Henry Onderdonk.

A history of Maryland : upon the basis of M'Sherry, from its settlement to 1867, with illustrations and an appendix containing the constitution of the state for the use of schools online

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cretion the most odious, and more especially offen-
sive, from the fact that two of the five Provost
Marshals were candidates for important offices, and
sundry of their deputies for others."

8. The proclamation further stated "that the
order was without justification ; it was obnoxious
by the means appointed for its execution ; it was
offensive to the sensibilities of the people and the
authorities of the State, who had given such re-
peated proofs of their devotion to the Government."

9. The Governor then reminded the judges of
election that they were clothed with the necessary
authority and power to preserve the peace ; that
it was their special duty to give information to the
officers of the civil law of all infractions of the
State laws on the subject of elections, and that by
these laws it was forbidden for any military officer
to bring any troops within the view of any place
of election, during the time of the election ; that
they are required by oath to permit all persons to
vote who "shall, according to the directions con-
tained in the Constitution and Laws, be entitled to

Questions.— 7. Why did he think the order particularly oppres-
sive? 8. What did the proclamation further state ? 9. Of what
did the Governor remind the judges?

The Governor's Proclamation. 273

do so ; that it is the judgment of the judges of
election alone that must determine the right of
any person to vote when offering himself for that
purpose ; that they must discharge their duty un-
deterred by an order to Provost Marshals to re-
port them at head-quarters."

10. The Presfdent revoked the first part of Gen.
Schenck's order, and substituted another, which,
however, had the obnoxious feature of requiring
the presence of the military at the places of elec-
tion. As there was no change in the general
principles of the order, the Governor made no
change in his proclamation.

11. A correspondence took place between the
Governor and the President, in which the latter
justified the action of Gen. Schenck. The reply of
the Governor was a complete and spirited answer,
and refutation to every position taken by the Presi-

12. The military authorities immediately sent
orders to the Eastern Shore, directing the circula-
tion of the proclamation to be suppressed. The
public papers were forbidden to publish it; and
lest the steamers from Baltimore might carry it,
they were prevented from leaving the port. In his
message to the Legislature, the Governor states
that the officer who had himself landed in Kent
County, commenced his operations of arresting and
sending across the bay lotne ten or more of the
most estimable and distinguished of its citizens, in-
cluding some of the most uncompromising loyalists
of the Shore. The jail of the county was entered,

Questions.— 10. What did the President do? What further is
said? 11. What is said of the correspondence between Gov. Brad-
ford and President Lincoln? 12. What steps did the military-
take? What did the Governor state in his message? What was
done on the Eastern Shore?

274 History op Maryland.

the jailer seized, imprisoned, and afterwards sent
to Baltimore, and prisoners confined therein were
set at liberty. The "Government ticket" was
designated by its color, and armed with that a
voter could run the gauntlet of sabres and carbines
that guarded the polls, whether a lawful voter or
not. In fact, voters were invited to avail them-
selves of the opportunity to establish their loyalty
"by giving a fall and ardent support to the whole
Government ticket," and it asserted that many
known sympathizers with the rebellion, whether to
avert suspicion from themselves or for other reasons,
voted ; while others, loyal to the union, but adverse
to the administration ticket, were not allowed even
to approach the polls. The color of the ticket in
their hands was the test of their right to vote.

13. In one district, the military officer took his
stand at the polls and declared that none but the
"yellow ticket" should be voted, and excluded all
others. In another district, a similar officer ex-
amined every ticket, and unless it was the favored
one, the voter was compelled to take an oath un-
known to the laws of the State, and administered
by an alien to its soil. In another, after one vote
was taken, the polls were closed, and the judges
were arrested, and sent out of the county, and
military occupation taken of the town. The ticket
favored by the military was elected. The admin-
istration and opposition parties in Congress were
nearly equal, hence the strenuous exertions to
secure from Maryland and West Virginia, where
the military had control, the return of men pledged
to the support of the administration. By forcing
these States to the administration side, that party

Quest ions.— 12. What is said of the " Government ticket ?" What
was the test oi the right to vote ? 13. What is said in this section?

