Tub­man es­say con­test to honor lo­cal his­to­rian

Dorchester Star - - Regional - Find­ing A Way To Free­dom

CAM­BRIDGE — On May 26, 2015, John Jef­fer­son Creighton, noted his­to­rian who de­parted this world. John played an in­stru­men­tal part in the national, state and lo­cal ini­tia­tives about life sto­ries of Har­riet Tub­man.

His re­search and knowl­edge about the geo­graphic ar­eas were in­valu­able that led to the cre­ation of the driv­ing tour brochure and the two ex­hibit pan­els of

of 26 sites rel­e­vant to the life of Har­riet Tub­man in Dorch­ester and Caroline Coun­ties. Many gov­ern­ment agen­cies, or­ga­ni­za­tions and in­di­vid­u­als con­sulted him on many projects.

To com­mem­o­rate his com­mit­ment to the Har­riet Tub­man move­ment and his love of Dorch­ester the Har­riet Tub­man Un­der­ground Rail­road Com­mu­nity His­tory In­ter­pre­tive Pro­ject (HT/CHIP) with sev­eral other or­ga­ni­za­tions are an­nounc­ing and spon­sor­ing an es­say con­test for 9th to 12th grade high school stu­dents who live in Dorch­ester County.

In the sum­mer of 1972, Creighton pre­pared a short unit on Tub­man for his fall classes in English & so­cial stud­ies. He was teach­ing at South Dorch­ester High School. Af­ter reading all he could in the lo­cal li­brary, John spent sev­eral days with a rel­a­tive in New York City where at the Har­lem branch of the New York public Li­brary, he read the re­search notes and cor­re­spon­dences left by Tub­man’s prin­ci­pal bi­og­ra­pher, Earl Con­rad. He said in 1978 “As a some­time writer, I re­al­ized right away that not only did I have some “high in­ter­est” ma­te­rial for my classes, but also the germ of a po­ten­tially good ar­ti­cle, if not a short book about Har­riet Tub­man.”!

The topic of the es­say “Why Har­riet Tub­man Should or Should not Be on the $20 Bill.” will en­cour­age stu­dents to learn about the rich di­verse of in­di­vid­u­als who played a critic part in Dorch­ester his­tory. The es­say should be a min­i­mum of 200 or 250 words.

On March 10, 2017, Har­riet Tub­man Day, the three top win­ners will read their es­say at the Har­riet Tub­man Ban­quet. The top win­ners of the es­say con­test will re­ceived US Sav­ings Bonds. First prize is 500, sec­ond prize is $250 and third prize is $150.

The 10 prizes will be awarded to hon­or­able men­tions stu­dents who ex­hib­ited spe­cial ef­forts in writ­ing their es­says. Po­etry and prose en­tries are not per­mit­ted. All en­tries will be col­lec­tion by Fe­bru­ary 1, 2017.

The top win­ners will be no­ti­fied 10 days in ad­vance of the pre­sen­ta­tion of the awards. The stu­dents must in­clude their name, ad­dress, topic, school name, grade and date sub­mit­ted. The se­lec­tion com­mit­tee will be made up of rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Dorch­ester His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety,The Stan­ley In­sti­tute, and the Har­riet Tub­man Or­ga­ni­za­tion. For more in­for­ma­tion email har­ri­et­tub­man_chip.

JOHN J. CREIGHTON

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