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Lincoln Essay Winner Announced

The Kentucky Junior Historical Society held an essay contest in honor of Abraham Lincoln. Winners were announced on Feb 12, 2009 in time for Lincoln’s 200th Birthday.

Winner in her division was Lauren DeEsch, a fourth grader in the Shelby County School Sytem. Lauren along with her family is a member of The Painted Stone Settlers of Shelbyville, KY. Lauren can be seen frequently at Kentucky events. She portrays both a settler and a native depending on the event. She also can be seen demonstrating weaving a skill most young women of the 18th century would have acquired as they grew up on the frontier.

Abraham Lincoln and Me

By Lauren DeEsch, Age 9

Lincoln Unknown Date

Many people remember Abraham Lincoln because he was the first United States President to be assassinated. In school you learn a lot of facts, such as his birthday, his wife’s name, that he grew up in a log cabin and he was the 16th President. Every year you learn new facts. But facts don’t tell you who he was. In order to know a person, you have to look at their words and actions, not where they were born or what they look like.

Abraham Lincoln, as the leader of the United States had characteristics that I would want. He was selfless. He thought about the United States before himself. He chose to try and keep the Union together, even though it was not a popular opinion. He was also a great humanitarian. When everyone else wanted to punish the South for the Civil War, he wanted to welcome them back into the United States.

So why do we remember him 200 years later? We remember him because we want to be like him. Lincoln’s words and actions help us to focus on what is right, instead of what we want.

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan — to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."

On the surface, it doesn’t seem a man such as Abraham Lincoln had much in common with me. I didn’t grow up in a log cabin, I didn’t teach myself to read by candlelight, and I don’t have two sisters. But we both share the love of books, the love of family, and the love of the outdoors. 

What I think I share the most with Abraham Lincoln, though is the trait of perseverance. He overcame many difficulties in life. He lost 6 times running for public office. His girlfriend died, and later his son died in the White House. His decisions were not popular when he was President, especially his opinions about how to bring the South back into the Union after the war. But none of these things kept him from getting up and trying again.

And that’s what I remember every morning. To do well, you must persevere. Some days I don’t want to try again or keep going, but I do because I know that I should and that I can. I also know that I will experience times of failure, but because I try again I know I will also experience times of success. Abraham Lincoln always tried to be the better person, and that is who I try to be.


For more about Lincoln on this site


William Clark  


By John McKinney

 Age 10


William Clark was born in Virginia in 1770 and raised in what is now the state of Kentucky. He joined the army in 1789 and took part in lots of battles with the Indians in the East. General Clark was an awful speller but an awesome mapmaker and a good artist who later drew lots of animals and plants seen by white people for the first time.

In October 1783, Clark was 13 years old. He climbed a little mountain to see the view. He was close to Charlottesville, where Thomas Jefferson had built a home. Clark wanted to meet Jefferson.

Clark’s good friend Meriwether Lewis was a friend with Jefferson. Jefferson asked Lewis to explore the west. Clark was chosen by Lewis as his equal leader. Clark accepted and they went down the Ohio River to explore the East.  

Clark was a good judge of people; Clark hired almost all of those who went on the Expedition. Some of the people who went along where Lewis’s dog Seaman, Bratton, Clark slave York, Leborgne, Drouillard, Old Toby and Sacagawea. A woman by the name of Sacagawea was an Indian who translated Indian words for Lewis and Clark while on their Expedition. Clark said about her, “She deserved a far greater reward for her contribution.” Jefferson financed the Expedition. 

After the journey was over, Lewis took command of the military of Louisiana Territory and eventually became Governor. The Expedition took place from 1803 to 1806. Lewis moved near Nashville, Tennessee where he killed himself. Clark bought a newspaper and read of Lewis’s death. In 1813, Clark became governor of Missouri Territory. Clark died at age 69 on September 1, 1838.

Source: Wilkie, Katharine E. Will Clark: Boy in Buckskins. New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. 1953.    

Views from A Child Re-Enactor

Hi! My name is Hannah. I am 10 years old. I am a child re-enactor. I love re-enacting. It is a lot of fun but also a lot of hard work.

Two years ago I did my first re-enactment. I thought that it was alot of fun, so I made a commitment that I would stick with it. A few weeks later I moved from Kentucky to Atlanta, Georgia. It has been hard to travel back to Kentucky to do re-enactments with my grandparents, but since I made a commitment I tried my hardest to do re-enactments.

To be a good re-enactor you should do some research on the time period of which the re-enactment is taking place. You should also try to look like the character you play. For example if you play an Indian you should wear a lot of paint and if you are a settler you should try not to wear bright colors. 


To be a good re-enactor you should also be very serious about it. Re-enacting has a lot of great opportunities. I have made a lot of friends from re-enacting. I have also learned a lot of history of America. I have also become a better actress. Being a re-enactor is a big privledge.

Even though re-enacting is fun, it is also hard. You should try not to be scared of the guns. It is also hard to remember not to smile and to scream because it is so fun. If you try hard you could be a good re-enactor.

I like being a re-enactor because the things that you see are very neat. I like seeing the Indians weigwams and their clothing and animal skins.

Anyone who is serious about re-enacting could be a great re-enactor. My next re-enactment will be at Salt River on July 5, 2003. My little sister Mahala, who is five will be in her first re-enactment. I am glad that I have the opportunity to be a re-enactor.

Hannah Cornett


Hannah with her sister, Mahala at The Skirmish at Salt River 2002.

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