The Dead Skunk

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Lycaon pictus, May 7, 2011.

  1. Redolegna Hamiltonian Federalist for a more perfect EU

    Jun 17, 2014
    Joseph Dupuis was actually British as hinted by several things, such as the different transliteration of the name of the famed Algerian rebel, or the fact that he is assisted by 'Her Majesty's soldiers'. There is a breakdown of the European sphere of influence (with map!) on the previous page.
    generalurist likes this.
  2. jkarr Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2010
    question: whose ruling Andorra at this point? Cos i can't see the Spanish being happily with a Bonaparte as one of it's Princes. Maybe a Bourbon frenchie?
  3. wannis Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2007
    Since when does happiness play a role in these things? As long as Spain officially recognises the Bonapartes as heads of state of France and therefore as successors to the Counts of Foix, they'll have to recognize the Bonapartes as Co-Prince.
  4. Lycaon pictus Author of "Locksmith's Closet" Donor

    Apr 19, 2011
    Sorry to be away so long. Other projects have occupied my time.

    Napoleon II is indeed co-prince of Andorra, under the guidance of the Regency Council. From the Spanish point of view, this is less distasteful than a Regency Council with Joey the Jewel Thief on it.

    Speaking of which…

    Late in the evening on October 6, 1830, Princess Adelaide Louise Josephine Bonaparte was born. Early the next morning, her mother was dead, another casualty of what was then known as childbed fever.

    The national mourning that followed was unlike anything in living memory. As Alexandre Dumas would later say, “It was as though every household in France had lost a favorite child.” The sudden demand for black cloth was more than the entire textile industry of France could keep up with, forcing the country to import linen from the United Kingdom.

    The mourning in France was made all the darker by the fact that it was widely suspected not to be universal. The rumors that the royalists, recently defeated, were quietly celebrating the death of the princess was enough to encourage crackdowns against royalism in the west and south of France, driving more immigrants to Algeria and the Virreinato…

    The funeral was attended by practically all the royalty of Europe, whether their nations were friendly to France or not, from Queen Charlotte and King Consort Leopold to the tsar. Emperor Francis of Austria, Frederick William III of Prussia and William of Hanover came, accompanied by many German kings and nobles and King Paul of Greece. Frederick VI of Denmark and Charles XIV and III John of Sweden and Norway came as well. Even Serbia, Montenegro and Albania sent royalty. Only William III of the Netherlands, whose kingdom had been so diminished by France, outright refused to come. The Portuguese and Ottomans, of course, had other things on their mind.

    Ferdinand VI of Spain was suffering from ill health, but sent María Isabella in his place accompanied by nine governesses. Despite this wealth of potential witnesses, precisely what happened when the Infanta met Prince Napoleon is a matter of debate. In Spain, the story goes that after she expressed her condolences, she asked for the return of the crown jewels that his uncle had stolen from Spain years ago. By French accounts, he returned them of his own prompting, saying that it had been his intent to return them upon his coronation, “but when a wrong may be put right without harm to others, why wait even a day?”

    Whatever the case, the jewels were returned. If this was a positive sign, it was more than balanced by the fact that King Achille of Italy came accompanied by Prince Charles Albert of Sardinia with his own new bride, the 24-year-old Elisa Napoléone…

    There were signs early on that Prince Napoleon had been profoundly affected by the death of his new bride. One was his announcement, well before the funeral, that he would ask the Chambers and the Regency Council to set aside Salic law and make the infant Adelaide his heir. The other was his personal encouragement of France’s medical institutions to find a cure for childbed fever, although this would not bear fruit for many more years…

    Michel Noailles, Adelaide I: Biography of an Empress
  5. Tamar of the Tamar tribe Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2017
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  6. DAv Middle Class... sorry

    Apr 17, 2006
    So, by the title of the boigraphy, we can see that Adelaide ascended the throne as did at least one other female successor. Seems like this means that the Napoleonic Dysnasty carries on for a good while yet and the meeting of so many royal heads perhaps improves the chances of further peace in the world, for the time being.
    wannis likes this.
  7. Lycaon pictus Author of "Locksmith's Closet" Donor