General Wallace. 275

secured ninety-eight out of one hundred and eighty-
five members of Congress, or a majority of eleven.
14. The Governor, in calling the attention of
the Legislature to the abuses, says : "a statement
of them presents a humiliating record, and that
unless it indeed be a fallacy to suppose that any
rights whatever remain to the State, or that any
line whatever marks the limit of Federal power, a
bolder stride across that line, that power never
made even in a rebel State, than it did here on the
3d of November. A part of the army which the
people had supplied for a very different purpose,
was engaged on that day in stifling the freedom of
elections in a faithful State, intimidating its lawful
officers, violating the constitutional rights of its
citizens, and obstructing the usual channels of com-
munication between them and their Executive."


Constitutional Convention — General Lew. Wallace
— Questions to Candidates and Voters — Paramount
Allegiance — Abolition of Slavery— The Constitution
wade Operative before Us Adoption — Difference of
Qpiinion between the Executive and Judicial Branches
— Soldiers' Vote — Inquisition of Voters — Investigation
of the Vote.

1. The success of the government party in the
election for legislature for 1864, ensured the call-
ing of a convention to remodel the Constitution of
the State, with the view of extinguishing slavery
in her borders.

Questions.— 14. What did the Governor say in his message? What
did he say a part of the army was engaged in f 1. For what pur-
pose was a convention called?

276 History of Maryland.

2. A bill was passed calling upon the people to
decide whether there should be a convention or
not, and, at the same time, to elect the members of
that convention should the affirmative receive the
largest vote. There was a provision in this bill,
that "if any military or armed force of the United
States shall appear at the polls, or in any way in-
terfere with the elections, the election shall be set
aside and a new one held, from time to time, as
long as the grievance shall continue."

3. Gen'l Lew. Wallace, who was now in com-
mand of the middle department, and whose admin-
istration was a continuance of the acts that had
characterized Gen'l Schenck's, issued certain ques-
tions to be asked of the candidates for the Con-
vention, and where the answers were not agreeable
to him, the candidate was withdrawn.

4. A set of questions was also prepared and
asked in some counties, which precluded a vast
number from voting. The result of an election
held under such circumstances was a majority of
more than twelve thousand in favor of the Con-
vention. Of ninety-eight members elected, sixty-
eight were emancipationists. The Convention met
on April 27th, Henry H. Goldsborough having
been chosen President.

5. The Bill of Rights proposed by this Con-
vention, contained two articles that met with very
strenuous opposition. The first of the two declared
that every citizen of the State owed paramount
allegiance to the Constitution and the government
of the United States. It was contended that this

Questions.— 2. What bill was passed by the Legislature? What
provision was in this bill? 3. What did Gen. Wallace do? 4. What
other questions were prepared? 5. What article in the Bill of
Rights was much opposed? Mention the arguments against it?

New Constitution, 217

was a new doctrine, and could not be found embo-
died in any constitution of any of the States ; that
the States were always recognized as sovereign ;
that it is impossible, in the nature of things, for a
sovereign to alienate its sovereignty, or to make
the thing created greater than the creator j that
the government created by these States was of a
limited character; that to it has been delegated
the performance of acts of sovereignty, but that
the power remains with the people of States as
States ; that the Constitution of the United States
itself recognized no such doctrine ; that it sub-
verted the intention of the founders of the Consti-
tution and government by removing the checks to
arbitrary power ; that paramount allegiance to the
government might prevent allegiance to the Con-
stitution and involve a citizen or State in a loss of
constitutional rights. It was further contended
that the government consisted of three depart-
ments, the executive, the legislative and the judi-
ciary, and should any two of these, for instance
the executive and judicial, differ, as in the case of
Merryman, who should decide to which obedience
is due ? and disobedience to which of them would
constitute treason ? Obedience will be enforced
by the department having superior physical force,
and disobedience to this physical force would be
treason, and thus, individuals and States would
eventually become the subject of an irresponsible
military dictation.

6. On the other hand, it was contended that
at the adoption of the Federal Constitution, the
States had surrendered the sovereignty to the

Questions.— 6. What arguments in favor of it?


