America’s Forgotten Founding Father: A Novel Based on the Life of Filippo Mazzei


“An unusual…portrait of a man whose importance to the founding of the United States has indeed been generally overlooked…Filled with intriguing historical tidbits.” Kirkus Reviews

“Foreign intrigue notwithstanding, America’s Forgotten Founding Father is a book whose timing could not be better on a domestic level.” —Angelus News

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Surgeon, merchant, vintner, and writer Filippo Mazzei influenced American business, politics, and philosophy. Befriending Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, Mazzei was a strong liaison for others in Europe. Mazzei was Jefferson’s inspiration for the most famous line in the Declaration of Independence: “All men are created equal.”

Clearly, Mazzei had a gift of language and often used his words to share his ideas about religious freedom. Mazzei encouraged other Italians still living overseas to join him in a country rich with opportunity and promise. Often, when returning from Italy, he booked passages on ships for people who desired to travel to America and employed them on his estate—just to ensure a better, more fruitful life for everyone. During those travels, Mazzei found himself at the center of many fights for freedom.

He was truly a friend to freedom around the world.

About the author

Rosanne Welch is a writer, producer, and university professor with credits that include Beverly Hills 90210Picket FencesTouched by an Angel, and ABC NEWS/Nightline. She is the author of Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture (McFarland, 2017). She is co-editor, with Peg A. Lamphier, of Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection (ABC-CLIO, 2017).

Welch has also published chapters in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television (I. B.Tauris) and The American Civil War on Film and TV: Blue and Gray in Black and White and Color (Lexington Books, 2018), and an essay in Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology.

By day she teaches courses on the history of screenwriting and on television writing for the Stephens College MFA in screenwriting programs. Her talk, “The Importance of Having a Female Voice in the Room,” was presented at the 2016 TEDxCPP.