Previous Works

Col. Tobias Lear V, known as Toby to his friends, left his mark on the early history of the United States as an in-law and the personal secretary to George Washington. He also authored the only firsthand account of the death of the nation’s first president.
His journal is his legacy, but his story is one of determination, failure, upheaval, poor judgment and eventual self-destruction.

Kline is the first historian to create a comprehensive annotation of the original Tobias Lear Journal, which is the only firsthand account of the death of George Washington. The journal, which is housed in the Historical Society of Philadelphia’s (HSP) archives covers Lear’s life from December 10, 1799 to July 4, 1801, and documents the President’s final wishes, funeral perpetrations, funeral, entombment, the possible publishing of his papers, and Lear’s appointment and journey to be Council to St. Domingo.

Lecture/Panel Discussion, Historical Society of Pennsylvania Journal

Behind no fewer than four locked doors, nestled in HSP’s Treasures Vault, is a small pocket diary. At first glance it appears unremarkable, with a plain brown cover and no identifying markings or clues to its contents. Contained within its pages, however, is a significant event: a firsthand account of the death of George Washington, first president of the United States of America, recorded by Tobias Lear.

In an award winning, in-depth report, the author explores Illinois’ complicated and controversial history of funding through a combination of state, local, and federal sources, and its 906 public school districts.