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Old 08-22-2018, 06:56 PM   #1
xerxes
 
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Default [Alt. History] captive Napolean

I thought I would pick your brains for this concept.

Let's say the folks holding N.B. after his first defeat don't take him to Elba. Someone hatches a different plan. They spirit him away (with his family) and drop him off on the docks of New Orleans with only enough cash to get lodging and food for five days. Then they leave. What happens after that?

How do the local government officials react?

How does the U.S. President react when word gets to him?
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Old 08-22-2018, 07:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: [Alt. History] captive Napolean

Why on Earth would they do such a thing? Also how? Napoleon surrendered on terms, which terms included an honour guard who went to Elba with him. The reason he was sent to Elba is that, unlike Louisiana, Elba wasn't full of French people who would be likely to form a loyal army for Napoleon's triumphant return.
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Old 08-22-2018, 09:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Alt. History] captive Napolean

Having confirmed the dates, also remember that the U.S. and Great Britain were still in a state of active war at the time of Napoleon's surrender, a war which the U.S. entered as an ally of France. There is no world in whivh your scenario is plausible, I'm afraid. Possibly a history where his honour guard fought him clear and he and the survivors fled to their American allies to rally French America and keep the fight going. Quebec would probably declare for him pretty quick, and Louisiana
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Old 08-23-2018, 01:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Alt. History] captive Napolean

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Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
There is no world in which your scenario is plausible, I'm afraid.
Indeed. If he had a traitor among the British aiding Napoleon, they'd have a better plan. If they didn't before they secured him, they would have shortly afterwards, because he'd devise it.
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Possibly a history where his honour guard fought him clear and he and the survivors fled to their American allies to rally French America and keep the fight going.
Although getting across the Atlantic with the entire Royal Navy of the period after you is not trivial.
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Old 08-23-2018, 05:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Alt. History] captive Napolean

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i


Although getting across the Atlantic with the entire Royal Navy of the period after you is not trivial.
Presumably he had spme cunning plan to deal with that, else he wouldn't have broken out. I don't know what, but I'm not a military genius either. Anyway, that's the closest to a plausible explanation for Napoleon turning up in New Orleans in 1814 I can think of offhand. Conceivably, in an alternate history where the Haitian Revolution failed, he might've been made ruler of Haiti instead of Elba, and gone to Lousiana instead of France when he left, I suppose.
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Old 08-23-2018, 12:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Alt. History] captive Napolean

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a war which the U.S. entered as an ally of France.
Are you sure?

The US and France were not on particularly good terms at that time. The US had recently had a mini naval war with France, destroying a lot of their West Indies trade, and then the "XYZ Affair" created a lot of outrage. The "Convention of 1800" ended the US-French alliance that had been around since the Revolution. The US bought Louisiana, but then, Napoleon was having a fire sale, trying to get out of North American and keep that territory out of British hands, so it was obviously in the US interest to grab it while it was being offered. The US was officially neutral in the Napoleonic wars, including a Congressional declaration of such, and was fairly hostile with both Britain and France, embargoing them both -- though somewhat more distrustful of Britain.

Certainly with the War of 1812, both France and the US were fighting Britain, but I don't think it was as allies. Just an extra sideshow for Britain, with the US able to rattle its sabers (or sails) knowing that the British Lion mostly had other things to worry about.

Was there a treaty between the US and France that declared cooperation sometime after 1800 (and before 1815)?

At any rate, New Orleans does seem a very unlikely place for the British to send Napoleon, as well as an unlikely place for Napoleon to want to go. There are any number of other countries either would probably choose before the US.

Last edited by Anaraxes; 08-24-2018 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 08-23-2018, 07:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Alt. History] captive Napolean

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Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
Why on Earth would they do such a thing? Also how? Napoleon surrendered on terms, which terms included an honour guard who went to Elba with him. The reason he was sent to Elba is that, unlike Louisiana, Elba wasn't full of French people who would be likely to form a loyal army for Napoleon's triumphant return.
Lots of alt. history ideas are founded on something far-fetched just because it would a fun setting for stories or games. GURPS Alternate Earths and GURPS Alternate Earths 2 have timelines that are kind questionable as to feasibility.

