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American Revolution
Peter Francisco: The Virginia Giant



Peter Francisco: The Virginia Giant
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.41

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    broadsword, exploits, bayonet, courageous, poorly, impressed, wounded, unit, revolution, death, education, well-known, version, trade, duty, surrender
     content words:    Portuguese Azores, City Point, Peter Francisco, Anthony Winston, Revolutionary War, Patrick Henry, When Peter, General Washington, Brandywine Creek, Virginia Militia


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Peter Francisco: The Virginia Giant
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     It's 1765. Imagine yourself as a five-year-old child, stolen from your home near the Portuguese Azores. You are brought to America and eventually dumped on a dock at City Point, Virginia. There you are found alone, crying and afraid. That is how Peter Francisco entered American history.
 
2     Though he called himself Pedro, his name was changed to the English version, Peter. A mystery still surrounds why he was kidnapped.
 
3     Judge Anthony Winston took Peter in. (The judge was an uncle of Revolutionary War hero Patrick Henry.) When Peter was old enough to be apprenticed to learn a trade, he had grown to a massive size: six feet six inches tall and 260 pounds. It was decided that he should be a blacksmith.
 
4     When Patrick Henry made his famous speech, "Give me liberty or give me death," at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia, Peter Francisco was listening outside. The young blacksmith made up his mind to get involved in the revolution.
 
5     After joining the militia in 1776, Peter stood out in the crowd. He was too large to effectively use a standard broadsword, so General Washington had one specially made for him. It was five feet long.

Paragraphs 6 to 13:
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