluding paragraphs of this docu- 
ment are here inserted : 




"Gentlemen: A great object of the reform movement was 
to separate municipal affairs entirely from national politics, 
and in accordance with this principle I have heretofore, in all 
my communications to the city council, carefully refrained 
from any allusion to national affairs. I shall not now depart 
from this rule further than is rendered absolutely necessary 
by the unprecedented condition of things at present existing 
in this city 

" After the board of police had been superseded, and its 
members arrested by the order of General Banks, I proposed, 
in order to relieve the serious complication which had arisen, 
to proceed, as the only member left free to act, to exercise the 
power of the board as far as an individual member could do 
so. Marshal Kane, while he objected to the propriety of this 
course, was prepared to place his resignation in my hands 
whenever I should request it, and the majority of the board 
interposed no "objection to my pursuing such course as I 

158 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861. 

might deem it right and proper to adopt in view of the 
existing circumstances, and upon my own responsibility, until 
the board should be enabled to resume the exercise of its 

" If this arrangement could have been effected, it would 
have continued in the exercise of their duties the police force 
which is lawfully enrolled, and which has won the confidence 
and applause of all good citizens by its fidelity and im- 
partiality at all times and under all circumstances. But the 
arrangement was not satisfactory to the Federal authorities. 

" As the men of the police force, through no fault of theirs, 
are now prevented from discharging their duty, their pay 
constitutes a legal claim on the city from which, in my 
opinion, it cannot be relieved. 

" The force which has been enrolled is in direct violation 
of the law of the State, and no money can be appropriated by 
the city for its support without incurring the heavy penalties 
provided by the Act of Assembly. 

" Officers in the Fire Alarm and Police Telegraph Depart- 
ment who are appointed by the mayor and city council, and 
not by the board of police, have been discharged and others 
have been substituted in their place. 

" I mention these facts with profound sorrow, and with no 
purpose whatever of increasing the difficulties unfortunately 
existing in this city, but because it is your right to be 
acquainted with the true condition of affairs, and because I 
cannot help entertaining the hope ihat redress will yet be 
afforded by the authorities of the United States upon a proper 
representation made by you. I am entirely satisfied that the 
suspicion entertained of any meditated hostility on the part 
of the city authorities against the General Government is 
wholly unfounded, and with the best means of knowledge 

The Mayor's Message. 159 

express the confident belief and conviction that there is 
no organization of any kind among the people for such a 
purpose. I have no doubt that the officers of the United 
States have acted on information which they deemed reliable, 
obtained from, our own citizens, some of whom may be 
deluded by their fears, while others are actuated by baser 
motives; but suspicions thus derived can, in my judgment, 
form no sufficient justification for what I deem to be grave 
and alarming violations of the rights of individual citizens 
of the city of Baltimore and of the State of Maryland. 
" Very respectfully, 

" GEO. WM. BBOWK, Mayor." 


As a part of the history of the times, it may not be inap- 
propriate to reproduce an account, taken from the Baltimore 
American of December 5, I860, of the reception of the 
Putnam Phalanx of Hartford, Connecticut, in the city of Bal- 
timore. At this time it still seemed to most men of mod- 
erate views that the impending troubles might be averted 
through concessions and compromise. In the tone of the two 
speeches, both of which were, of course, meant to be friendly 
and conciliatory, there is a difference to be noted which was, 
I think, characteristic of the attitude of the two sections ; in 
the one speech some prominence is given to the Constitution 
and constitutional rights ; in the other, loyalty to the Union 
is the theme enforced : 

"The Putnam Phalanx of Hartford, Connecticut, under 
the command of Major Horace Goodwin, yesterday afternoon 
reached here, at four o'clock, by the Philadelphia train, 
en route for a visit to the tomb of Washington. A detach- 
ment of the Eagle Artillery gave them a national salute. 

"The Battalion Baltimore City Guards, consisting of four 
companies, under the command of Major Joseph P. Warner, 
were drawn up on Broadway, and after passing in salute, the 
column moved by way of Broadway and Baltimore and Cal- 
vert streets to the old Universalist church-building. 

"As soon as the military entered the edifice and were 
seated, the galleries were thrown open to the public, and in a 
few minutes they were crowded to overflowing. 

"Captain Parks introduced Major Goodwin to Mayor 
Brown, who was in turn introduced to the commissioned 

Eeception of the Putnam Phalanx, I860. 161 

officers of the Phalanx. Major Goodwin then turned to his 
command and said : ' Gentlemen of the Phalanx, I have the 
honor of introducing you to the Mayor of the city of Balti- 
more. 7 Mayor Brown arose, and after bowing to the Bat- 
talion, addressed them as follows : 


"'Mr. Commander and Gentlemen: In the name and on 
behalf of the people of Baltimore, I extend to the Putnam 
Phalanx a sincere and hearty welcome to the hospitalities of 
our city. The citizens of Baltimore are always glad to 
receive visits from the citizen-soldiers of sister States, because 
they come as friends, and more than friends as the defend- 
ers of a common country. 

" c These sister States, as we love to call them, live some- 
what far apart, and gradually become more and more sepa- 
rated by distance, just as sisters will be as the children 
marry and one by one leave the parent homestead. 

