The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 425
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Dubois de Saligny and the Republic of Texas
macy. Declaring the honor of France at stake, he demanded the sum-
mary punishment of Bullock. When the Lamar government refused
to punish the hotelkeeper without due process of the law, Saligny
rashly broke diplomatic relations with the Republic and left the
The episode might simply have passed for the bit of comic opera
that it was if it had not been thought to have had important reper-
cussions. Virtually every secondary account of the history of the Texas
Republic holds the Frenchman responsible for the failure of Texas
to obtain a loan of five million dollars that James Hamilton, Texas
loan commissioner, was trying to negotiate in France at the time of
the so-called "Pig War." Frustrated in his attempts to have Bullock
punished and furious at the failure of his Franco-Texienne Bill, an
elaborate colonization scheme, in Congress, Saligny is thought to
have vented his spite by advising the French government not to
guarantee or to facilitate negotiation of the loan. His malign influence
was believed to have been conclusive in the decision of France, as he
was supposed to have been the brother-in-law of the French minister
of finances, Jean Georges Humann. The historical inference has been
that when Humann received the spiteful and adverse reports from
his in-law in Texas, he accordingly refused to guarantee the loan and
discouraged French capitalists from subscribing to it.2
Until very recently our knowledge of this episode has been frag-
mentary and has stemmed entirely from Texas sources. We have been
almost completely ignorant of the background and career of the tem-
peramental Saligny, and we have never known much of what he re-
ported to his foreign minister about his mission to Texas. Now, how-
ever, copies of the massive file of correspondence between the charge
d'affaires and his government are available to the Texas public in the
municipal library of Austin, thanks to the enterprise of its staff."
2See Henderson Yoakum, History of Texas From Its First Settlement in 1685 to Its
Annexation to the United States in 1846 (2 vols.; New York, 1856), II, 317; Herbert P.
Gambrell, Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (Dallas, 1934), 28o; Joseph William Schmitz,
Texas Statecraft, 1836-1845 (San Antonio, 1941), 161; Charles W. Brown, "Funds for the
Republic: A Saga of Wine and Swine," East Texas Historical Journal, IV (1966), 112-113;
Bernice Barnett Denton, "Count Alphonso de Saligny and the Franco-Texienne Bill,"
Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XLV (October, 1941), 146; Asa Kyrus Christian,
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (Austin, 1922), 31; Edmund Thornton Miller, A Financial
History of Texas (Austin, 1916), 61. The last three sources cited above omit the reference
to Humann as being the brother-in-law of the charge d'affaires, but hold the diplomat's
adverse reports responsible for the failure of the loan.
'For a description of this correspondence, preserved in the archives of the French
foreign ministry in Paris, and how it became available, see the author's article, "The
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/m1/379/: accessed August 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.