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Report On April Morning Essay, Research Paper

Book Report on April Morning by Howard Fast

Published by Bantam Books New York

The afternoon

This book is set in Massachusetts, in April 18th and 19th of the year 1775. Adam Cooper is 15 and is a bit different, he likes to chant nonsense spells. His father, Moses is a strict, argumentative father that never compliments his son. Levi is Adams little 11 year old brother, he is a snitch. Ruth Simmons is Adam s girlfriend. He spoke bad things to her about Isaiah Peterkin, the rich deacon of the church. Granny is Moses mother, she is very old and wise. Granny tells Adam that most folks are not Coopers when Adam told her that age doesn t teach most folks a blessed thing. Moses speaks directly to God rather than bowing his head. Adam is thinking of going to sea with his uncle, Captain Ishmael Jamison. Papists and High Church are regarded as bad. Moses asks Adam how tall he was and he answers that between 23 and 24 hands. Tells him that as tall and strong as a man, but not the mind of a man. Levi told about his water spell. Moses gets calmed by Granny and by Joseph Simmon s, their neighbor and kin, arrival. He sits on the 6th chair. Mrs. Cooper explains how the donkers are Dutch Food. Says that her Grandfather Isaac was a sea captain. He had two wives and was living in sin. His Holland cook taught her Grandma Zipporah Dutch foods. Simmons stopped by on his way to the Committee meeting. Simmons had to write a letter based on the rights of man. Moses was a company captain. Moses not content with letter. Adam not allowed to go because he won t work, use his mind, or his judgment. Adam feels that his father hates him, Granny soothes him.

The Evening

Mother admired Moses gift of argumentations. There s a maize-flower pudding controversy. Half of the women stop talking to each other, Reverend preaches and sets peace again. Meeting called in order by Samuel Hodley. Jeremiah Phitts gave the financial report. Hodley wanted a central shot and powder depot. Voted down. Clarence Pinckney brought up drilling, put of for the night. Simmons reads his paper. Reverend says a few words on tyranny and the proper place of Oliver Cromwell. Samuel Adams suggests a newspaper, Moses dreams of being the newspaper editor. Voted on the Minutes, decide to keep them under the Reverend s Bible. During the meeting Adam walks to his Cousin Simmons house, to see Ruth. Four of Mr. Simmons brothers bought shares in slavers. Moses and the Reverend believed that slavers were devils, the Haman of our time. Expulsed Noah Cotton from the Committee when he bought 5 slaver shares. Joseph Simmons stays as the Smith in town, his brothers go and open an Ironworks in Connecticut. Mrs. Simmons and her widow sister, Susan were reading the book on Job from the Bible. Adam and Ruth go on a walk. Mrs. Spencer criticizes Adam. Adam points out that Gideon Perkins is younger and has attended the meetings since Christmas time. His Uncle Ishmael is a smuggler, they believe that he has a colored wife in Jamaica. He kisses her while arguing by the Hyams well house. Mrs. Hyam shooed them away. Adam tells Ruth about his Uncle s invitation on his ship. When he gets home, Levi is cleaning Adam s gun, Levi want s to kill some Red Coats. Granny and Mother tell Moses about the gun incident and how Adam believes that he hates him. Granny says that Abraham Cooper (Moses father) was just as pigheaded and stubborn as Moses. Moses realizes that he s been hard to the boy, Adam listens on how much his father loves him and sleeps well that night.

The Night

Moses was a Christian-Judaic. Moses really dislikes the Church of England. He is a Presbyterian. Judaic because of his respect for their powers of disputation. Materialist because it s the only way to counter superstition properly, such as dreams. Recalls Jonas Parker s dream and how he was wrong. Levi has a dream that the sky was red and that he died. Adam calms him down. They look out the windows and hear a rider shouting. Adam and Moses go out to the common in the middle of the night. The rider brought warning of the British Army crossing the Charles River from Charleston to Cambridge and then on to Menotomy. Someone informed the British that the Committee was stashing its supplies in Concord, which s where they re headed. Jonas Parker ordered a militia meeting in their powder/lead area, which was in Buckman s Tavern. Moses said to have a Committee meeting in the church rather than arming everyone. The Reverend said to first check the facts. He wanted a practical approach to the problem. Sam Hodely said to do nothing, he thought the British weren t coming. Only 79 men in the Committee. Reverend said that they weren t soldiers. Ishmael Smith only man that shot somebody, Joash Smith. Committee is a tribunal dedicated to unity, justice, and the rights of man. Moses, Samuel, and Jonas in charge. Simmon s remarks on the Reverends lack of faith, refers to Gideon. They equal King George to the Antichrist. Moses sets the Reverend straight, they ring the bells and Parker readies the militia. Adam helps them ring the bells. Then Jonathon Crisp and Abel Loring came and told Adam that they had signed the muster book. Adam sees what his father really looked like, a strong handsome man. Adam signs the book. Adam meets with Ruth and agues a bit with her and kisses her. He overhears his father saying that he was a man. His Mother was against it, Moses and Adam load up and leave. Granny talks to Adam before departing, he admits he s scared and cries like his mother.

