|a form of government. A solemn ceremony
was also prepared to inaugurate the new king and his kingdom, his
subjects having to accept shouting, "Long Live the King !".
However, this proclamation also brought Antoine the first disagreement
with the natives since, much to his consternation, throughout the
ceremony they all refused to take of their hats.
Contrary to what could be expected, Antoine´s fellow countrymen
living in Chile took all this very seriously and began to support
him. Three days later, Orllie Antoine I, somehow evaluating that
he was annexing territory to France and that in his native country
a nationalist sentiment was in favor of displacing troublesome sectors
of the population to the colonies, asked for government sponsorship
to transfer to his Auracano realm commoners, communists, and all
those citizens that conspired against the established order of the
state of France.
But the new monarch did not have the sufficient means nor economic
support to consolidate his crown with an army strong enough to validate
his claims. His subjects were also divided and it was easy to see
they could give little support to the cause of the Auracania realm.
He proceeded to do then what many governors in the same circumstances
often do: he went to war and sent Chile a formal declaration stating
his intentions. The Chilean authorities, somewhat surprised, detained
him. A judge thought him crazy and asked for a medical examination.
The self-crowned king then gave testimony of his sanity. The judge,
by now furious, demanded the death penalty for disturbing the public
order. However,. the French Consul managed to intercede, insisted
the man was crazy, and managed to send him back to France.
Shortly after, Antoine published a book in Paris with accounts
of his experiences as a monarch in the austral regions of South
America. In the book Antoine stated that "France could gain
limitless advantages in his realm of Auracania". All the same,
he went to jail for having unpaid debts.
The king of the Patagonia, who was a mason, suffered another setback
when Pope Pio IX excommunicated the French masons in 1865. But Antoine
petitioned for a pardon, stating his desire to reconcile himself
with the Church as "King of the Auracania and Patagonia".
The Pope wrote to the Archbishop in Paris to absolve Antoine just
as long everything he stated was as it really was, and to "grant
| a pious penitence that would repair the
error of his previous ways". In 1869 Antoine makes another trip
to Argentina in a French war ship. This time he has the ultra-nationalist
support of some of his countrymen. After an uneventful trip, Antoine
lands in San Antonio and from there heads to Choele Choel, not aware
that it was also the camp site of a belligerent indian tribe. There,
Antoine narrowly missed having his throat cut thanks to a tribe member
that recognized him and saves his life. But he finds more trouble
yet. He is discovered by Colonel Saavedra, grandson of the President
that was a member of the first Rio de la Plata Junta, and whom had
already taken him prisoner ten years back on Antoines first attempt
to establish his monarchy. The man who would be king now escapes to
Bahia Blanca and then makes his way to Buenos Aires where he takes
a ship back to Paris.
In 1874, this time backed by a banker, the press, and a few of
the imperial chauvinists of the time, Antoine makes yet another
trip to Buenos Aires. But his luck has not changed and once again
he is recognized by a Colonel, albeit a diffrent one. Colonel Murga
takes him prisoner and Antoine is deported back to France. That
would be his last trip to South America. His notoriety waned and
his imagined realm was forgotten and is now remembered as one more
extravagant and curious episode of the Patagonia. Antoine died poor
in a public hospital.