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David Churchill Barrow

David Churchill Barrow is a Massachusetts “Swamp Yankee” descendant of William Bradford and Myles Standish of Pilgrim fame, who grew up on a farm that has not been sold since first built in the early 1700s.  In that farmhouse still hangs the commission of James Churchill as a captain in the Massachusetts militia signed by John Hancock, and the sword of Thomas Churchill, a Navy engineer who served in the Blockade of the Confederacy.  David’s father, David Bradford Barrow, was a Marine gentleman farmer who commanded a flame-thrower tank in the Battle of Saipan in WW II.

David’s childhood was mostly spent in the woods and swamps of Southeast Massachusetts, building forts and pretending to be Daniel Boone, the Little Drummer Boy of Shiloh, or just an unnamed “Minuteman” making ready to “fire the shot heard round the world.”  He has lived and breathed history since first opening his eyes.

He met his wife MaryLu in high school.  They were married in 1979 and have three adult children.  MaryLu is a former elementary school teacher working on her first children’s book.  Today they live just outside Tampa, Florida, with their Berger Blanc Suisse Attila and their two cats, Minnie and Tink.

David has written non-fiction historical pieces and columns for The Tampa Tribune (now the Tampa Bay Times), The Marine Corps Gazette and the “Lore of the Corps” section of The Marine Corps Times.  He has been a regular contributor of both short stories and posts to Liberty Island Magazine since its inception.  He and MaryLu co-authored Silver and Lead and are working together on a YA novel centered around the so-called “Boston Massacre.”

A Thanksgiving Salute

November brings the confluence of three anniversaries – the birthday of the United States Marine Corps on November 10, Veteran’s Day on November 11, and of course, Thanksgiving. There was a passenger onboard the Mayflower who could be honored upon all three. He was a soldier of fortune who, in between wars, took pity upon these hapless farmers and artisans we call Pilgrims – who were armed with faith but little else – and agreed to accompany them to the new world as military advisor. He was the only one who did not get sick that first brutal winter (half of them died, including his wife, Rose) and so he tended to all the others, especially William Bradford, who would soon serve as governor for most of the remainder of his life and become his life-long friend. The calm, thoughtful Bradford and this fiery-tempered soldier formed a partnership that not only allowed New Plymouth to survive, but eventually thrive. That soldier’s name was Myles Standish.

New Fiction: The Last Pistoleer

Rancho de San Miguelito, Chihuahua, Mexico – May 14, 1916 – High Noon:  “HALT!” yelled the young cavalry lieutenant, as the threehorsemen riding out of the gated archway veered away from the men he had posted on the southeast side of the hacienda and headed at full-gallop towards him. They had apparently been alerted to make their escape by the man skinning a dead cow in the yard that had run into the ranch house as the soldiers approached, and then came back out again, nonchalantly resuming his work.

“Damnit!” The lieutenant dropped the Springfield rifle he held in his left hand – useless with three riders less than twenty yards away and closing fast – and drew the Colt “Peacemaker” he’d picked up on order in El Paso just before deploying south of the border.

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918, the guns fell silent…

A Veteran’s Day Reflection

We now call it Veteran’s Day, because to continue to refer to it as “Armistice Day” would seem like a cruel joke, given subsequent events. It was billed as “the war to end wars” and “the war to make the world safe for democracy.” Naive idealism ran so high that even 10 years after the war the Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed, purporting to end war as a dispute resolution among nations (and although historians tend to smirk at its mention, it was the beginning of our undue reliance upon weak international forums rather than time-tested deterrence).

‘It is the eternal curse of guys who have pretty wives or girlfriends…’

*Submit your photographs of nature and the outdoor life to [email protected] to participate in this weekly feature exploring the natural world.*

“Do you hear the grasshopper that is at your feet?”

*Submit your photographs of nature and the outdoor life to [email protected] to participate in this weekly feature exploring the natural world.*

New Fiction: THE GOAT

Lee’s battle plan on the morning of the third day had a lot of moving pieces. Timing would be a factor too, but the Army of Northern Virginia had pulled off such complexities many times in the last two years – against worst odds – and had never failed.

Longstreet didn’t like it…. Didn’t like it at all. “I can safely say there never was a body of fifteen thousand men who could make that attack successfully,” he had warned, but Longstreet was either unaware of, or discounted, Lee’s secret ingredient.

Growing Up In An Instant

Check out this excerpt from Silver & Lead: A Novella of the West by David Churchill Barrow and MaryLu Barrow.

“I Do Set My Bow In The Cloud…” – Genesis 9:13

*Submit your photographs of nature and the outdoor life to [email protected] to participate in this weekly feature exploring the natural world.*

Fiction: A Fourth of July Carol

A Gem from the Liberty Island Archives

On the Green Line subway from Boston University to Copley Square, Professor George Alexander Saunders was pondering his dilemma – Where could he go tomorrow night to get away from it? It will be reverberating all throughout his tony Back Bay neighborhood: TA-TA-TA-TA-TA-TA-TA-DUM-DUM-DUM…BOOM! TA-TA-TA-TA-TA-TA-TA-DUM-DUM-DUM…BOOM! That damned Boston Pops in the Hatch Shell playing that damned 1812 Overture with those damned fireworks. He could take a drive down to the Cape… Nah… On the Fourth of July the Southeast Expressway will be murder, and getting the car in and out of storage is a pain in the ass. Not much going on during the summer on campus either. Just about anywhere he’d go, fools would be celebrating, and for what – over two centuries of oppression, imperialism and exploitation?

“Last Best Hope of Earth,” or Mass Graves and the Gulag?

Some Thoughts on Griff’s Cultural Dispatches from the Alamo…

I make it a point to read Griff’s “Cultural Dispatches from the Alamo” as soon as I see them pop up on Liberty Island. (But “from the Alamo,” Griff? Are things that bad? Fannon has been massacred at Goliad, no one is coming, and Santa Anna’s band is striking up El Deguello every day?)

Griff repeatedly and accurately traces the roots of so-called “Progressivism” and its attendant cultural paroxysms back to Marxism, but the divergence of classical liberalism (modern American conservatism) from the left actually took place almost a century before Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto came out. It is found in the vast differences between the American shopkeepers and farmers who stood at Lexington and Concord to “fire the shot heard round the world” and the peasants who stormed the Bastille – their respective causes and their leadership.

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