MASON AND SLIDELL – WHAT WAS THEIR MISSION? – The newspapers of the rebel States have been boasting very extravagantly of the great things that would surely be achieved in England and France by Mason and Slidell, the rebel ambassadors appointed to those countries. What was their mission? Some suppose that they were empowered to negotiate a treaty or [illegible] whereby the cotton of the “Confederate States” would be given to England and France, or to either, for a song, upon the condition of opening the ports of said Confederate States. Others suppose that Jeff. Davis and his Cabinet had authorized said Mason and Slidell to negotiate for a European protectorate, or for a king or viceroy from England or France to reign over said Confederate States.
It makes little difference now what these two spurious and mysterious ambassadors were after. Their mission has been cut short, and their occupation is gone. They had started upon a fool’s errand, and they are suffering the penalty of their folly and their treason. They will now have sometime upon their hands for cool reflection; for, whatever may be the international issue growing out of this affair, some time will most probably be required to effect a settlement. The question involved is a nice one, and perhaps “Honest Abe Lincoln,” holding fast to his prisoners, may think it best to hold the matter over for the consideration of Congress.