    Apr 19, 2011
    The Class of 1820: Ten Years Later

    Virginia Elizabeth Clemm turned 10 on January 5. She’s an excellent student and a big fan of her cousin Edgar. She was excited to learn that this year Edgar was hired to translate Sarah Bertin’s autobiography. (It was hard to find anyone else willing to touch this book — New Englanders still had enough Puritan in them to be a little bothered by the descriptions of female nudity, and Southerners and Louisianans were more than a little bothered by the implicit criticism of slavery in Bertin’s story. It was, after all, about an African woman kidnapped by white men, treated as property and economically exploited. Granted, the exploitation took place under the most unlikely circumstances imaginable — the elevation of “dat ass tho” to a point of scientific inquiry — but slaveholders can detect a veiled insult or reproach through ten layers of mattress, to borrow a metaphor from a story Hans Christian Andersen hasn’t committed to paper yet. And what particularly chafed their butts was that the book ended with Sarah married to a white man and possessing a social status which was a little hard to pin down but looked a lot like equality.)
    “If poets seem different than other men, it is because they give voice to aspects of the soul that would otherwise remain mute.” — Virginia Clemm Poe

    Also celebrating their tenth birthdays this year are Princess Amelia Augusta Charlotte and her closest friend, Elphinstone Brougham. These two BFFs spend most of their waking hours together, although their tutors make every effort to separate them so they can force Amelia to learn and study on her own. (Amelia is an okay-to-good student. Elphie is an off-the-charts brilliant little polymath who is already fluent in French and German, can read Latin and ancient Greek, and just this year took her first steps into the world of calculus.)
    “We pretend to look down on the world’s upstarts and newcomers. The truth is, we fear and envy them. We know that in their place we could never have done likewise.” — Princess Amelia
    “She and I always had more in common than we knew. We were both born with gifts we’d done nothing to earn.” — Elphinstone Brougham

    Hugh Patrick Brontë turned 10 on February 20, but he almost wasn’t there to see it — he is only now recovering from a long stretch of consumption. He’s been sick for so long he lost a full year’s growth that he’ll never quite make up, but what didn’t kill him did leave him tougher as well as shorter, and more determined to prove himself.
    “Pacifists do not hate war. They merely find it distasteful. Soldiers, now… soldiers hate war.” — H.P. Brontë

    Crawford Murrill turned 10 on April 28, but didn’t have much to mark the occasion with. Last year his father went up the Red River to join the crew working on the Great Raft, and died in an accident. Now Crawford’s gotten a job on a boat plying the T&T and Great Southern canals, and sending money home when he can.
    “Nothing blasts the courage out of a man like being shot at from his own side.” — “Crawdad” Murrill

    James Suraker turned 10 on June 3 in Armistead, Indiana. He’s doing much better. His father’s finding lots of paying work in that growing town, and a school staffed by National University graduates has just opened.
    “Giving orders is good. Explaining the goal is better.” — Jim Suraker

    Arthur Winston Spencer-Churchill turned 10 on July 18. He can be the best student in school, or the worst, depending on whether he feels like cooperating.
    “My family isn’t known for surrendering.” — Arthur W. Spencer-Churchill

    Konstantin Konstantinovich turned 10. He is intelligent, hardworking and pious, and good to his younger brothers and sisters — everything you could ask for in a prince. It’s hard to look at him and not feel good about the future of All the Russias.
    “Uncle, I will finish what you started. I will make Russia holy again.” — Tsar Konstantin I
  8. Donald Reaver Still alive Donor

    Jan 25, 2004
    That last one makes me rather nervous for Russia, hope for the best.
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  9. SenatorErnesto Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2017
    It's been awhile since I read from this/been an update is there any chance of a summary being posted or one I can find recently within the timeline? Timeline is amazing but with all the characters and butterflies my head as troubling keeping up and what's going on everywhere.
  10. Lycaon pictus Author of "Locksmith's Closet" Donor

    Apr 19, 2011
  11. SenatorErnesto Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2017
  12. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2010
    Peterborough, UK.
    Might we find Britain settling runaway slaves in the area? A free Black population would fight like tigers against American conquest.
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  13. Lycaon pictus Author of "Locksmith's Closet" Donor

    Apr 19, 2011
    10 Ramadan, 1246
    (February 10, 1831)
    Üsküdar[1], Ottoman Empire

    Mahmud II was hungry. That was normal for the late afternoon during Ramadan. The sun wouldn’t go down for another hour, and when it did, he’d have nothing to break his fast with but olives and hard bread. He and his loyal Sipahis had been riding hard for the past three days. He ached from the waist down, and his poor horse was not far from collapse. He should have gotten a fresh one several miles ago, but he was almost at the point where he’d have to transfer to a boat anyway.

    I can live like a soldier for a little longer. Tonight I return to the City. Tonight I ready our defenses. It was only three days ago that he’d gotten word that Husein Gradaščević, the snake who called himself the Dragon of Bosnia, had betrayed him and was heading for the City with his own supporters.

