During November tlfe British West India steamer "Trent" was boarded by a vessel of the Federal Navy, the "San Jacinto," and Messrs Slidell and Mason, commissioners for the Confederate States, who were on their way to England, were seized.
He compiled with his friend John Slidell a valuable digest of decisions of the superior courts of New Orleans and Louisiana; and as a partner in the firm of Slidell, Benjamin & Conrad, he enjoyed a good practice.
Mason and John Slidell, the envoys of the Confederate States to Great Britain and France respectively, who had been taken by a Federal vessel from the British ship "Trent," were restored by the Federal authorities to H.B.M.S.
The British ship "Trent," upon which he and John Slidell, the commissioner to France, sailed, was intercepted (Nov.
Great Britain immediately demanded their release, and war for a time seemed imminent; but owing mainly to the tactful diplomacy of the prince consort, Lincoln acknowledged that the seizure of Mason and Slidell was a violation of the rights of Great Britain as a neutral, and on the 1st of January 1862 released the commissioners.