By Jonathan W. White
Within 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 in order to hinder northern infantrymen from attaining the capital. From his felony mobile at castle McHenry, Merryman petitioned leader Justice of the excellent courtroom Roger B. Taney for liberate via a writ of habeas corpus. Taney issued the writ, yet President Abraham Lincoln overlooked it. In mid-July Merryman was once published, purely to be indicted for treason in a Baltimore federal courtroom. His case, even though, by no means went to trial and federal prosecutors ultimately pushed aside it in 1867.In Abraham Lincoln and Treason within the Civil struggle, Jonathan White unearths how the arrest and prosecution of this little-known Baltimore farmer had an enduring effect at the Lincoln management and Congress as they struggled to strengthen guidelines to house either northern traitors and southern rebels. His paintings sheds major new mild on a number of perennially arguable felony and constitutional concerns in American background, together with the character and quantity of presidential conflict powers, the improvement of nationwide rules for facing disloyalty and treason, and the security 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 (Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War)
Taney] will suddenly find himself in the embraces of the strong arm of that same military power which he is so defiant of,” editorialized the New York Tribune. 38 But none of these things happened. Taney continued to sit as a judge; articles of impeachment were never brought against him; he was never arrested. Instead, Lincoln simply ignored both the judge and his opinion. 39 Finally, on July 4, 1861, Lincoln publicly defended the course he had taken in a message to Congress, which he called into session on the nation’s eighty-fifth birthday.
33 Judge Cadwalader anonymously sent the opinion to his brother. As a judge, he desired to see the civil law upheld in time of war. ”34 But the judge’s opinion could have little impact on the situation. On the one hand, General Cadwalader could not recant his letter to Taney in which he claimed Merryman as a civilian prisoner who was charged with various acts of treason. On the other hand, Chief Justice Taney was unlikely to ac- 36 | Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War cept a claim from the military that Merryman was being lawfully detained as a prisoner of war.
Kane showed his true colors. “Fresh hordes will be down on us tomorrow,” he telegraphed future Confederate general Bradley T. Johnson. ” 14 On the afternoon of April 19 a crowd of secessionists gathered at Monument Square. They raised the Maryland state flag and several prominent The Baltimore Riot and Lincoln’s Habeas Corpus Policy | 15 leaders took the stand. Severn Teackle Wallis and Columbus O’Donnell gave pro-secession speeches. Next came the mayor. “In my speech,” recalled Mayor Brown, “I insisted on the maintenance of peace and order in the city.
Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman (Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War) by Jonathan W. White