Louis XVII:
The Myth Continued!

Eleazer's Ancestors Debate Relative Royalty

The news that DNA tests in France had debunked the myth of the Lost Dauphin, Louis XVII (click here for a recap), stirred immediate reaction from distant relatives of Eleazer Williams, a famous American pretender to that title. As one of that very same elite group of historical hysterics, I report chronological  excerpts from this recent long winded and (probably) endless debate.

[The following is presented for entertainment purposes only. Only email addreses have been clipped to protect the innocent.  - Ed.]
From: Laboo@
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2000 3:05 PM
To: EBSLYME; SollisJB; tbs@; Flatrich@; lucie@; n3plus1a@
Subject: The End of the Story, or, Sorry, Eleazer

With crepe appropriately in place, I advise that the following story appeared in this morning's Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47986-2000Apr19.html  [URL of the original Washington Post story. - Ed.]
From: FLAtRich
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2000 3:38 PM
To: Laboo@; EBSLYME@; SollisJB@; tbs@; lucie@; n3plus1a@
Subject: RE: The End of the Story, or, Sorry, Eleazer

Balderdash! Them damned Frenchies think they know everything!

".. In fact, science could not entirely solve the mystery. The analysis confirmed only that the heart is that of a relative of Marie-Antoinette and her relatives. As chief scientist Jean-Jacques Cassiman put it: "It is up to historians to determine whether it is [that of] Louis XVII."'

There are, however, no other candidates. The heart of Louis-Charles's older brother, who died in 1789, also has been preserved, but scientists say it could not be mistaken for that of the young king because its condition is inconsistent with the turbulent circumstances of his death and his heart's wayward history..."

Obviously that of some poor bastard, but I'm not convinced. Who's to say it wasn't some other undocumented spawn substituted for the young King before he even reached prison? It's still an x-file in my opinion.

From: Anne Neff
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2000 5:02 PM
To: flatrich@
Cc: Laboo@; EBSLYME@; SollisJB@; tbs@; lucie@
Subject: Re: The End of the Story, or, Sorry, Eleazer

definitely a government conspiracy...
From: FLAtRich
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2000 5:12 PM
To: n3plus1a@
Cc: Laboo@; EBSLYME@; SollisJB@; tbs@; lucie@
Subject: RE: The End of the Story, or, Sorry, Eleazer

I will tackle this as my Big Headline on eXoNews this week. It is so Chris Carter, don't you think. After the announcement is made we fade to white (Carter loves to fade to white). The a jump cut to the boudoir of Marie A, where she says in French (subtitled)

Marie: "Where's that bastard son of mine? That Rupert kid? Dress him in Louie's clothes!"

The Evil Cardinal: "But my Queen! Surely they will find Louis!"

Marie: "Nonsense, EC, call that captain! What's his name - Picard? Put Louis on the first boat for Wisconsin!"

Fade To Black

From: Todd B. Sollis
Sent: Friday, April 21, 2000 8:33 AM
To: Laboo@; EBSLYME@; SollisJB@; Flatrich@; lucie@; n3plus1a@
Subject: Re: The End of the Story, or, Sorry, Eleazer

Now just a gosh darn minute there, Gaspard! As one who has dabbled a bit in this subject (I still have the original Laboo maunderings on the "Lost Dauphin" and the biography of Eleazer Williams, dutifully annotated by Ellie-Sue in a safe place under my bed, I think) I insist on weighing in on this subject. First of all Cuz' Rich, Antoinette (not Marie Antoinette -she was always called Antoinette, to distinguish her from her Austrian mother, Queen Maria Theresa) was, OK, a bit frivolous, laughed too loudly for the taste of the time, gambled a tad wantonly, and liked her champagne cocktail (what honest French woman wouldn't!), but she was not the randy slattern the EVIL Duc d'Orleans (a truly dissolute heir apparent to the throne, who failed miserably at War, and ran an unusually stocked brothel out of the Palais Royale) portrayed her to be in the slanderous screeds he published privately on his own printing press! And while she was given to costume balls, she never dressed up as a shepherdess to see what it felt to be like a common person, nor did she ever say "Let them eat cake". In short, she was probably drunk when they took the kid from her, or understandably distracted by a truly amusing game of Ecarte (aka 32-card pick-up) - probably wasn't even aware the Little Nipper was missing - and undoubtedly never said, as you allege, "Where's that bastard son of mine? That Rupert kid? Dress him in Louie's clothes and put him on the next barge to Sheboygan!"

