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Local writer, columnist publishes book
Tom Hand book

Ford River and Field Club resident Tom Hand already has a website, a newspaper column and a grant program devoted to sharing early American history.

Now he’s got a book coming out as well.

Hand, a West Point graduate, Army veteran and self-described “old, retired guy,” is self-publishing “An American Triumph: America’s Founding Era through the Lives of Ben Franklin, George Washington and John Adams.”

Hand said he chose those three men because of their impact on this country’s birth.

“I wanted to remind Americans how exceptional and inspirational our founding truly was,” Hand said. “I chose to focus on Franklin, Washington and Adams because I feel they played the most pivotal roles in creating our country. I will add that I wrote ‘An American Triumph’ for the everyday American, the guys and gals who love this country as much as I do, and that I decided to self-publish the book to keep it affordable for them.”

Hand said his research consisted of reading 50-60 books, “as well as countless articles and stories about these men. I thought I knew everything about our founding era, but I learned a great deal more while doing my research, and that made it fun.”

The book, which is due out in October and can be pre-ordered on Amazon, is a result at least in part of a happy accident of sorts. In 2020, Hand sent a letter to the editor of the Bryan County News. A conversation with that editor followed and the weekly column Americana Corner was born, along with his website and blog.

“I have always loved history, especially early American history,” Hand said. “But I never thought I would write about it. After I started writing my column for the Bryan County News, I realized it was my true calling. It is funny the path life takes you on sometimes.”

It’s a path that has led him to put his money and time where his heart is. In addition to serving as on the Board of Trustees of the American Battlefield Commission, Hand started the Preserving America Grant Program in 2022 to support “projects across the nation that contribute to sharing the rich tapestry of early American History.”

Since its inception, Preserving America has awarded $1.4 million in grants to 180 organizations in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

“I hope to do even more this year,” Hand said. “I plan to continue this work as long as I can and I find it so meaningful and rewarding to help these organizations accomplish their mission.”

Hand, who ends his column in the News each week with “Until next time, may your motto be “Ducit Amor Patriae,” Love of country leads me,” has plans for another book.

Several more, actually. “I plan to publish my second book next summer, it is about 90 percent completed,” Hand said. “Ultimately, I hope to publish six or seven volumes in chronological order of the history of America’s first century.”

“An American Triumph” will be available in late October at americanacorner. com and Amazon. You can pre-order copies now for $35 each. All proceeds will help fund Preserving America grants

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