America - Albion's Orphan - A history of the conquest of Britain - 1760

History doesn't really have a protagonist - I think that's the model AHB is following.
If that was the case, the KnA would conquer California and Russian North America.

Their population is too low to sustain against the US, and all the Russian immigration to America is unjustified in the first place. The Russians are not that stupid. They don't even have the Baltic Ports, sending colonists to a place they can't properly defend doesn't make sense.

Russia can't send a single grenadier to defend Russian North America against American aggression.
 
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I think it's both a sense of being familiar with the OTL "Sea to Shining Sea" US borders and the straight-line border (as straight as it can be) separating the KoNA and Russian America being awkward.

Since the KoNA isn't trying to act against Russia in the Middle East and Anatolia, there would be no Great Game and less of a reason to go to war, but I can definitely see the KoNA-Russian America border being an unfriendly one.

I'm wondering on how much longer the Anahuac situation can exist. Anahuac is definitely living in borrowed time since they are being strangled by having no access to the Atlantic and they can only sell so much land to the KoNA until they either run out or decide to fold into either New Spain or the KoNA.

Edit: Pacific -> Atlantic
One can argue that the assorted Central American countries of OTL could not/should not have existed for long periods of history as they didn't have much of a base to the economy either. Anahuac is basically a geographically larger Honduras or Guatemala.


OTL USA could have conquered Honduras or Guatemala, just as this TL's Anahuac could be conquered by BNA but would it be desirable to seize what was largely useless land to America demographically dominated by non-English-speaking Catholics?

Seems this would cause more problems than it solved. I've alluded to the resistance to Catholic immigration. How would entire Dominions of Spanish Catholics be welcomed?

Similarly, New Spain could eventually reconquer Anahuac but would they want to conquer a million or two people who didn't want to be part of New Spain, especially as the Spanish Colonies from New Spain to Rio Plata were forcing Spain's hand at reform? How would a war of aggression to Anahuac be taken by the colonials?


Thanks for reading.
 
Chapter 300
1860

Culiacan, capital of Lycia Dominion


Governor-General Robert E. Lee would oversee the first Parliamentary election in the Dominion of Lycia. Over the past years, the Governor-General would see a bizarre wave of migrants extending beyond the typical American subjects. There were Jews (there was a small Jewish community in Virginia thus Lee was somewhat familiar), Copts (of which he knew nothing but apparently they held the Jews in bondage in the Bible), Mennonites and a few other peoples which Lee couldn't even pronounce.

Lee had been a popular governor, attempting to juggle the interests of the modest Spanish population of the region at the time with the new multi-lingual new arrivals. There were always complaints but the Spanish peasants appreciated getting the vote (though some may have preferred to rejoin Anahuac) and were outright delighted at getting free land (though much of the land was hardly arable).

Entire new towns were settled as a wave of migrants descended upon the territory. The region was mapped and surveyed. The first railroad track arrived in 1859.

Some of the locals encouraged Lee to run for the future Governor position (the Governor-General position would be abolished with Dominionhood) but Lee was not even remotely interested. Military governance was difficult enough. Having to pander to voters would be utterly exhausting.

Lee was happy to leave the new Dominion in another's hands. Upon the new Governor assuming office in 1861, Lee would be returning East. In truth, the aging soldier was considering retirement. But his old student from West Point, subordinate from years before and friend Abe Lincoln had somehow become President years ago and offered Lee his choice of Commandant of West Point or the second-in-command of the army behind Winfield Scott with fine salary and office in Manhattan.

The General looked forward to seeing his old friend again. But he knew better than to bring up Lincoln's name in the presence of the local commander of American forced (nominally under Lee's command), Colonel Jefferson Davis. Davis never forgave his old classmate Lincoln for beating him out for Sarah Taylor's hand all those years ago and remained bitter.

Lee was surprised that Lincoln dispatched a letter detailing Davis' promotion to Brigadier and putting him in command of the entire region's (Baetica, Lycia and Pamphylia) British American Army forces. It was a kind gesture but Lee knew Davis would not accept the Olive Branch.

The old soldier WAS happy that one of his primary civilian adjutants, Benito Juarez, had been elected to Parliament. Lee was sure that he would not be welcomed with open arms in Manhattan but affecting that was beyond his power.

Perhaps more humorously, another civilian aid, the Freedman Frederick Douglas had been elected as a representative to the Dominion of Lycia's Legislature. It was an open secret that Douglas had been among those brigands who absconded with a million pound sterling payment due to Anahuac under escort of John James Smith (now known to be the infamous Armstrong Hyman Thruston). However, no witnesses could be acquired and Douglas, having lost his fortune in the failed revolt of New Spain, returned to the BNA.

Though he would miss his friends, both Lee and his wife would be happy to return east.

Manhattan

Lincoln would oversee the election and, based on the early returns already received from the eastern Dominions, it appeared that few Parliamentarians were thrown out and, therefore, the First Lord expected to be returned for another 5 year term.

The First Lord would have to attend a funeral in December. His former friend and ally, Stephan Douglas, expired from some ailment, possibly Typhoid. Lincoln regretted never being able to reconcile with a man who mattered so much to him during his career.

On a whim, Lincoln attempted one more time to contact his oldest friend, Jeff Davis. He wrote a letter....not exactly apologizing....but expressing his regret that Sarah had come between them and offered Davis his best wishes. It was unlikely to elicit a response but Lincoln could not regret the attempt.

As it was, news arrived in early 1861 regarding another old compatriot of Lincoln's from his first days in the Maumee militia under old Sam Houston, this one the First Lord dare not speak of aloud.

Unlike Jefferson Davis, Robert Lee or Sam Houston, this name was not someone Lincoln wished to associate with himself.

