The French Legation State Historic Site in Austin began in 1841 as a private home for France’s representative to the Republic of Texas, Alphonse Dubois, after the French monarch officially recognized the Republic of Texas as a sovereign nation. Dubois was promoted to “chargé d’affaires,” a diplomat who headed an embassy in the absence of the ambassador, and established an official legation in Texas. When Dubois was unable to find a suitable house, he hired Thomas William “Peg Leg” Ward to design and build a more lavish residence. Construction began in September 1840 and was finished in the spring of 1841 but by the time of its completion, Dubois had left Austin after the incident known as the “Pig War.” The house went through a series of owners, including the Catholic Church, before it was purchased by Dr. Joseph Robertson in 1848. The Robertson family was the last and longest private owners of the property, which remained with their descendants until it was sold to the State of Texas in 1949. The state then placed the site under the custodianship of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas who operated the site as a house museum from 1956-2017. In 2017 the Texas Legislature transferred custodianship of the site to the Texas Historical Commission who undertook an extensive restoration of the historic home in 2019. Now that the restoration is complete, the historic structure and landscape provide a cultural destination where people from the surrounding neighborhoods can gather.
(Parking lot located at the corner of 9th and Embassy Drive)
802 San Marcos Street (map)
Tuesday- Saturday 11am-5pm
Free for a limited time