Bedford Museum & Genealogical Library

From left are Rowan Harrington (grand prize for grades 6-8), Landon Harrington (grand prize for grades 4-5), William Francis (first place for grades 6-8), Grayson Bailey (first place for grades 4-5), Gavin Harrington (runner-up for grades 6-8), Arianna Pennix (runner-up for grades 4-5), Caleb Mayo (honorable mention for grades 6-8), and (photo inserted) Nate Smith (honorable mention for grades 4-5).

This year the Bedford Museum & Genealogical Library’s ‘Women’s History Month Essay Contest’ celebrated the 245th anniversary of British General Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown to General George Washington.

The 36 entries for this year’s contest had participants from fourth to seventh grade from all over the county. The museum stated that essays submitted about women who lived during the American Revolution were diverse and educational. Some essay topics included George Washington’s mother, Mary, a spy, known as Agent 355; Native American diplomat, Nancy Ward; wax sculptor, Patience Wright; and Hannah Till, a free-black cook to George Washington. Other essay topics included Sybil Ludington, Betsy Ross, Elizabeth Schuyler, Martha Washington, Deborah Sampson and Phillis Wheatley.

The finalists included the Harrington brothers, Rowan, Gavin and Landon. Rowan won the grand prize in the middle school division for his essay on Phillis Wheatley, while his brother Landon won the grand prize in the elementary division for his essay on Anna Strong. Each were awarded $50.

There’s more to this story in the current issue of the Smith Mountain Eagle newspaper. Pick up a copy or subscribe at to view the full article in the print and/or e-edition version.

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