One City, One Story 2015 “Tell Your Story” Contest

Category:  Grade 3-5

3rd place

My Family’s American Story

by Andrew Smithwick, Grade 5


My name is Hugh Henry Smithwick. It is the year 1642 and we are setting sail on the Good Ship Globe from England. I am traveling with 15 other men to Virginia in the American colonies. We are each going to set up 750 acres of land for lumber plantations under Mr. William Eyres’ command. We’re going to sell the lumber back to England and get rick. I am very eager to start.

It is the year 1663. I have been in America for many years now, operating the plantation. It is nice, but I plan to explore the northeastern area. It looks like there is good land there for growing crops such as tobacco. hopefully it will be a good home for my wife and nine children. We are planning on colonizing this area. They are seeking a land grant from King Charles II. They plan to call it the “Province of Carolina”. We will be the first European settlers there.

It is the year 1669 now. I have been buying and trading land. I also help people come to America in exchange for part of their land. I now have over 17,000 acres of land here in the Carolinas. My son Edward has land , too, and has given one acre to build the first church in the Carolinas here. This place called America is a really great place. I am happy to be here.

It is the year 1781. My name is Edmund Edward Smithwick. We still live in North Carolina like the many generations of Smithwicks. We are fighting in the Revolutionary War. We believe that North Carolina and the other colonies should be independent from England. Even granddad Bennett, who is 100 years old, knocked a man down for yelling “Hurrah for King George”. My brother died this January fighting at the Battle of Cowpens against the British Red Coats in South Carolina. It was sad, but it was a turning point in the War of South and led to the victory in Yorktown. We have fought for independence for our United States of America, and we stuck to it. I think this new country will be a world of freedom for our future generations.

It is the year 1945. My name is Master Sergeant Thomas G. Smithwick of the Signal Corps, Company C. First Signal Battalion in General Patton’s 7th Army. I am “somewhere in German” fighting for the United States of America and the Allies against Germany and the Axis. I have been away from home and my wife and two children for 29 months, serving in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Alsace, and Germany. My wire teams lay down communication lines between the front lines and our army headquarters through enemy mine field an under constant enemy fire. Because we always carry through to a successful completion, I was also awarded the Bronze Star Medal for leadership and devotion to duty. We have a job to do: defending the freedom, justice, and prize of the United States and intend to do it as quickly as possible, so we may soon be sailing home.

It is the year 2015. My name is Andrew Smithwick. I am the 14th generation of Smithwick in America. My ancestors came to America for its great opportunity. They settled in the country, then fought and struggled for its independence and freedom, believing that they and other people could live the American dream. I, in return, shall work to continue my family’s and others’ dedication to America.



To view a list of all the winners, see: