Absent Landlords

Once Upon A Time…
      (in 1541 to be exact)
      there was a Kingdom across the pond that sought to expand it’s holdings (in land, gold, and spices).
      The King and Queen of Spain built many ships, filled them with pardoned (and compelled) criminals and sent them to sea hoping they would not fall off a flat world.
     They did not.
     They landed in the Americas, and because they had been looking for the far off land of India, when they set anchor at the mouth of a great river, they called the people living there Indians (so much for independent thinking).
     The Kingdom of Spain took claim of this chunk of ‘swamp’ (and people) but lost interest quickly. Too wet. No gold.
     Many years later, in 1682, a new group of French explorers (which had been sent without adequate supplies and bad boats) but knowing the Spaniards were not looking, set claim to the same land and had a little battle.
     General Pierre d’Iberville, struck the flag for the magical kingdom of France. (In fact, France was so magical, that it found itself bankrupt nearly a century later, and with a lot of pissed off relatives). 
     Because the general and his men wanted to get back home, and needed a ride (France would have to send additional ships for them) he thought it wise to sweeten the pot by naming two very large bodies of water after the gloriously incompetent Minister of the French Navy, Louis Pontchartrain and his equally egregious but charming son, Maurapas. 
     Because King Louis XV thought it wise, in 1762, to not be invaded, he gifted his holdings of this place to his cousin, King Charles III of Spain, so as to encourage him not to crash his party.
     Alas, the French King danced himself to the grave, and his grandson would be no better at the waltz- loosing his head in 1793.
     This brilliant and long standing practice of governance through birthright led to the French Revolution, and the debacle that was the newly formed, and inexperienced, Citizen Constitutional Government, which in turn, led to Napoleon staging a coup in 1799, becoming crowned Emperor in 1800, forcing civilized behavior instead of bloodlust for the guillotine upon a crazed French populace, and also, the acquisition of the ‘swamp’ from Spain in the Treaty of 1800 (which promised Napoleon would not invade Spain or England- hehehehe).
     Three years later, in 1803, with England looking too tasty to resist, Napoleon sold his ‘Rights’ of the Louisiana Territory to the United States, to finance a war against Britain, that he would ultimately loose, be tried for, found guilty, and imprisoned twice (he escaped once)- but not before planning an exile to New Orleans. 
     Epic failure.
     Interestingly, in all the while that these countries laid claim, and fought, and stood rule, not one Landlord stepped a foot in.
     Except the other day I went for a dip…

does that count? 

A dock on
Lake Pontchartrain

Looking North from the South shore-
which is actually on the
East Bank.
You’d have to live here to understand.


  • Michelle Liew - Beautiful photos of the jetty! These certainly look pristine and unclaimed!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl Nicholl - The park service keeps them in ship-shape, and available to the public at no charge. Such a great place for a picnic!ReplyCancel

  • Another Clean Slate - Ohhh I love that view- and am jealous you live there!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Newlin - Those photos are beautiful!

    I had no idea that Napolean planned to exile to New Orleans! I also never thought about the possibility of negotiating in disagreements by agreeing to name things after the other person.

    So in the future, I could name the bathroom “Matthew Newlin’s place” if he lets me have the last cookie.

    It’s brilliant!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl Nicholl - So funny! Yes, I think that would be a fair trade. And you get the bedroom- ‘Lisa’s Kingdom: Only those invited may enter’! HahahaReplyCancel

  • Sue - Nice photos of the dock on Lake Pontchartrain that I knew nothing about until this post. But, what did the Indians call themselves before they were dubbed Indians I wonder.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl Nicholl - I could actually find that out…let me look…Choctaw (which means: Separate). But no two Indian tribes used the same language and had no verbs and never had a written language (this is a large reason for their overall demise actually) they passed knowledge through an oral tradition. I could go on…and on… this is an entire study in and of itself. Even if we (Europeans) hadn’t conquered- they were doomed.ReplyCancel

  • William Kendall - A lot of pissed off relatives is an understatement, looking at the history of France!ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - I know….. I am also a lover of History! But this is just little ole Pleasant House and not Mrs. Nicholl the history teacher.ReplyCancel

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