The early 1800's saw the fledgling United States of America making giant strides toward forming a nation. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was under construction in the new capitol of Washington, Thomas Jefferson held the presidency, Lewis and Clark were about to embark on their east to west trek across America "from sea to shining sea," and the United States was embroiled in its first major act as an international player fighting the barbary pirates on the "Shores of Tripoli,"
The British had just outlawed slavery, the slaves of Haiti overthrew their French masters, under the leadership of Toussaint L'Ouverture, the South was in the middle of a religious revival, and the Indians were becoming more united in recognizing the growing threat of the white man.
Add to this mix Atende; skilled in the ways of her people. Captured in Africa and transported to America where she is sold into slavery in Savannah. She is the catalyst that leads to Thomas Jefferson freeing the slaves in 1809.
(And I know he was only president until 1808 but you will need to read the book to find out!)