The Morning

Morning was quieter than the night. Adam and his father set out towards the common. The men are telling stories. Jonathon and Abel look small and cold. Abel really isn t the killing type, he puked at the idea. Simon Casper was on the long march to Quebec during the French War and was from Concord, volunteered to train the militia. Reverend and Moses argue with him, they sat they re not there to start a war. Sam Adams and John Hancock left to Burlington. Reverend is to represent them. Arguments breaking out everywhere, Simon wanted to fight. Jonathon Harrington, Caleb Harrington s 17-year-old son, played Red Coat Bangle on his fife. His father quiets him. Reverend recalls what happened in Boston and says he doesn t want that to happen in the countryside. Exactly 70 men showed up for the muster. Boys moved to the back, except Jonathon Harrington, he was the only magician available. Nathan Hamble was in bed with a bad throat and Abel Loring forgot his fife. Harrington played Old Hundred. The men were armed with an array of guns ranging from bird guns to an old blunderbuss. The British came at dawn, Jonathon played Come Swallow Your Bumpers. Jonathon was to be married soon. Major Ditcairn didn t listen to the Reverend or Moses. The British open fire and advance. They shoot Moses in the chest, he falls. Adam runs and hides in the Harrington smoke house. Levi finds him and they talk about how so many people died. Levi tells him that Mother and Granny find Moses dead, they take him home and wash him up. Levi tells him to hide in the forest and Adam promises to take care of him as if he was his own son.

The Forenoon

Adam dozed and wakes up. He listens to some soldier s conversation. Then a 3rd on comes and tells them they re going to march. Adam runs towards the open meadows, some red coats spot him and one fires a misfire. He runs until he falls into the arms of Solomon Chandler. Solomon is a 61-year-old, tall, thin man from Lincoln Town. They go out to find a hiding place to eat. Adam tells him everything and how they were cowards because no shots from their side were fired. Solomon tells him that firing a gun takes no courage. As they head to Mill Brooks Forks they see the red coats marching in the distance. Solomon tells Adam how the British Army is made of convicts working off their time in the King s army. Americans were called Yankees, Solomon said that in the French War, Americans were called gillies. On the road they met some men, they included Adam s cousin Joshua Dover and his son Mattathias. Adam remembers going hunting with his father and resting in his Dover s house, also got his first taste of rum. Adam tells the men his story and continue along. Now 9 men, they go to the Atkin farm. Levi A., Seth, Moses A. and 4 Atkins boys join them. Now they re 18 men strong. After exiting the woods they meet Cousin Simmons, the Reverend and Tom Dover. They pray, now they re 21 men. When they got to Ashley s Pasture, they got more men. Now they had at least 100 men, Adam takes a puff on Solomon s pipe.

The Midday

Adam Remembers that his father said that their race-Presbyterians-weren t afraid of God, but of woman. Adam learns that life continues morale of the story I believe. Militia officers wore a blue and white ribbon on their hats. Cousin Dover was in charge of the Muster Book. Shares a meat pie with Cousin Simmons, Goody Simmons could cook a good meat pie. Rider comes and says that they managed to hide nearly everything from Concord and that the British had arrived and were freeloading. They hear gunfire, he rides back. British talking about destroying the North Bridge. Group separates into 2 groups, one with rifles and the other with bird guns and muskets. They went to the wall near the road and got ready. The rider rides by yelling his warning of the Red Coats. Many guns fired in the distance. A British rider rides by and is shot. A while later the Army marches by and everyone fires at will, they continue to march. After firing they all ran to Deacon Gordon s cow hole. Isaac Pitt took a musket to the gut and is dying. Group breaks into small parties of 2s and 3s. Cousin Simmons and Adam group up and see some men robing a dead red coat. They continue on and open fire on some soldiers pulling a cart full of wounded and dead red coats. They head to the Atkins Barn and for water. Solomon Chandler and the other riflemen were on the roof snipering the British. Middle sex men were shooting from hidden places. Esther Atkins pities Adam and brings him a piece of berry pie. 30 men gathered in at the Atkins place, some Lincoln Town men came up with Cousin Joshua Dover, and others from the neighborhood and from across the Sudbury River, 2 were from the North Bridge battle. Leader of the Sudbury men, Alan Beckett, complained that war was being fought without reason, wanted to wipe them out. Beckett s plan was to pick up the Menotomy Road and gather as many Committeemen as the encountered. Wanted to trap the British between Lexington and Menotomy and hoped to hold them off and find that several thousand Committeemen had arrived to help. As they crossed Lincoln Road, a red coat calvary patrol came down. They managed to get one young soldier in the shoulder. Dr. Cody of Watertown did a quick job of stopping the bleeding and tying the wound. They took him to the Dunn House. Chandler Rides the horse while everyone else walks.

