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[680]

One month later, June 27th, General Banks, who was then in command at Baltimore, caused the arrest of four officers of the municipal police, who, although suspended by him, had persisted in issuing orders to their agents encouraging them to resist the authority of the government. They were taken to Fort Lafayette, near New York, and refused the privilege of the habeas corpus. These arrests, as might have been expected, formed the subject of warm discussions throughout the country. After two days deliberation, the Senate refused, by a strong majority, to pass a vote of censure against the government, which had been proposed. The House of Representatives took no cognizance of the matter. These vigorous proceedings, however, had not discouraged the secessionists of Maryland. The legislature had been elected under their auspices, and they had a majority in both houses. An extra session was convened on the 17th of September in the little town of Frederick, situated in the centre of the slaveholding districts; it was to be inaugurated by an ordinance of secession. The government, having been notified of this design, resolved to frustrate it. General McClellan, acting under instructions, caused nine members of the legislature, with its principal employes, to be arrested on the 16th; the town of Frederick was occupied by the military, and the meeting, which was to have consummated the act of rebellion in that State, did not take place. The prisoners were shut up in the forts of New York and Boston, whose gates could no longer be opened by the mandate of the local courts, and before the close of the year nearly one hundred more arrests were made.

As soon as Congress had met in December, 1861, a vote of censure against the acts of the government was discussed in both houses; but the proposition was rejected in both by a large majority.

These detentions, however, without trial could not last long. Public opinion, which had at first approved of the arrests as a matter of necessity, would not have tolerated that. The President took the initiative in procuring the release of the prisoners, excepting those only who, if at large, would seriously have endangered the public safety. In a proclamation dated February 14, 1862, signed by Mr. Stanton, Secretary of War, he declared

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