So the time went on. State after State of the South
seceded from the Union
State after State of the North
organized, armed and drilled her militia.
In February, 1861, the Southern party of Maryland
, led by the young men, called a conference convention to meet in Baltimore
to confer together and decide what the honor and the interests of Maryland
required her to do in the crisis.
Honor first—interest last!
That conference met and was such a demonstration of physical strength, of resolute purpose and of intelligent design, that it alarmed the conservative sentiment.
But in February no action could be taken.
had not moved, and it was uncertain how or when she would move, for the South
or against it.
The governor of Maryland
, Thomas Holliday Hicks
, professed to be an ardent Southern man. The young men did not believe him, put no confidence in him. The old men, Union to the core, old Whigs, conservative by education and by nature, did trust him and insisted that Maryland
should do nothing without the action of her constituted authorities, her governor and her legislature.
The party of action urged a call of the general assembly.
The governor protested that he was then in correspondence with the governors of the border States and that they would devise and execute means to save the Union
and to preserve the peace.
The conference adjourned until the middle of March, by which time Lincoln
would be inaugurated and the Federal
government pass from the hands of the State
rights Democracy to the successors of the Federal party that Jefferson
and the Democracy had expelled in John Adams
's inaugural he avowed the determination of the party in power ‘to retake, reoccupy and repossess the forts, arsenals, dock-yards and other property of the United States
which had been seized in the Southern States
by State authority.’
This meant war
! But still the conservatives of Maryland
could not understand it. They clung to their idea that talk, palaver, negotiation