Ridgefield and Seton Catholic students pen winning history essays

Each year, SAR invites high school students to submit entries discussing people or events from The American Revolution or subjects dealing with the U.S. Constitution


RIDGEFIELD — Two area high school students have earned special honors in essay contests which challenges them to address historic events and people during the American Revolution. The essay competition is sponsored by Sons of The American Revolution (SAR), a lineage organization whose members trace their roots back to ancestors who fought in the American Revolution.

Elizabeth Swift, a sophomore at Ridgefield High School, placed first at state for her George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Award essay entitled “The Power of A Forgotten Few.” The essay addressed the perilous journey enslaved people faced in finding freedom during the American Revolution. In winning the state level competition, Swift received $1,000 and a handsome medal and certificate. She also placed first locally for the Knight Essay Award, and in doing so received $100 and a certificate from the Ft. Vancouver SAR Chapter. Swift’s essay has now advanced to the National SAR competition where it is being considered against entries from across the country, potentially earning awards up to $6,000.

Elizabeth Swift, a sophomore at Ridgefield High School, placed first at state for her George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Award essay entitled “The Power of A Forgotten Few.” Photo courtesy of Sons of The American Revolution
Elizabeth Swift, a sophomore at Ridgefield High School, placed first at state for her George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Award essay entitled “The Power of A Forgotten Few.” Photo courtesy of Sons of The American Revolution

Josephine Abbott, a freshman at Seton High School, won first place in Southwestern Washington for her Arthur M. and Berdena King Eagle Scout Essay on “Marquis de Lafayette: American Aid and Savior.” Abbott’s essay chronicled the many contributions Lafayette made to helping General George Washington’s Continental Army win the American Revolution. She received a special Eagle Scout certificate and $100 from the Ft. Vancouver SAR chapter.

Josephine Abbott, a freshman at Seton High School, won first place in Southwestern Washington for her Arthur M. and Berdena King Eagle Scout Essay on “Marquis de Lafayette: American Aid and Savior.” Photo courtesy of Sons of The American Revolution
Josephine Abbott, a freshman at Seton High School, won first place in Southwestern Washington for her Arthur M. and Berdena King Eagle Scout Essay on “Marquis de Lafayette: American Aid and Savior.” Photo courtesy of Sons of The American Revolution

Each year, SAR invites high school students to submit entries discussing people or events from The American Revolution or subjects dealing with the U.S. Constitution. For those students who earn the rank of Eagle in Scouting, they are invited to enter another essay and document their family’s lineage for four generations.

Elizabeth Swift is the daughter of Darren and Evangeline Swift of Ridgefield. She currently participates on her school’s basketball and track teams, and is preparing to attend the Running Start Program at Clark College as she completes her high school education.

Josie Abbott is the daughter of Steve and Helene Abbott of Vancouver. At Seton High School she is involved in Drama Club and Cheerleading. Abbott is a member of Scout Troop 5479 in Vancouver, and she has the distinction of being the youngest female in Southwest Washington to attain the rank of Eagle Scout at age 14.

“Elizabeth’s winning essay didn’t simply look at the predicament enslaved people faced back in 1776,” says Allen Furlow, president, Ft. Vancouver SAR Chapter. “She explored far-reaching and complicated problems that our nation still grapples with today. She was able to tackle a very sensitive subject and treat it in a fair and unbiased manner.

“As an Eagle Scout, Josie tackled a challenging opportunity to not only explore and discuss the many vital contributions Marquis de Lafayette made to our patriots’ cause, but she also was required to research and document her own family’s history and lineage. We’re very proud of the work that both Elizabeth and Josie put into their essays.”

Who Are We? 

The Sons of the American Revolution is the largest male lineage organization in the United States and consists of men who can provide lineal bloodline descent from people who served during the Revolutionary War, or who contributed to establishing the independence of the United States. The society is dedicated to assisting its members, schools, teachers, veterans and the general public in sustaining and perpetuating our nation’s history and constitutional principles. It consists of 50 societies with more than 500 local chapters, several international societies and over 36,000 members.

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