St. Barts


Prisoner Armstrong Hyman Thruston was an old man by 1860, one whom had taken a great deal of physical and psychological damage over the years. He'd been forced to hide his identity after a failed attempt at regicide (which resulted in the murder of George Washington) and endured a series of arduous or humiliating adventures ranging from cannibalism during a mountain snow-in, being nearly mauled by a River Cow, marooning on a remote Bahama Island and commanding a detachment which lost a million pounds sterling to a one-legged brigand.

After getting exiled to Newfoundland and then Greenland, a tumor growing on his neck would see Thruston confess his crimes in a tell-all biography assuming that he would be dead before anyone could read it. Instead, he was captured and then informed that the tumor was not cancerous but fat and he would live after all. Placed before Parliament for trial, the full facts of Thruston's life were laid bare for all to see.

During this time, the "fat tumor" had expanded notably and the left side of Thruston's neck was dominated by it. Indeed, there was some wonder if the tumor would eventually grow to such a point that it would constrict his throat. The press made great print of that and mocking portraits would be drawn for every newpaper in the country.

Unfortunately, the trial did not end at the noose as he had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment due to the "clemency" of His Majesty. Rather than serving in an American prison, Thruston was dispatched to the infamous prison island of St. Barts.

Here, Prisoner 882, as Thruston was known, was forced to grow vegetables for the prison. Among his duties was collecting the horse, cow, goat, sheep and pig manure to fertilize the vegetable garden. The only benefit was that Thruston was allowed to remove the manacles from his hands and feet for a few hours so he could do his job. The garden was outside the prison and he was regularly given liberty to move a few hundred yards beyond the prison stone walls (but within the fence) with the express statement that he'd lose his "privileges" if he did not report back on time or generally did anything to annoy the warden. Armed guards patrolled the fenced periphery a few hundred yards and shot any prisoner caught eyeing the fence.

In many ways, the scorching island was both better than any American prison.vOf course, the god-forsaken climate was a point to the detriment.

On the positive side, one certainly got more fresh air as liberty was allowed. After all, where would the man go?

There was only one port on the island and no civilian transports or contact was allowed. The island was too small for anyone to hide for long and virtually all provisions were controlled by the prison. Thruston supposed he could slip away by climbing the fence. The guards were hardly well-paid or motivated. Most of the time they were drunk or sequestered somewhere gambling. But where would he go? Hide in some cave for a few days, eating wild berries or seabird eggs until the dogs sniffed him out?

Punishments for "running" included months in the "Black Hole" where guards would routinely arrive at night to beat the unfortunates (another hobby of the guards). The poor soul would usually be consigned to the dungeon-esque cells for the rest of their lives, irons around their wrists, ankles and necks (not that one could fit around Thruston's these days).

As it was, Thruston had not expected to live long. The tropical disease and heat killed many within months. To alleviate the former, the prison would organize gangs to drain the swamps of the small island. Thruston, despite his age, would be put on this detail. Eventually, the warden granted the old man the relatively easier job of gathering manure from the hills and cliffs near the Prison (though within the external fence).

While climbing one of these hills with his manure bucket, the prisoner would find several "deposits" laid by the goats and actively begin begging god to let him die. He even briefly considered throwing himself from the cliff-face onto the rocks below. But he dismissed this. Knowing his luck, he'd miss the rocks and simply be pressed by the tide back to the prison-fortress.

Thruston was about to begin navigating down the hill once again when an odd object caught his eye. What appeared to be a small boat was bobbing up and down in the surf along a beach not too far from the prison. From this vantage point, no one from the prison was likely to see it. As non-official craft were banned from the island, Thruston knew that it could not be approved. It was probably some fisherman or something by the size of the small craft.

In a split second, Thruston made two decisions:

1. He would break through a small gap in the fence he'd spied over a year before and never bothered to exploit. Guards seldom came to to area anyway and he doubted anyone would miss him for hours. Though he had no reason to believe that ship would be his salvation, he would make one last attempt to regain his life.

2. That, if in all likelihood this failed, that he would not allow himself to live another day. He would grab a club or rock or whatever was on hand and charge at the nearest guard. On St. Barts, the guards did not fire warning shots.

Thruston made his way through the the gap in the fence and raced towards the alcove where he saw the ship. His heart sank as he witnessed what was, indeed, a small fishing vessel, but one obviously damaged. The fishermen must have anchored in the bay in hopes of finding help to repair their vessel.

Luck was with Thruston as two of the three fisherman had marched over to the prison to inquire for help, leaving only a fifteen year old watching the vessel. Thruston swam aboard where the boy actually helped him up, confused as to how help arrived so quickly and wondered why his father hadn't returned. He jabbered a bit in Coptic (apparently the fishermen were Copts from Hispaniola) gesturing towards the prison.

Thruston grabbed a knife and advanced menecingly. Perhaps more creeped out by the giant tumor on Thruston's neck than his potential prowess with the knife, the boy opted to jump overboard and swim for shore, leaving Thruston to inspect the ship. To his great lack of surprise, the reason why the ship was in harbor proved evident. The smaller foremast had snapped off, perhaps in that storm a few days prior, and the amount of water within the ship verified that there must be at least one puncture in the hull.

Still, Thruston didn't give a damn. He knew enough about boats to unfurl the sail and turn the rudder towards the sea. He pulled up the small anchor and waited for what was, fortuitously, the evening tide. To occupy his time, he found a bilge pump and got to work as the boat slowly pulled away from land.

