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BY THE SENATE,
JUNE 22, 1861.
By order, WILLIAM Kilgour, Secretary.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN REGARD TO THE RELATIONS
“WHEREAS, We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that amongst these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundations on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness;” and,
WHEREAS, The doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind; and,
WHEREAS, Standing, armies are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be raised or kept up without the consent of the Legislature; and,
WHEREAS, In all cases and at all times the military ought to be under strict subordination to, and control of, the civil power, and that the people of this State ought to have the sole and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police thereof; and that in all criminal prosecutions, every man.hath a right to be informed of the accusation against him, to have a copy of the indictment or charge in due time (if required) to prepare for his defense, to be allowed counsel, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have process for his witnesses, to examine the witnesses for and against hiin on oath, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury, without whose unanimous consent he ought not to be found guilty; and,
WHEREAS, The Constitution of the United States declares that Congress shall have power to declare war, to raise and support armies; that “the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless. when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it,” nor then unless by Congress. “That a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed;" that “the right of the people to be secure in their
houses, persons, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized;" and,
WHEREAS, Maryland is yel a State in the Union, submitting peaceably to the Federal Government, yet, nevertheless, the President has raised and quartered large standing armies upon her territory, has occupied the houses of her citizens without their consent, has made the military superior to and above the civil power, has assumed to regulate the internal police and government of the State, has seized upon and appropriated our railroads and telegraphs, has seized and searched our vessels, has forcibly opened our houses, has deprived our people of their arms, has seized and transported our citizens to other States for trial upon charges or pretended charges, has taken the private property of our citizens, has caused peaceable travellers to be stopped and their persons, trunks and papers to be searched, has arrested and caused to be imprisoned, without any civil process whatever, the persons of our citizens, and by the military power kept and still keeps them in confinement against and in contempt of all civil process. Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the General Assembly of Maryland, That recogniz: ing our relations to the Federal Government, we feel that whilst we cannot do more, we can do no less, than enter this, our solemn protest, against the said acts of the President of the United States, and declare the same to be gross usurpation, unjust, op: pressive, tyrannical and in utter violation of common right and of the plain provisions of the Constitution.
Resolved, 2.-That the right of separation from the Federal Union is a right neither arising under nor prohibited by the Constitution, but a sovereign right, independent of the Constitution, to be exercised by the several States upon their own responsibility.
Resolved, 3.—That prudence and policy demand, that the war now being waged, shall cease, that if persisted in, it will result in the ruin and destruction of both sections, and a longer continuance of it will utterly annihilate the last hope of a reconstruction of this Union; therefore we want peace, and are in favor of a recognition of the Southern Confederacy and an acknowledgment of its government.
Resolved, 4.—That we deem the writ of Habeas Corpus, the great safe.guard of personal liberty, and we view with the utmost alarm and indignation, the exercise of the despotic power that has dared to suspend it in the case of John Merryman, now con. fined in Fort McHenry.