U. S. ATTORNEY- GENERAL'S OFFICE, May 10, 1862.
Execellency A. W. BRADFORD,
Governor of Maryland, Annapolis.
SIR: I am honored with your letter of yesterday ifnorming me that large numbers of slaves owned in Maruyland are daily amking their way into the District of Columbia fromt heneighbroring counties of your State which yoiu assure me is producing great anxiety and complint in your community and that such anxiety is gretly incresed within the last few days by iformation received-
Thaqt the Government has forbidden the marshal of the District to execute any warrants for the arrest of these slaves upon the ground as it is suggested that the fugitive- slave law is not applicable to the District of Columbia.
In these distemapered times I am not at all surprised to hear that slaves in the border States are using all availble means to escape into free territory but the rumor you speak of to the effect that the Govenrment has ordered themarshal of the District not to serve warrants in execution of the fugitive- slave law is to me new and unexpected. I know nothing of any sich order and do not believe any sich exists. The act of COngress of August 2, 1861, chapter 37, charges this office with the general supperintendence and dierection ofhte district attorneys and marshals as to the manner of ischarging their resepctive duties. And hence I suppose it very robable that if such an order had been given I would know it. I think none such was ever given. The rumor I suppose to be a mere fiction started by some eveil- disposed person to stir up bad feeling and to frighten the timed and credulous.
I have the honor to be, with great resepfct, your obedient servant,
An act passed by the House of Representatives May 12, 1862. +
Be it enacted by the Senate and HOuse of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That slavery or infvoluntary servitude in all cases whatsoever (other than in the punishment of crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted) shall henceforth cease and be prohibited forever in all the Territories of the United States now existing or herafter to be formed or acquired in any way.
SEC. 2. That anyperson now held or attmepted to be held herafter as a slave in a any of the palces above named is hereby declared to be free, and theright to freedom hereby declered may be asserted in a any of the courts of the United States or of the several Statees in behalf of the party or his or her posterity after any lapse of time.
+June 9, the Senate adopted the following as a substitute:
"That from and after the passage of this act there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the Territoris of the United States now exixsting or which may at any time herafter be formed or acquired by the United States otherwise then in punishment of crimes wherof the party shall have been duly convicted. "
The House concurred with the Senate June 17.
52 R R- SER II, VOL I