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President Lincoln, with great ceremony, visits aboard a French frigate at the Washington Navy Yard

Abraham Lincoln, Brady image, 1863, detail
04/26/1862
The French ambassador to Washington, Henri Mercier, invited the President to tour his navy's recently arrived dispatch steamer Gassendi at the Washington Navy Yard. Secretary of State Seward urged acceptance since relations with France needed a warming after the Trent Affair.  Also, the Gassendi and its captain, Jules Gauithier, had witnessed the recent naval battle of ironclads off Norfolk. The party was received with full honors, drank champagne, and toured the vessel, the first time an American president had been aboard a foreign warship.  (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
Frank Moore, ed., The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, Etc. (New York: G.P. Putnam, 1862), IV: 97.
Craig L. Symonds, Lincoln and His Admirals: Abraham Lincoln, The U.S. Navy, and the Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 144.

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