War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0147 Chapter IX. BALTIMORE POLICE COMMISSIONERS.

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is vouchsafed for the overthrow of the constitutional authority of the State of Maryland vested in your memorialist, and, of course, incapable of being constitutionally or lawfully divested by any Federal authority, civil or military.

The city of Baltimore, being entirely commanded by large bodies of Federal troops stationed around, it and it being wholly impossible for your memorialist to offer any effective resistance to the illegal proceedings of General Banks they had no alternative but to submit to force, and to vindicate as far as practicable, the authority of the State of Maryland, and their own personal and official rights and self-respect, by protesting against such proceeding as an arbitrary and unconstitutional exercise of military power. They accordingly adopted the preamble and resolutions likewise hereto appended.* It is in this act, and in their continuing their sessions under and in pursuance, that General Banks, in his proclamation issued on the day of their arrest, professes to find justification for his unwarrantable and unlawful violation of their personal liberty. It is no part of the intention of your memorialist to enter into any discussion of the allegations of that proclamation further than to say that it is wholly untrue, as therein alleged, that they continued to hold the police force of the State of Maryland, in the city of Baltimore subject to their orders for any purpose inconsistent with the peace or security of the Government. They declared the active operation of the police law to be suspended for the obvious and unanswerable reason that the forcible suspension of the functions of the board which alone had authority to administer the law necessarily paralyzed the law also. They declared the police force appointed by them to be still an existent body, because the law creating the force forbids the dismissal of the men, except for cause, and then by the board of police alone, after trail had. They declared it to be still subject to their orders, for so long as the force exists it cannot be subject under the law to any other. They refused, as a matter of obvious duty, to recognize as policemen the parties named by Colonel Kenly to act as such, for they laws of Maryland, whatever his authority may have been as a military officer (which they do not propose to consider) to appoint military subordinates in the stead of policemen outside of those laws or in derogation of them.

The attempt by Colonel Kenly to enforce such police appointments, and all efforts of his nominees to act thereunder were moreover punishable offenses under the police law, the penalties of which it was the sworn duty of your memorialist to enforce, and in the violation of which it was impossible they could acquiesce. But your memorialist distinctly and emphatically deny that they had any other purpose in their official protest and action than to fulfill their manifest and sworn obligations, and to maintain the dignity and assert the authority of the laws of Maryland which were intrusted to their hands for execution, but which they were precluded by force from executing. They solemnly declare that if they had been permitted to continue in the exercise of their functions, after the arrest and imprisonment of the marshal of police on the 27th of June, they would have continued to discharge their duties, as they had discharged them therefore, in all respects faithfully, impartially, and that to the best of their ability, in obedience to the laws and the constitution, and they asseverate, and will maintain, that the imputation of any other; intention or purpose on their part is wholly destitute of foundation in fact. The statement in regard to the


*See p. 143.