Dr. Derrick Spradlin

If you ask FHU English professor Derrick Spradlin, history textbooks have it all wrong. According to Dr. Spradlin, the Welsh discovered the Americas some 300 years before Christopher Columbus ever boarded a boat. "The first landing in America took place at Mobile Bay in 1170," said Dr. Spradlin. "At least that’s what the legend says."

In his recently published article in Early American Literature, "‘GOD ne’er brings to paſs ſuch Things for nought’: Empire and Prince Madoc of Wales in Eighteenth-Century America,” Dr. Spradlin details one of America's most well-kept secret legends. His research for the article led him to the British Library, the Library of Congress, the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, Auburn University, and correspondences with the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Alabama Historical Society, as well as state parks throughout the south.

As with his search for the truth about the development and uses of the Madoc legend, Dr. Spradlin takes this thirst for truth into the classroom.

"A wonderful aspect of being a professor at a Christian institution involves encouraging and directing students in a search for truth. For a Christian professor, the path to Biblical truth should be well worn, so that professor should be well prepared to guide students down it. Free, creative, thorough inquiry offers students the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of the natural world, of art, and of the human condition. We must allow that this inquiry will discover truth, regardless of how that truth conforms to any personal religious beliefs. Faith-informed teaching, then, promotes open, unrestricted investigation in scholarly pursuits as opposed to maintaining biased, predetermined conclusions or approaches," said Dr. Spradlin.

Dr. Spradlin received his undergraduate degree in English from Lipscomb University, his M.A. in English from Middle Tennessee State University, and his Ph.D. in English from Auburn University.