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Essay Contest 2019 - Submission Deadline

To promote an appreciation for our state’s history, The Bostonian Society and Boston Duck Tours, with the support of Revolution 250, sponsor a yearly essay contest for greater Boston area school children in grades 5-8. Students in grades 5-6 are asked to submit an essay of 300-500 words, Students in grades 7-8 are asked to submit an essay of 500-700 words. The First Place student in each grade group receives a Duck Tour and a visit to the Old State House for his/her class (up to 36 people including chaperones). In addition, the author of the winning essay in the grades 7-8 category will receive a $1,000 scholarship payable upon acceptance to an institution of higher education. Winning schools are responsible for providing transportation to Boston for the Duck Tour and visit to the Old State House. The tour must be booked for a date no later than May 31, 2019.

This Year’s Topic:

One hundred years before the first battles of the American Revolution, Native Americans in Massachusetts revolted against the English colonists. This war, known today as King Phillip’s (or Metacom’s) War, began in 1675 and spread throughout New England. It resulted in the destruction of twelve colonial towns and numerous Indian villages.

Since this is to be a relatively short essay, may we suggest that you provide a brief overview of the war and then concentrate on a single aspect of the war, perhaps one of the events that led to the war, an attack on an English town, or an Indian village, a person who participated in the war, or the long term effects of the war on both the English and Indian population. If there is an aspect of the war that touched upon where you live, you could focus on that. How has that history been remembered locally? Be creative.

How to Enter:

Entries should be received no later than February 15, 2019. Please include the student’s name, grade, teacher’s name, school, and school address on the front page. The student’s name should be on each subsequent page.

Send entries to:

Jim Healy
Boston Duck Tours
4 Copley Place #4155
Boston, MA 02116.


Judges for the 2018 Essay Contest will be Martin Blatt, PhD, History Department, Northeastern University; Professor Robert Allison, PhD, History Department, Suffolk University; and Nat Sheidley PHD, Executive Director, The Bostonian Society.

The Bostonian Society operates the Old State House as an historic site and museum. Built in 1713, the Old State House was the seat of colonial government, home to the Massachusetts Assembly, the Supreme Court of the Colony and the office of the Royal Governor. It was here that many of the basic principles of American democracy, later enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, were first expressed. John Adams described it as the site where “the child Independence was born.” The Bostonian Society seeks to foster a understanding of the world-changing ideas and events associated with the Old State House, and the ways in which they influence our lives today. The Society was founded in 1881 to save the Old State House from demolition; since that time the Society has preserved the structure and kept it open to the public as a museum dedicated to Boston’s Revolutionary history.

Revolution 250 is a growing consortium of organizations in the city of Boston who have come together to celebrate, commemorate, and interpret the 250th anniversary of the events culminating in the American Revolution.

Feel free to contact Jim Healy at Boston Duck Tours if you have any questions about the essay contest. Jim may be reached at 617-438-4915 or

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Boston Occupied - An Insolent Parade