Friday, December 14, 2018

Book Giveaway and Release of my book, Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington's Mount Vernon

At last it is time to do the dance of joy and celebrate.  Yippeeeeee, Hallelujah!  My new book Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington’s Mount Vernon(Holiday House Books) will be released in a few days-on December 18, 2018. 

Released December 18.  New from Holiday House.  STARRED review in Booklist.
Enter the book giveaway at the end of this post for a chance to win a copy of
Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington's Mount Vernon.

It has been five years in the making.  Now that I think about it, it has been closer to five and a half years since the first idea for this book planted itself firmly in my mind--and more importantly in my heart.  At the risk of sounding melodramatic, when I take on a topic for a book, I live with the people I write about for the rest of my life.  

The people from Buried Lives I’ll carry with me along life’s bumpy road are William Lee (Washington’s valet), Christopher Sheels (the young man who took over as valet), Caroline Branham (housemaid), Peter Hardiman (Caroline’s husband who ran Washington’s mule breeding operation), Oney Judge (Martha Washington’s lady’s maid), and Hercules (chief cook at President’s House in Philadelphia).  Along with these six people, their families join me too. For some of them, I know their mothers, their grandmothers, their aunts, their uncles, their spouse, their sons, and their daughters.

While I’m researching and writing the book, the subjects of my book are never far from my mind.  I think about them as I figure out how to bring their true-life stories to readers in a way that is accurate and entertaining.  I think through the details of their experiences.  I ponder over them.  I put myself in their shoes so to speak-at least as much as possible.  The people I write about must be real to me.  If they aren’t real to me, they will never feel real to my readers--even though they were real people.  

I want my readers to find out what happens to the six people I highlight in my book.  But that’s not all—I want them to feel the hoe in Christopher’s hand when he was a child. I want them to feel the cold as Caroline lights the fires in the house during the winter.  I want them to smell the delicious meals Hercules cooked on the hearth.  I want my readers to see them as real flesh and blood people who had every emotion we have today.  And I want my readers to remember that someone else owned these six people.  In this case, their master was the President of the United States.

Along the way of telling about the lives of these six individuals who were enslaved at Mount Vernon, I weave in Washington’s changing views of slavery through the years.  By 1799, 317 enslaved people lived at Mount Vernon. Washington owned 123 of them, he rented 41, and 153 individuals were owned by Martha’s dower estate.   Near the end of his life, Washington wrote a will that would freed the 123 people he owned.  But neither he nor Martha could free the 153 people that were part of her estate.  This sets up a devastating separation of some families after the deaths of George and Martha Washington.  Readers will find out which of the six were freed and which remained enslaved.

Also part of Buried Lives is the ongoing archaeological dig in the cemetery for the enslaved people of Mount Vernon.  The graves, which are unmarked, are slowly being located and counted—while none of the remains are disturbed. 

In a few days, Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington’s Mount Vernon will leave my protection.  It will be released into the world to stand on its own.  It is my hope that the book I’ve written will allow six, specific enslaved people from Mount Vernon to step out of the fog of history and stand in the bright light of recognition.  I want my readers to like them as much as I do.   

Carla Killough McClafferty

BOOK GIVEAWAY

Readers, to enter our drawing for a chance to win an autographed copy of Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington's Mount Vernon, written by Carla Killough use the Rafflecopter widget below. You may enter via 1, 2, or all 3 options.





If you choose option 2, you MUST leave a comment on TODAY'S blog post below or on our TeachingAuthors Facebook page. If you haven't already "liked" our Facebook page, please do so today! 
In your comment, tell us what you'd do with the book if you win our giveaway--keep it for yourself or give it to a young reader?

(If you prefer, you may submit your comment via email to: teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com.)

Email subscribers: if you received this post via email, you can click on the Rafflecopter link at the end of this message to access the entry form.

Note: if you submit your comments via email or Facebook, YOU MUST STILL ENTER THE DRAWING VIA THE WIDGET BELOW. The giveaway ends December 21, 2018 and is open to U.S. residents only.

P.S. If you've never entered a Rafflecopter giveaway, here's info on how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway and the difference between signing in with Facebook vs. with an email address.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

32 comments:

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

So excited to see this book come out. Can't wait to read it!

JoAnn Early Macken said...

What an achievement! I love how you reveal specific sensory details. Hooray for you for enabling these people to "step out of the fog of history and stand in the bright light of recognition."

Diane Mayr said...

In working on a New Hampshire women project, I spent a little time researching Oney Judge. A fascinatingly brave woman. Your book sounds very interesting and I appreciate learning how you approached the writing of it.

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

Thank you Sue JoAnn and Diane. I appreciate your kind words in anticipation of my book's release. Carla

Rosi said...

I have been hearing about this book and am very excited to read it. I visited Mount Vernon not many years ago and new there were wonderful stories there to be told. So glad you decided to write this book. Thanks for the post.