*" But, gentlemen, far or near, on the Connecticut or Po- 
tomac, on the Gulf of Mexico or the great lakes, on the 
Atlantic or Pacific, they are sisters still, united by blood and 
affection, and the holy tie should never be severed. (Applause.) 

" f Let me carry the figure a step further, and add what I 
know will meet with a response from the Putnam Phalanx, 
with whose history and high character I am somewhat ac- 
quainted that a sisterhood of States, like separate families of 
sisters living in the same neighborhood, can never dwell 
together in peace unless each is permitted to manage her 
own domestic affairs in her own way (applause) ; not only 
without active interference from the rest, but even without 
much fault-finding or advice, however well intended it 
may be. 

162 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

"' Maryland has sometimes been called the Heart State, 
because she lies very close to the great heart of the Union; 
and she might also be called the Heart State because her 
heart beats with true and warm love for the Union. (Loud 
applause.) Nor, as I trust, does Connecticut fall short of 
her in this respect. And when the questions now before the 
country come to be fairly understood, and the people look 
into them with their own eyes, and take matters into their 
own hands, I believe that we shall see a sight of which poli- 
ticians, North and South, little dream. (Applause.) "We 
shall see whether there is a love for the Union or not. 

"'But there are great national questions agitating the 
land which must now be finally settled. One is, Will the 
States of the North keep on their statute-books laws which 
violate a right of the States of the South, guaranteed to 
them by the Constitution of the United States ? No indi- 
viduals, no families, no States, can live in peace together when 
any right of a part is persistently and deliberately violated 
by the rest. Another question is, What shall be done with 
the national territory? Shall it belong exclusively to the 
North or the South, or shall it be shared by both, as it was 
gained by the blood and treasure of both ? Are there not" 
wisdom and patriotism enough in the land to settle these 
questions ? 

te c Gentlemen, your presence here to-day proves that you 
are animated by a higher and larger sentiment than that of 
State pride the. sentiment of American nationality. The 
most sacred spot in America is the tomb of Washington, and 
to that shrine you are about to make a pilgrimage. You 
come from a State celebrated above all others for the most 
extensive diffusion of the great blessing of education ; which 
has a colonial and Eevolutionary history abounding in honor- 

Reception of the Putnam Phalanx, 1860, 163 

able memorials ; which, has heretofore done her full share in 
founding the institutions .of this country the land of Wash- 
ington and which can now do as much as any other in 
preserving that land one and undivided, as it was left hy 
the Father of his Country. I will not permit myself to 
doubt that your State and our State, that Connecticut and 
Maryland, will both be on the same side, as they have often 
been in times past, and that they will both respect and obey 
and uphold the sacred Constitution of the country/ (Shouts 
of applause.) 

" As soon as the Mayor concluded, Major Goodwin arose ; 
but it was some time before he could be heard, such was the 
tremendous applause with which he was greeted. The Major 
is nearly ninety years of age, and is one of the most venerable- 
looking men in the country. Dressed in the old Revolutionary 
uniform, a facsimile of that worn by General Putnam, and 
with his locks silvered with age, we may say that his appear- 
ance electrified the multitude, and shout after shout shook 
the very building. Major Goodwin expressed himself as 
follows : 

" c Mr. Mayor and gentlemen of the Baltimore City Guards, 
permit me to introduce to you our Judge Advocate, Captain 
Stuart. 3 

" Captain Stuart arose and spoke as follows : 


tt t Your Honor, Mayor Brown : For your kind words of 
welcome, and for your patriotic sentiments in favor of the 
Union, the Putnam Phalanx returns you its most cordial 
thanks. I can assure yon, sir, that when you spoke in such 
eloquent terms of the value and importance of a united 
country, you but echoed the sentiments of the whole of our 

164 Baltimore and the 19ft of April, 1861. 

organization ; and let me say, it is with great pleasure, upon 
a journey, as we are, to the tomb of the illustrious Wash- 
ington, that we pause for a while within a city so famed for 
its intelligence, its industry, its general opulence and its 
courtesy, as is this your own beautiful Baltimore. 

" ' We opine, nay, we know from what you have yourself, 
in such fitting terms, just expressed, that you heartily appre- 
ciate the purpose which lies at the foundation of our organi- 
zation, that purpose being the lofty one of commemorating, 
by our military attire and discipline, the imposing foundation- 
period of the American Republic, of attracting our own 
patriotic feeling, and that of all who may honor us with their 
observation, to the exalted virtues of those heroic men who 
laid the foundations of our present national prosperity and 
glory men of whom your city and State furnished, as it 
pleasantly happens, a large and most honorable share. 

" f We come, sir, from that portion of the United States in 
which the momentous struggle for American freedom took its 
rise, and where the blood of its earliest martyrs was shed ; 
from the region where odious writs of assistance, infamous 
Courts of Admiralty, intolerable taxation, immolated charters 
of government and prohibited commerce were once fast 
paving the way for the slavery of our institutions ; from the 
region of a happy and God-fearing people from the region, 
sir, of Lexington and Concord and Bunker Hill and Croton 
Heights, of ravaged New London and fired Fairficld and 
Norwalk and devastated Danbury and sacked New Haven. 
And we come, Mr. Mayor, to a city and State, we are 
proudly aware, which to all these trials and perils of as- 
saulted New England, and to the trials and perils of our 
whole common country, during "the times that tried men's 
souls," gave ever the meed of its heartfelt sympathy, and the 

Reception of the Putnam Phalanx, 1860. 165 

unstinted tribute of its patriotic blood and treasure ; which, 
with a full and clear comprehension of all the great prin- 
ciples of American freedom, and a devotion to those principles 
that was ever ardent and exalted, signalized themselves by 
their wisdom in council and their prowess on the field. 

