20 January 2012

Students from Henry Wilson School to Write About Henry Wilson

Henry Wilson
On February 16, it will be the 200th birthday of Farmington's favorite son, Vice President Henry Wilson.  Students at Henry Wilson Memorial School are going to write essays about his political mission, which was to abolish slavery.

Wilson was born Jeremiah Colbath, in Farmington, near where the Farmington Country Club currently stands.  Born into a poor family, Jeremiah had several siblings die at early ages.  His family indentured him to be the servant of a nearby farmer from the age of 10 until 21. He worked long and hard, from sun up until sun down, for 11 months of each year.  indentured servitude is just another form of slavery.  He left Farmington when his servitude time was completed, and learned the shoe making trade in Natick, Massachusetts.  There, he legally changed his name to Henry Wilson, got himself out of poverty, and got into politics.  But he never forgot his Farmington roots and days of servitude.  He became a keen debater, and an advocate for the anti-slavery movement.  He eventually became a US Senator, fought in the Battle of Bull Run, and was instrumental in convincing President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.  He became Vice Present under Ulysses S. Grant, and wrote The Rise and Fall of Slave Power in the United States, an important historical narrative.

Henry Wilson Memorial School
The students at Henry Wilson Memorial School will pursue Wilson's passion, writing essays about slavery and its abolition.  The essays will be completed before the beginning of February, which is Black History Month.  The Farmington Historical Society is donating $100 to be used as prize money for the winning essays.  Students will be divided into two categories, Elementary grades 4-6; and Middle School, grades 7-8.  The first place winners will get $25, second place, $15, and third place $10.  The essays will be reviewed by the classroom teachers, with the best essays being forwarded for judging.  A school staff member, Historical Society President, and the national president of WOOF (Wilson Out of Obscurity Forthwith) will comprise the trio of judges awarding the final prizes in each category.
 The top essay in each category will be published in the February 16 edition of the Rochester Times, which coincides with Henry Wilson's 200th birthday.

On June 8th, National WOOF President, John Nolan, will present a 200th Birthday Anniversary Henry Wilson Show, as part of the 200th Birthday Celebration in Farmington. This Historical Society Presentation will be held a the Farmington Recreation Center.
Visit the Upcoming Events tab on this site for details.

Resources

Vice President Henry Wilson Tribute Page
http://www.stephaniepiro.com/FC%20Gallery%201%20-%20Henry%20Wilson.htm

SAU 61 Farmington School District
http://sau61.org/

Henry Wilson on Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Wilson

Art and History on the US Senate Site
http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/art/artifact/Sculpture_22_00018.htm

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