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Post John Slidell's Mission to Mexico
Created by John Eipper on 02/07/19 10:04 AM

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John Slidell's Mission to Mexico (Patrick Mears, Germany, 02/07/19 10:04 am)

First, the answer to John E's question about the Alabama Claims is "yes," the British government paid up in 1872.

John also mentions the Alabama's Captain Raphael Semmes and his service in the Mexican-American War.

Interestingly, one of the two Confederate ambassadors on the Trent seized by the Union Navy in 1861, John Slidell, also had a connection to the Mexican-American War. Here is a brief description of Slidell's unsuccessful attempt as a representative of the US government during 1845-1846 to move the border between Texas and Mexico south to the Rio Grande and to purchase what is now the states of New Mexico and California:

"In November, 1845, (Slidell) was sent as minister to Mexico by President Polk, to adjust the difficulty caused by the annexation of Texas to the United States. His instructions to 1) obtain Mexican recognition of the Rio Grande as the border between Texas and the United States; 2) offer American forgiveness of the claims by US citizens against the Mexican government; 3) purchase the New Mexico area for $5 million; and 4) purchase California at any price. The mission failed when the Mexican government refused to accept his credentials. The United States declared war on Mexico on May 13, 1846, and Slidell returned in January 1847 and resigned."

You can read the rest of Slidell's story, including his efforts to obtain aid from French Emperor Napoleon II for the Confederacy, in this online biographical note: http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/chron/civilwarnotes/slidell.html

JE comments:  I suspected as much, but I just looked it up.  Slidell, Louisiana, on the opposite side of Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, was named after the ambassador.  Surprisingly, he was born a Yankee, in New York City, and graduated from Columbia U.

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