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Caroline McMaster, a senior with a major in history from Budd Lake, N.J., won third place this summer in the inaugural Omar Vazquez Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Research conducted by the David Library of the American Revolution.
Her paper, 'Extralegal Violence in Revolutionary New Jersey' explores the impact of political violence on women, children, and the elderly during the American Revolution. Her extensive research unearthed numerous accounts of violence directed at members commonly assumed to have been ignored or even protected during America's revolution. She suggests that the American Revolution was a deeply contested and bloody political conflict with its own reign of terror not unlike more modern revolutions.
Her paper was selected from 12 entries from colleges and universities throughout the United States by a panel of scholars of early America. Student papers, which had to encompass the period from 1750-1800, had to be nominated by a professor before submission.
She received her award Sept. 11 at the annual seminar co-hosted by the David Library and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the David Library in Washington Crossing, Pa.
The annual contest recognizes academic excellence and promotes use of primary sources in undergraduate research. The David Library created the Omar Vazquez Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Research in memory of Lt. Omar Vazquez, a promising young scholar killed in 2011 while serving in the U. S. Army in Iraq, and who had been an intern and volunteer at the David Library between 2006 and 2009 while pursuing his history degrees.