eliit's Relatios With rexas
ard the /Uited States, 1839-1844
PIERRE HENRI LAURENT
BETWEEN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS IN
1836 and its annexation by the United States some ten
years later, several European states showed extensive in-
terest in commercial and colonization projects with the New
World nation.' The English and French efforts are the most
publicized and best documented, but the activity and prolonged
involvement of one foreign power in Texas has been neglected
The small kingdom of Belgium, separated from the Nether-
lands in 1830 and guaranteed its independence with perpetual
neutrality by the great powers of Europe in 1839, demonstrated
early imperialistic designs on Texas. The Belgian interest was
initiated and stimulated by the Texans, who sent a representa-
tive to Europe in 1837 to obtain recognition, negotiate trade
treaties, and obtain a much needed loan for the infant nation.
The enterprising Belgians, who already had commenced a long
series of emigration and trade projects elsewhere, were quickly
attracted to the many favorable possibilities in Texas."
Belgo-Texan diplomatic relations and the various international
'The writer is pleased to express his thanks to the Belgian-American Educa-
tional Foundation for a grant to do research in the Belgian archives.
2Ephraim D. Adams, British Interests and Activity in Texas, z838-1845 (Balti-
more, 910o), deals exclusively with the English efforts in North America. Mary
K. Chase, Negociations de la Republique du Texas en Europe, z837-1845 (Paris,
1932), covers the Belgian involvement, but neglected the state department archives.
Joseph W. Schmitz, Texan Statecraft, 1836-1845 (San Antonio, 1941), analyzes all
the foreign relations of Texas with European states, but only touches the surface
of the Belgian affair. This article is meant to supplement Schmitz, especially on
the causes which prevented any Belgo-Texan alliance and cooperation (which
Schmitz passes off as impossible because of "disturbed conditions," p. 214).
sNegociations avec le Texas, 21 8, Navigation et exploration-Etats-Unis, 201o
(Archives du Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres, Belgique).
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/. Accessed July 6, 2015.