Press Release, 11/2023
First-Time Falmouth Author Wins International Award
Writer & Editor
William Eustis, a former Massachusetts doctor and governor, is receiving his long-overdue recognition as an early American patriot. Eustis is the subject of a book by first-time Falmouth, Mass., author Tamsen Evans George that has gained international attention as a 2023 finalist among the 20th annual Best Book Awards presented by American Book Fest.
Allegiance: The Life and Times of William Eustis (Riverhaven Books, 2021, 311 pages) is a nonfiction work and the first of five U.S. History Finalist Awards presented by American Book Fest. More than 500 mainstream, independent and self-published titles in over 100 categories received these international awards.
It is a remarkable achievement by Ms. George because it is her first book and because her subject is not as well-known as John Adams, Samuel Adams, Dr. Joseph Warren and other iconic, early-American personalities.
“William Eustis intrigued me for that very reason, that he is virtually unknown,” explained Ms. George. “Who was this man? He was just as much a patriot and just as accomplished as other Americans when this republic was being formed.”
“During his public lifetime, William Eustis … trained as a doctor under Joseph Warren, defeated John Quincy Adams for a seat in Congress, and served in the cabinet and as an ambassador under James Madison,” stated Suffolk University history professor and department chair Robert J. Allison. “This thoroughly-researched and elegantly written biography [introduces] us to … one of the political actors in the formation of this country.”
Allegiance relates Eustis’s story from 1752 through 1825. Born in Boston, his adventures as a doctor led him from an apprenticeship under Dr. Joseph Warren to the siege of Boston to the Battle of Bunker Hill. He was a surgeon in the Continental Army in the Hudson Highlands with General George Washington. He was at West Point when Benedict Arnold’s treachery to surrender the vital garrison to the British was discovered.
Eustis embraced a political career after the war and became a congressman in Washington during its first days as the U.S. capital. He served as Secretary of War during the War of 1812, then sailed as ambassador to The Netherlands, arriving just days after the Battle of Waterloo. Later, as governor of Massachusetts, he championed construction of the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown and paved the way for digging the Cape Cod Canal.
Ms. George has been active in Falmouth history organizations since 2006. She has served on the Falmouth Historical Commission for eight years and is on the Cape Cod town’s Community Preservation Committee. She was president of the Falmouth Historical Society’s Museums on the Green for eight years after initially volunteering as a docent.