278 History op Maryland.

people of the United States ; that even if it were
not so, and the fact were otherwise, the doctrine of
States-rights was wrong in principle, as it made
the Federal Union weak, and that it ought to be
abolished in order that the power of the govern-
ment might become consolidated, independent and
efficient ; that whatever danger there may be in
centralization, of crippling individual action of
the different parts, yet centralization is essential to
the healthy activity, no less than the perfection of
the body.

7. The other article that met with prolonged
opposition was that of abolishing slavery. It, how-
ever, finally passed. This constitution also pro-
vided who should, and who should not vote on its
adoption by the people, by prescribing an oath to
be taken by every one offering to cast bis ballot.
It was objected that this was making the constitu-
tion operative before it was adopted by the people;
that this new constitution had no vitality until it
should be accepted by the people, and proclaimed
by the Governor as the fundamental law of the
State ; that until this was done, the citizens were
living under the constitution then existing; that
the convention had been appointed to make a draft
of a constitution, and when that was done, their
functions were at an end; that they exceeded their
powers when they limited the rights of the people
and took away privileges they enjoyed under the
then existing constitution ; that what were claimed
as precedents of other States to the contrary, were
where the privileges were enlarged and not cur-
tailed ; that a people, through a sovereign con-

Questions.—l. What other article met with opposition? What
else did this constitution provide? What objection was made to

New Constitution. 2 TO

yention, might demand rights not before enjoyed,
but that it was contrary to the nature of a sove-
reign to deprive itself of its own immunities, and
that, therefore, such precedents were without force.

8. Another article provided that the vote of the
soldiers absent on duty, could be taken at their
several camps. It was objected that here also the
convention transcended their powers ; that the ex-
isting constitution, which was the law, provided
how elections should be held, and that votes must
be cast at the polls in the county and district in
which the voter resides ; that the nature of mili-
tary discipline was such that it could not be certain
that the soldiers voted otherwise than as suited
their commanders, — who were to be judges of the
election, — and under their dictation.

9. The Governor was called upon to interpose
his authority to prevent these infringements of the
existing constitution, but he replied that be con-
sidered the question a judicial, and not a political
one, and that he did not consider it his province
to prevent the operation of what at least had the
color of law. The remedy was in the courts. It
was replied that the courts could not meet the dif-
ficulty until after the wrong had been inflicted, and
that then there was do remedy; that the courts
to whom the appeal would be taken, would them-
selves be the creation of the new constitution, if

10. After the election, but before the constitu-
tion went into operation, an application was made
to the Superior Court for a mandamus requiring

Questions.— 8. What other article met with opposition? t>. What
uas the Governor called upon to do? How did he regard the
question ? What was the reply to the Governor? lo. What meas-
ures were taken before the proclamation of the constitution?

280 History op Maryland.

the Governor to exclude all votes given outside
the State of Maryland from the count on the adop-
tion of the constitution. The court dismissed the
application, and an appeal was taken to the Court
of Appeals. This court decided that it was a
political and not a judicial question, and that it
was, therefore, a matter of executive and not judi-
cial action. Each branch threw the responsibility
of settling the question upon the other. It was,
however, regarded as a foregone conclusion, that
the constitution prepared was to he adopted.

11. A set of questions, which were to be an-
swered under oath, was prepared for the judges to
ask each voter. The questions concerned not only
the acts and words of the voter, but entered even
into his very inmost and secret thoughts.

12. Notwithstanding this inquisition, and the re-
pugnance of men to subject themselves to a ques-
tioning so new and so abhorrent to the feelings of
freemen, the vote against the new constitution was
so large that it was supposed to have been rejected.
When, however, the soldiers' vote was brought in
from Virginia, it was found that the constitution
had been adopted by 375 majority.

13. Before the proclamation of the new consti-
tution, the Governor was requested to allow coun-
sel to investigate the soldiers"' vote. Several days
were passed in the examination, but nearly all the
objections were overruled by the Governor.

Questions. — 11. What questions were prepared for the voters?
12. Did many vote against the new constitution? Whose vote
caused the adoption of this constitution ? 13. What was done
before the new constitution was proclaimed? How were the
objections treated?

