The Foreign Service Journal, March 2014

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MARCH 2014 49 AFSA NEWS Nearly five years ago, I wrote in The Foreign Service Journal about my discovery of three U.S. diplomats who died in the line of duty under “tragic or heroic circumstances,” but their names did not appear on the AFSA Memo- rial Plaques in the C Street lobby of the Harry S Truman Building (“Russ and I,” June 2009). Since that time, I have found an additional 32 names. Almost all of them predate the establishment of the Foreign Service in 1924. Because the department did not maintain a list of those who died in the line of duty, I turned to the ProQuest His- torical Newspapers database and Google Books to find almost everyone listed below. All of the people I have found died either through violence, accidents or due to diseases. Perhaps not surprisingly, diseases caused the deaths of by far the greatest number. Yellow fever claimed many of them, including John Howden, consul to Bermuda, who died of yellow fever in 1853 after merely 19 days in office. Yellow fever also caused the deaths of William Little, consul to Panama City, on Jan. 29, 1867; Louis Prevost, consul to Guayaquil, on May 23, 1867; Elphus Rogers, consul to Veracruz, on Aug. 1, 1881; William Stapp, consul to Pernambuco, on April 13, 1860; and James Torbut, consul at St. Thomas, on Dec. 26, 1858. Various other fevers caused the deaths of numer- ous appointees, including Samuel Shaw, first consul to Canton, who died at sea on May 30, 1794. Fever also claimed the lives of Alexan- der Clark, consul in Monrovia, on May 31, 1891; Samuel Collings, consul at Tangier, on June 15, 1855; William McCracken, consul to La AFSAMemorial Plaque: The Forgotten, Found BY JASON VORDERSTRASSE, CHIEF, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS SECTION, U.S, CONSULATE GENERAL TIJUANA Union, San Salvador, on July 7, 1857; Seth Phelps, minister to Peru, on June 24, 1885; and William Tudor, chargé d’affaires in Rio de Janeiro, on March 9, 1830. Typhoid claimed the life of Daniel Brent, consul to Paris, who died on Jan. 31, 1841; cholera felled Joseph Cosag- eny, vice consul in Barcelona, who died in November 1865, and William Irvin, consul to Amoy (Xiamen), who died from the disease on Sept. 9, 1865. Dysentery took the lives of Edward Ely, consul to Bombay (Mumbai), who died on Jan. 17, 1858; Hiram Lott, consul to Managua, who died on June 6, 1895; Alexander McKee, consul to Panama City, who died Sept. 3, 1865; and James Thornton, chargé d’affaires to Peru and Bolivia, who died on Jan. 25, 1838. Accidents involving automobiles or trains caused the deaths of Constantine Corafa, vice consul in Athens, died in March 1929; Henry H. Ford, consul general in Frankfurt, died on March 9, 1965; Allen Francis, consul to St. Thomas and Port Stan- ley, Canada, died on Aug. 4, 1887; and James Parsons, Jr., consul general in Mexico City, died on Dec. 5, 1905. Boating accidents and shipwrecks were responsible for the loss of William Ashby, consul at Colon, who died on Jan. 17, 1898; and Robert Sterry, consul to La Rochelle, who died in a shipwreck off the coast of Long Island while returning from France on Jan. 17, 1820. George Atcheson Jr. an FSO assigned to Gen. MacArthur’s staff in occu- pied Japan, died in a plane crash between Kwajalein and Hawaii on Aug. 17, 1947. Similar accidents claimed the lives of George Henderson, consul in Dhahran, who died on April 15, 1948, and Carlin Treat, vice consul to Casa- blanca, who died on Oct. 10, 1946. Several appointees died by violent means. These include William Baker, consul in Guaymas, Mexico, who was killed by “Apaches” in Mazat- lan on Dec. 20, 1862; Henri- cus C. J. Heusken, secretary at the U.S. legation in Edo (Tokyo), who was assassi- nated by anti-foreign samurai on Jan. 16, 1861; Henry Saw- yer, consul in Paramaribo, who was murdered by a sailor in his custody on May 7, 1877; and William Stuart, vice con- sul in Batum, who was shot on May 20, 1906. n Note from AFSA: These names may be added to AFSA’s Memorial Plaque in the future. The AFSA awards committee is discussing the possibility of establishing a virtual memorial plaque in the new Museum of American Diplomacy. PHOTOBYDONNAAYERST