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Serialized Story Guide for Teachers, Students and Families

By Antonette Bomentre-Walter and Chris Yatchyshyn

Chapter 7 - Exiled Patriots Hatch a Plot


moored - verb; tied to with lines or anchors

outlandish - adjective; strikingly out of the ordinary

gallants - noun; young men of fashion

harmonious - adjective; musically agreeable combination of tones

ditty - noun; a simple, genuine song

jerkin - noun; a close-fitting sleeveless jacket

clatter - noun; a rattling sound

espied - verb; to catch sight of, behold, see, perceive, or notice

tither - noun; a tenth part paid or given especially for the support of a church

motley - adjective; made up of diverse often inconsistent or odd elements

routed - verb; to send by a selected route or to arrange and direct the order of

despised - adjective; looked down upon with contempt or aversion: regarded as worthless

score - noun; a group of twenty things

mischief - noun; a cause or source of harm or evil

staves - noun; narrow strips of wood or iron plates placed edge to edge to form the covering or lining of a barrel

hoops - noun; a circular ring for holding together the narrow strips of a container

Recalling the Facts

1. What was Francis Hopkins' humorous song-poem entitled?

2. Down which river were the kegs being sent?

3. What did the colonists hope would happen?

4. During which year did the Battle of the Kegs supposedly take place?

5. To what tune is the "Battle of the Kegs" sung?

6. Near which city did these strange things happen?

7. Who did the sailor say was the guide of the wooden kegs?

8. Who were the powerful foes of the colonists?

9. What did the "men of might" eat after the battle was over?

Comprehension Questions

1. Explain what is meant by the line, "Strange things I'll tell, which late befell in Philadelphia city."

2. Why is this story being retold? Why did they decide to make it a "harmonious ditty?"

In the News

Songs and poems are often written about interesting events, just as "The Battle of the Kegs" humorously depicts a plot devised by the colonists to fight the British. Look through the newspaper for an interesting story. Write a brief poem or pick a simple tune and write some lyrics that describe the story you chose. Try to add a bit of humor to your poem or song. Find your local newspaper: Link to the directory of New Jersey newspapers OR Link to the directory of Pennsylvania newspapers.

Take It to the Real World

Sometimes far-fetched or unusual ideas turn out to be very successful and at other times they just don't work. Scan the newspaper for an article or a cartoon about a new idea or concept. Do you think the idea will have a lasting impact on history, or do you think it will quickly be forgotten? Defend your answer. Find your local newspaper: Link to the directory of New Jersey newspapers OR Link to the directory of Pennsylvania newspapers.

Make a Prediction

Once the war is over, what do you think Thomas Paine will do?

Essay Questions

  1. Describe what was happening in the song. Where the rebels successful? How do you know?
  2. The attack described in the song would be considered a terrorist attack today. Were the conspirators terrorists?

Answers to Comprehensive Questions and Recalling the Facts

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