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Thomas Holliday Hicks (American National Biography)

Scholarship

Jean H. Baker, "Hicks, Thomas Holliday," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00496.html.

During the secession crisis of 1860-1861, Governor Hicks took several crucial steps to keep the border slave state of Maryland in the Union. First he refused to meet officially with the agents of seceded southern states intent on persuading Maryland to join the Confederacy. Then, following the sentiments of the Unionist majority of Maryland, he refused to call a special session of the legislature, which met biennially and was not scheduled to meet until 1862. Staunchly he resisted a move to organize a state convention to consider the issue of secession. Throughout the winter Hicks remained convinced that the critical issue for Marylanders was that they choose for themselves their future, and he reminded the governor of South Carolina "that Maryland should not convene her legislature at the bidding of South Carolina."

While Hicks sympathized with southern opposition to the North's personal liberty laws that freed fugitive slaves, he continued to resist a Confederate conspiracy to force Maryland out of the Union. Appealing before the start of the war for peace and reason, he represented a moderate body of thought in Maryland, which believed that the border states of Kentucky, Delaware, Missouri, and Maryland could serve as territorial buffers between the North and South. Such a confederation might prevent war and serve as a force to adjudicate sectional differences peacefully.

How to Cite This Page: "Thomas Holliday Hicks (American National Biography)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/22891.