by Gordon Saunders
Coming Summer, 2022
An Overview of the ‘Young America’ series
A cursory search in an eighteenth century cemetery in Barren County, Kentucky, yielded gravestones of a five-year-old girl, a newborn boy, a two-year-old girl. Children died. They died early and in number in the eighteenth century.
So did nations. Ours happened to survive. But it barely came to be born. Without unexpected help from individuals like Lafayette and nations like Spain and France, it would never have come to be. And it’s fragile life continued with many fearful days, nights, weeks, and even years, when it seemed it would succumb, that all would be lost.
The ‘Young America’ series is about the early years of our country’s life, years in which reasonable heads and the wisdom of nations bet against it. The story is told through the lives and adventures of three young men, one American, one French, and one British, the people who came and went in their lives, and the people who stayed. It encompasses critical events from the Battle of Yorktown in 1781 through the return of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1806––a period of twenty-five years. Long enough to no longer be called young. It includes vignette appearances of real people whose names you know and other real people whose names you don’t know.
And it happens in places you know and places you don’t know. In fact, much of early American history took place outside America. Places it was not easy to get to and sometimes not easy to leave––alive.
But we survived. And our continued life and health as a nation may depend upon remembering what those young Americans––and people from other places and races––did and refrained from doing that made it possible for us to get to this point.