Fenians, Brits, Mexicans, Canucks and Frenchies....OH, MY! An alternate American Civil War

Chapter 64
September, 1865

Joseon Kingdom

Over the past few decades, a small cadre of French Catholic priests had quietly converted over 20,000 Koreans to their faith. However, with a new leader of the Royal Court (the father of the 12 year old King) would take exception to this. Yi Ha-ung (the Prince of the Great Court) had seen how even the Korean Suzerain, the great China, had been humiliated by the west. A decade earlier, the Nipponese had been forced to open their doors.

Now it was apparent than Russia, France, Britain, America....god knows the difference between them.....wanted to "trade" with the Joseon Kingdom.

This was unacceptable.

For his son's legacy, Yi Ha-ung would put an end to this Catholic nonsense.


The French Ambassador's proposal of opening the Joseon Kingdom to both French AND Russian trade was accepted. The Czar wondered if the Frenchman could not read a map. The fact that the Russian Empire was contiguous to the region would always mean such an alliance was to THEIR advantage.

But Emperor Napoleon III was apparently intent on expansion in every direction. Let him try and have fun battling with France over scraps. Russia would focus only on their borders and what actually BENEFITED them.


Emperor Napoleon III would take in a personal demonstration of the Chassepot rifle, a breech-loader intended to replace the muzzle-loading "Minie".

Thus far, the rifle proved a vast improvement upon the Minie, the Prussian Dreyse "Needle-gun" and even the American repeating rifles (at least in accuracy and range, if not rate of fire). Within three years, this weapon would become the French standard.

Throughout the Prussian War and the Mexican "Intervention" (the Emperor's claim to the land being quietly dropped), it became apparent that the French arsenal was quite obsolete. The Dreyse Needle Guns and Krupp cannons were plainly superior to the French arms, which led to the shockingly poor performance against an already overstretched Prussia (also at war with Denmark, Austria, Bavaria). Had the Russians and Poles ALSO initiated hostilities, the Emperor suspected that the war would have gone very badly.

Even as the conflict ended in victory, it became apparent that both the technology and organization of the French forces must be reconsidered. A General Staff of the Prussian model was finally implemented after over a century of demands for reform. Frederick II in the 7 Years War adequately proved the inferiority of the obsolete French system but the resistance of the French establishment prevented any major reforms. Logistics, officer training, etc, seemed very little different from a hundred years prior (most of Napoleon I's reforms had been reversed).

The superior "Krupp" Cannons of the Prussian Army had been built in Essen, now allocated to French ally, Hanover, the leader of the Northwest German Confederation. The outstanding cannons were now shipped west to France instead of east to Prussia.

The French Navy's massive building program of iron ships was already well along. By 1868, the Navy was expected to exceed the Royal Navy in terms of custom-built ironclads.

Indeed, all the major powers - France, Britain, Russia and even Italy America, China and Nippon - were engaging in a naval arms race.

Washington DC

Lincoln was dismayed to hear of riots in Indiana, New York and even California over the proposed 15th Amendment, protecting the voting rights of all peoples regardless of race, place of birth, etc. The proposal had been amended to prevent foreseeable attempts to circumvent the law, like poll taxes and literacy tests (the 15th abolished these).

Though there was some additional support from the poor whites and immigrant classes which had been marginalized, it also meant that there was resistance from citizens who wondered why the town drunk who never worked a day in his life or paid a penny in taxes somehow had the same vote as he did.
September, 1865

Washington DC

Lincoln was dismayed to hear of riots in Indiana, New York and even California over the proposed 15th Amendment, protecting the voting rights of all peoples regardless of race, place of birth, etc. The proposal had been amended to prevent foreseeable attempts to circumvent the law, like poll taxes and literacy tests (the 15th abolished these).
I am not sure they are that foreseeable. Place of birth?I have not heard of that one before.
I am sure they will come up with new and creative ways to stop who they do not want to vote. Better to put organising voting, registration to vote and counting of votes a federal matter.
as for the decline of cotton output.
That will depend on the price of cotton. if cotton production declines the price will rise and production will increase.
Last edited:
Chapter 65
October, 1865


Queen Isabella, was was her wont, would scream at her advisors until they gave up and did whatever she wanted. Eventually, they agreed to seek out more mercenaries throughout Europe. There were always impoverished men available to be bought. Both France and Italy had been quite accommodating in the past year in hopes of keeping Spain neutral during their inevitable conflicts with Britain (and France and Mexico, etc, etc).

Thus both allowed the Spanish Army to recruit in their nations. It turned out that the mercenary groups were almost always made better soldiers than Spaniards.

The war in Haiti was going well.....and badly.....at the same time.

Most objectives like taking Haitian cities went well enough....but the Haitians seemed unwilling to surrender under their new leader.....or Emperor.....or whatever the mulatto called himself. They merely retreated to the hills.

