Richmond in the American Civil War
Richmond, served as the capital of the Confederate States of America for the whole of the American Civil War. It was a vital source of weapons and supplies for the war effort, the terminus of five railroads; the Union made many attempts to invade Richmond. In the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, General George McClellan moved up the James River to the suburbs of the city, but was beaten back by Robert E. Lee in the Seven Days Battles. In 1864-5, General U. S. Grant laid siege to nearby Petersburg, whose evacuation by Lee caused the government to flee the capital, which the retreating Confederates left in flames. In the 1860 United States Census, Richmond was the 25th largest urban area in the United States, with a population of 37,910; the city had been the capital of Virginia since 1780. The Confederate States of America was formed in early 1861 from the first states to secede from the Union. Montgomery, was selected as the Confederate capital. After the Confederate Army fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861, beginning the Civil War, additional states seceded.
Virginia voted to secede from the Union on April 17, 1861, existed thereafter as an independent republic before joining the Confederacy on June 19, 1861. However, on May 8, 1861, in the Confederate Capital City of Montgomery, the decision was made to name the City of Richmond, Virginia as the new Capital of the Confederacy. Shortly thereafter, in recognition of Virginia's strategic importance, the Confederate capital was moved to Richmond; the Great Seal of the Confederate States of America, adopted April 30, 1863, features a depiction of George Washington based on the Virginia Washington Monument adjacent to the Confederate Capitol building. Richmond remained the capital of the Confederacy until April 2, 1865, at which point the government evacuated and was re-established, albeit in Danville, Virginia. Positioned on the Fall Line along the James River, the city had ready access to an ample supply of hydropower to run mills and factories; the Tredegar Iron Works, sprawling along the James River, supplied high-quality munitions to Confederacy during the war.
The company manufactured railroad steam locomotives in the same period. Tredegar is credited with the production of 10,000 artillery pieces during the war, about half of the South's total domestic production of artillery between the war years of 1861–1865; the foundry made the 723 tons of armor plating that covered the CSS Virginia, which fought the first battle between ironclad warships in March 1862. The Tredegar works were adjacent to the Richmond Arsenal, recommissioned in the lead-up to the war. On Brown's Island, the Confederate States Laboratory was established to consolidate explosives production to an isolated setting in the eventuality of an accidental explosion. Numerous smaller factories in Richmond produced tents, uniforms and leather goods and bayonets, other war material; as the war progressed, the city's warehouses became the supply and logistical center for much of the Confederate forces within the Eastern Theater. Richmond was a transportation hub, it was the terminus of five railroads: the Richmond and Potomac Railroad.
In addition, the James River and Kanawha Canal ran through it with access to the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. At the fall of Richmond in April 1865, all but the Richmond and Danville Railroad and the canal had been cut off by Union forces. In the late spring of 1862, a large Federal army under Major General George B. McClellan landed on the Virginia Peninsula. McClellan, who had enjoyed early publicity from a series of successes in western Virginia, was assigned the task of seizing and occupying Richmond, his military maneuvers and the resulting battles and engagements became collectively known as the Peninsula Campaign, culminating in the Seven Days Battles. McClellan's starting base was the Union-held Fort Monroe at the eastern tip of the Peninsula. Efforts to take Richmond by the James River were blocked by Confederate defenses at the Battle of Drewry's Bluff on May 15, about eight miles downstream from Richmond; the Union Army advance was halted shortly outside of the city at the Battle of Seven Pines on May 31 and June 1, 1862.
Over a period of seven days from June 25 to July 1, 1862, Richmond's defensive line of batteries and fortifications set up under General Robert E. Lee, a daring ride around the Union Army by Confederate cavalry under General J. E. B. Stuart, an unexpected appearance of General Stonewall Jackson's famous "foot cavalry" combined to unnerve the ever-cautious McClellan, he initiated a Union retreat before Richmond; as other portions of the South were falling, the failure of the Peninsula Campaign to take Richmond led to three more years of warfare between the states. As a result of its proximity to the battlefields of the Eastern Theater and its high level of defense, the city processed many casualties of both sides: as home to numerous hospitals and various cemeteries. On March 13, 1863, the Confederate Laboratory on Brown's Island was rocked by an explosion that killed dozens of workers. On April 2, 1863, the city was beset by a large bread riot as housewives could no longer afford high food prices and broke into stores.
