Friends of Liberty: Thomas Jefferson, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, and Agrippa Hull
Basic Books, Nov 6, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 328 pages
Friends of Libertytells the remarkable story of three men whose lives were braided together by issues of liberty and race that fueled revolutions across two continents. Thomas Jefferson wrote the founding documents of the United States. Thaddeus Kosciuszko was a hero of the American Revolution and later led a spectacular but failed uprising in Poland, his homeland. Agrippa Hull, a freeborn black New Englander, volunteered at eighteen to join the Continental Army. During the Revolution, Hull served Kosciuszko as an orderly, and the two became fast friends. Kosciuszko’s abhorrence of bondage shaped histhinking about the oppression in his own land. When Kosciuszko returned to America in the 1790s, bearing the wounds of his own failed revolution, he and Jefferson forged an intense friendship based on their shared dreams for the global expansion of human freedom. They sealed their bond with a blood compact whereby Jefferson would liberate his slaves upon Kosciuszko’s death. But Jefferson died without fulfilling the promise he had made to Kosciuszko-and to a fledgling nation founded on the principle of liberty and justice for all.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
I overall enjoyed this book and appreciated the stories of Agrippa "Grippy" Hull and Thaddeus Kosciuszko. Mr. Nash neatly melds the two mens' stories together. Unfortunately Mr. Hull's "paper trail" isn't enough to do an in depth modern day biography but is given a vehicle by his association with Kosciuszko. I am too far past viewing the Founding Fathers with rose-colored glasses, so reading about Thomas Jefferson's reneging on his solemn vow to the Polish abolitionist was difficult to read but not unbelievable. However, Mr. Nash seemed to mention at every chance Jefferson's "indiscretion" with his slave Sally Hemmings. Numerous sources have come out, dispelling the myth and casting doubt upon these liaisons, yet Nash writes as if these are proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. My point is continual inclusion of this myth as fact detracts from the book.
Review: Friends of Liberty: A Tale of Three Patriots, Two Revolutions, and the Betrayal that Divided a Nation: Thomas Jefferson, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, and Agrippa HullUser Review - Goodreads
Great subjects, fluffy writing.
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