April Morning Howard Fast April Morning was a book concerning a young man, Adam Cooper, and the trials and tribulations of his taking part in the Battle of Lexington. The story takes place mostly in Lexington, Massachusetts. The story opens with a glimpse into the daily life of the Cooper family. As Adam comments on his father being a perfectionist. Adam confuses his father s constant criticism with the feeling that his father hates him.
These feelings of hate are somewhat eased by Granny, Adam s grandmother and confidant. She tells him that, since she has known Moses Cooper longer than anyone, she knows that he really loves Adam. All this was happening with the rumblings of war nearby. The British taxes and tariffs were advancing and by then, most New England towns had their own local governments called Committees. These Committees were supported by local community leaders who also organized a town militia. When word reached Lexington that a British army landed, the local militia was mustered through much pushing by Moses Cooper and Jonas Parker, the Captain of the Militia.
They pushed for an order of the soldiers for completely different reasons, however. Moses stood firm by the principles of freedom and common human decency. Jonas Parker simply felt that because he was chosen to be Captain of the Militia, it was his right, and obligation to be out for the blood of any redcoat crossing into Lexington, Massachusetts. In any case, the British came to Lexington. The town representatives went to meet with them. Jonas Parker, Moses Cooper, the Reverend, and Simon Casper, a confrontational battle advocate, were there in front of three mounted British officers.
All they could do was watch helplessly as the redcoats surrounded their seventy-man militia in silence. The Reverend, being the peaceful man that he was, tried to speak diplomatically to the British officers. They gunned down Adam s father along with most o the defenders in plain sight of everyone. Adam was one of the lucky few that made it out alive. He ran away from the British soldiers, finally hiding in a smokehouse and dealing with the loss of his father. Eventually Levi, Adam s brother, came looking for him.
Adam helped to comfort Levi in their father s death, and they soon parted. Levi went home to tell his mother and grandmother while Adam went to hide in some woods outside town. He was pursued shortly but outran the redcoats. It was in these woods that Adam met Solomon Chandler. Solomon had soldiered with the British in the French War, but now fought for American independence. Adam and Solomon walked together to a meeting place called Ashley s Pasture.
Along the way, they picked up others who were also on their was to the meeting. By the time they arrived in Ashley s Pasture they were twenty-one, and there were over thirty waiting. In the next hour of remaining there, many more showed up until there were at least a hundred of them. Finally, they gathered around Solomon and discussed their plan of action.
They were to lie in wait next to a stone wall lining the road and as the British passed, rise up and fire over the wall. When the revolutionaries had fired, they were supposed to run away from the road and regroup. At their second grouping, they decided to break into groups of two s and three s, not allowing the British to take advantage of firing into one huge clump of men. Adam paired off with his cousin Joseph Simmons, the town blacksmith and a friend of the Cooper family.
After that encounter they again regrouped and decided to proceed along the road and get ahead of the redcoats. They picked a spot where the road dipped down a hill, and Adam, Joe Simmons, and four or five others crawled into a windfall at the bottom. The shelter was about seventy paces from the road, and Adam s fowling gun was only lethal at thirty. He found this a good excuse to rest from his sleepless night and soon became lazy.
When Adam woke up to the voices of the Reverend and Cousin Simmons. They were discussing having to break the news of another death to Mrs. Cooper. Adam then called out to them and they were glad to know he was alive. Then, the three of them walked home together, and when they reached Lexington, they split up to go to their respective houses. As Adam approached his house, his brother Levi came running out to him and said that someone had come by with news of Adam s death.
They both sat on the ground a moment and sobbed, happy to know each other was alive. Adam then regained control of himself, knowing he would have to face his mother soon. When Adam saw his mother, they embraced. Granny then led them all into the kitchen. Many neighbors were there, most of them had brought food. Mrs.
Cartwright, one of the most insensitive women Adam knew, took Adam upstairs where his father was laid out. She then coldly told Adam to pay his respects, and Adam said to her to get out. Having paid his respects, Adam went back downstairs. All the neighbors had gone, and only Levi, Granny, and Mother remained. Adam, wanting an excuse to get out of the house, was almost glad to see Cousin Simmons, among others, struggling to carry a coffin downstairs. They carried the coffin across the courtyard to the meeting house, which was serving as a temporary morgue.
A reporter from the Boston Advertiser cornered Adam and tried to pin him down with some questions, but he just pushed past him and out of the meeting house. Outside, a man was asking for volunteers to help with the siege on Boston. Adam stood there a moment, listening to him. He began dozing when Cousin Simmons grabbed his arm and suggested that they both go home and get a good night s rest.
When Adam got home, Mother forced him to eat for his own good. She then asked him to carry a box of candles to the meetinghouse so Father would not lie in the darkness. On his way out of the house, Ruth Simmons, Adam s childhood sweetheart, was waiting there for him. Ruth said that she had worried about him very much.
Together, they walked to the meeting house and put the candles there. After they left, Adam walked Ruth home and then turned home himself. At home, Adam was in bed when Granny came to wish him a good night. He told her that he would not be going to Boston to help with the siege, but she said that she knew him well and that he would leave before long.