Doc. 135. Commissioners' report-to the Maryland Legislature.
To the honorable General Assembly of Maryland:--The undersigned commissioners have the honor to report to the General Assembly of Maryland that they waited in person on the President of the United States on the 4th inst., and presented him with a copy of the joint resolutions adopted by your honorable body on the 2d inst. They were received by the President with respectful courtesy, and made such representations as were necessary to convey to him the sense of the General Assembly of Maryland, in relation to the occupation of the Capital of the State by federal troops, and the forcible seizure of property of the State and of private citizens on the Annapolis Railroad, and on the Washington Branch and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad; and in this connection his attention was called to the suspension of intercourse between Baltimore and Washington, and of all parts of the State, with Annapolis, and the indignity put upon the State while still in the federal Union, by such an interference with the private rights of its citizens, and by such an occupation of its soil and ways of communication by the Federal Government. Full explanations were exchanged between the undersigned and the Secretary of War and Secretary of State, who were present and participated in the discussion, as to the facts and circumstances rendered necessary by the extraordinary incidents accompanying the passage of the federal troops through Maryland en route to the city of Washington, and especially in reference to these acts of the authorities of the city of Baltimore, which arrested the progress of the troops by the railroads leading from Pennsylvania and Delaware into Maryland, and of the opposition to the landing of the troops subsequently at Annapolis by the Governor of the State, and in conjunction with the action of the authorities of the State. The hostile feeling manifested by the people to the passage of these troops through Maryland was considered and treated with entire frankness by the undersigned, who, while acknowledging all the legal obligations of the State to the Federal Government, set forth fully the strength of the sympathy felt by a large portion of our people for our Southern brethren in the present crisis. Although many of the instances and circumstances referred to were regarded in different lights by the undersigned and the Federal Government, even to the extent of a difference of opinion as to some of the facts involved, yet in regard to the general principle at issue, a concurrence of opinion was reached. The President concurred with the undersigned in the opinion that so long as Maryland has not taken, and was not about taking, a hostile attitude to the Federal Government, that the executive military occupation of her ways of communication, and the seizure of the property of her citizens, would be without justification; and what has been referred to in this connection, so far as it occurred, was treated by the Government as an act of necessity and self-preservation. The undersigned did not feel themselves authorized to enter into any engagement with the Federal Government to induce it to change its relations to the State of Maryland, considering it proper under the circumstances to leave the entire discretion and responsibility of the existing state of things to that Government, making such representations as they deem proper to vindicate the moral and legal aspects of the question, and especially insisting on its obligation to relieve the State promptly from restraint and indignity, and to abstain from all action in the transportation of troops that can be regarded as intended for chastisement or prompted by resentment. The undersigned are not able to indicate to what extent or to what degree the executive discretion will be exercised in modifying the relations which now exist between the State of Maryland and the Federal Government, and in the particular matter of the commercial communication between the city of Baltimore and the other part of the country, brought to the attention of the General Assembly by the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore; but they feel authorized to express the opinion that some modification may be expected. The undersigned feel painfully confident that a war is to be waged to reduce all the seceding States to allegiance to the Federal Government, and that the whole military power cf the Federal Government will be exerted to accomplish that purpose; and though the expression of this opinion is not called for by the resolution of your honorable bodies, yet, having had the opportunity to ascertain its entire accuracy, and because it will explain much of the military preparations and movements of the troops through the State of Maryland, it is proper to bring it to your attention.
--N. Y. Herald, May 7.