WJHS student places first locally and third at state in American history contest

Wells Junior High School 8th-grade student London Chadwick has received first place in the  Old York Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)’s American History Essay Contest for 2023.  At the state level, she received third place for her essay about a fictional delegate to the Second Continental Congress convened in May of 1775.  This is the second year that Chadwick has placed in this contest.

WJHS Principal Josh Gould noted, “We are so impressed with London's love of writing and her commitment to civic engagement.  It is no surprise at all that she was amongst the very best of all submissions!”

Students who entered this year were required to write an essay on being either a real or fictional delegate at the Congress in Philadelphia.   In May of 1775 the American colonies were already at war with England following earlier hostilities at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts on April 19th.  Among its decisions the Congress appointed George Washington to command the Continental Army and later, in July of 1776, put their lives on the line by signing the Declaration of Independence. 

“London’s…moving dialog and lively, picturesque description, really set her apart and gained her not only Chapter winner but Third Place State Winner,”  commented Mrs. Barbara Carmone, American History Committee Chairman, Old York Chapter, DAR.

On March 31st Chadwick was invited to attend the DAR Chapter’s annual Vietnam Commemoration where she was honored for her writing with a Chapter Certificate, a bronze medal and a monetary prize. While there she read her essay before an audience of Vietnam Veterans, American Legion, VFW, and DAR members. 

“It was a very exciting honor, and the awards ceremony was very exciting to attend,” wrote Chadwick in an email.  “I was excited to place third in the state, however, even if I hadn't placed I would have still been happy just knowing that I had researched and learned something new!” 

In her essay she created a fictional delegate from New York and focused on him and his family.  Like others attending this gathering, this delegate named John and his family journeyed miles by horse and carriage on dirt roads to reach Philadelphia where they took up temporary residence. 

According to the DAR website, www.dar.org. “The American History Essay Contest was established to encourage young people to think creatively about our nation's great history and learn about history in a new light.”   

DAR is a women’s lineage and service organization for women 18 years and older who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).  The Old York Chapter in York currently has 48 members.  

At left is Todd Frederick, Chairman of the York Board of Selectmen congratulating 8th grade WJHS student London Chadwick

At left is Todd Frederick, Chairman of the York Board of Selectmen congratulating 8th grade WJHS student London Chadwick