land and naval forces, is seized in his own house — not by process of law, but by the arbitrary grasp of military power-and, torn from the side of his family, is borne to Fort McHenry
, over which it had been invoked by Key that the flag of the free forever should wave.
The aid of the highest privilege which freedom has yet conferred upon the citizen of a free country, was sought to vindicate the rights of Mr. Merryman
, and the Chief-Justice
of the United States
, the pure-hearted and high-minded Roger B. Taney
, issued the writ of habeas corpus
, requiring the prisoner to be brought before him. The result of his interference has already become historical.
The officer of the law found the portals of the fortress barred against him. He was denied admission, and it was told that the officer in command had suspended
the writ of habeas corpus
then entered into a history of the writ of habeas corpus
, which had been extorted, after six hundred years of toil and suffering, from venal judges and tyrant kings.
Granted to a wronged but spirited people at Runnymede
, it was again conceded by Charles II.
It was a right which neither English Minister, nor Judge
, nor English King
, would dare to disregard; and yet that inestimable right, that dear bulwark of the citizen's rights, had been subverted and trampled under foot by an American President, and only in the seventy-third year of American In-dependence; yet it was such acts of usurpation which Congress was called upon to He earnestly asserted that the cause which demanded such sacrifices could not be a just cause.
He recited the usurpations already practised by the Administration.
The quartering of troops in private houses without the consent of their owners — the censorship of the telegraph — the subversion of the rights of citizens of certain States to keep or to bear arms :--and said the next step — and it was but a narrow one--would be the violation of the freedom of the press, and of prayer — the sacred right of petition was even now tottering under the assaults upon it.
said he spoke freely and fearlessly as an American representative, and as an American citizen--one firmly resolved not to lose his own Constitutional liberties in the vain effort to impose those rights upon ten millions of unwilling people.
He drew a fine comparison between the meeting of Congress in December last, when it was composed of thirty-four independent States, and the present Congress, from which the representatives of eleven States are absent.
Their places are supplied by 75,000 soldiers, and the armed men crowding the walks and lawns of this beleaguered capital, and the sound of the drum, give frequent evidence that in times of war laws are silent.
He hoped that some years, some months hence, the present generation will demand to know the cause of all this; and some ages hence the grand and impartial tribunal of history will make solemn and diligent inquest of the authors of this terrible revolution.
.) asked Mr. Vallandigham
whether he was in favor of defending the integrity of the Union
, or of recognizing the so-called seceded States as a separate nationality?
replied by sending up a resolution, which was read, asserting that the Federal Government
is the agent of the people of the several States; that the Government
consists of three distinct Departments, the Executive
, Judicial, and Legislative; and that it is the duty of every one to sustain these departments with all the constitutional power which may be necessary and proper for the preservation of the Government
in its principles, vigor, and integrity, and to stand by the flag which represents the Government
, the Union
, and the country.
remarked, while the gentleman censures the Administration, he and his constituents were, he supposed, for its support now.
replied that he was responsible to his constituents for his public course, and not to the gentleman from Indiana
, at whose instance the Holman gag was yesterday adopted.
made no remarks, though the rules allowed him an hour to do so, but simply sanction.
moved that the Committee
rise, which motion prevailed.
The Loan bill was then passed:--Yeas, 149; Nays, 5, namely :--Messrs. Burnet
, and Wood