Correspondence Between the Governor of Mass. and the Mayor of Baltimore: - History

Correspondence Between the Governor of Mass. and the Mayor of Baltimore: - History

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To preserve the Union in the spirit and for the purposes for which it was established, an equilibrium between the states, as grouped in sections, was essential. When the territory of Missouri constitutionally applied for admission as a state into the Union, the struggle between state rights and that sectional aggrandizement which was seeking to destroy the existing equilibrium gave rise to the contest which shook the Union to its foundation, and sowed the seeds of geographical divisions, which have borne the most noxious weeds that have choked our political vineyard. Again in 1861 Missouri appealed of the Constitution for the vindication of her rights, and again did usurpation and the blind rage of a sectional party disregard the appeal, and assume powers, not only undelegated, but in direct violation of the fourth section of the fourth article of the Constitution, which every federal officer had sworn to maintain, and which secured to every state a republican government, and protection against Invasion.

If it be contended that the invasion referred to must have been by other than the troops of the United States, and that their troops were therefore not prohibited from entering a state against its wishes, and for purpose hostile to its policy, the section of the Constitution referred to fortifies the fact, heretofore noticed, of the refusal of the convention when forming the Constitution, to delegate to the federal government power to coerce a state. By its last clause it was provided that not even to suppress domestic violence could the general government, on its own motion, send troops of the United States into the territory of one of the states. That section reads thus:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion, and on application of the Legislature, or of the executive (when the Legislature can not be convened), against domestic violence.

Surely, if federal troops could not be sent into a state without its application, even to protect it against domestic violence, still less could it be done to overrule the will of its people. That, instead of an obligation upon the citizens of other states to respond to a call by the President for troops to invade a particular state, it was in April, 1861, deemed a high crime to so use them: reference is here made to the published answers of the governors of states which had not seceded to the requisition made upon them for troops to be employed against the states which had seceded.

Governor Letcher of Virginia replied to the requisition of the United States Secretary of War as follows:

I am requested to detach from the militia of the State of Virginia the quota designated in a table which you append, to serve as infantry or riflemen, for the period of three months, unless sooner discharged.

In reply to this communication, I have only to say that the militia of Virginia will not be furnished to the powers at Washington for any such use or purpose as they have in view. Your object is to subjugate the Southern States, and a requisition made upon me for such an object-an object. in my judgment, not within the purview of the Constitution, or the Act of 1795-will not be complied with.

Governor Magoffin of Kentucky replied:

Your dispatch is received. In answer, I say emphatically. Kentucky will furnish no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister Southern States.

Governor Harris of Tennessee replied:

Tennessee will not furnish a single man for coercion, but fifty thousand, if necessary, for the defense of our rights, or those of our Southern brothers.

Governor Jackson of Missouri answered:

Requisition is illegal, unconstitutional, revolutionary, inhuman, diabolical, and can not be complied with.

Governor Rector of Arkansas replied:

In answer to your requisition for troops from Arkansas, to subjugate the Southern States, I have to say that none will be furnished. The demand is only adding insult to injury.

Governor Ellis of North Carolina responded to the requisition for troops from that state as follows:

Your dispatch is received, and, if genuine-which its extraordinary character leads me to doubt-I have to say, in reply, that I regard the Jevy of troops made by the Administration, for the purpose of subjugating the States of the South, as in violation of the Constitution, and a usurpation of power. I can be no party to this wicked violation of the laws of the country, and to this war upon the liberties of a free people. You can get no troops from North Carolina.'

Governor Ellis, who had lived long enough to leave behind him an enviable reputation, was a fair representative of the conservatism, gallantry, and tenacity in well-doing, of the state over which he presided. He died too soon for his country's good, and the Confederacy seriously felt the loss of his valuable services. The prompt and spirited answer he gave to the call upon North Carolina to furnish troops for the subjugation of the Southern states was the fitting complement of his earlier action in immediately restoring to the federal government Forts Johnson and Caswell, which had been seized without proper authority. In communicating his action to President Buchanan, he wrote:

My information satisfies me that this popular outbreak was caused by a report, very generally credited, but which, for the sake of humanity, I hope is not true, that it was the purpose of the Administration to coerce the Southern States, and that troops were on their way to garrison the Southern ports, and to begin the work of subjugation. .. Should I receive assurance that no troops will be sent to this State prior to the 4th of March next, then all will be peace and quiet here, and the property of the United States will be fully protected, as heretofore. If, however, I am unable to get such assurances, I will not undertake to answer for the consequences.

The forts in this State have long been unoccupied, and their being garrisoned at this time will unquestionably be looked upon as a hostile demonstration, and will in my opinion certainly be resisted.

The plea so constantly made by the succeeding administration, as an excuse for its warlike acts, that the duty to protect the public property required such action, is shown by this letter of Governor Ellis to have been a plea created by their usurpation's, but for which there might have been peace, as well as safety to property, and, what was of greater worth, the lives, the liberties, and the republican institutions of the country.

