By Jonathan W. White
In the spring of 1861, Union army gurus arrested Maryland farmer John Merryman on fees of treason opposed to the us for burning railroad bridges round Baltimore which will hinder northern squaddies from achieving the capital. From his criminal mobile at citadel McHenry, Merryman petitioned leader Justice of the excellent courtroom Roger B. Taney for unencumber via a writ of habeas corpus. Taney issued the writ, yet President Abraham Lincoln overlooked it. In mid-July Merryman was once published, in simple terms to be indicted for treason in a Baltimore federal courtroom. His case, even if, by no means went to trial and federal prosecutors eventually brushed aside it in 1867.
In Abraham Lincoln and Treason within the Civil warfare, 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 improve regulations to house either northern traitors and southern rebels. His paintings exposes numerous perennially arguable felony and constitutional concerns in American historical past, together with the character and volume of presidential struggle powers, the advance of nationwide rules for facing disloyalty and treason, and the safety of civil liberties in wartime.
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Additional resources for Abraham Lincoln and treason in the Civil War : the trials of John Merryman
From prison, Merryman was allowed to contact his counsel and friends. “We learn that Mr. ” 30 | Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War Through his lawyers, Baltimore city counselor George M. Gill and the prisoner’s brother-in-law, George H. Williams, Merryman immediately petitioned Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, a fellow Marylander, for a writ of habeas corpus. This writ, one of the bulwarks of freedom for Englishmen, required the arresting officer to bring “the body” of the prisoner before a court so that the prisoner could either be charged and sent back to prison or be released.
25 Prior to their departure, a local resident named John Merryman apparently “offered to render . . ” When word of Lincoln’s order arrived at their camp, the soldiers packed up their belongings and prepared to go home. Secessionist leaders in Maryland also responded to Lincoln’s order. Major General George H. ”26 The Horse Guards quickly mobilized for action. Captain Charles H. Ridgely delivered Steuart’s written order to First Lieutenant John Merryman. On the morning of April 23, the Horse Guards galloped off to fulfill their orders as the Pennsylvania boys took the train back across the MasonDixon Line.
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. ” They kept him overnight at Hayfields before transporting him to the public jail at Towsontown. m. on April 24 to look for Lovell.