The riot was organized by a huckster and the mother of a soldier. The militia was called out to end
National Bank Act
The National Banking Acts of 1863 and 1864 were two United States federal banking acts that established a system of national banks, created the United States National Banking System. They encouraged development of a national currency backed by bank holdings of U. S. Treasury securities and established the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as part of the United States Department of the Treasury and a system of nationally chartered banks; the Act shaped today's national banking system and its support of a uniform U. S. banking policy. At the beginning Second Bank of the United States in 1836, the control of banking regimes devolved to the states. Different states adopted policies including a total ban on banking, a single state-chartered bank, limited chartering of banks, free entry. While the relative success of New York's "free banking" laws led a number of states to adopt a free-entry banking regime, the system remained poorly integrated across state lines. Though all banknotes were uniformly denominated in dollars, notes would circulate at a steep discount in states beyond their issue.
In the end, there were well-publicized frauds arising in states like Michigan, which had adopted free entry regimes but did not require redeemability of bank issues for specie. The perception of dangerous "wildcat" banking, along with the poor integration of the U. S. banking system, led to increasing public support for a uniform national banking regime. The United States Government, on the other hand, still had limited taxation capabilities, so had an interest in the seigniorage potential of a national bank. In 1846, the Polk Administration created a United States Treasury system that moved public funds from private banks to Treasury branches in order to fund the Mexican–American War. However, without a national currency, the revenue generated. One of the first attempts to issue a national currency came in the early days of the Civil War when Congress approved the Legal Tender Act of 1862, allowing the issue of $150 million in national notes known as greenbacks and mandating that paper money be issued and accepted in lieu of gold and silver coins.
The bills were backed only by the national government's promise to redeem them and their value was dependent on public confidence in the government as well as the ability of the government to give out specie in exchange for the bills in the future. Many thought this promise backing the bills was about as good as the green ink printed on one side, hence the name "greenbacks."The Second Legal Tender Act, enacted July 11, 1862, a Joint Resolution of Congress, the Third Legal Tender Act, enacted March 3, 1863, expanded the limit to $450 million. The largest amount of greenbacks outstanding at any one time was calculated as $447,300,203.10. The National Bank Act known as the National Currency Act, was passed in the Senate by a 23–21 vote; the main goal of this act was to create a single national currency and to eradicate the problem of notes from multiple banks circulating simultaneously. The Act established national banks that could issue notes which were backed by the United States Treasury and printed by the government itself.
The quantity of notes that a bank was allowed to issue was proportional to the bank's level of capital deposited with the Comptroller of the Currency at the Treasury. To further control the currency, the Act taxed notes issued by state and local banks pushing non-federally issued paper out of circulation; the National Banking Act of 1863 was superseded by the National Banking Act of 1864 just one year later. The new act established federally-issued bank charters, which took banking out of the hands of state governments. Before the act, charters were granted by state legislatures, they could be influenced by bribes. This problem was resolved to some degree by free banking laws in some states, but it was not until this act was passed that free banking was established on a uniform, national level and charter issuance was taken out of the hands of discriminating and corrupt state legislatures; the first bank to receive a national charter was the First National Bank of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The first new national bank to open was The First National Bank of Iowa.
Additionally, the new Act converted more than 1,500 state banks to national banks. The National Bank Act of 1863 was passed on February 25th, 1863, was the first attempt to establish a central bank after the failures of the First and Second Banks of the United States, served as the predecessor to the Federal Reserve Act of 1913; the act allowed the creation of national banks, set out a plan for establishing a national currency backed by government securities held by other banks, gave the federal government the ability to sell war bonds and securities. National banks were chartered by the federal government, were subject to stricter regulation. A high tax on state banks was levied to discourage competition, by 1865 most state banks had either received national charters or collapsed; the 1864 act, based on a New York State law, brought the federal government into active supervision of commercial banks. It established the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency with the responsibility of chartering and supervising all national banks.
