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Shaler, William (ca. 1773–1833)

Seymour V. Connor Biography Entry

William Shaler, consul and writer, son of Timothy and Sibbel (Warner) Shaler, was born about 1773 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Between 1803 and 1808 he was a sea captain; the account of his travels was published as "Journal of a Voyage between China and the Northwestern Coast of America" in American Register (1808). In January 1812 Shaler was transferred from his consulate at Havana to Natchitoches, Louisiana, as an official agent to report on the activities of José Álvarez de Toledo y Dubois. Shaler met José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara in New Orleans in March 1812 and accompanied him to Natchitoches in April; he encouraged the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition, followed Álvarez into Nacogdoches in May 1813, and assisted him in publishing the Gaceta de Texas and El Mejicano. Apparently Shaler had been instructed to cooperate with the expedition, for he assisted with both time and money. After Shaler left the Louisiana post, he attended peace conferences in Europe (1814) and Algiers (1815). From 1818 to 1830 he was consul general at Algiers. About his experiences in that country he published "On the Language, Manners, and Customs of the Berbers, or Brebers, of Africa" in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society (1825) and Sketches of Algiers (1826). Shaler was again stationed in Havana when he died during a cholera epidemic, on March 29, 1833.

Dictionary of American Biography. Julia Kathryn Garrett, "The First Newspaper of Texas: Gaceta de Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 40 (January 1937). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans

Time Periods:

  • Spanish Texas
  • Mexican Texas

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

Seymour V. Connor, “Shaler, William,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed March 04, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: