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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 7: the Trent affair. (search)
rsons seized were contraband, the vessel knowingly carrying them as passengers was contraband also, and should have been taken into a United States port and the case tried before an Admiralty Court; which would most likely have decided in favor of the Trent and awarded damages. This course would have saved the United States the humiliation of making a forced apology. England was not the only nation that took exceptions to the seizure of the persons of Mason and Slidell, for, on the 10th December, the Minister of Foreign Affairs in France wrote to the representative of that court at Washington: The arrest had produced in France, if not the same emotion as in England, at least extreme astonishmient and sensation. Public sentiment was at once engrossed with the unlawfulness and consequence of such an act. The desire to contribute to prevent a conflict perhaps imminent between two powers for which the French Government is associated by sentiments equally friendly, and the du