Laurie Halse Anderson

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Grandfather is an old enslaved man who runs the Tea Water Pump. He insists that he’s everyone’s grandfather, and he’s generally dismissive of youthful idealism and of affiliating with either the Patriots or the Loyalists. Instead, he insists that each enslaved person must cross their own personal (and metaphorical) River Jordan, which stands between them and freedom. Grandfather disappears without fanfare about the time the British invade New York.

Grandfather Quotes in Chains

The Chains quotes below are all either spoken by Grandfather or refer to Grandfather. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Freedom Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Atheneum Books for Young Readers edition of Chains published in 2010.
Chapter 43 Quotes

I touched it, smooth and warm, flesh made silk.

The scars on Poppa’s cheek had been three lines across his cheek, carved with a sharp blade. He was proud of his marks. In the land of his ancestors, they made him into a man.

I traced the I with my fingertip.

This is my country mark. I did not ask for it, but I would carry it as Poppa carried his. It made me his daughter. It made me strong.

I took a step back, seeing near my whole self in the mirror. I pushed back my shoulders and raised my chin, my back straight as an arrow.

This mark stands for Isabel.

Related Characters: Isabel (speaker), Poppa, Grandfather, Madam Lockton
Page Number: 286
Explanation and Analysis:
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Grandfather Character Timeline in Chains

The timeline below shows where the character Grandfather appears in Chains. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 13
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...just like Poppa, so Isabel is always very nice to him. Curzon calls the man Grandfather, which shocks Isabel—she didn’t know Curzon had family here. But Grandfather explains that he’s just... (full context)
Chapter 26
Freedom Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
Grandfather tells the men to be quiet and calls Isabel forward. But people continue to argue... (full context)
Chapter 30
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...many new people in town, Isabel sees few familiar faces at the Tea Water Pump. Grandfather disappears, and five more Hessians move into Lady Seymour’s house. Isabel is glad to finally... (full context)