Student Essay Contest

The Historic Education Committee of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, chaired by the Historian General, conducts an annual Texas History Essay Contest for Fourth (4th) Grade Students and a Texas History Essay Contest for Seventh (7th) Grade Students.

Texas History Essay Topics for 2023

Topics for the 2023 4th and 7th grade student essays for DRT will be on leaders important to the founding of Texas as a Republic.  

Fourth (4th) Grade Essay Contest topic: “Colonel Benjamin Rush Milam.”

Write an essay telling about Colonel Benjamin Milam, his contribution to Texas and the Siege of Bexar.



Colonel Benjamin Rush Milam – Hero of the Siege of Bexar

Seventh (7th) Grade Essay Contest topic: “Signers (Delegates) of the Texas Declaration of Independence.”

There were 59 delegates who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence.  Select one of these 59 for your essay and include his contribution to the convention and how he helped to shape the history of Texas.  For example:  who was this man, where was he from, what area did he represent, why did he choose to be a delegate and sign the Texas Declaration of Independence, what contributions did he make to changing the history of Texas?

Names of (Delegates) Signers

Jesse B. Badgett

George Washington Barnett

Thomas Barnett

Stephen William Blount

John White Bower

Asa Brigham

Andrew Briscoe

John Wheeler Bunton

John Smith Davenport Byrom

Mathew Caldwell

Samuel Price Carson

George Campbell Childress

William Clark Jr.

Robert M. Coleman

James Collinsworth

Edward Conrad

William Carrol Crawford

Richard Ellis

Stephen Hendrickson Everitt

John Fisher

Samuel Rhoads Fisher

James Gaines

Thomas Jefferson Gazley

Benjamin Briggs Goodrich

Jesse Grimes

Robert Hamilton

Bailey Hardeman

Augustine Blackburn Hardin

Samuel Houston

William Demetrius Lacy

Albert Hamilton Latimer

Edwin Oswald LeGrand

Samuel Augustus Maverick

Collin McKinney

Michel Branamour Menard

William Menefee

John W. Moore

Junius William Mottley

Jose Antonio Navarro

Martin Parmer

Sydney Oswald Pennington

Robert Potter

James Power

John S. Roberts

Sterling Clack Robertson

Jose Franciso Ruiz

Thomas Jefferson Rusk

William Bennett Scates

George Washington Smyth

Elijah Stapp

Charles Bellinger Tate Stewart

James Gibson Swisher

Charles Stanfield Taylor

David Thomas

John Turner

Edwin Waller

Claiborne West

James B. Woods

Lorenzo de Zavala



Contest Rules


Each sponsoring chapter sets their own deadline for receiving the essays. This is usually the month before they are due to their District Representatives. This provides them time to judge the winning essays for their chapter.  Be certain to contact the chapter for their actual deadline. Next, the chapters submit their winning essays to the District Representative. The District Representative must receive the chapters' winning essays no later than March 1st. The Historian General must receive the Districts' winning essays no later than March 15th.  The national winner will be selected from winning essays submitted by each of the ten District Representatives. Essays will be judged by the Historic Education Committee and the Chairman of the committee, the Historian General.  Each entry must be accompanied by the completed 4th or 7th grade essay contest submission form.


Typed essays are to be double-spaced on 8½” by 11″ paper, using “Times New Roman” font, size 12. Top and bottom page margins are to be on inch, with side margins being 1.25 inches. Essays must be submitted in English.

Fourth Grade Essay – The body of the essay can be no less than 1½ pages. No word count requirements.
Seventh Grade Essay – The body of the essay can be no less than 2½ pages. No word count requirements.


Handwritten essays are to be on ruled, 8½” by 11″ paper. Essays must be submitted in English.

Fourth Grade Essay   – Word count should be between 500 and 525 words.

Seventh Grade Essay – Word count should be between 800 and 825 words.

A minimum of four (4) references are needed – no more than two (2) may be internet references. Research references should be listed on a separate page, but not counted as part of the essay length.  Included in the bibliography should be the name of the author; title of the book; newspaper; article; city of publication; publisher and date of publication.  Facts cited and research references will be checked by the committee.  Spelling, punctuation, grammar and neatness are a consideration in judging.  The essay should be original, interesting and well organized.  The most important aspect of the essay should be historical accuracy.
Cover page should include:

Student’s name
Title of the essay
Name of school, address, and city
Daughters of the Republic of Texas 
Sponsoring chapter name and city
Chapter contact and telephone number
District Representative and District number 
Parent’s name, phone number and mailing address


Fourth Grade Student Essay submission form

Seventh Grade Student Essay submission form

Chapters should attach DRT form H.O3 to the essay submission packet to obtain the parent’s/guardian’s approval to use the winning student’s photo on websites/newsletters.  This form can also be found in the Resource Library on the DRT website under Headquarters’ forms.


The District Winners of the Fourth and Seventh Grade contests will receive a certificate and $50 check.  The parent’s contact information is important so that the District Representative will know where to send the check and certificate, in event the student wins at the district level.  The parent’s contact information is important because it is sometimes difficult to contact students once school has dismissed for the summer.

The National winners of the Fourth and Seventh Grade contests will be invited to attend the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Saturday Awards Luncheon at the DRT Convention and may be asked to read his/her essay at the luncheon.  A copy of the winning National student essay will be sent to the DRT Library in San Antonio by the Historian General.  The winner will receive a $500 check, a certificate and a plaque. 
There will be seats for three (3) at the luncheon; the student and two guests.  If the winning student’s city is more than 150 miles from the site of the convention, then one hotel room will be provided the Friday before the Saturday Award Luncheon.  DRT is not responsible for other expenses incurred by the student to attend convention and the awards luncheon.


For more information or to locate and contact a DRT Chapter nearest you, please contact [email protected].  Or you may e-mail the Historian General at [email protected].