" ' When the devoted metropolis of New England began to 
feel the awful scourge of the Writ Bill, Maryland it was that 
then contributed most liberal supplies for its suffering people, 
and with these supplies those cheering, ever-to-be-remembered, 
talismanic words : "The Supreme Director of all events will 
terminate this severe trial of your patriotism in the happy 
confirmation of American freedom." 

" ( When this same metropolis soon after became the seat 
of war, Maryland it was that at once sent to the camp around 
Boston her own companies of "dauntless riflemen," under her 
brave Michael Cresap and the gallant Price, to mingle in the 
defense of New England firesides and New England homes. 
She saw and felt, and bravely uttered at the time, the fact 
that in the then existing state of public affairs there was no 
alternative left for her, or for the country at large, but "base 
submission or manly resistance "; and, Mr: Mayor, at the 
memorable battle of Long Island she made this manly resist- 
ance, for there she poured out the life-blood of no less than 
two hundred and fifty-nine of her gallant sons, who fought in 
her own Smallwood's immortal regiment; and elsewhere, from 
the St. Lawrence to the banks of the Savannah, through 
Pennsylvania, Virginia and both the Carolinas devoted the 
best blood within her borders, and the flower of her soldiery, 
to the battlefields of the Union. 

"'Sir, we of this Phalanx recall these and other Revolu- 
tionary memories belonging to your city and State with pride 
and satisfaction. They unite Connecticut and Maryland in 

166 Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861. 

strong and pleasant bonds. And we are highly gratified to 
be here in the midst of them, and to receive at your hands so 
grateful a welcome as that which you have extended. 

" 'Be assured, Mr. Mayor, that in the sentiments of devo- 
tion to our common country which you so eloquently express, 
this Phalanx sympathizes heart and soul. You may plant 
the flag of the Union anywhere and we shall warm to it. 
And now, renewedly thanking you for the present manifesta- 
tion of courtesy, we shall leave to enjoy the hospitality which 
awaits us in pleasant quarters at our hotel/ 

" Captain Stuart was frequently interrupted by applause." 


On the 19th of April, 1880, a portion of the members of 
the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment again visited Baltimore, 
and an account of its reception, taken from the Baltimore Sun 
and the Baltimore Amwican, seems to be a fitting close to 
this paper : 

" Thirty-nine members of the Association of Survivors of 
the Sixth Massachusetts Union Regiment came to Baltimore 
yesterday afternoon, to celebrate the nineteenth anniversary 
of their march through Baltimore, April 19, 1861, which 
gave rise to the riot of that day. The visitors were met, on 
landing from the cars at President-street Depot, by Wilson, 
Dushane and Harry Howard Posts, Grand Army of the Re- 
public, in full uniform, with band and drum corps. The line 
was up Broadway to Baltimore street, to Barnum's Hotel. 
A file of policemen, with Marshals Gray and Frey, kept the 
street open for the parade. The streets were crowded with 
people. The Massachusetts men wore citizen's dress and 

Wilson Post No. 1, of the Grand Army of the Republic, 
received the visitors in their hall, Rialto Building, at two 
o'clock. Commander Dukehart, of Wilson Post, welcomed 
the guests in a brief speech, and then introduced Comrade 
Crow ley, of the old Sixth, who said : 

" ' Nineteen years ago I was but a boy. A few days before 
the 19th of April, 'the militia of Middlesex County were 
summoned for the defense of the National Capital. We left 
workshops, desk and family, to come to the defense of the 
capital. We thought we were coming to a picnic ; that the 

168 Baltimore and the Wth of April, 1861. 

people of South Carolina were a little off their balance, and 
would be all right on sober second thought. A few miles 
out from Baltimore the Quartermaster gave us each ten 
rounds of ammunition. We had been singing songs. The 
Colonel told us he expected trouble in Baltimore, and im- 
pressed on each man not to fire until he was compelled to. 
The singing ceased, and we then thought we had serious 
business before us, and that others besides South Carolina 
had lost their balance. When we reached the Baltimore 
Depot some of the cars had gone ahead, and four companies 
young men were in the cars unconscious of what was going 
on outside. We thought the people of Baltimore and Mary- 
land were of the same Government, and if not they ought to 
be. (Cheers and applause.) That they had the same 
interest in the Government, the best ever devised; that 
Maryland at least was loyal. A man knocked on the car- 
door and told us they were tearing up the track. Our 
Captain said, " Men, file out 1" The order was given and we 
marched out. The Captain said, " March as close as you pos- 
sibly can. Fire on no man unless compelled." We marched 
through railroad iron, bricks and other missiles. We proved 
ourselves brave soldiers proved that we could wait, at least, 
for the word of command. We were pelted in Baltimore 
nineteen years ago. We lost some of our comrades, and 
others were disabled for life. But we went to Washington. 
We don't claim to be the saviors of the capital ; we take no 
great credit for what we did ; but we did the best we could, 
and the result is shown. The success 6f our march through 
Baltimore to-day is as indelibly fixed and will ever be as 
fresh as that of nineteen years ago, and our reception will 
remain in our hearts and minds as long as life lasts. My 
father had six sons, and five were at the front at the same 

