War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1094 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

BALTIMORE, November 16, 1861.

Mr. FOX, Assistant Secretary of the Navy:

Intelligence from Bermuda says:

Cargo of Fingal was placed on board Nashville which started to run blockade at Savannah and Fingal sailed under English flag for Liverpool with Slidell and Mason on board.

This may put a different national aspect on affairs.


BOSTON, November 17, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

DEAR SIR: The excitement of the day - the seizure of Mason and Slidell - must plead my apology for addressing you. I have conversed with many of our leading merchants, heard the opinions of many of our ablest lawyers, and all agree that the action of Captain Wilkes in seizing these men is commendable and that the Administration ought to sustain him and hold them at all hazards. In New York the English interest will be loud in condemnation and ought not to be heeded.

We think here the results will justify the act of Wilkes and there are preceedents in abundance in the records of the British courts to sustain it. Public sentiment in New England will be all right and entirely sustain this course. The question of opening a port of trade at Beaufort, S. C., if seriously entertained involves numerous questions and difficulties and here it is generally consideret that it will be a mistake to attempt it.

With great respect, yours, truly,


NEW YORK, November 18, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Washington.

DEAR SIR: On behalf of the relatives of John Slidell, esq., and the family of the late Commodore Perry (whose daughter is my wife) I write to ask whether I may be allowed to communicate with him and to tender him so far as a loyal citizen may do such acts of kindness and friendship as his situation may demand. You will greatly oblige me if you will indicate the practice and wishers of the Government in this respect. Where I am known it would be unnecessary for me to add that I have no sympathy whatever in any of the political views of Mr. Slidell and never entertained any other feeling than love for my country and her flag.

With high regard, your obedient servant,


WASHINGTON, November 19, 1861.

(Received December 2.)


MY LORD: I have already informed your lordshiiop by telegraph that Mr. Mason and Mr. Slidell who are believed to have been on their way to England and France as commissioners from the so-called Confederate Government were taken by force out of the British mail-packet Trent by the U. S. ship San Jacinto in the Bahama Channel and brought to this country as prisoners.