The North Carolina Society of Historians recently presented Larry Richard Clark of Burke County its Historian of the Year Award for outstanding contributions to the preservation of local, regional and statewide history. The group’s 76th annual banquet also recognized individuals and organizations in a variety of categories that included fiction and nonfiction books, news articles, public events, genealogy and media.

Clark was recognized for his decades of teaching and writing about North Carolina’s prehistoric Native Americans and its earliest colonial era when Spanish soldiers marched across the Carolinas.

The North Carolina Society of Historians had previously recognized his “Burke County: Tales from the Gateway to the Blue Ridge,” and presented the Paul Green Multimedia Award to his yet-to-be-produced play “Of Eagles and Wolves,” a tale of 16th-Century Spanish conquistadors invading the Carolinas.

“With the Berry archaeological site near my home, I became fascinated with the idea of these first inland meetings between Indians and Europeans — and the fact that Native Americans prevented our state and region from becoming part of Latin America,” Clark said.

This past year Clark was a nominee in two categories of The North Carolina Literary and Historical Association annual awards. His historical novel, “Tawodi,” where the Cherokee meet Hernando de Soto and Capt. Juan Pardo, was thought to have “glimpses of brilliance throughout the book...marvelous character, imagery and plot.”

In the nonfiction category his “Last Conquistadors: Pedro Menendez,” was “highly recommended” to readers as “fast paced with excellent documentation.” This book chronicles Spain’s last attempts to conquer the Carolinas.

A companion book, “La Florida: Imperial Spain Invades Indian Chiefdoms of North America,” received a Gold eLIT History Award for the digital version of this paperback edition.

His publications are available from, Barnes & Noble and other book sellers in paperback and downloadable as an ebook for a variety of digital readers.

Information about The North Carolina Society of Historians and entry forms are found on the internet at or by writing to Elizabeth Sherrill, NCSH, P.O. Box 93, Sherrills Ford, NC 28673-0093.

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