Upon the Ownership of Fort Sumter

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Carronade

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What is curious in this matter is the mood of the era.
SC in 1832 nearly seceded over the Nullification Crisis issues....and then somehow, 4 years later they cede Fort Sumter to the federal government. Why? It doesnt fit the mood of the day nor the attitude of SC towards the federal government.
Someone made the point that Beaurgard, Pickens, etc were not pointing to any violation of this 1836 document when the firing was being debated.....but by the same stroke, Buchanan, Lincoln, et al were not pointing to the validity of any 1836 document. It seems not to be in ANYONE'S discussion points in 1860-61
Good point. Some of our friends today are making up an argument that the secessionists themselves never made.
 

NedBaldwin

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Someone made the point that Beaurgard, Pickens, etc were not pointing to any violation of this 1836 document when the firing was being debated.....but by the same stroke, Buchanan, Lincoln, et al were not pointing to the validity of any 1836 document. It seems not to be in ANYONE'S discussion points in 1860-61
This is incorrect. It was pointed to by Pickens, etc. Such as when Pickens wrote to Buchanan in December 1860 that "Jurisdiction was ceded by this State expressly for the purpose of external defence from foreign invasion..." and went on to claim that this purposed was being violated. Or when Secretary of War Holt wrote to the Attorney General of SC in February 1861 and said US authority over Sumter "was not derived from any questionable revolutionary source, but from the peaceful cession of South Carolina herself, acting through her legislature, under a provision of the Constitution of the United States."
 

NedBaldwin

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What is curious in this matter is the mood of the era.
SC in 1832 nearly seceded over the Nullification Crisis issues....and then somehow, 4 years later they cede Fort Sumter to the federal government. Why? It doesnt fit the mood of the day nor the attitude of SC towards the federal government.
After the Nullification Crisis backfired on SC, they caved and gave the feds what they wanted.
 
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trice

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What is curious in this matter is the mood of the era.
SC in 1832 nearly seceded over the Nullification Crisis issues....and then somehow, 4 years later they cede Fort Sumter to the federal government. Why? It doesnt fit the mood of the day nor the attitude of SC towards the federal government.
Someone made the point that Beaurgard, Pickens, etc were not pointing to any violation of this 1836 document when the firing was being debated.....but by the same stroke, Buchanan, Lincoln, et al were not pointing to the validity of any 1836 document. It seems not to be in ANYONE'S discussion points in 1860-61
The building of Fort Sumter was a pet project of South Carolina's John C. Calhoun. Coastal forts were a hot issue following all the trouble with British raids in the War of 1812. The general concept for Fort Sumter shows up in an 1826 report to Congress. There is a plan for the fort I have seen dating from 1828 and construction began in 1829.

Construction was stopped by the Federal government in 1834 when a scam artist claimed title to the land under the construction site. South Carolina wanted the fort built; the US would not continue without the title being cleared. The SC legislature ordered the attorney general to clear the title. It took some time to go through the courts, but eventually the title was cleared and transferred to the United States government by the State of South Carolina. South Carolina registered it that way in their records in 1841 and the US restarted construction on the fort.

SC wanted the protection of US coastal fortifications, and SC wanted the Federal payroll and spending a base would bring to the local economy. They did not want to bear the cost of building and manning forts themselves. In the 1850s, when Jefferson Davis was Secretary of War, he tried to resolve his budget problems by floating an idea: giving forts to the States so that he could transfer the garrisons out West to help deal with the Indians/Native Americans and bandits; the states were not interested. (He then turned to expanding the Army, pushing approval for 4 new Infantry and 2 new Cavalry regiments through the Congress.)

As to why secessionists and rebels were not mentioning all this 1830s title-clearing and transfer in 1860-61, why would they? Under South Carolina law, Fort Sumter belonged to the US government (along with the older Fort Moultrie and Castle Pinckney). Any attempt to claim something else would fail in any honest South Carolina court. The only thing they could try to do in a legal sense would be to try to claim the forts by eminent domain, which would also be problematic. So instead they just used military force to take what they wanted and avoided the court system.
 

Mortari

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Regarding the 1836 document and the ceding of Sumter to the Federal Govt...
Where is this in ANY Fort Sumter book? There have been hundreds written.....where is this SC document referred to in ANY of those works.??
For such an important fact, it should be prominent in any discussion or recount of the events.....it is not.....
That's the lost cause for you. After the war when leaders in the south were defending their actions and promoting their cause why would you shed light on something that destroys your story?

Luckily we wrote down our history and have primary source documents like South Carolina's Statutes at large created and edited under authority of the SC legislature to keep record of such things where we find places like Fort Moultrie and Johnson ceded to the federal Gov't. And we've got the US military Reservations, National Cemeteries and Military Parks prepared by the US Army, which shows that the title and jurisdiction, saying "Resolved, that this State do cede to the United States, all the right, title, and claim of South Carolina to the site of Fort Sumter and the requisite quantity of adjacent territory...Also revolved that the State will extinguish the claim, if any valid claim there be to the land hereby ceded... "

Etc etc... recorded in Book C, No 11 page 310 in the registers office of mesne conveyances at Charleston.

