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JAMES M. MASON (1798-1891)
JAMES M. MASON (1798-1891) 
Senator from Virginia, Confederate emissary to Great Britain

Senator from Virginia, Confederate emissary to Great Britain. His seizure from aboard the British mail steamer "Trent" by the Union Navy during the Civil War precipitated an international diplomatic incident, "The Trent Affair." Manuscript bank check written and signed by Mason, for $385.57. Dated February 14, 1860. Cut cancellation touches signature, but without any paper loss. $185.00


JAMES M. MASON (1798-1891)
JAMES M. MASON (1798-1891) 
Senator from Virginia, Confederate emissary to Great Britain

Senator from Virginia, Confederate emissary to Great Britain. His seizure from aboard the British mail steamer "Trent" by the Union Navy during the Civil War precipitated an international diplomatic incident, "The Trent Affair." Letter in Mason's hand to E. T. Montague asking for a copy of the report of the Senate Select Committee on the John Brown Raid of 1859, which frightened the South and galvanized Southern resistance to Northern interference with the institution of slavery. Dated October 28, 1860, just days before the election that elevated Lincoln to the presidency and sparked the Civil War. Signed "J. M. Mason." Mason was a strong Southern-rights Congressman, and probably wanted the report for its propaganda value, especially as he asks Montague to send "20 or 30 copies" if the report has been printed. Significantly, Mason directs that a copy be sent to Edmund Ruffin of Virginia, one of the arch-firebrands of the secessionist movement, who had been present at Brown's hanging and later claimed to have fired the first shot of the war at Fort Sumter. An interesting and important letter, offering a rare glimpse into the climactic machinations of the secessionist activists who gave birth to the Confederate States of America. $1550.00


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