Who were the first professional consular appointees?
The Act of August 18, 1856 provided for the appointment of up to 25 consular pupils, who would take an examination before their appointment and be assigned to consulates at the discretion of the President. This provision was repealed during the next session of Congress. On June 20, 1864, Congress authorized 13 consular clerks. Between 1864 and 1896, 64 consular clerks were appointed. Only 8 were promoted to consul; most preferred a small ($1,000) salary and security to a larger one of uncertain duration.