Order Your Copy of Historic Clermont County An Illustrated History
Historic Clermont County
Order Form


According to Charles Duncan.

Of a certain King, history tells us little, other than he wandered about the wilderness of America as he sought to earn a living teaching. He was Louis Philippe, born to the Royal House of Orleans, son of the infamous Duc d'Orleans, who voted the death of Louis XVI. Philippe, in his life, knew royal state, a soldier of battle, exile, poverty, and power, as the King of France.

As a young man, Philippe took up the cause of his people by going into battle against the Austrians, during the revolution. Although this was known by the populace, it did not serve him well, for they demanded his head because of his noble birth.

Louis fled France, and turned his eyes westward to America, where he vowed to put to use his excellent education and seek employment as a teacher.

They turn of the 18th century found him poling his way down the Ohio River in a flat boat that contained his worldly possessions and served also as his home. Somewhere along its shores in Clermont, he landed, picked up his meager belongings, and trudged off into the wilderness, coming eventually to a cabin farm house where dwelt a farm couple, to whom he stated simply, "My name is Philippe, I am a school teacher. I seek rest and food. Will you honor me?".

Louis was happy; he was serving, not being served. Buried in the past were the memories of the horrors of war and the death of his loved ones by guillotine, but destiny was once again to point a finger at Louis. His arch enemy, Napoleon, was defeated, whereupon the thoughts of those who knew, turned towards America and to Louis. Louis heard, and prepared to return, leaving an awed and astonished Village of Neville behind.

Upon his return, he was restored his title and became the Duc d'Orleans, and received all honors and estates that were rightfully his. For 18 years he fought for the restoration of France and, in 1830, was placed upon the throne by its people as the King of the French, but he was not content and wrote to his former friends in Neville, asking them to come, which they did. No one knows if they came back for Louis Philippe.

Sick of the treachery of the Palace of Paris, he once again fled France. In 1848 he abdicated and placed the crown upon his grandson, Count Paree, and on March 2 boarded a boat at the port of Le Havre, stood for a moment, and gazed for the last time, upon France and issued his final order. "Hoist anchor and sail. This time I leave a plain Mr. Smith."

…some factual background, also. In 1787, Colonel John Neville, who served with General George Washington, had 1400 acres surveyed. (the 5 county area including Clermont was set aside for land grants for payment to Revolutionary War soldiers.) He died and left his land to his son, Presley Neville, who also served in the War, as an Aide-de-Camp to General Lafayette. In 1812, he laid out the village of Neville itself.

One might surmise that some sort of communication between the four characters took place, and Louis Philippe knew exactly where he was going, though he desired to remain incognito.