Numbers 4. Report of the Board of Police Commissioners.
FORT McHENRY, July 29, 1861.
To the honorable the General Assembly of Maryland:
The undersigned, commissioners of police of the city of Baltimore, have the honor respectfully to report: That from the date of their report made to your honorable body in May last they continued faithfully to discharge the duties imposed on them by the laws of the State until Thursday morning, the 27th of June. At an early hour on that day Colonel George P. Kane, the marshal of police, was arrested at his residence by a body of military, acting under the orders of Major-General Banks, in the service of the United States, and was taken to Fort McHenry, where he is still confined. A few hours afterwards the board were called upon by Colonel Kenly, who read to them an order of General Banks, appointing him provost-marshal, and a proclamation by the same officer, announcing to the citizens of Baltimore that the marshal of police had been arrested and that the official authority of the board of police was "superseded."
The commissioners of police, having maturely considered their duties and obligations under the law by which they held their appointments, could not avoid the conclusion that such action on the part of an officer of the General Government,who, in point of fact, held at the time military possession of the city of Baltimore, at once suspended the active operation of the police law, and put for the time off duty all the officers and men who could not, without directly violating, both the letter and spirit of the law, recognize the authority or be subject to the control of any other head then the board of police.
Accordingly the board unanimously adopted a resolution to that effect.
On the following Monday morning, the 1st of July, about the hour of 3 o'clock all the members of the board, with the exception of the mayor, were arrested in like manner by order of General Banks, at their respective residence, and taken to Fort McHenry. One of them, Mr. C. D. Hinks, was, after a few days' confinement, allowed to return to his own house on parole, upon the representations of his physicians that owing to his state of ill health his life would be seriously endangered by a continuance of his imprisonment. The other commissioners, Messrs. Howard, Gatchell, and Davis, constituting a majority of the whole board, have ever since been confined in Fort McHenry; but they have this morning been officially notified that they are to be removed on the steamer Adelaide to some other place at 6 o'clock this evening.
The undersigned, Charles Howard, William H. Gatchell, and John W. Davis, further respectfully report that, being deprived of their liberty without legal process, and the courts of justice, as well of the United States as of the State of Maryland, being prevented by the military power of the former from affording them any relief, they addressed to the Congress of the United States a memorial asking that any charges, made against them might the speedily investigated, and that the grievances of which they complain might be properly redressed.
To that memorial were appended copies of the two proclamations issued by General Banks in reference to the board of police, and of the preamble and resolutions adopted by the board in reference to the first of said proclamations.
The undersigned respectfully ask leave to submit herewith, as a part of this report, copies of the above-mentioned memorial to Congress