Monday, October 14, 2013

From Bangor To Washington

Union President Abraham Lincoln extended the reach of the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus on October 14th 1861.

Near the beginning of the Civil War Union President Abraham Lincoln ordered a suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in Maryland and parts of the Midwestern states.  This was in response to the arrest by Union troops in Maryland of secessionist John Merryman, whom Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B Taney ordered released under a writ of habeas corpus.  Lincoln and the military ignored the ruling.

On October 14th 1861 Lincoln expanded the suspension with this written order:


The military line of the United States for the suppression of the insurrection may be extended so far as Bangor, in Maine. You and any officer acting under your authority are hereby authorized to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in any place between that place and the city of Washington.


By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

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