Habsburg Monarchy – Revived!

On this day, December 16, 2017, I revive, and claim, the Mexican Habsburg Monarchy that was never dissolved. Maximilian invited my German ancestors to come live in Mexcian colonies. Empress Zita fled from Hitler to the United States, thus giving new life to Maximilian’s dream.

Members of the Rosamond and Hodges family came to live in Texas after the Civil War.

Jon Presco


Marion Frances and Sarah Hodges Rosamond become parents of a son they name Joseph Franklin Rosamond. Joseph’s death certificate, a certified copy of which was obtained from the State of Texas, and is in my possession, establishes his date of birth.
Montgomery County, MS Federal Census, ED 141, Line Numbers 16 – 21
A family, which I believe is that of Marion F. and Sarah Hodges Rosamond, is listed as follows:
16 Roseman, F W M 32 Marion Frances, at some point, began using the name Frank. (The 2 is garbled, but determined by comparison to other numbers written on the page.)

Governing with the conservative People’s Party, the move makes Austria the only country in Western Europe to have a far-right party in power.



Meanwhile, Maximilian invited ex-Confederates to move to Mexico in a series of settlements called the “Carlota Colony” and the New Virginia Colony with a dozen others being considered, a plan conceived by the internationally renowned U.S. Navy oceanographer and inventor Matthew Fontaine Maury. Maximilian also invited settlers from “any country” including Austria and the other German states.

In August, Breckinridge departed Havana for Britain, but soon left Europe for Canada. He was there on Christmas Day 1868 when President Johnson announced a general amnesty to former Confederates. Breckinridge returned to Lexington, Ky., early the following year, where he remained until his untimely death in 1875 at age 54.

Of course, numerous Southern leaders simply refused to admit defeat. Most prominently Brig. Gen. J.O. Shelby, who led a remnant of his cavalry division, several hundred men, into Mexico. They never surrendered.

Alfred Pleasanton, who once commanded the cavalry corps of the Union Army of the Potomac, where he battled the more famous General J.E.B. Stuart, judged Shelby to be best of all Confederate cavalry commanders. When the war started, the 30-year-old Shelby owned a hemp plantation near Kansas City; earlier he had been a border ruffian during the Bleeding Kansas era. During the Civil War he was in every major battle in Arkansas and Missouri, though by the end he was fighting in Texas.

On June 2, 1865, Shelby organized his division for a final review on open prairie about 50 miles southeast of Dallas. Announcing that he would never abide Yankee rule, he asked for volunteers to march into Mexico. “We will do this: we will hang together, we will keep our organization, our arms, our discipline, our hatred of oppression,” he said, choosing “exile to submission, death to dishonor.”

Upon reaching Mexico City he offered his well-armed battalion to Emperor Maximilian, whom the French had installed as a puppet monarch. But Maximilian turned him down in order to avoid antagonizing the United States; instead, he offered Shelby’s men, and other refugee Confederates, free land in the Cordoba Valley.

By the time Maximilian’s government fell, two years later, most of the refugees, including Shelby, had returned to the United States. Back home in Missouri, Shelby never showed signs of bitterness toward the North, but he refused to take an oath to the Constitution until appointed a federal marshal in 1893. A few years before his death in 1897, he concluded that the passions aroused by the debate over slavery made men “irresponsible,” and added, “I now see I was so myself.”

Mark Twain rented the house in 1907 for a couple of years, then in 1945, the house was bought by Henry Cole whose brother-in-law , Calvin Bullock, had met Otto Hapsburg, the pretender to the Austro-Hungarian throne before world war II. Hapsburg’s mother, Empress Zita was the wife of Karl I, the last emperor. The Empress was invited to stay in this house, which was later sold to her family. The property was held in the names of the Empress’s children, one of whom, Elizabeth, married Heinrich, Prince of Liechtenstein. The Empress lived here until she returned to Europe having sold the house to its present owners in 1971.



VIENNA, April 1— Old Vienna dusted off its imperial finery today to lay to rest Austria’s last Empress, paying a regal tribute to a woman who remained quietly true to her lost crown and to the late Emperor through seven decades of exile.