War Of Words: Baltimore Mayor, Maryland Governor Disagree On How To Deter City Violence

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A war of words was brewing between Governor Larry Hogan and Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott Tuesday over how to deal with the city’s crime and violence. It comes on the heels of a disturbing attack on two Korean women in their West Baltimore store.

Hogan said he&rsquos outraged over the brutal attack and has a loose connection with the two victims.

&ldquoIt’s just another example of this violent outburst and attacks on Asians all across the country,&rdquo said Hogan. &ldquoMy youngest daughter Julie, who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan&hellip a guy who I know well, her good friend she went to school with who’s from the Baltimore area, his best buddy was the mom and the aunt.&rdquo

The governor says its hard to watch the security video that captured the alleged suspect, 50-year-old Daryl Doyles, viciously beating the women with a cement block as they tried to fight back.

Hogan vowed to get to the bottom of this case, saying state police are working with the city to investigate the incident.

“It seems to be the last thing that they’re concerned about and they need to come up with a real plan,” said Hogan. “I’ve been very disappointed in the record so far.”

The recent attack comes on the heels of another violent weekend in Baltimore.

&ldquoSince Friday, April 30, Baltimore has seen a spike in violence, much sharper spike than previous weekends,&rdquo said Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison

&ldquoWe&rsquore going to continue to push, were going to continue to hold people accountable,&rdquo said Mayor Scott

Scott said he recently met with the police commissioner to go over the city&rsquos crime prevention plan.

&ldquoWhile I&rsquom pushing our police department to do better, while I&rsquom pushing all of our agencies to do better&hellipbut we also have to be better as citizens,&rdquo he said.

But the governor pointed out the uptick in violence all comes down to three root causes.

&ldquoNumber one, we’d have to get tougher laws. Number two, we can’t defund the police, which is the mayor’s plan. We got to invest more in our police&hellip and number three, we have to have a prosecutor that’s willing to prosecute crimes,” said Hogan.

Scott fired back in a tweet Tuesday, telling the governor “r ather than relying solely on status quo “solutions” and MAGA talking points, how about actually meeting with me to discuss violent crime, gun trafficking, or restarting the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council &mdash as I’ve asked before?”

“I’m ready when you are,” Scott tweeted.

Rather than relying solely on status quo "solutions" and #MAGA talking points, how about actually meeting with me to discuss violent crime, gun trafficking, or restarting the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council — as I've asked [email protected], I'm ready when you are.

&mdash Brandon M. Scott (@MayorBMScott) May 4, 2021

Commissioner Harrison said detectives are working diligently to solve recent crimes and bring those who are responsible to justice.

As of Tuesday morning, May 4, there have been 107 homicides reported in the city compared to the 92 reported homicides this time last year.

COVID-19 In Baltimore: Masks No Longer Required Outdoors In City, Unless At Outdoor Venues

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City eased its mask mandates Friday, aligning itself with Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement and the CDC guidelines.

Starting immediately, people will not be required to wear face coverings while outdoors, unless they are attending events at outdoor venues, such as concerts, sporting events and other live performances.

&ldquoThe CDC&rsquos latest guidance demonstrates the clear benefits of being vaccinated for Baltimore City residents,&rdquo said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. &ldquoBy getting vaccinated, we can start returning to pre-pandemic activities, beginning with being outside without a face covering.&rdquo

At Druid Hill Park on Friday, when the news of the mask mandate lifting broke to Sister Kilolo she broke into dance and didn’t hold back.

But not everyone is as thrilled.

“Sounds like it’s sending the wrong idea, it’s a mixed message,” said Sarah Jones, Baltimore resident.

However the City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa still recommends masks for those who are not yet fully vaccinated. Masks are also still required indoors at restaurants, unless eating or drinking, and while shopping or on public transportation.

“A lot of people out here who haven’t received a vaccine who say they’re not going to get a vaccine. They’re not gonna have a mask on, so how can we protect ourselves?” asked Sarah Jones, resident.

&ldquoUntil we reach herd immunity, we still urge residents to be mindful of how their activities may unintentionally contribute to disease spread,&rdquo said Dr. Dzirasa. &ldquoAlthough we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new chapter in Baltimore&rsquos response, and increasing our vaccination rate will be the key to lifting further restrictions.”

“It’s kind of like putting a muzzle on a dog- not that we’re dogs or anything- but I think it’s good for us to interact a little bit closer. I hope nobody gets sick,” said resident Dari El.

People are continuing to transmit the virus and Baltimore City on Friday just passed 1,000 total COVID-19 deaths.

Mayor Scott also announced an exemption that will allow Baltimore-area colleges and universities to hold in-person commencement and graduation ceremonies for the 2021 season. All ceremonies must be held in accordance to public health guidelines.

&ldquoThe Baltimore City Health Department has been engaged in conversation with local colleges and universities to assist with planning for outdoor commencements,&rdquo said Health Commissioner Dzirasa. &ldquoThese guidelines will ensure that the 2021 graduation season is both celebratory and safe.&rdquo

The guidelines for safe commencements will require universities and colleges to:

  • Hold ceremonies in an outdoor venue with a 25% capacity limit for outdoor events, similar to Camden Yards and the Preakness. Colleges and universities will have to determine how they limit tickets to graduates to accommodate this requirement.
  • Maintain social distancing between members of different households.
  • Require masks at all times.
  • Provide a sign in or ticketing mechanism that tracks participants and guests in attendance for contact tracing purposes.

