Pirates and Law and the Development of Chocolate

During the Golden Age of Piracy (the early eighteenth century) royal governors treated pirates as criminals, even though no established law of the seas existed. Pirates operated outside the law, and brought prosperity, and even chocolate.

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Letters and Understanding

My latest book, Washington’s Shadow, is based on the personal correspondence of Leven Powell with his family and about his work for George Washington . It’s a story of Powell’s children and the first wave of western expansion.  Washington’s presence permeates their decisions. 

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Blackbeard and the Use of Power

Under the rules that existed in his time, Blackbeard sometimes operate legally with a royal pardon, and sometimes without the pardon. However, Blackbeard’s power and popularity rested on his position as a sea captain and commander of a large fleet, regardless of legalities.

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Learning about American History

My own children have no living memory of any major war: World War II, Korea or Vietnam.   They and their children know nothing about the gas shortages of the 1980s and Jimmy Carter’s inflation that destroyed our small community banks. They do know about wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the destruction of the twin towers in 2001.  My grandchildren don’t even remember that. What do they teach in American history courses in today’s high schools?

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A Virtual Graduation

We have attended many graduations, and this was the first one where we heard every speaker and actually saw the face of the graduate.

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Washington’s Shadow: New Review

Washington's Shadow was featured in a review in Chesapeake Style Magazine, April 2020 edition, written by Ann Skelton:     Barbara McLennan’s latest historical fiction, Washington’s Shadow, is set thirty years after the long winter at Valley Forge in 1778....

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Birds and Flowers in a Lock-down

We have become much more vigilant about the immediate surroundings, and not just the construction.  This year we really saw the coming of spring, and the birds and flowers have been stunning..

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