For the first time since the 600-year Austro-Hungarian monarchy was dissolved in 1919, the ornate black imperial catafalque – borrowed from the Museum at Schonbrunn Palace -rolled past the old palaces and baroque temples of central Vienna to the imperial burial vault. There, under the Capuchin Church, Zita, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, was laid to rest among the richly decorated caskets of the Hapsburgs.

The Empress Zita, as she remained known through her long exile, died March 14 at the age of 96 in the Swiss nunnery where she lived her last years. Married in 1911, crowned in 1916, exiled in 1918 and widowed in 1922 with eight children, she lived modestly in seven different lands, including Canada and the United States during and after World War II.

Security was heavy in anticipation of protest demonstrations. But only a few small clusters of youths from Communist and Socialist organizations held up banners along the funery route saying, ”The Empire is Dead, the Republic Lives.” The Socialists scattered some leaflets along the cortege route noting that the empire was not all ”good old days.”


In April 1864, Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian stepped down from his duties as Chief of Naval Section of the Austrian Navy. He traveled from Trieste aboard SMS Novara, escorted by the frigates SMS Bellona (Austrian) and Themis (French), and the Imperial yacht Phantasie led the warship procession from his palace at Miramare out to sea.[31] They received a blessing from Pope Pius IX, and Queen Victoria ordered the Gibraltar garrison to fire a salute for Maximilian’s passing ship.

The new emperor of Mexico landed at Veracruz on 29 May 1864,[32] and received a cold reception from the townspeople. Veracruz was a liberal town, and the liberal voters were opposed to having Maximilian on the throne.[33] He had the backing of Mexican conservatives and Napoleon III, but from the very outset he found himself involved in serious difficulties since the Liberal forces led by President Benito Juárez refused to recognize his rule. There was continuous warfare between his French troops and the Republicans.

The Imperial couple chose as their seat Mexico City. The Emperor and Empress set up their residence at Chapultepec Castle, located on the top of a hill formerly at the outskirts of Mexico City that had been a retreat of Aztec emperors. Maximilian ordered a wide avenue cut through the city from Chapultepec to the city center; originally named Paseo de la Emperatriz, it is today Mexico City’s famous boulevard, Paseo de la Reforma. He also acquired a country retreat at Cuernavaca. The royal couple made plans to be crowned at the Catedral Metropolitana but, due to the constant instability of the regime, the coronation was never carried out. Maximilian was shocked by the living conditions of the poor in contrast to the magnificent haciendas of the upper class. Empress Carlota began holding parties for the wealthy Mexicans to raise money for poor houses. One of Maximilian’s first acts as Emperor was to restrict working hours and abolish child labour. He cancelled all debts for peasants over 10 pesos, restored communal property and forbade all forms of corporal punishment. He also broke the monopoly of the Hacienda stores and decreed that henceforth peons could no longer be bought and sold for the price of their debt.

As Maximilian and Carlota had no children, they adopted Agustín de Iturbide y Green and his cousin Salvador de Iturbide y de Marzán, both grandsons of Agustín de Iturbide, who had briefly reigned as Emperor of Mexico in the 1820s. Iturbide and his cousin were granted the title Prince de Iturbide and style of Highness by imperial decree of 16 September 1865 and were ranked after the reigning family.[34] They intended to groom Agustín as heir to the throne. However, Maximilian never intended to give the crown to the Iturbides because he considered that they were not of royal blood.[35] It was all a charade directed to his brother Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria, as he explained himself: either Karl gave him one of his sons as an heir, or he would give everything to the Iturbide children.[35]

To the dismay of his conservative allies, Maximilian upheld several liberal policies proposed by the Juárez administration – such as land reforms, religious freedom, and extending the right to vote beyond the landholding class. At first, Maximilian offered Juárez an amnesty if he would swear allegiance to the crown, even offering the post of Prime Minister, which Juárez refused.