“Our students deserve the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments after pushing through an incredibly challenging, unprecedented year,&rdquo said Mayor Scott. &ldquoI thank Commissioner Dzirasa for working closely with our colleges and universities to develop a plan that allows students, faculty, and families to commemorate this important milestone in person.&rdquo

For more information about Baltimore City&rsquos COVID-19 response, visit

St. Mary’s County, Queen Anne’s and Kent counties also announced Friday that they would be following the governor’s lead and lifting outdoor mask mandates.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here .

List of governors of Maryland

The governor of Maryland heads the executive branch of the government of the U.S. state of Maryland and is commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. [1] The governor is the highest-ranking official in the state, and the constitutional powers of Maryland's governors make them among the most powerful governors in the United States. [2]

Since the American Revolution (1775–1783), Maryland has had four state constitutions that have specified different terms of office and methods of selection of its governors. Under the constitution of 1776, governors were appointed by the General Assembly legislature to one-year terms and could be reelected for two additional terms. [3] An 1838 constitutional amendment allowed the direct election of governors to 3-year terms, [3] although the governors came from rotating election districts of regions. The terms were lengthened to four years in the 1851 Constitution and election districts were abolished in the 1864 version. [1] Since then, under the current heavily amended Maryland Constitution of 1867 governors have been elected by the entire state of Maryland for a four-year term. [3]

Maryland governors are limited to two consecutive terms, making former two-term governors eligible to run after four years out of office. [1] Thomas Sim Lee, Daniel Martin, and Robert Bowie have served non-consecutive terms as Governor of Maryland. Albert C. Ritchie holds the record of Maryland's longest-serving governor with almost 15 years of service (1920–1935). [4] Maryland has never yet had a female governor although four have been nominated by their parties since 1974. [5] One woman, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, served as Lieutenant Governor under Parris Glendening from 1995 to 2003. [6]

The current governor is Republican Larry Hogan, who took office on January 21, 2015. [7]

Breaking News Alerts Newsletter

Throughout the pandemic, Hogan has used the state of emergency and a companion declaration of a “catastrophic health emergency” to issue directives aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. In Maryland, emergency declarations can only last for 30 days, so Hogan has repeatedly reissued the order, most recently on Saturday.

Both the general state of emergency and the catastrophic health emergency offer the governor authorities and powers under state law that he does not typically have. For instance, a governor can activate the Maryland Emergency Management Authority to deploy supplies and resources, tap the manpower of the Maryland National Guard, accept and distribute money and resources from the federal government, suspend laws and regulations, order evacuations, impose curfews, and regulate and control supplies.

Under a state of emergency, a governor can also take such steps “necessary in order to protect the public health, welfare, or safety.” Last spring, the governor imposed a stay-at-home order, for example, that was later gradually relaxed and then eliminated.

The actions taken by the governor under the state of emergency have withstood legal challenges. A group of politicians, pastors and business owners unsuccessfully challenged Hogan’s coronavirus restrictions last spring. They filed a federal lawsuit that claimed he overstepped his authority and infringed on the Constitution and federal laws protecting commerce, freedom of assembly, the right to protest and the right to practice their religion. A judge dismissed the case in November.

Hogan’s emergency orders also were the subject of protests, especially last spring and summer, through a “Reopen” movement organized largely on social media.

Maryland lifts COVID mask mandate after new CDC guidance Baltimore City keeps mask requirements in place, but relaxes capacity restrictions

Starting Saturday, Marylanders no longer need to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in most settings, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday evening.

Masks still will be required on public transportation and in schools, airports, day care centers and health care facilities, such as hospitals and doctors’ offices. Local governments and individual businesses can opt to keep mask requirements in place.

Baltimore City announced that local mask requirements would remain in place indoors and at outdoor venues such as Camden Yards or the Pimlico Race Course until the city reaches a higher level of vaccination however, the city said it would match the state’s earlier decision to relax capacity restrictions starting Saturday.

Most local officials elsewhere quickly signaled that they would follow Hogan’s lead in dropping mask requirements, including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties.

The end of the broad mask mandate applies to all Marylanders, whether vaccinated or not, everywhere there aren’t tighter local rules in place. However, the Republican governor said he strongly encourages anyone age 2 or older who is not vaccinated to continue wearing a mask indoors, as well as outdoors when they can’t keep physically distanced from others.

“Our long, hard-fought battle over the worst of the global pandemic in nearly a century is finally nearing an end,” Hogan said.

The rules about face coverings have changed quickly over the course of just a few days, potentially sowing confusion about who should still wear a mask and when.

On Wednesday, Hogan set a target of having 70% of adults with at least one vaccine shot before lifting Maryland’s order requiring masks in indoor public places. As of Friday, 65.6% of adults in the state had reached that status.

