Tag Archives: American Revolution

Visualizing Johnny Tremain

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Johnny Tremain is a book about an apprentice silversmith living in Boston before the American Revolution. When an accident happens at the silver shop his hand is burned with liquid silver and his fingers are glued together. Now that he cannot work as a silversmith he goes out in search of work and finds a boy named Rab. Rab works for a printshop and is also a Son of Liberty, a group of rebels in the 13 colonies who are organizing against the British. Johnny goes one day to look for work and ends up in the print shop where Rab offers Johnny a job as the paper delivery boy. Johnny accepts this offer and must now learn how to ride a horse named Goblin (the only problem with Goblin is that he is scared of everything). Soon after Johnny gets his new job, he starts to read the paper that he is delivering. Johnny ends up becomes a rebel, and when Rab offers to let him join the Boston Tea Party he agrees to participate. After that, he starts to help the committee for the Sons of Liberty who meet in the attic of the printshop where Johnny works. Later in the book, Rab goes off to war with the Boston militia and gets killed. (SPOILER ALERT) As Johnny learns that his best friend has died, he decides to have the doctor cut his fingers apart to make them normal again so he can go and fight.

This is a collage of pictures that relates to the events or people in Johnny Tremain. In the middle of the collage is a coin from the group called the Sons of Liberty. Johnny worked with the Sons of Liberty a lot. He would help them and participate in their meetings even though he was too young to be one of them. On the right you can see some of the most important members of the Sons of Liberty: Sam Adams, John Adams and John Hancock.These three men played a huge part in the fight against the British. At the top of the page you can see some of the flags that relate to the story. The two on the ends are different examples of the 13 starred American flag, the yellow one with the snake is the flag of liberty, the one in the middle is the Sons of Liberty flag, and the last one is the Massachusetts state flag where the story takes place. The photo on the collage with the man making a bowl represents that in the beginning of the book Johnny is an apprentice silversmith. The image in the far right bottom corner shows a man working in a printshop which is Johnny’s second job.The picture above that shows a man on a horse, because Johnny would also deliver the papers as well as make them.  The picture showing an Indian throwing tea over board represents the Boston tea party. The picture in the middle at the bottom is a painting of the state militia who fought against the British. These men would have been farmers, blacksmiths, silversmiths and any other job but almost none of them had any formal training. There are also two pictures of minutemen which Johnny wants to be.

Overall this was one of my favorite historical fiction books because it shows what life would have been like during the time of the Revolutionary War for the colonists. It also shows a bit about what it would have been like back then for British soldiers. I would recommend this book to anyone that has an interest in this time period. You can also watch the movie based on the book but I think it isn’t as good as the story. I didn’t use any of the pictures from the movie in my collage.

Found another good book!

51AXHB1V1RLI’ve been reading a book called The Keeping Room by Anna Myers. The book takes place during the Revolutionary War. The characters of this book are Joseph Jr., his parents (Joseph and Mother), their servant (Cato), and his brother and sisters (George, Sarah, and Mary). The book is about a boy named Joey (Joseph Jr.) whose house gets taken over by the British. Then his father becomes a prisoner because he is fighting against the British. They build a gallows outside of their house and trap them in a room. Joey gives Mary his books because he thinks that girls should be able to learn. Joey has to care for the American soldiers and clean the British boots. Joey’s family goes to his uncles house. They leave him with Cato and they wait and one day the soldiers leave the town and his family and dad come back.

When I read about the hanging it reminded me about the Salem witch hangings in Massachusetts. Some innocent people in the book got hanged and all the people who got hanged in Salem were innocent. I also read that Joey’s teacher is a Quaker and my mom read to me that Quakers do not believe in war or violence.

This book is good and it has a lot of history. You should read the book and try to go to Salem. If you go, then you should go around Halloween because they have cool things to do.

Boston Now and Then

When we were in Boston we went on a tour called the Freedom Trail. This is a trail that took us around Boston and to many of the sites that were important in the Revolution. On the trail we realized that many things were different in the time of the American Revolution: their daily life, their relations with Britain, and warfare were all different from modern times. Here are a few examples:

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Printer with a hand painted picture of the Boston Massacre

Today, many of the things that we have are very convenient. They are cheap, easy to make, and easy to buy. But during colonial times, most things took a long time to make and weren’t always cheap and available. For example in Boston we learned that chocolate used to only be a drink. The chocolate was made in to hard chunks. These were too hard and bitter to eat by themselves so they added sugar and water to make hot chocolate. Then they would only drink it in small cups because it was very sweet and the sugar and chocolate were very expensive. Usually making the blocks of chocolate would take a couple of hours and would be very hard to make which is why it cost so much. Another example from the Freedom Trail is when we visited a printing shop where the person was printing copies of the Declaration of Independence. It was very interesting because we saw how the printing press worked. When they wanted to print something they had to place each individual letter on the printing board! This would take the printer hours to make each paper. Imagine if you had to print multiple sheets of paper each with 900+ letters and putting them in the correct place. Then the printer took two giant stamps and put ink on the letters. Finally he put the sheet down and pulled a lever that put thousands of pounds of pressure on them. When it came out it looked like a newspaper today but with no pictures or color. This took so long to do that people didn’t make papers every day like they do today because it took so much work. Chocolate and printing are just two examples of things were different about daily life back then.

Also today, England is one of America’s greatest allies. Our countries help each other in many ways, but during revolutionary times the British and the colonists didn’t get along very well. During the Revolutionary War period Britain didn’t like America. They thought that the people in America couldn’t rule themselves and that they belonged to Britain because they had settled the colonies. The colonists thought that they were British too and because of this they should have the same rights as the people in Britain. The British didn’t agree with this and they taxed the colonists. This made them mad so when a British ship with tea (one of the main taxed goods) came into a port in Boston the people dressed up like Native Americans and threw the tea into the harbor. The British didn’t like this at all and they sent troops to Boston and as punishment closed the port so that no ships could come in. The people in Boston were starving and many of the people were not making any money. Before this had happened the different colonies had not paid much attention to each other but now all of the colonies were sending food and other things to Boston to help them against the British. Another thing that the Boston Tea Party did was that it stirred up hate against the British. The other colonies started thinking about Revolution and started training militias to fight against the British army. All of this shows how the British treated the colonists and how the colonists responded rebelliously to them

Modern warfare is based on stealth, speed, and accuracy. The war between colonists and British soldiers was out in the open, slow, and inaccurate. During the Revolutionary War the soldiers would stand in lines and shoot all at once.This might sound kind of dumb but there is a reason behind all of this. The guns they used were incredible inaccurate so if they all stood in a line and shot then they would hit more people than if each person aimed at one enemy. They stood so close because the muskets could hit a person 75 feet away at most.  During the war the British had another problem. The muskets at that time made huge amounts of smoke when they were fired and no one knew who was the enemy and who was not. So they decided that they would just wear big red coats. This was a great plan because then it was clear that they were the British and their soldiers would not be confused who was who. However, there was one flaw. It was also perfectly clear to the enemy that they were the British and that was who they were to shoot. So when the colonists were hiding to ambush the British, they would see the bright red coats. All in all the British might have been the strongest army of the time but they might not have been the smartest. Both armies used tactics much different from todays.

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Revolutionary War reenactment

As you can see in the time of the Revolution many things were different from the way that they are now. They had a difficult overall lifestyle, unbearable relations with each other, and unproductive ways of fighting. I think that it was interesting to see how people lived back then and I hope we can see more of how people lived at different times.