Lafayette, a Fierce Spirit of Liberty

Lafayette, a Fierce Spirit of Liberty, and a History Lesson from DeBordieu to Celebrate this Independence Day
North Island, just south of DeBordieu, on the coast of South Carolina, is known for its beauty, pristine coastline, and thriving maritime forest. But what many people do not realize is that North Island played a significant role in the birth of our nation. It’s a story that you won’t hear about in the History Books.
Retired Col. Leroy Harrelson, a history buff and long time resident of DeBordieu, recently shared the North Island story with me.
During the Revolutionary War, a young, French nobleman, the Marquis de Lafayette had the desire to come here to help the struggling colonists early in the war. In an effort to stop him, his own government imprisoned him, but he escaped. The British warned him not to come, but somehow, he got his ships outfitted and headed across the Atlantic. His original destination, Charleston, was blockaded by warships, so he came on up the coast and made his American land fall on North Island. There he found a small colony of summer cottages and was welcomed by Major Benjamin Huger, who escorted him to Georgetown where he was outfitted with horses and provisions to continue his trip on up to Philadelphia.
Lafayette left his nobility. He left his wealth. He left his young bride and child. When asked why in the world he would do this, he replied that it was the FIERCE SPIRIT OF LIBERTY that existed among the colonists that drew him to this country.
Lafayette rendered distinguished service, was made a general, and was wounded. He concluded the war in the defense of Virginia and became very close to General George Washington, who later became Godfather to his children. The congress made him an honorary citizen of the United States. After the war, he came back and was received with great joy all over the country, particularly in Georgetown.
When that historic landfall was made at North Island, the legend is that Lafayette and some of his officers looked out upon this beautiful scene of North Inlet, the creeks, marshlands and forest that and named it a French word that means “by the side of God,” DeBordieu. When Col. Harrleson looks this very same scene from the back porch of his DeBordieu home, he sees it as a memorial to the strong principles and values on which this country was founded.
In fact, for the past 20 years, Col. Harrelson holds a special little private ceremony every Independence Day and every Memorial Day. Each of those days, he mounts the flag, steps back two spaces, renders a hand salute, thanks Almighty God for the blessing of living in a free land, asks for continued help that we can keep it that way, and thanks Him for the brave and visionary founding fathers who signed that Declaration of Independence, and for the thousands who made the supreme sacrifice who to defend that freedom.
Col. Harrelson urges all grandparents, parents, and teachers at every level to continue to pass along the history, traditions, and legacy of our families and our country. In closing he quoted 2nd Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,” and said, “God Bless you, God Bless all of America, and may we continue to live in the land of the free.”

DeBordieu Colony is an oceanfront community located just south of Pawleys Island, South Carolina that features private golf and tennis, saltwater creek access to the ocean, a manned security gate, and luxury homes and villas surrounded by thousands of acres of wildlife and nature preserves.

For more information about DeBordieu, contact TroiKaz@DeBordieu.com, 843-455-4523.

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