About an hour later, the boy could be seen at the beach with what Thruston assumed were the other sailors....and a party of prison guards shouting threats and firing their rifles. However, Thruston was at least 200 yards from shore by this point and he wasn't particularly worried about being hit by inept prison guards from such a distance. His greater fear was that the warden would dispatch one or two of the skiffs kept under lock and key in the prison. However, Thruston suspected that the Warden would not have time to review the situation before the evening tide had already gone out. Hopefully, by that point, Thruston would be well away from St. Barts.

As it was, he need not have worried. No one in the prison understood the Copts at all and only followed out of confusion. By the time they reached the beach, they only knew that SOMEONE was taking the ship. They couldn't even tell at this distance that it was a prisoner and only fired out of caution. They would bring the fishermen back to the prison where hours were spent trying to understand the situation. The evening tide was well out long before the Warden received reports that a prisoner was, indeed, missing.

By that point, Thruston was miles away from the island in a vessel already sinking.



The cove where Thruston escaped St. Barts.

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Oh dear lord, the saga continues.

At this point, this man is much more entertaining than any other US traitor or assassin in OTL and the shear pathetic and humorous nature of his exploits makes keeping him around worth it.

Charles J. Guiteau and Richard Lawrence are nothing compared to Thruston.

I imagine that even after decades have passed, long after what a man born in the 18th century could reasonable be expected to live, people tell tales that Thruston is still out there getting himself in trouble and evading the authorities.
 
Chapter 301
1861

The Caribbean


For the first few days after his escape from St. Barts in his rickety water-logged fishing boat, Armstrong Hyman Thruston was forever searching the horizen for the skiffs that the prison would no doubt dispatch with the next tide. While not a sailor himself, Thruston had learned enough to understand why they'd failed to catch up. A strong westernly wind had picked up over the past few days, which would no doubt have forced any sailing ships directly west. However, the little fishing vessel in which Thruston absconded was falling apart and the sole remaining mast snapped within 12 hours of departing the island. Instead, the current pushed him more northwest than west. Any pursuers probably overshot the little boat in the night.

Of course, this was not good for Thruston as he was now trapped on a mastless boat with little to no food or water. The last of the water stores would give out after three days and Thruston would manage his thirst for another two before he passed out, his hand still on the tiller. He assumed that his death was nigh and prepared his soul. Despite the hardship, he'd managed to escape that tropical hellhole in which he'd been sequestered for a full decade.

When Thruston came to, he had no idea where he was. The tell-tale creaks of a ship were evident but, going by the hammock in which he rested and the ceiling above his head, it was not the petty fishing boat. On occasion, someone would speak to him but he could not comprehend. An encouraging voice would drip water or perhaps soup down his throat. His eyes seemed blurry and his tongue far too large for his mouth. He fell in and out of consciousness for what he presumed were days as the sun alternately had risen or set every time he woke.

Finally, his tongue returned enough to normal size that Thruston could gasp through a hoarse throat, "Where am I?"

The response was obviously another language and soon Thruston passed out again. Eventually he woke again, this time Thruston managed to stumble to his feet. Fresh clothing had been placed upon sunburned skin. Wondering who he had to thank for his survival, the ex-prisoner looked about the tiny, empty cabin and found the door. He found himself in a hold where a young boy was puttering around with a long stick, perhaps hunting for rats.

"Where am I?"

The boy looked up, startled. He then ran for the stairs and flung open the door, shouting in some foreign tongue. Looking around the hold, Thruston noticed an odd assortment of goods, mainly casks of rum but some tobacco as well. A trader, then.

Finally, his unsteady legs fell the ground, his face hitting the damp floor. Within moments, strong hands pulled him to his feet. An unfamiliar face stared into his own and inquired, "Como talley Vu, Messier?"

While Thruston had not learned French in his youth, he'd picked up at least an island Creole from the many French prisoners on St. Barts. It was enough to discover that his benefactors were a French trading ship which spied his sinking fishing vessel and rescued him from a watery fate. The Frenchman was apparently both purser and doctor for the ship and led Thruston back to the hammock where he passed out again. But the American learned enough. The French assumed he was a fisherman whose vessel was damaged. The Purser/Doctor apologized for not taking Thruston back to his home but the ship could not be redirected as dozens of sailors and over fifty passengers were already on route to Brazil where they would follow the southern trade winds and currents east across the Atlantic.

Thruston could not believe his luck. No only was he rescued but his benefactors were taking him away from the Americas.

Only two days later, when he woke up again, did Thruston learn that the ship was carrying 50 Freedmen from Saint Domingue back to the French colony in Africa called Senegambia. From there, the French Captain promised, they ship would sail directly back to America, the ship's next scheduled stop to deliver their rum and pick up American wooden goods, where he may be repatriated to his people.

Culiacan, Lycia Dominion

One of Governor-General Robert Lee's final acts as military governor was to welcome His Majesty, Henry II, to the capital of the new Dominion. As the railroad had finally reached Culiacan, His Majesty would travel in March and April to the southwest of the nation, helping inaugurate the newly elected Governors and congratulate the winners of the Parliamentary elections.

Henry wanted to assure his new subjects that they were as valued as the easterners by taking his summer procession to regions he'd never visited (a tradition of his grandfather, Henry I). The King also would give honors to certain long-serving subjects. Governor Sam Houston of Hiberia would be Knighted (though some snickered at this given his failures in Dobunni) as would General Lee who would be astonished to find the HE would assume the high command of the British American Army now that Winfield Scott finally retired. In truth, Lee was leaning towards retirement but could hardly refuse service to His Majesty under these circumstances.

The promotion also came with a General stipend and free lodging for his family in Manhattan.

