General Government had not interfered. But it is right that I should further add that I am not aware nor do I believe that either the mayor,* the police commissioners, the marshal or any one of the arrested members of the Legislature have done anything whatever beyond speaking or writing in favor of secession.
BALTIMORE, November 4, 1861.
Having been requested to state in writing the substance of several conversations which took place between Honorable S. Teackle Wallis and me in relation to the probable action of the Legislature of Maryland upon the question of secession from the Union I now proceed to do so.
Before the Legislature had convened in compliance with the proclamation of the Governor, but after Mr. Wallis had been chosen as one of the representatives from Baltimore to the House of Delegates, I was at his office on professional business and during the interview we conversed on several political topics, and amongst these we considered the probable action of the Legislature. I was greatly pleased to find that Mr. Wallis concurred with me in the opinion that the Legislature had no right to commit the people of Maryland on this question, and that apart from the want of constitutional power to act in the premises the attempt to do so would be highly pernicious. When therefore I received a copy of the report of the highly respectable committee of which Mr. Wallis was the chairman I was not at all surprised for I expected such result.
At a subsequent period and after the Legislature had adjourned and reasembled, and had again adjourned to meet in September, the opinion was expressed by many persons that there was a concealed purpose on the part of that body to commit the people of Maryland to secession from the Union. I reached Baltimore on the afternoon of the 31st of August, after having been absent in Allegany County with my family (who were sojourning there as usual for tharly a month. It happened that I saw and conversed that same afternoon with a great number of persons, and some gentlemen of much intelligence and respectability seemed to have come to the fixed conclusion that there was a deep-laid scheme to embroil the people of Maryland through the action of the Legislature with the General Government, and thus eventually to place Maryland with the confederate States in opposition to the Union. I did not concur in these apprehensions, and amongst other reasons I stated that I had very satisfactory interviews with Mr. Wallis and with Mr. Pitts and had full confidence in both, and that it was not to be credited that the Legislature of Maryland after having adopted almost unanimously resolutions against secession would swallow their own words, and that from my personal knowledge of the members generally I felt that reliance might safely be placed on their personal honor that they would not attempt to accomplish per ambages an object which they were unwilling openly to avow.
On the following day (which was Sunday, the 1st of September) I encountered Mr. Wallis on the pavement in front of my dwelling and stated to him what I had heard and what reply I had made, and added
*See p. 619 for arrest of the mayor, marshal and police commissioners of Baltimore.