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CONSULAR SERVICE OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS

CONSULAR SERVICE OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS. The consular service of the Texas nation evolved from a single general agency established in New Orleans in 1835 by the commissioners, Stephen F. Austin, William H. Wharton, and Branch T. Archer,qqv and sent to the United States by the provisional government. Its purpose was to secure outside aid in the form of trade and financial assistance for Texas. William Bryanqv, the first New Orleans agent, was succeeded by Thomas Toby (see TOBY AND BROTHER COMPANY) in June 1836. It was during Toby's appointment that the term consul first came into use in the republic. On December 10, 1836, David White was appointed Texas agent in Mobile. A few days later President Sam Houston named John Woodwardqqv consul general and instructed him to open an office in the port of New York and to establish branches at Boston, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. In April 1837 Houston appointed Nathaniel Townsend consul for New Orleans. Up to this time the consular service was an embryonic, unorganized branch of the government, under the supervision of the president. An attempt to establish a definite system was made by the passage of a joint resolution on December 15, 1837, containing general instructions for the formation of the service. The organization was placed under the supervision of the secretary of state. Some degree of order was achieved, but poor communications and a lack of interest in Texas plagued the Texas consuls in both Europe and the United States and prevented an efficient organization. Growing chiefly through the initiative of individual consuls, the consular service expanded on both sides of the Atlantic. European service was first established as early as 1838 with a consular appointment to France, but confusion about the appointment and the ongoing negotiations for a commerce treaty forestalled the service's definite role in Europe for several years. The service ended in 1845 with the annexation of Texas to the United States.

Because of its nebulous organization a definitive analysis of the service is not possible, but the following consulates are known to have been established: New Orleans, 1835, Nathaniel Townsend, Thomas Toby, William Bryan, P. Edmunds; New York, 1836, John Woodward, Charles H. Forbes, August W. Radcliff, John Brower; Mobile, 1836, David White, George Dobson, Walter Smith, Thomas J. Fettyplace; Baltimore, 1838, Henry H. Williams; Natchitoches, 1838, John F. Cortes, Thomas H. Airey; Philadelphia,1838, John L. Hodge, Cyrus Joy, Francis G. Smith; Charleston, 1838, James Hamilton, Thomas L. Hamilton; Vicksburg, 1839?, S. W. Rudder; Key West, 1839, Joseph P. Brown; Boston, 1839, Thomas A. Dexter, Nathaniel Amory; Natchez, 1840, Lyman Potter; Cincinnati, 1841, Benjamin Drake, Alexander H. McGuffey; Detroit, 1841, Calvin C. Jackson; Bangor, 1841, Moses Patton; Norfolk, 1841, Samuel G. Taylor; St. Louis, 1842, Edward Hutawa; Richmond, 1842, William B. Hamilton; Marseille (France), 1841, John Willis, Louis Grousset; Paris (France), 1840, Theodore Barbey, Henri Castro, Pierre Brunet; Bordeaux (France), 1842, Paul E. Dumon; Cette (France), 1843, Maly E. Dumon; Rouen (France), 1842, M. Ladeur, M. Largillier; Bayonne (France), 1845, August Furtado; London (England), 1841, Arthur Ikin, John Barnes, William Kennedyqv, Lockland M. Rate; Liverpool (England), 1841, Francis B. Ogden; Glasgow (Scotland), 1843, John Graham Stewart; Greenock (Scotland), 1843, John Roxburgh; Falmouth (England), 1842, Alfred Fox; Plymouth (England), 1842, Thomas Were Fox; Kingston-upon-Hull (England), 1843, John Atkinson; Newcastle-upon-Tyne (England), 1843, William Henry Brockett; Dublin (Ireland), 1843, Thomas Snow; Amsterdam (Netherlands), 1842, Louis J. Herckenrath; Rotterdam (Netherlands), 1843, Joshua J. Crooswyck; Antwerp (Belgium), 1843, Maximilian Van Den Bergh; Bremen (Germany), 1844, Henry F. Fisher.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Alma Howell Brown, "The Consular Service of the Republic of Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 33 (January, April 1930).

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

"CONSULAR SERVICE OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/mec02), accessed October 23, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.