Freehand Resources to download

  • Northern New York, 1804
    This map of Northern New York was made less than a decade before our story takes place.
  • Brown's initial report
    This copy of Brown's initial letter to the Governor of New York with a brief report of the battle was published in the Plattsburgh Republican, nearly two weeks after it was sent.
  • Report of the Battle
    This more complete report on the battle appeared the following week in the Republican.
  • War of 1812 Timeline
    This timeline contains the major events of the war, with emphasis on those that occurred in the Northern theater. Events linked to the story "Freehand" are shown in white.

About Mike Peterson

  • Author and editor Mike Peterson has worked with students and teachers since 1993, creating educational materials that are both engaging and educationally sound. He has given workshops for educators on local, regional, state and national levels, has had articles on educational topics published in a variety of publications, and has won international awards for his youth and community programs. His serial stories have appeared in newspapers throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Bermuda. He has also been a newspaper reporter and editor, radio talk show host, magazine writer and advertising professional.

« Chapter 2 - The Stragglers | Main


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

My name is GarrettG @ LACS. I liked the 1st chapter. What inspired you to do the stories? I love drawing like Caleb did in the story.

I am a big fan of G.A. Henty, an author who wrote historical fiction in the late 1800s. This story is a shorter version of the kind of story he would write, though he never wrote about this war. And I made Caleb an artist because I have a lot of artist friends!

i really liked the first chapter of the story and i cant wait to read the rest of the story.

Hi, I'm bstrickland@lacs. I have a question for you. If you were a character in Freehand, who whould you be? I love the story so far. I wish it would never end!

yours truly,

Why did you mention russians in this chapter.

How do you feel about writing this story? i think it is amazing.I love the charters, and also i tihnk it is a little sad becuase his father beats him when he doesnt do his work. He draws instead. Do you like drawing as much as Caleb?

-Candice B. at LACS

I mentioned what was happening in Russia because part of the story of the War of 1812 is that Britain was also in a huge war against Napolean at the same time. The Russians were also fighting him, and about this time, they began to win. It's important because, once that war was over, England could concentrate on the war with the USA. (Also, people read the newspaper for news, and that would have been in newspapers then.)

I don't draw, but I have a lot of friends who are artists,including Christopher, who did the pictures for this story.

And there are several characters I like in this story. You haven't met very many of them yet!

I love the way you put the setting of the story it really sets the mood of the story its exiting it makes me want yo keep reading.


M Dickinson

I liked the first chapter a lot. But why did you make calebs dad be mean to caleb for drawling a picture of a scrimshaw?

If you keep reading, you'll find that Caleb's stepdad isn't a very happy man and that nobody really likes him very much. But that doesn't make what he does right, does it?

Why did you pick the character Caleb.

who is your favorite character in the story?

Why did you make the step fother so mean?

I think most of these are "keep reading and you'll see!" sorts of questions. And you haven't met my favorite character yet, but I really like John Gabriel, because he's helping to feed his family, though he could get in trouble for leaving St. Regis, and also because he doesn't let anyone drag him into an argument.

Did it take a long time to write the chapters?

Each one is different. This one took a long time because I was still deciding how the story was going to go, and I was still doing some research, so I had to come back and change things on it. Once I got going, the rest were faster, but some still took longer than others.

Why did you pick a store to be the setting in this chapter?

I liked the first chapter. I liked how it had lots of details about the situation,and people. I cant wait to read the rest of the story.

I wonder how much money Caleb's stepfather makes?

Why is the setting in the 1812?

I think that this story is very interesting, it teaches you what it was like in the 1800's, and what it was like to be a kid in the war.

This was my favorite chapter of Freehand!
Why did you pick a store for a setting in this chapter? What was your favorite part of this chapter?

Why did you make it so that Caleb's father beats him?

I wish that I could draw like Caleb does,it sounds like Caleb is a professional artist the way you write about him.

Why does Caleb like to draw?

I think the chapter was awesome, and very cool!

Q:I wonder if you live in Ogdensburgh?
Comment:In takes place in Ogdensburgh.

Let's see -- well, the question of why I wrote about the War of 1812 is a math question. Can you guess why?

And it's at a store because that's the sort of place people would gather and talk, and, as you'll see in a few chapters, some other people are going to gather there!

Why is Caleb's stepdad so mean to him? Because, if he was nice and Caleb was happy, this would be a story about a boy who works at a store. And I don't think that would be very interesting.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.