Then, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that it would be OK for people who are fully vaccinated to ditch their masks, indoors and outdoors. The CDC continues to recommend that unvaccinated people wear masks, and masks are required for everyone on planes, trains and boats.

That led to Hogan’s announcement on Friday.

But instead of ordering businesses and officials to sort out who is or isn’t vaccinated — a challenge Hogan called “a logistical nightmare” — the governor said he decided to keep a single set of rules for all Marylanders and drop mask requirements in nearly every setting.

“If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, go get your shot,” Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman said while announcing that his county would follow the governor’s lead. “We need a summer surge in vaccinations to prevent a fall surge in cases.”

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball echoed Pittman.

“I strongly encourage residents who have not yet been fully vaccinated to continue wearing masks until they have received their vaccine. It’s never been easier to get vaccinated. ” he said. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect you and your loved ones.”

Baltimore City, where nearly 40% of residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated, did not say what the higher level of vaccination needs to be to relax masking restrictions.

“Masking works,” Mayor Brandon Scott and Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said in a joint statement. “It has been proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Public health experts agree that disease transmission is much more likely in indoor spaces, especially when masks aren’t not worn.”

Dr. Peter Beilenson, a former Baltimore health commissioner, said that based on data about COVID-19, vaccinated people who are unmasked don’t pose a threat to others or the community. They are highly unlikely to get sick or pass the disease to others.

“I really think people should have the benefit once they are vaccinated,” he said.

But, he said, since the country has not reached so-called herd immunity — which estimates suggest would require roughly 80% of the population to get vaccinated — there is still a threat to people who are unvaccinated from going maskless. And such people may not continue wearing masks and distancing socially once an order is lifted.

“If you could trust that everybody who has not been vaccinated continues to wear a mask, this is 100% fine,” Beilenson said. “But I’m not sure you can do that based on our most recent history.”

The risk is that the unvaccinated get infected and continue passing COVID-19 to others, perpetuating the pandemic. Vaccines have proven extremely effective at preventing serious illness or death from the virus but appear less effective at preventing infections altogether.

The other risk is that, given the opportunity, the virus continues to mutate and a more dangerous strain evolves and threatens even those who are vaccinated.

“The bottom line is that with 55% or so vaccinated, 45% are still at risk,” he said.

“I’m worried about the 55-year-old smoker who is not vaccinated who now feels he can go around without a mask and without distancing. He goes to a house party with 30 people and half aren’t vaccinated and the virus is spread around,” Beilenson said. “It’s dangerous for the individual and others who can’t be vaccinated. But it’s a longer-term problem too. This is likely to become a chronic infectious disease.”

During a briefing before the governor’s announcement, vaccine expert Bill Moss of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, said people need to use their best judgment about mask-wearing, especially around relatives who are unable or unwilling to be vaccinated.

“We’re obviously in a position where not everyone is eligible for the vaccine,” said Moss, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Hopkins. “A lot about masking will come down to personal decisions about risks and benefits. I hope people continue to wear masks in certain situations, regardless of CDC guidelines.”

Brian Castrucci, president and CEO of the Bethesda-based de Beaumont Foundation, a public health-focused charitable organization, also worried that dropping mask requirements could raise risks for people less protected by vaccines, including the immunocompromised, and those with allergies that leave them unable to get the shot.

“Those are the folks who now can’t get vaccinated, or could and could not get protected, sitting next to people who may not be wearing masks,” Castrucci said. “The choice to wear your seat belt impacts you the choice to not wear your mask impacts other people.”

Gov. Hogan Defends Decision To End Federal Unemployment Benefits

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland officials announced that the additional $300 in unemployment benefits from the Federal Government will end on July 3. Meaning, the extra cash of at least $1,200 per month that some people were relying on will end in less than 30 days.

Governor Larry Hogan made the announcement Tuesday and the decision came as a shock to people who were expecting the extra $300 per week at least until September.

“You plan for September and then it’s like oh you’re about to lose two entire months especially if you’re still waiting on money from unemployment you’ve never been able to catch up, it’s like pretty upsetting,” said Mallory Thompson.

Thompson has a young daughter and she said it’s harder for her to get a job because of the limitations she faces with child care.

A statement from the Governor’s office reads:

“Our health and economic recovery continues to outpace the nation, and we have reached the benchmark set by President Biden of vaccinating 70 percent of adults,” said Governor Hogan. “While these federal programs provided important temporary relief, vaccines and jobs are now in good supply. And we have a critical problem where businesses across our state are trying to hire more people, but many are facing severe worker shortages. After 12 consecutive months of job growth, we look forward to getting more Marylanders back to work.”

Comptroller Peter Franchot criticized the Governor’s decision to stop the federal unemployment aid.

“I also find it exceedingly disappointing to hear the news yesterday that Governor Hogan joins a growing list of Republican governors ending a critical economic lifeline to tens of thousands of Marylanders who still through no fault of their own find themselves without a job,” said Franchot.

The Governor’s office said the state will clear up all existing requests for unemployment.

