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Denlingers Pub Ltd
George Washington's Boy
Publisher: Denlingers Pub Ltd
Publication Date: 2001-09-01
Number of pages: 144
George Washington never had any children of his own. Though it is said he was a good stepfather to the widow Custis' children, one wonders "what if" he had a son of his own. Our protagonist in this adventure - with a slight Horatio Alger slant - is an orphan lad, Abba, whom George had taken to live at his estate while he, George, was yet unmarried.
Children matured fast in the Colonies. At age 10, in the year 1755, Abba, by special dispensation, because he was so adept at reading and writing, is allowed to accompany the British General Braddock and Captain Washington on the fateful trek to Fort Duquesne in the French and Indian War. He would serve as the General's Orderly. A footnote to this saga reveals that General Braddock secretly buried his still-unfound payroll gold, stuffed into the muzzles of two brass cannon, in the forest trail, on the way to his Waterloo. [True!] Abba, as the General's Orderly, was the one who dug the hole.
The plot fulfills the apparently inherent need of pre-adult youth, in their search for self, to fantasize about such things as going to war and finding buried treasure. Through the tears of travail, reflecting every child's quest for quick maturity, the storyline induces young readers to make the heroes of American history their mentors by proxy.
The 74-year old author, who lives near the reputed site of the unfound treasure, and whose hobby is researching this milieu of Colonial American history, has given an unconventional, but accurate, overview of Colonial life from a child's perspective. Never preachy, his story subtly leads the reader to see that the purpose of war is death, the value of monetary treasure is illusory, excesses of anything are disastrous; and true, lasting happiness only lies in a love of life, patriotism, honor and a religious disdain of things not virtuous.
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