On July 13, 1866, the banking Act of 1865 was extended beyond requiring every national banking association, state bank, or state banking association to pay a 10% tax on any note
The Reconstruction era was the period from 1863 to 1877 in American history. It was a significant chapter in the history of American civil rights; the term has two applications: the first applies to the complete history of the entire country from 1865 to 1877 following the American Civil War. Reconstruction ended the remnants of Confederate secession and ended slavery, making the newly-free slaves citizens with civil rights ostensibly guaranteed by three new Constitutional amendments. Three visions of Civil War memory appeared during Reconstruction: the reconciliationist vision, rooted in coping with the death and devastation the war had brought. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson both took moderate positions designed to bring the South back into the Union as as possible, while Radical Republicans in Congress sought stronger measures to upgrade the rights of African Americans, including the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, while curtailing the rights of former Confederates, such as through the provisions of the Wade–Davis Bill.
Johnson, a former Tennessee Senator, former slave owner, the most prominent Southerner to oppose the Confederacy, followed a lenient policy toward ex-Confederates. Lincoln's last speeches show that he was leaning toward supporting the enfranchisement of all freedmen, whereas Johnson was opposed to this. Johnson's interpretations of Lincoln's policies prevailed until the Congressional elections of 1866; those elections followed outbreaks of violence against blacks in the former rebel states, including the Memphis riots of 1866 and the New Orleans riot that same year. The subsequent 1866 election gave Republicans a majority in Congress, enabling them to pass the 14th Amendment, take control of Reconstruction policy, remove former Confederates from power, enfranchise the freedmen. A Republican coalition came to power in nearly all the southern states and set out to transform the society by setting up a free labor economy, using the U. S. Army and the Freedmen's Bureau; the Bureau protected the legal rights of freedmen, negotiated labor contracts, set up schools and churches for them.
Thousands of Northerners came south as missionaries, teachers and politicians. Hostile whites began referring to these politicians as "carpetbaggers". In early 1866, Congress passed the Freedmen's Bureau and Civil Rights Bills and sent them to Johnson for his signature; the first bill extended the life of the bureau established as a temporary organization charged with assisting refugees and freed slaves, while the second defined all persons born in the United States as national citizens with equality before the law. After Johnson vetoed the bills, Congress overrode his vetos, making the Civil Rights Act the first major bill in the history of the United States to become law through an override of a presidential veto; the Radicals in the House of Representatives, frustrated by Johnson's opposition to Congressional Reconstruction, filed impeachment charges. The action failed by one vote in the Senate; the new national Reconstruction laws – in particular laws requiring suffrage for freedmen – incensed white supremacists in the South, giving rise to the Ku Klux Klan.
During 1867-69 the Klan murdered Republicans and outspoken freedmen in the South, including Arkansas Congressman James M. Hinds. Elected in 1868, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant supported Congressional Reconstruction and enforced the protection of African Americans in the South through the use of the Enforcement Acts passed by Congress. Grant used the Enforcement Acts to combat the Ku Klux Klan, wiped out, although a new incarnation of the Klan would again come to national prominence in the 1920s. President Grant was unable to resolve the escalating tensions inside the Republican Party between the Northerners on the one hand, those Republicans hailing from the South on the other. Meanwhile, "redeemers", self-styled conservatives in close cooperation with a faction of the Democratic Party opposed Reconstruction, they alleged widespread corruption by the "carpetbaggers", excessive state spending, ruinous taxes. Meanwhile, public support for Reconstruction policies, requiring continued supervision of the South, faded in the North after the Democrats, who opposed Reconstruction, regained control of the House of Representatives in 1874.
In 1877, as part of a Congressional bargain to elect Republican Rutherford B. Hayes as president following the disputed 1876 presidential election, U. S. Army troops were withdrawn from the three states; this marked the end of Reconstruction. Historian Eric Foner argues: What remains certain is that Reconstruction failed, that for blacks its failure was a disaster whose magnitude cannot be obscured by the genuine accomplishments that did endure. In different states Reconstruction ended at different times. In recent decades most historians follow Foner in dating the Reconstruction of the South as starting in 1863 rather than 1865; the usual ending for Reconstruction has always been 1877. Reconstruction policies were debated in the North when the
The Overland Campaign known as Grant's Overland Campaign and the Wilderness Campaign, was a series of battles fought in Virginia during May and June 1864, in the American Civil War. Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, general-in-chief of all Union armies, directed the actions of the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, other forces against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Although Grant suffered severe losses during the campaign, it was a strategic Union victory, it inflicted proportionately higher losses on Lee's army and maneuvered it into a siege at Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, in just over eight weeks. Crossing the Rapidan River on May 4, 1864, Grant sought to defeat Lee's army by placing his forces between Lee and Richmond and inviting an open battle. Lee surprised Grant by attacking the larger Union army aggressively in the Battle of the Wilderness, resulting in heavy casualties on both sides. Unlike his predecessors in the Eastern Theater, Grant did not withdraw his army following this setback, but instead maneuvered to the southeast, resuming his attempt to interpose his forces between Lee and Richmond.
