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U.S. appoints its first diplomat to the Republic of Texas


On this day in 1837, President Andrew Jackson appointed Alcée Louis La Branche to be the first diplomat from the United States to the Republic of Texas. As United States chargé d'affaires, La Branche negotiated the settlement of the cases concerning the brigs Pocket and Durango and a temporary commerce agreement. He aggressively defended the United States claim to disputed territory in Red River County. On April 25, 1838, the two countries signed the Convention of Limits, which recognized Texas claims to the contested county and the Sabine River as the eastern boundary of Texas. However, tension continued between the Republic of Texas and the United States regarding Indian depredations along the northern border. La Branche protested Texas army crossings of the border in pursuit of Indians. He believed that the majority of Indian attacks were caused by Texans' trespassing and surveying Indian lands. La Branche's reports on real or rumored Mexican attacks expressed optimism about the Texans' ability to retain their independence. On April 2, 1840, La Branche resigned his post to attend to personal affairs. His clear, calm reports enabled his government to be sensitive to the Texas position on various issues.

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