Leonardtown in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Mural Story
Though Congressman Harris was arrested after the Civil War was over, he was, nonetheless, charged with war crimes for giving a small amount of money to two freed Confederate prisoners making their way from the Point Lookout prison camp to Baltimore. In fact, the prisoners had been detained by Union officers and ordered to seek lodging from the congressman. Harris was suspicious and instead of taking the men into his home at Ellenborough,
The soldiers reported this to the Union officers who had Congressman Harris brought from his home into Town for the reading of the charges.
He was immediately transferred to a boat waiting in Breton Bay and taken to Washington, D.C. for incarceration. He was convicted of war crimes by a military tribunal, even though he was a civilian and the war was over when the alleged crime occurred. He was also removed from his seat in the House of Representatives and thrown in jail.
Leonardtown lawyer John A. Camalier pleaded the case of Cong. Harris to President Andrew Johnson who agreed that Harris had been treated unfairly. He gave Camalier a pardon for Mr. Harris and told the attorney to invite Cong. Harris to the White House for dinner that night.
The unrepentant Harris refused the dinner invitation in the strongest terms. He returned to Leonardtown and was sent back to Congress at the next election.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era War of 1812 • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #17 Andrew Johnson series list. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1634.
Location. 38° 17.49′ N, 76° 38.13′ W. Marker is in Leonardtown, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker is on Washington Street (Business Maryland Route 5) near Leonardtown Road (Business Maryland Route 5), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Leonardtown MD 20650, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Leonardtown (within shouting distance of this marker); World War I Monument -- Leonardtown (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Site of the Methodist Episcopal Meeting House (c.1847) (about 300 feet away); Veterans Memorial (about 300 feet away); The Great House (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Leonardtown.
Also see . . . Visit Historic Leonardtown MD. City website (Submitted on January 24, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 19, 2007, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,232 times since then and 183 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 19, 2007, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on September 20, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.