Sep 29 at 10:30 AM - Sale 2615 -

Sale 2615 - Lot 79

Estimate: $ 8,000 - $ 12,000
(CIVIL WAR--MARYLAND.) Secessionist recruitment broadside issued in the wake of the Baltimore Riot to the "People of Baltimore!" Letterpress broadside, 17 3/4 x 12 3/4 inches, with small wood engraving of Liberty, and contemporary pencil notes in margins; conservation including worn edges and a few letters restored, separations at folds repaired. Baltimore, MD, [21] April 1861

Additional Details

Baltimore was rocked by rioting on 19 April 1861, when federal regiments were mobbed by protesters. 4 soldiers and 12 civilians died that day. In response, this broadside takes the side of the rioters, declaring the secession of Maryland to be a settled issue and urging the city's rebels to report for enlistment. In part:

"The hour for action has arrived--Let not the precious time be wasted for useless talk. . . . The bloody scenes of Friday, and the commotion of the last two days and nights, shew how necessary it is to be prepared. Our people are now a unit, all manner of differences are merged in the deep affection felt for good Old Maryland. The covenant has been sealed in blood. . . . We are in the midst of Revolution. . . . The glorious flag of the Union is a memory of the past. The only flags which now float over our city are the flags of the South and the banner borne by the Maryland Line." It notes that George Washington once swore his loyalty to the British flag, but then devoted his life to freedom from it.

Regarding the federal troops surging into Baltimore, "it is pretended that these troops are the troops of the United States, and have been legally called forth. This the people of Maryland and the constituted authorities of Baltimore deny--with one voice the armed action of the people and the military is approved. . . . Let it not be supposed that the Revolution, because it burst forth in a day, will die out in an hour. Not so, the bloody deeds of Friday last are written in lurid characters upon the Southern sky." Thousands of secessionist militiamen are said to be streaming into Baltimore to resist the federal troops: "These noble men should not be subjected to inconvenience for the want of shelter and provisions for themselves and their horses. Persons properly appointed should receive them and provide for all their wants."

In conclusion, "it is suggested that all Citizens who are willing to be of Service . . . meet at 8 o'clock to-morrow morning, to enrol their names and report for duty. . . . Jone's Falls will meet at the junction of Broadway and Baltimore Streets; those West of the Falls in Monument Square--Books for Enrolment will be Opened in each place. Remember, there are no Sabbaths in revolutionary times--'the better day, the better deed.'"

A pencil note, apparently written at the time by the author, explains the distribution: "Published on the 21st of April 1861 (Sunday), and given to the citizens of Balto. on that morning at the corner of Balto. and South Sts." None traced in OCLC or at auction, nor do we find the text in period newspapers or elsewhere.