No Common War

| September 30, 2014 | 2 Comments

No Common War

moreausalisburyNow I’m writing novels based on Salisbury family history. The first American Salisbury and his oldest son killed an Indian on June 20, 1675, and started King Philips War (This is true. There are facts in the novels.) That war still remains the bloodiest on north American soil. One of every five colonists – that includes men, women and children – was killed; half the Indians were killed or sold into slavery. Three days later the two Salisburys had their heads cut off by Indians, and put on stakes. Their tongues were cut out. That sin – the father commanded his son to shoot – is the beginning of a long cycle of Salisburys going to war. Daniel Salisbury, a Vermont militia man called away to the Revolution. Lieutenant Reuben Salisbury in 1812. Then three successive generations in America’s three biggest wars. Three men wounded.

Civil War soldiers asked each other: “Have you seen the elephant?” which meant, “Have you seen combat?” Before the war, an elephant was the strangest thing anyone had ever seen.

The man pictured on the right, Moreau Salisbury, saw the elephant. Many Salisbury fathers told sons to shoot.

Whatever karma works itself out through these generations and wars finds a voice, a tongue, however awkward, in these novels. I’ve just completed the first.

A portion of the novel appeared in the Spring 2005 Ploughshares as “The Great Cheese.”


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  1. Cindy Salisbury says:

    Mr. Salisbury:

    I am a direct descendent of William (1622-1675) and his wife Susannah Cotton (1640-1684). William is my 8th Great Grandfather, and his son William is my 7th Great Grandfather. I am interested in purchasing your book “No Common War”, but I can’t find a way to do that. It is not often that you can read about American (pre-American) history that tells directly of ancestors. My line goes directly down through all the sons named William, with exception of Joseph who was born in 1779, then continues through the William’s until we get to my father John. My guess would be that we are distant cousins as well. Thanks!

    • admin says:

      The book hasn’t found a publisher yet, though I’m hopeful about a press in Seattle. If they don’t take it, I’ll publish it myself. It’s the first of three Salisbury novels, I’m completing the second which is about Lucius A. Salisbury—the surgeon and military man. I’m Lucius III and my son is Lucius IV. I’m glad your family name passed down is William, not John, who killed an Indian and started King Philips War.
      Let’s be in touch,
      Luke Salisbury

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