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During the Civil War
CARLAND ELAINE CROOK
T WO IDENTICAL LETTERS WRITTEN IN AUGUST, 1862, BY
Benjamin Theron of Galveston, an obscure consular
agent for France and vice consul for Spain, to General
Sam Houston and to Francis Richard Lubbock, governor of
Texas, provoked an international controversy that lasted for many
months during the Civil War.
The letters led to charges by the Confederacy that France was
plotting to gain a foothold in Texas. They caused much concern
in both the North and the South by revealing that the conflict
left both nations powerless to withstand European aggression.
But the question of whether the officious French consular agent
was acting on his own or was an agent initiating the first step
of a gigantic coup for France is still unanswered.
The letters that led to charges and countercharges read as
Will you be kind enough to inform me confidentially, of your
personal opinion on the following questions?
1st The annexation of the Republic of Texas to the United States,
was or was not a good political measure?
2d The act of disunion and of the Junction of the State of Texas
to the Southern States, was or was not another good or bad politic
taken by the State?
& 3d The re-establishment of the old Republic of Texas will or
will not be beneficial to our beloved adopted Country?
Your answer to these questions, Sir, will serve me as a guide in my
political correspondence with the governments which I have the honor
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 May 22, 2015.