Defeat of Wallace. 281


The Confederates again in Maryland — Defeat of
Wallace— Approach of Raiders io Washington — Excite-
ment and Alarm at Washington — Timely Arrival of
Troops — Geii'l Ord — Freedmaii' s Rest.

1. Early in July, of this year, a Confederate force
appeared again in Western Maryland. Hagers-
town having been occupied by them, a requisition
was made on the inhabitants for $20,000 This
money was paid, and the raiding party left.

2. In the orders of the commanding officer, it
was required of the officers and men, when en-
camped, to remain in camp, and upon march, to
observe silence, " the silly practice of whooping
and hallowing is forbidden ; destruction of fences
and crops of farmers is positively prohibited, and
such outrages will be paid for from the pay of -the
officers of the command nearest where such depre-
dations may be committed."

3. A few days afterward, another body of Con-
federate cavalry entered Hagerstown and burned
some buildings. In the evening of the same day,
Gen. Wallace withdrew from Frederick to Monoc-
acy Junction, and on the next day, the South-
erners, under Gen'l Early, entered and levied a
contribution on the inhabitants.

4. Having swept Gen. Wallace from their path, the
Confederate force pushed towards Ellicott's Mills.
Dividing their force, a portion of them went towards
Baltimore, and burned the Governor's residence, sit-

Qncsfiovs. — 1. Where did the Confederates now come ? 2. Whnt
were the orders of their commanding general? 3. What is said
in this «eetion? 4. What did the Confederates now do? What
did another portion do?


282 History of Maryland.

uated within five miles of the city. Twenty-five miles
of the Northern Central rail road were destroyed,
and a train on the Philadelphia road was captured
and burnt. The bridge over the Gunpowder was
also partially burned. Another portion, under Brad-
ley Johnson, crossed the country to Beltsville, on the
Washington road. The troops posted there, four
hundred in number, precipitately retreated without
waiting to fire a shot. The Southern troops, after
resting for three hours, followed, towards Washing-
ton, coming within eight miles of the city.

5. The defeat of Gen. Wallace, who was missing
for several days, and the bold movement of these
raiders, caused the greatest excitement in Wash-
ington, and throughout the North. The Federal
city, at that time, was almost destitute of troops.
Reinforcements were hurried forward from Peters-
burg, and the 19th army corps, seut from New
Orleans to reinforce Gen. Grant before Richmond,
appeared at this juncture in the Chesapeake Bay,
and was at onee sent to Washington.

6. This timely arrival saved Washington. Forty
thousand troops were concentrated there, at about
the same time the Confederate party arrived. Gen.
Bradley Johnson, therefore, crossed the country
during the night, and joined Gen. Early, who had
halted before Fort Stevens, on Seventeenth street,
on the outskirts of the city.

t. After some skirmishing here, Gen. Early
withdrew and succeeded in recrossing the Poto-
mac. A large proportion of the men of this com-
mand were Marylanders, and however cold their
reception was in the Western part of the State, it

Questions.— 5. What was the- effect of the defeat of Wallace? What
wan the condition of Washington ? How was it saved? G. What
is said in tnis section ? 7. What is said of Gen'l Early? What,
of his men, and of their reception?

General Ord. 283

cannot "be denied that they were cordially received
by the fanners of Prince George's county.

8. Gen'l Wallace was superseded in his com-
mand at Baltimore by Gen'l Ord, who had been
an officer of the regular army. His administra-
tion was a short one. Finding, it is said, that the
duties of the command were utterly repugnant to
his feelings as a man and a soldier, at his own re-
quest, he was relieved. Gen'l Wallace was rein-
stated, and under him the old system of arbitrary
arrests was continued.

9. In November, shortly after the new consti-
tution became operative, Gen'l Wallace, assuming
that the State would not carry out the provision
of its own laws, issued an order placing the eman-
cipated slaves under special military protection,
creating a " Freedman's Rest," and notifying the
people that if the voluntary contributions for the
support of the negroes were not sufficient, he would
levy upon those who sympathized with their South-
ern brethren, for the necessary funds to sustain the
*' Freedman's Rest."

