HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA,
Baltimore, Md., November 1, 1861.
DANIEL ENGEL and WILLIAM ECKER,
Inspectors of Election, New Windsor.
GENTLEMEN: I have received your letter of the 29th ultimo asking me to issue a proclamation authorizing you to administer to all persons of doubtful loyalty who offer their votes at the approaching election an oath to support the Constitution of the United States. If I had the power I would most cheerfully do so for no one who is false to the Government ought to be allowed to vote. But the constitution and laws of Maryland provide for the exercise of the elective franchise by regulations with which I have no right to interfere. I have this day issued an order of which I inclose a copy to the U. S. marshal and the provost-marshal at Baltimore to arrest any persons who have been in arms in Virginia if they appear at the polls and attempt to vote as we are told some such persons intend, and to take into custody all who aid and abet them in their treasonable designs; and I have requested the judges of election in case any such person presents himself at the polls and attempts to vote to commit him until he can be taken into custody by the authority of the United States.
I consider it of the utmost importance that the election should be a fair one and that there should be no obstruction to the free and full expression of the voice of the people of the State believing as I do that it will be decidedly in favor of the Union. But it is in the power of the judges of election under the authority given them to satisfy themselves as to the qualifications of the voters--to put to those who offer to poll such searching questions in regard to residence and citizenship as to detect traitors and without any violation of the constitution or laws of Maryland to prevent the pollution of the ballot boxes by their votes.
I am, very respectfully, yours,
JOHN A. DIX,
HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, November 1, 1861.
TO THE U. S. MARSHAL OF MARYLAND AND THE PROVOST-MARSHAL OF THE CITY OF BALTIMORE:
Information has come to my knowledge that certain individuals who formerly resided in this State and are known to have been recently in Virginia bearing arms against the authority and the forces of the United States have returned to their former homes with the intention of taking part in the election of the 6th of November instant, thus carrying out at the polls the treason they have committed in the field. There is reason also to believe that other individuals lately residents of Maryland who have been engaged in similar acts of hostility to the United States or in actively aiding and abetting those in arms against the United States are about to participate in the election for the same treacherous purpose with the hope of carrying over the State by disloyal votes to the cause of rebellion and treason.
I therefore by virtue of the authority vested in me to arrest all persons in rebellion against the United States require you to take into custody all such persons in any of the election districts or precincts in which they may appear at the polls to effect their criminal attempts to
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