Joshua R. Giddings of Ohio was elected as a Whig to the 25th Congress to fill a vacancy and was sworn in on December 3, 1838. In November 1841, the 135 enslaved African Americans on board the ship Creole overpowered the crew, murdering one man, while sailing from Hampton Roads, Virginia, to New Orleans, Louisiana. They sailed the vessel to Nassau, Bahamas, where the British declared most of them free. Congressman Giddings argued that once the ship was outside of U.S. territorial waters, the African Americans were entitled to their liberty and that any attempt to re-enslave them would be unconstitutional. A vote of censure was passed upon him by the House of Representatives in response to his motion in defense of the slave mutineers in the Creole case. Abolitionist Joshua R. Giddings resigned, but his constituents quickly reelected him and sent him back to Congress. Throughout his 20 years of service, Giddings used the floor of the U.S. Congress to debate the issues of slavery. The Giddings' home in Jefferson, Ohio served as a station on the Underground Railroad before and after his election to Congress. On March 25, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Giddings as the U.S. Consul General to the British North American Provinces [Canada]. This is where the above letter was written. He served until his death in Montreal on May 27, 1864.