Mr. Mason and Mr. Slidell in reply protested in the presence of the captain of the Trent, his officers and passengers against such threatened violation of their persons and of their rights, and informed the lieutenant that they would not leave the ship they were in unless compelled by the employment of actual force greater than they could resist and Mr. Eustis and Mr. Macfarland united with them in expressing a like purpose. That officer stated that he hoped he would not be compelled to resort to the use of force but if it became necessary to employ it in order to execute his orders he was prepared to do so. He was answered by the undersigned that they would submit to such force alone. The lieutenant then went to the gangway where his boats were; the undersigned going at the same time to their state-rooms on the deck next below, followed by Captain Moir and by the other passengers. The lieutenant returned with a party of his men a portion of whom were armed with side arms, and others appearing to be a squad of marines having muskets and bayonets. Mr. Slidell was at this time in his state-room immediately by and in full view. The lieutenant then said to Mr. Mason that having his force now present he hoped to be relieved from the necessity of calling it into actual use. That gentleman again answered that he would only submit to actual force greater than he could overcome when the lieutenant and several of his men by his order took hold of him in a manner and numbers sufficient to make resistance fruitless, and Mr. Slidell joining the group at the same time one or more of the armed party took like hold of him and those gentlemen at once went into the boat.
During this scene many of the passengers became highly excited and gave vent to the strongest expressins of indiguation, seeming to indicate a purpose of resistance on their part, when the squad armed with muskets with bayonets fixed made sensible advance of one or two paces with their arms at a charge. It must be added here, omitted in the course of the narrative, that before the party left the upper deck an officer of the Trent named Williams, in the naval uniform of Great Britain and known to the passengers as having charge of the mails and accompanying them to England, said to the lieutenant that as the only person present directly representing his government he felt called upon in languge as strong and emphatic as he could express to denounce the whole proceeding as a piratical act.
Mr. Slidell and Mr. Mason, together with Mr. Eustis and Mr. Macfurland, against whom force in like manner had been used, were taken to the San Jacinto as soon as they entered the boat. When they reached your ship you received them near the gangway, announcing yourself as Captain Wilkes, the commander of the ship, and conducted them to your cabin, which you placed at their disposal. When the undersigned came on board they found the men at their quarters and the guns bearing on the Trent. After some time occupied in bringing on board our baggage and effects the San Jacinto proceeded to the northward through the Santaren Channel, the Trent having been detained from three to four hours.
The foregoing is believed to be a correct narrative in substance of the facts and circumstances attending our arrest and transfer from the British mail steamer to the ship under your command, and which we doubt not will be corroborated by the lieutenant present as well as by all who witnessed them.
The incidents here given in detail may not have been witnessed by each one of the undersigned individually but they were by one or more of them. As for the most part they did not pass under your notice we