Rebels Against God is a collaboration of the brother and sister team of Scott McIntosh and Susan L. McIntosh. The authors are retired attorneys who were on the lookout for an entertaining and important project to keep them busy in the spring of 2022. A year later, having drawn upon research, interpretation and storytelling experience gained through what seemed like centuries of law practice, their debut novel, Rebels Against God, was published.
Deciding the subject of their first novel, Scott and Susan chose to explore the historical mysteries that have, for centuries, shrouded the lives and deaths of founding father and Virginia icon, George Wythe and his mixed-race student Michael Brown. It was the legal inconsistencies and improbabilities in the murder case that caught the eye of these two lawyer authors. Upon deeper inspection, the historical record disclosed mysteries within mysteries, and offered few rational solutions. Simply put, none of it seemed to make sense. It was too captivating to let go. The authors continued to peel away the inconsistencies in search of facts to support a better explanation. Eventually, a possible truth began to emerge, and the story was underway.
Weeks before his death, Chancellor George Wythe had issued a judicial opinion that expressly declared all people held in slavery in the Commonwealth of Virginia to be, under law, free and equal citizens. The immediate result was to free the three enslaved women before the Chancery Court from their bonds. Yet, it was the larger impact of the ruling that shook the institution of slavery to its core and would likely have resulted in civil war if fully implemented. In Richmond, Virginia in the spring of 1806, that was a motive for murder.
Did George Wythe’s abolitionist judicial rulings form the motive for his apparent murder by poison? This question riveted Scott and Susan as they wrote Rebels Against God. Looking at this through the lens of legal experience, the authors developed a compelling story that better explains why three innocent people were poisoned on a beautiful May morning in Richmond, Virginia in 1806 and why no one was ever held accountable for the horrific crimes. Along the way, Scott and Susan offer a sound and fascinating explanation of why President Thomas Jefferson remained silent and uninvolved in the botched prosecution for the murder of George Wythe, a man many have called Jefferson’s second father.
Scott and Sue are siblings, but they bring different skills, perspectives and interests to the writing of their novels. The authors’ deep-seated interest in history and their flair for storytelling come alive in their writing, as seen in their gripping novel, Rebels Against God.
Scott was an accomplished corporate lawyer with over two decades of experience, before he turned to historical research following his retirement. Currently, he dedicates his time to volunteering and studying history at the Louisa County Historical Society. Scott holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver College of Law, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Christian Counseling, which add depth to his understanding of historical narratives. When not immersed in the past, Scott enjoys spending quality time with his grandkids, indulging in fishing escapades, and taking care of his loyal companion, Humphrey the dog.
Susan retired after 30 years of practice as an environmental and small-town lawyer to a hand-built log cabin in the foothills of the San Juan Mountains in Southern Colorado. She lives off-grid with her two dogs and a cat. Sue enjoys hauling water and chopping wood when she is not exploring wild places. She sports a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a Juris Doctor degree, both from the University of Denver. She also conducted post-graduate studies in early American history at American University in Washington, D.C.
Rebels Against God Historical Talk and Book Signing at the Louisa County Historical Society on Saturday July 15, 2023 from 11:00am - 12:30pm.
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