The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 296
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
occurrences in the North which they felt were aimed at their
section, as such, and at the individual citizens of the South as
well. The first of these came with President Lincoln's order of
the blockade of the southern ports on April 19, 1861, in which
he gave notice that vessels captured in attempting to elude the
blockading fleet would be treated as prizes.3 Following the Bal-
timore riots in April 1861, General Benjamin Butler became the
Union commander in the Annapolis District, of which the city
of Baltimore was a part. In a proclamation to the people of
the district on May 14, 1861, Butler stated that private prop-
May be used to afford aid and comfort to those in rebellion
against the Government whether here or elsewhere, all of
which property, munitions of war and that fitted to aid and
support the rebellion, will be seized and held subject to
Doubtless the proclamation was issued for the purpose of over-
awing the secession sentiment in Maryland, but its publication
in the newspapers of the South could have had no other result
than to further inflame an already indignant public opinion.
Strangely enough, Butler furnished the South with still another
reason for denunciation of himself and of the government of
which he was an officer. On the night of May 23, 1861, three
slaves belonging to Colonel Mallory, whose home was near Fortress
Monroe, Virginia, escaped from the plantation and made their
way inside the Union lines. Butler's pickets arrested the men
and held them for questioning. The next morning they admitted
their identity to Butler and gave as their reason for seeking his
protection the fear that they would be taken to Carolina for
the purpose of aiding the Confederates there. One of the Negroes
admitted his fear of being inducted into the Confederate army.
In narrating the incident to General Scott, Butler wrote:
Satisfied from these facts from a cautious examination of
each of the negroes apart from the others, I determined for
the present, and until better advised, as these men were
3James D. Richardson, Messages and Papers of the Presidents, VI, 14,
4Official Records, First Series, II, 31.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940, periodical, 1940; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/m1/320/: accessed May 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.