By Jonathan W. White
Within the spring of 1861, Union army experts arrested Maryland farmer John Merryman on fees of treason opposed to the U.S. for burning railroad bridges round Baltimore which will hinder northern squaddies from achieving the capital. From his legal mobilephone at fortress McHenry, Merryman petitioned leader Justice of the very best courtroom Roger B. Taney for unlock via a writ of habeas corpus. Taney issued the writ, yet President Abraham Lincoln missed it. In mid-July Merryman used to be published, in basic terms to be indicted for treason in a Baltimore federal courtroom. His case, although, by no means went to trial and federal prosecutors ultimately brushed off it in 1867.In Abraham Lincoln and Treason within the Civil battle, Jonathan White unearths how the arrest and prosecution of this little-known Baltimore farmer had a long-lasting impression at the Lincoln management and Congress as they struggled to boost regulations to accommodate either northern traitors and southern rebels. His paintings sheds major new mild on numerous perennially arguable felony and constitutional concerns in American historical past, together with the character and quantity of presidential battle powers, the advance of nationwide guidelines 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)
19 Americans raised on tales of the Revolution noted the “curious coincidence” and the “significant augury” of Massachusetts men being murdered in city streets on April 19. S. senator Nathaniel P. Tallmadge. “She is the first in the field, and will be the last to leave it. On the 19th of April 1775, Massachusetts, at Lexington, spilt the first blood of the Revolution. ” Just as it had been for their fathers and grandfathers, the hard hand of war was becoming an ever-real possibility. ” Many in the capital felt completely severed from the North.
Tallmadge. “She is the first in the field, and will be the last to leave it. On the 19th of April 1775, Massachusetts, at Lexington, spilt the first blood of the Revolution. ” Just as it had been for their fathers and grandfathers, the hard hand of war was becoming an ever-real possibility. ” Many in the capital felt completely severed from the North. “Here we are in Washington, cooped up by the cutting off by the crazed secessionists of Maryland of all communication with [the] North either by mail, railroad, or telegraph,” noted one Washington official.
He reminded the nation that all of the laws were being resisted in a large part of the Union. Lincoln wondered if those laws should all be allowed to fail even if he could preserve them by violating one single law. “To state the question more directly,” continued the president, “are all the laws, but one, to go unexecuted, and the government itself go to pieces, lest that one be violated? ” But Lincoln denied that any law had been broken, for the Constitution allowed the writ to be suspended “when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it,” and Lincoln certainly faced a case of rebellion.
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