Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Colonel Washington and Me

Colonel Washington and Me 
By Jeffrey E. Finegan Sr.

Colonel Washington and Me is the first story of its kind. It is the first book dedicated to the slave-master relationship that existed between George Washington and his enslaved valet, William Lee. Most biographies on Washington mention their relationship, but none has dealt exclusively with their story.

William Lee by the fire. Watercolor by Preston Hindmarch.
The relationship between slavery and the founding fathers, particularly George Washington, is a paradox impossible to reconcile. Of our nation’s first five presidents, four owned slaves while in office, and one in four of all U.S. presidents were slaveholders. The story explores the desire of Washington, and his slave, William Lee, to free themselves of their lifelong ties to slavery. For Lee, the assumption was made that all human beings yearn to be free. Although Lee served Washington faithfully, freedom must have dominated his thoughts. He was also witness to slaves of the Washingtons’ who had “run away.” Washington did not live a day without slaves. Born into a family of slave owners, he died owning 124 human beings. His anxiety on this topic is revealed in what he called his “only unavoidable subject of regret.” The decisions that Washington invokes upon his death are what make Colonel Washington and Me a compelling story.

The inspirational watercolor art of Preston Hindmarch and the inclusion of images of historic manuscripts help bring the story to life. Historic architecture is highlighted in the artwork and is created to enhance the reader’s interest in those buildings that served important roles in the story and the formation of our nation. Colonel Washington and Me also serves as an introduction to significant topics that seek to heighten the reader’s interest in further exploring Washington’s life, American slavery, and the formation of the United States.

Mount Vernon, Virginia. Watercolor by Preston Hindmarch.
Sadly, Lee, who could read and write, left no writings behind. His story on these pages is based on oral history and documents that allow us to imagine his life. Hypotheses and extrapolation bring the story to life and allow us to place him with keen historic accuracy. Join William as he recounts his story – as he did for the many visitors who came to Mount Vernon seeking to hear his first hand accounts of his association with George Washington.

I knew George Washington

About the Book
In 1768 George Washington purchases a young man who had been born into slavery. Washington has been a slave owner since age eleven. What develops is one of the more extraordinary relationships in American history. While most biographies on the first president mention the bond between George Washington and William Lee, Colonel Washington and Me is the first book dedicated solely to this story. The young reader travels through history as both men search for freedom on their incredible journey together. Purchase a copy of Colonel Washington and Me. Learn more about the I knew George Washington book series.

About the Author
Jeffrey E. Finegan Sr. is a 1982 graduate of Seton Hall University with a Bachelors degree in broadcast communication. A native of New Jersey, his interest in history spans from the Norman Conquest of England to World War Two with a concentration in George Washington, the American Civil War and historic architecture. He resides in the historic village of Finesville, New Jersey, with his wife, Kimberly Ollio Finegan and two sons, Jeffrey E. Jr. and Peter J. Finegan.

A collector of George Washington manuscripts as well as other important early American documents, he has gained a reputation as a noted speaker on the topic of the nation’s first president through his three books on the topic; Colonel Washington and Me,  ‘Tis Well . . . The Life and Death of George Washington, and My Dear General – The Extraordinary Relationship between George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. The creator of the “I knew George Washington” Series, he is a member of the Washington Association of New Jersey and the American Friends of Lafayette.

Lectures and book signings include such important historic destinations as; Mount Vernon, Colonial Williamsburg, Valley Forge, Morristown National Historic Park, Washington Crossing, just to name a few.

The books can also be found for sale at the following historic locations;
The Moravian Book Shop, Bethlehem & Allentown, PA
Christ Church, Philadelphia, PA
The Lyceum and Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria, VA
The Washington Heritage Museums, Fredericksburg, VA
The Liberty Bell Museum, Allentown, PA
The Daniel Boone Homestead, Birdsboro, PA

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