Restricted Retrieved 7: Why Was Baltimore So Strongly Secessionist?

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Robin Lesjovitch

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We do have scholarly estimate for troops from the above states other then Maryland. Per Freeling Kentucky was 25k Confederate vs 50k Union, Missouri Historical. 30k Union vs 130 K Union. Wv approximately 22k vs 22k. So different results from different border states even Tennessee per Current was 42k Union and Ark 10k Union vs more on the Confederate Army.
Maryland apparently is somewhat of a mystery.
Leftyhunter
The numbers will never be perfect. The State of West Virginia has done well in correcting an historic misconception. After over a century, numbers of volunteers from other states were removed from the lists of WV Unionists. Also numbers who were on the militia rolls of what became WV who served in CSA units were removed. After complete editing, the numbers of Union and CSA became nearly a "push". That had corrected a very long standing understanding that Unionists outnumbered Rebs by over 2 to 1.
There are issues with other state numbers. The numbers will never tell a complete story. Missouri, and to lesser extent some other states, had its own war. No accounting just two sides there. Tennessee is an issue. A lot of blue clad Tennesseans were not in front line units, while almost all the Rebs from Tennessee were. About the same for Kentucky.
 

leftyhunter

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The numbers will never be perfect. The State of West Virginia has done well in correcting an historic misconception. After over a century, numbers of volunteers from other states were removed from the lists of WV Unionists. Also numbers who were on the militia rolls of what became WV who served in CSA units were removed. After complete editing, the numbers of Union and CSA became nearly a "push". That had corrected a very long standing understanding that Unionists outnumbered Rebs by over 2 to 1.
There are issues with other state numbers. The numbers will never tell a complete story. Missouri, and to lesser extent some other states, had its own war. No accounting just two sides there. Tennessee is an issue. A lot of blue clad Tennesseans were not in front line units, while almost all the Rebs from Tennessee were. About the same for Kentucky.
From what I gather many Unionist regiments in Tennessee were involved in counterinsurgency so they did play a very important role in assisting the Union war effort.
It is true that one side was able to get more troops then the other side and then we have to account for the important role of the 180k USCT troops most of whom were Southerners.
Leftyhunter
 

uaskme

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No, McClellan, with the governor's approval, just arrested the traitor secessionists from the state legislature that held a rump meeting to pull Maryland out of the Union.
A few Presidents had to sneak out of Washington. Lincoln is the only one in history who had to sneak in. Talk about a House Divided!
 
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Robin Lesjovitch

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No, McClellan, with the governor's approval, just arrested the traitor secessionists from the state legislature that held a rump meeting to pull Maryland out of the Union.
To be correct, there was nothing "rump" about the Maryland Assembly's meeting in Sept. 1861 .
The Assembly could not meet in Annapolis as that city was occupied by Federal troops. But the Assembly was legally meeting in Frederick City. There was no chance there would have been a vote for Secession. Governor Hicks had developed his own agenda. He clearly had been made an offer he could not refuse from the Lincoln administration. If Hicks were to remain governor and a free man he would have to accept what Washington told him was "best" for Maryland, and ignore the rest of the state's elected officials as to policy.
There were legislators who were opposed to the war. They were suppressed by arrest and confinement, as were various employees of the State Assembly and even some who had lodged legislators. These tactics worked.
 

demiurge

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Shortly after Fort Sumter and Virginia's secession, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania infantry open fired on a mob in Baltimore, some members of which were throwing stones at them. The mayor and police chief responded by ordering all railroad bridges blown up to prevent any further trouble by keeping out Union troops. For this, they were imprisoned in Fort McHenry.

It seems like a large percentage of Baltimorians, including the mayor were secessionists. Why was this, since a small percentage of the population of Baltimore City was slaves?
Baltimore was the economic center of the Tidewater Chesapeake region. The Eastern shore and the areas surrounding Baltimore was where the concentration of slave power in the state resided. That's where the plantations were, and that's where the slaves were. Both Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas for example were enslaved in that area on the Eastern shore before gaining their freedom.

Baltimore city itself was the locus of the slave trade, and slave auctions at Fells Point and Pratt Street both sold to the locals and bundled slaves to be shipped to New Orleans. Lord Baltimore owned two plantations, Goodwood and Riversdale. His parents owned another, Mt. Airy. Slavery had a long hold on that region of Maryland.

