A hearty eater, dapper dresser, bookseller to Loyalists and Patriots alike,and married into a staunch Loyalist family, Henry Knox may seem an unlikely hero. But his fascination with warfare and strategy and his support of the Patriot cause prepared him to do what no one else thought was possible: transport heavy artillery from Fort Ticonderoga, up and down snow-covered hills and across frozen lakes, to relieve the siege of Boston. The dramatic story of his achievements is all the more satisfying for being absolutely true, a little-known episode in the history of the American Revolution.
What a superb, vivid, rendition of one of the great adventures in American history.
The first half of this fully illustrated book deftly portrays Knox as a likable, optimistic youth, while the second half shows him as a determined 25-year-old officer leading the expedition that freed Boston in 1776. Quotes from period sources underscore the difficulties of the journey, while Silvey’s measured text ably tells the tale and puts events in their historical context.
The author portrays Henry as an enthusiastic, approachable man who loved books, artillery and food; who lost two fingers in an accident; who found possibilities where others found problems. Minor's realistic, stirring illustrations in acrylics on wood panels readily capture the gallant spirit of this man and his times. First-rate.
“I regret not having this book when my parents dragged me through colonial forts and hotspots of the American Revolution. I would have enjoyed our vacation much more. I probably heard then about Henry Knox, "Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot," but Silvey uses his diary and other primary sources to bring him to life. Somehow, he managed to move 59 cannons from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston in the throes of the New England winter of 1776, causing the British to flee the city. Silvey writes authentically and with authority. Minor’s muted acrylic-on-wood-panel paintings reflect the period perfectly. A splendid collaboration.”
—Kathy Englehart, Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, The Cleveland Plain Dealer