So, the kid died in prison! Nom de plume, Mon Oncle! That isn't the end of the story! The real question is, was Eleazer Williams - that tommy-hawk totin' con-man - the model for Sam Clemens's "Dauphin" in "Huckleberry Finn"? No high-falutin' DNA tester has answered that one! AND both Clemens and Williams were in Ft. Dearborn around the same time! They must have been doin' something!!!! Ft. Dearborn wasn't THAT big of a place!!!!! They mighta met and talked 'n' stuff!! So go suck on an Easter Egg, Bunny!!!

From: Sollis Col John B
Sent: Friday, April 21, 2000 10:48 AM
To: 'Todd B. Sollis'; Laboo@; EBSLYME@; Flatrich@; lucie@; n3plus1a@
Subject: RE: The End of the Story, or, Sorry, Eleazer

What, in God's name, does any of this have to do with National Defense?

Some of us, not nearly enough, are right now preserving your right to engage in such frivolous shadow-boxing. Someone please tell me, what have the decadent French accomplished (other than having invented mayonnaise, having made sexually transmitted diseases fashionable, and having given us cause to come to their rescue in back-to-back, epic world wars) that merits such time and attention and adulation?

With Elan and Esprit de Corps,

From: FLAtRich
Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2000 5:44 AM
To: n3plus1a@
Cc: Dick La Bonte; Aimee and Chris; Dick and Lib Sollis; Jay Sollis;
Peter Giampaoli; Todd Sollis; Lucie
Subject: RE: Eleazer's Swan Song

While looking around for something to put up on eXoNews last night, I found quite a few pages referring to El. I had to try several search engines but each of those came up with a unique page or two. I didn't realize that El was an actual chief of a NY tribe (one was a treaty that he signed as "chief" of a NY faction of Indians) in addition to all of his other various credits. Here are a couple of highlights:

The Appleton Public Library ( http://www.apl.org ) - hit search and type in Eleazer Williams. Vague, but it seems that El founded this town.

Today in Champlain Valley History ( http://www.carlinmedia.com/CVHistory/1800s/1812.htm ) - a reference to El's meeting with chiefs (War of 1812?)

Eleazer Williams, Mohawk Between Two Worlds ( http://gbms01.uwgb.edu/~wisfrench/library/articles/eleazer.htm ) - this is the most extensive thing about El that I could find on the web. El scholars have probably already read this..

The libretto for the opera Lazar ( http://gbms01.uwgb.edu/~wisfrench/library/wisc/lazar.htm ) - inexplicably, this starts with the sentence "In the early 1920s.." I hope this is a typo on the web version.

And one more of interest, The Grave ( http://gbms01.uwgb.edu/~WISFRENCH/photos/eleazer.htm ) of Eleazer Williams.

And one more thing, fellas, in answer to the Colonel's question: "Someone please tell me, what have the decadent French accomplished (other than having invented mayonnaise, having made sexually transmitted diseases fashionable, and having given us cause to come to their rescue in back-to-back, epic world wars) that merits such time and attention and adulation?" (and whatta' question!)

French toast, French kiss (a matter of taste), Brigitte Bardot (attached), and Albert Camus. Otherwise, I must admit, you've got a point..

From: Laboo@
Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2000 8:30 AM
To: n3plus1a@; flatrich@
Cc: sharky@; EBSLYME@; SOLLISJB@; slvrslcn@; tbs@; lucie@
Subject: Re: Eleazer's Swan Song

Re: the libretto for the opera Lazar, mentioned in your list. I believe this  refers to an opera based on the Catherwood book, Lazarre, that I referred to earlier, so the 1920s date probably is correct. :o)
From: Laboo@
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2000 8:41 AM
To: Flatrich@
Cc: lucie@; n3plus1a@; EBSLYME@; SollisJB@; tbs@
Subject: "Grave of Secrets"

Attached photo appeared in the Green Bay Press-Gazette May 8, 1971. The caption read:

"Grave of Secrets. Richard LaBonte, right, a direct descendant of Eleazer Williams (sic) and currently working on a book about the legendary 'Lost Dauphin,' is shown Williams' grave by the Rev. Larry A. Westlund, pastor of Holy Apostles Church. The grave occupies the site of the Old Oneida Mission established by the controversial missionary. With LaBonte is Mrs.Dorothy Wittig of the Brown County Historical Society."

