In my arrest none of the orms of law heretofore existing in Maryland of which State I am a citizen have been complied with; the arrest, however, was none the less potent and my imprisonment is none the less secure.
Under the government laws which existed in Maryland up to the time at which I was arrested my arrest would have been a high crime for which the parties perpetrating the same would have been punished by the courts and from them I should have recovered damages for the injuries I have sustained, or rather no power up to that time would have dared to make such an arrest. I have been carried outside the jurisdiction of my own State, there imprisoned and denied any of what were considered legal modes of release and redress but am directed to apply for release to the Secretary of State of the United States. It is plain then so far as Maryland is concerned there has been a revolution in government; that the power of her courts and the protection which they afforded to her citizens has been usurped by the Government at Washington, and we are taught that the Department thereof which you are the head determines who shall be arrested in Maryland, how arrested, where imprisoned and when released. I am free to admit that such revolution has been accomplished in Maryland and am satisfied that no resistance can be made to it even by those disposed so to do, but that a government de facto is now established in Maryland as firmly as ever existed in that or any other State, (whether such vote was influenced by a show of military force or not does not matter), and that the citizens of Maryland must submit to a government against which they either have not the will or the power to resist, as it is evident that such government does sustain itself in Maryland and no doubt has full confidence in its power so to do.
It is further evident that the arrests made in Maryland was one of the means thought necessary by the United States to bring about the condition of things now existing that State; that if any such necessity did exist that no such necessity now continues, and that humanity as well as expediency requires that they should be discontinued and that those in custody be released.
For my own part I am free to saye in the existing government in Maryland is a matter of compulsion not of choice, but not the less positive on that account; that any further indignity which I may be obliged to suffer is unnecessary and any oath or obligation which may be attempted to be imposed on me will not influence or effect my allegiance to the Government now in power to which I submit and therefore can be conducive to no good.
As you have directed our cases to be placed before you-as you have the power- and have assumed the responsibility of determining them I think it better to make this statement that you may understand my views and see that there is nothing to be gained by my further imprisonment, but on the contrary that whilst the detention of the Maryland prisoners can no longer effect any good under the system which you have thought proper to inaugurate their release will disarm your political enemies from legislative interference and those appeals to the public which they will have the power to make whilst these arrests and imprisonments continue.
Your obedient servant,
ROB. M. DENISON,
Baltimore County, Md.