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By Jonathan W. White

In the spring of 1861, Union army specialists arrested Maryland farmer John Merryman on fees of treason opposed to the us for burning railroad bridges round Baltimore so that it will hinder northern infantrymen from achieving the capital. From his legal mobile at fortress McHenry, Merryman petitioned leader Justice of the perfect court docket 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 was once published, basically to be indicted for treason in a Baltimore federal courtroom. His case, in spite of the fact that, by no means went to trial and federal prosecutors ultimately 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 boost regulations to house either northern traitors and southern rebels. His paintings exposes numerous perennially debatable criminal and constitutional matters in American background, together with the character and quantity of presidential warfare powers, the advance of nationwide rules for facing disloyalty and treason, and the security 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

Sample text

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.

In fact we have never seen finer grain soil or finer looking crops of grain and grass than are to be seen on the whole route of the Central road from York to Cockeysville. Mr. Merryman is a man of considerable property—in fact of great real estate. ” 3 Merryman was proud of his agricultural pursuits. 5 When Merryman inherited Hayfields in 1847, the inventory of Colonel Bosley’s estate showed the “livestock” on his property as including 5 yoke of oxen, 10 cows, 40 hogs, 5 breed sows, 55 sheep, 17 lambs, 10 horses, 4 adult male slaves, 4 adult female slaves, and 2 slave children.

Unfortunately for the plotters, a Cockeysville Unionist and county judge named John H. 14 Thus, while Keim and Yohe had originally called for the arrest of “the captain” of the Horse Guards, local sentiment would not allow for Ridgely’s arrest. Instead, the Horse Guards’ first lieutenant, John Merryman, was selected. Merryman appeared to be less popular than Ridgely among his Unionist neighbors. ” Indeed, Colonel Yohe found ten residents of Baltimore County—including Judge Price of Cockeysville—to testify about Merryman’s treason.

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