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 8 - The Battle Begins | Main | Chapter 6 - On Assignment »


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I wonder if Caled will fight with Forthysths Rifles?

I wonder how many British soldiers will come?

I like how General Brown was so calm.

Why did you use Caleb's artistic values to get him in the war?

Q: What inspired you to write this wonderful serial story?
Comment: In this chapter I liked the part when Caleb volunteered to go to Brownville when the British were coming.

I think that it was cool how you had Caleb; in your story; ride the horse to have him tell General Brown that the British were coming.

I think that Caleb has alot of pressure on him because he is making maps for the military.

I wonder if the military likes Caleb's drawings.

Mr.Peterson why did you make caleb do a dangerous task?

Mr.Peterson i liked how you made caleb do all kinds of funky things.

does kerrnal die?

I like this chapter because its the begining of the battle.

In this chapter I liked that Caleb actualy got to do something else than make maps.

I wonder if Caleb is going to get to shoot a gun in the next chapter.

I like the fact that Caleb is helping the militia in the war by making maps.

Why does Backus tell Caleb to go get General Brown when he could go him himself?

Most of my response to these comments is "Glad you like it!" but, Emily, it's a good thing that Backus trusts Caleb to do something important, isn't it? Remember that his stepfather didn't even trust him to split firewood or straighten the shelves in the store. Now Colonel Backus trusts him to go get the commander so they can defend the harbor and save the nation! Who do you respect more, Dan McKenzie or Col. Backus? (me, too!)

I have a question. Have you ever read the novel "A Boy at War"?

Haven't read that one. Most of the historical fiction for kids that I read was written more than 100 years ago -- there was some great stuff back then, and some of the kids who read those books became famous historians when they grew up!

Do you enjoy writing books?

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