The Consular Service of the Republic of Texas
THE CONSULAR SERVICE OF THE REPUBLIC
ALMA HOWELL BROWN
IV. TI-IE TEXAS CONSULATES IN EUROPE
1. The Texas Consulates in France
The Marseilles Consulate. In this chapter, as in the preceding
chapters, I have endeavored to present a chronological treatment
of the growth of the consular service of the Republic of Texas-
this time in Europe-by following its development step by step in
each city of the countries to which the service was extended. So
far as it has been possible to secure material this has been included
in a brief sketch of the executives.
So anxious was the Government of Texas to get the consular
service established in Europe that a consul was appointed to Mar-
seilles before a treaty of commerce with France was completed.
John Willis, a wealthy merchant,' was appointed consul for the
"Dep[artmen]t of Bouches du Rhone" by Houston, and was noti-
fied of the appointment on September 7, 1838, while he was in
New York.2 He must have sailed for Marseilles soon afterwards,
because he apparently knew nothing a year later of the action taken
by the Senate on his appointment as consul, "to take effect when
a commercial treaty shall have been entered into between the Gov-
[ernmen]t of Texas and France."3 The Senate deferred action
until after the new President, Lamar, was inducted into office. On
the following day, December 11, 1838, all nominations before the
Senate were submitted to the President for approval4 and nothing
more was heard from the appointment. On December 30, 1839,
Willis wrote from Marseilles that he was still waiting for his
M'Kinney to Secretary of State, August 24, 1838, Consular Corre-
spondence, 1888-18411, Archives, State Library.
'Secretary of State to Willis, September 7, 1838, Consular Corre-
spondence, 1888-1844, Archives, State Library.
'Winkler [ed.], Secret Journals of the Senate, November 13, 1838, in
Texas Library and Historical Commission Report, 1909-1910, I, 113.
'Ibid., December 11, 1838, p. 116.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/. Accessed December 7, 2013.