Students of the New Boston Junior High School’s eighth grade classes taught by
Mr. Ryan Dutiel, received a history lesson about the War of 1812 on Friday, February 3rd.
Mrs. Mary Stewart, as Patriotic Education Committee Chairman, Scioto Valley Volunteers Chapter, N.S.U.S.D. 1812, approached the school’s Librarian, Mr. Kevin Akers, about the possibility of speaking to Mr. Dutiel’s classes. Mr. Dutiel was receptive to the idea as the
timing was “on the same page” with his History class plan; approval was received by the school’s Principal Mr. Donald Stapleton.
Mrs. Stewart provided a basic outline of the “Second American Revolution,” as the War of 1812 is sometimes called. Students learned of President James Madison’s reasons for supporting this pivotal war for independence from Great Britain. Stewart told them of a young widow, Mary Pickersgill, having been commissioned by U.S. Major George Armistead in 1813 to make two flags for the military; a storm flag for inclement weather, and a flag measuring 30 ft. wide and 42 ft. long to fly over Ft. McHenry.
The students learned that in 1814 the Battle of Ft. McHenry began, and Mrs. Stewart shared the important inspiration of Francis Scott Key, who wrote a poem, “The Defence of Ft. McHenry,” that was later renamed and became The National Anthem of the United States of America.
Following the conclusion of Mrs. Stewart’s presentations, Mr. Dutiel demonstrated with the use of a tape measure, and the assistance of students Eric Thornton (1st class), Josh Tabor and Brianna Bravo (2nd class) just how large the Ft. McHenry flag was. Brianna was heard saying “WHAT?!” as she realized the enormous size of the flag. Mrs. Stewart
provided the students with patriotic pencils and War of 1812 informational worksheets.
Available to speak on this historical topic to area schools, Stewart may be contacted through the Scioto Valley Volunteers Chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org.