Who was the first U.S. Consul?
William Palfrey of Massachusetts was the first U.S. consul. Prior to his appointment as Consul to France on November 4, 1780, he had been a lieutenant colonel and Paymaster-General of the Continental Army. He was lost at sea on his way to his post. His name is the first on the memorial plaque in the lobby of the Department of State that honors U.S. diplomats who lost their lives under heroic or tragic circumstances.