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[267] Baltimore of unparalleled ferocity and injustice, which continued until the war was over. Even then political persecution did not cease until the Constitutional Convention was called by the Legislature, in January, 1867.

After the subsidence of the acute excitement of April 19 and the following days a reaction set in and the people divided in sentiment, some being for the Union, some for the South. As soon as the belief that the State could or would secede was abandoned thousands of the best young men of the State escaped across the Potomac and joined the Confederate Army. The number of them has been estimated as high as 20,000, and a great many joined the Northern Army.

It was not merely the attack on the Massachusetts regiment which made the North and the Federal Government hostile to the city. Before that event the people of the city had been maligned in the Northern press. A conspicuous instance of this was the story that the assasination of the President-elect as he passed through Baltimore was contemplated. There never was the slightest foundation for any such report, and yet Mr. Lincoln gave credence to it. It was publicly announced that Mr. Lincoln in going to Washington for his inauguration would go from Philadelphia to Harrisburg and thence to Baltimore by the Northern Central. The day fixed for his arrival in this city was Saturday, February 23, at 11:30 A. M.

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