Oops, big lump of your posts....

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jgoodguy

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To All,

Found the above 1807 case in full at the following website:

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/8/75.html

I would note the when, where, and why of the case in it's full context.

I also note the following paragraph in the ruling:

"There have been instances where precedents destructive to liberty; and shocking to reason and humanity, established in arbitrary and factious times, have been justly disregarded. But when in times of quiet, and in cases calculated to excite no improper feelings, precedents have been established in favor of liberty and humanity, they become the most sacred as well as the most valuable parts of the law, the finest bulwark for the rights of citizens, and the surest guardian for the consciences and reputation of judges."

I would think that an all-out civil war might just be one of those "factious times."

Sincerely,
Unionblue
War changes everything.
 

unionblue

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War changes everything.

What's that old saying?

"In war, all the laws are silent" or some such?

Found it with a bit of interesting info on the very topic of this thread.

"In times of war, the law falls silent."

What was interesting was the further reference of this quote to Ex parte Milligan, where the United States Government said, in part:

"these [amendments of the Bill of Rights] in truth, are all peace provisions of the Constitution, and like all other conventional and legislative laws and enactments, are silent amidst arms, and when the safety of the people becomes the supreme law."

The source for the above can be found at the following site:


Unionblue
 
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jgoodguy

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I also love that this ruling explicitly said that the act of levying war against the United States is treason. :D

"When war is levied, all those who perform any part, however minute or however remote from the scene of action, and who are actually leagued in the general conspiracy, are traitors.

Any assemblage of men for the purpose of revolutionizing by force the government established by the United States in any of its territories, although as a step to or the means of executing some greater projects, amounts to levying war. The traveling of individuals to the place of rendezvous is not sufficient, but the meeting of particular bodies of men and their marching from places of partial to a place of general rendezvous is such an assemblage as constitutes a levying of war."

This means that anyone who aided or abetted actions detrimental to the war effort could have been charged for treason. This is a VERY broad brush, more so than Lincoln actually used.

And of course Merryman didn't actually enjoin Lincoln to release Merryman. Only that he really shouldn't have done that. SCOTUS has never taken it up, and Congress itself provided political cover for Lincoln later on.

Ex parte Merryman - Federal Judicial Center

Chief Justice Taney in court P3
Chief Justice Taney’s appearance in Baltimore immediately heightened the drama of the likely contest between the federal courts and the military. The eighty-four-year-old Chief Justice was by 1861 so closely linked with the sectional conflict that drove the nation into Civil War that few could view him as impartial. Taney, a native Marylander, had sat on the Supreme Court as Chief Justice since 1836, but he was now most closely associated with a single decision that had divided the nation. In Dred Scott v. Sandford in 1857, Taney had declared that legislation prohibiting slavery from western territories was unconstitutional and that African Americans, whether free or slave, had no standing as citizens under the Constitution. The decision regarding territories made political compromise of the sectional crisis nearly impossible, while the disfranchisement of all African Americans convinced many in the North that the “Slave Power” controlled the federal government. As many in Maryland knew, Taney had privately sympathized with the Southern states in the spring of 1861. He appeared deliberately to raise the profi le of the Merryman case with suggestions that he was acting in his capacity as Chief Justice rather than as a judge on the circuit court of Maryland and with his announcement, with no apparent evidence, that he might well be imprisoned in Fort McHenry himself for carrying out his judicial duties.

 

Rebforever

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It's pretty explicit in the minutes of the convention. They were hoping to avoid a war by getting Lincoln to give assurances to protect secession and slavery. Here's what they sent to him as the official policy of the convention:


Proposals Adopted by the Virginia Convention of 1861
The first resolution asserted states' rights per se; the second was for retention of slavery; the third opposed sectional parties; the fourth called for equal recognition of slavery in both territories and non-slave states; the fifth demanded the removal of federal forts and troops from seceded states; the sixth hoped for a peaceable adjustment of grievances and maintaining the Union; the seventh called for Constitutional amendments to remedy federal and state disputes; the eighth recognized the right of secession; the ninth said the federal government had no authority over seceded states since it refused to recognize their withdrawal; the tenth said the federal government was empowered to recognize the Confederate States; the eleventh was an appeal to Virginia's sister states; the twelfth asserted Virginia's willingness to wait a reasonable period of time for an answer to its propositions, providing no one resorted to force against the seceded states; the thirteenth asked United States and Confederate States governments to remain peaceful; and the fourteenth asked the border slave states to meet in conference to consider Virginia's resolutions and to join in Virginia's appeal to the North

And of course many of them realized what the cost would be if they seceded.

