Raising the Flag

America’s First Envoys in Faraway Lands

Peter Eicher

From China to Chile, Tripoli to Tahiti, Mexico to Muscat, Peter Eicher chronicles the experiences of the first American envoys responsible for officially establishing foreign relations and promoting America as a world power.
Publication date:
June 2018
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
Illustration :
40 illustrations
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612349701

Dimensions : 230 X 150 mm
This book is available


• While the domestic history of early America - how the Founding Fathers engineered a non-existent government—has been widely covered, no book has gone as in depth as Eicher's on early foreign affairs and diplomacy
• Touches on themes that still resonate in American foreign policy, such as trade deficits with China, Americans at war in the Middle East, and U.S. intervention in Latin America
• Profiles little-known political figures influential to American foreign diplomacy
• Draws on first-hand accounts, such as letters, diaries, and memoirs, many of which are previously unpublished or long out of print
• Focuses specifically on the formative years of American foreign diplomacy between the American Revolution and the Civil War - a time when communication was excruciatingly slow granting envoys more freedom to act on America's behalf
• A crossover work spanning both general and academic audiences
• Illustrates how the selection of envoys can influence the development of policy, for better or worse, and the impact that individuals have exerted on the course of history

Since her inception, America has promoted democracy both at home and abroad, seeking diplomatic relations further inland as well as across oceans. Little is known about these first envoys—until now. From China to Chile, Tripoli to Tahiti, Mexico to Muscat, Peter Eicher chronicles these first American envoys' experiences in foreign lands. Their stories, often stranger than fiction, are replete with intrigues, revolutions, riots, war, shipwrecks, swashbucklers, desperadoes, and bootleggers. The circumstances they faced are surprising precursors of today's headlines: Americans at war in the Middle East, intervention in Latin America, pirates off Africa, trade deficits with China. Their experiences combine to chart key trends in the development of early American foreign policy that continue to affect us today. Meticulously researched and based principally on unpublished sources, the book illuminates how American ideas, values, and power helped shape the modern world. The first Americans to raise the Stars and Stripes in distant ports faced hostile governments, physical privations, disease, isolation, and the daunting challenge of explaining American democracy to foreign rulers. Many suffered threats from tyrannical despots, some were held as slaves or hostages, others led foreign armies into battle. Some were heroes, some were scoundrels, and many perished far from home. From the American Revolution to the Civil War, Eicher profiles the characters influential to the formative period of American diplomacy and who would guide her first steps as a world power.