Reception of the Massachusetts Sixth, 1880. 169 

time. I had learned to think that if Maryland, South Caro- 
lina or Virginia was to declare independence the Government 
would be broken up, and that we would have no country, no 
home, no flag. We were not fighting for Massachusetts, for 
Maryland or for Virginia, but for our country the United 
States (cheers and applause) remembering the declaration of 
the great statesman, " Liberty and Union, now and forever, 
one and inseparable." This country went through four years 
of carnage and blood. Few families, North or South, but 
have mourning at their firesides ; but it was not in vain, for 
it has established the fact that we are one people, and are an 
all-powerful people. (Prolonged cheers.) Our reception 
to-day has convinced us that the war has ended, and that 
there are Union men in Maryland as in Massachusetts; 
that we are brothers, and will be so to the end of time ; 
that this is one great country; and that the people are 
marching on in amity and power, second to none on the fece^ 
of the globe/ (Cheers.) 

" In the evening there was a banquet at the Eutaw House,, 
and Judge Geo. William Brown, who was Mayor of Balti- 
more in 1861, presided. Nearly two hundred persons were- 
at table. After the dinner was over, Judge Brown said : 

" ' This is the 19th of April, a day memorable in the annals 
of this city, and in the annals of the country. It is filled IEU 
my mind with the most painful recollections of my life, and, 
I doubt not that many who are here present share with me 
those feelings. I shall make but brief allusions to the- 
events of that day. The city authorities of Baltimore of 
that time have mostly passed away, and I believe I am the 
only one here present to-night. Li justice to the living and 
the dead I have to say that the authorities of Baltimore 
faithfully endeavored to do their duty. It is not neces- 
sary for me, perhaps, to say so in this presence. (Applause.) 

170 Baltimore and the l$th of April, 1861. 

It was not their fault that the Massachusetts Sixth Regiment 
met a bloody reception in the streets of Baltimore. The 
visit of that regiment on both occasions has a great and im- 
portant significance. What did it mean in 1861 ? It meant 
civil war; that the irrepressible conflict which Mr. Seward 
predicted had broken out at last, and that, as Mr. Lincoln 
said, a house divided against itself cannot stand. A great 
question then presented itself to the country. When war 
virtually began in Baltimore, by bloodshed on both sides, it 
meant that the question must be settled by force whether or 
not the house should stand. It took four years of war, 
waged with indomitable perseverance, to decide it, because 
the combatants on both sides were sustained by deep and 
honest convictions. It is not surprising, looking back coolly 
and calmly on the feelings of that day, that they found venl 
as they did. I am not here to excuse or to apologize, but to 
acknowledge facts. That was the significance of the first visit 
of the Massachusetts Sixth Regiment, in response to the call 
of the President of the United States. After the war there 
was peace. But enforced peace is not sufficient in a family 
of States any more than in a household. There must be 
among brothers respect, confidence, mutual help and forbear- 
ance, and, above everything, j ustice and right. After nineteen 
years the visit of survivors of the Sixth Massachusetts 
is, I hope, significant of more than peace. It is, I hope, 
significant of the fact that there is a true bond of union 
between the North and the South (applause), and that we 
are a family of States, all equal, all friends ; and if it be, 
there is no one in the country who can more fervently thank 
God than myself that the old house still stands/ (Ap- 

"Judge Brown offered' as a toast : ' The Sixth Regiment of 
Massachusetts : Baltimore extends to her fraternal greeting/ ;; 


Acton, regiment mustered in, 43. 

Allen, E. J,, dispatches addressed 
to, 131. 

American, TJie, on the Baltimore 
riot of 1861, 65 ; account of the 
Putnam Phalanx in Baltimore, 160 
-167 ; on the reception of the Sixth 
Massachusetts Regiment in Balti- 
more, 167-170. 

Andrew, GOT. J. A M correspondence 
with Mayor Brown, 54, 55. 

Arkansas, secession of, 33. 


Baltimore, unjust prejudice against, 
13, 19 ; supposed conspiracy in, 14, 
15, 120 ; slaveholders in, 80 ; Sixth 
Massachusetts Regiment in, 42- 
53, 167-170 ; excitement on 20th 
April, 60, 61, 64; defense of, 63; 
apprehension of bloodshed in, 75 ; 
armed neutrality, 77; Gen. But- 
ler's entrance into, 84 ; Gen. Dix's 
headquarters in, 100, 101; Mayor's 
message to City Council, 157-159 ; 
reception of Putnam Phalanx in, 

Banks, Gen. N". P. , in command, 97 ; 
arrests police commissioners of Bal- 
timore, 98, 99; Secretary Cam- 
eron's letter to, 102 ; General Mo- 
CleUan's letter to, 103. 

