About the Event
Toss all common beliefs aside that unfair taxation was the sole impetus for the American Revolution. Phillip Goodrich’s Somersett: Or Why and How Benjamin Franklin Orchestrated the American Revolution pieces together the methods and motivations of unlikely leaders who beat the odds against Great Britain by turning the practice of slavery into the call for revolution. The book advances the theory that Benjamin Franklin, using the freeing of a British slave as the catalyst, orchestrated a little-known yet elaborate scheme to spark revolt throughout the colonies and impassion America’s fight for independence from England.
In 1772, the British legal case of Somersett v. Steuart resulted in the first court-ordered freeing of a British slave, James Somersett. Goodrich’s book argues that Benjamin Franklin used Britain’s stance on the abolition of slavery—and his contacts, political acumen, and renown as a publisher and man of science—to work behind the scenes with his “inner circle” of confidantes to manipulate the American colonies into a fight for independence from Great Britain.