Letter from Senate President Ferguson and Senator Klausmeier to Governor Hogan on yesterday’s announcement on Unemployment Insurance

War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0074 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

WASHINGTON, D. C., April 16, 1861.


Boston, Mass.:

We will muster your regiments after arrival. Send the first ready by rail to this place, and the next by rail to Baltimore, and thence by steam-boat to Fort Monroe, near Norfolk. The third regiment, if there be a third, to follow the first.


WASHINGTON, D. C., April 16, 1861.


Boston, Mass.:

Send first regiment which is ready by rail here the second by rail or sea, as you prefer, to Fort Monroe, near Norfolk the third to follow the first. Reply by telegraph.


Orders yesterday from War Department for one to take fast steamer to Fort Monroe the other three to come by rail here. (By dictation from chief clerk War Department.-E. D. T.)

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Council Chamber, April 16, 1861.


Secretary of War:

We have transportation ample and economical by sea to Washington or Annapolis, safe against all but war risk in Potomac. Annapolis probably free from this to [Fort Monroe?]. Requisition received from you. Except telegraph.


Governor of Massachusetts.



Secretary of War, United States, Washington City:

DEAR SIR: Much excitement exists at this time in this State in regard to state of hostilities between our Government and the so- called Southern Confederacy. Our people are willing and anxious to stand by and aid the Administration. Will you be kind enough to inform me immediately whether it is probable that Iowa will be called on by the President for troops, and how many and on what terms and in what way volunteers are usually mustered into the U. S. service? Some fifteen to twenty volunteer companies have already tendered me their services and I am almost daily receding inquiries touching these matters. Be kind enough to give me as much and as early information as possible. One of my purposes in seeking this information is this: Our General Assembly meets biennially. Our last session commenced January, 1860. It may be that an extra session of our General Assembly may be necessary. If so, I will call it promptly if not, I wish to avoid the unnecessary expense.

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6th Massachusetts and the Baltimore Riot

The 6th Massachusetts on their way to Washington, April 1861.

At 1 a.m. on April 19, 1861, the men of the 6th Massachusetts Volunteer Militia were asleep on the floors of the Girard House Hotel in Philadelphia when the long roll sounded. Coincidentally, it was about the same time that the alarm bell had been rung in Concord, Massachusetts on April 19, 1775 warning of the advance of British Regulars.

The 6th Massachusetts was largely made up of men from Middlesex County and among them were descendants of those who had fought in Concord, Lexington and along the Battle Road at the start of the Revolution. Company E, the “Davis Guards” from Acton, was named after Capt. Isaac Davis, the minuteman captain who, at the head of his company, led the advance on the Old North Bridge and became the first officer killed in the Revolution.

These “Minutemen of ’61,” waking up in Philadelphia after very little sleep, were weary from three days of excitement and exertion. On the night of April 15, following Lincoln’s call for 75,000 volunteers, orders went out the various companies of the 6th Massachusetts to muster at the regiment’s headquarters in Lowell. The next morning, April 16, rain and sleet fell as the eight companies boarded a train for Boston. They were welcomed by enormous crowds and quartered in Boylston and Faneuil Halls for the night. On April 17, they were issued rifled muskets. Three additional companies were attached to the old militia regiment to fill out their numbers, making eleven companies in all. Governor John Andrew presented them with colors saying, “You carry with you our utmost faith and confidence.”[1]

The same day, they boarded a train for New York and were received with even larger crowds. At noon on April 18, they departed by train for Philadelphia where the cheering throng was so thick they had to move through the streets by the flank, in fours, rather than by column of companies. The whole journey, wrote a historian of the regiment, was, “one grand ovation, such as no regiment had ever received.”[2]

The journey ahead of them on April 19 would be starkly different.

The commanding officer of the regiment was Colonel Edward F. Jones (1828-1913), a 32 year-old merchant who resided in the small mill town of Pepperell, Massachusetts. He had been a part of the Massachusetts militia since 1854 and became colonel of the 6th Massachusetts in January 1861. In that capacity, he was the first militia commander to issue report of readiness in response to the Governor’s January 1861 orders.[3]

While his men were asleep in Philadelphia, Col. Jones had a grave conversation with General P.S. Davis of the Massachusetts militia regarding the state of things in Baltimore, through which the regiment would pass on April 19 on their way to Washington. Baltimore had long since been given the nickname “Mob Town.” Indications were that it would live up to its reputation. Secessionist sentiment was widespread there. And even moderate citizens were infuriated by the notion of their city becoming the gateway for an invasion of Southern States. The 6th Massachusetts would likely have to confront a violent reception.

It was for this reason that Col. Jones woke his men in the middle of the night on April 19 in hopes of reaching Baltimore earlier than expected and perhaps passing through the city before a mob could assemble. About the time the rank and file were woken, Col. Jones and Gen. Davis consulted with the president of the Philadelphia & Baltimore Railroad, Samuel Morse Felton, a transplanted Bay Stater and native of Saugus, Massachusetts.

