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DAR announces essay winners

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The Libertad Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution wish to recognize the following students for their excellent work on the 2019 American History Essay Contest.

The winners for our district were fifth grader Ollie Smith from Devers ISD in the elementary division. All three middle school division winners were from Liberty ISD. They were sixth grader Conner Giese, seventh grader Laci Kirkland, and eighth grader Lillie Knepper. Remington Jung, a tenth grader from Dayton High School won the Christopher Columbus Essay Contest.

Please make it a point to read these excellent compositions, and let these students know that we are all very proud of them.

One of the prize-winning essays follows.

The Voyage of the Mayflower

By Ollie Smith, Devers ISD, Fifth Grade

Tomorrow, I’m going to be getting on the Mayflower to go to the New World.  Right now I am packing all of the things that I will take with me. I’m packing clothes, wheat, peas, salt, rice, bacon, cheese, vinegar, a frying pan, kettles, skillets, napkins, dishes, spoons of wood, towels, and soap. I’m also packing some tools including a steel handsaw, hatchets, axes, grinding stone, chisels, hammers, shovels, and nails. Now that I am done packing, I am going to go to bed. I can’t wait to get up and sail to the New World.

The next day, I got all of my suitcases and went to the Speedwell (Speedwell is the name of the boat).  The Speedwell will take the other passengers and I to Delfshaven, the Netherlands, to Southampton, England, to meet up with the Mayflower. We departed England on September 6, 1620. The first half of the voyage went fairly smoothly. The only major problem was sea-sickness, but by October we began encountering a number of Atlantic storms that made the voyage treacherous. Several times we just had to drift where the weather took us when it was not safe to use the ship’s sails.

We intended to land in Northern Virginia, which at the time included the region as far north as the Hudson River in the modern state of New York.  The Hudson River, in fact, was our original intended destination.  We have received good reports on this region while in the Netherlands.  The Mayflower was almost right on target, missing the Hudson River just by a few degrees.  As the Mayflower approached land, we spotted Cape Cod just as the sun rose on November 9.  We decided to head south, to the mouth of the Hudson River in New York, where we intended to make our plantation.

However, as the Mayflower headed south, it encountered some very rough seas, and nearly shipwrecked. We then decided, rather than risk another attempt to go south, we would just stay and explore Cape Cod. We turned back, rounded the tip, and anchored in what is now Provincetown Harbor. We would spend the next month and a half exploring Cape Cod, trying to decide where we will build our plantation. On December 25, 1620, we finally arrived at Plymouth.  Plymouth has a calm harbor for the Mayflower, a river with fresh water, and flat land where we can plant our crops. “This is where we will build our village and establish the Plymouth Colony,” I said to myself.  We were all happy to be in America, but things are not getting any easier for us.  There is a cold winter coming, and we are not prepared!  We quickly built a main common house and then started to build small houses for each of the families.  Many people got sick and died over the first winter.  At one point, there were only six of us well enough to work.  By the end of the winter, there were about 47 pilgrims left.  55 pilgrims died during the first winter.  All of the pilgrims that died, died because of smallpox, chicken pox, bubonic plague, and the common cold. The first winter was very rough and the voyage to get here was very rough. I’m sure every other pilgrim would agree with me, but now that we are all here, we are all really happy.

I would not have changed anything I have packed because everything I packed we needed, and we didn’t need anything else.




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