The Years After and Further Research

In the years following Barclay and Fenwick, America’s consular network in France grew rapidly. Consulships would be established in Bayonne (1797), Brest (1797), Dunkirk (1794), La Rochelle (1791), Marseilles (1790), Morlaix (1794), and Rouen (1790)—and those are just the ones established before 1800.[1] 

Nowadays, the American consular network consists of only five posts outside of Paris: Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Rennes, and Strasbourg.[2] The number of American consulships and the services they provide has changed since the days of their formation, but the need for a network of American representatives overseas has not—over 200 years later.

 

For Further Research

There are a few authors who have done excellent work in this field.

Priscilla H. Roberts and Robert S. Roberts’ book Thomas Barclay: Consul in France, Diplomat in Barbary is a thorough biography of America’s first consul and the Franco-American diplomatic landscape at the time.

Richard Buel Jr.’s book Joel Barlow: American Citizen in a Revolutionary World is a similarly in-depth look at a consul who served primarily in Africa and was at the forefront of developing a diplomatic and trade connection between that continent and the United States.

For a thousand-foot view of America’s diplomatic corps over the generations, Walter Burges Smith’s America’s Diplomats and Consuls of 1776-1865: A Geographic and Biographic Dictionary of the Foreign Service from the Declaration of Independence to the End of the Civil War is a must-read. It is both an overview of the various kinds of posts that developed, both diplomatic and consular, and it contains a wealth of data of who served in what posts and when.

[1] Smith, Walter Burges. America’s Diplomats and Consuls of 1776-1865: A Geographic and Biographic Dictionary of the Foreign Service from the Declaration of Independence to the End of the Civil War. Center for the Study of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Dept. of State, Washington, D.C., 1986.

[2] United States Embassy in France. “Embassy and Consulates.” https://fr.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/ (accessed April 18, 2019)

The Years After and Further Research