Jones’s chief concern was not the mobs in Baltimore (which might result in a few casualties) but the possibility of a sabotaged track which could derail the train resulting in the slaughter of virtually the entire regiment. Felton made arrangements to have a pilot engine precede the train in which the 6th Massachusetts rode. It must have been a terribly anxious ride in that pilot engine.[4]

Soon after they left Philadelphia, Col. Jones gave the order to distribute 20 rounds of ammunition along with an order to his men which read, in part:

…You will undoubtedly be insulted, abused, and perhaps assaulted, to which you must pay no attention whatever, but march with your faces square to the front…even if they throw stones, bricks, or other missiles but if you are fired upon and any one of you is hit, your officers will order you to fire. Do not fire into any promiscuous crowds, but select any man whom you may see aiming at you, and be sure you drop him.[5]

At every train station along the approximately 100 mile route to Baltimore, railroad officials communicated by telegraph with their counterparts in Baltimore and were assured that things were quiet in the city.[6] They did not communicate their progress or estimated arrival time to city officials or police until they were a half hour outside the city, a fact which Baltimore Mayor George W. Brown would later call a blunder. [7] The police, the mayor felt, could have quelled the mob before it grew out of control, thereby diminishing the bloodshed. It might be inferred that the railroad officials trusted their own employees more than the Baltimore police to keep secret the estimated arrival of the train.

The President Street Depot, Baltimore. The front building still stands and is now the Baltimore Civil War Museum.

The train bearing the 6th Massachusetts arrived at Baltimore’s President Street Station around 10 a.m. The train, more than thirty cars, also transported a Pennsylvania regiment which had not yet been issued uniforms or muskets. For that reason, the Pennsylvania regiment would not make any attempt to get through Baltimore and instead returned to Philadelphia before the day was done.

As evidenced by his order, Col. Jones apparently expected to disembark his entire regiment and march to the Camden Street Station (about 1.2 miles distance primarily along Pratt Street and the Baltimore waterfront) where they would board a train to Washington. Jones was not aware of the local practice of uncoupling train cars and drawing them individually by horse power along street rails from one station to another. Before he knew what was happening, horse teams had been hitched and the cars were making their way to Camden Station.[8] This, Mayor Brown later wrote, was another major part of the “blunder.” If the regiment had originally set out on foot through the city, they might have passed through quickly and without drastic incident.

The first several cars had little difficulty making it to their destination. However, as car after car passed down Pratt Street, the inhabitants of the city began to gather and grew increasingly irate. Soon they were shouting, throwing bricks and stones. The car bearing Company K, the seventh and last company to make it through by rail, was derailed three times by small obstructions. Railroad workers along with soldiers had to get out amidst a storm of projectiles and put the car back on track.

Pistol shots soon joined flying debris and the men of Company K were forced to lie down on the floor of the car as it slowly progressed.[9] A soldier who had been shot in the thumb held the wound up to Major Benjamin F. Watson and asked if they could finally return fire. Major Watson gave the order and men fired out the windows of the car. Company K made it through to Camden Station. The cars behind them, bearing four more companies, did not.

Baltimore Mayor George W. Brown

Before the chaos had gotten underway, Mayor George Brown was in his law office when some of the city councilmen informed him that the troops were about to arrive. He quickly went to Camden Station to await their arrival. There he found the city police, led by Police Marshall George Proctor Kane, dealing with an angry crowd. Eventually, cars bearing seven of the eleven companies arrived at Camden Station. Mayor Brown noted that the windows of the last car were “badly broken.”[10]

About this time, also at Camden Station, Col. Jones, who had been in one of the lead cars, was informed by a railroad official that the railway on Pratt Street had been obstructed and that four companies could not get through.

Thomas Garrett, President of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, approached Col. Jones and informed him, “Your soldiers are firing upon people in the streets.”

“Then,” answered Jones, “they have been fired upon first.”

“No, they have not,” Garrett responded.

“My men are disciplined,” Jones said, “my orders were strict, and I believe they have been implicitly obeyed.”[11]

Unaware of this exchange, Mayor Brown also heard of the obstruction on Pratt Street and ordered Marshall Kane to lead his police force in that direction. Brown set out in advance on foot by himself.[12]

A formidable obstruction had indeed been thrown down by the crowds near the head of Smith’s Wharf, at the corner of Pratt and Gay Streets, about a third of the way along the route between the two stations. Seventeen year-old George Wilson Booth, a member of the Maryland militia who would later become a Confederate soldier, made his way to Pratt Street around noon, curious about all the noise.

Booth would later write that he cherished the Union, and did not care about slavery one way or the other, but, “when it became apparent, without question, that the hope of state action was impracticable, by the reason of this military occupation, then, without hesitation, I chose to caste my fortune with the south…”[13] At the time of the Baltimore Riot, that decision still lay in the future for Booth, but what he witnessed on April 19 set him on his course.

When young Booth reached Pratt Street, he saw that the tracks had been barricaded by several cart loads of sand along with anchors and chains dragged by the mob from the wharves. Several horse drawn train cars were stopped by the obstruction and as Booth watched, the horse teams were moved from the front to the rear of the cars and the remainder of the 6th Massachusetts was slowly drawn back to President Street Station. “The soldiers in the cars,” Booth later recalled, “were subjected to the most violent abuse.” Much worse was yet to come.

