My grandparents have lived in Queens for about 60 years. I have been coming to visit them for over thirty years now. Little did I know that just 3.6 miles away (according to Google Maps) is the house of Rufus King–delegate to the Constitutional Convention, first senator from New York, Minister to Britain, co-author of the Camillus essays (with Alexander Hamilton) supporting the Jay Treaty, and Federalist nominee for Vice President in 1804 and 1808 and for President in 1816. And his house is just a few minutes away from my grandparents! I had to go.
The tour was more about the house than it was about the man, which disappointed someone like me. But what the tour lacked, the beautiful home more than made up for.
The dining rooms was obviously set up to host large parties and meetings:
Rufus King reading in his study:
A few blocks away is a church and graveyard where many of the King family are buried. Here is the tombstone of Rufus King’s son John Alsop, who served as the twentieth governor of New York:
Thanks to James Best’s masterpiece, Tempest at Dawn, I felt like the 56th delegate at the Constitutional Convention. Using vivid narrative and expressive dialogue, Tempest at Dawn presents all the major issues the Founding Fathers struggled with. More impressive, you get to know the character of the men who created our great nation.
Tempest at Dawn is based primarily on Madison’s notes to the Convention. Mr. Best adds to the story events that happened outside of the State House. It is a true credit to the author that it is difficult to tell where Madison’s notes end and the author’s speculations begin.
Keeping in mind that Tempest at Dawn is historical fiction, it is a must read for anybody who wants to understand the principles and efforts that went into creating the Constitution and struggles to create our nation.
Posted in Books, Constitution, History
Tagged Articles of Confederation, constitution, Constitutional Convention, founding fathers, Historical fiction, James Best, James Madison, United States, United States Congress, United States Constitution