Bartol, Judge, imprisonment of, 94. 

Belger, Major, comes to Baltimore, 

Bell, Presidential vote for, 25. 

Black, Judge, on martial law, 93. 

Blackstone on the right of imprison- 
ment, 147, 149. 

Bond's, Judge, errand to Lincoln, 
57, 61. 

Boston, slave-traffic in, 20 ; regiment 
mustered in, 43. 

Brand, Rev. William F., efforts for 
emancipation, 113. 

Breckinridge, Presidential vote for, 

Brown, Geo. Wm., meets the Massa- 
chusetts Sixth in Baltimore, 48, 
49 ; Captain Dike on, 54 ; corre- 
spondence with Gov. Andrew, 54, 
55 ; speech to the excited public, 
56; writes to President Lincoln 
about passage of troops through 
Baltimore, 57, 61, 63; interview 
with President Lincoln, 71-75 ; 
General Butler's letter to, 83, 84 ; 
petitions Congress to restore peace 
to city, 99 ; arrest of, 102, 103, 
108 ; correspondence with General 
Dix, 104-108; parole offered to, 
110, 111; anti-slavery principles 
of, 118 ; opposed to secession, 115 ; 
on the tendencies of the age, 117, 
118 ; message to City Council, 157- 
159; speech to the Putnam Pha- 
lanx, 160-163 ; speech to the sur- 
vivors of the Sixth Massachusetts 
Regiment, 169, 170. 



Brown, John, reverence for in the 
North, 21. 

Brune, Frederick W., efforts for 
emancipation, 113, 

Brune, John C. , message to President 
Lincoln, 57, 61 ; accompanies 
Mayor to Washington, 71 ; elected 
to General Assembly, 79. 

Bush River Bridge partially burned 
to prevent ingress of troops, 58, 59, 

Butler, Gen., and the Eighth Massa- 
chusetts Regiment, 76; at the 
Relay House, 88 ; rumor of an 
attack on his camp, 83, 84 ; enters 
Baltimore, 84; arrests Ross Wi- 
nans, 87. 

Byrne, Wm., denounces the North, 

Cadwallader, General, and the writ of 
habeas corpus, 88, 140. 

Cameron, Simon, advice to Governor 
Hicks to restrain Maryland, 40; 
on the obstruction of Northern 
Central bridge, 73 ; letter to Gen. 
Banks, 102. 

Carmichael, Judge, assaulted and im- 
prisoned, 93. 

Carr, W. C. N., speaks at States 
Rights meeting, 38, 89. 

Cheston, G., efforts for emancipation, 

Christison, Wenlock, a Quaker, owns 
slaves, 31. 

Clark, John, advances money for de- 
fense of city, 61. 

Crawford, William, Kane's letter to, 

Crowley, Comrade, of the Massachu- 
setts Sixth, speech in Baltimore, 
1880, 167. 

Curtis, Benj. R., Life of, quotation 
about Judge Taney, 91. 

Cutter, B. L., release from arrest, 


Davis, Jefferson, elected President 
of the Confederacy, 32. 

Davis, John W., police commissioner 
of Baltimore, 35, 49 ; errand to 
Fort McHenry, 66, 67, 68. 

Davis, Judge, doubts the rumors of 
conspiracy, 132, 133. 

Davis, Robert W., killed, 52. 

De Tocqueville, on public opinion in 
America, 117. 

Dike, Capt. J. H., company attacked 
in Baltimore, 46 ; testifies as to 
the conduct of Baltimore civil 
authority during the riot, 53, 64. 

Dimick, Col. J., releases prisoners 
from Fort Warren, 108; kind 
treatment of prisoners, 111. 

Dix, General, headquarters in Balti- 
more, 101 ; correspondence with 
Mayor Brown, 104-108. 

Dix, Miss, relates a Confederate plot, 

Dobbin, Geo. W., errand to Lincoln, 
57, 61 ; accompanies the Mayor to 
Washington, 71. 

Douglas, S. A., Senatorial campaign, 
22 ; Presidential vote for, 25. 

Dred Scott Case, 138. 


Evans, H. D., his code for Liberia, 81. 

Felton, C. C., on the "Baltimore 
Plot," 18. 

Felton, Samuel M., on the supposed 
conspiracy, 13-18, 129-133; ad- 
vises Massachusetts Sixth to load 
their guns, 43 ; engages spies, 120. 

Ferrandini, Captain, suspected of 
conspiracy to assassinate President 
Lincoln, 122-129. 



Follansbee, Capt., company attacked 

in Baltimore, 46, 49. 
Fort McHenry, apprehended attack 

on, 66, 69. 

Fort Sumter, bombardment of, 32. 
Franciscus, in the car with Lincoln, 



Garrett's, John W., dispatch to 
Mayor Brown concerning advance 
of troops to Cockeysville, 73, 74, 

Gatchell, Wm. H., police commis- 
sioner of Baltimore, 35; release 
from arrest, 109. 

Giles, Judge, issues writ of habeas 
corpus to Major Morris, 87. 

Gill, George M., meets the Massachu- 
setts Sixth, 48 ; counsel for John 
Merryman, 87. 

Goodwin, Major Horace, commands 
Putnam Phalanx, 160 ; hfe appear- 
ance, 163. 

