Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Book Review - Who's Your Founding Father?: One Man’s Epic Quest to Uncover the First, True Declaration of Independence by David Fleming


Who's Your Founding Father?: One Man’s Epic Quest to Uncover the First, True Declaration of Independence by David Fleming is about the author’s journey to unravel the true story behind the Declaration of Independence.  In 1819 John Adams comes across a story that can knock his political frenemy Thomas Jefferson down a peg or two. Adams came across an article that claims that Independence was declared fourteen months prior to Jefferson penning the Declaration of Independence. 

The story goes that before Jefferson wrote his document, a band of  fervent Scot-Irish patriots, whiskey loving Princeton scholars, and a well revered fanatical frontier preacher had gathered together in a remote corner of North Carolina to craft their own declaration of Independence. After being bombarded with unreasonable sanctions, tariffs, and laws  from England, they decided to formally declare themselves “free  and independent” from England.

The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence as it was called came about after an all night session between a few noteworthy prominent citizens of North Carolina. The document was signed on May 20, 1775, a date that is on the state flag. Then the document faded into oblivion and its authenticity has been questioned by politicians and historians alike. The author, David Fleming, decided that he would take up the mantle from Adams and dig into the history of the document and see if The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence really did come into existence before Jefferson’s Independence document. 

I thought the title of the book was funny but I was a bit hesitant to read the book. I thought it was going to be one of those dull history books. I was actually pleasantly surprised on how much I found the book to be enjoyable. It was fun to read and very entertaining.

The topic wasn’t something I am very familiar with. I have read a few articles about the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence but, it was mostly the authors disproving the existence of the document. I learned a lot of interesting facts about the document from this book but also American history while reading this book. I felt that the book was well researched and goes into elaborate details. However, there were times when the story moved a bit slowly or had a lot of unrelated facts included. While I did enjoy the writing style of the author, some might find it too graphic or off putting and the author does give commentary for certain things. I would be open to reading more books by the author and learning other great things about history!

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