As it was, the Lee family would return on the same train as His Majesty, who needed to be back in Manhattan by June to oversee the marriage of his heir, Prince Henry, to Adelheid of Oldenburg (the princess arriving the previous December). While it had been understood that the Royal Wedding would take place in the summer, it would be known to later historians that the Prince and Princess must have been VERY fond of one another as the Princess gave birth to what appeared to be a full-sized child only seven and a half months after the ceremony.
 
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Chapter 302
1861

Moscow


Alexander III formally abolished the last vestiges of serfdom in 1861. Most, but not all, of the former laws of unfree peoples had been gradually withdrawn over the past half century as Alexander I, II and III slowly reformed. However, until 1861, there remained a number of prohibitions on the serfs including the right to own land (which was only opened to free peasants in 1855).

In truth, serfdom was always more of a political agreement than an economic one. There were few incentives for nobles or serfs to improve land, thus leaving most of Russia's agriculture behind the rest of Europe. However, nobles were seldom willing to oppose the Czar lest they provoke the serfs.

Perhaps most importantly as many freedoms of movement and occupation had already taken place prior to the Manumission of 1861 was that Serfs were allowed to purchase land at market rate. In some cases, the nobles were compelled to do so. As it happened, so many nobles were in debt that they almost welcomed the cash infusion. In previous generations, when nobles went into debt, they would "mortgage" their serfs' labor to a state-owned agency. However, this right had been abolished over a decade prior, leaving more and more nobles unable to pay their own taxes.

The Czar had an ulterior motive for all this, of course. He wanted to settle Western Siberia and the Asian Steppe with as many Russians as possible. If he could empty entire West Russian or Ruthenian districts of non-productive sustenance farmers, he would have happily done this. As it was, the migration of people lured by free lands they didn't have to pay for would ensure a steady settlement into the Turkic lands of the south Asian Steppe. The flower of the Russian Army would remained stationed in the region for generations to protect these newly settled towns.

Manhattan

The King was livid. How dare the damned wardens of St. Bart's allow his father's attempted assassin escape?!!

In truth, Henry II had forgotten about the man after ten years. In fact, His Majesty had not been aware that Armstrong Hyman Thruston still lived. He must be in his seventies by now. What were the odds that he would live out a decade in those hideous conditions?

The King sighed and determined not to let it bother him. After all, his son Henry announced that his new wife was already pregnant! They must have hit the mark on their wedding night. Of course the King had heard rumors of some perhaps inappropriate contact between the betrothed couple but chalked that up to gossip. When his granddaughter was born but seven and a half months after the wedding, the King reconsidered though he would pronounce the child "early" and no one dared contradict him.

Nubia

Muhammad Ahmad, the seventeen year old son of a Nubian shipbuilder, would be taken under the wing of a local Sufi and dedicate his life to asceticism. However, in 1861, the Khedive of Egypt would invade the Northern Sudan and conquer most of the significant towns, imposing a tax on the region and forcing them to accept Egyptian suzerainty.

Ahmad would find this unacceptable as the previous Khedives had forced the Sufi orders (along with Copts, Greek, Jews, Shia and other minorities) from Egypt or just massacred them. While this new Khedive appeared to be offering a less heavy hand, the idea of Egypt resuming thousands of years of oppression did not sit well with the young student.

Paulgrad, Russian North America

At last, by 1861, the seemingly endless series of gold rushes were slowing down. Even the Alyeska Rush deep inland was seeing diminishing returns. Thousands of miners would return south disappointed. While many had planned on going back to Russia, they seldom had the means. Most opted to stay even when they had a choice. Cheap land remained in abundance as the population of the vast area barely exceeded half a million.

Migration from Russian was already slowing down below 10,000 per year though by 1861 there was already a healthy birth rate making immigration largely superfluous.

In Paulgrad, Sam and his elder brother Orion had managed to get their younger brother Henry a visa through their connections to the Russian colonial governors. All three would marry Russian women and cement their status in the community. Sam himself married the youngest daughter of Doctor Mikhail Dostoevsky and would engage in business ventures with his assorted brothers-in-law.

Perhaps most tellingly, both Sam and his brother-in-law Fyodor were aspiring writers, working as journalists sending assorted articles back to both America and Russia of colonial life and publishing the first newspaper in Russian America. Unfortunately, Fyodor would alienate several members of the gentry and his aging father Mikhail had to beg his son to close the paper before he was arrested.

In irritation, Fyodor would propose a trip north to Alyeska to Sam and the two ventured northwards much to Mikhail's relief. He hoped by the time his stubborn son returned, the furor would have died down. In May of 1861, the two arrived along the inland riverbanks were the major gold discoveries had been found. For years, the Clemons and Dostoevsky households had profited by selling supplies and animals for the gold rush. Beyond writing an expose of the hardships, the two determined to try their own luck and brought a years worth of supplies along with six pack mules.

Though they did not make a fortune in 1861, the two managed to quickly find a strike and panned over six pounds of gold dust...much of which they spent over the ensuing winter in the camps on alcohol and other entertainment.

Bdeota (Dakota for "Many Lakes"), Capital of Cappadocia Dominion

Theresa and Friedrich Nietzsche had migrated from the Kingdom of Saxony fifteen years prior when their widowed mother married a Lutheran Pastor bound for the new world to preach the law of god to Lutherans in the frontier town of Imnizaska (Dakota for "White Cliffs") in Cappadonia Territory. Large numbers of German and Scandinavian Lutherans were settling the regions rich soils and the impoverished Pastor took his wife and two stepchildren to America. Here, he was given 150 acres to farm and a church. However, farming did not appeal to the preacher (or his stepchildren) and he eventually sold the farm and left his congregation in Imnizaska to a new church across the river in Bdeota. Both towns were rapidly growing and were often called the "Twin Cities".

