Wilbur J. Carr
|United States Minister to Czechoslovakia|
July 13, 1937 – April 6, 1939
|President||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Preceded by||J. Butler Wright|
|Succeeded by||Anthony J. Biddle Jr.|
|United States Assistant Secretary of State|
July 1, 1924 – July 28, 1937
|President||Calvin Coolidge |
Franklin D. Roosevelt
|Preceded by||Leland B. Harrison|
|Succeeded by||George S. Messersmith|
|Spouse(s)||Mary Eugenia Crane;|
Wilbur John Carr (1870-1942) was an American diplomat. He was a leader in building a professional American diplomatic corps, cutting it loose from domestic politics. He was named one of three Great Civil Servants, along with William Hunter, and Alvey Augustus Adee.
Early life and education
He was born in Taylorsville, Ohio. He attended College in Kentucky, graduating from the Commercial College of the University of Kentucky in 1889. After taking a shorthand course, he became a stenographer and accountant at Peekskill Military Academy while continuing his education.
On June 1, 1892, he was appointed a clerk in the Department of State. Ten years later, he became Chief of the Consular Bureau, then Chief Clerk of the Department. On November 30, 1909, he became Director of the Consular Service, an office created specifically for him, and which he held through June 30, 1924. He helped establish Civil Service reform, leading to the Rogers Act.
Carr's most prominent success in bringing professionalism to the foreign service was achieving passage of the Lodge Act of April 1906. It made officers of the Consular Service careerists on regular salaries, rather than amateurs who depended on collecting fees from applications. He worked with President Theodore Roosevelt on the executive order of June 1906 which ended the patronage system of appointing consuls for reasons of domestic politics, and instead required promotions by merit through competitive examinations. Additional laws of 1915 and 1931 created the Division of Foreign Service Personnel, of which Carr was the first chairman. He personally drafted the critical Rogers Act of 1924 which united the two rival services-- consular and diplomatic, into an integrated Foreign Service. He helped design the quota system of the immigration act of 1924, giving significant powers to consuls to issue immigration visas. The promotion of American commerce was a high priority, which he emphasized to consuls. He often found himself in opposition from the old-line diplomats in the State Department.
- "The American consular service." American Journal of International Law 1.4 (1907): 891-913.
- "W. J. Carr Discusses Consular Service". The Harvard Crimson. March 21, 1921.
- "What Your Consuls Do". American Consular Bulletin. 4 (1): 3–5, 20–25. January 1922. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
- "Three Great Civil Servants : William Hunter, Alvey Augustus Adee, and Wilbur J. Carr" (PDF). Usdiplomacy.org. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957". FamilySearch. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
- Werking, Richard Hume (2015). The Master Architects: Building the United States Foreign Service, 1890-1913. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 88–120. ISBN 9780813165127. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
- 104th Annual Report of the Regents. New York: University of the State of New York. 1892. p. 1974.
- Young, John W., ed. (June 1922). "Hail to the Chief!". American Consular Bulletin. 4 (6): 155–159, 172–175. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
- "Department of State Personalities of Note". State.gov. 2004-01-01. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "Wilbur John Carr - People - Department History - Office of the Historian". History.state.gov. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- Peter Bridges, "Mr Carr goes to Prague." Diplomacy and Statecraft 8.3 (1997): 187-198.
- Bruce W. Jentleson and Thomas G. Paterson, eds. Encyclopedia of US foreign relations. (1997) 1:219.
- "Wilbur J. Carr Papers : A Finding Aid to the Collection in the Library of Congress" (PDF). Memory.loc.gov. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
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