    There was a time when a cockroach like Husein could have been crushed easily, but that was many years and disasters ago. The last of the rogue Janissaries had been killed or driven into the hills to fight as bandits, but they had left him very little. Outside Europe, only Ankara and the northern and western coasts of Anatolia remained under his control. The rest had fallen to Muhammad Ali, or to the Persians or Russians. And since it had pleased God to allow the old brigand who called himself Ali I to die peacefully in his sleep, every bandit in the Empire could now dream of becoming a sultan. And now his European possessions were in danger. There were so few left who could be trusted.

    Trust in God. Trust in God. If He means for the Empire to live on, you will have the honor of being His instrument in its deliverance. And if the Empire has outlived its usefulness to Him, He won’t fault you for doing your duty to your people by fighting to preserve it.

    His horse was making some alarming noises now, so Mahmud reluctantly allowed it to slow to a walk. They were almost at the western beach, across from the City.

    One of his Sipahi approached. “My Sultan,” he said. “Two palace guards are on the beach, in a small boat, with two small boys in royal finery. They ask for you.”

    No, thought Mahmud. No. No. No.

    He raised a spyglass to his eyes, careful not to aim it into the setting sun. Mostly he saw men on horseback milling around on the beach.

    Then they parted for a moment. There was a small boat with three guards and… two boys who appeared to be about six and four. They did indeed look very much like his own Abdülmecid and Abdülaziz[2], who should not have been outside the Topkapi Palace… unless… He fought the urge to spur his weakening horse as he approached.

    The army parted around him. “Has anyone else come from the palace?” one of the guards was asking.

    “Not that we’ve seen,” replied one of the soldiers. The guard seemed to crumble a little at the news. Then he turned, saw Mahmud II coming and prostrated himself.

    “My Sultan, I grieve to report that Husein Gradaščević has taken the City and the palace,” he said. “We were able to save two of your sons.”

    More to overcome the sudden blank horror rising up to his mind, Mahmud raised his spyglass to the northwest, in the direction of the palace.

    The flag flying over the palace was one he’d never seen before.

    “They say he’s made a deal to divide the Empire with Muhammad Ali,” the guard continued. “He mean to keep Rumeli[3] and the City and let the Egyptian pasha have the rest.”

    [1] Across the Bosporos from Constantinople
    [2] Not the OTL sons, of course, but their allohistorical brothers.
    [3] Ottoman possessions in Europe
  14. Herr Frage Jesus Christ Is In Heaven

    Sep 19, 2007
    Behind a black gate and to the left of a grove
    Well there go the Ottomans. The question now is whether either of the divisions can rule what they aspire to seize.
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  15. Lycaon pictus Author of "Locksmith's Closet" Donor

    Apr 19, 2011
    March 21, 1831
    Executive Mansion, Washington, D.C.

    For Secretary of State John Sergeant, today was shaping up to be rather unusual. President Clay had asked to see both him and Postmaster General Charles E. Dudley in the Oval Office. Even with all Quincy Adams had done to expand the federal government, it wasn’t so vast that two men in different offices would never meet, but Sergeant had rarely had occasion to cross paths with Dudley. And judging by the look on his face, Dudley was as confused as he was.

    The president turned to Sergeant. “To begin with,” he said, “what do you know about the situation with Spain?”

    “Funny you should ask. Only this morning I received the news that one of the more popular generals from New Spain had been killed in ambush in Cuba. Lopez de Santa… Santa Anna, I think. The story I hear is that he set up camp too close to a stretch of woods where rebels lurked.”

    “A popular general, but apparently not a very good one,” said Clay. “What of the larger picture?”

    Sergeant took a moment to collect his thoughts. “Spain is… in a bad way,” he said. “The rebellion in Cuba is costing them dear, both in revenue lost and the money they must spend to reclaim the isle. In Haiti, when last I heard they had well-nigh ceded all save the eastern third, the cities of Santo Domingo and Port-au-Prince and a few other towns on the coast. Had they come to blows with the Dutch in the Philippines last year, they might well have lost those isles.”

    “Does it seem to you that the Spaniards are any less determined to win in Haiti?”

    “If they’ve started to see reason, I haven’t heard it. They seem bent on fighting to the last East Indian.”

    “That would explain this.” Clay held up an advertisement clipped from a newspaper and handed it to Sergeant. “It has appeared in several newspapers in our southern states.”

    On closer examination, it purported to be from the Spanish government, and was a call for volunteers. WHITE MEN! PROVE your VALOR! Join the fight against the SAVAGE TRIBE of RUNAGATE NEGROES who have overrun SANTO DOMINGO… It offered to pay for transportation and food, but said nothing about arms or gear.

    “This government is more desperate than I thought, if they seriously intend to make Hessians of us,” said Sergeant. “And I marvel that the Spanish government has the cheek to call upon slaveholders to fight for them in Haiti while they fight other slaveholders in Cuba. Still, so long as they do not propose to make war upon us or our allies, I don’t see that they’re doing anything against our laws.”

