Consulate History

Halifax was the first U.S. diplomatic presence established in British North America. Henry M. Morfit was initially appointed as a Consular Agent in July 1827. In 1833, the Consulate in Halifax officially opened with John Morrow serving as the first Consul. As the first U.S. consulate in British North America, it covered Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Upper Canada, Lower Canada, and Newfoundland.  In 1861, Abraham Lincoln appointed Mortimer M. Jackson of Wisconsin as Consul.  Jackson served in Halifax for 21 years and was instrumental in the seizure of approximately $3,000,000 worth of Confederate property during the American Civil War. His tenure also saw the redesignation of the post in Halifax to a Consulate General. At various times in the history of U.S.-Canada relations, the United States Government has maintained as many as seven consular posts in the region; however, at the turn of the 20th century, the U.S. reformed and professionalized its diplomatic and consular services.  The closing of posts in St. Pierre and Miquelon (1943), Saint John, New Brunswick (1970), and St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador (1976), and the subsequent 1986 closure of a consular agency in St. John’s, have concentrated all U.S. diplomatic functions for Atlantic Canada in Halifax.