George Washington’s Secret Six: Celebrating the Quiet Heroes of the American Revolution

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We stand on the shoulders of giants. This is true not just in terms of scientific and technological advances, but also with regard to the unique place of the great American experiment in the march of human history.

Our founding principles of freedom and justice, as laid out in the Declaration of Independence and protected by the Constitution, seem so commonplace to us here and now in the 21st century. Of course all men are created equal. Of course we have a right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Of course we want to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” But when the words were first put to paper, these ideals were so radical that most people assumed the movement would fail; certainly, no one took them for granted.

That is why I wanted to write George Washington’s Secret Six—to highlight the ordinary men and women who did extraordinary things in order to ensure the American dream would not only take root, but thrive. The stories of the great heroes of our nation’s founding—George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John and Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson—are well known to us from childhood, and rightly so. It is important, however, to celebrate the sacrifices, courage, and determination of the quiet heroes as well.

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