As the cars returned to President Street Station, it was clear to Captain Albert S. Follansbee, commanding Company C from Lowell, that they had a difficult march to make. The other three company commanders agreed to defer to him, giving him command of the detachment. The four companies numbered 220 men. They were about to face a crowd estimated at 10,000.

Capt. Follansbee ordered the battalion to form in the street. He gave the command to wheel into a column of sections. With the command, “Forward, march!” the formation stepped off. And the moment they did so, the projectiles started to fly. Bricks, stones, shouts, taunts. Captain Follansbee recalled that one man shouted that they would, “kill every ‘white nigger’ of us before we could reach the other depot.”[14]

About 500 yards into the march, they reached the left turn onto Pratt Street and a small wooden bridge. The crowds had torn up most of the planks and, as Capt. Follansbee put it, the soldiers had to play “scotch hop” to get across along the bare wooden frame. The majority of the crowd was behind them and as the regiment struggled over the bridge and a small barricade on the other side of the bridge, Follansbee saw an opportunity to put some distance between his men and the bulk of the mob. Knowing that the crowd would also have to clamber over the vandalized bridge, Follansbee gave the order to double-quick. It turned out to be a bad move.

The soldiers’ rapid pace only roused the crowd all the more—the inhabitants construed it as a sign of panic. The projectiles intensified. Shots were fired from stores and houses surrounding them. Capt. Follansbee ordered his men, as he later put it, “to protect themselves.” The soldiers fired back, at will. There was no organized volley firing.[15]

Mayor Brown, meanwhile, had reached the obstruction at the intersection of Gay Street. He ordered it removed and some policemen and citizens obeyed. He then walked further east on Pratt Street and soon saw and heard the approach of the battalion. “They were firing wildly,” Mayor Brown recalled, “sometimes backward, over their shoulders. So rapid was the march that they could not stop to take aim. The mob, which was not very large, as it seemed to me, was pursuing with shouts and stones, and, I think, an occasional pistol-shot. The uproar was furious.”[16]

Brown met the head of the column and shook hands with Captain Follansbee, saying, “I am the Mayor of Baltimore.” Follansbee introduced himself. Brown immediately recommended to Follansbee that they cease the double-quick, knowing that it only added to the furor. Follansbee agreed and gave the order to slow the column. They now marched at a deliberate pace.

Noting that the majority of the mob was behind them, Brown considered recommending that the rear section face about and fire a volley. He later wrote, “Once before in my life I had taken part in opposing a formidable riot, and had learned by experience that the safety and most humane manner of quelling a mob is to meet it at the beginning with armed resistance.” [17] Despite his instinct that a heavy hand was needed, Brown concluded it was not his place to tell Follansbee what to do. The formation moved on, receiving punishing abuse, and firing in all directions as threats appeared.

Private Luther Ladd, 6th Massachusetts Militia, (1843-1861)

At about this time, Private Luther Ladd, a seventeen year-old mechanic from Lowell, was just making his way across the remains of the Pratt Street Bridge, being near the rear of the column. As he did so, a civilian hurled a piece of heavy scrap iron from one of the roof tops and it stuck Ladd in the head. He staggered for a moment. One of the rioters rushed forward, grabbed Ladd’s musket from him, and shot him in the leg with the round Ladd had loaded himself.[18] Ladd died on Pratt Street. Some weeks later, Harpers Weekly would publish a likeness of him, proclaiming Ladd “the first victim of the war.”[19]

Up towards the head of the column, young George Booth was still in the crowd, now watching the 6th Massachusetts march through the gauntlet of violence. “I was standing at the corner of Commerce street and the troops were at the moment passing that point, when a soldier, struck by a stone, fell almost at my feet, and as he fell, dropped his musket, which was immediately seized by a citizen, who raised it to his shoulder and fired into the column.” After firing, the man who picked up the musket turned to Booth and asked if he had any cartridges. As it happened, Booth had two, having left them in his pocket, he wrote, after coming off militia guard duty the previous night. He gave them over and showed the man how to reload.[20]

For several blocks this violence continued until a force of roughly 50 police officers under the command of Marshall Kane arrived. Mayor Brown ordered them to the rear of the column where the bloodshed was at its worst.

…Throwing themselves in the rear of the troops, they formed a line in front of the mob, and with drawn revolvers kept it back…Marshall Kane’s voice shouted, ‘Keep back, men, or I shoot!’ This movement, which I saw myself, was gallantly executed, and was perfectly successful. The mob recoiled like water from a rock…This nearly ended the fight, and the column passed on under the protection of the police, without serious molestation, to Camden Station.[21]

Marshall George P. Kane, who placed himself and his fellow police officers between the mob and the Massachusetts soldiers, had strong secessionist sympathies and would later resist increasing Federal occupation of Baltimore. He would be arrested for sedition by Federal authorities who moved him about to several Army prisons, including Fort Warren in Boston Harbor. After his release in 1862, he became an operative for the Confederacy in Canada.[22]

