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Thursday, July 21, 2022

Book Series Reveals How a Black Man Fought to Stop the British From Burning the U.S. Capitol in 1814

James Woodman, a freeborn young Black man, risked his life to save our country’s founding documents… even though those documents didn’t always keep their promises for people who looked like him.

Journey by Gary V. Brill

Nationwide — North Carolina-based writer Gary V. Brill is very pleased to announce the release of the second volume of his critically acclaimed historical fiction series JOURNEY: The Story of an American Family.

This chapter in the struggle begins in 1814 as James Woodman, a freeborn young Black man, fights in the District Militia to repel the invading British who aim to burn the Capitol. Even though he personally risked all to save our Founding Documents, he knew the promises they made were not always kept to people who looked like him.

After the British defeat, he decides it’s time to start a family, so he buys the freedom of Abigail from her “master”, Francis Scott Key, a neighbor who also served in the District Militia. He and Abigail, with the help of Luke, a young runaway James had secretly moved to the farm his father bought after his service in the Revolution, begin to build a home and a life together.

But racial hatred follows them even there, even though he and his father had fought for American freedom. The racism appears in the person of voracious slave hunters who give them no peace, as well as anti-abolitionist forces that are never far away.

James and others in the county are instrumental in bringing the Underground Railroad to the valley and he quickly volunteers to conduct and help bring desperate people fleeing north closer to freedom, to a home of their own.

As the Civil War draws ever closer, the steady stream of the desperate becomes a flood as the opposing armies prepare to meet in their once quiet, peaceful sanctuary and turn it into a flaming hell. Will the farm survive? Will the family?

The author takes pride in the historical research that went into both volumes. Many of the people named were real, the places they lived and died are real, the bitter politics on display was also real very much as it is today. The language and the action are sometimes ugly and brutal, but then so is bald faced racism and slavery. The use is never gratuitous.

The origins of this series go back to 1999 when the author was living in Budapest, Hungary and working on an entirely different book. He would like to thank those writers who inspired him to begin writing JOURNEY, some of whom are named in the epilogue.

Gary was asked why this story, and why now. “This story needed to be told. It has been a long time in coming. There are literally many hundreds of stories from this time period that have been told. All but a small handful have been told from the point of view of the white population, without any representation of the people whose sweat and blood built this country. JOURNEY tries to correct that wrong. This is a powerful and historically accurate tale from the point of view of a young Black man trying to make his way in the world. There should be more like it.”

He went on to say, “The series also deals quite directly with the overt and benign effects of racism and slavery, not only on the lives of those who feel its sting, but on those who carry this scar on their souls through life. From the casual slights and robbing people of their identity, to beatings to murder, the sad simple fact is that the strong will always try to dominate and control the ‘other’. I hope that by shining a light on this era we can learn from it and stop this insanity.”

He also mentioned that research is under way for JOURNEY: Vol.3.

For more details and/or to purchase the book series, visit GVBWrites.com or find the book on Amazon.

For press inquiries, please contact gary@gvbwrites.com




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