In 1861, United States government made the pivotal decision to refuse to free Confederate diplomatic envoys James M. Mason and John Slidell. While traveling to take up the post of Confederate envoy to Britain and France, on the British mail steamer RMS Trent, the ship was stopped by USS San Jacinto on November 8, 1861. Mason and John Slidell were confined in Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, precipitating the Trent Affair that brought Britain into open war with the United States of America.
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