French Consulate General, San Francisco

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Consulate-General of France in San Francisco
Consulat Général de France à San Francisco
Location San Francisco CA
Address 88 Kearny Street - 94108
Ambassador Pauline Carmona

The Consulate General of France in San Francisco is a consular representation of the French Republic in the United States. Its jurisdiction covers Northern California, North of Nevada, and the following states: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Pacific Islands under American jurisdiction (Guam and American Samoa).[1] The Consulate is currently located near the French quarter of San Francisco, on 88 Kearny Street.

Under the authority of the Minister of European and Foreign Affairs, the Consulate General of France is responsible for the protection and administrative affairs of French nationals settled or traveling within the American Northwest.

The Consulate provides many services to the French community and those who desire to voyage to France.

Consular Services[edit]

Visas[edit]

A visa allows a foreigner and non-European Union member, to enter and travel temporarily within French territory. The visa services are open:

  • Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
  • And on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm (closed in the afternoon).[2]

The Chancellery[edit]

The chancellery (open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm) provides all of administrative services to French citizens abroad. It is necessary to contact the chancellery as soon as your documents have been lost or stolen, regarding the renewal of passports or to obtain scholarships, grants, or other scholar financial aides. This service establishes itself as a direct interface between migrants and their nation of origin.[3] The Chancellery regularly organizes consular missions within the jurisdiction to assist and support French citizens abroad.[4]

Cultural Services[edit]

The headquarters of Cultural Services of the French Embassy is based in New York.[5] However, The Consulate General of France in San Francisco, like all 10 of the French Consulates in the United States, possess a cultural service department that satisfies the following missions:

  • Encourage French cultural productions by helping professionals and artists in the United States,
  • Promote the French educational system by managing the careers of French teachers, professors, and research workers in the United States, establishing guidance for students and parents, organizing national exams,
  • Accompany students regarding to their university transfers,
  • Inform students and professionals returning to France of procedures to follow, like producing the necessary contacts for their job,
  • Support all possible efforts towards artistic events, cultural establishments, and higher education.[6]

Scientific Services[edit]

This service, shared by consulates of San Francisco and Los Angeles, is in charge of maintaining a watchful eye on sciences and technology, by developing an international scientific cooperation and contributing to the promotion of French science and technologies in the United States.[7]

Press and Communication Services[edit]

This represents the direction of Communication and of “Porte-parolat”(DCP) of the Minister of European and Foreign Affairs.[8] Its mission include:

  1. To inform the public and the press about France, its institutions and its foreign policy and to respond to demands and enquiries,
  2. To inform the Minister of Foreign Affairs and through it, French authorities, about the primary political, economic and social events occurring within the jurisdiction,
  3. To organize information for the French and foreign public through the web site of the Consulate General,
  4. To establish and develop privileged contacts with the press within the circumscription, in order to present and explain France’s position in regards to foreign policy.(Attention: the Press service is not the “spokesman” of France)
  5. To monitor the image projected of France in the local media and to correct, if needed, informational errors by using the right of reply.

France Abroad[edit]

The Consul General[edit]

The first French female consul general in the USA, Pauline Carmona started her San Francisco post in September 2014. Born July 8, 1973 in Paris, Pauline began her diplomatic career in 1997. She is familiar with the Bay Area having been an exchange student in Berkeley.[9]

Her first post was in the ex-Yugosalvia and then with the European Union. From 2003 to 2006 she was assigned to Hong Kong. From 2010 to 2012 she worked at Quai d'Orsay in Paris.[10]

Honorary Consuls[edit]

As a whole of the consular jurisdiction (nearly 4 million km²), the honorary consuls relieves the actions of the Consulate within the states of the Northwest. Usually, they legalize certain administrative procedures and directly collaborating with the Consulate General. However, they can not provide passports, identification cards or create official registration (documents such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, or death certificates).[11]

Current honorary Consuls:[12]

  1. Alaska - Mrs. Nathalie Novik
  2. California - Mrs. Jane Wheaton
  3. Guam - Mrs. Joëlle Wainer
  4. Hawaii - Mrs. Patricia Lee
  5. Idaho - Mrs. Gabrielle Applequist
  6. Montana - Mrs. Chantal Davoine-Moser
  7. Nevada - Mrs. Aurélie Delaissez-Forstall
  8. Oregon - Mrs. Claudine Fischer
  9. Utah - Mrs. Marie-Hélène Glon
  10. Washington - Mr. Jack Cowan
  11. Wyoming - Mrs. Séverine Murdoch

French Presence[edit]

The Consulate General collaborates regularly with numerous French associations and organizations abroad.[13]

Assistance for New Residents[edit]

The Press and Communications service provides a guide to help French citizens who wish to settle in the region of the Bay Area (“le Petit Débrouillard”).[14]

France in California[edit]

California, French territory?[edit]

