The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 185
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The Consular Service of the Republic of Texas
erful foe; these are the auspices under which we are forced to make
a beginning. . . . I recommend the employing of agents for
foreign countries; that they be clothed with special power, and
that they be sent to different points, with a view of procuring for
Texas all the aid and assistance that a generous and sympathizing
world will bestow.1
This expression was the germ of the consular service. It re-
sulted in the establishment of agencies in the United States which
performed all the consular functions, and the recognition of this
fact brought about the change of title from agents to consuls within
In accordance with the plan outlined by Smith, the convention
elected a commission composed of Austin, W. H. Wharton and
Archer to go to the United States for the purpose of enlisting the
sympathetic and active interest of its citizens.2 One of the means
to be used for the attainment of this object was to appoint respon-
sible agents in the various important cities to look after the affairs
of Texas. The first and most important of these agencies was
established in New Orleans, the chief trading point for Texans.
The general agent appointed to fill this responsible position was
William Bryan," a merchant who had faith enough in the new gov-
ernment to advance money for purchases made by the Commis-
sioners and to assume the risk of a continuation of this policy after
several others had refused the agency.4 Bryan's partner, Edward
Hall, was made special purchasing agent. Bryan and Hall were
authorized and instructed to furnish transportation to volunteers;
purchase and ship all supplies for the government; charter all
vessels; correspond regularly with the Commissioners and govern-
ment; accept drafts when in funds; and keep accurate account of
Bryan was exceedingly active in promoting the interests of the
1Brown, Life of Henry Smith, Message of the Governor to the Council,
aAustin and Archer to Smith, Garrison, Texas Diplomatic Correspond-
ence, I, 58, in American Historical Association Report, 1907, II.
40onsular Correspondence, 1836, Bryan to Burnet, May 18, 1836. Texas
5Austin, Archer and Wharton to Bryan and Hall. Quoted from a
Vindication of the Conduct of the Agency of Texas in New Orleans. Wil-
liam Bryan and Edward Hall.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930, periodical, 1930; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/m1/205/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.