The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 428
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the greater in that he had been sent to Texas on a fact-finding mission.
He had specific instructions to observe and collect accurate data which
would serve as the basis for the decision of his government as to
whether or not to recognize the independence of the new state. Yet
he did not hesitate to write a lengthy report on his impressions of a
land that he had never seen. The list of incidents of this type could
be easily extended.
The story that Dubois de Saligny was the brother-in-law of Humann,
the French finance minister, appeared in print for the first time in the
Austin City Gazette of September 1, 1841. It was picked up by the
Austin Centinel the next day and since then has worked its way into
many secondary accounts of the history of the Republic. Its origin is
obscure. It may have been a barroom brag of Dubois de Saligny him-
self. Or it might have been the invention of one of his friends or even
one of his enemies, crying out against alleged foreign influence on the
government of the Republic. However it began, certainly Dubois de
Saligny did not try to set the record straight. If he had, he would have
explained that of his three living sisters, one was a spinster, one the
wife of Jean Calpet, and one the wife of Antoine Paul Badin, good
but obscure bourgeois. Humann, the finance minister, was then a
widower. His former wife had been not a Dubois de Saligny, but a
lady by the name of Barbe Madeleine Heiligenthal.o The very idea
of a Dubois-Humann match was improbable, in any case. Humann
was one of France's most distinguished statesmen, a peer of France,
a man of great wealth, and also twenty-nine years older than Dubois
de Saligny. At this time, the French charge d'affaires was poor and
occupied a lowly position in the diplomatic corps, without connec-
tions. Furthermore he had come from an obscure family. The rumor
'The City Gazette asserted: "In conclusion, we would remark that M. de Saligny .. .
is brother-in-law of M. Humann, the Minister of Finance of France. ... The connection
thus existing between M. de Saligny and a member of the French Cabinet accounts for
all the obstacles thrown by that government in the way of Messrs. Lafitte [Laffitte] and
Co.'s fulfillment of their contract for the Texas loan." Austin City Gazette, September 1,
1841. For some of the secondary works that accepted this statement at face value, see
footnote 2 above.
'0An extract from the Acte de Dics of Jean Georges Humann reads: "Du 25 avril
1842, A une heure du soir, acte de d6dcs du Sieur Jean Georges Humann, ministre des
finances, Pair de France, Grand officier de la Legion d'honneur etc .... ag6 de 62 ans,
veuf de dame Barbe Madeleine Heiligenthal [italics mine] le dit d6funt n6 It Strasbourg
(Bas Rhin) et d6c6d6 t Paris, en son, rue de Castiglione No. 1, ce jour 'dui t midi."
Fichier Dlchs (Archives de la Seine, Paris), V. 6E. 1759. For the information on the
sisters of Dubois de Saligny, the author is again indebted to the research of Me Maurice
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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/m1/382/: accessed December 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.