--The petition of Edward B. Boutwell
, for a writ of habeas corpus,
came up again before Judge Meredith
It appears that after the proceedings were instituted, the Governor
issued a warrant (under the authority of an ordinance passed by the Convention
in June last for the apprehension and securing of suspicious persons,) directing the Sheriff
of the city of Richmond
to imprison the party named, and hold him until further orders.
The case was fully argued by District Attorney Aylett
for the Government
, and Mr. Howison
for the petitioner.
, in his decision, took the ground that a statute of Virginia
invested the Governor
with absolute power to arrest suspected parties, aliens to Virginia
The authority of the Court
is restricted by this act to the sole inquiry whether or not the party applying for the writ is or is not a citizen of Virginia
If he is not, the power of the Governor
to arrest and imprison him is unrestricted, and the Court
cannot review the decision of the Executive
; nor will the writ of habeas corpus
afford relief to the party.
As to the question whether or not Boutwell
was a citizen of Virginia
, the Court
decided that, by remaining in Washington
after the secession of Virginia
, he had elected that place as his domicil and that therefore he was constrained to refuse him the writ applied for. The Court
added, however, that the evidence proved Commander Boutwell
to be an honorable man and officer, and not a shadow of suspicion attached to him upon the evidence adduced. --The prisoner was then nominally transferred to the custody of the Sheriff
, but at his own request was permitted to remain in the county jail.