    “There are those who disagree,” said Clay. “Calhoun, for instance. He would like to see these advertisements outlawed.”

    “What?” Sergeant was perplexed. Apart from the outrageousness of the idea, it seemed to him that Calhoun should have been if anything sympathetic to the Spaniards.

    “He’s concerned that too much talk of Haiti might inspire our own slaves to revolt. Even these advertisements… he says, and I am inclined to agree, that Negroes’ powers of intellect are sufficient to infer that if white men are fighting black men, black men must perforce be fighting white men — and that they have yet to be defeated.”

    “On that score, surely the damage is done,” said Sergeant. “Haiti has been out of white men’s control for rather a long time.”

    “True,” said Clay, “but how many slaves even know about Haiti? I doubt if one in ten could tell you the name of a single island in the Caribbean. A good master tries not to let them learn too much of the outside world. Speaking of which…” He turned to the postmaster.

    “You’ve heard that Calhoun wants to see the Post Office closed to abolitionist… messages,” said Clay.

    “So I have,” said Dudley. “I have not heard what possible rationale they can offer for this mad course of action.”

    “The argument Calhoun and the other Quids put forth,” said Clay in carefully neutral tones, “is that abolitionists and others have the right to speak as they please, but that the Post Office is under no obligation to facilitate their speech, and that to do so would undermine public order in the slave states.”

    “Have any of these people considered the extent of the powers we’d need to carry out their wishes?” said Dudley. “Reading every letter, judging its contents… we’d need more men than the Army simply to do that.”

    “Most impractical,” said Clay.

    “Not ten years ago,” said Sergeant, “such a suggestion from the Tertium Quids would have been unthinkable. It would have gone against everything they believed.”

    “Or everything Mr. Randolph[1] believed, at least,” said Clay.

    “None of us here shares the Quids’ principles,” Sergeant continued, “but to see them abandon those principles—does this not prove that slavery corrupts everything it touches?”

    Clay held up a hand for silence. “Your views in this matter are known, John. There is no need to recapitulate them.”

    “I do so only to show how well borne out they are.”

    Clay held up a hand. “I will not argue with you,” he said. “These men are frightened—frightened by Haiti, frightened by the Paixão de Cristo, frightened by the triumph of abolitionism in the West Indies. Frightened men do foolish things.” He took a breath. “I am neither frightened nor foolish.”

    Sergeant nodded. He supposed he should have been satisfied with this, but he wasn’t. While Clay would do nothing extravagant to help slavery, he would do nothing at all against it unless compelled by circumstances.

    Which was… bad. Slavery was an evil, to be tolerated where it holds sway for no other reason than that we cannot root it out without grave injury to the republic, but not to be extended one kilometer further.

    After all, there was a reason that even with the canals, industry was far slower to grow in the South than in the North. By all logic, there should not be one cotton mill in Massachusetts, Manchester or Mulhouse. Yet there they were, spinning raw cotton into thread thousands of kilometers away from Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi where it was grown. The only immigrant population the South was known for was the Italians come to dig the canals, and that stream had dried to a trickle years ago—and many of those who had come had returned to Italy[2], moved north or gone to the mountains to start vineyards… a business where they had little competition from slaveholders. As the man behind the American System, Clay had to see this. But as a slaveholder himself, it was too much to expect that he’d act on it.

    [1] John Randolph of Roanoke. Still alive, but in poor health, and watching these shenanigans isn’t helping.

    [2] In American history, we often forget about the immigrants who made their fortunes and moved back to Europe.
  16. Herr Frage Jesus Christ Is In Heaven

    Sep 19, 2007
    Behind a black gate and to the left of a grove
    Adios Santa Anna.

    I wonder which will give first in the Caribbean? And how this affair might stress matters between the brothers Bourbon.

    What a sad state for the Quids to fall too.

    Okay, that was some awesome dialogue for President Clay.
  17. Tamar of the Tamar tribe Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2017
    What is happening with this thread?
  18. Lycaon pictus Author of "Locksmith's Closet" Donor

    Apr 19, 2011
    Life. A major (I hope) book release, a new career, two novels to finish and so on. I haven't given up on it.
  19. Herr Frage Jesus Christ Is In Heaven

    Sep 19, 2007
    Behind a black gate and to the left of a grove
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  20. SomeFollowTheStars My Soul is a Dancing Star

    May 8, 2018
    Worker's Commonwealth of Luna
    I like Elphinstone
    What book and what novels? If it's anywhere near the quality of the Timeline I'd love to pick it up.