“Capt. Peter Strickland owes much to author Stephen H. Grant.”—Library of Congress
“Grant's careful blending of historical hindsight with Strickland's own words brings enormous value to our understanding of U.S. diplomacy.”— Foreign Service Journal
“This book offers a vivid picture of the unique career of a New Englander who was a pioneer in the diplomatic field in French West Africa.”— The Day , New London, Conn.
“[This] interesting and informative book on a little known connection between this area and the West African country of Senegal . . . opens a window to a neglected aspect of trade in the nineteenth century.”— New London County Historical Society Newsletter
“What began with the purchase of an envelope on eBay by a man interested in old postcards turned into six years of research culminating in an intriguing new book.”— The Resident , Stonington, Conn.
“This is a great new historical source for Senegal, and for 19th century American shipping, trade, and foreign relations.”—L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin, University of Delaware Library
“Stephen Grant has done a masterful job of weaving the strands and evidence of a multitalented individual's life into a coherent collage with his biography of the seafaring entrepreneur Peter Strickland. The man had such a mixed life of professional success and unceasing personal tragedy. I thought about life in the mid-1800s: no cars, no planes, and less than luxurious ship conditions. I can't blame his wife for retreating. Life as a whole was incredibly challenging in those days that Grant has written about in such an interesting way.”—Mary-Charlotte Shealy
“[Strickland's] career as consul is of interest to historians of Africa in its insights into late nineteenth-century commerce along the coast from Senegal to Sierra Leone and the impact upon the United States' role of the onset of French colonialism. Through his consular dispatches, correspondence, and a journal spanning twenty-five years, he documents the primary imports and exports of Senegal to the U.S., but also the business and social relations among those serving European and American interests from Gorée and Dakar.”—Roberta Ann Dunbar
“Stephen Grant's biography is a little gem. The preface tells of the author's search for his subject and reads with the pace and surprise of a treasure hunt. Grant has a special gift for writing history, perhaps especially biography. His eye for detail also sees his subject in the round and in all the colors of his time and setting.”—Sam S. Rea
“Grant not only tells a good tale, but he has made an excellent use of a significant trove of historical materials in doing so, conducting extensive research on two continents, examining volumes of archival records and poring over Strickland's six decades of personal journals.”—Nina Robbins
“An entertaining, lively read. I do not remember reading anything that brings to life so well this period and the reality of living both in West Africa and in New England.”—Arthur M. Fell
“Stephen Grant has written a wonderfully readable account of an exceptional personality.” —Eunice Charles
“Stephen Grant's biography [of Consul Peter Strickland] adds to our knowledge of what diplomats do and how they do it. . . . The contributions of our consuls have been too often ignored [and] Grant has taken a significant step toward remedying this.”—from the Foreword by Kenneth L. Brown and Michael E. C. Ely
"I put aside the mystery I was reading and have begun your fascinating book. What a research challenge you had!"—Christine Hansen