Lee's army was able to get into position to block this movement. At the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, Grant attacked segments of the Confederate defensive line, hoping for a breakthrough, but the only results were again heavy losses for both sides. Grant maneuvered again. Here, Lee held clever defensive positions that provided an opportunity to defeat portions of Grant's army, but illness prevented Lee from attacking in time to trap Grant; the final major battle of the campaign was waged at Cold Harbor, in which Grant gambled that Lee's army was exhausted and ordered a massive assault against strong defensive positions, resulting in disproportionately heavy Union casualties. Resorting to maneuver a final time, Grant surprised Lee by stealthily crossing the James River, threatening to capture the city of Petersburg, the loss of which would doom the Confederate capital; the resulting Siege of Petersburg led to the eventual surrender of Lee's army in April 1865 and the effective end of the Civil War.
The campaign included two long-range raids by Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan. In a raid toward Richmond, legendary Confederate cavalry commander Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart was mortally wounded at the Battle of Yellow Tavern. In a raid attempting to destroy the Virginia Central Railroad to the west, Sheridan was thwarted by Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton at the Battle of Trevilian Station, the largest all-cavalry battle of the war. In March 1864, Grant was summoned from the Western Theater, promoted to lieutenant general, given command of all Union armies, he chose to make his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac, although Meade retained formal command of that army. Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman succeeded Grant in command of most of the western armies. Grant and President Abraham Lincoln devised a coordinated strategy that would strike at the heart of the Confederacy from multiple directions: Grant and Benjamin Butler against Lee near Richmond, Virginia; this was the first time the Union armies would have a coordinated offensive strategy across a number of theaters.
Although previous Union campaigns in Virginia targeted the Confederate capital of Richmond as their primary objective, this time the goal was to capture Richmond by aiming for the destruction of Lee's army. Lincoln had long advocated this strategy for his generals, recognizing that the city would fall after the loss of its principal defensive army. Grant ordered Meade, "Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also." Although he hoped for a quick, decisive battle, Grant was prepared to fight a war of attrition. He meant to "hammer continuously against the armed force of the enemy and his resources until by mere attrition, if in no other way, there should be nothing left to him but an equal submission with the loyal section of our common country to the constitution and laws of the land." Both Union and Confederate casualties could be high, but the Union had greater resources to replace lost soldiers and equipment. Despite Grant's superior numbers, he had manpower challenges. Following their severe beating at the Battle of Gettysburg the previous year, the I Corps and the III Corps had been disbanded and their survivors reallocated to other corps, which damaged unit cohesion and morale.
Because he was operating on the offensive in enemy territory, Grant had to defend his bases of supply and the lines extending from them to his army in the field. Furthermore, since many of his soldiers' three-year enlistments were about to expire, they were reluctant to participate in dangerous assaults. To deal with these challenges, Grant supplemented his forces by reassigning soldiers manning the heavy artillery batteries around Washington, D. C. to infantry regiments. The Overland Campaign began as Grant's forces crossed the Rapidan River on May 4, 1864. Grant's objective was to force an engagement with Lee, outside of his Mine Run fortifications, by either drawing his forces out or turning them. Lee, displaying the audacity that characterized his generalship, moved out
Robert Todd Lincoln
Robert Todd Lincoln was an American politician and businessman. Lincoln was the first son of Mary Todd Lincoln, he was born in Springfield and graduated from Harvard College before serving on the staff of Ulysses S. Grant as a captain in the Union Army in the closing days of the American Civil War. After the war Lincoln married Mary Eunice Harlan, they had three children together. Following completion of law school in Chicago, he built a successful law practice, became wealthy representing corporate clients. Active in Republican politics, a tangible symbol of his father's legacy, Robert Lincoln was spoken of as a possible candidate for office, including the presidency, but never took steps to mount a campaign; the one office to which he was elected was town supervisor of South Chicago, which he held from 1876 to 1877. Lincoln accepted appointments as secretary of war in the administration of James A. Garfield, continuing under Chester A. Arthur, as United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom in the Benjamin Harrison administration.
