"I now reiterate these sentiments and in doing so I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible that the property, peace and security of no section are to be in any wise endangered by the now incoming administration. I add too that all the protection which consistently with the constitution and the laws can be given , will be cheerfully given to all the states when lawfully demanded for whatever reason .".
President Lincoln's first inaugural speech March 4, 1861.
I will be discussing how Abraham Lincoln was able to revoke the privilege of habeas corpus during the Civil War. Before I loose you all let me first explain what habeas corpus is. "A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not a person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he should be released from custody.".
Before Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus he first declared a state of Martial Law. Martial Law is "the will of the commanding officer of an armed force, or of a geographical military department expressed in a time of war within the limits of his jurisdiction. The officer executing martial law is at the same time the supreme legislator, supreme judge or supreme executive. As necessity makes his will the law he only can define and declare, and he alone can judge, and his sole order punishes or acquits the alleged offender .".
The writ of habeas corpus was initially suspended because of Lincoln's worries that Maryland would join Virginia in succeeding from the United States. If Maryland were to succeed Washington D.C. would be surrounded by the opposition. Due to the growing threat Lincoln ordered reserve troops from Pennsylvania to come and protect the capital. "In April of 1861, 20,000 confederate sympathizers gathered in Baltimore and attempted to stop Union troops from reaching Washington D.