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A gripping narrative history of the explosive events that drew together Francis Scott Key, Andrew Jackson, and an 18-year-old slave on trial for attempted murder.
In 1835, the city of Washington pulsed with change. As newly freed African Americans from the South poured in, free blacks outnumbered slaves for the first time. Radical notions of abolishing slavery circulated on the city's streets, and white residents were forced to confront new ideas of what the nation's future might look like.
On the night of August 4th, Arthur Bowen, an eighteen-year-old slave, stumbled into the bedroom where his owner, Anna Thornton, slept. He had an ax in the crook of his arm. An alarm was raised, and he ran away. Word of the incident spread rapidly, and within days, Washington's first race riot exploded, as whites fearing a slave rebellion attacked the property of the free blacks. Residents dubbed the event the “Snow-Storm," in reference to the central role of Beverly Snow, a flamboyant former slave turned successful restaurateur, who became the target of the mob's rage.
In the wake of the riot came two sensational criminal trials that gripped the city. Prosecuting both cases was none other than Francis Scott Key, a politically ambitious attorney famous for writing the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” who few now remember served as the city's district attorney for eight years. Key defended slavery until the twilight's last gleaming, and pandered to racial fears by seeking capital punishment for Arthur Bowen. But in a surprise twist his prosecution was thwarted by Arthur's ostensible victim, Anna Thornton, a respected socialite who sought the help of President Andrew Jackson.
Ranging beyond the familiar confines of the White House and the Capitol, Snow-Storm in August delivers readers into an unknown chapter of American history with a textured and absorbing account of the racial secrets and contradictions that coursed beneath the freewheeling capital of a rising world power.
"Snow-Storm in August is the sort of book I most love to read: history so fresh it feels alive, yet introducing me to a time and place that I had little known or utterly misunderstood. After reading Jefferson Morley's vibrant account, one can never hear 'The Star-Spangled Banner' the same way again."
—David Maraniss, author of Barack Obama: The Story
About the Author: JEFFERSON MORLEY is the Washington correspondent for Salon. He has worked as an editor and reporter at The Washington Post, The Nation, The New Republic, and Harper’s Magazine. His work has appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Book World, Reader’s Digest, Rolling Stone, and Slate. His first book was Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA.
Title: Snow-Storm in August: Washington City, ...
Book Condition: Collectible-VeryGood
Book Description Nan A. Talese, 2012. Book Condition: Good. 1St Edition. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP69129818
Book Description Nan A. Talese, 2012. Book Condition: Good. 1St Edition. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP68962187
Book Description Nan A. Talese. Hardcover. Book Condition: GOOD. book was well loved but cared for. Possible ex-library copy with all the usual markings and stickers. Some light textual notes, highlighting and underling. Bookseller Inventory # 2798204782
Book Description Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Cover Missing. Book shows minor use. Cover and Binding have minimal wear, and the pages have only minimal creases. Bookseller Inventory # G0385533373I3N01
Book Description Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Cover Missing. Only lightly used. Book has minimal wear to cover and binding. A few pages may have small creases and minimal underlining. Bookseller Inventory # G0385533373I3N01
Book Description Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Cover Missing. Light wear to edges and pages. Cover and spine show no easily noticeable damage. Bookseller Inventory # G0385533373I4N01
Book Description Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. This book has a light amount of wear to the pages, cover and binding. Bookseller Inventory # G0385533373I3N00
Book Description Book Condition: Good. This item is in good condition. All pages and covers are readable. There are no stains or tears. Dust jacket is present if applicable. May contain small amounts of writing and/or highlighting. Spine and cover may show signs of wear. May not contain supplementary items such as CD's or DVD's. We ship within 1 business day. Bookseller Inventory # 34FGE5003LQJ_ns
Book Description Nan A. Talese. Book Condition: Used - Very Good. 2012. Hardcover. Very Good. Bookseller Inventory # D79955
Book Description Nan A. Talese. Book Condition: Used - Like New. Near fine. Cloth, D-j. 2012. May contain remainder mark. Originally published at $28.95. Bookseller Inventory # W97189