About

I am a Christian, husband, father, and writer, in that order. I am also a retired teacher, pilot,  home owner (mortgage payer), pet keeper (four dogs), leaf blower, chief early morning coffee brewer, and like to write.

I have a weekly column, The Port Rail, which appears on Sundays in The Tuscaloosa News, my hometown newspaper. All of those columns–sometimes the longer versions–are also published on this blog.

My last history book is a long biography of a Dominican friar, Bartolomé de las Casas (1484-1566). He became the greatest protector of American Indians in the face of the Spanish conquest. That book is Bartolomé de las Casas: A Biography (2012) published by Cambridge University Press.

A shorter “issues and points of view” book–Bartolomé de las Casas and the Conquest of the Americas –came out in 2011 and you can find both of them online anywhere.

In fact, you can go to Amazon Author Central through this link and see most of my works on amazon.com.

My last non-history book, Work and Wealth in Scripture, was published early in 2015. And an earlier Christian book, Cleared for Landing: On Living a Christian Life, suggests a plan for living as a Christian. Check it out.

And in November, 2015, I was blessed to be inducted into an honorary society, the Imperial Order of Charles V, in the Alcazar fortress/palace in Segovia, Spain. It was an honor I had never anticipated or expected, but God is good, all the time. Go to Miscellaneous and Images on vertical menu bar on left side of this page for more.

14 Responses “About” →
  1. Hello Mr. Clayton.

    I was intreguied by eading that you grew up in Lima. I did so myself as did my brother, & I wondered what years you lived there. My Dad ran the Peruvian Central Railway at Desamparados in Lima & retired before it was nationalised.

    I also read that you went to Tulane in New Orleans. A great family friend, Tita Steerlin was Peruvian consul here for a while & I belive her children teach there now. I wonder if you knew her.

    It can be avery small world sometimes! Best wishes, Christopher

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    • Chris. Small world. Sometimes cliches are worth remembering!
      I lived in Lima first time 1945-1952, and then have returned periodically since 1960 many times over the years, sometimes for months at the time, usually for a week or two.
      My dad worked for Casa Grace. He was a chemist and engineer and helped his boss, Gaston Lipscomb, bring the the first paper machine to Paramonga in 1939 to begin the paper industry there. He worked in Chile in the nitrate fields in the 1920s, then managed the technical side of the Cartavio sugar plantation, and, in sum, like most of the Grace people, was here and there and all over the place until transferred to NYC office in 1952 and retiring finally in 1965 after 42 years with the company.
      And, yes I went to graduate school in New Orleans after I got out of the Navy. That was in the late 60s and early 70s. I don’t believe I ever met Tita Steerlin.
      Where did you go to school in Lima? If FDR, there is a great alumni group that Fred Luss (FDR about 1965 or 1966) runs on the web. I can put you in touch if you are interested.
      And there’s a wonderful web site dedicated to PANAGRA. I thought many of those entities were memories long forgotten!
      Long ago I wrote a book about Grace in Peru. I got started on it curious about what it was like being a gringo–my father–in Chile and Peru in the 1920s and 1930s.
      Ah well, I prattle. Great to hear from you.
      Larry Clayton

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  2. Be glad to help. I’m running chores this afternoon and going out to a flic tonight (date night with better half!) but I’ve got some information and images that may be useful. I’ll get back to you tomorrow, Saturday. If I don’t, send me an email heads up, lclayton@simplecom.net
    Larry Clayton

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    • david gerstel

      December 16, 2011

      thanks very much.

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      • David,
        The best source of images and information that I know of on the early W. R. Grace & Co. ships is Grace Ships 1869-1969: An Illustrated History of the W. R. Grace & Co. Shipping Enterprises by William Kooiman. I bet you can find copies on a used or rare book online dealer like abebooks. The used ones I just saw in amazon are pricey.
        I used a beautiful painting of the W. R. Grace for the cover of a book I did years ago Grace: W. R. Grace & Co., The Formative Years,1850-1930. Ottawa, Illinois: Jameson Books, 1985. The W. R. Grace was a downeaster built in Maine in the 1870s if my memory serves me, and named for the founder of the company William Russell Grace. If you are just looking for a copy of the image to paint from, it is on the cover of my book, but you have to find a copy of the book with the original cover. I probably have one somewhere if you can’t find one and I can scan and send it.
        Also, see if you can find Marquis James, Merchant Adventurer: The Story of W.R. Grace which I edited. It too has a copy of the downeaster.
        And, finally, if you want to see the magnificent painting of the W. R. Grace that hung for many years in some of W. R. Grace & Co.’s corporate headquarters in NYC, I think it was donated to the Maine Maritime Museum. I just browsed their web site and I don’t think their collections and holdings database is online, but you can easily reach them via phone or email I suspect.
        Good luck. If you still can’t turn up anything, get back to me.
        Larry

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      • david gerstel

        December 17, 2011

        hello, i found the book you mention on amazon, and i can easily locate it elsewhere./ is it better for images and specifics than yours?
        thanks again.

        david

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  3. Chris,
    I just browsed your “The Pietist Schoolman” in a bit more detail. Wonderful site. Hope some of my students this next semester will get adventurous and follow some of the links–like to your blog–on my web page for the history of the Christian Church. Have a nice trip to Europe, although I would have picked a warmer clime (like Spain or Portugal) and a different season! I’ve been so long in the Deep South (this is my 39th year of teaching at U of Alabama) that my blood has thinned out.
    Larry

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  4. Follow up to my earlier post: I have been doing some digging around and see that I should be looking at Rodriguez Pastor’s work for Pativilca and at Lausent-Herrera’s for Hacienda Arona. The question regarding Garibaldi remains….maybe you can point me in thr right direction?

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  5. I look forward to reading your Work & Wealth in Scripture, Lawrence. And I like the opening line of your blog above here. Probably will have more to say after I read. . . . Ken Godevenos, Toronto

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  6. Sharon Mammel

    December 22, 2016

    My son is working on a middle school history project on Bartolome De Las Casas and needs to interview someone with knowledge on him, He has emailed several people and not gotten a response, so I am did a search on Amazon and found your book and blog. Would you be willing to answer several questions from a middle school person on this subject?

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  7. Sharon,
    Okay doke. I just saw his email. I’ll get back to him shortly and we can take it from there.
    Larry

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  8. Arthur G Kirby Jr

    February 6, 2017

    ¡Buenas Tardes, Sr. Larry! I just finished reading ” Merchant Adventurer” for many good and personal reasons. Not the least because my grandfather spent his entire career and most of his life promulgating both the hard work ethic and virtues at Casa Grace!

    As with any such intriguing and fascinating work of literature (James’ Biography of WRGrace was superb, as you would expect from such a renowned biographist/historian), I’m understandably filled with so many more questions, regarding my own grandfather’s role in deciding the book’s original fate, as well as those “influential individuals” living in Lima and/or Santiago at that time that might have had an adverse reaction to it’s publication the year I was born in Callao!

    So, would it be too impertinent on my part to send you some more of my family’s personal history in this part of the world and explain better the connections we have to Casa Grace and, hopefully, this might lead to a more formal meeting at some point, wherein I could explain more fully my desire to expand further on James’ excellent work, by recounting perhaps the untold story of some of the other immigrant families in Peru, such as my cousins, The Pyes, whom immigrated from England, and built their own succesful business in this land during the early 20th century?

    With your permission, I’ll send you this additional information to your “simplecom.net” address or any other that you prefer, so that we can establish more permanent contact and begin exchanging more information on some of these other fascinating stories during Peru’s early turn-of-the-century history! ¡Muchas Gracias y Muchos Saludos! Art Kirby

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