Extract from a private letter.
FOREIGN OFFICE, [London,] December l, 1861.
MY LORD: * * * The dispatches which were agreed to at the cabinet yesterday and which I have signed this morning impose upon you a disagreeable task. My wish would be that at your first interview with Mr. Seward you should not take my dispatch with you but should prepare him for it and ask him to settle with the President and Cabinet what course they would propose. The next time you should bring my dispatch and read it to him fully. If he asks what will be the cousequence of his refusing compliance I think you should say that you wish to leave him and the President quite free to take their own course and that you desire to abstain from anything like menace.
I am, &c.,
Resulution adopted by the House of Representatives December 2, 1861.
Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to present to Captain Charles Wilkes a gold medal with suitable emblems and devices in testimony of the high sense entertained by Congress of his good coduct in promptly arresting the rebel ambassadors James M. Mason and John Slidell.
Preamble and resolution adopted by the House of Representatives December 2, 1861.
Whereas Colonel Michael Corcoran who was taken prisoners on the battle-field of Manassas has after suffering other indignities been confined by the rebel authorities in the cell of a convicted felon: Therefore,
Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to similarly confine James M. Mason, late of Virginia, now in custody at Fort Warren until Colonel Corcoran shall be treated as all the prisoners of war taken by the United States on the battle-field have been treated.
Extract from report of the Secretary of the Navy.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, December 2, 1861.
* * * * * * *
Captain Charles Wilkes, in command of the San Jacinto, while searching in the West Indies for the Sumter received information that James M. Mason and John Slidell, disloyal citizens and leading conspirators, werer with their suite to embark from Havana in the English steamer Trent on their way to Europe to promote the cause of the insurgents. Cruising in the Bahama Channel he intercepted the Trent on the 8th of November and took from her these dangerous men whom he brought to the United States. His vessel having been ordered to refit for service at Charlestown the prisoners were retained on board and coveyed to Fort Warren where they were committed to the custody of Colonel Dimick, in command of that fortress.
The prompt and decisive action of Captain Wilkes on this occasion merited and received the emphatic approval of the Department, and if