Today in History–November 8–the Library of Congress features the Trent Affair, which was sparked on this day in 1861 when U.S. Navy Captain Charles Wilkes commanded the crew of the U.S.S. San Jacinto to intercept the British mail steamer Trent and arrest Confederate commissioners James M. Mason and John Slidell. Find out more about this international incident and Charles Wilkes by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access more primary source picks and teaching ideas about the Trent Affair and the Civil War.
Trent affair articles, 1861-62 (Chronicling America Historical Newspaper collection)
“Capture and release of Mason and Slidell” The Galaxy, Volume 15, Issue 5, May 1873
“I Don’t See It” Civil War sheet music 1862
Civil War themed link sets (primary source collections & teaching resources)