Alexander Stuart, one of the three delegates sent to Lincoln with those demands, stated: "Secession is not only war," he warned his colleagues, "but it is emancipation; it is bankruptcy; it is repudiation; it is widespread ruin to our people."
What was the date on this request?
 

unionblue

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Ex parte Merryman - Federal Judicial Center

Chief Justice Taney in court P3
Chief Justice Taney’s appearance in Baltimore immediately heightened the drama of the likely contest between the federal courts and the military. The eighty-four-year-old Chief Justice was by 1861 so closely linked with the sectional conflict that drove the nation into Civil War that few could view him as impartial. Taney, a native Marylander, had sat on the Supreme Court as Chief Justice since 1836, but he was now most closely associated with a single decision that had divided the nation. In Dred Scott v. Sandford in 1857, Taney had declared that legislation prohibiting slavery from western territories was unconstitutional and that African Americans, whether free or slave, had no standing as citizens under the Constitution. The decision regarding territories made political compromise of the sectional crisis nearly impossible, while the disfranchisement of all African Americans convinced many in the North that the “Slave Power” controlled the federal government. As many in Maryland knew, Taney had privately sympathized with the Southern states in the spring of 1861. He appeared deliberately to raise the profi le of the Merryman case with suggestions that he was acting in his capacity as Chief Justice rather than as a judge on the circuit court of Maryland and with his announcement, with no apparent evidence, that he might well be imprisoned in Fort McHenry himself for carrying out his judicial duties.

@jgoodguy ,

Very much enjoyed going through the source material you posted above.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to do so.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

thomas aagaard

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What Fort Sumter did was to unite the North and made war political feasible. IMHO Lincoln let Davis decide on peace or war and Davis decided on war. Fort Sumter could have had the opposite effect, blaming Lincoln on the loss of Fort Sumter.
Yep, the csa could have waited a few days and the fort would have surrendered to lack of food. And they knew it.
Had that happened, it is highly questionable if the north would have united for a war...
(and they had plenty of guns to drive of any resupply attempt)

The attack provoked a war... and the csa politicians either knew that would happen. (and they did it to bring Virginia and the rest into the fold) or they where so naive and arrogant that they thought the north would back down.
 

O' Be Joyful

Sergeant Major
Emperor Norton I...anybody?? :wink:

September 17, 1859 – Joshua A. Norton, who lost his money in an attempt to corner the rice market, today declared himself Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.
December 2, 1859 – Norton I dismissed Gov. Wise of Virginia for hanging John Brown and appointed John C. Breckenridge of Kentucky to replace him.
February 1, 1860 – Decree from Norton I ordered representatives of the different states to assemble at Platt’s Music Hall to change laws to ameloriate the evils under which the country was laboring.
July 16, 1860 – Decree from Norton I dissolved the United States of America.
October 1, 1860 – Decree from Norton I barred Congress from meeting in Washington, D.C.


http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist1/norton.html

I am behind again in this thread, but a further thought.

There have been, numerous occasions where...I have thought to myself, Norton I wasn't so crazy after all. But, in fact...Inspired.
 

thomas aagaard

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Were the threats to Va by federal forces imaginary? Was the army going to bypass VA when invading the Deep South?
Had Virginia stayed loyal, federal troops would have been marching(or using RR) true friendly territory on their way to south Carolina.
(and NC would have been a lot less likely to join the csa)

Sure lots of soldiers can cause some problems, but the US army would have all reasons to make sure it did not become an issue.
Not really any great threat to the state.
 

