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    C.S.A. Diplomat John Slidell War Date Autograph Letter Signed. Four pages, 5.25" x 8" plain paper, Paris, October 3, 1862, to Earl Shaftesbury [Anthony Ashley Cooper]. He writes here to the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, desperate to secure diplomatic recognition for the South, and painting a bright picture of Lee's recent successes at South Mountain and Harper's Ferry while ignoring the costly Battle of Antietam and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, an act that would doom his mission to failure. In full:

    "My dear Lord Shaftesbury, Many, many thanks for your kind recollection & for the most gratifying information conveyed by your note of 30th Ulto. I was at the 'Affaires Estrangeres' yesterday & although I did not see Mr. [?] who, by a singular coincidence was expecting Mr. Dayton with whom he had appointed an interview, I learned from a gentleman, a 'chef de cabinet' & high in his confidence that the two governments were now considering our question & that our recognition would very probably soon be announced. That the Emperor would not return from Biarritz until 8 inst. & that soon after a decision would be taken & that the two governments would act in concert. I have just recd. a note from Count de Persigny, who says 'Mr. Fould qui revivient de Biarritz me dit que l'Emperor est tres impatient de reconnaitre le Sud et fait des demarches aurpes de toute l'Europe pour une reconnaissance generals.' [Mr. Fould on returning to Biarritz informs me that the Emperor is very impatient to become acquainted with the South and takes steps for all of Europe for a general reconnaissance.]

    The advance of Lee in force across the Potomac had a double object, one political which has only partially succeeded, an uprising in Maryland. We have however recruited very largely there, the failure does not surprise me, as nearly every leading secessionist in Maryland was already with our armies or in federal prisons. The other object was strategic to protect a movement by Hagerstown to the Upper Potomac & to cut off the Federal force at Harpers Ferry. This has proved a complete success as by the Federal account 11500 prisoners surrendered there with more than 50 pieces of cannon & immense supplies of ammunition & other stores. The losses of Lee in his several battles with McLelland are by the admissions of the Northern Press, less than those of the enemy. Lee has retired leisurely & in good order across the Potomac without the loss of a gun & only leaving behind 300 of his wounded, those probably who were too severely injured to be removed. I mention these facts, as I fear that an attempt will be made to use Lee's withdrawal from Maryland as a reason or a pretext for further delaying recognition.

    I have sent to our government a full note of the conversation which I had the honor to hold with you. I thought this the better form to present your suggestions. I hope that on this I have not misunderstood your wishes...

    John Slidell, an American attorney, politician, and diplomat, had accepted a diplomatic appointment in 1861 to represent the Confederacy in France. His first attempted journey to Europe was interrupted when he, along with fellow diplomat James M. Mason, was removed from the British-registered ship, the R.M.S. Trent, by Captain Charles Wilkes of the U.S.S. San Jacinto on November 8, 1861. The two confederate diplomats and their parties were transferred to Fort Warren as prisoners. The U.S. government praised the act, but the British condemned it in the strongest way. Known as the Trent Affair, this almost led to a war between the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Eventually, they were released and the two diplomats set sail for Europe on January 1, 1862. Slidell's mission to France was to secure military and financial aid as well as a treaty of alliance. He was never successful in his larger mission but was able to raise some funds from private sources sympathetic to the cause. He ended up staying in France after the war and never applied for a pardon from the federal government for his Confederate service. He died in London in 1871. War date letters of Slidell are very uncommon and one with significant historical content written during such an important moment in Confederate history is very desirable. Fine condition with mailing folds.

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    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
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