Starvation and privation didn't seem to affect that Haitian will to fight much. They'd been killing each other for over half a century and spent a century before that in bondage. What was one more massacre?

Isabella would eventually order the Generals to do anything they saw fit to bring the population to heel. One General had replied that would include killing 90% of the male population. The Queen wondered why he thought she would care about that.

If tens of thousands of mercenaries were required, then get them! If the Generals wanted modern arms like the Chassepots or Sharpe's....then get them!

Of course Spain, still recovering from two Carlist Wars, would not have the funds to easily pay for such a campaign. Thus, the Ministers were forced to cut back on road-building, railroads, education and the Navy (the Spanish Navy was already WEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLL behind the other European powers....or even America by this point.

But the Queen appointed them and they must do as their Master demanded.

The West Indies

Admiral Porter had been among the heroes of the War Between the States and the wars with Britain and France. With the peace, he'd feared that the navy would become the same backwater it had been prior to the war. For the moment, Lincoln still supported the building program.

Having investigated the massive shipbuilding plans of both European powers, this was necessary for national defense. But unemployment and debt still blanketed the country, both north and south. It would be easy enough for Congress to bleed the Navy white if they so chose.

Among his duties was commanding the USS Kalamazoo, the first of her class of Ocean-going Monitors, on her "shakedown" voyage with two older ships in tow. Of course, this was the theory. In reality, Porter was to stop at a number of Caribbean ports on "goodwill tours" of the British, French, Spanish, Dutch and Danes to inspect the defenses of each island. America had just spent two years being attacked by Britain (and nominally France) with little potential to strike back. Only the coincidence of Canada being adjacent to America allowed any part of the war on Britain to be taken to Her Majesty's domains.

Should hostilities arise again, Lincoln demanded a plan as to how to make the Europeans hurt. Porter found that SOME of the island defenses appeared to be updated to withstand modern artillery but most hadn't. In truth, since the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean (except on Spanish islands), the value of these lands had plummeted. Once these territories had been the most valuable per square mile in the world. Now, the old sugar-cane fields were going fallow as the West Indies could not match the Brazilians or even Americans in efficiency.

There were still some profits to be made, particularly in cotton or tobacco....but the West Indies had become a backwater and Porter doubted that anyone would ever fight over these pestilential hellholes again.

Washington DC

Of course, Porter's opinion was not universal among the Navy's upper ranks. Secretary of the Navy Welles had been adamant that gaining Caribbean bases must be high on America's priorities. Thus when the King of Denmark, still smarting over the loss of Schleswig and Holstein, offered to sell the Danish Virgin Islands for a few million dollars in gold, Welles virtually BEGGED Lincoln to agree.

Though already bearing huge amounts of debt, reaching an unthinkable 3.6 billion dollars after the war. Taxes raised during the war remained in place while tariffs were higher than they'd been in half a century to help pay off the debt.

Still, adding to the Secretary of the Navy's usable bases for $7,000,000, which was the equivalent of 2 or 3 DAYS of wartime cost, seemed downright reasonable. America had barely paid more than that for Alaska.

There was also talk that the Virgin Islands could be used as a homeland for American Freedmen though Lincoln had backed away on the "colonization" idea. There were still some groups in Washington who advocated sending the Negroes across the seas....and a few would go to Africa but this was only a few thousands.....but Frederick Douglass had demanded that Freedmen be treated as AMERICANS, not ex-patriots. In the end, Lincoln had been convinced to agree (thus his heavy focus on land distribution).

However, ANY new spending was not necessarily popular in Congress and the President was encountering resistance to the proposed 15th Amendment by additional votes against other legislation.

Fortunately, the vote was a draw and Vice-President Hamlin, a loyal Republican if not necessarily a key member of the party, would vote in support of the Administration. Sometimes Lincoln forgot the man existed but this time reminded himself to pen a letter to the Vice-President in thanks.

In 1866, the islands changed hands.

Only later would the President wonder why Denmark offered the islands to America rather than any of the other European powers. Had he bothered to ask, he would found out that the King of Denmark had been outraged that neither France nor Britain came to his aid when attacked by Prussia and, even after the latter's defeat, made no effort to return the German citizens to his authority.

But, like other secondary powers in the 19th Century, Denmark found itself increasingly behind a continent now bulging with giants. It was only a matter of time until one of the other powers simply sailed into the Danish Virgin islands and annexed them. At least selling them to the Americans would sting the other Europeans a bit.

Of course, once gaining the islands, the Naval Department realized they hadn't exactly purchased another Gibraltar. Yes, American ships could dock there but none of the islands possessed an anchorage as fine as Antigua, Havana, St. Kitts, etc. It would just be another place for America to pay for and defend.

