its ordinary condition of quiet. So Baltimore remained until May 14, when, it being ascertained that the people were disarmed, and that the movement could be made without serious danger, the general then in command in this department occupied a portion of the city with certain troops under his command. His arrival was announced by proclamation; and in the afternoon of May 14 he sent a detachment of troops into the city, who seized and carried off arms belonging to and in the custody of the authorities of the city of Baltimore. No resistance was offered or permitted by the authorities of the city. Two of our citizens, one of them a member of the legislature of Maryland, were by the orders of the same military officer summarily arrested, and after an imprisonment of a few days were released because there existed no sufficient cause for either arrest or detention.
Since the middle of May many thousand United States soldiers have passed through this city. There has been no single instance of opposition to their progress, nor any failure on the part of the city authorities to take proper precautions for their protection as well as preserving the peace of the city. The courts of the United States are and have been unimpeded in the performance of their duties, save when in a memorable instance the marshal of the United States was not permitted to enter Fort McHenry or to serve process issued by the highest judicial officer of the United States. The order of the city has been preserved; no resistance of any kind has been made, even to illegal and unconstitutional acts of military officers. No arrest that has been made by mere military authority but that could have been made by civil officers. Thus, without the existence of a single fact to justify an appeal to a supposed authority growing out o military necessity, citizens have been seized and imprisoned, their homes invaded and searched without warrant or complaint on oath, as required by law.
The protection afforded by constitutional guarantees of the liberty of the citizen and constitutional restraints imposed on the power of the Executive has been denied. Obedience to the courts is refused when they interfere for the protection of the citizen. Arms belonging to the city of Baltimore and rightfully in the custody of its authorities have been taken. The buildings of the city have been given into the custody of officers not known to its laws. Its court-house has been occupied by troops. Its civil authority has been disregarded, and a revolutionary government established by mere force of arms and against law.
Against these manifold wrongs your memorialist, for themselves and the free community which they represent, do most solemnly protest.
The State of Maryland has been and is subject to the Constitution and laws of the United States, and her citizens are of right entitled to the protection of that Constitution and of those laws. The civil authorities of this city have heretofore, and do now, render fitting obedience to the requirements of both. If disaffection is believed to exist, from which danger is apprehended, the guns of Fort McHenry turned on the homes of the women and children of an unarmed city, the Federal troops encamped around its limits, would seem an adequate protection to the Government. Whether that disaffection is weakened by depriving a whole community of the protection of its laws, whether the risk of disorder is diminished by establishing a police government which fails to command the respect accorded to undoubted lawful authority, you in your wisdom will determine.
But your memorialist respectfully, yet most earnestly, demand, as a matter of right, that their city may be governed according to the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the State of Maryland.