Lincoln served as general counsel of the Pullman Palace Car Company, after founder George Pullman died in 1897, Lincoln became the company's president. After retiring from this position in 1911, Lincoln served as chairman of the board until 1922. In Lincoln's years he resided at homes in Washington, D. C. and Manchester, Vermont. In 1922, he took part in the dedication ceremonies for the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln died at Hildene on July 26, 1926, six days before his 83rd birthday, was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Robert Lincoln was born in Springfield, Illinois, on August 1, 1843, to Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln, he had three younger brothers, Edward Baker Lincoln, William Wallace Lincoln, Thomas "Tad" Lincoln. By the time Lincoln was born, his father had become a well-known member of the Whig political party and had served as a member of the state legislature for four terms. Robert Lincoln was named after his maternal grandfather. By the time his father became president of the United States, Lincoln was the only one of the president's three children to be on his own.
He took the Harvard College entrance examination in 1859, but failed fifteen out of the sixteen subjects. He was enrolled at Phillips Exeter Academy to further prepare for attending college, he graduated in 1860. Admitted to Harvard College, he graduated in 1864, was a member of the Hasty Pudding Club and the Delta Kappa Epsilon. Morris states after gaining admission to Harvard, Robert Lincoln emerged from college an "unsympathetic bore."After graduating from Harvard, Lincoln enrolled at Harvard Law School. When he expressed interest in the law school to his father, President Lincoln made reference to his own pleasant, but informal legal training by stating "If you do, you should learn more than I did, but you will never have so good a time." Robert Lincoln attended Harvard Law School from September 1864 to January 1865, left in order to join the Union Army. In 1893, Harvard awarded Lincoln the honorary degree of LL. D. Much to the embarrassment of the president, Mary Todd Lincoln prevented Robert Lincoln from joining the Army until shortly before the war's conclusion.
"We have lost one son, his loss is as much as I can bear, without being called upon to make another sacrifice," Mary Todd Lincoln insisted to President Lincoln. President Lincoln argued "our son is not more dear to us than the sons of other people are to their mothers." However, Mary Todd Lincoln persisted by stating that she could not "bear to have Robert exposed to danger." In January 1865, the First Lady yielded and President Lincoln wrote Ulysses S. Grant, asking if Robert could be placed on his staff. On February 11, 1865, he was commissioned as an assistant adjutant with the rank of captain and served in the last weeks of the American Civil War as part of General Ulysses S. Grant's immediate staff, a position which reduced the likelihood that he would be involved in actual combat, he was present at Appomattox. He resigned his commission on June 12, 1865, returned to civilian life. Lincoln had a distant relationship with his father, in part because, during his formative years, Abraham Lincoln spent months on the judicial circuit.
Their relationship was similar to the one Abraham Lincoln had with his own father. Lincoln recalled, "During my childhood and early youth he was constantly away from home, attending court or making political speeches." Robert would say his most vivid image of his father was of packing saddlebags to prepare for his travels through Illinois. Abraham Lincoln was proud of Robert and thought him bright, but something of a competitor. An acquaintance purportedly said, "he guessed Bob would not do better than he had." The two lacked the strong bond Lincoln had with his other sons Willie and Tad, but Robert admired his father and wept at his deathbed. On the night of his father's death, Robert had turned down an invitation to accompany his parents to Ford's Theatre, citing fatigue after spending much of his recent time in a covered wagon at the battlefront. On April 25, 1865, Robert Lincoln wrote President Andrew Johnson requesting that he and his family be allowed to stay for two and a half weeks because his mother had told him that "she can not be ready to leave here."
