“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Frederick in Frederick County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Capital For A Summer

Foiling Maryland Secession

Capital For A Summer Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dan Fisher, August 1, 2013
1. Capital For A Summer Marker
Inscription. The building in front of you, Kemp Hall, was the capitol of Maryland during the spring and summer of 1861, as the state came perilously close to leaving the Union. Because secession would have placed the U.S. capital, Washington, D.C. between the Confederate states of Maryland and Virginia, President Abraham Lincoln could not let it happen.

Two weeks after the Confederate capture of Fort Sumter, South Carolina, Maryland Gov. Thomas H. Hicks called the General Assembly into special session here in Frederick, a strongly Unionist city to debate secession. The state capital, Annapolis, was seething with resentment over the recent Federal occupation of that city.

Both the Senate and the House of Delegates began the session on April 26, 1861, in the former Frederick County Courthouse building located two blocks west of here. The next day, the senators and delegates moved here to Kemp Hall, a larger meeting space that belonged to the German Reformed Church.

As early as June 20, under Lincolnís suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, Federal troops began arresting suspected pro-secession legislators, starting with Delegate Ross Winans of Baltimore, who was stopped on his way home from the session here. He, like several other lawmakers, was confined briefly under Lincolnís orders.

The legislature continued
Kemp Hall at E Church St & N Market St image. Click for full size.
By Dan Fisher, August 1, 2013
2. Kemp Hall at E Church St & N Market St
to meet here at Kemp Hall throughout the summer. Finally, lacking a quorum—primarily because of the arrest of so many secession-leaning senators and delegates—it adjourned in September without ever considering a secession bill.

Abraham Lincoln
Courtesy Library of Congress

Gov. Thomas H. Hicks
Courtesy Library of Congress

Delegate Ross Winans
Courtesy Maryland Historical Society

Kemp Hall, ca. 1870 - Historical Society of Frederick County
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
Location. 39° 24.918′ N, 77° 24.643′ W. Marker is in Frederick, Maryland, in Frederick County. Marker is at the intersection of East Church Street and North Market Street, on the right when traveling east on East Church Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Frederick MD 21701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In April 1861 (here, next to this marker); Kemp Hall (here, next to this marker); The News (a few steps from this marker); John Thomas Schley (within shouting distance of this marker); The Congregation in Frederick (within shouting distance of this marker); North Market Street (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Site of Frederick County's First Y.M.C.A. (about 300 feet away); Evangelical Lutheran Church (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Frederick.
Categories. PoliticsWar, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 3, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 421 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 3, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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