Secretary of State William Seward would....again....be mocked by his enemies for his acquisitions.

Russian America was deemed "Seward's frozen head", the lands of southern Quebec were called "Seward's icy heart", the Baja Peninsula "Seward worn-out Steed" ("Steed" being slang for penis) and now the Virgin Islands "Seward's sweaty ballocks" ("ballocks" being testicles).
Chapter 66
November, 1865

Washington DC

Intent on getting a vote by Christmas, President Lincoln would nag Congress to formally debate the 15th Amendment until even his allies were tired of him. Eventually, the vote was postponed until after New Years. In truth, Lincoln was certain he could get an Amendment through regarding a ban on discrimination based upon RACE.....but it was the other clauses he inserted to ensure that class, "residency", education or other barriers could not be inserted by State Governments. The 15th could demand the NATIONAL government oversee registration and standardize voting laws.

For his part, Lincoln would prefer a good law to just any law that could be easily broken in the future. Thus he grimaced and agreed to wait. He was not an uncompromising man but here he could not accept watering down of the Amendment. There would be too many challenges in the future for the law itself to be weak.

In the meantime, Congress was endlessly debated that most vital of issues.................NAMING the newly acquired territories.

Congress still needed to bless the names Lincoln offered and, in truth, Lincoln didn't much care thus he sought recommendations.

The lead name for Baja California was....Lower California.
The Danish Virgin Islands were to be renamed......the AMERICAN Virgin Islands.

No one ever accused Congress of creativity, Lincoln would consider with a smirk.

Apparently, no one thought "Vancouver Island" should change though some argued the large island should be added to the former British Columbia. At the very least, Vancouver's British Capital of "Victoria" should be changed. There was a subcommittee devoted to that very topic.

"British Columbia" was looking likely to be renamed...."Columbia". Again, not the most imaginative name.

The vast "Rupert's Land" would almost certainly be divided into multiple territories...which would, of course, require additional subcommittees in the future once the teams of explorers would map the area (though the British maps were proving quite good overall).

Oddly, the only decisive action taken was on the lands south of the St. Lawrence acquired from Quebec had received a name. Once containing 80,000 largely French-speaking citizens, nearly 30,000 (and climbing) had already departed for north of the border. Apparently. the French were not eager for American citizenship. Still largely unsettled, entire towns of migrants had set up among the French, often moving into their homes.

A fund was set up to purchase the property of any Quebecois who desired to leave (it was made VERY clear that ALL of the residents were entirely welcome to stay as American citizens) and allow for settlement of soldiers and their families. Indeed, the first in line proved to be the Irish Brigade and, within a year of the war ending, nearly 15,000 ex-soldiers (10,000 from the Irish Brigades) were granted purchased properties or untouched acreage in the region and they brought families north to the Quebec border. Within three years, French was a minority language. Within ten, barely a fifth of the homes spoke French and those who opted to stay were gradually absorbed into the American population over the generations.

Seeking to make a concession to the French who still dominated the region in 1865, the suggestion of John Hay, Lincoln's secretary, would see the name "Lafayette" to be proposed. Though Frenchmen were not exactly popular at the moment, THAT particular Frenchman remained cherished in American hearts.

Apparently impressed with their own creativity (again, no one in Congress thought of the name) and magnanimity towards the conquered Frenchmen, "Lafayette" was approved as the new territorial name.

Indeed, the most rousing event was when a few Congressmen noted that "Lafayette" was a smallish state and, to give her room to grow, that perhaps some lands from upstate New York be added to Lafayette. The representatives of New York informed their colleagues that no such thing would ever happen.

"Russian America" left a different problem. Lincoln was attempting to keep good relations with the Czar and some recommended naming the territory "Alexandria". However, despite the Czar's reputation for liberating the serfs, Alexander II still had done little to create democracy and flat out crushed Poland under the Russian boot.

Thus, "Alaska" was probably going to be the selection though making that official would likely wait until after the American explorers completed their surveys.

Of course, "Southern Florida", bearing only a fraction of the population of the lightly populated "Florida". Previously, the Confederate state of Florida had bourn 140,000 (roughly 66,000 Negroes) souls, well over 3/4's of them in "Northern" Florida. Most of the maps of the newly carved southern territory did not even have towns marked in this region.

Lincoln had determined that "Freedmen" would be granted first crack at lands in the south (with the actual local Freedmen first and foremost among them).

By the end of 1865, "Southern" Florida's population was booming as most of the local Freedmen remained and over 20,000 more from "North" Florida and other parts of the south had migrated. In addition, another 15,000 whites had arrived as well, mostly from the Union states or foreign immigrants.

