UNION — A first-person narrative is propelling a young Union essay writer to first place finishes she may never forget.

Sawyer Shoemaker is a national finalist in the sixth-grade division of the 2021 Daughters of the American Revolution American History Essay Contest after winning a trio of competitions.

“This is so exciting,” the student said.

Sawyer, 12, submitted her essay Dec. 19, 2020, to the regional Lone Pine Tree Chapter of the DAR. The essay only won state but placed first at the district level, making her a national finalist.

“I was really surprised,” said Sawyer, a homeschool student who is the daughter of Lance and Stephanie Shoemaker.

The essay the sixth grader wrote was a first-person account of what she believes, based on her research, it would have been like to have been at the scene of the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770, when British troops fired upon colonists who were harassing them, killing five. One of the victims of the shooting on King Street in Boston was 17-year-old Samuel Maverick, who died the next morning.

Sawyer wrote about the Boston Massacre, which led to the American Revolutionary War, through the eyes of a fictitious character she placed at the scene, 12-year-old Jane Maverick. The shooting would have been a family tragedy for Jane because she was Samuel Maverick’s sister in Sawyer’s fictional account.

Sawyer spent about 10 hours on her essay project.

“I spent a lot of time doing research,” she said.

The sixth grader said learning about the American Revolution through her research has been fascinating.

“It did not come about all at once,” the student said. “There was a lot of chaos.”

The DAR American History Essay Contest is for students in grades five to eight. There are separate competitions for each grade level reach year.

The national winners will receive a certificate, a medal and a monetary award, according to the DAR’s website.

General assignment reporter

Beats include the communities of North Powder, Imbler, Island City and Union, education, Union County veterans programs and local history. Dick joined The Observer in 1983, first working as a sports and outdoors reporter.

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