The Legacy of West Ford

The Legacy of West Ford
Press Release – 04 June 2001

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June 4, 2001, Denver, CO. Was the man known as the father of this country also the father of a slave? He was, according to a new book by Linda Allen Bryant. “I Cannot Tell a Lie: The True Story of George Washington’s African American Descendants” is available now, and is the first book to explore the claim that George Washington sired West Ford, his mulatto son. This book is the most compelling family saga since Alex Haley’s “Roots.”

Documented national history tells us that the nation’s first president had no children. But the oral history of the descendants of an African American family tells a different story.

“I Cannot Tell a Lie” is a book most adequately described by its title. Many people will believe the story of George Washington fathering a mulatto son. Many more will find it impossible to accept the fact that he crossed the color line and deigned to establish an intimacy with a slave woman named Venus. Their fateful union during the era of antebellum slavery produced a son, West Ford.

As time and space distanced the Ford family from its beginnings at Mount Vernon, each generation continued to walk a precarious line, bearing the weight of their heritage and constantly battling issues of skin color, status, and identity. This extraordinary novel spans five generations of family chroniclers, charged with the task of keeping their family heritage aliveā€¦and secret until now.

“I Cannot Tell a Lie” attempts to provide an accessible format through which the Ford family history might be considered, while offering exposure to the many sociopolitical issues surrounding their controversial tale. The result is a triumphant and inspirational novel that will be enjoyed for generations to come.

Linda Allen Bryant has appeared on numerous news programs such as, The Today Show, CBS Morning Show, MSNBC and Frontline PBS. Bryant has also been interviewed by numerous print publications. For more information about the West Ford/George Washington connection visit

[ISBN: 0-595-17878-2] “Cannot Tell a Lie: The True Story of George Washington’s African American Descendants” publisher iUniverse is now available through their bookstore iUniverse. For quicker delivery, order directly from the publisher at 1-877-823-9235 for credit card orders. The book is also available through Barnes and or through It may also be ordered through local booksellers. Retailers, wholesalers, and other booksellers wishing to purchase “I Cannot Tell a Lie” may call Iuniverse Publishing at (877) 823-9235 or (402) 323-7800.

Author Linda Allen Bryant is available for interviews. For more information, please contact her at

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