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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Volume 2., Captain Wilkes's seizure of Mason and Slidell. (search)
overnment, therefore, trust that when this matter shall have been brought under the consideration of the Government of the United States, that Government will, of its own accord, offer to the British Government such redress as alone could satisfy the British nation, namely, the liberation of the four gentlemen and their delivery to your lordship, in order that they may again be placed under British protection, and a suitable apology for the aggression which has been committed. On the 3d of December, the French Government also made an informal protest, through its minister at Washington, M. Mercier. On the 26th of December, Mr. Seward wrote at length to Lord Lyons, reviewing the case, and saying that the commissioners would be cheerfully liberated. In the course of the letter Mr. Seward said: If I decide this case in favor of my own Government, I must disavow its most cherished principles, and reverse and forever abandon its essential policy. The country cannot afford the s