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Nominations For Varnum Award: Deadline Approaches

Jan 03, 2017 06:27AM ● Published by Theresa Gilman

Joseph Bradley Varnum

(Editor's Note: this content was provided by the Town of Dracut, supplemented with information at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.)

To honor Dracut’s Joseph Bradley Varnum, the town established Varnum Day to be celebrated each January 29th, and created the Varnum Award to recognize a member of the Dracut Community who exemplifies the civic and patriotic spirit of Joseph Bradley Varnum through either their volunteerism to the Dracut community or demonstration of love of country through military service.

The Board of Selectmen is requesting nominations for this year’s Varnum Award. Nominations may be made for either living or deceased members of the Dracut community. Nominations are open to Dracut residents until January 13th, 2017.

The nomination form is on the Town’s website, here. Please return the completed form to: Board of Selectmen, 62 Arlington Street, Dracut, MA 01826 by 4:00 p.m. on January 13th, 2017. The form is also available at the Justus C. Richardson Middle School main office. 

Thank you for participating in this town celebration.

About Joseph Varnum
He was born in Dracut on January 29, 1751. He was a veteran of the American Revolution, having fought at both Lexington and Concord and Saratoga and rising to the rank of Major General. After the war, he served as a delegate to the Massachusetts state convention and voted for the ratification of the Constitution. He also served his nation in times of peace, holding the following state and federal offices: Massachusetts State Representative and Senator, Justice of the Massachusetts Court of Common Pleas, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Court of General Sessions, United States Congressman and Senator, Speaker of the House, and President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

Notably, Varnum submitted a Massachusetts Proposition on March 3, 1805 to amend the Constitution and abolish the Slave Trade. This proposition was tabled until 1807, when under Varnum's leadership the amendment moved through Congress and passed both houses on March 2, 1807. President Thomas Jefferson signed it into law on March 3, 1807.

He died on 
September 11, 1821 and is buried at Varnum Cemetery in Dracut.


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