Lincoln acknowledged that he was aware of the "great inconvenience" that Johnson had since becoming president of the United States only a short time earlier. Foll
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh
Habeas Corpus Suspension Act (1863)
The Habeas Corpus Suspension, 12 Stat. 755, entitled An Act relating to Habeas Corpus, regulating Judicial Proceedings in Certain Cases, was an Act of Congress that authorized the president of the United States to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in response to the American Civil War and provided for the release of political prisoners. It began in the House of Representatives as an indemnity bill, introduced on December 5, 1862, releasing the president and his subordinates from any liability for having suspended habeas corpus without congressional approval; the Senate amended the House's bill, the compromise reported out of the conference committee altered it to qualify the indemnity and to suspend habeas corpus on Congress's own authority. Abraham Lincoln signed the bill into law on March 3, 1863, suspended habeas corpus under the authority it granted him six months later; the suspension was lifted with the issuance of Proclamation 148 by Andrew Johnson, the Act became inoperative with the end of the Civil War.
The exceptions to his Proclamation 148 were the States of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, the District of Columbia, the Territories of New Mexico and Arizona. At the outbreak of the American Civil War in April 1861, Washington, D. C. was undefended, rioters in Baltimore, Maryland threatened to disrupt the reinforcement of the capital by rail, Congress was not in session. The military situation made it dangerous to call Congress into session. Abraham Lincoln, the president of the United States, therefore authorized his military commanders to suspend the writ of habeas corpus between Washington, D. C. and Philadelphia. Numerous individuals were arrested, including John Merryman and a number of Baltimore police commissioners; when Judge William Fell Giles of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland issued a writ of habeas corpus, the commander of Fort McHenry, Major W. W. Morris, wrote in reply, "At the date of issuing your writ, for two weeks previous, the city in which you live, where your court has been held, was under the control of revolutionary authorities."Merryman's lawyers appealed, in early June 1861, U.
S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, writing as the United States Circuit Court for Maryland, ruled in ex parte Merryman that Article I, section 9 of the United States Constitution reserves to Congress the power to suspend habeas corpus and thus that the president's suspension was invalid; the rest of the Supreme Court had nothing to do with Merryman, the other two Justices from the South, John Catron and James Moore Wayne acted as Unionists. The President's advisers said it was ignored; when Congress was called into special session, July 4, 1861, President Lincoln issued a message to both houses defending his various actions, including the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, arguing that it was both necessary and constitutional for him to have suspended it without Congress. Early in the session, Senator Henry Wilson introduced a joint resolution "to approve and confirm certain acts of the President of the United States, for suppressing insurrection and rebellion", including the suspension of habeas corpus.
Senator Lyman Trumbull, the Republican chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, had reservations about its imprecise wording, so the resolution opposed by anti-war Democrats, was never brought to a vote. On July 17, 1861, Trumbull introduced a bill to suppress insurrection and sedition which included a suspension of the writ of habeas corpus upon Congress's authority; that bill was not brought to a vote before Congress ended its first session on August 6, 1861 due to obstruction by Democrats, on July 11, 1862, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary recommended that it not be passed during the second session, but its proposed habeas corpus suspension section formed the basis of the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act. In September 1861 the arrests continued, including a sitting member of Congress from Maryland, Henry May, along with one third of the Maryland General Assembly, Lincoln expanded the zone within which the writ was suspended; when Lincoln's dismissal of Justice Taney's ruling was criticized in an editorial that month by a prominent Baltimore newspaper editor Frank Key Howard, Francis Scott Key's grandson and Justice Taney's grand-nephew by marriage, he was himself arrested by federal troops without trial.
He was imprisoned in Fort McHenry, which, as he noted, was the same fort where the Star Spangled Banner had been waving "o'er the land of the free" in his grandfather's song. In early 1862 Lincoln took a step back from the suspension of habeas corpus controversy. On February 14, he ordered all political prisoners released, with some exceptions and offered them amnesty for past treason or disloyalty, so long as they did not aid the Confederacy. In March 1862 Congressman Henry May, released in December 1861, introduced a bill requiring the federal government to either indict by grand jury or release all other "political prisoners" still held without habeas corpus. May's bill passed the House in summer 1862, it would be included in the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act, which would require actual indictments for suspected traitors. Seven months faced with opposition to his calling up of th