In this third novel of the Smithyman series, More has provided interesting insight into the conflicts existing in the early days of the American colonies. Set shortly after the end of the French and Indian War in 1774, Liberty’s Children begins with the attempts of the King’s Director of Indian Affairs, Sir William (Billy) Smithyman, along with his Mohawk Indian wife and his brother, to maintain peace among the uneasy Indian nations, the mostly French-leaning Canadians, and the largely English-Dutch colonials. The focus gradually shifts to the problems generated by the Crown’s complete lack of understanding of the colonists and the “savages.” Billy’s children, along with those of the other immigrants of both high and low status, begin to take a stand against their elders, leading eventually to the American Revolution.
The author admits to taking some liberties with history; however, he has presented the known facts in a logical progression and woven them into a smoothly moving, believable story. Readers with an interest in early American Indian history will enjoy his description of eastern Indian nations and their interrelationships. I have not seen this material as prominently presented in fiction since Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales. An interesting and enjoyable (albeit slow) read.