“...a fascinating and well-told story of the American Revolution in South Carolinaーand of its ramifications across racial and national boundaries.” ーWalter Walter Edgar, author of South Carolina: A History
The author brings to life the challenges and opportunities that the American Revolution brought to African Americans in the South in this engaging account of a free black mans wartime experience and postwar friendship with a British officer he rescued from the battlefield. ーJim Piecuch, author of Three Peoples, One King: Loyalists, Indians, and Slaves in the Revolutionary South
Until publication of this book, virtually nothing was known about Tony Small, the African American from South Carolina who helped further an existing revolutionary spirit of liberty in Ireland as much as Lafayette did in France. For the first time, Robert Black brings Small to life in a work of creative nonfiction that includes his influence upon Lord Edward Fitzgerald, the military commander in the United Irishmen’s revolution against British rule in Dublin between 1796?1798, whose life Small saved at the Battle of Eutaw Springs in 1781.
Tony Small is a real person, the main character in the book. Everyone else when named in the book is also a real person, and most are black. The book records the names of over two hundred documented African Americans and creates a fictional narrative for many of them. Their voices and Small’s in Part I give fictional context to moral, social, and revolutionary realities during America’s first civil war. The appendices, notes, maps, and exhibits in Part II firmly anchor fictional detail to historically recorded facts.
By bringing to light the story of remarkable figures in eighteenth-century American, Irish, Canadian, English, and French history, the book is unequaled as a record of mutual respect and devotion between two men that begins on the level battle ground at Eutaw Springs. It also creates an account of African Americans not as mere slaves or free black men and women who do manual labor, but as soldiers and patriots of the highest order to help establish the new republic.