Greeley, Horace, on the conduct of 
the Baltimore authorities, 76, 77. 

Groton, regiment mustered in, 42. 

Gunpowder River Bridge partially 
burned, 58. 

Habeas corpus case, 87, 139-156. 

Hall, Thomas W., release from 
arrest, 109. 

Hallam's Constitutional History, ex- 
tract from, 151. 

Halleck, Gen., in Baltimore, 101. 

Harris, J. Morrison, errand to the 
Capital, 63. 

Harrison, Wm. G., elected to Gen- 
eral Assembly, 80 ; released from 
arrest, 108. 

Hart, Capt., company attacked in 
Baltimore, 46. 

Herndon, Wm. H., comments on 
Lincoln's senatorial campaign 
speech, 23; reports of plot fur- 
nished to, 122. 

Hicks, T. H., Governor of Maryland, 
34 ; proclamation of, 40 ; speech 
before excited public, 56 ; writes 
to Lincoln not to pass troops 
through Baltimore, 57, 61 ; sug- 
gests mediation between North 
and South by Lord Lyons, 76; 
convenes General Assembly, 79; 
letter to E. H. Webster, 128. 

Hilliard, suspected of conspiracy, 
122, 123. 

Hinks, Chas. D., police commis- 
sioner of Baltimore, 35 ; released 
from arrest, 99. 

Hopkins, Johns, advances money for 
city defense, 61. 

Howard, Charles, police commis- 
sioner of Baltimore, 35; appre- 
hends attack on Fort McHenry, 
66, 67 ; report on the state of city, 
80, 81 : release from arrest, 108. 

Howard, F. K., release from arrest, 

Huger, General, made Colonel of 
53d Regiment, 66. 

Hull, Rob't, release from arrest, 109. 

Hyde, Sir Nicholas, on the writ of 
habeas corpus, 150. 

Jefferson, Thomas, and writ of habeas 
corpus, 141. 

Johnson, Capt. B. T., arrives in 
Baltimore, 64; hasty dispatch 
from Marshal Kane, 69, 70. 

Jones, Col. Edmund F., passage 
through Baltimore, 43; on the 
Massachusetts Sixth in Baltimore, 
46, 47, 48, 51 ; letter to Marshal 
Kane, 54. 



Judd, N. B., with Lincoln in Phila- 
delphia, 16 ; hears of conspiracy in 
Baltimore, 128-133. 


Kane, Marshal George P., investi- 
gates supposed plot, 15 ; head of 
Baltimore police, 35 ; letter to 
Crawford, 40; keeps order at 
Oamden Station, 48 ; attempts to 
quell Baltimore mob, 51, 53 ; Col. 
Jones's gratitude to, 54; hasty 
dispatch to Johnson, 69, 70 ; after 
the war elected Sheriff and subse- 
quently Mayor, 70 ; arrest of, 97 ; 
release from arrest, 109. 

Keim, Gen., arrests John Merryman, 
87, 140. 

Kenly, John It., supersedes Marshal 
Kane, 97. 

Kennedy, Anthony, errand to 
the Capital, 63. 

Kennedy, John P., on the attitude 
of Border States, 31, 32. 

Kentucky, temporary neutrality of,* 

Keys, John S., letter from Mayor 
Brown to, 110, 111. 

Kinney, Mr., receives Lincoln in 
Philadelphia, 134. 

Lamon, Colon el W. H., on Lincoln's 

midnight ride, 19, 120-137; on 

Lincoln -Douglas campaign, 22; 

ride with Lincoln, 138. 
Latrobe, John H. B., President of 

Maryland Colonization Society, 31. 
Lawrence, Massachusetts, regiment 

mustered in, 42. 
Lee, Colonel, on Gen. Cadwallader's 

errand to Judge Taney, 88. 
Lewis, Mr., in the oar with Lincoln, 


Lincoln, President, alleged conspir- 
acy against, in Maryland, 11-15, 
121-137 ; midnight ride to Wash- 
ington, 17, 19, 120; Senatorial 
campaign with Douglas, 22 ; differs 
from Seward, 24 ; election to Presi- 
dency, 25 ; calls out the militia, 82 ; 
letter to Gov. Hicks, 62 ; Mayor 
Brown writes to, concerning passage 
of troops through Baltimore, 57, 
61 ; Mayor Brown's interview with, 

Lowell, Massachusetts, regiment 
mustered in, 42. 

Luckett, suspected of conspiracy, 

Lyons, Lord, suggested as mediator 
between North and South, 76; 
Secretary Seward's boast of his 
authority to, 91. 


Macgill, Dr. Charles, release from 
arrest, 109. 

Marshall, Chief Justice, on habeas 
corpus, 153, 154. 

Maryland, rumors of conspiracy in, 
11, 12, 13; slavery in, 20, 80; 
Lincoln's call for militia, how re- 
ceived in, 33 ; excitement, 40, 41. 

Mason, James M., sent from Vir- 
ginia to negotiate with Maryland, 

Massachusetts, Minute Men, 11; 
slavery in, 20 ; Eighth Regiment, 
76 ; Sixth Regiment, 42, 167-170. 

May, Henry, M 0., arrest of, 103* 

McClellan, General, letter to General 
Banks, 102. 