The tide had begun to turn and free blacks travelled to Baltimore in large numbers, but they were still second hand citizens, the slave trade still flourished, and white institutions still made sure they were suppressed. It was a common fear for them to be captured as a runaway slave and held in prison to give their owners a chance to identify them - and that was often simply paying a fee and claiming them.

A good article can be found on it here: https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1999-06-20-9906220293-story.html

But Baltimore was the heart of the economics of slavery, many white men prospered due to it, and Confederate sympathies were high in that region.
 

USS ALASKA

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Also Baltimore was a big dependent on food from the Shenandoah Valley which is in Virginia along with tobacco, grain for shipping.
Indeed sir - given Baltimore's centralized location, commerce was pulled in from all the surrounding areas. A lot of agriculture products came from York, Adams, and to a lesser extent, Lancaster counties of Pennsylvania given shorter distances and easier routes of travel. (As opposed to Philly or Harrisburg) Coal, timber, and iron products came down the Susquehanna into Balto, much to the anger of the Burghers in Philly that all that commerce leaving the state in ways not controlled by them. Northern Virginia looked to Balto as the quickest outlet for their surpluses, even though, like PA, the official powers that be in VA bemoaned the loss of business. (Both PA and VA initially blocked what they saw as incursions into 'their' territory by the B & O Railroad) Baltimore also had the advantages of the Chesapeake and after 1829, Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.

Baltimore had many competing influences for her affections.
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USS ALASKA
 
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USS ALASKA

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Also Baltimore was a big dependent on food from the Shenandoah Valley which is in Virginia along with tobacco, grain for shipping.
Indeed sir - given Baltimore's centralized location, commerce was pulled in from all the surrounding areas. A lot of agriculture products came from York, Adams, and to a lesser extent, Lancaster counties of Pennsylvania given shorter distances and easier routes of travel. (As opposed to Philly or Harrisburg) Coal, timber, and iron products came down the Susquehanna into Balto, much to the anger of the Burghers in Philly that all that commerce leaving the state in ways not controlled by them. Northern Virginia looked to Balto as the quickest outlet for their surpluses, even though, like PA, the official powers that be in VA bemoaned the loss of business. (Both PA and VA initially blocked what they saw as incursions into 'their' territory by the B & O Railroad) Baltimore also had the advantages of the Chesapeake and after 1829, Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.

Baltimore had many competing influences for her affections.
393

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

Bruce Vail

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Baltimore was the economic center of the Tidewater Chesapeake region. The Eastern shore and the areas surrounding Baltimore was where the concentration of slave power in the state resided. That's where the plantations were, and that's where the slaves were. Both Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas for example were enslaved in that area on the Eastern shore before gaining their freedom.

Baltimore city itself was the locus of the slave trade, and slave auctions at Fells Point and Pratt Street both sold to the locals and bundled slaves to be shipped to New Orleans. Lord Baltimore owned two plantations, Goodwood and Riversdale. His parents owned another, Mt. Airy. Slavery had a long hold on that region of Maryland.

The tide had begun to turn and free blacks travelled to Baltimore in large numbers, but they were still second hand citizens, the slave trade still flourished, and white institutions still made sure they were suppressed. It was a common fear for them to be captured as a runaway slave and held in prison to give their owners a chance to identify them - and that was often simply paying a fee and claiming them.

A good article can be found on it here: https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1999-06-20-9906220293-story.html

But Baltimore was the heart of the economics of slavery, many white men prospered due to it, and Confederate sympathies were high in that region.
Well said. Baltimore was the economic center of the region and the region's ties to slavery were still strong. Like other southern cities, non-slaveholders may have outnumbered the slaveowners, but the slaveowners still had a firm grip on politics and the economy.
 

ebg12

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Maryland was truly a border state.

Eastern Maryland and counties west of the Chesapeake: Montgomery, Prince Georges, Carroll, Baltimore county were slaved counties:

Frederick Douglass was a Maryland slaves on the eastern shore.
Harriet Tubman the founder of the underground railroad was a Maryland slave on the eastern shore
Uncle Tom's Cabin was based on the life of a slave in Montgomery County (the cabin still stands as an historic site)

Because Maryland is so close to the north...Maryland slave owners in Carroll and Montgomery County were exceptionally cruel to stop runaways.

