The Missouri Reader Vol. 43, Issue 2 - Page 12

that were immediately obeyed. G. W. P. Custis wrote that it was while preparing these dinners that Hercules “shone in all his splendor. . . . It was surprising the order and discipline that was observed in so bustling a scene. His underlings flew in all directions to execute his orders, while he. . . seemed to be everywhere at the same moment.” Under Hercules’ watchful eye, meats turned on the spit and various dishes bubbled in cast-iron pots hanging on hooks over glowing embers. Dutch ovens with coals heaped on the lids cooked others. Cooking began long before dawn, and it took all day to prepare the two dozen or so dishes of soup, meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, jellies, cakes, puddings, and more.

In these examples, the details add to the sense of time and place that fleshes out the life of Hercules. I want readers to see Hercules as he was-a talented chef…who was enslaved.

To find out what Hercules did after he returned to Washington’s estate, read Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

Editors Note: Excerpts from Buried Lives are reprinted with permission.


Carla Killough McClafferty grew up in the small farming community of Tomberlin, Arkansas, where her parents farmed rice and soybeans. Many long, lazy days of her childhood were spent under the outstretched arms of a giant pecan tree. Her elementary school didn't have a library, using instead bookshelves under the windows that filled one wall of the classroom. She says, "To this day, libraries fill me with awe and appreciation."

After high school, she graduated from Baptist Medical Center School of Radiologic Technology, and worked in local hospitals and clinics. She has three children, Ryan, Brittney, and the late Corey McClafferty.

Although Carla always loved to read, she had never written until the death of her youngest son, Corey. After his tragic loss, Carla began to write about the experience. The story of her journey through grief became the subject of her first book, FORGIVING GOD. Next, she turned her attention to writing nonfiction books for young readers. It is her hope that readers of her books will be entertained, informed and inspired.

Carla is a popular speaker and presents a wide variety of programs for students and teachers all over the country both live and through interactive video conferences.

Biography Taken from her Website