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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 7: the Trent affair. (search)
ountry, who never stopped to think what the consequences might be; nor did they reflect that we were not in a condition to go to war with Great Britain on a point of this kind, where we could find no exact precedents by which to justify ourselves; and when in like cases on the part of England we had placed her in the wrong in the war of 1812, and retaliated on her so severely that she was glad to invoke peace. In the mean time Messrs. Mason and Slidell were confined in Fort Warren (in Boston harbor), as close prisoners. The excitement in England was intense, and all those who entertained ill feelings against the United States and her institutions were not slow in manifesting them. The British Government took the matter in hand at once, and preparations for war were commenced on a large scale. Troops were sent to Canada without the English Government making inquiries into the matter, or waiting to see if the United States had not some explanation to make in relation to the ac