The Foreign Service Journal, November 2023

54 NOVEMBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL The U.S. consulate in St. Pierre was among the first 10 diplomatic and consular posts opened by the young North American republic. The consulate was formally attached to the U.S. embassy in France, and its district evolved over time to finally include Martinique, Guadeloupe (with St. Martin and St. Barthélemy), and French Guiana. After World War II, the consular mission was elevated several times to the rank of consulate general, which it had when it was closed. The State Department’s April 1984 “Martinique Post Report” noted that the American community in Martinique was “small” and described the official functions of the consular staff as follows: “The principal officer has traditionally played a fairly visible role in local official, business, and cultural circles; ceremonial and representational responsibilities are demanding. In relation to its size, the Consulate General receives a significant number of U.S. Navy ship visits and individual visits of U.S. officials, which usually require official representation. The consul general has certain representational responsibilities; the vice consul has relatively few.” Positions at the consulate were highly valued, according to testimonies. John J. Maresca, for example, who was appointed consul general in 1977, spoke in his 2016 memoirs of a “dreamlike assignment” and eloquently expressed the disappointment he felt when his assignment was revoked in extremis. From left: Naval observer Commander Ernest J. Blankenship, outgoing Vice Consul Vinkler Harwood Blocker, and incoming Vice Consul Robert Sheehan, at the U.S. consulate in Fort-de-France, on July 18, 1941. ACME/FK (PHOTO PROPERTY OF THE AUTHOR)