By 1861, the seventeen year old Nietzsche was bored with frontier life and, though a Lutheran, could not get excited about studying at the local seminary school. Having been proposed and accepted for Dominion-hood that year, Nietzsche would seek out the local Parliamentarian elected that winter and ask for a recommendation to West Point. An old man of German stock, the Parliamentarian had been among the first to settle the territory (though he was born in British America unlike most of his constituents) and was well-respected to the point that he may have been elected governor if he so wished.

Seeing no reason to turn down the young man, the newly elected Parliamentarian would pen a recommendation to the institution. While the days were each Parliamentarian was allowed to submit a single student for consideration (always accepted if they met the academic qualifications) with one student per district (by 1861, there were too many Parliamentarians and not enough positions at West Point) there remained a law in which only so many students per Dominion were allowed to enroll. By happenstance none were recommended from Cappadocia that year and the young Nietzsche was accepted for fall enrollment in West Point's class of 1861.

While his stepfather argued mightily for Friedrich to study at the seminary, the lure of adventure would pull the young man away. At is was, his stepfather was perhaps a bit happy to be rid of him. Friedrich was always a pain in the ass and the Preacher had four of his own children with Friedrich's mother to deal with.

With only a single change in clothes, the Saxon-born Nietzsche would travel to Chicago by horse and then take the train to New York.
 
List of Kingdom of North America Dominions and Territories - 1861
Quebec - 450,000
Montreal - 250,000
Nova Scotia - 125,000
Charlottia (New Brunswick, former Acadia west of the Isthmus of Chignecto) - 100,000
Newfoundland - 50,000
Vermont (including the contested Hampshire Grants and the western portion of the former district of Maine under the colony of Massachusetts) - 600,000
Sagadahock (formerly the eastern portion of the district of Maine under the colony of Massachusetts) - 140,000
Massachusetts - 800,000
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations - 220,000
Connecticut - 500,000
New York - 1,200,000
Long Island -550,000
Manhattan - 355,000
New Jersey 500,000
Pennsylvania - 1,300,000
Delaware - 325,000
Maryland - 700,000
Virginia - 800,000
Kanawha (West Virginia) - 350,000
North Carolina - 400,000
Catabwa (West North Carolina) - 156,000
South Carolina - 400,000
Wateree (West South Carolina) - 125,000
Georgia - 300,000
West Florida (South Alabama, South Mississippi and Florida Panhandle) - 350,000
Mississauga (Peninsular Ontario) - 250,000
Maumee (Western Kentucky) - 350,000
Shawnee (Eastern Kentucky) - 250,000
Westsylvania (Western Pennsylvania) - 250,000
Watauga (Eastern Tennessee) - 400,000
Tennessee (Western Tennessee) - 300,000
Hanover (Louisiana) - 350,000
Caledonia (Parts of Northern Texas and Oklahoma) - 300,000
Aethiopia (Southern Texas and parts of northeast Mexico) - 400,000
Arkansas - 250,000
Miami (OTL Indiana) - 350,000
Ohio (Most of OTL Ohio) - 600,000
Michigan (Lower Peninsula) - 250,000
East Florida and the Bahama Islands (Florida minus Panhandle) - 150,000
Indiana (northern Mississippi and Alabama) - 350,000
Chicago (Illinois) - 110,000
Marquette (Wisconsin) - 70,000
Mauretania (Iowa) - 65,000
Thracia (Missouri) - 50,000
Hibernia (Oklahoma) - 70,000
Baetica - 85,000
Lycia - 75,000
Pamphylia - 70,000
Cappadocia - 65,000

Assorted British North American Territories (not yet Dominions) - 430,000
Hudson (Northern Ontario)
Labrador (Eastern Quebec Peninsula)
Laurentia (Northwestern Quebec)
Denedeh
Inuit
Raetia
Belgica
Lusitania
Aquitania
Hibernia
Cilicia
Pannonia
Noricum
Moesia
Galatea
Iceni
Dobunni


North Zealand
South Zealand
Van Diemens Land
 
Chapter 303
1861

The Congo


Throughout the first half of the 19th century, the demand for cotton, palm oil and rubber rose rapidly and supply was rarely able to keep up. Brazil would be the greatest producer of rubber and swiftly outpace the rest of the world. Egypt, India, Russia, the West Indies, British North America and other states would eagerly add cotton as an export despite the crop's deleterious effects on soil. Palm oil was produced in the tropics.

Yet supply still never approached demand and prices remained high for all three goods.

In 1850, the rapidly evolving East India Company which once used the opium producing of Bengal to bring in great revenues from China, had seen their almost sovereign powers on the subcontinent reduced to a mere economic entity by the resurging Peshwa in Pune. However, that did not mean the end of the Company. Much of the trade in the Indian Ocean and beyond had been on EIC vessels. Silk, team and pottery came from China, spices from the East Indies, cotton from India, coffee from east Africa, etc, etc would be exchanged by the EIC company at hundreds of trading posts.

While sovereignty in the Maratha Empire was no longer possible, the Company continued to control most of the East Indies including Java and Sumatra. From this base, the Company sought to reverse their fortunes in whatever manner they could. Company investments beyond mere trading included rubber plantations in Brazil, real estate rentals in London and, of course, jute and cotton production in the Maratha Empire.

By 1861, the EIC had realized the hunt for raw materials would dominate the late 19th century and sought an early lead in the race. However, the great Empires of the day - Russia, China, the Maratha Empire, the Spanish Empire and British North America dominated the globe. There WERE very few options for ambitious nations, or mere entities, to expand in the manner that the EIC had a century and a half ago. In the end, most of the map had been claimed.

