Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Glen, Feb 22, 2010.
True, but I would need it pointed out in clear enough terms for changing.
Why would it be called Pathfinder?
All interesting thoughts....
Yes, that is true...
Overall tend to agree with Dathi. BTW, good to have you here, oh master of Canada-wank!
Some say that the story of the founder of the United States Bureau of Security could only have happened in America.
Gene Vidocq was born in France and during his early life was a bit of a hellion. By the age of 15, he ran away from home with purloined funds that he used to purchase passage to the United States. He arrived in the State of Quebec with little more than the shirt on his back. Wild Vidocq might have been, but he was also very bright, and picked up English rapidly. Vidocq eventually enlisted in the Legion of the United States where he fought in the Old Northwest Territory against the native tribes there. He was noted as a clever and wily soldier, popular with his fellow soldiers, but he grew bored and deserted, becoming a fur trader for a time before drifting back to the towns of the Atlantic coast, and became a traveling entertainer, floating the travel routes between Montreal, Quebec City, Washington, and New York City. Vidocq himself claimed to have supplemented his income by running various frauds and cons, and in several instances was imprisoned, though he showed a true genius for breaking out of prisons. While a less than sterling figure in his youth, Vidocq was surprisingly devoted to his adopted nation, and when the war against Napoleon was declared, he rejoined the American Army under a pseudonym and participated in the invasion of the Northern Louisiana Territory. Again Vidocq was noted as a popular and effective soldier, but it was discovered that he was a deserter and nearly court-martialed, but he again eluded the authorities. A changing point in his life was when he saw the hanging of several former criminal colleagues, which made him desire to make more of his life. He started by offering to inform to local sheriffs on criminals in their towns, and in fact started to invent pseudonyms and disguises to infiltrate the desparadoes who ran the American underworld. He showed a strange sense of justice, claiming he never informed on those who stole or broke the law out of need, only for greed. Eventually, he settled in Quebec City and received a pardon from the Governor and a warrant to form a new concept, a plainsclothes police unit. Under Vidocq's leadership, this became a wildly successful endeavor, and he was invited to New York City to do likewise. This invitation proved timely as several allegations of abuse of power and even fraud were being prepared against him in Quebec. His police techniques in New York City became even more sophisticated, as Vidocq had embaced the zeitgeist of the times and become enamoured of the scientific method and essentially invented the field of criminology. His efforts in Quebec City and New York City eventually brought him to the attention of Washington, where the president charged him with creation of a national Bureau of Security to supplement the Marshals, both under the Department of Justice. His work drew international attention, both from police officials in British Southern America and in Europe, as well as his story inspiring several authors of both the Enlightenment and Romantic schools. Unfortunately, he continued to draw controversy and left Washington for Fort Finney in Wabash, where he started a private investigation business, the first ever. He had several high profile cases there on the frontier along the steamship routes, but in his elder years he again became restless, and sought to explore the great Western frontier. He was last seen in the 1850s, running ahead of the train routes, and was never seen or heard from again, though some legends claim that he became the chief of a renegade tribe of Indians who moved ever northwest, to escape the encroachment of civilization.
Thank you - I stumbled on this idea, and it just seemed to fit so deliciously well - yes, I have stolen the Surete for America!
BTW, we are the 8th most viewed thread in the before 1900 forum - congratulations, dear readers!
And this thread on the Finished Timelines forum has broken into the top 20 viewed threads.
That last update was wildly entertaining especially because it was almost too crazy to be plausible... until you read about OTL.
Thank you, thank you very much - I felt much the same way when I stumbled upon the idea.
Some scholars believe the unpleasantness in China in the mid 1800s was the result of the Qing Dynasty's defeat at the hands of the British in the somewhat derogatorily named Opium War (granted, free trade as advanced by the British trade interests in the region did include the somewhat controversial opium). Other scholars contend that the Chinese black eye of the Opium War was a mere symptom of a deeper rot that became obvious a decade or so later.
