The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972

Book Reviews

The French Legation in Texas. Volume I: Recognition, Rupture, and
Reconciliation. Translated and edited by Nancy Nichols Barker.
(Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1971. Footnotes, il-
lustrations, list of documents. Pp. 357. $12.00.)
Published here for the first time, and in English translation with
sound editing, are documents from the French Foreign Ministry
representing correspondence, memoranda, and reports between that
office and the French legation in Texas. Although the existence and
location of these materials have long been known, they have been
used by only a few historians and their contents have not been fully
utilized. Volume I covers the period from May 8, 1838, to August 18,
1842, and includes all, parts, or summaries of 146 documents of of-
ficial diplomatic and commercial correspondence and memoranda
selected from the nine bound volumes of Correspondance politique:
Texas and from the single volume of Correspondance commerciale:
Austin found in the archives of the French Foreign Ministry. All
but 27 of the documents are written by Dubois de Saligny, charge
d'affaires of France to the Republic of Texas from 1839 to 1846,
"interrupted by sojourns in Louisiana and a year's leave of absence
in France," and give a vivid account of his activities in Texas. The
documents in Volume I have been carefully annotated and arranged
under five headings: "The Mission of Investigation," "The Charg6
d'Affaires at Work," "The Quarrel with the Austin Cabinet," "The
Charge d'Affaires in Retreat," and "The Resumption of Diplomatic
Relations." Even with the publication of the second volume, now in
press, fewer than half of the documents in the ten French Foreign
Ministry volumes will have been made available by Professor Nancy
N. Barker.
The decision not to publish certain documents already in print,
and noted by the editor, is justified; also, the elimination of parts
of some documents because they are repetitious of others being pub-
lished may be justified; but to eliminate "reports that were mere
chronicles of well known events or were composed of news obviously
gleaned from local newspapers," not cited, may not have been the

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 25, 2016.

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