Slidell, John

Born: 1793-XX-XX New York, New York

Died: 1871-07-09 United Kingdom

Flourished: Louisiana

Slidell graduated from King's College (Columbia), studied law, and was admitted to the bar in New York. Around 1819, he moved to New Orleans, where he continued practicing law. Slidell served as U.S. district attorney from 1829 to 1833. He was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served from 1843 to 1845. In November 1845, Slidell was appointed minister to Mexico, but that government refused to accept him, and he left his post in March 1846. He was later elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate, where he served from 1853 to 1861, resigning his seat following the secession of Louisiana. In September 1861, the Confederate government appointed Slidell commissioner to France. In November, Slidell and fellow commissioner James Murray Mason became embroiled in the Trent Affair, when the U.S. Navy removed Slidell and Mason from the British ship HMS Trent as they were attempting to run the Union blockade and get to Europe. Arrested and imprisoned in Fort Warren, Slidell was subsequently released, traveling first to Great Britain and then France, where he failed to convince the French government to recognize the Confederacy.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 1833.