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ELECTION OF LINCOLN.
CHARACTER OF THE PERIOD - Election of Lincoln The Feelings of Maryland—Its Geographical Position
- Not Prepared to Secede-Slave Property-Excitement- Riot in Baltimore.
1. The period upon which we are about to enter is one of great gloom. It was characterized by that civil war, from the effects of which the whole country is still suffering.
2. The election in 1860, of Abraham Lincoln as president of the United States, by the anti-slavery party, alarmed the people of the South for the safety of the institution of slavery, and gave to the leaders of the secession movement in that section of the country an argument that rendered that movement more popular than it had hitherto been. They persuaded the people, or at least, enough of them to gain control, that the compact of the con. stitution had been violated by previous acts on the part of the Northern States, and that their rights, both political and personal, were in danger. Under these circumstances, by means of sovereign conventions, the people of the Southern States declared they had the right of separation, and one by one, withdrawing from the union, united under the name of The Confederate States.
Questions.—1. What is said of this period ? 2. What was the effect of the election of Lincoln ?
3. The people of Maryland were devoted to the union, and loyal to the Constitution; but the sympathies of many were upon the side whose interests and institutions were identical with their own. These people looked upon the preparations of the Federal Government as a violation of the Constitntion, and as an unlawful aggression upon the rights of the Southern people.
4. The geopraphical situation of Maryland rendered it desirable to the Southern States that she should join them. The Federal Capital was within her border, and should Maryland secede, Washington would become the capital of the Southern Confederacy. But this geographical position, on the other hand, operated to deter her from that step. On the north and east she was bounded by Pennsylvania and Delaware whence, as there was no barrier to prevent an invasion, she could be overrun by the Northern forces. The South, to meet these forces, would be compelled to send adequate numbers to the borders of Maryland, and thus this State would be the battle-ground of the two sections.
5. Notwithstanding their sympathy with their Southern brethren, the people of this State were not prepared to think they had sufficient cause
Questions.—3. What is said of the people of Maryland ? 4. What of its geographical situation? 5. Did the people of Maryland think the act of secession a wise one?
to leave the Union, but insisted that they should contend for their rights in the Union, and, therefore, were not willing to make their territory desolate in order to enforce an act of which very many strenuously denied the right, and all doubted the wisdom.
6. Again, many thought her large slave property 'would, in the event of Maryland seceding, immediately leave for the neighboring free State of Pennsylvania, and thus, beside depriving her citizens of property valued at fifty millions of dollars, the State would be left comparatively bare of labor for the cultivation of the soil. She would cease to be a slave State, and hence have less interest in a union with slave States, and at the same time would be in a hostile position towards the free States. There was also a large number, with the Governor at their head, who looked upon secession as treason, and upon all acts or words looking that way as treasonable.
7. The first decisive public act of the Governor of Maryland in favor of the Union, was his reply to a commission appointed by the Legislature of Mississippi to confer with the authorities of Maryland. He declared his purpose to act in concert with the border States, saying he did not doubt
Questions.-6. What other cause deterred Maryland from uniting with the South? 7. What was the first decisive act of Governor Hicks, in favor of union?
that “the people of Maryland are ready to act with those States for weal or woe,” adding that while his sympathies were with the people of Mississippi, he hoped they would act with prudence as well as courage.
8. A feeling of intense excitement pervaded all classes, especially in the city of Baltimore. Many prominent men had expressed their views on both sides, and meetings had been held in favor of uniting with the South, and also against any such step. On neither side, however, was there any organization. Great efforts were made to induce Governor Hicks to call an extra session of the Legislature. The Governor opposed this, thinking it involved a seizure of Washington, and the prevention of the inauguration of President Lincoln. The Governor was supported in his course by a majority of the citizens on the Eastern Shore and in the Western counties. The Southern counties, however, and many in the city of Baltimore were emphatic in their denunciation of the executive.
9. When in obedience to the President's call for seventy-five thousand volunteers, the sixth Massachusetts regiment reached Baltimore, on April 19th, 1861, a dispositon was manifested to inter
Questions.-8. What was the state of feeling? What was the gove ernor desired to do? Why did the governor oppose this? Who supported, and who denounced him? 9. What happened on the 19th of April?
RIOT IN BALTIMORE.
fere with their passage through the city. After some of the troops had been transported by car to the Washington Depot, obstructions were placed upon the track in the city, which stopped the progress of the remainder. These alighted and proceeded to march to the Washington depot.
10. As the police authorities had no knowledge that troops were expected that day, until within an hour of their arrival, but a short time was allowed to make proper arrangements to preserve order. The marshal of the police, George P. Kane, Esq., immediately called out a large portion of the force, which came in squads, to the Washington depot.
11. Whatever disturbance there may have been in that neighborhood having been quelled by the police, an alarm was given that there were more troops at the Philadelphia depot, and that the mob was tearing up the track Having sent a hasty summons to a body of police to follow him to the scene of the riot, the Mayor, George Wm. Brown, Esq., proceeded alone to the Philadelphia depot. When he reached the obstructions on the track, he ordered the few policemen that were on the ground to remove the obstructions, and his authority was not resisted. When he approached the troops, he found an attack upon them by a mob had already
11. What did the
Questions.-10. What is said in this section? mayor do?