Consuls are essential to American foreign relations. Although they may not be as flashy or as powerful as an Ambassador like Thomas Jefferson or John Quincy Adams, they’re often the go-to people when an American gets in trouble abroad or when a trade deal needs to get done.
Consuls operate in cities and towns throughout the world, helping to advance American interests and maintain good relations with their host countries, all while helping you replace your lost passport.
Much has changed about the consular service since the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when a consul could earn fees for his services, such as getting you out of a scrape with the local authorities
But as today’s guests demonstrates, consuls were and are the backbone of American diplomacy.
Dr. Abby Mullen joins Jim Ambuske to discuss her work on American consuls in the early Republic and her podcast, Consolation Prize, a show dedicated to telling the stories of these consuls, and the wider world in which they lived.
Mullen is Term Assistant Professor of History at George Mason University where she is also one of the key members of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.
About Our Guest:
Abby Mullen holds a PhD in history from Northeastern University (2017). Her dissertation, "Good Neighbourhood with All: Conflict and Cooperation in the First Barbary War, 1801-1805," investigates how the U.S. Navy forged international connections in the Mediterranean during the First Barbary War.Mullen is the PI on Tropy, a Mellon Foundation-funded software development project. She is also technical lead on All the Appalachian Trails, a project to create an interactive map of the history of the Appalachian Trail over the last 100 years. Mullen teaches digital history courses at George Mason University.
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