Mayor Brown, after leading the column by the side of Capt. Follansbee for several blocks, eventually decided that he was in the “wrong place” and sought safety. Capt. Follansbee later alleged that he had seen Mayor Brown pick up a soldier’s fallen musket and fire it into the crowd. This was vehemently denied by Brown in his published account of the riot.[23]

The four companies rejoined the rest of their regiment at Camden Station, leaving behind them four killed. 36 had been wounded. There were 12 civilians killed and an unknown number of wounded.[24]

With his regiment reassembled, Col. Jones knew it was essential that they leave the city as soon as possible. Fury was dangerously high on both sides. His company officers and the rank and file wanted vengeance. And the mob was still active around Camden Station. Railroad employees informed him that citizens were attempting to tear up the track leading to Washington. They had to go quickly.

The train bristled with muskets aimed out of virtually every window. In an attempt to bring an end to the violence, Jones ordered that the blinds of the cars be lowered and his men stand down. Leaving the station slowly, the train stopped and started repeatedly, encountering many obstructions which the employees were forced to remove. Eventually, the conductor told Col. Jones it was impossible to proceed. Jones responded, likely with some intensity, “We are ticketed through, and are going in these cars. If you or the engineer cannot run the train, we have plenty of men who can. If you need protection or assistance, you shall have it but we go through.”[25]

The 6th Massachusetts, the first troops to arrive in Washington in response to Lincoln’s call for volunteers, reached Washington late in the afternoon of April 19.

[1] John Wesley Hanson, Historical Sketch of the Old Sixth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, During Its Three Campaigns in 1861, 1862, 1863, and 1864, (1866), pp. 15-18
[2] Hanson, p. 19
[3] Hanson, p. 13
[4] Hanson, p. 22
[5] “Report of Colonel Edward F. Jones,” The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, the United States War Department, Series 1, Volume 2, (1880), p. 7
[6] Hanson, p. 23
[7] George William Brown, Baltimore and the Nineteenth of April 1861: A Study of the War, Volume 3, (1887), p. 44
[8] Hanson, p. 24
[9] Hanson, p. 25
[10] Brown, p. 48
[11] Hanson, p. 27
[12] Brown, p. 49
[13] George W. Booth, Personal Reminiscences of a Maryland Soldier in the War Between the States, 1861-1865, (1898), p. 7
[14] Hanson, p. 40
[15] Ibid.
[16] Brown, p. 49
[17] Ibid.
[18] Gene Thorp, “First Civil War Deaths Took Place in Baltimore,” A House Divided: News and Views about the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War, a blog by the Washington Post, 4/19/2011
[19] Harpers Weekly, June 1, 1861
[20] Booth, p. 8
[21] Brown, p. 51
[22] Frank B. Marcotte, Six Days in April: Lincoln and the Union in Peril, (2005), p. 162
[23] Brown, p. 51
[24] Brown, p. 53
[25] Hanson, p. 32

Gift of Rev. Charles Russell Peck, Princeton, Mass., 1968.

I. Correspondence, 1743-1866

The bulk of this series consists of letters of Charles Russell, including personal correspondence with his wife Persis (Hastings) Russell, especially during his absence on commercial, political, or legal business, and with his two sons, Charles Theodore Russell and Thomas Hastings Russell. Many of the sons' letters were written while tending the store in Princeton, Mass., studying at Harvard College, practicing law in Boston, and traveling to such places as Niagara Falls. Also included are deeds, legal executions, a docket book, and other papers dating from Charles Russell's tenure as justice of the peace in Worcester County. Among these documents are deeds of sale and leases of property in Princeton, Rutland, Littleton, Lancaster, Bolton, Gardner, and other western Massachusetts towns writs of attachment for nonpayment of debts and warrants sworn out for theft, assault and battery, and drunkenness and various apprenticeship and indenture agreements. Papers documenting Russell's political career as state representative and senator include letters written from Boston describing colleagues and business before the General Court, drafts of legislation and resolutions, and letters soliciting appointments. Following his appointment to the Boston Customs House, Russell wrote to his wife and described the work there and his specific duties.

This series also contains papers of members of the Hastings, Stevenson, and Mirick families of Princeton, Mass. The Hastings family material is principally concerned with the Princeton militia under the command of Capt. Samuel Hastings and Lt. Samuel Hastings and includes muster warrants, lists of men enrolled, and fines issued for nonattendance. Also included are scattered letters from Persis Hastings to family members. Stevenson family papers consist of correspondence of Samuel Stevenson and his two children, Samuel Gardner Stevenson and Sarah Russell Stevenson. Included are letters (1820s-1840s) between Samuel G. Stevenson and his uncle Charles Russell about Stevenson's business activities in New York City, Providence, New Bedford, and Louisville, Kentucky, as well as letters between Russell and Sarah (Stevenson) Gilbert after her marriage in 1832. Mirick family papers are primarily related to the business affairs of Ephraim Mirick on behalf of the Princeton firm of Mirick & Russell. Additional letters from Joseph Mirick of Camden, Me. describe conditions there.

Watch the video: History of Baltimore (August 2022).