Mobile Advertiser & Register
June 13, 1861
The Lincoln usurpation is thus rebuked by the Cincinatti Commercial, a rank Abolition paper. Coming from such a source, the complaint is most significant:
We yet see no reason to revise the judgment we expressed a day or two since, as to the stretch of power by which General Cadwallader detained John Merryman a prisoner at Fort McHenry, in defiance of the process of Judge Taney’s Court. Apart from all considerations of the mischievous precedent set up thus hastily supplanting the judicial by the military power, we conceive that there was in the state of facts, as to his offense, and the situation of the Federal power in Maryland, no adequate justification for so high-handed an assumption of authority. The offense of Mr. Merryman was clearly recognizable by the laws, not only of the United States, but of Maryland. Both the former and the latter had judges sitting in Baltimore, before whom he might have been summoned and held to answer for the offense charged. But, if owing to any fear or favor, the judicial authority had failed to do its duty, as interpreted by the most loyal officer of the Government, it would then have been time to interfere with the extraordinary power of the sword, which should never be thrown into the scale of justice save for the highest and most sacred reasons of inevitable necessity.