The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 343
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French Influence on Annexation of Texas
lack of knowledge as to the extent to which Great Britain would
go in opposing annexation. The French foreign minister sug-
gested a formal protest in advance, in which France would mani-
fest the most pronounced opposition to the violent and forcible
annexation of Texas to the United States. He also believed that
even should Texas spontaneously declare itself in favor of annex-
ation, France would not be able to look with indifference on its
accomplishment. These directions were qualified by granting
Pageot complete discretion.-
In a dispatch of April 13, 1844, Pageot gave his government a
comprehensive report of his actions following the receipt of the
instructions. He informed his government that the United States
did not then contemplate nor had it contemplated at any time
the forcible annexation of Texas. The French representative also
reported that his British colleague had not received any instruc-
tions to protest in a formal manner against the annexation project.
The minister, therefore, had decided against making a formal
protest as he did not believe that his government intended to
oppose the project more vigorously than Great Britain. He also
expressed the belief that such a protest unsupported by intima-
tions of further action would be ineffective. Pageot did not neg-
lect, however, to express in conversation with the secretary of
state and other officials of the government the very great interest
of France in the matter. He reported that a treaty of annexation
had already been signed but he doubted whether it would be
ratified by the Senate.2
Pageot's interpretation of his instructions conformed closely to
the desires of his government. This is evident from the fact that
supplementary instructions prepared for Pageot on April 24, be-
fore the French government had received Pageot's dispatch of
April 13, were in accord with the minister's actions. In this
communication Guizot stated that the question was more ad-
vanced that he had supposed. The information, which he had
received after the instructions of February 10 had been prepared,
indicated that the Texans now approved of annexation. While
France remained disposed to oppose annexation, Guizot did not
'Frangois P. G. Guizot to A. J. Y. Pageot, No. 10, February 10, 1844, in
Archives au Ministere des Affaires Etrangires, Etats Unis, C. Unless
otherwise indicated, all references are to this source.
2Pageot to Guizot, No. 46, April 13, 1844.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940, periodical, 1940; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/m1/367/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.