In any event, while it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where the spark of chaos first was struck, if any one can be so implicated, it may have actually been the teachings of the itinerant American Deist preacher, Dennis Michael Murphy. Reverend Murphy was unusual for the Irish descended immigrants to the state of Nova Scotia (Murphy grew up in Halifax) in that instead of continuing with his ancestors' staunch Catholicism, he embraced the teachings of Deist Christianity (though some claimed his brand of Deism was closer to the 18th century variety, with little if any Chrisitan underpinnings). Murphy was a restless man, however. In the 1840s he began looking for passage on a Yankee Trader bound for the Orient, and eventually landed in China (though the precise year is not known).
Murphy, by all accounts a rather charismatic figure, found surprisingly fertile ground for his teachings (as well as his rather glowing reports of the American system of government) among both the poor lower classes of Southern China who chafed at Manchu rule and neglect, and a growingly disaffected group of Chinese intellectuals who in a western nation may have found themselves in prominent positions in trade or government, but in the undoubtably corrupt and restrictive Civil Service system of Qing China, could not break through the civil service examinations. Especially heavily represented in the early days were the Hakka people of Southern China.
While proportionately, few Southern Chinese truly embraced Deist Christianity, a larger percentage began to incorporate Deist thought into native Buddhist beliefs, laying the groundwork for Deist Buddhism.
The Qing government at first only harrassed the growing Deist (and crypto-republican) movement in the South, but eventually concern did waken in the bureacracy and Murphy was arrested and deported to British Hong Kong. However, Reverend Murphy, however, instead of taking ship to home, snuck back into China proper. While Murphy was passionate, he was less able as a fugitive and was recaptured and executed by the Qing authorities, along with several of his parishioners who were captured with him. A proclaimation at the same time from the Emperor declared Deism a forbidden belief. Both the United States and France protested the executions and proclaimation.
The 'massacre' (less then a score were actually executed) of Chinese deists became the rallying cry for the subsequent Southern uprising that broke out in 1850. A mixture of Deist true believers, disaffectived republican intellectuals, and disgruntled peasants, it would rapidly grow to encompass a nation. While Murphy would be honored as a teacher and martyr, his role was minimized in subsequent years in favor of native Chinese patriots.
Sounds like a more moderate, hopefully, but also more successful verion of the Taiping rebellion of OTL. Any reason why it was the US and France that protested Murphy's execution? Would have thought Britain would have also spoken out. Probably also some of the other European powers as it would have been seen as a threat to all European missionary activities.
You might have something there....the reason the US and France are raising a squak is that this was a Deist missionary. Britain and other European powers at the time are not particularly fond of Deism, and they aren't looking to rock the boat in China (yet).
Might that be because if it hadn't have happened in America, it wouldn't be the US Bureau of Security, it'd be someone else's?
Like the new updates
Funny, very funny...
Thank you, thank you very much.
The 1850s saw the spread of chaos throughout China. The uprising in the south had blossomed into a full-scale revolution. In the west, the Hui people rose up in a series of rebellions with poor organization except to the south, where General Yang had managed to attract a large number of followers to his war banner, and not just muslims.
In the southeast, the Revolution was a back and forth affair, mostly surviving off of local peasant support, donations from well-wishers in the West, and Qing incompetence and distraction. However, in 1853 the Revolution received new life with the series of victories achieved by General Shi, including cutting the Qing off from all of the Treaty Ports. While the Qing had seen the treaty ports as merely an insult, the Chinese Revolutionaries, having moved to approach western style attitudes towards trade, saw them as an opportunity to gain access to more Western supplies to fight the war.
General Shi was a rising star in the Revolution who had come from a prosperous family in the south, and rapidly became an emblem of the 'New China' due to his embracing of Western ways while also acting as a paragon of virtue. By 1854, many began referring to General Shi as the Chinese Washington.
Was the initialism of the Bureau of Security intended to be BS?
Separate names with a comma.