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The Founding Fathers at Odds: The Quasi-War - Volume I of the Founding of the U.S. Navy Trilogy by William D. McEachern

The Founding Fathers at Odds: The Quasi-War - Volume I of the Founding of the U.S. Navy Trilogy

by William D. McEachern

394 pages
A Scottish young man's memoir as he goes to sea, is impressed by the British Navy, fights against Napoleonís France, and returns home to South Carolina a broken man, only to find his fiancť has married his brother.

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About the Book
The first in a trilogy of books about the founding of the U.S. Navy, The Founding Fathers at Odds: The Quasi-War, is told in the form of a memoir from the vantage point of young South Carolinian of Scottish descent from the Waxhaws who goes to sea and is later impressed into the British Navy.

This first work, spans the tumultuous era of the Quasi-War with France, the writing of the United Statesí Constitution, and the birth, in the United States, of partisan politics, which becomes increasingly bitter and divisive.

The second volume, entitled Dueling Brothers, Dueling Countries, and The Lure of Empire: The Barbary Pirates, recounts the War with the Barbary Pirates, the rise of Aaron Burr, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson, while the third volume, entitled, Free Trade and Sailorsí Right: The War of 1812, covers the Second War of Independence (the War of 1812). The second volume should be out later this year of 2023, with the final volume to follow in 2024.

The oldest of large family, James goes to sea sailing on a merchantman, while his brothers and sisters have roles to play as shipwrights under Joshua Humphreys, building the frigates that will serve the nation so well, such as the Constellation and the Constitution, or in serving in the militia under Andrew Jackson, or running the family's farm and other businesses.

The setting in the Waxhaws, the site of an infamous massacre during the Revolution, and the clan's father and grandfather, having fought at both King's Mountain and at Cowpens under Daniel Morgan, grounds the novel in the era following the American Revolution.

The spirit of partisan politics even divides Jamesí family, with his brother John becoming a correspondent of Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and James Madison, while the patriarch of the family is longtime friend and admirer of Alexander Hamilton.

When James is impressed by the British Navy, he finds himself under the cruel tutelage of Lieutenant Campbell and the equally sinister Sailing Master William Samuelson. Floggings and other punishments, such as mastheading during a vicious storm, are only some of the measures Campbell and Samuelson take in order to torment and hopefully kill young James.

While James fights against the French in the British Navy, Captain John Truxtun defeats two French frigates in one-on-one ship battles during the Quasi-War.

At home, his younger brother, John, who has always despised James, not only courts the intended of James, the prominent and wealthy Patience Pendleton, but also tries to displace James as the eldest son in their fatherís eyes and their fatherís businesses. John, over the wishes of his father and the objections of the rest of the family invests in slaves to work their landholdings.

This is the era where the relationship between the United States and France deteriorates, with the diplomats of France demanding huge bribes, merely to start diplomatic talks in the infamous X, Y, Z Affair. John Adams becomes aware that his Vice President and best friend, Thomas Jefferson, has been intriguing with France, counter to the policy of President Adams to court Great Britain and its secure some of its vast world trade network.

While Great Britain fights Napoleon, among other naval adventures, our young sailor, James, fights the French fleet at Aboukir Bay in Egypt under Admiral Lord Nelson, learning the British naval tactics, discipline, and signals, which he later brings to the U.S. Navy during the War of 1812.

If James can survive his servitude in the British Navy and come home, what will he find? His love stolen? His inheritance stolen?

 

 

About the Author
William D. McEachern, author of six novels, all critically acclaimed and three were finalists for Historical Fiction of the Year, was invited to attend Colgate Universityís prestigious writersí conference based on his manuscript: The founding Fathers at Odds. He loves reading sea-yarns about Horatio Hornblower, Alan Lewrie, and Jack Aubrey.

 

 

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