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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

George Washington, Slave Catcher

       Yesterday was Presidents' Day, and the New York Times published an op-ed piece that has been getting a lot of traffic on the world wide web, entitled George Washington, Slave Catcher, complete with an eye-grabbing graphic of the General riding upon an enormous iron-shackled hand, a hand carrying him forward.
       It is an important article and I'm glad it is going viral. I admire Professor Dunbar's work. But the article, in its brevity, tells just part of a much bigger, and more important story. Ultimately, it is the story of the making of America.
       And since I'm making that claim, I will take this opportunity to officially announce that the life story of Ona Judge Staines, from her birth in a slave cabin at Mount Vernon to her death in fugitive slave cabin at Greenland, NH seventy-five years later is the basis of the 125,000 word novel I have been working on for over two years and am finishing this winter. It truly is a remarkable story, so rich in characters that I had to invent none. Places and events are all real and familiar too, though they are of a long ago that is much less familiar. I so look forward to sharing it with the world.