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Local Eagle Scouts win scholarships from Sons of the American Revolution


Two Eagle Scouts recently won the 2022 Arthur & Berdena King Scholarship Essay Competition. They, their family members, and officials of the local Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) chapter celebrated on March 4, 2023, with an event at the newly opened Thurston County Atrium in Olympia, Washington.


Connor Mitchell and Cody Womack 


The local chapter of the SAR, the George Rogers Clark (GRC) Chapter, honored two Eagle Scout essayists: Connor Mitchell, Troop 274, Puyallup, first place with “The Declaration of Independence signers embody the American Spirit”; and Cody Womack, Troop 164, Yelm, second place with, “The French American.”


Scouting is linked to the Sons of the American Revolution’s central objectives of patriotism, education, and preserving American history, according to President Lew Maudsley. 


The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) and the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), are the largest legacy organizations in the USA whose sole membership requirement consists of documented ancestry of individuals who directly supported the American Revolutionary cause at the birth of our nation. Throughout their histories, significant SAR and DAR initiatives and programs have sponsored youth educational outreach - in this instance with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).  


Beyond this Eagle Scout-based essay competition, GRC SAR recognizes every Eagle Scout in its geographic area with a certificate in acknowledgment of this hard-earned accomplishment in service to our local communities and nation. 


Following are the essays written by Connor Mitchell and Cody Womack.


For further information about the SAR, please contact GRC President Lew Maudsley 360-264-2488 (land) or GRC Registrar Eric Olsen at 425-286-5275 (cell)


The Declaration of Independence signers embody the American Spirit 

Essay by Connor Mitchell 

The Signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged their lives, fortunes, and their country’s future to one common goal: freedom. The document that enumerated the colonies’ grievances against England was signed by 56 men on July 4, 1776. The names of these signers have become synonymous with liberty around the world. When independence was declared on that hot summer day, it set in motion a chain of events that resulted in a new nation and innovative ideas about freedom that are still felt today. We cannot discuss liberty without mentioning John Hancock – patriot, statesman, businessman – a leader in Massachusetts and president of Congress through much of the beginning of our great adventure. Hancock was considered by many to be the embodiment of American independence. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were other key members of Congress during the early years. James Madison was a member of Congress as well, and at the young age of 25, was the youngest signer. Benjamin Rush, who sighted the Declaration on behalf of Pennsylvania, was also a physician – one of the few medical men to sign. John Witherspoon and Robert R. Livingston were both very important in securing the support of New York and New Jersey, respectively. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the two most instrumental in writing this document. Both men were apart from their families during this time. Both also had minor roles in the revolution itself. Thomas Jefferson was a leader in Virginia and was one of the educated men of his day, able to understand Colonial issues and American sentiment. 


On the other hand, John Adams was from Massachusetts and suffered from poor health during the revolution. He was extremely important as part of the Massachusetts delegation and in meetings with executive committees in Philadelphia, where he worked for changes to be made so that all colonies would have equal representation. Both signers took their role seriously, working hard to keep up with other states’ lists until they reached an agreement that would truly establish American independence. All 56 men who signed this document pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in the face of great danger. Although many of the 56 were born into wealth and luxury, they were considered great men because they knew that true greatness meant fighting for freedom when it was not easy. The Declaration of Independence includes many noble statements about the rights of mankind. It is a document that preached freedom for all people and laid the groundwork for our great nation.  


The sacrifices made by the signers are a testament to their courage. Although many of the signers never received the glory they deserved, they helped create a blueprint for freedom that has resulted in one of the greatest countries in history. The Declaration of Independence will always be an important document because it was the first to recognize all people’s rights completely. This document inspired the founding fathers to think about freedom; after reading it, every American appreciates what is truly great about this country. 

The French American 

Essay by Cody Womack 

Whenever someone imagines a patriot, typically, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, or Benjamin Franklin comes to mind. The dictionary defines a patriot as someone who loves, supports, and defends their country with devotion. However, the Sons of the American Revolution have a narrower definition of patriot. A patriot could be someone who rendered material aid, served in the military, or pledged to support the cause of the Colonies during the Revolutionary War. Many also think being a patriot requires being an American, but what if I told you one of the greatest patriots of the Revolutionary War was French? 


Marquis de Lafayette was born September 6, 1757, in Chavaniac, France, to a noble family. Tragedy and sadness took up most of his childhood. At two years old, his father died in the Battle of Minden in the Seven Years’ War (Stockwell, “Marquis de Lafayette”). Then at twelve, his mother and grandfather died. At fourteen, Lafayette joined the Royal Army of France. Two years later, he married Marie Adrienne Francoise de Noailles (Biography of Marquis de Lafayette. That same year Lafayette became a French captain and was appointed to the Black Musketeers. However, he lost that position due to budget cuts. Later at the Court of King Louis XVI, the Duke of Gloucester unintentionally “enlisted him” for the American cause (Stockwell, “Marquis de Lafayette”). The duke mocked General George Washington’s leadership and the American colonists for believing they had a right to equality and to rule themselves. American Commissioners were in Paris requesting assistance in the war due to an “unfavorable turn”. (Vermont Gazette, 1824). Inspired, Lafayette risked his nobility and possible arrest to support the patriots. Lafayette commissioned a ship with his money and set sail to the colonies (Vermont Gazette, 1824). 


Lafayette arrived at Charleston in June 1777. He met with Congressman James Lovell, who initially rejected him, thinking he was another Frenchman exploiting the war for fame. However, when Lovell realized Lafayette’s sincerity, connections, and wealth, Lovell recommended him to Congress for Major General (Stockwell, “Marquis de Lafayette”). In July 1777, at nineteen years old, he was commissioned to Major General in reflection of his wealth and status rather than his military experience. Shortly after, he joined General George Washington, with whom he would become fast friends. At the Battle of Brandywine, Lafayette received a gunshot wound in the leg, which took two months to recover (Stockwell, “Marquis de Lafayette”. He later worked with Benjamin Franklin and John Adams to convince Louis XVI to send additional troops and supplies to chase Cornwallis to Yorktown, helping trap him and force the British to surrender (Stockwell, “Marquis de Lafayette”) 


Lafayette considered himself an American General. He returned to the United States fifty years after the war as the last surviving Revolutionary War General.  Congress even passed a resolution to honor him (Weekly Raleigh Register, 184). Upon seeing the United States’ growth, Lafayette said, “When I can witness the prosperity, the immense improvements, that have been the just reward of a noble struggle, virtuous moral, and truly republican institution.” (Weekly Raleigh Register, 1824). He meant that we earned what we fought for in the war. Lafayette returned to Paris where he died on May 20, 1834. Dirt from Bunker Hill covers his grave. Marquis de Lafayette was granted U.S. citizenship in 2002. 


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  • Dennis - thank you for this article. I love the fact that our lineage societies recognize the accomplishments of our youth in earning top rank in their organizations like Scouts USA.

    Thursday, May 18 Report this