Friends of liberty : Thomas Jefferson, Tadeusz Kościuszko, and Agrippa Hull : a tale of three patriots, two revolutions, and a tragic betrayal of freedom in the new nation

Friends of Liberty tells 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...

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Main Authors: Nash, Gary B., (Author), Hodges, Graham Russell, 1946- (Author)
Format: Book
Language:English
Published: New York : Basic Books, [2008]
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Online Access:Table of contents
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Summary: Friends of Liberty tells 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.--From publisher description.
Frieds of Liberty tells the remarkable story of three men who came of age as the storm clouds of the American Revolution gathered. All three fought fiercely for freedom from the British Crown. Once the Revolution was won, the three followed very different paths, although their lives remained braided together by their shared commitment to liberty. But it was over the issue of liberty that one of these patriots betrayed another - with disastrous consequences for the fledgling nation. Thomas Jefferson requires no introduction; born to prosperity, he became a revolutionary, a president, and an icon even in his own lifetime. Tadeusz Koś'ciuszko is less well-known today. Bred of Polish nobility, he became devoted to freedom during his student years in Warsaw and Paris, served brilliantly as a military engineer in the American Revolution, and then led a spectacular but failed uprising in the early 1790s to liberate his homeland from Russia. Agrippa Hull, the youngest, was a youngest, was a freeborn black New Englander, possibly the son of an African prince, who volunteered at eighteen to join the Continental Army and ended up serving longer than all but a few white American soldiers. During the American Revolution, Hull served Kościuszko as an orderly for four years, and the two became fast friends. Kościuszko's consequent disgust with American slavery became integral to his understanding of the oppression of serfs in his own land. Koścuiszko and Jefferson grew close only after Koścuiszko returned wounded to America, still bearing the scars of his own failed revolution in Poland. These two great men, both heroes in their own land, then entered into a compact with potentially explosive ramifications: Kościuszko gave Jefferson power of attorney over his financial holdings in the United States with the instructions that upon his death the funds be used to manumit and educate as many of Jefferson's slaves as the money allowed. But Jefferson never honored his oath. In chronicling Jefferson's efforts to extricate himself from the moral entanglements of his promise, historians Gary B. Nash and Graham Russell Gao Hodges reveal the tragedy of a man of war with his own highest ideals. A sweeping narrative of three very different men who dedicated their lives to the idea of human freedom, Friends of Liberty offers a unique perspective on both the heroic accomplishments and the tragic failures of the American Revolution. -- from back cover.
Physical Description: vii, 328 pages : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (pages 273-312) and index.
ISBN: 9780465048144
0465048145
9780465031481
046503148X