So with those primary source documents we can educate ourselves on the truth. Straight from the source, and not have to listen to someone else's beliefs or stories. Because there are a LOT of people out there who would rather write what they wish to be true and get that lie to grow, rather than tell the actual truth.
 

19thGeorgia

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That's the lost cause for you. After the war when leaders in the south were defending their actions and promoting their cause why would you shed light on something that destroys your story?

Luckily we wrote down our history and have primary source documents like South Carolina's Statutes at large created and edited under authority of the SC legislature to keep record of such things where we find places like Fort Moultrie and Johnson ceded to the federal Gov't. And we've got the US military Reservations, National Cemeteries and Military Parks prepared by the US Army, which shows that the title and jurisdiction, saying "Resolved, that this State do cede to the United States, all the right, title, and claim of South Carolina to the site of Fort Sumter and the requisite quantity of adjacent territory...Also revolved that the State will extinguish the claim, if any valid claim there be to the land hereby ceded... "

Etc etc... recorded in Book C, No 11 page 310 in the registers office of mesne conveyances at Charleston.

So with those primary source documents we can educate ourselves on the truth. Straight from the source, and not have to listen to someone else's beliefs or stories. Because there are a LOT of people out there who would rather write what they wish to be true and get that lie to grow, rather than tell the actual truth.
It was still geographically part of the State of South Carolina and subject to its laws.
 
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Mortari

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It was still geographically part of the State of South Carolina and subject to its laws.
Actually Geographically it was US federal property. Same as Washington DC or any other base. Washington DC may have been property ceded by VA and Maryland but their state rules obviously don't have any power there.

It's a federal Enclave. And in 1841 it was ruled that states in consenting to purchase and ceding property could reserve no legislative jurisdiction in a federal enclave. which confirmed what the Constitution said (Article 1, sec 9 paragraph 17)

So what you are saying is made up and not true or backed by US law in any way.
 
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major bill

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So all current US military bases are owned by the state they are in? This is not how I remember this when I had classes on the subject while I was in the military. We studied federal jurisdiction on federal military bases and joint (federal and state, but mostly these were limited to National Guard bases) jurisdiction, but I never attended a class where I was taught that states had complete jurisdiction over federal military bases.

If this was true any state could sell part of the base to civilians and there would be nothing the federal government could do about it. You will have to show me where states have complete jurisdiction over military bases. If so could a state make a few bucks by seizing a few tanks or such and sell them.
 
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major bill

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I have tried to remember my training on the subject of jurisdiction on military bases and all I can remember is that if I had a question I had to go to the Installation Directorate of Engineering and Housing or to the Installation Legal Office. Jurisdiction on US military bases in foreign nations are based on special agreements and are much more complicated. Still all US Army movable property (money, tanks, trucks, and arms) remain US property, well at least in any place I have ever been to. No state owns all, or even most, of the equipment on a military base unless it is a National Guard base.

Also I have never heard of exclusive state jurisdiction of a military base in the United States, nor have I ever seem exclusive foreign jurisdiction on any US military base or the arms and moveable equipment on the base have ever been to in another nation. I have seen where foreign nations owned the land and buildings on US military bases, but had signed over the control of such to the US government.

I will admit my training almost certainly did not discuss jurisdiction of ownership in the 19th century. The history of this kind of thing was not something I have any real knowledge of. So I do not known when the current laws came into effect.
 

OpnCoronet

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Actually Geographically it was US federal property. Same as Washington DC or any other base. Washington DC may have been property ceded by VA and Maryland but their state rules obviously don't have any power there.
It's a federal Enclave. And in 1841 it was ruled that states in consenting to purchase and ceding property could reserve no legislative jurisdiction in a federal enclave. which confirmed what the Constitution said (Article 1, sec 9 paragraph 17)
So what you are saying is made up and not true or backed by US law in any way.





Many Southern/confederate apologists for the attack on Ft. Sumter, like to pretend the slave states claiming secession, were actually out of the Union and, as such. were not bound by the Constitution of the United States or its laws.
 
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Mortari

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You are saying nope.

Luckily in the USA we have written down our federal laws and can actually validate this claim.

The federal enclave cause of the US constitution states that whenever the state government consents to the purchase of property by the federal government for a needful building, fort, magazine, arsenal, dockyard, etc, the United States obtains exclusive legislative jurisdiction over that parcel of property.

That was confirmed in multiple court cases as well.

Why should we throw away the Constitution and legal precedent for you here? Seems you are intentionally trying to rewrite law to create misinformation here.