But Northwestern Counties near PA had more people loyal to the Union.

When Lee invaded Maryland in 1862 he sent a proclamation to the locals that the confederate army was there to help Maryland revolt against the Union and join the confederacy . Jefferson Davis and him were convinced all Marylanders were going to revolt because of what Maryland Southerners in Richmond were saying as to how all Marylanders believed in the confederate cause.

"Invaders" was basically the word Lee got back about his proclamation. He was shocked at the response! He wrote to Jefferson Davis explaining how the Maryland Southerners in Richmond were wrong about the overall political affairs in Maryland, how they should have not listened to them, and how Maryland was truly a border state with split sympathy for both north and south.
 
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ebg12

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Lincolns eloquent reply to the Baltimore Riots:

"Protesting that Maryland soil should not be ‘polluted’ by the feet of soldiers marching against the South. The President had but one reply: ‘We must have troops, and as they can neither crawl under Maryland nor fly over it, they must come across it.'" as reported by the Baltimore Sun.
 

Viper21

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Lincolns eloquent reply to the Baltimore Riots:

"Protesting that Maryland soil should not be ‘polluted’ by the feet of soldiers marching against the South. The President had but one reply: ‘We must have troops, and as they can neither crawl under Maryland nor fly over it, they must come across it.'" as reported by the Baltimore Sun.
Interesting quote. Do you have a more detailed source for it..? As in, the date, & possibly a photo of the article in print..? I've briefly looked, & haven't been able to find it.
 

ErnieMac

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Interesting quote. Do you have a more detailed source for it..? As in, the date, & possibly a photo of the article in print..? I've briefly looked, & haven't been able to find it.
An actual quote from Governor Hicks appears in the 30 April 1861 edition of the Baltimore Sun and reads:
"To all my requests I could but get but the reply: that Washington was threatened with attack - that the government had resolved to defend it - that there was no other way of obtaining troops than by passing over the soil of Maryland - and that the military necessity of the case rendered it impossible for the government to abandon its plans, much as it desired to avoid the dangers of collision."​
A clipping of part of the article containing the quote is attached.

clipping_30690957.jpg
 
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ebg12

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Interesting quote. Do you have a more detailed source for it..? As in, the date, & possibly a photo of the article in print..? I've briefly looked, & haven't been able to find it.
yes...I have a book Lincoln that shows all his letters....I will find it and post it.
 

ebg12

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An actual quote from Governor Hicks appears in the 30 April 1861 edition of the Baltimore Sun and reads:
"To all my requests I could but get but the reply: that Washington was threatened with attack - that the government had resolved to defend it - that there was no other way of obtaining troops than by passing over the soil of Maryland - and that the military necessity of the case rendered it impossible for the government to abandon its plans, much as it desired to avoid the dangers of collision."​
A clipping of part of the article containing the quote is attached.

View attachment 303125
Also, to paraphrase a letter Lincoln wrote: "Because the troops can't go under or over or around Maryland, they have to go through it..., so if the Baltimore people don't want any bloodshed then they should stay home and refrain from attacking federal troops because the troops will defend themselves."

I will find the letter in my book Lincoln and will post it when I get the chance.
 
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Bruce Vail

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FYI -- old book review from Baltimore Sun sheds a little, not a lot, of light on the subject....


Slave or free, blacks made an impact on city
JACQUES KELLY
THE BALTIMORE SUN

A diligent student of thousands of newspapers, census data and court documents from 19th century Baltimore has painted a previously undocumented view of slavery in the city during the pre-Civil War years.

In an unusual book, Ralph Clayton, who heads the Central Enoch Pratt Free Library's microfilm department, sketches a Baltimore in which, during the decade immediately before the Civil War, slavery was waning fast.

His research clearly confirmed that this breakdown was occurring not necessarily because of a widespread change in the moral concerns of whites, who had owned and traded in slaves almost from Maryland's beginnings as a colony.

Edited because of Copyright concern.

Read the rest of the article at https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1994-08-23-1994235147-story.html
 
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