L is for Louisiana Purchase

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

My 2017 A to Z Challenge theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage”, my alternative history novel that all began when I wondered, “What would have happened if Leif Eriksson had settled Vinland permanently in 1000 AD? For further details and links to my other A to Z posts – and hints at the ones to come visit “Kanata – A to Z Challenge 2017”.

L (1)

L is for Louisiana Purchase: 20 December 1803 – After eleven months of protracted negotiations, Darja Migisi is relieved when the French government formally hand over control of the Île d’Orléans to Kanata, after numerous hostile encounters all around the Louisiana and Atlantic coast ever since Napoleon Bonaparte and Spain have been attempting to disrupt the region. However, Kanata’s southern neighbours, the Dixie States, under their President, Thomas Jefferson, have offered the Napoleonic government money for all the French land settled along the Mississippi river as far as the Kanata border, knowing that the Emperor needs money to finance his European wars. The Mexican government under Governor Cuauhtémoc de Salcedo countered by offering bullion for all the land where they have settlements, although the Dixie States have made significant inroads west, mainly into Texas and Oklahoma. Darja Migisi and the Kanatian delegation are concerned that these complex land issues cannot be settled so easily, especially when almost all the land is still settled by their indigenous brethren. But for now, the greatest concerns are the ambitions of France. However, with the Mesoamerican power blocs co-operating with the Iberian crowns conflict will be hard to avoid. At least, Kanata is granted the right to patrol the Mississippi and control trade through Île d’Orléans, now called New Orleans. Whether the Dixie States will accept their influence might be another point of conflict in later years.


The Louisiana Purchase. Projection = USA Contiguous Albers Equal Area Conic (EPSG: 102003) – Sources: Natural Earth and Portland State University. Author – William Morris


In our timeline: The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 was by far the largest territorial gain in U.S. history. Stretching from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains, the purchase doubled the size of the United States. Before 1803, Louisiana had been under Spanish control for forty years. Although Spain aided the rebels in the American Revolutionary War, the Spanish didn’t want the Americans to settle in their territory.

The acquisition of the Louisiana Territory for the bargain price of less than three cents an acre was among Jefferson’s most notable achievements as president. American expansion westward into the new lands began immediately, and in 1804 a territorial government was established. On April 30, 1812, exactly nine years after the Louisiana Purchase agreement was made, the first state to be carved from the territory–Louisiana–was admitted into the Union as the 18th U.S. state.

[Wikipedia and History.com]

Would the Dixie States and the Mesoamerican nations accept Kanata controlling the main port on the Gulf Coast as well as the key inland waterway? Or is war between them inevitable?


Important Links for the A to Z Challenge – please use these links to find other A to Z Bloggers

Website: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/atozchallenge/

Twitter handle: @AprilAtoZ

Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

N is for New Orleans


The Battle of New Orleans was a series of engagements fought from December 24, 1814 through January 8, 1815 and was the final major battle of the War of 1812. American combatants, commanded by Major General Andrew Jackson, prevented an invading British Army, commanded by General Edward Pakenham, and Royal Navy, commanded by Admiral Alexander Cochrane, from seizing New Orleans as a strategic tool to end the war. New Orleans was a  vital seaport considered the gateway to the United States’ newly purchased territory in the West. If it could seize the Crescent City, the British Empire would gain dominion over the Mississippi River and hold the trade of the entire American South under its thumb.

Americans believed that a vastly powerful British fleet and army had sailed for New Orleans (Jackson himself thought 25,000 troops were coming), and most expected the worst. The victory, leading a motley assortment of militia fighters, frontiersmen, slaves, Indians and even pirates came after weathering a frontal assault by a superior British force, and inflicting devastating casualties along the way.

1815 painting of the battle by participant Jean Hyacinthe de Laclotte of the Louisiana Militia based on his memories and sketches made at the site.

1815 painting of the battle by participant Jean Hyacinthe de Laclotte of the Louisiana Militia based on his memories and sketches made at the site. 

New Orleans boosted the reputation of Andrew Jackson and helped to propel him to the White House. The anniversary of the battle was celebrated as a national holiday for many years, and continues to be commemorated in south Louisiana.

The Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814 (but was not ratified by the US Government until February 1815), and hostilities would continue in Louisiana until January 18 when all of the British forces had retreated, finally putting an end to the Battle of New Orleans

From December 25, 1814, to January 26, 1815, British casualties during the Louisiana Campaign, apart from the assault on January 8, were 49 killed, 87 wounded and 4 missing. Thus, British casualties for the entire campaign totalled 2,459: 386 killed, 1,521 wounded, and 552 missing. American casualties for the entire campaign totalled 333: 55 killed, 185 wounded, and 93 missing.

Further Information:





A is for Anishinaabe ~ B is for Brock ~ C is for Coloured Corps ~ D is for Detroit ~ E is for Erie ~ F is for First Nations ~ G is for Ghent ~ H is for Harrison ~ I is for Impressment ~ J is for Jackson ~ K is for Key ~ L is for Lundy’s ~ M for Madison

 A2Z-BADGE-000 [2015] - Life is Good

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behaviour.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, we blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. Please visit other challenge writers.

My theme is ‘The War of 1812’, a military conflict, lasting for two-and-a-half years, fought by the United States of America against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, its North American colonies, and its American Indian allies. The Memoirs of a British naval officer from the war is central to my novel “Seeking A Knife” – part of the Snowdon Shadows series.


Further reading on The War of 1812: