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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Alexander Philipp Maximilian

MAXIMILIAN, Alexander Philipp, Prince of Neuwied, German naturalist, born in Neuwied, 23 September. 1782" died there, 3 February, 1867. His mother, the Countess of Wittgenstein-Berleburg, superintended his early education, and greatly developed his love for science. In 1815, after attaining the rank of major-general in the Prussian army, he devoted nearly three years to explorations in Brazil. In 1833" he travelled through the United States, giving especial attention to ethnological investigations concerning the Indian tribes. He published " Reise nach Brasilien" (Frankfort, 1810)"Abbildungen zur Naturgeschichte Brasiliens" (Weimar, 1823-'31) . " Beitrage zur Naturgeschichte Brasiliens" (Weimar, 1824-'33)and "Reise durch Nord-Amerika" (Coblentz, 1838-'43 English translation. London, 1843).

--BEGIN-Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph Maximilian

MAXIMILIAN (Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph), archduke of Austria and emperor of Mexico, born in Schonbrunn, 6 July, 1832; died in Queretaro, Mexico, 19 June, 1867. He was the second son of the archduke Francis Charles and Sophia Frederica Dorothea, princess of Bavaria, and a brother of the emperor Francis Joseph. He was educated for the navy, which he entered at an early age. In 1854, while he was exploring the coast of Albania and Dalmatia on the corvette "Minerva," he was called to Vienna to assume the chief command of the navy. In this office he visited the ports of Candia, Palestine, and Egypt, making excursions into the interior, began the construction of the arsenal at Pola and the rebuilding of that city, and sent the frigate "Novara" on a voyage round the world, and the corvette "Caroline" to visit the ports of South America. In 1857 he was appointed governor-general of the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom, which he ruled wisely during a period of great political excitement, and in the same year he married in Brussels the Princess Charlotte, daughter of King Leopold I., of Belgium. At the beginning of the war of 1859 he retired to Venice. and later to his castle of Miramar, near Trieste, where he led the life of a patron of art and literature, and wrote several works of merit. He also made a voyage of discovery to Brazil. In consequence of the French intervention in Mexico, and Napoleon III.'s resolution to put a European prince on the throne of the monarchy that he proposed to erect there, Maximilian's name was proposed by Gutierrez-Estrada (q. v.), and the archduke began early in 1863 assiduously to study the Spanish language. The assembly of notables of Mexico voted, on 8 July, 1863, for an empire under the rule of Maximilian, and a commission of that body appeared on 3 October in Miramar to offer the throne to the archduke, who accepted privately, on condition that his election should be confirmed by popular vote. After obtaining the consent of his brother, renouncing his claim to the succession in Austria, and receiving the acts of adherence by many Mexican towns, he concluded a secret convention with Napoleon III. regarding the assistance of French troops till the consolidation of the empire, and officially announced on 10 April, 1864, his acceptance of the Mexican crown under the name of Maximilian I. He paid farewell visits to the English, Belgian, and French courts, went to Rome to receive the pope's blessing, and on 14 April sailed with his wife on the "Novara" for Mexico, landing on 28 May in Vera Cruz. The authorities had prepared great festivities for his reception, his journey toward the capital seemed a triumph. The new monarch received many deputations from the Indians of the interior, and naturally believed in the sincere acceptance of his rule by the people. On 12 June he made his solemn entry into the capital, and one of his measures, as he was childless, was to adopt a grandson of the emperor, Hurbide, as presumptive successor to the throne. The French courts-martial had condemned thousands of patriots to death as bandits, and Maximilian published a decree of amnesty for political crimes, thereby incurring the enmity of the French military authorities. To strengthen his position he gave orders for the organization in Austria and Belgium of an auxiliary corps, but financial straits forced him to raise a loan in Paris under ruinous conditions. He established committees for the regulation of public affairs, and showed the best intentions for the faithful administration of the government. He instituted public audiences, in which every Sunday he received all persons without distinction, who wished to make complaints or to present projects of public utility, and by his affable manners soon gained the co-operation of the former moderate party and the submission of some of the Juarist chiefs. His favorite residence while at the capital was the castle of Chapultepee, represented in the accompanying engraving. He made a tour of inspection of the provinces that had fully submitted to the empire, and appointed the empress regent during his absence and in ease of his death. On his return he recommended the obligatory public instruction, issued a decree recognizing the Roman Catholic religion as that of the state, while granting full toleration to all other creeds, and by these and other liberal measures, but principally by his failure to restore the sequestered church property, alienated the support of the clergy and the conservative party, who had been hitherto his most zealous partisans. Meanwhile the progress of the empire in the interior was slow, and the difficulties increased, owing to the determined resistance of Juarez (q. v.) and all the liberal chiefs of the country, who, although lighting independently, joined in their resistance to the empire and in recognition of the Republican government of Juarez, and were encouraged by dissatisfaction in the United States with European encroachments on the American continent. In 1865, after the close of the civil war in the United States, the attitude of the latter government became more determined, but when, owing to the advance of the French General Briancourt to Chihuahua, Juarez was forced to retire to Paso del Notre, Maximilian, deceived by the French bulletins, declared that the Republican government had abandoned the country, and therefore under pressure from General Bazaine issued the decree of 3 October, which was afterward fatal to him, declaring all Mexicans that should be taken in arms against the empire, bandits, and subject to immediate execution without trial. Henceforth the strife became more sanguinary. The executions that followed, and several cruelties that were committed by the Austro-Belgian forces, caused a protest from the Republican minister at Washington, Senor Romero, and the objections of the United States to foreign armed intervention on American soil became so urgent that at last Napoleon, after vainly trying to obtain from the United States government a recognition of the Mexican empire conditioned on his withdrawal of the troops, was forced by public opinion in France to evacuate Mexico. In March, 1866, Napoleon's envoy, Baron Saillard, arrived in Cuernavaca, where the emperor had gone for a short visit to announce that the first French troops were to leave Mexico in November of that year. Maximilian then sent General Almonte to France, and, after he had vainly tried to change Napoleon's resolution, the Empress Charlotte left in July for Europe, where, in interviews with the French era-peror and the pope, she pleaded in vain to change the current of events. In Rome her mind gave way in consequence of her mental anxiety for the fate of her husband. Maximilian tried unsuccessfully to propitiate the French by appointing Frenchmen to the portfolios of war and the treasury, but they were refused permission from France to enter the ministry, and then, as a last resource, he abandoned the Liberal party, and threw himself again into the arms of his former partisans, the Conservatives. But even this remedy could not save the tottering empire before the increasing success of the Republican arms, and in October General Castelnau arrived to communicate to Maximilian the firm resolve of Napoleon to evacuate Mexico, and advised him to return to Europe. The emperor had gone to Orizaba for his health, and there he assembled on 25 November his ministers and council of state, who were nearly all opposed to his abdication. On 5 December he issued a decree calling a national congress, to be freely elected by both belligerent parties, promising to abide by its decision. Such an assembly could not be brought together, owing to the opposition of the great, majority of the Republicans, who by this time had occupied nearly the whole of the country as it was abandoned by the retiring French troops. After the emperor's return to the capital, an assembly of only 35 notables met on 14 January, 1867, and with but 10 dissenting votes decided against Maximilian's abdication. But the imperial exchequer was empty, and when on 1 February the last French troops left Mexico, including even those Frenchmen that had enlisted in the imperial army, the position of affairs became critical. In the capital, with more adequate means of resistance, Maximilian might have held out for a long time, but, after refusing a renewed invitation from Bazaine to depart with him, the emperor resolved to stand or fall with his friends in Queretaro, and on 13 February, with a single corps, accompanied by General Marquez, he left the capital for that city, which speedily was surrounded and besieged by the Republican forces. After many partial encounters, several gallant but unavailing sorties, and seventy-two days of close siege, his army having suffered greatly and being reduced to the last extremities by the total exhaustion of provisions, the emperor decided, after consultation with his council of war, to break through the enemy's lines on 15 May. But in the preceding night the Republican troops gained access to the strong post of La Cruz, through the treachery, as is generally asserted, of the commander of Maximilian's bodyguard, Colonel Miguel Lopez, and surprised the city. After a short resistance by Miramon, the imperial army surrendered the city, and Maximilian, Mejia, and Miramon were made prisoners. For nearly a month Maximilian was kept in prison in the convents of La Cruz and Capuchinas, and after vain efforts of the European governments in his favor, and a fruitless attempt to obtain the intervention of the United States with Juarez in his behalf, a court-martial met on 13 June. Notwithstanding the able defence of his attorneys General Mariano Riva Palacio, Martinez de la Torre, and Eulalio Ortega, Maximilian was condemned to death next day, and the attempt of his defenders to obtain his pardon failed in view of his fatal decree of 3 October, 1865. After his condemnation, it is said that he was offered facilities to escape from prison and reach the coast, but that he refused to avail himself of them unless his companions Miramon and Mejia should be saved at the same time. On the morning of the 19th, on the Cerro de las Cam-panas, near Queretaro, the three prisoners were shot. The emperor's body was carried to the Church of the Capnchinas, embalmed, taken to the capital, and deposited in the Church of San Andres. In August the Austrian frigate "Elisabeth" arrived in Vera Cruz, and Vice-Admiral Tegethoff, by order of the emperor of Austria, claimed the remains of the unfortunate prince. After many delays they were delivered in November, and conveved to Europe in the same frigate that had car-tied the imperial pair to Mexico in 1864. On 18 January, 1868, they were interred in the imperial vault in Vienna. During August and September, 1887, an attempt was made by some partisan journals of Mexico to remove, after the twenty years' silence of Colonel Lopez, the stain of traitor from his name by means of supposed autograph letters of Maximilian, authorizing Lopez to treat secretly for surrender, which would brand the emperor as a coward, but so far these attempts seem to have failed signally, as contemporaneous trustworthy witnesses have shown that it was an impossibility that Maximilian could have written the letters, and even the unfortunate prince's most violent political opponents in Mexico never questioned his undoubted courage and singularly high character. Maximilian's writings have been collected and published under the title "Aus meinem Leben; Reiseskizzen, Aphorismen, Marinebilder" (7 vols., Leipsic, 1867). See also Emile de Kdra-try's " L'Empereur Maximilien, son elevation et sa chute" (Paris, 1867); Hellwald's "Maximilian I.. Kaiser yon Mexico, nebst Abriss der Geschichte des Kaiserreichs" (Vienna, 1869); and Kendall's "Mexico under Maximilian" (London, 1872).--His wife, Charlotte Marie Amelie, born in Brussels, 7 June, 1840, is the daughter of King Leopold I., of Belgium, and his wife, Princess Marie Clementine, of Orleans, and married Maximilian, 27 July, 1857. She resided with her husband at the castle of Miramar, and with him became a patron of art and literature. She exercised great moral influence on the yielding and roman tic character of her husband, which she used in 1863 to induce Maximilian to accept the crown of rival in that country she took an active part in public affairs, and favored every improvement that was , proposed during her short reign. She laid the corner-stone of a hospital in 1865, founded many benevolent societies, was foremost in charitable work, and, being an accomplished amateur artist, gave several oil her paintings to be sold for the benefit of the poor. She often urged the emperor to adopt a policy of moderation, in opposition to the counsel of the French chiefs and his official advisers, and especially tried to prevent the proclamation of 3 October, 1865, outlawing the Republicans in arms, about which she had a serious difference with the minister Lacunza and Archbishop Labastida. When General O'Horan in an audience, intending to please the empress, said that he was glad to be the first to tell her that the Republican generals Arteaga and Salazar had been shot in Uruapam, in consequence of this decree, she was so indignant that she insisted upon his immediate deposition. In December of that year she prevailed upon the emperor to adopt young Agustin Hurbide as his heir, but even at that time she seems to have had a foreboding of coming events, as, in communicating the news of this adoption to the empress of Austria, she wrote : "Now I consider my being childless as a blessing from heaven, for I already foresee an orphan in this prince." In the beginning of 1866 a journalist was court-martialed for having published an insulting poem against the empress, but she called him to her presence and pardoned him, asking him what office he had filled under Juarez, and reinstating him in it. When Almonte communicated from Paris that he had been unable to shake Napoleon's resolution to evacuate Mexico, Charlotte offered to go to France to try to persuade the emperor to change his mind. She left Mexico on 8 July, 1866, and sailed from Vera Cruz on the 13th, arriving in Paris on 9 August, and on the following day she had an interview with the French emperor, who received her coldly, and, notwithstanding her repeated pleadings, refused to make any change in favor of Maximilian in his dispositions regarding Mexico. This disappointment affected her deeply, and, in the hope of obtaining something through the influence of the pope, she left on the 23d for Rome by way of Miramar. This visit to the scenes of the first happy years of her married life, combined with mental anxiety for the fate of her husband, affected her mind, and on the day following her arrival at Rome she showed signs of insanity. Her sad condition was officially declared on 4 October, and she was removed to the chateau of Tervueren in Belgium, where she has lived for many years, apparently hopelessly insane, yet with some lucid intervals, in which she is said to busy herself writing recollections of the Mexican empire. Since the burning of the chateau in 1879, she has been confined in Bouchoute, and her mental condition is not much changed, although hopes of her recovery have been entertained. There is little doubt that sorrow for having influenced her husband's acceptance of the crown has contributed to her insanity. An eye-witness of the last interview between Miramon and his wife, on 16 June, 1865, relates that the general said in the presence of Maximilian, " If I had followed my wife's advice, I should not be here" ; and the emperor answered, "I am here for following the advice of my wife."

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