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My Brother Sam Is Dead

My Brother Sam Is Dead


by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Rebels and Tories

Character Analysis


For a Tory town, Redding sure does have a lot of Rebels. Remember, this means that these folks want the American colonies to be free. They're gung-ho about the war and ready to fight if need be.

We don't learn much about the individuals who live in Redding and call themselves Patriots (another term for "rebel" during the Revolutionary War), but we do get a few names. So as you're reading, keep an eye out for Colonel Read, Captain Starr, Ned, Captain Betts, Mr. Rogers, and Colonel Parsons.

As individuals, these guys don't get much airtime in the book. But as a group, they definitely make their presence known. For instance, when the British troops come to Redding, we learn that Captain Betts and Mr. Rogers are in Betts's pad hatching a plan. And according to Tim, they're probably "trying to figure out a way to kill" the British (10.32). Even though there are hundreds of British soldiers, these rebels still get together to think about how they can fight back.

If you are looking for the two Redding Rebels who do get a lot of airtime, check out the character profiles for Sam Meeker and Betsy Read. They are raring to be rebels and won't let you forget it.


Redding is known as a Tory town (i.e., most people there support England). So you'd think we'd hear about a ton of Tories who live there, right? Actually, that's not how things go down. Instead of reading about a bunch of individual Tories, we just keep getting reminders that folks in Redding are loyal to the King. As Tim says: "We're mostly Tories here" (10.42).

The Tories we know of for sure: Mr. Meeker and Mr. Beach, the town minister. But these two fellows are about it. What do you think about the lack of Tory time? How does it affect the story that we don't meet more of them?