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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 7: the Trent affair. (search)
e believe that England did not sympathize with the South, and that, while she was full of friendly professions towards the North, she was not ready at the first opportunity to throw her weight in the scale against us. Navy Department, November 30, 1861 Sir:I congratulate you on your safe arrival, and especially do I congratulate you on the great public service you have rendered the Union in the capture of the rebel commissioners. Messrs. Mason and Slidell have been conspicuous in theasier for the United States to have anticipated at once the action of the British government; but diplomatists have their methods, and they sometimes lead nations to the verge of war rather than admit a defect in their system. On the 30th of November, 1861, Mr. Seward wrote to Mr. Adams, our minister to England, informing him that Captain Wilkes had boarded a British colonial mail steamer and taken from her deck two insurgents, who were proceeding to England and France on an errand of treas