The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Slidell, John
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|Edition of 1920. See also John Slidell on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.|
SLIDELL, slī-dĕl', John, American politician: b. New York, 1793; d. London, 29 July 1871. He was graduated at Columbia in 1810, studied law, and in 1819 removed to New Orleans. From 1829 to 1833 be served as United States district attorney for Louisiana; was a member of Congress, 1842-45; and in 1845 was appointed Minister to Mexico, but was not received by the Mexican government. In 1853 he entered the United States Senate, but resigned when Louisiana seceded in 1861. In September of that year he was appointed as associate of James M. Mason (q.v.), commissioner of the Confederate States to France. The two commissioners ran the blockade of Charleston, S. C., and sailed from Havana on the English steamer Trent. The Trent was overhauled 8 November by Capt. Charles Wilkes (q.v.) with the San Jacinto of the United States navy. The two commissioners were arrested and held for a while as prisoners at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor. The act of Wilkes was disavowed by the United States upon demand of the British government, and 1 Jan. 1862 the commissioners sailed for England. Slidell's mission which, besides other things, contemplated recognition of the Confederacy by the French government, failed in its object, France refusing to move, either in that matter or in making a commercial convention, without the co-operation of England. He was successful, hawever, in securing a large loan for the Confederate States. After the war Slidell settled in London. See Trent Affair.