CHESTERTOWN, MD—Washington College junior Daniel Primiani’s research paper on the Revolutionary War and slavery earned a top prize at a recent conference hosted by the history honor society Phi Alpha Theta. Primiani brought home the third-place award after presenting his paper, “The Slaves of the Revolution: An Exploration of the Effect of the Revolutionary War on Slaves in the State of Virginia” at the society’s Mid-Atlantic Region conference at Towson University. His was one of only three undergraduate and two graduate works recognized at the regional conference.
Primiani, of Trevilians, Va., was surprised by the recognition. “I wasn’t really expecting to win because of the number of people there,” he said of the students in attendance from schools that included Catholic University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University, McDaniel College, Notre Dame of Maryland University, St. Mary’s College and Towson University.
Two other Washington College students participated in the conference: Mike Kuethe, a senior from Severna Park, Md., presented a paper titled “Archeology of Anglo-Saxon Ironworking Sites: Assembling a Historical Picture from the Remains of the Past,” and Charles Weisenberger, a senior from Nazareth, Pa., explored the fate of America’s fugitive slave communities in his paper, "The Ecological, Political, and Cultural Failures of American Maroons.”
History Professor Kenneth Miller organized Washington College’s participation in the conference, soliciting work from chapter members and selecting for submission the three best and most appropriate papers for the conference. “The members of the History Department have always felt very confident about the students we send to these annual regional conferences,” Miller said. “Dan, Mike, and Chuck are three of our best. I knew they’d do us proud.”
Miller was particularly pleased with Primiani’s recognition: “He’s been doing fantastic work this year. Claiming a third-place prize is no small achievement.”