The Brown University Library is pleased to announce the Second Annual Hildene-Brown Lincoln Essay Competition, open to all eighth graders living or attending school in Providence County. The competition is modeled on the successful Vermont state essay program sponsored by Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home, since 2006.
The contest exposes students to Lincoln’s writing and encourages the development of writing and research skills. This year’s competition asks students to write a 500 word essay that addresses the question “If Lincoln was willing to tolerate slavery in the southern states, why was he so vehemently opposed to its extension into the territories?” Background information, some research materials and sample essays from last year’s contest are included in the competition packet, but students are welcome to do additional research and reading. Prizes for the winning essays include a first place award of $1,000, second and third place awards of $750 and $500, respectively, as well as up to ten honorable mentions of $200 each.
Application packets are available for download online at http://dl.lib.brown.edu/lincoln/announcements.html, and in hardcopy from the John Hay Library at 20 Prospect Street on the campus of Brown University.
The deadline for essay submissions to the 2011 Hildene-Brown Competition is 5:00 p.m. on February 12, 2011, President Lincoln’s birthday. Winners will be announced by March 31, 2011. Students, their parents, and teachers will be guests of Hildene and Brown University at a luncheon to be held at the John Hay Library on Saturday, June 11, 2011, where the top three winners will read their essays aloud. This special event will include a tour of the Library’s renowned McLellan Lincoln Collection.
The Hildene-Brown Lincoln Essay Competition is part of an ongoing joint effort by the Brown University Library and Hildene to promote public knowledge of the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Hildene (http://www.hildene.org), located in Manchester, Vermont, was built by Robert Todd Lincoln in 1905 and was the home of Lincoln descendents until 1975. Today, it is a non-profit museum and education center with a mission to “advance the Lincoln legacy through education, commitment to community and active stewardship of the family’s home and land.”
The Brown University Library (http://library.brown.edu) supports the University’s educational and research mission and is Brown’s principal gateway to current information and the scholarly record. Brown University’s John Hay Library, named for the 1858 Brown alumnus who served as Lincoln’s private secretary, holds an extensive collection of manuscripts and printed materials documenting Lincoln’s life and legacy, a portion of which are now available to the public online: http://dl.lib.brown.edu/lincoln/
Holly Snyder, North American History Librarian
Brown University Library