The photo was accompanied by a story about a talk I gave to a gathering of the society the night before. I notice, from the piece, that I debunked some of Eleazer's critics. I wasn't exactly a believer at that time (which was 30 years ago!), but I felt that Eleazer was terribly abused by the snooty white historians and contemporary Indian-haters.

I'll reproduce the news story and send it later. Also a number of other, clearer photos.

Laboo :o)
From: Laboo@
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2000 1:23 PM
To: Flatrich@
Cc: lucie@; n3plus1a@; SollisJB@; EBSLYME@; tbs@
Subject: The Great Man Himself

And may I now present Louis XVII, photographed in 1853 by --- ta-da! --- Matthew Brady. The original was a daguerreotype, copied as a photograph by Brady in 1869. It is in the Long Island Historical Society.

As I recall the story, a man named Reverend Francis Vinton, an Episcopal priest who believed in Eleazer's royalty, persuaded Eleazer to accompany him to Brady's studio for the sitting. They were accompanied by John (Skenandough) O'Brien, a halfbreed Indian friend of Eleazer. Skenandough would swear on a stack of bibles that he was there, on the shore of Lake George, the day when Eleazer, age 12, dove in and hit his head on a rock and lost his childhood memories.

As they used to say in Bloomington, IL, all who believe that stand on their heads.

Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2000 3:08 PM
To: Laboo@; Flatrich@
Cc: lucie@; n3plus1a@; SollisJB@; tbs@
Subject: Re: The Great Man Himself

O.K., fellas, I'm kicking in for about 3 minutes worth. When John Boyd, then the leader of the Menomonee Indian (nation) cultural group, sent me my English-Menominee/Menominee-English word book, back in 1976, we had a brief exchange in which he expressed total ignorance of Eleazer's connection with his people. As I recall --I don't have his note in hand, typically!-- he said something to the effect that "Williams was known as a real character in those parts, but I know nothing about a possible connection with us." Anyway, if any other of you latter day claimants cares to check out the latest word on the "Deerfield Massacre," in which Eunice Williams --Eleazer's granny, bro?--was carried off, along with the rest of her family, on a death march into the St. Regis camp, you might want to read "The Unredeemed Capive," writ by someone and published by someone else a coupla years back, the which tells the story of her "ordeal." Actually, as we all know, she fell in love with a St. Regis brave and declined to be ransomed by the horrified Protestants of this neck of the woods, who were loathe to leave her to her fate in the hands of the St. Regis (read Catholic converts) and their duplicitous French playmates. You all know the rest, no doubt, concerning their efforts to redeem (read brainwash) Eleazer and his brother. So anyway.....To all of which I will only add that when they got around to disinterring the corpse of the Dauphin the first time, it was determined that what they had dug up were the remains of a male of, say, 16 to 18 years. I'm sticking with that freak fog on the night of January 19, 1794, when they substituted the deaf and dumb lad from the hospital where Mme. Simon worked for our own Louis Charles. Which is not to suggest any blood relationship whatever with that scalawag, Eleazer. As for the DNA that proves some sort of familial connection to three daughters of Maria Theresa, well, shucks! Does anyone imagine that the French are above substituting any old heart from among her offspring for that carried off by the good Doctor Pelletan? I fondly ask. O.K., mes amis, I have spoken. Poseh.
From: Lucie
Sent: Thursday, April 27, 2000 6:50 AM
To: Laboo@
Cc: sharky@; n3plus1a@; Felicia@; jneff@; EBSLYME@; Flatrich@; tbs@; SOLLISJB@
Subject: Stories

Sounds like Libby gets the prize.

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