Frederick in Frederick County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Capital For A Summer
Foiling Maryland Secession
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 Lincoln's suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, Federal troops began arresting suspected pro-secession legislators. They started
The legislature continued 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.
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & Politics • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails series list.
Location. 39° 24.931′ N, 77° 24.643′ W. Marker is in Frederick, Maryland, in Frederick County. Marker is at the intersection of North Market Street (Maryland Route 355) and East Church Street, on the right when traveling north on North Market Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2 E Church St, Frederick MD 21701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In April 1861 The Legislature Of Maryland Met Here In Special Session (within shouting distance of this marker); Kemp Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); John Thomas Schley (within shouting distance of this marker); Cultures Meet (within shouting distance of this marker); The News (within shouting distance of this marker); North Market Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Hood College (within shouting distance of this marker); The Congregation in Frederick (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Frederick.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has replaced the linked marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 6, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 4, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 71 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 4, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.