WINNER! Writer's Digest 2007 International Competition
Book of the Year for Mainstream Literary Fiction
Historical fiction: 1772-1773 Based heavily on actual events.
Colonial Rhode Island during rising discontent with British rule that sent a succession of revenue vessels into Narragansett Bay to enforce Maritime Laws hated by colonists who practiced "free trade" (including piracy and bootlegging). Royal demands for taxes led to the nighttime capture, then burning of the HMS Gaspee, and near-fatally wounding its captain. The resulting King's Proclamation established a royal court to collar the raiders, prominent leaders of the area including John Brown, founder of Brown University. Widely condemned, this "inquisition" culminated in high drama between British ministers who set about to dissolve the colony, and colonial politicians who deftly handled the affair to their advantage while shaping the first "common cause" into the American frame of mind with "Committees of Correspondence" that were established to convey timely and accurate information between colonial assemblies, all some 3 years before the next exchange of fire at Lexington Green and Concord Bridge.
Casebound with dust jacket