The story takes place over roughly twenty-four hours in the town of Lexington, Massachusetts and its outskirts at the beginning of the American Revolution. The first chapter takes place late in the day on April 18, 1775 and final chapter closes the following evening.


Major Characters

Adam Cooper
A fifteen-year-old boy who lives in Lexington, Massachusetts and is present for what becomes the very start of the American Revolutionary War.

Moses Cooper
The father of Adam, a man with strong principles and a leader among the Lexington Committeemen. He is one of the casualties of that first confrontation in Lexington.

Granny Cooper
The mother of Moses Cooper, she is a widow whose other children have all died before the start of the novel.

Levi Cooper
The younger son of Moses and Sarah Cooper, he is more enthused by war as he considers it a game.

Sarah Cooper
The wife of Moses Cooper and the mother to Adam and Levi.

Ruth Simmons
Adam's second cousin once removed and the girl he loves.

Joseph Simmons
The father of Ruth Simmons, often referred to as Cousin Simmons by the Coopers, he is the blacksmith for Lexington and a man of strong moral character.

The Reverend
The spiritual leader of Lexington who has no choice but to engage in battle with the British troops.

Solomon Chandler
A sixty-one-year-old man who saves Adam and leads him to meet other colonial militiamen battling the marching British army.

Minor Characters

Isaiah Peterkin
A deacon at the church who Adam considers wicked and two-faced.

Unnamed Committeeman
Speaking publicly in the Common about how doubt is the highest good, he is quoted by Adam to Granny.

Samuel Adams
A leader among the Committeemen whose atheism is criticized by Granny Cooper.

Captain Ishmael Jamison
A relative of the Coopers who agrees to let Adam sail with him.

Sarah Livingston
A person in town who is married to the town elder.

Ebenezer Coult
A young man of Lexington who measures twenty-three hands tall.

Grandfather Isaac
Sarah Cooper's grandfather, who was the source of gossip for keeping separate families in Boston and Philadelphia.

Unnamed wife of Isaac
Lived in Philadelphia and was said to be half Shawnee Indian as well as never baptized.

Cook who died of ague
Worked for Grandfather Isaac's ship.

Holland cook
The replacement cook on Grandfather Isaac's ship.

Grandmother Zipporah
The wife of Grandfather Isaac and mother of Sarah Cooper, presumably from the family in Boston.

Deacon Loring
Member of the Lexington Committee.

Caleb Harrington
Member of the Lexington Committee.

Samuel Hodley
One of the leaders of the Lexington Committee.

Jeremiah Phitts
A member of the Lexington Committee who gives the financial report.

Clarence Pinckney
A Lexington Committeeman who wants more drilling for the militia.

Unnamed Simmons brothers
Brothers of Joseph Simmons, who profited from slave ships

Rebecca Simmons
The wife of Cousin Simmons and the mother of Ruth Simmons.

Widow sister of Mrs. Simmons.

Mrs. Spencer
Scolds Adam and Ruth for walking together during the evening.

Rumored wife of Ishmael Jamison
According to gossip, a colored woman living in Jamaica.

Mrs. Hyam
Yells at Adam Cooper for loitering around her well houses with Ruth Simmons.

Aunt Martha
A relative of the Coopers who lives in Cambridge.

Old man Higgens
Had a stroke.

The Phittses
Family whose chickens were killed by a fox.

Jonas Parker
Captain of Militia for the township of Lexington.

Unnamed rider
Arrives in the middle of the night with news of the British march.

Mr. Buckman
Owner of Buckman's Tavern, which hosts the signing of the militia muster book.

Israel Smith
Accidentally fired a load of bird shot into his brother Joash.

Joash Smith
Shot by his brother Israel.

King George III
The King of England at the time of the story, invoked frequently by the British army.

Jonathan Crisp
One of the boys from Lexington, who helps ring the bells to muster the militia.

Abel Loring
One of the boys from Lexington, who helps ring the bells to muster the militia.

Ephraim Holt
One of the boys from Lexington, who was no more than thirteen.

Ephraim Holt's mother
Drags Ephraim back into the house when he rushes to sign the muster book.

Mrs. Carter
Wife of Jed Carter, reminds him to bring his notebook.

Jed Carter
A Lexington townsman who is part of the militia.

Cite this page:

Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on A Long Way Gone".