Who were America's first superstars? At the end of a long day, when Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette wanted to relax and enjoy themselves, where did they go? Just like the rest of the gentlefolk of their day, they went to the circus theatre, of course. In 1810 where else could you find six hours of entertainment, good food, drink and amiable companionship? Where else could you see the epitome of horsemanship, jugglers, magicians, a drama by Shakespeare, and variety acts from around the world? Where? The Circus of Pépin and Breschard. Do you like a good mystery? Right now at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., hanging next to the Gilbert Stuart image of George Washington (which also graces the one dollar bill), is an unfinished Stuart portrait entitled THE CIRCUS RIDER. The NGA claims the subject of THE CIRCUS RIDER was an English acquaintance of Washington; however, the portrait was earlier identified by reliable witnesses as being a Frenchman, BRESCHARD, THE CIRCUS RIDER. Jean Baptiste Breschard, along with his partner, Victor Pépin, built theatres in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Montreal, Havana, in every major American city, during the years surrounding the War of 1812. The Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia still stands and is the oldest continuously operating theatre in the English speaking world. M. Breschard, M. Pépin and Mme. Breschard were the premiere equestrians in this hemisphere when popular entertainment meant horsemanship. The Breschards and Pépin were the Elvis Presleys, the Samuel Goldwyns, and the P.T. Barnums of their day. Why have historians ignored America's greatest entertainers? Did the NGA make an honest mistake or did they believe they had created a superior circus story for attracting the public to their exhibitions? Combining primary sources and fiction, CIRCUS RIDER is both a novel and a history. Using a cross-disciplinary technique previously unavailable, connections among America's foremost statesmen, military men, architects, politicians and performers, during a time when the United States was at its greatest peril, are illuminated for the first time. CIRCUS RIDER is a novel history of the first American circus. CIRCUS RIDER is an ongoing history.