CDV OF VIRGINIA SENATOR JAMES M. MASON, TRENT AFFAIR

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Item Code: 1138-1562

Three-quarter standing studio view of Mason. Image is clear with very good contrast. Mount is clean and in good condition with pencil name at lower edge. Photographer's backmark, E. Anthony, New York from Brady negative.

James Murray Mason (November 3, 1798 – April 28, 1871), was a lawyer, slaveholder, and politician. He served as senator from Virginia, having previously represented Frederick County, Virginia, in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Mason strongly supported slavery as well as Virginia's secession as the American Civil War began. As chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from 1851 until his expulsion in 1861 for supporting the Confederate States of America, Mason took great interest in protecting American cotton exporters. As the Confederacy's leading diplomat, he traveled to Europe seeking support, but proved unable to get the United Kingdom to recognize the Confederacy as a country. As Mason sailed to England in November 1861, the U.S. Navy captured his ship and detained him, in what became known as the Trent Affair. Released after two months, Mason continued his voyage, and assisted Confederate purchases from Britain and Europe but failed to achieve their diplomatic involvement. As the war ended, Mason went into exile in Canada, but later returned to Alexandria, Virginia, where he died in 1871.

This image was from the collection of the late William A. Turner.  [jet] [ph:L]

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