14 December 1861: “What a corrupt and reckless set.”

Item Description: Rev. Overton Bernard describes the details of the Trent Affair, which, to the writer, serves as another example of northern politicians’ hasty policies and practices.

Item Citation: From folder 2 of the Overton and Jesse Bernard Diaries #62-z,  Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Saturday 14th December 1861 — News has been received that the Lincolnites New Steamer San Jacinto commanded by Capt. Wilkes forcibly took Messrs Mason & Slidell from the British Mail Steamer the Trent commanded by an English Naval Officer, Messrs M.&.S. had embarked at Havanna as Commissioners from the Confederate States to England and France — this gross outrage will in all probability rouse England to resist the devilish course of the man whose contemptible government now reigns at Washington – France will unite with England.

Cameron, Secretary of War goes in for emancipation of the Slaves, Lincoln opposes. Chase admits that by July their debt will be near nine hundred millions!! What a corrupt and reckless set — May the people in rath limit their Power. I do not think the Northern Banks will pay specie sixty days longer.

About Overton Bernard: Overton Bernard kept his diary while serving as a Methodist minister in Edenton, N.C., 1824, and as a bank employee in Portsmouth, Va., 1858-1863.

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