Essay Contest

The National Park Service,
Fort Necessity National Battlefield
The National Road Heritage Corridor

announce the

2008 French and Indian War Essay Contest
for College Sophomores and Juniors

  • College and university sophomores and juniors (as of Spring 2008) majoring in History, American Studies, or related field are invited to participate in this essay contest.
  • An essay contest exploring identified topics of the French and Indian War and early American republic in and around western Pennsylvania;
  • An opportunity for rising scholars to demonstrate originality, research and documentation skills; and
  • An occasion for the winning entrants to present their papers to and meet prominent and leading scholars in their field.
  • To celebrate the public unveiling of the 1771 Bill of Sale Document transferring ownership of the Great Meadows, site of the battle of Fort Necessity, to George Washington;
  • In honor of the 250th Anniversary of the Forbes Campaign and Fort Ligonier; and
  • To contribute original material to the knowledge base of the French and Indian War and the National Road
College and university sophomore and juniors (2007/2008 school year) majoring in history, American studies, or related field, should submit an original essay, at least 2,000 words but not to exceed 3,000 words, using primary and other sources, on one of the following themes:
  • War and Western Pennsylvania in the making of George Washington
  • The significance of forts and roads in eighteenth and early nineteenth century in Western Pennsylvania.
  • The role and significance of native peoples in the Seven Years' War
  • The role of women in the Seven Years' War
All entries must be postmarked no later than April 15, 2008 and mailed to: Fort Necessity National Battlefield, 1 Washington Parkway, Farmington, PA 15437. Essays may also be emailed to

Entries will be judged on the basis of the originality of the thesis in the essay, ability to interpret scholarship, and use of scholarship and primary sources.

A panel of leading and prominent scholars and others will select a winner and two runners-up in each essay category. Judges are:

  • Dr. Fred Anderson, University of Colorado
  • Dr. Walt Powell, Executive Director of the Conogocheg Institute
  • Mr. Douglas MacGregor, Fort Pitt Museum
  • Ms. Laura Fisher, Executive Director, French and Indian War 250th
  • Dr. Michael McConnell, University of Alabama
  • Dr. James H. Merrell, Vassar College
  • Dr. Holly Mayer, Duquesne University
  • Mr. Martin West, Executive Director, Fort Ligonier

Scholarships will be awarded in the following amounts:

  • First Place
$3,000 (one winner)
  • 1st Runner Up
$1,500 (two runner-ups)
  • Honorable Mention
$750 (four winners)

The winners, runners up, and honorable mentions will receive a scholarship to be used for their tuition plus have the opportunity to present their paper to the esteemed panel of judges on October 17, 2008 at Fort Necessity. They will be invited to attend a special, private VIP reception and viewing of the 1771 Bill of Sale document, transferring ownership of the Great Meadows at Fort Necessity from William Brooks to George Washington. Papers may be published in booklet by Fort Necessity National Battlefield.

Last updated: March 31, 2012

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Mailing Address:

1 Washington Parkway
Farmington, PA 15437


(724) 329-5512

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