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American History Lecture with Gary Hylander: The Trent Affair (YP)
September 14 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
The Trent Affair was a dangerous diplomatic confrontation between the United States and Britain during the early months of the Civil War. In November of 1861, U.S. Captain Charles Wilkes intercepted The Trent, a British Royal Mail Paddle Steamer, off the coast of Cuba. American naval officers boarded the ship and seized two Confederate diplomats, James Mason and John Slidell. Both men had been dispatched by the Confederate government to seek formal diplomatic recognition from Britain and France. War loomed as London and Paris condemned Wilkes’ action as a flagrant violation of neutral rights and freedom of the seas.