Esther Hershenhorn said...

YAY! and HURRAH!
BURIED LIVES is now in the world.
You worked so very, very hard, Carla, to ready this book.
I can't wait to read it.

Liz Steinglass said...

The book sounds fascinating. I think everyone in our family would be interested in reading it.

Margaret Simon said...

Congratulations on your publication. I am fascinated about this time period and want to teach my students the true stories of enslaved people.

Danielle H. said...

I know I will learn so much from your book. I already have from your post about this important book. I can't wait to read it and feel the hoe in my hand too. Congratulations on your publication!

Carl Scott said...

I always find that little-known history is the most surprising and interesting. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

Thank you Rosi. I do think this is a very powerful story to tell. Carla

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

Thank you, dear Esther. I'm so glad it is finally ready to go out into the world. Carla

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

Dear Liz, thank you for leaving a comment. I'd love to know what you think of the book after reading it. Carla

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

Dear Margaret, thank you for your comment. I'm fascinated in this time in history too. Carla

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

Thank you Danielle, for your comment. I hope you enjoy the book. Carla

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

Thanks for your comment, Carl. I love to learn little known details and stories of history. Carla

April Halprin Wayland said...

Carla ~ MAZEL TOV! Thank you for taking us on your Buried Lives journey. There's so much to love in your post, I can't wait to read the book!

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

Thank you April. At last now that the book is almost out other people can know what I’ve been referencing when I’ve written about it and talked about it.

Unknown said...

Exciting book. I attended Georgetown University which benefited from slavery, so I find the subject very important.

If I won the give-away, I'd use the book for my student at George Manierre Elementary in Chicago's Reading Buddies program.
Best,
Lois Barr

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

Lois, thank you for your comment. This is an important topic and I hope my book will deepen the understanding of slavery and what it meant for individuals. Best of luck in the give away. Carla

Unknown said...

As a professional educator and a school teacher librarian, I am excited about great nonfiction books. I always encourage my students to seek out nonfiction because a well-written nonfiction account that reads like a novel makes a greater impression since you KNOW it actually happened. I was so impressed with the author's research and the way she stepped into the shoes of the people she wrote about. If I am fortunate enough to win this book, I will not only add it to my library's nonfiction section, but also actively promote it to my students.

CKidder said...

This book sounds like it will be very informative! I have always been fascinated with George Washington, partly becasause I was born on his birthday! I am looking forward to getting this book and sharing it with my students! Thank you for taking the time to do the research and share what you learned.

Unknown said...

I went to a breakout session Ms. McClafferty did at an ArLA convention in Little Rock a few years ago where she was discussing her research of the book and how she went about doing it. Ever since this I have been waiting for this book to come out! I am very excited to be able to read it now!! Thanks for all of your research!

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

Thank you Unknown for your comment. It is my hope that great teachers like you will use my book with students. I want it to touch the lives of readers. Good luck on the giveaway. Carla

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

CKidder, thank you for your comment. You share a great birthday with a great man. I hope the book will be a good one for great teachers to use in classrooms all over the country. Carla

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

Thanks Unknown for attending my breakout session at ArLA. As you know lots of research in many different ways have gone into this book. I appreciate your comment-I work really hard to do all the hard work that must be done. I hope you like the book. Carla

Mitchell Linda said...

Many congratulations on the book! I'm delighted that these people once unknown to us have a moment to allow us in. I tell my students all the time that there is still history to be discovered. I love that you have brought us these stories.

Brenda Parker said...

I truly believe that the hand of God was all over this project. This book will be a most helpful tool in my mission/ job of interpreting and narrating the lives of the marginalized and enslaved persons. I count it a joy to be able to do this. If I recieve this book, in addition to using it as a reinforce and support my narrations and story telling on the estate, it will become an heirloom for my grand child who if of many mixed heritages.

Damon Dean said...

I can't wait to see this eautiful work of art and heart. It has been so valuable to me as a writer to follow your journey Carla with this book.
My granddaughter, age 10, loves history and begs me constantly to tell her "more about when..." whether it is colonial America or World War II. I will give her this book, but will want one of course for my own. Congrats on a wonderful book.

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

Thank you Mitchell Linda for your comment. I agree, history is dotted with powerful, amazing stories that move us still today. I hope you can use this book with your students. Carla

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

Dear Brenda Parker, thank you for your comments. I'm so blessed to bring these stories to a readership in a way that it hasn't before. As you know, I've wept over this book and prayed over it for years. I hope readers see these powerful stories with as much passion and you and I do. With your work at MV bringing enslaved people to life for visitors, you are making a difference each day. Carla

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

Damon Dean, I was blown away when I read the first line of your comment, "beautiful work of art and heart" Boy I wish I'd written that!!! That line touched my heart. Thank you so much for that. I hope your granddaughter enjoys the book because it surely will tell her more about when.... Carla