ADDISON – The Vermont State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) honored Matthew Califano as the first place state winner for the Patriots of the American Revolution Essay Contest. At their annual Pilgrimage event, held on August 12, at the General John Strong Mansion in Addison, Califano, who is going into his senior year at Craftsbury Academy, read his essay to an audience of about 50 Daughters. Presiding over the event was Vermont DAR Regent Janet Weaver. Matthew’s essay, sponsored by St. John de Crevecoeur Chapter, is entitled, “Ethan Allen: The Savior of the American Revolution.”
Each year, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution organize two essay contests, the Patriots of the American Revolution Essay Contest for high schoolers and the American History Essay Contest for grades five through eight. For the Patriots contest, writers are asked to select any figure from the era of the American Revolution (1773-1783) and discuss his or her contribution to the founding of a new nation.
Califano is the son of Richard Califano and Dr. Anca Rosca. He wrote about Vermont’s own Ethan Allen, arguing in vivid detail that he was “the most important man of the Revolutionary War… he preserved the spark of revolution when it was closest to being extinguished forever.” He states that his writing process “consisted of identifying a relatively unknown story, retelling it, and connecting it to larger, more well known events of the Revolution. Outside of Vermont, few people know much about Ethan Allen. Within Vermont, although he is well known, few regard Allen’s actions as critical to America’s founding. I wanted to change that.”
Califano’s hobbies include running, writing, studying the Classics, and volunteering with local organizations including the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and the Northeast Kingdom chapter of Americorps’s DREAM program.
The Daughters invite high schoolers in Vermont to submit essays to the Patriots of the American Revolution contest. All interested fifth- through eighth-graders are invited to submit essays to the American History contest whose topic for 2023-24 is the origins and influence of the song, “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” by John Phillip Sousa from 1897. Contact the St. John de Crevecoeur DAR Chapter for further details.