In the 1700's in America, there was slavery and the slaves were brutally mistreated or killed particularly in the South, including Charleston.
Black men were soldiers for the America in the Revolutionary War against England. They were patriots who fought in American wars for liberty.
Two characters are Rose, a black woman and her son, Peter, both slaves early in the story.
It is also about a white family, the McDonald's, Charlie and Mary, who own a large farm in Virginia with many slaves used to grow, harvest and cure the tobacco. They have three children, Angus, John and Shawn.
The slaves are well treated on the McDonald Farm and are essential to the success of the tobacco harvest. The McDonald family is very rich with gold and silver English coins and loyal to the British Crown before the Revolutionary War.
George Washington was the most significant general in the war and later he was our first president under the newly written Constitution, which he helped to write and which we live by. He was a plantation owner with black slaves, many of them from Martha, his wife's family. When she died, her slaves were returned back to her family, a legal dower right to her relations. Washington owned slaves in his name who had a variety of skills including making whiskey for sale. Washington's slaves were freed when he died.
Washington is a young surveyor in Virginia and further West before the war. Later, he is involved as a soldier in the preventing other countries including France from gaining territory going west of the Mississippi River.
The novel is about a fictional family, the McDonalds in Virginia before, during and after the Revolutionary War. The McDonald family freed their slaves after the war with England.
Emancipation for Blacks did not happen to the in the deep South, which ended up in a terrible Civil War in the mid-1860's. The story is not about this later war but you will understand how it happened.
Finally, Benjamin Franklin is part of the story, a much beloved man who lived in Philadelphia. He was an expatriate, first in England and then in France during and after the Revolutionary War. His story in the novel is fiction but it could, in part, be real.
It is well known that after the 1860's the Civil War with the South, President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. Thousands of Union soldiers, white and black, fought and died in the war. After the Civil War many Blacks were killed in the South, even through the twentieth century.
The book cover shows pictures of the firearms used in the Revolutionary War which were flintlocks. They fired black powder which smelled like sulfur when fired and generated a lot of smoke. They were loaded from the front of the barrel with a ram rod which packed the powder and then a lead ball is seated in the barrel. A hammer was cocked and the trigger in the lower ring, released it. The flint strikes a plate or fizzen to produce a spark. There is powder in the pan at the bottom of the frizzen. The flint strikes a plate or fizzen to produce a spark. There is powder in the pan at the bottom of the frizzen. When the trigger is pulled, the flint produces a spark when it strikes on the face of the frizzen. A flame enters a hole in the barrel adjacent the pan. A long rifle works in the same manner.
In battles, there were huge amounts of black smoke. Firing depends on not getting the powder wet. The cover shows a rare brass ornate horse pistol from the early 1700's which would be in a scabbard in front of the rider's saddle. The other pistol would be of a type used on a sailing ship, very plain.