The organization meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month September 2015 through May 2016. Meetings are held in the Williamsburg Regional Library Theatre located at 515 Scotland St in Williamsburg, VA, unless otherwise posted. The meetings begin at 7 PM. Membership is open to the general public.
This Month's Speaker
Join us for the next meeting of the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable at the Williamsburg Public Library Theatre at 7 PM on Tuesday evening, January 24, 2017 for Dr. Jonathan White's presentation of "Lincoln and Civil Liberties"
In the spring of 1861, Union military authorities arrested Maryland
farmer John Merryman on charges of treason against the United States for
burning railroad bridges around Baltimore in an effort to prevent
northern soldiers from reaching the federal capital. From his prison
cell at Fort McHenry, Merryman petitioned the Supreme Court Chief
Justice Roger B. Taney for release through a writ of habeas corpus.
Chief Justice Taney issued the writ, but President Lincoln ignored it.
In mid-July Merryman was released, only to be indicted for treason a
Baltimore federal court. His case, however, never went to trial and
federal prosecutors finally dismissed the charges in 1867.
In "Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War", Jonathan W. White reveals how the arrest and prosecution of this little-known Baltimore farmer had a lasting impact on the Lincoln administration and Congress as they struggled to develop policies to deal with both northern traitors and southern rebels. His work exposes several perennially controversial legal and constitutional issues in American history, including the nature and extent of presidential war powers, the development of national policies for dealing with disloyalty and treason, and the protection of civil liberties in wartime.
Jonathan W. White, Ph. D. is an Associate Professor and Senior Fellow in the Center for American Studies at Christopher Newport University in Newport News.
2017 $1000 SCV Essay
Contest Enter the
2017 Lt. Colonel James Harvey Allen Memorial Scholarship Contest
(co-sponsored by WCWRT)
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