Jean-François de la Pérouse

On September 15, 1789, Jean-François de La Pérouse drops anchor in Monterey Bay and then, marking the first official French presence in California. The explorer collected precious geographic and scientific goods from the region, boasting its " enormous resources " and strategic position. The French naturalist and botanist, Eugène Duflos de Mofras, was sent to the Pacific coast during the 1840s and published his book in which he depicts a vast region with a population of merely 4,000 people.[15]

The American West coast particularly interested the king, Louis-Philippe I, who had hoped to rebuild the great French empire before 1763.[16] The summon of Louis Gasquet as Consul General of Monterey in November 1843, illustrates a type of political offensive by the government of the time. This unexpected presence worried American and Mexican authorities who struggled for the monopoly of the region. France was the first country to have official representation in California and Gasquet, aware of the predominant position of France, pushed the government to send naval forces as soon as possible. Refusing to recognize the sovereignty of Sloate and Stockton, established during the American independence from England, Gasquet was imprisoned for 51 days (in reality, a sentinel was placed in front of his home, preventing him from completing his consular mission).

After an exchange of diplomatic letters, Louis Gasquet was finally released and replaced by Jacob Moerenhout in October 1846. Preserving the interests of his citizens and observing the turbulent behavior of his neighbors, Moernhout created a region favorable to French immigrants. He settled in the Consulate of Monterey, situated by the sea: " a spacious house with a beautiful rose garden and orchards".[17]

The French community of San Francisco[edit]

San Francisco 1860
The city of San Francisco in 1860

When San Francisco was still called Yerba Buena ("the good herb"), only three French nationals were recorded among 800 inhabitants.[18] However, the rapidly growing population (23,000 inhabitants in 1852) enticed the government of President Louis Napoleon Bonaparte to establish the French Consulate in San Francisco, the new economic capital of the region. France already had a consular agent that exercised his duties until the arrival of the first Consul General, Mr. Patrice Dillion, on July 22, 1850.[19] Unable to settle in a city still under construction, the Consul accepted the hospitality of a damp French ship on the bay. Sometime later, he decided to take residence on the corner of Jackson and Mason.

The position of Consul General of France in San Francisco was significant because it introduced the most important diplomatic representation in all of the Western United States. According to Jehanne Biétry-Sallinger, California consisted of 352,000 inhabitants, of which 28,000 were French, almost 8% of the total population.[20] The principal mission of the consulate at the time was to provide emergency assistance to new immigrants. When they arrived in this faraway and unknown region, their first stop was the consulate, to receive information and money to settle and work in the mines. San Francisco was an unsafe city and brawls often broke out between French and foreign miners. The Consul had to quickly flee to the hinterlands to escape being hung by his fellow citizens, as in Placerville in 1853. Moreover, the Consul organized numerous public ceremonies in honor of events that affected France, such as the storming of Sebastopol in 1855.

This troubled period saw the development of a united and dynamic French community that grew each day as a result of boats shipping migrants bound for the "streets to gold". Most stayed and settled permanently: the erection of the church of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires in 1856 is the most striking example. Gradually, the community organized and founded restaurants, laundries, and theaters near Bush and Mason Street; the French quarter thus developed rapidly.

The Consulate General of France in San Francisco[edit]

After 1892, the consular office moved to 604 Commercial Street, next to the port within the Financial District. Documents of the time disclosed an exact description of the Consulate of France : " the neighborhood is modest, its entry is abrupt, but it seems as though there are enough serious motifs which have unfortunately been often criticized by the French colony and French voyagers in passing, the Consulate will be preserved here where it is. Insufficient funds for rent were administered to the chief of staff who then had to pay the remaining sum from his own reserves(…) in addition, our Consul would have received the authorization to renew the antique furniture that remained. It is necessary to include that the great majority of foreign consulates should not have a better status. The budget does not always measure up to amount expected.[21] "

San Francisco
San Francisco after the earthquake (1906)

The earthquake of 1906 in San Francisco ruined most French investments and the Consulate was completely destroyed. On April 20, 1906 a telegram addressed to the Quai d'Orsay reads, "The manager of our Consulate in San Francisco telegrams me with hopes to inform the Department that the Consulate is destroyed; the personnel is safe, the archives have stayed under the rubble.[22]" Little France therefore lost all its influence in local life. After the earthquake, the consulate settled at the Union Trust Building. Following the Second World War, that witnessed the succession of two Consuls to the same post (one representing Vichy France, the other liberated France), the Consulate installed at 690 Market Street.[23] After the war, the residence of the two Consulates would be closed and official receptions would be held just in front, in the Palace Hotel. By 1958, the Consulate moved to a more spacious location in a three story building on the corner of Bush and Taylor. During the 1970s, the Consulate acquired of a very beautiful residence on Jackson Street (bought in 1967), in Pacific Heights.[24] Sadly, the narrowness of the building and its miserable location, forced the Minister of Foreign Affairs to find a new local. It was after the construction of a modern building on 540 Bush Street (next to the church Notre-Dame-des-Victoires) that the Consulate installed in 1981.

In 2011 the consulate moved to the 6th floor of the modern office tower on 88 Kearny Street.

