Season 1

Aug. 6, 2020

Consolation Prize: Trailer

Consolation Prize is a podcast about the history of the United States in the world through the eyes of its consuls.
Sept. 1, 2020

Episode 1: Burroughing into Mexico

In this episode, we travel to Vera Cruz, Mexico, to learn about how American consuls helped American businessmen assert their rights in contradiction of Mexican law.
Sept. 22, 2020

Episode 2: An Impressive Consul in Liverpool

In this episode, we meet Liverpool consul James Maury, whose job included helping American sailors who had been shipwrecked, were out of work--or were kidnapped by the British navy!
Oct. 7, 2020

Bonus Episode 1: What is a consul, anyway?

In this bonus episode, we delve into questions like "What is a consul?" "How do you get a job as a consul?" and other things. Listen to this if you feel adrift when listening to our regular episodes!
Guest: Nicole Phelps
Oct. 13, 2020

Episode 3: Havana Hard Time as Consul

In this episode, we travel to Havana, Cuba to meet the consul Nicholas Trist, as he struggles between the dilemma of morals and money.
Nov. 3, 2020

Episode 4A: A Webb of Connections, Part 1

In this episode we meet Alexander Russell Webb, U.S. consul to Manila in the Philippines turned Muslim missionary to America.
Nov. 4, 2020

Episode 4B: A Webb of Connections, Part 2

In this episode we continue our story of Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb from his decision to resign as an American consul to his inauguration as an honorary consul-general for the Ottoman Empire!
Nov. 24, 2020

Episode 5: Uncertain Waters in Zanzibar

In this episode, we learn about Richard Waters who served as the first consul from the United States to Zanzibar.
Dec. 15, 2020

Episode 6: Making a Good First Empression

Within a year of the end of the American Revolution, the United States sent a ship to China, where the government hoped Americans could start a robust (and lucrative) trade.
Dec. 21, 2020

Bonus Mini-Episode 1: Yeah, That Poinsett

In this bonus holiday episode, we explore the consular life of Joel Roberts Poinsett, everyone's favorite holiday historical figure.
Jan. 26, 2021

Episode 7: Selah in Jerusalem

We go to Jerusalem to find out more about Selah Merrill, the longest-serving consul there before 1948.
Feb. 16, 2021

Episode 8: Eden to Ashes

In this episode, we venture into the tragic story of the 1902 volcanic eruption of Mount Pelée on the island of Martinique. Consul, Thomas Prentis and his family were among the 30,000 victims of this natural disaster.
March 9, 2021

Episode 9: Victims of Independence

James Leander Cathcart and Richard O'Brien were uniquely suited to their jobs, from one point of view: they had spent a lot of time in the region they were consuls to--as captives of the ruler during the previous decade.
Guest: Brett Goodin
March 30, 2021

Episode 10: Worthy of Notice

In today’s episode, we take a look at some people connected to the consular service who are worthy of notice: the women.
April 6, 2021

Bonus Episode: Interview with Maura Harty

In this bonus episode, we learn about the much more recent history of women in the consular service, as Abby interviews Maura Harty, a career Foreign Service officer.
Guest: Maura Harty
April 20, 2021

Episode 11: Greener Pastures

In Episode 11, we explore the complicated, and sometimes tragic, life of Richard Greener, the first Black consul to a predominantly white post.
May 11, 2021

Episode 12: Unrecognizable Citizens

We've been to Mexico a few times this season, but we promised in the first episode that we'd return one last time, to talk about the relationship between Black Americans and the consuls in Mexico.
Aug. 17, 2021

Summer Episode: Cuisine, Consumption, and Consuls

In this bonus episode, we look back on the stories from season one with an eye for food.
Sept. 14, 2021

Summer Episode: Against the Grain

In this second installment of our summer series on food and consuls, we shift our gaze to look at food ways from the bottom-up.