January 11th, 1862
"Joyfully do I take the remaining few minutes to post time to bless the God of all peace, for peace between the sister countries. Every body is for giving every possible indulgence to wounded pride, &c; and now it is known that this Mason was the author of the Fugitive Slave Law, his reception will give no offence, it will be cool indeed, if not actively adverse--otherwise the released captive would have interested England, but anti-slavery England can not bear this."
The American Civil War endangered peace between England and the United States. The Confederacy had hoped for Great Britain's support, and in November 1861 sent James Murray Mason as commissioner for the Confederacy. He was aboard the RMS Trent on his way to England when Federal troops captured the ship. The north celebrated a little too much, bringing the threat of war with Great Britain.
Lincoln cooled off and engaged in some diplomacy by admitting that capturing the Trent was contrary to maritime law and that private citizens could not be considered enemy despatches, and everyone settled down. Mason sailed again in early January, and Frances predicted that his reception would be cool because of his pro-slavery views.