By Jonathan W. White
In the spring of 1861, Union army professionals arrested Maryland farmer John Merryman on fees of treason opposed to the USA for burning railroad bridges round Baltimore as a way to hinder northern infantrymen from achieving the capital. From his felony phone at castle McHenry, Merryman petitioned leader Justice of the ideally suited courtroom Roger B. Taney for free up via a writ of habeas corpus. Taney issued the writ, yet President Abraham Lincoln neglected it. In mid-July Merryman was once published, simply to be indicted for treason in a Baltimore federal court docket. His case, even though, by no means went to trial and federal prosecutors eventually brushed off it in 1867.
In Abraham Lincoln and Treason within the Civil conflict, Jonathan White unearths how the arrest and prosecution of this little-known Baltimore farmer had a long-lasting effect at the Lincoln management and Congress as they struggled to boost guidelines to accommodate either northern traitors and southern rebels. His paintings exposes a number of perennially arguable felony and constitutional concerns in American historical past, together with the character and volume of presidential battle powers, the advance of nationwide guidelines for facing disloyalty and treason, and the safety of civil liberties in wartime.
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Extra resources for Abraham Lincoln and treason in the Civil War : the trials of John Merryman
He did not wish to give it. He rolled and groaned. Brown insisted and declared he would not act without explicit orders from him. Hicks twisted the sheet over his head rolled over agst. the wall and moaned rather than exclaimed ‘Oh! Yes. ’ ”17 Word spread quickly that the city and state governments had authorized the destruction of railroad bridges and telegraph wires around Baltimore. Colonel Isaac R. Trimble led a group of Baltimore policemen and city guards to burn bridges along the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore line, while Captain J.
The Baltimoreans came near our camp by [the] thousands, and all kinds of wild rumors were being circulated through camp. ” Fear quickly spread among the green recruits. ’ The Baltimore Riot and Lincoln’s Habeas Corpus Policy | 21 I grabbed him and held him up between myself and the supposed enemy; and made a kind of shield of him for self-protection; berated him for his cowardice. ”30 The Horse Guards patrolled the area throughout April 1861. They arrested several prisoners during this time, including a Pennsylvania deserter and a Baltimore County Unionist.
He also agreed to transport federal soldiers around rather than through Baltimore in the future. ”22 Sadly, Lincoln was right. ” By now the president had heard enough of their treasonable appeals. “You, gentlemen, come here to me and ask for peace on any terms, and yet have no word of condemnation for those who are making war on us,” he told them. “You express great horror of bloodshed, and yet would not lay a straw in the way of those who are organizing in Virginia and elsewhere to capture this city.
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