Annexe[edit]

Consuls General in San Francisco

1843-1846

Louis GASQUET (in Monterey)

1846-1850

Jacob.A MOEHRENHOUT (in Monterey)

1850-19 December 1856

Patrice DILLON

1857-19 April 1861

Frédéric-Abel GAUTIER

1861-9 June 1863

Antoine FOREST

1863-1er Jan.1864

Frédéric-Abel GAUTIER

1864-18 Nov.1867

Charles de CAZOTTE

1867-16 Nov.1868

J. BELCOUR

1868-13 Feb.1869

Charles de CAZOTTE

1869-25 June.1869

J. BELCOUR

1869-26 Jul.1875

Édouard BREUIL

1875-11 Dec.1875

J. BELCOUR

1876-30 Oct.1877

Antoine FOREST

1877-31 Oct.1880

Consul, Antoine FOREST

1880-28 Oct.1884

Auguste VAUVERT de MEAN

1884-1891

Edmond CARREY

1891-1892

Gustave-Auguste DELONGRAYE

1892-1898

Alexandre LAURENCE DE LALANDE

1898

TRUY (never arrived)

1898-1901

Adolphe DENIS de TROBRIAND

1901-1903

Auguste-Henri DALLEMAGNE

1903-1907

Etienne-Marie-Louis LANEL

11 avril 1903

The Consulate became a Consulate General

1907-1912

Henri-Antoine MEROU

1912-1915

Raphaël MONNET

1915-1924

Hippolyte-Charles-Julien NELTNER

1924-1931

Maurice HEILMANN

1931-1937

Yves MERIC de BELLEFON

1937-1941

Roger GAUCHERON

1941-1942

Claude BREART de BOISANGER

November 1942

The Consulate General is closed.

1943-1945

Charles-Simon de LESSART

1945-1946

Jacques BAEYENS

1946-1948

Raoul BERTRAND

1949-1951

Jean VYAU de LAGARDE

1952-1955

Louis de Guiringaud

1956-1960

Robert LUC

1961-1966

Pierre BASDEVANT

1967-1971

Claude BATAULT

1972-1976

Emmanuel de CASTEJA

1977-1978

Pierre MATHIVET de la VILLE de MIRMONT

1979-1981

Pierre Brochand

1982-1985

Gérard ERRERA

1986-1990

Pierre VIAUX

1991-1994

Yves ROE d'ALBERT

1995-1996

Alain LE GOURRIEREC

1997-1999

André PARANT

2000-2002

Gérard Coste

2003-2007

Frédéric DESAGNEAUX

2007-2010

Pierre-François MOURIER

2010–2014

Romain SERMAN

2014–present

Pauline CARMONA

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Circonscription consulaire de San Francisco" (in French). Consulat général de France à San Francisco. 
  2. ^ http://www.consulfrance-sanfrancisco.org/spip.php?rubrique200
  3. ^ http://www.consulfrance-sanfrancisco.org/spip.php?rubrique201
  4. ^ http://www.consulfrance-sanfrancisco.org/spip.php?article957#Tournees-consulaires
  5. ^ http://www.frenchculture.org/
  6. ^ http://www.consulfrance-sanfrancisco.org/spip.php?rubrique192
  7. ^ http://www.consulfrance-sanfrancisco.org/spip.php?rubrique140
  8. ^ http://www.consulfrance-sanfrancisco.org/spip.php?article955
  9. ^ "San Francisco accueille sa première consule". Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "Pauline Carmona : Consule de France à San Francisco". Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  11. ^ http://www.consulfrance-sanfrancisco.org/spip.php?article957#Les-consuls-honoraires
  12. ^ http://www.consulfrance-sanfrancisco.org/spip.php?article957
  13. ^ http://www.consulfrance-sanfrancisco.org/spip.php?article348
  14. ^ http://www.consulfrance-sanfrancisco.org/spip.php?article996
  15. ^ DUFLOS de MOFRAS Eugène, Exploration du territoire de l’Orégon, des Californies et de la mer Vermeille, exécutée pendant les années 1840, 1841 et 1842, Paris - Arthus Bertrand, 1844.
  16. ^ Treaty of Paris.
  17. ^ According to the article of Raoul H. Blanquet in the book Notre centenaire of Jehanne Biétry-Sallinger (1949).
  18. ^ Population estimated in 1847.
  19. ^ Mr. Guys from November 1847 to July 1850.
  20. ^ According to a census of 1853, published in the book Notre Centenaire(1949).
  21. ^ LEROY and PARILLAUD, San Francisco et sa Colonie Française, Carle Imprimeur, 1895.
  22. ^ Telegram furnished by the archives of the French Foreign Affairs Minister in Nantes, to the Press and Communication Service of the Consulate of France in San Francisco
  23. ^ According to Miss Juliette Sabatou, secretary in the Consulate from 1946 to 1975
  24. ^ Information furnished by the Quai d'Orsay to the Consulate of France

External links[edit]