War Between the States

Authentic, original woodcut engraving that was published in Harper's Weekly. Caption: Miss Slidell On The Ram Page. "I say, with my hand on my heart, that Miss Slidell, in her agony, did strike Mr. Fairfax three times in the face. I wish that her knuckles had struck me in the face." Vide Commander William's Account of the Seizure of Mason and Slidell. The Mr. Fairfax (in uniform) depicted in this engraving is Lieutenant Donald M. Fairfax, U.S. Navy. 4 3/4 x 5 1/8.

Donald M. Fairfax was a lieutenant and the executive officer on the U.S. Frigate, San Jacinto, in November 1861, and became famous for the prominent part he played in what was known as the "Trent Affair." Former U.S. Senators, James M. Mason & John Slidell, at the time Confederate commissioners bound for Europe, were arrested and taken off the British mail steamer, Trent. Mason & Slidell were on a diplomatic mission for the Confederate government to seek aid from England and France. Lieutenant Fairfax was the first to board the Trent, and went onboard alone, and personally conducted the entire matter! Afterwards he had a very distinguished Civil War career commanding the Union ironclads, Cayuga, Nantucket and Montauk. He retired from the U.S. Navy on September 30, 1881, with the rank of Rear Admiral.

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