Harry Schenawolf is a retired professor, a collegiate arts advisor, historian, and novelist. He currently lives in Virginia with his beloved wife Liz.
A passionate historian, Harry devotes his time to research and writing about the American Revolutionary War and Colonial America, particularly the impact and incredible sacrifice by African Americans in the founding of our nation. Detail oriented, he is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction novels dealing with all aspects of history.
Harry is principal contributor to Revolutionary War Journal where he posts his informative and well researched articles. A perfectionist, he spends countless hours pawing through national archives and old texts while chasing down facts to their primary source.
Harry’s action-packed historical novel series Shades of Liberty chronicles the story of African Americans fighting on both sides of the American Revolution. Reader comments include “riveting, captivating, compelling, gripping, and provocative.” The novels are informative, moving, shocking and enlightening as they “tell a story that needs to be told.”
A native of New Jersey, Harry studied fine arts at Montclair State University, receiving his Masters degree through Temple University in Philadelphia, and doing his doctoral thesis work at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Harry’s favorite aspect of being a writer is discovering and sharing crucial, awe-inspiring true stories that have been largely ignored or buried in the dusty pages of obscurity. He looks for and encourages comments from readers.
Here, in Harry’s own words, is an introduction to the saga:
“Shades of Liberty will chronicle the lives of two African Americans. Brothers born in turmoil and shackled to the whims of slave merchants, they are separated as infants by a cruel society that is merciless in humanity and insensitive in heart. Both will grow up confronting the horrors of slavery only to have fate lay before them a chance, no matter how slim, to slip the bonds of tyranny. Young adults in the American Revolution, they will choose the direction each believes will grant the promise of freedom…true freedom.
Josiah will look to the rebels, fleeing his master to fight on the side that claims to cherish liberty as self evident. We the people, men, all men equal in a land blessed by God and made sacred by those who risk their lives to cast aside the writ of oppression and breathe the sacred air of a new nation.
And Titus, who disavows what he sees as the empty promises of cloaked rhetoric, later made official in a document of independence drawn by rich white landowners, many if not all slaveholders. He runs from a brutal owner to accept the promise of freedom to all bondsmen who take up arms with the British.
One purpose, two paths, they will ultimately intertwine in a saga that brings both pride and disgrace to an infant nation. A nation that perceives itself enlightened in the grace of God, yet in the end, as dictated by survival, continues to wallow in the shortcomings of humanity, satiated by the corruption of greed and the delights of wealth.
Hope and despair thread the horrors of war in a story as old as the written word.”
Harry, in his own words:
My interest in history started in elementary school. I could never have enough books and was particularly drawn to military history. I absorbed everything I could get my hands on. It has always been, and remains, my passion.
I am a teacher of both public school and university. I’ve lived and worked in the United States, Central America, and Europe. Virginia is now my home.
After a tenure of some years, I earned my Masters of Education at Temple University in Philadelphia. After graduation, I remained in the Philadelphia area, teaching music and performing on bass. I later found a teaching position near Burlington, Vermont, and won a position with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. During those years, I taught summers in Latin America (Honduras and Veracruz, Mexico). After several years as an adjunct professor at the University of Vermont, Middlebury College, SUNY Plattsburg and SUNY Potsdam, and teaching public school, I gained a full fellowship at the University of Colorado, and moved to Boulder for my residency and earned a doctorate there.
Along the way, I accepted a two year position teaching at a Sixth Form College in Durham County, England. During that time my wife Liz and I traveled extensively in the Isles and the Continent, where we visited many of the battle sites I had read about for years. Back in Vermont, I resumed my music teaching and started to write historical essays and fiction.
During the many years of research, I’ve acquired an extensive library of history and historical fiction and have always dreamed of writing historical fiction myself. I began seriously pursuing that goal some years ago. Shades of Liberty is an outgrowth of the many hours I’ve spent in this endeavor. Brothers in slavery fighting for liberty in opposing armies. It is a story that needs telling from a time when so many souls risked life, limb, property and reputation to pursue freedom…true freedom. The incredible contribution African-americans made to the independence of this nation is a topic long overlooked by history books and society. If I can help our current society appreciate the sacrifice of those heroes, then all the time I put into the project is fully justified.