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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 25. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Hon. James Murray Mason, of Mason & Slidell fame. (search)
Europe. On the passage out in October, 1861, he and Mr. Slidell arrived at Havanna, sailed thence on the royal mail steamer Trent, for England, and on the 8th of November, the Trent was boarded by the United States war steamer San Jacinto, Captain Wilkes in command, and the Confederate Commissioners were captured as prisoners of war, and taken from the British deck to Boston. This was the first time that under any such pretext the British flag was ever violated on the high seas, under Britaiates, from Independence day down to that time had fought against that pretension and in favor of Free Trade and Sailor's rights, against Great Britain, and had at last by treaty gained the abandonment of any such claim on the part of England, Captain Wilkes attempted to set it up and enforce it on the part of the United States against the flag of England herself. The prisoners were sent to Fort Warren, but were quickly, though not gracefully surrendered on the peremptory demand of Great Britain