One of the Atlantic city-states that did not join the Chesapeake Federation was the Princedom of Charleston.
During the Dark Time, several strong hurricanes swept up the Atlantic seaboard, heavily damaging what cities remained and swamping the refugee heavy rural areas. Loss of life was heavy and farmland was devastated. Those in Charleston who remained turned to raiding to survive, ranging up and down the coast searching for supplies.
As communities and city-states began to rebuild, Charleston continued raiding, exacting ransoms and profits from those too weak to defend themselves. Privateers became outright pirates, with the city council too weak to exert any control over their actions.
In 2207, one of the First Captains staged a coup, destroying many of his rivals and becoming the Pirate Prince of Charleston. Hoping to end the conflict within the city, he directed the ships on their quests for plunder until 2211, when a Bostonian and Quebecois task force sank more than thirty Charlestonian ships at the Battle of Hatteras. The Pirate Prince was deposed, and the next leader was simply the Prince.
The Prince of Charleston was chosen by the city leaders, shipwrights and captains, and chosen for life, until retirement or death (natural or unnatural). Unofficial piracy was still practiced, though not to the level as before. The city retained a significant and capable population of sailors and naval engineers.
Like Sault Sainte Marie, Charleston was forced into the Commonwealth War by a Quebecois Task Force. And like the Archduchy, Charleston retained its independence through aggressive negotiations.
Charleston sailors are considered some of the best in the Atlantic.