But there was one particular region where the maps remained blank: Africa

Naturally, the EIC was not terribly interested in anything but commerce and quickly dismissed seeking to expand their operations in most of the continent. Few real resources were extracted from West Africa beyond some modest gold production, diminishing ivory and fur sales, some dyes, etc, etc. Nothing that would matter overly much to a powerful entity like the EIC.

However, if trading was not a particularly promising activity throughout Africa, there WAS perhaps some opportunity for agricultural production of export crops.....IF the region could be placed under control. The EIC had not attempted to gain defacto sovereign rights on any mainland since getting their privileges withdrawn in the Maratha Empire. But the huge scale of demand and high profit margins of cotton, palm oil and rubber forced their hands. When the lands of the Congo appeared ideal for this production and a large labor force to work the fields was present in the region...well, the decision was easy.

The Company sent expeditions to the Congo throughout the 1850's to explore, map, survey and, most crucially, obtain treaty concessions with local Kings, Chiefs or whoever was present to be bribed....er...enticed....with gifts.

Explorers were easy to acquire. Many Europeans were indeed eager to do so. Among these was David Livingstone, who mixed scientific research with preaching the Christian faith. An ardent anti-slaver after witnessing the worst in East Africa, Livingstone was but one of many who operated under EIC funding and auspices.

By 1861, the Company was already forming a private army throughout the Congo basin, turning over the sustenance farms into huge plantations. While company forces included large numbers of Javans, Sumatrans, assorted Maratha peoples and some eastern Asians, the core of the company stockholding leadership remained European and thus Europeans were eagerly sought out to serve as administrators. For over a century, ambitious and courageous Europeans had washed up on the shores of Company factories (trading posts) in hopes of making their fortunes. The mid-19th century was no different.

In 1859, an 18 year old Welsh orphan named John Rowlands had worked for his passage on a creaking old sailing ship to Batavia. As literate white factors were in short supply, Rowlands was hired as something of an apprentice before being promoted in 1860 to a low-level clerk. But opportunity in the company was always there for the ambitious. Not desiring to balance books for the next decade to earn another promotion, Rowlands instead threw himself into military training and volunteered to serve in the company factory in the Congo. Effectively the twenty-one-year old would be placed in command of 100 Javan and African "police", running a district despite never having commanded any men in the field or even supervised others.

By the time Rowlands reached his inland distract up the Congo, the company would be shipping tens of thousands of tons of cotton, rubber and palm oil per year with production expanding exponentially.


Goree Island, Senegambia

The French Trader Marianne arrived in Senegambia in the spring of 1861 bearing a shipload of fifty Africans born into or the aftermath of slavery on St. Domingue. For years, many of these Africans had prospered as private landowners while others remained as squalid sustenance farmers or even house servants, living little differently than their slave ancestors. For a mix of cultural or economic reasons, these people would return to Africa as Christian settlers in what was predominantly a Muslim region.

While sailing from the West Indies, the Marianne had managed to save a drowning old fisherman, his boat nearly beneath the waves. With the rest of the crew of the vessel apparently dead (the man had been vague on this), the poor American was forced to remain on board the Marianne for weeks as the ship proceeded on her way to Africa. Taking the tradewinds across the Atlantic, the ship made a short stop at the mouth of the Congo River to exchange the rum and manufactured goods in the hold for a shipment of rubber. Some minor repairs held the ship up for a few weeks and the American would encounter a young EIC functionary named John Rowlands who was more than a little overwhelmed by his new duties.

The old man and the young official would strike up a friendship as the younger waited for his transport inland. Finding that his orders including hiring as many Europeans as possible, Rowlands offered the aging fellow a position effectively as his clerk. The America quickly accepted this.

While the American would officially enter the Company books as "Mr. Jones", his real identity was Armstrong Hyman Thruston.

After his rescue by the Marianne, Thruston offered up the name "Jones" off the top of his head and spent the next few weeks serving on board the Marianne cleaning out the privies. As the ship was bound for America after dropping off her passengers, "Jones" knew that he dare not remain long. While Africa was, for many reasons, one of the last places he wanted to be, going back to America was plainly unacceptable.

Thruston was well aware of Africa's penchant for being a White Man's Grave but felt that he could hardly turn down an offer to work for the EIC. Thruston was easily enough identifiable due to his huge tumor along his neck (he tended to wear a scarf to hide it all the time) and the Marianne's crew would no doubt learn quickly that their rescued "fisherman" would be the most wanted fugitive on earth. No doubt the reward would be huge and the Frenchmen would turn him in without hesitation.

Thruston HAD to get off that ship without delay. Evidently, any white and literate administrators were desperately needed in the Congo and the Company didn't care for extensive interviews.

Thus the old man followed his young friend up the Congo to an uncertain fate.
 
Chapter 304
1862

The Yucatan


After years of negotiation rather than warfare, the tribes of the Yucatan would agree to return to King Carlos VI's embrace on terms similar to what the other Spanish colonies were getting. A local Corte was to be set up with local Ministers overseen by a Viceroy. Unlike before, when the Yucatan was but a province of New Spain, it was to be raised to a full VIceroyalty as would the Viceroyalty of Guatemala to the south. As it turned out, the localities of various Spanish colonies would have very different political climates and few wanted to be part of a federation where the government was hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

Soon, Viceroyalties of New Spain, the Yucatan, Guatemala, New Granada, Brazil, Rio Plata, Chile and Peru covered the entirety of the Spanish mainland. Even islands in the West Indies like Cuba and Puerto Rico would see additional delegation of political power. King Carlos VI's reforms were welcomed everywhere and most economic barriers were reduced even further as much of the Spanish Empire was very much a resource extraction and export driven economy dependent upon Europe or America for manufactured goods.

