The American Consul - A History of the United States Consular Service 1776–1924
Publisher: New Academia
This definitive study of the U.S. Consular Service examines its history from the Revolutionary War until its integration with the Foreign Service in 1924.
As a British colony, Americans relied on the British consular system to take care of their sailors and merchants. But after the Revolution they scrambled to create an American service. While the American diplomatic establishment was confined to the world’s major capitals, U.S. consular posts proliferated to most of the major ports where the expanding American merchant marine called.
Mostly untrained political appointees, each consul was a lonely individual relying on his native wits to provide help to distressed Americans. Appointments were often given to accomplished authors, with notable members including Nathaniel Hawthorne, James Fennimore Cooper, William Dean Howells, Bret Harte, and the cartoonist Thomas Nast.
Briefly traces the history of consuls from their creation in Ancient Egypt, this volume sheds light on the significant roles American consuls played throughout history, including in the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, and the Spanish-American War. This second edition continues the narrative to cover World War I, the Greek disaster in Turkey, and the early years of the Weimar Republic.