By Jefferson Morley
A gripping narrative historical past of the explosive occasions that drew jointly Francis Scott Key, Andrew Jackson, and an 18-year-old slave on trial for tried homicide.
In 1835, town of Washington pulsed with switch. As newly freed African american citizens from the South poured in, unfastened blacks outnumbered slaves for the 1st time. Radical notions of abolishing slavery circulated at the city's streets, and white citizens have been compelled to confront new principles of what the nation's destiny may possibly glance like.
On the evening of August 4th, Arthur Bowen, an eighteen-year-old slave, stumbled into the bed room the place his proprietor, Anna Thornton, slept. He had an ax within the criminal of his arm. An alarm used to be raised, and he ran away. note of the incident unfold speedily, and inside days, Washington's first race insurrection exploded, as whites fearing a slave uprising attacked the valuables of the loose blacks. citizens dubbed the development the “Snow-Storm," in connection with the principal position of Beverly Snow, a flamboyant former slave grew to become profitable restaurateur, who turned the objective of the mob's rage.
In the wake of the rebel got here sensational legal trials that gripped town. Prosecuting either instances used to be none except Francis Scott Key, a politically bold lawyer recognized for writing the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” who few now take into accout served because the city's district lawyer for 8 years. Key defended slavery till the twilight's final sparkling, and pandered to racial fears through looking capital punishment for Arthur Bowen. yet in a shock twist his prosecution used to be thwarted via Arthur's ostensible sufferer, Anna Thornton, a revered socialite who sought assistance from President Andrew Jackson.
Ranging past the widely used confines of the White residence and the Capitol, Snow-Storm in August delivers readers into an unknown bankruptcy of yankee historical past with a textured and soaking up account of the racial secrets and techniques and contradictions that coursed underneath the freewheeling capital of a emerging global power.
"Snow-Storm in August is this sort of ebook I so much like to learn: background so clean it feels alive, yet introducing me to a time and position that I had little identified or totally misunderstood. After examining Jefferson Morley's bright account, it is easy to by no means hear 'The Star-Spangled Banner' an identical means again."
—David Maraniss, writer of Barack Obama: The Story