Of course, not all went well for the Spanish colonials. There remained the open question of whether or not their own elected officials were any better than the Spanish administrators who could at least usually be counted upon to be impartial. Also, the actual number of voters granted the suffrage would be substantially lower (usually about 8-10% of adult males) than British North America (about 55%) and Anahuac (100%). Making matters worse was that the Indian and Mestizos in particular were marginalized and underrepresented.

While these problems simmered, it also became apparent that the industrialization of the world was leaving the colonies behind. Politicians would point out the value of having local textile and metalworking industries in maintaining a reasonable balance of trade. This led to calls by some colonies to enact tariffs against not only foreign nations but other Spanish colonies and Spain itself.

Political tensions remained, they just altered facets from the past.

Viceroyalty of Brazil

While there was some call among the various Captaincies of Brazil to break away into separate Viceroyalties due to the very significant structural differences between the Brazilian regions, this was muted and largely overridden by the common belief that Brazil's uniqueness of language (the Portunish or Spanguese as it had been called, often derisively, over the years, now simply called "Brazilian"), uncommon diversity with a broad mix of immigrants, obvious wealth and an industrial base already approaching that of Spain would lead the Brazilians to forebear any major secession movements by Captaincy. An unified front was deemed more important against Spain.

By the 1860's, the former Brazil made of Portuguese, Black Slaves, mulattos and a few Indians was long gone. It was replaced by a hundred years of Spanish, Italian, German, Irish, more Portuguese and now Russian, Coptic, Lebanese, Greek, Polish, Jewish and a few other peoples that couldn't even be described on a census had taken up residence in Brazil, rapidly changing the ethnic and cultural makeup. This wave of migration brought new skills in mining, manufacturing, shipbuilding, etc, which would diversify the Brazilian Viceroyalty to a point which exceeded even Spain (despite a century and a half of Spain attempting to industrialize). Indeed, Brazil was already approaching Spain's population and would not doubt exceed it in a few decades.

Feeling unique (and perhaps a bit superior) to the other colonies, Brazil would retain a sense of unity among her heterogenous regions uncommon to much of the Spanish Empire.

China

With the death of the Emperor in 1860, the new Emperor would revoke many of the old policies which, he felt, were again threatening to isolate China and leave her behind in technology. This had happen half a century ago when comparatively modest advances in European ship design had allow the East India Company to humble the entire Chinese nation. Witnessing a series of American steamships arriving one day in Canton bearing a trade delegation, the new Emperor knew that he could not allow this to happen again.

The Emperor ordered his Ministers to copy these ships as best they could from those purchased abroad. New schools were set up to train young Chinese in these new technologies and China was opened, if only a bit more, to the world in exchange.

The Dutch Republic

As the French Ambassador had informed the Republic in 1861 that all French forces were to be withdrawn from the Cape, there was at once a sigh of relief (for fear that the French would annex the Cape Colony) and despair as the Dutch had singularly failed to hold onto her colonial possession against the power of the Zulu. In truth, it was not the Dutch or the French which had prevented Cape Town from falling but the civil war among the Zulu which removed the Dutch from their sights.

The Republic had suffered a poor century. Most of her colonies were lost. France acquired the Austrian Netherlands bringing the huge country up to the borders of the Republic. The Republic's population stagnated while most of Europe's increased in comparison, particularly Britain, France, Germany and Russia.

The Dutch had been relegated from a first tier power in the 17th Century to a second tier in the 18th to a prosperous but no doubt third tier in the 19th. Where once the Low Countries controlled 90% of the world's foreign trade, this was down to a fraction in 1861 with no realistic option in sight. The Dutch Navy, once the pride of Europe, was a shell of itself and the Dutch Army...well....the Dutch Army technically existed but would hardly be expected to do much. Dutch sovereignty was ensured entirely by diplomacy. The Dutch was a member of the Northern Confederation (mostly Northern Germany, Scandinavia and Poland) which in theory gave the Dutch allies but few in Amsterdam believed that, should France invade, that much could be done about the matter. The humiliating reality was that Dutch sovereignty was only due to French disinterest in conquering it, perhaps deeming accepting a few million Dutch-speaking Protestants was more trouble than it was worth and the Dutch served the French purposes better in their independence.

Given the position the Dutch once held in the world...this was a shattering fall from grace.

Now, the Dutch forces couldn't even beat an African tribe. Always divided internally, funds for a true army in the Cape could never be summoned and many of the soldiers who were ACTUALLY dispatched to Africa were hirelings from Germany.

No, the Republic needed another ally, one which could deal with the Africans and were strong enough to protect the Cape from other European powers. There seemed to be one reasonable candidate: the East India Company.

While it was true that the EIC, one of whose constituent parts had been the DUTCH East India Company, had taken control over the Dutch East Indies and to this day used them as their base, enough time had passed to remove the sting of this. Further, a safe passage was in the Company's best interest as well as the greatest trading power with Asia was the EIC.

Thus when the Company needed troops to protect Cape Colony and, if possible, regain the lands to the east, they turned to the East India Company which had recently assumign control over the Congo Basin as well as conquering the Sultanate of Zanzibar. With access to the great population center of the subcontinent, adequate forces seemed available.

Therefore, the Dutch Republic signed a treaty of alliance with the EIC which turned over governance for the Cape to them.

It would turn out to be but the latest in stupid decisions over the past two centuries by the Dutch.
 
Chapter 304
1862

Manhattan


First Lord Abraham Lincoln would lead the audience in a standing ovation for that young actor, John Wilkes Booth, who so ably portrayed the complexity of Armstrong Hyman Thruston in the epic biopic play, "Rascal". Filled with morose evil and folly, the play had been America's leading hit for years and Booth was reportedly complaining that the gate was so high he could not dare find another role until the crowds thinned out.

