WHO ARE THEY?
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, one of the most important founding fathers of our country, is 46 years old in Lightning Strikes the Colonies. Not only was he a gifted scientist, inventing the battery, the odometer and lighting rod, he was also the visionary who demanded free speech, wrote the first books on capitalism expressing how people could seek the “American dream” of success, raised the social consciousness of the colonies, developed the first hospital, the first library and the first secular college in America. He, in the most profound sense set the wheels in motion to establish a true democracy in America. Was he influenced by Melinda Darnell Hutchinson to change the course of history by patenting some of his inventions, Lightning Strikes the Colonies asks, or was it by her mere presence his history changed?
GEORGE WASHINGTON is a young lad of only 19, in Lightning Strikes the Colonies and stands nearly 6’5.” He is a lean handsome gentleman of the first degree and can’t help falling head over heels in love with Melinda. But was his destiny changed just because they met?
PAUL REVERE is most well known for the famous poem “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere,” an event that occurred in 1775, 23 years after Fagan’s novel takes place. It is interesting that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem was inaccurate. Paul Revere never made it to Concord to warn the militia; Samuel Prescott did. What Revere did was more important, as he warned Samuel Adams and John Hancock to escape before the British arrived. If Adams and Hancock had been captured, the revolution may never have occurred. However, Paul Revere is a shy, short (only 5’1”) 16-year-old boy in Lightning Strikes the Colonies who tends to studder only around Melinda, but was already a master silversmith. He and his father had plans to open an iron foundry; but did all that change when Melinda came into his life?
JOHN HANCOCK is a dashing, fun-loving and rich 17-year-old. His uncle was one of the wealthiest men in the colonies and John always knew he would one day inherent a great fortune. He could have gone to England and never returned, but did he instead stay in New England because Samuel Adams and Melinda roused the call to freedom in him?
THOMAS HUTCHINSON is the man who changed Ben Franklin’s life. After Franklin obtained some very important letters (no one knows how), in which Hutchinson stated that Britain should bring its military might to stop free speech and cancel the general assembly in Boston. In 1773, Franklin was put on trial in England for having these letters. It is said he walked into the Privy Council a loyalist to Britain and left a patriot to the American Revolution. But how did he get these letters? Only Melinda knows!
SAMUEL ADAMS is 35, and a charismatic, controversial orator. His first speech on the rights of man to fight against tyranny happened one night in 1752 at the Green Dragon. Everyone said it was treasonous except Melinda.
MELINDA DARNELL HUTCHINSON is the fictional heroine in Fagan’s book. She is the reluctant time traveler who knows her history. As a distant ancestral relative to Thomas Hutchinson, she can answer how Franklin obtained the Hutchinson letters as well as other mysteries regarding Franklin. Mysteries such as…did Franklin really fly a kite in a storm…how did he come up with the idea of democracy in the first place…and why didn’t he patent his inventions when he always advocated making the most amount of money?
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