The Signers of the Declaration of Independence are like stuffed birds, museum exhibits from a moment in America's glorious past. They signed what might well have turned out to be their death warrant. And then, in almost every case, they faded from the scene. Who, for instance, remembers Button Gwinnett or Light-horse Harry Lee? AMERICAN CONNECTIONS brings the signers back to life. Each of the fifty-six chapters begins with a brief, humorous, thumbnail character sketch, in most cases revealing such hidden qualities as feet of clay, a dysfunctional family, a secret lover, financial shenanigans, or political back-stabbing, and so on. One of these connections triggers a series of linked events which, in the end, leads to the modern world, where the signer's name unexpectedly reappears. Some instances: - Josiah Bartlett reappears as the character carrying his name in the television show, 'The West Wing.' - William Whipple is a modern-world agronomist. - The modern-day Matthew Thornton is a NASA consultant. - Today's Robert Treat Paine is an oceanographer. - 20th century Samuel Adams set up the Food and Drugs Act.
The storylines also introduce the reader to over 1,000 historical characters, ranging from kings and statesmen to spies, assassins, royal mistresses, astronomers, submariners, infanticides, con-men, actors, explorers, musicians, artists, inventors, transvestites, heroes, counterfeiters, conspirators, bomb-throwers, pill-makers and a host of others. The Signers of the Declaration of Independence will never seem the same again.