The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973 Page: 16
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
seen it otherwise, however, and volunteered for the duty. A bachelor
from an obscure family with no fortune except that of his own mak-
ing, he was then a junior member of the French legation in Wash-
ington, D.C.8 If France decided to recognize Texas on the basis of
his recommendation, he perceived not only that he might expect to
direct its legation there-a promotion for him in the diplomatic
corps-but also that he would be in a position to tap the resources
of the American West to his personal advantage.
From the very moment of his arrival in Texas he demonstrated a
willingness to subordinate the performance of his public duty to his
private interest. To give the French government a favorable impres-
sion of the new republic, he submitted a series of reports that, even
after making all possible allowance for error arising from ignorance
or naivete, must be recognized as deliberately contrived falsehoods.
Not only did he exceed other foreign travellers in Texas in over-
estimating the population, financial stability, and economic resources
of the young republic, but he misrepresented his movements and
conjured up fictitious trips to the interior to lend credibility and
substance to his exaggerated estimates and predictions.' These reports
produced their intended effect in the French foreign ministry. France
recognized the republic in September, 1839, and appointed Dubois
de Saligny to direct its legation in Texas.
On his return to Texas in 1840, the new charge d'affaires soon
disclosed the audacious scheme by which he intended to exert his
leverage as representative of France to take unto himself and his
compatriots some of the alleged riches of the American West. Part
of this enterprise was to be the creation of a "Franco-Texian" trading
company which was designed to divert the Santa Fe trade through
Texas and to forestall the "Yankee" traders leaving from Missouri.
Several French merchants, whom he had recruited before he came to
Texas, were to provide financial credit. Dubois de Saligny, as charge
d'affaires of the king, was to obtain the promise of official support
from the French government and a grant of a trade monopoly from
the Republic of Texas.
SInformation on the career of Dubois de Saligny is taken from his dossier personnel,
Archives du Minist&re des Affaires Etrangbres, Paris. References to these archives are here-
after cited as AMAE.
'See the reports of Dubois de Saligny from Texas to Mol6, Nos. 1-9, February o2-May
1, 1839, and to the Duke of Dalmatia, No. io, June 24, 1839, Barker, (trans. and ed.),
The French Legation in Texas, I, 52-103.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973, periodical, 1973; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101202/m1/34/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.