Codfish Musket

Codfish Musket

by Agnes Danforth Hewes, Armstrong Sperry (Illustrator)
©1936, Item: 75289
Hardcover, 390 pages
Used Price: $45.00 (1 in stock) Condition Policy

Historical Setting: Boston, Washington D.C. American frontier: late 18th and early 19th century

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To live in Boston in the years that followed the Revolution, to take part in the growing commerce of the busy port as New England's merchants, cautious but shrewd, gradually expanded the trade of the newly-fledged nation, would have been enough for most boys—but Dan Boit, working in Mr. Cotton's warehouse and sharing in the daily trade, had a wider vision. For Dan's grandfather had seen John Ledyard, had even talked to that eager dreamer, who when he failed to inspire the Boston merchants with his vision of Northwest trade had followed his dream into strange parts of the old world.

And indirectly—it was his own belief in John Ledyard's dream which led Dan into adventures—first in Boston, then in Washington where he came into contact with President Jefferson in the new White House, and finally on the frontier trail carrying a message from Jefferson to Merriwether Lewis.

Agnes Danforth Hewes is one of the most distinguished writers for young people today. The Codfish Musket, her fourth book for high school age readers, is concerned, as were Glory of the Seas, Spice and the Devil's Cave and Swords on the Sea, with the ever-fascinating theme of world trade. Ever since she ran across the fragmentary story of John Ledyard, Mrs. Hewes has been stirred by his vision and what it meant to America. In The Codfish Musket she has written, not the story of John Ledyard, but the story of those whose imagination he had kindled and who carried on his dream. More than that she has written an outstanding book of American historical adventure. With sure dramatic instinct and feeling for the past she has recreated in Part One, the New England shipping era of the late 1700s; in Part Two she has written an unforgettable picture of the still unfinished capitol and of Jefferson, the man, the idealist and the statesman; and in Part Three she has brought to life the colorful and lusty era of the Conestoga wagons and the Ohio flatboats.

Mrs. Hewes, whose home is in San Francisco, was born in Syria, the center of the trade of the ancient world. Her ancestors were New Englanders and she was sent to New England for her American education, and there she found herself interested in the trade of the New World.

—from the dust jacket

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