February 10, 2006 at 12:20 am #1670EzahninParticipant
Name: Sir Abraham Newton Hughes III, esq.
Age and/or birth date: 60, 2/18/1810
Eye Color: Brown
Height/weight: 6’1″, 175
Occupation: Barrister, president of Hughes Trading Co., knight
Appearance (clothes, etc.): His countenance, much like his manner, is silent and grave. There is very little expression to read upon sensible features that one would not term handsome in this day and age. Dark suits proving his fashion sense just as reserved, his figure is pleasing to the eye without drawing any undue or unjust attention. His face is worn with time, the lines wrought around his mouth and brow evidence of his deep devotion to the family holdings. His natural hauteur he has passed to his children.
At about the age of 60, Old Man Hughes is the patriarch of the family. He’s the man with the plan and the money to get there. He inherited a few merchant-class sailing vessels from his grandfather, a proud British Naval Captain who survived the Spanish Armada of 1588. His father was a merchant and his children would be merchants. Entering the lucrative field of war profiteering, Hughes recently came into a small fortune by selling weapons to the Confederate Army during the Civil War and the Prussians during the Franco-Prussian War. Alas, he made enemies in the United States for his efforts. Although the Prussians, victors of their own war, consider the Hughes family a friend.
As the president, Abraham heads up the Hughes Trading Co. The Trading Co. owns a fleet of approximately a dozen ships – relatively small in comparison with the larger trading companies of the 19th Century. There is also a small office along the pier.
An independent company with no venture capitalists involved, the fleet was founded in the late 16th Century following William Stewart Hughes’ heroism as a British Naval captain in the Spanish Armada of 1588. Hughes was given two ships for saving the lives of various nobles from the Spanish attacks. Retiring from the Royal Navy, after 40-some years, the former captain used the ships to begin trafficking tobacco between the New World and Europe.
The family’s ties to the American South and the New World lasted for more than 200 years with the company remaining small, often times working under a sub-contract for larger trading companies. William’s son, Abraham Newton Hughes, Sr., invested money in various start-ups but, for the most part, the company remained unnoticed by the elite of Europe.
Next in line, Abraham Newton Hughes, Jr. fended off buyouts and mergers and upgraded the family business. Under junior’s leadership, the company expanded and modernized the fleet, though it still focused on shipping tobacco and cotton. This would remain until his son Abraham Newton Hughes III took over.
Friends to Confederate diplomats James M. Mason of Virginia, who was named minister to Britain, and John Slidell of Louisiana, Hughes struck a deal to secretly supply German-made arms to the Confederacy.
Whether any of those weapons actually arrived is something of great debate. The Union had blockaded much of the coast. What did happen, however, is that the family received cash payments of Confederate Gold.
Suddenly, the family had money. The fleet expanded. More contacts were made. Germans, looking at their own war, began talk of expansion. The Hughes family was there to help in the foreign company’s trading exploits.
The Confederates had lost and the family would likely be vexed by any attempts to contact the Americans, but the Germans remained family friends. And influence abounded.
Suddenly, the small merchant family was of the nouveau riche class. Whether this was good or bad remained to be seen. This new class certainly didn’t bring respect. But it did bring attention. Abraham Newton Hughes, III was knighted. The family moved into a larger estate. Money began to flow from the patriarch to his children, nephews, nieces, brothers and cousins. The wealth and power remained with Hughes. Everyone else in the family just needed to play catch up now.
Sir Abraham’s business efforts have always been aided by his consummate skills as a barrister. Being learned and knowing the law has allowed the man to find ways to circumvent certain trade restrictions and the like in the pursuit of bringing ever more status and fortune to his family. It is towards this end that he has thus far refused to give away his daughter’s hand in marriage, as both men who have heretofore issued proposals have been too lowbrow for the rising Hughes name. There is, on the other hand, another reason Sir Abraham has yet to consent to any of Ligeia’s marriage prospects; he is concerned that, like his wife, Ligeia will turn out to be quite mad. It was only after he himself had been wed that his wife’s madness had begun to manifest itself, and he worries that their daughter will take after her mother in that regard, and do irreparable damage to the family name in the process.
The ghost of his departed wife, Winifred, however, haunts Sir Abraham, dead since 1848 from a poisoned cup of tea. Though none but the perpetrator knows it, it was none other than Sir Abraham who placed the poison in the tea. He has been reaping the reward for such a deed, being tormented by the presence of his wife’s spirit. He had, of course, been carrying on an affair with his children’s governess. This continued until after she was no longer needed, and his attentions were diverted more fully to the other female members of the household staff. One less didn’t make much of a difference.
Sir Abraham keeps a lot to himself, even amongst his family. It’s for the best, that way. He realizes the twins, Ligeia and Silas, would like to oust him from his position as head of the Trading Co. and head of the family, but has thus far managed to keep a step ahead of their plots.February 10, 2006 at 12:32 am #2238VEST ParadoxParticipant
There ya go, this site won’t beat me I tell ya! Though some bugs will remain until we get the rules complete, like the Next/Previous thing.
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