Local Tar Heel Junior Historians win First Prize
The Smith-McDowell Chapter of the Tar Heel Junior Historians Association Chapter has won First Prize for its original play, “Over The Border: The Vance-Carson Duel.” The award was presented at the state Tar Heel Junior Historians Association Convention on Friday, April 29, 2011 at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh, N.C.
The play was written by: Rachel, Melanie and Caroline Owen; Sadie and Lindsey Wicker; Miranda Lee; Helen Van Dalen; and Kayla Jones, all members of the Smith-McDowell Chapter. Lisa Whitfield, Advisor for the Club, said that the requirements for the Literary Award entries included at least one primary source and an annotated bibliography. The club visited at the Carson House where the actual letter of challenge is on display.
The play tells the story of Robert B. Vance and Samuel Carson, who ran against each other for Congress in 1827. Arguments about honor led to the challenge, which was issued from Tennessee because dueling was illegal in North Carolina. The duel took place in S.C. just over the N.C. border on November 5, 1827. Carson fired and mortally wounded Vance, who died the next day.
The club plans to perform the play and has already been invited to present it at the Carson House and the Vance Memorial Birthplace. A copy of the play will be displayed at the N.C. Museum of History in the Tar Heel Junior Historians exhibit for one year.
The Tar Heel Junior Historians Smith-McDowell Chapter is comprised of school age students interested in making history fun and meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month (except summer) at the Smith-McDowell House. Members are considered volunteers of the Museum and participate in activities at the museum as hands-on facilitators. They also reenact a one-room schoolhouse at Hart Square in Hickory, N.C. each year. For more information on joining the club, please contact Advisor Lisa Whitfield at 253-9231 or email@example.com.