Society of Mayflower Descendants of SC (SMDSC) 2023 Gilman Montgomery French Scholarship

The SC Society of Mayflower Descendants announces the 2023 Gilman Montgomery French (GMF) Scholarship. The 2023 theme follows the National History Day (NHD) theme: “Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.” There are many resources at the NHD website to guide you on the theme and on submissions to their contest.* Our rules for submissions follow the NHD Contest Rule Book.† Any historical subject which relates to the theme is accepted. Our intent is to encourage students who are interested in history by recognizing that they will do their best work on a subject they feel connected to and have chosen themselves.

Divisions for competition this year include:

  • $500 – Middle School (6th – 8th grade)
  • $1000 – High School (9th-12th grade)
  • $1500 – College/Continuing Ed (enrollment in 2 year or 4 year college/career school, or graduate school; age requirements 18-24 years old. Seniors in High School should apply to the High School division.

Middle and High School Division: Students may choose from the two options below. If choosing to write an essay, we strongly encourage submission to your local, regional, and/or state NHD competition. All applicants are strongly encouraged to work with their history and/or ELA teacher(s).

  • A. Essay (1500-2500 words): refer to Section 6.1 Paper, A1-A5, pp. 22-24 of the NHD Contest Rule Book. Include the Title Page and Annotated Bibliography as described in section 5.2, Rules 15-20, pp. 18-21 of the NHD Contest Rule Book.
  • B. NHD project: submit the written materials described in section 5.2, Rules 15-20, pp. 18-21 of the NHD Contest Rule Book. This includes a Title Page, a Process Paper, and an Annotated Bibliography. Audiovisual or performance projects should provide a link or a supplemental document.

College/Continuing Ed Division: Students should write an essay which relates to the theme. The GMF scholarship follows the same rules as the NHD Paper Category:

Essay shall be 1500-2500 words: refer to Section 6.1 Paper, A1-A5, pp. 22-24 of the NHD Contest Rule Book. Include the Title Page and Annotated Bibliography as described in section 5.2, Rules 15-20, pp. 18-21 of the NHD Contest Rule Book.

Other requirements: All submissions must have a cover sheet which includes: (1) contact information for the applicant (and for all group members, if applicable); name, best phone number, and mailing address are required. (2) For MS and HS, please include the name and contact information for your teacher/advisor. (3) Indication of the Division you are submitting to (MS, HS, or College). (4) Group projects must include a statement from all group members agreeing to the submission.

The deadline for applications is noon, May 1, 2023 (or postmarked by May 1). You may reach out to Education Chair, Kristen French (; 843-478-3736) with any questions. Electronic submissions to; USPS submissions to Kristen French, 4923 France Ave, North Charleston, SC 29405.

*National History Day: Frontiers in History: †National History Day Contest Rule Book, June 22, 2020 Edition, Rules Revision Task Force, National History Day, Inc., Copyright 2020: digital version is downloadable via the website or through this pdf link:

Mayflower/Plymouth primary resources

This Google Library lists links to primary documents (available as eBooks through Google Books) which have been transcribed into a typed format. Use these for finding concurrent recorded evidence of the lives of Mayflower passengers and the laws and happenings of their community.

The Mayflower Compact

This booklet prints the earliest known copy of the Mayflower Compact, lists the signers, and discusses the history of the document.


This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving by David J. Silverman was reviewed in The Mayflower Quarterly (Spring 2020, Vol 86, No 1, p 39) by Jim Baker, historian and former Director of Research at Plimoth Plantation. “This Land Is Their Land is also an excellent jargon-free source on inter-racial economic and social relations in Plymouth Colony history apart from the common focus on military and political factors. It is an excellent re-examination, soundly based on extensive historical evidence that document the effect colonial expansion, laws, and Christianity had on indigenous cultures of Southern New England. Highly recommended.”

National History Day

SMDSC encourage all students to participate in National History Day (NHD). This rich academic program engages middle and high school students around the world in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Teachers will also find helpful resources through NHD. The Gilman Montgomery French scholarship is aligned with the NHD theme and rules, and all SC students are encouraged to submit their projects for consideration of our scholarship award.

SMDSC supports the SC History Day contest each year, and we provide 2-3 small awards to students advancing to the National Contest to help offset their costs in attending.

NHD 2023 Theme: Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.