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[788] strangers and citizens, and to prevent a collision, but in vain; and but for their great efforts a fearful slaughter would have occurred. Under these circumstances it is my solemn duty to inform you that it is not possible for more soldiers to pass through Baltimore unless they fight their way at every step. I, therefore, hope and trust, and most earnestly request, that no more troops be permitted or ordered by the government to pass through the city. If they should attempt it, the responsibility for the bloodshed will not rest upon me.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

George Wm. Brown, Mayor. To His Excellency, Abraham Lincoln, President United States.

It is easy, from the foregoing, to obtain an idea of the actual state of affairs in Baltimore at the time, for Mayor Brown, to my own knowledge, is thoroughly dispassionate, and, of all men, one of the least likely to over-state a case. The response to this letter was conveyed through a dispatch from the committee sent to Washington by the Mayor, as follows:

Washington, April 20th, 1861.
To Mayor Brown, Baltimore:
We have seen the President and General Scott. We have from the former a letter to the Mayor and Governor, declaring that no troops shall be brought through Baltimore if, in a military point of view, and without interruption from opposition, they can be marched around Baltimore.


This response of Mr. Lincoln was very unsatisfactory to the people of Baltimore, although it is difficult to see, looking back upon it from this point of time, how Mr. Lincoln could have unreservedly promised that no troops should pass through Baltimore. It was of the highest importance that easy and rapid communication should be maintained with the North, and that the troops should be forwarded as rapidly as possible. It was simply asking the government to cut off its right hand to request that it should not continue the transportation of troops through Baltimore. The people of this city, however, were not concerned about the inconvenience which it might cause the government. They were agreed on one point, viz., that the passage of troops through Baltimore should not be permitted under any consideration.

In response to the general sentiment, Mayor Brown, on Saturday morning, issued the following:

Mayor's Office, Baltimore, April 20th, 1861.
All the citizens having arms suitable for the defense of the city, and which they are willing to contribute for the purpose, are requested to deposit them at the office of the Marshal of Police.


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