Lincoln had attempted to ease the transition by several means:

1. Making peace with the holdout "Seminole" peoples (Creeks who avoided the Trail of Tears) and other local tribes by granting them a series of small reservations in "Southern" Florida.
2. Encourage migration further by extending the rail line south through the heart of the state/territory.
3. Improve ports in the region like Tampa.

The official moniker of the new Territory as of yet was to be determined "South Florida", Seminole, Calusa, Tampa, Biscayne and Dade were the primary contenders.

The territories carved from "West" Texas and "North" Texas may also end up as "West Texas" (though Mescalero would become popular) and "North Texas" (Aranama was a contender) but there was at least some disagreement there as well.

Lincoln would be relieved when Congress stopped wasting their time on such issues so they could waste it on something more important.
Last edited:
I am not sure they are that foreseeable. Place of birth?I have not heard of that one before.
I am sure they will come up with new and creative ways to stop who they do not want to vote. Better to put organising voting, registration to vote and counting of votes a federal matter.
as for the decline of cotton output.
That will depend on the price of cotton. if cotton production declines the price will rise and production will increase.

I believe that "residency" was often used against immigrants.
Map of North America - 1866 - With new States of Nickajack and Kanawha and tentative Territorial Names
Fenians - 1866 - North America.png
I am not sure about Hudson and Athabasca as states. Too few people living there to give then each 2 seats in the senate.
Might be better as territories or just very large Indian reservations.
Last edited:
Did you have to be a citizen to vote in America at the time? I am not sure what "residency" means in this context

I believe that most states would have required you to establish residence to vote (you have to live there for x amount of months or years). This sort of thing can be manipulated against immigrants.
@Alt History Buff , why is it that most of your TLs feature the US annexing all or part of Canada at some point? Not knocking,just asking

Most of my TL's end up with some conflict between US and Great Britain at least by the time of the Civil War. At this point, there are only about 50,000-75,000 non-Indigenous people stretched from Western Ontario to Vancouver. I believe that this would be effectively impossible to defend against the United States by the mid-19th century. With a half-million people along the west coast alone in 1861 (versus 25-50,000 miners in British Columbia, many of which would probably be Americans as it would be been far easier for them to reach the Frasier Goldfields), the US would have rolled over it.

The War of 1812 was probably the last time that Great Britain could have militarily defended Canada. After that, the US population boom would have overwhelmed Canada and the advancing roads and railroads would have made the natural defenses of Canada more vulnerable. There would be no more Benedict Arnold marching through 600 miles of wilderness with a group of poorly equipped amateurs.
Chapter 67
December, 1865


Jefferson Davis' memoirs were published by a French publishing company. Through them, he blamed everyone but himself for the defeat of the Confederacy. If there was any fault of his own, it was the mistake he made in believing Great Britain and France could assist in the establishment of the Confederacy.

The Confederacy would have been better off manufacturing its own arms and fighting its own war rather than depend upon foreigners. If there was one iota of pleasure Davis had taken in two years exile, it was living to see the humiliation of the European "powers". That almost made up for the loss of the Southern way of life.

The memoirs further cast blame upon the southern generals, the lack of elan among the soldiers, the Confederate Congress, his Cabinet and, of course, the slaves whose resistance proved that somehow they SHOULD have been in slavery.

It was the miserable rant of a bitter man.

It was also the worst mistake he would ever make for the wrong person read it.


Though still four years away from completion, the Khedive of Egypt had already been forced to sell his shares to pay down a small portion of Egypt's debts he'd wracked up in just a few years.

And, of course, the ongoing drama with the British was deeply disconcerting. The Royal Navy appeared intent on rapidly building up its forces in the Eastern Mediterranean. British Army forces were being billeted in Cyprus and Crete (not to mention Malta, the Ionian Islands and Gibraltar).

The Greek Government was reportedly livid that Britain now had two more "natural" Greek possessions (in addition to the Ionian Islands) keeping the nation from enosis.

The Khedive's advisors (ironically British and French) BEGGED the Khedive to rein in his costs.


The Presidents of Peru and Chile finally agreed to a declaration of war against Spain. Ecuador was expected to join them within the month.

For the past year, Spain's Navy had effectively claimed the guano-rich Chincha Islands as "compensation" after a series of incidents with various South American countries. There was always the fear that Queen Isabella would try to somehow regain the old Spanish Empire (most would find this absurd despite the Spanish moves in the Dominican and Haiti.

Cooler heads would realize this and seek a peaceful solution. But the Pacific Coast of South America was rife with paranoia and many wanted to prove to the old Mother Country that their independence was NOT open for debate.


King Leopold II ascended to the throne in Belgium after the death of his father on December 1st. Many of the chorus of Europe wondered if Belgium would continue its fall into France's orbit...or if they really had a choice.
John Wilkes Booth is my guess.
He was killed in the post below after attempting to kill Davis.