Gaspee Days Committee,
The 2014 Gaspee Days
Essay Contest

Deborah Halliday, PhD, Chair
Spirit of '76
The 2014 Gaspee Days Essay Contest Winners are:
First Place $100 Bethany Poland    Read
Second Place $75
Aislinn Hanley
Third Place $50
Anthony DiBiasio
The 2014 Gaspee Days Essay Contest
Read 2014 Winning Essay Here

The Gaspee Days Committee invites all 8th grade students in Rhode Island schools to enter the 2014 Gaspee Days Committee Essay Contest. The essay contest focuses on the burning of the British ship, HMS Gaspee in 1772. Tell us what you think about the burning of the HMS Gaspee, answering this yearís question. If you write a winning essay you could win a cash prize and be part of the annual Gaspee Parade on Saturday, June 14, 2014. 

Here is the question the Gaspee Days Committee would like you to write about:

You and a friend are walking along the beach at Gaspee Point and you find an old piece of iron that looks like it had been through a fire. You wonder if it might have come from the Gaspee. Your friend, however, has never heard of the Gaspee. How would you explain it to him or her? What would you tell them about why the Gaspee Affair was so important and why we remember it today?

Facts, Rules, and Submission Guidelines:

  1. The Gaspee Days Committee is the sponsor, administrator, and judge for the contest.
  2. All entries must be received by the Gaspee Days Committee Essay Chair by May 1, 2014.
  3. Only one entry is allowed per student.
  4. Only Rhode Island Junior High and Middle School students in the 8th grade are eligible to enter.
  5. All essays must be typed or computer printed double-spaced on 8 1/2 x 11 paper.
  6. The studentís name, school, home address, phone number, and teacherís name MUST be listed on a cover sheet of the essay.
  7. 500-1100 word essay.  Footnotes and bibliography are required.
  8. There will be one first place winner of $100, one second place winner of $75, and one third place winner of $50. Winners will be notified in May 2014.
  9. The first place winning entry will be published on the website of the Gaspee Days Committee at its Gaspee Virtual Archives site <> In entering the Gaspee Days Contest, permission by the author and his/her parent(s) is specifically granted for this web publishing. 
  10. The top three winning students will be invited to ride in a convertible in the annual Gaspee Days Parade on Saturday, June 14, 2014. Students must be present at the parade in order to receive their prize money.
  11. Entries are judged for historical accuracy. Great attention will be placed on unique angles and novel ideas in presenting the Gaspee Affair.
  12. Essays become property of the Gaspee Days Committee and will not be returned.
  13. The decision of the judges is final and selection of winners is at the sole discretion of the Essay Subcommittee.
  14. Plagiarism will not be acceptable. All essays must be the original work of the student. All judges are knowledgeable about the presently available sources presenting Gaspee Affair both in print and on the Internet.  This is not meant to discourage the full use of the Gaspee Virtual Archives as a source for information in creating the entry.  This website is publicly available at

Entries should be sent to the address below and received by May 1, 2014. 

Essay ContestJoinUs!
c/o Deborah Halliday
57 Lawn Ave.
Warwick, RI  02888
For questions specific to the contest rules, please contact: Dr. Deborah Halliday
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