3The Meeker FamilyEliphalet Meeker: The dad (known as “Eli”) who fought in the French & Indian War. “You may know principle, Sam, but I know war.”Susannah Meeker: The mom who stays out of the heavy discussions. “Food tastes better in a clean house.”
4The Meeker FamilySam Meeker: The older son, who is a strong Patriot. “Sir, it’s worth dying to be free.”Tim Meeker: The younger son, who tells the story. “But to be honest, I wasn’t sure if Sam was right about the fighting.”
5Other Characters:Mr. Beach: the preacher who feels that people should behave: “God meant for man to obey.”Mr. Heron: a “mystery man” who seems to be involved in many things. “If this message is received, we’ll know the messenger is reliable.”Betsy Read: Sam’s girlfriend, whose grandfather leads the militia. “Tim, are you on your father’s side or Sam’s?”
6My Brother Sam is Dead Tom Warrups Other Characters: Tom Warrups: a Native American; friend of SamJerry Sanford: a younger friend of TimBenedict Arnold: Patriot general; Sam fights in regiment.Tom Warrups
7My Brother Sam is DeadVocabulary: Define the words on the next slide; tell their significance to the story.
9My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 1 (I) Sam’s Arrival When Sam arrives, his uniform has everything the soldier has in the picture, except…What “telling point” does Sam use to explain why he should get the Brown Bess from his father? Does Tim believe it?
10My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 1 (I): Sam’s Arrival The beginning sentence talks of “muffled drums”. The last sentence tells of Sam’s dad crying. How are these two sentences linked?
11My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 2 (II) The Brown Bess When Sam loses the argument for the Brown Bess, what does he decide to do?How does Tim know where Sam is?
12My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 2 (II) The Brown Bess Who does Tim look up to more- his dad or his brother?Why didn’t Life Meeker let Sam have the Brown Bess?
13My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 3 (III) The Tavern When someone says, “the only good Lobsterback is a dead lobsterback”, and “King George is a great hairy fool”- how does Mr. Meeker react?
14Chapter 31. How does Mr. Meeker react when a stranger says “the only good Lobsterback was a dead Lobsterback and that King George was a great hairy fool”?2. Who is Jerry Sanford?3. Why did Jerry Sanford think that Tim had it easy?4. Why does Betsy nod her head at Tim?5. Why did Betsy hang around the Tavern so much?
15Chapter 4 6. Why did the Patriots visit the Tavern? 7. What does Tim see while he is chopping wood?8.Why didn’t the soldiers believe Life when he shouted “My loyal son Samuel stole it to go play soldier boy”?9. Why doesn’t Sam want to go help his father after Tim tells him about the soldiers being at the Tavern?10. What did Sam and Tim see when they arrived at the Tavern?
16My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 3 (III) The Tavern Who is Jerry Sanford? Why does Betsy Read secretly nod her head to Tim at the end of the chapter?
17My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 4 (IV) Patriots Visit the Tavern What is ironic about the fact that the Patriot soldiers want the Brown Bess gun?(Hint: think about Sam)
18My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 4 (IV) Patriots Visit the Tavern What is Sam’s reaction when Tim tells him to come help their dad?What is the symbolism about the last scene of the chapter (when Sam runs away from the dad)?
19My Brother Sam is Dead Chapter 5 (V): Mr. Heron What does Mr. Heron want Tim to do?Why is Mr. Meeker against the idea?
20My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 5 (V) Mr. Heron Why was Tim so happy that he got to go shad fishing?What will Tim REALLY do the next time he goes “shad fishing”?
21My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 6 (VI) The Secret Mission Does Mr. Heron believe that Mr. Meeker has decided to let Tim run the errand for him? Why not?When Mr. Heron sealed the letter, he sealed it with wax. Why?
22My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 6 (VI) The Secret Mission What happens when Tim runs into Betsy on the road?How does Betsy know that he is lying?What is the secret message? What did it mean to the person getting it?
23"Trip to Verplancks Point My Brother Sam is DeadCh. 7 (VII) The Trip to Verplancks PointWhy did Mr. Meeker need to go to Verplancks every year?Why did he need someone to go with him on the trip?"Trip to Verplancks Point
24My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 7 (VII) The Trip to Verplancks Point Who were the Cowboys? Are they Patriots or Tories?Who rescues the Meekers? Are they Patriots or Tories?
25My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 8 (VIII) The Committees of Safety “They’re all that we have to keep order- you were lucky-somebody along the way saw you pass by and knew there’d be trouble. There’ll be trouble all the way to the Hudson.”Question: Are the Commiitees of Safety for the Whigs or the Tories (loyalists)?
