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updated: 3/26/2014 12:03 PM

Text of Barrington student's winning letter

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Here is the text of Barrington fifth-grader Christina Miller's DAR state award winning letter between two family members on the topic "The Lives of Children During The American Revolution."

November 6, 1777

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Dear Luke,

Why did you have to go off to war? Life is harder without you here on the farm with us. I have more chores to do and the weather is getting colder outside, too. I am having a hard time keeping up with feeding and watering the animals. As you know, I have always Ioved to cook and continue to everyday over the fireplace.

There is no time for me to go to school anymore, especially because you left and I have more chores. Even when I did go to school I rarely got to read any books because they are considered too valuable for children to have. I did see the new primer from Lilly, though. The rhyme for the letter K has changed from:

"King Charles the Good No man of blood." to "Queens and Kings are Gaudy Things." I miss learning at school but Papa reads with me from the Bible at least once a week on Sundays.

When some patriot soldiers marched by our home this morning, we shared some beef, eggs, and milk with them. We dropped some apples in their sacks for later use.

Mama and I tended to a soldier with a wound and we also helped to mend some of the soldiers' uniforms. Before they left, Papa found some lead tools in the barn and gave them to the soldiers so they could melt the lead and turn it into bullets.

Mama is working on sewing a replica of the new national flag that was adopted on June 14, 1777, by the Continental Congress. She is working on adding the 13 white stars onto the blue background. I look forward to you being here on its one year anniversary when Papa proudly will fly the flag. Mama is also teaching me the "Washington Puzzle" pattern as I learn how to sew a quilt from my old dresses that I have outgrown. The quilt is not very colorful for it is made with rusty reds and browns because my dresses had been dyed from the bark, roots, and leaves of trees and plants.

Papa got a copy of the "Boston Gazette" from Mr. Smith who just came back from visiting his family in Boston. lt was the first time I ever saw a newspaper. lt had four pages with three columns on each page. Mr. Smith said that the paper was printed only once a week. He also brought a copy of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense," which he lent to Papa. The last page of the 47-page book has the following bolded words:

"THE FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATE OF AMERICA."

I can't even imagine what it is like there at camp. I hope this letter finds you well. I miss you and am looking forward to you coming home in the spring to help plant the crops.

Your Little Sister,

Sarah P. Matherson

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