Suspected of independence : the life of Thomas McKean, America's first power broker / David McKean.

McKean, David, 1956- author.
First edition.
New York, NY : PublicAffairs, a Member of the Perseus Books Group, [2016]
xxi, 278 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
McKean, Thomas, 1734-1817.
United States. Declaration of Independence -- Signers -- Biography.
United States. Continental Congress -- Biography.
Statesmen -- United States -- Biography.
Governors -- Pennsylvania -- Biography.
United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Biography.
The last signatory to the Declaration of Independence was one of the earliest to sign up for the Revolution: Thomas McKean lived a radical, boisterous, politically intriguing life and was one of the most influential and enduring of America's Founding Fathers. Present at almost all of the signature moments on the road to American nationhood, from the first Continental Congress onward, Thomas McKean was a colonel in the Continental Army; president of the Continental Congress; governor of Pennsylvania; and, perhaps most importantly, chief justice of the new country's most influential state, Pennsylvania, a foundational influence on American law. His life uniquely intersected with the many centers of power in the still-formative country during its most vulnerable years, and shows the degree of uncertainty that characterized newly independent America, unsure of its future or its identity. Thomas McKean knew intimately not only the heroic figures of the Revolutionary era--George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin--but also the fascinating characters who fought over the political identity of the new country, such as Caesar Rodney, Francis Hopkinson, and Alexander Dallas. His life reminds us that America's creation was fraught with dangers and strife, backstabbing and bar-brawling, courage and stubbornness. McKean's was an epic ride during utterly momentous times.
Introduction: the grand procession
Part I. The patriot
The early years
The Stamp Act Congress
A new city
Soldiers and statesmen
The fight for independence
"Love me and pray for me"
Part II. The jurist
Chief Justice McKean
Occupation of Philadelphia
Alliance with France
The treason trials
President McKean
The Siege of Yorktown
The Longchamps Affair
The end of war
"An assembly of demigods"
Rule of law
Part III. The politician
The tides of change
The election of 1796
The rise of republicanism
Governor McKean
The election of 1800
Pinnacle of power
The last signer
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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