Mary Harris prize winners announced

| November 28, 2018

COSHOCTON – The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum is pleased to announce the 2018 winners of The Mary Harris prizes for non-fiction writing. This yearly competition, sponsored by Coshocton native Dr. Scott Butler, encourages the study and better understanding of Coshocton’s frontier history. It’s open to persons of any age who reside or work in Coshocton County, including students whose permanent home is in Coshocton County. The essays are judged by Dr. Butler and an out-of-state panel of individuals.

This year’s first place winner was Samantha Servais with her essay “The Treaty of Fort Pitt, 1778.” As the first official agreement between the U.S. government and a Native American tribe (in this case, the Delaware Nation), the treaty was intended to give safe passage to the U.S. military through the Native-occupied Ohio territory. It also promised statehood as well as a seat in Congress to the Delaware people, something that never came to fruition. In her essay, Servais related the historic event to a commemorative reenactment of the 240th Anniversary of the Treaty of Fort Pitt recently held at the Fort Pitt Museum this past fall in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Second place was a tie between Christine Sykes and Rebecca Schott. Sykes’ essay, “Coshocton’s Rich Frontier History: Colonel Henry Bouquet,” highlighted Bouquet’s military efforts to redeem white captives taken during Pontiac’s Rebellion and to intimidate the Native tribes living on the Coshocton Frontier. Schott’s essay, titled “Connecting Links to Our Rich Native History and Their Mounds,” explored the topic of the identity of Ohio’s ancient mound builders.

Two essays received honorable mention. Madeline Hire (“White Eyes: The Life and Story of the Founding Lenape Chief of Coshocton”) and Dana Kittner (“The American Frontier Fur Trade: A Brief History of the Trade, the 1741-1754 Expansion Led by George Croghan, Trader King of the North”) both explored the lives of influential players on the Coshocton Frontier stage.

With the permission of the writers, Dr. Butler will publish the essays in next year’s edition of the Coshocton Review. Limited copies of this year’s edition of the Coshocton Review are now available in the JHM Gift Shop for $9 each. This publication includes Dr. Butler’s engaging study of The Old Stone Fort, an historic structure located in West Lafayette which has for years inspired debate about its origins.

The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. and is located in Historic Roscoe Village at 300 N. Whitewoman St., Coshocton, OH 43812. For more information, contact the museum at 740-622-8710 or [email protected]

Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

Article contributed to The Beacon.

Comments are closed.