Do you really believe half of Washington DC is subject to VA state laws and the other half is subject to Maryland state laws? Your claim is just not anywhere close to being one based in basic reality.
 

19thGeorgia

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You are saying nope.
Do you really believe half of Washington DC is subject to VA state laws and the other half is subject to Maryland state laws? Your claim is just not anywhere close to being one based in basic reality.
DC is not part of Maryland or Virginia so they wouldn't be under the laws of those states. That doesn't apply to other areas-

Rules and regulations for Fort Benning, Georgia (a United States military installation)

5-2. Vehicle traffic laws.
a. Reference AR 385-10, AR 190-5 and MCoE Reg 190-5.
b. General. The traffic laws of the State of Georgia and the State of Alabama apply on to respective lands of the Fort Benning military reservation (see Title 18, United States Code, Section 13 and Department of Defense Directive 5525.4). All persons who drive a motor vehicle on Fort Benning are responsible for complying with State Laws. (p.7)

5-14. Alcoholic beverages and beer.
a. General. The sale, possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages and beer on this installation is governed by the provisions of AR 215-1, Chapter 10.
b. Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages. Consumption of alcoholic beverages by military personnel on duty is prohibited except where specifically authorized, in accordance with MCoE Regulation 210-65.
c. Purchase, Possession, Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages. All personnel at Fort Benning must be 21 years of age in order to purchase, possess, and/or consume alcoholic beverages on Fort Benning. This is the law of the states of Georgia and Alabama. Positive proof of age will be determined prior to sales. Bona-fide guests may purchase alcoholic beverages by the drink if they meet the Fort Benning age requirement, but may not purchase in bulk. (p.12)
http://www.benning.army.mil/garrison/content/pdf/MCoE Reg 210-5.pdf

The address of the installation is Fort Benning, GA 31905.
Why?
It's part of Georgia.
 

major bill

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DC is not part of Maryland or Virginia so they wouldn't be under the laws of those states. That doesn't apply to other areas-

Rules and regulations for Fort Benning, Georgia (a United States military installation)

5-2. Vehicle traffic laws.
a. Reference AR 385-10, AR 190-5 and MCoE Reg 190-5.
b. General. The traffic laws of the State of Georgia and the State of Alabama apply on to respective lands of the Fort Benning military reservation (see Title 18, United States Code, Section 13 and Department of Defense Directive 5525.4). All persons who drive a motor vehicle on Fort Benning are responsible for complying with State Laws. (p.7)

5-14. Alcoholic beverages and beer.
a. General. The sale, possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages and beer on this installation is governed by the provisions of AR 215-1, Chapter 10.
b. Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages. Consumption of alcoholic beverages by military personnel on duty is prohibited except where specifically authorized, in accordance with MCoE Regulation 210-65.
c. Purchase, Possession, Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages. All personnel at Fort Benning must be 21 years of age in order to purchase, possess, and/or consume alcoholic beverages on Fort Benning. This is the law of the states of Georgia and Alabama. Positive proof of age will be determined prior to sales. Bona-fide guests may purchase alcoholic beverages by the drink if they meet the Fort Benning age requirement, but may not purchase in bulk. (p.12)
http://www.benning.army.mil/garrison/content/pdf/MCoE Reg 210-5.pdf

The address of the installation is Fort Benning, GA 31905.
Why?
It's part of Georgia.
Fort Benning is inside of Georgia but the State of Georgia does not own Fort Benning nor the equipment on Fort Benning. You need to study Title 18, United States Code, Section 13 and Department of Defense Directive 5525.4 a bit deeper. Title 18, United States Code, Section 13 and Department of Defense Directive 5525.4 does not transfer jurisdiction on Fort Benning to the states of Georgia and Alabama. Title 18, United States Code, Section 13 and Department of Defense Directive 5525.4 also does not transfer ownership of Fort Benning to either state.

As far as drinking alcoholic beverages on military posts goes, this was once an issue about 20 years ago. To solve issues between the age one is allowed to drink on and off post, the military decided the drinking age on military insulations should match that of the state that borders the military base. This in no way transfers jurisdiction or ownership of military base nor the equipment on the military base.
 
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major bill

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As I stated in post #30, to understand who owns the buildings and land on a military installation one must check with that Installation Directorate of Engineering and Housing or to the Installation Legal Office. Weapons, vehicles, Army pay in the pay office, and even office equipment on military posts do not belong to the state, all such weapons and equipment belongs to the federal government. There are military installations where the State National Guard stores/has weapons and equipment. These do belong to the state.
 

unionblue

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...and subject to its laws. That was my whole point. I said nothing about transfer of ownership.
I remember being based at United States Army Field Station Kunia in Hawaii when a local sheriff's deputy drove up to our gate and demanded to be let in to our facility to serve a US Army member with some sort of state legal documentation. The Warrant Officer in charge on our night shift was called out to see what the situation was by our US MP's on guard at the gate.

