UNDER THE NEW ROOF: Five Patriots of the Young Republic by Esther M. Douty

UNDER THE NEW ROOF: Five Patriots of the Young Republic

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Albert Gallatin, Joel Barlow, David Rittenhouse, Richard Allen and Suzanna Haswell are five footnoted figures in early American history who are of great potential interest to younger readers. Of the adult books in print, there is only Henry Adams' study on Gallatin, James Woodress' excellent Yankee Odyssey for Barlow and Hindle on Rittenhouse. Haswell and Allen, the most dramatic, are hard -to-finds who must be traced through scattered sources. The Gallatin essay suffers from a profusion of invented dialogue, but the author abandoned this approach early in the Barlow section and uses it rarely in the rest of the book. Rittenhouse defies interest, but the facts of his career as an astronomer are chronologically set out. Richard Allen gets the author's best work and the social climate that obtained during the years he established the African Episcopal Church is carefully explained. Suzanna Haswell, actress/novelist/versifier/school founder, gets a sympathetic and sentimental treatment where some critical humor might have made her more interesting. The writing is not distinguished, as it was in Sobol's Lock, Stock and Barrel (p. 183, J-63) which offered incisive assessments of Revolutionary figures. However, in its plodding, earnest way, the book will save librarian and student steps.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1965
Publisher: Rand McNally