John Slidell, an American politician, born in the city of New York in 1793, died in London, July 29, 1871. He graduated at Columbia college in 1810 and entered commercial life, but was not successful, and removed to New Orleans, where he became a prominent member of the Louisiana bar, and was United States district attorney from 1829 to 1833. He was frequently elected to the state legislature, and was a representative in congress from 1813 to 1845. In the latter year he was sent as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Mexico. In 1853 he was chosen United States senator for the unexpired term of Senator Soule, and was afterward reelected for six years. He was a supporter of the southern rights party, and when Louisiana had passed the ordinance of secession, in January, 1861, he withdrew on Feb. 4 from the senate, after delivering a menacing and defiant speech. In the autumn he was sent as commissioner to France, together with Mr. Mason of Virginia, who was appointed in the same capacity to England. Sailing from Charleston, they ran the blockade, and embarked at Havana on board the English mail steamer Trent. On Nov. 8 Capt. Wilkes, of the United States steam frigate San Jacinto, boarded this vessel, and arrested the commissioners, who were confined in Fort Warren, Boston harbor.
But as their capture was informal, they were released on the reclamation of the British government, and on Jan. 2, 1862, sailed for England. Mr. Slidell proceeded to Paris, where through the banker Erlanger (who became his son-in-law) he secured some aid in money and ships for the confederates, and after the close of the war settled in London.