Details of Mary Jane Edes' arrest in March 1863 for supporting the Confederacy during the Civil War.
"Our Baltimore Letter
Important Arrest - Case of Mrs. Pairo - Her intercepted letters - She is exlied to Dixie - The folly of Rebel Women .
Special Correspondence of the Inquirer, Baltimore March 28, 1863.
Our Baltimore Rebels, not excepting the laides, seem to be getting rather a tight place under the approved rule of General Schenk, and his efficient Provost-Marshal, Colonel Fish. It is not surprising that the New York World, a journal largely patronized by Secessionists here, has been finding fault with our present military commander. The very strongest and best evidence of an efficient officer to find him unpopular with those who aid and abet the cause of treason.
The Tighter the reins are drawn upon Rebels the more apt they are to rail out against those who draw them. This is natural and to be expected. Past experience has shown that the more leniency is exercised towards disloyalists the more prone they are to take advantage thereof, and like the viper, warmed into life through kindness, turn and sting their benefactors at the first opportunity. We are beginning to learn that a traitor cannot be trusted under any circumstances, and that he must trated accordingly.
No small degree of excitement now exists in consequence of the recent detection and arrest of a well-known lady, native of our soil, Mrs. Mary J. Pairo, now under sentence to be sent to "Dixie" for her treasonable operations.
She was a Miss Edes, who married , some twenty years ago, a banker of this city, named Pairo, at present residing in Baltimore. Her husband, with his family, lived for some years in Cincinnatti, but subsequently in Washington, D.C. in company, as banker, with his brother-in-law, Samuel Edes, known as the firm of Pairo and Edes.
It seems, indeed the evidence in her own intercepted letter goes to prove it, that this Mrs. Pairo, has been for a long time chief of an association of Rebel ladies in Baltimore, who have been raising money for and giving aid and comfort in various ways, to the Rebel Confederacy.
In other words, they have been doing all in their power to destroy the Federal Union, to whose protection the have been indebted.
This Mrs. Pairo is a lady of herculean mind and marked intelligence. She seems to have been the President and moving spirit of this female Rebel conclave. It appears, further, that she has been trying to innure?/injure General Schenk, with whom she professed intimate acquaintance when in Cincinnatti several years ago.
The following extract fronm an intercepted letter, the authorship of which she has confessed is under the circumstances quite rich and shown at the same time how widely she miscalculated " I hasten to reassure you by asserting my entire confidence, not only of my personal safety, but of our ability to go on with our work! As to sharing Mrs.Murdoch's fate I assure you I never felt more at ease than since that lady's banishment. There had to be some victim, but the blow is not likely to be repeated. I think it was intended for a grand scare to female Rebeldom. Here little known the spirit of Maryland women. He will find that Maryland women will risk even the loss of house for the cause to which, having given our brave sons, would with them give all things." The ladies of our society have fully discussed the dictation, and are all determined to remain in the boat while I remain at the helm: of course I remain to hold on. Our part success, of which you inquire has been beyond our expectations. Some day you shall see our records"
Another portion of the letter speaks of "the captain" having been at the writer's house, of her fears at the danger incurred by his staying within the Federal lines, and adds:- "He crossed at the very same point which I did when I went to Dixie." The letter condemns with honourable severity the conduct of a female friend who had taken the oath of allegiance to the Government, in order " to better serve the cause of the South."
I learn that Mrs. Pairo, when confronted by the authorities and made fully conscious of her guilt, lost much of that independence which characterized, her clandestine letter, mourning deeply over the sad edict or necessity of being banished in exile to the land (Dixie) she professed so much to love.
Certain humane, benevolent considerations have induced General Schenk , notwithstanding the severe things she said against him and his Government, to give her until Monday next to prepare for her banishment to the delightful regions of Rebeldom. She will leave in the Norfolk boat, via Old Point, whilst the future management of the Rebel Aid Society, the ???? of which she so ardently managed, may probably descend upon another victim.. A hot and efficient nest of fair traitors has been broken up by the above arrest and interception of treasonable letters"