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Thomas Oliver Larkin; United States Consulate in California
This is the story of the first and only United States consulate in California. Thomas Oliver Larkin served in four different official capacities under the United States government -- as United States consul in California from 1844 to 1848; as confidential agent of the government from 1846 to 1848; as navy agent from 1847 to 1849; and as a naval store keeper from 1847 to 1848. Rumors of war with Mexico over Texas and later with England over the Oregon boundary reach California.
When Larkin became consul for the United States, the US consular service was on an uncertain basis both as to law and usage. The law establish the U.S. consular service passed Congress in 1792 with various amendments including those of 1803, 1818 and 1840. The chief duties during Larkin’s term were to protect the general interests and rights of US citizens within the consular jurisdiction; to take charge of the estates of citizens dying abroad without legal representatives; to succor destitute seamen and provide for their return home; to care for stranded vessels; and to authenticate various papers. The use of the United States consuls for the compilation of commercial reports to aid in the extension of commerce was not developed until about 1853 and thereafter.
Internet Archive; Library of the University of California
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"1910 - The United States Consulate in California" (2019). Miscellaneous Documents and Reports. 89.