Kunia was a secure facility and no one without a security clearance was permitted inside the facility without prior approval. The deputy claimed to have the right to serve the soldier who he claimed was in the facility. The warrant officer informed him that he was on federal property and had no jurisdiction or clearance to enter the facility. The deputy disputed this, but was turned away without seeing the soldier or serving his papers.

Even though this facility was buried under 35 feet of Hawaiian soil and underneath a large Hawaiian pineapple field, in the State of Hawaii, the deputy had no authority that overrode federal security and authority.

Federal installations are of course going to obey local laws, etc., just as they do overseas, but no one should mistake this obedience to local laws and customs as surrendering that installation to local authorities in the performance of their missions.

Just doesn't happen.
 
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major bill

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...and subject to its laws. That was my whole point. I said nothing about transfer of ownership.
I am sorry but you are mistaken. Again on most, but not all military insulations, the base is under military law and under the jurisdiction of the military. A few military insulations do have joint jurisdiction, again this must be researched to be sure. Soldiers on military insulations are not subject to State or city laws unless the military has adopted those laws. And even then they are under military jurisdiction and not State jurisdiction. I suggest you read Title 18, United States Code, Section 13 and Department of Defense Directive 5525.4 once again to see if you are correct.

My reading of Title 18, United States Code, Section 13 and Department of Defense Directive 5525.4 is that State traffic laws are adopted by the military posts but the State traffic laws are not enforced by State and the State has no jurisdiction over traffic on the military post. Basically the military says the military law is the same as the State law, but this does not indicate the State law in in effect on the post, it only means the military traffic law is the same as the State law. A soldier speeding on post does not pay a fine to the State nor do they go to a State court or city court to settle the traffic incident.

The issue seems to be that you assume that if a military post uses the wording of a State traffic law this indicates that the military cedes jurisdiction of traffic laws to the State. This is indeed not the case.
 

major bill

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I remember being based at United States Army Field Station Kunia in Hawaii when a local sheriff's deputy drove up to our gate and demanded to be let in to our facility to serve a US Army member with some sort of state legal documentation. The Warrant Officer in charge on our night shift was called out to see what the situation was by our US MP's on guard at the gate.

Kunia was a secure facility and no one without a security clearance was permitted inside the facility without prior approval. The deputy claimed to have the right to serve the soldier who he claimed was in the facility. The warrant officer informed him that he was on federal property and had no jurisdiction or clearance to enter the facility. The deputy disputed this, but was turned away without seeing the soldier or serving his papers.

Even though this facility was buried under 35 feet of Hawaiian soil and underneath a large Hawaiian pineapple field, in the State of Hawaii, the deputy had no authority that overrode federal security and authority.

Federal installations are of course going to obey local laws, etc., just as they do overseas, but no one should mistake this obedience to local laws and customs as surrendering that installation to local authorities in the performance of their missions.

Just doesn't happen.
There are many things I do not know is the world, however, there are a very limited number of things I have a basic working knowledge of. I was a MP. I have served at the entrance to posts, I have been junior patrol partner, senior patrol partner, NCO senior road patrol, desk sergeant, and even MP duty officers on 24 hour duty. I have not been on every military base in the United States, but even with my some what limited experience, have never seen where the local police had jurisdiction on a military post. I have seen posts run by department of defense MPs as opposed to Army MPs, but I have never seen where local or state police had the right to enforce traffic laws on base.

I have run MP patrols on National Guard bases where there was concurrent (joint) jurisdiction. However, the National Guard maintained jurisdiction over traffic on the National Guard base. How the joint jurisdiction worked from a practical side was that serious crimes committed by National Guard personnel on base could be turned over to local police and tried in civilian courts. The issue being National Guard bases do not have confinement facilities to hold convicted felons for long periods of time. If a National Guardsmen killed another National Guardsman they can not go to federal prison or a US Army prison. Without concurrent jurisdiction they could not be tried in civilian courts or confined in state prisons.

However, if a National Guardsman did something like break into a car or other type lesser crime they would normally not be turned over to local police but the matter taken care of by the National Guard. The decision to turn over criminals who committed crimes on the National Guard base usually lie with the National Guard. This inability to house criminals for long periods of time is limited to the National Guard as the US Army has facilities to hold criminals for years and can even execute criminals. I know of not National Guard that has faculties to execute criminals, but suppose they could possible exist.

Again on US military bases one must go to the Installation Directorate of Engineering and Housing or to the Installation Legal Office to fully understand who has jurisdiction over property of persons. An example of this would be what if a local civilian came onto the military post and murdered someone? Would they be tried in a military court, a federal court, or a local civilian court? Before trying them in a military court I would highly suggest someone talk to the senior JAG officer on the base.
 
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