10. If, in the language of Governor Bradford,
"'the statement of these acts presents a humiliating
record," it must be borne in mind that this record
is not the history of the State. The record of the
acts of a government constitutes a history of the
State when the government represents the State.
But when the name of the State is seized upon for
purposes aside from the good of the State, the
record is only that of the individual, or govern-
ment that control by military power, but do not
represent, the people.

'Questions.— 8. By whom was Wallace superseded, and what is
said of him? 9. What new order did Wallace issue? 10. What
is said of this record of events?

284 Histqby os Maryland;


Conclusion of the "War — Gov. Swann's Instructions
to the Registers — Difficulties with the Police Commis-
sioners — The Neiv Legislature — Election of Senator —
Me declines — His Substitute refused his Seat — New
Constitution — Election of Gov. Bowie.

1. The war having been concluded by the surrender
of the Southern armies, the Provost JJdarshals were re-
called, and the citizens were once more under'the govern-
ment of the civil law.

1. An effort was immediately made to bave the Regis-
try law declared unconstitutional. The courts, however,
decided otherwise, and Gov. Swann, who was elected to
succeed Gov. Bradford, in his message to the Legisla-
ture, discouraged any repeal or modification of the law.

3. But prior to the election of State officers in Novem-
ber, 1866, the Governor instructed the registers that the
registry law was to be so interpreted that it should secure
the citizen in his rights, and not deprive him of them,
and that every one who presented himself, and would
take the prescribed oath, should be registered without
any further inquisition byway of questioning, excepting
what is usual where fraud is suspected. The judges of
the election were also to regard the registration of the
voter as an evidence of his legal right to vote.

4. A difficulty, however, arose in Baltimore by the
refusal of the judges of the election, in the charter elec-
tion of October, to recognize the new registration.
These judges were appointed by the Police Commis-
sioners. The Governor, therefore, immediately removed
the Commissioners and appointed others in their stead.

5. The difficulty at one time assumed a threatening
aspect, and a riot appeared imminent. Threats were
made, out of the State, of marching troops within the

Questions. — 1. What is said in this section? 2. What effort was
made? 3. What instructions did the Governor give to the regis-
ters? i. What difficulty arose in Baltimore? 5. What threats
were made »

Election op Senator. 285

borders to sustain the Police Commissioners in their re-
fusal to vacate their office to the new Commissioners,
and even to destroy the city.

6. The Governor issued a proclamation, threatening,
in case of any such movement, to use the whole power
of the State for its suppression, and the punishment of
its authors. The Commissioners were cited to appear
before the Governor to answer the charge of being guilty
of illegal acts. The charges were sustained, and the
Commissioners submitted to their removal.

7. New judges of the election having then been ap-
pointed, the November elections were held on the basis
of the new registration, and a complete change was
made in the Legislature.

8. This Legislature met January 2d, 1867. One of its
first duties was to choose a United States Senator. By
an existing law, it was required that one of the Senators
in Congress should be from the Eastern Shore. In order
to elect Gov. Swann who, under this law, was not eligi-
ble, the law was repealed, but immediately re-enacted,
to resume its operation on the 1st of April. Mr. Swann
was then elected. However, at the request of numerous
prominent citizens that he should not leave the Execu-
tive chair, he declined the senatorship.

9. Subsequently, Philip F. Thomas, Esq., a former
Governor of the State, was chosen to fill the vacancy.
He was not allowed to take his seat in Congress, on the
charge of having "given aid and comfort to those in
arms against the United States." He had supplied his
son, when about to go South and join the Confederate
army, with some money. G. R. Vickers, Esq., was
appointed in his stead.

10. The Legislature passed resolutions addressed to
the Congress of the United States, to the effoct that the
Union being restored, each State k entitled to all the
rights and! immunities of all the others, and all have an
equal right to participate in the administration of the
government ; that any attempt on the part of Congress

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 18 19 20 21 22

Online LibraryHenry OnderdonkA history of Maryland : upon the basis of M'Sherry, from its settlement to 1867, with illustrations and an appendix containing the constitution of the state for the use of schools → online text (page 16 of 22)