'McComas, Sergeant, removes ob- 
struction from railway track in 
Baltimore, 49. 

MoHenry, Ramsay, efforts for eman- 
cipation, 118. 



Merryman, John, arrest of, 87, 88, 
154; charges against unfounded, 

Morfit, H. M., elected to General 

Assembly, 79. 
Morris, Major, refuses to obey writ 

of habeas corpus, 87. 


Negro. See, Slavery. 
Newport, slave-traffic in, 20. 
Nicolay, George, on Lincoln's mid- 
night ride, 132. 
North Carolina, secession of, 33. 


0' Donnell,Columbus, advances money 
for city defense, 61. 

Parker, Edward P., General Butler's 
aide-de-camp, 83. 

Patapsco Dragoons, arrival in Balti- 
more, 64. 

Pemberton, Major, leads U. S. Artil- 
lery through Baltimore, 36. 

Pennsylvania troops in Baltimore, 
44, 53 ; at Cockeysville, 75. 

Phillips, Wendell, on States Eights, 

Pickering, Captain, company opposed 
in Baltimore, 46. 

Pikesville, arsenal taken possession 
of, 65. 

Pitts, Charles H., elected to General 
Assembly, 80. 

Putnam Phalanx of Hartford in Bal- 
timore, 160-166. 

Putnam's Record of the Rebellion, 
quotation from, 38. 


Revolution, right of, 26-29. 
Robinson, I)r. Alex. C., Chairman of 
States Rights Convention, 38. 

Robinson, General John C., on Bal- 
timore in 1861, 66, 69, 81, 82, 83. 


Sanford, plans Lincoln's midnight 
ride, 131. 

Sangston, L., elected to General As- 
sembly, 0. 

Scharf 's History of Maryland quoted, 
35, 37, 78, 103. 

Scott, General, on the passage of 
troops through Baltimore, 62, 72, 

Scott, T. Parkin, sympathizes with 
the South, 38, 39 ; elected Judge 
after the war, 39 ; elected to Gen- 
eral Assembly, 79 ; release from 
arrest, 108. 

Seward, Secretary, position before 
Presidential Convention, 24; boasts 
of his authority, 91 ; sends news of 
supposed conspiracy to Lincoln, 
130, 134. 

Slavery, compromises of Constitution 
in regard to, 20-22 ; Geo. Wm. 
Brown opposed to, 113 ; some good 
effects of, 114. 

Small, Colonel, leads Pennsylvania, 
regiment, 42. 

South Carolina, secession of, 31. 

Steuart, Dr. Richard S., efforts for 
emancipation, 113. 

Story, Justice, on habeas corpus, 152, 

Stuart, Captain, speech in Balti- 
more, 163-166. 

Sumner, Colonel, offers to accompany 
President Lincoln to Washington, 
132, 133. 

Sun, The, on the offer of service by 
colored people, 65. 66 ; on the suf- 
fering of Pennsylvania troops in 
Baltimore County, 76 ; Reception 
of 6th Massachusetts Regiment in 
Baltimore, 167-170. 



Taney, Chief Justice, on negro rights, 
21, 138; habeas corpus case ex 
parte John Merryman, 87-93, 139- 

Tennessee, secession of, 33. 

Thomas, Dr. J. Hanson, elected to 
General Assembly, 79. 

Trimble, Colonel I. R., defense of 
Baltimore, 63. 

Trist, N. P., news of conspiracy com- 
municated to, 14. 

Turner, Capt, suspected of con- 
spiracy, 124-126. 


Union Convention called, 92. 

Virginia, secession of, 33; sends 
Mason to negotiate with Mary- 
land, 84. 

Wallis, S. Teackle, legal adviser to 
Baltimore police commission, 35; 
speech to the excited public, 56 ; 

accompanies the Mayor to Wash- 
ington, 71 ; elected to the General 
Assembly, 79 ; release from arrest, 
108, 109. 

Warfield, Henry M., elected to Gen- 
eral Assembly, 79; release from 
arrest, 108. 

Warner, Major J. P., commands 
Baltimore City Guards, 160. 

Washburne, Mr., meets President 
Lincoln at Washington Depot, 136. 

Watson, Major, company attacked 
in Baltimore, 45. 

Webster, B. H., GOT. Hicks's letter 
to, 128. 

Whitefield, the Calvinist, owns 
slaves, 21. 

Williams, George H., counsel for 
John Merryman, 87. 

Winans, Ross, denounces passage of 
troops through Baltimore, 37; 
elected to General Assembly, 79 ; 
arrested by Gen. Butler's order, 87. 

Winder, Wm. H., release from 
arrest, 109. 

Wood, Fernando, tries to make New 
York a free city, 31. 

Wool, General, checks arbitrary 
arrest, 109. 

Worcester, regiment mustered in, 42. 

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A History of Municipal Evolution. 


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-V f . \ // Jr 

).// 1 

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Formation of a State. Town-Meetings. Fundamental Agreement Davenport's 
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Town Courts. The Quarters. Military Organization The Watch. The Marshal 

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Law and English Usage, 

in Constitution. Hopkins Grammar School. Minister's Tax. Tithingmen. Justice 

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Public Benevolence. Indian Wars. Villages again, Tyranny of Andres* Local 
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Quarrel with East Haven. Yale College.The Walpolean Lethargy. Sale of the 
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1886. Town-Born w. Interloper. First Phases of City Politics. First Charter. 
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Recent Charters. Conservative Influences in the Community. 

