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Wednesday, December 25, 1861.+-

Washington, DC.

Cabinet meets 10 A.M. behind closed doors to consider release of Mason and Slidell, involved in Trent affair. Meeting lasts until 2 P.M. Bates, Diary; Evening Star (Washington, DC), 26 December 1861, 2:1.

Senator Charles Sumner (Mass.) on invitation reads letters from Richard Cobden and John Bright of England to cabinet urging release of men. French minister appears before cabinet and requests President to give up men and avert war. Monaghan, Diplomat, 191.

Cabinet adjourns to meet next day and make decision. President concludes: "Governor Seward, you will go on, of course, preparing your answer, which, as I understand, will state the reasons why they ought to be given up." Frederick W. Seward, Reminiscences of a War-Time Statesman and Diplomat, 1830-1915. By Frederick W. Seward, Assistant Secretary of State during the Administrations of Lincoln, Johnson, and Hayes (New York: Putnam, 1916), 189.

At Christmas dinner in evening Lincolns entertain large number of guests, including several members of official family and old friends from Kentucky and Illinois. Browning, Diary.

After dinner President tells Senator Oliver H. Browning (Ill.) that Trent affair has been settled amicably. Randall, Lincoln, 2:49.