OpnCoronet

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That's debatable.
If Ft Sumter was so important, why no effort to reclaim it until years later..? Why not immediately send troops to SC..? Instead the first major battle was in Virginia. VA knew what Lincoln's call for troops meant. Subjugation/Invasion.
Ft Sumter was nothing more than the excuse Lincoln used, to violently impose his political ideology. I would argue Davis' order to fire on Sumter was more important for Lincoln than anyone. It was the excuse he used to claim he didn't start the war.



What should not be debatable, is the fact that Ft. Sumter did not have to be reclaimed before the attack and reduction by SC. After the its reduction and loss, there was a very great effort for its reclamation back into United States possession. In fact, the Union efforts to retake Ft. Sumter, constituted almost a war within the War.

Actually, the reduction of Ft. Sumter, more closely fits the evidence, that Va. fell in Jefferson Davis' trap, by forcing Va. to choose between their love for slavery or the Union.
 

OpnCoronet

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Virginia was no more reluctant than other states.Remember that state conventions were to be held to decide to stay or succeed that took time to arrange then this was not like a decision to be made in haste ,Virginia had a history with establishing the Union.Richmond was not Charleston it did not have the history of radical leaders as South Carolina.The question is as with each state that succeeded was Why did each leave the Union in the order they did ?If South Carolina did not have some agreement with her sister states would she have not reconsider her decision,and since as stated her reluctance was in watching to see if the other Southern/slave states would follow SC.Did Davis somehow make an agreement with key officials to move the capital from Montgomery to Richmond if they took their state out?Things like this have occurred for less.There are many factors that could have contributed to Va. hesitance . Remember this is the 19th century not the 21st in relation to communication.Imagine if texting was available how fast Va. would have been out !




Actually, I believe, in historical terms the secession conventions were called to fulfill the slave states self assumed formula for secession, to fit their concept of how a state might legally secede from the Union. Was there a secession convention called, that did not vote for secession ?

Unfortunately Va. with deliberation and much forethought, seems to have decided that a Union without slavery, was not the Union they had helped to build and would have no part in its maintainence.
 

Rebforever

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Yep, the csa could have waited a few days and the fort would have surrendered to lack of food. And they knew it.
Had that happened, it is highly questionable if the north would have united for a war...
(and they had plenty of guns to drive of any resupply attempt)

The attack provoked a war... and the csa politicians either knew that would happen. (and they did it to bring Virginia and the rest into the fold) or they where so naive and arrogant that they thought the north would back down.
The South continued to believe that Anderson would be withdrawn up until
April 4, 1861.
 

O' Be Joyful

Sergeant Major
Yes, they are hostile to England and want to do it harm, but you don't cause harm by backing a losing horse.

To be honest, U.B., one cannot dismiss, that those same allies--which We still owe that long ago debt to--fully intended at some point, to "saddle" the stallion and possibly "cinch it".

Nations have no Allies...Only interests.
 

ebg12

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I'm not a lawyer, but it is my understanding that charges are dropped when there is a lack of credible evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
So lynching mobs of black people decades after the civil war were never charged with murder because of a lack of credible evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?
 

James Lutzweiler

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Yes. fear. Fear of the Black majority in SC, and the possible lack of safety in a Union controlled by a Republican C-in-C. Of course, SC would not have attempted such a move had it not been reasonably sure it would not be alone.

Your last sentence almost says it all. You are absolutely right that it would not have gone it alone. But it is also true that the rest would not have joined SC unless they all believed they could SUSTAIN secession.Enter western land and the means to exploit it: i.e., the TRR. No TRR, No secession.
 

leftyhunter

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So the goverment could drop the charge of treason against Davis, even though they thought him still guilty of the act of treason?
Per Cooper's book "Jefferson Davis American" the main stumbling block to prosecuting Davis was that the case would have to be tried in Virginia and it would be very difficult to get a Virginia jury to convict Davis on treason. Not the least concern for a juror in a treason trial would be said juror life would be in grave peril if he convicted Davis.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

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So lynching mobs of black people decades after the civil war were never charged with murder because of a lack of credible evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?
Again said juror in said trials life would be in grave peril if he voted for a conviction.
Leftyhunter
 
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