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SEIZURE OF MASON AND SLIDELL
The president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, was
anxious to get letters to France and England, asking them
 for help. Of course, with the ports blockaded, it was almost
impossible for any one to get away. But some way, two
men, Mason and Slidell, did "run the blockade," went to
Havana, and from there boarded an English vessel.
A Union sea-captain had heard of the departure of these
two men, and, thinking they were up to mischief, watched
them. When he found they had gone on board this English
vessel, bound for England, he followed, came up with the
English vessel, boarded her, and took Mason and Slidell
prisoners as traitors to their country.
At first it seemed a very fortunate thing to have kept these
two men from going to France and England with their letters
asking for help; and the whole North was delighted. No
one once thought that the English government had now a
chance to say, "You have done to one of our vessels just
what you waged war with us for doing in 1812. Have you
forgotten that it was because of our taking men from your
vessels that that war was brought about? Why can we not
wage war upon you now for having done the same thing?"
No one thought of this; but England thought of it, and
said it, too, very soon. She demanded, too, that the two
men taken from her vessels be returned.
Some Northerners were at first inclined to stand by their
deed; but there was an honest man at the head of the
Government all this time, you know, and he said, "It does seem
a pity to let these men go; but England is right, and it is
 our duty, not only to return the men, but to make an apology
for taking them."
And when the people thought it over, they owned that
England was right, and the two men were returned.
This was a good, honest, straightforward way to do, and
I'm sure England and France both thought so, and respected
the North for it. At any rate, the two men had no sort of
success in either country, and the South was disappointed
and disgusted with the whole affair.