Maximilian I of Mexico depicted on a 20-peso gold coin (1866)

Maximilian I of Mexico depicted on a 20-peso gold coin (1866)

After the end of the American Civil War, the United States government used increasing diplomatic pressure to persuade Napoleon III to end French support of Maximilian and to withdraw French troops from Mexico. Washington began supplying partisans of Juárez and his ally Porfirio Díaz by “losing” arms depots for them at El Paso del Norte at the Mexican border. The prospect of a United States invasion to reinstate Juárez caused a large number of Maximilian’s loyal adherents to abandon the cause and leave the capital.[36]

Maximillian planned the monument to Columbus for the grand boulevard, now called Paseo de la Reforma. It was built during the regime of Porfirio Díaz.

Meanwhile, Maximilian invited ex-Confederates to move to Mexico in a series of settlements called the “Carlota Colony” and the New Virginia Colony with a dozen others being considered, a plan conceived by the internationally renowned U.S. Navy oceanographer and inventor Matthew Fontaine Maury. Maximilian also invited settlers from “any country” including Austria and the other German states.[37]

Maximilian issued his Black Decree on October 3, 1865. Its first article stated that: “All individuals forming a part of armed bands or bodies existing without legal authority, whether or not proclaiming a political pretext, whatever the number of those forming such band, or its organization, character, and denomination, shall be judged militarily by the courts martial. If found guilty, even though only of the fact of belonging to an armed band, they shall be condemned to capital punishment, and the sentence shall be executed within twenty-four hours”. It is calculated that more than eleven thousand of Juarez’s supporters were executed as a result of the Black Decree, but at the end it only inflamed the Mexican Resistance.[38][39]

Nevertheless, by 1866, the imminence of Maximilian’s abdication seemed apparent to almost everyone outside Mexico. That year, Napoleon III withdrew his troops in the face of Mexican resistance and U.S. opposition under the Monroe Doctrine, as well as increasing his military contingent at home to face the ever growing Prussian military and Bismarck. Carlota travelled to Europe, seeking assistance for her husband’s regime in Paris and Vienna and, finally, in Rome from Pope Pius IX. Her efforts failed, and she suffered a deep emotional collapse and never went back to Mexico. After her husband was executed by Republicans the following year, she spent the rest of her life in seclusion, never admitting her husband’s death, first at Miramare Castle in Trieste, Austria-Hungary, then Italy, and then at Bouchout Castle in Meise, Belgium,[40] where she died on 19 January 1927.[41]


Last moments of Emperor Maximilian I of México. by Jean-Paul Laurens

Édouard Manet‘s Execution of Emperor Maximilian (1868–1869), is one of five versions of his representation of the execution of the Austrian-born Emperor of Mexico, which took place on June 19, 1867. Manet borrowed heavily, thematically and technically, from Goya’s The Third of May 1808.

Though urged to abandon Mexico by Napoleon III himself, whose troop withdrawal from Mexico was a great blow to the Mexican Imperial cause, Maximilian refused to desert his followers. Maximilian allowed his followers to determine whether or not he abdicated. Faithful generals such as Miguel Miramón, Leonardo Márquez, and Tomás Mejía vowed to raise an army that would challenge the invading Republicans. Maximilian fought on with his army of 8,000 Mexican loyalists. Withdrawing, in February 1867, to Santiago de Querétaro, he sustained a siege for several weeks, but on May 11 resolved to attempt an escape through the enemy lines. This plan was sabotaged by Colonel Miguel López who was bribed by the Republicans to open a gate and lead a raiding party, though with the agreement that Maximilian would be allowed to escape.

Execution of Mejia, Miramon and Maximilian. While no photograph was taken of the actual execution, an on-the-spot sketch made by eye-witness Francois Aubert indicates that this is an accurate reconstruction[42]

