The 2010 Gaspee Days
Essay Contest

Erin Flynn, Chair
The 2009 Gaspee Days Essay Contest Winners are:
First Place $100 Madeline Anthony, 8th Grade, Aldrich Junior High School, Warwick Read Essay Here
2nd Place $75 Andrew Miner, 7th Grade
3rd Place $50 Madeleine Hearn, 7th Grade
The 2010 Gaspee Days Essay Contest
The Gaspee Days Committee invites all Junior High and Middle School students in Rhode Island to enter the  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. If you write a winning essay you could win a cash prize and be part of the annual Gaspee Days Parade in June.

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


This contest is designed to raise awareness and interest in the rich and complex history of the burning of the hated British revenue schooner, HMS Gaspee, by Rhode Island patriots in 1772.  This has been recognized as the first use of deadly force by American colonists against the rule of the British Empire. This incident was also the cause for the re-establishment of the Committees of Correspondence within the thirteen colonies to share information, leading eventually to the American Revolution.

The Gaspee Days Committee has been celebrating America's 'First Blow for Freedom' TM since 1966 with our annual Gaspee Days Parade and other events.

Facts, Rules, and Submission Guidelines:

  1. The Gaspee Days Committee is the sponsor, administrator, and judge for the contest.
  2. All entries must be submitted to the Gaspee Days Committee by May 1st , 2010
  3. Only one entry is allowed per student.
  4. Only Rhode Island Junior High and Middle School students are eligible to enter.
  5. All essays must be typed or computer printed, and double-spaced on 8 1/2 x 11 paper.
  6. The student’s name, school, grade level, home address, and phone number MUST be listed on a cover sheet of the essay. We will not publish any personal information.
  7. We suggest an essay length of 500 - 700 words. 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 writing in May.
  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.  You can see last year's winning essay by clicking here.
  10. The top three winning students will be invited to ride in a convertible in the annual Gaspee Days Parade on  Saturday, June 12th, 2010.  Please note that the three contest winners must together provide their own driver and convertible to be in the Parade.
  11. Entries are judged for artistic ability and 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. Plagiarism will not be acceptable.  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
  14. Entries should be submitted by May 1st, 2010 to:
        Gaspee Days Essay Contest,
        c/o Gaspee Days Committee,
        PO Box 1772,
        Warwick, RI 02888
For questions specific to the contest rules, please contact Erin Flynn
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Last Revised 12/2009   GaspeeContest.html