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The Forgotten Monarchy of Greenbriar County, West Virginia
Thanks to Lu Hickey for sending this in

Following the Battle of Culloden, the international influence of the Stuarts could easily lessened but that was far from the case, even though some indoctrinated historians would have it otherwise.  In practice, the political impact that Charles Edward made on his contemporaries was such those 36 years after the Rising he was considered worthy of no less than the Crown of America.

In October 1781, General Charles Cornwallis surrendered his British force at Yorktown Virginia, and this led to the conclusion of the American War of Independence, thereby ending British rule in the old Colonies.  But in the winter of 1782, four American gentlemen arrived at Charles III’s Florentine residence, the Palazzo San Clemente.  They were Mr. Galloway of Maryland, two Sylvester brothers from Pennsylvania and Mr. Fish, an attorney from New York.  On requesting a royal audience, they were accommodated and taken to Charles by his secretary, John Stewart.

Coincidentally, King Charles had been in discussion that day with the Honorable Charles Hervey Townshend,   (Britain’s Ambassador to the Hague).  The two gentlemen had debated the pros and cons of monarchy.  Being a particularly interested party, Mr. Townshend remained present for the American interview. witnessing the presentation of letters of credence and listening to the details of a dilemma which existed across the Atlantic.

The content of this interview is well documented in the US Senate Archives, and in the Manorwater Papers.  Sir Compton Mackenzie, Sir Charles Petrie and others have written at the time when Charles Edward, de jure, King Charles III of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, was asked by the George Washington envoys to become King of the Americans.  The offer came as no great surprise to Charles, for some years earlier the men of Boston at the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War had approached him in Holland.

Having defeated the Jacobites at Culloden in 1746, it would have been a great irony for the House of Hanover to lose America to the Stuarts, and doubtless this thought occurred to Charles on being offered the American Crown.  For a number of reasons, though, he was obliged to decline the invitation.  At this time in 1782, Charles was separated from Louise of Stolberg, and whether or not he could obtain a formal divorce was uncertain.  His prospects of remarrying and fathering a legitimate male heir as his successor were equally uncertain.  If he had accepted the position, he would have opened the door to the Houseof Hanover again at his death.  With this in mind, Charles was not to spoil the Americans’ future to suit his own ends…so the United States Republic was born.

After the battles of the ‘15 and the ’45, thousands of Scots were exiled to the colonies of Jamaica, Australia, Canada and America.  The ship passenger list of the Elizabeth and Ann, dated January 14, 1716, from Liverpool England and arriving at Yorktown VA reveals 113 passengers that were more than likely the progenitors of the military making the rosters of the American Revolutionary War. The passenger list reveals the names of those who fought profoundly against the British to gain freedom and to live and worship without persecution.  The zeal of the canny Scots was such they were not hindered by the frontier of the new colonies, which they found much like their homelands.  With this in mind they were able to move and adapt themselves to the environment of Virginia.  As such this settlement became  “The Greenbrier” of Virginia...a similarity of Scotland.



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