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.

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I would be interested in why you chose to use Maj. Gen. Jacob Jennings Brown in this story.
Thank you.
Mary Verbeck Pomeroy
A direct descent of J.J.Brown.

General Brown was a major figure in the war, and was in command during the Battle of Sackets Harbor, so he was an obvious choice. Aside from the action on the Niagara Frontier -- most of which happened on the Canadian side -- the chief activity in New York was at Plattsburgh and Sackets Harbor, and we just wrote a story based in Plattsburgh last year.

Besides, some of the kids reading this story will be going to General Brown High School when they get a little older, so they ought to know a little about him!

I am glad that the soldiers let Caleb have a job making maps.

I wonder why the military is letting Caleb join the military at his because of his age?

Mr.Peterson why did you make caleb draw pictures of the view that General Brown said?

Mr.Peterson i liked how you made caleb draw pictures i thought that was a great idea !

i like the fact that Caleb has the opportunity to draw landscapes for the militia.

Why does Why did you make it so that Alex is lazy and doesn't help Caleb?

why does cayiub want to go to war

this chapter is cool because calub gets a make over.

Caleb is getting kind of a "makeover," Billy, isn't he? He's going from a kid who draws pictures to a young man who is helping his country!

Emily, keep watching. Alex is a nice guy, and Caleb likes him, but he's not perfect. I thought about having them both be good guys, but it works better if Caleb is serious about life and Alex is a little more lazy. But he's not a bad guy ... stay tuned. Caleb isn't the only person who is learning and growing in this story!

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