The Afternoon

Adam didn t think a bunch of farmers trying to trap and destroy the British Army made any sense. Cousin Simmons says that it won t be over until the British sail home. Simmons says that gun shooting is a declaration, not an argument. Adam wanted to go home. They rest on the Indian Burying Ground, no one really buried there, they laid there dead on a structure that used to be there. They had an army of 150, the

Loving, Mulikan, and bond houses were on fire in Lexington. Adam and Simon, imagine their homes on fire. Jonathan crisp and Salem burst into tears because they couldn t do a thing, 3 committee men ride up and say they have a force of a hundred men from Watertown and Cambridge, they were waiting down along the Menotomy Road. They say that a relief army of red coats from Boston, 1500, had gone by into Lexington. Said that in an hour they d march up on the road towards Boston. Committeemen wanted them to remember Menotomy Road. Everyone was in a wild mood. Solomon Chandler leads them towards Menotomy Road. Plan was to build a roadblock and hold off the British long enough for some Essex men, under the leadership of Colonel Pickering to reach them. The British were getting snipered, then a red coat came out with a white flag and was shot by Abraham Clyde of Concord because he thought the flag was just another regiment flag the British carried. The British were ready to give up, but they had no one to talk to. They hid and fired at will into the smoke at the red coats, they continued to march. Men were cursing and yelling, then Adam realizes that at the distance he was his birdshot didn t really hurt them much. So he falls asleep there, hidden. He awakes at the silence and hears Cousin Simmons and the Reverend speaking about his death. He calls them and tells them that he fell asleep, their mouths fall. The battle is down past Cambridge. The red coats will stay in Boston, 5 thousand Committeemen around Boston by night fall. The 3 of them go home. Levi goes to Adam and they both cry. Levi says that someone said he was dead. Mother and Granny come out. Mother cries and gives him a hug. He walks in. Ruth, her Mother, Susan, Mrs. Cartwright(midwife), some of Levi s friends, the Albright boys, and little Jonas Parker. He tells Goody Simmons that Cousin Simmons was at their house. Mrs. Cartwright takes him up to see his father. Adam doesn t weep, just a body, not his father. Adam says that he got a tear on his shirt from crawling on his belly. Granny says that Indians have bellies, she says that their family and relatives have had stomachs. Levi asks Adam how many redcoats he killed, Mother says that no talking of killing allowed in the house. Mother says that if the red coats were defeated it was because Jehovah smote them. As Adam washes up, he tells Levi that they re going to have to take care of Mother and Granny because mother won t take charity, which was all right if you offered it to someone else. Levi calls Mrs. Cartwright a witch, thinks about ghosts and how Jonathon Crisp saw one and talked to it. Levi tells him how the red coats were everywhere, hurt, dead, and alive, pilfering everything in sight. The red coats burned a couple of houses and stole the horses. Ephriam Colin was the one that told them that Adam was dead. Adam changes and helps carry his father to the meetinghouse. Adam sees a lot of stuff strewn across the common, even Caleb Harrington s terrier was dead. The Harrington s lost the most. Adam realizes the immunity of childhood, and how he had departed it forever. Moses Cooper had a cheap makeshift coffin due to all the deaths, the Parker s, the Harringtons, the Hodleys and old Mrs. Fess who s heart went out. Undertaker sorry because Moses Cooper liked the best. They lay him out next to the other coffins, the church dark, Hiram, the sexton, lights some candles. A reporter tries to get a story off of Adam. Cousin Simmons pulls him away. Simmons says that Moses was a friend to him. Adam recalls the love he felt towards his father the night before when he put his arm around him. Cousin Simmons says that there s going to be a meeting tonight, they need men for the war, not a battle anymore. Simmons is valuable to the village, no iron, no life.

The Evening

Pontiac-Villainous red Indian changed into hero (Also a game like dodge ball). He slaughtered the men of General Braddock. Learns that food is a tribute to the living, who are in need at the time. Mother asks him where his father was after eating his fill. He says at church covered in a black cloth by the Reverend, she asks him to take some candles over there so that Moses wouldn t be in darkness that night. Adam notices how old and consumed Granny is, parents almost always die before their children. He gets a box of candles and heads out. Outside he meets with Ruth, she kisses him over and over. She says that her world died when she heard he was dead, she thought she would end up skinny and old like Goody Hartman. Ruth walks with him. Ruth tells him she s scared that it could happen again, Adam says that now they know that they have to fight and are learning how. They light their candles and wait a while, then they leave. Ruth tells him that she loves him, then asks him how he feels, he says that he loves her. Then he takes her home and goes home. Mother goes to be and Granny asks him when he s leaving. Adam said that he wasn t leaving yet, but that he would eventually. He goes to be and says farewell to childhood, a world, a secure and sun-warmed existence and past that was over and done with and gone for all time.

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