Exquisite Folly

Thomas Dordrecht in 1765





Exquisite Folly published on May 29, 2015—the 250th anniversary

of Patrick Henry’s Virginia Resolves against the Stamp Act


Exquisite Folly is terrific: a marvelous combination of suspense  with a superb portrait of New York society.”

Thomas Fleming, author of Liberty! The American Revolution


Passion or Politics?


In the fall of 1765, New York City is roiling with fury at the impending enforcement of the Stamp Tax, which portends economic ruin to virtually all classes. There could not be a worse moment for the young, fetching, none too bright third wife of a wealthy merchant to be found brutally stabbed to death in her own backyard. With some factions in the city calling for peaceful protest while others howl for armed defiance, her foolish jests against the radicals had aroused bitter indignation, widespread contempt, and the family’s mortification. When the slogan of the Sons of Liberty is discovered near her corpse, supporters of the imperial prerogative are quick to assign blame.

Unexpectedly commissioned to ferret out the truth, aspiring shipper Thomas Dordrecht’s first duty is to his desperate employers, frantically working to put their ships to sea before the November first deadline. But as the tax goes into effect on that date, Dordrecht is hot in pursuit of the culprit …when the town erupts in a full-scale riot that nearly touched off the American Revolution ten years early.

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Excerpt:  Chapter 1

Real history: Historical Individuals of Exquisite Folly

Real history: Timeline of the Stamp Act Crisis

Real history: The DeLancey Family Genealogy

Curious background facts:  America in 1765

“The Fudge Factor” – The Author’s Confessions!

The “Dordrecht Family Genealogy”—Updated

The “Colegrove Family Genealogy”

Bonus:  Charles Cooper’s satiric poem

Maps pertinent to Exquisite Folly

Google Earth Exquisite Folly Tour [to come]

Photo Essay: Exquisite Folly sites today



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