The city fell on 15 May 1867 and Maximilian was captured the next morning after the failure of an attempt to escape through Republican lines by a loyal hussar cavalry brigade led by Felix Salm-Salm. Following a court-martial, he was sentenced to death. Many of the crowned heads of Europe and other prominent figures (including the eminent liberals Victor Hugo and Giuseppe Garibaldi) sent telegrams and letters to Mexico pleading desperately for the Emperor’s life to be spared. Although he liked Maximilian on a personal level,[43] Juárez refused to commute the sentence in view of the Mexicans who had been killed fighting against Maximilian’s forces, and because he believed it was necessary to send a message that Mexico would not tolerate any government imposed by foreign powers. Felix Salm-Salm and his wife masterminded a plan and bribed the jailors to allow Maximilian to escape execution. However, Maximilian would not go through with the plan because he felt that shaving his beard to avoid recognition would ruin his dignity if he were to be recaptured.[44] The sentence was carried out in the Cerro de las Campanas at 6:40am on the morning of 19 June 1867, when Maximilian, along with Generals Miramón and Mejía, were executed by a firing squad. He spoke only in Spanish and gave each of his executioners a gold coin not to shoot him in the head so that his mother could see his face. His last words were, “I forgive everyone, and I ask everyone to forgive me. May my blood, which is about to be shed, be for the good of the country. Viva Mexico, viva la independencia!”[45] Generals Miramón and Mejía standing to Maximilian’s right, were killed by the same volley as the emperor, fired by the fifteen-man (twenty-one in other accounts) execution party. Maximilian and Miramón died almost immediately, the emperor calling out the single word hombre, but Mejía’s death agony was a more extended one.[46]


Maximilian’s embalmed body

After his execution, Maximilian’s body was embalmed and displayed in Mexico. Early the following year, the Austrian admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff was sent to Mexico aboard SMS Novara to take the former emperor’s body back to Austria. After arriving in Trieste, the coffin was taken to Vienna and placed within the Imperial Crypt, on 18 January 1868, where it can be viewed today.

The Emperor Maximilian Memorial Chapel was constructed on the hill where his execution took place.


The Mexican Empire (Spanish: Imperio Mexicano) or Second Mexican Empire (Spanish: Segundo Imperio Mexicano) was the name of Mexico under a limited hereditary monarchy declared by the Assembly of Notables on July 10, 1863, during the Second French intervention in Mexico. It was created with the support of Napoleon III of France, who attempted to establish a monarchist ally in the Americas. A referendum confirmed Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, as Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico.

Promoted by the powerful and conservative elite of Mexico’s “hacendados“, with the support of the French, as well as from the Austrian and Belgian crowns, the intervention attempted to create a monarchical system in Mexico, as it had functioned during the 300 years of the viceroyalty of New Spain and for the short term of the imperial independent reign of Emperor Agustin I of Mexico. Support came mainly from conservative Catholics, which were at the time a majority within Mexico[citation needed], and the main means came from the Mexican nobility, who aimed to promote stability. The Empire came to an end on June 19, 1867, with the execution of Emperor Maximilian I.

Napoleon III had more ambitious goals than the recovery of France’s debts. Heavily influenced by his wife Empress Eugenie, he was intent on reviving the Mexican monarchy. Prior to 1861 any interference in the affairs of Mexico by European powers would have been viewed as a challenge to the US, and no one wanted to provoke a conflict with them. In 1861 the US was embroiled in its own conflict, the American Civil War, which made the US government in Washington DC powerless to intervene. Encouraged by Empress Eugenie, who saw herself as the champion of the Catholic Church in Mexico, Napoleon III took advantage of the situation.

Napoleon III saw the opportunity to make France the great modernizing influence in the Western Hemisphere, as well as enabling the country to capture the South American markets. To give him further encouragement, there was his half brother, the duc de Morny, who was the largest holder of Mexican bonds.


Born in Palermo, Sicily, on 3 April 1812, she was the eldest daughter of the future Louis-Philippe I, King of the French, and of his wife Maria Amalia of the Two Sicilies. As a child, she had a religious and bourgeoisie education thanks to the part played by her mother and her aunt, Princess Adélaïde of Orléans to whom she was very close. As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon she was entitled to the rank of a Princess of the Blood Royal.


On 9 August 1832 , the twenty year old Louise married King Leopold I of the Belgians, who was twenty two years her senior. Leopold had been widowed by his wife, Princess Charlotte of Wales after her death in childbirth in 1817. Since Leopold was a Protestant, they had both a Catholic and a Calvinist ceremony.


About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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