But, perhaps my set up is not so outlandish, after all. Anaraxes points out that France and the USA aren't allies. Let's suppose the Brits really want to "stick it" to the USA. Maybe a good way to do that would be to dump Bonaparte in Louisiana hoping that he will try to form a kingdom for himself and thus "spoil" the Americans' recent purchase. The folks there who had until recently been part of France might have more affinity for him that those English-speaking swine from the East coast.

So, suspend your disbelief for a moment. I'll repeat my questions. How would the local American officials react to the situation upon first learning of the arrival? How would the U.S. Prez react to news of arrival?
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Old 08-23-2018, 11:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Alt. History] captive Napolean

The fleeing the British option it might be that New Orleans isn't the first plan but given wind conditions and where the British ships are it is the best hope you can reach.
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Old 08-24-2018, 12:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Alt. History] captive Napolean

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Originally Posted by xerxes View Post
Lots of alt. history ideas are founded on something far-fetched just because it would a fun setting for stories or games. GURPS Alternate Earths and GURPS Alternate Earths 2 have timelines that are kind questionable as to feasibility.

But, perhaps my set up is not so outlandish, after all. Anaraxes points out that France and the USA aren't allies. Let's suppose the Brits really want to "stick it" to the USA. Maybe a good way to do that would be to dump Bonaparte in Louisiana hoping that he will try to form a kingdom for himself and thus "spoil" the Americans' recent purchase. The folks there who had until recently been part of France might have more affinity for him that those English-speaking swine from the East coast.

So, suspend your disbelief for a moment. I'll repeat my questions. How would the local American officials react to the situation upon first learning of the arrival? How would the U.S. Prez react to news of arrival?
There's improbable, and then there's implausible. The only two independent countries in the area are the USA and Haiti. While dropping Napoleon off at Port-au-Prince to see how he fares against the former slaves who rebelled against his governor probably has some appeal, it doesn't seem likely. The British, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese don't want Napoleon in their colonies. Setting Napoleon loose in South America might prove equivalent to Simon Bolivar getting an early start.

To make this plausible, Napoleon suggests that he has wearied of both the military life and the political life and would be willing to settle down to life as a prosperous merchant, say a plantation owner on the island of Guadeloupe, dealing in sugar and spices. The allies consider this a cheap bargain and agree.

Napoleon and his family are being transported aboard the HMS Epervier which is taken near Cape Canaveral on 29 June, 1814* by the USS Peacock. The Peacock takes the Epervier to New Orleans to be sold as a prize. The captain of the Peacock has also claimed as part of the prize, the monies that were to set Napoleon up in business.

Local officials are in a state of consternation over having Napoleon in New Orleans. They don't think he qualifies as a US prisoner of war, though he was found aboard an enemy vessel. They are aware that the UK is sending reinforcements to both the army and navy forces on the northern front, since Napoleon's defeat. They fear that having taken Napoleon from his British transport may be perceived as a prelude to America siding with the French Empire. It's bad enough dealing with the U.K. If Russia, Austria, Spain, Portugal, and the various German and Italian states start sending assistance to the UK, well... Then there's the fact that Napoleon is getting on very well with both his naval captors and visitors from the U.S. Army. There's a strong undercurrent that suggests the members of the US Army would like to see the likes of "Granny" Dearborn and Winslow Scott removed from leadership in favour of Napoleon. They don't like to think what Napoleon might do if he got among the wild American Indians and tried unifying them.

By the time Madison is informed about his new guest, Washington has been sacked. Rumours that Madison fled in terror at the British approach while Dolly was busy rescuing national treasures are already making the rounds. Rumours are circulating back to Madison that a cabal of American politicians plan to impeach him for cowardice and then place Napoleon in the Presidency, supposing they have to amend the constitution to do so.

The latest wild rumour is that Madison has sent out a detachment of American sharpshooters to eliminate Napoleon and thereby abort the conspiracy.

*In OTL, the Peacock did take the Epervier there but on April 29, 1814.

Last edited by Curmudgeon; 08-24-2018 at 10:13 AM. Reason: added footnote
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Old 08-25-2018, 12:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Alt. History] captive Napolean

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Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
Presumably he had spme cunning plan to deal with that, else he wouldn't have broken out. I don't know what, but I'm not a military genius either. Anyway, that's the closest to a plausible explanation for Napoleon turning up in New Orleans in 1814 I can think of offhand.
The best way to get him out is to fake his death, then smuggle him out when the heat is off.
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