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Feature Article by Sam Jacobs
America loves an outlaw. Some outlaws simply need to find their calling, and David Marshall Williams is such a man.
A convicted murderer of a sheriff's deputy, no less, he turned his prison experience into a tale of personal redemption and revolutionized the field of semi-automatic firearms for over a century.
The Misspent Youth of David Marshall Williams
Williams was one of a whopping 12 children born to James Claude Williams, a wealthy and highly influential landowner in Cumberland County, North Carolina. His early life is pure Americana: Expelled from school in eighth grade, he apprenticed underneath a blacksmith. Finding this life lacking in adventure, he lied about his age and enlisted in the United States Navy at 15.
He didn't last long as a sailor, as the Navy quickly sussed out that he was too young for service. He enrolled in the Blackstone Military Academy where he was quickly expelled for theft of government property: several rifl
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