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City Judiciary. City Executive. City Legislature. Legislative Control over the 
Commissions. Conduct of Commissions. Executive Organization. Administrative 
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Appendix A. Mr. Pierson's Elegy. 
" B. The Town of Naugatnck. 
" C. Dr. Manasseh Cutler's Diary. 
D A Town Court of Elections. New Haven, A. D. 1656. 

The volume now ready comprises 350 pages octavo, with various dia- 
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Subscribers to the STUDIES can obtain at reduced rates this new volume,' 



\ History of Municipal Development 



While several general histories of Philadelphia have been written, 

ire is no history of that city as a municipal corporation. Such a work 

low offered, based upon the Acts of Assembly, the City Ordinances, the 

tte Reports, and many other authorities. Numerous manuscripts in the 

msylvania Historical Society, in Public Libraries, and in the Depart- 

nts at Philadelphia and Harrisburg have also been consulted, and 

)ortant facts found therein are now for the first time published. 

The development of the government of Philadelphia affords a pecu- 

y interesting study, and is full of instruction to the student of municipal 

stions. The first charter granted by the original proprietor, William 

n, created a dose, self-elected corporation, consisting of the "Mayor, 

:order and Common Council," holding office for life. Such corpora- 

s survived in England from medieval times to the passage of the Reform 

of 1835. The corporation of Philadelphia possessed practically no 

er of taxation, and few and extremely limited powers of any kind. As 

apidly growing city required greater municipal powers, the tegidfr 

instead of increasing the powers of the corporation which, being self- 

elected, was held in distrust by the citizens, established from time to time 
various independent boards, commissions, and trusts for the control of tax- 
ation, streets, poor, etc. These boards were subsequently transformed 
into the city departments as they exist to-day. The State and municipal 
legislation, extending over two centuries, is extremely varied and frequently 
experimental. It affords instruction illustrative of almost every form of 
municipal expedient and constitution. 

The development of the city government of Philadelphia has been 
carefully traced through many changes in the powers and duties of the 
mayor, in the election and powers of the subordinate executive officers, in 
the position and relation of the various departments, in the legislative and 
executive powers of councils, in the frequently shifting distribution of 
executive power between the mayor and councils, and in the procedure of 
councils. In 1885 an Act of Assembly was passed providing for anew 
government for Philadelphia which embodies the latest ideas upon muni- 
cipal questions. 

The history of the government of the city thus begins with the medi- 
eval charter of most contracted character, and ends with the liberal pro- 
visions of the Reform Act of 1885. It furnishes illustrations of almost every 
phase of municipal development. The story cannot fail to interest all those 
who believe that the question of better government for our great cities is 
one of critical importance, and who are aware of the fact that this question 
is already receiving widespread attention. The subject had become so 
serious in 1876 that Governor Hartranft, in his message of that year, called 
the attention of the Legislature to it in the following succinct and forcible 
statement: " There is no political problem that at the present moment occa- 
sions so much just alarm and is obtaining more anxious thought than the 
government of cities" 

The consideration of the subject naturally resolves itself into five sharply- 
ned periods, to each of which a chapter has been devoted, as indicated 
:he following summary, which, while not exhaustive, will suggest the 
era! scope. 

CHAPTER I. FIRST PERIOD, 1681-1701. Founding of the city. Functions 
ic Provincial Council. Slight but certain evidence of some organized city gov- 
nent prior to Penn's Charter. 

CHAPTER II. SECOND PERIOD, 1701-1789. Penn's authority. Charter of 
i. Attributes of the Proprietary Charter; its medieval character. Integral parts 
he corporation. Arbitrary nature and limited powers. Acts of Legislature creat- 
independent commissions. Miscellaneous acts and ordinances. The Revolution, 
.brogation of Charter. Legislative government. Summary. 

CHAPTER III. THIRD PERIOD, 1789-1854, Character of Second Charter. 
ises leading to its passage. A modern municipal corporation. Supplements. 
partments.-^-Goncentration of authority. Councils. Bicameral system adopted. 
cers, how appointed or elected. Diminishing powers of the mayor. -Introduction 
landing committees. Finance. Debt. Revenue. Review of the period. 

CHAPTER IV. FOURTH PERIOD, 1854-1887. Act of consolidation. Causes 
ding to its passage. Features of New Charter. Supplements. Extent of ter- 
nry covered by consolidation. Character of outlying 'districts. New Constitution, 
delation of city and county. Summary of changes effected. Twenty-five ptasi- 
ependent departments established. Encroachment of legislative upon executive 

vers. Resulting Citizens' Reform movement Committee of one hundred. Con- 

:ts. Debt. Delusive methods of finance. Reform movement in councils. 
uses leading to the passage of the Bullit Bill. Review of the period. 

CHAPTER V. FIFTH PERiOD.-Text of the Act of 1885. History of the 
ssage of the Bullit Bill. Changes by it effected in the organic law. Conclusions, 


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