Perhaps most amusing was that the Booth family shared the gate with Thruston's half-Inuit bastard son. The little boy (Lincoln was startled to do the math and realize that the "little boy" must be a teenager by now.....a very wealthy teenager) also received proceeds from one of the best-selling books in American history.

Returning to the First Lord's quarters, Lincoln was tired. Not of the night, which had been reinvigorating, but with politics in general. It had cost him too many friends and the Maumeean was already anticipating not standing for another term of office in 1865. Perhaps it was time to return to Maumee? But the First Lord's children had largely grown up in Manhattan. Did he really desire to return to the relative sticks?

Lincoln was proud of his humble origins but after over a decade in Manhattan, he could not see himself returning to Maumee and working petty trials. He could no doubt make ten times as much, perhaps fifty times, as a senior partner in a some law firm with no responsibilities and/or serving on some railroad's board of governors.

His elder children were already in college (or graduated) while his youngest could take their pick. With adequate revenue, the Lincoln's would be set for generations.

He would think about it. He had over three years of office left and felt no need to make an overly hasty decision. He'd bring it up with Sarah sooner or later.

The Congo


Young John Rowlands would prove, despite his youth, to be an able administrator. His friend, subordinate and mentor, "Bill Jones" (Armstrong Hyman Thruston) would take pride in the youth's accomplishments. The eastern district of the Congo would rapidly transform into a thriving and profitable series of vast plantations producing rubber, cotton and palm oil. Many of the rubber and palm oil trees remained too young to produce much but the obvious potential was there. Huge swathes of forest were felled and cash crops raised.

Of course, as one may expect, the greatest problem in the Congo was labor. Perfect for production of these valuable crops, the indigenous tribes hardly desired to labor in Company fields. They were coerced into doing so via Rowlands' harsh methods. Company soldiers and police would maim or severely injure those who resisted. Eventually, adequate labor was found.

A Scottish Missionary named David Livingstone would give the company trouble. Appalled at the effective slavery of the natives, Livingstone would give up most of his proselytizing and scientific work and concentrate on exposing the Company malfeasance. Rowlands would inquire what to do about the situation and receive a short response of "deal with it".

"Jones" would recommend that his friend and surrogate grandson "deal with it" harshly. Thus, one night, Livingstone was abducted from his riverside hut and spirited east. He would never arrive as he "fell off the boat and drowned". The agitation, at least for the moment, ended and the Company plantations in the eastern Congo remained highly profitable. Rowlands would receive a promotion and generous bonus that year which he shared with his friend Jones.

In the meantime, Jones would be given liberty to explore a bit around. By 1862, his massive non-malignant tumor had reached epic proportions. Estimated as at least ten pounds, a company doctor would point out that it was probably a tumor of the saliva gland rather than neck. Offers to remove it, no doubt inspired by medical curiosity, were rejected. Already well into his seventies, Jones did not want to die from infection after a botched operation just to satisfy some quack doctor's curiosity.

Ironically, the massive tumor was be a source of fascination to the local tribes. The Bantu would apparently view his growth as a sign of vigor, vitality and sexual prowess. The assorted tribal women of the Company headquarters would repeatedly request that "Jones' have sex with them.

In truth, "Jones" had been born to a culture which kept Africans in bondage. In retaliation to perceived government interference with the institution of slavery, "Jones" (actually Armstrong Hyman Thruston) had attempted to assassinate the King of British North America. The act had only resulted in the death of the revered General Washington who Thruston mistook for the King in a dark theater box. A lifetime of regret would follow the unfortunate Thruston and fifty years later, would find himself ironically in the very heart of black Africa.

Years of service with "Buffalo Soldiers" would leave its mark and Thruston, if any one had asked, no longer longed for Black slavery. During his years hidden in the American Army as John James Smith or James John Smith (both had been used over the years), Thruston had almost unwillingly befriended many black men who proved their worth to him. In all reality, Thruston's radical views were a reflection of his insecurity as the tertiary tier of Virginia society who looked up to the large land-owning, slave-owning class....which he aspired to join but lacked the means.

His lone act of violence had resulted in a series of hardships and humiliations which even Job would have shivered at enduring. Years of service under a false name resulted in Eating his commanding officer in the southern Rockies, almost being eaten by a Hippo along the Mississippi, marooning in the Bahama Islands, national ridicule for losing a million pounds sterling to a one-legged bandit and finally exile to Newfoundland, which he assumed was the worst and most isolated spot on earth....until he was sent to Greenland.

Then, believing himself dying, Thruston wrote a confession of his crimes....only to be caught and informed that he was NOT dying. A decade on some tropical hell followed only for escape to land him in Africa.

What more could Thruston suffer?

Still, he could complain. Though he did not find the African women particularly pretty, he was happy to share his bed.

While serving in his position as the defacto clerk of the easternmost Congo district controlled by the East India Company, he would find sanctuary he would find no where else on Earth. Still, Thruston was certain his French benefactors who rescued him on the Marianne had, by now, figured out his identity and alerted the authorities in America.

How hard would it be to track down a man with a giant growth on his throat?

Probably not hard at all. Would the Company protect him...or their customers in America?

The answer to the second could not be easier. Thruston was already planning his next escape plan.

Southern Africa

After signing the treaty with the Dutch Republic, the East India Company would not waste time forming their own army in southern Africa. But who would lead?

A century of preference for European officers would lead the Company to hire assorted western regular officers. The foremost of these would be an American officer named George McClellan who felt his own contributions to the British American Army went unrecognized. A Major among the Americans, McClellan would be given the rank of Brigadier among the company forces and placed in command of the new Army of Javans, Sumatrans, Africans and Dutch forming at the Cape.
 
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