26My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 8 (VIII) The Committees of Safety “Well, I don’t know. The way Sam explains it, it sounds right to be a Rebel. And when Father explains it, it sounds right to be a Loyalist. Although if you want to know the truth, I don’t think Father really cares. He’s just against wars.” (pg. 103).What does this quote say about Tim?
27My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 9 (IX) The Attack And The Telling Point “Then it came to me that even though rescuing Father was the daring thing to do, it wasn’t the smartest thing. So, I asked myself another question: what would Father do? And the answer came back pretty quickly…” (pg. 121).What does Tim decide to do?
28My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 9 (IX) The Attack and the Telling Point What “telling point” does Tim use to trick the Cowboys?
29My Brother Sam is DeadCh. 10 (X) Tim’s Return and the Attack on Captain Starr’s House“They had no reason to kill him, Timothy. I believe they’re holding him somewhere.”“He’s in a prison ship somewhere. As soon as this terrible war is over, he’ll come home again.”Who says these quotes? Has this character changed their focus on the war?
30My Brother Sam is DeadCh. 10 (X) Tim’s Return and the Attack on Captain Starr’s HouseWho dies in this battle? Who is captured? How does this affect Tim?“War turns men into beasts. It’s cheaper to shoot a boy than to feed him”. Who says this? What’s her point?How has Tim’s attitude towards war been changed by the events of this chapter?
31My Brother Sam is Dead Susannah Meeker Ch. 11 (XII) Pain & Promises “Bah, patriotism. Your patriotism has got my husband in prison and one of my children out there in the rain and the muck shooting people and likely to be dead any minute, and my business is half ruined. Go sell your patriotism elsewhere, I’ve had enough of it.”What’s your reaction to this quote as the reader? How has her outlook on life changed?Susannah Meeker
32My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 11 (XI) Pain & Promises “Twice they (Gen. Arnold & others) mentioned William Heron in a friendly way; I thought that was strange, but I didn’t worry about it much…”“We’ve made a promise, a group of us, not to quit until the Redcoats are beaten. We’ve made a pledge to each other.”“Oh, Sam, that’s a foolish promise.”What do we learn about the Meeker family from these quotes?
33My Brother Sam is DeadCh. 12 (XII) Father’s Fate and Sam the “Stealer”“In June, 1777, we learned that Father was dead. He had been dead a month.”“I don’t care who wins anymore. I just want it over. When I see him (Sam), I’m going to tell him. For three years, they’ve been fighting and all we’ve had is death and hunger.”“In war, the dead pay the debt for the living.”What is the theme of these quotes?The Dead Pay the Debt...
34My Brother Sam is DeadCh. 12 (XII) Father’s Fate and Sam the “Stealer”I stood in the open white snow field, surrounded by shadowy trees. “Sam,” I shouted.“Timmy, get Col. Parsons,” he cried. They’re taking me in as a cattle thief.”What is ironic about Sam’s arrest?
35My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 13 (XIII) General Putnam & Discipline What is the main goal of General Putnam in the trial of Sam? Why is that?“Sam wouldn’t steal our own cattle. He just wouldn’t. He’s been fighting for three years, he’s been a good soldier. And he didn’t do it sir, I swear it. I know because---”“Enough,” he said. My time’s valuable. I’ll consider it. That’ll be all.”Do you think he’ll re-consider?
36My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 13 (XIII) General Putnam & Discipline “And I’ll try to think up some more telling points for General Putnam, too!”“You’re the best brother I got, Tim.”“I better be.”
37My Brother Sam is Dead Ch. 14 (XIV) The Rescue Attempt “Going to get yourself killed, son?”“I’m going to save my brother.”No, you’re not. No, you’re going to get yourself killed. Well, you might as well. Let’s have it all done with at once. How does the old line go? Men must fight and women must weep, but you’ll get no more tears from me. I’ve done my weeping for this war.”
38My Brother Sam is Dead Tim Goes to Save Sam Ch. 14 (XIV) The Rescue AttemptWhat do you think of Tim’s actions at the end of the book?How will the final scene in the book affect the rest of Tim’s life?Tim Goes to Save Sam
39My Brother Sam is Dead Epilogue: When was the epilogue written? But somehow, even fifty years later, I keep thinking that there might have been another way, beside war, to achieve the same end.”
40My Brother Sam is Dead NED How much of this book is true? Redding? General Putnam?Ned?William Heron?Jerry Sanford?Battle at Captain Starr’s House?Sam’s Death?The Meeker Family?NED